“Eons ago, the Snake Dowager who came from the Rivers of Sanar governed the world. All beings and various kingdoms of bloodlines thrived and flourished under her rule…”
The words on the stone tablet were extremely old and archaic, but the princess could understand their meaning. The information wasn’t conveyed by sight or conversation, but through another medium entirely.
Still, this wasn’t the most important bit of information. The center of the tablet recorded a monumental change in history, “Until one day, when the Mistress of the Night arrived. She ousted the Snake Dowager, destroying the rule of bloodlines. She established an empire atop corpses, shifting behind the scenes to control the empire into fulfilling an unknown desire…”
Anyone from the imperial family would fly into a rage at the blasphemy and untruths in this tablet. This princess, however, had a strange expression on her face. It was a mix of joy and anticipation, perplexment and fear; a mish-mash of various complicated feelings.
“... The newly built empire had obtained glory, and the light of civilisation shone brighter than the stars. However, the Mistress of the Night was not satisfied with all of this, she needed more… more…
“I foresee that she will mercilessly purge the world of bloodline carriers, replacing the humans with another being before finally turning the souls of these people to the same colour. The only way for salvation is…”
The princess forced herself to look away after reading this part. She’d felt a pressure from the Shadow Weave surround her, an imposing dignity representative of the Mistress of the Night.
However, she still sighed deeply in her heart, ‘This relic of the eastern seas, the Dead Sea Scroll— A powerful prophecy foretold by the blind prophet Ari, left behind to save the world. This Book of Salvation is the only ray of hope, and it is no longer in the hands of those insurgents…”
“Seal this stone tablet under a restriction of class 5S. Anyone who acquires this information will be put to the death,” the princess ordered after smiling bitterly in her heart.
“Class 5S!” This attracted surprise from the people around her. Even the Commander-in-Chief of the Empire did not have the authority to access such information!
“Do what I say!” the princess stated icily. The Shadow Weave rippled, the imperial token in the princess’ hands showing that her word was law.
The several old marine generals looked at each other in the eye, but could only carry out the orders helplessly, “We obey!”
What was more perplexing was that they, together with the mutants of the Special Forces, did not see anything special about the stone tablet. To them, the stone tablet was filled with strange drawings, just like the doodles of a child. They simply could not make anything of it.
However, something that had the princess come personally with a submarine that could even destroy an ancient creature was no ordinary matter.
“Not knowing is also for your own good…” The princess smiled wryly as she watched the figures of those old generals as they left.
The more she knew, the more she sunk into despair. The entirety of the empire was controlled by someone working behind the scenes? And that too for tens of thousands of years, creating the imperial family and issuing the state policies? Even the most stupid of beggars would not believe a joke like this. However, the princess knew that it was the truth!
Furthermore, she could not resist the powers of the Mistress of the Night. That was an overweeningly strong existence, her might incomprehensible.
*Beep!* A connection request from the empire streamed in at this moment, and a soldier appeared on screen.
“Your Highness,” he bowed with utmost respect before taking out a token, “I have new orders.”
“Speak!” The princess retracted her helplessness and weakness in front of outsiders, stuffing it behind a mask of cold might.
“Urgent command: The submarine has been recalled, along with the loot from the mission. The rest of you need to head towards the Demonic Islands, killing the insurgents gathered there.”
“What happened? Tell me clearly!” The princess knew that even without the prowess of this battleship, her subordinates would hold the upper hand against those rebels. However, she’d never think that the Emperor would pass such a pressing decree.
“It’s… We have just received news that our research facility in the eastern seas has been breached!”
“What? Are you kidding? There are garrison troops protecting that area!” The princess’s brows furrowed.
“Positive! The troops around the area have perished… As of now, the ones most able to resist them are you and the first admiral’s fleet…” The officer in the screen seemed uncomfortable.
“Who is it? The Coven, the Bloodline Alliance? Or is it the Martial Arts Association?” The princess frowned, and immediately stated the names of the largest rebel groups.
