Abolishment of Slavery
Two days later, Lakshman was in the king’s chamber and was seated behind his desk. He was speedily writing down on the document and passed them aside to be stacked. Sometimes, he received documents that needed for him to thoroughly check through the sum values and other times he received documents that needed his signatures for various activities.
His staff were working harder than before, ever since he made it public notice. The previous day, he informed the public about his decision to abolish the slavery system and let people live their lives freely. At first, the kingdom’s people were startled as they were not sure if it truly will be accepted with the Slavemancer being who he was. That was when Lakshman informed them that he has become the enemy of the Slavemancer.
At this, the crowd panicked and they became really worried. They started yelling at him for making enemies out of the Slavemancer because they knew, through past events, of how dangerous it was to make that man angry. Lakshman, however made it very clear to the people that it was ‘him’ the Slavemancer will attack, not them.
“In that man’s eyes, I’m his enemy and not this kingdom!” he told them in a firm voice. “You have nothing to fear because it is me he is after! He will most probably attack me and that’s fine! I’m more than ready to handle whatever he might throw in my way!”
The people were amazed at how confident their king sounded because it was the first. The previous king, Bernard IV Sargold, feared the power of the Slavemancer and became unable to do anything about it. Yet, their current showed no fear or doubt in his words, which were firm and strong. Unlike earlier, they began clapping and cheered his name, to which he simply smiled.
The next day, which was that morning, the kingdom received a threatening letter from Slavemancer. Normally, letters would usually take more than a month to reach the receiver, but these ones were delivered by the fast moving members of the Enslavement Department. The contents of the letter carried a threatening message from the Slavemancer and it was apparently sent to all the other three kingdoms as well.
“Any kingdom that dares to lend their assistance to the Phoenix Titan and the king of Floria Kingdom, will face my wrath! I will spare all of you if you immediately cut your ties with that man and never dare to mention his name anywhere ever again!”
Reading those words, made Lakshman scowl furiously. He knew something like this might happen, but it was annoying when he involves someone else into this. Lakshman wanted to seek their help after he made the final arrangements to the laws that they are modifying. That letter spurred energy into him and together with the officers, they began to quickly work on the arrangements.
“We need to hurry before he does something that might really turn the other kingdoms against us!” one of the officers said anxiously.
“We need! Stop reminding us of it!” another one replied irritably.
Lakshman was working his hardest to do his part for the kingdom, but the tension in the room felt draining. Due to the threating message, the officers were worrying themselves needlessly while trying their best to get the laws rearranged.
Just when he was unable to take anymore, the doors opened and the drill master walked in with a serious expression on his face. He walked up to Lakshman’s desk and stood at attention before speaking to him.
“Sir! As per your instructions, I’ve gone around the places around the kingdom and gathered the soldiers. However, I was only able to gather those that showed interest in what you have to say while most chose to not return.”
“I see,” Lakshman said and he nodded in understanding. “Good job! At least, you were able to bring some to see me.”
“It is part of my duty, sir!” the drill master replied firmly.
Lakshman nodded at him and he rose to his feet. As he walked around the desk, he addressed the people furiously working on the documents in front of them.
“People! We’re really close to reaching out goal! Just a little more effort and it’ll be finally done! Keep it up!” he told them in an encouraging voice.
“Yes, your majesty!” they all replied at similar times.
Nodding at them in satisfaction, he left the room with the drill master. His name is actually Anthony Midragus, a soldier that once served as a guard for the nobles. Once Venezuela took over, she hired him and tested his skills because she wanted to train the newly recruited soldiers. Once she became busy with her studies, Felix took over and he granted Anthony the task of drilling the new soldiers with the fighting skills they need in battle.
“How goes the training of the new recruits?” Lakshman asked casually while Anthony led the way.
“I haven’t returned to the castle in over four days, your majesty. I had been doing my best to peruse the soldiers to come and listen to you,” Anthony said apologetically.
“Never mind. It seemed the task I gave you was more troublesome than I expected,” Lakshman said coolly.
“It indeed had been, but now there are people here to listen to your great words. By the way, your majesty… Did the Sword Titan come with you after returning from the party?”
“Yes. He said he had originally wanted to come and settle down here, so I brought him along. Why? Is there a problem?”
