In the early afternoon, the sky was devoid of clouds, the wind didn’t blow and the sun made its presence known. In these smoldering conditions, everyone sought shade. So atypically, for that time of day, the youngest prince sat for lessons with his tutor inside the study of the Obsidian Palace.
The youngest prince didn’t focus on his lessons, while instead appearing quite disheartened. Noticing his dispiritedness, the tutor asked, “What’s troubling you?”
The prince answered, “My brothers get to fight upon the battlefield, conquering lands and earning heaps of wealth and prestige. All the while, I must hang around this palace reading dull literature every day. But I wish to do as they do.”
The tutor, with consideration, responded:
“There once was a mountain king who sought happiness through acquiring wealth. So he ordered his labourers to continually mine the mountain for gold and silver. Despite receiving scores of ores, the mountain king was still unhappy, desiring more. So he ordered his warriors to raid the neighbouring villages. These raids yielded even more gold and silver for the king. Yet, no matter how much gold or silver the mountain king was presented with, he never became happy.
“In time the mountain king passed away, and his crown was passed onto his son, the warrior king. So it came to be that there was a warrior king who sought happiness through conquest.
This warrior king told himself, ‘Once I conquer the neighbouring villages, I shall have all the happiness I need.’ And so he conquered the neighbouring villages, yet he still wasn’t happy.
He then began to tell himself, ‘Once I conquer all the land around the great sea, I shall have all the happiness I need.’ And so he conquered all the lands around the great sea, yet he was still unhappy.
This dissatisfaction kept the warrior king stirring and questioning himself. He began to nervously stroll at night. During one nighttime stroll, he saw a man lying naked, upon a grass field. The naked man appeared battered by nature, yet he kept a large smile that gleamed brighter than the stars above.
The warrior king approached this naked man and asked, ‘You seem to have nothing, how are you happy?’
Almost knowingly, the naked man answered, ‘Because I have no need to conquer. One will never be able to conquer all of the stars, yet many still try. And as one tries to conquer the stars, one forgets how beautiful their light already is.’”
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