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When Prince Snek got the news, he immediately sent an army to hunt down the Ducians . The orders were harsh: if capturing alive was not possible, then kill them! To ensure that his orders would be thoroughly executed, Prince Snek sent not only the troops garrisoned in Cape, but also a team of elite guards that he personally brought with him .
Prince Snek had come with a small force of guards . There were not only warriors but also more than ten mages, and they totalled three hundred people, far more than the usual numbers that a prince usually travelled with . Rod Drick was no fool, and as soon as he saw that Prince Snek had brought so many people, he understood something, but he couldn’t stop it from happening .
Snek chose a hundred people from these three hundred and let the captain of the guards lead them in pursuit . On the other hand, he told Rod Drick to assemble a force of two hundred from the garrisoned troops as well as priests from the shrine . They were to set off towards the shore of the Red Sea to capture Moses at daybreak . He himself would be leading the remaining two hundred guards to head east after Amon, accompanied by Rod Drick .
When Snek reached the heavily garrisoned town at the southern tip of Red Sea, Amon had already left the place and headed towards the borders of Khenmet . Snek took another eight hundred soldiers from the town, including cavalry and chariots, and in total, roughly a force of a thousand went in pursuit of Amon .
As soon as these two groups set out, Metatro and Lynk realized that the Ducians’ location had been exposed, as one of the cavalry had taken the nearest road to the Red Sea coast, aiming directly at the valley where Moses and the others were hiding . Lynk asked Metatro: “What do we do? Should we tell them to escape from the valley or cross the sea by force?”
Metato shook his head, “There’s no way to escape, the trail is exposed, how can Moses and the rest outrun the cavalry? If we forcibly cross the sea while the wind and waves haven’t calmed down yet, two of us will have to cast a spell to block the wind and waves . When that happens, Seth’s disciples will just as likely intervene to oppose our efforts, and the Ducians will all end up dying in the sea . Since we’ve been forced into a desperate situation, we might as well take up arms and fight!”
Lynk: “The opposing force consists of three hundred regular soldiers, the Ducians will not be a match for them . ”
Metatro: “The miners of Duc aren’t that weak in combat . While it’s certainly impossible for all of them to escape, it is still possible to snatch the horses and let a portion of them escape . As things stand, it’s better to keep as many men as you can than to lose them all . ”
After discussing the matter for a long time, the two of them really could not come up with a better solution, so they had to inform Moses to get his people ready for battle .
Moses and his people were in the midst of having their meal in the valley beside the three wooden boats that had been built and secured in the clearing . There was no wind around them, but waters of the Red Sea in the distance were always swirling and crashing violently, so they could only continue to wait . Suddenly, he heard the voice of God’s messenger: “Moses, there is a force of three hundred soldiers approaching this area, you must inform your people to prepare for battle . Summon your courage to fight with all your might, seize their horses and flee north . I will guide you towards the escape route . ”
Moses was taken aback and asked under his breath: “Oh messenger of God, are we at last to fight the army of Ejypt?”
Lynk asked, “Are you scared?”
Moses shook his head . “No, I long for this battle, even if it costs me my own life! The journey home is the meaning of my life, and whether it succeeds or not, I will not give up . Besides, the staff that God has bestowed upon me is not just for the journey, it can also be used in battle . ”
Lynk replied in a pleased tone: “Very well, God was indeed right about you! There’s no need to panic yet, let your people eat well and rest well . The pursuers won’t arrive until the afternoon, and since the battle is inevitable, let’s just wait for it to come to us . ”
Lynk told Moses to prepare for the battle, but he and Metatro knew in their hearts that they would not be able to save the Ducians, and that it would be considered lucky for a small portion of them to escape . He said privately to Metatro: “I’m afraid we won’t be able to complete the task given to us by the God Amon . ”
Metatro sighed as he took out the Key of Fate . “That’s what they need to face by themselves . Those three from Ejypt: Heqet, Goddess of Frogs, Edjo, God of Snakes, and Sobek, God of Crocodiles, have been secretly watching the two of us . If we let them interfere in the battlefield, none of the Ducians will escape . ”
Lynk also sighed . “If they show up in the battlefield, we will also rush in to fight them and use the shuttles to escape with Moses and David separately . That would be the last resort . ”
Moses waited until his people had finished their lunch, then he stood up and shouted: “Fellow Ducians, we have reached the Red Sea after a long and arduous journey and are about to break free from our prison . However, our whereabouts have been revealed . The evil gods of Ejypt have sent an army to hunt us down, and a cavalry of three hundred men is on its way . Please take up your weapons and prepare for battle, and free our bodies and souls by fighting . May God be with us all!”
