Ari, the Lost Princess - Chapter One

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1 of Lost Princess P.S - Written for a very good friend and featuring her fursona, Ari the Wanda, in that magical land of Egypt. I know that AriBear of FurAffinity, the creator of the pic/banner of this tale, enjoyed my work here and perhaps I will continue it where I can in time. I hope that everyone else who looks at this enjoys it just as much. :)


_ C __ hapter One: The Start _

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As it had been many times over since the beginning of time, another day - one of promise - for the glorious kingdom of Egypt was starting. Indeed, with the darkness of the previous nighttime slowly being chased away by the strengthening light of this summer morning, everything of the desert lands were inheriting their familiar shade of gold. All that had been dark beforehand would, in short time, turn bright with the rise of father sun; guided along its radiant course by that guardian god of gods, Ra. In turn, sister moon, helped by Khonsu, would descend to rest until night would need her once more.

For now, night was over. It needed to rest. It would return, of course, when the sun left the sky and daytime - as well as all people of the world - needed to rest too. Thus, it was that the moon would take the place of the sun when needed and vice versa. Thus, that had been the way of the mortal realm since time had first moved. And hopefully daytime, nighttime, would always be that way. Praise to the gods that balance would last forever for Egypt.

To be truthful, speaking of balance, for the first time in many years after having endured a troubled past, the particular peace of this summer season had proven to be more than spectacular. Only a month ago, possibly due to that trickster god known as Set, the terrible storms of springtime had ravaged the lands as well as struck uncertainty into the hearts of the population. Yet, with the powerful leadership of the rulers alongside the steadfastness of the populace, those springs had been endured. And in turn, since the end of the storms, the citizens of both the realms of upper and lower Egypt had worked hard, united together, set aside most of their differences and experienced a most rewarding past month of fruitful rewards.

Maybe blessed by the gods, due to their brave work in rebuilding themselves since the brutal spring, the folk everywhere in the realms had watched their weary souls return to their former strength. Their lives brightened, their cities shined, their economies began to actually thrive. Farms excelled, trade increased, history was made. Somehow, a golden age was started. And today, like the recent days, that gold was experienced everywhere. Not only was it cast by the rising sun's light. It was truly shown in the eyes of everyone awakening, in the smiles families shared in their homes, in the hearts of those who were - as early birds - getting to work.

Maybe more so than it's lower counterpart, Upper Egypt had more reason to be so bright. For as it'd been declared and started by its rulers three days ago, the realm was in the midst of a week long celebration. Celebrating what, one might wonder? Everything. That's right, everything from life to farming to military to fishing to forging to all else was being celebrated. All of the gods were being celebrated, as they would be for the next three days after this one just starting.

In their beds in the thriving metropolis of a city, parents were being ambushed by their energetic kids to get up before everyone else. In the streets, as the festival decorations were being refreshed, the dozens of merchants - some snide, others honest - once again stepped out to examine their wares, organize their material and prepare for what would hopefully be many an hour of benefit/selling. Even the usual patrols of guards, a dozen well armed warriors, were not as tight knitted nor firm as usual thanks to the festive feeling in the air. Blacksmiths were reigniting their fires while displaying their works, stables were opened to let all eyes see the brilliant steeds within, farmers outside the city were aided by helpers in readying equipment and fishing experts looked to the Nile with determined spirits.

As it had always been with the coming of morning, so now did the peoples of the world awake with refreshed spirits. Yet, none of those renewed spirits were quite as renewed as they of Upper Egypt; where the day was going to be a good one. Everyone knew so. They would make it so.

As all of the population of the upper realm were in fact waking up to begin what was going to be yet another glorious day of happiness, it was in fact in the magnificent palace of the Pharoah that feelings were a bit... unsure. As it goes with the common folk of the world, "ignorance is bliss". Whereas "politics were difficult" for the rulers. For the GOOD rulers anyway who did their best for not only themselves but all those who looked up to them. And as for the night black, starry eyed, powerfully built, handsome timber wolf who was known as "Armaut the Third, Pharoah of Upper Egypt", ruling had always been a difficult business. Not only for him but for his father before him and his grandfather before his father and so on.

