!em3oEn8LAg 10/03/10(Sun)01:03 No.12307196|
"Then, you'll come to visit someday? I'd come back to see you, father, but if you came to the capital there'd be no need!"
Your father smiles.
"If I'm in the capital, and you're in the capital, then who will watch the farm? Who will feed the cows? No, my boy, this is something you must do alone. You'll be a man before you know it, and then you'll have to make all your own decisions. The Alchemists there will help you, and they are wise. Listen to them, and learn from them, but always remain yourself," he taps you on the chest.
"No..." you say, realizing that this is the last time you will speak to your father, possibly for years. "No, I want to stay here. I want to be a farmer!" Your eyes well up with tears.
"Now now, my son. We both know that isn't really true. Go on now, and make me the proudest father in the Imperium."
You bite your lip, trying to compose yourself.
"I...I will Father. I love you."
"Oh, my boy, my boy," he says, drawing you close and hugging you tight. "I love you, son. Maybe someday you'll know how much." He kisses your forehead, then hands you a small wooden bird. Whittling is a favorite pastime of your fathers, even as arthritis claims his knotted hands.
You shut the door behind you as you leave. Your father sits quietly, staring at the dull golden coins. He waits until he hears the horses pull away before he starts to weep.
Hours later, you clutch the bird tightly to yourself as the Magister's carriage jostles along the roads of the rural Empire.
"Ugh, my kingdom for paved roads," the Magister says as the carriage flies over a large bump. He looks at you, sitting silently.
"Well, boy, I hope you're half the Alchemist your father claims you can be."
You stare back at him, tiny fingers clutching the wooden carving.
"I will be the greatest Alchemist the Empire has ever seen."
The Magister chuckles