Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Gilbert coughed before he immediately became serious again.
“Therefore, according to common practice, as an underage prince, you will have a team of full-time instructors to make sure you will benefit in terms of grammar, etiquette, and many other aspects…”
“One to two attendants… A few personal protectors…” Thales took a sip of tea and composed himself. “Sounds familiar.”
Gilbert nodded. He seemed to be filled with various emotions.
“Of course, six years ago, we had to make several adaptations to our plans because we were in an urgent hurry. Everything was made simple, so we did not arrange the best and the most suitable people for you.
“Later, the development of the incident threw our plans into chaos. During the days you were in Northland, it was very difficult for us to send people who could be accepted by Eckstedt to you. For this, I am very sorry…” Gilbert said with great regret.
“Not exactly. ” Thales shook his head, and he subconsciously curled his lips upward. “Putray might have been missing for a few years even though he’s my instruction, and he was fond of making sarcastic remarks, he was really knowledgeable and has a very unique way of thinking about things. Along the journey, he helped me a lot, and he had also taught me a lot.”
It was hard to imagine how that crafty little old man who smoked at a corner and occasionally made sarcastic quips that would render a person speechless would always appear unexpectedly.
He was actually an old good friend with Gilbert, who was solemn, proper, polite, and level-headed.
And they were even cohorts who received guidance from the same tutor.
“As for my attendants, over the past six years, Wya has been loyal, hardworking, and responsible. He is a rare attendant for a prince.”
Thales keenly noticed that Gilbert’s expression became gloomy when he mentioned Wya.
The Prince could not help but feel emotional.
Six years ago, when he first met Wya, he felt that Wya was slightly stiff and serious, but now…
Thales secretly glanced at the Star Lake Guards who did not show any expression.
He sighed lightly in his heart.
Humans will always take things for granted.
“As for my protector… Oh yes, Aida…” Thales suddenly felt very troubled. “Hmm… As the prince’s protector, she…”
He sighed and said awkwardly, “Is very… lively?”
When the prince described her, Gilbert seemed to be trapped in his memories, and his gaze moved slightly.
Thales snapped out of his daze, smiled, and said, “Furthermore, did you not invite the Old Crow over for me during my last year in Eckstedt?”
When this nickname was mentioned, excitement could be seen in Gilbert’s eyes. He smiled happily. “And I hope Mister Hicks was helpful to you.”
“Oh, of course, he was.” Thales shrugged and thought about that special teacher. He remembered that physically disabled but stubborn veteran who had strong determination in Shield District. He even thought of the relationship between them and his mysterious mother. “And the help he offered me is something you cannot imagine.”
The guest room was silent for a while. Both of them did not talk. The servants replaced the tea and refreshments while they were accompanied by the Royal Guards.
Gilbert looked at Thales again, and his tone was gentle. “I promise you, Your Highness. Since you are back in Eternal Star City and appointed as a duke, you should get a sufficiently valuable and effective education.
“The scholars and I were appointed by His Majesty to try our best to help in your learning. Let us start with setting up your timetable and plan your daily routine…”
When Thales heard this, he could not help but scratch his head. “I have to tell you, I have become used to learning by myself over the past six years. Did you know that Heroic Spirit Palace has a very huge library…”
But Gilbert seemed to have been ready for what he was going to say a long time ago, and he shook his finger. “Self-learning because of the restrictions set by your environment and entering seclusion while refusing to use the resources you have available to you are two totally different matters.”
Gilbert suddenly changed his topic of conversation. He sounded stern and serious. “Besides, if you have an understanding about learning, Your Highness, then you will know that except for those easy tasks like pure memorization and accumulating knowledge, there is nothing where you can become an expert of just by learning it yourself.”
Thales stared at him in a daze.
Gilbert was seen counting with his fingers while he said earnestly, “You need someone to guide, discuss, consult, monitor, stimulate, motivate, and help you, as well as someone who can respond to your learning outcome. These cannot be given from cold and hard books…”
“Okay, okay, I understand.” Thales interrupted him while he felt a headache build in his head. He gestured with his hand as if he had given up.
“Just get all that learning and lessons and whatever settled.”
‘Forget it, besides, it’s just classes.
‘Except for ghost and being killed, I, Thales, am not afraid of anything!’
Gilbert smiled and nodded. “Very well, today, I will discuss with you to organize your future learning schedule…”
Constellation’s Cunning Fox lifted his spectacles once again. At the same time, he took a pen with his right hand and wrote down something on the paper on his knees.
Thales had been trying to live the life of a degenerate but failed, and so he stared at Gilbert in boredom.
