Lykwid thought for a moment. “There are more than two hundred mages in our army and most of them are advanced mages. In total, we can send thirty groups of three mages. Each group should also bring along a team of warriors for protection.”
Rod Drick smiled bitterly. “Where are we going to get so many supreme scrolls for all of them? Even if I empty the stock of scrolls in the Shrine of Cape, I can only equip twenty five groups with scrolls at maximum. The scrolls for defence and for striking, I can manage to have enough of them. However, for the scrolls with spatial locking effect, I don’t have enough supreme ones. I can only fill them with advanced scrolls.”
Amon nodded. “That will do. Send twenty five groups with the scrolls to the city walls. If Enkidu leads an elite force to break through our defense, activate the scrolls to stop his first wave of attack while waiting for the surrounding defending forces to gather. Even if we do not end up using the scrolls in this manner, once Gilgamesh launches a large force to siege the city, we can activate all the scrolls at the same time to deal heavy damage to his troops.”
Ankh patted Rod Drick’s shoulder. “Lord Governor is truly farsighted. Until now, our legions have never been equipped with scrolls. Yet, you have managed to hoard such a large quantity of scrolls. Today, these scrolls will truly be put to great use.”
Next, they discussed the deployment of defensive forces at the battlefront. Pointing to the sandbox, Amon remarked: “Khenmet is too small after all. If our army is crammed into the city, we will not be able to use the horses and chariots effectively. Once the enemy troops penetrate into the city, it will be very easy to suffer casualties from friendly troops due to trampling. Please keep this in mind when planning the deployment of troops.”
Upon hearing his words, the two Heads of legions Ankh and Vadin nodded and replied: “We will deploy our forces accordingly.” Amon divided the chariots and horsemen into two contingents before giving each Head of legion command of one contingent. Next, he set up a large camp on each side of Khenmet behind the defense lines in order to facilitate reinforcements to and from Khenmet.
Amon also ordered enough spears and boulders on the city walls and carried out drills for defending the city. Once he was done with these arrangements, he let the two supreme mages gather the priests to set up magical formations for the purpose of performing healing magic and theurgies on Gabriel, Metatro and himself. On this night, Amon sat in the main hall as countless gentle rays of light fell on him. The pain from the injuries inside his body as well as the soreness of his muscles gradually faded away.
Deep in meditation, Amon somehow saw Maria, the God’s Tear on her staff scattering a brilliant golden light. Her blessing of Isis was the greatest source of comfort for Amon.
On the same night at the Uruk legion’s main camp, a dozen mages had set up a magical formation in the tallest and widest tent made from animal fur. Sitting opposite Enkidu, Gilgamesh was holding his staff and performing theurgies and healing magic on him. Various colorful rays of light descended upon Enkidu’s body, making his burly figure resemble the appearance of a god.
He had taken off his golden gloves, the right glove sporting a large hole. Gilgamesh sighed as he looked at the damaged glove and said: “It won’t be possible to fix this glove. Fortunately, I made two pairs, so you can still use the other one. As for the scalemail, I can finish repairing it in ten days since there isn’t much damage. You can continue to wear it on the battlefield.”
Enkidu held a huge goblet in his hand and said: “That day, I managed to kill Humbaba without having this armor and gloves. I can do without them!”
Gilgamesh shook his head gently. “If you have strong armor and sharp weapons, why not use them? Today, I saw the power of your three punches clearly. If you had been using the tower shield and broadsword you usually use, you wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same kind of power and speed.”
Speaking with regretful anger, Enkidu said: “We did not achieve victory today because I was not able to complete my task as planned when I failed to kill their commander-in-chief with my third punch. I did not expect Amon to be so difficult to take down. This time, he’s lucky to have escaped from my hands. Next time, he won’t have such good luck anymore!”
Gilgamesh narrowed his eyes like he always did when he was deep in thought. “The strong ones who exist in the continent are not only you and me. Back then, Amon was just a wandering sorcerer, but he was able to walk with a goddess. And now, he has turned out to be the commander-in-chief of the Ejyptian army. There must be something extraordinary about him. When he suddenly buried you under the boulders today, even I was shocked by this feat!”
