With bagel crumbs on his lower lip, Emperor Don finally spoke. “I’m ready for my audience with you.”
“Great,” said Clement. “I asked you earlier if you’re really an emperor.”
“Yes, of course.”
“Emperor of what?” asked Clement.
“My official title is King Regent of New Fort Garry. I’m called Emperor as a matter of simplicity.”
Clement scowled. “How did you get that? We’re a democracy, so is there an election or something?”
Emperor Don shook his head. “My good man. You don’t vote for a King.”
“Then how did you become one?”
Emperor Don laughed. When he did his whole face filled with joy. “I suppose you expect me to weave a tale about how some watery tart in a lake hurled a sword at me.”
Clement blushed. “Kinda, yeah.”
“Sadly, the truth is far less dramatic.”
Clement took a sip of coffee. “I’ve got time to hear it, and you promised if I bought you a bagel.”
“So I did,” said Emperor Don, thoughtfully.
There was a long pause. Clement realized he was literally sitting on the edge of his seat.
“Unfortunately, when it comes to that authority, it’s complicated,” said Emperor Don.
“That doesn’t make sense.”
Emperor Don sat back contemplatively. “Most of the time authority is established at the point of a sword, but it’s temporary. Genuine, lasting authority is far more enigmatic.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means,” said Emperor Don with a sly smile, “You’ve asked a question I’m not qualified to answer.”