SONG OF HEROES CHAPTER 04: THE FUTURE THAT WE WILL BE WALKING

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The old man walks slowly after he has informed the Third Young Master of his guest.

When he arrived he was shocked to find the Third Young Master was already out of bed and was very energetic.

The Third Young master said to serve his uncle with the greatest honor while he was doing something else.

Errol manages to sneak a peek of what his lord was doing and it seems that the lord was writing something in a parchment, maybe to send a letter to his mother.

If the young lord could not endure this, when will the Wellham’s could enact revenge?

He could feel disappointment in his heart. But maybe it is too early to judge the Third Young Master.

After all he is still only ten years old. He could guide him to become a respectable lord and powerful lord.

Steward Errol has long serves the Wellham’s.

When the Wellham’s were executed almost all of the servants was also executed with the Patriarch of the House of Wellham’s.

But the young lady manages to save him and conceal his identity. He then got himself a job as steward in Windhill after the Vassal Prince promoted him.

A steward is a high station for a person like him.

He was the most important staff in the manor. He oversees all of lord’s manor, does the accounting, appears in manorial courts and greet visiting official.

He also has the power to select the bailiff and reeve.

He should also know how much money and kind is spent entertaining a visiting scholars and officials, what amount each manor should produce harvest, how much wine to buy for the lords main manor and how much the lord and lady spend on clothing every year and which bailiff tends to skim of the top at collection time.

He has many responsibilities.

When the lords is not there, for some reason like the lord must leave to serve military service to fight wars it is the stewards job to oversee and enact the policy of the lord in his stead.

Errol is the Steward.

Sam is the Chamberlain.

Beake is the Bailiff.

Beake has his wife and she is expecting. Beake comes from a rich peasant family and was appointed by Errol.

He and his family receive meals in the great halls at the lord’s expense and receive many other benefits.

Errol has long supervised Beake and he is an honest man and a pious man. Always visit the Temple of Orlanth with offerings when His Month comes.

The Reeve is Wilde.

A harsh man and very protective of his villagers.

Now he is going to the cellars to order some people to bring wine. He wonders what the lord will talk about with his uncle but then he shakes his head.

‘The lord must have his own plans.’ Thinking of this, he quickened his pace.

******************************************************************************

In the room Charles is writing something. He smiles and he smirks and he laughs. There is two letters.

One of is to be sent to Southern Han. The other one is to be sent to King Julius.

It was signed not by his name but by a different name

The Sleeping Dragon.

In the bottom of the letter, he writes

In Times of Peace, Sleeping Dragon Has No Use.

Inside of that letters is strategy. Charles possess not the mind of the people of his age should possess.

He possess the 2000 years of warfare knowledge from Earth. Trickery from every strategy book, he possesses it all.

He participated in wars as planners, Special Forces and many other roles. He even manages to become a professor in science late in his life.

Now he returns to his world, a world where war is not yet quite developed, where trickery is not yet developed.

It is not because the people of his world were honorable just that they didn’t think how to trick their opponent efficiently.

Even though they have warred against each other, not many war involved millions of people. Even the last rebellion of the Pendragon only uses 20 thousand people.

A new reform needed to be enacted.

Thankfully during the warring Era, many new strategy developed and armies is no longer led by nobility only.

Wars involving thousands, corpses that could form mountains, all of this massacres and large scale war happens during the Warring Era.

If Charles has to compare, the army of the Kingdoms of Midgard is like the army of the Qin dynasty with generals and commanders to lead the army.

But could they hold a candle when face with superior mind as him?

When he woke up other than his situation, he also remembers the situation of all the Kingdoms in Midgard.

There is no war among the seven kingdoms right now, peace seems to be achieved.

But he with his mind could clearly felt that the surface relationship between the Seven Kingdoms is not as it seems.

When he recalls his memories and what he remembers, he feels that there is something.

He could only curse that before his soul was transported he did not care too much about the political matters of the Seven Kingdoms.

If he did, combined with his knowledge, he is confident he could clearly see the true situation among the Seven Kingdoms.

