The title of the story was “The Book of the Dead”, and it started off like most other Ejyptian legends. One’s life was like the flowing of the Nile River, where the end was the Underworld ruled by Osiris. The god of the dead would sent out a huge crescent-shaped ship to collect the souls of the dead, and when Osiris’s servant, the goddess Bastet in the form of a cat, appeared next to the corpse, the soul would be resurrected in the Underworld and be judged by Osiris for all the good and bad deeds they had done in their life.02
However, the story also mentioned the story of Bastet. Bastet was a goddess, but due to the judgement of fate, she became a cat which guarded the granaries for Ejyptians to atone for her sins. When she gradually regained her divine power, Osiris sealed and took control of her divine power, making her a servant of the Underworld.
So, that was it! Amon had never heard of this story before. It seemed that the goddess must have experienced a mishap and turned into a cat. After seeing the existence of the Scorpion King, it was not surprising for a cat to go on the path of practising the power of the gods as well. What was surprising was the cat falling under the control of Osiris and its divine power getting sealed. It was difficult to understand how this had happened.
The content of the book was not that long, but Amon looked at it throughout the night. It was only when the sun rose outside the window did he finally close the book and place it back into the copper box. Schrodinger must have wanted to tell him about the past of the Ennead and why she was trapped in the body of a cat. If Amon wanted to save her, he had to understand the cause and effect of what happened, and this was explained by the contents of the book.
Thinking of this, Amon smiled bitterly. He greatly sympathized with what Schrodinger had encountered and was willing to do everything possible to help her, but he was not even capable of protecting himself right now. Until now, his lost power had no signs of returning. Amon did not even know how to solve his own predicament, not to mention helping Schrodinger to release her seal.
Idu stayed at Amon’s place for a few days and read the book as well, but he was unable to make any sense of it.
Amon’s new territory naturally had to be built well to make it seem like he was going to live there for a long time. Numerous houses, a base camp for the guards, stables, as well as private gardens were constructed around his manor.
According to the usual customs of Ejypt, a private shrine also had to be built, and most of the time it would be used to worship Horus. But Amon had his own ideas, and just like his residence in the city of Memphis, he wanted the shrine to be used for the worship of Bastet. This obviously would make Schrodinger happy as well.
When Amon gave this order, Idu happened to be beside him. He smiled and said: “Someone once mentioned this to me privately. When you were holding King Lucier hostage, you let a cat sit on the main seat and eat first while Lucier waited by the side and you roasted the meat. The Supreme General’s love for his cat is unparalleled, and even the shrine in the manor is dedicated to the goddess Bastet.”
Amon asked with a smile: “Can’t I do that? Does this violate any rules?”
Idu replied: “Goddess Bastet is important in Ejypt. You certainly can worship Her.”
Amon glanced out the window and wondered where Schrodinger was playing right now. Nodding his head, he said: “Since High Priest Idu says so, then all the more I should worship the goddess properly.”
Idu suddenly remembered something and joked: “Everyone knows how much you love your cat. The book you borrowed also mentioned the goddess Bastet in the end, no wonder you would be interested. Could it be that your cat was the one who wanted you to read that book?”
Amon didn’t answer the question and simply smiled. Changing the topic, Amon lowered his voice and said: “I have something to ask you, High Priest.”
Seeing that his expression suddenly became serious, Idu also lowered his voice. “Feel free to ask me anything. If you need my help personally, just let me know.”
“You are also aware of my current situation. Being famous and revered, it is inconvenient for me to make any move. If I wish to leave my territory to do anything, I need to report to the nearest city and the Ejyptian officials. In order to leave, I need an excuse which nobody will object to and seems logical.”
Idu smiled again. “That’s easy. The next Hapisidis is within a few months. You were once an honorary warrior in the Shrine of Isis, and you also made meritorious services at the ceremony in the previous year. Going to Memphis to participate in the ceremony is naturally logical. All you need to do is to send a greeting to the Adoratrice. Her Highness often mentions you, so it would be right for you to pay her a visit.”
“That’s right, I nearly forgot about the Hapisidis. Last year’s ceremony happened during the war when we were still at the frontlines. Counting the days, the date for the next ceremony should be in about half a year. I’ll just wait patiently for it then.”
Idu asked again: “Is there anything else I can help with?”
Amon wanted to say something, but held back. Instead, he replied: “I have nothing else to bother you with, hope you have a safe journey on your way back. When you return and meet the Adoratrice, please convey my greetings and gratitude!”
