CONQUER -- 征服
DDQK-Conquer - 一个有故事的AI
Chapter Ⅻ - Manganese
A huge explosion broke the silence of the eastern area of the Capital. Screams and panic followed behind. It took place at a huge palace. The scarlet, half-rounded roof with dark green balls made everyone who passed there stop and marvel at its brilliant work. Every inch of its surface was sculpted into different delicate patterns. Right under the roof, four fifteen-story high red brick columns stood steadily. They looked like giants, gazing beyond the horizon in silence.
A sudden roar came from a group of soldiers, who rushed into the palace and killed everyone inside. They robbed the precious decorations and smashed the valuable furniture into pieces. They filled their expanding pockets and bags with costly jewelry. They were not soldiers of this Empire anymore. Instead, they became a crowd of starving robbers who saw the treasure as food.
Above the huge palace, high in the sky, a god wearing silvery armor was watching all of this placidly. The scales on his armor were smooth and clean enough to use as a mirror. His face was terrifying and odd. The left side was completely purple, while the other side was pale white. Most frightening of all were his sharp eyes. They looked like steel knives that could easily cut everything he saw into pieces.
He was General Manganese, who had planned this coup for decades.
He had predicted and confirmed that Princess Lava together with Aluminum and Magnesium had escaped. Occupying and destroyed this Palace, which was a sort of artwork, was meaningless and might even cause him unnecessary trouble.
But he was still kept doing it.
Because he enjoyed it.
On the day he was born, hundreds of gods gathered around a huge round stage, looking at a ball that twinkled with a slight light as it expanded bigger and bigger. They had been waiting for it for about five hours.
Much higher than the ball, there was a golden platform with four gods sitting upon it and paying close attention.
However, it seemed that the ball was also looking at them.
“Venus, what do you think? Will the kid be a boy or a girl?” A handsome man with red hair and red eyes said in a humorous voice. He was the god of the planet Mars.
“Emm …” A young and attractive woman named Venus extended her neck towards the ball and thought for a while. “I think he is a boy.”
“Then I wish her to be a girl,” Mars replied.
“He must be a boy,” Venus said with a little annoyance.
“She is a girl,” Mars said in a much louder voice.
“He must be a boy!” Venus repeated with a much stronger volume.
“Can you two stop arguing about this silly stuff in my presence?” It was the god of Neptune, whose hair was totally ocean blue. “Besides, if you really want to know the answer, you may ask Earth.”
“A great idea,” said Mars while he leaned to another god beside him. “Hey, Earth. Is she a girl?”
Earth didn’t reply.
“You see, he won’t give us an answer.” Mars jeered at Neptune, who turned his back to Mars.
“Just stop talking,” sighed Neptune. “Don’t you notice that Earth is pretty annoyed about the problems with his new child?”
“I haven’t noticed anything unusual about the child.”
“Don’t you feel someone looking at you?”
Mars fell into silence and lowered his head, staring at his feet. It looked as if he was concentrating on something. After a while, he jumped up from his chair, widening his eyes and pointing at the ball,
“He has his own consciousness!” he said with surprise.
“Three hours ago,” Venus mocked. “Plus, please sit down. You have already frightened the boy. Although he cannot reply, he can hear what you have said.”
Suddenly, the ball they all gazed at burst open. A brilliant light shone like thousands of sharp arrows.
“Look, he is a boy.”
A new god who looked as old as a fifteen-year-old floated in the air. His strange skin surprised everyone who stood around the stage. Half of it was purple while the other half was white.
He was the god of Manganese, who was determined to be unusual.
He flew to the platform above him without anyone’s suggestion and knelt down on one knee before the four gods in front of him.
“Please accept my respect.”
This is the first thing he said when he came into this world.
“You are indeed special,” said Mars. “I haven’t seen anyone’s birth similar to yours.”
“My dear son,” said Earth. “I hope you will achieve many great things.”
“Your father called us to come here and wait for over five hours to witness your birth. Most of your brothers and sisters didn’t have such good fortune,” said Neptune. “Because…”
Venus gave him a look, and Neptune fell silent. Then he added,
“We will tell you the reason later.”
“Just remember,” Venus said with a smile. “We are all looking forward to seeing you grow up.”
“It’s my honor,” Manganese lowered his head deeper and touched it to ground.
But suddenly, he fell down and lay still on the ground.
