The Mandate of Heaven
Shung Yu, the warlord, marched into the throne room, the blood of his defeated rival still splattered on his torn tunic. He climbed the steps towards the ornate throne and before he sat down, turned towards the frightened courtiers waiting in the eaves.
“I Shung Yu, have defeated your emperor in open combat. The Mandate of Heaven has passed to me. I am now your emperor. My word is law.”
One of the mean looking bodyguards raised his sword over his head and shouted “Long live the emperor!”
The rest of the soldiers did the same and the attendants, concubines, and other courtiers all went to their knees in suplication.
Shung Yu then sat down and thought for a second. He looked like he made a decision and addressed the room.
“These clothes are not suitable for an emperor. Get me something nice. Something red.”
But before anything happened there was a whoosh! And a tall, thin man in silk robes stood right beside him.
“Who are you?”
“Lord Wu! Your Chancellor my Lord. I am afraid you cannot wear red today.”
The new emperor was taken aback.
“What do you mean? Answer me!”
“I’m sorry my Lord. But the Gods write with stars, the stars are read by the astrologers and the astrologers tell me that the Gods decree that you cannot wear Red on a day of the new moon.”
“Are you serious! That is madness.”
“That is the Mandate of Heaven, that is how you keep your throne.”
Shung Yu was about to do something drastic when he thought better of it and acceded to Lord Wu.
“Very well. Whatever the Gods say.”
Several hours later, the emperor, in a nice green number, was listening to the fifth delegation from the city pledging eternal loyalty when he waved the supplicants quiet and said.
“I am hungry. Fetch me some roast horse meat.”
Whoosh! Lord Wu was beside him
“My Lord! The Gods control the birds, the birds are read by the augers and the augers tell me the Gods decree you should not eat the meat of a hoofed animal before sundown. You must do so in order too…”
“Yes! Yes! I know! Keep the mandate of heaven. Very well. Is chicken acceptable?”
The sun set and Shung Yu prepared to retire for bed. His predecessor has one of the largest harems in world and he looked at the long line of beauties before him, each more beautiful than the last. His eyes passed from girl to girl until his eyes settled on.
Without looking Shung Yu swung his sword behind his back. Cutting Lord Wu in two. He looked back, seeing the chancellor’s face just as the life was going from his eyes.
“Your rules are beginning to annoy me.”
From then on Shung Yu ruled without considering the mandate from heaven, doing whatever he wanted.
He ruled long and successfully and very, very, contentedly.
Image in the Public Domain and courtesy of Wiki Commons
Written for The Light and Shade Challenge for Monday the 25th August 2014.