Chapter 289 “Nothing to be gallant about” (Part two)
After coming up to greet these subordinates of Prince Son in an enthusiastic manner, that Kami Siro was the first to converse with him in private: “Duke, you’ve thanked the wrong person! We’re old friends already so I’ll speak the truth. Brother here is of course happy you came back from the Northwest and would love to exchange a few cups to warm our bellies, but even I wouldn’t stand out here in this cold wind! Haha!” This Kami Siro can be regarded as one of the few favored individuals under Prince Son, so the fact that he’s willing to tell him these words only made Du Wei feel more affectionate towards this person: “Oh? Then the reasoning for all you old friends to be here is….”
Kami Siro bellowed out a laugh: “Duke, don’t mention others, just this vulgar Taklanshan is a perfect example of someone that can’t endure any hardship. Although we are all good friends here, this fatty definitely wouldn’t be willing to wait out here in the cold for you! Our friendship is definitely a part of the reason, but it’s the Regent’s command that willed everyone here to the gates. See? With only the authority of the few people here, we can’t possibly mobilize so many royal guards to the outskirt of the city.”
Only then did Du Wei break out an enlightened smile.
Generals, high ranking officials, army soldiers, royal guards, and honor guards, this was obviously the welcome committee reserved only for a general coming back from a victorious battle.
“Gentlemen, now that’s a headache isn’t it haha!” Du Wei laughs aloud: “This setup you guys posed for me looks like a reception reserved only for a general coming back from war, and I, only stayed in the Northwest border for two years, hardly enough to call a triumph.”
Earl Biliaibuer came up to Du Wei’s side and tugged at his clothes to whisper into his ear, “Du Wei, this is his highness’s intention. Aigh…. It’s true the head of the enemy general was brought back by the Northwest Army, but the Regent knows it was you who deserve all the merit for defeating the twenty thousand cavalry of the prairie legion. This credit belongs to you. His highness said he can’t allow you to feel mistreated upon your return, so here it is, the welcome reception deserving of a hero!”
Hearing this, Du Wei cannot resist being slightly moved inside, but apart from that, he also cried amazing inside!
This Prince Son was indeed amazing! To use this method to attract others to his side was truly brilliant!
Although he understands the means behind this, Du Wei still can’t help but be emotionally warmed from the heart.
Then under the unified call of the horn, Du Wei and the dozen or so dignitaries entered the capital city in a grandiose fashion while being escorted by the soldiers and royal guards.
And Maximos, as a man of the Temple, did not appear; instead, he went his own way and left for the main cathedral under the escort of the Holy Knights that came to protect him. Watching Du Wei’s strong momentum as they went their own way, this old bishop honestly felt like he did the right thing and partnered up with a powerful reinforcement.
Naturally, with so many soldiers and making such a big commotion, Du Wei and his peers would of course raise the curiosity of many onlookers in the city.
After a while of travel, Du Wei noticed something odd, the direction they were heading in was wrong: “Eh… Huh…?”
Watching the group heading into the main left road next to the palace, a familiar structure soon came into his sight, the former Rowling manor which housed him during his childhood.
Ever since his father Earl Raymond failed during the coup, the mansion in which his family occupied for years have been seized by the court, and since he wasn’t going to stay in the capital, he simply left it be. From what he learned, the finance minister had resold the ownership of this place after his father was convicted of treason.
But this time back, he found that the main gate and all of the surrounding bricks and streets had been magnificently refurnished. Not only that, his burning golden tulip insignia was heavily embroidered on the surface of the main gate.
So that’s how it was, what used to be the Earl’s mansion has become the mansion of the Tulip Duke.
Du Wei was puzzled to see this but Kami Siro soon whispered the answer to him in a broad smile: “Duke, this manor was specifically readied for you by the finance minister at the command of his royal highness.”
Du Wei’s mouth gaped open: “Oh? But the last I remember, this manor had been resold to someone else by the time I left the capital.”
Kami Siro smirked: “Humph, who would dare disobey when his highness made the order himself. Even if there’s a new master, that person can only obediently hand it back out.”
The financial minister Sack from the side also cut in with a laugh: “Duke needn’t be so polite. The funds used to buy the mansion were set aside by his highness himself. Sire said your current mansion is simply too small, unbefitting of your status. Although this manor was once part of the Rowling clan, but considering your relationship, everyone around will understand so there’s no need to make any cover work. People tend to lean towards nostalgia, so we decided to expend great amounts of money to take this manor back for you at any cost!”
At that, this finance minister pulled at Du Wei’s hand to lead the way inside: “Come, come and see for yourself if you are satisfied! Many of the things inside were chosen by that fatty Taklanshan. Honestly, I’m so envious of your place. I say, Taklanshan may be vulgar in his demeanor, but his taste in furniture and decorations are one of a kind. Compared to my home and Kami Siro’s, our place is like a barn when looking at your home.”
As Du Wei went inside and walked around, he could not resist gasping at the sight!
It seems that in order to curry up some goodwill with him, the regent spared no expense to overhaul the entire structure: luxurious, grand, and most importantly, overwhelmingly gorgeous. Aside from the countless amounts of carefully orchestrated garden plants set along the road path, dozens of servants were standing in wait, fully ready to serve at his beck and call.
“It was us who found these people for you; also, we made sure to have some etiquette teachers run them through to meet your expectation.”
Going all the way inside, Du Wei suddenly halted his step because he saw a mismatched building in the middle of all the grandiose structures.
