167 Chapter 164 Finishing Up the Meeting
There was a crash from outside the castle, and everyone was turning in alarm, except for Joseph and Stella. The huge wooden double doors flung open and the lesser dragon, Nidhogg, barged into the room.
"Sorry I'm late, your majesty, but I had to threaten to burn a group of people who were bothering me about what the current currency will be. I don't suppose you've had a chance to think up what it will be?"
"Nidhogg, it's only been a day," cried Stella, annoyed.
"It's alright, I've already decided what it will be. Listen carefully as I explain it."
"Sweet! Okay, go ahead!" said Nidhogg, sitting and focusing on him.
"The currency for my kingdom will be a series of coins. They will be made of essential metal or stone, depending on their values. Each coin will have a hole in the center, that people can see through from one side, but not the other. The side you can't see through, will have my mage mark, as proof of its authenticity."
"But, your majesty, when ever would you have the time to deal with so much coinage? For the entire kingdom, that would be a monstrous undertaking!" exclaimed Nidhogg, horrified.
"I fully intend to abuse my magic to make the coins. Now, each coin will have two sizes, with the larger being worth double the smaller. The oric will be the smallest denomination, and will consist of an orichalcum circle about the size of a dime. It is also the only coin that will not have a larger size.
"The next coin will be called the quartz, and will be shaped as a square. It will consist of a magical essential quartz with gold veins running through it. It will be worth five oric.
"After that will be the emerald, a hexagon made of pure emerald worth five quartz or twenty-five oric.
"The citrine will come next, and it will be in the shape of a pentagon made of citrine worth five emerald, twenty-five quartz, or one hundred twenty-five oric.
"Next would be the sapphire. It will be a triangle sapphire worth five citrine, twenty-five emerald, one hundred twenty-five quartz, or six hundred twenty-five oric.
"The last coin will be a ruby in the shape of a diamond that is twice as long as it is wide. It will be worth five sapphire, twenty-five citrine, one hundred twenty-five emerald, six hundred twenty-five quartz, or three thousand one hundred twenty-five oric."
"So, we're working in multiples of fives?" asked Nidhogg, thinking hard.
"Correct, and I don't really expect many people to deal with sapphires or rubies."
"Why would rubies be the top currency?" asked the lesser dragon, confused.
"Because they match Stella's eyes."
Everyone was quiet for a moment, as they all glanced at her, but she ignored them, taking another plate of cookies out of her purse to start eating.
"What keeps people from duplicating any of these?" asked Nidhogg, licking his lips as he glanced at the cookies.
"It takes pretty tight mana control to get the gold to grow through the quartz in such a way as to connect to the rune on the reverse side correctly. In theory, people could duplicate the oric, as it is just enchanted orichalcum, but it is worth more in other things than just a coin, by the time they have the skill at a level to be able to duplicate the coin. And I also intend to make coin testers to verify that my mana was the mana used to create the coin."
"I can't wait to start distributing these… When do you think you might have the first batch ready?"
Joseph glanced up at the ceiling as he ran through his schedule for that evening.
"I should be able to get a couple million coins of each of the lesser three by morning. Do you think you could swing by to pick them up?"
Nidhogg nodded his head exuberantly, then turned to leave, before pausing and turning back to bow, then continuing his rush out of the room.
Andrew raised his hand to ask a question.
"This isn't related to the god stuff, or money, but rather some of the laws."
"Well, I can't buy a lady a drink, but can I change her water into ale for her?"
"It wasn't a big concern before, but with so many people becoming mages, it is bound to come up more often," said Stella, handing Joseph a cookie.
"I would like to say no," he said, taking a bite of the cookie, and pausing to chew it. "I'll have to think about it. The reason I made the law was because if **** is punishable by death, and a man buys drinks for a woman until she accepts his advances, is it ****? For him, she was willing, and for her, he drugged her and she wasn't willing. If the woman is dulling her own senses by consuming alcohol, then it is much harder to end up in this situation. Most men who consume too much alcohol can't perform, so it isn't much of an issue the other way. Now, if you attack a woman who is so drunk, she's unconscious, then it's pretty hard to say she gave consent, but I was trying to avoid the gray area."
"King Joseph, what about the gambling law, or the wages at the end of the day law?" asked Theon.
"Well, barbarians don't have a tradition of gambling, like the kingdom does. It was meant to prevent being tricked into agreeing to trade property the person wasn't aware they were betting, or hustled in a double or nothing game. Many of the people aren't good enough at math. Bad people could still take their daily wages and drink or gamble away a lot of it before bringing it home, but they can't bet slaves, family heirlooms or other property when drunk. I've seen it end poorly too many times.
"The reason for employers to pay at the end of the day, was to keep people from being cheated out of more than a day of wages, as well as depending on the wording when hired. I've seen some of the king's men, before we fled north, agree to large wages but then have an if statement said very quickly. They would get someone to work for a week, or even a month, before cheating them."
"What were your reasons for the ruling on pregnant women?"
"There were several. The first was to show that, at no point is the child ever a slave. I worded it, "a citizen of the kingdom upon conception" so that nobody could claim children of slaves automatically became slaves, or that they ever were. Secondly, a number of demon summoning rituals were strengthened through child sacrifice, and children not born yet still count for that purpose, so I figured it should count for murder, too. Lastly, I want more people in my kingdom, so killing babies still in a pregnant woman robs me of a new subject. Even though I can summon their spirit after they've died, I can't resurrect them. They would be forever gone, unless I put their spirit in a weapon, or machine. I still wouldn't get a new citizen though."
"You would put a baby's soul into a weapon?!" asked Cassandra, shocked and somewhat frightened.
"I doubt it. Most of those spells also work with animal spirits, and I would prefer to let the poor child pass on, but it is possible."
Theon looked at him.
"Then, when my sister died to that cold monster in the north, while with child?"
"The avatar would have absorbed both your sister's soul, and the souls of however many children she was with, when the ice killed her. When Stella and I killed it, they would have been freed and able to escape NURKONG."
Theon bowed in the way of the barbarians. "I thank you once again, my Kenrick, for what you have done for us."
Joseph nodded. "As Kenrick, I will never see my people held captive by our enemies."
Mira spoke up, "Master king?"
"Another title?" muttered Stella.
"Some have complained that with summer," continued Mira, not having heard Stella. "It has been too hot lately. Is there any way it could get a little cooler?"
"Yes, I can allow a light rain during the night only, and bring down the temperature a little. Make sure everyone knows that a hard rain is still scheduled on the first of the month though."
Laughs traveled up and down the table, as none of them could have imagined spreading that around before Joseph came.
"Ok, then. If that is all, everyone is dismissed. Have a good evening."