As the head of the family, and the eldest sibling, Rockefeller who had left admirable teachings behind for his younger siblings yesterday, gathered them all at dawn the next day.
The third child, Joshua, who appeared rubbing his eyes, spit out some resentful words to Rockefeller who had called them before the sun had even properly risen.
“What is it so early in the morning? I’m sleepy…” he mumbled,
The fourth child, Leo, appeared holding the hand of the youngest, Lucia, also yawned, rubbing his eyes.
For young children who needed a lot of sleep, it was a very early start to the day but for Rockefeller who had to find a way for them to go on surviving as someone who had accepted his position as the head of the family, his siblings’ grumbling didn’t even enter his ears.
So just as he was about to say something strict as the eldest brother, the second of his siblings, who had been the fastest to move this morning, began to raise his voice towards the younger siblings who were dissatisfied.
“If the eldest brother asked you to get together, you have to get together quickly! Why are you so sluggish? Will you guys keep acting like this?!”
Andrew remembered clearly what Rockefeller had said yesterday. After he had established the premise of brothers having to stick together, their eldest brother said that from today, they would have to move towards making money.
“Rockefeller hyung, from now on, we’re going to go and make money, right?”
Despite being young, Andrew understood that what they needed the most right now was money, so Rockefeller looked at his twinkling eyes and answered his expectations with a light nod.
“Really? Are we going to make money?”
Joshua was able to quickly wake up when he heard that they would be making money.
Rockefeller looked at his two brothers, who had suddenly become full of will and said,
“Yes, do you remember what hyung said yesterday? Let’s find some way to make money, starting today. It’s only by making money that we can live,”
Joshua cheered and Andrew’s expression brightened. But while he was okay for a moment, with an anxious voice Joshua spoke,
(Please Read on http://www.taniandris.co.uk. If you’re reading this somewhere else then it has been stolen.)
“But how do you make money? It’s not like making money is easy,”
Andrew turned to him and answered with a snap,
“Idiot! Who doesn’t know that! That’s why we need to find a way now!”
Joshua became careful of Andrew’s reaction and searched for Rockefeller’s gaze with his eyes again,
“Did you not have something in mind?”
At their age, suddenly being told to make money would leave them lost – it was daunting after all.
It wasn’t like there was a job they had done previously and they couldn’t take up the Lord’s offer so if Rockefeller hadn’t had these thoughts from yesterday to guide him, he would have felt just like his younger siblings.
Instead he said,
“I have something in mind but I’m not certain about it. Even so, I want to try it. What do you think? Do you want to follow me?”
None of the siblings refused his suggestion. Rather they excitedly obeyed Rockefeller’s instructions without a word of protest and soon, they left their home, bringing even the youngest sister along.
Villagers who had slept through the night, came out early to start their routine, this was also the case for Bikip, who worked as a beekeeper in the village.
Bikip was puzzled, when from next door, Hans’ kids spilled out of their house at dawn. They weren’t empty handed either, each brought out various tools, like they were actually going out with a purpose.
“Where are you guys going at such an early hour?” He asked, Bikip too was a commoner like them, with the surname, Honeywax.
The eldest, Rockefeller remained silent at his question but the brightly smiling third child replied with a shout,
“We’re going to make money!”
Just yesterday, they were children who had lost their father and held a funeral, now those children claimed they were suddenly going to earn money from early in the morning left nothing but concern and questions in Bikip’s mind.
‘You guys are going to make money? Through what means?’
“How are you going to make money?” was the question he asked out loud,
It was the second son who answered his question as he passed by,
“That’s what we’re going to find! We haven’t decided how to earn yet.”
It wasn’t like Bikip could stop the kids next door from going out to make money, unless he could help them directly there was nothing he could do.
However, he was a little worried to see the children next door, not a single one of them of age, moving around trying to earn money from early in the morning.
‘I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about…right?’
“Be careful! In the next village over, a man called Hobbs was done in by an orc the day before yesterday. Don’t go too far from the village and if anything happens, drop everything and run back to the village as fast as you can since there are Seers in the village. Do you understand?”
