“This is as far as I take you, brother.”
He had learned not to try to bargain with the Alodians. One trying to knock a few coins from the cost of an escort would find themselves paying double by the time negotiations were done. “I thank you for your service,” he said.
The Alodian had been a good guide and a loyal guard on the road to Egypt. He was grateful to have made it this far with provisions intact.
The guide squinted at him, his face as weathered at the stones of ancient Memphis. “How will you make it across the Nubian? It is said there are no oases.”
He stared into the distance to where the sun was veiled in a scrim of dust. His bride was out there, on the other side of this endless ocean of sand.
His fate was with the gods now.