Castle Of Black Iron - Volume 1 - Chapter 1
Descend of the Black Iron Age
The overnight rain just stopped, the discomforting coal-dust air was cleared away, Zhang Tie breathed in the rare fresh air, walking alone on the road leading to school. If not for the black smoke emitting out of those towering chimneys located at the distant factory district, this sky, would likely be bluer, Zhang Tie boringly thought, walking cautiously avoiding the black water puddles along the cement path. Due to the factory district, after raining, water puddles are formed on the ground became murky black, whilst emitting a coal dusty odour. The city which brings people safety at the same time also brought a feeling of restraint and overcrowding to its people.
Zhang Tie looked into the distance, that group of huge chimneys looked particularly prominent against the cleaned blue sky.
Teacher said that those chimneys are the symbol of human civilization, it also acts as a guarantee for humanity's expansion and survival. Looking at the factory's towering chimney, Zhang Tie thought that it looks like his recently often ** ** (Note: it was like this in the raws but not hard to guess from the following text), the emitting black smoke looks like his ejaculated fluids and like how the black smoke stains the air, the fluid similarly stains his underwear. Who was in his dream last night, he is unable to remember clearly, just that when he woke up in the morning there is a sticky discomfort felt in his underwear.
This is already the third time this week, due to the raining weather the past few days, two underwear he washed already has yet to dry, and in this era where resources are scarce, Zhang Tie only has four pairs of underwear, two were made from a worn-out vest of Zhang Tie's Dad, the other two was set aside by his older brother. Therefore, this morning a gloomy Zhang Tie have to attend school wearing a half dry half wet underwear.
(Note: Abit confusing about the math, it likely meant before Zhang Tie started his wet dream marathon he had two underwear that aren't dried, with three consecutive steamy nights the ’’shooting’’ speed outmatched the drying speed of his laundry.)
The coarse cloth's texture felt hard in its half dry half wet state, when worn inside the pants the discomfort felt is indescribable. While walking, the friction causes Zhang Tie's 'little brother' some raw pain that is accompanied by chillness. When the wind blows, Zhang Tie could not help but shiver as the 'little brother' of this pitiful 15-year-old teenager wilted. The feeling really suck bad.
It was told that before the cataclysm the human society has extremely rich resources, during that time, underwear was sold in the dozens instead of a piece, and not only underwear, many items, such as the precious cigarette, alcohol, meat, and a variety of strange things can be bought from a store, there is even a place called the supermarket where all kinds of goods that are piled together forming a mountain could be bought. During those times a man can work for a day in exchange for compensation, if exchanged for food such as rice or wheat, one can obtain 40 to 70 kg which could last a man half a month to a month or even longer for some. It was said that humans of that era could use a mysterious energy called ’’electricity’’ to make all kinds of incredible things, including various powerful weapons. Humanity based on these achievements became the planet's masters, dominating and arrogant answering to none, it is truly the last happy years of humanity!
Zhang Tie often thought, perhaps it is because human beings despite such blessings are still consumed by greed and are not satisfied that caused the heavens to be pissed off, thus the Cataclysm happened, resulting in the Star of God, the heavens within one night, knocked the human race down at its peak, reverting mankind back to the Stone Age, forever losing their so called 'technology' and the magics it brings, with no more electric power, no more nuclear energy, no more explosives and many other mysterious weapons. The cause, based on what was told, is due to mysterious particles that were being emitted by the Star of God, affecting matter on the planet at a very microscopic level. Taking an example, originally the planet is like a pot of boiled plain water however one day God or whatever almighty power found humans a sore in the eye, at a moment boredom, sprinkled some salt or pepper into it, this resulted in the boiled water no longer being the same boiled water, the planet is also no longer the same planet.
Perhaps the only fortunate thing that happened is, after the Cataclysm when many things and rules have changed, steel remains hard and can still be used to craft swords and armors, equipping the human military, and black coal can still be burnt, bringing light and heat energy to humans, by combining the two it brought forth swords, armours, heat energy, steam engines, which became the greatest survival tools for the humans of these era to rely on......
Walking from home to school requires more than 40 minutes, traversing between the slums and factory district at the Western side of Black Flame City is a piece of barren area, there is the school. The name Black Flame City originates from the nearby Black Flame Mountains, it is said that before the Cataclysm, the Black Flame Mountains is one of the longest mountain range of Kun Ang continent, the humans of past created flying machines which can fly faster than the speed of sound, even with these machines before the catastrophe, to fly from one end of the Black Flame Mountains to the other end requires several months. Taking Black Flame City into consideration, the city is situated closer to the southern minor branch of the mountain range, even though it is a minor branch, it is still more than 20,000 km long, at this length, for many people of this era, it is impossible for them to travel such a distance within their lives.
