This story starts with the end of the bloody civil war that have rocked the nation. Chan and Long tried to settle the differences
The sky grew increasingly darker and scarier, everything in the vicinity succumbed to serenity and quietness. People in the kingdom were anxious; they were expecting something, something big and influential. Everyone could easily hear gushes of the cold night autumn wind. They understood the signs. They hoped for change and transition. The surrender of the royalist had been issued. People started to crawl out of their homes, shocked and traumatized, review their own deadly environment. Bombshells virtually destroyed almost 9 out of ten homes. Corpses filled the road, they ranged from small children to the elderly, but most of it came from soldiers from both sides of the civil war. They were either royalists or republicans. Cannons were left all over the city. Guns and machine guns were abandoned due to the chaos. The desperate commoners started to search for their loved ones, while some went to find some remaining scraps of food to be eaten.
In the palace, disaster had stricken the royal family. Revolutions have erupted the country. The people were extremely unhappy, they wanted a republic; they had enough of the 400 years of monarchial rule. To them, they wanted it to evolve; they wanted to experiment with a parliamentary democracy, a bold move chosen by them. The kingdom was punished by severe droughts and dangerously frequent floods over the few months. Everybody in the kingdom was suffering tremendously, prices inflated sky-high, food supplies were disrupted and many buildings were destroyed and badly damaged. Fires covered the city and the other areas like a sea of unending flames. The royal family were too slow in issuing assistance and emergency relief, everything seem bleak. They took the event as a serious indication that the royal family has lost the mandate to rule them. Assured of the evidence, they marched on without fear or cowardice. They were as firm as a log, ready to strike. Change was on the way.
Earlier on, the ceremony that celebrated the end of the deadly civil war and the surrender of the royalist took place. The leader of the revolutionist, Dr. Chan, was present to sign the declaration. On the other side, The Minister of Rites, Mr. Long was going to be there too and he represented the royalist. It took place in a small shrine in a forest. That shrine was abandoned and dilapidated, old and unstable. Still, they chose to sign it there as it represented the ancient culture and dignity of the land. Few guards from both sides filled the shrine. Assuring themselves that no fighting would take place, as experienced from previous wars that the kingdom had fought all along these years. Dr. Chan had arrived and sat on an old wooden tables filled with dust of a few hundred years old. He blew it away with his weak but audible breath, so as to clean it before placing the neatly crafted peace and surrender treaty that he had so carefully typed days ago. He had a calm nature. His hair neatly and simply combed, he wore a typical professor suit with a necktie. He was fit and tall, bespectacled, but his spectacle was old and amusing. He brought along his kettle and some cups, accompanied with some tealeaves. Anticipating that his waiting time for that man to be considerably long, he instructed some of his guards to find a well to collect some water, and boil it over fire, which they had to find a way to start it. As the night grew gradually older, the wind gushed in the house with no ending. Dr. Chan endured the cold wind with patience and positive eloquence, convincing himself that such natural occurrence is a sign for a bright and new change awaiting his team. He sat there, happy and patient. Waiting for his guest to arrive and to finish the most important business of the country—Establishing change and peace.
We know and realize that they had difficult feelings with the nation... read up how did they finish it
Soon after, the kettle boiled with great energy. The tea was ready. After collecting the kettle, Chan placed the kettle beside with two cups, one for him, the other for that guest. He began sipping it with patience and with interest. Thereafter, noises can be heard outside the entrance of the shrine. Chan smiled, he knew it was time. Mr. Long walked in with great pride. He walked slowly but gracefully, to embrace the last few moments of the monarchial atmosphere in the land before it would be erased. He was tired but ironically energetic. After reaching the table, he said to his few soldiers he brought along,
" Go outside and watch the area, try to befriend the republican guards, they are going to be our future brothers'', he muttered, pointing his hands at the entrance.
" Yes sir'', they replied with hesitancy.
He turned back and saw Chan, his former classmate in the university years before the war broke out.
