The Blood of Peace
It had been too long since the last war. So long that people seemed to have forgotten what war was. The fields were green, the forests went on forever, and once in a while, a solitary figure would walk on the battlements of the castle. Today, that figure paused on its silent walk across the tallest tower of the castle to look out onto the rising sun. The yellow and the orange glinted off the figure's white cape, shimmering into a thousand incandescent colors. The air was crisp, to contrast the warmth of the sun and the reflecting cape, and the breath misted around the figure's mouth.
The unexpected voice, uttered formally and quietly, nevertheless shattered the moment of solitude. The figure twitched slightly in annoyance before turning to the shadow which spoke.
"Ah, yes. I know, it is time for my morning conferences. I will make my entrance soon."
The tone clearly implied dismissal, yet the shadow lingered. The figure turned and stared, practically shooting sparks from blue eyes.
"I said I will be right there. You are dismissed."
The shadow, after hesitating a moment, shifted away. The figure rolled his eyes and ruefully made his way down the stairs to a large room filled with chairs and tables. He entered the room with an air of supreme confidence and charisma, and made a pronouncement to his advisors that rocked the peace of the sunrise and the green lands surrounding the castle.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I do believe it is time for another war to ravage the lands. People have forgotten the horrors of war and have become soft and complacent. This cannot be allowed to continue. For the good of the kingdom of Oz, we must once again battle our brothers and spill their blood."
Silence reigned only briefly before all the advisors started to speak at once. Nothing was understood until a gently raised hand stopped the melee of words.
"One at a time. After all, even I have my limitations. Now, I will hear from Lady Une first. Lady, will you speak?"
A tall woman stood from her chair. Her hair was parted down the middle and braided into neat buns. She spoke precisely, moved sparingly. Her voice echoed like ice and her eyes flashed blue shards.
"Treize sama, I support you in all your ideals and initiatives. However, on this matter of war, I must question your sanity. We are at peace and we are prospering. The remaining vestiges of the last war has finally been wiped clean from the landscape. What possessed you to think of war?"
Treize rubbed his white cape between his fingers gently while the Lady spoke. He trusted her, loved her even. Yet, he could not allow her to cloud his vision.
"Lady, look at our kingdom of Oz. Yes, it is quite beautiful and the people are living well. But think on this – the land only prospers because the people remember the horrors of war. Once that is forgotten, all we achieve in the future will seem trite and pointless. To preserve peace, war must happen. You know this, my dear Lady. I did not decide this lightly. It is a necessary step in the future happiness of this kingdom. I refuse to hand my daughter a kingdom plagued with soft and rotting peace. I will give to her a kingdom forged in steel, a strong nation which knows both war and peace and the price of them both."
Ah. Lady Une thought quietly to herself as she sat down. Mariemeia. The princess. Of course Treize-sama would think of her on this day. She should have noted the pensiveness on the battlements earlier this morning.
As soon as Lady Une sat, another voice piped up to fill the gap in the discussion. This time, it was Duke Dermeil and he did not bother to wait for Treize's signal before he rang out with his piece of thought.
"Treize-sama. I have known you since you were prince consort to your sister. I agree with you on the war. I only have to ask, who are we to wage war against?"
Treize closed his eyes and internally sighed. He could not regret his decision. The war would bring Oz back to its former glory, its people to the forefront of the future. It would make his daughter a leader of a proud country filled with strong people. The war would answer all his prayers. With stony determination, Treize opened his eyes, the usual gentle blue shining with his will, and he pronounced his enemy.
"We will attack Sanque in six months. Prepare yourselves for honor and glory."