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Leg Post 135 begins with Neferkaptah being refused an audience with Viracocha in the city of Norte Chico. He decided this did not matter and resumed his quest for the mysterious mage who supposedly acquired the Book of Thoth. He travelled across Antediluvia, meeting with many tribes of humans scattered across the land, but found neither the mage, nor did he uncover any secrets of Atlantis that he had hoped to discover. He spent two decades across what would become known as both South America and North America before he finally returned to Norte Chico, empty-handed, and hoping that Viracocha would now reveal the secret to the mage. He was refused again, repeatedly. Neferkaptah came to wait at the temple of Viracocha every day, but was denied every day. He became a symbolic figure amongst the people of the city and even the mamaconas of the temple joined him in his wait to be deemed worthy. Years passed in this silent ritual until Mama Killa, daughter of Viracocha, arrived and suggested she could help him in his mission. She quickly revealed that he was the only person to travel to Antediluvia for a century, thus the mage was never there. Disillusioned, Neferkaptah wished to give up his existence, but Mama Killa suggested he see through his Yanantin-Masintin, the journey to balance his soul. He was reminded of the Tao and the Ying-yang that he had been taught by The Mother in Leg Post 127. He remained in Norte Chico for a few hundred years, using magic to extend his lifespan. But, still without his balance, he eventually departed and began to travel Antediluvia again. There he was met by a creature that named himself Supay, a guardian of the gateway to Ukhu Pacha, whose dark master was forbidden access to the Earth and its souls. Supay wanted a trade, magic for a wish. No real cost to Neferkaptah, just excess magic, and so the prince agreed to the exchange. After having the magic drained from him, he awoke from a sleep to be told by Supay that he had slept for over one thousand years, being drained of magic the whole time. Though he grew angry, he was given the answer to the question of the mage. There was no mage. Djer, Neferkaptah's brother, made it up to be rid of Neferkaptah and keep the Book of Thoth himself. Having spent centuries in search for the mage and the book, Neferkaptah snapped to his old temperment. He restored his youth and aimed to return to Egypt, find the book and destroy it.

Post

A Good Trade

Neferkaptah sat outside the temple, brooding. He had initially requested to meet with this supposed god of the universe but had been denied. Viracocha, apparently, didn’t think Neferkaptah was worthy of his divine presence.


After being affronted by this, Neferkaptah decided he didn’t care. There was no need to meet with this god anyway. Instead, he resumed his quest for the mage that stole the book that was rightfully his. Scavenging for information in the city proved to be quickly fruitless. Magic was a rare phenomenon in this land, he came to understand, and was predominantly used by the more aggressive peoples of other, smaller, tribes. The practice wasn’t banned, but it wasn’t encouraged either.


Neferkaptah couldn’t imagine a powerful mage would come from such a city, and so the prince took to travelling the southern continent of Antediluvia and the tribes that did have magic. After several years, meeting many strange folks of the jungle, and having to defend himself against many of them, his search was in vain. Worse still, he found no other references of the ancient Antediluvians that supposedly inhabited the continent, nor did he discover any secrets of Atlantis that might have satiated his unsettled mind. So, he went north.


More tribes of humans that were under advanced compared to Norte Chico, and certainly less than the Kingdoms of Shu or Egypt. Further and further north he went, wandering the wild lands. He couldn’t take the hovercraft, fearing it would either stop working, meaning he could never leave this continent, and that it would cause too much of a stir to those he was trying to communicate with. So, he had to travel the hard way. Which took time.


A lot of time.


He found people living in the ice lands to the far north of the massive continent. He stayed with one tribe of people, who had a settlement by a long river that led to the ocean, who had no name for themselves as a group, had no concept of ownership or politics. He found he could understand a strange liberty in such a life, where he would fish, eat, sleep and make merry. But he couldn’t fathom why these people remained in such a desolate area, desperately trying to stave off the cold. While they lacked sophisticated social structure and had no weapons, as they never went to war with anyone, they did have sophisticated fishing technologies that he had never seen before. They were able to catch a large creature that Neferkaptah dubbed a swordfish, after the bronze swords used by some soldiers. They told of another group of people that lived further away who were capable of hunting whales and would trade the whale meat along the river. Neferkaptah had heard of large beasts in the ocean, but never dreamed they could be butchered by man.