Enkidu said in anger: “The first time I saw him, he was with the goddess; the second time I saw him, he actually hurt me!”
Gilgamesh smiled and advised his friend: “There are so many good women in the world, why must you like such a goddess? If you desired to prove yourself, killing Humbaba is more than enough. Although Amon managed to hurt you today, you were the one who wanted to kill him in the first place. Besides, your injuries aren’t serious, there is no need to be angry. When two armies fight in a war, we should leave personal feelings out of it. If you encounter Amon again, you must be careful not to give him the opportunity to make a move.”
Enkidu said doubtfully: “Isn’t he a supreme warrior? Why was he once a sorcerer? Also, what kind of trick did he pull off today?”
Gilgamesh narrowed his eyes again. “It’s actually very simple. He filled a spatial artifact with boulders and suddenly took all of them out at the same time. This person is indeed a supreme warrior who has gone through the second awakening of power. He has reached the peak of magical mastery for a supreme warrior and he is capable of using spatial artifacts.”
Enkidu frowned. “I have never heard of such a thing.”
Gilgamesh replied: “Back then, did you ever hear of a mage like me? Since ancient times, there have been so many geniuses in the continent who possess great perseverance, luck and amazing experiences at the same time. There are some secrets that the gods know which mortals are capable of finding out. He may be just a lucky person who happens to have a unique achievement.”
“I understand how you think. If the situation had been different, you would definitely have preferred to make friends with such a person. But now, I have to kill him!”
Gilgamesh patted Enkidu’s shoulder. “Both of us want to kill him, but in the next battle, you must first avoid Amon and attack the weak point of the city walls. There is also another issue that you need to be wary of.”
“What is it?”
“Scrolls! The best scroll maker in the continent, the supreme mage Nero had been the oracle of Cape for more than 40 years. I heard that the last two governors of Cape, who are a pair of father and son by the name of Drick, had deliberately hoarded the offensive and defensive scrolls created by Nero. All the scrolls activating at the same time, neither of us can bear that great damage. My guess is that Amon will use them when defending the city, so you should take care not to get caught off guard.”
Enkidu snorted coldly. “The scrolls are nothing more than mere magical techniques, when have I ever needed to be afraid of those? Even if they have scrolls, they need the opportunity to use them!”
“In a one-on-one fight, I believe that there is no mage who is capable of activating scrolls in front of you. However, this is going to be a chaotic battle between two armies. In such a situation, it is very hard to tell who will activate the scrolls, so it’s better to exercise caution.”
“Even if there are a bunch of supreme scrolls, will I stupidly stand there and allow them to attack me? Besides, the city walls are so long, how many mages holding scrolls can there be? Even if they manage to place several mages at every section of the city walls, do they think they can kill me so easily? My lord, don’t you trust me?”
Gilgamesh smiled and said: “My brother, I trust you like I trust myself! I’m telling you this with the hope that you can be aware of our enemy’s tricks. This is the reason why I asked you to avoid Amon when you attack the city.”
One of Enkidu’s gloves was badly damaged and his scalemail was slightly damaged. However, the scorpion-shell armor worn by Amon was completely shattered after the fierce battle and could hardly be repaired. Repairing such an armor was not as simple as replacing the broken scorpion shells, it also needed to be refined once again using magic.
Fortunately, Metatro’s scorpion-shell armor was not seriously damaged. Amon dismantled the broken armor and extracted those scorpion shells which were still intact. Then he reinforced Metatro’s armor with those shells and used a few days’ time to finish repairing it. This was the best armor he currently had. It was able to resist slashing and piercing attacks from swords and spears and also possessed excellent defensive properties against magical effects. Against an opponent as fearsome as Enkidu, it was important to make all necessary preparations for the sake of safety.
Amon naturally wanted to delay the battle until the Geb legion arrived. If Gilgamesh did not launch an attack, he would also stay still. For the past few days, Amon had been patrolling the defense lines. On this day, he went up the city walls together with Lykwid and focused on checking the positions of the teams of mages holding the scrolls, chatting as they walked.
