Pre Edit Count – 1,810 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Royals by Lorde
He laughs, enjoying having the fun Bella back. As they speed off in the night, stone birds in the sky, stone Egyptian wolves pulling them as a live one guards their mistress. It’s a great time to be alive.
They had run through the night and into the following day. The rams and wolves didn’t stop, and they both took that to mean they had information that had changed from the previous night. To make sure she is not worried, Rick entertains her with the stories on the race he had been part of against a group of Americans. Camels versus horses and the shock they had when the camels had won.
Tales of Jonathan made her laugh so hard he had to hold her in the chariot. “Was he really that way?”
Rick nods, grinning. “He was loyal to his sister and then to me. But he wanted to be rich. The thing is, he was, in every way. And he knew it. His ideas were golden; everything he touched succeeded. He just had the bad luck to be so deep in the supernatural world that it never left him alone. He hated mummies.” His grin gets bigger as he tells her how Jonathan kept moving around to avoid them, and how they somehow found him each and every time.
Bella is still laughing, then stills, a sense she had not known of pulses through her. She looks behind them at its prompting, and she shakes her head. “They aren’t caring anymore.” The words are said in a state of shock.
Rick stares at her then turns to see what she is talking about. His mouth drops open. In the far distance is a look of diamonds on the horizon. “What do they think will happen if they stop us? That nothing would see them?” He can’t believe they are basically outing themselves to the world just to stop them. Humans will do anything to kill them. For God’s sake, they kill humans to survive! They make no excuses for it!
She shakes her head. “I don’t think they care. Something in what we are doing is making them panic. I am not sure what it is.” She looks at him with worry apparent in her eyes.
At least they know why they didn’t stop. However, that didn’t allow them a day for Bella to absorb a page from the book. It is too risky for them now.
Rick looks around as he informs her, “Even if they are moving at the speed of light, they won’t catch us in time. But it will be close. I highly suggest that you get ready. That city won’t hurt you, and I am hoping it will not do anything to me, but the way to the chamber that I knew was destroyed.”
She turns, watches them, and frowns. She asks, “What did Imhotep do to you to make you stop?” She needs to try something, anything to slow them down, to give them more time.
Realizing what she is getting at, Rick chuckles. He kneels on the edge of the chariot and grabs a handful of sand. He stands up and hands her the sand with a smirk. He informs her, “Blow this at them.”
She raises an eyebrow but takes the sand in her cup-shaped hands. When it hits her hands, it starts sparkling as though made out of gold, making her laugh in delight.
Rick shakes his head. “It sure didn’t do that.” He cannot help the grin as he tells her, “Jonathan would declare you the love of his life.”
She looks up at him with a delighted look on her face. He realizes at that moment, he is as much a goner for this female as he was for the only other one to affect him like this. He thinks of her as a sister, and the look on her face just made it a solid fact. This is his sister. The one he wanted all his life. And that fit. He had felt Imhotep was his brother, never imagining when it is all done, he will be that to her too.
He waves his hand back towards their problem and mentions, “Princess, are you going to look at the sparkly dirt, or are you going to do something?” He pushes back the find, telling himself he will think on it later. He has a mission to deal with.
She laughs and when she blows on the sand, it reacts as though it is really gold dust, and swirls around them. Rick watches it, noticing it keeps far enough that they don’t breathe it in, but he soon understands what it is doing as the gold touches more sand and transforms it.
The land is preparing to defend its future Queen. Where it did what the King wanted, he has lived in this land and knew how to use it to defend himself, or attack. It trusted him.
It’s Queen? She is to be treasured, worshipped and so forth. Protected. So any attack on her behalf will always have a defensive side. And unlike with Imhotep, the land knows she has no idea of how to use it. So it helps.
The dust is spreading and makes it harder for the Cold Ones to follow them. The dust is finer than the sand. The land itself is reacting as they pass over it, and it looks as if a wave is passing over the edges farther out than the gold, the sand turning softer, harder to move through. Even for immortals, it will be like running through quicksand. It will slow them down. The gold dust will also make their heat signature harder to find. It also filters the air to remove their scents. It just floats on the very air, obstructing them.
And lastly, it confuses their sight, and will be a last layer of protection for the land’s Queen. And this is basically a pacifist response.
He looks forward and sees a road rise out of the sand that will help them go faster. “The land is making it easier.” He is awed at the reactions the land is giving. Imhotep had made him respect it, Bella is making him more aware of the power of the world could do if magic was back. He could see how the world was slowly dying, and now has a chance to fight back. To take back the Earth from mankind who is only killing it.
Her own thoughts are on what she needs to do for the two men she loves. Bella nods. “And how much do you want to bet that city is now as it was when you found it the first time?”
Rick runs a hand through his hair. “Damn. I am not taking that bet. In a way, you are more powerful than him.” He looks down with pride at the small woman beside him.
She looks up at him. “Me?”
He nods. “The land protects you. It obeys him, but you, it protects. It helps you, it basically is acting like it is in love with you as your Prince.” He waves his hand to show how it is reacting to her need.
She laughs, her delight showing in the very air as it ripples from the sound.
