Back in the capital city of Lumorra Prince Winston is overseeing the preparations of the St. Peter Grand Church for the coronation. As he stands in the middle of the sanctuary with Sir Jamonson by his side, monks and volunteers move to and fro. Some caring plants or candle stands while others hang tapestries that hold the royal family’s emblem.
“Everything seems to be coming together nicely.”, Sir Jamonson comments. Winston smiles before responding.
“Yes it is. Soon I’ll officially be king, but I still have so much to do before and after.”, Winston replies.
“Such as your new monetary system?”, Sir Jamonson speaks as the two begin to walk.
“Yes, but that is doing well so far. With the church and lords shift complete majority of the kingdom’s gold is now controlled by the crown. Though I want to exchange the mobile caravans for something more permanent where people can store their money for safety as well as exchange and borrow.”, Winston admits.
“Sounds very interesting.”, Sir Jamonson replies thoughtfully. “I hear the people are calling the caravans money wagons. Don’t you think that will attract unwanted attention?”
“I did. That’s why each wagon has a military escort. That is also why I need to make something more permanent. A bank basically. Then those wagons wouldn’t have to carry so much money.”, Winston responds.
“Hmm.”, Sir Jamonson nods. “So what else is there?”
“First off I need to meet with the church. I need them for the next step of my plan.”, a look of surprise comes onto Sir Jamonson’s face as he and Winston reach the doors out of the sanctuary.
“What would that be?”
“Well, it will be construction projects. Specifically infrastructure, but first I need to get this tax plan finalized. I want it to be ready by the turn of the year.”, Winston says.
“Oh really. Sounds like you got your whole reign planned out.”, Sir Jamonson comments happily. Winston shrugs his shoulders.
“Maybe.”, Winston says simply. “Anyway that meeting is today and I want see what all I can do by then. I also want all available records on taxes that have been collected in the past seven years.”
“Yes sire. I will see to that. Shall we make our way back to the castle?”, Sir Jamonson replies with a respectful bow.
The meeting with the church comes at midday and to Winston’s surprise and delight the Pope himself comes. The meeting takes place in the throne room. Winston seats on his throne while another chair that is used only on this occasion is brought in freshly cleaned for the pope.
“Good day, Pope John.”, Winston greets him with a respectable bow.
“And a good day to you, King Winston.”, Pope John replies with a warm smile. He is an older man of the age of fifty. He wears long white garments with a red sash with two golden crosses on each end over his shoulders. He also wears a white tall hat that also boasted a cross in the center of it.
Winston smiles humbly at the Pope’s words. “Honorable Pope John thank you, but I’m not king quite yet.”, he replies inviting the church leader to seat down.
“Oh, you’re to modest my boy. The coronation is just a formality. Why in my eyes you are already king. You’ve certainly have already made some kingly decisions.”, Pope John tells Winston joyfully. Winston chuckles.
“Thank you. You’re support is most welcomed. May I offer you any refreshments?”
“No dear boy I am fine. Now onto this business you wanted to discuss.”, the Pope declines respectfully.
“Yes, well as you and I both know the church holds all the knowledge that is to be known so far from our past. Thus those who have given themselves to the ways of the church are arguably the most educated on various disciplines.”, Winston starts off carefully.
“Yes, I would certainly agree with that.”, the Pope answers nodding.
“Well, as a result of that I’m afraid I will need the church’s assistance in the next step of my plan.”, Winston continues. Interested Pope John becomes more attentive to Winston’s casual, but serious words.
“What would that be?”
“Infrastructure. By building up the kingdom internally I will not only provide work for my people, but I will set my kingdom up to be a prosperous one.”, Winston answers.
“That is certainly a brilliant idea. So how does the church come into your plan? It couldn’t be money now that you can produce however much you need.”, Pope John replies.
“Yes, but remember the church holds the knowledge. I need members of the church who I can put in charge of planning such projects such as irrigation or bridges. Those people will then guide the workers which will be the common person. I’m hoping this will get more families away from the lords as well.”, Winston informs the Pope.
“I see.”, Pope John responds with a hand to his chin. “I don’t see why not.”
“Good, I’m glad to hear it. That is not the only topic I have though.” Winston says calmly.
“For the new tax system I’m preparing I must bring something to your attention. A part of this system will be for everyone to pay taxes; including the church. Winston informs him. The Pope’s eyes narrow with intrigue.
“You want to take money from the church? That is...unheard of.”
“Perhaps, but it is for the good of the people. The church will need to only pay a property tax, therefore a tax for everything the church owns and its assets in this kingdom.”, a look of uncertainty comes upon the Pope’s face.
“I’m not sure.”, he says. Winston smirks understanding, but determined.
“I understand, however, think of it this way. What will it look like to the people if they see that the church, the one establishment besides the crown they look to care for them, is not willing to help. It certainly won’t look good. Not only that, but it will put pressure on the aristocrats and lords that doesn’t have to be on them. Turning away your most able and common givers.”, Winston stats slyly without taking his eyes from the Pope.
Pope John soon becomes uncomfortable under Winston’s gaze. He shifts in his comfortable chair obviously wanting to get away from the discussion.
“I suppose you are right...and this is the first time your family has asked of anything from the church after all...”, the Pope contemplates.
As he listens Winston also thinks how it was his family that got the church to be able to do what it does now or at least lead the way, but he knows mentioning that now would be overkill. He has the Pope right where he wants him.
“Very well. I agree to the taxation of the church.”, Pope John concedes.
“Thank you. Trust me it won’t be as bad as you might think.”, Winston tells him reassuringly. He turns his head to a servant nearby holding some papers and motions her over. “Now if you would just sign and seal these papers here, dear Pope. This will make the agreement legally binding.”, Winston says referring to the papers.
“Of course...”, Pope John says taking the papers and looking over them. As he signs Winston takes the opportunity to discuss one more thing.
“Lastly, I heard of the events in Ganca. Those involving the church. So the church is willing to support education now?”, at Winston’s words Pope John looks to him.
“Yes...I’m aware of that.”, he says.
“I was hoping to bring that here. I will love it if Agion’s people had access to education and I’m sure they would feel the same way. Can that be done?”, Winston brings forth to him.
“Hmm...you brought forth many topics this day.”, Pope John says somberly. Winston smiles.
“Well I wanted to make this meeting well worth its occurrence.”, Winston counters.
“Well I think the one concerning education will be easy to agree to.”, Pope John tells Winston.
“That is good, however, I want attending to be free and available to all as well as the quality. In exchange the crown will fund it.”, Winston makes known to him.
“That sounds very doable...”, Pope John agrees.