Translator, Editor and Proofread: theunfetteredsalmon
PATREON IS NOW OPEN!
Amon shook his head. “If I put my weapons down, there will only be one result – which is my death. However, you would die too, my king, as your guards would inadvertently kill you whilst trying to protect you. So, to protect you, I cannot surrender. Before His Majesty makes another request, let me make a different one and invite the man outside in.”
Under the ‘escort’ of a team of guards, Metatro entered the ruined tent amidst the vivid air. He moved to stand behind Amon, sword in hand, as a loyal guard captain would. He looked up as if he was accompanying the Head to inspect their army, but his eyes were instead fixed on the two beautiful women sitting on the bed. He leaned in to whisper in Amon’s ear, “My God, you are amazing. I knew you would succeed in capturing the king, but I didn’t expect these beauties to be part of the parcel!”
He then waved his hand to the surrounding people and exclaimed, “How can you servants remain here and lay your eyes upon the body of His Majesty’s ladies? You show your face to be ceremoniously respectful, yet you do not excuse yourselves! His Majesty will also need to get dressed. This tent is no longer suitable for the king. Do you want His Majesty to sleep in the open air in the dead of the night?”
As Metatro spoke, he moved over to Amon’s other side. His sword was now sheathed, but he was tapping the back of Lucier’s throne with his short blade. Amon then sheathed his dagger before stretching his hand out and unveiling his branch staff from thin air. He moved two steps back, bowed and said, “I apologise for my rudeness! How could I treat His Majesty and his princesses like that? Please, put your clothes on my ladies, and retire somewhere to take a good rest. My king, do clothe yourself and allow us to move to a more comfortable tent.”
With the flick of his branch, the bed boards on the table fluttered lightly and moved into the courtyard, as if there had been no weight burdening them. Celia then realised that Amon’s ‘branch’ was not a branch but a magic staff, not to mention that the Head of a legion could also use magic. On top of that, he seemed fairly proficient at it.
The efficiency of the king’s attendance was excellent. The servants they brought with them lifted the bed boards with the ladies and took them away, fixing them with new, gorgeous animal hides and furs. The king himself also had such a bed board to sleep on. Amon and Metatro ‘guarded’ Lucier, saying that the king was tired and frightened and needed to rest. They would tell whoever sought the king’s audience to return tomorrow before shutting the drapes of the new tent on them.
The king’s guards surrounded the tent. Amon and Metatro were unable to escape, but no one outside dared to barge in on account of the king’s life. They didn’t know how the king could ‘rest’ with the assassins. Regardless, most other men in the camp had no desire to sleep. They could only wait for dawn in dreadful anticipation. They could only ask themselves, “What game were the assassins playing?”
Hence, the leader of the camp was now temporarily Celia, the supreme mage. She could not take any initiative in such a drastic matter. She immediately sent a secret report to inform the Head and the Chief Mage of the Nanar brigade, as well as the front commanders of the main army. At present, this information could only be made known to high-level leaders and operatives. In addition, they had to keep a close watch on it to ensure that nothing leaked. Otherwise, it could have terrible effects on the morale of the army.
Celia certainly had to blame the supreme warrior Affi, who was the one guarding the king in front of the tent. How did the assassin get past him and capture the king? Affi grieved at his failure and could not bring himself to speak. Metatro’s commotion outside the camp was too large for Celia to ignore. When she moved to assist the soldiers in their fight against Metatro, Amon snuck into the camp from another direction.
Had she not left her position, Amon would have found it much more difficult to get to the king. The regal tent had three segments, the front of which was the usual place of discussion and banquet. Affi was typically placed outside the front door as a guard, along with a few other soldiers. The centre of the tent was where the king’s bed was located, alongside multiple servants there to serve his every whim. Behind his dwelling was another entrance, which was also guarded. There were also two mages there.
It was when Celia acted that the commotion of the fight attracted the most attention. Amon began on the side of the king’s tent rather than the entrances; with a different short blade, he split the entire tent in half without hurting the people inside. It was hard to describe the stupefying ability of that short blade. This was not the dagger made of the serpent’s fangs, it was a blade that Mayor Dusti gifted to him when he first left Duc years ago.
