The 117th chapter “returning home” – The 118th chapter “father and son” (part one)
The prosperity of the capital is the same as ever. Despite being born and raised in the city till the age of 13, Du Wei rarely went outside because of his bad reputation. But his return to the capital this time is completely different than before. With the status of being the disciple of the continent’s number one mage Gandalf, he is also being courted by the magic union. Also, let’s not forget his newly built relationship with the famously wealthy Lister household……
Despite the fact that his father is currently residing in the capital, Du Wei believed that his father should have received the news regarding all of this by now.
Sitting in the carriage, Du Wei did not bother opening the window to watch the hustling and bustling streets outside. The reason is because it was not needed. The noise from the day to day activities of such a prosperous city cannot be denied by such a thin window flap.
After entering the capital, Mage Clark said his farewell and began heading back to the Magic Union. But just before leaving, the old fella left a few words with hidden meanings behind them. Thinking it over, Du Wei figured it was his way of saying that he should go visit the Magic Union as soon as possible.
At the moment, despite how rowdy it is outside, Du Wei appeared uninterested and sat quietly in the carriage.
Passing through a busy street intersection, Du Wei’s convoy finally arrived at the west end not far from the main Palace. And to the north of this location is a man-made river connected to the Lancang Canal. Not only does this river flow through the very heart of the city, it even surrounds the outer perimeters of the palace. Because of this unique layout, the palace is practically a second city within the capital. Once war breaks out, it could even act as a military barricade in times of need. This was especially true in the past when the capital nearly fell due to rebellion.
And facing just south of the Palace’s main entrance is a square the size of two football fields. But more importantly is the statue at the very center of this square. Riding on top of a majestic horse with a sword raised towards the sky, this is none other than Aragon the founding emperor….
With a history of a thousand years, this statue has weathered through numerous dynastic histories of the imperial palace. Of course, this cannot be achieved without the support of the royals. By spending a constant flow of money and effort to maintain and repair the statue, its condition to date remains vivid without any trace of damage.
Now moving further down the square is a straight, flat road about ten meters wide. Looking from the air, the shape of this road was just like a long straight sword piercing into the capital city. Using this road as a sort of borderline, the southern area outside the palace was practically cut into two sides. To the east lies the mansions’ belonging to the most powerful elite nobles of the empire like the Rowling Household. And the west side contains the mansions belonging to the royal relatives of the emperor that doesn’t hold any power.
Of course, the capital still had two very important places and that is the magic union and the temple. Placed on opposite ends of each other, these two factions faces off against each other constantly like two powers striving for control.
Once Du Wei’s convoy made it to the southern region outside the palace, he had his carriage move onto a smaller and quieter road before entering the Earls mansion on the east bend.
As the coach paused to a stop, Marde gently knocked on the door and whispered from the outside: “Master, we are here.”
Taking in a deep breath, Du Wei adjusted his emotions. Then, with a deep smile on his face, he made a “hmm” sound as a reply.
Hearing Du Wei’s reply, Marde quickly opens the door to allow him to walk off the coach. After nearly a year, Du Wei has finally returned to the place where he was born in this world.
The Earl’s mansion cannot be considered luxurious in comparison to the other noble families; however, this just so happens to be the norm among the military families in the empire. Looking at the main entrance, Du Wei recognized the familiar Rowling household crest made up of an Iris flower wearing a crown and two swords wrapping around the body…..
Not daring to disturb him, the others watched on from the side as Du Wei continued to stare at the crest in front of the carriage.
From the beginning, servants and guards belonging to the Earl had long been waiting at the entrance to welcome the young master home. So, under the guidance of Marde, a few of the servants were instructed to bring some of the carriages to the back…..
Regaining his composure, Du Wei finally walked through the main gate to catch sight of his father’s most trusted subordinate “Alpha”.
