Translator, Editor and Proofread: theunfetteredsalmon
Idu ordered the army to retreat while the mages formed a second line of defence, not far from the chariots. The main force of the Nanar brigade eventually caught up from the rear. They had also gone through a night of marching. They saw light horses dispersing behind the enemy. Red-eyed in pursuit, the Nanar and the An-Ra finally launched a large scale chase-and-fight battle in the desert.
Regardless of how unorthodox Amon’s battle plans were, they still required the backing of the combat power of his soldiers. If they could not fight hard, the skill of the commander would be useless. Orbene was surprised to find that the legion he pursued was not as vulnerable as he had thought. They were coordinated and disciplined and the soldiers were brave. Even as they fled at full speed, they were orderly.
The An-Ra legion marched slow but fled fast. They skirmished several times in the desert before breaking away. Though they suffered hundreds of casualties including horses, they eventually retreated calmly to the coastal base.
Although he had read a spy’s report on the An-Ra camp, he still found himself surprised when he saw it, wondering what Amon was trying to achieve. Did he want to live out the rest of his life there? In addition to the chariots that were involved in the mission, the remaining chariots were lined up outside the camp, forming a semi-circular defensive wall on the sand.
The sand in the desert was loose and smooth, which was not suitable for building walls. Instead, the An-Ra legion took empty sacks that were previously used to transport grain to pack with wet sand and laid them atop each other on and in front of the chariots. There were five gaps in the wall. The troops that withdrew were divided into five units. They rushed back into the camp like quicksand before everything fell silent.
Looking at the outside of the camp, many of the Hittite soldiers could not help but pant. There were five tall fortresses in the camp. Turns out the An-Ra soldiers had dragged their heavy ships along the sand to place on the dunes. Their hulls were also protected by sandbags to prevent a fire from catching. The upper and lower ship ropes and crow’s nests were turned into tall, archer towers. Anyone attacking through any of the five gaps would find themselves facing these five fortresses.
In the desert, there was almost no danger to defend from, and there was hardly any favourable terrain available. Hence, the one who puts the work in would naturally take a great advantage in defence. The only disadvantage is that such work could not be moved, only stubbornly defended. Amon’s order was to keep his army in good shape.
Orbene had already led the large force of the Nanar brigade this far. It was practically impossible to retreat without fighting, so he gave the order to charge. The Hittite soldiers rushed at the defenders like a tide, flooding through the five gaps. Unexpectedly, they did not encounter any resistance. The other side of the chariot and sand wall was empty. The troops moved through the gaps swiftly and smoothly.
At that moment, the horn of the enemy sounded. Numerous heads suddenly popped out from within all five fortresses. Then, volley upon volley of arrows rained down, but only at the periphery of the wall. The key points were the gap areas, which were just on the edge of the enemy’s range, temporarily blocking the influx of more enemies. The Head of the brigade also knew that only by taking down the fortresses could they successfully defeat and perhaps even capture the enemy legion, so he ordered yet another charge. All at once, the foot soldiers of the An-Ra legion also rushed out from behind the fortresses.
The first clash began on the narrow battlefield inside the defensive wall. The soldiers of the legion who had stayed initially were fully prepared for battle. Most of the front troops of the Nanar brigade that rushed in were killed. A small part of them then retreated.
After the quick, tentative battle. The Nanar brigade launched another all-around assault with its chariots and heavy cavalrymen. The walls of the camp of the An-Ra legion took great damage and were destroyed in many spots. The battle revolved around the attack and defence of the five fortresses. This lasted a whole day and night, with heavy casualties on both sides. However, the Nanar brigade eventually reached the point where they were no longer able to launch an attack. In the end, the brigade had lost.
The Nanar brigade was repulsed, the battles totalling nearly a thousand casualties for them, which was a great defeat. The reasons for their failure was very simple. Their first was to judge the enemy’s mistakes before judging their own, and the second was due to their unfavourable situation. The largest impact by far was their enemy.
The main force of the Nanar brigade numbered close to three thousand. They were not equipped nor prepared to assault a heavily fortified position. They were sent chasing after the enemy skirmishes in circles. Orbene could not assemble the rest of the brigade to participate in the battle while the An-Ra legion fought at full strength, which was almost double that of their foes.
Additionally, the An-Ra legion had a wall and fortresses, showcasing a dominant defence. The one who would attack with force over wits would suffer large casualties, possibly enough to make up the difference in numbers. On top of that, the combat effectiveness of the An-Ra troops was not at all as weak as people thought. There were no detectable mistakes made in the defensive command and the troops fought bravely.
Orbene had ultimately attacked with indignation, resulting in large casualties. He even knew that it would be too difficult to take the camp of his enemies. Just like that, he gathered the rest of his men to retreat, guarding against ambushes from their flanks to their rear.