Yet, again, there were no clues to the mysterious mage. Here, they had no clue of magic or even of its existence, so far as Neferkaptah could tell. After remaining with them, he went as far north as he could, using magic to keep himself warm, but eventually came to nothing but ice waters that ended the continent. He had doubted to meet anyone in this wasteland, but he held out hope that a powerful mage might have maintained a secret hovel in the snow.


His return south saw his mood sour and many more months passed him by as he travelled down the western coast, still trying to gather information. To no avail.


In all, it took him two decades to journey around the land, with nothing to show for it. While he had took the time to learn something of some tribes, his patience wore ever thinner as time marched on with no ounce of success.


Then he found himself back in Norte Chico, sat upon the steps of Viacocha’s temple. Denied once again.


With nothing else to do, and no other leads, the only option lay with asking the help of a powerful deity who might have some clue to his quest. He waited there, every day. He took residence in a stable, where the people kept goats, but returned to the temple every morning to wait. Every day, his request for an audience was denied.


But he had nothing else to do.


He could burn it down. That would bring temporary relief. But he recalled Fu Xi and knew, the only possible way to get accurate information was to be told honestly and willingly.


Strangely, he felt older than he had ever done before. It wasn’t just the physical years that aged him, but he had been mentally altered into a broken and weary man who could no longer function properly.


The people of Norte Chico had originally found him to be an amusing figure in the town, as he strutted about and sat at the temple with a strange air of mystery. But as time went on, he became a staple figure of the community. The odd outsider who appeared on the steps from dusk til dawn and never spoke a word save; “I request an audience”. The priests found him troublesome in the beginning, an annoying man that couldn’t take no for an answer. In time, however, they started to wonder… his attachment to Viracocha seemed unrealistically fervent. His patience, his determination were almost supernatural.


The priests themselves were known as mamaconas, women who were dedicated to the worship of their chosen god. They were always the most beautiful of the girls from the city who were trained for many years as acllas, at which point they either advanced to become mamaconas or they left the temple to marry noblemen. The mamaconas had husbands too, but they were of lower births.


One mamacona sat with him, in silence. They sat and waited, together. Day after day. He arrived and made his request, she went inside and delivered the request and always received the same answer. Then she sat with him outside and waited.


After months, a second mamacona joined them. She sat, and she waited.


After two years, the entire system of prayer and dedication to Viracocha had been changed. Mamaconas and acylla took up hours of devoted silence on the steps of the temple. Some people of the town even joined them.


They all waited to become worthy.


But still, the head priest came back with the response that Viracocha refused to meet with Neferkaptah.


Until someone else arrived in the city.


The priests bowed their heads, while the people of the city clapped and grew excited. Mama Killa was visiting them, surely the would-be mothers would be blessed with pregnancy of healthy children.


Mama Killa found Neferkaptah on the steps, his face dark and sullen. He hadn’t even noticed her approach.


Mama Killa: “What a strange man.”


Mamacona: “He is dedicated to your father, Mama Killa. He waits in the vain hope that, one day, he might be granted an audience.”


Mama Killa: “Father sees no one. Not even me. I have been here since Atlantis fell, and I have yet to see my own father. So this man’s wait will be a long.”


Mamacona: “It has already been.”


Mama Killa: “But why does he seek to visit my father?”


Mamacona: “We do not know. When he arrived, many years ago, he talked of another who travelled the lands. It may be that he was seeking that person.”


Mama Killa: “Is that it, stranger?”


Neferkaptah looked up at Mama Killa, finally, but didn’t respond. As though he wasn’t sure what he was looking at, having just woken up.


