【Beginning】 Young Namtar: Sigh...We also weren’t able to hunt a big game today. Dad, is your crystal not working anymore?
When Namtar was small, he often hunted game with his father for money. His father loved to use a crystal pendant to decide their route. Thanks to it, they had hunted numerous big games, but in these past couple of days, they could not even find a little animal. Father: Fate probably doesn’t want us to catch a big game today. Young Namtar: How could it be? Fate wants us to die of hunger? Father: Fate has long written one’s life. It decides how much one eats and wears; the amount is definite. Father: Maybe we’ve taken too much, and now we’re paying back the surplus amount from what we should have gotten. Young Namtar: Can’t we change fate? Then we can have as much as we want. Father: Everything can’t be changed. We can’t ask for more than we deserve.
When Namtar’s father was still alive, he had always claimed that everything is decided by fate. Although Namtar was sceptical about it, his father’s words always lingered in his mind, altering how he perceived the world...
As time passed, Namtar had grown into an adult. He learned from Anu along with his companions: Dumuzi, Ninurta, and Inanna.
Today, Anu brought the four out to the same plain where they had visited to observe a pride of lions a few days ago. Last time, they had witnessed how lionesses hunt; this time, they had to see how the pride leader was replaced.
The leader in a pride of lions will always be replaced by younger males. When the present leader is too old or weak, a young lion will come and issue a duel. The duel can only end in two ways for the defeated: either death or expulsion from the pride.
The old lion soon became the former leader of the pride as he was defeated by a younger lion. Anu and his disciples watched as the younger one succeeded the position of the pride’s new leader. Inanna pleaded Anu to use his godly power and save the old lion, but was resolutely rejected — Anu: Life and death has its law. What is done, is done. We cannot arbitrarily reclaim any lost life.
‘Fate has long written one’s life. Everything can’t be changed. We can’t ask for more than we deserve.’ His father’s words had deeply imprinted into Namtar’s heart... Namtar: ‘...So we truly can’t change fate.’
【Beginning】 King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Namtar, I am sorry, but I cannot let you stay in this town. Please leave.
Dumuzi and his companions led other Humans and together, they built a town. Non-native townspeople did not know them well and children showed curiosity toward them, so they frequently visited Namtar, asking various questions. However, Namtar’ s explanation of fate hindered others’ life. Some people even committed suicide as a way to prove their control over their fate.
To avoid Namtar’s words from further affecting others, Dumuzi had no options but to expel him from the town.
Namtar was neither angry nor hateful. He deemed that everything was decided by fate, so he quietly departed from the town, leaving this familiar piece of land.
Namtar took out the crystal pendant he had inherited from his father. His thumb and index finger lightly holding onto one end of the pendant, Namtar let it swing freely while he stood at a crossroad. If the pendant rotates clockwise, it means true; if it rotates counterclockwise, it means false.
Whenever Namtar was at an intersection, or he did not know which direction to go, he would use the pendant as a guide — a method which would not be affected by his own will. To put it in another way, the result was also determined by the intangible fate; Namtar left everything to fate.
【Before Battles】 Namtar: ...This way, right?
Namtar traveled with the help of the pendant. He even decided if he should rest or keep walking by using the pendant. Eventually, he journeyed for consecutive days with merely any breaks, before he realized that he was going in circles around the swamp. He walked to the mountainous side of the swamp, and discovered a cave behind a curtain of vines — Namtar: Fate, did you arrange for me to be here?
The pendant answered his question by rotating in the air. Namtar’s body had been exhausted from all the days of traveling on this journey, especially his right arm. Prolonged holding of the pendant in mid-air had fatigued his arm. Namtar entered the cave, and without paying any regard to the moss on the ground, he collapsed and fell asleep.
What Namtar did not realize was that the fate-driven pendant rotation was actually the result of his weary arm’s subconscious act...
Namtar had begun his life at the swamp for quite some time. The peaceful days provided him with more time to ruminate on the knowledge and logic that Anu had taught him. He observed the swamp’s ecology, and carried out studies on the plants and animals around the swamp.