So, he could only draw strategy based on what he already knows of the conflict in the Seven kingdoms.

Now what he is writing is his plan for the territory.

Because he wanted to leave. He needs to create his own followings. But he wouldn’t find it here in Westhold.

His background is his largest obstacles.

But it will be different in Jianghu. Charles knows that the Jianghu people are a bunch of disorganized groups but Charles has a way to unite them.

Charles noted that the culture in his world develop almost exactly the same like Earth. The only difference is that they were not as destructive as Earth.

The culture of Aeropa resembles quite closely to the Han Chinese. While the Northmen resembles quite closely to the culture of Vikings.

But the culture in Midgard is a combination of those two.

Since the Northmen waged a rebellion war during Olaf time the majority of the Seven Kingdoms is Northmen.

Son of Heaven is actually the concept of Eresian instead of Northmen. But there is still the temple of the Old Gods scattered all around the Kingdoms.

But there is also ancestor worship among the nobility, paying respect to the ancestor grave, giving paper money to accompany the dead, this is Eresian culture.

Listening to scholars and setting the Classic of Spring and Autumn as one of the examination subject for post in government is also an Eresian culture.

The Spring and Autumn Classic is like Confucius teaching in Earth.

The only difference that in his world, the Spring and Autumn Classic is the teaching of an unnamed person and is only called Great Teacher.

Charles doesn’t know why the culture resembles Earth to this degree. Maybe all worlds develop their culture like this, and maybe they are parallels worlds with some minor difference.

The only thing that matters to him was that he survives with his life.

So he began writing his policy for his fief. The letter for Southern Han and Westhold he tucked under his drawer and will be sent when the time is right.

Four field system he first wrote on the parchment.

Divide the fields into four different types of produce with wheat in the first, clover in the second, oats or barley in the third, and turnips or swedes in the fourth.

The turnips can be used as fodder to feed livestock in winter, Clover and ryegrass will be grazed by livestock.

That is what he wrote on the letter.

The four field system is not yet used in this world. They only used three rotation systems and that is only in region where they have a lot of educated people.

Some just plant whatever they want.

Using this system, the land could be rested and none of the fields had to be taken out of use whilst they recovered with this system.

The harvest will increased in yields.

The second benefit is that the livestock which no longer needed to be slaughtered before the winter months, which will increased in both quality and quantity in the next year.

More harvest means more food which will eliminate the shortage of livestock and will increase livestock in the next year which will rises exponentially.

Charles wanted to start an agricultural revolution in this village. Why? To strengthen the village and then to gain money.

With that money he will gain power. Why he wanted power? Simple. Because he instantly realizes what he is up against.

If his father died now, Jon will become the patriarch of House of Martell.

When that happens he will not be spared.

For whatever reason, Jon wanted him dead. If not him, his mother. And if that happens, Charles wouldn’t have had any choice other than die.

It will be different if he has some backings or some influence of power to protect him.

In his life on Earth, after the war ended and he return back home he was a veteran of war. He then began to teach and live quite a peaceful life.

But he knows, if he wanted to survive in this world he has to seize power. He is born into a noble family. That could be said his burden.

The policy is his first step.

But he knows he will not be able to reap it in one year.

So, he would just write the outline and his plans and ask the Stewards to enact it exactly how he has instructed in his letters.

Charles also encloses the creation of a Seed Drill with his drawings and explanation and concise details on how to build it and how to use it.

Then he was about to write more when he finally remembers his uncle.

‘I need to see my uncle first.’ He thought to himself and then looking at the unfinished parchment he sighs.

‘Maybe I’m doing it to fast. Take a deep breath. Step by step’ he reminded himself. Then he got up from his study and then making himself presentable he walk to the door.

‘I need to be confident. I need to convey all reason so that my uncle couldn’t shot me down’ he said in front of the door.

Then he comes out of his room.

**************************************************************************

Lancel is in the guest quarters.

He is still reeling from the shock that his nephew brings him. As he put his sword on the holder he sit down on the recliners provided in the rooms and then he laughed out loud.

‘Who would have thought little sister have such a smart little child? I would not have thought! He might be a Martell but the blood of Wellham’s is in him.’

