Chapter 167: Hope of the Future (4)

After a long discussion, Queen Leila had finally told Milton this:

[I have never heard of anyone who would have thought that, dear, but it makes sense. It might be better to go with the trends rather than to try and block it.]

She had said yes to Milton's idea. Crisis and opportunity were like two sides of the same coin. Milton was planning to take this crisis and turn it into an opportunity that he thought would make a big difference to the country. He had made preparations for it and now, stood in front of the mob.

Milton strengthened his voice and spoke to the crowd.

“Because of Republicanism, you won’t accept the kingdom. Is that it?”

“That’s right! We will not give up until the day we build a paradise with Republicanism.”

“We will never yield to the oppressor’s persecution!”

“Leave us!”

It didn’t matter whether Milton and Queen Leila were fair and capable monarchs. Republicanism did not recognize monarchs. The basic concept advocated by republicans in this world was that all humans are equal. And so, even if Milton tried to use his authority as a monarch to persuade them, lines would just continuously be drawn. But, Milton twisted that line.

“What you’re saying makes sense.”

“Oppressors should…what?”

“What did he just say?”

The people in the crowd opened their eyes wide and looked at Milton; they couldn’t believe what he had just said. Milton continued to drive the wedge in further as he spoke.

“By nature, humans are equal. It is an antiquated way of thinking to determine a person’s superiority based on status and class.”

The impact of Milton’s words was enormous. The monarch of a country… The person at the very top of the social hierarchy had just denied the class system.

***

“Damn it…”

In a shadowed part of the forest, there was a man who stood watching the crowd. That man was David. He had plotted all this from behind the scenes. But now, he was biting his fingernails as his face distorted. 

“What the hell is he doing? Just shut up and fight. Hurry up and bite each other like dogs, kill and be killed.”

What the hell was this? He had made and executed the perfect plan. Although Duke Palan had made several attempts in the middle, that kind of rebellion had been nothing for David. He had skillfully angered people and caused 100,000, no, close to 200,000 people to get together and become a mob. 

But just one person. They could not go against just one single person, Milton Forrest. It was just Milton himself, he hadn’t brought any soldiers with him, but no one could overlook or underestimate him. From the beginning to the end, the crowd was completely enthralled by him and had been swaying and wavering. 

This was unacceptable. David had installed more than enough hatred and malice into the crowd that they should be overflowing with it. And yet, that crowd had been shaken by one person’s speech? This could not be accepted. If it continued like this, all of David’s plans would fail.

In the meantime, Milton had been speaking about denying the status system. The moment Milton talked about that, David clenched his fist. 

‘That fool, it’ll just bite him in the ass.’ 

Perhaps that was a decision that Milton had made on the spot in order to persuade the angry crowd. But how could a person who was at the top of the kingdom deny the social system? Such a lie would never be accepted by the angry crowd. That kind of person would never be trusted.

‘Foolish bastard. It’s all over for you now.’

David was convinced of Milton’s demise.

***

The crowd had been momentarily persuaded by Milton’s words, but then, someone spoke up.

“I don’t believe it.”

“That’s right. Those are just words, how are we supposed to believe empty words?”

“Aren’t you the one who destroyed our Republic?”

The anger of the crowd threatened to overwhelm Milton. However, Milton was strangely calm.

‘Can I invoke even a tenth of the sincerity of that legend?’

He had prepared and practiced in advance, but when he thought about it now, it had all been useless. Their beliefs were too strong to persuade them with thin lies. In order to reach the hearts of such people, Milton had to speak the words with sincerity rather than a grand and imposing speech. That’s why Milton had come here with the decision to recreate ‘that legend.’

Milton spoke to the furious crowd.

“I am not in favor of Republicanism. I know that the utopia that the Republic has been advocating is an illusion that cannot be reached.”

“That’s a lie.”

“Don’t insult our beliefs!”

The mob started to get angry, but Milton spoke before they could erupt. 

“I’m not lying. If the Republic was the perfect utopia, then why were you ragged and poor under the Republican flag?”

A few people shut their mouths at his questions. Particularly, those who realized that their lives were better than it was when they had lived as a Republican could not respond. Was the Republic a perfect and equal country? Was everyone able to live in peace without feeling hungry? No.  Because they had lived within the Republic, they knew better than anyone else. Because the Republic put the military first, the people always had had to pay excessive taxes. And even though the Republic had said that humans were all equal, those in important positions within the Republic had the same power as a noble.

They had already known that the Republic wasn’t a perfect country. They knew all this, but it was better for them to be drunk on the utopia of an equal world that the Republic spoke of, rather than for them to be subjected to the irrational oppression of the kingdom. It would only have an adverse reaction to ask such people to be loyal to the kingdom. What Milton was planning on suggesting was a completely different future.

“The status system has been maintained in this world for a long time, but it is too archaic now. Republicanism is only showing you a perfect utopia. It is a fantasy world that will never be obtained by actual humans. Neither is right for the current times.”

Milton continued to talk.

“The future I hope for this country is one where all the citizens have the right to participate in state affairs.”

The people murmured loudly at his words.

“What does that mean?”

“The people participate in state affairs? Does that even make sense?”

“Isn’t that also a utopia?”

