The Blood of Peace
First Movement, the Sixth Part: Variations
Treize cracked the door and peered inside. He saw his daughter sitting with her back to him facing her tutor. Neither occupant saw him sneaking a look as Mariemeia continued with her daily lessons.
"Now, princess, we will review the basic history of our continent. I will ask you questions and you will provide the correct answers."
"Of course. I've absorbed everything you taught me like a sponge."
"And if you would, princess, please refrain from sarcasm. It is the lowest form of humor, not suited for royalty."
The little girl nodded and looked ahead. Treize smiled gently. His little girl was a bright, entertaining person. She would make a fine leader one day.
"Tell me, princess, why is our continent called Space?"
"That's because when the settlers first came from the other continent, I think the name is Eden, all they saw was lots and lots of space. Since being creative would have expended the energy needed to build a proper civilization, they decided to call it Space."
Treize almost let out a chuckle at his daughter's interesting explanation. Although it wasn't completely correct, her story was more intriguing than the ones written in history books.
"I will ignore your sassy nature, princess. I realize you know the answer but you don't seem to care that I spend most of my time trying to teach you."
"Oh, don't get all melodramatic on me! Come on, ask me another one."
Treize heard the tutor's sigh all the way from the door. He had to sympathize. Sometimes, Mariemeia's quick mind had a tendency to make people feel inferior.
"Please try to answer this seriously, princess. How did the three kingdoms come to be?"
"Hmmm. Let me think. My country, the great empire of Oz, was created first and we owned the whole continent. We were a glorious society filled with honor, justice and wisdom. Then some people decided that our philosophy was too violent because honor and justice demand bloodshed. So they went over the Tertian mountains and formed a small kingdom in its valley. They named themselves Sanque and they became absolute pacifists. They have always been led by one of the Peacecrafts. I think their queen is Relena Peacecraft and she's a pacifist. Then there was a great civil war because the twelfth emperor of Oz went crazy over some girl and the land divided along the River of the Heroes. North became Earthian and we are Oz. That happened a long time ago."
"Very good princess. The lesson is over for today. Tomorrow, we will be studying the stars and chemistry."
Treize finally walked into the room. The poor tutor started and nearly tipped himself over bowing and Mariemeia ran into his arms. The tutor excused himself and Treize looked at his daughter who was squirming in his arms.
"Hello, Mariemeia. How did the lesson go today?"
She made a moue with her mouth and pouted. "I'm bored of them daddy. I think I know way more than the tutor sometimes."
Ah, the vanity of childhood. Treize wondered if he ever thought he knew everything. He wondered if he ever had the conceit of being a child. He could not recall those times. So he would make sure his daughter would remember being young.
"Maybe you do, Mari. But you still need to learn. Remember who you are. You're –"
"Mariemeia Kushrenada, the fifth of her name, princess of Oz, duchess of the Farther Plains, dutiful daughter to His Royal Emperor, His Excellency Treize Kushrenada, the first of his name, Ruler of the Oz Empire and Beloved of the gods. I know daddy. I've known since I was three."
So she did. But the fact that Mariemeia knew her place and her position did not make her any less a child. She was only seven. Treize wished there was a different way, but life was never easy.
"Mari, I'm here to talk to you about something very important. Sit down and let's talk."
Mariemeia obediently sat and look at her father. When he used that voice, there was something very important going on. He had never used that voice to address her before, though. She must be getting older and she felt proud of herself. Finally, her father could share the burdens of his kingdom with her.
"There will be a war soon, Mari. Do you remember what you learned about war?"
"Yes daddy. Wars are glorious things which makes us stronger. The last war, War of the Fallen, made Oz stronger. It made Earthian stronger too. You always told me that war was the will of the people to become stronger."
She was so sure, so confident. Despite his bravado and surety that he displayed before the counsel, Treize could not help but feel that this war would bring sadness to his people. But such was the nature of war. It had to be done. And it seemed his daughter understood better than he did, believed in it more. To be a child, to know everything, to question nothing. He wished to prolong his daughter's childhood as much as possible, but in six months time, his daughter would have to grow up.
"You're right, as always. You're the brightest girl in Oz."
"Of course I am, daddy. I'm a Kushrenada. We're all geniuses. Why are you asking me about war daddy? Are we going to have one?"
Innocent questions laced with age from his child. They were disturbing, but she had to know the truth in order to grow up and face the realities of ruling an empire. Treize still desperately wished to spare her the pains of losing her childhood, but what choice did he really have now?
"Yes, dear one, we are going to war. We're going to invade Sanque and then from there, conquer Earthian. I'm going to make this continent of one people again, just like it used to be."
"That's great daddy! Oz did such wonderful things when we were all one people. We were going to go back to Eden and take that over then bunch of people wanted peace. That silly emperor should have squashed the uprising instead of losing half his empire."
"Now, Mari, we don't speak ill of the dead, especially the ones related to us. I'm sure he did the best he could to keep us as one, but fate is not so nice sometimes."
Fate. Treize could almost feel her eyes on him. Fate was his one companion now, his one mistress and lover. Fate would see that Oz became one, that people learned war, appreciate the peace. Fate would justify his actions and honor the dead who were to follow. Fate would vindicate him where history would not.
"Daddy, then it should be destiny that we take over the continent again. Sanque is too peaceful and Earthian is too restless without wars. Those two countries, once we make them into Oz again, should be perfect. We would be the balance for those two."
His daughter was an absolute genius in political matters. Her young age sometimes fooled him and he was always surprised when his daughter showed such brilliance. Maybe she had grown up while he had not watched her. It was sad, but necessary. She would rule the greatest empire that he could make. And she would make it greater. It was almost certainly Fate.