Chapter 13: Council Meeting
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
Today, at 8:61, the 97th Sulfur Mountain City’s Judiciary Elder’s Meeting was held punctually at the Supreme Court. The meeting was organized by the head of the Supreme Court Wumianzhe. During the meeting, a review of the main problems of the legal system was held and the matters to be discussed at the meeting are as follow:
The meeting will ensure that the entire bureau and its personnel will study seriously from City Lord Adam regarding Sulfur Mountain City’s 4 main drives and earnestly fulfill their responsibilities as a part of our legal system, obey the law and follow the regulations provided while carrying out their job.
At the end of the meeting, the old role model of the judicial system, our most respected elder Judge, Lord Wumianzhe, made an important declaration, requesting for all government organizations and personnel to follow the spirit of respecting one’s superior and unite under its core, Annie.Layde as the next generation of Sulfur Mountain City. They are not to waver, not to hesitate, focus on just one core, two points…
Alright, I will stop with the bullshit. Other than the last sentence, which is to make Annie the boss, the rest of it are lies…
“Don’t say that I’m trying to dictate everything, I am here to request for everyone’s opinion. I shall tell you all a big news, don’t spread it to the public just for now. In the future, Annie, yup, Margaret and Annie’s precious secret daughter, is the future big boss of Sulfur Mountain City. It is good that none of you all have many objections. If you all have objections? Hehe, of course I would humbly accept your opinions. Yup, only accepting.
I verbally attacked the two fools without holding back. I thought that by landing this bomb, they would be shocked but unexpectedly, the four great heavenly kings seated below me were strangely silent.
They looked at each other for a long time. You look at me, I look at you and eventually, everyone’s eyes were fixated on the honest Kelvin. Only then did he buck him his courage and stood up.
“Lord… Don’t tell me that you were only just informed of it. Half a month ago, the entire city was already aware of it. I thought you were gathering us to prepare to usurp authority.”
Thus, I was at a loss for words.
After that, I spent half a day before getting a clear picture of what happened.
From the start, Margaret already guessed that I would not grab the baton and after a discussion with Adam, they internally decided on Annie. Initially, they wanted to hold a quick swap of power before the crowds could even react… But that blabbermouth Adam blabbered the matter in public. Thus, it didn’t take long for the entire city to learn of such breaking news…
“Who is Annie? If the incumbent City Lord decides to step down, there is still the Public Council Head Grant, Wumianzhe of the judicial system, Head of Internal Affairs Margaret and much more suitable candidates out there, what exactly are they thinking? Are the other guardians of the city also leaving too? Then, who is going to protect Sulfur Mountain City?”
To the normal folks, they aren’t worried about who is coming to power. Or rather, they are more bothered with whether the price of vegetables would go up and whether the price of housing in the central of the city would come down.
Yup, what they are truly concerned about was never a political switch or an influential figure coming into power. Rather, they are worried about whether their lives would change and whether tomorrow would still be full of hope…
One of the three heads Adam have decided to shirk responsibility as the guardian of Sulfur Mountain City. Yet, the one taking over is an inconspicuous little lass. If so, can she take hold of the situation? Will the other underground lords take this opportunity to make a move? Will the other influential figures in the city listen to her commands?
This may seem unrelated to the daily life they are worried about but if an upheaval ripples throughout the city or even worst, a war occurs, then the comparatively luxurious daily life that they had against other cities would stop at that moment.
These days, the politically aware citizens are feeling an inexplicable weight above their heads, a pressure signaling the arrival of the storm makes the air heavy and suffocating.
I grind my teeth. If I heard this news yesterday, seeing Margaret and Adam working their ass off might make me call for a celebration. But now that I have accepted the quest, then the idiot’s actions became a great source of trouble for me.
Doing a rough estimation, I can almost see how everything is a mess out there. No matter where it is, the ambitious and violent are never lacking. In the past, the three heads were able to suppress the situation but now that Adam was giving up his place, there would surely be some that tries to make a place for themselves.
Lying on the chair, countless evil plans run through my mind while my fingers habitually knocks on the table.
“There should be some people standing out by now. Those objecting and those in approval.”
The Hall of Legislators is also the intelligence department of the system. When I asked, Lilith immediately replies.
“A large portion of the government organizations and their leaders have expressed their ideas. At least, on the surface, most of them are in approval of Annie taking over as the City Lord. But, there are still two influential figures that have yet to make a statement. Everyone are making guesses on whether they have other plans.”
“Public Council Head Grant…”
“Him huh? What a fool, once an ambition exceeds the scope of your own power, you are just seeking your death.”
However, at least in name, the Public Council is an organization that represents the will of the public. If they adamantly reject Annie, that would be quite a trouble as well.
As for why I say ‘in name’, actually, there is some history behind it.
