A New and Brighter Life
Warring against the Chen – Two years of death and war – The harshness of Seti-Kahn
– Kronus is haunted by the brutalities of war – Kronus is given an estate and one
year leave – Preparing for the fifty women – Women receive unexpected goodness –
The women remain uncertain, having no fear to guide them – Kronus speaks of a peaceful
future – A vow of change
1 And the winds of war blew hard against the Chen, for in the northern most provinces
of Asia did there come the lord of death and swift destruction.
2 For there continued to be added unto Seti-Kahn even greater and greater armies;
even until there stood under heavy arms, some two million men filled with cold and
3 And when all was ready, then did the Drakonians hit fiercely and suddenly upon
all sides; striking the Chen with relentless and brutal fury by air and sea and upon
4 Swarming over the defenses of the Chen like a mighty flood filled with death and
harsh despair; even as a great and dreadful pestilence which did but crush and consume
the armies of the Chen.
5 Yet behind the victories of Seti-Kahn did Kronus devise such strategies as would
ensure the swiftest victory; being hopeful himself to reduce the deaths and casualties
on both sides; being in his private thoughts most tenderhearted towards all men.
6 But Seti-Kahn did cast most scornfully aside the intentions of his son, to press
with mad and vicious rage against the inhabitants of the land; causing himself that
the soldiers of Drakonia should rape and pillage with wild and deadly abandon.
7 And the victories of Seti-Kahn were many; and after two years of death and war,
the armies of Drakonia left suddenly to return themselves home again.
8 Thus did Seti-Kahn, in two years of war and plunder, cause to be put to death
some nineteen million men, women and children; having taken captive some nine hundred
thousand girls between the ages of twelve and twenty years; to send them in chains
unto the Empire of Drakonia whereby they might fulfill the lusts of cruel and brutish
9 And not this only, for Seti-Kahn destroyed utterly and completely some two thousand
towns and cities; causing to be put to death over three million head of cattle and
sheep and horses.
10 Yet did Seti-Kahn prove harsher still, pouring into the streams and rivers of
the land, a vile and noxious poison which did kill all living things; and there arose
a dreadful stench upon the land.
11 And there was taken as the prizes of war, the six treasuries of the northern
kingdoms; being filled with tons of gold and silver, as well as all manner of precious
gems, possessing in themselves a wealth of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies; and there
was added by all these things, unto the treasuries of Maximillius Drakonus, some
four hundred billion golden crowns.
12 Now Kronus grew sick of war and death, being weary of bloodshed and violence
altogether; for in the night were all his dreams filled with the pleas and screams
of all which died; being in his mind haunted and tormented by the brutalities of
those who served beside him.
13 Thus did Kronus, upon returning to his homeland, receive orders to return quickly
unto Trajenium; for the Emperor was made aware concerning the anguish which had fallen
upon the mind of Kronus, and even he did determine to save him from madness and ruin.
14 For this cause did the Emperor appoint Kronus to the imperial staff whereby he
might give counsel concerning such strategies as the Office of War would present
for the Emperor’s approval and consent; for the Emperor would not risk the life of
Kronus in battle, seeing in him a value greater than other men.
15 Now the Emperor gave unto Kronus a vast estate which lay just outside the walls
of the imperial city, and there was built on the grounds thereof, a large and stately
manor which contained some one hundred and fifty rooms.
16 And there was given unto Kronus a monthly allowance of five thousand golden crowns
by which he might run the affairs of all his house; and not this only, for the Emperor
did command that Kronus submit to the Imperial Registry the design for his personal
Coat of Arms.
17 Still did the Emperor grant more than this, giving unto Kronus a gift of fifty
women which would both serve and please him upon the bed; and when all these things
were done, the Emperor gave unto Kronus a leave of one year, whereby he might get
in order the sum of all his house.
18 So Kronus left the city of Trajenium to go unto his own estate, being weary in
the heart and mind of stern and angry faces; being tired of the harshness and brutality
of military life; desiring to see no longer the fears which would arise in others
whensoever they would see him approaching, wearing the purple and the gold of the
19 For in the heart of Kronus did he long for the softness and kindness of his mother;
for he remembered fondly the smiles and laughter of all his mother’s goodness.
