Chapter 133 The Knight of the Elk Family (Part 2)
Before he was allowed to enter the parlor, Prius had to once more go through a complete body search. But this time it was a much more detailed search than the previous one. From the top to the bottom, they had touched every possible place in which he could hide a knife, even his soles weren't forgotten.
He was then led into the hall and was finally able to see the person responsible for the Duke's defeat - the 4th Prince of the Kingdom of Graycastle, the Lord of Border Town, as well as the new Lord of the Western Territories, Roland Wimbledon.
The Prince carried the typical symbol of the Wimbledon bloodline, the gray hair. His face still looked very young, at most he was still in his early twenties. Besides his gray hair, there wasn’t any other sign of his royal blood. He didn't wear a crown nor did he have any other kind of jewelry on his slender fingers, instead he was holding a quill in his hand. Furthermore, he didn't wear any bracelets either – all of this was a very rare sight when facing a member of the aristocracy.
"Are you Prius Dessau, a knight belonging to the Elk Family?" Roland asked while he leaned back into his chair and looked at the parchment.
"Yes, Sir," When spoken to, Prius knelt down on one knee.
He couldn't believe it, such a young man without even the trace of a beard, was able to lead a group of miners and hunters to defeat the whole combined forces of the previous Lord of the Western Territories, Duke Ryan.
"Are you able to read and write? You may stand up and answer."
"I can, Your Highness, this is a knight's most basic of requirement," Prius stood up and suddenly thought of some of the old Knight who got their title conferred during the time where the Kingdom of Graycastle wasn’t as powerful, they even knighted civilians with good military achievements, so he quickly added, "I mean, like all other knights of the younger generation are able to."
Over the past three decades, with the reduction in exploration and wars, the possibility of achieving military merits and getting canonized had become smaller while at the same time other traits became more important for a knight. If you didn't pick up the pen and wasn’t able to read or write a document, it would become very difficult to rule over your own territory. With the king’s establishment of the camp in the Cold Wind Ridge, the area at the western border of the Kingdom of Dawn had a sudden rise it the number of talented men appearing there. But at the same time, the requirements for being knighted was also placed at a new height.
So now during the training to become a knight, the first thing trainees would learn was how to read and write, while later on, if they wanted to rise higher in rank, they would also have to master a variety of etiquettes.
But Prius couldn’t understand, why had His Royal Highness asked him this question?
"Very well," the Prince nodded. "Then it's time for my judgment."
Hearing this sentence, Prius instantly held his breath.
"There are two options you can pick from, one is to go to the North Slope Mine and mine there for twenty years to redeem your sins while your second options it to become a teacher and start to teach my people how to read and write. Furthermore, as a miner you won't be treated as a slave, you will be paid and every month you will have three days of rest. But teachers are not only paid, they will get free housing and two days rest each week. However, if you choose the latter option, you must work until you reach the age of fifty, only then will you be allowed to lay down your post. By that time though, even if you don't continue working any longer, you will still be paid as usual. "
After listening to all this Prius was a little relieved, sure enough, just like he had expected, they don't have to face death or exile. But these two options still left him very puzzled, it sounds like the job as a miner requires a lot of hard work, but His Royal Highness had also said that they would get a salary and... holidays?
And, as a teacher wasn't it important to be a knowledgeable person? But besides reading and writing, I have no further knowledge. And what meaning did it have to teach civilians anything? His Royal Highness could not truly believe that he could teach the civilians the complete aristocracy culture, could he?
But the most critical point was that both options didn't mention what would happen to his own territory.
So, Prius gathered his courage, looked up at the Prince, and carefully asked: "Your respected Highness, I do not know what will happen to my territory when I chose one of the two..."
"From the moment you raised the sword against me, your territory no longer belonged to you," answered Roland bluntly. "On this point, I have already reached an agreement with the heir of the Elk family, that after you made your choice, the new count will send a compensation together with your family to Border Town, so that your territory is vacant and he can confer the knight’s title on someone else."
Prius’ heart sank, but that is my territory, my house it also on my territory, and there also a group of chickens and ducks and a pond full of fishes, how much can these things be worth? The new count would certainly use a sharp knife to cut it down as far as possible... It was hard to say whether he would even get thirty gold royals for it. The Count has just died, and his heir had already abandoned his own family, such ruthlessness deeply disappointed Prius.
"As an accomplice of the traitor, who rebelled against the throne, this is just a minor verdict." Roland paused, "Moreover, why are you even showing such a large regret pity for a barren little territory? Whether you choose to become a miner or a teacher, as long as you save enough money you can purchase your own territory."
Hearing this sentence, Prius spirit raised once more, mining was certainly not his favorite work, but for the other choice... "Your Royal Highness, may I get to know how high the salary for a teacher is?"
"As a Junior Grade Teacher, you would get a payment of 20 silver royals each month, with an increase of 5 silver royals per year, until you reach the age of 50. After reaching the age of fifty, your salary will be the same like your highest previous salary, however, your job as a teacher cannot be inherited nor can it be transferred."
With his little arithmetic knowledge, Prius calculated that he would receive a yearly income of nearly 3 gold royals, even more, it would increase yearly. So as long as he was able to work for four to five years his income would be as high as his own territory’s income. "Your Royal Highness, what does the title Junior Grade Teacher mean... are there any other types of teachers?"
"Of course there are also other occupations. The Primary Teachers merely teach the reading and writing of characters, while Middle-Grade Teachers and High-Grade Teachers are responsible for teaching all kinds of different knowledge. As long as it is a unique skill which is able to help with the development of a Border Town you can get the position.” Roland sat himself straight up, "How is it, do you have any other good skills? I’m not asking about riding or fencing skills."
That doesn’t matter since I’m bad at them anyway, Prius thought. He hesitated, but then he said: "Your Royal Highness, I’m good at raising chicken and ducks. I am also very good at fishing." The moment he had said it aloud, was the moment he already regretted his words. What kind of skill was that? If he was thrown into the wild he would be able to survive. Other nobles were also raising cats or birds, but wasn’t something which interested Prius very much. As for fishing... this was the same as hunting, it could only be counted as his personal hobby.
But he would have never believed that His Royal Highness would be so interested into his skills, "Oh? How do you raise them, can you please explain it to me."
With no better option than to brace himself and start explaining or to fall, Prius began to state his gathered knowledge.
"Uh, according to my experience in the area of raising broods, it is important to put some grain into the hey, that way they will grow faster. In addition, the grain should be mixed with sand, it will have a similar effect while at the same time, saving on food. It would also be good to set a shed in a well-ventilated area, where they are safe from the sun, rain, and the cold. Especially during the hot summer, if there is no shelter, the hen will most likely stop laying its eggs. While during the winter it’s important to give them some straw, to avoid the chickens from freezing to death. In addition, if you feed them some small fish every month, the chickens will rarely get sick, of course, it is also important to clean up the chicken manure regularly..."
When his speech came to its end, he had to discover that His Highness actually had begun to laugh. "Yes, it appears that the aristocracy of the Western Territory truly aren't useless."
"Your Royal Highness?" Prius couldn’t understand what the Prince meant.
Fortunately, Roland Wimbledon quickly lifted his fears, "I will send people to buy a group of chickens and ducks from the Longsong Stronghold, while at the same time I will also give you a piece of land to the west of Border Town, where you can raise the birds. Your payment will be according to that of a Middle-Grade Teacher. For the first year, you will get 50 silver royals each month, with an annual increase of 10 silvers. Of course, if you fail to raise the birds, your only option left will be the mines.”
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