Amon wanted to ask Idu whether a seventh-level mage would also lose his power before advancing to the eighth level. If this was a necessary test, how should one pass the test? Amon was well aware that Idu was different from most supreme mages as he had also started off as a sorcerer just like Crazy’Ole.
But just as he wanted to say it, he had second thoughts. No matter how close they were, Idu was the High Priest of the Shrine of Isis after all, and certain secrets were better left unsaid. They had even deliberately avoided mentioning Crazy’Ole between the two of them. Amon’s loss of power was an absolute secret that was not known even by Metatro and the others.
When Idu left, Amon could not let him go empty-handed, so he gave him several exceptionally valuable gifts. Money was the one thing which Amon did not lack now. Idu accepted his gifts and returned his generosity with another gift. It was the crystal shuttle that he used to drive when the both of them had gone to spy on the enemy’s camp.
The shuttle resembled a small translucent dish. There was a Ventussalte embedded right in the center and three Aquaticores embedded on the outside. From the outside, they looked as though they had been part of the shuttle all along instead of being embedded in it. It was not as fast as the most common shuttles, but it was able to transform the surrounding space into a blurry translucent state, which made it difficult to be detected.
If one wanted to travel in stealth while minimizing usage of magical power, it could also turn its surroundings into a state resembling gray or white mist. In that way, it would appear like a cloud floating by. Riding this shuttle also allowed one to avoid the perception of detection magic, and if a safe distance was maintained, even supreme mages could not discover it. Back then, it was thanks to this amazing tool that allowed Idu and Amon to discover King Lucier’s location.
This magical tool could only be manipulated by supreme mages, but Idu gave it to Amon and said meaningfully: “With my current status, I have sufficient wealth and power to get whatever I want, but an object like this crystal shuttle is something that cannot be easily bought or found. I created it with my own hands, and it symbolizes the hardships that we experienced together, so please accept it. Perhaps it will be more useful to you than it is to me.”
This gift was truly something good. If Amon ever regained his power and wanted to quietly escape from Ejypt, this object was the best tool to accomplish it. Even if Amon did not use it himself, it would also be great to give it to his disciples. Thus, he expressed his thanks to Idu and accepted it immediately.
Thus Idu left. Hardedef, on the contrary, continued to stay in Amon’s manor as he did not have the slightest notion of returning to Memphis. Every day, he went hunting on horsebacks with Amon’s guards and hunted crocodiles in the Nile River, enjoying himself very much. When the shrine was being built, Hardedef even took the initiative to supervise the work, moving the materials, mining the stones, and deploying the workers, in the same manner as he did when he had commanded the soldiers in the legion.
The miners of Duc were the best craftsmen in existence, and Amon appointed Hardedef to be in charge of them for the time being. Hardedef then asked Moses to let one third of his men take turns at building the shrine of Bastet. After Hardedef advanced to a supreme warrior and succeeded at integrating the restless power within him into his body and mind, his temper became much better than before, and he no longer scolded or beat people as he wanted. But no matter where he stood, he would still give off a dangerous aura.
Amon asked Hardedef when he was going back to Memphis. Hardedef shook his head and said: “I don’t want to go back to Memphis. Staying here is much better. Just let me stay here for now. There are many things that need to be done here, I can help you train your guards while I’m still here. I also wish to wait for Metatro to come back so that I can spar with him.”
Hearing that, Amon could only continue to let Hardedef stay. Not long after that, Metatro returned on a shuttle together with Lynk. Before Metatro left, Amon had told him to bring Lynk back to see him if it was possible as there were matters to task Lynk with. At the same time, he also wanted to see how much progress Lynk had made with his training.
The news brought by Lynk was very good. In a short period of time, he not only led his tribesmen to establish a firm holding, they were also able to gather thousands of people to start building a city. By now, a rough outline of a city had already appeared. Many of these people were other tribes of cavemen who left the mountains, and much of them were in fact giants.
After the flood gradually receded, the island where Lynk’s tribe was located got bigger and bigger. Eventually, it became the largest piece of fertile land in the center of the swamp. Several paths leading to the east and north also appeared, so it was no longer necessary to ride on El Mar and the other Ironbacks when they wanted to leave the island. With the changes in the climate and landscape in this area, many beasts appeared on the Duc Plains. Some tribes that left the mountains to hunt on the plains discovered the existence of a large village here, and many of them offered to join Lynk’s tribe on their own accord.
