Prince Snek, who was sitting in the chariot, finally spoke. “Amon, the Pharaoh ordered me to bring you back.”
Amon’s voice was not loud, but it could be heard clearly by the thousand men on the other side. “Are you Prince Snek? It’s been hard on you, having to travel so far with so many people just for me. Since you have seen me, please tell this to Merneptah – Supreme General Amon has resigned!”
Prince Snek shouted in anger: “The title, the rewards and honor bestowed upon you by the Empire, do you think you can give it up as you please? Are you going to give up your territory and abandon your titles? Even if you were to resign as a Supreme General, you still have to obey the orders of the Empire!”
Amon replied with a soft sigh: “Snek, I don’t think you’re getting one thing right. I’ve done enough for the Ejyptian Empire. Your father, Pharaoh Ramses II, is the one who owes me, while I, on the other hand, don’t owe you anything. It’s none of my business what orders Merneptah gave you!”
Prince Snek had an ugly expression on his face. “General Amon, do you know the consequences of speaking like that? No matter what, you’re coming back with me! I also want you to know that your escaped slaves, the people of Duc, have been found, and they are now trapped at the coast. I sent my soldiers to capture them this morning, and if they cannot be captured alive, they will be executed on the spot. If you are willing to return with me now, I can send someone to rescind the order. Otherwise, you and your clansmen will suffer the same fate!”
Amon’s face remained the same, but his pupils were contracting. He knew that it was too late for Snek to rescind his orders. Everything that Snek had just said was nothing but nonsense, he could only hope that Metatro and Lynk would be able to guide Moses out in time.
Seeing Amon’s silence, Prince Snek thought that his threat worked, so he softened his tone a little and said: “I do not wish to make things difficult for you, Supreme General, but if you are willing to return with me, everything is negotiable. You have made monumental contributions to the Empire, and whatever mistakes you have made, they are all forgivable.”
Amon took a step forward and said: “Snek, did you really give that order?”
Even though he was a hundred paces away, Snek was still unnerved by Amon’s stare, but he couldn’t lose the dignity of a prince, so he swallowed his saliva and nodded as he said: “Yes, if General Amon is willing to turn back, I will immediately withdraw my order. Those men are your slaves, you can give the order yourself for them to be captured.”
Amon took another step forward and asked: “If I refuse your request, are you going to give the same order for me?”
Snek’s forehead involuntarily broke out in fine sweat and he snapped in a deep voice: “Amon, don’t force me!”
Amon walked slowly with his hands behind his back, his voice echoing through the wilderness: “Force you? What right do you have for me to force you? I am not a citizen of Ejypt. I came all the way to Ejypt to return the relics of Nero, the oracle of Cape, and received a reward as promised by him. Because of this gift, I was chased after by the noblemen and almost died on the banks of the Nile.
It was the Adoratrice and the supreme warrior Gabriel who have saved my life, and they made me an honorary warrior of the Shrine of Isis, for when I was a miner in the town of Duc, I had offered the God’s tear which I extracted personally to Goddess Isis. During the Hapisidis, I intercepted the assassins, and as a reward, I was given the opportunity to go to Mount Horeb. This was the greatest thing I had received since my arrival in Ejypt, for I had found my people.
I diligently trained in the art of warfare and scouted deep into the wilderness, and after becoming a supreme warrior, I passed the examination and was appointed as the Head of the An-Ra Legion, which I had formed and trained personally, and went on to make numerous achievements on the battlefield. I went behind enemy lines and captured the Hittite king alive, saving the Eyptian army from annihilation, facilitated peace talks between the two countries, and saved the lives of countless people as a result of avoiding war.
Just as my army returned home, the Uruk Legion invaded, and I was ordered to command thousands of troops and repel the most powerful enemy on the continent. All the glory that I achieved was earned by my own efforts, not by the grace of Ramses II! I cared not for status and titles, but only had one wish, and that is to be able to return my people to their homeland.