After Sulfur Mountain City was established, in order to resolve the disputes between races whose relations are getting more and more tense through the days, Margaret followed the example of the Kingdom of Elves on the surface and created a Public Council which provides a platform for the representative of different races to talk it over. In the start, it managed to achieve some success but eventually, it caused more troubles than the problems it resolves.
Th first council is exclusive to the heads and elders of different races. They have high social standing among their brethren and when they become the spokesperson for their people, they would strive to get more benefits for their people. However, there is limited cake to go around and when a few stronger races form an alliance, the living space and resources for the smaller tribes are eaten up and gradually, following the formation of circles and cliques, as the interests of different races start to tangle up, the council started getting more and more powerful.
Once the proposal to build a ‘human-only district”dwarf-only district’ was brought up, seeing how these proud ‘big figures’ fought passionately for their own interests and how their backing can no longer be disregarded, the ‘wise’ Great Saint finally tasted the feeling of carrying a boulder but crushing your own foot (Trying to achieve something but end up making things worse).
Thus, she turned to the devil… Yup, that is me.
Using my experience from both worlds, I sent her what was known as the answer of the devil.
At that time, there were people going to street everyday as different organizations organized rallies and protests, as though as the rights of the people was above everything else, that the will of the people must be fulfilled. The evil dictator would be defeated tomorrow and the Public Council would become the new governor. In reality, this has turned into an oppression of the majority against the minority.
Seeing this situation, I know that if we dissolved the council, violence would probably ensue then our efforts for the past several decades would go to vain. Thus, I thought of a plan.
Didn’t you all request for more power for the council? Fine, I shall agree to it. In fact, I’m afraid you all might not have enough personnel so I shall allow you all to expand the number of seats on the council to recruit more council members.
At that time, the serving Council Head old Bart was delighted. In fact, they marked that day as the council’s Victory Day, but…
…Now, it was known as the Foolish Day…
The initial council is limited to 30 people and only people from large race or tribes can be elected to join the council.
“How can this be? The council is the representation of every citizen, 30 people isn’t enough. Even smaller race and tribes should have their own council member. Let’s just increase the member count.”
Thus, I increased the number of council members to tenfold of what it was in one go, 300 people!
That day, they celebrated. After all, in their hearts, the more council members there are, the greater the voice of the populace.
However, they met with problems the next instant. The number of council members have been expanded by tenfold in one go, then where should the rest of the council member be recruited from?
The next moment, what Kobold merchant, the second son-in-law of the dwarves’ elder, the brother of the goblin’s tribe leader, all of them want to become a council member to enjoy the authority.
“Approved. Everyone is a representation of the will of the people, why would I stop you all.” All of the list of council members that were sent to me were approved.
Thus, the number of council members increased but even so, I still maintained the stand that it wasn’t enough.
“Hm, let’s add another 100 seats this festival. You all can decide among yourselves. Don’t keep all the seats to those strong ones. You all took all the meat, but you all should also leave some soup to the rest of the people. Give a chance to those engineers, normal citizens, teachers and scholars to join in on the governance.
At this point in time, the number of council members increased rapidly and there are people who felt that something was amiss. But even so, everyone was busy grabbing hold of the council member slots. Whoever tries to block the expansion of the council becomes the enemy of everyone.
“Hmph, you Dracons only have this amount of people. Of course you all wouldn’t want the other races to increase their number of council members. Hmph! Self-interested lizards!”
“Fine, let’s not increase the number of seats of the Public Council. Then, you darned sharp charcoal ears, give up your seats to us, the son of earth.”
Alright, let’s ignore this boring process and go right to the conclusion… Despite having just a population of 3 million, we have 10,000 council members.
Alright, can you imagine the situation of having more than 10,000 people squeezing into a small room and holding a meeting? Can you imagine how long will it take for a single suggestion to pass through, given how 9,000 people have to sign in agreement of it? Can you imagine how a day is wasted for the entire council to arrive?
Alright, due to overcrowding and low efficiency, when they need an entire month to complete the most basic of council discussions, the current Public Council is as good as just decorations…
Of course, they also have tried to reduce the size of the council but taking back the authority they gave is simply too difficult. Everyone is a representative for the public, so exactly who are you going to expel? What rights do you have to expel me? Aren’t all council members of equal standing? Why must it be me who leaves and not you?
The identity of a council member can be directly linked to interests and behind them are the support of merchants. You try to kick someone out and that someone will go all out with you.
“Hey, the council needs more representative on the basic level. I think there should be a representative on the most basic level to give their own say.
When there is a large surge of housewives and fishmongers in the Council members and when the identity as a council member becomes nothing, what plotting to usurp authority and fighting for the interests of one’s family and tribe, all of it just became a laughingstock.