“Have a good rest, boy,” Earth mumbled. “You are going to need it.”
Then all the other gods disappeared.
He knew that a war started soon after he was born. However, he could barely recall anything about that war. It was not because time had rotted his memory little by little. Instead, he forgot it on purpose.
It was a terrible and miserable experience for him to forget that war. So miserable that he even wanted to erase the processing of forgetting from his mind. Right now, his memory of that period was just like a sheet of white paper. It was completely blank. Even the reason that he tried to remove the memory was taken from that paper.
However, he still kept something of that period. On the top floor of his house, which was located in a remote countryside far away from the capital, a special weapon was hanging on the wall in the hallway. It was a spear which looked like a long thin stick with a metal broadsword on the tip. This was a message or a souvenir he kept for himself. He thought that it represented something. Manganese tried several times to find out the mystery behind it, but he failed, with only a feeling of a slight connection to that weapon.
Eventually he just forgot it.
The gods who had experienced the war had gone one by one. And then there were only a few gods left. It was strange that they all chose to forget those mysterious bygone days and never spoke a word about it to others.
What accompanied them were the endless nightmares of their experiences during that time and the confusedness after they woke up suddenly in the middle of the night.
Manganese didn’t know when or where Chaos, who was the later emperor of the Empire, was born. Maybe he knew it a long time ago, but he could not remember it. However, his first meeting with Chaos was deeply carved in his mind.
He hadn’t seen the sun for over three days. Heavy clouds covered the gloomy sky. Thundered rumbled one after another, so that it seemed never-ending. Shouting and crying from the far distance followed him wherever he went. Needle-like raindrops fell in the darkness and pierced his skin fiercely when they landed on him.
Sunshine was a luxury to everyone on Earth after that war, and so was peace. Hundreds of small kingdoms were established, and they fought with each other all year round.
Manganese was the general of a kingdom named Madessa at that time. Right now, he was being sieged in a city by an army which was much more powerful than his. The king had already settled down in a safe place in his palace and there was no hope of assistance. He was an abandoned chess piece that was impossible to rescue.
The tall thick wall was leaning toward him and might fall down at any time. Desperation was spreading among the soldiers and even some of his tacticians tried to persuade him to surrender in order to stay alive. However, the request the enemies made were mean, and his arrogance and honor did not allow him to accept it, which meant that he was going to defend the city until the enemies broke it down.
“General,” a young soldier ran to him and reported, “there’s a man who called himself “Chaos” here to see you.”
“Chaos?” Manganese wandered a few steps and searched this name in his memory, but he failed to find anything. After a while, he added, “bring him here.”
Soon, that young soldier led Chaos to him.
The god looked weird. Every inch of his body was in the same color, black, except for his pure white eyes, which looked like two bright lamps. In this dark condition, his shape was hard to make out. But Manganese could clearly see the cheerful look on his smiling face. When he looked into his eyes, Manganese felt a kind of power that brought him a fantastic strength. It might be hope, he thought.
“Are you the general?” Chaos asked. His voice was steady, giving Manganese a feeling of comfort and fate.
“Sure, I am.” Manganese replied, “and why are you here?”
“I am here to help you vanquish the enemies outside,” he said slowly.
“Vanquish the enemies outside?” Manganese tried hard to hold back his laughter.
“Please follow me, General, and you will believe me soon.” Chaos turned back and walked up the steps that led to the top of the wall.
Manganese was unclear on what the odd God was going to do. But he had nothing to do except follow him. He had to chase every chance, even the most ridiculous and unbelievable ones.
They reached the top, where they could see the enemies distinctly. Thousands of armed soldiers stood in ranked order, giving Manganese a feeling of immense oppression. Tomorrow, they were going to break into the city and marched through the gate.
“How spectacular the scene is!” Chaos said, “but what would it look like if they were not queuing up in order?”
Right after he finished speaking, a riot broke out among the enemies’ army. Within a few seconds, some other rebellions were clearly seen. Manganese was shocked. He could never have imagined that the enemies would start to fight amongst themselves. Chaos was spreading in that orderly army. The sounds of shouting and scuffling were so loud that the soldiers in the city thought the enemies were attacking.
“As you can see,” Chaos said with a smile, “I’ve done you a favor.”
At that moment, Manganese was too frightened to speak. Not because of the vanquished enemies, but because of the odd god named Chaos standing in front of him.