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For my friends back in The Village-- you ask and you shall receive.
Back in Kush, TenamonTi completed the first skills into becoming a citizen of Egypt within a few hours. After a quick review of the requirements, he saw they were easy tasks to finish. Planeing boards, growing and harvesting flax, and making pottery and bricks he had been doing since he was a small boy in The Village. He thought he could afford to take another day to get seeds from the Universities and to learn stonecutting, stone masonry, glass blowing, and animal husbandry would be just as easy. Those skills he had been doing in his village for quite some time as a young man. The Test of the Human Body brought a smile to his face as he recalled Tang had pointed out the various names of plants on one of their many walks. He had not seen her in the past few days since the feast at the Demi-Pharohs and wondered if he would have a chance to gaze into her eyes once again. He wanted to tell her so many things and hoped he would get a chance. He looked down at his scroll to see what else he needed to pass the Test of Agriculture and Leadership and gasped as he knew he would need to stay a few more days in Kush than intended. He would have to set up a compound and obtain 21 signatures from other citizens obtaining their support.
As he headed back towards the Kush Public Works area he was greeted and welcomed by many fine citizens. All were studying and testing in the disciplines as well and they were happy to sign his petition. Then he saw her---she was, viewing a students Art Sculptor, was his beloved Tang. His heart nearly jumped from his chest and his mind raced with many thoughts and questions. It felt as if time had stopped as he watched her every movement gracefully studying the display. After a few moments her head turned and she saw him, that beaming smile covered her face and she ran towards him. He nearly dropped his scroll and petition has she hugged him tightly the same way she had hugged her parents the night of her return.
She was the first to speak, “You stayed! I’m so happy!”
“You are? Ten stuttered. “Why yes, yes of course”, she replied
“I’m sorry about my outburst the other night ” he said still stammering with his words.
Tang pressed her fingers to his lips to quiet him, “Ten how long do you plan on staying? Your mother told me about the upcoming vigil?”
“Yes, yes I should be getting back, but the Tests. . ., You? I am in love with you?” he managed to finally say clearly. “Ten, you do not have to stay in Kush to finish the tests. Although I would much enjoy your presence, I know your parents must be worried about you as well. You may take the wiki scroll with you, it will tell you what you need to accomplish.” Tang replied.
Ten hung on her every word waiting to hear words from her that she loved him.
Without notice a big hand slapped him on the back. It was Clintonio, he had asked “So boy, how are you coming along on the tests?” Ten could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand up as he replied, “I’m doing well thank you.”
“Good-Good. So exactly where you from anyway?” Clintonio asked has he appeared to be sizing up Ten. Ten described to him the direction and area from which his Village lived. Clintonio burst into laughter and said, “Oh I see, I have heard of that region. You live in the Paradise of the Fools!” Clintonio then bent down and gave Tang a kiss on the cheek and continued to laugh as he walked on down near the shore to begin a group dig. Ten glared at Clintonio and made some private vows to himself. Turning back to look at Tang, he noticed Tang’s father standing in front of him. Startled by this quick appearance, he stammered out “Sir?”
“Son, I have loaded up some camels with some goods for you and your village” Tang’s father stated. “Sir? But? The tests. . .” Ten tried to explain. “My name is MacPhisto and my wife is Zisoni, but you can still call me sir. We both are Oracles – it is our business to make sure everyone succeeds at becoming a Citizen of Egypt. We have good friends in your Village- seek out Draomin and Dara, Morrigan and Aidanzoo. They will keep an eye on you and provide you assistance. Give them this scroll and these sheep for my payment for mentoring you. Once I get word that you are an Initiate of Seven of the Disciplines, I will come to visit you. I will bring Tang along to visit as well, I hear she enjoyed your people especially your mother. I am eager to meet your father, I hear he is an excellent blacksmith and has a good sense for mining.”
