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Naqia was now a ninth-level supreme warrior, but nobody knew who taught her body arts in the first place. People guessed that her husband taught her, not Sennachi, but Naqia’s former husband, a general of the kingdom.
This general was stationed in a western border city of Assyria, and at that time, Assyria and the nomads at the border often had conflicts, while Naqia also followed her husband to the battlefield. Sennachi himself also had numerous achievements during his early years as king, and once, when he was leading a large army against a foreign invasion, Naqia’s husband was also in the army, and Naqia secretly put on armor and went to war with him.
During a fierce battle, Naqia’s helmet was accidentally knocked off by the enemy, and her hair flew as she stabbed one of the opposing generals with her spear. Sennachi, who was commanding the battle, saw this scene, and as his eyes fell upon her stunning beauty, the sound of killing on the battlefield seemed to fade away, and there was only this beautiful girl in his eyes.
Soon after the war, Naqia’s husband was impeached and executed, and Naqia disappeared for a while. When she appeared again half a year later, she had already become the queen of Assyria, and she was only seventeen years old at that time.
No one in the kingdom dared to discuss the matter openly, but there were some who described her in private as a woman who loved vanity and power. There were also sympathizers who defended Naqia, a young girl who had to submit under the king’s coercion. But then again, as a widow in this kingdom, who would not want to become a queen?
Golier recounted the results of his investigation, and finally lowered his voice and said: “No one knows what happened between the death of Naqia’s former husband and her becoming queen in that six months. But Faust had told me that Naqia’s marriage to the king might be related to the oracle and was definitely under some kind of coercion. Now that she is a ninth-level supreme warrior, what she could not do before, she could now choose to do.”
Faust’s experience is no secret, but the legend of Queen Naqia was quite dazzling. Gilgamesh was about to speak but saw Amon suddenly closed his eyes as if listening to some news. After a while, Amon opened his eyes and said: “I heard the latest news in the prayers of the people, Gilgamesh, and I’m afraid it has something to do with you.”
Gilgamesh shook his head and said: “I have given up everything and am now wandering to find the meaning of life, is there any news that concerns me?”
Amon said to Golier again: “This latest news, I’m afraid, will be helpful to our plan.”
Golier also shook his head: “Amon, I know you are already a god, with the means to do things that mortals can not, so just say it!”
Amon said unhurriedly: “Sennachi has indeed inflated his ego to the extreme, the Bablon Kingdom has ceded six cities and he is still not satisfied, he even sent an envoy to deliver an order to Bablon King Samsu. He wanted to marry Princess Sissila and said that if she did not agree, he would gather his army to capture two more cities of the Kingdom of Bablon. Because of the fear of the brutality of the Assyrian army, panic has taken hold of those two cities, and the residents have started fleeing.”
Gilgamesh stood up and shouted angrily: “In his dreams!”
Amon and Golier reached for the table in unison, two flashes of light, reinforcing this crude and simple wooden table with perhaps the strongest divine protection on earth, just before Gilgamesh slapped on the table.
Golier asked with a bitter smile: “Gil, do you still have thoughts about Princess Sissila?”
After a moment of anger, Gilgamesh sat down again and sighed. “Everyone knows that Princess Sissila was my fiancée, but that was only the king’s arrangement, I can’t talk about any relationship between her and me, not even feelings, and nowadays, it is even more impossible to have any relationship. Who Princess Sissila wants to marry is her own business, but no matter what, I don’t want to see Princess Sissila and the Bablon Kingdom suffer this kind of humiliation.”
Amon and Golier looked at each other, and they said in unison: “So Sennachi must die!”
Princess Sissila was already twenty-five years old this year, and it had been several years since Gilgamesh broke off the marriage. However, she had not yet gotten married, and it was not exactly because of who she liked or did not like, but because her identity was too sensitive. Back when Gilgamesh was her fiancé, nobody in the kingdom of Bablon dared to say anything, but the situation would be complicated if it had been anyone else. This was because King Samsu was old and childless, and his only direct kin had been his sister, Princess Sissila. The rest of the so-called princes were all his nephews.
The laws of the Kingdom of Bablon did not prohibit women from holding power or even succeeding to the throne, and in history, there had even been precedents where the king was childless and chose the most powerful nobleman in the country to marry the princess and inherit the throne. It was because the queen could pass the throne to her husband, regardless of whether it was voluntary or not. The struggle for the throne depended on two factors. The first was to see who the throne was passed to, and the second was to see who could control the internal affairs of the kingdom. Otherwise, even if someone inherited the throne, he might not be able to hold it for long.
The charming Princess Sissila was the famous beauty of the Bablon Kingdom whom Amon had seen with his own eyes, but Sennachi was not only interested in the beauty, but also in the kingdom. At present, the people who were qualified to succeed the throne in the Bablon Kingdom were Princess Sissila and the king’s nephews. Furthermore, Prince Benut, who had been highly decorated in recent years and had control of the army, was considered a more powerful contender for the throne than Princess Sissila.
