Pivot of the Sky

Pivot of the Sky – Chapter 120, Victory for Both

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Translator, Editor and Proofread: theunfetteredsalmon

 

[3477 words]

 

On the side of Hittite, there were also over a dozen people, including Prince Asher, Golier, Juguli, Perga, Warret, Orbene, Affi and Aruka, all of whom were the first to arrive. Aside from Prince Asher and Juguli, everyone was either a supreme mage or a supreme warrior, but the seat in the middle and the one next to it on the Hittite side was empty.

 

The enthusiastic Hardedef, clad in full armour, was full of admiration. When he first set foot on Mount Horeb, he never thought that he would stand here today! As he thought of his journey thus far, he noticed that everyone had their heads turned in the same direction. Even the Pharaoh had stood up from his seat. No one else under the shade was sitting.

 

A carriage was slowly approaching on a distant dune. In it sat King Lucier, wearing a glimmering, golden crown. Metatro had folded up and sheathed his short blade and stood by the king, chest out and sword on his waist. Driving the carriage was a young man with a cheery smile, with but a simple dagger hanging from his waist, donning a military commander’s dress without armour. It was the legendary hero Amon who captured the King of Hittite.

 

A beautiful woman was riding a white horse, trotting alongside the carriage. Her cloak fluttered in the wind, hair waving and reflecting the glare of the sun above them. Her gentle, fair face was stunningly pretty, though her expression showed that she was nothing but serious. It was Celia, the supreme mage, who was accompanying the king.

 

Amon stopped the carriage from a distance and helped the king down. Metatro had also fulfilled his ‘escort mission’, bowing to the King of Hittite before he entered the magic array on the Ejyptian side. He saluted the Pharaoh and moved to stand by Hardedef, just behind an empty seat. Among the people present, Metatro was of the lowest rank, with not even an official title. He was only Amon’s personal Guard captain, but he had the limelight of attention in recent days.

 

Amon and Celia walked Lucier to the Hittites’ tent, where everyone greeted their king. He nodded, turned and sat in his place with great dignity as if he had finally recovered his status.

 

Amon didn’t smile. He looked down at the hilt of his dagger and solemnly put his hand on it before bowing before the king on one knee. “Your Majesty, I initially visited you with the intention of peace between both countries. I thank you for the protection you have granted me over these long and tedious days. Please forgive me for my offences and any impoliteness!”

 

Lucier smiled with relief and waved at Amon, “I admire your courage. You are a true warrior. I think the title of being the top warrior is more deserving of you rather than Enkidu. To have the two countries sit down and negotiate in good faith is also your credit. This feat alone is more than enough for me to pardon you for any offences you have made. Head of An-Ra, please return to your duties.”

 

Minister Juguli walked over and handed Amon a silver tablet. Engraved on it in wedged hieroglyphs were the conditions put forward from the Kingdom of Hittite for peace. On the upper left corner of the tablet was an embossed emblem, which donned the logo of what looked like a clover plant in the wind, almost looking like a towering tree or light shining from the sky. This was the totemic symbol of the god Enlil.

 

Amon took the tablet and walked over to Ejypt’s tent. He crossed the border between both countries’ magic arrays and knelt before the Pharaoh. He then raised the document over his head and declared, “Your Majesty, the great Pharaoh, the Head of An-Ra has returned to you. The Kingdom of Hittite has requested to begin peace talks. Please take a look.”

 

The Pharaoh waved his hand. “Amon, I do not know this writing. Please translate it.”

 

Whether or not he could understand the wedge writing was knowledge available probably only to divine beings. Amon remained on his knees and translated the contents of the tablet. Wedge writing was typically seen on clay tablets, but due to the importance of the situation, the Kingdom of Hittite prepared a specially-made silver tablet used specifically for such occasion. On the tablet was the emblem of Enlil, implying that the content on it had been sworn before their god.

 

When Amon finished reading, he set the tablet aside. The Pharaoh raised his head and laughed, “The Head of the An-Ra legion, Amon! My respected warrior, I have long heard of your name and your noble and selfless conduct. Today is the first time we are meeting in person. I didn’t expect you to be so young! This time, you’ve led the An-Ra legion to achieve an unprecedented feat. When we return to Ejypt, I will fulfil your request for any reward you want. Sit down first, my warrior.”