“Then, grammar, etiquette, history, and military matters…” Gilbert narrowed his eyes and looked up. “Which of the four above did you learn in Eckstedt?”
Thales raised his head and thought about this.
‘In those days I was in Saroma’s study room in Heroic Spirit Palace… Hmm…’
Grammar, etiquette, history, and military matters.
“They did not classify them like that…
“But, let us skip grammar and etiquette first,” Thales said in a troubled manner, “First, history.”
Thales tapped his fingers against the table and recalled.
“Over the past six years, they changed many history teachers for me, from scholars, nobles, to the priests from the temple and church. Sometimes, when Count Lisban was free, he would teach me himself too.”
Gilbert’s gaze suddenly became very focused. “Ciel Lisban. I remember him. That Eye of the Dragon. During the Fortress Treaty eighteen years ago, he was an opponent who was very hard to deal with.”
When he thought about Regent Lisban’s eyes which seemed to be able to see through his mind, Thales felt lingering fear in his heart, and he nodded.
“When Northlanders conduct history lessons, especially to nobles, instead of calling it history, you should call it… Traditions class.”
Gilbert’s gaze moved.
Thales nodded slightly.
“They learn things from the beginning of the countries in the Old Northland, the Alliance of All Beasts from the late King Takmukh, Mankind’s Final Defensive Line formed by Iron Blood King, the completion of the Temple of Knights, and the Holiness Exorcism Campaign started by the multiple kings…
“Then, they learn about the chaotic war between kings, the birth of pegasus, appointment of titles with blood, and being conquered by the Empire, the anti-imperialist revolution by the Revolutionary King, the independence of Northland, the battle of the six kings, and the shifting of Mountain Elves to the east…
“They continue learning events up to recent history, including the collapse of the Empire, the orcs traveling south during the Moonless Winter, the re-establishment of the Final Defensive Line, and the recovery of the Thirty-Eighth Sentry Ground…”
Thales counted them one by one, while Gilbert recorded something on the paper.
The duke sighed. “They were just missing the part where they claim that the entire Ancient Empire was built by relying on the powerful Northland knights before they went against them, and in the end, they relied on them again to protect mankind…”
Thales’s sounded resigned.
“However, it is only when I learned about Raikaru’ Reversal Gust battle, the ten knights establishing Eckstedt, and many more that I realized…” The duke’s gaze gradually became serious. “Instead of saying that they recorded history, it should be said they are just remembering the unique tradition of Northland: survival, determination, fearlessness, multi-governance, fights, war, and glory.”
Gilbert thought for a while before he took over the conversation. “Or rather, their laws and their legitimacy.”
Thales narrowed his eyes and nodded.
Or rather, he could summarize it in one sentence: eating, sleeping, and hitting the orcs.
The last option could be replaced with Empire and Constellation at any time they wanted.
Hmm, someday, it might be changed to ‘Thales’.
The Duke of Star Lake removed such unnecessary imaginations and returned to the main topic.
“Next would be the etiquette classes in Northland.
“Yes, you are not mistaken. The nobles of Northland had etiquette class too. For example, how to meet each other, greetings, how to communicate with each other, courtship… And of course, how to fight.”
Thales sighed and said, “The accursed etiquette in Northland… The nobles with higher status will uphold their etiquettes even more.”
“Etiquette…” Gilbert pondered about this while digesting this word, “Regardless of which aspect, the people who did not like the Empire will emulate the greatest Empire even more, and this will be even more prevalent the more they despise the aspects within it, such as its etiquette.”
When Thales remembered some past matters, he laughed coldly. “Believe it or not, in a certain version of a story, the dueling system in Northland originated from a pair of brothers. It was said that they fell in love with the same woman.”
Just like lions, they fought for the mating authority in their pride.
Thales pursed his lips.
In truth, when Thales still did not understand matters in his first year in Dragon Clouds City, he had been issued friendly and passionate duel requests from all kind of nobles.
Fortunately for him, Thales’ status was high enough because he was a prince, had a strong backup in the form of an archduchess, and he was also very shameless. He also swore that he would not walk together with Saroma.
“‘It was she who first held my hand!”‘ Thales remembered complaining into his pillow indignantly while it was night and he was nine.
“Furthermore, they would also explain religion and beliefs during the etiquette class.”
Thales recalled. “From the gods their ancient ancestors worshipped, the belief of the Master of Mountains of recent times, the Holy Sun Church of even more recent times, and the current Bright Moon as well as Sunset, along with the throne and Great Dragon after the Battle of Eradication. The etiquette of Northland cannot be separated from their beliefs.”