Mama Killa: “You wish to find a traveller? Perhaps I can help you do this? The moon shines over all…”


Neferkaptah felt his dry mouth begin to work.


Neferkaptah: “You can… help me?”


Some of the priests were almost awed by this moment. Hearing him speak new words in years was like a divine revelation, and it was their moon god who drew out those words at last. Truly, the gods were the protectors of all men.


Mama Killa: “I can.”


A short time later, Neferkaptah had hobbled his way to a small plaza and was helped to a stump that had been fashioned into a seat. His back ached as he sat himself down. He felt the thinness of his limbs for the first time, never having noticed how little he had been eating.


He explained his tale of the mysterious mage, who had travelled ahead of him from Egypt to Antediluvia and Mama Killa closed her eyes. Bright light then shone from the eyelids and Neferkaptah, and the human onlookers, had to shield their sight.


Mama Killa: “I have looked into time, under the many moons that have passed over the lands of the world.”


She opened her eyes again.


Mama Killa: “You are the only outsider to come to Antediluvia this century.”


Neferkaptah didn’t even react.


It seemed the words “of course” ought to flow from his lips, but he couldn’t bring himself to say them. He felt defeated. His great rival, the mysterious mage, had eluded him and the trial was dead. If it had ever been there at all. Neferkaptah presumed that the mage must still be in China. Or perhaps Japan or Korea, the lands that the prince had avoided to save time reaching Antediluvia. He also remembered seeing some islands listed as “Hawaii” on his Atlantean map, amongst others. But having spent decades roaming Antediluvia, both north and south, he felt too old to continue his search. Too tired of it all.


Neferkaptah: “Why does Viracocha refuse to meet with us?”


Mama Killa was surprised to get a question instead of a response.


Mama Killa: “I do not really know.”


Neferkaptah: “Has he abandoned this world?”


Mama Killa: “I hope not.”


Neferkaptah: “Did he ever exist?”


Mama Killa: “It feels as though you are asking about another?”


Neferkaptah: “I have seen gods now. Several. But, none of the gods that I believed in when I was in Egypt. I have never seen Ra, or Ma’at or even Thoth. Maybe they never existed?”


Mama Killa: “What difference would it make to you? Would it change who you are?”


Neferkaptah: “Probably not. I just feel… betrayed.”


Mama Killa: “Gods are irrelevant and unnecessary to humans.”


Neferkaptah: “Huh! Strange words from a god.”


Mama Killa: “But true. None of us created you. You were created by… external ones. We came here and we became worshipped. We help govern things, keep things working for this world to function properly. But you do not need us. All you need is to understand yourselves.”


Neferkaptah: “That isn’t the teachings of the temples in Egypt…”


Mama Killa: “Temples run by people who want power and control, correct? I am god of the moon. But, actually, there are hundreds of gods of the moon. Who is the true god of the moon? Perhaps we all are? Perhaps none of us are? Who can say? Would it be so strange to believe that the moon will orbit the Earth even without a god?”


Neferkaptah: “You may be right. If there are no gods, then… what is the point?”


Mama Killa: “I believe we all find our own meaning. Even we, deities, find our meaning. What makes us whole. For me, my husband makes me feel whole. Perhaps that is the nature of Yanantin?”


Neferkaptah: “What is Yanantin?”


Mama Killa: “Balance. Dualism. The nature of all things. Two opposing ideas that merge to become one. Man and woman. Dark and light. Inside and outside. Your mood is down, because you are unbalanced.”


Neferkaptah blinked a few times. This lost continent, so far, far away from China, seemed to have the same belief system they had. He thought of The Mother. She had told him his qi was unbalanced too. The Tao, the universe, was much like the domain of Viracocha and Yanantin was the same as Yin-Yang.


Neferkaptah: “Do I need balancing?”


Mama Killa: “It may help you restore yourself.”


Neferkaptah: “I was unbalanced before I ever came here…”


Mama Killa: “Then, renew yourself.”