 

Amon walked to one of the empty seats and sat down. His mission was finally completed. He did not say a word in the entire duration of the peace talks, which seemed rather low-key for someone like him. The period that followed belonged to the Pharaoh and the King. Aside from them, Golier, Juguli, Perga, Lykwid, Wadj-hotep, Vadin and a few others participated in the talks.

 

The real peace would not be borne from the three conditions. To Amon’s surprise, the more the Pharaoh spoke with King Lucier, the more relaxed the atmosphere became. Later on, it developed into hearty laughter and jokes. Two gold tablets were then taken out, on which were inscribed the first peace treaty in the history of both nations. Golier and Lykwid were the inscribers.

 

Each gold tablet listed all the content of the treaty, inscribed in both the wedge and pen writing. Hieroglyphic writing was on the front while the common script was on the back. In addition to the emblem of Enlil, there was also an eagle relief above the left of the text, which was the emblem of Horus. The main contents of the treaty were as follows:

 

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First, ensured peaceful coexistence between both nations, whereby no violations would be tolerated. Neither was to mobilise troops or commit any form of attack on each other.

 

Second, in the case of invasion by a third party, the countries were to help each other to the best of their efforts to resist the enemy.

 

Third the delimitation of the boundary. The Syah desert and the plains of Duc were to be buffer zones. Explorers and travellers of both nations could enter and pay taxes to their respective cities and countries.

 

Fourth, the promise of the return of prisoners of war as well as an extradition condition of both countries.

 

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The main content of the treaty was encapsulated in the above four articles. Only one of the three conditions initially proposed by the side of Hittite was officially recorded in the treaty, which was the first one, stating a non-aggression pact. As for the other two, they were omitted as the formal provisions of the peace treaty implied that Hittite’s vassal status and the lack of a need for shrines to Horus were given. Besides, why write down a borderline blasphemous condition and annoy the gods in turn?

 

The peace treaty also mentioned the joint defence article between both countries against alien nations. This was apparent against Assyr and Bablon. If the two countries were to wage war and battle for the new land, Hittite would be caught in a very uncomfortable position. It was better to pull on a string that called for symbolic assistance rather than opening itself to besiegement from three different nations. The new, fertile land of a thousand miles was now officially named the Plains of Duc. 

 

Another article of the treaty declared the open borders between both nations on the Plains of Duc. Those explorers seeking to reclaim wilderness, mine for gold and treasures or to hunt monsters were to pay taxes to their respective home countries. In this way, the Ejyptian Empire gained the right to enter the Plains, which was still technically Hittite land, but it was of little practical importance since any Ejyptian explorer would have to cross the Syah desert to reach the Plains. It was naturally controlled by the Kingdom of Hittite.

 

As for the last clause, the Pharaoh proposed for fugitive slaves to be returned to their original owners as well as the extradition of criminals. Originally, they had talked about prisoners of war. It was normal for prisoners of war to become the slaves belonging to their enemies. Since these were peace talks, they would, of course, return the prisoners of war to each other. There were already provisions in the laws of both countries prohibiting the harbouring of fugitive slaves. The Pharaoh proposed that this clause be extended to the treaty.

 

When Amon heard the last one, he frowned slightly, but he said nothing as all the lords had already agreed upon each other’s demands. Besides, no one solicited Amon’s opinions.

 

The supreme mages Golier and Lykwid completed the work on the golden tablets on the spot. Each of them kept one copy, which was to be brought back to their respective temples to be preserved eternally as a record. This war, which had thus far racked up countless deaths and injuries, ushered in a happy ending. The more the Pharaoh spoke to King Lucier, the more congenial he found him to be. He made another request on the spot, perhaps to solidify the alliance between the two countries, which is to marry the daughter of the Hittite king.

 

What was he thinking? Amon’s brows wrinkled again. He glanced at Celia and noticed that she looked somewhat unhappy. She was also royalty. She was the niece of the king as well. Her reaction to the Pharaoh’s request was understandable. To Amon’s surprise, King Lucier eagerly and happily agreed! They decided the date for marriage immediately. That was good; Amon had just held the future father-in-law of the Pharaoh hostage!

