Chapter 296 “The Regent”
Du Wei’s complexion may be calm, but his heart was making waves inside.
It’s actually Blue Ocean again?
By now Du Wei has become aware of Blue Ocean’s origin – a mysterious scholar from the Snowy Mountains. He not only trained a group of great students like Philip in Du Wei’s rank, this outstanding person also taught a peerless swordsman like Rodriguez!
And now this Blue Ocean also had a hand in the great struggle for the throne involving the royal family? How did he suddenly get involved in all this?
Intentional or unintentional?
In the past when Blue Ocean introduced Philip to aid him in the Northwest, Du Wei had only taken this old scholar as a concerned elder of the empire. But now, knowing his origin was that of the Snowy Mountain, the sentence of “not letting the prairie natives cross over the mountain” took on a different meaning….
A storm may be brewing inside his mind, but Du Wei dared not show a spec of doubt. Instead, he can only continue to carefully listen to the Regent’s story….
“In a group of wolves, the pack leader has become old yet refuses to give up his status. And at this time, he could do nothing but watch one of the younglings grow old enough to be a strong alpha, strong enough to be a threat to his own status.
So what should the father do?
The answer is simple: he will turn his focus on me.
I am young and I am but ten years old! I’m also praised as the gifted young prince.
Let’s say if…… If the crown did change to me instead of my mature older brother, then that would mean father has a reasonable claim to make me wait another ten years or more before I take over.
He didn’t really love me that much, nor did he think I’m more talented and smarter than my big brother who’s thirty by then.
The only reason is: Making me the crown prince will mean another decade or two before he has to recede from the throne because I’m not old enough!
This is the ‘love’ my father gives me, the rumored ‘recognition’ from my father!!
Speaking up to here, Prince Son’s voice became very deep as he looked to the sky: “Du Wei, you won’t be able to understand. That night when I finally understood Mr. Blue Ocean’s words…. I don’t even know how I managed to live through it. It was the hardest part of my life. Compared to that night, the emotions I felt on the eve of that coup two years ago is nothing!”
Watching this highness reacting like so, Du Wei suddenly found that the seat of a ruler wasn’t so nice to sit in.
Hesitating for a moment, Du Wei sighed and whispered, “Maybe … I can relate because I have also experienced something similar to what you say.”
As Prince Son faces Du Wei, the corner of his eyes slowly revealed a tinge of happiness: “Indeed… You are one of the few people who can understand what I went through. Du Wei, this is why I’m so in favor of you! You, once the heir to the Rowling family was banished from home due to not being favored by your father, and then because of the great Magister’s tutelage, you returned to the capital…. Your experience in your family may be different from mine, but your situation and mood back then was quite similar. Du Wei, this is why I felt so close to you when we first met, why I value you like so!”
Du Wei was silenced.
It’s not hard for him imagine what it must’ve been like on that night ten years ago for a child. Sitting there in the cold, staring up at the night sky, realizing his father’s love wasn’t love but a play. What’s worse, his own father was also pushing him into the stove to be baked…
Recalling back to how his own father sent assassins to kill him on the road, Du Wei can say its true, their situation and mood really was similar.
They exchanged a smile again, but this time their smiles were more sincere without falsehood.
Then Prince Son continues his tale.
“After that time I finally figured out a lot of things. That chilling night did not drop me into utter despair; in fact I even felt a little lucky inside at finding out sooner.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that being born of royalty wasn’t as glorious as it seems. Once you are involved in the supreme interest, then everything around you will become a dangerous threat.
I didn’t blame big brother for drifting away from me. When I thought things through, I knew it wasn’t his fault. After all, we may be brothers before, but we are still candidates for that laughable throne.
And the most hilarious part of it all was that brother didn’t even realize that father never intended to pass me the crown. To father, I’m also a contender for the throne, a threat just like big brother! The only lucky part of that situation was that father took me as a child, a shield he can use! If I had been more than twenty years old, my father would’ve never said he would like to change the crown to me!
Pity … Father doesn’t have a younger son than I; otherwise, I believe he will no doubt choose the smaller one!
Elder brother regards me as the enemy, but funny thing is I never wished to compete with him!
The throne, in my opinion, is of little appeal.
Therefore, I attempted to give my brother a message in disguise. I hoped that would’ve been enough to make him feel at ease.
The Augustine Dynasty was founded through military means, hence the reason why every children of the royal family must learn horsemanship and martial art. But I refused that tradition. I even openly expressed my interest in magic and ran off to learn it because we all know that wizards don’t covet worldly power and are creatures of the transcendent world. Moreover, other than the founding emperor Aragon, no other wizard had ever took on the title of an emperor!
If you learn magic you will gradually lose interest in secular power, this is the norm.
Therefore I deliberately ran off to learn magic. That was my mean of letting my big brother understand I have no wish to contend with him.
Unfortunately elder brother didn’t seem to understand my intent.
And what’s more ridiculous is that my study of magic ended up being regarded as a defiant move for a child. My court tutors all objected to the idea, but only my father favored this and supported it.
That’s how the ‘doting’ rumor started and was taken by the public as my father ‘loving’ me by indulging me with support.
But is it really like so?
The seen through it all me at the time already knew what father was thinking: he couldn’t be more happy that I’m learning magic. With my time bogged down by magic, my interest in the throne will waiver. This way, even if I did become the crown prince he won’t have to worry about letting me succeed in his post until far in the years!
Unfortunately, my concession didn’t let elder brother leave me alone.
At the age of eleven, I experienced the first assassination attempt at my life!
I almost died that time! A maid who took care of me from the age of five personally brought over a bowl of poison and nearly killed me.
Luckily for me, at the time I’ve already begun my studies in magic and had some dabbling in potions and such…..