Ten grabbed the reins of the camels and headed out of Kush back to his Village, he turned to look at Tang and waved good bye to the fine people he had met. His head was spinning and his heart was torn. After several hours of walking he reached in his sachel for some grilled onions and cabbage for strength and speed. He pulled out a linen cloth that he had not noticed before and unwrapped it. Inside was a lock of golden hair and a papyrus bloom. He remembered the day Tang showed him this flower and recalled her explaining to him, “This flower is from Qetesh, goddess of love and beauty.” TenamonTi’s sprits rose. This was the sign he needed. He would return to his village, he would finish his tests and someday, he would make Tang his bride.
Tang headed to the University of Harmony. Her heart was saddened and she needed to pray to the gods. She would pray to the god Bes to guard against evil spirts and misfortune for Ten’s safe return to his village. She would also pray to Qetesh for her help in matters of love and the heart. For Tang did love TenamonTi, but knew for her father to accept him as a possible suiter in marriage, Ten must complete the Seven Disciplines. As soon as she placed the small diamond on the alter and knelt to pray, a vision came to her. TenamonTi was not at the vigil he did not make it home.
Ten was making good time across the desert back to his village. Feeling extremely happy and in good spirits about the direction of his life, he grabbed his dowsing rod to see if he could detect any underground veins in the area. Everything else seems to be working good for me, let’s see if I get lucky again. As soon as he brought his dowsing rod out Tenamon shouted! “Praise be to Geb!” His dowsing rod detected an extremely large ore vein. Ten thought that this would not take long for him to mine a bit in this area. He could still make it home in time for the vigil. He can’t pass up finding a new metal or some gems. Within an hour, Ten was able to construct a mine and had managed to dig in the ground quite a bit. Those lessons he took a few days ago came in handy as he noticed a strain of silver. There among the silver lay a huge quartz. Leaping with excitement over this magnificent find he worked even faster to pull it out. Carelessly in his excitement he failed to put enough support boards in the mine or notice how loose the sand was around him.
Panick stricken Tang ran from the University of Harmony after seeing the vision of Ten and with a feeling that he could be in danger. She ran to the guild hall not knowing who to confide in and startled to see a group gathered around a friendly face. There was Taipan, Tens dear friend, who had just returned from a deep desert safari. A gazelle hide in one hand and a hookah in the other, Taipan was telling great stories of adventure to the guild locals. Tang burst into the crowd, and pulled Taipan to the side and pleaded with him that she must seek passage immediately to Fool’s Paradise. She explained her vision and he could see in her eyes the love and concern she had for his friend. “Yes, we can leave within an hour.” In the corner of the guild hall, out of view, was Clintonio. He had overheard everything.
Along the route back to Fool’s Paradise Tang and Taipan kept an eye out for TenamonTi. A good wind storm had sprung up and any evidence of Tens camels had already been swept away. “Lets make haste to the village, with any hopes Ten made it back safely. He has a vital force of life about him. The god of Ka shines on him.” Taipan had sad. Tang found some comfort in Taipan’s words, TenamonTi was indeed a fine man. He cared about his village, his family, he was very smart and he worked hard. She remembered when she first saw him step into the tent after she recovered from nearly drowning in the Nile. She could see that his skin was golden brown from hours of working outside in the sun. She loved his hair curly that reminded him of a soft sheep. The smile he gave her told her he was a kind and gentle man; plus he was indeed very handsome. Her days with him in the village convinced her she could spend her life with him.
Arriving at the Village, Taipan and Tang immediately searched for Ten’s parents. The village vigil was underway and many sacrifices had already been made. Tang spotted his mother and moved into her close. “Tang what are you doing here? Where’s Tenamon?” In hearing that question Tang’s heart sank. Tang handed her the donation of linen and fish for the vigil, “I don’t know -I had a vision that he was not safe. I found Taipain in Kush and we immediately came here.” Tang explained. Gearjammer had overheard and stated, “We cannot leave this vigil to hunt for him. The village depends on us to stay here and finish this. He is probably mining. He is a good miner, he will come. No one here has had a vision of misfortune and the vigil has been going on for 2 days straight now. We met every sacrifice.” Tang listened to the wise man words, but her heart and soul told her to go find Ten. . . . . . . . . . .