‘Wasn’t another large gold vein found in this place where they thought all the gold veins were cut off? I definitely remember that.’
The territory of the Dwarven Kingdom was naturally incorporated into the Empire due to the withdrawal of the dwarves who were unable to mine any more gold.
However, another gold vein was suddenly discovered after that – and that too, was the largest gold vein in the continent.
‘I’m the only one who knows this. There is no way anyone else knows except me. After all, it’s long before the gold vein was even discovered.’
While Rockefeller was deep in thought, the third brother, Joshua, who had been quiet until now began to weep,
“Hyung, what do we do now? Are we really going to be ploughing the fields like the Lord said?” He asked,
Commoners didn’t usually plough. Ploughing the fields was the job of serfs who were lower than commoners on the social hierarchy.
“You idiot! Why would we plough the fields?! That’s what serfs do and we’re commoners!” When the third child sobbed, the second child, Andrew Rothmedici who was next to him, shouted in anger.
For Andrew, going from being a commoner to a serf was a truly horrible premise.
“I’m never going to go to the fields! Why would we become serfs!? Why would commoners plough the fields!”
“Then what do we do? You heard what the Lord said earlier, if we don’t plough the fields how would we live. We’ll starve to death…”
Joshua, for some reason, seemed to compromise with reality far more readily for some reason. Since the only other option would be to starve, he seemed ready to throw away his status and go to cultivate the fields.
However, for Andrew, his status was more important and he would never tolerate throwing it away. He hastily turned to his older brother and said,
“Rockefeller hyung, we’re not going to the fields right? Isn’t that right?”
Among the kids of his own age, he was a child who ruled the alleyways but even he couldn’t ignore Rockefeller’s decision as the head of the family.
No matter how much he might hate it, if his eldest brother, Rockefeller asked him to do it, he would have to follow.
When his second brother’s earnest gaze started to become desperate, Rockefeller, who had finally made up his mind, slowly began to open his mouth.
“As Joshua said, if we don’t go under the Lord right away, it will be difficult for us to eat and survive. However, if we worry about starving to death now and go under the Lord, we might be happy for the time being but the problem will come after that,”
Rockefeller looked at his younger siblings and asked,
“You guys have dreams right?”
At that question, everyone except his younger sister slowly nodded their heads,
“If you go under the Lord right now, that dream will never come true. The Lord wouldn’t allow it.”
The freedom to pursue what you want to do.
It was commoners who had that freedom, and serfs who didn’t.
“And besides, you guys don’t want to spend the rest of your lives ploughing the fields right?”
At those words, Andrew came back to life and with fire in his eyes, added,
“You guys heard it too! Rockefeller hyung is right! Living as a serf means chasing after the Lord for the rest of your life, that’s not living! It’s just being a nameless slave!”
It wasn’t like Joshua didn’t agree with that, so he didn’t argue strongly, but the problem right now was the hunger in their stomachs,
“So what do we do then? How do we eat and live…”
No matter what you did, there were taxes to pay and everything was under the jurisdiction of the Lord.
In circumstances like that, it was difficult for children who had no practical skills to suddenly be able to make money.
“That…” Unable to answer his brother’s question, Andrew trailed off. Rockefeller who had been calmly watching the scene stepped forwards,
“We’ll find a way to make money somehow, so for now, lets not give up easily,”
Just then, their sister, who could not stand her hungry stomach, began to cry again.
The fourth, Leo Rothmedici, who was barely holding onto his flailing younger sister said,
“Hyung, Lucia must be hungry, since yesterday she kept crying,”
It wasn’t just the younger sister who was hungry.
Rockefeller had also starved for several days and the third and fourth were also in the same boat – the only one who’d had something to eat recently was the second child, Andrew, who had probably filled his stomach while wandering around outside somehow.
‘Ah, I’m going crazy,’
How did it get to this point?
Though he couldn’t think of a reason but, if this hunger could not be solved then there was no next thing.
Looking at the faces of his hungry younger siblings, Rockefeller felt many complicated emotions, even as he opened his mouth to speak,
“I got a little money from the Lord for this funeral, I haven’t used all of it and left a little bit so lets try solving it with that today,”
Except for the crying youngest, the rest of his siblings looked up at Rockefeller with hopeful gazes,
(Please Read on http://www.taniandris.co.uk. If you’re reading this somewhere else then it has been stolen.)
“Then are we going to eat today?”
“Rockefeller hyung is the best!”
The younger siblings felt better in an instant and began to chatter but Rockefeller still felt anxious.
‘Right now, that money can solve our issues for a few days, but the problem is after that…’
If his plans were not possible or even failed then Rockefeller was even considering the worst case scenario of having to go work under the Lord.
‘If I fail there’s nothing we can do. Even if we don’t like it we’d have no choice but to go to the fields. It’s not like we can starve to death trying to keep our status,’
After returning home from the funeral, Rockefeller went out to the market to buy some vegetables for a light soup and a snack.
Memories were still flowing in from time to time so it wasn’t difficult to prepare a simple meal for his siblings in a somewhat familiar world. Before he came to possess the body, Rockefeller taking care of his younger siblings was a regular occurrence after all.
“It’s so tasty!”
“Hey, eat less! Elder Hyung needs to eat too!”
“Rockefeller hyung, aren’t you going to eat?”
(Please Read on http://www.taniandris.co.uk. If you’re reading this somewhere else then it has been stolen.)
Since it was their first meal in a while, the younger siblings ate up even the tasteless food Rockefeller made for them with gusto.
Even their youngest, who had only cried so far, was filling her empty stomach using both hands.
