What kind of teachings were you trying to leave behind in the yard where everyone was dying?
“Although our grandfather was well-respected by many people for his excellence in medicine, he is also someone who had to live while being cautious of the gazes on him all his life. When you think about it, it wasn’t really a smooth life. Healing others might be highly respected by some, but to others, it can become an eye-sore,”
The younger siblings weren’t able to understand what their father was trying to say but Rockefeller was different.
He might have been in the body of a 15-year-old boy but in his mind, he was a thirty-year-old man with the experience that brings.
‘Of course, from the point of view of the Church – to heal someone was to make money but if an arrogant guy who hasn’t officially learned any healing appeared and suddenly says he would heal people with less money – of course it wouldn’t be fine. If it was me, I wouldn’t have liked it,’
Hans continued his story,
“On the weekends, we always went to the parish where there was a worship service and greeted everyone without considering rank. We also paid more donations than anyone else. Even though he was respected by others, he couldn’t live a comfortable life, he was always walking on thin ice. He had lived while considering the thoughts of the church at every step.”
If his grandfather had lived without considering the church, what would have happened to their family by now?
Probably nothing good.
“But one day, your grandfather saw him. It was another weekend at the parish’s worship service when a mage suddenly came to visit. It was said that he was a very scary mage, there were no goo rumours about him. But as soon as the mage arrived, the priests who had always seemed so out of reach, began to bow from their waists like there was nothing else they could,”
Listening to the story, Rockefeller was able to guess to come extent what the teachings lefts behind by his grandfather should be.
‘I can roughly guess what this family’s heirloom is,’
Hans continued his story,
“When your grandfather saw that mage, he probably had much thought. He thought it was better to be the object of everyone’s fear, like that mage, rather than being respected. After all, that is what power is. So your grandfather desperately wanted me to study to become a mage – but just because you want it, doesn’t mean it will happen. In the first place, I didn’t have the qualities of a mage…”
He had finished telling the story and began telling him about the teaching,
“From now, listen to my words clearly, and remember them. There is no need to become someone who is respected.”
The words that followed, were words that had some backbone to them – since after all, they were the teachings of his family.
“Rather than being respected, be someone is feared. You have to be the kind of person people are afraid of. Always…”
These were the last words left by Rockefeller’s father and the Head of the Rothmedici family – Hans Rothemedici.
That evening, he quietly closed his eyes for the last time.
His funeral was held the next day, in a cemetery near the castle of the territory lord.
A day where grey rain drizzled down sluggishly.
At the funeral that was barely put together with the help of the Lord, Rockefellers’ expression was not great.
‘That’s all money too’
The funeral costs were not part of the lord’ patronage.
The coffin used at the funeral and the mourning clothes he and his siblings wore were all paid for with money borrowed from the lord and it was a debt that had to be paid back to the Lord someday.
‘But it wasn’t like we could go without a funeral’
Rockefeller quietly looked down at Hans’ coffin buried in the cold ground with a chilli expression.
It wasn’t his real father so he didn’t feel particularly upset – rather he was more worried about how to go on living from now on.
‘To begin with, it was a house without substance but this is terrible – how do I live now?’
The money borrowed from the lord to hold the funeral was also a problem but the more pressing matter was the problem of food and living right now.
‘It’s real total problem’
At that time, the words of the people around them began to enter his ear,
“Although the grandfather was a useful person – Hans, who’s buried here, wasn’t.”
It was a rather authoritative tone.
Rockefeller slowly turned his head, and there, stood a man of a sturdy physique who seemed to be in his 30s.
Chester de Montefeltro.
His name changed after incorporating The Azrak Goldmine, which had once been the territory of the Dwarven Kingdom, into the Empire.
He was now the owner of the new Montefeltro estate and the lord who had helped with this funeral.
“Going to the academy to learn to write I mean,”
His expression was almost as bad as Rockefeller. He might not have any bad feelings towards Hans but that didn’t necessarily mean he had good feelings towards him either.
