Carpathia III: Episode 84 - Pharaoh Rahotep
Shore, The Arid Sea
With the point of a spear in his face, Jaze scooted backward quickly. The nekohuman boy didn't move, glaring at Jaze and Ryuu suspiciously. Now, Jaze could get a good look at the boy. It was difficult to guess his age. Though he was tall enough to suggest that he was at least a teenager, he was very skinny, too much for his height, and his pants looked as though they were several inches too short for him.
The boy took a step back and banged his spear on the edge of the sandboat.
Boy: I ask you again! Who are you?
Jaze felt it was unwise to avoid answering any longer as he did not know how violent this boy could be.
Jaze: I'm Jaze.
Ryuu: I'm Ryuu. Who are you?
The boy thrust the butt of his spear into the ground and stood straight and tall, like a suit of armor on display.
Boy: I am Kagurain Rahotep Leonar and I am the ruler of this island! What are you doing here?
Jaze's ears perked at the sound of Kagurain's last name. Rhoskel had told him that he had a brother and that he escaped from the compound. Jaze relaxed only a little. It appeared to him that Kagurain was not so much violent as he was playing at something.
Jaze: We drifted here. Did you say your last name is "Leonar?"
Kagurain began to swing his spear around, as though he were in a mock battle.
Kagurain: That's right! I am the son of the great Lord Lynx Leonar, ruler of the land of Carpathia! Here, I am the ruler, Pharaoh Rahotep the First! Now, bow to me!
Jaze and Ryuu looked at each other as Kagurain watched them expectantly. When no bow appeared to be forthcoming, he grew sullen as his ears drooped down on the sides of his head and his spear, along with his shoulders, sank.
Kagurain: Aw, c'mon. You're supposed to bow to the Pharaoh.
Jaze shrugged as Ryuu did the same, holding up his paws. Finally, Jaze decided to play along and got to his knees, delivering a short bow to Kagurain.
Jaze: Pharaoh Rahotep, may we disembark?
Kagurain's ears suddenly perked on his head and he held his spear with both hands, now giddy with excitement.
Kagurain: Maybe. I don't know what "disembark" means, though.
More and more, Jaze was becoming curious to hear Kagurain's story. It was quickly becoming very clear to him that his was the mind of a child in a teenager's body. He wasn't sure, however, how easy it would be to question him.
Jaze: It means we'd like to get off the boat.
Kagurain's eyes widened, as did his smile, seemingly happy with having acquired this new knowledge.
Kagurain: Oh! I see! I see! Yes, you may disembark!
Pleased to hear that he could finally leave the sandboat, Jaze waddled forward on his knees and slid off the front end. He remembered Kagurain said that this was an island before, which meant that losing the sandboat would be a major problem. He turned around and grabbed the frame. Pulling as hard as he could, he managed to drag the boat a few more feet onto the shore. Then, he took the rope attached to the boat and looked for the closest tree on which to tie it.
Jaze: May I tie this rope around a tree?
Kagurain: Oh yes. You can tie your boat to the royal tree.
Jaze thought it wise to play into Kagurain's fantasy for the time being. If he was alone on the island, which seemed likely, his self-proclaimed status of pharaoh wouldn't necessarily be wrong anyway, he thought. While Jaze tied the rope, Ryuu made small talk.
Ryuu: Is there anyone else here?
Again, Kagurain's ears sagged.
Kagurain: No. I'm a pharaoh with no people. I haven't seen anyone since... since...
Kagurain's voice trailed off as he stroked his chin, seemingly trying to think of correct words to use. As he looked downward, deep in thought, he gasped, as though he suddenly had an idea.
Kagurain: Since my pants went all the way to my feet!
Instinctively, both Jaze and Ryuu turned their eyes to Kagurain's pants and, sure enough, the pant legs stopped well above his ankles. There could be no doubt that he had been on that island for a long time.
Kagurain: Come! I want to show you my castle!
Jaze gave gave the rope a few tugs to make sure it was secure. Satisfied, he turned his attention to Kagurain.
Jaze: Lead the way.
Kagurain: Follow me!
Kagurain trotted off merrily through the trees as Jaze and Ryuu followed. Sometimes, flashes of Rhoskel would pass through Jaze's mind and he wondered if he should ever bring up the subject. However, he could never dwell on this for long with Kagurain being such a distraction.
Kagurain skipped through the trees, humming a cheery tune while Jaze and Ryuu, following behind, exchanged amused and puzzled glances at the same time.
Jaze: How did you get here?
Kagurain: I stole a boat. It's wrecked, but now they can't find me. My brother and I were taken to a place called Nekramentia. Heard of it?
Jaze nervously scratched the back of his head at Kagurain's mention of his brother.
Jaze: I know it. I was there too, for awhile.
Kagurain: They tried to take my name away. They tried to call me "Heretic." I wouldn't let them. Now, every time I wake up, I say my name and write it in the sand with a stick. Kagurain Rahotep Leonar! Stupid brother wouldn't escape with me. He thought it was better to stay. I had enough and left!
Jaze could easily see why Kagurain didn't fit into the compound. Jaze could already tell that Kagurain was much more of an independent-minded firebrand than his brother. Kagurain was more like Mitani, Jaze thought.
Jaze: Were you ever taken to see Maelstrom?
Kagurain: Maelstrom? Never met the guy. They talked about him a lot. Kept threatening to send me to him. Dealing with Dementus was bad enough.
Jaze: I don't think I ever met anyone called "Dementus."
Kagurain: He was a big, green komodo guy and he worked for Maelstrom. Our nekohuman leader was Thirteen.
Before Jaze had a chance to inquire further, Kagurain turned and beckoned them to walk faster.
Kagurain: We're almost there! Hurry!
Jaze wondered what Kagurain's "castle" might be like. He imagined a simple pile of rocks and sticks, or something rudimentary like that. However, when he brushed away the last tree branch and came into the open, he was surprised by what he saw.
To Jaze's surprise, it really was a small castle. Right away, Jaze wondered who built it. It was far too complex for Kagurain to have done it and it seemed very old. The stones were weathered and several decorative pieces, parts of the facade and spires, were laying in a crumbly heap on the ground.
Commissioned art in this episode from:
All city pictures from SimCity 4