Amon had noticed Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s peculiar reactions. As he was clueless, Gilgamesh waved his hand and issued an order. The priests gathered around the platform and raised their staffs, creating a huge barrier of light which enveloped the platform. Gilgamesh then lay his staff on his hands and closed his eyes.
In the sky above the battlefield, yet another image of “god” appeared. It was a muscular figure wrapped in rainbow-colored lights with a height that surpassed Khenmet’s city tower, but possessing the appearance of Gilgamesh. It was a miracle of sorts, but this time it was performed by a human! The divine figure was not an illusion, it was the materialization of his own self which went beyond his mortal frame.
It was something that only gods were said to be capable of. Anyway, Gilgamesh managed to do it. It was not the first time he had done it, but the last time when his divine figure appeared, Amon had been engaged in a fierce battle with Enkidu, so he did not see it. Seeing it with his own eyes for the first time, the young commander-in-chief was a little dazzled. Being a supreme mage and supreme warrior at the same time, Amon had all along been in the quest for the secret of the gods. To him, the meaning was uniquely different.
The image of Gilgamesh was pure and vivid. It was steadily conceived by his consciousness during meditation over the long years. When a practitioner has reached this stage, he was not just awakening the power given by nature. The power became an existence like body and mind, free from the shackles of the mortal frame, an existence that included all the power one had gained throughout the process of practicing, an existence that progressed to eternity.
Amon recalled Crazy’Ole’s words. Reaching the ninth-level meant that one would now possess the power to fight the gods, and could be considered demigods. Some of the so-called gods that appear in the mortal world were in fact just demigods.
Seeing Gilgamesh’s feat, one more conjecture came to Amon’s mind. Not everyone who reached the ninth-level could be considered a demigod. A mortal could become a demigod in two ways. One was to possess the power of both sides and achieve the ninth-level. In this path must lay the ultimate secret of becoming a real god. The other was to reach the absolute peak of either path, similar to what Gilgamesh and Enkidu did.
Gilgamesh always gave Amon a haughty feeling as if he thought little of even the gods. Turned out that he indeed possessed the might to do so. Anyone seeing Gilgamesh’s divine figure in the sky without knowing who he was would most likely conclude that he was a god.
While Amon was in the middle of his thoughts, Gilgamesh raised his finger and pointed at the huge eagle. A ray of golden light flashed out from the platform, apparently a golden flying shuttle. On the shuttle stood Enkidu holding his tower shield and broadsword. Even though Gilgamesh was not on the shuttle, he was able to navigate it, sending Enkidu into the clouds.
As reaction, the huge eagle gathered its wings and opened its beak, from which emanated a peculiar howl.
The howl propagated with strong shockwaves, but it was not to be heard! In fact, all the soldiers on the battlefield stopped hearing anything, as a strange power had cleaved their ears and occupied their minds. Their bodies were overwhelmed by weakness and all the fighting ceased. Everyone could only stare dumbly at the sky. Some of them even dropped their weapons without realizing it.
The humans on the battlefield were already affected this badly. Needless to say, it was much worse for Enkidu who was flying towards the eagle. The golden light emitted by the flying shuttle shook intensely, as if the shuttle was about to collapse. Enkidu’s tower shield produced a dazzling white light from the shockwave, even turning semi-transparent. Gilgamesh’s divine image in the sky simply continued pointing at the eagle, pushing the shuttle straight towards it in spite of the howling.
However, the power of the howling became too much to bear for the shuttle. As the light surrounding Gilgamesh’s image flickered for a moment, both the shuttle and Enkidu’s tower shield simultaneously broke into pieces. With a mighty roar, Enkidu borrowed the force of the explosion to leap high into the air. Holding his broadsword with both hands, he slashed towards the eagle.
Although Enkidu’s burly figure seemed insignificant compared to the huge eagle, the golden light created by the slashing of his broadsword was blindingly bright. Reaching a length of nearly a hundred feet, the light resembled a gigantic blade cutting through the sky towards the eagle’s head.
As Amon saw the scene, his heart tightened. Although Enkidu was his enemy, he could not help but think of another person – Crazy’Ole. Golier had shown Nietzsche’s last moments to Amon and he had seen the old man waving his staff as he charged towards the clouds. It was incredibly similar to what was happening right now! Had Enkidu gone crazy as well? Just like Nietzsche, both Gilgamesh and Enkidu seemed to have waited a long time for a god to appear in front of them.
As the gigantic blade sliced through the eagle and passed through the incorporeal mass of clouds, it seemed as if it was unable to do much damage. However, the entire sky was shaking, the eagle was dissipating and a huge windstorm emerged in the sky, instantly obscuring the vision of the soldiers on the battlefield. The strong winds also caused many on the ground to lose their balance and fall.
