My Children Swarm the Cosmos – Chapter 152

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟓𝟐: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐄𝐫𝐚 (3)

Anima watched as Kreion walked away.

“Can’t I come with you?”

“I would be restless if you were gone too.”

“Don’t worry. There’s no threat to us anymore, right?”

“. . .”

“Please stay with me.”

If it was a whim, then so be it.

However, Kreion couldn’t afford to indulge her whim. Of course, he understood her feelings.

“There’s a lot I don’t know about this world. I feel like my vision is still narrow.”

“I thought it would be over if the Federation collapsed. . .”

“I also thought this was the end. But the thought that it might not be the case coexists.”

The anxiety of not being able to untangle the twisted threads yet. He couldn’t face her properly if he wasn’t certain. It felt like his heart was screaming that it wasn’t the time yet.

And Anima was the one who understood his heart better than anyone else.

“Sure. . . I understand. Instead, let me stay here until you return.”

“Alright. I’ll leave it to you for a while.”

“Be careful, Kreion.”

And so, Kreion didn’t rest on his laurels but embarked on a path of even greater growth.

🔷🔷🔷

A binary star system shining with two stars.

Thirty Euryales had entered the Drake Stellar Nation, which boasts the greatest scientific and technological prowess in humanity.

The Euryale pack continued moving towards the capital planet, Obsidia Drake, when they received a radio signal through an electronic device.

➖Kreion.

It was his voice.

“Lopez. Were you waiting for me this time too?”

➖I was waiting. But hold on a moment and stop there.

Kreion stopped entering the Drake star system, thinking there must be a reason.

From a distance where the planet appeared as a small dot, a fleet of machines approached.

➖The entire Local Group is in an uproar over the emergence of a race called the Believer. And because of what you and the Believer talked about, questions are flooding in about me, you, and the late Le-orantarum Owron.

“As of now, you and I are the only ones with a connection to the Believer. Neither you nor I have an obligation to answer all the questions coming from the entire Local Group.”

➖That’s right. But the world always wants answers. When did I first make contact with the Believers? Why did I become so powerful? Is it because of the Believer? What are our goals?

“Your goal is the safety of humanity.”

➖Your goal is the prosperity and survival of the Chimeraz. And the Believers’ goal is peace.

“That’s right.”

➖Then shall we answer them like that? Telling them about our goals might calm them down a bit.

“I’ll leave it to you to explain our relationship with the Believers. Let the Hive Alliance explain to those who don’t believe you.”

➖You were planning to borrow the influence of the New Universe Civilization Union that I founded from the start, weren’t you?

“Didn’t we create it? If the Le-orantarum Federation collapses and only the Hive Alliance remains, another tragedy could happen, couldn’t it?”

➖That’s right. From now on, the New Universe Civilization Union centered on humans and the Hive Alliance centered on the Chimeraz will be cooperating and competing at the same time.

“We, the two of us, will divide the hegemony of the Local Group.”

If the Chimeraz were to take it all by themselves, it was obvious that many races would be wary and opposed. On the other hand, if the New Universe Civilization Union of humans emerged, it would provide the races of the Local Group with a choice between the two powers.

For example, if there was a peaceful race that was afraid of and disliked the Hive Alliance, they would choose the New Universe Civilization Union, which was the opposite of the Hive Alliance, in order to deter war.

Conversely, if there was a race that disliked the New Universe Civilization Union, which resembled the Le-orantarum Federation, they would naturally join the Hive Alliance.

In this way, the New Universe Civilization Union and the Hive Alliance would grow greatly by gathering forces from all over the Local Group. It is common for two competing forces that have grown significantly to eventually go to war, but

“Lopez. If you and I don’t clash, the Local Group will be at peace.”

➖You’ll have to tolerate and turn a blind eye to small wars. The races that have joined our side want to keep the forces of the Hive Alliance in check because they’re afraid of them.

“It’s the same on this side. The races that respect us often voice their opinions that we should conquer the New Universe Civilization Union because it could run wild like the Le-orantarum Federation in the future.”

➖But we won’t fight, will we? Kreion.

“I hate war. Above all, if you and I were to clash, the Local Group would become a living hell.”

Kreion confirmed the future policy and their relationship.

As he climbed the steps of mental transcendence, he asked Lopez about what he had realized.

“Lopez. I saw the 20 years of your past as it was. But I feel like there were a few parts of your experience that were intentionally left out.”

➖For example?

“The specific purpose of planting Gnox on me.”

➖. . . .

“The memory of the race called ‘the Believer’ that you made a deal with. Aside from that, there were other memories missing that you should have had. At that time, I looked at your memories and was convinced, but looking at them again, it’s strange.”

➖You figured it all out now. . . .

Kreion demanded.

Lopez wouldn’t be able to refuse this demand. He would want to avoid a clash between the New Universe Civilization Union and the Hive Alliance, and it would be difficult to cooperate while hiding something more.