It was very lord-like, the way he, without even considering Rockefeller, simply carried on stating his opinion.
“Though it was one thing if he had managed to become a mage – since that’s an official appointment,” he laughed lightly.
He was belittling someone who had already died.
“But that didn’t happen. No talent but did he think if he went to the academy he would become a mage? Then everyone in the world would be mages, it’s not that easy,”
Still, it wasn’t good to mock the dead like this so Rockefeller couldn’t help feeling bad.
‘Does he really need to say that? Doesn’t matter how much of a lord he is, he’s talking too much.’
However, it wouldn’t do to be hated by the Lord.
So Rockefeller lowered his head and the Lord’s mouth didn’t stop.
“He did something truly useless. The thing is, people need to know their place,”
Even though Rockefeller was a citizen of his territory – perhaps because he was still young, the Lord didn’t bother sugar-coating or mincing his words,
“A serf should be like a serf. If you are a commoner, behave like a commoner and nobles too should behave like nobles.”
(Please Read on http://www.taniandris.co.uk. If you’re reading this somewhere else then it has been stolen.)
He then turned his gaze to look at Rockefeller,
“You, did you learn how to write from Hans?”
Surprisingly, the Lord had blackened eyes.
Of course, as one who would become the Lord, there were plenty of opportunities for him to learn but he was absorbed with his playing and didn’t spend enough time on his studies and wasn’t smart enough to learn without paying serious attention.
Rather, it was more important to him to have a strong body so that when the Emperor called them to the battlefield he would be able to make his family name known through overwhelming strength and power.
However, the Rothmedici family were different.
Under the influence of their well-educated grandfather, Rockefeller’s father was also brilliant and because he had studied in an academy, he was not only literate but well-versed in different disciplines.
So except for their 6-year-old younger sister, all of his siblings knew how to write and read under Hans’ education.
“Yes sir, I learned from my father,”
The lord sneered. It seemed to hit a sore spot for him that a commoner had learned something he had not and so he continued his mocking,
“Going all the way to the academy just to learn to write. Still, it’s good that his children’s eyes aren’t blackened. Not that it would help you live.”
There was another reason that the Lord had not learned to read or write,
“Knowing how to read turns people into cowards. The literate ones didn’t help at all in a battlefield full of flesh and blood. Just looking at blood had their eyes rolling back and they became too busy running away. Useless to everyone.”
It was with this rationalisation that the Lord had neglected learning literacy for the past 30 years. Of course, it wasn’t just him, many nobles were illiterate for the same reason.
When he finished speaking, he lightly patted Rockefeller’s shoulder,
“You, did you understand what I said?”
Rockefeller bowed his head and answered,
“Yes sir, I understand,”
“What I’ve been trying to explain is that people need to know their place. You can’t go crazy and start acting outside of your position like Hans. That’s a mannerless person.”
After speaking, the Lord glanced at the younger siblings around Rockefeller.
In his eyes, the people of his estate were his property, however, it was difficult to call on commoners, unlike serfs. Especially because the freedom they had was secured by the taxes they paid to him, the Lord.
“Looking at it, it seems your way forward is unclear. Now stop doing presumptuous things and come under me. You can quietly plough the fields with your younger siblings. I’m sure there’s something we can find for you to do,”
What he was telling Rockefeller to do, was to abandon his commoner status and go work under him as a serf.
For Rockefeller who knew of that a serf, unlike a commoner, had no freedom, felt that despite his kind tone, there was no sweetness to the Lord’s words.
‘Even if we starve to death, becoming a serf isn’t an option. There’s a reason people say it’ll be fine as long as we are commoners.’
The common people had freedoms that serfs and slaves could not enjoy. For the sake of that freedom, Rockefeller felt that he could endure his current hunger somehow – and politely declined his offer.
