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Warning: the following content contains spoilers!

Previous: Spoiler #49 – Marguerite R5 (part 2)

Krönig R1: Year 3394 – Dream

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Kronig had been cursed ever since he was born –  whenever he closed his eyes, his vision would be filled with various illusions. At first, he thought that was a nightmare, but he soon learnt that his “nightmare” was totally different from the others’.

In his nightmares, he could always witness panoramata beyond imagination, as if he had traveled to the otherworld. Exotic animals, weird botany, bizarre colours, sounds, smells, and an ocean of black and white – he was very certain that those could not possibly appear in the world.

As Kronig entered his later teenage, the illusion began to worsen, as those illusions also appeared at daytime. In order to find out what was happening to him, Kronig tried to research in a library – the largest library of Pandemonium, which was only accessible to high-ranked engineers. The library housed a lot of important information, including the data needed to create automata and the relics from the Golden Age. In other words, the library was the knowledge foundation of the advanced floating city.

The library housed a lot of important information, including the data needed to create automata and the relics from the Golden Age. In other words, the library was the knowledge foundation of the great floating city.

Technically, Kronig didn’t have the right to access the library. However, his father happened to be a high-ranked engineer, and he was always busy at his work. Kronig seized the opportunity to steal his father’s ID card and successfully sneaked into the library.

***

No one else was using the library, but Kronig couldn’t find any useful information from the books. After a long reading, Kronig took a break and suddenly an offbeat feeling – as if he was directed to look at a particular bookshelf. He checked the bookshelf but it was locked.

“I’d want to look inside,” Kronig thought causally. At this moment, the illusion dominated his mind. Great pain exploded in his body and he was about to pass out. When he finally pulled himself together, he noticed the lock on the bookshelf was opened.

On the bookshelf, he found a report on a certain research. At the same time, he saw an otherworldly creature.

This was his first encounter with the phantom beast.


Krönig R2: Year 3394 – In the Theater

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Kronig’s father, Iosifu, was a specialist in flying battleships, and was rarely at home due to works. When Kronig finally got the chance to have dinner with him, he described his illusions and worries, trying to find insights from his knowledgeable father. To his disappointment, Iosifu only suggested him to visit a psychiatrist.

Kronig was certain that it was not a mental disorder, but Iosifu had no time to let him explain as he received an emergency call from work. When Kronig woke up next day, his father had already left as he needed to make a trip to Rosenburg, a city on the Ground.

***

In frustration, Kronig left home and went to a theater, and he was the only audience there. To be honest, he was not particularly interested in drama. He was just watching them to escape from his illusion and get some inner peace.

The trick failed him this time. The phantom beast, which had been following him since he met it in the library, decided to speak to him for the first time.

“What do I need to do to make you disappear?” Kronig asked.

“What? I’m here because of you,” To his surprise, the Beas replied. “You’re alone. No one needs you. That’s why you want me here.”

“No, it’s not like that!” Kronig yelled back.

“No need to be so irritated,” The beast grinned. “Do you want to shape the world as you wish?”


Krönig R3: Year 3394 – Derider

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The phantom beast killed Iosifu while he was on his trip to Rosenburg, leaving his head on the flying ship. It brought back the body and showed it to Kronig.

“I didn’t wish to kill someone!” Kronig was mad. “It was you who long to kill! Where did you get this random body from?”

“Random body? Take a closer look,” The beast told him. Kronig soon realized that the body was his father.

“I’ve never wanted him to die! I never did!!” Kronig collapsed and lamented.

“You did… This is what you wanted,” The phantom beast muttered, “You’ve always wanted the father who left you alone to vanish from your sight, haven’t you? I’m here to fulfill your desire. What you want is what I want.”

Kronig was stunned and could not even cry for his father’s death – he felt that he was pathetic.


Krönig R4: Year 3394 – Causation

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The death of his father didn’t make any impact on Kronig’s life  – the chaosium-powered domestic automata could take care of all the housework. However, Kronig’s abnormality had worsened. Now he could see those illusions even when his eyes were wide opened. At a point, he did consider to blind himself, but he finally came up with another solution – to read. He noticed that when he focus on the texts, the illusion would fade away.

