If you’d like to start at part one and read the whole thing, click here. Then, when you are all caught up, keep reading!
“Welcome back, Shu-Tu,” Thoth whispered. “You’ve been asleep for well over a week.”
Shu-Tu cringed. Her eyes fluttered open, then started to move around in their sockets. “W-Where am I?”
“Safe.” Thoth brushed away the hair from her brow. “That is all you need to know for now.”
Then, she remembered everything. Shu-Tu sat straight up, her head and back ached, but she ignored the pain. Trying to focus in on Thoth’s red-bearded face was a little like watching a butterfly in a strong wind—not impossible, but not easy either. She sensed her eyes move back and forth, back and forth, back and forth until they crossed. A vision flashed through her mind.
She gasped. “Segferd…he’s—”
“Dead.” Thoth finished for her. “Yes, I know. There was a full moon the night before last. He got caught during an earthquake near his family’s compound by the ocean, and the ground just opened up underneath him. Apparently, Sonl is still looking for his son’s body.”
Shu-Tu wanted to smile, but didn’t. “What of the firestone Amiee took from me?”
“I’m sure it will become the terrible, mighty crystal while in the hands of the House of Beliar,” Thoth replied, shrugging. “But that is not your concern anymore.”
“Aimee and Segferd, they…they left me for dead in that crystal room.” Her chest tightened.
“The Hall of Illumination, to be exact,” Thoth said.
“Is that where you found me?”
“Yes,” he replied, brushing wrinkles out of his red robe.
Thoth stood to pour a cup of water from the silver pitcher next to her bed. The sound of gurgling made Shu-Tu lick her dry lips. “Here, drink this. You need to get your strength back.”
Shu-Tu took a few gulps, and wiped her chin. “What happened to Khem?”
Thoth frowned. “Who is Khem?”
“The baboon-headed hybrid we met inside the Hall of Illumination.” Shu-Tu closed her eyes to stop them from spinning. “He told us you gave him your rod.”
“You mean this rod?” Thoth asked, reaching behind his back.
Shu-Tu opened her eyes and stared at the golden rod topped with a baboon’s head. The smell of floral-scented incense calmed her, and she nodded. Her eyes started moving faster again, up and down, side to side, until they crossed. Startled, Shu-Tu looked into Thoth’s sapphire eyes, and drew in a deep, sharp breath.
“Khem,” she whispered.
Thoth placed a finger on her lips, and winked. “That’s our little secret.”
“But, why did you bring the firestone to the Hall of Illumination?”
Thoth sighed. “To test you, Shu-Tu. You passed. Unfortunately, Amiee and Segferd did not, and will now have to live with the consequences of their actions. I believe Segferd already has paid his price, as you predicted.”
“The price that I paid and have to live with, it’s why my eyes are like this, isn’t it?”
“You are a seer now, Shu-Tu,” Thoth replied, taking the cup from her to fill again. “I will make sure you get the best training possible.”
Her eyes moved again, then stopped. She reached out to grab Thoth’s sleeve. “I see now it was wrong of me to wish my father alive again. I was in a sad, dark place. Forgive me.”
“There is nothing to forgive if you’ve acted out of pure love,” Thoth said, kneeling. “Remember, Shu-Tu, all things have life, and that nothing is truly dead. There is always motion, and everyone and everything moves at a different speed.”
Shu-Tu grinned. “Like my eyes?”
“Precisely.” Thoth laughed, then gently patted her arm. “Now get some rest. I’ve made arrangements for you to leave for the Temple of the Sun by the new moon.”
Shu-Tu reached for his large hand and squeezed it. “Thoth?”
“I have something to ask before I leave my old life.”
He raised a grizzled brow. “Then, ask.”
Shu-Tu’s eyes juggled around, moving this way and that way, then crossed. “What is a Timekeeper?”
Thoth smiled and tweaked her nose. “A matter not yet revealed, Shu-Tu.”