Later, he discovered that medicines could be created from the leaves, stems and roots of plants, as well as from the secretion and bodies of insects. Since then, he wallowed in herb medicine research. Namtar: Ah. I’ve used up all the bodies of dwellers? Mm...Good timing. The licorice leaves are also going to deplete...
Wholly focused on his research, Namtar did not realize how many days he had stayed in the cave. The deficiency of materials was exactly the reason why he needed to leave the cave. This gave him an opportunity to stretch a little and research on other plants and insects. Namtar had been unable to have a breakthrough in his research; this was his best chance to lighten the mood.
【Before Battles】 Namtar: This is probably part of my fate...
【Enemy Dialog】 Namtar: This...may be useful if it is dried.
Whenever Namtar developed a new drug, he would test it on animals, hopefully creating suitable medicines for various diseases. To develop targeted drug delivery, Namtar would first infect the tested animal with a specific disease, and then feed it the new medicine he had created.
However, although he could pinpoint the infected location of an animal, he could not cure the animal by developing a drug according to the virus’ characteristics. What shocked him more was that his targeted drug delivery was working, but every drug he created to specifically cure the disease would instead aggravate it. Namtar: So I still don’t know how to cure diseases. I merely have created more and more drugs to cause diseases. Namtar: Am I not destined to be a doctor? If that’s my fate, then I shall obey it...
Namtar then switched his research to viruses. The progress was smoother than when he was researching medicines, and it yielded in better results. This had further convinced him — fate had already arranged the most suitable purpose for him.
It had been years since Namtar started living in the swamp. One day, his old companions, Dumuzi and Ninurta, surprisingly visited and pleaded him to return. According to the two, plague had struck the town; they desperately needed his power to save the ill.
Namtar thought that fate had arranged this swamp for him; he would live here and he would die here. No matter how Dumuzi apologized for expelling him, he did not agree to return, not even when Ninurta tried to take him back by force.
Eventually, Dumuzi told Namtar that they had already retrieved the “Tome of Fate”. Namtar’s eyes suddenly radiated with light, and he hurriedly said that he was willing to return with them.
Namtar had always wanted to read the book as it was believed to be able to help the reader grasp fate, but it lay under the birdlike monster’s claws. Now that the “Tome of Fate” was secured in the town, how would Namtar, the one who claimed to be the follower of fate, let this chance go by?
However, situations do not always unfold as one intends. During their journey, a storm suddenly struck! It did not only destroy the bridge that crossed the river, the flood also deepened and widened the river. At first, Ninurta wanted to hold his two companions and swim across the river by only using his exceptional strength, but later gave up when he witnessed how fast the current was.
Namtar deemed that it was fate’s obstruction, thinking that fate wanted him to continue living his lone life in the swamp. But his words angered Dumuzi — King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: If your “fate” does not want you to return, why did it let us find you?! King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Didn’t you leave the swamp because you wanted to read the “Tome of Fate”? Fate didn’t tell you to do so. You chose to do it! God of Pestilence - Namtar: !!! King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Come on! We just need a canoe that can bring us across the river. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Teacher Anu taught us how to build one. I believe you remember the steps, don’t you?
【Before Battles】 King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: We have to ensure it’s strong, or it’ll easily fall apart in the powerful current.
It took longer than expected to build a canoe. When Dumuzi returned from gathering fruits, what he saw was not a mere canoe; Namtar had equipped it with a propeller in the back. The propeller could be hand-operated. With a combination of gears, a slow and steady rotation of the handle was enough to provide momentum faster and easier than usual paddling. Along with Ninurta’s help, the product was ready to work. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: ...I believe I just told you to build a canoe. How come it became a boat with a propeller? God of Pestilence - Namtar: The wind is blowing in the direction of the town. If we return by water, we can arrive there sooner. God of Pestilence - Namtar: But a canoe cannot handle such a long navigation, so we built a little boat instead. King of Shepherd - Dumuzi: Hahaha. Isn’t it better than we thought? God of Pestilence - Namtar: ...Dumuzi. Maybe...you’re right... General of Hurricane - Ninurta: Hey, why are you two talking on the shore? Come on up!
Namtar followed the two onto the boat. It took them less than three days to return to the town Namtar had left for so long. As Namtar dealt with the plague, he would yet again be faced with the choice of “accepting” or “challenging” fate...