“No! None at all! It’s just that I saw him training the soldiers on my way to see you.”
“Huh? Training the soldiers?” Lakshman asked and he looked surprised.
Anthony nodded and said, “That’s right. Apparently, he was demonstrating his skills by destroying those five magical stone walls you created for their training. I also saw him giving tips on handling the sword in a more appropriate way.”
“Mmm! Sounds like I’ve got to go and see how he’s doing,” Lakshman said in a curious voice before smiling.
After walking for a few minutes, they arrived at the courtyard where the soldiers usually trained. Currently, it was lunch time and the soldiers were away getting meals at the lunch hall. Standing around in the courtyard were a lot of people that surprised Lakshman. If he had to count, he guessed there were roughly a hundred people within that space available. He was surprised just from the number because he believed there would be at least, fifty or so people, but a hundred really surprised him.
The people were not facing the front, so they missed him and Anthony arrive. They were standing around in groups and quietly muttered to one another with gloomy expressions on their faces. The clothes they wore were rough that needed replacements for better clothes. From the overall look at the group, Lakshman knew those people were very poor.
Anthony walked forward and in a loud voice, he said, “Alright! His majesty, Lakshman Chand has arrived! Now, show him your utmost respect and greet him courteously.”
“Ouch!” Lakshman thought as he rubbed his eyes in surprise. “I didn’t expect he could shout this loud without any amplification magic on his throat.”
The people turned around and slowly walked forward, their expressions changing. Instead of gloomy, they were now looking curious as Anthony stepped aside to let Lakshman appear. He stood at a raised location where the people would get a good look at him.
“Hello, my fellow ex-soldiers,” Lakshman began in a cool voice. “How are you today?”
There was no reply, except the stares they gave him. Then, a few slowly mumbled in reply without actually saying anything out loud. Lakshman inwardly sighed as he realised how serious the situation was. He did not like it, but he has to get a grip on the weaklings standing before him.
“Now, the reason I called all of you here is because I am giving you a chance to return to the army!” he said firmly.
At that, there was a sudden reaction and they quickly looked at him in surprise. Their eyes widened in surprise at how quickly he got right down to the point, which they did not expect. They were used to hearing their leaders scold them for their misbehaviour and that was what they expected for their desertion of the kingdom’s army.
“For one thing, I’m feeling depressed looking at how sad your appearance is! Seriously! You left the kingdom’s army to become the losers of society? Is that the kind of achievement you wanted?” he demanded them as he voice slowly rose with his strong feelings.
The people lowered their heads unhappily and he clicked his tongue in annoyance.
“Don’t you dare let your heads drop in front of me? It won’t hide your mistakes nor the truth of what you’ve become after you left! I don’t know what the other kings might’ve done in my place, but I’m offering you a chance to get your jobs back!”
“R-Really?” one man at the front asked nervously.
Lakshman looked at him and smiled before saying, “I have no reason to lie and no need to in the first place. I want you, your kingdom needs you! It is our duty as responsible people to take up arms and defend our homes! Would you really be happy to know some random enemy marches in here while you were simply focusing on trying to live your lives freely the way you want?”
The soldiers looked surprised at his words and some even shook their heads.
“No! You certainly wouldn’t because cowardice is not part of who we are! For centuries, armies before us fought their utmost so that their future, that is us, will spend our time peacefully. However, such a thought is nothing, but a dream because it will never happen so long as people keep fighting for the wrong cause!”
“You are also the same!” he thundered and shocked the people into widening their eyes. “I’m ashamed of all of you for deserting the army! I heard that most of you feared for your lives and left the army after the war two years ago! Well, that’s fine an all, but what will happen after that? What will you do when an army charges directly at you? Will you flee? Where will you flee and for how long can you escape?
You can run, but you can never hide. This world is too small and you don’t possess the skills to live like that! What then? Give up your lives, surrender to the enemy and become their useless slaves of war? The very sound of that term makes my blood boil with anger! When I, a powerful mighty warrior, gets angry from such thoughts, how can you soldiers accept it?!”
The people were looking uncertain because they did not know what to say. When they left the army, they were filled with fear at seeing how many of their comrades perished. This fear caused them to quit the army and return to their homes, but they soon found out how sad that decision was. They each had a family to feed and their current ability with the sword would only rank them at the Advanced level. They can hurt for monsters in a Labyrinth and collect the money, but it was not enough to sustain an entire family.
