A MORNING WELCOME 

King Raies causally walked with two guards in front of him, and two walking behind him. They were Kulu warriors, his elite personal guard. Granted the bodyguards were not the true Kulu, none had been touched by magic, and their allegiance was to the king, not to Eyahvah. But they still were the most skilled of any warrior class in all four kingdoms. King Raies even trained with them for his own skill elevation he wanted to truly be a warrior king, he trained daily with the highest rank among the Kulu to ensure that he learned properly. Behind the king was a servant carrying a concealed tray of hot food. King Raies was feeling better than usual. Everything was going his way. They walked down a corridor that opened into the confined prisoner area. As the king neared Pu’sotep’s cell he smiled. Upon standing in front of the cell King Raies saw the high priest sitting crossed legged his eyes were closed, he did not sense that Pu’sotep was shaken in any way. He waited a few seconds to see if Pu’sotep would open his eyes but the high priest did not so he decided to speak. 

“Have you had time in your tiny cell to rethink my offer?” King Raies said. Pu’sotep opened his eyes slowly then looked up at the king. King Raies waved for the servant who quickly walked up with the silver tray. King Raies ordered the servant to take the lid off of the tray, once he did the area was filled with the aroma of delicious food. “I was told that this is your favorite feast for breakfast. I had Dumala my personal chef cook it for you. I can tell you he is the best chef from the agricultures class!” His voice was falsely upbeat. Pu’sotep averted his eyes to the ground. King Raies stared at Pu’sotep a moment taking notice, his eyes had detected something that he did not say out loud. Closing the lid on the dish his face frowned momentarily, he waved for the servant to leave. The king stepped closely to the bars eyeing Pu’sotep closely. The high priest surprised him by looking up, the two locked eyes. 

“Turn away from destruction King Raies. Seek forgiveness from Eyahvah and he will spare this land.” Pu’sotep said with a firm voice. King Raies kept his eyes locked on Pu’sotep. 

“Destruction gives way to rebirth! Chaos gives way to new direction! Your riddle speech has no meaning!” He waited for Pu’sotep to retort. The high priest did not lower his head or avert his eyes, no fear came from him. The visit from Hu’Ru the night before had renewed his strength.   

“I speak directly, there is no riddle in my words. Seek forgiveness, avoid destruction.” He maintained strength in his voice that irked King Raies, the king fought it down so as not to show weakness. 

“You still do not reveal the source of your words! If it is truth you speak, then release what it is that motivates you!” King Raies did not hide his anger, his voice boomed through the tunnel echoing down the hallway. The two men remained locked on one another. Pu’sotep finally decided to stand up, he walked over to the prison bars his eyes still on the king. 

“A dark mage sits out on the Dav’n Sea due North. He awaits the command of his master to bring down this kingdom! Only repentance will protect you from this certain doom! Drop to your knees and cry out to your Creator for forgiveness, call to your humbler nature before it is too late!”   

“A dark mage?” King Raies said condescending. “How will this dark mage bring down my kingdom?”There was a smile on his face, the guards took a moment to laugh, the king looked back at them lightheartedly urging them on. Pu’sotep found no humor in any of it, his face remained serious. 

“The dark mage will call forth a tidal wave that will flood this area putting your palace, the statue of Luma, and all of the people under a watery grave.” Pu’sotep waited for a response as the men laughed even louder at what he just said. “My job is done, I have warned you as I was asked.” 

“As you were asked?” King Raies voice boomed in anger by Pu’sotep’s comment, his eyes twitched and his nostrils flared. He ordered the cell gate opened then he stormed inside toward the high priest. King Raies ordered one of the guards to strip Pu’sotep of his clothing before the high priest was shoved to the ground and kicked in the face by King Raies. Seeing the high priest nude and humbled did his heart good, he smiled. “Ask your God to clothe you, and to protect you from the death that comes for you if you fail to welcome the worshipers and Re and Luma into your fold. Your family and remaining priests will also be killed. Let the heat of the day strengthen the stench of your cell that will come from your own waste, the sun will drive your thirst but you will find no relief, nor will there be any mercy!” 

King Raies turned storming out of the cell. Pu’sotep lowered his head, he took a moment to get his emotions under control after what just happened to him. Scooting on the floor he laid his back against the wall. He knew King Raies would not change his mind, the fall of T’oku had begun. He prayed for strength for what was to come to him and to all of T’oku. 
 

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