He still remembers what his nephew said to him when he first heard that his nephew wanted him to induct him to Jianghu.

‘Preposterous!’ Lancel yelled.

‘You are from the Princely House. How could you mingle with those ruffians! It would be lowering your status.’

‘Uncle, my status as the concubine son is not very high. Didn’t uncle say that uncle would teach me martial arts?’

‘Yes, bu-‘ but Charles quickly cut him off by saying

‘Then isn’t it better for me to learn inside of Jianghu instead out of it.’

‘You…why are you doing this? If your father knows that you did not govern this village, then the household will surely blames your mother.’

‘That won’t happen.’

‘Oh, why not?’

And Charles smile.

‘Because the reason why mother and father sent me here is because they wanted me to be safe.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Uncle you do know the position of my mother in the household of the Martel’s right? A concubine. Yet, even after the Purge, even after my mother side of the family executed because of treason my father still shields my mother and vouches for her. Why?’ he asked with a smile in his face.

‘At first I also did not understand.’ Charles asks as he walks around in the room, as he look outside the windows and sighed.

‘Love, maybe?’ Lancel offered.

‘Love?’ and Charles snorted.

‘My father is a lot of things, sentimental aren’t one of them. Why would he risk the wrath of a new monarch just because of a woman? I know my father well. No, it’s not because he loves her. It is because he needs her. When I think about father action shielding mother, I also thought that it was borne out of love. But then I look back at our family history and then look at the past glory of my mother side of the family and I realize it. And knowing it, I got chills in my back. My father scheme perfectly’

‘Realize what?’ Lancel was beginning to become curios.

‘At the time of the betrothal between mother and father, it was not my mother family that begged the Martel’s to betroth their daughter to him, but it was the Martel’s that came to my mother side of the family to betroth their son to the Wellham’s.’

Lancel also nodded

‘I heard of this. I was at Aeropa at the time and didn’t even know that your mother got married until I got home a few years later.’

‘Do you know why?’

‘Why…what?’ Lancel stuttered.

‘Why the Martel’s begged the Wellham’s to marry their daughter even though they came from such an influential family?’

Lancel tries to ponder the reason but he could not understand. Lancel does not know it but he began following Charles pace, a ten year old boy.

‘No.’

‘Because our family while we do not have military powers we have something more sacred than just gold or power. It is lineage. Blood. We are of Olaf blood. Our family is one of the twelve branches of Olaf lineage.’

And Lancel suddenly got a flash of enlightenment. He also realizes that Charles said Our family and not his mother family.

It means Charles views the Wellham’s as his family and not the Martel’s.

This is very rare….and one could even say to be unfilial. A father is nobler than mother. That has always been the case for the culture of Midgard.

But Charles continues as he now turns and looks at his Uncle and presents his conjecture.

‘But not only that. At the time of the marriage, my mother family has all the support of the scholars of the time. The Patriarch of the Wellham’s and his oldest son, Uncle Older Brother, Honorable Scholar of the First Rank Uncle Gwentyn are revered among the literary circle. Even till now, there are scholars condemning King Julius for the execution of the Wellham’s family twelve years ago. From this we could deduce why my father shield my mother.’

‘I don’t understand.’

Lancel has never been a man of letters.

And he did not interfere in political intrigue of the capital not because he didn’t want to but because he doesn’t know how to.

Charles continues with a sinister smile on his face

‘My father ambition is high. He amass military power in Lindberg, wealth in all of Westhold and even relate himself with the scholars by marrying the Wellham’s, a family known to be unblemished in honour, revered by the scholars and praise by the people. But more than that, he is related to the lineage of royalty. Blood of royalty. The Martel’s started in the kingdom of Westhold as merchants. It takes the Martel’s hundreds of year to establish themselves as a true blooded noble.’

‘What are you saying?’ Lancel began to sense something.

‘My father wanted to rebel.’ Charles said like a matter of fact.

‘Cease your words, little nephew!’ Lancel heart runs cold as he got up from his seat, his face was pale like a white sheet of paper.

