4.1 Peaceful

Warm sun rays tickle me awake. Slowly, I open my eyes. The bed space next to me is empty. Again. How many moons have passed? When will he return? I remain in bed for a little while before heaving my naked body up. Sighing, I splash some cold water into my face as I look out the window. Waves upon waves crash against the cliffs below me. I like the sound. The rhythm puts my heart at ease. Whenever I leave this little place, it’s always this scenery I miss first. I turn around to grab my clothes from off the chair, but it seems I misplaced them. Again. Swearing under my breath, I search for them only to find them right at the door leading out of the bedroom. After putting them on, I grab my blade and leave, but a quick glance in the mirror that has been perfectly embedded into the whitewashed stone walls reveals I should at least comb my hair. Luckily, it is quite short and easy to manage.

Finally, I step out of the bedroom, walk past the kitchen, and eating space, right to the outdoors. I take a deep breath and enjoy the smell of the salty air. As I look inland, I see a couple of buildings similar to the one I live in. I begin my morning round, check if everything is all right. It is a peaceful morning. The people greet me humbly and offer me free food. Mhm. The smell of fresh bread is another thing I miss whenever I travel. But this makes returning home even sweeter. As I finally reach the entrance of the slightly fortified village, I notice one of the sentries focusing on one direction.

“What do you see there?” I ask, looking up at the sentry in the small tower.

“Visitors. Not many. Riding on horses.”

He seemed so concentrated; he didn’t even bother to speak in full sentences. Shaking my head, I look in the same direction as he does. And surely, on the horizon, just before the forest, a small group is approaching us at a rather slow pace. Seems like they are in no hurry either. Good. I prefer these lazy days to hectic ones. I continue to eat the piece of bread I had been offered. By the time I’m done, the visitors are clearly visible. Oh, but what a sight to see! Finally! I try my best not to run and hastily welcome them. To my joy, he picks up speed as he spots me, jumping off the horse as it walks past me, right into my arms.

“Oh, how I missed you!” He exclaims in his incredibly soothing voice. “And I know you missed me too, even when you like to pretend you don’t.” With a grin, he gives me a little kiss on the cheek.

“Is that all?” I mutter unimpressed. He blinks, chuckles then proceeds to kiss my lips. The warmth of his body fills me with a sense of joy.

“Do you know how long I have waited?” I don’t avert my gaze. He chuckles again.

“Yes, and it seems that your hair has magically regressed? What happened to the beautiful long hair?” He plays with my hair even though it is shorter than his long deep green locks.

“When I need to fight, they become quickly annoying. This short is good enough. You can still see it’s purple.”

“Master Ptah.” The village elder interrupts our little moment. I sigh quietly. This is the moment where he will focus so much on work and forget me. But I love it in a way. The way he can concentrate on a task at hand. How benevolent he is towards humans, unlike many of our kind. And he does his best to make up for the time lost to us. No, not with expensive gifts, no jewelry to make me resemble a decorated tree. With time. He will quietly steal away from work, whisk me away on his steed, and we’ll spend the entire night together, gazing at the stars. Talking. Embracing. Just as he can focus on his work, he focuses only on me. These moments are so precious, and every one of these nights is kept in my memory like paintings. For now, it is enough to see him. To know he is near.

Just as I had hoped this day would remain peaceful, a scout on his horse gallops into the village. He is visibly out of breath, his clothes tattered. His right arm is bleeding through a haphazard wound dressing made from his clothes. He must have hastily bandaged himself while riding all the way back. There are usually two scouts. Looking at his troubled face, I fear the worst. He returns my gaze, even though he can barely sit upright in his horse.

“Mistress…” he pants. He is in great pain. “Mistress Sekhmet, they are coming.” Again, he pants. Bending over forward, he tries to maintain balance but fails to do so. In one swift move, I am at his side to easily catch this frail human. “They got her…” he said, in tears. “The Ashura.”

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