I had done so much for Ejypt, but your father still refused to do so, and they became my slaves. I had a territory on the plains of Duc and ordered my own slaves to cultivate it, and this did not violate any laws, but reality forced them to become fugitive slaves. It was I who acquiesced in their escape, and it was their own willingness to flee, and let’s be honest, this is probably not some secret that Your Highness does not know about!
Now, I am on my way to a distant land to participate in a duel, a duel that was started due to the fact that I had captured the Hittite king alive, which had been done to save the army of Ejypt and your father, Ramses II.
You are a mere stranger to me, leading an army I trained with my own hands, blocking me from fulfilling my promise, ordering the death of my people, and threatening me with the same fate. If you were me, what would you be doing right now? Do you ridiculously think that I would be afraid of death, that a man afraid of death would capture the Hittite king alone?”
In the middle of the conversation Amon had already reached a distance of about seventy paces from the military formation, his expression growing dark. Prince Snek suddenly sensed a hint of danger and he shouted hoarsely: “Amon, stop right there!”
Amon ignored it and continued walking slowly forward as he said: “You’re the one who told me to come back, I’m walking back here, so why do you want me to stop?”
Prince Snek shouted, “Amon, the lives of your people are still in my hands, do not act rashly!”
Amon smiled coldly. “That is the fate that they have to face on their own, I have my choices to make and I am willing to suffer the consequences for it. Snek, are you afraid? Have you seen what is going to happen to you?”
Snek raised his arm and said: “How could I be afraid of you, I am the Prince of the Ejyptian Empire, don’t you dare to be rude to me!” In the army, when the commander-in-chief did this action, it was taken as a signal. The archers put their arrows on the string, and the cavalrymen raised their spears and twisted their backs as they opened their arms.
Amon sighed. “Too bad Ramses II is dead! You want me back, well, here I am!”
As he spoke he was only about fifty paces away, close enough for a supreme warrior to launch a fatal blow at any moment. Snek couldn’t believe that Amon would take the initiative to launch an attack. He hadn’t been to the battlefield or seen people like Enkidu, but Amon’s approaching steps frightened him, so he shouted loudly: “Amon, please kneel down and let yourself be bound, don’t come any closer. Get back from me or I will give the order to attack.”
Amon continued smiling coldly. “Kneel and be bound, on what grounds, aren’t you here to invite me back? What right do you have to give the order to attack? Snek, do you dare to have a bet? Let’s bet on what will happen to you.”
Amon’s soft voice contained a strange power which could impact the soul. Snek’s ears buzzed, his mind filled with a tearing sensation, and as he watched Amon step closer and closer with killing intent, he finally couldn’t hold back any longer and waved the raised arm forward. “Attack! This is an order from…”
He wanted to say that it was an order from the oracle, but Amon didn’t give him a chance to continue speaking. Only a few dozen paces away, as Snek’s arm fell, Amon’s slow-moving form sharply transformed into a shadow that lunged straight at him, punching out into the air with his bare fist!
Flying arrows and spears rained down, and the way Snek had set up the army, his own guards were in the center, while the forces from An-Ra Legion lined up on either side. The arrows and spears shot by the An-Ra Legion’s soldiers did not hit anything, landing in the open as they crossed paths behind Amon. Amon rushed forward so quickly that he was no longer in the same place when the soldiers made their move.
In fact, even if he hadn’t been fast enough, the arrows wouldn’t have been able to reach him. The soldiers of the An-Ra Legion were reluctant to attack Amon, but were compelled by orders to finish the job. Trained soldiers knew that a projectile-type weapon attacking a moving target from the side had to take into account the weapon’s flight time as well as the opponent’s forward speed, and could not be aimed directly. But these soldiers were deliberately aiming behind Amon, and no one would be held accountable for missing their shots since they all shot together anyway.
But the personal guards around Snek would show no mercy, and their arrows and spears flew towards Amon head on. Amon swung his fist and the air in front of him erupted in a cloud of pale silver light. Power which resembled a storm lashed out, and the arrows and spears were all swept away.
