At daybreak, Anu led his disciples on a learning trip. They went to a plain far from the village. The plain was a lion territory with a male lion as the leader of the pride, while the female lions and cubs followed its lead.
Anu and his disciples sat on a far rock where they could see the entire plain, silently observing the pride of lions. The male lion lay in the middle of its territory to take a rest, but was always on alert for predators that could harm the pride. Anu: Observe the female lions.
Anu pointed at the other side of the territory, where a few female lions from the pride had hid among the long grass, their eyes focused on the antelopes resting at a nearby lake.
【Before Battles】 Dumuzi: Are they planning to hunt the antelopes? Anu: Watch closely. Observe how they hunt.
The first female lion stealthily neared the antelope farthest from the lake. The antelope was still leisurely enjoying the green grass, not realizing that its life was at stake. The lioness suddenly leaped out of the grass, but the agile antelope dodged the attack and started to run. The lioness’ high speed pursuit forced the antelope to change its direction of escape.
Dumuzi and his companions watched as the lioness pursued the antelope. Surprisingly, the antelope was running toward where the other female lions were waiting in ambush. A second lioness seized the chance and leaped out from the long grass.
Busy escaping from the first lioness, the antelope failed to anticipate the second attacker, and was bitten on the neck by the ambushing lioness. Not leaving the antelope with a chance to escape, the first lioness also leaped at the wounded antelope, limiting its movements.
At the same time, another antelope was also captured by other lionesses using the same method. A few of them clenched on the antelope’s head, and slowly dragged it back to their territory. Anu: Now tell me. What did you see? Dumuzi: With lions, males are the leaders and the protectors, while the females are responsible for finding food. Dumuzi: Even in the process, each lioness took on different roles. One lured the prey, while the others waited. Anu: No matter which clan it is, each member of the clan will take on a specific role. Dumuzi: So it applies to us, Humans, too? We excel in different aspects. If we cooperate, we can achieve a lot more than if we were to work on our own. Dumuzi: Instead of living in solitude, a social life is more suitable for Humans. Only by cooperating can we become stronger as a clan. Anu: Haha. Clever boy.
Under Anu’s instructions, Dumuzi finally understood that if Humans wished to strengthen themselves and develop further, the only way to achieve this was to gather all their brethren. Since then, Dumuzi endeavored in finding a way to gather people, and build a town for all mankind.
Dumuzi’s life became increasingly busy, depriving him of his time with Inanna. He once tried to seek Inanna and tell her about recent happenings in his life, but whenever he was about to see her, an emergency would always get in his way.
There were occasions when he thought the person who came to see him was Inanna, but turned out to be Ninurta or other townspeople. This created a sense of loneliness in Dumuzi.
Tonight, Dumuzi stayed alone in his room, pondering over a method to convince citizens from other villages to leave their home, and follow him to live here in the town he and his companions had built. However, among all his ideas, not one was feasible. Vexed, he could only return to where he had learned from Anu, hopefully getting an inspiration...
【End】 ???: What are you thinking about? You look puzzled. Dumuzi: Inanna? It’s late. Why are you here? Inanna: And you’re here too! Why can’t I be here?
As she argued, Inanna sat beside Dumuzi. And when they looked each other in the eye, both burst into laughter. They lived near each other, but it seemed as if they had not seen the other for a century. Dumuzi peered at Inanna’s face — her exquisite face was especially delicate and beautiful under the moon’s tender radiance. Inanna’s constant eyesight prompted Dumuzi to shyly turn. Inanna: Is there something bothering you? Maybe Ninurta and the others believe you’re okay, but I know you’re not. Dumuzi: Haha...You can really see through me, can’t you?
Dumuzi then told her about everything that had been bothering him. She merely listened, and refrained from saying her thoughts before he finished his speech. Dumuzi sensed a long forgotten feeling — he could finally speak all he wanted — because the others were always too impatient, and would interrupt to express their opinions.
It was not until Dumuzi conveyed all his feelings to Inanna did she start to slowly explain her thoughts. While Inanna was talking, she gradually neared Dumuzi, their distance was so close that they could even feel each other’s breath on their face. Dumuzi was slightly embarrassed, but Inanna did not seem to understand the oddness of the situation, and continued offering her advice to Dumuzi. Dumuzi: Right! Why didn’t I think of that? Dumuzi: How about you? What has been bothering you so much that you needed to come to my study this late? Inanna: Whenever I think of my lions’ departure to the other world, I only feel aching loneliness... Inanna: We have power, but we can’t stop death. Don’t you think it’s ironic? Dumuzi: Inanna... Inanna: I’m afraid to be alone...
