Chapter 2/19

A man in a pitch black velvet cloak lined in runes passed thru the town gates unnoticed. He had black armor covering his chest, his boots were black with wolf fur covering the sides. A skull rested at the top of each one, covering his knee cap. He had long, stringy white hair, but he wasn't old. He was in his mid to late 20's. There was a long rune blade at his side, it was black, the runes glowed blue.

He passed thru the gates an nobody noticed him.

* * *

Natalya and Loki woke up as the sun shone thru the window in their room. They each got up and found their old clothes dry and sparkling. They got dressed and headed out. They were almost at the palace gates when someone came running to them.

"Natalya! Loki!" they turned around. A blond haired Amazon… Arnon, "I cant believe I've found you two here, of all places"

"What's wrong Arnon?" Natalya asked.

"The worlds been changing since you left…" Arnon replied, "The armies that ravaged Rogue and the port cities have been moving, organizing, conquering… haha, the only good thing about the end of the world is that we get to make a lot of money"

Natalya smiled, only a mercenary would understand the joke, "Why are you here?"

"I was contacted by an elf, wanted to meet the leader of the Eburnius Umbra, was hoping for you I think, said he was from the Everwood, wanted to take out an offense contract" Arnon replied, "We chose a place halfway between us both"

Natalya looked at Loki. He spoke before she did, "I can talk to the king, if the elves are looking for help then something big must be happening, they've got enough pride to fit in ten humans…"

Natalya nodded, "Thanks, I'll get a feel for the situation, and probably sell half my army to them"

"Alright, I'll meet you at the hotel at sunset" he replied as they parted ways.

Hotep snuck around the city Amarna, there were things lurking there. Almost the same as what had replaced the royal army, they looked like humans, moved like humans, but weren't. He could recognize a soulless shell when he saw it. He took aim with his bow and the arrow passed through the nearest ones neck, severing the spine, dropping it to the ground, once again dead. He had done this ten times already, the numbers were thinning though. Only a few more remained between him and the last structure in the city.

He pulled out the weapon of choice for pharaohs. It began as a normal sword, straight and sharp, then it dipped down and curved up like the crescent moon. He slashed at a zombie that had found him, its head rolled off and the creature was dead. He snuck through the city until he was at the old thrones made of stone. At the foot of one there was a marble sphere, at the top of it was a golden disk with rays reaching down from it. He picked it up, immediately the left throne fell into the ground, it was held up by a pressure plate.

He looked down into the newly formed opening, he didn't by any means want to go down there, but he knew he had to. He dropped the orb first to see how far the fall was, it hit ground almost as soon as he dropped it. He lowered himself in and got on his hands and knees. It was a tight little crawl space, a lot like the shafts in tombs he had seen.

He kept crawling down the shaft for a few minutes, then he came out in a chamber. He glanced around, it must have been Nefertiti's room. The four post bed was still there, white silk was draped across each post. He walked across the length of the room to the drawer. He opened it and found a map, it showed Amarna, Giza, Karnak, and Cairo. He needed to go near to where the sphinx was he imagined. Not quite as far as the sphinx, but near to it. He knew a good trail to get there, it would hold him close to the blood of Egypt.

Loki came through the doors to see the King. He thought it was strange that he would be allowed so close to the ruler of their realm with such a flimsy excuse as he was a representative from the Eburnius looking to see if they needed a defense contract. Apparently they let door-to-door salesmen in…

He took his sword out and stuck the point of it into the ground, he bowed his head and fell onto one knee, "Your highness"

"Rise" the king said. A woman rushed out of the chamber.

"Your highness…" he said, "I am an emissary from the elves, they sent me here to inform you of the status of the world-"

"Bah!" he called, "The elves? Those things… they still cling to life… much as I do… they are planning military action against my kingdom, the Everwood elves are. They have built up fortifications, they are raising armies as we speak. Do not come to me from the elves"

"There are things at work far greater than the elves or the humans-"

"An elf would say that wouldn't it? What are you? Even a quarter elf and you're betraying your own kind, betraying all humans?" he asked, "despicable"

"The demon wars, someone is trying to bring the old demons back to life, they want hell to spread forth onto the earth again, you must-"

"I don't need to do anything" the king said, "And how would the elves know this anyway?"

"Its not just the elves" Loki said, "The oracles-"

"Oracles!" the king laughed, "Son, someone has played a mean trick on you indeed"

Shauna ran out of the room as the dark man entered. She saw petals falling, the sign of a hero returning to the city. The only hero who hadn't returned was Arthur. She ran out and found a dark knight approaching. It looked like Arthur, only his hair had turned white, his armor black.

"Arthur?" she called to him. There were men flanking him, they didn't look like soldiers or mages though. She didn't know what they were but it felt dark and evil to her.

"Out of my way, woman" he called to her as he approached.

"Arthur what's-"

He shoved her to the side and walked by her. She knew she wasn't mistaken, but she feared her aunts words. He knocked the massive doors to the chamber of the king open without even pausing.

"Arthur!" the king called, pushing Loki to the side of the throne, "Arthur! Is that you? Have you returned to us?"

Arthur nodded, then walked to the foot of the throne. He took his sword out and dug the point into the marble floor. He got on one knee and bowed. He didn't know why though. This man in front of him, this weak, feeble old man, why was he, a warrior, a champion of Miron, bowing to him? Why was he the one on his knees? It made no sense whatsoever. He got up and rushed over to the king.

"Arthur what is it? What's wrong?" the King asked.

Arthur didn't reply, he took the sword and plunged it into the old mans chest. Loki's sword was in his hand, he brought it down sharply at the knight, but Arthur parried the blow easily. Loki swung thrice more and on all instances Arthur parried the blows. He put both hands on the sword-

* * *

Loki looked into the man's eyes who stood in front of him. He was in the middle kingdom, learning how to fight. He had both hands on a stick carved to look like a sword.

* * *

Loki remembered how to fight with both hands on the weapon. He swung, each motion slower than with one hand, but more powerful. Arthur still parried the blows, but it was obvious he was tiring. Arthur swung his sword at Loki and he parried the blow, but barely, the sword he held nearly came loose from his grip.

Arthur laughed, "Is this all they send to defeat me? If I had known this was the resistance I'd be facing I'd have just brought a branch from a tree outside"

Loki ignored him and tried again. Arthur parried the blow, but this time did it with a full swing Loki's sword came loose and slid across the floor to the other end of the chamber. He backed up a bit, then reached for his whip. By the time he had it though Arthur had walked to the other end of the room. He turned from where he stood.

"It is neither of our fates to die here, but remember, fate can be changed. Don't change it" Arthur called, then was gone. There were still rose petals falling from the sky outside, the people had no idea that this man just killed their king and effectively would destroy the kingdom by it.

Loki thought about getting his weapon, but if that man wanted him to die here he would have. He ran to the kings side and tried every healing spell he knew, but it made no difference. There were black lines extending out from the wound in his chest. The blade was poisoned somehow… Loki walked over to his sword, he dropped it into its sheath and watched as the priests rushed to the kings side, some reading last rights, some trying spells like Loki. Loki looked out the doors, Arthur was gone, there was one more casualty, the woman he saw running out of the chamber lay dead at the foot of the stairs.