During the Cataclysm, the planet's geology and tectonic plates underwent an earth-shaking change. Kun Ang Continent's endless expanse of unknown millions of miles wide, was divided into pieces like children snatching a piece bread, the total number of broken pieces formed is unknown but it was said that some of the pieces disappeared and was replaced by the deep blue sea.
The people of today are unable to imagine the once majestic splendor of the Black Flame Mountains nor the magnificence of the continent, but even so, the current world for most people is still too big and too vast. Even now, displayed on the school's education map, the region west of Black Flame City and the region beyond 800 kilometres North of the city are still unexplored areas shaded in black, what is inside those regions, no one knows.
The Black Flame city is situated in a 400 million square kilometres wide land to the south of the Black Flame Mountains, with a population of more than 900 million people composed from multiple human concentrated areas from countries to city-states to family clans, however when compared against the entire continent map, it is a small and narrow zone. At this narrow zone, to its northernmost and westernmost side are vast mountains, while the southernmost and easternmost is the boundless ocean. Due to the relatively high population density of human activities, another name for this zone was given on the map - Blackson Human Corridor.
After the cataclysm, mankind spent nearly 100 years to understand the changes that occurred to the planet. After which, the surviving human remnants used approximately another 100 more years to slowly recover a small portion of their strength. However, when mankind recovered some of its former capabilities, to their dismay, they discovered that they are no longer the only owners of this planet. After the cataclysm, various strange magical beasts and underground dark races began to emerge and surface. Every one of them treated humans as delicious snacks or objects of enslavement, changing the planet into a place of unprecedented danger, mankind is forced to face a challenge of survival at an unprecedented level of severity.
Today is Black Iron Calendar, Year 889 AC (After Cataclysm). The humans that fortunately survived continued to propagate and manage to re-establish their footing on the Kunon continent. In addition, under the assistance of numerous steel and steam driven engines, mankind reignited their ambitions to conquer and explore this planet.
As proof of mankind's recovery and rekindled ambition, the Black Flame City was built in less than forty years' time, among the many human countries and city-states located to the south of the Black Flame Mountains, the Black Flame City is considered a relatively young city, a city built by businessmen and factory owners, an industrial city with a place in the Andaman City State Alliance. Black Flame City like most new cities of the era were built based on the area's rich resources and the place where Black Flame City was established, there are rich coal and mineral resources. The city is ruled by the Coal Steel Federation, its surroundings has a population of more than 3 million people where almost all of them depended on the rich underground resources located within the vicinity of the city for a living. Every day an endless stream of steam locomotives carried coal, steel, as well as factory made swords, armor, various weapons and equipment out of the city while also transporting various items from outside into the city.
Under that most sturdy looking chimney, is a steel factory where Zhang Tie's father worked, it operates 24 hours daily producing at a relatively never ending pace. From the day Zhang Tie is born, that factory's chimney has never stopped spitting black smoke, and in this era, that chimney signifies mankind's determination to rise up again.
As usual, when Zhang Tie reached school, the school's military representative and discipline director, Captain Colin, with his iron tower like body is standing in front of the school gate. Using his cow-like single eye to stare and seriously look at every single one of the students of the #7 Black Flame National School, a half-meter long scary looking iron stick that looked like a toothpick is hitting his wide and somewhat scary palms while giving off a series of 'Pat Pat' sounds. Every student that enters the school are afraid to look at his scarred ridden and eye patch face when they arrived in front of him, one by one they lowered their heads and quickly walked in.
’’Stop!’’ An unlucky fella walking in front of Zhang Tie not far away was stopped by Captain Colin. As Captain Colin opened his mouth, his thunderous voice sent a shocking fright to the surrounding people. Everyone upon seeing that they are not the one being called, hurriedly bowed their heads and quickly went through the school gate while giving the unlucky fella that was called a silent prayer in their hearts.
The unlucky fella's face was pale with fright as he looked at the approaching Captain Colin, his two legs shaking badly and with stammering speech, ’’Capt... Captain Colin...’’
The school or can even possibly the whole of Black Flame City's most terrifying one-eyed dragon* likes others to call him Captain Colin instead of Director Colin, this common knowledge is precious experience that was exchanged from the blood and tears of countless predecessors. Being in front of this man that is rumoured to have fought a monster barehandedly, any resistance and rebelling are just futile struggles as struggling will only give the man a greater sense of pleasure.