For Sennachi to suddenly intervene, his intention was not difficult to guess. He would first marry Princess Sissila, then use the power of the Assyrian Empire to help Princess Sissila ascend to the throne. When the time was ripe, he would then either control the Queen of Bablon as a puppet ruler or simply force her to abdicate, eventually controlling the entire kingdom of Bablon not by military means but by political means.
This was a great move, and nobody knew if it came from Enlil’s guidance. If Sennachi married the Queen of Bablon, or simply took this crown for himself, then he would really become a legendary emperor of Assyria in history. And the king worshipped by the kingdom of Bablon would no longer be Marduc, symbolizing the complete victory of Enlil, and his success in reuniting the divine realm of the Anunnaki divine clan under a single king.
Gilgamesh looked at Golier and Amon again and said a chilling passage of words: “I think you have guessed Sennachi’s intention, and right now, it is difficult for the current Bablon Kingdom to refuse his request, not to mention Princess Sissila. To stop Sennachi’s plot, in fact, compared to assassinating Sennachi, the easier thing to do would be to kill Princess Sissila!”
Amon frowned. “Would you think so?”
Gilgamesh shook his head. “Of course I would not think so, but I have long been the lord of the city, so I also understand the kingdom’s politics and the thought process of the officials. There must be someone who will think so, and perhaps will do so, whether for his own sake or for the kingdom of Bablon. For example, Prince Benut’s first choice is probably to take out Princess Sissila. Open action is naturally impossible, but he can send assassins to do the job.”
Amon asked again, “If he really assassinated Princess Sissila, how would it be explained?”
Golier interjected soberly: “In the current situation of the Bablon Kingdom, there will certainly be the main war faction and the main peace faction, but as long as they are not traitors, they will not want to see Sennachi’s plot succeed. If Princess Sissila dies, most likely it will be declared a suicide, and the main war faction can use this to raise a commotion, and rally the hearts of the kingdom’s people against the enemy.
Amon said: “So it was a suicide.”
Golier, who had been smiling bitterly today, nodded again and said: “It’s a reasonable speculation, and it may sound shady, but that’s the part of politics that I hate the most.”
Amon also showed a bitter smile. “In that case, Sennachi will definitely send someone to protect Princess Sissila, and he will definitely not let this princess die. Whether it is by suicide or not, he will definitely try to stop it.” Here he suddenly closed his eyes again to listen to something, and only after a while he opened his eyes and said: “Among my disciples, there is also a person who has asked me to go to the Bablon Kingdom to protect Princess Sissila.”
They were discussing this matter in the small courtyard, while Aesop, Idu, and others were also discussing this latest news in the Temple of Amon. Idu, who was the former high priest of the Shrine of Isis, also speculated about a similar possibility. One of the disciples could not sit still and immediately prayed to God Amon to protect Princess Sissila, and this person was Metatro.
Back then, when Metatro and Amon “saved” Princess Sissila, although it was a self-directed kidnapping by Princess Sissila, afterward Princess Sissila had given him a sufficient reward for the deed. Princess Sissila also let Metatro follow her carriage back to the capital and restored his noble warrior status. All this did not seem to matter today, but at the time Metatro was indeed grateful. The beautiful Princess Sissila also impressed Metatro so much that he had declared himself an admirer of the princess.
Metatro’s idea was interesting since he had already saved her once, then today he would save her again, only this time it was for real. On the other hand, he did not want Princess Sissila to fall under the control of Sennachi, so Metatro’s “protection” had a double meaning.
Gilgamesh asked with some curiosity: “Sennachi will send someone to protect Princess Sissila, I did not expect that one of your disciples would also want to protect her, who is this person and how skilled is he?”
Amon replied: “The purpose of protection is not the same, this person is the head of my disciples, Metatro. You should have seen him on the battlefield, holding the divine bow you once used.”
Gilgamesh nodded. “This man is quite strong, since he wants to go, you can send him.”
Golier looked at Gilgamesh with a smirk and said: “Wouldn’t you go?”
Gilgamesh replied while drinking: “I am no longer the city lord of Uruk. I will go to the capital of Bablon, but only as a wanderer secretly observing the situation. As for the heroic rescue of the beauty, let’s leave it to that Metatro.”
Golier added: “If we don’t talk about Princess Sissila herself, Sennachi doing so is not a bad thing for our plan. He wants to marry Princess Sissila and make her the Queen of Bablon, so Princess Sissila’s identity cannot be an ordinary royal consort. But don’t forget that Sennachi already has a queen, what would Naqia think? Will he abolish the status of Naqia, or will he have two queens at the same time? If it is the latter, it is a new thing that has never happened before, but Sennachi should be able to do it.”
Amon raised his glass and said: “No matter what Sennachi does, Naqia will not be satisfied. Besides, Naqia has already been at odds with Sennachi and has been reprimanded, and now she has been defeated on the battlefield, which gives Sennachi a good excuse to abolish his queen. The kingdom of Bablon is more important to Sennachi than to Naqia. It is natural for an emperor to think in this way, but it is different for a woman. If Naqia was coerced into marrying Sennachi back then, and now Sennachi is using coercion to marry another kingdom princess, no matter what the purpose is, Naqia will hardly tolerate it.”
