Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
The Bennett Castle always held its dinner on time. Since there were knights in the house, the time to eat was set at eight o'clock at night. The meal, as always, was limited to three things: beef, porridge, and mashed potatoes.
Due to financial issues, the beef was not flavored with anything at all. Spices were restricted to only the very rich nobles. They had to be harvested all the way from the Double Moon Forest, which was a faraway territory ruled by the elves. The further a product was from its place of origin, the pricier it was. This was especially true when there were so many merchants involved in the transportation process.
Like always, it was a quiet, yet heart-warming dinner with the family. After a whole day of workout, combat, and adventure, Abel wanted to go back to his room for a shower. He didn't like the sewage system here, though, so he decided to make one himself.
The Bennett Castle relied on one underground stream for its water supply. Like most castles built in this world, no resource could be sent in the fort if it was surrounded by invaders, so the water was crucial for self-subsistence. If it was a castle built for a higher lord, the sewage system would probably be big enough for a few thousand people.
The Bennett Castle could provide enough water for a few hundred people, which was quite a lot in itself. There were less than a hundred residents living here, guards and servants included, so the water was not an issue at all.
To build his own irrigation system, Abel decided to find the carpenter of the Bennet Castle. He ordered the carpenter to build a water wheel. It was meant to be powered by the underground stream, and there would be some pipes connected to it to let the water flow inside a big wooden box, which would be stored on the top floor of the castle. Then, using some bamboo hardened with fire, pipes were built to let the water into the bathroom. Abel had bronze in mind at the start, but metal was far too expensive. There was no mine inside the castle. No blacksmith for hire, either. The Bennett family couldn't even use iron to make the pipes.
After a long, hard thought to himself, Abel came to the conclusion that bamboo was the best option available. Once heated up with fire, it could be bent, hardened and used for a variety of construction work. Most importantly, it was extremely cheap.
After the pipes were ready, Abel had the carpenter make him a full-size wooden bathtub, a wooden washing basin, and even a flush toilet with seat. For once, things were starting to look a bit modern.
Lumber was worth almost nothing in this world. Apart from some of very rare species, anyone with an ax could get some wood from the forest. Speaking of which, the Bennet Family owned all the trees within a hundred-mile radius from the castle. Lumberjacks and carpenters were hired, of course, but their main job was with planting crops in the field. You wouldn't get paid much for chopping down trees.
Thanks to Abel's innovative suggestions, every room of the castle was renovated with the same design plan. The carpenter, after being paid a generous sum for his work, was ordered to sign a contract with the Knight of Bennett. Without his master's permission, he was restricted from making the same system again for anyone else.
Hence, the blueprint of the wooden irrigation system was locked inside the Bennet family vault. As a nobleman who grew up knowing a fair share of things, the Knight of Bennett knew how life-threatening this device could be. If some high lord happened to know about it, he would most likely keep it all in his own family collection, meanwhile killing anyone who happened to know something about it. The Knight of Bennett was all too familiar with this sort of thing.
Which was why Abel didn't invent anything afterward. Without the right status and strength, any creative ideas could bring catastrophe to him and his family. For the thousands of years of this world's history, there had been no change to the way society was structured. It was a very different story to that of Earth, which was very easily influenced by instability and interferences. Rules could vanish and remerge within a span of a few centuries, and nothing could ever be referred to as "constant."
"Abel, come stay with Zach," the Knight of Bennett commanded as Abel was about to head back to his room, "You are a rank one novice knight now. You are now worthy of my tutoring."
After coming to the training room, Abel could see that the servants had already prepared the wooden dummies for him. There were some wooden swords hanging on the wall, and the Knight of Bennett grabbed one to give it to him.
"I have heard about what you did," the Knight of Bennett stared at Abel, "You killed a shadow panther with the strength of a beginner knight. You surprised me, Son. Even if you did it with Norman's help, I am still very surprised about it."
"For my whole life, I have seen countless knights with are more talented than I could ever be. They were stronger than me, faster than me, but none of them lived to be as old as I am now. Do you know why?"
To Abel's surprise, the Knight of Bennet was suddenly giving him a lecture. For all the time he had been in this world, he had never heard so much word coming out his father's mouth before.
"How did I survive to be standing here today? It's because a knight's strongest shield is his sword. The fastest sword is also the sturdiest shield there is. If the knight is fast, he can charge when he's on a horse. When he gets down the horse, he can pull on a heavy bow with a blink of an eye. Now, there are a lot of geniuses in this world. Some of them decided to become the fastest men they could be. Some of them decided to become the strongest men they could be. Now, I am not the strongest man there is. I'm also not the fastest man there is. However! I happen to be the heir of our family, and what our ancestors have left for us is a full training routine dedicated to knights. Because of my heritage, I became the strongest man among the fastest man, and I became the fastest man among the strongest men."
The Knight of Bennet widened his eyes, called out in a rather emotional tone, "What our ancestors gave us is the most complete system there is. Generation after generation, they passed it on to me without making any sort of adjustment. In the near future, I will fulfill my role and passed this treasure onto you both. Remember this: no gold, no renowned weapon, or armor, none of these will be ever as precious as heritage! Heritage, my sons, heritage is the most precious treasure there is!"
"Zach, show your brother how to form an attack," the Knight of Bennett threw a wooden word towards Zach, to which Zach responded with a glare of a beast. He pointed towards the dummy with his sword, drew a light breath from his mouth, and instantly changed into his charging position.
Abel could just barely see it. The dummy was sent flying in an instance. And while it was still in mid-air, Zach quickly went to stab it at three different spots. It was the thigh, the waist, and the throat, all executed in one sequence of movement. It was like something coming straight out a textbook.
"You are faster than this," the Knight of Bennett said. The father was always strict in his demands. Zach understood that, so he quickly responded with a nod.
"Can you see this clearly, Abel? This is a classic knight's attack. You break through your enemy's defense with a charge and finish the fight with a quick slash to their vital spot. Every part of this sequence takes thousands of years to refine. Your role is to execute these movements as perfectly as you can. There is no need to make any kind of adjustment. Countless blood has been spilled to come up with what you are looking at right now.
The Knight of Bennett continued with a slightly ridiculing tone, "There are always some so-called "geniuses" who try to be creative with this. None of them are alive now. Listen here, Son. What you should be doing is to remember these movements. Turn them into your instincts. Use them before you have any second thoughts."
Abel felt so proud to have killed that shadow panther back then, but looking at Zach was a real wake-up call for him. He could be as smart as he wanted to be with his tricks, but they would always be futile against a properly trained knight. Even Zach could dominate him without any resistance.
For the remaining days, Abel continued on his training routine. He practiced combat techniques during the daytime and improved his muscle strength with the metal armor at night. Before he went to bed, he would always practice his knight breathing techniques.
There was a lot more beef on the dinner table that night. From that point onward, Abel was starting to receive the same meal size as Zach. While the Knight of Bennett hadn't said anything about it, he felt like his father had come to some sort of decision.
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