Innate Rebellious Spirit
“For hundreds of years, the Tulip Family was known as the Empire’s ‘God of War’ Family. All the successors of our family were undefeated commanders on the battlefield! Until today, it can be said that the Tulip Family’s flame and the Tulip Family’s banner are the army’s god! Just the Tulip Family’s banner would be enough to raise the soldiers’ morale! It is wonderful and glorious!”
“However, behind all this glory, there are many people who hate it. The monarchy would not tolerate being challenged! Would the Emperor tolerate the prestige of a military power? Would he tolerate someone in the army having more authority than him? An invincible commander would definitely be the pillar of the Empire. However, the god of an army would make the Emperor restless. If something bad happens… would the army follow the Tulip Family’s banner or the Emperor’s banner?”
“Talking about standings in the Empire, the original Tulip Family was unparalleled. My father was the Imperial Army’s marshal. He was also the duke of the entire Xilin province. There was no other family who was as impressive as that. However, such a situation only made His Majesty disturbed. The Tulip Family’s meritorious service also made His Majesty feel embarrassed. For a family of such status to continue to have high meritorious service, what would His Majesty reward us with? Fiefdom? This family already owned an entire province in the Empire! Titles? This family already had dukes! Wealth? The taxes from Xilin were already a tremendous amount so…”
Nicole’s tone gradually lowered. Rody was also starting to be frightened.
He was merely a commoner, unknown to the public. Though he had learned some history of the Empire, he had never heard of the power struggles of the upper-class people before.
Nicole sighed and continued.
“So, when my father died, His Majesty thought this was an opportunity to take back the long-standing military power of the Tulip Family. Coincidentally, my brother was not yet an adult and could inherit the title. At the same time, it seemed that the Lionheart Family was becoming more glorious. His Majesty also seemed to be fond of the Military Minister. It was to the extent that even though the Military Minister’s nephew, Milo just became an adult, he was already given military leadership of a region. Do you know, when my father was alive the Lionheart family needed to consider the Tulip Family opinion before taking any action? Their current glory only came about in recent years. His Majesty is intentionally patronizing them to restrict us.”
“That is why, in the Empire, the one person that is most reluctant to see the Tulip Family rise again is His Majesty the Emperor! He definitely does not want to see the army support another banner! In the heart of every emperor within the Empire, the imperial authority is supreme!”
These words made Rody’s mouth dry and his heart confused. After a while, he asked, “But… this is not the Tulip Family’s fault. Is it wrong to have outstanding meritorious service?”
Nicole quietly replied, “This is not our fault. It is also not His Majesty the Emperor’s fault. The only thing that is wrong is that the Tulip Family has overshadowed His Majesty’s brilliance!”
Rody thought to himself and sighed. “Yes, this is not the Tulip Family’s fault and it is also not His Majesty’s fault. So in the end, whose fault is it?”
Nicole shook her head weakly. “I do not know. No matter how I think about it, I could not find the answer. I often have sleepless nights trying to think of an answer. I know that the family must be revived but I do not know how. Right now, I do not even know what to do.”
Nicole’s tone was extremely weak. She was just a girl who had to carry the heavy burden of the family. How could she find the solution to such a complicated problem? Even if she found the solution, how would she go about solving it?
All sorts of ideas flashed through Rody’s mind. In the end, he found something that scared even himself.
“The Tulip Family’s glory was established during the founding of the Empire! If the emperor of the Empire also became the enemy of the Tulip Family then… the Tulip Family will perish!”
Rody was agitated and could not help but say what was on his mind.
Unexpectedly, there was not much change in Nicole’s expression. However, her beautiful eyes exposed a peculiar gaze and she spoke in a strange tone, “Do you know, someone said that before.”
“Master Dandong! Two hundred years ago, before his death.”
“What?” Rody suddenly jumped feeling alarmed.
Honestly, Rody now feared old Dandong. It was as if all the things related to this old guy had to be universally shocking!
Rody suddenly remembered Old Mark and his duty. It was to protect the descendants of the Tulip Family and not to help the Tulip Family’s cause.
Could it be that the Dandong Family anticipated the decline of the Tulip Family? Was that why he left this job to his disciples? That was how he could protect the family’s descendants but he ignored the decline of the family status!
No wonder that day Old Mark was not bothered by Seth running away. What did he say again?
“I protect the descendants. Not some stupid family glory. What does the Tulip Family’s glory have to do with me? I see the Miss frowning unhappily every day. Hmph! What about the family glory? The earlier it is destroyed the better!”
The earlier it is destroyed the better?
Rody suddenly had a strange thought. Perhaps Old Mark was also tired of being a bodyguard for centuries? When the family is destroyed, he will just need to ensure the descendants’ safety and then he will be free.
Seeing Rody’s face change slightly, Nicole frowned. “What are you thinking of?”
Rody’s mind was constantly churning and he suddenly blurted out, “Have you not thought about it… I saw this phrase these few days.… ‘The losers are always in the wrong!’ Don’t tell me your family has never thought of…”
“Shut up!” Nicole looked frightened and quickly shouted. Then she lowered her voice, “Fool! Don’t say such nonsense!”
“Why can’t I speak freely? The Emperor… hmm… Was he always the Emperor? Hundreds of years ago, before the Empire existed, not only was there no Tulip Family… Did emperors even exist?”
Nicole was stunned for a moment. She felt that Rody’s words were wrong but she could not tell where he was wrong.
Rody bravely said, “I am not someone from the Tulip Family! I am just a civilian! However, I have never felt that His Majesty the Emperor was sacred! Is he someone who deserves my respect? In the Empire, the common people cannot even afford a horse! Most of a commoner’s hard earned money are given to the nobles! Common citizens cannot enter the academy and only the nobles can sit in carriages! People without ability can live extravagant lives while people with abilities work so hard yet they cannot afford to have rice! A heroic Grade 5 swordsman must become a bodyguard of a fat and useless man! If the rules of this world are set by the Emperor, why must I respect him? I am just a common civilian. If the Emperor does not love us, why must we love him?”
“Ah!” Nicole exclaimed and covered her mouth. She was surprised to see the agitated Rody. It felt like the usual honest and hardworking Rody had suddenly changed to a different person.
“Do you think what I said was wrong?” Rody’s agitation stopped and he knitted his eyebrows. After a while, he sighed. “Do you know, these were not ideas I thought of… these ideas were from your brother’s notes. I have been here for so many days. Every day I read and think. Now I feel that most of your brother’s way of thinking was right.”
“You… How can you say that? You…” Nicole pointed at Rody with her fingers trembling. She did not know how to continue.
This time, Rody did not panic. He looked calm. Then, he bent down, saluted and lightly said, “Nicole, I am a nobody. A mere civilian. I can only voice out such matters. Hmph, what else can a nobody do?”
His tone was self-deprecating and self-mocking. Nicole felt that she saw a side of Rody she never knew about.