20 Thus, being driven and compelled by some inward longing, Kronus vowed that in
the workings of his house would there be no place for fear or weeping; but in joy
and laughter would there be found some constant refuge against the horrors of the
21 Such was the resolve of Kronus, for when he was brought unto his own place, he
did order it prepared and appointed to his liking; having the uppermost floor of
the house made even as one great master bedroom; having a measurement of 200 feet
by 100 feet; being filled with a variety of large baths and soft appointments.
22 For Kronus knew that on a certain day would the women of his house be brought
unto him, being themselves fearful and ready to serve the Master’s whims; thus, for
their sake did he set forth every workman to labor in the completion of his estate
23 And for thirty days did every man labor night and day, and on the day of completion
were all things found ready and finely appointed; and there came to Kronus a guard
of the Praetorium, bringing in chains behind him, the fifty women which were given
24 Then did the guard give unto Kronus the papers of Imperial Possession; and he
did arrange the women in five rows of ten women each, whereby Kronus might walk among
them to examine each according to his pleasure.
25 And Kronus, seeing that the women were fair and beautiful to look upon, he took
pity upon them; for they had each been starved and beaten, being made to stand naked
in the cold and open air.
26 But notwithstanding the softness of his heart, still did Kronus assume a hard
and hateful appearance before the guard; and unto each woman which he examined, even
that woman did he accept as being worthy and most pleasing.
27 For he knew already that if he should reject any one of them, then would that
woman stand condemned before the law as unworthy of life; and even she would be put
most cruelly to death; having her flesh stripped off her body while yet she lived,
and fed to the dogs of war.
28 Now when Kronus was come to the fourth row, he saw a woman which was small and
fairly made; and seeing that she was weeping and shaking with fear, he desired to
speak some word of comfort.
29 But there rushed upon the woman in sternness, the guard which had brought her
bound; and seeing that she would not so much as look upon Kronus, he took a thin,
hard reed and in a swift and downward motion, he struck hard against the nipples
of her breasts, saying: “Look upon your Master, woman, or die the death.”
30 And the woman, clutching her breasts, screamed in dreadful pain and terror; which
thing caused that Kronus should come immediately to her defense; and snatching away
the reed from the hand of the guard, he broke it in pieces and flung it to the ground
in fearsome rage.
31 And in a cold and bitter voice did he speak unto the guard, saying: “Did you
not place into my hands already, the papers of Imperial Possession? Why then will
you abuse my house by striking against my property?”
32 And the guard, staring into the face of Kronus saw both doom and death, and being
fearful for his very life, even he did beg forgiveness; and Kronus, with deep contempt,
did strike the guard upon the face, saying: “Leave now the grounds of my estate,
lest I tell the Emperor of your offense.”
33 Then did the guard leave most quickly and in haste, giving first unto Kronus,
the keys to the women’s chains; and Kronus, being filled with anger, spoke unto the
women, saying: “Follow now, your lord and master.”
34 Now when Kronus had brought the women into the manor of his estate, he knelt
himself down before each woman and did, himself, remove the chains from off her ankles
and her wrists.
35 And when he was completed, he commanded the women in soft and gentle words, saying:
“Come now and follow me, and fear no longer; for I have appointed myself to care
for you.” And so speaking, he led the women into a large and spacious dining hall.
36 And walking into the room, the women gasped in wonder; for there was set upon
the tables of the hall, soft white linens, finely brocaded; and there was set at
each place the finest in gold and porcelain plates with golden utensils resting beside
each plate; and upon each of these things was there found the Coat of Arms to the
House of Kronus.
37 And there was also set at each place, the finest of crystal goblets embossed
with gold, being filled with rich red wine; and upon the tables was there found baskets
of fruit and breads of every kind.
38 Then did Kronus command in gentle tones that the women should sit themselves
down to eat; but the women, being confused and startled, stood themselves about,
being overwhelmed and uncertain by the things which they saw.
39 For when they were brought forth unto the House of Kronus, each woman did rightly
expect only harshness and rape, beatings and fiery brandings.
40 Yet did Kronus appear most strangely kind, and the women knew not the things
which they should do because of it. Now when Kronus perceived the nature of their
reluctance, he did himself take each woman by the hand and set her down at the tables
41 And when all were seated, Kronus motioned unto the chief steward and gave command,
and immediately there rushed into the room a great many servants bearing rich foods
and meats of every kind, filling the whole room with a good and savory aroma.