“I am aware of the fact that your families worry endless whether their loved ones will return or not,” Lakshman said in a soothing voice. “I am aware of the pain they experience after learning the passing of their loved ones and the torment they go through to keep themselves together. In the process, their children get affected by the neglect and that eventually becomes a disease that will end up taking their lives!”
“That’s why! Instead of running away from danger, you become strong to face it like a true warrior!” Lakshman said in a powerful voice. “Take for example, the Sword Titan, Dominic Rutherford! Currently, he’s the 9th ranked of the Nine Pillars of Power and is exceptionally skills with all types of weapons, but did you know that he was orphaned at the age of seven, his parents died and left him alone!
Since then, he was raised at the orphanage like any of the children that either lost their parents or were abandoned by them. Unlike the rest of the children that did their best to stay happy, he focused on getting stronger to never face the same kind of death like his parents! His attitude to become strong eventually caught the attention of the previous Sword Titan, Jagan Bredrock and under him, he trained to master all types of weapons to truly become the powerful Sword Titan that he is now.
He lacks magic skills greatly to the point that he can’t even use a simple healing spell. Yet, he is capable of sensing magic around him and react instantly! How can he do that when he’s just a normal human like the rest of you? Please don’t compare him to me because I’m not pure human because I also possess Phoenix Blood for I am Phoenix Titan! My title itself should be a big give away of that fact!”
The listening crowd of people were surprised at those words as they listened intently to him speak.
“When such a normal person trained his hardest to reach what he is right now, can’t you do the same?” Lakshman asked them finally. “He didn’t want to die in an accident like his parents and that pushed him to be an exceptional weapons master by the time he was thirteen! After receiving training from the past Sword Titan, he grew to a level that he’s in a league of his own! If there’s match between him and me without the use of magic and pure weapons based, I doubt I can win easily because he is a powerful opponent who can hold his own against both weapons, magic and energy skills.”
“That’s right!” Anthony chipped in to add in a word of support. “Earlier, while I was on my way to inform his majesty of our arrival, I witnessed the Sword Titan right where you were standing. Those five stone walls behind you were the ones his majesty created for training the soldiers to become stronger, which are infused with an emperor ranked magic barrier that makes it difficult to cut through!”
Lakshman looked surprised and he thought, “What? Emperor? What I cast is just a King ranked barrier spell called Force Wall.”
He wished he could tell that to Anthony, but he did not find a way to doing it without breaking his concentration. He noticed the people listening intently and realised any chance of using Telepathy to speak to him telepathically would distract him and cause suspicion to form in their minds. He reluctantly sighed as he continued listening to what Anthony had to say.
“The Sword Titan, using an ordinary sword, easily cut through it very easily!” Anthony said and the people looked amazed. “With just an ordinary sword, he managed to cut those stone walls and thus far, only a few of the soldiers had managed to cut through two of them. So imagine, how strong you would be if you got as strong as him?”
“Exactly!” Lakshman said as he decided it was time for him to land the finishing blow. “Previously, you lacked the skills necessary to put up might of a fight, but that’s not what we’re going to do this time! I have conscripted the Scientific King, Wolfenstine to develop a new type of armour called Titanium Armour, which is the combination of a Phoenix Armour and a Dragon Armour combined!”
“Ah!” said the many voices in surprise as they were taken aback from learning of this.
“They are currently in development and very soon, we will have them ready! The next time an enemy kingdom or race decides to take its chance in invading us, we will show them that we’re not a push over!” Lakshman said in a powerful voice. Then, he raised his fist up and punched the air above him as he said, “We are Floria Kingdom’s mightiest army and anyone who dares to mess with us will suffer the consequences for their foolishness!
In return, I will make sure to raise your salary and give you bonus for extra hours that you put into protecting this kingdom. Additional to that, your children will also receive education at Astral Academy, which will soon no longer be inclusive to middle class only. I believe that everyone deserves to study and grow up to be something else while leaving us to do the battles for them!”
