217 Chapter 214 LAW
"I want you to list all of your issues, so I can destroy them in one sitting, instead of having you coming up with more ridiculous accusations, and keeping us here all day. I learned this technique from arguing with children. Even if I was an unfit king, who would you recommend replacing me? What would I do if someone else was king?"
"Why, if none more suitable could be found, I would be forced to accept the responsibility myself, I suppose. You would just have to follow the order of the crown, like all other Wizar."
Stella's first instinct was to kill the man in front of her for even thinking he could replace Joseph, but the looks of incredulousness from those behind him, made her quell the urge. It was obvious he hadn't mentioned that, to any of those who he had been trying to sway.
"So, first off, in order of importance, not chronologically. My relationship with Stella is not, and never will be, any of your damn business. Secondly, if the fact that a wasteland stretching to the horizon along hundreds of miles of border doesn't convince you that something is trying to kill all of us, then I'm not sure what will. Third, I know the names, faces, and ages, of every single one of my people who were killed while I was away, but only to motivate myself to not let it happen again, and to ensure I revived them properly. I have nearly died, myself, several times, in my efforts to learn magic, and become powerful enough to prevent these tragedies. I also insist, that every one of them had counseling after such an event. I hardly go, 'woops sorry, live again, it's all better now,' as you claim.
"Next, the laws were implemented without fully appreciating the differences in species and culture that were brought over. The magnitude of the problem was underestimated because of my inexperience. However, I do have a council of some of the wisest and most experienced people to advise me. It consists of the college rune leaders, because our kingdom is magical, my father, whom I trust and who has extensive understanding of logistics, mercantilism and labor forces, the former leader of the kin, along with certain members of the former council, the prime minister from the western kingdom, and others. Brago was added, both for his extensive knowledge of advanced technology, and because of his experience leading a dukedom in the central kingdom. He also generously shared all of his technology and craftsmen with the kingdom without asking for any personal gains or monetary reward.
"Lastly, you complain about the kin and resource issues. I personally provided enough food for everyone to eat, for two months, and magically enhanced everyone to only need one meal a month without going hungry. I also increased your memory, and made you magical beings. Recently, I improved you again to be almost immune to disease and poison, almost mind you, made you generate a magical force field to help protect yourself, as well as leather armor, even if you were naked, and gave everyone additional fatigue, expressly for magic, so you wouldn't be tired from simple spells. The kin that have come to my kingdom, have performed extremely well, and produced literal tons of supplies for the use of the kingdom. Many have already earned their places among the councils of each college. In a few hundred years, I likely won't have to rely on the council as much."
Joseph stood up and glared down at the mage that suddenly wasn't sure he should be there. Stella fought not to grin in delight, waiting for the hammer to fall on this ant of a man. He was allowing a trickle of his aura to leak out, just enough to cause the man to pee himself, but not to actually crush anyone standing around him.
"I have two questions. Did you not swear to become one of my people and follow me in exchange for my protection, Carlos?"
"Um…you said you released us from those contracts…" He stuttered, not understanding the line of questioning.
"Secondly, do you realize that everything I do to increase my own strength as the founder and current king of the kingdom, increases the kingdom's prestige? Thus, almost everything that benefits me directly, also contributes to the strength of the kingdom. You couldn't do the same unless you were stronger than me by a significant amount. Do you believe you are stronger than I, Carlos?"
"Of course not, but this is about your…" His words were drowned out as Joseph spoke up in a loud voice.
"Shall we let LAW judge? I trust LAW to decide between us who is more fit to be king."
"I just… er…wanted to start a discussion."
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The rune appeared in the middle of the room, floating high above everyone's heads. Even Stella felt it judging her actions, and sweat broke out on her brow as she thought over the many insignificant times, she broke the laws.
"Judge who is acting within the interests of the kingdom, at heart," demanded Joseph of the rune.
Carlos began screaming before he burnt to death. Another five people, who came in with him, also combusted where they stood. People scrambled away from the heat of their deaths, as the rune disappeared from view.
"Well, now that that shavist is over. Does anyone else wish to bring up issues?"
From the back, one brave soul yelled out, "You just used your ability with magic to kill him!"
"That's ridiculous. LAW is impartial, even though I am a friend. What that idiot didn't realize is that currently, nobody can be more beneficial to the kingdom than me. For one, evil gods are trying to kill all of us, and I'm the only one capable of stopping them, which is an automatic win, while Carlos was trying to start a revolt in the middle a war, which is essentially an automatic loss. For two, even if the evil gods were dead, I'm the only one who is strong enough to get to the world tree to try and lift the curse to restore the realm, and increase the size of the kingdom more than a hundred-fold. It's another automatic win. And once I accomplish both of those tasks, I can spend far more of my time actually doing my duties as king properly. Also, there is no law forcing you to obey me."
Mumbling broke out as they all realized the truth to his words. Not one law required them to do as he commanded. Stella almost wondered if that was a bad thing to point out to them.
Joseph sighed. Stella knew he needed to clarify more, before the people would be satisfied, and she reiterated her hatred of politics.
"The council and I, make decisions based on what is best for the kingdom, and once you know what is best for the kingdom, you are compelled to act that way, but none of the laws force you to obey something I say that isn't for the good of the kingdom. Just don't become so hypocritical that you believe your own lies and justifications, like Carlos."