However, the governor was not punished but rewarded instead by the Pharaoh. A reward was appropriate because the Pharaoh himself was responsible for causing the defeats. Since the Pharaoh was claiming that he had achieved a great victory, he naturally had to give praise to the commanders that he led into battle. On the other hand, although Rod Drick suffered consecutive losses, by retreating back to Cape at the fastest speed possible as well as gathering the remnants of the forces in the southern desert, he was able to greatly minimise losses, swiftly organize reinforcements and secure the rear by holding the fort in Cape.
Also, An-Ra legion’s logistics fleet was able to sail smoothly largely due to Rod Drick.
When the main troops returned to Ejypt, Rod Drick led the reorganized Seth legion to receive them at the borders, bringing along sufficient goods and resources for the Pharaoh to reward the troops handsomely. This arrangement greatly pleased everyone. After suffering in the desert for so long, the Pharaoh was going to rest in his imperial residence prepared in Cape City for the next few days before returning to the capital. The legions were also dismissed and sent back to their own bases.
Rod Drick personally received all the legions at the borders until the last legion covering the rear, An-Ra legion, was safely back within the borders. Upon meeting Amon once again, the governor was filled with emotions. He grabbed Amon’s hands and said: “Brave warrior, great Head of legion, I do not know how to express my admiration for you! I still remember the time when you first came to my city to return Lord Nero’s relics, I would never have dreamt that you would be able to achieve such incredible accomplishments. I have to confess that I have done things to you, things that I’m not proud of. They make me regret and feel guilty…”
Amon interrupted him. “My lord, why do you have to say that? At that time, I was but a foreigner, a hunter who appeared from nowhere.You harbored me with respect, gave me protection and verified Lord Nero’s relics with justice, allowing me a fair share of those extremely precious relics. You owe me nothing. You haven’t done anything unfair to me. I wouldn’t even be here hadn’t your visit to Duc taken place. I have nothing but gratitude for you.”
The two of them entered Ejypt together. Amon was walking side by side with Rod Drick. Nobody would have anticipated this a few years ago, even in his wildest imagination. In his visit to the town of Duc, Lord Drick had been a superior, abstract figure, an aloft noble being that the humble Ducians could only revere from below. Amon had never seen him in this way though. But he had not looked down on him either, whether it was back then or now.
As they were the last group of people to return to the sepat of Cape, there was supposed to be a ceremony celebrating the victory. But the ceremony was postponed. An-Ra legion which had just finished their task of covering the rear received an urgent new order: stop the Uruk legion, which was charging towards Ejypt’s borders.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu launched an attack on the sepat of Cape!
The timing Gilgamesh had chosen was devastating for Ejypt. The Ejyptian army had just travelled a long distance back home after a tough battle. The main legions had suffered great casualties, and the surviving troops were tired and yet to rest. More importantly, both the Horus legion and the Isis legion had suffered defeats. The long siege in the desert had drained away their morale. They were not capable of fighting another tough battle within a short period of time.
After all, soldiers are people, and people don’t have unlimited strength and energy. Returning to the homeland, when the tormenting months in the desert came to an end, they finally could relax. And once the string loosens, it’s not easy to tighten it again. These two legions were already on the way back to their original bases, leaving behind only the elite forces and high ranking commanders in Cape, who were caught unprepared for the sudden attack of the Uruk legion.
Things could be even worse. If it hadn’t been for Amon, the Pharaoh and his army would still have been under siege. Thus the Uruk legion would raided the unguarded Ejyptian Empire with ease, for the remnants of the Seth legion that Rod Drick managed to recollect wouldn’t stop them by any chance.
The peace treaty between Ejypt and Hittite was a great surprise which Gilgamesh hadn’t expected. When he sent out the troops, he also sent a messenger to Golier with a letter. In the letter, he strongly condemned the Pharaoh’s invasion and expressed Bablon kingdom as well as Uruk City’s willingness to assist Hittite in “defeating the tyrannical Pharaoh” by sending troops to attack the Cape City, cut off the Ejyptian legions’ retreating route, occupy their logistics base so that the Hittite army could eliminate the Pharaoh’s army in the desert.
If things went according to this plan, all the Ejyptian expedition including the An-Ra legion wouldn’t have escaped the fate of destruction. The other Ejyptian legions in the homeland couldn’t reach them in time to save them. What was left for the former would simply be the task to defend Ejypt’s borders against the Uruk legion after the expedition’s disastrous defeat.
