Story 24 - Queen of the New Law.
The two kingdoms that she told us about, appear have been local kingdoms that were separated from one another by a mountain range, possibly by the Wu Mountain range through which the Yangtze had carved one of its deep gorges. The kingdoms were referred to in the story as the kingdom of the West, and the kingdom of the East.
The kingdom of the West was ruled by a proud and cruel king, but the king was old and soon died. The successor prince was of the father's stock, but lacked the father's intelligence to rule a kingdom. People joked about the king's stupidity. However, the king had a beautiful wife, a queen who had been the king's lover long before he became a king. The queen was adored by the king for
her mental abilities that he, himself, apparently lacked. It became all too soon evident,
therefore, even to the king, that the queen was the real ruler in the kingdom,
while not a drop of royal blood flowed in her veins.
According to the legend, all of the elite and the
wise of the kingdom courted the queen far more than they courted the king, which angered the king.
Naturally, the king had the power to rule, and often overruled the queen on behalf of those who had come to him seeking certain powers of their own over the people, for a purpose that Wai-yi interpreted as their 'business gain.' Wai-yi explained that those people were the 'business' people of the kingdom, even though the concept of business had not been developed at this time to the extend as we know it today. She said that those people worked for the king at first, collecting taxes, lending out currencies, controlling the fields that the farmers could rent. They made the king's business their business and let the king have some of the royalties in exchange for their privileges. They also operated warehouses with trade concessions of their own making, and
they operated stores and bakeries, and fisheries. In short, wherever profits could be made, they were the people making them, and this, of course, with the full support of the laws of the king. In fact, the king had no options but to support them as he received his income in royalties from their ventures.
Naturally, the queen strongly opposed the demoralizing trend, especially when the profiteering became obsessive and evermore unjust. She alerted the king of the tragic fact that the people of his kingdom became rapidly reduced to slaves for the profits of others, so much so, that they could no longer develop their potentials and upgrade their skills to enrich and strengthen the whole kingdom.
So it was that during this time of mounting tensions, deeply reaching conflicts arose that the king was ill equipped to deal with. Whenever he bowed to the wishes of his queen who better understood the economic processes of the kingdom, he made himself enemies in the business community, and whenever he relented to the business pressures, his queen would stir his conscience.
Wai-yi said that one could understand that the queen's influence on the king had obviously caused no small concerns in the 'business' community that saw its status and profits endangered. In an effort to protect the source of their wealth the business leaders came upon a scheme that promised to force the king's hand.
Since the business people where also traders with far reaching
connections in other lands, they had heard about a religion in those far off lands that supported the very same corrupt ideals that they cherished, and
the best of it all, it was all done in the name of God. Hastily, they hired an ambassador of this religion and brought him before the king.
According to the legend, the ambassador that they chose was a clever man who could be trusted for a fee to support their case against the queen. And so it was, that without ever speaking a word to the king about business principles, the ambassador became the champion for their cause, the cause of business. He spoke to the king about the law of God. He presented a law that supported a rigid code for the enslavement of the people at the grass roots level, and this in the name of love,
and godliness, and honor. He told the king that a man is entitled under this law to have one wife who becomes obligated to serve him and him alone. Each man, thus becomes a king in his own right, and each
tiny kingdom so created is on the higher level obligated to serve the sovereign of the realm.