Seeing his voice full of worry, the second and third child responded vigorously,
“Yeah! Don’t worry, we’ll be careful!”
“Don’t worry, if we even see the shadow of an orc we’ll make a run for it!”
Even after hearing the children’s confident answers, Bikip still felt somewhat reluctant letting them go. However there was nothing he could do for them right now and so he decided not to get too involved in their business.
Since once they got tired, they would eventually come back home. Children were like that after all.
Some time after speaking to Bikip, Rockefeller spoke,
“You guys made a mistake earlier,”
It was only after they had moved some distance away from the village that he began to point out his brother’s mistakes,
“You shouldn’t go around telling people that we are going to out to make money,”
At this, Joshua asked,
“Why? Is it bad that we’re going out to make money?”
Perhaps because he sympathised with Joshua’s thoughts, Andrew muttered under his breath,
“It’s not like we’re stealing it or anything…”
Rockefeller didn’t get impatient and instead calmly explained,
“You guys are thinking of the world too simply. What will happen if we make money? Would other people just close their eyes and move on as if it had nothing to do with them? No. They’ll be wondering where we made the money and start questioning whether it could be an issue or not. That’s just how the world is,”
Joshua still had an expression as though he didn’t understand,
“But why? If it’s money we made through our own efforts, I don’t get what it has to do with anyone else,”
Andrew looked up to Rockefeller and with the same expression as Joshua so Rockefeller tried to explain it a little more for his younger siblings,
“Everything we earn here, in the Montefeltro estate is, in principle, not ours. Even if it’s a result of our effort, in the end it would end up belonging to the Lord. That means the money we earn on this land can’t entirely be ours,”
Only then did the second and third children’s faces change, it was an expression that showed that they hadn’t even considered such things.
“Then, did we make a big mistake before?”
As Joshua looked up at him with teary eyes, Rockefeller smiled gently and shook his head,
“No, it wasn’t such a big mistake. Because we’re young, even if you say things like that, adults wouldn’t believe you. But later on, when we start making money and it becomes more visible – the rumours will definitely reach the ears of the Lord. Then the Lord or one of his retainers will probably come asking to try and find the source of the money we make. That’s when we might face some unexpected problems.”
“Then, wouldn’t that be a big deal?”
“It might be a big deal, or it might not. So you don’t have to worry too much. As dad did and Bikip uncle from next door does. We just need to take a portion of the profits and give it to the Lord. Of course, that’s if everything goes down well,”
Andrew, who had been listening to the conversation between the two, spoke quietly, reflecting on his actions from earlier,
“Rockefeller hyung is right, we were too careless before. In the future, we shouldn’t tell people where we’re going or what we’re doing since they’re strangers that have nothing to do with us. They don’t care about us,”
Maybe it was because he was the second child who often hung out with children of his own age but he seemed to have a clearer idea of human relationships compared to the other siblings.
(Please Read on http://www.taniandris.co.uk. If you’re reading this somewhere else then it has been stolen.)
When the second child said that, the third child also reflected on his mistake,
“I’ll be more careful from now on, I was so excited that I was careless. I acted too rashly before,”
Rockefeller nodded and decided to drop the issue there. Rather, it was good lesson for his siblings to learn so it was rather good for him.
“You just have to be careful in the future. Even if you lose something small, it’s okay as long as you don’t lose something big – since what you have left is more than what you lost.”
“Everyone makes mistakes, whether big or small. Never be ashamed of your mistakes. Instead, make sure you never repeat your mistakes, since that’s what idiots do. Do you guys understand?”
His younger brothers must have understood, as they all nodded.
After that, how long did they walk?
Rockefeller and his younger siblings arrived at a stream a long distance away from the village.
“Why are we here? Can you make money here?”
“We didn’t come here to catch fish right?”