Strangely, Rockefeller, who had been dying to eat, didn’t have an appetite.
‘It doesn’t make sense…’
Right now, for Rockefeller, more important than his appetite was the responsibility that came with being the Head of a family and making sure these young ones could live.
‘It’s not like I can just say I don’t know them,’
It was a situation where it wouldn’t have been strange to treat them as one would strangers, however, he wasn’t so ignorant and cruel as to dismiss these young things who followed him around and called him brother.
‘I never liked responsibility so I didn’t even raise a dog..’
He had never raised any pets before, but couldn’t just throw out his younger siblings that he had accidentally become entangled with so he soon decided to make up his mind.
He called himself their elder brother, and now he had to take responsibility for these little things that followed him.
‘But it can’t just be me. As much as I am resolved – these kids need to be resolved towards something as well’
As the thoughts became clearer, he looked to the siblings that had just finished filling their bellies and were finally able to roll around and rest on full stomachs and said,
“Hyung has something to say, like dad, too,”
Since their eldest brother had something to say, his younger siblings began to look up at him with bright sparkling eyes,
“What’s going on, hyung?”
“Rockefeller hyung, is it something important?”
Rockefeller, who had just said he had something to say, stepped outside for a moment and came back with a few easily obtained tree branches.
Rockefeller handed each sibling a branch, one by one, then said,
“Try breaking the stick hyung gave you,”
With that said, excluding their youngest sister, the three younger brothers were able to break the branch without much effort.
Rockefeller handed the twigs that had been broken into the back to the brothers and told them to break it once more, then again and then again.
Even the second brother, Andrew, who was very strong, couldn’t break the bunch of twigs that Rockefeller handed over and after whining for a moment, they gave up.
Then, Rockefeller asked his younger brothers,
“What did you learn from there?”
Despite his question, the three younger brothers just stared up at him blankly,
“As you saw, one branch was weak – weak enough that you could snap it in two easily. But when you combine a bunch of branches, they become stronger,”
It was only then that the three younger brothers began to nod their heads slowly, as if they understood Rockefeller’s will.
“I’m sure you guys already know, but our family doesn’t have any talent – to the point where it’s a little dire.”
Andrew wanted to refute the words strongly but soon shut his mouth and lowered his head. It was one thing that he didn’t want to argue against his eldest brother but apart from that, he himself had also thought along those lines as well.
On the other hand, the third, Joshua, seemed to sympathize with his words quite strongly and the fourth, Leo, looked like he didn’t want to speak at all.
“It might be sad, but that’s our reality. So what should we do? Should we just carry on living without any talent?”
At that question, Joshua carefully answered,
“We have to stick together like the sticks,”
“Yes that’s right, like Joshua said, we siblings might be very insignificant by ourselves but we have to stick together and become strong – just like the branches,”
Rockefeller broke a branch in two in front of his siblings,
“It’s really easy to break a branch like this,”
He then took hold of a few more branches and held them together and tried to snap them in two – however although the branches bent slightly, they did not break.
Once he allowed his siblings to check that the branches had not broken, Rockefeller said,
“If this insignificant tree branch gets clustered like this, it will become so strong that not nothing can easily break it. So you guys should keep this in mind. From now on, we are going to be like these tree branches, we siblings are going to be one. What’s mine will be my siblings and what’s my siblings will be mine. That’s our destiny as those born with less than others and it’s also our strength that lets us survive in this harsh world,”
To make it easier for his young siblings to understand, Rockefeller added another example,
“There are some siblings who will fight a lot with each other over who’s bowl has more rice. They might even kill each other. In a way, on their own they might be better than us, one of them might get farther than one of us would. But they can’t bind together like us, because to them, what is in their own rice bowl is more important than sticking together with their siblings,”
Joshua, who had been quietly listening to his words, asked a quiet question,
“Rockefeller hyung, what about the people who are richer than us and have better sibling relationships as well?”
Andrew, who must have has a similar question, slowly lowered his head,
Rockefeller shook his head lightly and calmly refuted Joshua’s question,
“Joshua, I can guarantee that will never happen. No matter how strong their relationship is, in the end, each one is their own man. Even if they can cooperate with each other, they wouldn’t last a lifetime. Each one would have their own rice bowl and wanting more than someone else is human nature.”
At that, Andrew raised his head to look up at Rockefeller and Joshua, who had these doubts, stared up at him with sparkling eyes.
Rockefeller took a breath, then continued with his words,
“We must be different. Because we know each other’s shortcomings so well, we have to unconditionally untie and stay like that until the end. For those who have other things, it would not be essential for them to unite but rather, one of the options they have available to them. But for us, it’s not an option, uniting is our only option and a necessity for survival. What your hyung is saying so far – did you guys understand?”
When Rockefeller asked, the three younger brothers began to nod together,
“Yes, Rockefeller hyung is right. Even if we betray others, we shouldn’t betray each others. Since we’re siblings,” the second child, Andrew responded first.
He was followed by the third child, Joshua,
“Something others don’t have…. I think Rockefeller hyung is right. Others might betray their brothers but if we never do that, then I think it could become a big advantage for us in its own way,”
The fourth child, Leo didn’t seem to have anything particular to say, but he seemed to agree since he nodded his head,
“No matter what happens after today, we siblings will trust each other until the end. That will be the strength and weapon of our Rothmedici family that others don’t have,”
Rockefeller calls himself hyung a lot like how mothers would call themselves ‘mummy’ when they’re talking to their kids which is cute
Also, it might be a cultural thing but the author constantly refers to the younger siblings like ‘third child’ or ‘second child’ so I switched some of those out and used the kids’ names instead since it made it sound awkward.