Translator, Editor and Proofread: theunfetteredsalmon
Lynk laughed. He spoke, “God Amon, this place is still desolate, but it will become a rich city in my eyes. If Aesop was that kind of person, whether he be a financial officer or a herdsman, he would have already become a lord. This would be his second time building a new home, but it will be on fertile soil and we will see harvests and new creations every day. As long as he keeps his heart, life will be full of positive significance.”
Metatro smiled and punched Lynk playfully. “You moved from that bunghole of a place in the mountains to down here and the entire tribe cheers with excitement. Of course, you would think the way you do. Others may be far more uncertain than you. However, what you said was very reasonable. It seems you learned well from Amon!”
Amon nodded along to their conversation. “When I return to Memfis, I will tell Aesop about our new home. If he does want to come, I will send you, Metatro, to escort him down. Since we have talked about this, I have a serious question. Now that you both are of the sixth level in body arts and magic, the next test you will face is the test of ‘Faith’s Fusion’. So look inside yourselves, what are your real wishes and the road you want to embark on? Don’t say you want to just be a supreme warrior and mage, that is merely part of the process and is not counted!”
Both Lynk and Metatro’s smiles faded. Lynk was the first to respond, and brightly too, “My wish is very simple: I want to lead all my people out of the mountains to build their homes someplace more sustainable. I want to watch this wilderness become a city and finally establish an intricate temple for God Amon. I want to personally help in reaching that dream.”
Amon smiled at Lynk’s devotion. “The temple is not important. Once the first set of inner city walls have taken shape. Since you are willing to worship Goddess Mourrin, build a statue of her.”
“God Amon, we want to build a temple for you!”
“Don’t worry so much about that. Leave me a place and I will be content.”
“I used to only want to restore my bloodline’s status of nobility, but after experiencing all the things I have, I realised it was not the most sincere pursuit of my life,” Metatro chimed in. “I am a person who constantly seeks out new discoveries. I have witnessed the miracle of God Amon. I merely want to continue my current path and explore the existence of ultimate power!”
Amon grinned. “That is good! You will find it. If you would like to break through to become a supreme warrior and mage, it will depend not only on the growth of your strength, it will also depend on your soul. Metatro will return to Ejypt with me tomorrow, and Lynk will continue guiding the people here.”
Amon did not dare to put all the wealth he recovered from the Mourrin’s Shrine in the new Duc. He left Lynk a small but significant amount to cover future unforeseen events. The next day, he left the island surrounded by marshes with Schrodinger and Metatro, setting off south through the wilderness. The path was different from their return route. Metatro was now at the sixth level of both paths, while Amon was at the seventh. They were unknowingly a few of the mainland’s top powerful people.
Their journey was rather uneventful. They crossed the wilderness just outside of the range of the monsters that dwelled in the swamps. When they reached the desert, they walked in it safely without being disturbed by the scorpions. Amon did not move fast. In such a desolate and uninhabited place, it was perfect for demonstrating various supreme level magic skills. It was Metatro who needed to learn it well.
Amon himself was also practising his seventh level body arts skills. Only after he fully mastered it was he a qualified supreme warrior. What was the difference between a warrior of the sixth level and the seventh level? Amon had a deep understanding that not only can the power in his blood be stimulated from within the body, it can also be exerted to extreme levels, possibly taking control of the power of the environment!
That power in the bloodstream was a way to control the energy one had, which was very similar to magic. There was a very big gap between a sixth level warrior and a sixth level mage. For the warrior to defeat the mage, he would typically require the element of surprise as well as being in close proximity to his target. Otherwise, it would be difficult for him to defeat said mages, who had many methods of removing the danger to themselves. But, the gap between a seventh level warrior and a seventh level mage was much smaller. Facing each other, they would enter into a taxing battle.
No wonder Enkidu was focusing on body arts. If he could reach the peak of body arts, he would surely not fear any other master in the world. However, it was incredibly rare for warriors to reach the level Enkidu has. After all, mages and sorcerers had many means of practising where magic was not the only embodiment of power.
Amon practised his skill in body arts whilst guiding Metatro, giving him certain tips and tricks to supreme level magic. The two men often sparred against each other, with the occasional threatening monster to practise on. In terms of skill in actual combat, after their journey, both of them had made great progress, especially Amon. Although his strength did not seem to change, he was a rare master on the mainland, let alone having awakened the power of both sides.
More than a month later, they arrived in Ejypt and entered the city of Cape. Since they were on a secret mission, they were disguised and did not bother greeting the local authorities.