His voice echoed around the silent courtyard as the men looked on with wide eyes at Lakshman. He let his arm drop down and stared at each of them with a serious expression on his face. The firmness in his voice and the determination he exhibited penetrated through the cloud of doubt in the soldiers and they felt foolish for ever deciding to leave the army in the first place. Without their regular salaries, they had trouble sustaining their families.
“So!” Lakshman began in a firm voice. “Who decides they will join and protect this kingdom and who won’t? If you are unwilling to protect this kingdom and are scared for your life, then leave and never show me your face ever again! I’m not calling your cowards, but I’m not going to treat you as proud warriors either!”
For a moment, there was silence when, one brave man stepped forward from the front and said, “Sir! I will re-join the army!”
Another man stepped forward and said loudly, “I’ll join you, sir!”
Very soon, all the people standing there began to echo with the same “I’ll join” message loudly. Lakshman looked around at them and grinned in satisfaction. Truth be told, he was worried that they will demand an increase in their salary and such than what he intended on increasing, but his fears were unneeded. These people were grateful for him to care for them to the point he was going to give them an advantage over everyone else.
“Now, one last thing!” Lakshman said loudly over their excited voices and they quickly fell silent. “I want all of you to fight without dying! Don’t fight for the glory, but fight to survive! If ever we go into war, I want to see that every one of you alive when it’s over! I won’t surrender to enemies, but I care for your safety at the same time! I will only send you out when I alone am not enough. Pass on what I said today to your comrades that sent you here to test because I’ll say the same thing to them.”
“Uh…!” one of them said as he was startled by what he just heard.
He was not the only one as everyone looked surprised by him suspecting them. They did not know that he had been using Elemental Sense to detect how they were reacting to everything he said to them. At his sudden question, he quickly understood these hundred were simply sent here by the rest to test if he was a better leader than their previous king. Lakshman recognised the fact that they liked Bernard IV Sargold very much as a king they wished to serve and die for, making them test Lakshman.
“You’re mistaken, your majesty!”
“Yes! We’re not testing you!”
“There’s no need to test someone as mighty as you!”
“You’re the Phoenix Titan!”
“You stand for resurrection and rising—!”
“Freedom and justice, idiot!”
“Oh… My bad!”
Lakshman could not believe what he just heard and he burst out laughing, surprising them. After that, Lakshman bid them farewell and let Anthony handle the rest while he returned to the king’s chamber, feeling very accomplished. It was indeed a pain that they received that threatening letter that day, but from his success in relaying to the people of his trustworthiness made him feel really happy.
“A king is someone who is born from the hearts of people, not from the calculations of manipulations,” he thought to himself as he grinned as he joyfully returned to the king’s chamber.
A week later, notices have been hung or attached on buildings front for people to see and read. The contents of the notice was the government, by the order of the king, has decreed the permanent abolishment of the slavery within Floria Kingdom. While that was going on, the soldiers of the kingdom visited the Slave Market to free all the slaves white and arresting anyone that tried to stop them. Along with freeing the slaves, the notice included a small detail about the king offering 1000 gold to each of the slaves to start afresh.
When Felix heard the amount, his mind exploded in shock.
“You’re going to give away 1000 gold per slave?!” he exclaimed in shock upon knowing about it. He began calculating out loud by saying, “Then, if there are over 40 slaves in a Slave Market, then that’s… that’s… well over 40,000!!!”
“Don’t be so dramatic,” Lakshman said with a smile on his face.
“Right and how are you planning on paying them that much?” Felix demanded as he looked seriously at him. “You’re not seriously thinking the kingdom has enough budget to spare over 40,000 gold, are you?”
“I never had such an idea,” Lakshman said clearly. “I’m giving them that money from what I saved.”
“You’re doing what?” Felix asked in disbelief. “From your own money? Why?”
Lakshman shrugged his shoulders and said, “It’s the least I can do for them for all the pain they’ve endured thus far.”
“Oh… That’s good you’re doing that, but remember that you have a family of seven to feed as well,” Felix told him in a worried voice. “In fact, do your wives know you’re doing this?”
Lakshman nodded and said, “They do. I told them last week and they happily agreed.”
“Oh. Then, I’ve got no complaints,” Felix said with a satisfying nod.
