A currency named after his own name, and coins stamped with his face .
Could there even be anything more narcissistic?
As Daneel heard them, he was even reminded of Ancient Rome, where coins used to carry the portraits of the present Emperor- a trend that had been started by the great Julius Caesar, himself .
However, as Daneel remembered this, he also recalled the other features of the Roman currency .
The idea behind the portrait being on the coin was to disseminate the image of the Emperor into the people, while also associating him with divinity using the added images of deities .
Of course, the latter wasn’t needed in this case, as Daneel had already displayed his powers, but he had to say that the former sounded quite good .
Knowing the importance of branding, Daneel had always strived to put his face on major events so that it would be remembered .
What better way could be there be for the same thing to happen if his face was something that would be seen by almost all citizens each and every day?
He hadn’t considered this whole thing before as it had seemed incredibly egoistic, but now, as he realized this, he began to lean toward the idea, too .
It wasn’t even just this . During ancient times, the Roman Empire had represented stability, which led even those from other Kingdoms and places to hoard Roman currency as they knew that they could trust its continued value . If the same could be accomplished here, then it would give the alliance a superior image that would make it even more enticing for people to move into it .
Seeing the King go into deep thought, the other sovereigns heaved sighs of relief as they had still been prepared to face strong resistance from their King whom they knew to be humble .
After all, although such a thing had been done by others in the past who had thought a lot about themselves, such Kingdoms often got invaded, or the currency lost its value as a King’s lifespan was finite, after all, and after he died, his successor might not want to honor him by letting his image stay .
Yet, these seven knew that this might not be the case with their King, so they had wanted this . The other reason, of course, was that they truly believed that he deserved it, and that it would go even further in uniting the people under him, which was what he wanted .
As sovereigns, they took it as their responsibility to suggest and speak about things that might not occur to Daneel, and in doing this, they were fulfilling their duty . The initial idea had come from Eloise, who had always been the most creative of the bunch, but the subsequent details had been hammered out by them all together and they had decided that they would stand together and not budge .
Hence, finally, when they saw the King nod while still in thought and then open his mouth to speak, they couldn’t help but rejoice .
Seeing the broad smiles that burst out on their faces, Daneel couldn’t help but pause and smile, too .
He was truly blessed to have such supporters who truly cared about him, and were happy for him instead of being jealous or scheming like many advisors were known to be .
“All right, I agree . As for the name…”
The answer appeared to him instantly .
“Why not use both? Dan can be a lower denomination of currency, and Nivron can be an upper one . ”
Well, that did sound great!
Almost all the sovereigns looked like they were happy about it, but Luther frowned and said, “Why not the other way round? Isn’t it better to have your first name take precedence?”
Daneel smiled again as he heard this, as he knew that there might be two reasons behind his father asking this question .
First, he motioned them all to sit, so that they could continue .
Before, they had all stood up and bunched together for a show of force .
After everyone was seated, Daneel looked at his dad and said, “Dad, Anivron is our family name, and now, it will be the name of the Royal Family . Our origins do not matter . All that matters is that I, of the Anivrons, have risen to this stage . I know that you might feel that it should not be given so much importance, but I feel that it should be, as it will henceforth be worshipped for generations . ”
Elanev spoke up, too, as Daneel said this .
“Your old man was even originally against the suggestion of ‘Nivron’ before . I guess this was the reason . ”
Indeed, Robert had had a small sentiment like this- that their family line was only lucky to have gotten someone like Daneel, and that unlike others who would honor it as it had helped them achieve a lot, it need not be done in this case as it had not helped at all in Daneel’s rise .
However, now, as he heard this, he accepted it as he knew it to be true, and felt genuinely happy .
Seeing the joy shining in his father’s eyes, Daneel could tell that it was one that came from making one’s ancestors proud .
Feeling glad that he had identified it and spoken out to solve it, he continued .
“Anyway, it is better for Dan to be the lower denomination as it will be used most by the common people, and I would rather my first name be called daily by such honest folk instead of those uptight ones who will definitely start hoarding the currency as soon as we release it . Nivron also sounds more formal, so it fits for it to be a higher currency . Dropping the beginning ‘a’ was to make it easier to pronounce repeatedly, right?”
Eloise nodded, which made Daneel say, “That’s a good idea- ‘Anivron’ is a bit too many syllables, after all . Anyway, it is decided . The exact value will be set soon, before the official announcement . Now, then . Let’s move on to other things . Kellor, how’s Aran doing?”