Rick watches as the land seems to delight in her and he murmurs, “It is as besotted with you as he is.”
Unable to keep her laughter inside, Bella’s laugh rings out louder as they ride on, going faster once the chariot hits the road.
All through the day, the animals run. Rick shakes his head at the way the land helps them. Birds, either stone or normal, will drop fruits, salt, and bags of water for them. Everything is the best. Rick muses to himself that this journey is much faster than the first time, and made pretty much in the lap of luxury.
But he keeps an eye on the vampires behind him. In one of the drops, he receives a spyglass and uses it to check on them. He even notices the land smoothes out a spot for him in the gold dust to see through. He doesn’t like the speed they have still, but he knows the land is doing what it can to slow them down.
He has no idea why it can’t stop them; maybe the use of force is under Imhotep? Either way, he knows that once Imhotep is back, these fuckers will be finding out why it is not good to hunt the woman he loves. Until then, it will be his job to keep her safe for him.
And he takes that seriously, thinking of the routes they can use to get to the chambers that the final showdown took place in. He has no doubt that the Gods will want another showdown there again.
He chuckles, wondering if all the gold in the room that had almost killed Jonathan will make any of the vampires stop as it had done the first times for his group.
All in all, he prepares himself for a showdown of huge power. Imhotep is watching them now, and he is not going to be pleased at his beloved being threatened. Nope. And having the Mummy pissed is not something Rick wanted to see again.
At least this time it won’t be at him.
That night, they see the city in front of them, as the dogs of Anubis run to it, the moon shining bright on the city.
Rick is shaking his head. “Nothing is ever hidden from the sands.”
Chuckling, Bella looks up at him. “Did you expect otherwise? How did you think we would do this?”
He chuckles right along with her. “Frankly, dear, I had no idea. Whatever it takes to get Evie back for me, and Imhotep for you, is fine in my book.”
He watches as they ride through the gates that open for them, and looks back to see them close behind their chariot. He smirks, knowing this is their answer to a question they had discussed on the way. Yes, the city is alive and it is firmly in the control of its Priest, soon to be King.
He jumps off the chariot when it stops. When he goes to help Bella down, he chuckles as the sand forms stairs for her. “Princess for sure. You will be spoiled soon!” But he is on full alert. He looks around seeing what the city is showing them in this incarnation of it.
He cannot help but suck in a breath wishing Evie was here. The city is looking as though it was never buried in the first place. The statues are standing upright and straight. This looks as though the builders had just stepped away for a moment instead of the thousands of years since they walked these lands as living beings.
A sound makes him turn and he sees a guard made of the black Anubis statues march out and surround them. A sound makes him look over them, and he blinks.
“I don’t think they will get in easily, Princess.” He is seeing multitudes of them forming outside the gates. He is sure that these are the honor guard.
Bella looks around and she looks worried. “They are as hard as these things, and can take more abuse. At least they are stone creatures, not more like Hermes.” She doesn’t want anything to be harmed. This appeals to her soul that loves the mystery of these statues.
Rick escorts her to the vault that opens for them, telling her as the aforementioned wolf is following them. “I think I would like an army of Hermes.” He has no doubt that the wolves can handle the dead.
They hurry down the ramps and stairs making their way through the maze to get to the chamber that holds the waters of the dead. To make the trip easier, they have a bunch of the scarabs showing them the way through the passages. Rick has to work not to squirm at the creatures he has seen eat human beings in seconds.
Above, the land gets ready to fight to give its beloved Queen the chance to raise the King. The land knows that they are its hopes to be the power it was in the past.
So it has pulled from its sands the city that brought so much pain before and made it where the Queen could get to her King. It gave her guardians, commanding the defenses to not only defend her, but to show her how to get to her King faster.
It called forth the army that the Scorpion Army defeated once, using them to protect the Queen. Anubis’s dogs came from the wilds to stand next to their masters, some of them stone, some mummies and some alive. The wolves who served the gods faithfully faded into being beside their mortal counterparts, there to help fight for the one who would give them back their places beside the rulers.
The animals and insects of the land wait for their chance. All this to battle the dead. Ones who will stop what is coming to prevent another having power over them. To gain that power for the three kings that have no right to it.
This would be catastrophic for the world. There are only two beings on the earth that can control the book. One is it it’s Mistress, and the other is the King of the Mistress. Any other being who tries to use the book, well that will lead to what happened last time, the horrors of that time. The plagues will come forth, the very earth protesting the use of something that was made to help the true rulers keep order between the humans and the supernatural.
It was not time for Imhotep to be awake earlier. His Queen was not even a thought out there, though the time was coming. However, it gained him a protector for his Queen. One that was strong enough to keep him in check in a time that he needed to be shown to wait. To give his faith back to his Gods.
With his Queen, Imhotep will be the all-powerful beast his legend claimed him to be. He just was not ready yet. The world couldn’t deal with him and the pain he felt when his thought to be love was ripped away by her own cowardice.
He needed to sleep until this time.
Now it is time to battle. Time to fight for the right to have magic in the world, to begin the end.
Final count: 2,477