When he was little, the Earl still had high hopes for him and intended for Alpha to tutor him in martial arts. It was only until later on when they figured out Du Wei had no talents for fighting that the idea was dismissed. But Du Wei knew, this Alpha character’s level of martial strength is superbly high. As the most trusted subordinate of Earl Raymond, this person had followed his father through fire and hell in all these years of service. Not only did he accompany the Earl on his expeditions down south and achieved countless exploits, this Alpha character was also a famed warrior in the capital.
With a tall body and broad shoulders, this person had even held him when he was still young. So after a year of not meeting Alpha, Du Wei could still see how fit this guy was in how straight his waist looked while wearing his warrior robe. If one had to describe this guy, he would be like a common knife hidden away from prying eyes. But once the blade is drawn from the scabbard, he would become a treasured sword unmatched in his sharpness!
Other than his ability, Alpha was also a famously handsome gentleman in the capital. Because of his blonde hair and good looks, he had many noble women’s flocking to him when he was young. But despite all these temptations, Alpha chose the path of a faithful follower to his father. Oddly enough, Alpha still didn’t marry or have any child yet.
With an age of over 40 years old, Alpha looked like he was still in his 30’s. This is all due to his years of intensive Dou Qi training to keep his body in shape. It is only by looking at his pair of blue eyes would one notice the years of life experience he has endured.
Even though Alpha may be the most trusted subordinate under the Earl, the guy didn’t put on any air and quickly came over to Du Wei. Bowing on one knee, Alpha quickly performed a standard family subordinate salute towards him and as such, the 10 elite guards behind him quickly followed suit.
Smiling, Du Wei hurriedly used his hands to pull this faithful subordinate of his father up. Du Wei may be his father’s son, but in their eyes, he is nothing but trash. So inwardly, Du Wei feared that his status wouldn’t even match up to this Alpha character.
“Young Master, you have returned.” Alpha stood up and smiled: “The trip must have been hard. At the moment, the Earl is already waiting for you in the study room. Please go meet him immediately.”
Du Wei nodded.
From the looks of it, this father of his has changed somewhat after what has taken place up till now. If it was before, it was likely only a few servants would come out to greet him in such a situation. But this time around, he actually sent Alpha to receive him. Guess this is his father’s way of showing him some face, right?
“Uncle Alpha.” Du Wei deliberately coughed a few times, and then made an innocent looking face as he spoke: “Your skills seem to have become even more sophisticated after not seeing you for a year. In the coming Rowling Household contest, you will definitely steal the show.”
Alpha just smiled and said nothing. He followed the Earl for 30 years, so what kind of big waves did he not experience yet? Even when Alpha saw the magic scholar’s robe Du Wei was wearing, he did not show any sort of surprise or change in his expression. The only thing the guy did was make a gesture and led Du Wei towards the mansion.
Along the way, they did not speak because Du Wei knew this Alpha character is not a person of many words. As such, Du Wei only paid attention to the furnishing inside his home while they walked.
After one year away, the mansion seemed even more luxurious. Once they went down a hallway and into the garden, he noticed something strange happening in the garden. From the looks of it, some of the housemaids were busy picking flowers for bouquets and placing them on the side.
Thinking it over, Du Wei realized what they were preparing must be for the important upcoming summer festival.
As the day approaches, the joyous atmosphere and faces among the house servants could clearly be seen. So when the servants looked behind Alpha and saw that the young master has returned, they quickly bent over in salute with a smile plastered onto their faces.
“My family has changed a lot.” Du Wei freely said this.
Unexpectedly, the usually silent Alpha suddenly replied to his words: “You are correct. In the past year, the Earl has gained the trust of his majesty. As such, the entire mansion has been renovated.”
Du Wei smiled and glanced at Alpha. But to his surprise, the guy was also glancing at him with strange eyes.
Realizing Du Wei had noticed his prying; Alpha quickly turned his eyes away and continued walking. It’s just that when they reached the inner court, Alpha seemed to deliberately increase his pace so that he was walking beside him. Then, using a whispering tone, Alpha said: “Young Master, recently, the situation in the capital isn’t very good. For security reasons, it would be for the best that you don’t go out often.”
