Prologue: The Blazing Monster
Fire. Blood. Death.
Widespread panic among the citizens of a single neighborhood.
And a single teenage boy wearing a black cloak mercilessly slaughtering them all.
"It's the Blazing Monster!" they screamed out. "Everyone, run!"
In a certain part of the massacre, a married couple was desperately running away, with the man pulling the woman's hand. Soon, the boy found his way to them and forcefully pulled the woman.
"No! Honey-!" Before the woman could call out to her husband, however, she was already dead. Shot from behind her head, she fell instantly to the ground.
"Why you little-!" the husband began saying, but in less than a second after, he too was dead.
Whether it was women or children trying to escape, or men who tried to resist, that boy left no one alive. He shot them with his guns, he crushed their bodies to deformity with his metallic Bo Staff, and he burned them to the ground with the power given to him by a genetically-enhancing serum.
"Wh-what is this kid?"
High in the sky near the neighborhood being attacked was a fighter jet plane, and inside was a group of soldiers who worked under the boy in the black cloak monitoring the situation. One of them was a 25-year-old man named Thomas, who was using a pair of binoculars to see the entire event more clearly. It was his first time being called to serve his country's Raid Unit that was responsible for causing mayhem onto opposing countries, and so prior to this night he had steeled his resolve to kill innocent citizens. It made sense, then, that he could find no words now that he was simply sitting back while his young superior was doing all the work by himself.
"When I found out that our general was a teenager who only joined the war because there was a girl he wanted to protect," he said out loud, "I thought he would chicken out and make us do most of the killing. That Catherine girl isn't even his girlfriend, right? How can he go so far, then...?"
In response, a man in his early 40's asked, "What do you fight for, Thomas? Why did you join the war effort?"
Putting down his binoculars and turning around to face the older man, Thomas replied with a salute, "I fight to serve our country and pave the way for a brighter future, Sir David."
The man named David smiled and nodded. "That's the difference between you and that kid," he then said, followed by Thomas putting his hand down. "You and I, as well as most of our troops, we see this war as a battlefield where we are right and the rest of the world is wrong. Every corpse we bring about will be in the name of our sense of justice. This is, indeed, what it means to be a true soldier of a country."
"And our general is different...?"
"The problem with our mindset is that, no matter how much we justify our actions, the reality that we kill fellow human beings will tug at our hearts no matter what. The kid is different because he doesn't have any noble ideals like us. The only thing in his mind is making sure that the girl he is trying to protect survives the war and resumes living a normal life. In order to accomplish that, he knows that he has to be a ruthless murderer, whether in raids or in battles against opposing armies. He'll never sugarcoat his actions; he refers to his deeds as murders, no matter who it is he kills and for what purpose it serves."
Thomas' eyes widened. He faced the window again and checked the situation. The raid was finally over, all the corpses were slowly burning away, and the cloaked boy with the staff was running in the direction of the jet plane. "So you mean he...?"
The aircraft slowly lowered its altitude to meet up with the boy, and David replied, "Yes, he goes in himself to avoid having his soldiers experience the trauma of having killed someone as much as possible. It's his own way of protecting us, as well as making up for the fact that he's using an entire army to ensure the safety of a single girl."
Thomas lowered his binoculars and looked at the floor. They call him the "Blazing Monster" because of his immense strength and his power to control flames, he thought to himself. He's a teenage boy who has killed hundreds upon hundreds barely 3 months into the war. How heavy of a weight does he carry in his chest? What does his his heart - no, his soul - look like right now?
The aircraft door opened, and the cloaked boy jumped in.
"Welcome back, kid," David said.
Thomas turned around. The boy, after having just landed inside from a jump to enter, had his knees bent and his head bowed down. Thomas gulped upon seeing him; his cloak was in tatters and had red stains all over, he reeked of the smell of smoke, blood, and human organs, and the people could very well sense the essence of death from his presence.
Yet he was only a 17-year-old boy.
Thomas slid down the edge of the jet plane and fell to the floor. I was too naive, he thought. I thought being in the war would feel good because of the honor. But this child personifies what war really is: a long, drawn-out string of murders. This blood-stained boy...this is the Crimson General...
Looking up, he saw the boy's eyes. They were dyed a crimson blood color.