Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 58 – The feelings of a father
Cecilia walked through the entrance of a familiar tavern with a sigh. Some members of the Royal Knight Commission had come down to extract a little more information about the situation regarding the Manatite Forest’s irregularity. Since it was part of her civic duties, she did so reluctantly. It had dragged on for a few hours and by the time it had been over the sun had long since set. Exhausted by this, her first thoughts were to head off to bed. However, she decided against it and came down to the tavern for a late-night drink and snacks.
Even though it was the dead of night, there were still more than a couple dozen patrons drunkenly shouting and mucking about the place. They argued and talked over each other about stupid and inane things. However, it was by no means a bad kind of atmosphere. “This place sure doesn’t change,” she commented to one of the bartenders who brought her usual drink in that iconic wooden jug.
“Isn’t it better that way? This kind of liveliness is what represents the heart of the city,” the bartender cryptically responded.
“When you put it like that, I guess I can’t argue against it…” Cecilia sighed as she took a mouthful of the drink. Perhaps she had tried to emulate Roland, or maybe it was his habit that rubbed off on her. “That reminds me, where is that old bastard anyway?”
“Roland? I believe he said something about business in the east,” the bartender then remembered something and pulled out a small envelope from behind the counter. “That reminds me, he said to give you this the next time I saw you.” He handed the envelope over to a slightly reddened Cecilia. She clumsily opened the paper, almost tearing the note inside and began to read.
It’s a bit awkward to be writing these kinds of letters, but there’s a first for everything, right?
How goes you? How have you been?
Have you been eating properly? Make sure you don’t neglect your health too much since that’s the most important thing. Though, much to my dissatisfaction, there’s very little to worry when it comes to you since you know how to take good care of yourself. As a father, I kind of hoped to teach you a lot more things, but doesn’t seem like that’s going to be likely anymore.
I’m sure you’ll grow up to be a fine woman. I’m just a little envious that I don’t get to be there to see you when that happens.
How about a boyfriend? You got any of those recently? I’ve noticed you eyeing some of the boys down at the tavern, but take it from me: a mercenary will make a terrible husband, I mean just look at the kind of bastard I turned out to be. Ah, how about that kid? … what was his name, ‘Mordred’? You and he seemed to get along decently well for strangers, maybe with a bit more time you guys will really start to click with each other. The lad’s decent enough and I think he’ll make a good partner if you can just manage to prevent him from dipping too much into the mercenary life. Seriously, don't choose a mercenary.
That kid is probably hiding a lot of things, but from what I can tell, he’s not a bad one.
Now then, why am I writing this? Honestly, it’s not that great of a feeling putting down my thoughts to paper like this. There are so many things that I still wanted to do with you, so many things I wanted to teach and show you, but I guess this is the consequences of my choice career as a mercenary. Life really doesn’t go the way you want it, so take my advice:
If you have something you want to do, then just do it without letting anyone hold you back. Time’s going to fly and you’ll likely miss a lot of things, just make sure you don’t regret spending them being drowned by hatred. The key to happiness isn’t its pursuit, but knowing how to avoid the pitfalls of sadness. Sex is also one of life's happiness. 'Peace’ is the greatest happiness that you’ll certainly be bored of, but be sure to cling onto it and celebrate it.
… I know I should’ve probably talked to you in person regarding this, but then you’d probably stop me. About this most recent job of mine. It’s probably going to be my last. There’s no proof that anything bad will happen, but ‘intuition’ has always been one of my strongest talents. Of course, since I’m feeling this way, you’re probably wondering why I’m even still going to go along with it. That’s because of some complicated ‘adult’ reasons. Maybe I’m really worried about nothing and everything is going to turn out okay. If that’s the case then I’ll give you specific permission to beat me up real good when I return.
I already know that you’ve known that these ‘jobs’ I take aren’t wholesome so I won’t mince words from you. Taking up this latest one has gotten me thinking about family and what it means to raise a daughter. I don’t want you to become like me, and sometimes I think letting you become a mercenary was a mistake in its own right. You and I may not be related by blood, but to me you’ve been a true daughter to me. So, don’t be like me and be sure to grow up into a good person, okay?
Live a long life.
Don’t be afraid.
Stay strong and healthy.
Make sure you find the right guy to be your partner. (This part I can't stress enough. I want to see my grandchildren from heaven, or hell.)
Honestly, it has been one hell of a life and that you were there with me for all this time has been one of my greatest joys. I never had a great childhood, but I’d like to believe that my adulthood was the best I could ever have. Writing anymore will just make me repeat myself even more so I’ll stop here.
Be good, okay?
I love you.
– Roland -
PS: if there was one thing good about this, it’s the fact that I don’t have to face the reality where I have to bury you. Hey, permit me this one selfish pleasure since I don’t think I’ll be returning.
“What…?” Cecilia lowered her arms powerlessly. A warm liquid ran down the side of her face. “Is this some kind of joke? Hey, tell me that this is just a prank and that he’ll burst through that door telling me that I got duped.” She begged to the bartender, but all she received was a pained silence. “Where? Where did that old bastard say he was going?!”
“He told me he was headed for the eastern border of Xagontetia for a job.”
With that information, she jumped out of her seat and rushed out the door. “You shitty old bastard! If you die, I’ll kill you!"