The people erupted in panic upon hearing his words, and someone cried out in fear: “We are going to fight the Ejyptian army? Didn’t God say that he would guide us in leaving Ejypt? How did their army manage to catch up with us?”
Joshua said to the people: “The path that God guides us on is also the desire of our own hearts, but God does not say that the path is without thorns . If we don’t have the courage to fight, why should we pray for God’s protection? We should thank God for giving us food, strength, faith and hope to take up arms against our enemies . I may not be as strong as the Judges, but I will fight without hesitation!”
The miners took up their hammers, machetes, hoes, and various other weapons, and waited in the valley for the arrival of the Ejyptian cavalry . Some were steadfast in their hearts, others were apprehensive, and still others were making frightened prayers . The time seemed to pass extremely slowly, and the sun shining on the valley somehow became hotter and hotter, and many people started sweating profusely without realizing it .
Moses stood on a high place with the iron staff in his hand while looking upon both sides . His eyes were firm but also had a hint of helplessness . A few dozen miners against three hundred elite imperial cavalry were doomed to an impossible victory, and the only thing they could do was to try to snatch the horses in the chaos to let some of the people escape . Just at this moment, an almost irresistible pressure suddenly permeated the valley, and some of them even fell to their knees . The people did not know what had happened and stared at the sky with wide, frightened eyes .
There was a majestic voice that appeared in everyone’s mind at the same time: “Slaves of Duc, listen up! I am Seth, the leader of the neteru, and the merciful God will now show mercy on you humble beings . You slaves have violated the Pharaoh’s orders, but God has given enough punishment during your journey of escape . Now that the Empire’s armies are coming after you, you have nowhere to run . I can let you go and give you your freedom, but it must be done my way!”
Seth! This was a true god speaking! The mighty power pervaded the heavens and earth, and even Metatro and Lynk, who were hiding in the distance, could not approach . Someone shouted towards the sky: “God of Ejypt, what will it take for you to allow us to return home and bring this to an end?”
Seth replied in a low voice: “Simple, you just need to make an oath promising one thing: build a shrine for me when you return to the plains of Duc, and offer prayers to me with true devotion . If you can do that, you will be able to safely leave Ejypt and return to your homeland . Kneel, all of you, and make a covenant with me and an oath to me, and the pursuers will recede and the storms on the Red Sea will be calmed . ”
Some of them had knelt down, while others were trembling under the mighty pressure . Moses, standing as straight as he could with his staff held in his hand, replied aloud towards the sky: “I refuse! Why should false gods, who have enslaved and tormented us, enjoy the sacrifice of our hearts? We have our God, the one and only God, and together with the light that shines upon our souls, our God shall endure for eternity!”
Seth laughed coldly . “Moses, do you know what you’re turning down? Who is that god you speak of, Mourrin or Girtablullu? Sooner or later, you will find out who the truly powerful gods are, and one day, when you feel lonely and afraid, make an idol and pray to me, calling my name Seth! I can punish you just as I can leave you alone, Moses, do you think that all the people here are as stubborn as you?”