Neferkaptah: “Can you teach me the ways? I had a teacher, but she is in China. I don’t know if I have the strength to return there.”


Mama Killa: “I cannot teach you, but I can try to help you. Yanantin is for you alone to balance. Not even the gods can wield your soul.”


Neferkaptah: “But, I was told some can wield their qi? Their soul?”


Mama Killa: “Your own soul, yes. Some have the power to affect others’ souls, but that is a grave crime against the nature of the universe. None should ever do that, no matter the cause, lest they stoop to such evil ways.”


Neferkaptah: “Interesting. Once again, I feel like a child. I once thought myself the wisest man in Egypt. Funny to be so… humbled.”


Mama Killa: “Then your Yanantin-Masintin begins! That is the journey for your balance.”


Neferkaptah’s spiritual journey began with bathing. He had been dirty and unkempt for so long that he did not know how rank he was. The river water was cold and stinging, but it felt like just the jolt he needed to raise his awareness. His memories kindled and he almost felt he saw a silly cat-girl sitting in a tree above him. How she feared the water, he chuckled to himself. He didn’t realise that the memory stirred a wide grin on his face and the mamaconas who helped him with new clothes were awonder at his sparkling face. No truer Yanantin-Masintin had they known that this.


He was granted clothing by the city folk. The poncho was bright red and heavy, but left his arms bare. The underskirt that reached his ankles was black and, after they combed through his hair, they gave him a flat-topped red cap to wear on his head. He looked down at himself and couldn’t recognise who he was. He felt this was the means of renewing his qi, his soul.


He tried many jobs, but found he was best suited as record-keeper. It was simple for him, as highly educated as he had been, and learnt the writing system of Norte Chico quickly. He used his previous knowledge of the Egyptian account-keeping and used it for the city, which suddenly became crucial to keep tracking of allowances of food, storage of goods and trade with other civilisations of Southern Antediluvia. He also helped regulate the guardsmen that had to patrol the city, and keep watch for raiders. The other, less civilised, folks didn’t kidnap people as slaves, which happened in Africa, but instead they kidnapped them for sacrifices. A deity that they called Pachamama was especially keen on her sacrifices, it seemed.


Hew grew older and older, but felt stronger and stronger in his soul. He became more aware of simple things. A man could not survive on food alone. He needed fresh, clean water. Balance of the two things. Even then, he had to balance food between meat and vegetables and not subsist on just one or the other. He had to balance physical activity with mental activity, lest bodies grow fat, or the mind grow docile. The nature of dualism became more apparent, the more he paid attention to such things.


To consume too much of one thing was called chhulla. The imbalance was created by an excess of one over another. Too much food, too much beer, too much pride, too much solitude. He knew he had a great excess of self-absorbed feelings and he struggled to start thinking of other people. He helped them with their work, then he helped them with their chores, then he helped them with their learning. He started to find many ways that he could do for others, and thereby improve himself. However, the opposite to chhulla was chuya, the lack of something to find balance. He did much for others, but no one was there to do for him. Mama Killa explained that people are bad at looking after themselves because they are not supposed to do that. They need a partner to do that. A man looks after his woman, and she looks after him. He would forever be in a state of chuya if he never found a woman to share his Yanantin with.


This was the most difficult prospect that Neferkaptah had ever known. He needed a wife? And a wife that he had to rely on to provide for him, as he had to provide for her. He couldn’t just have a woman around his house, he had to be able to talk with her and share his soul with her to bind himself to a balanced yin-yang.


Impossible, he told Mama Killa. He was incapable of leaving himself so vulnerable. And so, his Yanantin-Masintin continued on and on.


He lived far longer than he felt he had any right to. When he reached one hundred years old, he had seen generations of children born and grow old. Yet, even he could not live forever. When his hundredth and first birthday arrived, he started to wonder how he was still alive. Was it the new spirituality that rejuvenated him? He knew he looked old and worn down. His hair all gone, his teeth gone, his bones weak and painful. But he wasn’t dead.


