When Amon captured the Hittite King Lucier alive, he let a cat sit on the throne to enjoy the roasted meat and wine first while the king watched. This scene enraged the imperial supreme mage Celia greatly. The fact that Amon managed to sneak in and capture the king right under her nose was already considered a great shame to her, and such behavior was even more intolerable.
Celia challenged Amon to a duel, which he agreed to. Later, at the peace banquet between the two kingdoms, the matter was brought up again, and the Pharaoh of Ejypt as well as the King of Hittite even said that they wanted to witness the duel.
Although the duel was a private affair, the duel between Celia and Amon was the equivalent of an agreement between the two rulers. Although King Lucier and Pharaoh Ramses II had died one after another most unfortunately, even the succeeding Pharaoh Merneptah could not object to Amon’s participation in the duel that the world knew of. Therefore, it was the best chance for Amon to leave Ejypt.
The duel should have been held long ago, but there were many unforeseen circumstances that delayed it. As soon as Amon returned to Ejypt with the army, the Uruk Legion from Bablon attacked in a great battle, which ended in victory for the Ejyptian Empire as well as the birth of Supreme General Amon of the Empire, who had made outstanding achievements in the war and earned endless glory. No sooner had this war subsided when the war between Hittite and Bablon broke out at the northern end of the Syrian Desert.
Prince Asher and Golier were at the frontlines of the battle and were on the verge of victory, but news suddenly came from Hattusa, the capital of Hittite Kingdom, that King Lucier was dead. Asher’s brother, Ainis, had become the new king with the support of the ministers left behind, and Prince Asher was summoned back to the capital to attend Lucier’s funeral.
Lucier had placed Prince Asher in command of the army and asked Golier to assist him, with the obvious intention of passing on the throne to Asher. This was so that he could build up his reputation and make achievements in the war before he succeeded to the throne. However, Lucier died so suddenly and everyone suspected that it had something to do with the dispute over the throne, so if Prince Asher really relinquished his military power and returned to the royal capital alone, it would be akin to sending a sheep to a lion’s den.
After seeking approval from Golier and gaining the support of the generals and commanders who followed him to the war, Prince Asher quickly negotiated an end to the war with the Kingdom of Bablon and returned to the capital together with the elite forces of the army and his generals in the name of mourning. The new king Ainis was already feeling guilty, since he knew best whether foul play had been involved in Lucier’s death, and for Prince Asher to return with the army in tow made things worse.
In a panic, he followed the advice of Chancellor Jugol and activated the magic formation guarding the capital to keep Prince Asher and the army following him out of the city, and demanded that Prince Asher enter the city alone to face the crime of disobeying the king’s orders.
It was true that Asher had not fully complied with the king’s orders, but he could not be said to be guilty. Ainis did not expect the war to end so quickly, and his original order was for Asher to give his position as commander-in-chief of the battlefield to Golier and return for the funeral by himself alone. In the end, the war was over, the forces of Bablon retreated, and Golier and his generals returned with Asher, who had apparently done nothing wrong, but had made great achievements instead!
The generals would not have any of this, and they declared that Prince Ainis had murdered his father and usurped the throne, and now he even wants to kill off the ones who had fought the war for the kingdom. After that, they started making plans to attack the capital in a mutiny. The city of Hattusa was well fortified and guarded by a great magical formation, so no matter who won, both sides will suffer great losses inevitably.
At this critical moment, Golier asked for the gates to open so that he could enter the capital alone. Being the Chief Elder of the Magic Academy of Hittite, nobody stopped him.
Golier entered the palace to meet the new king to give a report about the war. Using this opportunity, he asked the king in private: “Your Majesty, you should know what would happen if Prince Asher were to start a mutiny. The capital cannot withstand a siege from the army for long, and when that time comes, what would happen to you and the Kingdom of Hittite? Do you wish to bring harm to the entire nation due to civil strife and die with your reputation ruined, or would you rather resolve this in a peaceful manner?”
