The man fell to the floor as his adversaries plunged bitter steel into his limbs, his abdomen, his groin. Blood drenched his rich robes, glistening in dark rivulets and pooling on the marble floor.
Steel flashed and drops of crimson spattered as the crowd of men continued to stab him. The scrape of metal on bone resounded as the blades hacked, and the gasps and grunts of men engaged in killing echoed through the theater.
He flinched involuntarily as each honed edge drove into him, opening his body and spilling his life out. Eventually the conspirators backed away, knives dripping and horror irrevocably committed.
He had received over a score of wounds.
Yet only one of them was mortal.
They left him there to bleed out. And so the man died slowly, pulling his robe over his face to expire with the remaining private dignity he could muster.
Gaius Julius Caesar lay butchered on the cold marble and those murderous, regicidal senators would soon follow him in death. The Republic itself would pass away, and his nephew Octavian would assume the mantle of Augustus, the revered, the emperor.
Nothing had stopped Caesar from crossing the Rubicon with his army and entering Rome, violating the great law of the Republic and establishing himself as perpetual dictator.
He cast his lot with fate, made his own law, and entered immortality.
This is the true way of the dark world.
Nothing stops men from toppling Caesars with steel and treason, whether in the ancient days of Rome or in the modern age where dictators are put up against a wall after a drumhead court martial and summarily blown to shattered bits of gristle and bone.
Nothing stops men from rising to the state of Caesar with intrigue, alliance and war. There is no prevention, there is no prohibition, and a door unlocked and a door wide open are the same thing.
There is a single thread, infinitely thin, entangled through every story of history where brutal sovereigns rise and noble revolutionaries fight; where sadistic apparatchiks take over a people or a vivid-eyed corporal marches to the role of Leader and oversees the bureaucratic extermination of millions.
That thread is the final, chaotic reality of the dark world.
It is the truth that there is no such thing as law.
Law may cause men to investigate your death, but it will not save you in the moment of truth.
Law may spring forth grand temples and ceremony designed in its honor, but the farthest private room of the king is where real decisions are made, and the truth is that law is simply all for show.
It comes down in the end to human beings, making decisions, and shaping a new world in their image.
Conquerors have risen and marched through the ages. Tyrants have ascended as well; the story is as old as man himself and this process of insurgent, unstoppable Caesars is inherent to our species.
It is only a fool who believes that the door of the global warlord and world conqueror is locked.
Fool, I tell you today that it is not even a doorway, but a roaring highway that does not sleep.
This is the last of The Nine Laws, and it is the deadliest. It gives birth to all others.
There are no laws that hold in the end.
It is all simply the collusion of the capable, the outcome of the winner, and the survival or death of the rest.
Understand this well.
There will be a day when the entire Earth is united under a single bloody standard, and one man walks to his bedchamber as the glorious, glittering lord of the entire human race.
Every day brings it one step closer.
Do you believe he will rule with benevolence?
Do you think benevolence is the currency of rulers?
There is a grave and serious truth that all generals will concur upon, that every councilor to the king fears, and that the most vicious praetorian of the imperial bodyguard cannot deny:
One man, willing to abandon all law, and trade his life for the king… can win.
All kings know this, for it is the spinning card of chaos that enables their own hegemonic dominance over their wealth and power, position and property, as they reap it in harvest from humanity.
All things only take one man.
Never forget this.
Each excerpt from The Nine Laws is here for grave reason:
Understand that you are the point where fate explodes.
That prerogative is between you and God.
Much love, honor, and respect,