Now, a large portion of the council members are just dealing with small problems like whether a tax should be imposed on the products that fishermen brings here and even so, they would all fiery arguing on it. Those ‘leaders of great family’ often end up with a face full of spit from the arguments of the peasants and sometimes, they even resort of violence.
As for important meetings on the developments of the city? From half a year ago, before the meeting has even concluded, the other government organizations have already started on their work.
“What? What for you all to conclude your meeting? I’m sorry, if we don’t deal with it soon, the harvest is going to go bad/ that city wall is going to fall/ the other city is going to declare war against us.”
To add on, if they want to rewrite the constitution for the Public Council, they must seek approval for a legal organization and the right of change the legislation lies on the Supreme Court, which is under my control… Hehe, let the council continue their quarreling and arguments. There are times which I bring my tidbits and companions to the council meeting to watch them dash it out… Cough, to hear the opinions of the public.
I admit, the Public Council that embodies the will of the public is amazing but the current council can no longer achieve anything. 90% of their efforts and time are wasted in endless internal strife. The voice of influential figures? Cough cough, I’m sorry but everyone was voted up as a representative of the public. Everyone’s the same, there are no ‘influential figure’ here.
Thus, the ambitious and those seeking authority are buried in the endless sea of people.
It is not like there isn’t smart people but the system of councils is a new thing in this world while I am used to these systems. It was already too late and impossible to go back when they realize that there is something wrong with it.
“Increasing the number of seats on the Public Council and giving the council more say, isn’t that your public’s will. Why, you decided to go against the public’s will now? How are you going to explain this to the public who elected you?”
Well, they are only grind their teeth until they chip off and swallow it.
At this point in time, only those who are dumb beyond the point of saving won’t know that they have been had by me. Thus, I became known to them as the ‘Cunning Wumianzhe”The Devil-like Masked Man’. Of course, those council members, council heads and the powers backing them have never had good relations.
“Grant’s objections are within expectation. He is as ambitious as his father Bart but such a pity, at least his father still has a few shreds of intelligence while he is dumb like a pig. Does he really not know that once Adam and Margaret made up their minds, there is no one in Sulfur Mountain City that can stop them? A fool that does not know his limits, he really thinks that just because a tiger doesn’t hunt humans for three years it would become herbivorous? Hmph, what about the other dumb fool who haven’t made a stand yet?”
Suddenly, Lilith who was just talking big went mute. The entire room was silent and all eyes once again shot towards Kelvin…
This time, the honest and timid Justice Knight’s both eyes looked up, pretending as though he doesn’t exist. After a long period of time, after I realized that I have said something stupid, Lilith gave a face of resignation, bucks up her courage and finally talks.
“It’s you. That’s why we thought you wanted us to prepare to usurp authority…”
At this point, I was speechless.
“Elisa, why didn’t you tell me? Or perhaps, it is time to reduce the budget of the intelligence team.”
Following the rule that a four heavenly king must have a secret fifth personnel, my fifth heavenly king is the “Eavesdropper” in charge of the intelligence department, Elisa.
From our spiritual connection, I hear the reply of my head maid.
“I’m really apologetic, the day that the rumors broke out, you were detained by the Town Security. It wasn’t a good time for me to infiltrate in to send reports to you. Thus, I left the report on your work desk, you didn’t see it?”
Remembering how I haven’t went to work for a long time and looking at how the steady work desk made of willow wood was on the verge of breaking by the mountain of documents, I solemnly cut off the connection with that foul-mouthed maid.
Even though we were far away and that her words and filled with respect and surprise, I can already picture the sight of her gleeful expression, a blank expression but her back bent from laughter.
Closing my eyes, I sink into my chair and fall into deep thoughts. There’s no need to think about the past, what is important is the future!
The Public Council maybe unable to work up a storm, but if those complicated big families were to object together, that can cause quite a trouble. To fight those old fellows, just violence isn’t enough, that is also the reason why Adam would entrust this task to me.
A marvelous idea flashes through my mind but of course, calling it a sinister plot doesn’t make much difference… Gradually, a perfect plan is taking shape.
“Alright, listen to my proposal…”
After I gleefully finished describing my plan, they were stunned.
“This… Lord, wouldn’t that be going too far?”
“Lord Wumianzhe, although this may not be breaking the way, this… it goes against common sense? It goes against morals?”
“This old man disagrees; this idea is too crazy. If the outside world were to find out, our 4 halls 1 court will have its reputation falling to the abyss.”
“I think that it is interesting. Boss, just go ahead. Whatever you want me to do, I will accomplish it.”
Looking at the four heavenly kings of the legal system who were creating a ruckus, I laughed gleefully.
“Hehe, as a special gift before my departure, let’s make it a big one.”