【Beginning】 Anu: Do you know from where does fruit come? Atrahasis: Do they not grow on trees?
Bemused, Atrahasis listened as the smiling Anu explained the principles of flower fertilization and how it produces fruit.
When Anu first arrived at the village, he was feared by all due to his gigantic body. But as time passed, the villagers gradually learned that he meant them no harm. He even taught them how to improve their gathering skills. Little by little, he was accepted into the village. Among all the villagers, one was especially interested in Anu’s knowledge — Atrahasis — he would visit Anu everyday for a lecture.
When Anu finished his speech on fruits, he carried on to the topic of plant reproduction. Flowers use their aromatic nectar to attract insects in hopes that they would spread their pollen wherever they go. Even without a vector, flowers can still reproduce with help from the wind — Anu: Talking about the wind...A storm will probably strike in a few months... Atrahasis: Teacher Anu, you can even foresee the future? Anu: The wind this year is circulating in a slightly different way; the air is more humid than usual. It might bring forth abnormal amount of rain. Atrahasis: And what if that happened? Anu: The lake near your village would not be able to sustain all that water.
Worried about a potential flood that could rinse away the entire village, Anu advised the villagers to move their village elsewhere as soon as possible. However, as they looked at the fine weather above them, the villagers did not believe Anu’s claim. Village Chief: Look at yourself, you absurd alarmist! What are your intentions?
【Enemy Dialog】 Atrahasis: Teacher Anu, please stand down. I will try to convince them!
【After Battles】 Anu: I will take my leave.
To settle the dispute, Anu promised to leave the village, and apologised for his stay. Atrahasis was reluctant to see him go — Atrahasis: I know you are wise and knowledgeable, and that every word you say is true. What can I do to help the villagers?
Atrahasis listened to Anu’s instructions, and began digging a canal to prevent the flood. He was ridiculed by all the villagers for trusting the lunatic. It was not until they saw the lake begin to overflow did they offer to help. When the villagers wanted to express their gratitude and apologize, Anu and Atrahasis had already left the village to embark upon a journey of seeking knowledge.
【Beginning】 Atrahasis: A book? Anu: Yes. I once compiled a book, hoping that people could learn from it.
After preventing the flood, Atrahasis realized that staying in the village would only hinder his search for new knowledge. Therefore, he followed Anu to broaden his horizons.
Atrahasis asked Anu why he had visited the village to willingly teach them new things. Anu replied, “There are too many matters in the world that need first-hand experience in order to be truly understood.” He also tried to use words to record worldly knowledge, and transfer such knowledge through books. However, this method was limited; true knowledge acquired from first-hand experience cannot be acquired from the book.
Hence, Anu decided to teach instead. But no one trusted him, except for Atrahasis...Anu could sense the desire and curiosity Atrahasis had for the unknown through his new pupil’s eyes. If Atrahasis had to choose between food and knowledge, it seemed like he would rather learn than eat. Anu: I have also learned something new from you and the villagers. Atrahasis: Us? I do not believe we are capable enough to teach you anything, Teacher Anu. Anu: Haha. Everything is your teacher. It just depends on how you learn.
【Before Battles】 Anu: For example, do you still remember how to effectively hunt for food? Atrahasis: Yes, I do.
【Enemy Dialog】 Atrahasis: This hunting technique seems familiar...
【After Battles】 Atrahasis: Right! Werewolves also use bait to lure victims into their traps! Anu: That is correct. You can learn from everything; you just need to look at the situation from another perspective.
Since then, Atrahasis had a deeper understanding and an open-minded perception of the word “knowledge”. He often pondered: “What exactly is ‘knowledge’? Do the things I have learned from Teacher Anu count as ‘knowledge’?” Unable to find the answer, Atrahasis sought one from Anu, only to receive this reply: Anu: You already possess sufficient ability. Go seek out your own answers. Anu: Maybe your question will answer itself once you find the birdlike monster, Imdugud.
Upon finishing his sentence, Anu turned and started heading toward a nearby village. However, after taking a few steps, Anu looked back at the confused Atrahasis, adding: Anu: Remember! Everything is your teacher! All you have seen and heard can help you find what you are looking for.
Atrahasis understood that to truly learn what “knowledge” is, he had to personally seek the answer through his own effort. Therefore, Atrahasis watched Anu from afar with no intentions of following him while Anu’ s figure gradually diminished. When Anu had completely vanished from his sight, he slowly turned, and began to embark on his journey in search of an answer...
【Beginning】 Atrahasis: What exactly is knowledge?
Since he parted with Anu, Atrahasis had been pondering over this question day and night. Eventually, he got lost in his thoughts. To Atrahasis, finding the truth about knowledge was like walking through a maze; whenever he thought he had already found an exit, it turned out to be another dead-end. Atrahasis also tried to observe his surroundings, but the question would still linger in his mind. With no other options, he sought Imdugud for answers, hopefully becoming enlightened. Atrahasis: ‘Teacher Anu never told me anything about the birdlike monster...’ Atrahasis: ‘Or did he leave clues for me, maybe by accident or design...?’
Atrahasis meditated extensively to remember Anu’s every word, hoping to find traces of Imdugud.
【Before Battles】 Atrahasis: Thin air...I can see a sea of cloud...
【Enemy Dialog】 Atrahasis: A place with sparse trees...Could it be this mountain...?
【After Battles】 ???: Honk —
A deafening high-pitched screech reverberated from above. Atrahasis hurriedly covered his ears and in a gust of wind, he saw a gigantic shadow falling onto him. Looking up, he saw a pair of enormous and powerful wings, each flap creating fierce wind. Looking at Atrahasis, the creature’s sharp claws were ready to attack its prey. What else could it be if not Imdugud?