On the city tower, Amon continued standing upright and he watched clearly as the events unfolded. When the windstorm appeared, Gilgamesh’s divine image disappeared. On the platform, Gilgamesh opened his eyes and raised his staff, conjuring a gust of wind which caught Enkidu as he fell from the sky, carrying him to fall safely onto the platform. Taking a look at this warrior, one could see him holding a broken broadsword which only had a small part of its blade left. Numerous long cracks had also appeared on his scalemail.
Next, an angry and imposing voice came from the sky. “How dare you, human, to offend a god!” Then the windstorm disappeared along with the huge eagle and the sunlight shone onto the silent battlefield once more.
Enkidu laughed heartily but tiredly. With a hoarse voice filled with excitement and fervor, he bellowed towards the sky: “Is that you, Horus? Why don’t you come down here and fight me? Worshipped by so many, you are scared! Scared to admit that you are defeated!”
Horus’ voice echoed from the sky: “You are not qualified for such a request, when your own destruction is imminent! Your misdeed results in vain, but it will bring you the most terrible end. No matter how strong you think you are, you cannot escape from the curse of fate!” Then there was silence. The clouds scattered. The god had left.
Nobody spoke, for they did not know what to say. It appeared that Enkidu had dispelled Horus’ miracle, while Horus left without really showing up. As for Horus’s last words, was that a curse, or he was just stating the facts? Nobody could tell.
On the city tower, Amon raised his iron stick and the sound of a long horn was heard. This was the signal for retreat. However, most of the Ejyptian soldiers on the battlefield were still in a daze! Ankh and Vadin finally awoke with a start upon hearing the signal, and they quickly ordered their troops to retreat before the enemy had recovered their wits. Their job here was done and they had no reason to stay any longer.
The Uruk army did not pursue the retreating Ejyptian troops, nor did they continue to attack Khenmet. They simply gathered their surviving forces and slowly retreated from the battlefield. None of the soldiers were in the mood to fight as they were still recovering from the shock of witnessing the events that had just happened.
Back in the main hall, the commanders all remained silent in Amon’s presence. They had various questions and doubts in their minds, but nobody wanted to speak out. The dread in the hall seemed to weigh the air. Amon ordered the defenses at Khenmet and the mountain ranges on both sides to stay vigilant. Then he asked for a report of the battle for the Pharaoh before leaving to take his rest.
Amon didn’t care much about the report. He gave the secretariat the liberty to do their job. It was not an easy job. The report had to tell its readers the facts, give them confidence and more importantly preserve the gods’ dignity.
The secretariat certainly did a great job.The final report described vividly how the brave Ejyptian soldiers repelled the Uruk army under the leadership of Amon, the great commander-in-chief, and that the two valiant Heads of legion, Ankh and Vadin, inflicted significant damage on the enemy in a decisive counterattack.
It was also mentioned with great care that the Ejyptian troops received the blessings of Horus. The King of Gods appeared in the sky above the battlefield, inspiring the soldiers to defeat the enemies. Before he left, the King of God also placed a curse on the enemy’s leaders, stating that they would soon suffer the most terrifying retribution in the world.
Reading this report, one would think that everything had gone smoothly for the Ejyptian army! The Pharaoh paid great attention to it due to the appearance of Horus, which everyone had witnessed with their own eyes. Gathering his ministers and citizens, he arranged for a ceremony to be held to make sacrificial offerings to Horus. Envoys were also sent to the frontlines to give lavish reward to the commanders and soldiers in the name of the god.
As the commander-in-chief, Amon obviously received the greatest rewards. The war had not yet ended, but he was already bestowed with the title of “Supreme General, beloved of Horus, guardian of the two lands, protector of Cape, chosen by An-Ra, great in victories known by all the states”. Other than receiving a very long, noble and prestigious title, he was also given ownership of large parcels of land in the sepat of Herak, south of Memfis. The inhabitants there were now considered his vassals as well.
All these were not just because of the victory. Horus had appeared directly on the battlefield. It signified that Amon was favored by the gods. Amon’s status had thus surpassed the nomarches of most of the sepats in Ejypt. But the title was also a burden, for Amon had to since defend this divine honor, which meant that he couldn’t lose a battle from now on. Either he dies on the battlefield, or receives defeat and death as punishment.
However, the commander-in-chief had no time to think about it. Right after he had returned from the battlefield, he gave strict orders not to be disturbed. On the night of the same day, he sat in the backyard of his residence and entered deep meditation under the starry sky. What he had seen in the day had touched something deep in his soul. Horus’ miracle, Gilgamesh’s divine image in the sky as well as Enkidu’s attack at the eagle. There was something vague that he was just about to discover, but narrowly escaped his mind.