Lakshman made a small smile on his face as he thought, “It’s true that I’m giving that money away to them because I feel sorry for them, but it’s also because I want to cleanse myself for all the crimes I committed in my past lives.”
On the 11th of Beitec of the year 8099 PX, slavery was officially abolished. On that day, all those arrested for resisting against the law were sent to prison. The slaves were rescued from the Slave Markey and the doctors used their healing magic to make them recover, but they knew it will take a long time before they fully recover from being slaves.
On the 15th of Beitec of the year 8099 PX, the slaves were brought near a pavilion near the castle so the king could address them before handing over the money and letting them go. Lakshman wanted to have a personal talk with all of them before he freed them from the chains that enslaved them.
It was before afternoon when Lakshman made his appearance at the head of the front of the pavilion. At first, he was startled to find all slaves sitting on the ground while looking really nervous. He looked around at the pavilion and saw the chairs stacked neatly at the sides as if they were not touched.
“Damn the nobles…!” he thought angrily and made a mental note to address the nobles after this.
He extended his hand towards the people and said, “Summoning Chairs.”
In an instant, bright balls of light began flying away from the palm of his hand. They flew towards where each of the person sitting on the ground and hit them in the face. For a moment, all of their bodies began glowing brightly and this caused them to cry out in shock. The next moment, there was a puff of smoke and when it cleared, all of them appeared to be sitting on puffy comfortable chairs. The watching guards were stunned and this included the people themselves to suddenly find themselves seated on really comfortable chairs.
“Sir! Why are you using your magic to give these slaves such chairs?” a guard near him asked with a puzzled expression on his face.
Lakshman turned to look at him coldly before he said, “They are no longer slaves. They are as free as you and me now. Show them some respect!”
“Ah!” the soldier said and he realised the blunder he made. “My apologies! Please forgive me for my mistake, your majesty!”
“It’s fine, but don’t dare call them slaves again,” Lakshman said in a fearsome tone and the guard bowed deeply before retreating.
Lakshman turned and stepped at the centre of the stage before using amplification magic to speak to them.
“Welcome, my dear guests of today! It is an honour for me to be with you here on such a beautiful day!” he said cheerfully.
The people were slightly taken aback at suddenly hearing his voice and they turned to face the front. Many of them widened their eyes in shock at suddenly realising they were looking straight at the king of this kingdom. Some quickly averted their eyes or hid them with their hands. Lakshman sighed heavily and decided he has to be rough to get them focused on him.
He took a deep breath and thundered, “I want all of you to open your eyes and focus on me! This is an order!”
In shock, the people snapped their eyes open and looked at him in shock. Many were desperate to get away from there due to their fear and respect of being in the presence of such a powerful person. He sighed again before smiling at them once more.
He raised his hand and said, “Transcendence.”
In an instant, a barrier was erected around the pavilion and affected everyone inside it. Transcendence is an Emperor ranked Barrier Magic Spell that calms the minds and bodies of all those that it affects. The people all seated on comfortable chairs began to relax and calm down, their nervousness going away in a matter of seconds. They were all looking very pleased from the small smiles on their faces as they turned to focus on him once again.
He smiled and said, “Now that you’ve calmed down, I’m happy to tell you that from now on, you are no longer slaves of Floria Kingdom. I know it has been a tough life living as slaves and feeding on the small scripts of food those slavery people fed you. It’s also been very tough for you to give your lives away to slavery because of your own person reasons, but now that isn’t the case anymore. You are now as free as the rest of us.”
The people looked surprised and some of them began to slowly smile from knowing they were no longer slaves. Lakshman saw the smiles slowly forming on their face and he nodded on his next course of action.
“On behalf the powerless people that watched, enjoyed and the powerless that couldn’t do anything, I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart! Please… Find it in your heart to forgive us for our arrogance of taking advantage of you!”
With that, Lakshman bowed deeply and he was not alone. Felix, Venezuela and several officials, including all the guards standing around, all bowed their heads down deeply in apology. The people looked around in shock at seeing so many people bowing their heads down to them. Only recently they were slaves, so they were taken by surprise at this show of remorse and repentance.
Lakshman raised his head and straightened up, followed by everyone who had bowed.
“Of course, freedom doesn’t come without a price. I do have a condition for setting you free,” Lakshman said and the people suddenly became nervous. He breathed a sigh before firmly saying, “I want you to follow the rules of society, but above all, make sure you don’t harm others with your newly given freedom.”