Humph! Don’t think it’s that easy to poison a magic pharmacist!
(Just letting you guys know. I messed up before. It’s not magic herbalist, its magic pharmacist. My brother in law came in one day and pointed out my mistake)
I knew it can’t be father trying to kill me because he still needed me to be his shield! So, the one who wants me dead can only be one person, my big brother!
That event finally shattered any disillusion I had inside my mind! I read the history books so I know how the saying goes: in the face of the throne, family bonds are meaningless!
I became enlightened after that event. Blindly conceding won’t guarantee my safety! Today he can bribe my maid to poison me. Then tomorrow he can bribe my guards to stick a knife in me while I’m asleep!
I don’t want to die, I want to live. To do that, I have no choice but to walk on the path of being brother’s enemy!
The beginning of the road was the hardest.
I was but a child without a trusted team, a hollow prince without power. With no chips in hand, you can say I had next to nothing to secure myself.
At the beginning I can only desperately run off to please the Court Wizards. I eventually took the chief court wizard as my teacher, and for a period, I made myself out to be a child obsessed with studying magic. Every day, eat or sleep, I would always stay by my teacher’s side…
Teacher was delighted over my diligence. He even thought I was very gifted in the magical arts and regarded me as his proud disciple.
But in truth, I was only using that as an excuse to stay by his side for my own safety. It was because I had no other option.
Court wizards are only loyal to the emperor and will never side with a faction. Also, my teacher’s magic was very high, high enough to protect me if needed, that’s the most important factor.
That period of my life was very difficult and very miserable, but at the same time it also resolved my heart.
Although I don’t hold much desire for the throne, but in order to live, I must have the strength to do so!
Fortunately, after some days, I managed to cleverly pass on the news to my father’s ear about the maid attempting to poison me.
That incident finally reminded father of my importance. Putting on a furious act, he executed several palace attendants at the beginning.
Then he began to confront the question: In order to make sure this shield to the throne doesn’t die so easily, he had to give me some sort of chip for self-preservation.
That’s the biggest chip I have and my biggest reliance, my father. He won’t let me die! It’s not because I’m his son or because he loves me, it’s because I’m still needed for his plan.
From then on my father finally handed me a little bit of power. He gave me a team of royal guards and planted several court wizards by my side to act as my personal magic consultant. With free access out of the palace, I was then slowly able to gather up my followers and build up my own chips.
Little by little, I created my own power faction and then strived to bring in the big sharks like Taklanshan and Biliabuer…
Starting from then on, the curtains to the ten year long war between brother and I finally began!”
Sighing, he coughed to give a pause: “I don’t want to be the emperor, I never did. But for self-preservation and to live, I had to confront my brother…. Because I knew, I knew that if I slip up in the slightest, big brother will not hesitate to kill me!
And with the start of something there’s going to be more to come! Later, even if I don’t want to hurt brother, it’s unavoidable because I won’t have a choice. It’s because I know my brother too well. He was born a little extreme in his personality, and under the long years of oppression by father, his character gradually became warped to something that’s ruthless and cold.
Originally I thought that if I had enough power to protect myself then that’s enough, but later I realized, I realized it’s useless. Brother has taken me as his sworn enemy! The greatest goal in him by then was to rid me from this world. Poor brother, even in death he still didn’t know the truth. It’s father who took me as a shield to hinder his path, not me standing in his way. His true opponent wasn’t me; it was our dear father I tell you.
And that’s exactly where my best advantages lie. I know father would never allow me to die, that’s his bottom line. When my life was threatened, father will step in to protect me!
Unfortunately, I don’t have the leeway to look back either at that point. Because of my understanding of brother, even if I blindly wait for him to step onto the throne and become the future emperor, he won’t tolerate me in the end!
So, my goal in confronting him eventually changed. I originally only wanted to protect myself, but later I understood that’s not enough. In order to truly save myself, I needed to drag him down and never let him stand as the emperor. So, our battle became more and more intense, finally to the point of life and death.”
Du Wei sighed inside.
it doesn’t take much for him to image the ten year old boy treading through perilous hurdles inside the castle. It’s true that Prince Son’s methods can often be taken as sinister and cold at times, but for a child to survive all those years, these sorst of excessive means are a must.
A child losing his innocence and then being tossed into a political struggle to witness the dirtiest of mires in this world, that’s what created the current Prince Son!
People say he’s a murderer that killed his own brother, but who would know the difficulties he experienced to have come this far?
“Big brother’s plan for a coup was known to me early on, but I did not stop it beforehand despite being capable of it. That’s my biggest chance to knock him down, my only way to survive and to win the battle. I am not greedy for the throne, I’m purely fighting for my basic right of living! To live and to survive, I did all sorts of things before the coup. In order to gain the support of the temple I secretly made the deal with the Pope. My niece may be the holy maiden, but my offering was the Temple’s long sought after victory over imperial power. So, during the coup the temple did as agreed and poured all their resources onto me and mercilessly dealt a heavy blow to my brother!”
Speaking up to here, Prince Son’s face gradually reveals a complicated smile: “The Pope must be very proud right now because anyone would think that it’s only a matter of time before I truly become the emperor. If they can make the emperor recognize the pope as his godfather, then that would symbolize the royal family’s status is below the divine right! But he’s wrong! Everyone thinks I hold a lot of weight over the throne, but in truth, I don’t!”
Then, Prince Son winked at Du Wei: “If the Pope can scheme against me then couldn’t I scheme against him? Humph, he wants to make an emperor his godson? He wish! Before I made the agreement with him, I’ve already made a decision. For my entire life, I will never be enthroned as the emperor! The title, let’s leave it to my children and I will forever stay as the Regent!”
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