During that time, Lord Urhiya received a letter. The messenger left the package to his concierge and left without speaking a word. The content of the letter was obviously not known to outsiders, but on the night Urhiya received it, there was a tragedy in Cape. Lord Drick’s clerk, Judah Fayol, had hung himself. Before his death, he left a suicide note that confessed to his wrongdoings.
In his writings, Judah posthumously confessed to his temptation by greed and power. He wrote of being bought out by the financial officer of Syah, disclosing the military and political secrets of Cape. He also claimed to have betrayed the secret agents sent by the Shrine of Isis. Judah Fayol’s confession pointed directly to the finance officer of Syah, a man named Modun.
Judah Fayol had spent a lot of money to bribe Modun, receiving plenty of confidential information in return, which was praised by Rod Drick. However, he had also accepted bribes by Modun, meaning it was a mutual exchange of secrets. He revealed opportunities that he knew of in Cape to Syah. The two men were not particularly good men. What they did was quite interesting, bribing each other for intelligence. The money used for bribery came from the city treasuries, but after having exchanged hands, it would belong personally to them. They both contributed to each other’s treachery. For the individuals, it was indeed a fortune!
At daybreak, the servants found Judah’s body hanging from the roof beam in his residence. He had been dead for a while. However, the crime scene was rather puzzling to the investigators. In addition to the suicide note on the table, there were thirty silver coins underneath Judah’s floating feet with a single line scratched into the wood floors: “I’m returning it to you!”
It seemed like after Judah’s death, someone had entered his room. There were split opinions on whether Judah Fayol had committed suicide or was brutally murdered. Rod Drick was furious. The incident was eventually ruled a suicide, but Rod Drick ordered a covert investigation to trace the writing on the floor. The investigation did not provide even a single clue.
Only Urhiya possibly knew how or why Judah Fayol had died and perhaps could vaguely guess the identity of the man behind the writing, but he did not mention a word. Although the supreme mage knew, there was one other thing that kept him baffled. Why would the culprit leave thirty silver coins under Judah’s hanging corpse, and what kind of symbol or message did the money hold?
Although the matter was dealt with privately, it was not successfully thrown under the rug entirely. Syah also had agents spying in Cape. Through Judah Fayol’s servants, they unveiled the contents of the suicide note and the information was sent back home to Fermien Schmul and Golier. Modun was then arrested and questioned for his involvement. Judah’s death implicated a man over a thousand miles away while Amon and Metatro returned to Memfis.
The first thing Amon did on his arrival to Memfis was to go to his manor to ask Aesop if he would like to go to the wilderness to assist the cavemen in building a new home.
Aesop readily agreed and said to Amon, “I was a slave. You gave me the identity of a free person, but the freedom is not only bondage to an identity that is not mine, but it was also a ticket to witness my own life pass me by, just like watching the stars in the sky. I want to do this in order to repay you and to reexamine myself. Lord Allaha, if you allow me, I hope I can tell my life journey as a story to the world.”
Amon was shocked at Aesop’s response. Then he laughed, “I know you like telling stories, Aesop. The legends all over the mainland and the past of the gods were told by you. You were telling the wishes of the world to the people. If what I do should become involved in your story, then do it, but only if you are willing!”
In Amon’s absence, Aesop had not only kept the condition of his manor pristine, he had also made a lot of money doing business with the parans Amon left to his care. Though Amon was indifferent to money, he saw it as a reinforcement to Aesop’s capabilities. Thus, Amon charged Metatro with escorting Aesop back to Lynk before coming back to rejoin him. After all this arrangement, Amon returned to his life in the Temple of Isis while Schrodinger rejoined the cats that typically laid outside the temple.
It had been half a year since Amon’s departure from Memfis. The role of captain of the guards of the archives in the shrine was taken by someone else. Amon lived in the original courtyard and barracks. He still received a salary but he was idle, at least for the time being. Soon enough, the Adoratrice summoned Amon to her study. After greeting in accordance with etiquette, Icho Maria once again asked her servants to retire.
This time, without the instruction of the Adoratrice, Gabriel left and closed the door on her way out. Besides, every time Icho Maria saw Amon, she would want to speak with him alone. As Gabriel closed the doors, she looked at Amon deeply, her eyes showing a hint of inquiry and admiration.
When the two were alone, they had formed a habit or perhaps, a tacit of understanding between them. They stayed silent for a period of time, staring at each other. In front of the Adoratrice, according to the etiquette of the shrine, Amon could not begin the conversation. It took Icho Maria a while before she quietly spoke, “Amon, you have changed again.”
Amon smiled. “Why? Don’t you recognise me?”
The Adoratrice shook her head gently and smiled. “No, you look even… clearer now. You have never seemed so real before my eyes!”