Lykwid mentioned the legend of the top warrior in the continent, Enkidu, and this attracted Amon’s interest greatly. The supreme mage obviously knew many things, some of which Amon had not heard before.
Enkidu was neither the head nor the commander of the Uruk legion. He was also not the general of any army. His position was the same as that of Metatro, the captain of Gilgamesh’s personal guards. However, his status was no lesser than any warrior in the continent.
Although he was a mage, Gilgamesh was able to shoot an earth-shattering arrow on the battlefield that day not only because of his superb mastery of magic, but also because of the incredible physical strength that he was born with. Enkidu was a wandering hunter who lived in the mountains when he was a child. There were rumors that he was a highlander who was also born with great strength. Enkidu hunted down wild beasts in the mountains with his bare hands and had a fierce temper. He also never lost a public fight.
Gilgamesh was fond of hunting when he was young, and it was on a hunting trip in the mountains when he encountered Enkidu. At that time, they were still children in their teens. It was said that Enkidu was only defeated once in his life and that was due to Gilgamesh when they fought as children. Accepting his defeat, the two became good friends later. It was also said that when these two children wrestled, the fight would last for more than half a day without a victor.
As the son of the governor, Gilgamesh brought the wandering Enkidu back to the city of Uruk and sent a maid to take care of Enkidu, teaching him to eat and dress like a nobleman and all kinds of etiquette. He also hired teachers to teach him reading and writing. However, Enkidu was a natural-born warrior and was not interested in studying. Instead, he was passionate about learning martial arts and the ways of fighting.
Some say that Enkidu became a supreme warrior at the age of sixteen, while some others say that he was only fourteen years old when he defeated a supreme warrior in the city of Uruk. In any case, he became a supreme warrior at a younger age than Amon. The age at which he became a ninth-level warrior was well-known, it was twenty-one years old! This year, Enkidu is thirty-four years old, while Gilgamesh is two years younger than him. On the other hand, nobody knew exactly when Gilgamesh became a ninth-level supreme mage.
After saying all these, Lykwid looked at Amon and said: “Seeing the scenes of battle from a few days ago, I have a feeling that Enkidu seems to be targeting Lord Amon. You should be careful on the battlefield. Also, I have some doubts, would it be possible for Lord Amon to clarify my doubts?”
Amon hurriedly replied: “Thank you for your reminder! Esteemed high priest, go ahead and ask me if you have any questions.”
Lykwid smiled. “Using a spatial artifact filled with huge boulders, you caused the boulders in the artifact to suddenly fall at once, nearly taking the life of Enkidu. This trick really surprised me, may I know how you did it?”
Amon also smiled. “Spatial artifacts may be rare, it’s not strange for me to possess one or two of them. Some of the scrolls left by Nero are strange. They were probably created for the sake of experimentation instead of practical use. There was one such scroll which allows people to wield spatial magic and activate spatial artifacts. I truly admire the great master’s creativity.”
Lykwid sighed. “I almost forgot that you have Nero’s relics in your hands. The scrolls made by this master are really interesting. You are a supreme warrior that has successfully gone through the second awakening of power. If you are willing to focus your efforts on practicing magic arts until you reach the peak, it will also be possible for you to activate spatial artifacts. It’s just that, I’m afraid that by doing this, the cultivation of the body arts will be delayed. After all, we as mortals have limited time and energy.”
“I will keep your advice in mind.” smiled Amon humbly.
After the initial battle where there was no victor, Amon did not make any moves, allowing Gilgamesh to make his preparations for the eventual siege of Khenmet. When the Pharaoh received news of the battle and the death of Urhiya, he sent an envoy to distribute rewards to the army in Khenmet and to encourage the soldiers to fight bravely. The envoy also conveyed the Pharaoh’s message asking Amon and the generals when they were going to attack and defeat the Uruk legion.