The guards felt the surging pressure whistling at their eardrums, and for a moment they couldn’t even hear anything at all. Amon’s punch knocked away several cavalrymen, the men together with their horses, who were in front of Snek’s chariot. A few mages around Snek just raised their staffs and conjured various colorful shields in front of the chariot, one of which was a transparent air elemental shield, while a fire dragon soared out to meet Amon’s incoming form. This prince was surrounded by several mages, and among them there was even a supreme mage!
These people’s skills were not insignificant, and if they had launched a joint attack from the start, even if they couldn’t take down Amon, they might not have been able to give him the chance to approach with ease. But the time to react now was too short, and they could only do so in haste. Amon’s fist, with its furious energy and surging silver light, swept away the incoming arrows and projectiles, scattered the fire dragon, and shattered the shields with a series of explosions.
In the end, only a muffled “boom” could be heard, and the air elemental shield that the supreme mage had conjured to protect Prince Snek was forcibly shattered. Amon’s fist did not hit Snek directly, and he flew out backwards from the powerful impact. Just as Amon’s right hand shattered the air elemental shield, his left hand threw a punch to meet the sword stabbing towards his side.
Rod Drick had been sitting in the same chariot as Snek. The governor of Cape, who was a level six advanced warrior himself, saw Amon rushing towards the chariot, so he could only grit his teeth and drew his sword to stab at Amon. Without even looking, Amon punched out in retaliation, his fist carrying a thin film of silver light as if it was an invisible glove, and it shattered Rod Drick’s sword from the tip all the way to the end of the blade. Rod Drick was blown away from the impact, and was caught by a spell cast by the mages before he landed on the ground.
From the moment Snek ordered the attack to the moment the air elemental shield exploded with a muffled “boom”, a blink of an eye had just passed. Then two figures flew out one after the other, it was Amon and Rod Drick. Prince Snek sat still in the chariot, leaning against the back of the seat with his mouth agape like a stone statue frozen in fear.
Rod Drick was caught and he passed out with his eyes closed. Several of the priests who had followed along hurriedly casted healing spells, but even after a long time, they could not wake the Head of the Legion up – it seemed that he was injured quite seriously! The very center of the military formation was in a mess, and without orders from the Head of the Legion, the commanders would not act rashly. On the other hand, the most important concern of Snek’s personal guards was the safety of the prince.
Snek was unharmed all over his body. Amon’s fist had only reached three feet in front of him and shattered the air elemental shield, before he fought off Rod Drick’s sword and flew backwards, and everyone reckoned that the prince was probably scared out of his wits. The captain of the guards and the accompanying imperial supreme mage jumped onto the chariot, the personal guards surged like a tidal wave to the front of the chariot with shields held high, and the magical formation activated to guard the area tightly.
The captain of the guards gently patted Snek’s cheek and asked: “Are you all right, Your Highness?”
The imperial supreme mage then turned pale and said: “Don’t touch the Prince! Healing magic, quick, everyone try to heal him!” He held his staff aloft in chanting, and the surrounding mages worked their magic hastily. Countless soft lights fell on the Prince’s body, but Snek continued sitting still while unresponsive and staring ahead, his pupils already dilated.
Rod Drick, who’s eyes were closed, heard the anxious voice of the priests. “Lord Drick, wake up! His Highness the Prince is dead!”
In actual fact, Rod Drick had not fainted. Amon’s punch caused him to suffer great discomfort, but there seemed to be a tacit understanding between the two. Rod Drick flew out in a tumble, but he only suffered a slight shock. After Rod Drick was caught using magic before he landed, he simply closed his eyes, and no matter how much the priests treated him, he “insisted” on being unconscious.
Amon’s blow had saved him. As the Head of the An-Ra Legion, Rod Drick had been sitting next to Prince Snek with an army of over a thousand men. If Amon had killed the Prince right before him while he remained unharmed and failed to capture Amon, he would have been severely punished.
Now, this outcome was the best he could hope for. The prince was killed on the spot, while Rod Drick was seriously wounded. At least in this way, he was faithful to his duty. At that moment, he had no choice but to stab towards Amon, and in his heart he could only pray that the gods would let Amon strike lightly, but not too lightly.
