Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
The sudden news of my father was coming to the boot camp caught me confusingly off-guard since he should have been extremely preoccupied at the moment. How come he had time to visit me?
“I’m on my way.” I give a nodding to my guard before I realized that my lord father could be onto a matter of importance.
Therefore I attended a few last words regarding logistics and relocated the needed personnel as Carlos had requested, then headed towards my pavilion.
He rotated to face me the moment I lifted the door curtain. A familiar smile showed on his weary face. My father was calm despite the horrific situation out there. This was why I admired this middle-aged man who I called ‘father’ so much.
“Father,” I walked by and said in the least anxious voice, “I wasn’t expecting you would tour here now.”
“No you weren’t. I want to see you.” He moved his eyes to view me from the top to end, a hint of praise showed, which I sensed from his vision, “You’ve become a man after all these days.”
As a ‘gangster viceroy’, I’ve heard so much aspersions and calumny that I couldn’t be less used to praising. Therefore I slightly looked away from my father’s eyes, abashed.
“Walk with me.” He started heading to the door curtain, “Sitting behind the desk makes my body stiff.”
“Er, yes, father.” I hurried to follow.
The two of us hence toured on a lonely pavement by the edge of the camp where yelling soldiers and cursing officers seemed to be particular loud.
“Cohen,” He broke the silence, “do you know why I’m here for?”
I shook my head.
“Here are men and blades, and there are papers and meetings.” Said him, “And I paid a visit at the busiest moment, do you feel strange?”
“You never do unnecessary things, lord father.” I gave a thought and said, “If you do want to talk to me, then this talk will definitely save you much trouble in the future days.”
“Not bad.” He nodded, “Though a bit utilitarian. Is it wrong for a father to see his son who recently ran away from death?”
I scratched my hair.
“Let talk about business. You see, there are other viceroys in Swabia who are still loyal to the rightful king. Af first, I planned to slowly make contact with them.” He frowned, “However, I received intelligence yesterday knowing the provinces near DC that stood against Luhrmann had fallen quickly. Four viceroys as well as their families were slaughtered. One yielded. These viceroys’ territories are inland and too close to DC, Luhrmann’s vast army could have them sieges too easily.”
“In other words,” said I, “it’s time for us to make a move.”
“I understand your troopers are still going through rigorous trainings. However, more news regarding this civil war will be expected to come in in a day or two.” Said him, “In the past few days, some of the courtiers who fled from DC and adjacent provinces, one after another have arrived at Dark City. Judging by their telling, Luhrmann is getting his hands ready for us.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that since I’ve readied the army and deployed as many scouts as necessary.” Said I, “Luhrmann will be needing more than one day to mobilize and march on.”
Seeing that I caught his idea, my father continued, “One more thing regarding the relationship between you and the king. How do you plan to handle it?”
“He is the king, and I’m his subject. How else am I gonna to handle?” I shrugged, “I might just find a suitable time and swear my loyalty to him.”
“You will never do that.” My father shook his head, “It’s a terrible idea.”
“Could it be?” I asked, “I squeezed out a great deal of inner determination to do so.”
“The king would expect all the people in the world to pledge their allegiance,” My father backed his palms and said, “save for yours.”
“And why is that?”
“King Fischer had lost all his families overnight. Anyone who values closed ones as much as King Fischer would feel the same way as a part of his body was ripped off from his living sou.” My father sighed then gradually explained, “Your friendship is probably one of the two things that are powering him save for his eager for vengeance. Imagine if you swore loyalty to him now like the rest of men did, what would King Fischer think? You are practically taking the friendship out of his virtually empty body.”
“I feel you. You fear that Fischer would be jealous because your good deeds could shadow his authority, am I right?”
“You read my mind.”
“Cohen, listen to me, a king’s subject must consider the big picture, let alone you share a deeper bond with King Fischer. You ought to believe that he’s able to adjust and we will have time to make amends to the mistakes. But you’ll not do harm to him now.” My father gazed at me, his eyes revealed a hint of determination, “What loyalty concerns could wait. There is a bigger matter that should occupy your attention.”
I inquired eagerly, “Yes, father.”