Ainis did not wish to listen to all these, so he detained Golier in the palace in the name of discussing matters of state, but it caused a split between the various factions in the capital and the discontent of the people. The Magic Academy was the first to oppose this move by the king, and even expressed that if the Chief Elder was not released, they would no longer operate the magical formation guarding the capital.
Even if Golier did not resist, Ainis did not dare to kill him. As long as he did not do so, there was still room for negotiations, while killing Golier would definitely cause a mutiny. Next, Ainis sent the Chancellor to persuade Golier to support him. As Jugol’s nephew Raphael was Golier’s favourite student, he thought that Golier would side with him.
Instead, Golier asked the Chancellor: “I won’t ask how King Lucier died, but are you aware of what will happen to you? Do you wish to pay with your life after the capital is sieged by the army and the kingdom has suffered great damage, or do you want to bring this palace coup to an honourable end without losing the lives of innocent soldiers and people? I can promise to keep your family safe if you do as I say and persuade Ainis to change his mind. He is in a state of panic right now but refuses to listen to anything I have to say.”
Eventually Golier was released from the palace, and the new king ordered him to live at the Magic Academy, and this was no different from a house arrest. At this time outside the city, Prince Asher had already led the army to heavily surround all the gates of the capital. There were many messages being passed around outside the city, and the eventual resolution of the incident was unknown to outsiders, but a mutiny did not occur after all.
The mages stopped operating the defensive magical formation, and Prince Asher led his generals together with a few hundred soldiers into the city, where they all stayed in his residence. The Magic Academy and the Shrine of Hittite sent guards separately to protect the palace and Prince Asher’s residence, and on the same night, King Ainis who had just succeeded the throne a month ago announced his abdication, passing on the throne to Asher.
Asher had regained the throne, and although a mutiny might have accomplished the same thing, it now had a completely different meaning. Ainis abdicated of his own accord, and the new king issued an edict declaring that he had taken over the throne temporarily to stabilize the situation because his father had suddenly died and the kingdom could not be without a king. But now that the rightful heir had returned from the war, Ainis’s mission was accomplished, and thus the throne was officially handed over to Asher.
This was the best ending Ainis could ask for. He was still considered one of the kings in the royal lineage of Hittite and not one who had usurped the throne. Even though he was only a king for a month, it was still considered meritorious considering the “reason” behind it. This was the result of negotiations between both parties, and Golier made Asher promise not to pursue the responsibility of all those involved in this coup.
Due to the circumstances, Ainis had no choice but to agree to such an outcome. Prince Asher succeeded the throne smoothly and prevented civil strife from breaking out. Chancellor Jugol resigned from his post with the reason that he was taken by illness, and he managed to preserve his status as well as his family. Although Asher promised not to hold the kingdom’s ministers accountable, changes in power and purges were inevitable, and the resignation of the Chancellor was one of them.
Golier remained in the capital until the situation was stabilized. His contributions were so great that King Asher did not know how to reward him. In the end, he granted Golier the privilege of not having to bow before the king, and had a special seat in the palace reserved just for Golier. Asher asked him personally: “Lord Golier, you are like a father to me, how can I thank you?”
Golier smiled. “Everything I have done is for the sake of the people of Hittite. If Your Majesty wishes to thank me, please treat this kingdom well, and let me live in the way I desire. As long as you can do this, I will be grateful to Your Majesty.”
Doing as one pleased, this was the greatest reward which almost nobody could get, but Golier got it. He did not wish to stay in the capital to be an official in power, so Asher could not force him. Golier returned to the city of Syah, where he promoted Warret to become the oracle of the city, while he remained as the Chief Elder of the Magic Academy.
Asher had wanted to appoint Raphael as the Minister of Internal Affairs, which was a way to garner the support of the factions that had originally supported Ainis, and also to give face to Golier. Raphael, however, had no such ambition and remained as a high priest of Syah.
