The Three Crones came to see him after his Triumph, he would come with them to the Forbidden City.
There they went to the Hall of Heroes.
The silver teeth Crone spoke: “Conqueror!” she called him, “you want immortality? You shall have it! But first, look at these statues, famous heroes all of them. You too have earned yourself a pedestal don’t you think?”
The pearl-eyed Crone then said: “City-Razer, look carefully beside the statues. You see the chiseled inscriptions? These are quotes. Famous quotes indeed, from accomplished heroes. What they say is just rubbish mind you, but still, very famous… You too have earned yourself some famous quotes don’t you think?”
At this point, the last emperor understood what this was all about and was quite annoyed but he couldn’t move, he was like a statue himself!
The third crone added, smoke rising from her mouth: “Flail of the gods, don’t be impatient, look at the end of the Hall”
“You see the giant foot. Hundred of thousands of people, this foot’s owner has stomped in his conquests, millenia ago when he was in the flesh. He is still remembered, on a stelae or two, as the founder of a long extinct dynasty. You too have earned yourself a dynasty don’t you think?”
At last he was freed from the Crones, left alone in the Hall of Heroes, and he knew in his heart that the only immortality he would have would be just that, statues with missing noses, stupid quotes and vague memories…
Oh! He didn’t change at this moment, far from it. He went on with his conquests, even more ferocious and greedy, it would seem. He conquered one more continent, dozens of nations submitted or paid tributes to his empire, those who wouldn’t were annihilated. But he never forgot the Crones and one day, just like that, he called back his armies.
The Last Emperor then gave an incredible order across his empire: “Throw down your swords, make big piles of them. We need the metal. We need shovels, and picks and trowels… Now!”