Old Mahu gathered his men and attempted to murder Lord Sabaf over the land disputes, and was also suspected of rebelling. The evidence was conclusive and dozens of witnesses were available. Old Mahu was sentenced to punishment by torture and imprisonment. There were also dozens of farmers who were arrested, but Ledaros found Mahu’s wife and forced her to give herself to him and sell the farm, or else everyone arrested would be sentenced to death.
The whole incident ended in tragedy. Ledaros seized Mahu’s wife while Sabaf obtained Old Mahu’s farm. The other farmers who were arrested were released eventually, but Old Mahu died in prison. Due to the humiliation and injustice suffered, Mahu’s wife threw herself into the Nile River and committed suicide.
At that time, Misphi was not at home. As she was unable to believe that her beloved brother had died, she went all the way to Cape to find the An-Ra legion and the people who went to the army with her brother. She also wanted to bring back Mahu’s ashes and his relics personally. Unable to stop her, Old Mahu let her leave with two servants.
When Misphi returned home, her family was completely wrecked. She was so aggrieved that she wanted to look for the two nobles immediately and fight it out with them, but she was stopped by the farmers. It was impossible for her to kill Sabaf and Ledaros, and nothing good would happen if a girl like her got captured.
So, she made a decision. She would become a real assassin.
When there’s a will, there’s a way. Misphi followed Ledaros to the city of Thebes, where she finally found an opportunity to kill him. Ledaros had a “chance” encounter with a beautiful maiden in a tavern, and as lecherous as he was, he approached her. On the night of the same day, he lost his life.
After killing Ledaros, Misphi went back to Memphis and looked for an opportunity to assassinate Sabaf, but she realized that it was nearly impossible. Sabaf was always accompanied by numerous guards whenever he went out, and the security at his residence was also very tight.
Sabaf frequently committed evil deeds, so he worried about others taking revenge on him. That was the reason for the high security around him. Especially after Ledaros was murdered, he became even more cautious and never let strangers get close to himself. At that time, Misphi was only a third level warrior, so there was no way she could break through the security to kill Sabaf all by herself.
After some time, Misphi found that the only place where Sabaf did not let his guards follow him was the brothel Amon visited with Hardedef. Sabaf visited this brothel nearly once or twice every month, and he seldom came by himself.
Misphi swore in front of the gods that she would do anything to take revenge, so she sold herself and started working in the brothel. Nevertheless, it was not going to be easy to assassinate Sabaf here as he only came here once or twice a month. It was also uncertain which girls would get selected to drink with him. Furthermore, the clothes that the girls wore meant that it was impossible to hide any kind of weapons on their bodies.
So Misphi thought of something creative. She started performing a sword dance for the customers using a tree branch, since she couldn’t possibly use a real weapon. Her dance was captivating and as the customers were not satisfied with her using just a branch, she switched to a wooden sword. During this period of time, she also learnt dancing from others in the brothel as well as swordsmanship from the guards.
Ironically, she advanced to the fourth level in the brothel. By now, she was quite famous and had acquired the nickname of “Belle of Memphis”. She also finally could use a real sword in her dance, as the customers were used to it. After all, a real sword should be used in a sword dance for the best effect!
Before today, Misphi had only seen Sabaf twice. The first time, he was entertaining some important guests, and the second time, he had come together with the governor. However, she could not find the opportunity to kill him both times, as she was not confident of killing him in one stroke after leaping across the pool. She was not afraid of death, but worried that if she failed, she would not get a second chance. Also, in this two times, the customers that chose her to stay back were not Sabaf himself.
Today, Sabaf had come once again with his cronies to have fun, and he specifically asked for her. It could have been a good opportunity, but instead her plans were disrupted by Amon and Hardedef. What happened next was even more surprising. Hardedef broke Sabaf’s leg and threw him out of the brothel, while the other customer that came with Hardedef turned out to be the famous Supreme General Amon.
But she could never have expected Amon to deduce her secret with just a few simple questions!
Listening to her tale, Hardedef trembled with fury, and the cup in his hand was deformed by his grip. He gritted his teeth and said: “Supreme General, just wait a while for me here. I will kill Sabaf right now!”
Amon was expressionless and a coldness glinted in his eyes. He said: “If what Misphi said is true, then we certainly cannot let Sabaf off! But don’t be rash, you should console Misphi first.”
Misphi had spoken honestly and admitted to killing Ledaros, so there was no need for her to lie. Instead, Amon had been carefully observing Hardedef.
Although Hardedef was angry, he did not lose his wits and calm, so Amon was relieved. After telling her story, Misphi cried for a long time while being consoled by Hardedef.
