If he resisted he knew well enough what would happen; the houses in the noble quarters now occupied by families from the Empire of the Mountain, the previous occupants mysteriously gone, were proof enough that speaking out against the Empire of the Mountain was not healthy
The light from the sun's beams filtered across the floor, reflecting off the particles of dust in the air that were otherwise invisible. Basir tied the front of his robe securely across his chest. He needed to look immaculate and put together. He studied himself in the mirror critically and adjusted the collar slightly before putting the broad belt around his waist and tying that in place as well. As a last addition he put on the robe of deep red silk with gold thread embroidery at the hem of the sleeves and on the collar. Another long look in the mirror. He barely recognized the man in the mirror; he was dressed faultlessly and by all rights he should have been happy. He had worked for years for this day, and finally he had finished his education and passed his final exam - with flying colours. Today was just a formality, but the culmination of everything nonetheless. Today he would receive the scroll proving he was qualified to work in the Emperor's administration. Once that had been his fondest dream and desire. Now he would finally be able to... that is... he would have been. Except there was no imperial administration to work for anymore in Sailinawasei.
The Empire of the Mountain which occupied them, would certainly employ him and if he kept his head down and ignored the pain of seeing his country reduced to what it was now, no longer able to decide for itself, he would probably make himself a nice career, being shown off as a member of Sailinawasei's noble class who had accepted the situation and made the best of it. They would use him as a puppet, showing that they did not discriminate and that Sailinawasei was better off with their new overlords.
But what was the alternative? If he resisted he knew well enough what would happen; the houses in the noble quarters now occupied by families from the Empire of the Mountain, the previous occupants mysteriously gone, were proof enough that speaking out against the Empire of the Mountain was not healthy.
And so he stood here, ready to play his part in the great circus play they all put on display.
Until... Maybe one day things could change. Maybe...
But not today. Today he had to go and bow and take his place in the show.