42 Now Kronus commanded that the women should eat; and sitting himself down apart
from all the rest, he watched most carefully as the women ate; for they were hungry,
having not eaten for three days.
43 And Kronus, fixing his eyes upon the small but beautiful woman which the guard
had struck, even he did dream again of his mother’s softness; and Kronus smiled and
felt himself content.
44 Now when the women were finished eating, Kronus again stood before them and commanded
again that they should follow him; and leading the way, he took them to the uppermost
room of the house;
45 And going into the room, the women were filled with wonder and delight, for the
room was exceedingly large and spacious, having its floor covered in soft warm carpets
of bright colors; and there stood in large vases around the room, bouquets of flowers
which were rich in variety and color, being most delightful to the senses.
46 And around the perimeter of the room were there found a great many dressing tables,
finely appointed; but in the center of the room was there found a great sunken pool
of cool water finely scented, set in a marble floor; and around this was there found
four smaller pools which were filled with hot water, scented with lavender and cinnamon
47 And also was there found for each woman a large, soft pallet upon the floors
round about, where each woman might sleep in comfort, being finely adorned with brightly
colored blankets and pillows of every shape and size.
48 Thus did Kronus most lavishly appoint the room wherein his women would live and
sleep; for he spared for himself no expense for comfort’s sake, having placed in
the walls of the room, four great fireplaces; and hanging from the ceiling of the
room, the finest of crystal chandeliers.
49 Now Kronus spoke to the women, saying: “This room have I fashioned for your sake,
where you might have some place beside me and not apart; for this room have I made
as a gift for you alone.
50 Bathe yourselves therefore, and take your leisure; for I would have you wash
away your fear of me; for as long as you are here beside me, even I will care for
you, even as you would care for me.”
51 Now the women, on hearing this of their lord and master, knew not themselves
what to do; for at no time had any man treated them with such kindness and soft regard.
52 Thus did the women stand themselves about, being most uncertain; for without
fear to guide them, they knew not what to do; for it was terror and suffering which
determined all their actions aforetime.
53 And Kronus, knowing of their reluctance and perplexity, smiled, and disrobing
himself, he took each woman by the hand and led her into the pools of hot water,
whereby each woman might bathe herself.
54 Now unto the smaller pools of hot water was there given a measurement of 12 feet
by 10 feet, having a depth of 4 feet; but unto the larger pool of cool water was
there given a measurement of 30 feet by 15 feet, having a depth of 4 feet.
55 Thus did Kronus encourage the women to refresh themselves, and even he did wash
and care for the women which were given him, speaking to them in soothing words;
yet did he not arouse himself to intercourse, for he desired that the women not be
pressed upon, but that they should first find safety and kindness from his hands.
56 And when the women were completed in their bathing, Kronus led them into the
larger pool of cool water where they might play and splash themselves about; and
when they were completed, Kronus led each woman unto her own pallet where she might
57 And Kronus spoke unto them, saying: “This night shall you sleep in peaceful slumber,
and the terrors of all your yesterdays shall vanish themselves away; for this night
shall you sleep in the womb of peaceful dreams, that on the morrow you might awaken
unto a new and brighter life.
58 Rest yourselves and ease away your fears forever; for in the House of Kronus
shall there come in the night no terror or sudden shock; for in this house shall
you find peace in place of fear, and joy in place of sorrow.
59 For even I shall be to you as some great defender and gentle consort; for upon
my mother’s heart I most solemnly swear that in this world of wrath and blood shall
I guard you well against the men of power, to lift you above such baser passions,
to place you in some gentler place filled with hope.
60 Rest now and be at peace, for on this night shall the harshness of men vanish
itself away from all your lives together; and on the morrow when you awaken, I shall
tell you fully of my intent.”
61 Then did Kronus leave the women unto themselves, and going quickly unto the main
hall, he called forth his chief steward, saying: “Go you unto the city, and on the
morrow bring to me in the noon hour, the clothiers, cobblers and jewelers which I
have appointed to serve me.”
62 And so speaking, the chief steward left, and Kronus being alone, spoke softly
into the night, saying: “Now my Mother, wheresoever thou art, even I shall keep the
fullness of my words unto you; and by some noble but cunning effort, change the world
for goodness sake.” And turning himself to go, he walked alone unto his own place.