By Jane Richards
Marshy land appeared around them as the two traveled ever further north. Many days had passed since Tepi had seen the sight of her life. The AKHET, or Great Horizon, had appeared one morning as they wended their way along the road.
"Look", yelled Tepi, awestruck at the scene before her. The huge pyramidal building was smooth on all sides, with pink tinged, gleaming stone. It's peak was emitting a strange eerie glow as the sun's rays were beginning to hit the electrum on it's point. It was the most beautiful thing Tepi had ever seen, especially combined with the nearby Hor em Akhet, or guardian of the Horizon [the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx]. She had been taught by the priests in the temple school that these had been built long long ago, by people now gone. The secrets associated with these objects were taught only to a select few in the Temple who were going to be kings, priests, or priestesses. She knew that one day she would know these secret teachings as the Queen and High Priestess of the Temple, but, as yet, all she had been taught was the knowledge that they were ancient, sacred objects of Egypt..
"Where are we, Sethi?," she asked, as they forded another marshy area.
"Almost there, little one," Sethi answered, and smiled as he pointed to a few buildings.
Tepi had decided during this journey to trust Sethi about her search and some of her problems. She had told, but omitted, the addition that SHE was the royal princess being sought, or that the 'brother' she was hunting was really the Crown Prince of Egypt. The omission of these facts made it much easier to be on a friendlier and much closer relationship with her traveling companion, she felt.
"Those buildings are the beginning of a great fort," explained Sethi, "here is where my uncle trades his goods for flax. I'll bring it home where he will make it into fine cloth for clothing worn at the great palace".
"Oh," thought Tepi, "This is where my dresses begin". Then, she had another thought. Maybe she could silently listen in the huge market place and hear something about Nekhi. She was sure that many soldiers might buy and trade there.
Although Sethi hadn't really mentioned it, Tepi knew she was now in enemy territory. This fort town contained troops belonging to the Hyksos King, Apophis, enemy to her father, to her country, and worse, to herself!
Into the market place they walked, with the three camels following.