“As far as the situation went south, I do look at it positively. And I believe my son and his mighty army will eventually take DC back and recover Swabia as a whole. What do you think?”
“I firmly believe that like you do.” I had no choice but to obediently nod because a father’s simple words means no less than royal decrees.”
“Like I said, 50% of the king’s will is powered by vengeance. And when the final victory comes, that part will vanish. Until then, half of that once occupied part will be empty which your friendship alone cannot fulfill.” My father’s face grew gloomy, “Do you understand what I said.”
“Yes, I do. But it’s so complicated that it never occurred to me before you mentioned it. What am I supposed to do?”
“Put it simply, King Fischer’s purpose is to avenge. And by the time we end Luhrmann’s life, there will be no purpose. Up until that moment, we won’t know what he will do.” My father lowered his sound, “A physical body that’s supported by vengeance usually collapses the moment the kill is done.”
“Then what should we do?”
“Try as hard as you can to fill that empty hole with your friendship. I will join to make it right.” My father signed, “Only pure love and care could the wound be healed.”
“Isn’t it a good idea to find a royal companion for him?” A hint of light suddenly struck me, “Once Fischer falls in love, the empty part is automatically filled.”
“I’ve been considering the same thing.” My father nodded with praising eyes, “The problem is that there is no girl in either Darkmoon and Dark City suitable for the king. It is a matter concerned by wealth, fame and a family. A potentially rightful royal female partner is extremely difficult to come by.”
Head lowered, I quickly went over my territory only to discover that there was indeed no rightful candidate.
“Therefore, mark this in mind, start searching. I’ll write you a letter at times necessary.” My father leaned closer, “Once a better candidate emerges, Cohen, I want you to get hold of her with any means necessary.”
“Are you suggesting…” I was a little stunned, “there’re other politically variables within?”
“There are, indeed, my boy.” Father laughed like delightedly, “Suppose you were the viceroys who joined Luhrmann’s side, and when you were swearing your loyalty to him while secretly sending your daughters and granddaughters to Darkmoon as candidates for King Fischer, what would Luhrmann think?”
“Wicked! Damn, dad, you said it like an evil fox!”
“I caught the essence pretty fast. One more thing, think deeper about what I said earlier.” He stated meaningfully, “When the war starts, we won’t have many chances to meet.”
He paced slower so I could walk shoulder to shoulder with him, “Are you still angry that I insisted on lowering your title the other day?”
“Nope.” I shook my head, “I’m not overly fond of nobility ranking and stuff.”
“I’m glad you are not.” My father silenced for a second, “And what about the relationship with Flynn and the other 2 girls? And what about my daughter-in-low from Winper City who I never had the chance to meet.”
I was totally abashed.
“Easy, son. Despite you handled it lousily, I don’t consider the wrong to be worth considering.” He chuckled, “Put your heart away, this is a father-and-son conversation.”
I grew even gloomier, “I wish, Flynn and the gals won’t forgive me. I understand the their undertakings and the less the girls talk, the unhappier I become.”
“The girls are not alone.” My father said to me, “Tell you, Cohen, you are me son and I watched you grew up. Ever since you’re a boy, oftentimes you confused me with your unique ideas and I couldn’t decide whether to let you or rectify those ideas. I ended up trying to pass on my existing knowledges instead of trying to explain your questions. Because I knew you must have your own thoughts and answers to the world.”
I looked him back in surprise.
“However, one thing I’ve missed that you’re, after all, a young man. However sharp your brain is, the soul in this body is underexperienced. You still have much more to go through.” He tapped my shoulder, “I was wrong indulging you one virtually all things.”
“I’ll stop here.” He derived his eyes to another direction, “How do you prepare to handle the girls?”
(How else can I handle them?)
A strong wild blast whipped, my cape floated. Carey’s blood drops on the cloth caught my eyes. I waggled my head.
“A few words of wisdom for you, son.” My father leaned in, “Courtesy, respect, honesty and loyalty.”
“Flynn and you three are friends to begin with, and you only wedded them to follow the queen’s blessing. Normally, a man needs time to adjust to all the change, however, you were too occupied, the time needed was not given. Hence the situation.” He nodded, “Given time, all will find the right answer.”