Atrahasis promptly ran into the woods. Though the trees were sparse, it was better than having no protection at all.
He was glad that Imdugud did not continue to pursue him; maybe it was because Atrahasis still stood far from its nest.^ ^ Noticing Imdugud’s soft eyes carefully tending to something inside its nest, Atrahasis speculated that it was taking care of its newly-laid eggs.
Anu had once mentioned that Imdugud could help him find his answer, so Atrahasis decided to observe its life and action. However, Imdugud’s life consisted of the same daily routine — it went to gather food at a specific time, either by hunting other animals or picking fruit from trees. Any residue would be tossed to the ground near the nest. Atrahasis began to wonder: “What can I learn from this gigantic bird?” Just then, Anu’s words popped into his mind... Anu: ‘Haha. Everything is your teacher. It just depends on how you learn.’
Other thoughts surfaced along with Anu’s words, but he was not sure if he had deduced correctly, so he paid more attention to the birdlike monster’s hunting habits. He then noticed that Imdugud’s hunting hours were not simply a part of its daily schedule; it chose that specific time to use the sun’s overwhelming light to blind its prey, and hunt them more easily and accurately.
Atrahasis had an epiphany. Whether it was the werewolves before or Imdugud now, they were all ingeniously resourceful, and had their distinctive hunting methods. That is the refinement of knowledge.
Everything is nothing but pieces of information. If one does not critically reflect on the information they absorb from their surroundings, then one does not truly obtain “knowledge”. Able to comprehend this idea, Atrahasis began to truly understand what knowledge is. Atrahasis: So “knowledge” means how well one can effectively utilize information...
As Atrahasis contemplated on the relationship between “information” and “knowledge”, a honking sound from the sky snapped him back into reality. To avoid being discovered by Imdugud, he carefully hid himself within the trees’ shade, and continued to observe the monster’s actions. Suddenly, he saw a thick book clutched between its claws. Atrahasis recalled Anu’s past and how he tried to record and pass down knowledge through books... Atrahasis: Could it be...the book Teacher Anu wrote...? Atrahasis: Teacher said Imdugud can help me find the answer to my question; so this is what he meant...?
Atrahasis could not help but burst into laughter as he continued to observe. He dared not come out of the forest until the monster was gone. Atrahasis: ‘The book must contain a massive amount of information. A lot of which is probably unknown to me.’
Atrahasis was incredibly intrigued by the book Anu wrote. However, he clearly knew that his experiences were still not enough for him to transform all the information within the book into his own knowledge. He needed more experience.
Atrahasis thought that before he could read Anu’s book, which was later known as the “Tome of Fate”, he would need to spend a great deal of time gaining experience. Yet, as fate would have it, he would soon study the tome, and through which, save a lot of lives...
【Beginning】 Atrahasis: What do you plan to do? Dumuzi: We have to build a sophisticated system to modify people’s behavior as soon as possible. Dumuzi: Or else, the extinction of Humans may come sooner than we realize.
After parting with Imdugud, Atrahasis returned to where he had bid farewell to Anu. However, he learnt from another disciple that Anu had already departed. Upon learning that Atrahasis was also one of Anu’s disciples, Dumuzi invited Atrahasis to build a town for Humans together.
For months, Dumuzi and his companions gathered different Human tribes in the realm, but every clan had its own customs and convention; discord and dispute abounded. Unnecessary confrontations often occurred. Atrahasis: Even if we build a system, I do not think everyone will comply with it. We need a more convincing method with appropriate sanctions...
Atrahasis sought Ninurta and Dumuzi to discuss his ideas.
The next day, a miraculous catch of fish was placed at the town’s central square. All the townspeople competed against each other to get the fish, as if missing one would be a great loss.
【Before Battles】 Non-native Villager: That fish is mine! Put it down, jerk!
【Enemy Dialog】 Gibil: How can they...catch so many fish? Non-native Villager: They must be hiding something from us!
【After Battles】 Atrahasis: Please stop. We do not plan to hide anything!
All the fish were caught by Atrahasis the night before — with skills Anu had taught him. The amount of catch was indeed normal, but to those who did not master fishing, that would have needed to take a month’s work. Atrahasis: To those who are willing to observe our rules, we are more than happy to share our skills, so those who follow can have broader knowledge for a better life. Atrahasis: But to those who do not cooperate, and might even sabotage our system, we have no choice but to ask you to leave.
Asking them to leave was a rather severe punishment; because the realm was abounded with elves and beasts, Humans living outside the border’s protections could be invaded anytime. The reason why everyone had gathered here was because Dumuzi and his companions were able to fight against the dangerous creatures. Non-native Villager: What if we don’t obey the rules, and insist on staying here, huh? You can’t do anything to us, ha! Atrahasis: Then do not blame us!
Ninurta stepped out with his gigantic metal hands, as if suggesting that they would not hold back in showing opposers the door. Non-native Villager: Despicable rats! That’s a threat! Atrahasis: And insisting on staying without obeying the rules is not? Non-native Villager: Em... Dumuzi: We do not intend to be superior, and you are not meant to follow orders like an underling. Dumuzi: We merely hope that everyone can live according to our reasonable rules, so all people in the town can have a harmonious life here. Gibil: And we should just listen to the few of you? Dumuzi: Of course not. We will assign positions to those capable. The town shall be guarded together!
Everything went as Atrahasis had predicted; under the influence of both rewards and punishments, the townspeople were willing to follow their system. What needed to be done now was earning the townspeople’s trust and loyalty with time and work.