Yet, like his said predecessors, Armaut had never been and was not a fragile soul. He was a ruler for a reason. Not only due to the fact that he'd been raised to be such but because he'd had a natural gift for such things right from a young age. It was his means in life, his reason for getting out of bed. And like many days before this one, the king wolf underwent the same process of becoming god for his kingdom. Before his servants had even entered his godly quarters decorated in all matter of riches, the black wolf with silver eyes had thrown open his full windows to let in a much needed blast of fresh air as well as a shine of morning sunlight. He could feel Ra in the sunlight. The gods would be... gentle with him today. Hopefully.

And just like that, standing in the sunlight in naught but his loincloth, the wolf had remained even as his doors had been opened to let in the dozen servants who would dress him, condition him, make him splendid. As a god, Armaut was not allowed to do such trivial things on his own. Mortals needed a god, so they appreciated their god. As expected, a portion of the servants at hand first bathed him there in the sunlight, poured warm water over his powerful form, soaked him in multiple soaps, scrubbed him down from his eyes to his toes. Another set of various servants stepped forth next, drying his coal pelt as well as combing his fur - ears, tail, body, all of it - smooth.

Next came his clothes. His head was covered in the bold white headpiece, his lower body draped in robes, his muscular chest left visible like smoke against light. His accessories were as fashionable as the sun god's; bracelets, bracers, anklets, necklaces and a crown of gold-silver were adorned onto him. Last that completed his godly clothing were his rods that represented something greatly in either of his open palms. His right hand closed around "peace". His left closed around "prosperity". Two things... that made the world, his world, happier than happy. That represented the festival in the works this day.

But it was not the festival that was on Armaut's mind at this time. It was something else entirely... or someone. Someone he longed to make happy. Someone he had always worked his hardest to make happy for the last eighteen years. Someone who didn't seem to want to be happy these days, no matter his attempts.

Yet, as a ruler, the wolf pharoah was used to such things as "uneasy" or "troubled" or "complicated". Ruling a kingdom was not an easy thing. It had never been. Yet, was it more difficult... than being a father? Some days, Armaut considered it possible. Today was going to be one of those days, one way or another.

"As always, Ra blesses you with his strength, his wisdom and his hopes for another day." A gentle, all knowing, female voice spoke with love from behind Armaut. At once, even though he still looked outside towards the sun rising over his awakening city, the black wolf knew whom it was who spoke to him... and she made him smile. "And as always, I cannot think of a better man for the god of the sun to put in charge of the mortal realm, Armaut."

"As a god, do you really think I need your praise?" Armaut joked back, not looking to who was speaking to him but looking outside still. He next waved his right hand towards the servants occupying his room, telling them gently, "All of you have done your task. I am ready to rule today. Thank you. You are all excused." Yet, as he was finishing, the god king pointed behind him as he told she who made him smile, "Apart for you. The one who seems to think she needs to tell this god whom he is. You, pretty one... come to me."

"Do I have a choice? No one refuses the chosen of the sun god." The female voice cooed, not at all fearful like she should have been. As the sounds of the servants' footsteps departed the room, one set of footsteps made themselves heard as they entered the room... and then the room doors were closed. There was a silence. Then, the female voice wondered innocently, "Alas, I have come to you as commanded, Armaut. What wrath shall I behold? What is it you wish of me?"

"What is it I wish of you? Nothing more than I have already asked since we were wed. I wish for your love. Come." Armaut chuckled, enjoying the humor between himself and he who he knew stood in his room with him. He gestured behind him for she to approach him, while he looked outside still. The footsteps started again, leaving the door and nearing him until they stopped. A presence could be felt with him now; calming, peaceful, loving. A hand closed around his own, allowing him to pull a most majestic female - a wonderful, bright blue eyed, regal - panda beside him; his wife dressed in jewelry as well as clothed in a silk, cloudy white dress that flowed like the wind. There in the sunlight, the nightly wolf kissed his smiling queen who brushed his face with her fingers. As he pulled away, he declared to her, "No chosen of the sun god has ever had a better wife than you, love. You are the star of my night, as Ra is the sun of my day. Never do you have to fear a wrath from me."

"Heh, and as no kingdom could ask for a better chosen, Armaut, I am honored to be yours. Never did I dream... of being your chosen until we stood under the sun with our vows. And even then, I often wonder if this is a dream that I am tricked into dreaming by the gods. One that I might wake from someday." His wife, Arna the Panda, sighed back. She snuggled into his, a god's, a presence where others would have fled. For she had no reason to be afraid. Not after having been married to him for thirty years and watched him rule their kingdom better than anyone could ask. With and without mistakes. She pulled away from him, smiling a small smile to her husband, "Alas, I fear no wrath from you. As for our daughter however... do not fret. I spoke with her last night. This is not your fault. She understands."

