Chapter 2 - Won’t Talk, Can’t Fight
translated by A013
The day of triumphant return.
The imperial capital was basked in celebration. However the Earl’s mansion was the totally opposite. It was a dead silence. No celebration party, no welcoming ceremony, not even a simple dinner.
The Earl hurried back to his mansion, and rejected to see some guests, with the reason that after three years out in the war, he needed some personal space with his family.
Even though this disappointed the guests, no one can refute this reason.
Inside the Earl’s mansion, the kingdom’s hero and his son were staring at each other.
The look of his eyes were deep, depressing, and complex. If he didn’t firmly believe that his wife never cheated. The moment the Earl see the child, he questioned if this is really his son.
The boy’s face and build is vastly different from the Earl. The men in the Roland family were famous for their image of masculinity. A typical Roland man will have a big body, a wide chest, bulked arms, squared face, the look of a hero. At least the Earl looked like this.
But this little guy...
Even though he’s only three years old, he’s too white, and skinny. I heard he had an injury a month ago, perhaps that’s the explanation.
The three year old Earl’s heir, Duwei Roland, looked at his father with indifferent eyes. He didn’t cry like children his age. This disappointed the Earl. According to customs, the louder a child cries, the stronger they will become.
Yet, this boy was a little too quiet. He just sat on his bed, with hands on his knees, and stared at me with a bit of curiosity and inspection.
The Earl thought to himself, I must be wrong at judging, how can a child’s eyes have such complex feelings?
While the Earl was a little gloomy, Duwei’s feelings were more complex.
The Earl’s wife had soften Duwei’s heart with the events that happened. But this ‘father’ that suddenly appeared...
“He... really can’t talk?” The Earl asked his wife with a stern expression. Tears started filling up her eyes. Seeing this the Earl’s expression softened. He thought to himself, he left for three years, leaving his wife alone. A woman needed her husband the most when she was about to give birth. And he was not able to be by her side. And their son became like this, there’s nothing to blame on this poor woman.
The Earl said softly, “Honey, we will hire the wisest teacher in the kingdom. He will be able to speak one day. But his body is too weak. The Roland family built their reputation through battles and victories. And my son will follow my path to become a general. He can’t be this weak. He’s already three, I think it’s time we find him an instructor. After a few years of training his body should bulk up. What do you think about Alpha? He’s my most royal guard. His combat skills are high, and he’s royal to the family. I think starting next month, we can have Alpha teach Duwei some basic training techniques.”
Upon hearing her poor son will have to train at such an early age, tears poured down the mother’s eyes. “But.. he’s still so young.”
“Due to his body is weaker than most people, he has to take up training at an early age. Otherwise how can he inherit the Roland family!” The Earl took his position firm and that was decided.
The second day, after seeing the king and receiving his third rank 1 medal, the king promoted Earl Raymond Roland as the kingdom’s vice general.
Raymond Roland’s son is retarded, this is not a secret in the imperial city. Everyone can see the gloom on the Earl’s face during the celebration ceremony.
In the Mansion, the Earl and his son were staring at each other the second time. However, the Earl’s wife is not here this time around. The only outsider is Alpha.
Earl Raymond had an unexplainable dislike to his child. He felt that the gaze in the child’s eyes are not blank, there’s a hint of resistance. Then he thought to himself, what can a three year old know? And he was away to war since the child was born. He never even held the boy once. It is only natural for the boy to see himself as a stranger.
Alpha stood in front of Duwei’s bed and held him up. He took off the boy’s clothes and touched him from top to body. Duwei resisted but his efforts were futile. The strength of a first rank swordsman isn’t something he can resist.
Alpha gave out a sigh and put Duwei down. Then he said to the Earl, “Master Earl, I...”
“Alpha, you are my most trusted person. Don’t hesitate too much and say whatever’s on your mind.”
“Master Duwei’s body is very weak, and it seems like he was born.. deficient. A body like this is worse than a commoner’s. If he he’s going down the path of a warrior, I am afraid he won’t accomplish much.”
“Then what do you think?”
“Why don’t we see if he has talent in other fields.”
And with that, the Earl’s face darkened.