The luck wasn’t with Gilgamesh. Things happened faster than he could imagine. His messenger had hardly set out when Ejypt and Hittite achieved a peace treaty. By the time the Uruk legion entered the southern Syah desert, the Pharaoh had already returned to Cape with his army. Gilgamesh’s attempt to raid an empty Cape had failed, but he did not change his order. The troops continued to advance at full speed, making straight for Ejypt.
Golier received Gilgamesh’s letter on the retreating route. He could only smile bitterly and sigh, since he had already resigned his position as Head of brigade and Commander-in-chief of the army. The letter which arrived too late was then handed over to the King. Since Hittite and Ejypt had already signed the peace treaty and become allies, King Lucier certainly would not fight together with the Bablon Kingdom.
Needless to say, the Bablon Kingdom’s proposal turned out in bad faith! At the same time that the Uruk legion crossed the Euphrates river and advanced towards the west, another legion from the Bablon Kingdom, the Kish legion, had finished assembling at the middle reaches of the Euphrates river, where Enkidu had slain Humbaba. Marduc legion, another legion comprised of the elite troops from the capital of the Bablon Kingdom, was also waiting for orders nearby. It was where Bablon was nearest to the Duc plains. Once they crossed the river, marching along the mountains, the eastern shore of the inland lake was just ninety miles away.
The Bablonians’ intention was obvious. These two assembled legions were going to contend for the Duc plains with the war-weary Hittite and Ejyptian troops. Assisting Hittite Kingdom to resist a great enemy was a noble cause, but the troops couldn’t be mobilized for free. So an honorarium from Hittite made perfect sense. For example, the Duc plains.
Lucier ordered his Prime Minister to write a letter of reply in which he very politely declined Gilgamesh’s “good intentions”, declaring that Hittite and Ejypt were now allies, so there was no need for Bablon and Gilgamesh to worry about them.
At the same time, Lucier sent a messenger in a flying shuttle to Cape City to deliver the urgent news of Bablon’s military actions to the Pharaoh. Hittite obviously wouldn’t be sending troops across the desert to stop the Uruk legion. Led by Gilgamesh and Enkidu, this legion was terrifyingly powerful. But Lucier was good with his words. In the letter, he mentioned the news of Bablon’s two legions assembled in Kish and expressed his intention to deploy heavy defense forces at the north of the desert, concerting with the Ejyptian army at the south of the desert. The message was clear, “I take care of myself, so do you.”
Uruk’s legion was moving too fast, and due to the previous war, there were no merchants and caravans travelling in the desert. Thus information during their travel in the desert was strictly guarded. The Pharaoh only received Lucier’s urgent report the day after he knew of Gilgamesh’s movements. Of course, he was shocked. Fortunately, the commanders were still around, and after several nights of discussion, several urgent orders were issued –
The Isis legion and Horus legion on the way to their bases were urgently assembled. The sick and wounded went back home. The remaining ones were reorganized. The Geb legion, which had been originally rushing towards Cape City but told halfway to return when the news of Pharaoh’s victory arrived, was now ordered to turn around again and hurry to the front line.
All these arrangements took time, and currently the most important task was to block Uruk’s legion’s first wave of attack. Suggested by his viziers and the nomarchs, the Pharaoh ordered the An-Ra Army to station at the border to greet the enemy, and appointed Amon as the Commander-in-chief. Rod Drick, who stayed at the border, became the Chief Quartermaster.
Amon was promoted, and he rose from the Head of legion to the Commander-in-chief. He commanded not only the An-Ra legion, which he originally led, but also the remnants of the Seth legion, which was assembled by Rod Drick. When the reorganized remnants of the Isis legion and the Horus legion arrived at the front line, they will also be under Amon’s order.
The An-Ra legion which has yet to replenish its troops still had more than 4,000 battle-ready soldiers. The Seth legion only had about 2,000, and the combined strength of Isis legion and Horus legion was more than 5,000. In total, Amon would be commanding around 13,000 soldiers and hundreds of priests.
In the sepat of Cape, there were also the numerous service troops for the logistics, food and gear supplies and the construction work, which totaled to more than 100,000 people. And they were all under Amon’s order too. Amon was almost equivalent to Golier in the last war. All of a sudden, unprepared, he was pushed into the teeth of the storm.
