Translator, Editor and Proofread: theunfetteredsalmon
Lynk and the other cavemen in the new Duc town had a dream the same night. Even those who did not sleep dreamt the same thing. El Mar was no exception. The dream showed a gorgeous goddess donning a long skirt that glittered like golden stars. She was charming and beautiful and held an ivy cane. The woman claimed to be the patron goddess Mourrin, arriving to deliver an oracle.
The goddess will bless those who’ve built their homes in her domain with magical and astonishing wealth to develop into a city. Amon, the messenger of the gods, will guide them to find a buried treasure before holding a sacrificial ceremony to open it. What Mourrin left behind could not only be used to create various magical weapons, it can also be spent on hiring wandering warriors and craftsmen from all over the continent. This additional wealth will be kept and used by Amon.
The cave-dwellers, who were new to the outside world, had suddenly all dreamt of such a goddess and thought it inconceivable but on hearing Amon’s name and seeing their own god Amon holding the goddess Mourrin affectionally, they firmly believed in the oracle. After dawn, Lynk convened with his clansmen to hold a ceremony of prayer, putting up an altar and offered sacrifices to Amon and Mourrin.
Interestingly, the cave-dwellers placed Amon’s name before Mourrin when they prayed. They did so naturally. In their dreams, they saw the half a head taller Amon embracing Mourrin. Lynk and the others only ever worshipped fire until Amon arrived and became their only god. The cat was a messenger of the god.
The sacrifice to the goddess Mourrin was not only because of the blessings in the oracle, but it was also more importantly because of Amon. All the tribes eagerly looked forward to the return of God Amon, and for their visions to come true.
Of course, Metatro also attended the prayer ceremony, reciting and exclaiming in his heart, “God Amon, God Amon, you are marvellous to hold a goddess as such in your arms. There is nothing you cannot do…”
Metatro always knew that Amon wasn’t really a god. When they first met, Amon was just a child who knew magic and saved his life. Metatro called Amon a god because he wanted to learn magic. He was also doing it to follow tradition with Lynk.
But later, Amon gradually taught Metatro the power of both sides, making him a sorcerer and warrior at the same time. This was an incredible miracle in any country. As Lynk said, “You are my only God,” Metatro repeated it with no hesitation in mind. When he passed the test of Faith’s Confirmation, he had already regarded Amon as a true god.
Who could say that a god was a statue in the temple and not a real, living person? Metatro preferred real gods like Amon, who was at least more genuine to him than the gods often worshipped in shrines.
Ignoring Metatro and Lynk’s anticipation, Amon walked through the Charcoal Forest staff in hand until he finally saw the high walls of Syah city from afar. He grew up in the territory of Syah and has travelled to many places on the mainland. Today, it was his first time going to Syah city.
Inanna did not follow Amon to Syah. They separated at the edge of the Charcoal Forest. Before leaving, the goddess smiled and asked, “Amon, who is Icho?”
Clearly, Inanna saw the other message in the Terroculos.
“An old friend,” Amon answered. “She has been to the town of Duc.”
Inanna put out her hand and pointed at the tip of her nose teasingly. “Is it a girl you can’t forget? Youth and life will eventually pass away. Any moment of forgetfulness is a remembrance of wealth. I will keep this message for you. Perhaps one day, you will erase it of your own accord. Between you and me, Goddess Persephoni ridiculed me for the men I loved because they did not see a happy ending. Regardless of whether they loved me back, she is wrong.”
Amon had no desire to talk about this topic but he brought himself to ask, “What is she wrong about?”
“Everyone will experience life and death,” Inanna said. “Of course, in the eyes of a god, there is no good ending. As for the curse that plagues me, I have been thinking about it; is it because the men I fell in love with do not live forever or does he need to live his life with no regrets?”
When he entered the city of Syah, Amon pondered Inanna’s question. Did the sentimental Inanna really fall for him? That was not necessarily true. He felt good about her and perhaps she always tempted him, but Amon is not entirely averse to it. After all, Inanna only ever helped him. He chose to go to the Underworld and put himself in harm’s way. He also chose to guide the descendants of Duc back home.