The Earl was disappointed for a few days. But under his wife’s comforting words, he cheered up a bit. After all, this is his only son.
The Roland’s reputation were warriors. However, in history, there was one or two known for their intelligence in the battlefield. These ancestors didn’t fare well in combat, but they can command the army and control the battlefield.
If he can’t learn to combat, then let’s educate him in literature.
How can a child that didn’t know how to speak learn literature? Even if you hire the wisest scholar in the kingdom, you have to at least make the child talk first.
Differing from the Earl’s wife, Earl Raymond had a feeling that his son knew how to talk, but he didn’t want to talk. The more he saw his son, the more he felt that the child isn’t retarded, rather someone that rejected this world.
The Earl put up huge rewards around the imperial city. No matter anyone’s background, whoever can make his child speak a word will be rewarded 1000 gold.
A wide variety of people came to try out. Even a few bards from far away. These people tried everything from playing a flute in front of Duwei for a whole afternoon, to banging next to his ears, to scaring him when he wasn’t cautious, even one wanted to throw the boy into a river, thinking he will ask for help, of course the last one was thrown out of the mansion.
The whole event became a hot topic in the imperial city. Yet, this difficult question was accidentally solved by a servant. And the his name? Mard.
Mard was a simple old man. The method he came up with was to bring Duwei to the stable. Normal children would be interested in animals. This method was simple but there’s no risk to a try anyway. So the Earl agreed.
Upon entering the stable...
The stable hand that took over Mard’s job was being lazy the past few days and hadn’t cleaned it. So when Mard and Duwei walked in, a horrible stink rushed to their nose. They ran out as soon as possible.
Duwei muttered in reaction, “That shit stinks.”
And with that Mard was rewarded 1000 gold, the stable hand got 20 gold for not cleaning.
“He is your teacher from this day on.” The Earl said to his son while pointing at an old man in white robe. “This is Mr. Rosia. He has the title of Star Reader (people that can tell the future by reading the stars), he’s also proficient in history.”
In the beginning, Mr. Rosia completed his job remarkably. After a year’s teaching, Duwei can already write. Even though it’s not too rare for a child to know how to write at four, it’s still uncommon.
For a while, the Earl thought maybe his child is a genius?
However, when Duwei reached five. Mr. Rosia encountered a difficult problem. That night he had a conversation with the Earl.
“Master Earl, please hire someone else.” Mr. Rosia said with a face of defeat. “Your son is a genius. An old man like me doesn’t have the energy to teach such students.”
Seeing the scholar’s face, Earl’s heart dropped a beat. He can guess what the scholar meant by genius. Even if the wise scholar can’t teach his son, then...
“But, Mr. Rosia...”
“No, no. Master Earl, please don’t ask me to stay. I am not qualified for such a difficult job.” The scholar said it with a firm voice.
The Earl let out a sigh, is it such a difficult task to teach my son? If Mr. Rosia can’t do it then there’s no one else I can rely on.
The scholar felt unease. Words like “The sun and the moon are two big spheres,” can be seen as a child’s thoughts. But then when a five year old said “Centralization of political power is the cause of corruption,” scared the scholar so much, his heart almost stopped pounding.
In fact, after teaching Duwei for a whole year, the scholar knew that he isn’t retarded like the rumors said. He was very smart, more so than children on his age. But opinions like political power can’t come from a child no matter what. So the scholar assumed that those were the words of the Earl, and the child overheard it. The Earl has huge military power and is the second person in command of the whole army. If such a person is not content with the royal house then...
Mr. Rosia is just a scholar. He didn’t want to be part of a political war.
The Earl finally agreed to let the scholar leave. The Earl thought to himself, is my son really hopeless?
Duwei was standing by the window in his room when he watched as the scholar left.
“Mard, do you think ignorance is a blessing?”
Mard didn’t know how to respond. He was not educated in any bit, so when his little master asked, there’s no way for him to know the answer. Ignorance? Is the little master troubling over himself?
“Whatever.” Duwei turned his head around. His little face with fatigue.
Relative to this world, I know too much. I know why the sun and moon exist, why there are days and nights, why there are four seasons. Perhaps in this world, ignorance is a bless.