Amon was stunned. He had no idea who this person was, but there was one thing he could be sure: this person was definitely not one of his guards! Throwing a glance at his sides, Amon realized that they were actually quite far from the crowd. The retreat appeared to be slow, but was actually faster than galloping on a horse.
Recovering his wits, Amon decided he should join the fight with his iron stick. However, before he raised his hand, a familiar voice rose in his head: “I am known as the Anunnaki goddess of war, but even then, I lose out to Enkidu in strength! I can’t use all of my power now. I can only hold him back for a while. Hurry back to Khenmet and don’t forget what you’ve promised me. You cannot die here today!”
It was Inanna! The goddess had hidden herself among Amon’s squad of guards without anyone noticing. Seeing Enkidu’s terrifying attack, she worried for Amon’s life and rushed over to stop him. Although she seemed to be evenly matched with Enkidu, it did not seem like she could defeat him either.
Amon was shocked by the revelation. Could a deity actually participate in a war between the mortals? At this moment, Enkidu recognized his opponent as well and he shouted in anger: “It is you! You fight against me, for him!”
It was not easy to be one of Amon’s guards. Not only did the post require great skills in martial arts, the appearance also mattered. Only strong young men with similar heights were chosen. Looking closely at this particular guard, one would find that not only was the figure slightly petite, the hips also swayed a little when moving. The feminine traits were unable to be hidden by armor during the fierce battle, and Enkidu finally recognized who his new foe was after several exchanges.
Inanna did not reply, but Gilgamesh suddenly stood up and gave a long whistle. It was the signal for Enkidu to return! Upon hearing the signal, Enkidu reluctantly slashed into the air and trembled with fury before turning back with a great leap.
Once he left, the aura of pressure in the surroundings disappeared. With the great tension suddenly released, Amon felt weak in the knees and stood unsteadily. Inanna grabbed hold of his arm to support him. The two went back to the rest of the guards. Enkidu’s troops also took the opportunity to retreat from the chaotic battle.
Amon mounted a warhorse and galloped back to Khenmet, escorted by his guards. As he entered the city, he looked to his sides, but Inanna was nowhere to be seen.
As Amon looked around for her, Inanna’s voice rose in his mind again. “Khenmet belongs to the realm of the Ennead, right on the border, so I am unable to enter the city. I have taken extra care not to reveal my identity in this battle. Hope they have not detected my presence. Please take care of yourself. As for Enkidu, he already possesses the power to rival the gods in this world. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I believe we shall see it very soon.”
Amon asked quietly: “Inanna, why did you come here? Can you tell me why Enkidu has become so powerful? Today, his strength has far exceeded what he has shown in the first battle. It’s been just ten days. I was caught by surprise and nearly died.”
It was a very unique way of communication through some kind of sophisticated message magic. Amon did not know where Inanna was, but he could hear her voice in his head and speak to her through his mind. It was like a conversation between souls which nobody else could hear.
Inanna sighed. “He has glimpsed a streak of light behind the darkness of the night, the secret of the gods, by reaching the ultimate peak of the ninth-level body arts. Right now, he is on the cusp of advancing to the next level. That is why he is bursting with power and nearly invincible. Besides, he was born with extraordinary innate strength. Even if other warriors managed to attain the same level as him, it would be difficult for them to surpass him in strength.”
Amon replied in shock: “On the cusp of advancing? He is already a ninth-level warrior, is he going to become a god?”
Inanna answered: “This could be the brightest moment of his life. If you ever receive permission to join the Anunnaki family, you will naturally understand what I am talking about. Amon, please protect yourself well and stay alive. If possible, try to stay far away from wars and killing. As for Enkidu, before the day of his destruction comes, let him do as he pleases.”
While they were having a conversation, the battle outside the city raged on. After the armored horsemen struck at the enemy, the mages that followed them activated all the remaining scrolls as they retreated, causing further damage to the Uruk legion. However, nearly half of the horsemen perished as well.
By now, the chariots and horsemen led by Ankh and Vadin were in the midst of the Uruk legion’s main formation. The soldiers from the Uruk legion were indeed well-trained. Having anticipated this maneuver from the Egyptian army, they did not put up much resistance when the Ejyptian troops charged at them. Instead, they split towards the sides, allowing the chariots and horsemen to pass right through before they counterattacked from their flanks where the weakness of the chariots lay.
