AOH – Chapter 4

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CHAPTER 04: NEW BEGINNING

1007 AF
“Hurry, hurry, the soup is about to run out.”
My mother is hurrying me to be faster.
Today there is a feast in our house to celebrate my father buying new lands after we got the money from the profits of our harvest and my mother bakery.
My mother bread is also famously known among the nobles. Our family is known to the noble because of our constant business with them.
My mother bakery is also getting bigger.
My father constructed a bigger and spacious space for my mother to sell her brad.
My mother also hired many people from our village to facilitate the growing demand from both the nobles and the surrounding villages.
There are many types of bread that is sold in my mother bakery now.
I advise my mother to hire people who can make different bread and sell it to our bakery. So now we have about 30 workers in my mother bakery.
With the profit of the bread I ask my father to open up new bakery in the other villages.
Right now my mother has 3 bakery stores. Each of the workers will be taught on how to bake bread and then they will be sent to the villages to practice the trade.
There are many menus in my mother bakery.
There is the flatbread which is made with fenugreek seeds and maize; the dough first has to be allowed to ferment overnight, then flattened and baked.
There is the yeast bread, a sweet, cornmeal and molasses based bread.
There is the sweet bun thanks to my father doing trade with the cities on white beans.
There is also the cornbread, fruit bread, rye bread, and many others.
This business of bread also made us one of the suppliers of bread to the many inhabitants to the city of Bleeding Rock, Bleeding Eye and Rodes.
With that money my father bought many lands in Danoba village from the nobles.
He fills the form for Acquisition of Land because lands are in the Law belongs to the House that rule in that land.
Land that is from other villagers need not for my father to send or fill the form but for unclaimed land or unlanded land my father need to buy it from the Nobles that rule it.
In Danoba the ruler is House of Alan.  The great house of the companion of Levitia, descended from a prestigious line of nobility.
After 3 weeks my father got the reply, 100 acre of lands finally belong to our family. So right now we have 200 acre of lands.
We have use about 5000 gold to buy the land. Any month now my father might even get a title from the ruling House.
With it we grow many more fruits and plant from the seed and plants we bought at the city through Will Smith, our neighbor that always get his supplies from the city.
There are also many people that came here especially from the other village.
Of course this didn’t happen in my past life. That is mostly because our village is becoming a productive village.
With our method of cultivating our harvest our village is the biggest suppliers of fruits and grain, clovis, and turnip to Bleeding Rock and Bleeding Eyes city.
We also began planting apple. This would bring us a lot of gold, surely.
In our areas that is the only city that is of any consequence.
Of course there is The Blood Anthem city in Dented Shield the walled castle city that is one of the largest city in the Dukedom but our village is beginning to become bigger with many of this new people migrating to this village.
Many houses were also built and shops open.
In my past life our family did not get rich nor is our village prosperous as it is now.
Yes, we are rich, the richest in the village of course. Pennies, coppers, and gold. Arial smiles.
And to think it all started with that farming method.
It seems what I glanced during my death could help. But what else could I glance.
I see many things but when I broke through my memory become fuzzy.  Not about the events that happen but what I saw.
But of course he is not the richest in the Dukedom but we are richer than our families have ever been.
In the past lives, at least that how I refer to my life prior to my death, we are not rich.
We live comfortably, yes, but not rich.
Our house is also bigger thanks to Kevan Mason one of the mason that live in our village. He is also quite talented.
Our house floors were paved, as opposed to being strewn with rushes and herbs, and decorated with tiles.
Tapestries were hung on the walls, bought by my mother, providing not only decoration but also an extra layer of warmth.
(She is a noble woman before so I guess she knows thing like this)
But I did remember that during my past life my mother try to avoid speaking about that part of her family.
She didn’t seem to like it.
Fenestral windows, with lattice frames that were covered in a fabric soaked in resin and tallow, allowed in light, kept out drafts, and could be removed in good weather was also bought my mother to decorate our new house.
My mother seems happy, Arial mused.
I guess it is alright to be happy. My father also looks happy.