Inanna could just be solving her own puzzle. It seems that the gods also have troubles with the gods.
The guards of Syah City were fairly lenient. Amon entered the city without trouble. Located on the southeastern edge of the Hittite Empire, Syah was a major strategic town on the border. It was also an important area for producing fine iron and parangons. However, since the flood cut off land transportation with neighbouring cities, it has stayed quiet for several years and residents of the city seemed relaxed and somewhat lazy.
Amon came to Syah for two purposes. One was the retrieve the deed of the town of Duc and the other was to see Golier. When Moses was forced to leave Syah, he left the land deed of Duc hidden somewhere in the city. He did not tell Amon, the envoy of the Temple of Isis, but he told Allaha, the one who appeared as a god.
In Crazy’Ole’s messages, Golier was specifically mentioned. Crazy’Ole had hoped that Amon would find an opportunity to see Golier. He was sure that even if Golier refused to help, he would not make things difficult for Amon. The Amon now knew that he was exiled from Duc to avoid the impending disaster. It was also Golier who had privately instructed Mayor Dusti to banish Amon. An esteemed supreme mage travelled to Duc for the sake of a small, insignificant miner. This was not a small favour.
When Amon arrived and inquired a little about Syah, he found out that the situation was not what it used to be. Anyone who mentioned the great Golier would speak of him with vigorous admiration and respect on their face. Disrespect towards Golier would typically be rewarded with violence! Golier was now a supreme mage of the ninth level who stayed as the chief priest of Syah. His status in the city was comparable to that of a god, the only difference being that he did not have the title of god.
Golier’s words as a message were possibly as effective as the word of Enlil himself. However, the people of Syah would not overstep and call Golier a god. In recent years, Golier was rarely seen in public. It was said that he devoted himself to practising magic in the temple. The affairs of the city were thus handed down to the governer Fermien Schmul, Golier’s disciples Raphael and Warret and officials of various departments. The city did not have much to it and people lived and worked in their own right.
It was not easy to seek an audience with Golier, especially since Amon’s identity was a sensitive issue. The Kingdom of Hittite had ordered him to be beheaded, ordered directly by the King through his emissary, but the order was not yet executed as Amon was sent to carry out another order. Now that he’s back, there were things he had to deal with.
Amon met Golier’s disciples Warret and Raphael in the desert under the guise of Allaha. The two high priests warmly invited him to visit Syah. Perhaps this was a viable route if Amon wanted to see Golier.
Amon heard of another incident that also surprised him. Warret had returned from Uruk City. Before he left to Uruk, Warret was an advanced mage of the sixth level, but now he was a seventh level mage! The people of Syah were visibly delighted with his improvement, believing that it was a symbol of the glory of Syah City and the blessing of the gods. This only drove the people to worship Golier even more.
It seemed like there was more than one young talented genius on the mainland. Amon also recently had a breakthrough and was now a supreme sorcerer, just like Warret. Before both of them, however, was the great Adoratrice of the Temple of Isis.
The talk around the town was that Raphael had not yet returned, unlike Warret. Amon was not in a hurry to find Warret. He first went to retrieve the title deed for the land of Duc, which was hidden in the manor that Mayor Dusti had purchased. It was practically hidden in plain sight.
Amon had also acquired a manor in Memfis City, which sported a private shrine in the backyard, formerly dedicated to King Horus. He replaced the statue of Horus with a statue of Bastet, the goddess of cats. Dusti’s manor in Syah was much larger, but it also had a shrine in the backyard to Enlil.
When Moses and the others were forced to leave, the manor was occupied by a group of vagabonds and the courtyards were rife with people. The vagabonds claimed that there were casualties among friends and relatives in the clash against the descendants of Duc and that the residence was compensation. The governer Schmul was not very good at his job and did not do anything about the occupation in the manor for the past two years.
However, the shrine in the backyard was empty. No one dared to occupy it. After all, the people of the city were most afraid of blaspheming their god Enlil, so the shrine was left alone. The land deed was hidden in the base under the feet of the statue to Enlil. Attached to them was a stone slab that would show no sign of hollowing or opening even when lifted.
