Mommy Elizabeth placed down the plan I handed her. Smiling, she said, “Son, you must’ve finished the preparations for your coronation, right? You sure are fast. I prepared for a very long time for my coronation. This is a very ordinary coronation ceremony. It’s as ordinary and simple as a ball. Son, your coronation ceremony is a one-off event, you know? Don’t think this simple coronation ceremony of yours is too simple?”
“I think it’s just perfect. I don’t place much importance on a coronation ceremony. If you ask me, the people won’t remember me for my coronation ceremony. In my opinion, it’s the things I do afterwards that will be remembered. What I’m most confident in is not my coronation ceremony, but my set of laws. Freya, I and a group of people spent four to five months to design this complete set of laws and a complete law system. The North doesn’t need civilians taking matters into their own hands or vengeance. From now on, everything in the North will be dealt with according to the law. Judgement will be fair, just and without bias. I will start this movement.”
In a serious tone, Mom argued, “Son, you used your time and blood to obtain this empire. You should grant yourself special right; that’s what you deserve as the ruler. I’m sure Freya wasn’t the one who created this; or maybe I should say that Freya gave you a chance to, but you got rid of it, yourself. Son, have you forgotten what Mommy told you? You have to bear in mind that you’re the ruler. You set the rules; therefore, you can choose not to stick to what you set in place. Honestly speaking, Mommy sees law as a tool you use to limit what others can do using your special rights. It’s a tool that a ruler uses to maintain their rule. It’s basically the same as prison and the military.”
“No. By the sounds of it, we view laws differently. I, too, think law is a tool for ruling. It’s a tool for me to run this nation. If I want the tool to be effective, it must apply for everybody. Mom, you run your vast empire with supreme military force. In reality, though, I can’t do that, as I don’t have a powerful military as you do. The only thing I can use is the peoples’ self-discipline. Once everybody remembers the laws, they’ll still conduct themselves morally and lawfully even without a military or my command.”
“Son, don’t think of people in such a positive light. When there’s no food and hope, they’ll become wild beasts even if they’re usually polite.”
Wearing a smile, I explained, “That’s why ensuring they have enough to eat and are full of hope is my main job. I don’t have any enemies. My main job is to ensure the people have enough to eat and to give them hope. I think that’s where Freya and I are on the same page, but also slightly differ. Perhaps I should say that I don’t really like Freya’s attitude towards the people.”
Mom sat down to the side. She crossed her legs: “I, on the other hand, feel Freya’s attitude is right. Son, what is the meaning of ruling a nation to you? Put another way, how do you view ruling a nation? To Mommy, ruling a nation is similar to a business deal; it’s a situation where you use your best hand. We must be in charge of all of the operations. Militaries, people and wealth are all bargaining chips we can use to compete. Sometimes we need to abandon some cards. The people are the same as a herd of cattle we raise. We usually need milk. In winter, however, we need smoked meat. As for the people, it’s the same no matter who rules. It’s just that under our rule, we use them if we can. We just treat them the same as cattle. We just need to provide them with the fundamentals. They aren’t loyal to us. They only feel as though we fed them.”
I replied, “Perhaps that’s true. Nevertheless, I don’t consider people tools or consumables to us but the foundation of founding my nation. My military, taxes and food, all come from them. I think the people show no recognition for their ruler precisely because we only care about feeding them.”
“It seems that trip to the snowy mountains was a mistake, Son,” interjected Mommy Elizabeth, with a wave of her hand. She smiled: “It appears that Karana’s style was effective on you, huh? Son, don’t be led astray by Karana’s ideas. Karana did exactly that, but the people are no different to a bottomless pit. It’s impossible to fill it. However, let’s not discuss this now. How to rule a nation isn’t something for us to discuss. How about we talk about Daisy?”
“Mm, you’re right.”
There was actually nothing wrong with what Karana said; she just oversimplified things. Karana still thought that satisfying material needs was enough. In reality, it wasn’t.
I had to give the people a sense of recognition. To achieve that, I needed to empower them with a sense of honour. I needed them to think I was the ruler, let them know where I was from and make them feel proud to be ruled by me. That was the only way they would feel that it didn’t matter who ruled and stepped up when it was time to fight.
Being recognised by humanity and material goods were strongly correlated to the whole equation, nonetheless. What Karana wants was somewhat different to Marx and Engels’ theories. The crux of the issue was that was all Karana was capable of thinking of at the moment. At present, nobody considered the psychological side of the equation.
“Perhaps I can invite Karana come to the North to have a look for herself in the future,” I thought.
The North that I wanted was a bit different to what Freya wanted. That being said, our reasons didn’t need to match, since our end goal was the same.
Mom pulled on me to stand up: “Okay then, Son, provide me with a good seating location for your coronation ceremony. Do you want to go outside for a stroll in the flower garden together and enjoy the sunlight while it’s out?”
I shook my head with a smile: “No. Mommy Elizabeth, I just came back from outside with Lucia.”
Mom nodded with a hint of disappointment: “I actually wanted to go for a stroll with you in the afternoon. I’m honestly really fond of flowers. I suppose it’s the only remaining habit I’ve kept from the past.”
“No, dancing is to me, as well.”
“Is it?” commented Mommy Elizabeth. She spun around with a smile: “Honestly, I quite envy Lucia, since she got to dance in such a bright sea of flowers. I wanted to dance with your father as you did, too… But I don’t think I’ll have a chance…”
“Let’s go, Mom.” I cut Mom off, thereby stopping her from recalling the past. I then invited her to dance with a hand gesture: “Let’s go, Mom. You want to dance in the sea of flowers? We’re not in formal wear, there’s no music, and I’m not my father, but dancing with your son will do, right?”
Mom’s eyes were filled with surprise. A moment later, she revealed an eager and consoled smile. She grabbed hold of my hand and gently adjusted her long-black hair. With a smile she replied, “I’d be happy to, Mr. Rosvenor.”