Chan stood up willingly, " How are you? I'm sorry that things have to turn out as such"
He said, stretching his hand, expecting a formal handshake.
" Yes yes. A long while isn't it? I hope you have not grown too much white hair'', he said with a solemn tone. Refusing his handshake.
" Ha-ha, really? Let's have a seat first.'' Chan ordered quietly. He was disappointed that he had not met that handshake
After sipping the freshly brewed tea, the serious conversation took place. After reciting the paragraphs and protocols to the treaty to Long, he smiled calmly and accepted all the terms and conditions. Then Chan flipped to the last page of the treaty. It bore to long lines, below the first line bared Chan's name, the republicans' leader and the other Long's name, representative of the monarchy. Long then carefully took out fountain pen and placed its tip on the smooth piece of paper, thus signing his signature with skill and compassion. Then he placed the paper back to Chan. He then took out his pen, did the exact same thing but with faster speed. It was done. The era of the monarchy had come to the end, in its place had the new administration, a democratic republic.
Chan briefly close the case and started to have an informal chat. He then noticed Long stretching his hands out and putting it on his face, he was about to cry. He understood his intentions; he voluntarily stretched out his hand with a handkerchief and with a genuine sorrowful expression. Long looked up, with tears all over his face, accepted it without thanking him, and wiped his face quickly but carefully.
Chan gave a short sigh and muttered
" Look, I know how you feel, you have great pride for your kingdom, you loved the king, you loved the dignity, you loved everything about the country, but things have to change sometimes, that's history.''
" I once respected the monarchy too, but somehow, I deeply feel that it has already a place in history to us to remember, now, it is our turn to try it out. I hope you understand me." He added on. Lowering his head as a form of respect.
" Yeah, true" Long muttered softly
" I understand"
" The kingdom also has its own faults too."
" That's the fault that caused all these debacle"
Long finished, sipping some tea noisily thereafter.
" Thank you'' Chan said loudly
" Send my best regards to the family"
" Also tell them about the arrangements that I have prepared for them in the coming few days" He said with confidence.
Long nodded his head weakly and turned away, standing up. He walked away with pride again. Making his way out of the shrine. Leaving Chan feeling uneasy but satisfied. Ironically, the silent ambience of the forest and the increasingly cold evening wind made the tension worse for the two of them, especially Chan.
It was a painful but necessary episode for them.
Now that the treaty has been signed. Read on to see how Long delivers the message.
At the palace, Long returned with great disappointment, he pondered over millions of things in his busy mind. As he entered the palace compound, he saw many hurtful sights. Palace maids trying to calm the ferocious fire ,that has been eating up their granary, with buckets of cold water. Other ministers and civil servants that had been loyal to the monarchy stopped their work and started to ponder over the uncertain future. They crowded around the Hall of Peace, dropped all administrative stuff like books and files, and sat down with each other, to speak and discuss over the future. They all seem afraid and uncomfortable. Palace guards began to take away their badges, a glorious title that was bestowed by the king. They all began to act with fear and anger towards the king. Some were angry because of his inability to win the war. Some were resentful against him for his inefficiency to cope with the previous problems that had rocked the kingdom. Some felt sorry for him as he had lost everything, the national glory and identity, the prestige, the chance to make amendments, and he had lost everything. Long endured all these with faltering patience.
As he proceeded into the Hall of Gold, where the entire royal family resided, he stopped and looked down unto the green patches of fine grass. He whispered quietly to himself.
" Oh my, what and how am I going to tell him the news?''
'' He is already 84 and had high blood pressure, if I break it to him directly, I am sure he would collapsed and even lose his life!''
Long scratched his head furiously, thinking of what to do. He then thought to have a meeting with his colleagues first, deciding what is best.
After gathering the whole bunch of them, he told them to assemble in the meeting chamber. After sitting on an oak chair, he took in a deep but inaudible breath, and then he spoke.
