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Chapter I. Thebes - Anubis City

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  • Аннотация:
    This is a fragment of the first chapter of the novel "Snake Prince" If you have noticed discrepancy in the translation, we will be happy if you tell us about it. We would welcome any help from you:-)

   French King`s elder daughter Eugenia was endowed with conscious superiority about her infallibility. Her arrogant look explicitly told about excellence in everybody borned in sublunary world. She had that cold, devoid of fascinating power and at the same time perfect beauty, which God often gives women borned in a family of royal persons.
   Manly monarch Pipin had chosen the groom for Eugenia before she seriously thought about getting married.The groom was Dutch Prince Mal, nobody could tall about his eyes and hair colour,tall or low,fat or thin,pretty or ugly is he.That's when Eugenia was seized for the first time by concern - her most troubled uncertainty, and ladies lost their legs in search of information about the Dutchman.They were able to find out, that since Mal came back from Italian campaign,he has been living in his own castle and leads a secluded life. In Rome Dutch army sustained a destructive defeat,that everybody had out with intervention of the highest powers. Of all the soldiers who bursted a year ago into Rome only he survived. But was it Mal or anybody else? It was impossible to say with complete certainty because all that had happened to the Prince was too similar to the tricks of the Devil. What if He lured Mal into a trap,killed him,then took the shape of the sacrifice and returned to occupy the royal throne and establish dominion over the Netherlands first, then the hole world?
   After learning that she will become the wife of the Devil,Eugenia told to sew a scarlet dress, plannig thereby to emphasize the whiteness of her skin. However, she wanted to show that although forced to surrender, but that does not mean that her heart belongs to him who, by the will of her father, became her preferred choice.
   To Holland with Eugenia went a blonde girl with sad smile. Her name was Margaret. Eugenia`s younger sister was barely twelve years old, but she has managed to find an incomparable beauty. Her eyes,shaded by long lashes, gave out an alarming view of a woman, once having crossed the shaky edge of dreams and recovered in a foreign body, in a foreign country, with scraps of vague memories of one former life that she could not put together. Sometimes she despairy odserved closery people`s faces, hoping, somebody recognized her and pronounced her real name, but all, she had known, called her "Margaret" and she got used to this name and to this destiny. She didn`t know what love was,but waited for that meeting, that would change her life forever, not knowing where and when it would happen. Even, if she has to wait for a thousand years and, then go to the end of the world into the realm of the midnight darkness, to find there a sudden happiness and die that moment, Margaret,not doubting for a minuite,would stand up in this way and take it to the end. And only when she expired salutary air of dreams,she found habitual face and backed to the true home,then woke up,awakened by night bird's sad cry,and couldn`t fall asleep anymore,painfully trying to keep night visions.But fragments of her dreams dissolve in the sunshine without a trace, and Margaret again was waiting for the hour when the world would be covered by night and she could come back to herself.
   Mal first crossed the threshold of nothingness, when he was twenty years old.He escaped from the clutches of the angel of death, but he seemed to have time to mark it with his seal, and the world since then became another, and also Mal has changed -- an inexplicable melancholy settled down in his heart and compelled to hide from people. Thoughts of the impending marriage once again plunged him into grief for his worthless life that once and foreverl divided into two halves, as if he opened the door to the forbidden room, stepped over the threshold and was unable to return. He saw something people should not have seen if they want to live their life without unnecessary worry, and die in old age, surrounded by family and friends, no words wich melt during the farewell. The Prince knew,that he went on the road,wich eventually breaks off the black abyss without any salvation. And all he had was waiting for the second death covering him with it`s dusky cloak and taking to the silent shelter for single travelers,wich have no place in the sky or on the earth.
   And when Mal in the most dazzling afternon in his life saw Eugenia and Margaret, coming towards him, one of them he recognized as the center of the earth`s beauty and the other as the embodiment of the celestial beauty. And if a woman of flesh and blood has left him untouched, the angelic creation fascinated Mal, eclipsed the whole world of God, gave him a light of hope, and the Prince immediately felt the bond that no one would be able to break. In a few moments Mal,as he was imbued with the magic potion,was seized by an attack of love obsession and craved only one thing-to escape from the prison which the imprisoned himself in and to connect his own soul with the soul, sent to him by Providence,and never to part with it. Unexpected endless sea of happiness unfolded, went up to his feet and rushed back.His beloved's name was not Eugenio, her name was Margaret.