"Hm, our daughter has always understood me, Arna. She has understood our way of life, of being rulers. Or so she says, while her eyes and heart say another." Armaut sighed wearily to his lover, turning away from the window and leading the way gracefully to the room doors. He opened the said doors with a sweep of his majestic hands, stepping out next with his woman. There was no need to close the doors as the two guards standing guard did the task apiece. "Things will not go as planned today, my wife. I sensed it in the sun's warmth just now. I must accept that as well as make the best out of today's events as I can. For all of our sakes. But this day... Ari will not allow our chosen suitors for her to speak false."

Arna, hugging her man's arm and walking with him with unmatched grace through the smoother than smooth palace hallways radiating sunlight, breathed to her husband, "I spoke with our daughter last night. I am certain she will make this easier for all of us and allow the men their say. She has caused trouble before, beloved, but I feel she will not this time. She will understand your position. She will understand this is the way you and I came to meet. And that even though we have selected these men, not her, Ari will find happiness with them as we did with one another."

"Perhaps. Maybe." Armaut replied softly, holding doubts in his mind still. His wife was always his bastion of support; as a father and ruler. Years ago, he would have failed his duties if not for her affection. Still, as a ruler and father, he himself had learned plenty. And in regards to his daughter, well... that was where things became most difficult. "One way or another, by your guesses or mine, Arna, the day will proceed and we will see-"

"Your highness! Your grace!" A sudden, fearful shout rang out and caused both king as well as queen to stop dead in their tracks. For their own reasons, knowing the meaning of panic already, the he-wolf rolled eyes with the she-panda as a panicking vixen servant, pursued by fennec guards, stumbled into their way. It was as the guards grabbed her that the she-fox noticed the nobles before her and exclaimed, "Your worships, I have urgent news!"

"Enough of that! You cannot simply speak to their-" A guard began to lecture when Armaut raised his hand for silence. Which was obeyed at once.

"Gentle with the servant, boys. She is simply doing her duty. She has something to tell myself and my wife." The pharoah explained, keeping a more than calm if not soothing tone. He was a ruler for many reasons after all. And keeping the peace, staying calm was his best role. "Alas, as for what this vixen has to say... Allow me to guess. Someone vital to today is missing, no?"

"Yes!" The vixen began, looking scared, "It's-"

"Ari, our daughter." Arna finished for the unsure servant, not sounding pleased but understanding. "The princess, our daughter, is missing? ONCE again, yes?"

"Er, that is... correct, your highness." The vixen admitted, looking shocked along with scared. There was a long silence where the guards held the servant between them. The king glanced to the queen. And between them, they couldn't seem to keep from smiling for whatever reason.

"How many times is this now?" Armaut wondered jokingly, squeezing his wife's hand, "The thousandth? Did you not say I was the chosen of the sun back in my room? And as such, did I not feel that today would be troublesome?"

"Indeed you did, love. I am sorry to have given you such a troubling daughter." Arna sighed softly, kissing her husband's cheek and stepping away. She added, "You may proceed and explain the situation to the suitors. Keep them happy while I and the guards track down Ari-"

"No, I will go after our daughter. It will be better for her to see how much she matters to her own father, to see that I - not you - am coming to get her rather than attending royal duties. Maybe that is what she needs to see to understand me better." Armaut argued smoothly, separating the vixen from the guards and handing her over to his quiet wife. The pharoah winked as he explained further before departing, "Besides, the suitors came to speak with a woman. And as an experienced woman, could you not distract them better from this trouble than myself?"

"Heh, of course, your grace. I will run circles around the suitors while you run to find our troublemaker." Arna agreed, smiling brightly. She bowed her head, smiling "good luck" to her lover as he - leading the duo of guards - swept away towards the stables. The stables where he would gain a horse, a number of troops as well as begin the long search for his missing daughter; Ari, the princess of Egypt.

Alas, today was already proving to be a troublesome day. For the nobles at least. Not for the festive, unaware citizens enjoying the morning's freshness and not noticing the hooded, robed, black-white, sapphire eyed beauty winding her way through them in search of herself.