 

After the peace talks ended, an oval table was placed in the open space between the two tents. The people from both sides sat down and held a banquet. The table was filled with delicious wine and dishes, all of which were rare delicacies in the world, things that only the high and mighty consumed. Amon sat silently in the corner seat, watching this good play develop from a climax to the closing of its final curtain. He avoided attracting attention and in turn, unexpectedly became the centre of it instead.

 

When comfortably drunk, King Lucier suddenly raised his glass to propose a toast. “I propose a toast to Amon, the number one warrior. Without his heroic and brave deeds, there would have been no happy and peaceful scene today! Amon, the armies and people of both countries should thank you. To Amon!”

 

The toast came directly from the king, so Amon had no choice but to drink. He humbly replied, “I am but a small cog in the wheel serving in the best interests of my nation and its people. This is also my first time acting as the Head of a legion. I would not dare claim the title of the top warrior…”

 

Perga, the chief mage of the Hittite royal court and elder of the Hittite magic academy, stood up and raised his glass as well. “Don’t be so modest, Commander Amon! Since the king said so, you are the top warrior of the land in the eyes of our army and people! Enkidu is known as the top warrior because of his courage, not so much his feats… How could he surpass your achievements?”

 

Amon took another sip and explained, “I am only a seventh-level warrior. How could I compare with Enkidu the god-slayer? Your flattery may inadvertently get me killed!”

 

Minister Juguli then stood up as well, hand raised with a cup. “Modesty is a virtue, and so is honesty. Your modesty cannot hide our honesty, as this is the evaluation we are giving you. You are already a supreme warrior at a young age. You were able to train a miscellaneous legion to become elite in its entire history. There is no limit to your future. Your actions will be immortalised, even with time. Having seen your bravery, I doubt that there is nothing else in this world you would not do. Your Majesty Pharaoh, do you agree?”

 

The king’s toast seemed to be a signal. His ministers and lords were taking turns to stand up to add something to the conversation about Amon. With each additional person, their praises became higher. The capture of the king was a shameful thing for Hittite. These people couldn’t possibly not hate Amon. Such emotions were, of course, inappropriate to express on such an occasion. The participants of the celebration were still laughing and toasting.

 

These people of high places were, of course, all experts in their ways and methods to grasp at power and achieve personal ambition. Amon was a Head of the Pharaoh’s army. In that way, his victories belonged to the Pharaoh. However, the Pharaoh had actually been defeated. Amon was truly the only top-ranking personnel who had won battles and captured the King of Hittite alive. In the presence of the Pharaoh and other leaders and commanders, these people did nothing but praise Amon, possibly to fatten up the pig for the slaughter.

 

Looking at the embarrassed faces of Lykwid, Ankh and a few others, the Pharaoh decided to respond to the question. He raised his glass and answered, “I am grateful for my brave generals in the empire, and I firmly believe that all of you here are as loyal and brave to me as Amon is. Cheers to you, Amon, and the gods!”

 

All Ejyptians at the table raised their glasses to Amon. He stiffly followed suit and said, “Glory to the great Pharaoh, to the guidance of our gods!” However, in Amon’s heart, he thought differently. “The glory of the guidance belongs to the cat…”

 

When the banquet ended, both sides retired to their legions, brigades and camps and withdrew their troops in accordance with the treaty. The Pharaoh’s army received supplies from the An-Ra legion, which finally joined the main army.

 

And thus, the treaty was signed, with both the Hittites and Ejyptians claiming that it was their victory. Poems and writings of the war would be engraved on the pillars of their temples and shrines to praise the great feats of their gods and kings. For the Hittite side, it was natural for them to claim a great victory as they finally shed their subordinate status, defeated the Pharaoh’s great army, forced their enemies to sign a non-aggression peace treaty and even created a defensive alliance between both nations. The celebration of the gods and the king reached its peak when the shrines to Horus in Hittite were finally demolished.

 

The Ejyptian Pharaoh also claimed victory. He launched a military expedition, captured the enemy’s king, forced Hittite to propose peace talks first, signed an alliance agreement with them, turning a powerful, potential enemy into an ally and finally, achieved symbolically significant benefits with their access to the Plains of Duc.

 

The war had massively elevated the fame of two people – Golier and Amon.

 

Golier led the Hittite army and heroically defeated the Ejyptian Empire in one of the largest battles in their history. He had also assisted and negotiated personally for the freedom of the captured king. He had achieved all the goals he had set out to do. Golier’s prestige in the city of Syah had already hit its ceiling, so his fame spread through the rest of the country.