Was Amon so heavily favored by the Pharaoh and his ministers? It was not the case. This was a task that could result in no merits, only mistakes, and even life costing. Although Amon has been promoted, he also became a scapegoat, because he was about to fight a battle that was to lose.
The city of Uruk was the most powerful city in the Kingdom of the Bablon besides the capital, and the Uruk legion was the most powerful legion recognized in the continent. In the past few years, Gilgamesh had been secretly recruiting, training and expanding the legion. This time, with the cover of the kingdom’s main force in the north, he did not have anything to worry about, so he was able to attack with full force. There were 8,000 well-trained elite fighters and nearly a hundred priests in his legion.
Even if Amon was able to command the entire army, which was currently exhausted, he still wouldn’t be able to obtain a good result once they started fighting. Not to mention, the Horus legion and the Isis legion had not even finished reorganizing and reached the front lines yet. It was even more impossible with just the current An-Ra legion and the remnants of Seth legion.
Legend had it that the greatest warrior in the continent, Enkido, was undefeatable, and could take the head of the commander from within ten thousand enemy troops. The legends may be exaggerating, but it was a fact that Enkidu has managed to slay Humbaba. As the commander, Amon probably needed a plan to survive.
Amon received the Pharaoh’s latest orders on his way back to the army. The messenger was Urhiya who had enmity against him. Urhiya was also the Chief Priest of the Seth legion, therefore he was staying on the front lines under the command of Amon. What kind of thoughts would this supreme mage harbor at this moment? Would he waiting to see Amon’s defeat from a selfish point of view? However, they shared the same fate right now. If they suffered a defeat at the front lines, being the Chief Priest of Seth legion, Urhiya naturally wouldn’t have a good ending either.
At the sight of the supreme mage who had once sent people to pursue him over thousands of miles for his life, Amon did not utter any crap or mention the past. He politely said a few words of comfort, before gathering the commanders with a serious expression to discuss the plans for the upcoming battle.
Right now, the troops that be assembled at the border are the majority of the An-Ra legion and the remnants of the Seth legion. In addition to the important commanders from the two legions, there was also a consultant present. He was Aristotle, the advisor of Rod Drick. Amon heard that Aristotle was in the army and specially invited him to attend the meeting. But Aristotle gave the excuse that he was not proficient in military affairs and did not speak at all during the meeting.
Taking out maps and sandboxes, the lords discussed for a long time. They all agreed that they could not stop the attack of the Uruk legion.
Idu the supreme mage sighed and said: “According to the current combat situation, even if the Horus legion and the Isis legion finished reorganization and rushed to the border in time, it is still difficult for us to resist the Uruk legion.”
Hardedef asked in an irritated tone: “Aren’t the two legions the most elite combat forces in the empire?”
Idu continued after a pause. “Look at who they are facing now, and what they have just been through! The Horus legion and the Isis legion which had just departed from the border of Ejypt a few months ago certainly fear not fighting Uruk’s legion. But right now…”
Urhiya frowned. “We will need the Geb legion to comfortably counter our enemy. But distant water won’t put out a nearby fire, the Uruk legion is moving too fast. What keeps bothering me is: what is the goal of this operation? Ultimately, they won’t be able to defeat the Ejyptian Empire, why bother travelling so far to attack?”
Amon pointed to the sandbox. “It is not hard to understand their purpose. They crossed the desert from east to west, not expecting to defeat the entire Ejyptian Empire. They’ll be more than satisfied to occupy the territory east of Cape City, such that they can establish an outpost from which they can control the entire Syah Desert. Don’t forget that apart from the Ejyptian Empire, Bablon is the strongest among our neighbouring countries.”
Amon drew a line with his finger along the narrowest part of the land on the sandbox, leaving out two-fifths of the land of the sepat of Cape. The rest around the table understood his implication: this piece of land is the target that the Uruk legion will aim to occupy.
Silavin: alright. We are back. For those in the Discord, you would have known that salmon is not stuck in school without any time to tl. So, we had to find someone else.
The current translator can commit only 1-2 chapters a week. So, we will do that for now. He might get faster in time but who knows?
Snorri is the previous TL for the novel as well, the one from Radiant. He hopped in to keep the quality of this piece in check.
Overall, this novel is heavily invested into its quality. I know that in this novel space, that doesn’t mean much as more people would prefer quantity with barely readable quality.
Anyways, for the main info, everyone is waiting for, this novel will be posted one chapter each week.