His steps were decisive, each footstep a command, telling the ground to bear him proudly; for he did not walk on hallowed ground, but thought that his every footstep made the ground a sacred place. He lifted his feet high, placing them back down firmly, not dragging them so that dust trailed behind, but walking with the dignity of a king; no, an emperor. The violets were crushed under his heel, the ants squashed under his boot, and even the resilient grass did not spring back to life after he passed, but laid flat in defeat. He gazed straight ahead, eyes reprimanding every stone or bump in the ground, paying little attention to the new flowers of spring surrounding the path. The brown leather of his boots seemed to repel dust, denying the natural aging and decay that must come to all mortals. They made a soft thud at each step he took, a repetitive pattern that bent the very earth into submission to his will. His walk was a duty, his mind not wandering from the tedious yet honorable path he must tread. He did not plant first his toe, then tentatively follow with his heel, but planted the two onto the ground at the same time, anchoring them fully for a split second, before moving on to the next patch of dust to be conquered. A flower brushed against him, minuscule grains of its pollen clinging to his boot. He ground the offending bud into the dirt with his heel. He walked on.