***

One day, Kronig was reading as usual. As he searched through his bookshelf, he noticed the report he had come across on the day he first met the phantom beast in the library. In curiosity, he started to go through the report.

Heterodox Research Report #983 / CONFIDENTIAL / Against Ethic Laws / Against Chaosium Management Laws / Involves Forbidden Research Areas / Deleted at Year 3378” It read. The thrilling words really aroused Kronig, so he kept going.

On the Compatibility of Chaosium and Human” was the title of the report. Kronig was not trained in science so he could not understand the main body of the report, but as far as he could tell, the report was suggesting that Chaosium could be used to alter the past and future of a man.

At the end of the report was an attached list of researchers involved: “Director: Marguerite [ELIMINATED] / Experimental Subject: Kronig

Kronig now understood his father’s reaction when he talked about his mother – his mother was manic and put her own son into experimental use, so she was executed by the government. He believed he was doomed in the first place.

***

In bewilderment, Kronig left his home, only to find that the phantom beast was killing random passersby around him.

“How is this? You wish is coming true.” The phantom beast told him. “Deep down your heart, you want everyone to disappear fro your sight, don’t you?”

Kronig rejected and tried to stop the beast, but the beast didn’t stop its massacre.


Krönig R5: Year 3394 – Purgatory

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The buildings were burning, and people were dying, and it was all because of the power of the phantom beast. It was just like the Purgatory.

Kronig wanted to escape so that no other would see his blood-stained self. However, as he thought so, the phantom beast interpreted his mind to “kill everyone seeing him”, and so it happened.

The security guards of the city started to chase after Kronig. While he was escaping, his illusion became more vivid – and he could actually touch his illusion.

“Everything you has seen in your ‘illusion’ is true, it’s the parallel worlds,” The phantom beast told him. “This is your true power,”

“Is that because of that… experiment?” Kronig asked the beast.

“Maybe, I don’t know. I’m just here because you summoned me and is here to make your wish come true,”

***

A security guard tried to shoot Kronig, but Kronig unconsciously opened a gate to the parallel world and evaded. Another security guard tried to catch him, but Kronig summoned a monster from the parallel world and killed him. At this moment, Kronig finally realized that he had the power to connect to the parallel world – as if he himself was a vortex. At the same time, he cried for his killing, despite that was not his will.

***

Kronig finally arrived the launch pad for the flying ship, which was the link between Pandemonium the floating city and the Ground.

“Will you die too if I die?” Kronig asked the phantom beast, but the beast did not know the answer. “Seems that you know nothing about yourself, even though you know a lot,”

Kronig decided to end this before he completely lost control of himself.

“I won’t stop you if this is what you truly want,” The phantom finally said.

“So long,” Kronig said as he jumped off. This was his first time to leave Pandemonium to the outside world.

***

The phantom beast caught up Kronig. “I can do whatever you want,” It said.

“I don’t want you to save me. Truely.”

“But you’re feeling lonely, don’t you?” The phantom beast gave a bitter smile.

Hence, they dived into the infinite blue sky together.

[END]


Note:

  1. Iosifu, Kronig’s father, also appears in others’ story as an engineer of flying battleship.
  2. Kronig read his mother’s report and believed that he was used merely as an experimental subject. This was a misunderstanding as Marguerite was trying to use Chaosium to cure his inborn cardiac disease. Parents always seek for the best for their children, but the children hardly understand. On a side note, Techway did release Marguerite’s R3 card on that year’s Mother’s Day.
  3. Kronig is one of the only two characters who committed suicide, if I counted correctly.
  4. In my opinion, Kronig’s story somehow resembles Oedipus Rex. Both of them feature the idea of “know thyself“, and some other common elements. You may want to figure this out yourself.
  5. The official name for the phantom beast is “Abyss”, though it has never disclosed in anyone’s Rare card story. (If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. – an old Unlight meme)
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