" I thank you my friends to gather here, I know some of you have already given up on everything, but to the rest of you, I thank you on behalf of his majesty and the pride of the kingdom.''
" So yes, nothing serious today. Just wanted to get some ideas on how to break the news to his majesty in such tactful manner, that he does not get any physical setbacks. So… any ideas people?'' Long exclaimed with compassion.
The entire crowd broke into smaller discussion, turning their heads to one another to discuss, everybody was busy doing it. Long then took the chance to close his eyes as he didn't catch up his sleep for 3 days already. Then a sudden and piercing voice awoke his short nap.
" Sir, where is the prime minister and the chancellor? They are the head of the government and are directly responsible to the king? Where are they? They are supposed to join us, as ultimately, they are the ones that are going to report it to his majesty?'' Mr. Kim, the finance minister, said with increasingly worry and anxiety.
" His majesty does not know that we have initiated the surrender, he forbids it. But since you have taken the first step without his consent, we need them to back us up. So yeah where are they?''
Mr. Leng, the Judiciary minister said, crossing his arms with confusion.
" I know where they are." Muttered Dr. Sing, raising his hands up with disappointment.
Everybody stopped their discussion and tilted their heads towards Dr. Sing, dying to know the two's whereabouts. Dr. Sing then swallowed deeply and then he said, " I went to their apartment 3 hours ago. Chancellor is no longer with us, he committed suicide due to pressure and depression, and he shot himself with his pistol. " The prime minister fled to our neighboring countries to escape the humiliation and defeat that we are going through." He ended that statement with his fist clenched, anger filled his eyes.
Long gave a pat on his back. " Calm down comrade, I understand, sometimes traitors are inevitable in our lives, especially politics." " I understand that they are too scared to admit it." " Let them be, they will understand in the end"
Long said all these with little confidence.
Mr. Tong then interrupted, " So now matters are as such, you, Long, will go and tell him, after all, you are the closest to him. He said with a hypocritical smile. He was the minster of propaganda, and no wonder he was like that. Crap.
" Heh" Long muttered angrily at him. '' You seem to love picking a fight at this time eh?'' Long fired back at him. He gave me a sarcastic look and walked away. Taking away his necktie.
Long then took a deep breath. And then said
" Alright, I will go."
" Wish me all the best man, that old man isn't easy to pacify"
" No, I am a patriotic man, I will go with you man"
Dr. Sing said with confidence in Long
Long smiled and walked out the room together.
The rest of them bid them good luck and took their stuff and dispersed.
At the hall, the both of them walked into the hall slowly, they met the king, they knelt down as always, greeting them wholeheartedly and willingly.
The old man got up and said with a fatherly voice, " Rise my children, Long, my son how did the war go?'' " Dr. Sing? What do you have to report to me? Financial troubles?" He stared at us with his big blue eyes.
Long felt sad, he sounded super innocent, and he did not want to hurt his feelings. Long closed his eyes, he then ran toward the king and knelt. With small tears filling his eyes, he said with a broken and pathetic voice
" Father, forgive me, your insolent son, but I have to think of your other children, the commoners, they have the right to live, we just cannot let them die like that, that is too much father, please you have to understand me. I have opted for surrender and have successfully done so. I am sorry."
Long, said with his hands holding the old man's soft but wrinkled hand and fingers.
He turned sour and pushed his hand away. The old king then took an empty porcelain vase and smashed it on Long's head. Drops of fresh blood flowed uncontrollably from his head. Long shedded tears, not because it was painful, but because of his actions that have angered the king. Dr. Sing went to attend to Long.
Long struggled to say.
" Father, I know I deserve to be punished, but please, I did it for the rest of your children, which is your commoners, please father, let them go, let history take over and change it for the better, you have had your turn, now it is theirs"
The old man refused to listen to him. He started to kick on Long's belly continuously, he muttered angrily.
" Damn you son, how could you? How could you ever betray your father, if I had known this, I would have strangled you when you were young. You dimwit, you failure, you do not deserve to live!"