Gilbert made a few notes, nodded, and said, “I am afraid that this was also affected by the remaining traditions of the Empire.
“A few hundred years ago, when the Church of Holy Sun was still the national religion of the Empire, almost all the stenographers and scholars of the Empire’s nobles came from the church’s school. Almost every noble family had their own priest, and Holy Sun beliefs was even a compulsory class that must be taken. It was second only to the class about their loyalty to the king. In fact, religious etiquette and knighthood etiquette had a lot of similarities.”
Thales shrugged. No one knew whether that was a sign of agreement or resignation.
“We have leadership classes aside from history and etiquette.
“As the name suggests, it teaches the heirs of suzerains how to rule a land. Of course, only those noble families with the ranks about count will have such classes.”
Thales felt a headache as he recalled. “Those classes included finance, agriculture, business, humanities, law, aristocratic marriage, and so on… there are many lessons, and they are all mixed together.”
Gilbert fell into deep thought.
“But, do you know what the most interesting thing is?”
Thales sighed before he spoke in mockery and disdain, “Under normal circumstances, women are not qualified to attend this class. Those classes were meant for male heirs.”
Of course, over the past centuries, there was no female heir who could appear officially to the world in Eckstedt.
And that was why he had the chance to accompany a certain someone for class. What was more ironic was that Thales’ presence had actually motivated the teacher to teach in that class compared to his female classmate.
“But, in truth, the contents of Northland’s leadership classes are things that will be controlled by the female owners of the land, regardless of whether it is the measurements of the land, revenue and expenditure, housekeeping, figuring out relationships with others, organizing feasts, arranging weddings according to laws, particularly the parts which are related to figures and political marriages. This is especially prominent among the wives of the male nobles who only know how to drink and hunt, and whose brains are not smart enough to do mathematics.”
Thales tilted his head to the side and thought about it. He remembered Nicholas.
“In truth, there are many Northland men who are like this.
“So, among the many lessons the archduchess and I receive, for some strange reason, the leadership class is the class that is the least disputed among the nobles from Dragon Clouds City when it comes to the topic of whether she and I are allowed to take the class or not. Instead, since she was a female, she was able to use this even after she got married. And since I am a man, it will not be useful at all for me to learn all this,” the prince said in disdain.
Gilbert laughed at him.
“During the chaotic era of the Chronicles of Kings, the wives and daughters were only used for connecting families states. They had no status at all.
“It was only after the fall of the Empire that knowledgeable women could display their abilities. This is how a good lady could become a good wife for her future husband and share the workload of the man of the house, instead of being a beauty who can only remain listlessly in portraits.
“From this, it can be seen that the increase of noblewomen’s statuses the is reliant on external conditions and the maturity of their surroundings. It is only when there is no war, when there is sufficient food, when production has been restored, when the country is ruled in a stable fashion, when there is no longer any use for warhorses, when weapons had lost their owners, when there are less physical activities, and more things to be worried about will the inferiority of women’s bodies be reduced, and their knowledge could finally be used.”
Gilbert added in a profound manner. “As long as the world has not arrived at that state yet, even though you feel that it is unjust for your classmate in Dragon Clouds City, it is just useless.”
Yet Thales suddenly became interested, “So, if the external conditions are not mature, for example, if production is not well developed, the economic conditions of the country is far behind times, the ruling is unstable, and wars occur frequently, and if that day is not going to come, and humans are still working using their physical stamina and strength… Does that mean women will need to become a vassal and live like that forever?”
Gilbert lifted the spectacles in his hands. “Unfortunately, this is an obvious, objective fact. We can do nothing.”
Thales stared at him and laughed all of a sudden. “The is-ought problem.”
Gilbert was stunned. “What?”
“You gave me an ‘is’ as a factual answer, Gilbert.” The young duke sighed. “In order to answer my ‘ought’, which I posed as a question. This is not right.”
Gilbert was first stunned before he came to a realization.
“It seems that we can increase the difficulty of our grammar class a little more, especially in regards to logic.” The Foreign Affairs Minister smiled warmly.
Thales smiled cooperatively.
“Before we solve this difficult problem, let us get back to the main topic.” Gilbert made a wise decision, and he did not get entangled with this topic. “Then, aside from history, etiquette, and leadership classes?”
Thales sighed loudly, but he did not manage to whistle.
However, this did not affect the complicated feelings he had when he answered the question. “At last, this is the part that has the most of Northland’s characteristics, the Northlanders’ military class.”