I remembered my father once said to me before; that he always felt regretful to my mother for not being able to give her the life she is accustomed to.
My father is a farmer’s son. My mother is the daughter of a minor noble.
Love shouldn’t be her choice. But she chose love. She always chooses love. And that what makes my mother beautiful and full of life.
At least that is what my father say.
She has a light in her face that can only be explained because of her acceptance towards people and the love she give.
She said to me once when I was 15 years old when I ask her if she regret marrying my father. I still remember the conversation as clear as day. She said,
“I was a fool back then. Fool with love.”
“So, you mean, you regret marrying father? I asked her, curios
“Regret? Why should I? My foolishness was the best kind of foolishness.  Since I’ve met your father and still now, I’m still a fool.” Then she continued while smiling
Both he and I have grief enough and trouble enough, but as for regrets – neither of us have any. And pain. Yes we have pain. But pain beats regret….every day.”
And she smiled looking at me and said to me that someday I would understand.
I never did understand. After the war, the humanity has no time for love….for marriage.
Or did it only apply to me?
After all even in the Great Invasion people still marry each other. Lovers love. People still marry, still they hope.
Or was I so corrupted by all the scene I seen, the things that I felt, that I began to believe I didn’t deserve love. I’m no saint after all. To survive the world at that time, for me was very hard.
I was not strong. I was not rich. All I can lean on was my resourcefulness. I did some things. Dirty things. Cruel things.
Betrayed the people that trust me and lie to those who I called my friends to save my own hide. There is not one person that I call my friend that I did not eventually betray.
People said it is man that makes the times, or is it the reverse?
Is it the times that makes the people? The world was harsher back then. The time…was darker and crueler.
Crueler. Darker. …..I’ll stop it.
Even if I have to sacrifice everything that I have, everything that I hold dear, such fate must not befall humanity again.
I will not see it happen a second time. Humanity will survive this time.
Let me bear all the sins.
“What you’re dreaming about, Arial?” My mother beckons towards me and handed me the tray. I was awakened from my musings.
It was a roasted ox that our neighbors help us to roast.
I went to the kitchen after I put the roast ox into the large table outside in the field. My father really goes all out in celebrating.
I don’t mind so much.  After all this is all the villagers that I love.
There’s Uncle Rodrik that always help me when I’m in trouble for behaving mischievously.
Aunt Vilisa who always gave me food and breads and sometimes her recipes which always involves fruits and meat.
It was bizarre but strangely delicious. and not to forget George the tavern keeper that always make jokes and give me many advices about life.
Though most of the time he always persuaded me to drink his brewed wine, which many has attest to be gut wrenching and stink to high heaven.
All this people help me in my previous life.
They in one way or another, play a part in shaping me to become the man I am, at least the man I was proud to be before all the tragedy began.
There is Uncle Daniel with his children Kyle and Lisa.
In my past life I didn’t know her kids that intimately considering that Kyle and Lisa would die two years later because of the winter.
But I hope this time that fate will not befall the children of Uncle Daniel. After all, the villagers here have a lot of harvest.
Kyle and Lisa also come in to the kitchen helping their mother and my mother bringing the dish outside. There is cabbage, leeks, and onions.
“Ouch” Lisa groans in pain after her hand touches the hot plate.
“Be careful” I said to Lisa and quickly I hold her hand. I use my internal energy to cure her. Quickly the burn dissipated, her wound closes.
It seems my internal energy has reached a powerful level. There are still some scars in her hands but it is obvious now that internal energy works like healing magic.
“Are you alright, dear?“ my mother asked checking her hand. She looks fine.
“Be careful now” my mother reminded Kyle and Lisa.
My house has big fireplaces where meat, even large oxen, could be roasted on spits. Of course these are separate buildings, to minimize the threat of fire.
The pantries were hung with birds and beasts, including swans, blackbirds, ducks, pigeons, rabbits, mutton, venison, and wild boar.
Many of these animals were caught on hunts.
My fathers of course don’t have the ability to hunt so he just buys it from the hunter that resides in our villages.
