16 Mar 2011

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Posted 16 Mar 2011 11:45
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The Hyena Prince: Chapter 1

#2 of The Hyena Prince

Chapter One

As the first rays of light struck the small village of mud brick, the villagers had begun their daily tasks. Fisherman moved to the shores, wading into the shallows til the water was up to their knees before casting their nets into the river that ran just a few meteres away from the collection of houses. The children shuffled off to the make-shift temple to begin their studies of their language and the histories of the Gods and Goddesses and that of the nation they had come from, the one who had funded their journey down the Mother River to beyond the southern border. The slaves moved into the fields to tend the crops that would feed them, their masters and mistresses, and the rest of the community, as the men and women of the town finished their morning drinks and moved to join them in the long rows of crops, harvesting some, while leaving others to grow and ripen. As the town slowly started into what had now become the daily routine, a loud noise was herd in the distance. Rams horns blew as the villagers stopped what they were doing.

A mix of fear and dread ran through the village as the Lord and his ladies slowly moved out of their slightly larger abode to see what was coming. Shouts began to ring out as the Lord began to give slow, calm orders to his people, rallying what little troops he had to defend what little they had. Men, women, and slaves scurried back to their houses, locking them down as the men were quickly dressed into their armor before leaving. The children would be safe in the temple, at least that was the hope as the noise grew closer and closer, making fear run rampant through the streets, like a wild horse who had broken free of his ropes. The ruler of the town watched, as his men appeared in armor. The foot soldiers had their shields and swords ready, archers had their quivers on their backs, bows strung and ready for battle.

The whole town watched the nearby hill in fear and dread the noise came closer and closer, until finally, something broke the horizon. It was a lion, a mighty lion dressed in a loin cloth and some sort of crown made of bone and feathers. The tension eased slightly, only a few degrees above freezing, as the lion came closer, and more and more of his party was revealed. As the village watched, a great sigh of releaf could be felt. The lion was being escourted by two other, much younger males and what seemed to be a great parade of a dozen females. It was not easy to tell if the females were his harem or his army, but seeing the procession was before them was much easier to behold than the sight of a vast Grecian or Roman Legion.

As the parade neared the outskirts of the farms, it abrubptly halted. The procession stood there for what seemed like an eternity before a brightly colored bird  moved forth, stepping up to what only could be assumed to be a pharaoh or king of some sort, before briskly moving forth at a trott into the town.

Benatehhor, the lord of the village, watched as the strange bird moved into his town. The mighty brown hyena looked at the High Priest of Osiris, a plump jackal, trained in the art of languages, who had been to this country before to study the languages of the lowest portion of the Mother River. The jackal nodded, moving over to the lord as this strage creature moved to them, curious to know what she would say.

Zuzu had had many apprehensions to doing this portion of her job, that of being the King's messenger. It had been fairly simple and easy so far, that is, until today. She feared hyenas and jackals, and having to go into a villiage of them was something that her every instinct told her was a bad idea. She looked from the jackal to the hyena. It was obvious to anyone that the hyena was in charge, he looked it, bejeweled with rings of gold and beautiful stone, and a kilt that shown like the sun. "I bring word from King Ahadi, the Great Ruler of this Land, wishes to speak with you," She said as calmly and collectedly as she could, fear rushing through her body. She watched as the jackal spoke quickly in the strange language of the unusual creatures, wondering what he was telling him.

Ankhareoutef looked at the Lord, trying to translate as quickly as he could, though the words were difficult since he had not spoken the language of this people in many years, "She says the Pharaoh of this land wishes to speak with you." Benatehhor nodded in understanding, "Tell her, that I too wish to speak with him, and that I am honored he has decided to visit us." Ankhareoutef turned to look at the bird, "Lord Benatehhor, agrees to the meeting. He is honored that the King wishes to speak with him."

Zuzu attempted to smile, "I will tell him this." The female hornbill slowly turned around and made her way out of the town, not wanting to show how quickly she wanted to leave, and how uncomfortable she was just being there.

Benatehhor watched the bird leave, still staring at her she moved to tell her king the news. As he watched, he felt someone move up behind him, softly grabbing his hands. The hyena turned his head to see his wives, Samira and Adara, both very worried, as all mothers were. "What is happening?" Adara asked, curiously, squeezing his hand as Samira did the same. "Will there be a battle," Samira posed, as she leaned against him. Benatehhor turned around, "Nay, we will have company soon, my lovely brides. There will be no battle today. Now, go and make sure everything is prepared for their arrival." The two females smiled softly and moved away. Benatehhor smiled, watching them go, very happy he had married the two sisters. But pleasure would have to wait. Raising his hands in the air, he called to the villiage, "My people, do not worry, everything is all right. Go back to your daily duties." Slowly and silently, the people moved out of their houses, the soldiers putting down their weapons as their wives helped them out of their armor and back into their working clothes.

Ahadi watched the scene unfold, happy that there would be no bloodshed today as Zuzu made her way back. The great lion turned to his two sons, "Let this be a lesson to you both, not all things have to be solved with bloodshed." His eldest son, Mufasa, smiled and nodded, "It is a good lesson father." Ahadi smiled as his youngest son, Taka, did not reply, something that wasn't uncommon for him to do, but it would have been nice to hear an answer fall from his lips rather than see that cool, calculating gaze from his eyes. Both of his sons had just started to get their manes, making them look quite odd in their princely garments, just as Ahadi had been a long time ago with his own father. The king turned around, still having to face what was at hand as Zuzu walked up to him. "And?" the great lion asked, raising an eyebrow to the hornbill. "They have accepted and wish to meet with you." Ahadi nodded, "Good, I will be there shortly with my sons and my wife. Have the rest of the lionesses stay here. It is time we talk to these new comers."