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Now that things have come to this, there was no need for Amon to hide anything, and he replied frankly: “Qayin and his brother Hevel once rescued me, and in return, I gave them some guidance, but at that time my theory was not accomplished, and I did not expect things to happen as they did. They were not my disciples, and I did not continue to instruct them in higher-level training. Now Hevel is dead, as for Qayin, I will go to him some time to ask him one thing!”
Gilgamesh suddenly asked: “Did you teach them the secrets of the gods?”
Amon shook his head gently. “No, I called it the power of two sides, which I myself was still exploring at that time.”
As he spoke, he imprinted a complex message into the souls of Gilgamesh and Golier, a guide to the power of the origin, containing the secret of becoming a god, a summary of his experience from all his explorations over the years. Golier had already understood the power of two sides, but it was the first time he had heard about the power of the origin. As for Gilgamesh, he had once asked Mourrin about it, but she did not give him the answer.
Only divine emissaries who receive guidance from the various divine clans can receive all this information after taking an oath. But Amon did not receive any guidance from divine clans, and today was the first time he had revealed this secret to people other than his disciples.
He did not hold back any information from these two “old friends”, and the message not only contained the secret of the power of origin, but also explained the rules of each divine clan, and even mentioned the final test that even the divine clans would not mention when guiding the divine emissaries. Gilgamesh and Golier took one look at each other and both fell into deep contemplation. Tears flashed in Gilgamesh’s eyes, but the tears did not stay for long.
They were also explorers of the secret of divinity, but to think that they would obtain the answer that they have been struggling for years to get in such a way.
Gilgamesh finally understood why Enkidu perished and also understood the meaning of the last words Enkidu said before he perished. Back then, Enkidu rushed to the gray vortex as he shouted at Gilgamesh: “Gil, I finally understand! This is not the curse of the gods, but the judgment of fate!”
Enkidu did not train in the power of the origin, he was a pure warrior, but surprisingly, he was able to reach the end of his earthly achievements by only training in body arts. When that final test came, he finally comprehended the power of origin, but it was too late to say clearly to Gilgamesh. If Enkidu had succeeded, he would have become a god, the first god to break through to the power of origin by practicing only body arts, but unfortunately, he failed.
After a long time, it was Gilgamesh who spoke first: “Even if I reach that step, regardless of the method used to reach it, I’m afraid I won’t be able to pass the final test.”
Golier looked at Gilgamesh and let out a silent sigh. The moment he said this, it meant that Gilgamesh would really be unable to pass the judgment of fate. Golier’s heart was already clear, but he did not say anything.
Gilgamesh picked up his glass and finished drinking the wine, then he looked around and asked: “Amon, is this where you grew up?”
Amon nodded. “Yes, I grew up in this place, the only difference is that this house is new, while previously, this place was old.”
Gilgamesh put down his glass and sighed. “It’s not fair!”
The meaning of this sentence was very complicated. If one talked about intelligence and wisdom, Gilgamesh was by no means inferior to Amon. He was the son of a city lord all his life, enjoying all the glamour and status, and had the best teacher for what he wanted to learn, and what he wanted was always delivered to him by all means. Gilgamesh was arrogant and his life was luxurious. But he was not indulgent, he had his own pursuit and ambition, and he also had achievements that the entire continent envied.
On the other hand, what did Amon have? Amon had nothing, he was just a drunkard’s son, a lowly miner, and he lost his home and kin at a young age. Compared to Gilgamesh, of course, this was not fair. But Gilgamesh’s words did not mean this. He was not Amon, so he did not experience all this. The nobility that he had, the Supreme General Amon also had it, but the life that Amon had witnessed, he did not experience.
If spoken from the mouth of others, this sentence may seem pretentious, but at this moment, Gilgamesh indeed meant it from his heart. Golier said in a solemn tone: “Maybe it’s exactly because everyone experiences a different life, that’s why there is a need for the test of endless arising and ceasing cycle. Gilgamesh, if you practice the power of the origin, I believe you will be able to achieve something. But back then, it would have been difficult for you to pass the test of endless arising and ceasing cycle, not to mention the final step of transcendence.”
Gilgamesh was slightly stunned, and he looked down at the empty cup in his hands and said: “You are right, you are a wise man on the continent, and you are able to understand the logic behind it instantly. Back then, it was indeed difficult for me to pass the test of endless arising and ceasing cycles. Nowadays, however, I am verifying in a different way. It is not purely power, just the imprints in the soul. …Golier, every ninth level supreme mage advances in a different way, have you ever experienced the test of endless arising and ceasing cycle?”
Golier recalled: “I advanced to the ninth level shortly after that great flood. As I meditated, I saw the cries of the people. It was as if what they were thinking became a mapping in my soul, it was a very similar experience, but it was not exactly the test of endless arising and ceasing cycle. It was a breakthrough in mastering the divine arts, where the soul’s comprehension lies only in its own feelings, instead of being clearly guided.”
Gilgamesh grabbed the wine jug and poured wine for everyone, and toasted towards Amon with his cup. “Thank you!”
