As they were speaking, they had arrived at the center of the battlefield. With a wave of his hand, two squads of horsemen split from the personal guards behind Amon and advanced with the war chariots while taking care to avoid Enkidu’s fighting location. A battle between elite forces was bound to be fierce and bloody. As swords clashed and troops collided into each other in a chaotic mess, various offensive and defensive spells were also thrown into the fray.
Although Amon did not have a specially trained squad of priests, he had made other preparations. Besides placing several supreme warriors and supreme mages into his personal guards, he also deployed dozens of warriors from the nobility who had undergone the second awakening of power to the frontlines. At the moment, both sides were somewhat evenly matched.
Gilgamesh sat on his chariot unmoving as he casted various supporting magics to bolster his troops. On the other hand, Amon stood at high alert while gripping his iron stick tightly, watching out for any sneak attacks as the two ninth level supreme mages behind him continued chanting and casting support magic on the personal guards currently fighting the elite Uruk forces. As such, the five supreme warriors fighting Enkidu were unable to continue receiving any assistance temporarily.
In a direct confrontation between elites, the better trained they were, the higher the casualties. In such a chaotic fight between horsemen, it was difficult to tell who had killed which warrior. After a period of onslaught accompanied by the chanting of magic, both sides had suffered significant losses. By now, Hevel had already fallen in a pool of blood without anyone noticing how he had died.
Gilgamesh finally stood up. Holding his staff which was glowing with magical energy, he drew his sword hanging by his waist and slowly stepped off his chariot. Taking a glance towards the two supreme mages behind him, Amon also slowly made his way forward with his iron stick. Located between the two of them, Enkidu and the five supreme warriors continued fighting. Both Commander-in-chiefs were finally going to participate in the battle.
As both armies were currently in the midst of fighting and killing, both their formations were a bit in disorder. The only thing the commanders could do was to give strict orders to the infantry troops in the rear to hold their ground at all costs to prevent the formations from collapsing. The battle had turned into a test of morale and endurance. What decided the final outcome would be the battle between the high lords in the center of the battlefield. Neither Commander-in-chief could afford to lose.
Amon moved forward one step at a time, seemingly turning a blind eye to the fierce melee between the supreme warriors. At this moment, Enkidu suddenly produced an earth shattering roar before spinning his body and making a sweeping attack with his sword. The broken broadsword emitted a blinding golden light and the five supreme warriors were sent flying away at the same time.
Gabriel, who was the one with the strongest fighting will, had blood seeping from the corner of her mouth while her battle-axe and armor already had several cracks on them. Metatro was panting heavily and the shortsword in his hand seemed to be howling in agony. Ankh’s spiked club had nearly turned into an ordinary club with most of the spikes either flattened or destroyed.
Enkidu had sensed the arrival of Gilgamesh and used all his strength to knock away the five supreme warriors to join with him. On the other hand, upon seeing that Enkidu was now by himself, Lykwid and Wadj-hotep took the opportunity to launch supreme magical attacks on him. Both casting Cracks in Space at the same time, the place where Enkidu was instantly broke into countless pieces, causing even the lights and shadows in the area to become fragmented.
Enkidu pointed his sword at the sky. A golden blade of energy burst forth. His broadsword was complete once again. Bright lights enveloped his body, protecting him completely from the effects of the spatial magic. From afar, Gilgamesh pointed with his staff. The entire area was instantly shrouded in murkiness. This was Message Annihilation, erasing the boundaries of the cracked space.
The two supreme mages were not only trying to attack Enkidu, they were also trying to prevent Gilgamesh from joining the fight. Although the magic they had used were the most appropriate ones, Gilgamesh was able to spontaneously come up with the best way to counter them with his own magic. Seeing that Gilgamesh was about to join up with Enkidu, Amon gritted his teeth and was about to leap forward with his iron stick. But suddenly, without any warning, his body was overwhelmed by weakness and fear. It was as if an ineffably powerful being with irresistible force had shadowed him, invading deep in his mind and soul. Amon was seized by fright. He felt that he was not able to move at all!