“That can’t be true. You know, father, Flynn is…”
He raised a hand to stop me from continuing.
“I know, I know.” He said gently, blinked, “Mark my words. All the wrong you’ve done does not excuse Flynn from doing everything right. You are a man now, boy, be one.”
I replied with a bleak face.
“There’s a story about a family of 3 sisters.” My father faced me, “Three girls were married to the same man. The eldest girl was a smart, calm, yet serious female. She thought doing housekeeping was a way to show care for her husband so she tried to change the man with her ways and she required the man to not disobey. And the relationship did not go well. And the second girl was always ok with her elder sister. She never consider her sister’s way with her husband to be wrong and never mediate when there was a problem, therefore she deepened the problem. As for the youngest, she was so soft and gentle that she consider herself to be less worthwhile to say a word in the arguement. In her mind, anything she said will bring more trouble to the relation. The end, you could imagine.”
My father’s story enlightened me, “I see…”
“The problem lies with the elder sister. She thought love will change her husband and he’ll become a man everyone loves. However, it never occurred to her that the boy had grown to a man.” My father smiled, “Son, if you intend to break the ice, break it from your side. Let Flynn realizes that all she did will only make things worse. It’s a harder than just saying.”
“Let’s stop here. Hurry on your duties. I’m heading back.”
“As you wish.” I nodded to reply, “Please watch for youself, father.”
“I’m fine.” My father said sorrowfully, “Suddenly I realize, friendship is a luxury which once lost, will never return.”
He tapped my shoulder and headed to his guard without another word.
Seeing that he skillfully mounted the horse and waved to say goodbye, I went back over to what my father said earlier. He was right, there are things that, once lost, will never return.
I made a gesture to the orderly not far behind me.
“Send words to the Chief of Staff, prioritize all business on hand and empty the rest of the night.” Said I, “Fetch me a horse.”
He went off running while I sunk into pondering. My father was do his best for Fischer, but nobody was there for my father. The death of King Climos was probably the only would in his heart that may take forever to heal.
Therefore I decided to write to my mother for now.
As soon as I had finished attending the leftover businesses and returned to the long-absented viceroy’s mansion, it was dusk.
Down through the first and middle yard, I let myself straight into the garden where my wives’ chamber was located. I silently halted the few maidens waited by the door who naturally tried to tell alert their masters. The girls’ eyes were filled with surprise probably due to my lack of appearance in the ladies’ chamber. I, on the other hand, waved a hand to tell them to clear this area.
“Is someone there?” The maidens’ steps were noticed by Winslet the elf, she asked.
With a smile, I sounded the door while answered without a fuss, “It is I.”
“Cohen?” Carey sounded surprised as her rapid pace came nearer then made a fast stop by the door. Then came a period of silence. I couldn’t figure what went on behind the closed door though my sense has been improving.
“Hello, girls? Don’t wanna open the door for your husband?” I said loudly, “This wooden deck is gonna cost a fortune.”
Then came a slight noise and the door was finally open. There, Carey waited with a pair of beautiful eyes full of pleasant surprise.
“This is for you and I wonder you might be fond of it.” I handed a flower bundle to Carey while my I other foot crossed the doorframe.
“Ah…” I could assume Carey’s astonishment because I’ve never gifted anything to my wives. While she came back to herself, she found her husband was already in the chamber. Carey quickly glimpsed her sister who sat far in the room and worried, “You’re not allowed in here, come out!”
I didn’t follow her command, instead, I seated myself by a table with my hand holding hers, which abashed the girl.
Winslet was bewildered while Flynn gazed at me with a hint of curiosity.
After sitting down, I poured myself a glass of water then emptied the container.
“How curious today.” Flynn dropped her pen, she said softly, “Our lord husband actually broke his vow and entered our chamber without permission.”
“I’m here to see you three.” My eyes passed the papers on the desk and stopped to view Flynn’s glorious pupils, “It’s not odd.”
“I assume you could remember your own words.” Flynn said to me with a half smile, “Have you bring proper tributes for us?”
“Nope,” I scratched my head, which was my trademark gesture, “I forgot.”
Flynn was half amused, half annoyed, “Quit this nonsense, there’s the door.”
