His father the king introduced the young boy to Tyroc. “This is Maldred,” said the king. “Like you, he is the prince of a small country. I’m sure you two kids will have fun playing together.”
The two children played together in a room filled with expensive toys. Maldred looked at the toys, and was immediately attracted to the toy soldiers and war planes. “Let’s play war!” said Maldred. “I’ll be the attacker, and you can be the defender.”
“I don’t really like playing war,” said Tyroc. “My father got me those war toys, but I don’t use them very often. What I really like to play with is blocks. I like to arrange the blocks into big fancy buildings.”
For about 30 minutes Maldred played with the toy soldiers and war toys, while Tyroc built from the wooden blocks a tall fancy building, which reached 3 feet high. Finally Maldred held a big toy plane in his hand, and yelled, “Incoming bomber!” He swooped in the plane, smashing it into the building Tyroc had created, toppling all the wooden blocks to the ground.
Tyroc thought this was very rude, but he tried not to get too upset about it.
Seventeen Years Later
When Tyroc was 25, his father died. Tyroc became the king of his small country. He had enormous riches he could use, but he didn’t have to concern himself with running his small country, which was a constitutional monarchy. Most of the government decisions were made by the ruling congress of his small country. A year later Maldred’s father died, and Maldred became the king of his country. Unlike Tyroc, Maldred had absolute power in his country. He was the dictator of his land.
The two kings began following very different paths.
Tyroc was very interested in architecture. He wanted to create buildings, and design new cities. He conceived grand ideas about fantastic cities that he could build, and began drawing up plans for these projects.
His first great project was the creation of a city on a mountain top. In Tyroc’s land there was a very tall mountain with a large flat top a mile wide. Tyroc thought it would be wonderful to create a small city on top of this mountain. It would look like nothing else that existed in the world. He designed all the buildings, and had his royal builders build them. When it was done, he named this fantastic creation Mountaintop City.
When this was done, his exhausted royal builders said, “Well, I hope we won’t have to do anything that hard for a long time.” “Are you kidding?" replied King Tyroc. "I have lots of other ideas for fantastic cities I want to create!”
Far away, in the land he ruled over, King Maldred concentrated on waging war. He built up his armies into a fearsome force, and invaded the country to the south. He began to fight battles with great intensity, shedding much blood.
Four Years Later
King Tyroc’s next project was the creation of a city that he called Castle City. It was a most unusual and beautiful city, because every building in it was a castle. Even the shopping malls and office buildings and supermarkets were all castles.
The royal builders complained that King Tyroc’s projects were going to bankrupt the royal treasury. But as soon as the Castle City was finished, people from all over the world flocked to visit it. This made vast amounts of additional money for the royal treasury. King Tyroc soon began to plan other amazing cities to create.
One day King Maldred came to visit King Tyroc. “Old friend, I’m having such fun with my wars and conquests. You must join me in my battles, and add your forces to my invading armies.” But King Tyroc wasn’t interested. “No, I’d rather not,” he said. “I have more building projects that I am very busy with.” Disappointed, King Maldred left.
Six Years Later
King Tyroc next asked himself, “What other city can I create – one like no other city that exists?” Finally he came up with an astonishing idea: the idea of creating a floating city. In his land there was a large lake with the deepest blue water, which had been formed by a volcano that exploded long ago. King Tyroc’s idea was to place a floating city in the middle of this lake. His royal builders told him he was crazy, that it would never work. But finally, after some trial and error, he figured out exactly how to make the floating buildings.
The city he created, floating in the middle of the deep blue lake, was like nothing his planet had ever seen. Tourists flocked to see it, which refilled the royal treasury, giving more funds for King Tyroc’s next project.
Meanwhile the fierce King Maldred continued to raise more armies, and invade more countries.
Five Years Later
King Tyroc had thought long and hard about what building project he should work on next. Finally he came up with his most ambitious idea: a city that would be called the Domed City. It would be a city surrounded by a gigantic gleaming glass dome, a mile high. Inside the city there would be no need for umbrellas, and the temperature would always be 70 degrees.
His royal builders thought he was crazy. But finally, working with many engineers and scientists, he found a way to create this amazing city. When it was finished, some people said it was the most amazing and beautiful city in the world. The tourists came from all corners of the globe to see it, and this refilled the royal treasury, again giving King Tyroc more money for new building projects.
King Tyroc began to think of ideas for other fantastic cites he could create, such as a Crystal City and an Underwater City.
Thirty Years Later
King Tyroc and King Maldred met one last time, when they were both old men.
King Maldred talked all about his many conquests, wars, and battles. He told of the many times he had pounded his enemies into submission, and had crushed his foes without mercy.
King Tyroc preferred to talk about the amazing cities he had built. He showed King Maldred pictures of all the unique and remarkable buildings he had designed and built. “All together, I have built seven cities,” said King Tyroc proudly.
“Why that’s a coincidence,” chuckled King Maldred. “You’ve BUILT seven cities, and in all my wars and battles and conquests, I’ve DESTROYED seven cities. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
King Maldred thought this little coincidence was very funny, and he laughed about it heartily for ten seconds. King Tyroc looked sadly at King Maldred, and walked away without saying anything. King Maldred was left alone in the room. For some reason he began to feel ill at ease, and started to frown.
Within a few years, both kings died.