Amon did not think that Misphi was lying, but he felt that he needed to confirm the story with his own eyes, so he gave several orders to Hardedef. That night, they left the brothel with Misphi and went on an outing together as soon as dawn broke. Originally, the brothel did not allow the girls to leave the place with the customers, but since it was a request by the Supreme General and Misphi was also willing, there was no way Dylan could stop them.
After leaving the city, they travelled along the eastern banks of the Nile River and followed one particular tributary until they reached Old Mahu’s farm. This place was now the property of Sabaf. As most of the original farmers remained there, it was not difficult to inquire about the people who came to make trouble for Old Mahu previously, so Amon and Hardedef started their investigation in earnest.
Amon’s intention for following Hardedef to have fun was to make a public appearance and cause a little trouble. Breaking Sabaf’s leg and throwing him out of the brothel had certainly achieved that purpose. As he was young and overachieving, it would do him no good to appear too law-abiding and proper.
Who knew that they would chance upon Misphi’s tragic tale in the process. Amon did not like to meddle in others’ affairs, but he did not feel right to let this matter be. Even if it was simply for the sake of those who died on the battlefield for him, he had to get to the bottom of this.
The other people did not know what Amon was up to, and only knew that he allowed Hardedef to injure the Vice-Head of Treasury and ordered Ankh to capture a bunch of nobles. After causing such an uproar in Memphis after a woman, Amon just upped and left on an outing with the Belle of Memphis. Such behavior was unthinkable!
After making great achievements in war, Amon received unimaginable glory and fame in the Empire, but he had always kept a low profile and remained humble. The faction headed by the vizier and consisting of the majority of the ministers and other government officials as well as the faction consisting of high ranked mages were quite resentful of the rise of Amon and the faction he represented. It was made worse by the fact that he was still so young and also a foreigner with no background to speak of in the Empire. However, his contributions were undeniable so they had no choice but to reward him accordingly.
There were also many commoners which had made contributions in the war and were granted the status of nobles as a result. The appearance of these new nobles also had an impact on the “old” nobles. The impeachment and demotion of Hardedef was the manifestation of this conflict, and in order to secretly strike a balance between the different factions, the Pharaoh was more than happy to watch on from the sidelines. After returning to Ejypt, Amon had stayed at his residence most of the time and stayed silent towards any provocations towards himself.
Many of those resentful towards Amon had gotten used to his attitude and started speculating about his motives. Some also thought that it was a good time to suppress him as they thought that he was behaving this way as he felt threatened. But none of them knew the real Amon. Keeping a low profile was his habit, and tolerating provocations was due to his loss of power.
In the early morning of the next day, a group of nobles went to the governor’s office to lodge a complaint against Amon. Most of them were the relatives and elders of the arrested nobles. Some of them simply wanted to take the opportunity to teach Amon a lesson.
Governor Djehutihotep was put into a difficult position as he was reluctant to offend either side. The whole incident seemed to be a simple conflict in the brothel due to a misunderstanding, so he persuaded the nobles not to pursue the matter any further. However, these nobles had never encountered or suffered such a loss before, so they insisted that the governor give them a proper account about the whole thing.
Left with no choice, Governor Djehutihotep could only send his men to get the Supreme General here to explain everything.
In the end, they found out that Amon had left the city on an outing with a girl from the brothel like nothing had ever happened. This completely infuriated the nobles, who now adamantly called for punishment to be handed out to the perpetrator. But what could he do? Hardedef had also left the city with Amon, and Governor Djehutihotep did not have the guts to arrest them, not that he had any reason to do so in the first place.
Hardedef broke one of Sabaf’s leg while Ankh broke the other. The nobles pinned all the blame onto Amon but as for Ankh, they only complained about him on the surface but did not dare to request that the governor arrest him.
Amon’s status was somewhat on par with the three high priests from the Shrine of Isis and governor Djehutihotep himself, so the only person who could really give orders to him was the Adoratrice. As they could not find Amon and Djehutihotep was unable to make a decision, the group of nobles made their way noisily to the Adoratrice to file their complaints towards Amon.
In the meeting hall where the Adoratrice handled official matters, the nobles raised a ruckus rowdily and the atmosphere became quite heated. Maria did not say a word, but when she could not stand it any more, she gave a signal to Gabriel. Gabriel raised her voice and said: “All of you are nobles with status, please take note of your behavior in the shrine!”
Everyone stopped talking and Maria finally spoke: “Governor Djehutihotep, since someone is lodging a complaint against the Supreme General, have you investigated the matter?”
Djehutihotep wiped the sweat from his forehead and replied: “The matter has been investigated. Lord Sabaf and those who were captured by Lord Ankh, as well as the brothel’s boss and a dozen girls who had been present have all given their statements, and there were no contradictions or points of suspicion.”
Maria pointed to the table. “Then show me the records.”