Du Wei was slightly surprised, but when he looks up at Alpha, the guy was looking forward with a calm face as if he had said nothing.
Inwardly, Du Wei could not understand why this Alpha character suddenly reminded him of this. It was as if the guy wanted to warn him out of good will. From his memory, this guard captain had always been cool and calm. Other than his father, this guy would never bother to give another person a second glance or say any extra kind words.
Once they were in front of the study room, Alpha stopped and gave Du Wei a deep glance as he smiled. Then the guard captain turned around and walked away without looking back.
Taking a deep breath, Du Wei opened the study room’s door and went inside.
In comparison, the Earl’s mansion cannot be a match to the Rowling castle back in the Roland Plains. This was the same for the study room. The book collection was also far less when compared to the collection back in the Rowling castle.
But in truth, this study room had long been converted to an important conference room by the Earl. His father is a general, so naturally there would be fewer books in the room.
In his father’s study room, only military documents are stored on top of the shelves. As for the large desk inside, only important high command documents could be seen.
The study room may seem quiet from appearance, but Du Wei knew that this room was the most heavily secured places in the mansion.
For an old noble family of power, their methods of doing things are naturally different. Unlike those that would showcase all their cards up front, the Rowling family would always leave their strongest cards in the shadow.
Following this rule, the study room looked like there isn’t a single guard around, but Du Wei knows that his father must be hiding some shameful dark forces in the shadow. It was exactly because of this dark force under the Earl that Alpha is so trusted – Alpha is in charge of this dark fighting force.
Normally, none would be allowed into this study room without the Earl’s permission. If someone dares to intrude onto the compound, they would pay the price! Du Wei did not understand any of this in the past, but as he gradually grew older, he finally saw through it all. Hidden inside the surrounding yards, walls, and decorations are magic induced energy waves. If one were to touch any of the things without permission, it would immediately send out warnings to the owner. This is obviously a high leveled magic circle!
For instance, if not for Alpha leading him here, Du Wei would not have been able to reach this place alone.
“Alpha must have some magic tool hidden on his body to not trigger a response from the magic circle.” Du Wei suspected.
Putting these distractions behind his mind, Du Wei went inside and saw that his father was currently sitting behind the big desk in the room. With a quill in hand, the dignified and cold face of his father was frowning as he looked at some unknown document in his hand.
Walking in quietly, Du Wei didn’t say anything and simply stood in front of his father with an honest looking face.
It was only after a long time had passed that the Earl finally regained his thoughts. Still frowning, the Earl wrote something onto the document before looking up at Du Wei with a calm face.
After a few moments, the Earl slowly said: “Hmm, you’re back.”
Du Wei took a deep breath before replying: “Yes, I’m back…… Father.”
As soon as Du Wei said this, the Earl’s brow slightly picked up and a flash of light fluctuated across his eyes. Then, opening his mouth slightly, his lips formed into a faint smile as he spoke his next words with a hint of mockery: “Oh…… You call me father…… Ha, Ha! If I remember correctly, for more than 10 years, this is the first time you took the initiative to call me ‘father’, right? ”
Originally Du Wei had prepared himself for whatever is to come, but as soon as his father said these words, he could not help but feel a hint of sourness in his heart.
Quietly looking at this father of his, a stream of emotion forced its way out of him.
He…… Seems to have aged.
At 49 years of age, the Earl wasn’t all that much older than Alpha, but it was clear the Earl looked much older in comparison. You need to understand that as the head of the Rowling clan and household, his responsibility and burden is beyond ordinary. Not only does he have to be exceptionally skilled in the art of fighting, his ability to cope with other powers must stand above everyone.
But still, this father of his has aged, too old and too tired.
The previous tall and triumphant looking general has changed. Even though the Earl’s commanding aura still remained, but the wrinkles around his eyes and age cannot be hidden.