‘The word rebel must not be uttered so simply. All of the family could be implicated.’ But Charles just smiles bitterly and ignores his uncle panic.

‘And he might have succeeded if not for the untimely First Prince rebellion. King Julius murdered his father, slaughtered his brother, and seize the capital city and declare himself king. The Wellham’s protested with the other loyal officials while the scholars support them.  Even at that time Father still have the opportunity to rebel. He could march to the capital city with banners to oust the usurper. It was the perfect timing. King Julius improperly took the throne. Killing his liege and father gain him the title of unfilial son and disloyal subordinate, mocked by all virtuous men in the land, staining his name for millennium to come in the annals of history. Killing his brothers is another sin, not caring about brotherly affection. But the Wellham’s was executed before my father had the time to coordinate the rebellion. So, right now, he is biding his time’

And Charles ended his conjecture as he looks at his uncle.

There is only silence in the room and sometimes the sound of the wind. The cold winter seems to seep in and after a while Lancel managed to utter some words

‘Is this…..’

‘True?’ Charles smiles.

‘I don’t know. But I couldn’t think of any other reason why my father would dote on my mother and shield her all this time.’

And the reason why I was a target for assassination is also solved but Charles did not say it out loud.

Charles might be a concubine son but he is royalty…and not just any royalty, but the first royalty of the first dynasty.

The twelve branches of Olaf all spread out through the land.

Wellham’s is descended from Wulfred line.

This is common knowledge and that is why the Wellham’s was respected and having a class of its own even compared to the other circle of nobility.

Another example is the Ulfred line who rules Norveg and which nobles is comprised of bloodline from the Olaf line.

But even then from the twelve branches of Olaf, only three surviving branch of family survive the persecution of time

The Ulfred line. Wulfred. And Koll.

‘This is just your speculations’ Lancel ask as he wipes the cold sweat on his forehead.

The fact that if this conversation to be spread out, it is possible that all the Wellham’s will be purged from Westhold and the lack of fear in his little nephew tone make him sweat even in this cold winter.

‘It is. But…don’t you think it is probable. Haven’t Uncle wondered why all these years Lindberg keep amassing more soldiers? Why would they offer themselves to guard the borders every year helping the Black Dragon and Vicious Tiger in the western border? My father, Arthur Martel does not do things that will not benefit him. My father is training his soldiers while at the same time accumulating reputation as a loyal official. Sharpening them for the real battle. I don’t want to get caught up in my father plans for me, so that is why I need to go away for a while. At least, until I mature enough. The farther away I am from Westhold, the safer I would be.’

Lancel nodded. If this is truly Arthur plans, then Lancel would not let Charles to be included in his plan.

‘What will you do about your territory? Leaving it without supervision will be disastrous. Your father would not let you get off from that.’

At this point of time, Lancel has almost believed him already. Lancel has always been a simple man which is why the King can trust him with ease.

He is not one with schemes or plots.

In Lancel mind, he has already began to see how Arthur Martell concoct all this plan, and thinking of her sister sufferings and how that her son might become a chess piece in Arthur’s plan, his heart turns cold.

Then Charles began explaining to Lancel his policy and laying out the reason why each policy is important and why it is important.

Each policy was explained with details and even surprises Lancel on how feasible the policy and the profit and benefit it would have in the territory.

By the time Charles finished training in Jianghu instead of scolding from his father, Charles might have his rank promoted by his father.

Then after they discuss for a while, Lancel finally agrees and finalize their plan.

Lancel open his eyes and his eyes shine. If Arthur intention was really like that, then his little nephew will surely get caught in his plans.

He then called a servant and asks to be brought paper and ink. He will write a letter telling the Prince House of Charles plans for the territory.

As repayment, Arthur needs to give Charles to him for five years as Charles will accompany him to Jianghu.

Arthur as he think of Jianghu he was reminded of his teacher and wanted Charles to learn from his teacher, Nameless Sword Saint Wu Ming.

Sword Saint Wu Ming is one of the Four Master of Weapon.

Floating Dragon Yang Qilang the Spear Saint. The Cold Gentleman Ao Xiyun Hidden Weapon Ghost and Xiang Yang the Saber King.

