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Chapter 31


Anguish and Sorrow

The soul of Kronus – Civil war looms with the death of Kronus – The Emperor is killed – The torment of Yoshibeth – The soul of Kronus remains by his Beloved’s side – Yoshibeth dies: neither soul nor light – The legacy of Kronus is wiped away – The grieving soul of Kronus observes the doings of man – Kronus seeks places hidden and uncorrupted – A weapon is tested: unquenchable flames scour the earth – The destruction of mankind – Areta hears the weeping of Kronus

 

1  So Kronus died, yet did the soul of Kronus remain alive and ready knowing; being himself untouched by death, neither was he moved or pushed by such elements and forces as would bind the flesh; being himself immortal and filled with life; dwelling beyond the reach of space and time and mortal flesh.

2  Being himself aloof and untouched by things of corporeal nature, perceiving through the fields of the soul, the sight and sound and feel of the mortal world which continued round about him;

3  Being himself bound in light while the world of men did seem as shadows pale and thin; being themselves hedged up on every side with uncertainties and perplexities of which there is no end.

4  For the soul of Kronus was without such bounds and limitations as do afflict the flesh; being in his soul the first of his kind which did live beyond the ending of his death, dwelling forever beyond the confines of mortal flesh.

5  Being himself incorporeal and ethereal in all his nature, possessing in himself the seed of some ineffable mystery filled with wonder; moving here and going there midst the passing roar of a sudden rush; yet drifting and passing lightly by as if some breath or wind compelled him.

6  Now in the moment when Yoshibeth kissed Kronus upon the lips, the soul of Kronus did drift himself away, to rise above the bed whereupon his body lay, being itself seized in death.

7  Yet despite the death of the body and the senses thereof, still could Kronus clearly see and hear those which spoke and moved round about the room wherein the body of his flesh did lay in stillness and silence forever.

8  And the soul of Kronus beheld the tears of his Beloved, and reaching forth to embrace her, Yoshibeth spoke within her mind; and midst all her tears and broken sobs did she sweetly smile.

9  And the soul of Kronus did move round about his Beloved, calling out in gentle words the song of hope and life forever; trying with all his might to touch the mind and heart of Yoshibeth; yet did she seem unable to perceive the things which his soul would speak.

10  For in her arms did death prevail against the body of her Beloved; and looking through her tearful eyes she did see that Kronus was still and filled with death; causing in the soul of Kronus that it should appear as though Yoshibeth were unable to see or hear or feel the movings of his soul upon her.

11  Now at the death of Kronus did the whole empire grow uncertain and filled with fear; and there erupted a great civil war which did pit the Regent, Maxus Drakoni against the Emperor, Drakonus Magnorum.

12  For the military men of the older generations did most bitterly resent the social reforms of Kronus, believing the empire weakened because of it; and in the palace of the Emperor did the Stazzi choose to serve the interests of the Regent against the Emperor himself, having themselves been purchased by the Regent through bribes and promises of every kind.

13  For the Emperor himself was old and quickly failing, being himself broken and forlorn by the death of Kronus; and in the palace, when night was come, and the Emperor lay deeply sleeping, the Stazzi did sneak in to kill the Emperor in subtle fashion.

14  And when the Regent heard of the Emperor’s death, he did most quickly seize the throne, and giving forth his orders, he did command that the whole military be purged of those who remembered fondly the name of Kronus Maximillius.

15  Thus did there erupt a bitter civil war, for there rose against the Regent the youngest of generals; being called himself Ortho Vitelli, even the selfsame man who, as a boy in the Academy of A’Kontay, Kronus himself stepped forth to save from beatings and rape.

16  And beside the general marched the man Manegus Acquilla, being himself bent with age; yet did all which served beneath him, hold him in high regard; being known by all as the guardian and protector of Kronus while yet he lived.

17  Thus for two years of bitter war did such opposing forces meet, each accusing the other of the death of the Emperor; and in fearsome battles did they most constantly meet; causing that there should fall into death some one million men.

18  Now at the death of the Emperor did the Regent order quickly the arrest of Yoshibeth; giving orders unto his soldiers also that whensoever they should see a woman of courtly dress or manner, even that woman should they rape continually and without surcease, even till she should perish midst the constant plungings of violent men.

19  But when Yoshibeth was brought to the Regent bound in chains, he rose from the throne and with contempt did spit upon her and slapped her fiercely upon the breasts; for the Regent had caused that all clothing and jewelry be stripped from off her body.

