By Jane Richards
As the small group rounded a large bend in the road they saw before them a battlefield. The road was above a large field and they had a good view of the fighting taking place below them. Through the clouds of dust men were struggling with each other using all types of arms. Horses and chariots, moved helter-skelter across the landscape in confusing patterns. Nekhi studied this chaotic scene for several minutes, trying to make out where his father and the southern troops of Upper Egypt were located. Shading his eyes from the sun he finally located them and turned to Tepi. "I've found father and his troops. I'm going down to help." The two who had been his companions in the tomb readily volunteered and with great determination set off down the hill, leaving Sethi and Tepi with the camels. "Sethi, I'm going to find the medical tent," she told him, "I know I can help there, would you like to come with me?" Sethi tethered the camels to a thorn bush under a date palm and off they ran to find the medical tent. Minutes later they came upon the tent, the doctors already busy with the wounded. Priests were also helping, moving from one patient to another, as Tepi guided Sethi into the tent. One of them glanced up, dropped his mouth open and moved to Tepi where he bowed low. "Your Highness, we hadn't expected you. How is it you are here in the midst of battle?", he questioned hesitantly. Sethi also gaped at Tepi and backed up several paces with a shocked look on his face.--'Your highness'?--had he heard correctly? Who WAS this slip of a girl he had been traveling with, and ordering around for days, anyway? Tepi noticed his discomfort, turned to him with a quick grin and turned back to the priest. "It's a long story which I will relate to everyone later. Right now these men need tending and Prince Nekhi has joined our father on the battlefield. This is Sethi", she indicated with a nod, "He is my friend, and I will keep him with me. Now, let's get started."
The battle raged on for sometime as Tepi busily bound and bandaged cuts after putting ointment on them, bathed bruises with soothing palm wine, helped battlefield surgeons set broken bones and administered the 'sleeping potion', made by the doctors and priests, to the ones who needed it for painful wounds. Some time later it turned quiet. With no more wounded to tend, Tepi had time to relax a bit and venture out of the tent, with Sethi beside her. "It's getting dark," she exclaimed, "we must have been longer at work than I realized." She already surmised that the battle was over, as the quiet indicated but who was the victor and where was her father-The Pharaoh- and Prince Nekhi?
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