Mashka Pere was a powerful ruler of Rudvisia Province. Pere was an old distinguished family to begin with, but their rise to power came with Mashka's father.
Mashka's father was strong in battlefields, passionate at treating his allies, a man of his word, and caring for his people. His fame spread far and wide, bandits disappeared from Rudvisia, and neighboring lords unanimously sought to be under his rule.
As his old body was nearing its end, he gathered his vassals around and left a will wishing for his clan's prosperity even after death. It mostly involved successors to his vassals and a bit about fortune for Pere house, but there was one curious subject matter by the end.
It was about his concubine, Tanida.
Concubine here was nothing more than a title, he never once called Tanida to accompany him for a night. Mashka's father was worried about the future of this young girl who had been gallantly tending to his old decrepit body.
"Marry off Tanida to an appropriate house after my death. Put just enough dowry to ensure their livelihood."
At the time, there was a custom to put the favorite concubine of a ruler in his grave. He expressly announced to public to not let Tanida die with him.
Then two years passed.
Mashka's father was finally on his death bed. But before his passing, he called for an assembly of clan elders and put out a new will.
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"Put Tanida in my grave."
Mashka and the clan elders respectfully accepted it. Three days later, his father passed away.
Mashka held a funeral rite for his father but he didn't let Tanida go in the grave. And once the mourning period was over, he quickly let Tanida remarry.
The clan elders lodged a complaint to Mashka who trampled over his father's will.
The noble society at the time regarded one's father's will as absolute, thus the will of a ruler was absolute to the whole clan. Violating the will of a father that's also a clan head could lead to not only disinheritance but even execution.
Mashka was given a chance to speak his excuse in the presence of clan elders.
"My father was a man of utmost benevolence, a man who never put his wants over others. He did not monopolize gains and shared with his relatives and subordinates, never was one person let to suffer alone. Many authorities yearned for father's virtue, and served under him. And that was how father came to hold the biggest power in this region."
"Father left a will two years ago. To let Tanida marry off to someone right for her, and to give enough dowry for her livelihood. I am in of the belief. That this is the true will of my father. This thoughtfulness is my father's, this benevolence is my father's. And yet three days before his death, father called clan elders and left a different will. To put Tanida in his grave."
"Which of these two wills came from my father. Which truly came from my father's heart. Which of the two wills is the right path. Of course, if we go by natural order of things, the later overwrites the former. It is the obvious thing. However, I believe there are also time when the obvious may not be the right thing."
"Oh elders. I would like you to recall. My father's life. How he lived his life. Was father a man who would be content taking a young girl like Tanida to death. Was my father a man who would do that."
"After living heroically for 62 years, for most of his life, in the last three days of that life, father, in his debilitated state of mind due to the illness gnawing on him, would undo his benevolent choice and instead tell the kind Tanida follow him to his grave. I swore to uphold father's will. And father, after hearing my vow, had departed on a trip to underworld in peace of mind."
"As father had left this world in peace, there is now no more need for Tanida to follow. Except for his last three days, I don't believe father had ever borne the intention to make Tanida follow him. Between his 62 years, and his three days, which of those is my true father. Should we erase the 62 year legacy my father built and replace it with the weakness of heart that befell him on his last three days?"
"Please think about it, o elders. What would people say if we made Tanida commit suicide. Surely they would talk about how father's old age loneliness prompted him to cut off a bright future of a young girl. That kind of man was absolutely not my father. Is it not my duty as his child to fight against the notion of lowering my father to such a man. I have made my resolution. Not to uphold the will from the last three days of his life, mind weakened by the approaching death, but the will my father, in his right of mind, left two years ago, to follow the path that will not shame my father as his child."
Mashka was unanimously forgiven and given the leadership role.
Afterward, Pere flourished greatly.
There are two continuations to this story.
Five years after the death of his father, Mashka was betrayed by his chief vassal, and cornered into a hopeless situation. But then a lone Carrion King (Nuruel) suddenly showed up in the battlefield and routed the hostile army, getting Mashka out of his predicament.
Several soldiers who were present in that battlefield testified something weird. The clothes on that Carrion King was the same clothes Tanida sent to her late father.
Tanida's father was alive when Mashka let Tanida remarry off, he was thankful to tears for Mashka's discretion, but not long after that, he passed away due to an illness.
People believed in the rumor that Tanida's father must have been revived as a Carrion King to repay his debt by saving Mashka.
The other continuation is a good example on how fate works in mysterious ways.
Tanida had four sons in her second marriage. The fourth son grew to be a hero who put an end to the endless turmoil in the central plain and went on to found Zaka Kingdom.
That hero never forgot about the man who saved his mother. Mashka was made a marquis, and would be treated warmly.
House of Pere was given a new name.
The highest ranking and the most authoritative noble in Zaka Kingdom even to present day.