“Everyone, even the Knights of the Round Table! They’ve even ignored civilian casualties, using powerful weapons of mass destruction. They seem to be determined!”
“They’ve discovered it, huh?” The princess bit on her lip. She knew the kind of research undertaken in the eastern sea facility, and the content within could never be made public!
“I’ll go right away!” The princess did not back down, agreeing immediately. No matter how unwilling she was, she was a member of the imperial family. This was the tragedy and reality that she had to face from her birth.
Eastern seas, the Demonic Islands!
*Boom!* An alloy wall was blasted through, revealing a room with many long, cylindrical incubation pods. They held human specimens, including children and adults.
“Tsk… They’re only clones? Nothing else seems to be in here?” A person dressed like a knight from the medieval times looked at Crowley. It was him who’d struck open the door made of alloy, that act alone showing that his strength could not be underestimated. It was the top expert from Knights of the Round Table.
However, his gaze carried a questioning look.
“Although the research here might have had concerned us, it seems like a bigger base than the others. There’s not enough reason for you to invite us over,” an old person who wore robes walked up slowly. As his muddy eyes surveyed the surroundings, he was seemingly shocked by the sheer size of the facility.
“Of course not… Cough…” Crowley had his ribs wrapped in gauze. The journey here hadn’t been easy.
“What I intended for all of you is to see this!” He brought the two deeper into the facility, to a large safe that was marked with a huge ‘X’ on the outside.
“Fortunately we have witches with us. We wouldn’t have been able to get the password otherwise…” Crowley punched in a string of numbers and took out an eyeball covered in blood, allowing the iris scanner on the safe to scan it.
After seeing this heavily guarded safe, the knight and the old man looked solemnly at each other.
*Pat!* The safe was opened, revealing the contents within. There wasn’t much, just a few spiral test tubes and a computer disk.
“Look at this…” Crowley handed the disk over.
“Plan X — Introduction: This is a plan suggested by an imperial professor, codenamed ‘X’, using the clones of the embryo to get rid of the garbage lying within the Empire. Current progress: 571 years. Completion: 67%!”
“This… This… This… It’s so hard to believe that all this is true…” The knight and the old man muttered, but the information on the disk had stated everything.
“What have they got to gain from doing this?” The knight muttered.
“Control! This is the strongest benefit… Through controlling these clones and the ‘reproduction’ of these embryos, they can ensure that our descendants will no longer have any extraordinary powers. Even training in martial techniques would prove to be extremely difficult… The most important thing is they have stored a program in the depths of these mutants, and will be able to control them at any point in time.
Crowley’s tone was extremely heavy, “Think about it, the entire world would be your enemy in the future. All of your neighbours, your friends... “
Cold sweat dripped down the foreheads of the knight and the old man.
“So… How much progress has the Empire made?” The old man’s voice was extremely hoarse, and it carried a foreboding sense of despair.
“They have these facilities throughout the Empire. However this is the headquarters where everything began. Our investigation results weren’t positive…”
Crowley’s watch projected a screen, showing two strings of DNA sequences.
“This is a regular human, and this is the ‘X’ body of the empire. The differences lie here.” As Crowley enlarged the image, a rune labelled as ‘X’ appeared in the charts.
“This is a failsafe plan the empire put in secretly. It can be used to verify identities, and anyone with this X factor in their genetics is a clone that can be controlled by the empire…”
Crowley’s voice grew soft, “The control and contamination of this gene is extremely powerful. If an ordinary human mates with a cloned X body, it’ll only need two generations for their descendants to possess the X gene in their bodies as well.
“Haha… So you’re saying that there are people like that who exist even amongst us now?” The knight laughed so hard he teared up, “You’re saying my family, and even myself, might be the production and spawn of these clones. One day we will turn crazy and turn into machines that can be controlled by the Empire, even slaying our own family and friends?”
“My apologies, but what I speak of is the truth. We have already discovered several members of the Bloodline Alliance, with these genes…”
Crowley bowed, “However, this control on their subconscious is not strong enough. The right amount of resolution or a powerful bloodline can still help suppress it…”
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