Even when sitting there, his body looked like it wasn’t as straight as before.
Realizing the gaze of his son was wandering around, Raymond gave out a loud cough as a way to refocus Du Wei’s attention.
Slowly rising from his chair, the Earl was wearing a white cotton robe. Unlike the rest of the nobles in the empire, this general preferred this type of simple and clean clothing. This habit of the Earl was from when he was serving in the military – simple yet comfortable.
Slowly circling around the table, the Earl walked up to Du Wei and quietly looked down at Du Wei.
Caught off guard, Du Wei felt confused at not knowing what his father would do.
Under such a majestic gaze for such a long time, Du Wei carefully straightened his body and stood there without even trying to look up at his father’s eyes.
“You…… Grow up some.” Suddenly, the Earl slowly sighed. The majestic voice mellowed somewhat: “When you were away from home last year, your head was only to my chest. But and, you are up to my shoulders!”
Upon hearing these words, Du Wei couldn’t help but quiver…… To stand so close to me, is it just to look at me?
At this moment, this Earl has completely ridden himself the status of a general and chief. Right now, he is only a father!
But when Du Wei’s emotions almost reached the surface, a sudden idea bubbled up into his mind…..
Those crossbows that leaked out of the military!
Taking a deep breath, Du Wei looked up. His face revealed an awkward looking smile: “Yes father…… But my body is still weak. From appearance, I do not have any of the mighty features that you and brother has. I fear that in a few years, even little brother would grow taller than me.”
Watching the smile on his son’s face, a sudden emotional urge compelled the father to want to hug his son. Holding out his hands ready to embrace his son, the Earl suddenly lets out a sigh before turning it into a couple of taps on Du Wei’s shoulder.
Subsequently, Earl Raymond lets out a wry laugh: “You…… Very well, I don’t blame you. You actually still hate me don’t you?”
Du Wei said nothing and just stood there.
Shaking his head, Earl Raymond sighed and slowly walked back to the desk. Calmly sitting down, the Earl pointed to a chair in the study and said: “You sit down. Starting today, you’re back in the capital. Your every action will be on behalf of the Rowling Household….. I….. I was wrong.”
Frankly admitting his mistake?
Du Wei secretly frowned, not sure what his father wanted to say.
Seeing the expression on Du Wei’s face, the Earl lets out a humph sound before turning around to reach out at a cupboard under the desk. From it, the Earl pulled out a delicate looking crystal bottle and gently twisted it open.
The content of the bottle is clearly a wine of superior quality.
With a smiling face, the Earl said: “Well then, no matter what your opinion of me was in the past, I just want to have a talk with you today. Because as of today, everything that is to happen in the future will be unavoidable! Do you understand?”
With two fine crystal glasses filled with red wine. Du Wei and his father were busy immersing themselves in the taste of the wine while unwilling to be the first to speak.
After a long time, a flickered of thought crossed the Earl’s eyes. Then, with a smile, he said:
“I really did not expect my son to be so good! Ah, my good son! I really missed out all these years….. No need to say much, just your patience and calm is enough to surprise me.”
“From when I forced you out of the capital and sent you to the Roland Plains, I have actually been constantly informed of your doings.” The Earl slowly said this. This is actually not all that surprising. As the chief of the Rowling Household, it would actually be weird if he didn’t know.
“It was only one year, but you manage to create so many things to amaze me. My son…. Humph, that whatever soccer. You managed to turn that small little game into a money making machine and into a business. Also, there is that hot air balloon contraption….. I know that in the previous birthday of your mother, the whatever ‘forgiveness of the Goddess of dawn’, that is called…… Fireworks, right? Not bad, it is very surprising. Although the family has income from other channels, but the Roland Plains can produce around a few hundred thousand gold coins in tax every year. But you only spent a year there, yet you managed to….. Oh, let me see…… There are more than 140,000 coins, right?”
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