Golier looked at Amon seemingly with a smile and asked: “Oh, God Amon, do you know women well?”
Amon gently shook his head. “I do not know women very well, but I try to understand them.”
Gilgamesh also glanced at Amon and said: “I’m not sure about mortal women, but he should know a lot about goddesses.”
Amon continued: “For the matter of Princess Sissila since Metatro wants to go to protect her, I will send him. Let’s continue to talk about the matter just now. Sir Golier, although you have analyzed so many possibilities, it would be difficult for us to communicate with Faust and Naqia. The idea is simple, but it is difficult to execute.”
Golier twirled his goatee and said: “Since I brought this up, I naturally have a way to sit down and talk with Faust. God Amon, I’m afraid this will require your presence in some way, as well as the cooperation of the city of Salem.”
Golier suggested that Amon send an envoy to Enlil City to discuss the exchange of prisoners between the two sides, and the envoy would also submit an official document that would agree on the time, place, manner, and number of prisoners to be exchanged. The official document would also include diplomatic rhetoric and praises to the gods.
Golier would write this document in the name of Aesop, the lord of Salem. Golier had been an old friend of Faust for many years and had often sent and received letters from him, discussing various difficult issues. Faust should be able to immediately recognize Golier’s handwriting and the coded message left in the document.
Golier would set a time and place to invite Faust out of the city to a hidden place to talk. As for the content to be discussed, it would also be explained clearly, and a promise would be made to absolutely guarantee Faust’s safety, stating that this was not a trap. If Amon promised not to take this opportunity to fight with Faust, Golier would write this letter and wait for Faust at a specified time and place.
Amon immediately agreed, promising not to use this opportunity to set a trap to ambush Faust, but then asked: “Golier, you and I have no ill will toward Faust, but do you dare to guarantee that Faust will not use this opportunity to ambush you?”
Golier laughed: “One must live in the world with some trust and some choice. Amon, if there was an enemy you would trust, who would come to mind first?”
Amon looked at Golier and said: “Of course it would be you, we were once enemies too.”
If even Golier was not trustworthy, then there was probably no trustworthy person in the world. Crazy’Ole trusted Golier and even let him witness the last moment of his life. Amon also trusted Golier, and did not hesitate to give him the command of the Salem Legion on the battlefield. How could Faust, who had been Golier’s friend for many years, not understand this? Golier’s reputation in the Hittite kingdom was comparable to that of the gods, not because of any conspiracy or struggle.
Golier added: “Even if Faust wanted to ambush us at the time and place I specified, do you think the three of us would be afraid? As long as a large army is not mobilized to surround us, at least there is no problem to protect ourselves and get out.” He was right, with the three of them together, who would they be afraid of?
Gilgamesh was surprised and said: “Do I have to go too?”
Golier smiled. “Since you are here, why not help us to the end? That is also another battlefield, and after Amon has met Faust, it is still not too late for you to go to the capital of Bablon.”
Gilgamesh narrowed his eyes and mused: “Whether Faust trusts you or not, his coming out of the city to talk about this matter is a great risk in itself. As long as he is willing to come, it means that he indeed has some ideas in mind, so your plan may succeed. I wouldn’t mind accompanying you on this trip as a bodyguard.”
The three discussed the details, and Golier began to write the paperwork for the exchange of prisoners between Salem and Enlil. Amon sent down an oracle, ordering Aesop to prepare to send an envoy to Enlil, and giving Metatro permission to go to the capital of Bablon, but he did not tell Metatro that Gilgamesh would also go.
In the city of Bablon, the capital of Bablon, the beautiful Princess Sissila was singing a melancholic song in her residence –
“The beautiful legend has been hidden without a trace
I’m sighing at life’s waywardness
The song of joy has gone and the suffering of fate is here
The land and the city are scattered
The wishes I once had are gone too
I see a crowd of pain and suffering
Even praise frightens me
The people who once appreciated my song are floating in this world
There is a long-forgotten feeling
I once longed for that solemn peace
And now I sing like a mournful note on a string
As fate wavers
The world in front of me fades away
While the past surfaces……”
If one really knew the princess, one would know that she was not without ambition, and she had long been secretly full of desire for the throne of Bablon. Using the excuse of traveling around the country, she not only used the opportunity to examine the situation in various places, but also to build up her own personal power, and the establishment of Marduc City in the Plains of Duc was also part of her plans.
In the “kidnapping” incident that Metatro and Amon encountered, Princess Sissila even attempted to involve Prince Benut in the muddy waters, taking the opportunity to strike at this most threatening political opponent, revealing her deep intentions. But it was not her fate to succeed, and after her fiancé, Gilgamesh left, Princess Sissila lost her most powerful political ally, while Prince Benut was very lucky to become the kingdom’s hero and political star.
Before the defeat of the kingdom of Bablon, King Samsu, in order to stabilize the situation in the country and balance the forces, had already made the decision that he would pass on the throne to Prince Benut after his death, and establish Princess Sissila as the Princess Regent.