Aya clearly has her own thoughts about changing people's heart.
Was it wrong to change the people's heart? If it was, why would the world need to be enlightened? Can't they just do whatever they want? Let alone in the Western Continent, even in the Nine Regions, benevolent enlightenment was also an indispensable point for any ruler. But the spirit of chivalry influencing and enlightening people was not natural?
However, she did not intend to debate with Wang Lu—it was simply impossible to win. And even if she could win, it did not make sense.
However, Wang Lu also didn't say further. Until it came to a point, seeing would be more powerful than hearing.
This small town could not accommodate the weight of the will of the people, therefore, the next stop was Dragon City.
By choosing Dragon City, it meant that the one month journey would finally come to its last leg. Toward this, Aya simultaneously felt reluctant and a bit relieved. At the same time, she had also vaguely understood what Wang Lu was trying to do.
However, she believed that later in Dragon City, the real spirit of chivalry of Brettonia would make him understand that chivalry was not an illusion. She believed that the former member of the Knights of The Round Table Bedivere would not disappoint her.
However, after arriving in Dragon City, what she heard and saw made her felt as if she has fallen into an ice hole.
Everything seemed to be the replica of that remote small town. It was just that here, things were bigger and seemed to be more orderly on the surface. However, greedy people were still greedy, and decadent people were still decadent. The past order has been broken, and the new order has put on the chivalry cloak. However, their actions were actually not that different from that of Holy Light Religion.
In the past, the church repressed the people all over Brettonia, with their believers a cut above the others. Now it was the Knights who were a cut above the others. The political power has just been restored, but the class barriers have already vaguely taken shape. There was a distinct boundary between the civilian class and the knights class. Even the knights were also divided into different levels.
Different levels meant different benefits. The high order knights occupied the most prosperous land, have hordes of servants and monstrous power, just like an overlord.
To a certain extent, the new state of Brettonia was better than when ruled by Holy Light Religion, however, in some respects, the situation was actually rather worse. Because previously in order to consolidate power, Holy Light Religion brought the resources from other parishes, subsidizing Brettonia. However, many of the newly appointed knights simply started to exploit it.
With the replacement of the old regime with the new, the redistributions of benefits were inevitable. However, everything should be fair, equitable, and conducive to the state. In the past, while campaigning to the four corners, Aya did her best to maintain the fairness of the process. She once generously released a threatening opponent she eventually defeated, and gave him due respect. She has also severely punished her subordinates who tried to swagger, randomly plundering the defeated opponent. She has always led by example. Though she has the status of a king, she still maintained a simple life.
The spirit of chivalry enabled her to be like a spark of fire in the prairie, rapidly setting the storm all over Brettonia, and establishing an unprecedented unified rule. Although the Knight's Kingdom soon fell apart for a variety of reason, she believed that Brettonia had already found its future. At least, she and her companion who had accompanied her in the struggle should be very clear of this point.
Late at night, Aya quietly entered Bedivere's study room. Bedivere had just finished his day's work—at the same time, he was also acting as the regent of Brettonia. Surprised by that question, he immediately stood up from his desk.
Aya didn't show her figure but just coldly asked, "Why?"
She didn't say any other words, but Bedivere knew exactly where Aya's anger came from. Just then, he had ended a meeting with a well-known wealthy individual in Brettonia where he promised to give him a piece of land that was previously controlled by Holy Light Religion, along with the people on that land… Compared with the Holy Light Religion, that greedy and atrocious rich guy would only make life worse for the people on that land.
There were a lot of similar things. Bedivere was not sure how much Aya has actually seen, but he was not going to hide them.
After a long silence, Bedivere finally opened his mouth.
"Because these are necessary compromises."
"Compromises?" Aya's voice was filled with frustration and confusion. "How could it be so easy for you to say the word compromise?"
Bedivere self deprecatingly said, "Is it? A person who has been under the dreadful arrogance of the church for a hundred years is probably the best at doing compromise. If not, I would've followed after the late king over a hundred years ago."
This time, it was Aya's turn to be silent.
"The spirit of chivalry requires me to resist till the last moment, but in the end, I eventually could not bear to see all of the achievements of the late king to vanish. So I compromised, and continued to compromise. I surrendered to the opponent that I should not surrender to, fell in love with the woman that I should not fall in love with, sired a child that I should not have sired. Now, compromise seems to have already become my instinct."
Bedivere was filled with emotion. However, the next moment, in a surprising turn, he actually took a tough stance. "However, during this more than one hundred years, I also realized that compromise is an indispensable quality for the government! Without my compromise, there would be no Dragon City today, no Brettonia! Aya, you are the daughter of the Knight King, tell me, are all of my compromises wrong?"