Together with his laughter, the pervasive pressure disappeared, and everyone broke out in a cold sweat, some of them feeling a bit like they couldn’t even breathe . The Ducians looked at each other as they recalled what Seth had just said . Someone whispered: “It’s actually not a bad deal to agree to God Seth’s terms as long as we can get home safely . If we refuse him, we will certainly be slaughtered by the army . ”
Moses raised his staff to the sky with a heavy expression . “My people, I hear your whispers! One’s life will inevitably come to an end one day, and when faced with death, ask yourself this: what is the purpose of the path we are walking? That evil false god is shaking our faith and trying to make us lose the will to fight . Don’t let him succeed, hold your weapons and prepare for battle, yesterday’s sweat and today’s blood must not be shed in vain!”
Metatro and Lynk were hiding in the distance and one of them whispered: “What a terrifying power, Seth himself actually appeared! To think that this group of Ducians would be so important that the leader of the neteru would take action personally . ”
Lynk praised: “Moses has guts, he is truly worthy of being a disciple of God Amon!”
Just then, they suddenly heard a voice . “Lynk, Metatro, both of you fly into the air and guard the sides of the coastline . Don’t let Heqet and the others make trouble, I will guide Moses and his people across the Red Sea . ”
The two men were startled and hurriedly turned back to look . Behind them, a young girl with a scepter had appeared . She had long golden brown hair and a beautiful face, but her eyes were as sharp as those of a fierce beast .
Metatro was stunned and whispered in alarm: “May I ask who you are?”
The young woman replied: “We have met many times, you used to call me a messenger of the gods and addressed me respectfully as a lord . ”
Lynk suddenly reacted when he saw the short scepter in her hand and he called out in surprise: “You are Goddess Bastet, and there is a statue of you in the courtyard of God Amon! I recognize this short scepter . ”
Metatro’s response was even quicker, immediately prostrating himself and greeting her: “Lord Schrodinger, you were not sent by the Ennead, you have always been a companion of God Amon, am I right?”
Bastet laughed . “Call me whatever you want, just make sure you follow my instructions . ”
Moses was waiting uneasily for the cruel fate to come . He knew that he would not be victorious, but vowed to fight to the end and make sure that as many of his people could escape, the power that Allaha had given him and this staff was exactly for this purpose .
It was then that he heard the voice of a young woman . “People from the town of Duc, I am the messenger of Allaha, and I have been watching over you in silence, from the moment you came into this world . You have been guided by God to this place, the shores of the Red Sea, and have had to overcome many hardships after escaping slavery . Only by going through these hardships will you be able to receive the rewards that you seek . Do not be afraid nor hesitate, walk towards the seashore and I will open a path for you . ”
The voice seemed to have a strange magic power . When everyone heard it, their fears and unease seemed to be wiped away . The Ducians opened their eyes wide and looked around, but they did not see the person who spoke . The young woman’s voice appeared again in Moses’s mind: “Why are you standing still, and what are you hesitating for? Quickly lead your people to the sea, the pursuers will be here soon, the hoofs are pounding the ground and the valley is already trembling!”
Moses replied in his soul, “The messenger of God has told me to get ready for battle . If you are truly the messenger of Allaha who has been watching over me from the moment of my birth, prove it . ”
The voice replied: “Your father once said to you – ‘The body is the courtyard in which the soul dwells, and the place where one stands is the home where the body and mind are located . If the body and mind lose their support, if one does not know where one’s soul is or what one is seeking, that is true homelessness . ’ Back then, you had made a mistake and as a result, you were locked upstairs and not allowed to eat dinner, remember?”
Moses was startled, but there was no longer any doubt in his heart . Walking down the slopes, he raised his staff and said aloud: “My people, please follow me, our God shall guide us across the Red Sea!”
Joshua asked: “Moses, our leader, how does God intend for us to cross the Red Sea? There are huge waves in the sea right now, and we were too late to carry the boats to the shore . ”
Moses strode out of the valley as he said: “God told us to walk right across . ”
The people followed Moses to the shore, where the wind was not too strong, but the waves were several men high and looked like huge white flowers rising from the sea . The young woman’s voice whispered again: “Moses, point with your staff to the other shore . ”
Moses raised his staff and pointed across the Red Sea, and an incredible miracle happened! As the waves swept to the right and left, the water parted in an amazing way, revealing damp reefs and shells, and a path through the Red Sea appeared . It was thrilling to watch, and the waves on either side continued crashing violently, as if they were about to rush in at any moment and smash everything to pieces .