Gozer also toasted. “Thank you for making it all clear to me and answering too many questions which I had in this life. It may have been too difficult for me to start from the beginning and verify all the tests of the power of origin, but at least I won’t be left with unanswered regrets in this life.”
He was already the top supreme mage on the continent, and the test of endless arising and ceasing cycle was not a difficult test for Golier. Ironically, it was the initial tests of lower-order achievement that would be difficult for Golier to pass. Looking back on his life, Gilgamesh also understood that it would be difficult to pass the judgment of fate.
They are the top experts of the world’s strongest mortals, even possessing the power to fight with the gods, but in this life, it was difficult for them to hope to become a god beyond eternal life. But listening to their tone, it was more of relief than regret, as at least they were able to obtain the answers to a lifetime of exploration.
After putting down the wine glass, Gilgamesh said towards Golier: “Actually, you can also reach the end of earthly achievements just like Enkidu. He purely practiced body arts, while you only practiced magic arts. So you should also be able to understand the power of origin at the final juncture, just that…”
Golier bitterly smiled and answered: “It’s just that I don’t have such a powerful bloodline, and I can’t train it either, so I can only catch a glimpse of that light of transcendence during the judgment of fate.”
After that, as if they agreed upon it, they did not talk about this topic anymore. The secret of the power of origin had been understood, and regardless of whether there is any hope to transcend eternal life, like Golier or Gilgamesh, their hearts would not change as a result. The topic of conversation changed, and they talked about the situation after the battle between Salem and Enlil City.
Enlil City was defeated, and the main force of the Giant Legion suffered nearly fifty percent casualties, so it was impossible for them to take another fight outside of the city in the short term. However, this city was very difficult to take down, and defending a city was different from sieging a city. It did not necessarily need elite troops, and only required an organized and strong labor force to be mobilized to the city walls. The highlander giants built the city high and strong, constructed all kinds of defensive equipment, and the city had a lot of supplies, enough to hold for a long time.
The Salem Legion also suffered heavy losses, losing more than half of its numbers after two consecutive battles. The total population of Salem was also reduced by more than ten percent as a result, and all of them were elite laborers. A long war of attrition required production and farming in the rear as support, and the current situation made it impossible to launch continuous attacks.
The best strategy was to trap them in the city and not let the Giant Legion out of Enlil City while focusing on recovery, production, and construction. If the situation continued like this, Enlil City will sooner or later have to surrender, but there was one person who would never sit idly by, and that was the Assyrian Emperor, Sennachi.
The Assyrian Empire was currently in the most powerful period in its history. Among the original 18 cities of the Kingdom of Bablon, half of the city of Kish on the west bank of the Euphrates was lost, the newly opened city of Marduc had to be given up, and the most serious loss of all was the cession of six cities in the northeast. This was equivalent to half of the original Assyrian kingdom, and most of it was rich arable land.
The Assyrian Kingdom, now called the Assyrian Empire, had not only gained a large area of land and a large population, but its social structure had also changed. The Assyrian conquerors became the emerging nobility, the upper class of the conquered domain, while the inhabitants of the fallen areas of the former Bablon Kingdom were scattered and relocated, becoming the lower class of laborers. The food and supplies they provided, in turn, supported the Assyrian army in a new round of conquests, and more of Assyria’s sturdy laborers broke away from production to become fully professional soldiers.
After the kingdom of Bablon expressed its submission, Sennachi’s ambitions only grew larger and he would never willingly give up the Plains of Duc. What’s more, he had already sent the Giant Legion to the Plains of Duc and spent several years building a city, which was equivalent to inserting a sharp knife into it. When the war against Bablon was over and the country was at its peak, he would not accept being defeated by the small city of Salem in any case.
No matter how much it cost, Sennachi would continue to reinforce Enlil City. The expedition across the Syah Plateau was costly, but why would the brutal Sennachi care? All he cared about was his own success, the enjoyment of his conquest.
Golier analyzed Sennachi’s personality, and without needing to perform any divination magic, he knew the strategy that Sennachi would take. The Assyrian foothills would be covered with corpses, and a constant stream of attacks would eventually break the city of Salem. An empire like this, which had been building up its strength for years and suddenly rose to power so fast, might seem invincible for a while, but it would also fall just as fast.
But before the Assyrian Empire disintegrated and fell, it was the city of Salem that would be unlucky enough to encounter it at its strongest. The few of them here were the most prestigious commanders on the continent, and they could see the immediate victory of the city of Salem, but there was no way to stop the fate of future defeat because the opponent was a brutal and powerful madman.
Gilgamesh looked at the wine in his cup and said expressionlessly: “Gentlemen if Salem wants to gain a long-term foothold in the Plains of Duc, it must first break Enlil city and expand its control to the foothills of the Syah Plateau. In today’s situation, there is no possibility of military victory, so there is only one way remaining, and that is to take out Sennachi himself!”
Amon already had this idea in mind, and when he heard Gilgamesh bring it up, he also spoke up and said: “Assassinate Sennachi? He is not like the Hittite king Lucier back then. I have seen a ninth-level supreme warrior on the battlefield, and the commander of the army in Enlil City is also an incredible supreme mage.