20  And before the whole of all his court, the Regent caused that men should hold her firmly, to pin her upon her back against the floor; and with vicious zeal did the Regent rape Yoshibeth in bitter rage, striking out against her in the midst of all his plundering.

21  There in the court of might and power was Yoshibeth raped again and again, first by the Regent, then by those which served him; and Yoshibeth, the Beloved of Kronus, the flower of grace and beauty did perish before the sneers and contempt of violent men; to fall slowly into death, being herself consumed by the gathering of darkness, yet being herself not alone.

22  For the soul of Kronus, in the moment of his death, did linger beside his Beloved, refusing himself to leave her; striving continually through every means to commune with her whereby he might comfort and guide her through the darkness and violence which gathered round about.

23  Yet for all his efforts, Kronus proved unable to touch or commune with Yoshibeth, causing in his soul a constant grief.

24  And in the passing of mortal time did he stay most faithfully beside Yoshibeth, caring not himself for the affairs of men, but attending only the doings and goings of his Beloved; to walk beside her in the day, and in the night laying himself down beside the softness of her flesh.

25  Yet did Yoshibeth keep alive her love for Kronus, to cherish with deepest yearnings, such things as Kronus touched or used or wore when yet he lived.

26  But when there fell upon Yoshibeth the Regent’s wrath and fury, the soul of Kronus did strive himself to defend her against the rule of hateful men.

27  Yet was he unable, being himself incorporeal and without effect in the world of mortal men; proving himself most helpless in the defense of fairest Yoshibeth; filling his soul with deep despair;

28  Causing that he should believe himself most cursed in his present state; being himself most fully alive and deeply knowing; possessing in his soul those tender feelings for his Beloved, yet proving himself most feeble in her moment of greatest need.

29  And seeing the torment of Yoshibeth, his soul did weep most bitter tears; still would Kronus not turn his soul away but did lay beside her in the midst of all her pain.

30  Now in the moment when Yoshibeth died, Kronus was filled with expectation, being hopeful that there might arise from the body of her flesh, a soul most filled with life; being free at last to join with Kronus in love and joy forever.

31  Yet did there come forth neither soul, nor light, nor blessed breath which would carry to Kronus the love of fairest Yoshibeth; and in her death did Kronus cry and wail at so great a loss, being filled with constant sorrow and bitter grief, wishing himself that he could die, but proving himself unable.

32  Now when the Regent saw that Yoshibeth was dead at last, he commanded angrily that her body be cut in pieces and fed to the dogs of war; thus did there perish the love of Kronus.

33  And the world did grow in madness, and the armies of the Regent did defeat at last the armies of Ortho Vitelli, and all which Kronus did while yet he lived was swept away to be no more.

34  And the Regent, being undisputed as the Emperor of all Drakonia, even he did command that the name of Kronus Maximillius be struck from off all the books and records of the empire; casting into dust such monuments as did bear the name.

35  Now the years passed and the soul of Kronus, having grieved for Yoshibeth for some one hundred years, did rouse himself from the ruins of all his house and estate, to go seeking throughout the land, perchance to see for himself the doings of men.

36  And wheresoever he went, drifting himself upon the winds, he saw the foolishness of men who could see for themselves no tomorrow greater than today; being themselves filled with anxious lusts and dreadful passions which did consume all living things, to leave in ruin and utter loss the land and sea and airs above.

37  Causing that the earth should be filled with pollutions and corruptions of every kind, filling the nostrils of those which lived with a noxious stench.

38  For death began to stalk the living, and the sun appeared most thinly pale, and the winds blew hard and cold; and in the night was the moon made red like blood while the stars were made obscure and faintly lit above the clouds of man’s depravity.

39  Yet in the affairs of women did Kronus grieve most deeply still, for all those things which he had done for their sake, had angry men cast aside; to force on women a bitter role far greater than all which went before.

40  And all the hopes of his mother’s dreams lay lost and cruelly broken beneath the weight of a wretched life, and every woman was made as empty and sullen vessels wherein men might relieve themselves of beastly passions; having in themselves no kindness, or tenderness or sweet regard.

41  Thus was every woman made most miserable, being pushed and goaded by afflictions of every kind, being themselves most heavily burdened by harsh and grievous labors filled with fear and constant affliction;

42  Causing that there should be sown between every man and every woman a bitter animosity filled with loathing and contempt; for men did torment women through the cruelest of labors, while in the night they did rape them continually midst jeers and constant mocking.