The people blinked in surprise at his words and they slowly turned to look at each other before turning back to face the front.
“I’m sure some of you want revenge on certain people, but I don’t want you to do that! I want you to start afresh with this freedom we are giving you and lead your lives peacefully from now on. That is my one and only condition for all of you to follow along with following the rules of society. However…! If I ever discover any of you broke that condition to do as you please, I won’t show mercy as I punish you personally!”
With the fearsome voice Lakshman spoke in, the people gulped nervously and nodded back at him. He smiled a moment later and they inwardly relieved, which he sensed with a little assistance from his Elemental Sense.
“Other than that, I bid you good day and wish you all the best for the future,” Lakshman said and he waved goodbye and he deactivated the Transcendent magic spell.
With the finality and reality catching up to them with the deactivation of that spell, most of them burst into tears. Many of them were truly happy from the bottom of their heart at finally freed and the sudden freedom made them want to cry from both sadness from joy. Lakshman sensed this and he sniffed slightly before turning away.
“I’ll leave them to you,” he said to Venezuela and she nodded in agreement. She turned around and began speaking with Felix about the arrangements.
Lakshman smiled and he turned around before activating Phoenix Portal. Using it, he arrived at the castle and walked along the empty corridors, feeling happy for those people. He won a small battle, but there are plenty more in the path he treads upon, but he was prepared and so were his wives.
After walking for a while, he arrived at the courtyard where the soldiers were being trained. He saw Dominic Rutherford with Anthony and they watched the soldiers with their arms crossed. The soldiers did their best to destroy all of the magic stone walls, but managed to only destroy two walls and penetrate the third wall. Dominic had to destroy the third one to make it regenerate back to normal.
Dominic turned around and noticed him standing there watching them. He smiled and walked over with a smile on his face.
“Hey! How’d it go?” he asked once he walked over.
“It went well,” he said with a small smile on his face. “Right now, they’re crying and I couldn’t handle it, so I came back to see how the soldiers are doing with their training.”
“Ah,” Dominic said and he nodded in understanding. He turned to observe the soldiers as he said, “These bunch are good and are slowly getting better. Their technique needs slight adjustments, but they are improving well. Which reminds me… I head you managed to convince people into re-joining the army.”
“I did and I’m glad they are re-joining. Once they join, our army should be pretty strong once the Titanium Armours are finished being made,” Lakshman said confidently.
“Yes and I hear you used my story to convince them about it,” Dominic said and he eyed him sideways shrewdly. “Was my story that much better than using anyone else’s?”
“Uh…” Lakshman began and he looked slightly embarrassed. “You see, yours was the only story that I remembered on the go. After all, I couldn’t possibly prepare a sheet of something that I should talk with like most public speakers, right?”
As Dominic chuckled, Lakshman hesitantly asked, “Was I wrong in using your story as an example?”
“Ah. Don’t be nervous about it. I’m quite happy my childhood story came in handy to encourage those people. I think it’s a better story than telling about yourself since you’re totally unnatural from a child!” Dominic said before laughing heartily.
“Hey! I had my circumstances for that and I told you about it already,” Lakshman said indignantly.
“Yes and so does everybody else,” Dominic said and he turned to wink at his friend.
Lakshman sighed and he shook his head before turning back to watch the soldiers train. Anthony was encouraging the soldiers loudly, which he must have picked up from the way Dominic handled the soldiers. Lakshman smiled in satisfaction as he saw the drill master change his ways slightly to be more of an encouraging figure than a frightening figure.
Dominic, on the other hand, was not looking at the soldiers or at Anthony. Instead, he was looking up at Lakshman, who was a quite taller than him. There was a frown on his face as he watched his tall friend through narrowed eyes.
“Hey… How about we hang out tomorrow?” he asked him finally in a cool voice. “I feel we should.”
“Alright. I’m fine with it, buy why? Are you planning a friendly get-together or something?” Lakshman asked curiously.
“No,” Dominic said quietly. “I plan to fight you.”
Today, I spent quite a good deal of time working on the Timeline page on the story’s wikia. I hope people will find it useful in seeing the timeline of the series.