Even when he faced Enkidu, Amon had never felt this way before. What was happening? This force could not be resisted, and there was no way to resist it either. It was not targeted at Amon, but he could feel the invisible power heading straight into the depths of his soul. For an instant, he was dazed and strangely recalled all the various moments of weakness in his life as well as all the hardships and tests he had undergone thus far.
It was not just Amon, everyone in the vicinity were unable to move from where they were standing as well. All of them raised their heads at the same time and gazed at the sky. The sky turned dark somehow and the sun disappeared. The space above the battlefield was seemingly torn apart by an ominous, dark vortex, leading to an endless unknown. Nobody spoke. People could hear the thumping of hearts of each other, and the clanging sounds of weapons and armor dropping onto the ground. All the warhorses fell onto the ground, throwing off their riders who were watching everything happen with widened eyes. The fierce battle grinded to a halt and silence took over the battlefield.
Ten thousand men gazed at the space above the center of the battlefield where the dark vortex spun ceaselessly in a dazzling way. It was as though an endless, up-side-down abyss had been extended from an unknown space in the infinite height. Fear struck the hearts of the soldiers as they stood there watching. The two supreme mages were unable to calm down their hearts in order to cast theurgies on the troops and all they could manage to do was to float down to the ground.
Darkness was not a color. When all the colors and light vanished, that was the absolute darkness. However, the dark vortex in the sky seemed to be at the same time bright and dazzling. Gilgamesh had halted his steps as well and he looked at the sky in perplexity. Struggling out from the cracked sky, the center of the swirling darkness was right above Enkidu.
Suddenly awakening in shock, Enkidu finally seemed to understand something. Laughing loudly, he bellowed: “So, this is the test? Or a curse from the gods? All right! I have been waiting for you for so long!”
Leaping into the air, he slashed towards the vortex with an intensity and power even greater than when he had destroyed the cloud eagle. An incredible scene unfolded in front of everyone’s eyes as a gigantic blade of energy wrapped in golden light materialized and cut through the dark vortex with an unimaginably violent force.
However, what happened next silenced Enkidu’s laughter. The dazzling darkness merely trembled slightly as it was cut and the gigantic golden blade was instantly destroyed, disappearing completely without a trace. The vortex started churning, suddenly producing a dark thunderbolt which struck towards Enkidu.
Raising his broken weapon, Enkidu attempted to block the thunderbolt, the golden light on his scalemail trembling greatly as he did so. However, he ended up getting struck down from the sky by the thunderbolt and he crashed to the ground with a loud boom. Darkness continued to entwine his body after the thunderbolt struck, and nobody could tell who Enkidu was fighting with.
Gilgamesh was the first one to react. With a loud roar, he raised his staff to the sky and a huge image of himself materialized in the sky. It was the “divine image” which he had conjured on numerous occasions. Possessing the entire power of Gilgamesh himself, the image held a fang-like sharp spike which it now thrust towards the vortex.
Having coordinated with Enkidu for so many times, Gilgamesh knew exactly what to do. While Enkidu defended himself against the vortex, Gilgamesh would take the opportunity to unleash the most powerful magics and attack the “enemy”. However, Gilgamesh’s divine image was obliterated the moment it came into contact with the vortex, dissipating away into nothing.
Taking several steps backwards, Gilgamesh vomited a mouthful of blood before stabilizing himself with his staff. Helpless against the mysterious vortex, he suddenly realized something: there was nothing he could do to help Enkidu.
Watching as the events unfolded, Amon had no idea what was happening. If this was truly a god’s curse, he wanted to know which god it was and where the god was right now as it delivered the curse. However, even though he activated detection magic right from the start, he could not find any trace of god. Instead, what he perceived from the vortex was overwhelmingly terrifying and inexplicable information.
