Many years ago, a corrupt kingdom was nearly overthrown by a fanatically violent and incredibly charismatic rebel leader, who managed to foster a great rapport with the common folk of the empire with his populist rhetoric and eerie intensity. Naturally, the rebellion was quashed without mercy, and subsequently all but forgotten about.
Years pass, and with the coming of a new, wiser ruler comes an era of prosperity. Great strides have been made in the reduction of poverty, and peace seems the order of the day. Yet one member of the emperor's inner circle remains uneasy: An ancient monk who, when a young priest, had been asked to see the once-mighty madman before his execution, in the hopes that he would show contrition. Instead, the rebel spoke only these words, a strange smile on his face as he did so:
"They say, 'History is written by the victor.' Such naivety... no, it is the other way around."
The monk wanders through a distant border town in an impenetrable disguise, sent by the emperor to travel his lands and report back to him the success or failure of his reforms. The emperor knows that the monk is an honest man, a man who has seen much in his long life and gained much wisdom. He values his word.
As the monk passes a narrow side street, a young man emerges as if from the empty air. He has a strange, distant look on his face, a little smile tugging at his lips. The monk bids him good day.
The strangers' gazes meet.
"They say, 'History is written by the victor...'"
On the western wind, there came soft rains, and the faint smell of jasmine.