Region: Northern Utopia


The United Corlenian Cultures of Corlenia

"The largest cultural celebration this side of Ronovod," they said. I assumed they were referring to a great meeting, but I never expected this. Streamers lined the streets in clumps and stalls set up nearly centimeters from eachother." Hundreds upon thousands of people roamed the streets of Germanium, a predominantly Old Corlenian city with glistening skyscrapers, constantly loud orchestra houses and theatres, and marble statues of old leaders and monuments commemorating military, cultural, and technological victories.
Back at the celebration, Kylo Ervis, a close cousin of Corlenian Prime Minister, Milo Marcus, was strolling down the festival street, taking a quick glance at those that walked by him, and the countless stalls he passed.
Followers of the Old Corlenian Religions, Taoists, Jews, and Christians desired to share their cultural pieces with other Corlenians. Among the things they were selling, books, paintings, wood carvings such as eagles, Komodo Dragons, religious symbols, simple shapes and engraved misc. objects were a few.
Food was also a common sight. He saw Peking duck, Latke, Sufganiyot, and baklava, among countless other dishes. One did catch his eye, however. It was a small pastry called the Castis, an Old Corlenian dish said to bring good luck and wealth to the consumers.

It is a roll of sourdough, specially kneaded to have a large empty space in the middle. During the kneading phase, meats such as beef, pork, oxen, and for special occasions, duck are placed in the center, and a few ounces of Hentovia de Sardinia cheese is spread over the meat. The mixture is then lightly seasoned with garlic salt and paprika, and black pepper is added for the final touch. The dough is pulled over the meat/cheese mixture and the roll is placed in the oven for thirty minutes. When it finally pops out, it should be the shape of a smashed ball, and the meat should be fully cooked...

In other words, a sourdough dumpling.
Walking up to the stall owner, he held up his hand in greeting and took out a few paper neekoes for the dish. He was greeted with a friendly smile and the standard greeting of old Corlenians... a wave. Although this greeting is considered Taboo in Dunova, his home Provence, Kylo continued smiling as is customary, further heightening the weird tension between the two of them.
He politely handed the stall owner his cash and escaped the situation, receiving the Castis as some form of reward for his patience and general acceptance. He inhaled the dish in under a minute, minuting the strangeness of the situation. After several more hours of walking and three more trinkets for the road, a sudden break in the crowd could be seen.
Through the blankets of people lining the road in front of him, he noticed a pattern to their movement. The front half was bent over, barely moving as not to trip and fall. With a graceful gesture of a metal hand, they suddenly got back up. It didn't take much effort to guess who was at the center of the circle they were forming. After a few polite gestures and gentle nudges, Kylo was now at the second-to-last sheet of the group.
He shed a sweat at the sight of him, his leader, in public, with no guards whatsoever. Standing next to him was the Prime Minister, clearly enjoying the adoration he and his superior were taking in from all sides, albeit neglecting those with a grimace plastered on their faces where a smile would normally be. Kaiser Omega, on the other hand, seemed to be smiling, just with a bit less grace and far more embarrassment. Despite his best efforts to remain regal and calm in this gathering, he was clearly embarrassed by the crowd, and his second-in-command's clear enjoyment of the lathering of love he was receiving.
The negative glances, the grimaces, the light curses, the pro-right slang, it all seemed to be directed at the Kaiser, while the Prime Minister received nothing more than loving stares and admiring smiles. Then again, this would make sense, considering just how... elitist the Kaiser came off, what with his tone, his hotheadedness in speeches, and his almost... excessive use of 'progressive' ideals and far-left fantasies. He was asexual, non-biological, and the first Corlenian leader to ever perceive mutants in a positive light.

The term 'mutant' was actually far more common in the age of oppression fo their species. A far larger number of peoples refer to them as just "People", but in the areas where the far-right has found traction, as well as Dunova (as always), they are always just referred to as "mutants". Despite efforts to demonize the word, convert it, or reimagine it, the word will always be remembered as a memoir of a less enlightened age, only usable by those of mutant descent or mutants themselves.

The crowd suddenly broke and scattered after a death-defyingly intense look from the Kaiser. Be it intentional or not, his look always seemed to be a bit extreme in every conceivable way. His light blue irises glinted in the sunlight, as the feeling of wind previously felt before seemed to increase in speed with every second he even glanced in Kylo's direction. Kylo was the only one who didn't leave the area immediately but Kaiser didn't seem to care. With a few quick footsteps, he was already fading away into the distance. The Prime Minister, however, seemed slow to catch up, taking a quick glance in Kylo's direction, making a quick raise of the hand, then sprinting off to join his superior. Kylo strolled again in their direction once they were clearly out of sight.

Eventually, Kylo was able to reach them, by the time he got there, the sun had already moved a centimeter to the west in the sky, and the two most important people in Corlenia were lounging on a bench. There was no regality or emotion in their posture, they both just appeared drained and exhausted. The only emotion he could pick up was the tiredness of Milo as he huffed and sweated to get over the fact he just ran a mile to reach his albeit faster leader. Kylo set down his bag of souvenirs and walked just a tad bit closer to them.
Their mouths were moving, with Milo's stammer and gasps for air after his unwanted physical exertion. He was now close enough to hear what they were saying.
"What, are you saying it'd be a bad idea to do this? It could completely reconstruct our society to a more controlled, enlightened, and overall better governmental control system." Omega commented, waiting for a response as Milo caught his breath.
"It'd all be pointless (gasp) for us to do so. Why would we even nee- ed to if we-h can stick with what we have now and embra- h- ce democratic society?"
"You mean that the idea of unanimous voting and rights doesn't sound democratic?"
"I just mean that perhaps it would be best if we let the provinces do their thing, after all, that's another pillar of free government."
"That gives me another point, how free should our nation be in order to ensure stability? After all, it would only make sense that Dunova would be the major influence in that ideal. They actually want our nation to fail and collapse."
"Why shouldn't they? They have a right to free speech and their own sovereignty as much as we do."
"They went too far this time. They made the act of waving, the consumption of pork, and the hiring of mutant workers a punishable offense! They're hurting you and your people? Why are you trying to defend them?"
"Because they're my people too."
"Not anymore. You are the Prime Minister of Corlenia. Your duties lie with the stability of our country, not the sovereignty of your homeland."
"...Then you have failed us all."
Milo got up from his side of the bench, leaving his Kaiser behind him. Kaiser Omega simply sank back further into his seat, quickly turning to Kylo's direction, forcing his gaze away.
Despite his regal status, his eyes remained unemotional, as did his next words.
"Please don't bring this up. I know he's your cousin, but you are working for Corlenia now, not Dunova... as are my loyalties towards Orbonia."
With that, the Kaiser stood up and escaped towards the fair once again.
"It'd just boil my blood again." he said before fading into a bowing crowd.