As Moses witnessed the miracle, he started walking forward with large strides, his iron staff pointing steadily ahead at all times . The twelve Judges snapped at their still-dazed clansmen on the shore: “Hurry up and get going, and move as fast as you can!”
Metatro and Lynk floated in mid-air some distance away and exclaimed in stunned amazement: “Is this the power of Goddess Bastet?”
Lynk said: “We’ll just follow Moses and the rest and fly along the path so that we can help the goddess by preventing those three from causing trouble . ”
There was an angry voice in the sky: “Bastet, what are you doing! Do you want to betray the Ennead?”
Bastet replied indifferently: “Seth, please call me Lord Schrodinger, I’m just parting the Red Sea . ”
Seth sounded furious as he said: “As a member of the Ennead, you can open the borders of the divine realm . But you should know very well what this means by doing so! I don’t know when you regained such great strength, but are you confident that you are a match for me?”
Bastet smiled coldly . “Seth, you have become the king of the Ennead in the name of ]Ra, of course I am no match for you . But I don’t have to worry about being defeated by you, this is the last of my power and my farewell, you can’t stop it . ”
As the path through the sea stretched forward, Bastet’s form on the cloud grew fainter and fainter, as if she was becoming transparent and was slowly disappearing . Seth cried out in dismay: “Is this the method you used to unlock your soul? How dare you do that for a mortal! I won’t let you succeed!”
Bastet’s form faded away, the last of her voice lingering in the air: “Is that so? Why don’t you try to stop this? He has not challenged you, and even if you transgress the covenant of the gods and attack him, do not forget he has Tiamat’s Wrath . ”
Amon walked on the main roads with firm steps, neither fast nor slow, with the majesty of a Supreme General . Even if he was alone, it was as if he was leading thousands of troops . He had already left the domain of the Ennead’s divine realm, but was still within the territory of Cape, and had not gone far yet . For he was only leaving to attend a duel, and knowing full well that Moses and the others were still within the territory of Ejypt, he himself could attract greater attention if any unforeseen circumstances did occur .
That afternoon while walking, Amon suddenly stopped and turned around . From the northwest far away came a powerful fluctuation in magical energy that deeply shocked even Amon . Had the gods made a move personally? Were Moses and the rest in great trouble? Having the experience from Schrodinger’s spiritual imprint, Amon knew that the gods would not intervene directly normally, and there were also some special agreements between the gods, so who’s doing what at the moment?
Amon wanted to rush over to see what was going on, but he stood still, for he had his own troubles . The earth trembled softly as rumbling could be heard from the west . Amon was all too familiar with that sound, it was the sound of cavalry and chariots charging in formation, and right now they were heading towards his position . He did not take out his weapon but merely stood quietly with his hands behind his back and waited .
A few moments later, the distinctly armored troops appeared on the horizon, the chariots and cavalry still maintaining a neat formation as they marched at high speed . Coming to about a hundred paces in front of Amon, a horn blew out a short continuous sound, and the chariots and horses slowed down and stopped steadily at the exact same time, clearly well-trained . These men were certainly elite forces, and other than the two hundred men who were part of Prince Snek’s guards, the remaining eight hundred troops had been trained by Amon himself .
The troops halted and Rod Drick shouted loudly: “Supreme General, please stop!”
Amon replied: “I’m already standing still here! Lord Drick, who are you going to fight with so many troops?”
Rod Drick shouted reluctantly: “We are here to invite the Supreme General back . Prince Snek sent someone to ask you to return to discuss important matters, but you refused to meet with him, so His Highness came personally this time . It is considered the highest honor in the Empire to invite the Supreme General back with such pomp and circumstance!”
Amon laughed . “Is it necessary to set up a military formation to invite a man? Do I have to fight you if I say no?”