Though Amon entered the tent undetected, he used his element of surprise on the tent. The knife was but a hunter’s when used in the wilds, but at that moment, it turned into a dazzling ray of light, arching like a rainbow in the night sky. With that, Amon cut the ten-foot-wide tent in half, destroying it. The separated, soft tent rolled both forwards and backwards, blanketing anyone who was in the way.
As a supreme warrior, the tent did not confuse Affi. The moment Amon used the short blade, Affi responded. He unsheathed his long, heavy sword and sped into the ruined tent. Within a split second, he was rushing to the king’s aid. Though he was delayed, he reached the king faster than Amon.
But as soon as he could analyse his surroundings, Amon, who was storming in, raised the branch in his hand and split the king’s bed in half. The half with the two naked concubines were pushed towards Affi, whose duty was to guard the safety of the king and the people important to him. Though his sword was raised, his subconscious instinct forced him to use it to save the concubines. With the tip of his sword, he stopped the bed board from smashing into him while he jumped over and landed skilfully on the table in the room next to the king. The two frightened concubines were unhurt.
As he raised his sword again, Amon rushed forward, waving his stick and surging directly at Affi. This was the power that a supreme warrior could summon. The sword struck the iron branch and emanated the sound of thunder cracking. Affi was thrown out of the tent from the impact.
If Affi had concentrated all his strength on the iron branch, he may not have been thrown as far back, but the king was between the assassin and him. It was Lucier’s bad day that day, even though he had a great night, great company and the warmth of two concubines.
The king and his beauties were indisposed, so no one else dared to disturb them. As such, none of the guards was too close to the tent. Amon used spatial magic to split the bed accurately to throw the half with the two concubines at Affi. Lucier fell between the broken bed and landed on the ground. Then, all he saw was the clash of a sword and a stick.
If the two warriors had used full strength, the unshielded king may have been close enough to die from the fallout of the impact. As such, Affi used less strength and in turn, he was thrown out of the tent. By the time he arose from crashing into the iron grill, other people had arrived, including Celia and Aruka. Unfortunately, the king was already in the assassin’s hands.
Orbene and Vyven, the Head and Chief Mage of the Nanar brigade respectively, were beyond shocked to learn that the assassin was Amon, the Head of the An-Ra legion, alongside his trusty Guard captain, Metatro. They realised what had happened when the enemy vanguard crossed their defensive line and entered the rear during the puzzling attack from two days ago.
Golier has long reminded everyone that the one who was most familiar with these lands was Amon. However, Orbene never would have dreamt that Amon, as the most important person of a legion, would penetrate the enemy defence line with one and only one other person, not to mention they avoided all guards, scouts, patrols, reaching the king’s camp undetected, then proceeding to capture him with barely any interruption.
If something were to happen to the king now, not only the guards accompanying him would most likely be condemned and convicted of some hefty crimes, they would be punished in the harshest way possible. On top of that, Orbene and Vyven would probably lose all energy in their legs, losing the ability to walk due to fear of backlash from their failure. Even their greatest victory on the battlefield would not atone them of this mistake. At the end of the day, the Nanar brigade had won not a single battle at all.
On receiving the confidential report, Orbene ordered the entire brigade to stick to their positions and stay on the defence, and most importantly, not to attack. Orbene and Vyven then set off to the king’s camp with elite guards to ‘deal with the assassins’. Though putting more people on this case was useless, Orbene thought that he had to do so as he had to display his undying loyalty.
Meanwhile, at the An-Ra legion, the Commanding Priest, Idu, was waiting anxiously for news. Amon and Metatro were currently unaccounted for due to their plan, and the entire war so far is hinged on that plan. Amon had mentioned that even if he failed to capture the enemy king, he would be able to disrupt and harass the enemy from the rear. Such a disturbance would prove difficult for the Nanar brigade to manage should they be attacked from two separate fronts. Only then could the An-Ra legion have a chance at carrying out the Pharoah’s main orders to free the main army.
The adventure of the two men was far more significant than the death of 20,000 men. Amon gave orders as the Head of the army for his plan. Though Idu had his duties, he still had to agree reluctantly and let Amon do as he wished.