As he speculated this, he realised that the magic within him, that he had so long neglected, had been sustaining him. The healing qualities kept his organs functioning and as he awakened his old powers, he felt them restore him, shaving off two decades from his physical form, pushing him back to grandfather status rather than great-grandfather.


He knew this couldn’t be done forever, he was no immortal. Not unless he wanted to end up like Fayd. But, he suspected he could continue to push his lifespan, by sapping up magic, for several centuries. He questioned if he should do this, wondering if it was his old self-indulgence, but he decide he had yet to achieve his nirvana. His Yanantin-Masintin was not yet complete. And so he remained in Norte Chico for several hundred years. The first generations forgot who he was, as though he had always been there. Just some old accountant that came with the place. Eventually, however, some started to notice that he seemed to be immortal and he decided he ought to unburden the populace of his presence.


He departed the city and began to travel the land again. Despite several hundred years having passed, much of the land remained unchanged.


But as he went east, he was approached by a strange creature he had never before seen. The creature was hunched over, as though always on edge, but its skin was a silver coloured porcelain. The fingers didn’t move, like a doll’s hands, and on its face were massive eyes, with bright blue irises. Long horns protruded from the forehead, straight up into sharp points. From its mask-like mouth were two fangs. Tiny, yellow gems were encrusted in patterns across the porcelain face and horns. From the top of the head were yellow feathers, strutting up like a canary. It wore ornate, starched shoulder pads with delicate patterns that eventuated opulence, but the robe beneath was a simple, undefined blackness that trailed on the ground, through the dirt. As it spoke, its tongue slathered around its mouth.


Supay: “Greetings, old one.”


Neferkaptah: “What are you?”


Supay: “They call me Supay, old one.”


Neferkaptah: “How do you know how old I am?”


Supay: “Supay knows. I am a deity. Like your mentor, Mother of the Moon.”


Neferkaptah: “A deity of what?”


Supay: “Of Ukhu Pacha.”


His voice was shrill and squawking and his intonation snivelling, but there was also an animalistic growl mixed in with the r sound of his words.


Neferkaptah: “The inner world? The world of life and death? I was told this has become a domain of Mama Pacha? She is the mother of life and death, so I am told? I suppose if you sacrifice enough people, one would naturally become a deity of death sooner or later.”


Supay: “The sacrifice is necessary.”


Neferkaptah: “Why is that?”


Supay: “The more lives are born, the more must die to preserve that balance.”


Neferkaptah: “You say the sacrifices are part of the Yanantin?”


Supay: “When the humans harvest the potato, are they not killing that potato? Offerings must be made for balance. How many potatoes must die to feed one human for a lifetime?”


Neferkaptah: “But sacrifice?”


Supay hopped on each foot.


Supay: “Not the business of Supay. That is the way of Mama Pacha. Supay and his friends seek other sacrifices.”


Neferkaptah: “Friends?”


He looked around, suddenly weary that others may be hidden from sight.


Supay: “I am one Supay of many Supay. We come from the Ukhu Pacha. Mother Spacetime is in all places at all times. Ukhu Pacha is here too. All times, all places. It is this place, but not of this place. But only Supay is permitted on this ground. Others, great others, lurk in the Ukhu Pacha, but the bindings of this ground prevent them, and the Master, from entry. So, Supay is the deity for Ukhu Pacha through this ground.”


Neferkaptah: “So, it is some realm of death that is ruled by a great demon who cannot come to this land, this world or this country?”


Supay: “World it is.”


Neferkaptah: “So, you’re the middleman. And is this Ukhu Pacha where we go when we die?”


Supay: “No, no, no. Not permitted. Bindings prevent this. You will not be food for the Master.”


Neferkaptah: “Food?”


Supay: “The feast of souls.”


Neferkaptah felt the hairs on his neck ripple. The evil of a soul destroyer exists after all, as Mama Killa said.