The An-Ra legion had won all three battles, especially the battle of the garrison. Though arduous, it was the most important victory. It had greatly damaged the enemy’s vitality. However, from a strategic point of view, they had also missed two excellent opportunities. The first was when Amon’s vanguard broke through the line of defence, luring out the main force of the Nanar brigade. They had a window to attack the enemy brigade’s camp.
The second was when Orbene withdrew his army. The troops of the An-Ra legion could have attacked from the rear, leaving the opponents with no room to breathe and possibly winning a fundamental victory. However, the An-Ra legion did not do so. The plan of operations formulated by Amon and Idu was strict. They stuck to it firmly after the vanguards withdrew.
The reason for avoiding this opportunity was uncomplicated. There was still insufficient confidence in the combat effectiveness of the An-Ra legion. The commanders did not think that the soldiers could achieve an overwhelming victory in the frontline battlefields. They were, after all, a miscellaneous army that had no experience before being strictly trained for several months. This was similar to playing chess. Even if the path and plan were brilliant, one should also look at the pieces they had access to. If Amon was commanding the Horus legion, perhaps he would never have missed those opportunities.
Intriguingly, when the Nanar brigade assaulted the camp, Amon and Metatro were not in the army. The one in charge was Lord Idu while Hardedef commanded the troops in the battlefield. The An-Ra legion had still suffered numerous casualties. They would need to be well restored and reinforced. Idu chose not to order a pursuit.
No matter what kind of army it was, the men still required experience in a real battle to sharpen their edges. The appearance of the An-Ra legion that day was completely different from its image when it first left Memfis. The changes that have taken place thus far could even be described as a change of heart. Such a victory in an actual battle had sublimated the training effect qualitatively. Now, in an absolute battle, the spirit of the soldiers made the legion look like it was a completely different entity.
Cezane, the supreme mage that had initially sought refuge from the main battlefield, finally woke up from his coma. As soon as he opened his eyes, he heard the sound of battle in the distance. In his panic, he asked the servant standing by the side of his bed what was going on. Only then did he learn that the Nanar brigade was making an effort to assault the camp. The mage was shocked and instinctively closed his eyes to pray to the gods.
Like the leading figures of other legions and brigades, Cezane did not think much of the fighting capabilities of the An-Ra legion. This time, he brought an order to the An-Ra legion for them to move eastward to rescue the Pharoah, but there was no practical way for them to do so. The point was to have the An-Ra attract and distract the enemy forces so that the main Ejyptian force could breathe. It was as if the An-Ra was the unwanted son.
It was not easy to deliver the order. Before the An-Ra legion could even pull out, they were besieged by the enemy. He was afraid that he, a supreme mage, would also die in the bed he had been resting on. However, Cezane waited for a long time to find that there was still no movement around his tent. Instead, the sound of shouting in the distance gradually faded, eventually returning to calm. When he inquired about this again, he found out that the An-Ra had successfully repelled the opponents’ offence!
Shortly afterwards, Lord Idu entered his dwelling and sat by the bed. “Lord Cezane, I heard that you’ve come to while we were out there. Thank goodness your wounds are not so bad, but your exhaustion came mostly from overusing your magic power. As long as you take a good rest, you will be fine, but you cannot use magic for the time being. Maybe you are progressing to the eighth level.”
Cezane, who had no desire to speak of magic at that time, sat up with the assistance of the servant assigned to help him. He asked, “I heard the cries of battle. Was the legion attacked by the Hittite army? What is the current situation?”
Idu smiled and replied, “We read the order you brought. Yesterday, we sent a spearhead to try to rescue the Pharoah. As a result, we met with the blockade of the Nanar brigade, so we had to withdraw the vanguard and fight a bitter battle. The enemy has already been defeated. You can rest assured that you are safe in the An-Ra legion, so make yourself as comfortable as you can.”
Cezane continued somewhat anxiously, “I am not concerned about my safety, otherwise I wouldn’t have risked a suicide mission just to come here, where the An-Ra legion is currently facing off against the Nanar brigade. What would the Pharoah do? Lord Amon, where is he? I want to see the Head of the army and declare the orders of the Pharoah in person!”
“Lord Amon has seen and understood the orders of the Pharoah,” Idu replied. “While we fought off the Nanar brigade, Lord Amon has been out trying to save the Pharoah personally.”
Cezane was taken aback. “Lord Amon went to save the Pharoah personally? How many troops did he bring with him?”
“It doesn’t matter how many people he brought with him,” Idu responded solemnly. “What’s important is that we turn the tide of war around. Otherwise, no matter how many victories we achieve here, nothing will mean anything.”
How many people did Amon bring with him? Idu dared not tell Cezane the truth, or else he may fall off the bed and injure himself as a reaction. Amon only brought his Guard captain, Metatro. They did not even have horses, let alone soldiers.
Amon’s spatial artefact was loaded with supplies. It was barely enough to feed and maintain a legion, but his objective was not to find the Pharoah’s army. Instead, he snuck into the rear of the enemy with Metatro.
Silavin: Alright. We are back! Sorry for the long wait.