Kyan rose from his seat after the ritual and beckoned to Briut who stood by, trying not to look like he was hovering to catch him should he again fall. The high priest waved away the bevy of healers who had a tendency to cluster around newly risen patients. But he took Briut’s arm and was helped into his rooms in the temple, where they could have a modicum of privacy.
“Holy One, I am so happy that you are on your feet again!” Briut bowed very low. “I trust you found everything in order?”
“Ah, Briut you did an excellent job, except for one, tiny, problem. The Candace’s health tonics. We must be diligent in caring for our Beloved!” Kyan’s eyelids drooped, just slightly, a little dangerously. Briut had no idea that the tonics made Amani-shakhete healthy. Too healthy to ever maintain a pregnancy, since a woman’s defenses had to be lowered for that. And now those tonics would be replaced by the midwives’. He would not be able to encourage her body to abort this child.
“Holy One, I have a letter from the Most Holy in Thebes!” Briut obviously expected the reprimand and pulled out his letter. “He explained that the temple healers here would be certain to have all the requisite ingredients.” Translation, Kyan thought. I’m not sending you any more ferrweed.
“Of course, Younger Brother. The evidence of the Most Holy’s wisdom is our Beloved’s Blessing.”
“There is a letter that just arrived for you, Holy One.” And you tried to read it, magically, and are chagrined that you aren’t strong enough to. He could see the hieroglyphs on the seal that glowed to his sight that showed they’d been tampered with.
“And you’re having some trouble with your eyes, still, Briut?” Kyan accepted the scroll, holding it unopened on his lap. The man had the grace to be a bit chagrined.
“A little, Holy One.”
“Euphrasia eye wash will help.” Eyebright would ease the soreness he knew his second in command would be suffering after the warning flash of intense bright light when he tried to read the scroll without permission.
“Thank you, Holy One.” He bowed again, and this time Kyan could see that his eyes were red-rimmed. “With your permission?” He waved behind himself.
“Of course. If I need help or anything at all, I will call. Please close the doors behind you and make sure I am not disturbed.” Translation: I’ll rip your ears off if I catch you invading my privacy again.
“Blessings, Holy One.”
“And to you Younger Brother.”
The scroll opened with a crackle of light and the scent of honeysuckle, a sign that it had not been successfully tampered with.
My Brother in Amun, it began. It is with tremendous sorrow that I heard of your sudden illness and so unfortunate that our Brother’s actions might well have precipitated his unfortunate downfall. Translation: You acted on your own and got hit with some kind of backlash.
Ritual and the rigorous service of our God is, indeed, a delicate thing and the actions of many often depend on one another, like the footfall of a butterfly that ultimately brings the obelisk crashing into ruins. Translation: You disregarded our timetable and now we’re playing catch-up so that we don’t get crushed under the falling rock.
I am grieved that my little Brother of Kush is suddenly so frail in the grand scheme of the Universe, that he might not be able to fully participate in the fullness of life and the euphonius and magnificent pageantry that is the life of service to Amun. Translation: Mess up again and we won’t be so kind and forgiving, we’ll kick you out.
Please do take care of yourself and your flock, Kyan. I will speak plainly and personally here only. If we fail because you pushed up the timetable for our ascension to power on your own recognizance then you will find yourself so deep in the Nile that you will be unable to reach a crocodile’s nether parts with your tongue. Kyan stared in shock at the hieroglyphs that openly threatened him. That… just wasn’t DONE.
Once again Our best prayers to our Mighty God for your swift recovery and your return to the diligent and stalwart priest that We know you to be.
Yours in the Everlasting Service of the Almighty Amun,
Neirth-Amun High Priest of Amun in AEgypt, service to the Pharoah Cleopatra IX (Translation: The old Pharoah Cleopatra VIII has died and the baby Princess is now under Neirth-Amun’s thumb). hem netjer en tepy The One Who Adores Amun First after the Divine Wife