   Saving not her, but himself he fled.He did not hesitate and soon appeared on the dock surrounded by the most faithful servants. Mal hired nave "St. Thomas" and ordered to go immediately ouy to the sea. The skipper was informed about the possibility of the chase,but his keen to risk mind suggested that they weren`t in danger.Had seen the page, he easly guessed that the page wasn`t the page at all,and that he, or exactly, she was the cause of the royal person`s appearance on the "St. Thomas". Margarita found herself in the arms of Mal, and only in a few days was hiding in an empty barrel of wine, while the prince was fighting desperately to defend the ship from the pirates. In this battle of the personal guard of Mal remained alive only it`s commander Wern, arrows Dan, and from the sailors,Woo.Until they were dropping dead bodies on the seabed, they were caught by the second pirate ship.They had to surrender. Mal was wounded in the leg and exhausted.
   Pirates were led by a dark-complexioned man in a black jacket with a wandering smile on his face. The captain Ocean was the son of the Spanish gentleman and liked the noble gestures. He suggested freedom without any conditions for Mal and Margaret.Learning about their story, captain Ocean made even more strange act, he decided to go with them to the Egyptian coast. Without explanation the Spanish caballero`s son led captives to the boat, attached to the stern of the ship. Mal`s men sat at the oars. The Prince felt dead tired. He put his head on Margaret`s knees and felt asleep, but sleeping was as painful as reality was. His dream was about an unknown land and a huge snake. Dull burning dragon`s eye shone through a giant cloud of dust.
   Mal woke up at the bottom of the boat, adhering to the shore. There wasn`t anybody near. Out of the ground was heard hissing. And when Mal got on the shore,the land under his feet parted,and from the depths appeared a huge head of a snake.Mal,not hesitating,raised his hand with the blade and stepped forward into the darkness,wich was breathing hot stench.She quickly swallowed him and squeezed his body,so Mal could neither move,nor,especially, move forward.His hand was still holding the blade.Suddenly, the wall parted and the prince was able to score in the lungs a little bit of air.His body was enveloped by the jet of hot steam.Mal was again squeezed by rough walls of living tunnel, tearing the roasted skin from his body.The Prince stretched, trying to penetrate as deeply as possible into the womb.Panting, he made a convulsive jolt,then another one,but did not budge at all.Mal,using all his strengh,drove the blade into the flesh of a contraction, - the monster smote.Mal clenched the hilt of the blade and the blade etched more deeply in the snake's body. Flesh twitched and became disorderly declining.With each spasm Mal was attckted by a heavy blow.The Prince set his fingers on the hilt of the blade and lost consciousness.
   In the morning Captain Ocean found Mal near the dead dragon ann was suprised ti find out theat the Prince managed to escape from snake`s body alive. Wern took prostrate Mal to the sea,gently washed the poisonous blood from him and packed into the boat. When they sailed from the coast, Mal opened his eyes.
   - Glad your return, Prince, - greeted him captain. - Maybe you're the only survivor from the belly of a dragon.When we`ll arrive to Africa,we`ll find pundits and give them you with all your wonders.Meetinf with the snake gave me a wonder to swim out of these places as soon as possible.But what to do with arabs,wich we will eventually have to meet with? Isn`t it the time for us to apply the Muslim faith?-Captain turned to the Muslim prayer, hands folded in front of him, and leaned over -Woo, instruct, at last, the lost souls on the right path!
   Woo was keeping silence,and gradually sence of his own body returned to Mal. Instead of pain he was experiencing an unpleasant itching and his chest and stomach were covered with green scales. Mal touched them: it seemed that scales itself makes an effort to break through the skin.Margaret suddenly clung to him and gently touched the scales with her lips.
   On the sandy shore of Egypt Mal climbed himself.His muscles became stronger. There were no sign of the wound on his leg.
  -- I'll go with you, - said Mal to Woo send for clothers, catching the blade to the belt that saved him in the belly of a dragon.
  -- Woo nodded approvingly and instead of camping bag took the bag, used for food. Wern wanted to go with them, but Mal ordered him to stay with Margaret.
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