Chapter 3. The Bad Tempered Prince

The Second Prince’s residence was different from the rest of the palace. It was dark, solemn, and shrouded with an oppressive air. Before Maya even reached the door, she heard noises of shattering vases and raised an eyebrow… It seems that the Second Prince is someone difficult to be with.

She followed Asher into the room. Suddenly, she noticed a cup flying her way and quickly leaned away and avoided it on time.

“All of you get out! You’re all useless!” A young man shouted angrily from the bed.

Maya looked over there curiously. She saw a young man with shoulder length ink black hair that seemed to gleam under the light. He has a pair of thick black eyebrows which arched elegantly on his handsome face. He wore a short white kilt inlaid with golden threads. His skin was the tone of ripen wheat, and his figure lean and tall. A golden amulet of the Eye of Horus decorated with turquoise and malachite hung from his neck, gleaming like gentle rays of sunlight.

Maya parted her mouth slightly in awe, she quickly straightened her expression. She had never seen such a handsome young man.

However, she quickly noticed that something was off about him. As she observed more closely, she was shocked to find the prince’s obsidian black eyes were clouded.

The Second Prince is blind…

“Prince Ramses, did your tooth act up again? This time, I have found you a very skilled…” 

The prince interrupted Asher impatiently, “Asher, don’t bring me another useless person! I have told you many times, my eyes can’t be cured. Stop wasting your time! Everyone get out!” The prince held a hand to his face as he spoke. The toothache seemed very painful.

“It’s different this time, Prince Ramses. No matter what, can you let the healer take a look at your tooth? If this healer can’t even heal a toothache, I will tell this one to leave too.” Concerns flashed in Asher’s eyes, and he sounded unusually gentle. “Also, this is the healer who chased out all the crawling insects from the palace.”

The prince raised an eyebrow skeptically. However, as the toothache was hard to bear, he grunted coldly in assent.

Maya immediately went to him and reached out to hold his jaw gently, indicating to him to open his mouth. The prince complied reluctantly. She took out a mirror and used it to reflect light onto his teeth as she examined his teeth carefully. A moment later, she stood up and said calmly, “Asher, can you ask someone to prepare something for me. I think it can be cured.”

Prince Ramses was shocked when he heard her voice.

“You’re a woman?” His face disdainful as he shouted at Asher, “Why did you bring a woman? How can a woman cure this?”

Maya frowned. She found the Second Prince grating on her nerves.

“Prince Ramses, why does it matter that I’m a woman? What should matter is whether I can cure your condition.” She took a deep breath and calmed the anger in her heart. Then, she said calmly, “You have a little cavity. I can use a mix of balsam, Nubian sandstone, honey, stone fragments, marjoram and a little copper to patch it up. If the tooth loosened, I can use a gold thread to bind it to the tooth beside it… However, this is not needed for now. Also, you need to take care of your gum. I will give you a bottle of mouth rinse containing colocynth, tree gum, fennel, and split figs. You have to put this mouth rinse outside for a night to let it absorb dew. Every night before going to sleep, spread a paste of cinnamon, honey, and tree gum over your gum. Remember to consume more celery. Celery is not only nutritious. It also helps with appetite and strengthening of teeth.”

As he listened to her speaking clearly and confidently, Ramses’ expression softened a little. However, he was still looking at her with disdain.

“I can cure your eyes too.” Maya’s sense of determination was ignited when she saw his disdainful expression.

“Humph, we shall see whether you can cure my toothache first. You speak too much. They’re probably all nonsense.”

“You…” She reminded herself to be patient again. She took a deep breath before saying, “You should do as I prescribed. Whether it is nonsense or not, you shall find out three days later.”

“If I am still not cured after three days, I will severely punish you.” He touched his jaws expressionlessly.  

“Punish?” The word sent shivers down her spine and made her want to walk away. For a moment, she considered whether she should proceed. She was confident with her healing skills and decided to proceed to treat him. She decided that although the prince was infuriating, he was still a patient.

Furthermore, if she could heal him, it may be helpful to her mission… 

By the time she returned to Asher’s residence, the sky was already dark.