Surprisingly, Long accepted it with no resistance and with obedience, he endured the excruciating pain. Only Dr. Sing managed to stop the old man. He knelt and begged the king to let him off; after all he did serve him for a full 45 years.
The king stopped to catch his breath. And stomped away angrily, cursing Long again and again, from the room. Long fainted immediately. Dr. Sing then sent him to the hospital.
Long opened his injured eyes. He turned to his right and saw Dr. Sing washing his hands in a gold-plated basin filled with fresh hot water. Sing saw his confused eyes and expression, and remarked softly
" Morning, had a bloody night eh?''
He then took a cloth and wet it in the basin,
" You know, you could be a hero from doing that, not many cowards in our cabinet could do such a valorous things, not even me."
Sing then took the cloth and gave it to Long
" Really? I was just trying to express my feelings to him, nothing more, I did not expect him to assault me so violently, sigh… I wonder how is he doing now..''
Long said with a weak voice.
" For now, you must rest, I will take over everything and what's left of this government, there will be chaos though…" Sing remarked quietly, passing a banana to Long.
" Thanks…" Said Long, peeling the banana and chewing it slowly, that was his breakfast after 3 days.
After all that it turned out. Sing proved to be equally caring and compassionate about the people as Long. In his office filled with endless stacks of papers and files, he sorted everything out slowly and patiently, he render enough aid with the remaining resources to help the people. He went along other counties and parts of the formal kingdom to make profound speeches about the end of the war and the kingdom. He reopened the ports and increased imports form other countries. He wrote a long but convincing letter to Chan to let him ameliorate the situation first before letting him take over. Chan agreed and told him to take his time, while his own troops will do the same. Luckily, they both had a common interest and goal, to rebuild up the land and country first, before discussing about politics. The old king just stayed in his own hall, angry and resentful, he never came out anymore to meet anybody, just alone with his wife and his only son. They all stayed there, never moving.
Soon weeks passed like never before. The country began to flourish again, houses stood up again, markets sold many goods, and banks picked up their lost businesses. Soldiers from both sides continue to aid the citizens, since the police force was disintegrated long time ago.
And soon enough, Long came back after much needed recuperation, the both of them, they commanded he remaining cabinet and did their best to accomplish what they could within their ability, ultimately, they needed to hand over all these to the new government. They then send a request to meet Chan to discuss the handover of power.
Meeting at a restaurant one day, the three of them sat down quietly and enjoyed their hot steamboat dinner first, before making any discussion. The food served was quite appealing. Fish and vegetables of many kinds were served. Meat taken from freshly slaughtered cows and pigs were served quickly, they had a wonderful time cooking, eating and laughing about their own childhood. It lasted for 4 hours.
After the dinner, everybody was quite lively, full and satisfied, they started to talk about the terms of the treaty and the needs to be fulfilled for the transfer of authority.
" Thank you for making the lives of our people better, you are sure brilliant and compassionate." Remarked Chan, while gulping down red wine.
Long responded " It is a necessary duty to do so, we love and care for the people, that is our job."
" Well… look at yourselves, you don't wear the official robes of the monarchy now, it seems that you 2 are eager to watch the show of transition eh? Said Chan with great enthusiasm.
The both of them kept quiet. Adjusting their ties and pants. They felt awkward and kept quiet.
Chan then started again.
" Whatever… errs so… let us just continue with the conversation eh? Okay, I would wish to pick a date for us to take over the country officially. The people are really grateful to your efforts, but ultimately, they want us, not you to be the boss. Hope you both understand guys."
Chan then said softly
" I am not pushing too hard… just let me know, and yeah I have allocated a famous resort in the mountain to accommodate his majesty and his family, I am sure that the cool air and the lush tropical greenery would cheer them up at least. I am not a cruel man, I just wanted them to leave peacefully and to enjoy life… that's all."
Sing nodded his head slowly, Long sigh and said a soft " yes".
They left the restaurant quickly. Chan paid the entire bill.