Behind them entered Tzao Yao, Field Marshal and Minister of Stability since the day that he had helped the Chidao Emperor rise on the Throne. With a remarkable speed, even the oldest of those who were present sprinted towards their seat. The room, clearly divided between four factions, paid their respect to the veteran - who was now 62 years old and held the power of the Armed Forces - by kowtowing.
Wang San, who presided the council in the absence of his father, ran towards the stage, where the chairman was normally seated in front of his colleagues and put down some more cushions. Tzao Yao walked towards the young man, made a bow, which was barely visible and - before sitting down, said: "You have grown, Wang San. It's good to see that the son of our honourable Diwang has taken the road of politics, to strengthen the Empire's administration."
Then he directed his attention to the others, while he increased the tone in his voice:
"Honourable zhu, I know I have entered this room without prior notice, but the Emperor and I have an urgent request for those among you who are well-versed in the delicate art of foreign diplomacy."
Several members started mumbling. Those within the Shanghu looked concerned. Any disturbance of trade could harm their newly-won influence within the government. Their reaction was in sharp contrast with the Gunbatsu, to whom the Field Marshal himself belonged, who seemed excited.
"We have received some troublesome news from our western intelligence officers concerning the Batavian government's attitude towards our allies, the Bassarids.
Let me describe the situation to you, as if you were unaware of this matter: after we - and the Shirerithians - embarked on our mission to grant the Batavian people a place to call home, the young kingdom has fallen prey to radical powers. Their king, a man who has shown narcissist characteristics, has sought to increase his power and wealth ever since. This, on its own would be a harmless affair, which does not concern the good and fair people of the Great Jing Empire. However, the ink on the treaty wasn't even dry, and the king his lackeys already attempted to alter it and gain Wuqi. Fake news was spread through newspapers - owned by the king and his lackeys - in a feeble attempt to rally the population against us.
Nevertheless, despite the attempts to gather hatred, they requested us to cooperate in the resettlement of our Badaweians to their own country. As if those who have served both the Heavenly Light and the Realm with dignity and loyalty are merely lifestock! One can only shrug at such requests. They even demanded access to our airspace, but without having to abide to the rules that we stipulate to all airplanes entering our territory!"
"Outrageous!" shouted a woman, while throwing her cup of tea away in anger.
"Indeed. We have watched their government becoming increasingly ignorant and aggressive: to expand their so-called lebensraum, it has entangled Amokolia into their web. They spread eastwards, attempting to gain more and more. Their king has started calling himself a 'Holy Catologian Emperor', whatever that may be. And now - on a more serious note - they dare to undermine our allies.
The king, who sees all what was once Batavian as his personal property, now seeks to gain Arcadia. When discussions with the Bassarids failed miserably, he has now taken a more aggressive approach.
Honourable zhu, I'm not here to request for war. They are not worthy such efforts, but I propose that we support our Bassarid allies by establishing an Union military base in Arcadia. This way, the trade settlement will not be financially harmed too much by the practises of the Batavian madmen."
Wang San received a motion to put forward and discuss.
"Zhu, the honourable Minister proposes that we discuss following idea:"
The Gong Suweiai, convened on this day by the wishes of the Heavenly Light, has discussed the pressing matter concerning Batavian aggression towards our Allies, and has come to the following conclusion:
1. The Tianchao Jingdao shall provide moral support for it allies within the Union, as we have done for the last 29 Norton years.
2. The Tianchao Jingdao will call upon its fellow Union States to establish a military naval base in Arcadia with the goal to host Union forces. Their mission shall, in the first place, be to combat piracy in the region and protect those ships under Union flags.
3. The Tianchao Jingdao will open a discussion with its fellow Union States to establish Union-led military bases across strategical locations, like Wuqi, to show the world our resolve in protecting what is rightfully ours.