This building wasn’t something new; it was the same study room of Earl Raymond located in that small courtyard. While the rest of the manor has been completely overhauled, only this rustically quaint room remains untouched.
“This was my idea.” Earl Biliaibuer whispered: “Since this is your old home then there needs to be a trace of your memory. During the reconstruction, I overheard this building was the Earl’s personal study room, so after some thought, I asked that it be stayed. Alas…. Du Wei, I know you are the reminiscent type.”
Even while outside, Du Wei can see the calm quietness exuding out of the place. Unlike the grandiose structures next to it, one could hear the faint rustling sound of wind blowing against the grass in this courtyard.
Who knows if it was due to the servants carelessness of not blowing out the candlestick after cleaning the place, but Du Wei was surprised to find a faint glow coming out of the study room’s window.
Looking at this scene, a part of Du Wei’s heart suddenly felt like it’s been hit by something heavy and memories of his childhood began flooding into his mind!!
Back when he was young, that “Father” would bring him to this yard and tease him in order to make himself talk.
Then in order to let himself learn martial art at a young age, that “Father” had tasked captain Alpha with the job of assessing his body.
And later, it was also in this place where Mage Clark from the Magic Union checked his magic talent.
At that time, his father was disappointed at himself again and again… Hmm, the scene must have been a big blow to that man. After all, as an Earl, as a chief of a clan and a household, the responsibility shouldering at that man’s body was far too heavy to allow his son to be a useless trash.
Then down the road when he first returned to the capital from the old family territory, this was also the place where his father attempted to repair their relationship.
However, it was also here in this study room where father and son finally fell apart!
He still remembers it clearly. On that summer day before the coup, it was in this study room where his father confessed to the act of sending assassins to kill himself….
Recalling back to that moment, how cold and hurt his heart was!
The sky may be warm as a summer breeze, but the heart’s as hollow as an abyss… Hmm, what a good saying.
(It’s an old chinese saying used for those really hurt)
At this time Du Wei heart was filled with much sadness at the current state of things. Without knowing it himself, his mind had wondered off into the past. And next to him, those that came with him were likely able to read his mood, therefore, no one bothered to disturb his train of thought.
After a good while of this somber quietness, Du Wei inhaled deeply before turning around at the people behind him, his voice deep and poised.
“Everyone…. Thank you!” This “Thank you” from Du Wei had been genuinely from the heart.
Smiling at the gracious word, it was that fatty Taklanshan whom broke the corny mood: ”Okay enough Duke, everyone’s here has already waited half a day for you! Originally we wanted to pull you away for a drink, but since we know you are tired from your travels and considering how late is it, we can only leave it to tomorrow. It’s just that fatty here needs to go back and warm up, otherwise, I will really become a popsicle at this rate.”
Hearing those words, the crowd broke out into a laughing fit. Then Du Wei made a few more words at retaining his guests, but since they all knew it’s not the time to disturb him, they all took their leave.
After sending the crowd away, Du Wei decides to call for his personal guards to send the new servants away, allowing everyone to get some rest. As for himself, he went towards the memorable study room on his own.
The interior of the study remains unchanged, even the desk was that of his father’s… He honestly doesn’t know where those fellas managed to find this old relic.
Coming around to the desk, he seat himself in the same position as his father did. Then subconsciously, he casually turns around and reached for the bookshelf. Sure enough, he found a bottle of wine hidden behind a bunch of books.
Watching the bottle in his hand, Du Wei grinned: “What a good Biliaibuer. To keep even this thing here, he sure knows how to pry into a person’s mind!”
Rubbing the bottle several times, he then uncorked the lid to take a sip.
Hmm, In the past… Father must have also drunk like this alone in the study room.
He was the head of the family, shouldering the responsibility of the entire clan, but I as his son only disappointed him. Towards the heavy burden, father can only sneak a few sips here and there to relieve some pressure.
Hmm, mother had always been worried about father’s body, not allowing him to drink more, thus the reason why father would hide a bottle behind the bookshelf.
Thinking of this, Du Wei’s heart first turned sour, then went warm. At this point he didn’t even know what his emotions were anymore.
While he’s busy recalling the past, Du Wei had completely forgotten about QQ that was still placed inside his cage.
Ever since he’s been imprinted with the status of being the “Duke’s pet”, QQ would generally stay inside a specially crafted large cage while in front of the public.
And since everyone’s gone and out of sight, QQ had no reason to keep himself locked up and jumped out of the cage. This cage had never been locked, merely for looks.
It can’t be helped. Ever since Du Wei found out QQ’s true identity, the founder of the Temple and first Pope in history, he honestly didn’t have the face to lock a historic figure like that inside an animal cage.
“The expression on your face is so strange at the moment! You’ve been in the Northwest for over two years, yet I never once saw you make such a face.” QQ sighed.
Du Wei shook his head: “You won’t understand these things.”
Then he rubbed his face and smiled: “Alright, we are finally back now, but the regent gave me quite the big surprise.”
QQ nonchalantly said: “Surprise is a surprise, but I fear there are conditional strings attached to his goodwill.”
Du Wei very casually chugged another sip of wine, his mouth slightly smiling: “That is of course! As a monarch, he must always be in control of his subordinates, meaning his methods are ever-changing. But in the end, his strategy can only be nothing more than a carrot and a stick!”
Rubbing his nose, he wryly smiled: “First he mobilized so many dignitaries in the capital to orchestrate this reception, that’s the first carrot by giving me this huge face. Then he sends me back to this manor to play the emotional card! So many carrots to sweeten the deal… I can already speculate the stick that’s about to fall won’t be a light one.”
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