“What if I say no?”
Flynn lost words; Winslet burst out with chuckling.
“As far as your lordship as well as the valuable title of a Protoss Knight go…” Flynn pretended to darken her face and began lecturing, “how could you act like this?”
“Hehhe, well I’m not surprised you would say so.” With a hand supporting my jaw, I eyed recklessly at Flynn’s face, “I just know it.”
“Yet you’re still here.” Flynn’s younger sister angrily landed a vase on the table seeing that her elder sister was having a hard time, “Being a jerk again? You should keep your words.”
“I am keeping. If you are expecting a proper tribute, here presents: a qualified husband who also proved to be more than a friend, which is the most proper tribute.” I shrugged, “I had a great deal of plans when I made that promise and I was not sure what that particular present is. However, things change, rapidly. I fear I would have been too old to wait for that proper tribute to actually materialize.”
“Oh?” Winslet asked, worried, “The situation is going south out there?”
“Not in the moment, rest assured.” With a gentle face, I gazed at Winslet, “I’m merely here because I miss you. As your husband, it’s my right and my obligation. I’m not out of the line at all.”
Winslet lowered her eyes, abashed, so she fetched a piece of random paper, pretended to read.
“I lost comments.” Flynn must have realized that I can’t stop insisting, so she gave up driving me out, “My love, as much as we would like you to stay here, no one pushed you into making that promise. Besides, there are a few problems that remain unsolved.”
“Tiny cases can be put aside for future consulting.” I lightened up the mood, “Like I said, tiny cases.”
“What’s gotten into you today, Cohen?” Winslet raised here eyes and asked with concern, “You’re… different today.”
“Still that old Cohen Kheda.” I answered, “It’s just, I figured something out.”
Hearing that, a hint of ease flashed before Flynn’s pupils.
“Figure what thing out?” Carey, too, had her eyes lightened.
“There’re are thing that can’t be traced back, once lost.” I knocked on the desk but my eyes were fixed on the ceiling, “There’re many days within a man’s whole life, I figure. Once today’s gone, then it’s gone for real. I miss you, so here I am, I just am. As for the tiny cases I mentioned between us, let’s just put them aside since we do not process the time to consider them. I’m gonna take care of what’s before my eyes and this young lord here can’t care for everything.
“Good. I don’t think you’ll keep yourself out today, whatever we try. We’ll let you pass today.” Flynn eased into a chuckling, “But you have to stay put only.”
“I will. Your husband is indeed horny, but not to the point that I need to rape my wives.” I grinned, “Not my style.”
Hearing my words, without comments, Winslet approached and pinched harshly on my elbow.
“Sit down!” The elf’s made a exaggerated angry face, “Watch us do our jobs.”
“Yes, madam.” I nodded and went for the glass of wine Carey poured. I had to admit I really enjoyed this moment of warmth by looking at these 3 girls.
In this spacious chamber lit by gentle yet clear magic lamps, all things were so vivid before my eyes: 3 blond faces, a faint fragrance and a few jingle-bell-like whisper every now and then. I fell for it and I was greatly contended.
A good while after, the atmosphere was cut off by Flynn’s voice.
“Is it enough for you? We’ve finished the paper work.” With a cute pouting, Flynn said. Her voice was sweet, that was rare, as if she was hinting me a thing or two. She softly tapped her forearm and the smooth gesture stayed in my brains like a wind blew in carrying the scent of flowers.
“We need to rest now. Lord Viceroy, what will you do?”
At her voice, Winslet hurried to lean her eyes elsewhere instead of my eyes, her figure was extra clear under the spell-powered lamp. I drove my eyes to Carey, she was staring at me with her innocent eyes, confusedly.
I considered. A proper viceroy will not let a chance like this go in vain.
“Haha, I’m gonna stay here, definitely.” I tempted, half joked, “I’m not going to that god-forsaken study tonight.”
While I was making that sound, Flynn was not looking at me. Or supposedly, her attitude was ambiguous.
“I…” I intended to raise a wager, but I shut my mouth after the ‘I’ and at the same time, a regretful pithiness arose.
That was because rapid footsteps were running towards this chamber. And that pattern was such a friend to me.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.