Coincidentally, the area around the Syah Plateau suffered a flood not long ago. After the climate changed, the volume of rain increased, which had nothing to do with the gods. After a rainstorm which lasted a long time, flash floods occurred in many parts of the plateau, washing away and destroying many villages of the giants. Much of their prey which they hunted for food also went missing in the process, thus they were forced to leave their homes and go to the plains.
The simple-minded giants initially had several conflicts with the cavemen in Lynk’s village, but they were all dealt with by Lynk. Later on, Lynk took in many wandering giants, giving them work to do and a place to live and eat. In a way, he had saved them.
Much of what they had achieved were also thanks to Aesop. Aesop was the one who was in charge of assigning different jobs to everyone and he also drafted plans for reclaiming the wilderness, building houses and village walls efficiently. He also assigned people to keep watch and patrol the surroundings, as well as organized warriors in groups to carry out hunting, making full use of the manpower they had.
On the other hand, Lynk had nothing much to do. When Metatro arrived, before he had said anything, Lynk asked Metatro to bring him back to see Amon.
Although Lynk was the leader of his tribe and was considered the most able leader among the cavemen tribes, he had never been to any other places besides the wilderness in the mountains and the plains near Duc. On his way to Amon’s territory, he was excited by everything he saw, so he begged Metatro to bring to the cities to take a look.
Metatro made fun of him several times, but accepted his request eventually and brought him to several cities. There were many interesting and fanciful items in the cities which dazzled Lynk and made him drool in excitement. He ended up buying all sorts of things including many kinds of grain seeds and various farming tools, and they were all packed into the spatial artifact carried by Metatro.
After several days’ delay, they finally made it back to Amon’s territory. There was also another thing which frustrated Metatro. He just became a seventh-level supreme warrior and supreme mage, and he thought that he had surely surpassed Lynk this time. Instead, Lynk had managed to do the same, putting him on the same level as Metatro.
The two of them had gone to the swamp for a little sparring. When it came to magical power, they were evenly matched. But when it came to physical skill, Metatro gained the upper hand. After all, he was a warrior who had experienced fighting a war on the battlefield, and he had even fought Enkidu head-on before.
However, just as Lynk was about to lose to Metatro, he suddenly blew a whistle, and El Mar appeared from nowhere. With El Mar’s help. Lynk was able to overwhelm Metatro and achieve a complete victory! Metatro accused Lynk of cheating, but Lynk only laughed.
Seeing that Lynk also made it to the seventh-level, Amon was very happy and said with a smile: “At the beginning, you said that as you built a new home on fertile soil, every day was a fruitful day where new creations could be witnessed. As long as you maintain such a mentality, life will be full of positive meanings.”
Amon was not in a hurry to send Lynk back, and he made him work as a steward for the time being. Lynk was mainly responsible for managing the daily life of Moses and his people, and assigning them their daily work. Amon had done so with good intentions, because if the former Ducians ever returned to their hometown at the Duc Plains, they had to integrate into the new city built by Lynk’s people and live in harmony with the other residents.
Amon did not get close to the Ducians and maintained his appearance towards them as a Supreme General who was high above. Most of the time, he did not even have the opportunity to meet them, and all the good deeds were left to Lynk to be done. Whatever supplies, tools or food Moses and his people needed, Lynk would provide it. Lynk also maintained a friendly and kind attitude towards them, so Moses and the rest were grateful to him.
There was also another task for Lynk, and that was to secretly supervise the training of Moses and the rest. Although nobody in Amon’s territory would meddle with what they did, it was still important to be vigilant and ensure that the information was not leaked to the outside world. Now that Lynk has now achieved the seventh-level, it was easy for him to remain undetected by Moses and his people.
Amon’s arrangements could already be considered to be cautious enough, but one day, while Moses was training in the valley with his twelve kinsmen, they were discovered. Talking about this matter, one had to start with Hardedef.
Hardedef was extremely excited to see Metatro back as he had been eager to spar with him. As soon as Metatro arrived, he was dragged off to drinking by Hardedef, and after that, they would spar at the hunting ground. In the end, they sparred for three days in a row and Metatro won all three times.
Hardedef was very frustrated by the results. They were both seventh-level supreme warriors, and Hardedef had the advantage of utilizing the restless power within him for an explosive burst of strength, but he was still unable to win. It was because Metatro could use various magical arts to support him during the fight, and he made sure to use them very stealthily so that it would not be revealed.
