If you read Trapped on Draconica, you know that Emperor Erik Gothon was a pretty nasty guy - but there was a time when he genuinely wanted to do good and help his people. This chapter is set years after he has become Emperor and the effect it has had on the country.
More will be released as they come. Enjoy! Let me know what you guys think of it!
The fanfare blurted once again, but this one was swallowed up by the roaring cheer of the people. Out stepped their Emperor - Erik Gothon III. He was a handsome young man that looked resplendent in his darkly coloured robes with golden sequins. A long cape flowing behind him with an ethereal quality and the hairs of his freshly cut golden hair twisted in the light breeze. To his side, stood his mother – all colour in her hair having now turned to grey and the lines on her face distorting her once youthful looks – but when she smiled she brightened up even the darkest day.
Behind them, the Senate held back. Like Lucrezia, their hair was no longer the same colour when it was young – in Baluk’s case he had pretty much lost all hair that he once had.
Erik stood at the edge of the balcony, looking down at his people. Their cheers of approval always brought a smile to his face, for it showed that he was doing his job as he should be. It was refreshing to see people smile after so long living in misery. He looked at his mother, who rest a reassuring hand on his shoulder and nodded once.
Erik held up his hand and instantly the cheers stopped to allow him to speak. “My people,” his voice echoed across the air, “though much time has passed, I feel like it was only yesterday that I was first bequeathed this noble title. And how things are different from then. Not so long ago, this city – no, this EMPIRE – was suffering from a poison. A poison known as Tiberius Gothon…”
Boos and cries of anger came from the crowd as they condemned the actions of the one who had ruled before him. It was clear even now that a lasting impression had been left on the people. “Yes, I know that you all had hatred for the last Emperor,” Erik continued, “and though he is my father, I shed no more tears than you do for his death – nor can I defend his actions.”
Lucrezia’s mind wandered back to that day – the day when she freed Baalaria from terror. And though the Senate had made out that Erik was the one that had freed Baalaria from his tyranny, Lucrezia held no ill will for this. She was happy for her son to take the credit for it.
“For years, we lived in fear of even leaving our homes – in fact we feared just staying in our homes was too dangerous. Under his rule, all manner of crime and corruption went unchecked. This once beautiful land was decimated of everything that made it good. But no more. Now this is a land that Baala himself would be thankful of. Now the wounds this country suffered have healed. And I have you to thank for that. You could have easily shown me the same hate you showed my father and condemned me even before I made any action. But you gave me the benefit of the doubt and allowed me to show you what I could do. For that I am eternally grateful. The path has not been easy, but with your help it has become a path worth travelling.”
Another cheer went up from the crowd, which almost made Erik deaf.
“It appears the Emperor has forgotten who it was that guided him along said path,” Baluk whispered to Syrano.
“Hush, Baluk,” Syrano hissed.
“And as a reward to all,” Erik continued, “as of today, I hereby declare that all taxes shall be cut in half.”
The people couldn’t believe their luck – the Emperor had already cut taxes by a third since he became ruler, now he was cutting them more? Everyone felt like they had been granted the best birthday present ever. The cheer of approval that rose swallowed the entire city and Erik found himself once more in danger of going deaf.
The only ones who were not cheering were the Senate. They gazed wide eyed and in shock. “He never cleared that with us!” Cherva exclaimed.
“I thank you all once again,” Erik said. “Go in peace and be prosperous!”
The fanfare blew one more time as Erik turned away to go back into the castle. The roars of jubilation swallowed up the entire square as people shouted praise of their Emperor. The Senate waited until the Emperor was passed them before their whispers piped up.
“That’s the second time in a decade that he’s lowered taxes,” Cherva, whispered. “He’ll bleed us dry!”
“What can we do?” whispered Syrano. “He’s given the people what they want. Now they are eating out of the palm of his hand.”
Text 2017 by Dan Wright