The imperial supreme mage Celia was also kept busy during the whole ordeal, and had no time to duel Amon. At the same time, she was on the verge of a breakthrough to the eighth level, so she needed to train for some time. When she finally achieved the eighth level, the crisis had passed and peace had returned to the kingdom, so she could finally send a messenger to Amon for the duel.
Celia’s messenger had yet to depart, but Amon’s messenger arrived first, and that was Hardedef.
Amon let Hardedef leave Ejypt first with the thirty six personal guards, and he had another task at the same time, which was to go to Celia to decide on the time and place of the duel. Hardedef gave Amon’s handwritten letter to Celia, on which was written: “You pick the place, somewhere within Hittite; I decide the time, upon my arrival.” Amon told Hardedef to leave at the right time, and it had to be done when Moses and the rest were about to leave Ejypt.
Celia was quick to reply, and she immediately sent a messenger to Ejypt to set the place for the duel, and it was the location where Amon had captured King Lucier alive. The time would be decided by Amon, and Celia was ready at all times.
When Celia’s messenger arrived, Amon had to come out of isolation to receive the messenger personally, and he hosted a banquet to express his gratitude for the long journey. The messenger could not help but be secretly surprised when he saw the legendary Supreme General Amon of the Ejyptian Empire. Amon looked too young, just like a teenager, but the impression that he gave others was one that was unfathomable, like a mysterious god.
At the age of sixteen, Amon was already strong, with a physique not unlike that of an adult. As the son of an old drunkard, he was forced to mature quickly, for he had to take on the burdens of life early in the harsh environment that was the town of Duc. Later on, he was worshipped as a god among the tribes of cavemen, thus his words and actions naturally carried a certain air.
But these were not the main reasons. Amon had just experienced hundreds of years through Schrodinger’s spiritual imprint as if he had truly lived for hundreds of years! He used to give people the impression that he was merely far more mature than those of his age, but right now Amon gave the feeling of an unpredictable depth.
But his appearance hadn’t changed much since he was seventeen when he broke through the seventh level achievement of the power of two sides. He still had a very handsome face, short hair with a slight curl, and a smile that sometimes made him look like a child. The messenger originally had full confidence in his master Celia, but after seeing Amon with his own eyes, his heart was lost, and he had to hurry back to tell Celia about this feeling.
The messenger was a young man in his twenties with a round head and round eyes, and he had a cute but elegant appearance. His name was Rulio, Amon told Rulio that he would soon leave for the appointed location of the duel at the southwest shore of the inland lake, and he would inform Celia as soon as he arrived.
Rulio smiled as he said: “The Supreme General does not need to inform Lord Celia, I will wait for you there, and as soon as you arrive, Lord Celia will be informed.”
Before Rulio left, he pointed at Schrodinger who was beside Amon and said: “Is this the cat that the Supreme General brings to the battlefield? It is truly exceptional!”
Schrodinger sneezed and turned her head to ignore Rulio. After he had left, Schrodinger said to Amon: “This messenger is not human, have you noticed it?”
Amon was slightly startled. “I thought that this man was not simple, but I didn’t notice that he wasn’t human. What do you mean by that?”
Schrodinger said: “You have all the knowledge that I possess, but you did not reach the level that I did after all. That’s why you could only sense something different with that person but not discover the reason behind it. He should be similar to me back then, a beast that has activated their wisdom and gone on the path of practice. As this means that he is able to transform into a human form instead of using transfiguration or some message magic, so you weren’t able to notice it. Do you still remember what Celia said when she asked you for a duel?”
Amon paused for a moment before replying: “She said to me then – when this war is over, I will bring the beast I have summoned, and you will bring the cat with you and we will have a real duel!”
Schrodinger nodded, “Since she proposed to bring pacted beasts to the duel, Celia must be an expert of summoning magic. The summoned beast she’s talking about is probably this Rulio, who had now come early to see his opponent. You must be careful in this duel, and the one you should be wary of is this beast she made a pact with.”
