The aging emperor awoke from his haunting dream realizing a decision had to be made. He soon must choose his successor, and that was an impossible decision. Of his four children, his daughter was the best, but a female could not ascend to the main throne. The empress’s smaller throne was merely symbolic, a deference to the fact she had given birth to a future emperor.
As to his three sons, well, again, his daughter was the best of the lot. A year ago he had decided to challenge his sons and sent each on a separate mission. The results would determine which one was most worthy, as the line of succession was not automatic unless the emperor died before making his choice known.
This story is the climax of the agonizing decision the emperor had to make and reveals his final choice.
Word for Today: Vitiate — Peter’s arrest on fraud charges vitiated all the praise he had received for the charitable good deeds he supposedly performed.