Looking at Inanna’s shaking body, Dumuzi could not help but hold her by her shoulders. He looked into her eyes and firmly said: Dumuzi: No worries! Even if the whole world abandons you, I will always be here. You will never be alone! Inanna: ...Thank you.
That night was quiet, as if they were the only two people in the world. With Inanna’s lions following them, the two slowly walked back to the town. At that moment, time seemed to have stopped for them, and would never start again.
When dawn arrived, Dumuzi became a busy leader again. But this time, he also invited Inanna to listen to the townspeople’s reports together. The two understood each other’s intentions; the town’s affairs were all processed much more smoothly than before...
It had been a while since the town’s construction. Just as Dumuzi had dealt with public order affairs, another problem surfaced.
The townspeople were complaining that Namtar always spread fallacies, causing their sons and daughters to be idle instead of going to work. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Namtar, what did you say to them? Namtar: They asked me how to become Gods like us. Namtar: I merely told them the answer.
Before Namtar spoke the rest of his sentence, Dumuzi had already guessed what he was going to say. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: We are not Gods. We only learned how to use our power from Teacher Anu. It is not arranged by fate. Namtar: No matter what you do, if fate states that you are an ordinary Human... Namtar: Nothing you do can turn you into a God. It also works the other way around. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: It is these words that have let the youngsters believe that things would happen regardless of what they do! Namtar: What is written by fate cannot be changed. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Namtar, your words are beginning to affect others’ lives. If this happens again, I have no other option but to ask you to leave. Namtar: Then it is my fate to leave.
Dumuzi had thought that after this conversation, Namtar would stop intentionally talking about fate, but his words immediately caused another serious incident —
【Before Battles】 King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Namtar! What exactly did you say to the Hilles? Old Mrs. Hille had just passed away, and soon afterward, her granddaughter committed suicide? Namtar: The course of life is controlled by fate; nothing we do can work against it.
【Enemy Dialog】 Namtar: Dumuzi, calm down. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: It’s because you’re not careful with your words that so many misunderstandings have emerged!
【After Battles】 King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Namtar, I am sorry, but I cannot let you stay in the town. Please leave.
What Dumuzi had been worrying about eventually happened: Namtar’s explanation of fate drained all the positivity from the others. Some people even committed suicide as a way to prove their control over their fate. The townspeople had long harbored misgivings toward Namtar; the recent incidents further spoiled any chance for him to stay.
Namtar quietly departed, leaving behind only one sentence: Namtar: Fate is draining the lives of people. Dumuzi, you cannot work against fate.
Though it was only a few years since the town’s construction, numerous problems had emerged. The harvest was poorer compared to previous years. The shortage of food would definitely create difficulty for the townspeople to endure the cold winter, while plague even broke out in the northern section.
Even Neti, the witch doctor of the town, was unable to cure the disease. If they could not control it soon, the plague would likely turn into an epidemic, and infect the entire town!
Although the Tome of Fate that had been retrieved by Ninurta successfully limited the spread of the disease, it still could not completely cure it. They possessed the knowledge, but lacked the technology; the one who happened to own such technology was expelled from the town far back when it was newly established — Namtar, also known as the God of Pestilence.
To save his sick subjects, Dumuzi decided to search for Namtar. However, the chief obstacle was that no one knew where he was. This was also the reason why they had rather face the dangerous Imdugud and retrieve the Tome of Fate than to try finding Namtar. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Atrahasis, do you have any idea how we can locate him? Atrahasis the Wise Entity: His thoughts are not difficult to guess. Do you still remember the crystal pendant he always used? King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Yes. He also probably used its natural oscillation to decide the direction of his journey. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: But would it help us find him? Could it be...we have to do the exact same thing?
Atrahasis nodded, before he took out the map he drew when he was still journeying around the realm. He circled a number of places on it. Namtar’s pendant has a weak magnetic field, and would naturally oscillate at places with a strong field. What Atrahasis had circled were the places with strong fields. Atrahasis the Wise Entity: It might sound ridiculous, but this is the best method we have to locate him quickly.
【Before Battles】 King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Then I will go search each of these places. Ninurta, please accompany me — General of Hurricane - Ninurta: That goes without saying. Just leave it to me!
【Enemy Dialog】 King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: There are so many monsters in this swamp. Is this place really habitable? General of Hurricane - Ninurta: To that guy, it just might be.
【After Battles】 ???: What’s with the commotion?
【End】 King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Namtar? Is that you?
Dumuzi carefully walked along the rim of the swamp, and slowly approached the source of the voice. Under a steep hillside was a curtain of vines, covering a cave of adult-height. Dumuzi was still a step away from the curtain when it was opened by the man inside. Dumuzi looked into the man’s eyes — it was Namtar.