Amon had never practised summoning magic, but he understood how it worked. There were mages who would raise some powerful beasts who had activated their wisdom. They would then teach the beasts various powers and bind them to their service using a pact of souls. Once the pact was made, the beasts’ lives depended on the mages and they could summon them to assist in a battle. From a broad sense, Bastet could be considered Osiris’s summoned beast or pacted beast, and from an even broader sense, the spiritual magic in the Underworld could also be considered a type of summoning magic, being able to gather people’s souls for one’s use.
But supreme summoning magic among mortals usually referred to supreme mages establishing pacts with powerful beasts and teaching them how to practice. The mages would also provide various aids to the beasts in exchange for their help in battle when the mages fought powerful enemies.
Sometimes, the pacted beasts were even more powerful than their masters, and the pact needed to be made voluntarily. After all, it was immensely difficult for beasts in the wild to train properly, and if they were unlucky, they could be hunted down as demons. Thus it was better and much more convenient to resort to help and protection from a supreme mage.
Amon nodded. “I’ve seen Celia fight, and for a seventh level supreme mage, she’s already very powerful. After not seeing her for such a long time, it might be possible for her to break through to the eighth level as well, but I’m confident that I won’t lose to her yet. As for Rulio, he concealed his power so that I couldn’t see how powerful he actually is, but at the very least he should be at the same or higher realm compared to me, and should be stronger than Celia.”
Schrodinger said with concern: “He has at least an eighth level achievement, and as a magical beast, he is definitely more than an ordinary human supreme mage. You’ve seen how El Mar has an innate magic foundation which doesn’t change from the awakening of power. Many magical beasts don’t even require the second awakening of power once they achieve supreme levels. They all have secrets that are linked to their own nature. Celia asked you to fight her and her pacted beast with me, but unfortunately I don’t have the power to help you in a fight. Can you handle the both of them by yourself?”
Amon looked at Schrodinger and smiled softly. “Are you willing to be my pacted beast?”
Schrodinger replied in an ambiguous tone: “Do you really need a pact with me? For just this one? Of course I won’t refuse, but it will not help you in any substantial way.”
Amon laughed. “Why are you saying it so pitifully? I’m not Osiris, you’re not Bastet, and I’ve never treated you as a pet, a servant, or an emissary, much less would I ask you to do such a thing. As for the duel with Celia, I’ve already thought of a candidate, and this can serve as a good experience for it.”
Schrodinger said: “Are you talking about El Mar? I’m not too sure about its current strength, but it shouldn’t be a match for Rulio yet.”
Amon shook his head. “I have no intention of letting El Mar deal with Rulio, it only needs to keep Celia occupied while I deal with this powerful summoned beast myself. This duel will definitely be interesting. …Let’s not talk about that, this duel is just an excuse for me to leave Ejypt, my main concern right now is you.”
Schrodinger: “Me? Isn’t that easy enough, just like before, you can put me in your bag and we can leave Ejypt together. As for the matter of unlocking the soul seal, you have already done your best. There’s no need to rush, you can take your time. Take care of your own things first, there’s no need to delay anything because of me.”
Amon looked up at the sky and sighed a long sigh, as if he had a deep sense of regret. Schrodinger asked strangely, “What’s the matter with you, it’s rare to hear you sigh like that, it’s as if you’ve discovered or lost something?”
Amon smiled. “Before that messenger arrived, I have already found out what imprisons your soul. As long as you’re willing to, you can be free at any time. But the solution exists only in your own hands. If you cannot free yourself, nobody can free you.”
Schrodinger said in surprise and joy: “Have you found a way to set me free? Why wouldn’t I be willing to be free? Tell me now. I’ve been waiting for a hundred years for this day, and this day has finally arrived.”
Amon, however, was in no hurry and sat down beside Schrodinger, patting its back gently with his hand. “Whatever method Osiris has used is not for me to understand yet, but the imprisonment of the soul is first and foremost in your own hands. I need to ask you a few questions. First of all, am I correct to say that the goddess Bastet didn’t actually disappear, and her soul is just living in a different body now?”