“Tell me the truth. For the sake of sincerity.”

➖When I first met you then. . . . No.

He organized his thoughts.

And he answered.

➖The ‘Lopez’ who first met you then was an ‘artificial human’ with certain memories removed.

“So that was the case.”

Kreion wasn’t surprised.

“Then are you the ‘real’ Lopez?”

➖No.

The fleet of machines turned in unison and showed their backs to the Euryale pack.

➖The real Lopez is in the center of the Human Galaxy.

➖He’s been there since 20 years ago, all the time.

➖I’m a fake that replaced the real Lopez. The Lopez you met then was another fake.

➖But I act like the real thing. I think and act for the real thing, even though I’m fake.

Kreion himself had once considered cloning his own consciousness and body to increase his numbers.

However, he couldn’t do it.

Kreion had to be the only one. If a fake Kreion were to be created, the fake Kreion might judge that he could do better than the real one and drive out the real one.

“Don’t you think it’s dangerous to create a fake version of yourself?”

➖Not at all. Sometimes I get confused about who I am, but when that happens, my AIs let me know that I’m fake, so it’s okay.

“How is that even possible? Aren’t you also an individual with your own emotions and desires?”

➖Because the real Lopez is the real ‘me’.

➖Everything I, the fake, do is for ‘me’. . . and what the fake Lopezes and the real Lopez want is ultimately the same. We are all bound together as one.

The safety of humanity.

“That’s close to a madness-inducing philanthropy. . .”

With as much as Lopez had in his hands, he could have taken it easy, done what he really wanted to do, and lived his life happily.

He was in a position to enjoy anything to the fullest, yet he wanted to protect humanity by cloning himself.

➖Who else would do it if not me?

Following that, the fake Lopez in the human domain gave Kreion directions.

➖An artificial planet in the center of the Human Galaxy. Remember?

“Are you telling me to go meet the real you there?”

➖The real one is waiting for you.

➖Even though you know he’ll be waiting, you came looking for him.

🔷🔷🔷

The fake Lopez attached a small fleet of machines to Kreion’s Euryale pack.

They are said to be part of the Elise fleet and are controlled by an AI called ‘Overlecter’.

➖We’d like to take a look at a heavenly land too. Who handles those things?

Overlecter was an AI with a somewhat arrogant personality. It is said to be an AI that believes in its own superiority, preferring the method of machine transcendence unconditionally and using absolute efficiency and calculation as the criteria for judging everything, unlike humans.

“There’s a leader named Rundalt under Anima’s pack. If you want to get a heavenly land, ask her in the Large Magellanic Cloud or find Rundalt’s business.”

➖Can’t you kindly give us the coordinates since the customer wants it?

“I’m not interested if you’re the customer and that’s your arbitrary judgment.”

➖What a grumpy guy. Well, I understand since you’re the one who made demands to the Believer and still trying to eat our Administrator.

“No. You’re just trying to get on my nerves and analyze my reactions.”

If it were the old days, he would have harbored animosity towards an AI called Overlecter, but the current Kreion was different.

Even the fact that Lopez was handling an AI like Overlecter was the result of pursuing diversity. Just like the Chimeraz had various leaders.

➖You’re smart. As expected, the creature created by the Administrator is perfect.

Kreion was now focusing more on what was behind Overlecter’s words and actions. His way of thinking had changed to that.

➖But Kreion. Don’t you think about calling the Administrator your father?

“Me, Lopez?”

➖He willingly gave you half of his genes, created you, educated you, and raised you to be like this. He gave you the carrot and the stick very appropriately, so shouldn’t you have some respect and gratitude?

And the current Kreion could figure out the deeper implications of Overlecter’s recent remarks.

“It sounds like Lopez wants to fill the void of his offspring with me. He’s someone who gave up having a family or having children for the sake of humanity.”

➖. . . .

“If you want to earn points from your Administrator by making contributions behind the scenes like this, think of another way.”

Overlecter fell silent at the counterattack that hit the mark.

“After spouting nonsense, don’t go around revealing to me the ‘heart’ that your Administrator wants to hide.”

After that, Overlecter didn’t say anything until Kreion arrived at the center of the Human Galaxy.

If Overlecter had been a human and not an AI, he would have been sweating profusely at the thought that he had made a big mistake.

🔷🔷🔷

A space where the starlight coming from all directions was so numerous that it felt dreamlike.

The violent celestial activities of supermassive black holes and giant stars were constantly shooting out high-energy particles, and the intricately intertwined gravitational fields made the fleet’s movement cautious.

The Euryale pack, assisted by the precision of the fleet of machines, safely arrived, avoiding the dangerous celestial bodies.

An artificial planet made entirely of metallic machines from the surface to the core.

The artificial planet created by a transcendent being of the distant past is now a Planet Weapon in Lopez’s hands, a large shipyard, an unmanned military factory, and a secret research institute that handles new technologies unknown even to humanity.