The sound of painful screams, angry roars, killings, and sorrowful wailing seemed to come from the height, yet also seemed to be right next to the ears at the same time. With these voices, countless people’s pain, resentment, fear, doubt, despair and other feelings penetrated into the depths of the soul, producing a severe spiritual impact, shattering his mind.
Amon was just a bystander sensing all these with detection magic. Nobody could know what Enkidu himself felt as the direct recipient of the attacks. The dark thunderbolt was not only capable of causing an immensely powerful spiritual impact on one’s soul, the lightning which entwined Enkidu’s body also constantly exploded with energies which hit his body directly. Despite swinging his broken broadsword around madly and firing off golden blades of energy around him, Enkidu was unable to dispel the lightning at all. He could not even tell who he was fighting with.
It was like a fight that Enkidu had no hope of winning. Bringing forth the greatest power he could muster, the scales on Enkidu’s scalemail exploded, turning into numerous golden clouds of dust.
The moment Amon attempted to focus on his detection magic, his body and soul was invaded by an indescribable feeling of horror, so he hurriedly retracted the detection magic. Lowering his head, he looked towards other mages on the battlefield and found that all of them wore a painful and bewildered expression. This was expected, as any mage who saw something like this happening was bound to activate detection magic to try to find out what had caused it. If they were not careful, they would inadvertently suffer spiritual damage.
Most warriors did not master any detection magic, but when they looked towards the sky, an irresistible feeling of tremor would arise. Those who could still put their thoughts together all wondered whether this was a curse from the gods. Even the Ejyptian soldiers did not have any shred of fighting spirit left as they faced the unknown terror brought forth by the vortex.
Under such circumstances, the battle between the armies could no longer proceed, and all that was left was Enkidu’s lone struggle for survival.
Recovering his wits, Amon secretly summoned the commanders near him and gave orders for the entire army to retreat. After the Ejyptian army silently made its way back, many soldiers breathed a sigh of relief. All everyone wanted to do was to leave the battlefield as soon as possible, and as far away from the vortex as possible. Sitting on his chariot during the retreat, although Amon did not look back, he could still sense the power of suffering and despair possessed by the darkness.
A unique ability that Amon had gained from the trip to the Underworld allowed him to sense other people’s emotions. Since it was an ability, he could choose to turn it off if he wanted to. However, he was unable to do so right now. Even when he ceased using detection magic, he could still sense the “emotions” of the darkness.
The dark lightning’s “emotions” seemed to be alive, but it did not seem to belong to a single person, but rather that of many people. It could penetrate into the depths of one’s soul and was undispellable by any means. How great of a willpower would one need in order to stay lucid without losing oneself in such a situation? It was similar to Amon’s experience in the Underworld.
When he was traversing between the gates of the Underworld, Amon had “heard” the prayers, curses and hatred from countless voices mixed together. He only managed to pass through safely by guarding his mind cautiously. Back then, he had sensed these emotions as they were simply present, and they did not merge together to attack his soul. But right now, Enkidu was apparently attacked by the “emotions” along with the dark lightning. One could only imagine what Enkidu was going through.
After retreating to Khenmet safely, Amon continued watching from atop the city tower. The Ejyptian army might have left the battlefield, but the Uruk legion had not moved at all. This was because Gilgamesh had not given the orders to retreat.
Gilgamesh did not give up. He summoned all the priests in the army to set up a large magical formation. Taking charge of the magical formation personally, he tried casting all kinds of magic on the dark lightning, but it didn’t work at all. Next, he tried extricating Enkidu from beneath the vortex, away from the lightning, but his efforts were in vain as well.
The dark lightning had completely enveloped Enkidu by now, and if any mage were to attempt to use detection magic on it, they would end up suffering backlash from its terrifying power. Gilgamesh’s face was drained of all color as he held his staff with trembling hands, but he refused to give up.
