Ramesses understands: without money he will perish. But Hiram, secretly coming to Ramesses, promises to lend him a huge sum if the pharaoh allows the Phoenicians to connect the canal between the Mediterranean and the Red Seas. The priests, of course, are against, afraid that the channel would enrich the pharaoh. Soon Hiram introduces Ramesses to the priest Samont, who knows many priestly secrets. Samontu is very intelligent and ambitious, but the priests do not allow him to rise, and he is now ready to overthrow the entire priestly caste. Considering the treaty with Assyria shameful, Samontu promises to obtain evidence of betrayal of the priests, Pharaoh will then give Mephres and Herichor to trial and find the way to the myriad riches stored in the treasury of the priests – the famous Labyrinth. Soon Samontu obtains and the plan of this structure.
After the burial of his father Ramses travels Egypt. The people adore Pharaoh, to know before him cringes, the priests fall
prostrate. Only Mefres and Herrior are adamant. At their instigation, the temples demand from the pharaoh all debts, and the people of the priests whisper to the peasants that Ramses allowed not to pay taxes. Herichor scornfully scorns Ramses, a spoiled little boy who gives orders without thinking about the ways of doing them, nor about the consequences. And still Herihor rules, and he has more power than Pharaoh! Behind the priests are great riches and an excellent organization. So either the pharaoh will be with the priests, or they will do without him. After all, they are only concerned about the welfare of the state!
The people of Ramesses are inciting people to attack temples. Pharaoh himself, on the pretext of protecting the Labyrinth from the mob, is going to bring in his soldiers and capture the treasure. Herichor is provoking the crowd, trying to get her to storm the temples for a few days ahead of the time set by Pharaoh, at a time when it is beneficial to Herhor. And Mefres wants to become a treasure-keeper of the Labyrinth and put on the throne of the double Ramses – Lykon. He turns out to be also
clairvoyant: looking at the black ball, he learns that he is wandering through the Labyrinth to Samonta. Soon, he is tracked by Mephrus and the guardians of treasures. Samontu takes poison, and fanatical guards decide to remove Mefres and Likon: they, it seems, also have a Labyrinth plan…
On the day scheduled by Herichor, the crowd rushes to smash the temples – and here begins a solar eclipse, which the priest was warned by the impoverished sage Menes. The people howl in horror. Herichor in solemn vestment loudly prays the gods to spare the stray, and the crowd enthusiastically glorifies their savior. Priests pick up the reins that fell from the hands of Ramses. The head of the Guards Thutmose, Pharaoh’s favorite, is trying to arrest Herichor and Mefres (Hiram finally brought letters that prove their treason), but Ennan’s officer, pretending to be Ramses’s faithful servant, kills Thutmose in the back. Mefres puts Likon into his hand a knife and sends the Greek to Pharaoh’s garden. And in the next instant the guards of the Labyrinth kill Mephres and go into pursuit of Likon. But he manages to rush to Ramses, who left the pavilion of his current mistress – the wife of Thutmose, the noble beauty Hebron. Ramses turns Lykon round his neck, but the Greek in a suicidal cramp thrusts Pharaoh’s knife into his stomach. Clamping the wound, Ramesses summons a soldier, wants to lead them to the priests – and dies in the hands of the officers.
The power immediately passes to Herichor. He pacifies riots, facilitates the life of the people, makes sure that the judges are just, and the priests are righteous, patronize strangers, especially the Phoenician merchants, and conclude an agreement with Assyria, not giving it, however, Phenicia, the treasury replenishes with the part of the Labyrinth’s treasures. Egypt is flourishing. People praise Herichor and scold the boy Ramses, already forgetting that Herichor only realized his plans. Herichor marries Queen Nikotris, and the nobles proclaim him the first pharaoh of the new dynasty.
And the poor sage Menes smiles: after all the people live to themselves and live – despite the change of dynasties, wars and cataclysms. This people is the state! And in order that he was happy, the wise men should work…