Supay: “But, even with the prohibitions against the Master, Ukhu Pacha is still here. Supay is guardian of that connection. Must be. Otherwise, many problems could arise!”


Neferkaptah: “Good to know your Master has no power here. But then, why are you here?”


Supay: “Sacrifice.”


Neferkaptah: “You want to sacrifice me?”


Supay: “No, no, no! Supay is not Mama Pacha. Supay say this already. Other sacrifice.”


Neferkaptah: “What kind of sacrifice?”


Supay: “An exchange. I will grant your wish and you will sacrifice to me.”


Neferkaptah: “My wish? What kind of wish?”


Supay: “Anything. Everything. Your greatest desire. Your… darkest need.”


Neferkaptah felt the old stirrings suddenly twinkle deep within his soul. He hadn’t thought about his darkest needs for centuries.


Neferkaptah: “No.”


Supay: “No?”


Neferkaptah: “I need nothing.”


He marched past, head held high. He didn’t need his old ways returning now. That would unbalance his Yanantin. He knew now, just how content his soul was.


Supay: “But, the sacrifice is so little. Nothing you wouldn’t gladly give up.”


Neferkaptah paused, and turned his head.


Neferkaptah: “What sacrifice?”


Supay: “Some of your magic. Just some. You will be fine. For you, it is like giving up some breath, or some of your sweat. Give Supay this, and you can have anything you desire. Something great, or something small. You wish for a woman? Supay give woman. You wish for a kingdom, Supay give kingdom. You wish for a rabbit, Supay give simple rabbit. The sacrifice is so little, you have nothing to lose.”


Neferkaptah: “Nothing to lose…”


It seemed like a fair trade. Magic was not easy to come by in these lands, no doubt draining magic from someone would be very useful to a creature like this Supay and his ‘friends’.


Neferkaptah: “How can I trust you?”


Supay: “Supay must do it this way. Trade. Balance. You give, Supay gives.”


Neferkaptah: “So I just let you drain some magic from me?”


Supay: “That is all. Then Supay give you what you want.”


He had lived for centuries without what he wanted, following his Yanantin-Masintin. But he had not yet achieved that goal, despite living many lifetimes. But he also had lost his old desires for power.


But he still always wondered about his great nemesis, his one true soul-mate, the mysterious mage. Where was the mage? Who was the mage? And where was the Book of Thoth? What would he do with this information? He didn’t want to hurt his old friend, but then the mage may not have prolonged his life and was long dead.


But curiosity was still a part of Neferkaptah and he decided a trade in magic was worth some information. It wasn’t much.


Neferkaptah: “Fine. A trade in information.”


Supay: “Then tell Supay what information is required and we shall make the exchange.”


For centuries now, the thought of his old adversary had lingered on in his mind. He had never forgotten that part of his old life and now he felt he might gain some closure. Perhaps it was this mysterious mage that had been holding Neferkaptah back from true balance? What if the mage was a woman? Could she be the wife he had needed to balance the chuya that consumed him?


Supay led Neferkaptah to a cave and inside they went. At the mouth of the cave were many offerings made my locals. Cocoa, one of the most valued of plants to the Antediluvians, was in abundance. Supay had a sweet tooth, it seemed.


There was a sacrificial slab, much liked the one he remembered from Pachamama’s Temple, but it was lay down like a bed. He got onto it, though somewhat cautious that the demon might suddenly whip out a knife. But he was trusting enough to know that a deity of Antediluvia must deal in balance. The trade must be met.


Supay: “Supay will take magic now. Then, your information will be given.”


The cave walls and ceiling turned to red in an instant and Neferkaptah could feel the magic being pulled from him. The aether around them was swirling about as it was drawn into Neferkaptah, turned to magic, and then yanked back out again. It was unpleasant. When magic was released, the body opened up to allow it passage. But like this, it was being pulled out and the body didn’t want to let it go.


