It was Mars more than three billion years ago.
The wind gusted around Jiang Chen as he looked at the endless wilderness, he was dumbfounded.
Just then, the light ball next to him continued on.
"See those rooms?"
Jiang Chen organized the messy thoughts in his head and forcefully nodded.
"I see them."
"Those were originally full of works of art and valuable antiques. They recorded our tens of thousands of years of civilization. Before the apocalypse arrived, we tried everything in an attempt to leave something in this cold universe. Yet, as you can see, nothing in time is eternal."
It seemed to be reminiscing about something, as the silence lingered for a long time.
"What should I call you?" Jiang Chen asked.
"We don't need a voice to communicate. Based on your language, you can call us Civilization of Gaia," The light ball said.
The mother of the gods in Greek mythology, the one that overruled the land, the most respected god among all gods. She was the first primitive god born in chaos and was worshipped as one of the original natural forces that created life.
As for why it chose this word from the Earth Civilization to name its civilization, perhaps only it would know...
"Well, Gaia? I'll call you Gaia." Jiang Chen turned to look at the light ball, then asked, "So Gaia, what are you going to do to me?"
However, Gaia did not answer his question, but whispered.
"Listen, it's about to start."
Just as it finished its sentence, Jiang Chen suddenly noticed two strange monsters appear about 50 meters in front of him.
He called them monsters because he had never seen such ugly insects.
One was the size of a calf. Its back was full of scales, countless long legs grew out from its abdomen, and its swaying tail was like a chain, screaming in the air. The sharp teeth were like two pairs of sickles, and the hundreds of steel teeth in its mouth were like needles, sharp and bloodthirsty.
The other monster was the size of a tiger. The two antennas on the top of its head were like tentacles. It was like a giant ant, except it had two more legs. The front half of its body was already in the air. Two spears made out of unknown substance pointed at the centipede-like beast.
Suddenly, the grass next to it moved.
The soil collapsed and five "ants" ambushing underground suddenly snuck out, throwing their spear toward the centipede. The ants could easily support weight thirty times its body weight, so the spears were more like cannons as they easily penetrated the armor of the centipede, scattering its green blood all over the earth.
The prey desperately tried to swing its chain-like tail, trying to escape from the attack of these "ants". However, with the organized attack of these "ants", the struggle was futile.
Dust was flung into the air as the fight continued on.
The prey gradually lost its strength due to the loss of blood. The strong arthropods moved forward, controlled the prey, and scraped its soft belly with sharp ore...
Seeing this scene, Jiang Chen thought for a moment and asked.
"Those are Gaia...s?"
"Yes," the light ball shook. "Those hunters with spears are Gaias. And the beast that is armed to the teeth is one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet. Its bite force is probably five times that of the Death Claw."
"You know about Death Claws?"
"I did say I have seen your memory... Please don't be nervous, only you and I are here. And I, I'm just a piece of memory." The light ball read the caution in Jiang Chen's eyes as it softly explained.
"Because of many factors including gravity and the environment, the mammals on this planet are weak. They are short and fragile, and are not even interesting enough for us to hunt. This planet used to be dominated by arthropods. All resources such as groundwater, minerals, and energy were also buried in the ground that could only be accessed by those who excel at digging."
Jiang Chen looked at the light ball in surprise.
He was not surprised that the Mars depicted more than three billion years ago turned out to be a world ruled by insects, but he was surprised by the fact that Amos had guessed it all with purely his imagination.
"We learned to use tools and finally stood at the top of the food chain. Even the most dangerous and bloodthirsty Devil Worm fell under our spears."
"And our civilization started from this day."
"We excavated our own Great Wall underground, use granite to reinforce our caves, use the hard shells of prey to make armor, and tied together branches and sharp stones to make spears; a Devil Worm's cub is the most delicious food. We built our own ranch underground. From that, we grew our own fungi, and developed our own civilization..."
The Sun and the Moon rose and fell above them. The plants beneath them grew and died.
Jiang Chen watched as the mountain was flattened, the ravine was dug out from flat ground, and Gaias in armors crawled out from underground and charged at another group of Gaias. They rode Devil Worms and some other species he had never seen before, were dressed in armor, and charged at the enemy frontline
The two forces collided and green blood splattered in the air.
"Iron Age." The light ball whispered, "Our keen sense of minerals helped us find iron ore. When a prophet of our civilization perceived the iron-smelting technique, our civilization transitioned from the Stone Age to the most barbaric era, the Iron Age, at an incredible speed."
The killing gradually stopped. When the last Gaia pulled its spear out from its same kind, it lifted up the blood-stained flag from the ground, shook the antennae on its head, and slammed its spear and flag together into this piece of land.
"We don't have vocal cords, but in contrast, our brain is very developed. We rely on our antennae to communicate. Although more often, we rely on the spear in our hands."
"All tribes were built around the female, and a tribe usually had only one female. Our antennae were antennas, and our neural signals can be directly converted into electromagnetic waves. We were born onto an invisible net, a net with the female at its core. For the same kind on different 'signal bands', our choice was usually war. Raid their cubs, livestock, kill their female, and occupy their nest."
"Then we repeated the same fusion day after day, then repeated the same separation..."
The Sun and the Moon continued to rise and fall, and the spear and flag were replaced by a stone monument. The battlefield previously covered with corpses was now covered by complicated tunnels with low-rise buildings and walls built.
"Although we lived underground, due to being limited by tradition and belief, almost all of our wars were fought on the surface."
"Even in the most difficult times, we were not willing to live on the surface. There was no interest in the sky, but the monument was an exception. We were keen on building monuments on the ground to commemorate the victory that once happened there. But that's it, we never stayed on the surface for too long."
"In a sense, this tradition or belief was what restricted our exploration of the universe in later years. But if you ask if we regret our choice, our answer is no. We have never regretted it..."