(T/L note: 独眼龙 or one-eyed dragon is a term people use to call a one-eye man, usually strong or powerful)
Captain Colin did not speak and used the iron rod in his hand to point at the unlucky fella's school pants, probably due to the rain or other unknown causes, the pants caught a small string of mud while on the journey to school, an unclean attire is a standard of failure in the eyes of Captain Colin.
’’I ... I will now go wash it clean?’’
Captain Colin lifted his wrist with an expressionless face and slowly looked at a shiny watch that was exposed under his sleeve, putting up a pose and stayed silent for more than 10 seconds before placing the iron rod back to his hand and continuing the patting motion.
From how Captain Colin looked at the watch, Zhang Tie suspected that this fella is simply trying to show off the expensive watch on his hand, and that action of patting the iron bar against his hands, reminds Zhang Tie of a wolf wagging its tail.
’’If I see you like this after school ends, you should know what punishment is awaiting you!’’
’’Ye... Yes...’’ the unlucky fella felt a rush of relieve and quickly ran into the school to escape, Zhang Tie looked at Colin Captain with a weird gaze and began to wonder how come he became so amiable today when unexpectedly the one-eyed dragon turned around and looked at Zhang Tie's direction before hastily sorting his vigorous looking lion-mane hair, straightening his spine, puffing up his well-developed chest even going as far as giving his chest muscles a couple of twitches like an amorous and flirtatious woman, his solemn face even revealed a smile, that smile of his startled Zhang Tie and scared the shit out of him.
’’Good Morning! Teacher Dinah’’
A fragrant wind flew out from the side of Zhang Tie, a mature and beautiful figure walked passed Zhang Tie's side. Without looking Zhang Tie knew who has come while last night's dream seemed to cleared up suddenly. Just from viewing the back and seeing that exaggerated curve of the waist and hips, Zhang Tie felt his breathing nearly stopped. At the school gate, under the gaze and attention of all the male animals, with a beautiful curly brown hair, Goddess Dinah walked into the school. The proud goddess only gave the greeting one-eyed dragon a simple nod as acknowledgement when his face became flushed with excitement, in a moment of careless, the iron bar in his hands became bent, showing the terrifying strength of the one-eyed dragon.
In the #7 Black Flame National School, Teacher Dinah, a newly-wed widow whose husband was killed in the front-lines, is the dream lover of all the boys in school as well as their object of fantasy during masturbation. She is the goddess, the only scenery in the school, the flower that blooms on the cliffs and crags, she is also Zhang Tie's crush, because of her, it made the school life of these adolescent beasts who are undergoing puberty seemed less depressing.
’’Another two years, I will be able to save up enough to buy a house in the core area of the city!’’, as the goddess moves away, the one-eyed dragon gave a shout at her receding back, like a lion in heat, no, like a wild boar, a disgusting wild boar. When Zhang Tie imagined the appearance of his Goddess Dinah being pressed under this beast's body while moaning in pain, Zhang Tie can't help but to hate that the beast...... is himself....
’’What are you looking at?’’ returning to his usual self, the one-eyed dragon swept a fierce gaze. With the fierce roar, everyone including Zhang Tie quickly scurried off like rats into the school. A faint trace of fragrance is in the air, Zhang Tie greedily took a few breaths, that beautiful mature figure has always gave Zhang Tie a sense of inferiority and inadequacy, causing Zhang Tie to be unable to muster the courage to look at her directly.
If Goddess Dinah is the noble and beautiful swan swimming in the quiet, elegant lake. Zhang Tie thinks of himself as the ugly duckling, one that has also fallen into a mudhole filled with coal ash. Zhang Tie lowered his head, looking at the old boots that are another Hand-Me-Down from his older brother, his heart is filled with inexplicable frustration. Even a person like Captain Colin is struggling to catch the attention of Goddess Dinah. A poor student like me, what can I give her? My **? Do I have to wait until I am like Captain Colin who has earned enough to own a house behind the safe tall walls of the city? When I obtain the qualifications to live in the city, how many years would have passed? 30 years or 40 years? Thinking of these, Zhang Tie's mood instantly went low, yet the air exudes the seductive fragrance of a woman filled with maturity, at this moment, the little fella inside Zhang Tie's pants once again became shamelessly hard.
Upon entering the school gate, welcoming them is a stone wall with a few characters - WELCOME TO THE AGE OF BLACK IRON