They are the four masters of weapons in Jianghu feared and respected almost as the three Great Grandmasters.

Lancel also will send some furs, clothing and gifts from the Western Regions to Lindberg.

He then bide his little nephew goodbye as he will stay here for another three days before embarking to the Western Region.

Charles told Lancel the faster they go the better. And Lancel agree. And then Lancel opens his eyes. He still is leaning on the recliners and he smiles.

And then he laughs.

The Wellham’s still has hope.

******************************************************************************

In his room Charles, contemplate what he told his uncle. Other than a few of his own assumption, he is not entirely wrong about his father.

Arthur Martel is not a sentimental person but he is also not heartless. This can be seen by the way his Father treats him and his mother.

Sometimes the human heart is the hardest to guess. And it also involves a lot of guessing on his part.

And he doesn’t like guessing.

It is a deplorable habit. Then his mind turns to the Western Region journey. Charles has always wanted to go to the Western Region.

Especially now.

If before he was transported to Earth, his motivation of seeing the Western Region is because he wanted to see the culture and admire the scenery of the land beyond the West, this time it is a matter of life and death.

Jon will not stop only at this. He might send some assassins. Even though Charles physical body is ten, his mind is not.

He knows a Prince household has a lot of means to silence its enemies.

Not to mention, Jon must be working under his mother orders. It has been known, that his father first wife has never liked him.

And she surely hated his mother.

And that hatred is something Charles understands. She is the legal wife, her name would be put in the genealogical records, yet his father only cares about his Low Consort.

Even though his mother is the son of a traitor, she is still royalty.

The fact that King Julius of Westhold massacre the Wellham’s household, actually cost him popular support from those old nobles from old noble’s families.

Because the Wellham’s family is not only a prestigious family, it is also a family of scholars, a family of wise ministers and capable administrators throughout the land.

How could the first wife accept all the virtue of a Low Consort?

Charles mother is clearly a Low Consort in the Prince of Lindberg household and by law the first wife should have superiority over her.

Yet, it is his mother that runs the household and gains the affection of Charles father.

If that is not enough, since little the treatment of Charles and the oldest son of the household is the same.

Or maybe, some people fear that Wellham’s could rise again.

But Charles thinks again.

The reason to kill him might not be as complicated as Charles thought.

Charles think that the reason is because Jon is feeling challenged and feeling fear that Father might favour Charles instead of him.

While Windhill is not a large place, it has a gold mine.

Maybe Jon fears that Father is trying to grow Charles here in Windhill and pass the Princedom to Charles.

After all, if not for the purge of the Wellham’s, Jon mother could not be the legal wife compared to Charles mother who came from a royalty lineage and scholar’s family that has become meritorious ministers for the Great Westhold.

If one day, Father really wanted to rebel, then invoking the name of Olaf name would surely resound as a legitimate cause for seating himself on the throne.

House of Loraine while it is an ancient house is it any prestigious than the House of Hardstone, the descendant of Olaf?

Anyway, in this era, Charles could already see the war that is to come. Bloodshed so tragic that it will surely make even Gods and Devils cries and weep.

And when that time comes, Charles will be ready to carve his name in history.

A man should make a name for himself when he is alive, and worshipped when he is dead.

Charles was not a mediocre man.

He might not say it himself but Charles is proud man.

Even though he was the son of a concubine, he was of the high nobility, his mother bears the blood of Olaf, his mother family was wise and meritorious scholars and ministers, advising and admonishing the Westhold Kings for generations, while his father is the Vassal Prince of Lindberg, holding vast military power and large land.

Even when he was at that other world, even though he was starving when he first arrived at that world, he maintains his dignity and at the same time he still manages to survive.

A ten years old kid transported into a world where a war was happening and he became a refugee in a war torn country and immigrated to Britain using illegal way, he still manages to make a name for himself when he was an adult.

Even there he manages to make name for himself. Here will be the same.

He look outside his windows as the night moon was covered by the clouds and he smile slightly as the first day ended.

That night he sleep soundly and peacefully.

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