Sennachi is so brutal and cruel, there must be plenty of people who wish to kill him. He will certainly be closely guarded, so even if experts like us try to assassinate him, the possibility of success is very small. And there is another most important problem, the Assyrian Empire has embarked on a military route, even if the assassination of the emperor succeeds, it will not stop the advance of this war chariot.”
Golier tapped his finger on the table and said: “So not only do we have to eliminate Sennachi, but we also have to reverse the entire Assyrian Empire’s national policy in order to save the current situation, which will be a boon to everyone. That ninth-level supreme warrior you mentioned is Assyria’s Empress Naqia. And that supreme mage you may have heard of is Faust, the Sage Advisor of Assyria.”
Amon was taken aback. “The Empress! She was the one who tried to assassinate the Adoratrice at the Hapisidis back then, and Faust was the assassin’s assistant! At that time, she was already a queen and he an advisor of the state, why would they sneak into Ejypt to do such a thing?”
Gilgamesh slapped the table and said: “So Sennachi is a madman! The only reason for doing that is to frame me and Enkidu!”
Golier interjected: “From what I know about Faust, that might be his ploy, but I didn’t think that Sennachi would even be willing to send out his own queen. After Enkidu fell, Naqia should be the number one warrior on the continent today!”
Amon suddenly remembered what Inanna had said. The gods agreed not to intervene directly in mortal strife, with the exception of one case, where a mortal challenged or offended the gods, such as the arrow that Faust and Naqia shot into the sky together. He turned his head and asked Golier: “To get rid of Sennachi, do we have to take out these two first? I can find a chance to strike!”
But Golier shook his head and said: “No, they are not only the people Sennachi relies on most, Faust is also the person Sennachi trusts most. However, if we want to eliminate Sennachi and change the Assyrian Empire’s national policy, it is precisely these two people that we will need help from. Otherwise, just killing that one Assyrian emperor will not play a fundamental role.”
Gilgamesh stared at Golier and suddenly asked: “I heard that Faust is your long-time friend, isn’t it?”
Golier nodded and said: “Yes, he is a good friend of mine, and we have a close personal relationship. I am saying this not because of my friendship with him, but because I know him. When I heard that Faust had come to Enlil City, I knew that the Salem Legion was no match for him, so I rushed here. And I’m afraid you haven’t heard the latest news, Faust is also quite unhappy with what Sennachi is doing nowadays.”
He described what he knew about Faust and Naqia –
Faust, although he looked wrinkled, was not very old, and was only in his fifties. When he was young, he had gone to the Hittite kingdom to study under Golier and had impressed him with his outstanding talent and diligence. Later, the two men had a very good personal relationship and often discussed various issues through correspondence.
Faust did not only love the magic arts, he also loved learning all the knowledge in the world. It was said that he had read all the books in the archives of the Shrine of Assyria and could even tell the exact content of every page and line of every volume. As far as Golier knew, this rumor was true. Faust had the title of Sage Advisor and was respected as the most knowledgeable person in Assyria.
Golier also knew that Faust was a man of many talents, and he was also a master scroll maker that was no less skillful than Nero, but he did not make as many scrolls as Nero did. Because Faust believed that it was not worthwhile to waste his limited life on such things. He had two wishes, one was to change the Assyrian Kingdom and the world around him with knowledge, and the other was to explore the path of liberation for mortals.
Faust, just like Crazy’Ole back then, attempted to unlock the secrets of the gods and to find a crossing to the other side of life beyond. He used a different approach from Amon, searching in the ocean of knowledge. It was too difficult for him to succeed, as the chief high priest of the kingdom, Faust did not have the same experience and luck as Amon.
Faust met Sennachi who relied on him and also received the guidance of the gods for many years, finally making the weak Assyrian kingdom transform into a strong empire on the continent, and it looked as if he had succeeded. But Golier received the recent secret report that Faust was the staunchest opponent of Sennachi, and was reprimanded by Sennachi for it. Queen Naqia sided with Faust, and Sennachi eventually implemented the new policies reluctantly by accepting Faust’s advice.
Faust and Naqia came to Enlil City for another reason. Sennachi wanted to slaughter more than 2,000 innocent Bablon civilians, and Faust and Naqia tried to stop him, but Sennachi took the opportunity to give them to the Sage Advisor and Empress as slaves and sent the two to the Plains of Duc on a mission.
In the eyes of Golier, he has seen that the Assyrian Empire will eventually decline after a strong period, and Faust most likely could see it as well. After so many years of effort, such a result was definitely not what he wanted. Although the Assyrian kingdom had risen strongly, it had sown the seeds of decline as well in the process, bringing tragic disaster to countless people. For someone like Faust, his heart was most likely suffering from great pain.
As for the Assyrian Empire’s Queen Naqia, Golier also sent people to investigate, and much of the information was even learned through Faust. Naqia’s origins were mysterious, and it was only known that she was a commoner, an abandoned baby who was picked up by a herdsmen couple by the river. When she grew into a young girl, she was as beautiful as a flower with dew.