“Hey, what are you saying? Get a hold of yourself.”
Compared to my hallucination, Satoru’s voice sounded far away and unreal.
“It is said that when the fifth emperor, the Emperor of Delight, came into power, the public’s cheers went on for three hundred years. The first to stop applauding were burned as sacrifices and their charred corpses were used to decorate the palace. Because of this, the citizens nicknamed him the Emperor of Eternal Screams.”
“The thirteenth empress, Airin, was called the Queen of Sorrow…every morning, the people who had displeased her…took great joy in the most brutal…fasting in order not to throw up…thirty-third, Emperor of Magnanimity, called Wolf King…devoured corpses…his son, the thirty-fourth, Emperor of Pure Virtue, Heretic King…strangled his father to death when he was twelve…feared assassination, killed his younger brother and cousins, all children…their bodies fed to worms and roaches…sixty-fourth, Empress of Holy Beneficence was called Owl Queen…kidnapped a pregnant woman every full moon, swallowed the fetus whole, pellets of human bones as far as the eye can see…”
My father’s distorted voice suddenly became strangely monotonous.
“Listen. An ethologist from the ancient civilization, Konrad Lorenz discovered that animals with strong killing instincts like wolves and ravens have an innate mechanism that causes them to avoid conflict with their own species. Physically weak species like rats and humans don’t have as strong of a mechanism, so they fight to the point of massacre.”
“Ioki realized that by sacrificing one of his bases, his troops would be able to sever the enemy’s lines. But there was one problem. The base that had to be sacrificed was his own. As he predicted, his group was surrounded by the enemy. Ioki and six of his comrades fought bravely until the end, but they were all slaughtered, the bodies mutilated to the point that they were indistinguishable from ground hamburger meat.
“You idiot. Snap out of it!” Satoru hit my shoulder.