With a weary sigh the scribe set his quill down on its rest. On the parchment in front of him, the laws of the land had been carefully laid in careful and explicit detail. The pandect spelled out the proper regulation and resolution of all matters that could become up with in their society, from information on property ownership and theft, to murder and salacious crimes. It had been months in coming, with long hours spent at his desk with the roll of writing material illuminated by cheerily burning candles. His eyes ached from the effort, and a noticeable stiffness had developed in some of his fingers.
The sound of his door opening drew his attention up, one of the courtiers of the land entering his presence. He gave a brief nod to the man, before focusing his bleary eyes on him.
“Good scribe, I understand that the laws have been put on parchment, as per request of the king?”
“That is correct, sir.” The answer came with a hint of pride in the voice.
“Ah, well… on thinking on it, a number of my fellows and I believe certain clauses would chastise our business unfairly. As such, we would be prepared to offer this sack of coins for the following alterations to be made.” The courtier said, holding out the sack, and a small scroll.
The scribe carefully took both and looked over the scroll, humming to himself. “Well, these are certainly some alterations. Are you sure you wish for me to make them? Not only would they go against the King’s word, but… there are certain immoralities that the common folk may object to.” He asked of the courtier, taking a long look at the well-dressed man.
“The King is wise of the divine sort, not the earthly sort. Such matters should not trouble his gods-given mandate. As for the common folk, well, that is their lot in life. As their betters in all regards, we are allowed to take certain liberties with them.”
“I see.” The scribe mused. He leaned forwards and pushed the sack of gold back towards the man. “There shall be no need of this.”
“Why not?” The man asked with much confusion on just how someone could push away such a hefty sack like that, with no greed.
“Because it would be wrong. And I would be as guilty as you are. And the guilty?” The scribe paused after the question, fixing the courtier with an almost regretful gaze.
The twang of the concealed bow from the back of the room was soon punctuated by the solid thud of the arrowhead penetrating the chest of the first man to be convicted of bribery under the new rules.
(Author’s Note – Update was missing yesterday, sorry for that. Been one of those times when the words have been hard to put to page.)