43  While women, having no recourse against the rule of men, did instead pour out their hatred of men against each other; causing that every woman should view another with disgust and hurtful loathing; causing that women should fight constantly between themselves.

44  And men, seeing that women would fight against each other, even they did see for themselves the beginnings of some great sport, causing that they should compel women to fight to the death within the ring; giving to each woman a dagger with which she might kill the other.

45  And the soul of Kronus, seeing all these things, did ache within the heart, and in sorrow he spoke to himself, saying: “The house of man is filled with madness, and all his doings made cruel and filled with death.”

46  So Kronus turned himself away from the cities of men, refusing to see any longer the cruelties of men; and he went forth throughout the whole earth to seek for himself those wild and hidden places where the corruptions of man had yet not come.

47  And there in the bosom of high mountains and sweet grass meadows, Kronus did wander throughout succeeding years; in the day giving himself to quiet reflections filled with sorrow; and in the night he would turn his heart to dreams.

48  For Kronus grieved continually over the foolishness of men, being themselves as lustful beasts who could see for themselves no better way; being themselves bound by hurtful traditions which filled the heart of man with death and darksome gloom.

49  But in the wild places of the earth, far from the habitations of men did Kronus find a place of refuge; to seek alone midst wild creations, the elements of beauty which would heal the broken soul, to fill the mind with gladness;

50  To put at rest the troubled heart, to restore unto Kronus the joys of sweet remembrance, when as a youth he did suckle upon his mother’s breasts; and then, when as a man, he loved most fairest Yoshibeth with deep and kind affection.

51  And the years did pass in solitude and quiet reflections, to fill the heart of Kronus with gentle yearnings; causing that in day or night, Kronus would call most softly forth, saying: “O, my Mother, come to me for I am alone and do but wait for thee.”

52  Or again would Kronus call out with impassioned pleas for fairest Yoshibeth, being ever hopeful that she might appear unto him some living dream, wherein he might hold and kiss his fairest Love, to suckle upon her breasts in sweet surrender.

53  But for all his cries and pleas and supplications, still did Kronus remain alone; and in the passing of the years did he hold fast to such memories as did please him most; thinking only of his mother midst all her love and wisdom, or of fairest Yoshibeth and all their passions together spent.

54  Now on a certain day, as Kronus was sitting by a stream of water, there drifted across the mountain peaks, a dark and noxious cloud; and throughout the day did it billow forth, filling the whole sky from horizon to horizon.

55  And the soul of Kronus, being alarmed and filled with dread, even he did go forth to see; and going quickly to the habitations of men, he found the world in frightful panic;

56  For the science of man did create a fearsome weapon which when they tested, even it did cause that the earth itself should slowly burn with bitter heat; and there was no means by which the sons of men could put out the fearful flames.

57  For the fires did consume the mantle of the earth, devouring the valleys and mountains and seas together; consuming all things which were made of matter; spewing forth from the burning earth a noxious fume filled with death.

58  And every day did the fire increase and move throughout the lands and seas, consuming the habitations of all men together; devouring in its fiery grasp all living things which moved upon the land, or which swam within the seas, or which flew in the airs above.

59  And the days did pass into weeks, and the weeks to months did grow; and still the fires burned with bitter heat, destroying all before it; and in the passing of the years did all men perish from the earth, to be no more forever, being consumed by folly and madness together.

60  Seeing therefore all these things, Kronus did weep most bitter tears; for in the death of man was he alone, being himself incorporeal and filled with life; dwelling beyond the reach of death and darkness.

61  And the earth became as something dead and broken, moving through the halls of space, round and round about the sun; spewing from its blackened core a cloud of dark and sullen ash;

62  And following the earth did Kronus go, filled with hurt and pain; for gone was the mother he loved so well, gone his sweet Beloved, gone into death was all mankind, gone into darkness the world he loved, gone into oblivion his hopes and dreams, to dwell alone forever.

63  And in the anguish of his soul did Kronus cry aloud, to cast himself in dreadful weeping; being himself consumed by despair and endless sorrow.

64  But in the Deep did the Mother hear, and in the bosom of her depth did the Beloved awaken; for Areta heard for herself the weeping of some great mind; and going forth from the midst of all her creations, she did most quickly draw near.

65  And seeing the broken earth which once did live, she beheld the soul of Kronus; and going forth most softly, she did stand before him; and the eyes of Kronus beheld the gathering of a bright and gentle light.

BOOK OF THE

3RD ENDOWMENT 31

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