Amon’s purpose of this maneuver was simply to chip off the Uruk legion’s fighting power while preventing their sieging units from going unhindered.
However, things do not always happen as planned in a battle. The Uruk legion adjusted their formation much faster than expected. They must have practised it beforehand. In the end, the Ejyptian chariots in the front reached the other end of Uruk’s formation very quickly while the chariots and horsemen at the flanks were dragged into a chaotic battle with the Uruk forces. Being surrounded and separated from their arrowhead forces, they were thrown into an extremely unfavorable situation.
Right at this moment, the sounds of fighting strangely grew weaker and weaker, as though they were getting further and further from each other. It was not that the soldiers had ceased fighting. Instead, there was a strange energy enveloping the entire battlefield, fading everything. The sunlight vanished and a gigantic shadow appeared.
Amon raised his head and looked at the sky and stopped short, because his mind was fully occupied by what he saw. Not just him, most people inside or outside of Khenmet were looking at the sky, stunned, including the soldiers on the battlefield.
Led by Wadj-hotep, many people knelt down and started praying towards the sky. Some were still standing only due to shock.
Numerous thick clouds gathered in the sky like a floating mountain, eventually taking the shape of an eagle. To the subject of the Empire of Ejypt, eagle stood for King Horus, the king of the gods. The Ejyptians had seen it countless times in their entire life on all kinds of statues and ornaments. Right now in the sky above the battlefield, a miracle was taking place. It must be Horus! Horus appeared to the battle of Khenmet!
After the huge cloud eagle was formed, its wings spread out and sheltered the entire stretch of city walls facing the battlefield, while its beak pointed towards the soldiers in the battlefield. Rainbow-colored lights orbited the white body of the eagle as a rain of light fell upon both armies.
“The blessing from Horus! Victory belongs to Ejypt!” A sudden cry awoke everyone. The Ejyptians broke into loud cheers with their weapons raised. The thunder of cheerings spread to every corner of the battlefield.
Shrouded by the sacred light, the Ejyptian soldiers’ morale were greatly bolstered. They were filled with energy and confidence, forgetting all their pain and fatigue. This was an extraordinary theurgy which affected every Ejyptian soldier on the battlefield, uplifting their spirits. The exhibition of zealous faith from countless believers at the same time was a terrifying sight to behold as it made them seemed invincible!
On the other hand, the light fell upon the Uruk soldiers, making them tremble in fear and lose their confidence. Amon could feel the power of the theurgy granted by the god since he was familiar with the energies contained within. However, it did not affect him at all. The reason for this was simple, it was because Amon did not worship Horus and had never believed in him with sincerity.
Horus’s blessing was only effective on his believers while the fear and weakness experienced by the Uruk soldiers were partially due to their fear of the gods.
Inanna’s voice appeared faintly in his mind once again. “What a despicable coward, using this as an excuse to intervene!”
Puzzled, Amon asked: “What excuse? If a god can appear to confer blessings on his believers, why didn’t he appear earlier to inspire the troops?”
Inanna replied in a voice full of scorn and resentment: “It is because of me. Although I have tried my best to cover up my tracks, he still managed to discover it. I am a member of the Anunnaki family. Horus is using this as an excuse to step in, trying to change the outcome of this war between the mortals. However, I only appeared for the sake of protecting you, and I have not actually trespassed on the realm of the Ennead. Technically, Horus has not broken the covenant between the gods. Nevertheless, his contemptible appearance reveals nothing but weakness and fear!”
After a short moment of silence on the battlefield, the deafening sounds of fighting and killing resumed once again. The troops led by Ankh and Vadin were originally caught in a dire situation, but now they started swinging their weapons at the enemies in a frenzy. Amon’s orders were not to linger in the enemy’s territory, but they had all but forgotten about retreating.
Enkidu was already standing by Gilgamesh’s side. The two didn’t seem to care about the ongoing melee at all, but simply exchanged a glance then stared at the “miracle” in the sky with great excitement as if a moment they had long awaited finally came.