He grit his teeth and winced against the pain and discomfort. It wasn’t the worst pain he’d ever endured, but it felt like the longest. It was as though it took centuries before the turmoil started to subside. Slowly at first, then rapidly. When it came to a stop, he felt as though his body would crack and break from being so brittle and empty.


He groaned as he slipped from the slab.


There were cobwebs all over him.


Neferkaptah: “How did that happen?”


Supay: “The spiders.”


Neferkaptah: “Spiders?”


Supay: “Yes. While you were sleeping, they made their webs.”


Neferkaptah: “Sleeping? I was sleeping?”


Supay: “Best not to be awake for such a long time.”


Neferkaptah: “Long time!? How long!? You didn’t tell me it would take time!”


Supay: “Supay needed much magic. Now, Supay satisfied. Trade can begin.”


Supay hobbled towards the cave mouth, still hunched, but quick on his feet. Neferkaptah staggered after him and found that his body felt even older than he remembered. He could still use magic, he quickly learnt, and used it to restore a little vitality. It seemed he needed to use more magic than usual to do it this time.


Neferkaptah: “How… long?”


Supay: “You came to this land in 3200BC? You lived here for…?”


Neferkaptah: “Around four hundred years.”


Supay: “Supay see. It is now 1249BC.”


Neferkaptah spluttered incredulously. Then stumbled backwards from horror. Finally he fell to his knees.


Neferkaptah: “So… long. You…”


Supay: “Does this matter to an old one, as you? Four hundred years, all your friends and family were already gone. What does it matter what year you live now?”


Neferkaptah thrust a finger at Supay.


Neferkaptah: “You little parasite! You little—”


The old Neferkaptah was still in there, he realised at that moment. He had felt him, surging up. He might have vaporised Supay there and then, had his wand been in his hand.


He simmered down. Perhaps the demon was right, it made no real difference to a man so old. But, clearly, the trick had been passed upon him. He had been betrayed, again.


Neferkaptah: “Tell me, creature, my answers. And the answer had best be complete! No riddles or excuses!”


Supay: “Your mysterious mage, the possessor of the Book of Thoth, yes?”


Neferkaptah: “Yes.”


Supay: “Your brother Djer.”


Neferkaptah: “What of him?”


Supay: “He was, in a sense, the mage.”


Neferkaptah: “I said no riddles!”


Supay: “The Book of Thoth… was buried with Djer. Now, it is with another pharaoh. But, in your days, it was with Djer.”


Neferkaptah: “What do you mean? Did the mage bring it back? The mage would… the mage was my brother? That’s…”


He had been tricked by Supay so easily. Being triucked by Djer, so long ago…


Neferkaptah: “He lied to me… he had the FUCKING BOOK ALL THIS TIME!?”


The words ran through his head over and over. ‘There was no mage. There was no mage. There was no mage.’ Centuries of his life had been spent in vain, on a wild goose chase crafted by his brother to get him out of Egypt. He had just been trapped in time as a siphon for this beast, because of that lie. He had been betrayed from the very beginning. Everything, his whole life after Egypt had been based on a lie. He had been played for a complete fool. How his brother must have laughed! How they must have all laughed!


Neferkaptah: “It… can’t be…”


Supay: “A good trade.”


The demon was gone. Lucky demon, Neferkaptah thought. A moment longer and he might have tore its head off with his bare heads. He tried to think of The Mother. He tried to think of Mama Killa. He tried to remember his Yanantin.


The mage.


The fucking none-existent mage!


His fingers coiled in the dirt as he crushed the earth.


He didn’t want the book.


He wanted to rip it to shreds!


He drew on the aether so hard that it created a mini-vortex around him as it flew into his body and was rapidly converted in to magic. He would use the last of the magic-years he had left to his lifespan to bring himself his old youth and vigour. The wise, old Neferkaptah had to be cast aside. The old Neferkaptah needed to return, for this was to be dark and bloody business. His rage escalated and boiled deep within him. He would destroy anyone in his way. The book would be his and then he would kill it.

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