“I am very grateful for your kind words, my Lord, however, my grandfather was a doctor who healed the sick and our father was one who helped the previous Lord with the knowledge he learned at the academy and oversaw various administrative tasks for the Lord’s estate. We, who have such great predecessors, cannot abandon their will and return to the field. I would be very grateful if my Lord would take this into account,”
It was an answer that didn’t match his age.
When such an unexpected answer came out, the Lord looked a little embarrassed,
‘How can a kid like him answer like that? Was the eldest son such a clever guy?’
The Lord couldn’t talk for a moment, because the things he said wasn’t wrong.
“Right, your grandfather was a doctor, and your father would serve as an officer in my estate – it wasn’t really useless … but that was possible because it was your father. Isn’t it something you should not be saying by simply moving away from having blackened eyes?”
‘Private tutoring in Korea might have been shit but where would all the learning even go?’
Rockefeller’s mouth might have itched to argue back but he decided to be careful and kept his mouth shut. He was well aware of his status right now and shouldn’t act presumptuously in front of this guy.
‘Here, this guy is the king. I can’t say anything that might piss him off,’
“Then I will try to become a person who is necessary to the Lord’s estate, can you give me a little time until then?”
Having said all that, even he, as a Lord, couldn’t force him to do whatever he wanted.
Of course, considering his position and age, he could have forced Rockefeller, but that would open him up to a lot of potential problems later on. If he fled to another territory with his siblings and lodged a complaint – anyway, dealing with people was a difficult event for the Lord.
‘What use… yes that would be better’
The Lord changed his mind. He didn’t have to force him considering that reality would probably force him to make that choice.
‘They’re on the verge of starving to death so what can this guy do? You should just come under me and quietly plough the fields,”
“You are also the head of a family, so I will respect your will. I’m still young, but I too am a somewhat decent head of my family so I couldn’t just ignore you,”
The Lord continued without pausing,
“But be sure to keep in mind that nothing in this world is free. I don’t think there are that many options for you, who is busy trying to put food in your mouth,”
The Lord glanced from Rockefeller to his younger siblings and a meaningful smile stretched his lips.
“Keep your younger siblings in mind and come to me if you change your ind. As I said, my estate always needs people to plough. Is there a need to maintain a free status while paying previous money? It won’t feed you,”
“I would like some to think about it, my lord,”
“I know, but keep in mind. For someone like you, the most important thing is the safety of a room in which you can sleep and enough food to mean you don’t go hungry. As far as I can see, that is how much your plate is meant to hold. Wanting more than that is not polite, People shouldn’t live without manners. Always stay within your means. Remember your place,”
After talking about plates and places, the Lord left as soon as the funeral ended with the Seer and servants that followed him.
In this world, a Seer was in charge of the security of the Lord and his estate – something like a bodyguard.
‘I’m going to go crazy!’
After everyone left and there was only him and his younger siblings stood around his father’s tomb, Rockefeller’s expression kept getting worse.
‘Even a commoner status is maintained by money’
The castle named Rothmedici was only available because the Lord of this place recognised it.
However, in this situation where even eating and living was vague, did they have the money to maintain a commoner status>
‘I don’t even have enough food to live right now but to even take away my freedom…’
From the beginning until now… Money was the problem.
‘How do you make money? I need a good idea…’
At that time, there was something prickling in the corner of his brain.
He was sure there was something in the novel about this…
‘Wait a second, Montefeltro manor…’
Among the huge incidents in the novel, there was one huge war that remained in his memory; The Gold Vein War.
This was where the war broke out between the dwarves trying to reclaim the land and empire that would not allow that to happen.
The former name of the Montefeltro Estate was the Azrak Goldmine.
In the past, after a huge gold vein was discovered, it was the place where the dwarves relentlessly mined gold until the vein was cut off.
To have blackened eyes is like a derogatory way of calling someone illiterate.
Also there are a lot of T/Ns at the end of the prologue that might help understanding things, I won’t be repeating T/Ns so please make sure you check it out.
If there is anything you don’t understand, let me know!