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Backstory

        Namtar had been treating illnesses since he invented a medicine that could effectively cure the plague. One day, after finishing the consultation, he was used up, falling into asleep. At this moment, the elemental power echoed with his breath, creating a vision that led him through an alternative life…

        Namtar was neither angry nor hateful for being expelled from the tribe. He deemed that everything was decided by fate. If this place did not belong to him, then so be it. It was “God” who guided him to stay at the swamp and study pharmacology. Even though Dumuzi begged him to go back for controlling the epidemic, Namtar refused directly.

        The swamp was full of deadly, poisonous grass. One day, he went out for collecting some research materials. On a nest of vipers, Namtar spotted an snake egg that was conducive to his study. He walked closer to the nest barefoot, ripped off the boas coiling his body barehanded and put the egg into his bag. At this moment, a python crept along the mud and tried to bite his leg. Namtar used both hands to keep its huge mouth away from him. Taking a closer look, he noticed the abdomen of the snake was bulging, and the shape of which looked like a human. After a moment of a wrestle, the python became still and died after a few twitches due to exhaustion.

        Namtar touched its abdomen and sensed some beats, as if there was something struggling inside. He took out a knife and cut open the snake’s stomach. A pregnant woman full of mucus lay in front of him. She was swallowed alive. That woman looked weak and dying, but she did not give up the little baby life soon to be borned. She grabbed Namtar’s arm tight, hoping that he could lend a helping hand.

        “Fate allows me to meet you here...The world is about cause and effect. I’ll act on God’s will to help.” Namtar put a pill under her tongue and kept pressing her philtrum.

        “This pill is made of hundred types of venom. The poison will condense your blood in a short time. Afterwards, it’s all determined by fate.”

        After taking it, the woman’s face was not pale anymore. Blush came into her cheeks. She could feel a strong energy circulating inside her body. Leveraging on such power, the woman gave birth to a baby successfully.

        “Wahwah” The baby wailed aloud, but regrettably, the mother died. Namtar held the baby into his arms and noticed that his skin color was darker than normal humans. After crying for a while, he started choking. Therefore, Namtar brought him back to the cave and fed him with liquid made of herbs. Losing his mother, the baby was very fragile without breastfeeding, and the toxic mist from the swamp had made the situation even worse. A week passed. The baby was dying. Namtar knew that he could survive only if he came back to the tribe…

        “It seems destiny is trying to guide me back to the tribe through this baby.”

        Carrying him back to the tribe, Namtar discovered that it was already empty. The place used to be full of hustle and bustle, but now only dusty stalls remained. It was a scene of utter desolation. The courtyard where the residents had meetings was abandoned. Wormwoods were placed everywhere with braziers.

        Namtar unrolled tons of straw mat stacked up like a little mountain, and all the severely eroded dead bones fell off. The plague consumed the whole tribe, diseases passed from one to another, and nobody survived off the incurability. There were several unburied dead bodies not so far away, and the vultures that were almost starved to death furiously torn off the rotten meat with their teeth. The satisfied ones took off once again, hovered in the middle of the sky.

        Namtar, holding the baby who kept sucking the herb liquid, had a rethink about all the things experienced before. A surge of sorrow lingered in his heart.

        “Fate brings both death and birth. We shall not escape from what fate is going to tell us, for this is a lesson we must learn in our own life.”

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