Hardedef refused to give up despite being defeated repeatedly, and he continued asking Metatro to spar with him while training hard. Deciding to play a joke on him, Metatro told him secretly that Lynk was also a supreme warrior who had received teaching from Amon just like himself, so Hardedef could also look for Lynk to spar with.
If not for Metatro, Hardedef really could not tell that Lynk was a supreme warrior. This was because Lynk was now working as a steward, and Hardedef had never seen him with a weapon before. After that, Hardedef went to look for Lynk. At that time, Lynk was supervising the work at the construction site, and he ended up fighting Hardedef in the presence of Moses and the rest. Hardedef was defeated once again!
This time, Hardedef finally gave up, realizing that there was always someone stronger out there. Seeing that Metatro did not continue to serve as the captain of Amon’s guards, Hardedef pleaded with Amon to let him take the post as he wanted to stay beside the Supreme General.
Amon had the right to appoint a noble as captain of his guards, so he agreed to it. Although the captain of the guards did not have much power, he had a high status, and this appointment was equivalent to promoting Hardedef one rank.
As the captain of the guard, in addition to protecting Amon, Hardedef also managed the security affairs of Amon’s territory. Hardedef was very diligent and often took the guards to patrol the territory. However, there was not much to deal with. Including Amon, there were four supreme warriors as well as thirty six imposing and skilled guards around, who would dare to find trouble in Amon’s territory?
Amon obviously wasn’t keeping so many experts around for no reason. He had been unable to regain his power for a long time, so subconsciously, anxiety had taken root in his mind. How was he going to accomplish those difficult wishes if he did not even have the ability to protect himself? Even his own situation seemed dire, so the more trusted experts he had around himself, the better it was.
Actually, Amon could already send the Ducians to the Duc Plains by letting Lynk “escort” them, but he did not do so. Besides wanting to continue to train them, his loss of power was another reason. This was his wish and also a promise he had made to Inanna, so he felt that it was best to wait until he had regained his power. In case anything happened, he would also have the capability to deal with it.
Hardedef often patrolled Amon’s territory with the guards, and sometimes they would also go hunting in the hills at the western side. One day, Hardedef detected a fluctuation of magical energy in a well concealed valley near the quarry, as if someone was casting some powerful magic. He was taken aback and told his men to stay put and take a rest. Next, he quietly climbed to the top of a nearby hill and from there, he saw Moses demonstrating supreme elemental magic to twelve miners in the valley!
Hardedef was surprised, but he said nothing after returning and continued patrolling with his men. Lynk was originally responsible for supervising in secret, but Hardedef was very observant and alert. By the time Lynk realized it, it was too late. Knowing that Hardedef had discovered the secret about Moses and his people, Lynk reported to Amon about what had happened.
Amon heard that Hardedef did not do anything about it, so he just waited calmly as well, as he knew that Hardedef probably had his own plans.
Ejyptians loved cats, but they did not eat fish. Cats liked to eat fish, but most cats did not catch fish themselves, so interestingly, Ejyptian cats did not get to eat fish. Schrodinger had access to any delicacies she wanted, but she still preferred to eat the meat personally grilled by Amon.
One day, when Schrodinger was eating, she suddenly said: “Amon, you are so good at grilling meat, the fish you grill must be even better!”
As soon as Amon heard that, he knew that Schrodinger wanted to eat fish. This was the first time the cat had taken the initiative to ask him, so how could he not fulfil this simple wish? As Ejyptians did not fish and eating fish was considered an offense to Osiris, it was inconvenient for the servants to catch fish. Thus, Amon headed to the Nile River to catch the fish himself without bringing anyone else along.
Hardedef was patrolling the riverbank with the guards that day, and he saw that Amon was circling around the Nile River in a boat. So he stopped by the riverbank and asked Amon if he needed help with anything. Amon smiled and said: “It’s nothing, I’m just here to see the scenery.” Later on, Hardedef found out that the Supreme General had done the same thing for the past few days, and he was even more puzzled by it.
One day, when Hardedef was patrolling the shrine, he detected a tantalising scent mixed with a slight fishy smell and suddenly realized something. After that, he went to look for Metatro to discuss something. At first, Metatro was reluctant, but after Hardedef continued to persuade him and said something, he finally agreed to it. After several days, Hardedef invited Amon to a banquet for a drink.