Milton shook his head at that question.

“It’s still just a vague idea.”

That was a lie. It went beyond vague ideas. In Milton’s head were a lot of defined ideas and plans. After all, hadn’t he come from such a country, no, from such a world like that?

“To give a few examples, I want to create a parliament that determines the important policies of the country, and the people in the parliament will be elected by voters. In other words, the people will choose their own leaders.”

The people stirred at those words.

“What do you mean we will personally pick the leaders?”

“Is that possible?”

The people were unsettled, but Milton continued to talk.

“We will create government offices that will administer and enforce laws and select people with specialized knowledge in that field. In order to select such talented people, we will take tests that will not discriminate based on status or class.”

It was very pleasant for the crowd to hear that tests without will be administered to recruit people without discrimination.

“Alongside that, there will be government offices that will maintain national defense and public peace, as well as economy, civil engineering, taxes, and so on. By dividing into various fields and selecting talented people for each field, we intend to create a world where anyone, regardless of status can rise to key positions within the country as long as they have the ability. I plan to call it a democracy.” 

For the first time, the word democracy came out of Milton’s mouth. He had been thinking about it for a while, but he hadn’t the courage to talk about it. He was well aware of the kind of impact the idea of democracy would have on this world. Democracy was an unconventional idea that could rain more blood on this world than republicanism. Democracy had been the strongest national foundation in the world Milton had lived in. However, this had not happened easily. That same democracy had been created out of the struggles and blood of countless people. 

It had taken more courage than expected to say such a thing like democracy knowing very well what it would require. But, no matter how much Milton had thought about it, democracy was needed to calm the chaotic world and find balance within his country. 

He knew very well that there were flaws with a democracy. Hadn’t Milton himself died from overworking after living in an indefinitely competitive society in the previous life? But even so, Milton had memories of a world far more advanced than this one and as far as he knew, democracy was the best system.

Monarchism was, by nature, a gamble. The rise and fall of a country were largely influenced by the disposition of a monarch. Republicanism was too ideal. What they called an equal world was virtually impossible to create. By shouting that the impossible was possible, the Republic was only inciting and harming the public.

In the end, Milton had decided to pull out the democracy card. However, even after making that decision, Milton had been struggling, trying to decide when and how he would pull out that card… And so, he had taken the current crisis as an opportunity and pulled it out.

The crowd whispered as they listened to him before one of them spoke up.

“What do you gain by doing this? Aren’t you just saying empty words and lying to us?”

The surrounding people nodded as if it sounded reasonable. However, Milton spoke to everyone around him.

“What I gain would be the world that I dream of.”

“Dream?”

“What do you…”

The people were confused. For the people of this world, a dream was just something that occurred during their sleep. But for Milton, a dream was a future that he hoped for, it was a wish, it was something that he hoped to achieve. Even knowing that there was a difference in definition, Milton had used the word ‘dream’ in order to reproduce a legend. A legend that everyone knew on Earth. He had used the word ‘dream’ in order to borrow a bit of that legend.

That legend was…

“Everyone, I have a dream.”

I have a dream.

It was one of the greatest speeches in Earth’s history. Personally, Milton didn’t think he was a notable person. However, it was still possible for him to borrow the words of a great man from a different world. In his previous life, Milton had watched the video of the speech over and over and had been impressed each time. He hoped he would be able to convey just a hundredth of the emotions he had received when he watched that video. 

“I have a dream. It is a dream that there will be a world where we all truly accept the truth that all humans are born equal.”

The crowd became noisy. The weight of the words was too much to just say it was empty words. 

“I have a dream. It is a dream that one day, the children of nobles and the children of commoners will sit around a table together and be friends.”

Their hearts were beating. Why the hell was it beating? They didn’t know the reason but Milton’s words had power. Not only the listeners, but Milton himself seemed to be drunk on the power of his words as he walked into the crowd. The crowd had stepped out of the way each time Milton stepped forward, but soon, Milton’s path of retreat disappeared. Originally, Milton had thought to ride Leonard and retreat at any time if things became out of control, but he had blocked off his own path of retreat and entered the crowd. In the midst of the people, he continued to cause great waves.

“I have a dream. It is a dream where the people of the Republic and the people of the Kingdom can face each other with wine glasses instead of swords.”

Tears flowed down Milton’s eyes. This was definitely an act. No, Milton had come here intending to put on an act. Originally he had felt a bit guilty for copying such a great speech and he had wondered whether he could do it justice. But as he spoke, Milton realized he was hoping for it to become real. Without realizing it, he had begun speaking from his heart.

“I have a dream. It is a dream that someday, a day will come where our children can live freely in a world in which they are evaluated not by their blood or status, but by their personality.”

He raised his voice.

“This is my hope. We must dream and strive for that belief together. With this conviction, we will be able to cut down the mountain of despair and create a stone of hope. We must work together, pray together and fight together for our united beliefs.”

The moment Milton said this…

Clap…clap clap…

Who started it? Once one person started it, two people, ten people, then 100 people applauded. It became a great ripple and soon, everyone had started clapping and weeping. The crowd that had been full of anger and malice was moved and delighted by Milton’s speech. 

Previous Chapter Next Chapter