THE BEGINNING OF ALL STORIES (1)
He was born the third son of the Hawkes family of the Madoh Empire. The Hawkes family was a distinguished household known for its outstanding bloodline that had produced great magicians for generations. In a world where innate magical power was a measure of power and authority, the Hawkes family stood in a position to preside over order.
However, he was a variant that didn’t deserve to bear the name of the great Hawkes family. He had poor magical power from birth and it didn’t get better even when he got older. While his parents and siblings walked the path of first-class magicians, he was unable to cast the magic for even a small flame and fell behind.
His parents and his siblings considered him to be the shame of their family. He was neglected by his parents and was a target of harassment for his siblings. His siblings’ malicious pranks grew worse over time and got to the extent that it threatened his life.
When he woke up after being in a coma for a couple of days, he was banished from the house. His parents didn’t want useless gossip to arise about siblings killing each other, so they decided to erase the issue from the root. So under the pretext of recuperation, he left on exile to a family-owned remote villa. This happened when he was ten.
He had been abandoned but now, he could enjoy a much calmer life. The old villa was so remote that people in his family almost couldn’t find it and it became his home. There was no one to torment him and nobody who saw him as a bug.
The residents of the nearby village had never seen a noble personage before and were afraid due to all the terrible rumors surrounding the appearance of a noble but gradually forgot their fear when he caused no harm.
Although his magical power wasn’t anything to write home about, he was very knowledgeable, so he was able to provide the solution to many difficult problems. The residents gradually forgot their fear of nobility and as more time passed, they began to follow the wise young noble.
He could not use magic, but he did not slack on getting knowledge into his head. He truly enjoyed reading books, gaining new knowledge, and exploring truths with unlimited imagination. Once he got lost in thought, he never realized the passing of the day nor the rising of the sun; he was simply absorbed into it. His knowledge was endlessly deep in every way, apart from his lowly magic.
* * *
He was immersed in a world of infinite imagination. In his head was a space made for questing for the truth. In his mind, his thoughts split and spread like the roots of a tree.
He was startled awake by a fierce scream. He felt like he was just about to have something in his grasp, so it was really a pity. He frowned at the plump middle-aged woman beside him.
“Martha! I told you not to disturb me.”
“I wouldn’t if you behaved with moderation. You’ve been like this since last night and the sun is already high in the sky today! Whatever you do, I don’t care, but you have to eat!”
Seeing Martha giving him a stern look with her hands on her waist, he smiled dispiritedly. Martha was obsessed with making sure he was eating properly and did not tolerate him skipping more than two meals.
‘I won’t die even if I don’t eat. Why can’t she understand?’
Even though his magical power was meagre, his innate bloodline was so exceptional that he would be fine even if he went starving for a week. However, Martha thought the young master she had been taking care of since he was a child was very weak, so even though he was now fifteen years old, he was still treated as a child.
“Alright, I got it. I’ll go eat.”
He grumblingly rose to his feet. Although he was interrupted, he couldn’t get mad at Martha. For him, who had been abandoned by both his parents and siblings, Martha was his only family. He had never once thought Martha was lowly because she was a villager.
* * *
“Why is the young master still not here? It’s way past mealtime.”
Martha mumbled to herself and went to find the young master. No matter how old he got, the young master’s bad habits showed no signs of getting better. She had to chase him around to eat like a four year old, and even then, he only ate one meal.
Martha felt a great sense of responsibility towards making sure the young master ate properly. Martha looked for the young master in places he was likely to be. Fortunately, there were only a few places that he visited frequently. Most of the time, he was in his study, and if the weather was warm, he walked around the backyard or sometimes, he went a little farther and sat under the tree on the low hill behind the villa.
Since he wasn’t in the study or the backyard, there was only one place left. As she climbed the hill, she met another villager to happened to be passing by.
“The young master is sitting up there.”
The person knew who Martha was looking for, so they immediately told her where the young master was.
Martha walked faster and reached the top of the hill. And there, she found the young master sitting back, under the huge tree, with his eyes closed. He probably wasn’t sleeping. The young master was always in this position when he was lost in his thoughts.
Martha drew closer, planning to call out really loud in order to drag the young master out of his thoughts but when she got close enough and saw the gentle expression on his face, she stopped. It was unknown what the young master was thinking about but there was a smile playing on his lips.
Martha didn’t want to disrupt his good mood, so she decided to just sit down. But perhaps she felt a little peeved for she sat down quite loudly but the young master didn’t seem to hear a thing and didn’t move an inch. Then again, this was the same person she had to scream out several times before he finally heard her and woke up, so this was expected.
‘He has grown a lot, hasn’t he?’
Martha look in the image of the grown-up young master anew. As the young master was already eighteen years old, there were no signs of a young boy on his visage. His black hair, which couldn’t be found among common people like herself, reminded her of the difference between them.
Martha was amazed every time she saw the young master’s black hair and black eyes. And she forgot that the young master was one of those scary noble people. The young master was a good man with a warm heart.
‘He’s a pitiful person.’
Martha just couldn’t understand the behavior of the nobles who abandoned their child or brother without any hesitation. If your child was weak, then you should protect them and care for them even more. Wasn’t that how a parent should act?
‘Despite all that, he grew up very well.’
Martha was filled with satisfaction every time she saw the young master who had grown up graciously. The village maidens who didn’t know their place were eyeing the young master, but they shouldn’t even bother trying for the impossible. He wasn’t someone that those thoughtless rural girls should desire. The young master was going to have a virtuous and beautiful woman as his wife, have a son and daughter, and live happily ever after.
After watching the young master with contentment for some time, signs of boredom began to show on Martha’s face. She had been sitting there without doing anything for a while, so she was feeling impatient plus she was hungry. In the end, Martha couldn’t bear it and called out.
As expected, he was too lost to hear anything even if she called out once or twice. So Martha yelled.
He opened his eyes like he had been startled awake.
“Martha. Is it time for lunch already?”
“It’s a good while past that actually. I’ve been waiting for you, young master. Do you know how hungry I am?”
“That’s why I said you should go ahead and eat first.”
“What’s the fun in eating alone?”
“…Do you eat for fun?”
He got up. Martha was the type to reply with two words when you said one word so he had learnt to just say he understood no matter what, otherwise he would just get caught up in Martha’s nagging.
T/N: If you’re confused, don’t worry. We are still in the same story, but this is basically a backstory. This side-story is also the last side story in Lucia.