When the younger siblings expressed their doubts, Rockefeller explained to them, their reason for coming here,
“From now on, we’re going to dig for placer gold,”
Until they arrived, Rockefeller considered what the most effective and promising way to make money was.
He pondered the course of action which would create the most wealth for his efforts. When he combined the contents of the novel that he knew and what he had learned and experienced so far, he saw one way.
And that was gathering the ore and dust and that would be eroded from the gold vein and deposited in the river.
‘It’s been a while, but I went to the placer mining meetings as well,’
It might be a peculiar hobby for some, but like there meetings of people who would go mountaineering or biking together, there were also meetings to gather gold.
Most of the gatherings were made just for fun because the amount of raw minerals you gathered compared to the effort was miniscule. But Rockefeller had been active in such gatherings for a time and it was because of this experience that he came out here to this steam.
‘Placer mining. I saw a few videos on Y*uT*be and got interested, so I attended maybe twice? I only learned the basics and stopped but who knew it would become a helpful experience here?’
If he’d had no idea about placer mining, then he probably wouldn’t have come this far. However, he had some idea about the method so for Rockefeller, this was a challenge that he had some expectations towards.
‘If the Gold Vein War breaks out here, it means there are huge gold veins in the area – then even in a stream like this, there should be some gold mineral deposits.’
Some might ask,
If it was digging for gold anyway, wouldn’t it be better to go directly to the gold mine and dig gold ore rather than placer?
No. Placer mining can be done easily by a non-professional who knows next to nothing but digging for gold ore is completely different. In the first place, it was difficult to find the gold veins and the process of extracting gold from ore was complicated so not just anyone can do it.
There was also the risk of encountering wild animals or monsters in an abandoned mine so from Rockefeller’s point of view, collecting gold dust and bits of ore was the best option considering safety and their general unprofessionalism.
‘That is, if there’s placer gold here,’
That was something Rockefeller couldn’t be 100% sure about.
There was nothing in his memories nor anything in the original Rockefeller’s memories that suggested that gold had been found here.
‘People here probably wouldn’t even imagine gold coming out this place,’
If placer gold does come out of here, and on top of that, if a lot of placer gold came out of this place, then how could you interpret that?
Rockefeller used his knowledge of the novel and his understanding of the Montefeltro estate to come to the following conclusion,
‘First of all, only I know that new gold veins are found in this estate. It’s not yet known to other people.’
It was a long time ago that this land was known as Azrak Goldmine, the largest goldmine in the continent.
If it was land those childish and stubborn dwarves had abandoned, then it was pretty much considered dead land already.
The Empire wouldn’t have placed any expectations on this land when it incorporated this palace into it’s territory. It was pretty much picking up land that had been thrown away by someone else.
‘If they had any expectations, they wouldn’t have just left everything alone, like this.’
The fact that there were no gold mines in operations right now, and considering that it was pretty much a fact of history that this land had once had gold was an indication to how unrelated they considered gold to the current land.
‘So did everyone forsake the potential of this land? To the point where they thought there was absolutely no gold left? If that was the case then it makes sense…’
As he considered this, Rockefeller pressed a hand to his head without realising,
‘Hell, if I didn’t know that a gold vein was going to be discovered then I wouldn’t have thought to collect placer gold either. I would have thought that there was no possibility for it and since this place is dangerous, I wouldn’t have come here.
This place was close to the next village and it was also a place where one might encounter orcs occasionally. It was around here that the story of an orc encounter would come about at least once or twice a year.
There weren’t so many orcs that people had a hard time living with, but occasionally, if someone had bad luck, it was a place where people would encounter orcs.
‘I wouldn’t have come here if I hadn’t thought of placer mining for gold,’
Snapping out of his thoughts, Rockefeller began to talk to his waiting siblings,
“We’ll find gold here. Did you know that there were a lot of gold mines here in the past?”
Again, it’s a really abrupt ending – I think this is going to be a common occurrence
Also placer mining is a thing, and they do have country-side experiences for it in some places. I’ve been to one in the past too with school though we just found cool looking rocks – no gold sadly.