Although the intention of the envoy was to encourage and reward the army, such a question hinted at the Pharaoh’s dissatisfaction at the results thus far. The envoy also mentioned that when the Pharaoh was having a discussion with the ministers, he expressed his desire to go to the front lines to supervise the war personally so that he could witness the Ejyptian army defeating the strongest army in the continent.
If the Pharaoh personally came to the front lines, it would naturally provide a great boost to morale. However, Amon would rather that the Pharaoh not come. That was because they would then need to spend extra efforts and resources to protect the Pharaoh. Furthermore, if the Pharaoh interfered in the commanding of the army, it would create unnecessary trouble as well. Amon handed over the information recording the scene of Enkidu charging into the Ejyptian army to the envoy and told him to make sure that the Pharaoh looked at it.
Anyway, after he looked through the magical records, the Pharaoh no longer mentioned anything about going to the front lines personally. Instead, he sent an envoy again. This time, it was to reward Amon, Gabriel and Metatro. He also ordered them to stay on the defensive and not to act rashly until the Geb legion arrives.
Ten days after the first battle, when the Geb legion was three days away from reaching Khenmet, Gilgamesh finally made his move.
Early in the morning, scouts reported signs of movement in the main camp of the Uruk legion. Shortly after the sun rose, a large amount of enemy troops had already arrived outside Khenmet. During a siege, although the defending side has the advantage of defensive structures, the attacking side can also take advantage of the fact that the structures are immobile and therefore they can choose to attack the weak points.
The Uruk Army untied the horses from the chariots and loaded them with bags of sand and rocks. Then they placed them at the forefront of the army to provide cover from arrows. There were also shieldbearers who pushed the chariots and advanced to the walls in an attempt to fill out a makeshift slope using the sand for the soldiers to charge up. Behind the chariots loaded with bags of sand, there was a row of modified chariots where arrow towers had been erected on them so that Uruk archers could stand on top and fire at the Ejyptian archers on the walls.
In addition, the Uruk legion constructed a mobile platform out of huge logs that was nearly twice as tall as the city walls. Since there was no forest around the desert, the logs must be carried all the way from the mountains near Uruk. Instead of flying in the air using magic, Gilgamesh sat on a chair on the tower under a large violet umbrella while Enkidu stood beside him.
On the city tower, Amon looked at Enkidu from afar and was secretly amazed. After the fierce battle ten days ago, this supreme warrior could not have gone unscathed. However, Enkidu seemed to be in peak condition today, seemingly even more fearsome than ten days ago.
After a long period of healing performed by the two ninth-level supreme mages, Amon had only just recovered a few days ago while Gabriel and Metatro were still unable to come to the battlefield today. It was not due to injuries or sickness but simply because they had overused their power greatly, leading to extreme exhaustion that could not be recovered from easily. The fact that Amon could recover so quickly was already amazing, but Enkidu looked even tougher.
As Amon saw the Uruk legion approaching, he spoke in a clear voice. “Soldiers of the Uruk legion, why do you desire to seek death in a foreign country so far from home? Hurry back to your family and loved ones at home and continue to lead a peaceful life!”
Gilgamesh laughed as he said: “Amon, are you not a general but an orator? Are you thinking of winning with words when the enemy has arrived at your gates? If I don’t retreat, are you going to surrender?”
When he finished speaking, he stood up and shot an arrow straight towards Amon. This time, everyone from both armies saw it clearly as Gilgamesh shot the arrow. The angry roar of Humbaba could be heard once again in the plains. Amon did not respond with another arrow. Instead, a huge curtain of light suddenly appeared in front of the city tower as the air solidified into an invisible barrier.
As Gilgamesh’s arrow collided with the curtain of light causing an explosion of energy, the barrier trembled but recovered quickly. For this battle to defend Khenmet, nearly a hundred mages had been deployed to maintain a gigantic defensive magical formation as well as a ninth-level supreme mage acting as the pillar of the formation. Although Gilgamesh’s arrow was powerful, it was impossible to injure Amon from such a long distance. The power of the magical formation was the strongest on the side facing the battlefield.