Amon climbed over the wall at night and entered the backyard in the manor. He was already a supreme sorcerer and warrior, which meant that he was highly agile and adept at hiding his tracks. It was practically impossible for anyone to find him. Staff in hand, Amon quietly arrived at the shrine. No one had come to this corner of the estate for a long time. There was no trace of sacrifice nor lights for prayer over the altar. The stone figure of Enlil stood quietly in the dark.
Amon stretched out his staff and pointed it at the foot of the statue. It levitated into the air and remained immobile until Amon recited a few words. Then, a square crack showed on the base of the statue, where there was originally a hole. A stone slab with a few items on top slid out and fluttered onto the ground. With a wave of his other hand, Amon took the items into his Ventussalte. He lowered his staff and put the stone slab and statue in their original position.
The items Amon took included, of course, the original deed to the town of Duc, a special parangon as well as twenty gold parans. This was most likely Mayor Dusti’s idea as it was well thought out. Even if the shrine was demolished, the statue of Enlil would be carefully moved elsewhere so that the concealed items would not be found. After Dusti’s death, Moses would have been the only one who knew the secret.
In addition to the land deed, the special parangon Dusti concealed was a Ventussalte, which holds the value of five hundred ordinary parangons. This was a huge wealth. As for the twenty gold parans, it was thoughtfully placed so that the Ventussalte would not be recognised. The gold parans could also act as loose change for smaller expenses. Even if future generations went broke, they would live comfortably for the rest of their lives should they come across this wealth.
Amon has been to many temples and shrines, but this one felt different to him. In some temples, the solemn statues seemed to have a hint of mysterious life, watching over people who were prostrated in prayer. Interestingly, in order to amuse Schrodinger, Amon put up a statue of the Goddess of cats Bastet in his manor in Memfis, but that shrine was where this feeling was the strongest. The statue was almost alive, and when Amon walked in, he could feel some kind of gaze upon him.
But there was no such feeling in this shrine. The statue of Enlil was nothing but cold, hard stone. Amon accounted for the items and turned to walk out of the shrine. At the entrance, he suddenly turned back again and seemed to say something to himself –
“Enlil, great god, your eyes do not watch this sacred place! The people of the town of Duc put the last of their wealth at your feet to seek asylum, but instead, they were forced to leave the city to be enslaved by foreigners. Today, I am repossessing the wealth once bestowed upon you as these no longer belong to you. This is not a betrayal because you let the worshippers go of your own accord! God Enlil, from you, we have nothing more to ask or wish for. I take the inheritance of Duc and bid you farewell.”
When the words left Amon’s mouth, he did not know the origin behind the great flood that destroyed his home, nor did he know how Crazy’Ole challenged Enlil directly and died in the process. The only person who knew this secret was someone he was here in Syah to visit: Golier.
Meanwhile, in a secret room in the Temple of Enlil in Syah, Golier was going over information that Warret recorded with message magic. The scene was of the meeting between Warret, Amon and Girtublullu in the desert. One segment of the scene was playing back repeatedly.
The voices of the Scorpion King and Amon were heard over and over again: “If I violate the covenant, I will never become a deity.” “If I violate the covenant, I will forever be a mortal human.”
After a long time of waiting, Warret gave in to his impatience and asked carefully, “Master, why don’t you speak? On behalf of the city of Syah, I made a vow with the Scorpion King. Have I done something wrong to violate your teachings?”
Golier raised and shook his head. “No, you did not do anything wrong. This covenant is to be announced to all of Syah in the form of decrees so as not to cause unnecessary casualties in the future for those travelling through the desert. I am just thinking about the Scorpion King and Allaha… The vows they made for each other were not simple. The young man is clearly not simple. You have become a supreme mage and Allaha’s achievements are likely no less than yours.”
Warret nodded his head in agreement. “Yes. When Allaha showed his hand, he was obviously stronger than me. The vows between both of them… despite how absurd the vows are, they were extremely serious, which means there is a secret I do not know of. That was why I recorded it to show you, Teacher.”
Silavin: We will be posting 3 chapters this week with one being on Monday. theunfetteredsalmon might be busy so, there might be weeks with 2 chapters a week.