Orbene and Vyven had suddenly left their camp with their elite guards in the direction of the Charcoal Forest in the northeast. Naturally, such a rushed decision did not escape the scouts belonging to the An-Ra legion. The supreme mage couldn’t help but feel a sense of joy at what seemed like a successful mission. At the same time, he was worried about Amon and Metatro. It would be practically impossible for the two to get away from the enemy at this point.
The only way Idu could help was by exerting pressure on the battlefield, and the An-Ra legion was more than ready to attack. Hardedef and Idu then led the main force of the legion northward to attack the battlements belonging to the Nanar brigade. Such a move would have never been done a few days back, but now the situation had changed.
The last time both sides fought, the Nanar brigade was too ambitious and rash, hurting themselves in the process. The damage that was done had not yet been restored at the time of An-Ra’s decision to attack. Furthermore, the Head was absent, and they had strict orders to remain in their positions and defend. The An-Ra won three battles against the Nanar back-to-back, so their morale was high. The confidence of the soldiers who had never seen battle before had been reversed. No matter who they encountered, they would be courageous enough to fight them, let alone taking the initiative to launch an assault.
The An-Ra legion was brilliant to launch a fierce assault on the Nanar brigade. This time, it was more similar to tying people to a tree and beating them mercilessly. Idu did not give the order to charge, but he set up the An-Ra units to attack and advance steadily and stealthily. Since their enemies did not retaliate, the battle scene looked more like an exercise to train the Ejyptians’ offensive skills. Hardedef calmly mobilised all kinds of units and regiments to cooperate, launching round after round of assaults.
Halfway through the journey, Orbene received news of the attack. He was now in a dilemma. He had to grit his teeth and continue his trip to the king’s camp. He responded, telling his men to rely on the fortifications. Idu’s aim was not to capture the camp but to take advantage of strategic positions to grind away at the opponent’s strongest forces. So, he chose not to attack the fortified brigade, instead choosing the weak links of the defensive line to launch shock attacks. To defend the gap in the line, the Nanar brigade paid the cost with many casualties.
After a full day of this battle, the An-Ra legion had also suffered hundreds of casualties. However, the attacks they launched on the corners of the Nanar brigade’s camp achieved brilliant results. They burned many tents and raided and stockpiled plenty of military supplies. Before the reserve forces of Orbene and Syah city could reinforce the brigade, the Ejyptians had already returned to their base with their loot and trophies.
After the battle, the battle effectiveness, morale, initiative and defence between the two had been reversed. The Nanar brigade, which had suffered very heavy losses, was no longer able to take any initiative to attack due to their lack of soldiers. The best they could do now was rely on fortifications and defend.
There was a rumour going around that the Hittite soldiers were frightened by a chant by the An-Ra soldiers during the siege. It went, “The King of Hittite has been captured by Amon, our great leader, the Head of the An-Ra legion! The defeat of the Hittite army is imminent and your commanders, the Head and Chief mage, are rushing to urge the king to surrender! You must do the same!”
Such rumours were unbelievable, but it would be naive of anyone to think they wouldn’t sow discord. The Head and the Chief Mage of the brigade left in a hurry and the men’s orders were to stay in position. The battle that came soon afterwards was so vicious, but the two still did not return to preside over the situation. What happened? Has the king really been captured? If the king was captured, the main force of the Hittite army must be considered defeated!
Another day passed and Orbene returned. He ordered severe punishments for the rumourmongers in and around the brigade camp, but panic continued to hang over the hearts of many Hittite soldiers like a lingering shadow. However, none were brave enough to speak out about it.
How did Orbene return? He was given a personal, direct order by the Imperial Prime Minister Juguli, as well as the commander of the frontline, Golier. Half a day after Orbene arrived at the king’s camp, Golier appeared with Juguli.
The news of the king’s abduction was a surprise to Golier. Before the information arrived, he had been discussing the situation of the war so far with Prince Asher, a representative of the Hittite royalty, Juguli, the Imperial Prime Minister of Hittite, Perga, Chief Mage of the Enlil brigade, and Warret, Chief Mage of the Anu brigade.
