Sandstorms clouded her vision of the far-off structure, causing her to squint hard.
She had made it.
She picked up her feet, following one after the other, to get out of the scorching heat and scratching wind, sprinkled with sand. She made sure her hair was tucked into her scarf and the material around her mouth and nose was secured to prevent her from coughing sand later.
After another hour, she had made it to the stone temple. She pulled the scarf from her face as the sandstorm was behind her, blocking the mortal world entry. She spotted the body of water behind the building and went to refresh herself. The Nile water wet her throat, washing down any inhaled sand. She brought water to her face to rinse her copper skin before raising her face to the sun. She noticed she did not feel a breeze. They must have some kind of protective perimeter to prevent the unworthy from getting in. She smirked. It pleased her to know the sorcerers lived up to what she heard.
First, they made this temple nearly impossible to find. To even hear of it, is to speak of legends. Then they made it almost impossible to get to, laying out storms of water, wind, and sand. Standing from her kneeling position at the river, she remembered the creatures she had encountered. The Demon Cat, the Jackal, and the Crocodile Monster. Although the cat was beautiful with skin as dark as night, eyes of emeralds, and fierce in its hunt, and the crocodile was a challenge physically and mentally, she quite liked the Jackal. Her battle with it stood out to her most. She would have to remember to make it her pet when she got back.
After walking around the four-sided base of the temple, trying to find the entrance, she decided to climb. "They enjoyed making things difficult," she thought. "They must all be men."
It took her another half an hour to scale the rough stone side of the temple. When she made it to the top, she looked at how far she had come and noticed she left a telling trail of skin and blood behind. Bringing her hands up, she scoffed. Now her nails were ruined too. She had to remember she was more fragile in this state. She would make sure to have a nice bath with oils and herbs to heal her wounds. But now, it was time for business.
She re-wrapped her scarf, hiding her hair and half her face as she noticed an opening. Tearing some material from her clothes, she covered her bruised and bloodied hands and broke the barrier, squeezing her frame through. She decided head-first was best so she could see what was coming at her.
Her journey was short as she found herself looking into a small room that must have been the top of the pyramid. Within the room was a beautiful rug, books, and a lounging chair, with a man occupying it. The man had skin the color of sand and dark brown curly hair with perfectly symmetrical features. He was beautiful. After shuffling out of the small passage, she stood with her hair, face, and body still covered. The man looked up from the book he was reading, surprised. After a moment, he regarded the stranger, taking them in. He assumed it was a young boy, who used his strength and courage to get there to become one of them.
"You made it! The gods have blessed you. I am Izeal. Are you here to learn and join our order?"
"I am here to learn, yes. What is required to have one of you teach me?"
"Well you made it here, which I am sure was no easy feat. The gods must have chosen you, as they had chosen us all."
"So my teachings begin now?"
"Yes, or tomorrow if you need rest. Come, let me introduce you and show you around," Izeal said, rising slowly from his chair, towering. It wasn't until then he noticed how much smaller the boy was.
She then decided to remove the scarf covering her face and hair, letting it fall to the ground. Izeal took a step back.
"What?! A woman? How did you even get in here?" he spat, regarding her with new eyes.
"Yes, is something the matter?" she asked calmly, releasing her hair from the bread it was in, scratching her scalp, allowing her muscles to relax after her journey.
"You! How dare you even think you can speak to me? I am a mage here, who descended this land and taught its people useful arts like combat and weaponry. You have no right to even speak directly to me," Izeal said, regarding her with indignation.
She lifted her eyebrow at this. "It was you who taught the people of the Nile to be combative and how to make weapons?"
"Yes," he replied, ghastly.
"Would you teach me something?" she asked after removing more of her travel and protective gear, lazily letting them drop.
"Why would I or anyone want to teach a women anything? All you're good for is making sons," Izeal paused, finally seeing her shape, hair, and skin. Although she glistened with sweat, he could smell lavender on her deep skin. It was heavenly. "Unless you want to make a deal?"
She did not reply, simply looked curiously.
"Let me breed you, and I will allow you to learn from me after you give me a son."
She considered his words, letting them roll over her. Then she smiled and returned, "I have a better deal. I kill you last. After you watch me test and weigh the hearts of all the men here. If they fail, as you have, they too will die. And after I kill you, you get the honor of serving as pet to myself, Isis, goddess of the Nile, for all eternity."