 

After the military withdrawal, Golier officially resigned from his temporary position as the commander-in-chief of the Hittite military. That position also ceased to exist with the end of the war. The king then planned to bestow upon him the greatest possible reward and honour. follow. He wanted to appoint Golier as the chief high priest of the main shrine of Enlil, that is, the chief high priest of the entire Kingdom of Hittite.

 

There were three ninth-level supreme mages in the Kingdom of Hittite. Two of them were Golier and Jona. Before the war ended, the only difference between them was that Jona was the chief high priest of the main shrine of Enlil. Now, the king wanted to replace Jona with Golier. Regardless of whether he was willing or not, there was no higher reward.

 

Minister Juguli was a supporter of Golier for the simple reason that was his nephew, Raphael, was Golier’s favourite disciple. This relationship led Juguli to believe that he and Golier should be political allies. It was also his suggestion to appoint Golier as the chief high priest of the kingdom.

 

Unexpectedly, Golier refused. He asked to remain in the city of Syah as its high priest. How could a king’s appointment be refused? Golier, as a hero and with high prestige, had enough reputation capital to refuse the king’s kindness and generosity.

 

The king agreed to Golier’s requests and rewarded the city of Syah instead. He declared the city exempted from taxes for three years and appointed Golier as the Chief Elder Mage of the Hittite Magic Academy. This was a glorious symbolic position, equal in status, but not power, to the chief high priest of the kingdom.

 

As Golier was already a hero, he had the space to act accordingly to his own will. But Amon, the young commander of a legion, had no such capital. Amon’s prestige after the war was as high as the sun itself, but his situation was rather delicate. His qualifications were shallow in contrast with his great contributions to Ejypt. If the light shone on him was too bright, the other defeated Ejyptian generals would be disgraced.

 

It was hard to say whether Amon’s prestige in his legion exceeded that of the deities. One thing was for sure; when his soldiers were later asked which legion they served, they would all proudly answer, “Amon’s legion!” instead of ‘An-Ra’, which was the actual name of the legion. This slang even went beyond the barracks and military culture to the point where common people also referred to them as Amon’s legion.

 

That would be another story. At this moment, Amon, who was leading the legion to retreat across the desert, was only thinking about one thing. The Pharaoh promised any reward he requested on their return to Ejypt. Despite such a powerful grant, Amon only wanted the Pharaoh to release the original inhabitants of Duc. He wanted to guide them back to their homeland. Lynk’s tribe had almost finished the preliminary construction work. Moses and the others could rebuild their homes as soon as they returned. They already had a good foothold in the Plains of Duc.

 

His merits were enough for the Pharaoh to grant such a request. Maria had hinted this and helped him achieve his wish, and Amon had done it!

 

The withdrawal of the troops was peaceful and the morale of the An-Ra legion was high. Their armour shone brightly in the distance. Compared to their departure from Ejypt at the beginning of the military expedition, they looked completely different. Hardedef, the front leader of the troops, riding on a horse, was now a majestic, decorated imperial general. Strangely enough, Metatro, who always loved playing the role of authority, seemed very silent, tranced and thoughtful for the entire way of the An-Ra legion’s march home. He hardly spoke or laughed.

 

This was like Amon’s experience before he broke through to become a supreme mage and warrior. However, Metatro had a different experience. He had finally become a supreme mage and warrior as well. When he crossed that threshold, he felt an unprecedented feeling, one that felt like he had just entered a new world. He could feel the magic power flowing in the air with his fingertips.

 

Amon was also a seventh-level mage and warrior. Now, his disciple, Metatro, had achieved the same success. Amon was elated for Metatro. Besides, he required more masters at battle in those chaotic times.

 

The retreat of the An-Ra was not an operation. As such, the speed at which they moved was not particularly fast. It took more than half a month for them to get to the border crossing of Cape. Amon met with Rod Drick, the lord of Cape and the commander of the Seth legion. Luck was not with Rod Drick in the war. The An-Ra legion won three battles while the Seth legion lost three.

 


Silavin: The last chapter we have in stock at the moment. Not sure if we will be posting next week but hope he is feeling better and has the mood to translate.

Someone important has passed so he might not be in the mood at the moment.

 


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