Djehutihotep presented the records with both hands respectfully while Gabriel took them and placed them before Maria. Without moving her hands, the pages of the records flipped by themselves, and soon she was done with reading. Next, she raised her head and asked in a mocking tone: “Everyone, is it a crime for the Supreme General to go drinking and relaxing?”
Djehutihotep replied: “Of course it isn’t, but…”
Gabriel interrupted his words. “No buts! Just answer what you are asked and stop talking!”
Maria continued: “General Hardedef paid twenty times the usual amount to invite a specific girl to perform a dance for the Supreme General, is that a crime?”
Djehutihotep lowered his head. “It is not.”
Maria’s expression grew cold. “As the captain of the Supreme General’s guards, he has the responsibility to protect the Supreme General. Someone broke in with weapons with the intention to harm the Supreme General, is it a crime for him to take action and injure the attacker?”
Everyone in the room went silent, and there was no answer for a long time. High priest Burke coughed lightly and said: “But later on, Lord Ankh…”
Before he could finish speaking, Maria replied coldly: “According to the laws of Ejypt, one is not allowed to carry weapons in the city during the night. On top of that, a gathering of ten or more armed people should be handled with the suspicion of rebellion. There should be more than ten of them, is there any problem with Ankh arresting them?”
The nobles did not expect that the Adoratrice had no intention of taking their side and directly mentioned the laws of Ejypt, so they looked at each other and did not know what to say.
With a gesture of Maria’s finger, the records flew back into Djehutihotep’s hands. She reprimanded: “Hardedef must have recognized Lord Sabaf and realized that it was only a misunderstanding, that’s why he did not injure anyone else and simply threw the whole lot of them out of the brothel. That was the Supreme General’s way of ending the matter. Ankh also released all those that he arrested that night, it should also be considered mercy on his part! What else are all of you dissatisfied with?”
“This was originally a trivial matter which could be simply handled according to the laws, but everyone here chose to come to the shrine and cause a ruckus. As the Adoratrice of the Shrine of Isis, it is not my duty to handle the matters of the city. By coming here to harrass me over something outside my area of concern is showing disrespect to the gods! On the account that there is a reason for your behavior, I will only hand out a light penalty. All nobles who are present in the shrine today will be penalized with a donation of a month’s salary to the shrine. Please go back and discipline the young ones who have behaved lawlessly and recklessly, and reflect on your own behavior as well!”
In the end, the nobles did not get what they wanted and received a penalty instead. The Adoratrice’s words were logical and filled with authority, so they could only give up. However, before they left, someone arrived with urgent news. Something major had happened again!
Turned out that Amon had returned to the city, and furthermore, those who were released by Ankh were arrested once again and sent to the city jail. The jail warden did not dare to take them in but also could not turn them away, so he sent someone to ask Djehutihotep for further instructions.
Even Sabaf who had both legs broken was not spared. But this Supreme General was very “kind”, so he allowed Sabaf to continue resting on his bed. Instead, he told his men to tear down the walls of his room and carry the entire bed with him to the jail’s entrance. A huge crowd had gathered to witness Lord Sabaf lying on his bed while out on the streets, what a humiliation it was!
The nobles who had just given up were infuriated once again, and just when they were about to voice out their resentment, someone from the governor’s office arrived and informed the governor that Amon had brought his guards along to the office.
Djehutihotep started perspiring heavily again and asked hoarsely: “Did the Supreme General tear down my sign?” In any other situation, these words would definitely have caused great laughter. But hearing what happened to Sabaf, this was the first thought that came to Djehutihotep’s mind.
The messenger replied: “The Supreme General did not do that. However, he came while wielding his sword so nobody dared to stop him. He said that he was here to lodge a complaint and to interrogate the culprits. He also kicked down Lord Djehutihotep’s table and is waiting for you on your seat with his sword.”
Everyone was shocked by what they heard. Could the Supreme General have gone crazy?
They once thought that Amon was tolerant and weak, an easy target. But now that he had gone mad and drew his sword, who would dare to provoke him? The nobles grew timid upon hearing what Amon had done.
If Amon caused trouble, he would be handled by the Pharaoh and the military department. If any of these nobles went to find trouble with him, they would be the ones to suffer. A few of them gloated in glee as they felt that Amon was looking for trouble himself and would eventually be punished severely.
Djehutihotep asked in exasperation: “Who is the Supreme General lodging a complaint against? On what charges?”
The messenger said: “The Supreme General said, there was an assassination attempt last night and although Lord Ankh arrested the assassins, Lord Djehutihotep released all of them afterwards, what did you mean by doing this? Could it be that Lord Djehutihotep was the mastermind behind the assassination, or is Lord Djehutihotep turning a blind eye towards these assassins?”