Masked Knight – Chapter 39

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Youth’s Aspiration

 

Rody, in high spirits, rode on the pure white horse. After a few laps, he pulled the reins to stop in front of Randt. He stood up and jumped down from the horse. His movements were nimble and steady and he looked proud of himself.

 

“How was it, Randt? Was my riding good?”

 

Rody was very excited. The common people in the Empire did not have much chance to ride a horse. The yearly expenses to feed a horse was about that of the yearly food and clothing expenses of an adult. The yearly expenditure of a good horse would be enough to support an entire common family for a year.

 

Rody also had some horse riding training in the Imperial Academy. A man at heart, he naturally liked the feeling of riding a horse. Unfortunately, the number of horse riding classes in the academy were unable to satisfy him. Now that he had a chance to ride a horse again, he obviously felt happy.

 

After some lessons from the instructors of the Imperial Academy, he could ride properly. Together with his natural skills and some trials, he was now quite proficient.

 

Randt calmly looked at the triumphant young master and flatly said, “It’s passable.”

 

Although Randt did not say much, his expression showed disapproval. Rody saw this and asked, “Only passable? Randt, I have practiced for a long time.”

 

Randt then raised his head and said in a muffled voice, “Young Master, I have something to say.”

 

“What is it?”

 

Randt’s expression was respectful even when his voice was stern, “You are the heir to the Tulip Family. In the future, you may be selected as a marshal. You will become a duke and lead the army to fight all across the country. I will tell you the truth. The way you are riding right now is enough for strolling in the Imperial Capital. However, if you were marching to fight in a war, you would not last three days.”

 

“Oh?” Rody’s face did not show any signs of unhappiness. On the contrary, it was full of excitement.

 

Randt nodded and got onto his black horse and completed the first lap normally. However, he suddenly accelerated during the second lap. He leaned forward while holding a spear and he readied his posture for an assault.

 

“This posture is the standard charging posture of the Empire’s cavalry,” Randt said the moment he finished his lap and stopped in front of Rody. “Young Master, do not look down on horsemanship. There are times that the correct posture would save your life. For example, the charging posture would not only maintain the momentum of the charge but would also help to avoid enemy arrows. These are the experience of centuries of the Empire’s cavalry.”

 

“On top of that, fighting on a horse and fighting on foot is completely different. I know your swordsmanship is formidable but would you be able to stay as quick and nimble on a horse? If you want to avoid attacks on a horse, you would need to rely on your horse and you would need to know how to control your horse to ensure your combat effectiveness. Moreover, fighting on a horse would require waist power. No amount of trickery can compensate for that.”

 

After listening to that, Rody’s expression became serious and he was lost in thought.

 

As the Young Master, even though a fake one, he had the privilege to learn such excellent horsemanship. It was something he could only dream of. Moreover, Nicole had promised to send him to the army in the future. The horse riding skill would be indispensable for an officer.

 

Soon afterward, Rody immediately put away his pride and learned how to ride a horse according to Randt’s instructions.

 

Each day, Rody would fall down many times from his horse. Although he was strong, his body was unable to withstand it. He did not know how many injuries he had from falling down. Fortunately, Rody was stubborn. The more he fell, the fewer complaints he made. He merely gritted his teeth before mounting the horse and trying again.

 

After a few days, his foundation improved and Rody gradually became more familiar with manipulating the horse.

 

Randt was amazed at Rody’s quick progress. He started teaching Rody about common cavalry strategies used by the Empire’s cavalry. In less than half a month, Randt had nothing left to teach Rody. He could only accompany Rody and let him practice.

 

Although Rody received a lot of bruises, he was still excited about practicing.

 

One night, Rody returned to his room covered in sweat. He called out to Angel and received her gentle service and a change of clothes. He then took off the padding for his ears. The ear pads were very uncomfortable especially when he was covered in dust and sweat every day.

 

Just as soon as Rody changed his clothes, Nicole quietly entered the room and waved. It was a signal for Angel to leave.

 

Nicole said quietly, “Sit down first. I have something to say.”

 

Rody sighed. These days, he felt like he and Nicole were drifting apart. Sometimes, he thought that Nicole was still angry. It was most likely a punishment for all his wrongdoings. At this moment, his heart was filled with both hate and love for Nicole. After so many days, his feelings were mostly that of anger.

 

He was a young man who was full of vitality. His strength was also improving. It inevitably started a form of youthful arrogance in him. This gave birth to a feeling of anger towards Nicole. Although he wholeheartedly loved Nicole, the treatment he received from her made him extremely depressed.

 

“Now you really have an aristocratic appearance. It seems that you also learned quickly these past days.”

 

Rody faintly said, “What’s the point of looking like an aristocrat? I myself know that I am just a civilian.”

 

Nicole nodded. She pretended to not hear the bitterness in Rody’s words and bowed her head nearer to his as she said softly, “For the next few days, I want to teach you a few things. After…. After that, you will need to go to the academy.”

 

Rody asked, “Have you found your brother yet?”

 

Nicole’s face changed slightly and she whispered, “I don’t want to hide the truth from you. I sent someone to the sea to chase his boat but…”

 

Rody sighed and gently said, “I really hope you can find Seth and bring him back.”

 

Nicole sighed. “No. Even if I dragged Seth back, you will still need to pretend to be Seth. That is until you pass the examination and inherit the title.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Do you still not understand?” Nicole’s eyes had a puzzled look. “Rody, you are very smart. I heard from your teachers that you learned quickly and that you were really outstanding. Seth was definitely not as good as this. He… if he is the one who sits for the examination, he will definitely not be able to inherit the title. That is why… even if I find him, you will still need to complete your task.”

 

Rody was silent for a moment before whispering, “I understand.” He then looked up to Nicole’s face and asked, “So, what are you going to teach me today?”

 

Nicole’s face was deep in thought and then she asked, “Do you know who, within the Empire,   doesn’t want to see the Tulip Family inherit the title the most?”

 

“Who?”

 

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