The luxury of having plentiful of gold. My father came to the kitchen. He wears a ring a brooch that is inscribes with an inscription.
“Amor Vincit Omnia”
Love conquers all, in the Ancient Tongue.
(It was my idea)
My mother is also wearing the same ring brooches.
This was for my mother name day last year. My father was so happy when he got the ring that he almost ruins the surprise.
My mother was so happy that she burst into tears. Arial smile remembering the scene.
My father is loved by the people of the village but not only this village.
With my father interaction with other village and the fact that my father always lends a helping hand, he is also loved in Brulau, Ghili, Cuvar and nearby villages.
Peasants had to make their own houses and usually they used mud and sticks for the floor and walls and the roof was thatched with straw.
Bad weather and high winds would easily damage the houses and it was essential that repairs were carried out as soon as possible.
However, because of the vast number of jobs that needed to be done throughout the year, it was often only in the Winter months that the peasants would have time to do proper repairs, the rest of the year they would just patch their houses up.
It is this people that my father helps by providing with straws.
Of course I advise my father against it. But my father was stubborn.
He said “what is the good of this money, if we can’t use it to help other people”
My father is too naïve. But generous, and it was these virtues that made him so endearing to the populace of the village.
Though I couldn’t blame him. He didn’t know what I was planning. I intend to use the money we have to safeguard the realm or maybe buy a title as Baron.
A minor lord but still a Lord.
I have always disgusted by the game that the High Lords plays but I of course recognize the importance of having power.
Of course I can avoid the dirty game by not participating. But that is only running away.
And I’m done running away.
To be honest, it’s not because the game is dirty that I don’t want to participate. It was because it is scary.
If the game is dirty then I should clean it up. I’m avoiding it because I fear that I too would be just as filthy.
My father does not held the feast just because he bought the new land but it is also because he is elected as the Village Chief by the people of the village.
Village Chief Rudolf has retired and after unanimous decision my father is elected the as the Village Chief which means he will settle the dispute of the village people.
Of course, my father at first did not want it but my mother believed in him.
I believed in him. My father may not be smart but he has the right heart. And my mother will surely help him.
After all she knew the etiquette and my mother Julia Vermont is smart. My father also hire stonemason to build a water mill.
This is good considering that our village is near the river. This must be my mother ideas.
Watermills were more reliable than windmills because they did not depend on the weather.
However, watermills had to build next to a stream with running water if they were to operate.
 This will also help us mill our grain.
My father also charged a fee for the use of his mill but of course it is cheaper than Josh Mill service which will render his job useless.
Which is why my father employs him to work at our farms which he readily agreed.
We were all at the big table. Most of the village people has already taken a seat.
Then my father spoke the prayers.
“When you rise, give thanks to Light”
Give thanks for life, for strength
For food and for joy
Here we give thanks for our harvest and bountiful food.
May our path is illuminated by the Grace of Your Light.”
“So be it” the other muttered ending the prayer.
Then they began eating. Those who have some musical talent began playing musical instruments. Some young people began dancing.
The maiden looks down in shyness when the boys asking them to dance with them, while their fathers were glaring at the boys.
The other was laughing and talk about their harvest, stories when they were young and my father entertained them with humility and hear their stories.
It is a joyous day. The oxen roast was finished in just a couple of minutes.
Then the meat and chickens. Thankfully my father has made many purchases for food.
Then suddenly, someone can be seen running to the feast with a stricken expression on his face.
The other also notices this. It is Hans the priest that is staying here.
“Bandits” he screamed. Immediately the atmosphere turns cold. Our village is near the thick forest so sometimes there are these kinds of stories.
Bandits attack? Arial was panicked. This never happen before. He didn’t remember before about any bandit attack.
Change one thing, change everything
He remembered the quote he read in Levitia Journal on the Theory of Time Space Magic.
Change one thing, change everything
Is that it? Before the bandits never attack because the village is not prosperous either there is any significance in attacking our village
But now? Our village is one of the most prosperous villages in the Dukedom. My father quickly forms an adventurer group to intercept this bandits.
This is my fault.
My most grievous fault.
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