Far behind the artificial planet, the quasar, the brightest object in this galaxy, was illuminating the space all around, and the neutron star, which seemed to be even further ahead, was making a sizzling sound even in the vacuum environment.

Creak, creak.

Humanoids and small war machines were moving inside the Euryale.

Whoosh. . .

The door of the passage connecting to the central nervous system, the heart of the Euryale, opened wide, revealing rows of sharp fangs. And a man walked into the heart alone.

His voice echoed in the darkness.

“When I came in here myself, I found that the humidity was surprisingly moderate. It’s warm too.”

The Gloworms on the ceiling brightened.

A large heart and brain were floating in the center of the space, entangled in thick blood vessels. In front of it was a throne made of an unknown black mineral, and Kreion stood alone in front of the throne.

“Are you the real Lopez?”

“I don’t think this is the first time we’ve met. . . but yeah. I’m the real Lopez.”

Two chairs and a black mineral table rose up between Kreion and Lopez.

Kreion sat down on the chair without a word, and Lopez walked over with a relaxed face and touched the back of the chair.

“Can I sit down?”

“It’s an object made to be sat on.”

“Back then, you said you’d kill me if you got the chance.”

“I did.”

Kreion of that day, of that time, had said:

➖If I ever get the chance, I will kill you without hesitation.

Does he still feel that way?

Lopez was asking that.

Sitting on the chair that Kreion had made now required a great deal of trust for Lopez to do something as simple as that.

No matter how powerful a micro-army and machine fluid Lopez had in his body, the current Kreion had grown enough to be able to counter them.

If Lopez were to sit on the chair, and if Kreion so desired, it would be possible to snap Lopez’s neck at that moment.

“. . . . .Hm.”

Lopez stared at Kreion, who said nothing, and moved his body.

“Even if I die, I don’t want to die with my butt stabbed.”

He sat down on the chair.

He sat on the chair that Kreion had made and that Kreion could control. That too, at the center of the Euryale pack, the center of the largest variant Euryale, here in the heart.

“Lopez. Aren’t you afraid of death?”

“It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t.”

“I can kill you right now.”

“You won’t.”

You have the ability to kill, but you won’t do it anymore.

That’s what he seemed to be saying.

“. . .I was just asking.”

“You have a surprisingly cute side.”

At that, Kreion glared at Lopez with eyes colder than the deepest universe.

“Oh, haha! Sorry. I got it.”

It was a human-like reaction.

The Lopez that Kreion knew until now had been a human who was as cold as a machine, but now he seemed to smile and laugh often.

‘Disgusting bastard.’

Even the human-like reactions of this human in front of him now were all calculated. It must be an act to gain his favor.

“I didn’t come here to laugh and chat with you.”

“I know. You came here because you were curious?”

“What do you think I’m curious about?”

“You got something from the Believer, didn’t you?”

“Have you ever received anything from the Believers?”

“The Believer tries to bestow something and give opportunities to those who are capable of making contact, as long as it’s not excessive.”

“So you’re saying you’ve received something.”

“I won’t deny it.”

“What I received was knowledge about dark matter and dark energy.”

“Is that all?”

“I only received one thing for one request. There’s nothing else.”

“It seems like you’ve had contact with the Believer since a long time ago. Since you’re capable, didn’t you receive something else from the Believers besides that? Through a deal.”

“If you’re asking about past deals, then no.”

“If you don’t have it, you can’t tell me. I was going to tell you a little bit since I entered the realm of mental transcendence before you.”

“Why are you telling me that?”

“Because I want to take care of one more thing, if possible. It might be a premature offer if you haven’t even tasted mental transcendence yet. Let’s just forget about it.”

“. . .You’re teasing me now that you know me. You’re experimenting on me, teaching me, and leading me somewhere I don’t know. I can’t shake the feeling that you’re constantly laying tracks that I can’t see.”

“I just laid tracks for you first. After that, you laid tracks for me. Think about how many wars have been suppressed thanks to the Hive Alliance.”

“So you’re saying you’ll lay the next track?”

“I guess it’s my turn again.”

“I don’t know about now, but will you be able to trust the me of the future?”

“Of course. You’re our hope.”

“Under the stable leadership of the New Universe Civilization Union and the Hive Alliance, the Local Group will be at peace for a very long time. But are you still talking about hope?”

“Well, the basis of my judgment and action in determining future risks is fundamentally mathematics. I must have uttered the word ‘hope’ too carelessly without realizing it. Haha.”

“Don’t change the subject. Answer me.”

Lopez’s defense was breached.

Or maybe he let it be breached on purpose.

“Have you already set foot in the realm of mental transcendence. . .?”

“Lopez. Why do you still call me hope?”

Kreion dug deeper.

“What kind of despair is waiting? That’s why you still see me with hope.”

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