Perga was a ninth-level mage and an esteemed elder of the Hittite Magic Academy. Of the three ninth-level mages in the Kingdom of Hittite, only two came to the frontline to assist in war efforts. He was one of them and he was considered nothing short of elite.
At the time, he had frowned and said, “The most recent order from our king is urging us to launch a primary assault to eliminate the main force of the Ejyptian army as swiftly as possible. It would be in our best interests to capture the Pharoah to achieve a miraculous feat unprecedented in the entire history of Hittite. Lord Golier, as the commander-in-chief of the main army, you are fairly slow to move. His Majesty is anxious.”
“Of course, I understand His Majesty’s mood. Everyone wants to win as soon and as quickly as possible. However, should we launch an offensive against them, we would be fighting an army that would behave like cornered animals, and cornered animals are not to be underestimated. Though we will most likely win, we would do so at great cost to our soldiers and people and in turn, the prosperity of our nation. On the other hand, if we let the siege continue and we let them rot in attrition, we would certainly win without having to lay our hands on them again. They have no strength to counterattack nor to retreat.” Golier smiled bitterly at Perga.
Prince Asher nodded. “Lord Golier has commanded the results of the battles thus far. He has been very effective in his methods. The Ejyptian army so far has been led by our hand, unbeknownst to them. The pieces have been falling into our place, fully meeting our expectations. His Majesty is indeed a little too anxious. He has waited many years for a great victory. Of course, he would prefer if we captured the Pharoah. The Pharoah, captive of the King of Hittite, that position would be shamed for many years to come… I will send messengers to my father the king and explain to him the specifics of the current situation. My lords, you can still act according to plan.”
Golier smiled. He added, “If I may, I would suggest Your Highness to add another explanation. Should we begin to try and catch the Pharoah in the assault, he would most certainly try and flee during the battle. Although his lords would be unable to lead the army to retreat, it would be possible for them to protect but a single person. The reason why the Pharoah has not yet escaped is that he is awaiting rescue.”
Juguli contributed his analysis, “I would hope that the Pharoah would try to flee sooner, which would show his abandonment of the war. In that case, there would be a lower chance of our besiegement collapsing and our victorious outcome will arrive sooner. The Pharoah staying with his army is but a symbol, and the Ejyptian army will continue to invest in reinforcements in this area. The reinforcements may come from two directions: the first may be from the sepat of Cape, through the desert, and the second is on the coastline, by the An-Ra legion.”
The prince nodded again. “Ejypt is still strong. They can reverse the war situation with the resources they have back home.”
Warret carefully interposed, “In my opinion, the longer the Pharoah stays and delays, the better it would be for us. Should the Pharoah leave, we may eliminate the Horus and Isis legions, but that would be nothing but a temporary victory. The Pharoah returning home intact would mean that we would not have shaken the foundation of Ejypt. With a temper like is, the Pharoah would soon reorganise his armaments and forces and come back for Hittite. Even if the new fertile land was not in the equation, he would fight for nothing more than the dignity of the Ejyptian Empire and his reputation.
In such a case, the war would not end with the defeat of the enemy army unless we capture the Pharoah. Whether we win or lose again after that, we would pay a heavy price. If instead we continue to besiege them and lure them to attack us under adverse conditions, trapping the Pharoah’s main forces and crippling his back-up forces, perhaps wiping them out in the desert, it would vex the Empire and they would find it difficult to recover, which could mean peace for us for a long time.”
Golier nodded in agreement. “That is precisely what I am thinking. Since the Ejyptian army is stuck here and can do nothing but wait for help, we will let them breathe their last breath. Firstly, we should destroy the An-Ra legion, then we attack any incoming reinforcements moving from across the desert. We would not need to even fight with our fullest strength for the supplies they had in the desert were annihilated. It would be a dead-end for them. This is a war of attrition that we need to take advantage of. All that’s left is to see how long the Ejyptians would last.”
Silavin: Only one chapter this week. This was quite long. I think next week as well.
Also, I told him to make a Patreon in case there is anyone who wishes to support his work. So, just click down below.