Rod Drick saw Amon’s punch with his own eyes, and it vaguely had the power of Enkidu’s punch back then. To his alarm, he instantly understood that Snek could not have lived. Snek had never been on a battlefield before, nor had he ever commanded an army in real battle, so he probably could not have expected what happened up to the moment he died.
In order to catch up with Amon, Snek could not bring infantry troops. Whether it was cavalry or charioteers, their real power in battle was to charge at full speed, not to put up a front to intimidate others.
Even though there were a thousand soldiers, they couldn’t all be piled up in front of him, and Snek would have to speak to Amon from the very center of the formation, at the frontmost part. If he had been fighting a real battle, allowing Amon to strut all the way to a spot thirty paces in front of him would simply be akin to seeking death.
If Amon was an enemy, Snek should have set up a military formation in front of him, and then have the mages set up a magical formation to cover the military formation, with the cavalry and chariots on both flanks with their heavy crossbows ready and waiting. Unfortunately, Amon was not guilty of any crime yet, and Snek had only come to ask the Supreme General to return, not even realizing at first that Amon really dared to kill, and furthermore, taking the life of the prince right in the middle of the army.
When Amon punched the air elemental shield and shattered it, a stream of energy penetrated into Snek’s body and spread out. Snek’s whole body was paralyzed and unable to move, and his heartbeat and breathing stopped in an instant. This was the technique of Duc, and Amon had taken a life using his fist by hitting through the air without hitting the target directly. That was why Snek seemed unharmed even though he had died.
The guards were not sure that Prince Snek was dead at first, and their top priority was to protect the Prince from any further attack by Amon. The shield formation and the magical formation were immediately put in place, and the guards behind them also blocked the rear. The An-Ra Legion formations on both sides did not receive any further orders, so they simply stood still. In fact, they couldn’t catch up with Amon even if they wanted to.
Amon flew out backwards, landing steadily a hundred paces away, walking away into the distance with his hands behind his back. Even though he appeared to be walking slowly, his figure blurred and soon disappeared into the horizon at the end of the road before Snek’s personal guards had even realized it yet. By the time they confirmed that the Prince was dead, Amon was long gone. The Supreme General had killed the Prince with a single punch, and then just walked away with his hands behind his back!
The captain of Snek’s own guards cried out in grief: “Go after him and get him! Amon has assassinated His Highness the Prince!”
Not far away, a general snapped: “Do you think that you are in charge here? Your duty is to protect the Prince! A thousand pairs of eyes saw clearly that the Prince had invited the Supreme General to return, and he did, but the Prince suddenly ordered the Supreme General to be killed, and so he threw a punch in self-defence. It was the Prince who gave the order to strike first, so I have to ask, is this called assassination? Who the hell is trying to assassinate who!”
This general was a cavalry squad leader who had followed Amon from the time he formed the An-Ra Legion, and had survived the war. Now, he was a general commanding thousands of cavalry, and he had originally been unwilling to make an enemy of Amon. The words that Amon had just spoken were true even if lamentable, and the Supreme General himself had been walking back towards Snek. In the end, it was the prince who had first ordered the attack.
The imperial supreme mage had given up trying to save Snek. The Prince was dead but the Head of the Legion, Lord Drick, was still alive, and now he was the only one who could give orders, so the mage came back to heal Rod Drick. Rod Drick knew he couldn’t pretend anymore, so he opened his eyes and took a breath before asking in a weak voice: “What’s wrong, what happened?”
The priests replied: “The Supreme General has killed Prince Snek with a single punch and has left. The commanders are awaiting your orders.”
Rod Dick punched himself in the chest and spat blood from his mouth as he said: “How did this happen! Your Highness, I couldn’t save you! … Send someone to the Pharaoh, report what has happened here, and don’t miss a single detail. Notify the entire nomarch as well as the border passes that when Amon is sighted he must be taken down on the spot.”
After these words, Rod Drick blacked out again, this time for real, as he had given himself quite a heavy blow. The priests descended into panic and rushed forward to heal him.