“Miss Maya, did you go to see Prince Ramses today?” Nali asked curiously. “I heard that he’s the most handsome man in the whole of Egypt, but he is also the worst tempered. Is that true?”

“Yes, that’s completely true.” Maya nodded in agreement. She wondered how worse he could be if he wasn’t blind.

“By the way, do you know how Prince Ramses lost his sight? Was he born blind?” she asked casually.

Nali checked her surroundings before lowering her voice to a whisper, “I heard that the prince suddenly lost his sight during his tenth birthday banquet. No one knew the reason. Even the priest and the doctors could not find the cause. Ever since he became blind, the prince shut himself in his room and would not come out. I heard that the prince was not so bad tempered in the past.”

“Oh, that’s what happened.” Maya nodded and continued thinking. She suddenly found herself feeling compassion for the young prince. Does this mean that there’s always a sad story behind difficult people?

Three days later, there was good news from the palace. Prince Ramses’ toothache had completely disappeared. 

Maya followed Asher to the palace again. This time, Maya was much calmer. As Asher had something to discuss with the Pharaoh, he let the maids bring her to Ramses’ residence.

This time, there was no noise of things being broken. It was very quiet.

When they reached the door, Maya noticed that the maids would not go in and looked pale as if frightened. As Maya was about to enter the room, one of the maids gave her a pitying glance and whispered, “The Second Prince’s pet is here today. Please be careful.”

Maya looked at her with confusion. Why do I need to be careful about a pet? Egyptians’ pets are usually cats. Why do they seem scared?

She pushed open the door with lingering doubt.

The moment she stepped in, she felt a gush of wind as a giant creature pounced on her and trapped her on the ground. She saw its green eyes and sharp canines. Maya couldn’t help trembling in fear.

My goodness! It’s a living and breathing lion!

Her heart was beating rapidly. She could almost feel the lion’s saliva dripping onto her face.

“Warrior!” Ramses called out loudly. The lion’s ears moved and the ferocity in its eyes diminished. It slowly let go of her.

“This, this is a lion…” Maya blurted out in shock.

Ramses stroked the lion’s back affectionately and answered as if there was nothing out of the ordinary, “Do you mean Warrior? He’s my pet, and he only listens to me.”

Maya’s eyes widened. My goodness! This is crazy. Who in the world has a lion as a pet?

She calmed herself with tremendous will. Then, she took the seat furthest from the lion and said fumingly, “You sound like you’re in good spirits. I assume that your tooth doesn’t hurt anymore.”

“You’re just lucky.” He replied coldly.

Her lashes trembled as she reminded herself to control her temper and to not stoop as low as him.

“Let me have a look at your eyes then.” She took a deep breath and reached out to touch his forehead. However, he swatted her hand away immediately.

“Don’t touch me. I hate being touched by an ugly woman!” He said viciously.

Ugly woman… Her eyebrows twitched again, and she retorted with a barely concealed anger, “Can you see whether I am pretty or ugly?”

He scoffed, “I can tell from your voice.”

“Then may I ask, how am I supposed to treat you if I can’t touch you?” She forced herself to remain calm.

“Aren’t you a skilled healer? You should be able to find a way.” He smiled mockingly.

“You…” But she stopped herself. Any compassion she had for him disappeared completely. Goodness, if not for Asher’s threat, I would not have bothered. Now, it seems like I’m the one begging to treat him.

At this moment, a gentle voice came from the door. “Ramses, are you in a bad mood again?”

Maya glanced behind and saw Prince Teran smiling at them. Beside him was the straight-faced vizier, Asher.

Ramses’ expression was a little strange. “Brother.”

Perhaps out of fear for the lion, the two men remained at the door and did not enter. Maya glanced at Warrior, and it roared in her direction, exerting its dominance.

“My dear brother, Maya is a very skilled healer. If you let her examine your eyes, perhaps you would be able to see soon.” Teran smiled before continuing, “Listen to my advice, will you? Don’t be childish.”

From her position, Maya saw his refreshing smile. She couldn’t help wondering why the two brothers were so different from each other.

Ramses did not say anything but continued stroking Warrior.

Asher glared at Maya, indicating to her that she should check Ramses’ eyes now.

 

Notes

N/A

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