Thank you to everyone who has reviewed, followed, and favorited this story so far! It means a lot to know that someone besides myself enjoys this story. This chapter is considerably shorter than the first one (sorry about that) but I hope you guys like it anyway!
"Yes?" Ahkmenrah looked up from the book he was reading to see Nicky standing in front of one of the walls of his exhibit, studying the hieroglyphics which covered it.
"What's this supposed to be?" Nicky asked, gesturing to a particularly large image of a man who appeared to be playing some sort of game.
"Senet," Ahkmenrah answered simply, setting his book aside and coming to stand next to Nicky.
"What's Senet?" Nicky asked, a confused look on his face.
"One of the oldest board games in the world," Ahkmenrah answered with a hint of pride in his voice. "Invented thousands of years ago by the Egyptian people."
"Oh," Nicky said, taking one last look at the hieroglyphic before turning away. "Okay."
Ahkmenrah studied Nicky's expression for a moment, then smiled at him. "Would you like to play it?"
Nicky looked up at him, surprise written clearly on his face. "Really?"
Ahkmenrah nodded. "I believe there is a game board somewhere around here, it will only take me a minute to find it."
Nicky nodded, and enthusiastic grin creeping onto his face. "Okay, that sounds like fun!"
"So, how do you play this?"
About 10 minutes later Ahkmenrah and Nicky had successfully located a Senet game board which they had placed on the floor in front of his sarcophagus. Nicky was seated on the floor across from Ahkmenrah, bent over the board and studying it with the same concentration as when he had been studying the hieroglyphics earlier.
"The goal is to move all five of your game pieces off of the board before your opponent. To do this, you first throw the Senet sticks," Ahkmenrah said, holding the two-toned wooden sticks up as he spoke. "The number of sticks which land on the side painted the lighter color represents the number of spaces you move your piece. If all four sticks land on the dark side, then you move five spaces."
"What do the symbols mean?" Nicky asked, gesturing to the squares on the board which had different hieroglyphics written on them.
"They mean that certain actions can or cannot take place on those squares. For example, you can swap places with one of your opponent's pieces during your turn, but if your opponent's token sits on the square with the picture of the ankh then their piece is safe and cannot be swapped."
"What about the squares with the bird, the water, the dots, and the eye?" Nicky asked.
"All pieces must stop on the square with the bird, even if their turn would have moved them past it. If a piece lands on the square with the water, it is sent back to the square with the picture of the ankh. The last two squares are also safe spaces, so the pieces on those squares cannot be swapped."
"I think I get it," Nicky said, though his eyes were still filled with confusion and his voice was hesitant.
"It is much easier to understand once you try playing it," Ahkmenrah said, smiling reassuringly at Nicky. "Why don't we start, and we can see how you do?"
"Okay." Nicky nodded. "Bring it on."
"I win," Ahkmenrah announced, grinning happily.
"Come on! That's your fourth time winning, you've gotta be cheating!" Nicky exclaimed, his voice filled with frustration.
"I swear, I am not cheating," Ahkmenrah stated sincerely, though his eyes still twinkled with happiness and the satisfaction of winning once again.
"Then how are you so good?" Nicky whined, watching as Ahkmenrah reset the board for another round.
"I have been playing this game for much longer than you, Nick. I am thousands of years older than you, after all."
Nicky groaned and rested his head on his hand, looking thoroughly disheartened.
Ahkmenrah smiled comfortingly at Nicky, patting him on the shoulder. "Come on. Let's try again, and see how you do."
Nicky hesitantly reached for the Senet sticks, eyeing Ahkmenrah. "Promise you won't go easy on me?"
Ahkmenrah shook his head, looking Nicky in the eyes with a sincere expression. "I promise, Nick."A/N: A quick historical note, Senet is a real game invented by the ancient Egyptians which is still played today. It's a lot of fun and I was really excited to include it in this story. Please review and let me know what you thought of this chapter, as well as share any suggestions you have for what I should do in future chapters!