Frowning a bit, Kellor said, “Still in the illusion formation, My King . ”
“It’s all right, don’t worry . Some have a different kind of illusion which they need to go up against over a long time in order to overcome it . Just keep a close eye, and notify me if you see anything wrong . ”
After Kellor nodded, Faxul spoke up .
“Daneel, how are you going to sustainably do this ‘complete employment’ thing? You must already have heard of that tale of the King before who tried the same thing . ”
Faxul had heard about this in the conversations between those in the finance wing of his Kingdom, and he had eavesdropped on them to also find out the difficulties present .
The major factor would be money, and although he knew that Daneel must have a stash of Ker Gems, these could not be used as the Big 4 would start questioning him if they saw him expose such wealth .
Chuckling, Daneel said, “That King was, frankly, either an idiot, or someone who had different motives . Anyone even contemplating something like this should have thought about these problems before going forward, and if he had advisors who were at least a little bit competent, they would have told him this . So…the only other possibility is that he found out about Empire Spirits, like the Kings of Lanthanor, and tried this to raise the satisfaction level . If so…well, he might not be that much of an idiot . ”
Daneel had already thought about this, so he could give this answer . If the latter was true, then he couldn’t be blamed, as unlike Daneel who had the system which let him accurately understand just what satisfaction level was and how it worked, everyone else had to guess .
Still smiling, he answered the other question by revealing the plan he had had ever since he had started this whole thing .
“From him, though, there is a lot to be learned . For example, we know what problems to expect- large numbers of unskilled men and women who might only be a drain . True, we probably have more wealth than a few Kingdoms combined in the form of the stash of the Ker Gems I got on my trip to the Sect of Hedon, we can’t really use it . A portion can be used initially, but if we tap into it more than that, it will be a problem . So…the best thing is to do our best in that initial phase . With this in mind, I came up with a plan . ”
Eloise already had a broad, broad smile on her face as she heard this, as she already knew the plan, and loved it .
“My plan is the simplest to understand when you think about it in this way- it is very similar to a duty assigned to a common miner . ”
Seeing the looks of confusion on the faces of the sovereigns, Daneel laughed to himself and continued .
“A special miner is always assigned the job in the mine to segregate ore that is mined into 3 segments: one that is already shining, and can be sent off to sell . One where the gold or silver or whatever is being mined is partially hidden, which needs to be polished . And one where it is completely covered, in which case, even more time will need to be taken . All of them have the same value, but in the other two segments, a little work needs to be done before their value can shine .
“People are the same . Each and every person has some or the other skill they excel at, or can be trained to excel in if they have the proper motivation . If the people who come to us for jobs are of the first sort, they can directly be employed . If they are of the second or third, special institutions are being set up which will give them the training they need . Think of it as an investment . We are investing in them by teaching them . We will get it back in the form of tax when they use those skills to learn . In the end, everyone is happy . ”
As those in the room gawked at the King who was making it sound so simple, they realized that he was right .
It sounded perfect!
However, they knew that it might not be as easy .
“Of course, I expect problems to show themselves, and when they do, we will solve them . Hey, with all my sovereigns around, there is nothing I can’t do, right?”
As laughter echoed in the room, the meeting moved on to cover other topics, and an hour later, Daneel found himself having a moment of respite .
He still remembered that frown he had seen before on Kellor’s face when talking about Aran, so Daneel decided that it was high time for him to go check on the man .
With the formation surrounding him, Aran was still near the place that had been scorched and destroyed by Cassandra .
Going to him, he used a variation of the spell he had used before when Faxul had been undergoing his ‘baptism’ . Both were illusion formations, of a sort, so that spell could be adapted for use here, too .
Typically, people who were going through this process would be facing their innermost fears, which was a really personal thing that others should not view . Daneel was originally not going to do this, too, but because it had been so long, he had decided to do so anyway so that he could ensure the safety of his commander .
Closing his eyes, he activated the spell and was about to open them again, when a smell reached his nose that made him wrinkle it and frown .
Wasn’t that…the smell of charred bodies?
Opening his eyes, Daneel witnessed a sight that made him take a step back with shock .
Hundreds of bodies were lying all around him, and each one’s flesh was still sizzling from the fire that had burned them .
Above, a man stood in the air, laughing maniacally while hurling fireballs left and right .
And in front of him…was a little boy, cowering in a small hole he had made in the earth for himself .