On the city tower, Amon continued to suffer from great pain due to his ability which had lost control and his entire body was drenched in cold sweat. However, he gritted his teeth and continued watching. He had to see this to the end as the vortex in the sky seemingly possessed a mystical force of attraction as well as secrets unknown to even the gods.
It was as if Amon understood something, yet he was even more confused. He could only try to sense it, there was no time for him to think or comprehend what was happening.
Enkidu was not only suffering from spiritual damage to his soul, he was also taking unimaginable amounts of physical damage to his body from the constant explosions of energy caused by the lightning. At this moment, Amon had an immense admiration for Enkidu as he had managed to endure such a punishing ordeal for such a long time.
His scalemail was completely disintegrated by now and his clothes had transformed into ashes. Enkidu’s muscular and burly figure was naked and exuded a bronze light which occasionally appeared from within the lightning. All this time, he had continued swinging his broken broadsword madly, producing a golden mist which wrapped around his body, but as time passed, the mist grew faint.
Just as the mist was about to dissipate completely, Enkidu gave the last roar of his life. Bursting forth with a blinding radiance once again, Enkidu made a great leap into the air, heading straight towards the center of the vortex! His voice echoed on the battlefield: “Gil, I understand! This is not a god’s curse, it is the judgement of fate!”
What exactly had Enkidu understood? Nobody could ask him this question, for it was the last sentence he uttered in his life. While Amon was dazed by his words, he suddenly heard another roar once again. Resembling the howling of countless enraged bulls, it was the roar of Humbaba! Humbaba had been slain by Enkidu long ago, so why did his roar appear in the vortex at this time?
Thrown off guard by the sudden roar, Amon’s body was seized by weakness and he nearly fell. At this moment, several supreme mages standing behind him shouted at the same time: “Watch out!”
A ray of golden light shot towards the city tower from the vortex, it was Enkidu’s broadsword! The last thing that Enkidu did in his life was not to resist the lightning. Instead, he used all his power to throw his weapon at Amon. That was his last wish. He wanted Amon dead.
The sword came too fast and too suddenly that nobody foresaw it! If it was not that the several supreme mages behind him instantly cast defensive barriers to block the sword the moment they sensed something wrong, Amon could really have been killed by Enkidu already. The ray of golden light seemed to possess the strongest and most brilliant power magic, and it did not change direction after breaking through several barriers.
By the time it reached Amon, it had already lost control. This was because the man who threw the sword no longer existed. The vortex in the sky started retracting after it had destroyed Enkidu, and all that was left of him were bits and pieces of his scalemail on the battlefield.
With great effort, Amon raised his iron stick. The golden light vanished. It had been forcefully seized into the Ventussalte. After that, he could no longer hold the blood in his mouth and lost consciousness. Metatro caught him before he fell.
As Amon’s unique ability had lost control, he was forced to sense the terrifying power of the vortex and lightning. Subconsciously, he ended up channeling his magical power to guard his mind and did not realize that he was exhausted. When he heard Humbaba’s angry roar, he was injured. And after he forced himself to use his magical power to deal with Enkidu’s sword, he finally succumbed to exhaustion and fainted.
By the time Amon woke up, it was already noon the next day. The moment he opened his eyes, all he could see was a white light gently falling onto him. Turning his head, he saw Wadj-hotep in the midst of casting healing magic on him. The other commanders were gathered around him as well.
Moving slightly, Amon discovered that his condition was very peculiar. Although his body was completely healed, he was unable to channel any magical power at all. It was as if his body completely forgot everything about magic.
The moment he opened his eyes, the people around him noticed it. One of them said in a surprised and anxious voice: “Thank Horus! You finally wake up, my commander … The Uruk legion has retreated, and we have evidence that Gilgamesh himself was seriously injured. Without your orders, we did not pursue them at once. We are waiting for your decision. Should we pursue the Uruks?”