Aya's voice was somewhat astringent. "But that was then, now…"
Bedivere shook his head. "It's the same, it's all the same. The rich man you saw just now, though oppressive and greedy, has strong influence and power. Previously, he was able to occupy the Winter Cold City without shedding any blood. His credit was really great, and what he wanted was just a small piece of land and hundreds of worker. But those are all in exchange for the life of thousands of soldiers. So, what can I do? If I unscrupulously abided by the rules, I would have sent those soldiers to sacrifice their lives. Kindness is also the basic creed of chivalry."
Aya said, "You should try to change him, persuade him."
"Human heart could not be changed." Bedivere wearily said, "Unless we use magic, turning everyone into puppets, we must acknowledge that human heart is not as good as what we think."
Aya was surprised to find out that Bedivere would actually say something similar to Wang Lu. For a time, she actually didn't know what to say.
After a long time, Aya tried once again. "That's just because we're not strong enough…"
Bedivere was emotionally stirred. "Not strong enough? Yes, I'm just an ordinary member of the Knights of the Round Table, so I'm indeed not that powerful. But isn't your father, the Knight King, strong enough? He never once compromised in his entire life, but what was the result of that? Wasn't it because he was deserted by friends and allies that the Holy Light Religion was finally able to seep in?"
"How can you talk like that!" Aya was unprecedentedly furious. "Do you want to say that all of my… our work has been to no avail?"
Bedivere took a deep look at her and then dejectedly said, "Of course it's not in vain. Without the effort of the Knight King, Brettonia would still be in a state of disunity, always fighting and bullying each other. But these are entirely two different matters."
Aya replied, "For the country to be strong, the heart of the people must first be strong. If the heart of the people is defeated, not knowing any sense of honor, greedy and never satisfied…"
However, before Aya could finish, Wang Lu has patted her shoulder.
"Enough, don't be like a hysterical liberal art hipster."
Aya glared at Wang Lu. That legendary level pressure immediately assaulted his face. However, Wang Lu actually didn't yield even an inch. "What? Do you want to wield a sword to quarrel with me? Just like what you've done to people around you?"
Aya immediately held back her anger and a deep chill covered her entire body. "No, I…"
"Come on, let's talk later."
With that, Wang Lu pushed Aya around and pulled her away.
After the two of them left, Bedivere was alone in his study room. After a long time, he deeply bent his waist on the direction where Aya left.
"Farewell, my King."
"You have made one mistake."
On the way back, Wang Lu said to Aya, "He is not your subordinate. While you're not here, in the last one hundred years, he was the pillar that supports the spirit of chivalry in Brettonia. He was the one that skillfully controlled the situation in Brettonia which allowed the leaderless country to unite from the state of division into unity in just a few months."
"And you, you are merely the daughter of the Knight King. What qualifies you to stand in front of him and scold him? Don't you understand the concept of respecting the old and cherishing the young?"
Aya didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and had nothing to say in reply. Perhaps it was just like what she said, it was really difficult for her to adapt to the change in the past one hundred years.
"Perhaps Bedivere has found his path, perhaps his approach also has his reason, but it has deviated from the spirit of chivalry."
Wang Lu said, "Of course. He is not your knight anymore, but already a ruler. And as a ruler, he is far more qualified than you. At least, from what I see in Brettonia. Although the spirit of chivalry has been distorted, but inspired by this slogan, people's heart has really come together. The country has indeed revived and will enjoy unprecedented prosperity in the near future."
"At the same time, it will also be accompanied by decadent things like never before."
"That's the norm." Wang Lu said, "People's heart has both black and white. An unpardonably heinous person also often shows his humane side. And a sage will have an unbearably bad private thought. A complex person will form a complex society, which is an objective reality and rule, like a sunrise and sunset. So don't be obsessed with cleanliness like that."
Aya thought for a long time. Her inner confusion could be clearly seen on her face. "Perhaps, that's just because I am not strong enough?"
Wang Lu simply wanted to cry because of her stupidity. "Then how strong do you need to be? In ancient legends, there were gods who walked among humans in the Western Continent, do you mean as strong as them? But I've never heard anyone of them that could enlighten all the people, making everyone ascend to immortality. Don't tell me you want to break through the legendary level and become a god, and then break through the realm of god into the holy realm, and from the holy realm, into the supreme realm, before you can return to deal with the people's heart in the human world?"
Aya was somewhat confused. "What do you mean by holy realm and supreme realm?"
"Oh, that's a piece of information that is too early to tell you… but in short, don't you find it absurd that you have to be infinitely strong to do something?"
Aya was even more confused. "Then… Was everything that I did all these years for nothing?"
"How could it be for nothing? Without you, there would be no Brettonia today, but today's Brettonia no longer needs you." Wang Lu smiled. "I know that you don't understand, so I will carefully explain it to you. Actually, the truth is very simple, it's just that previously, you wouldn't listen, but now…"
Aya earnestly asked, "Please explain it to me."