Chapter 60: Visiting family (1)
The archaic streets, slow-moving and hefty carriage wheels, as well as the permanent atmosphere of laziness in the air hadn’t changed from previous times. Compared to the new cities constructed in the eastern and western parts of Shamanril, the capital was like an elderly person who had stepped into his later years – carefree, but at the same time, possessing a noticeable aura of decline and fatigue.
The Basco clan’s carriage was already waiting respectfully outside the magic array.
Taking on the role of temporary coachman was the butler Bob. Before his retirement, he had accumulated significant merits on the battlefield. Di Lin recalled his father saying previously that if Bob hadn’t been blinded in one eye, he might have been a general now. The probability of that happening was one in a hundred thousand. But as a butler, he was also very competent. All Di Lin had done was bring the information that he had relied on the magic guild to obtain, but he had immediately arranged everything in an orderly manner.
Bob saw Di Lin and Hydin walk out, and a gentle smile immediately revealed itself on his square face.
“Young Master. Welcome home,” He personally jumped off the carriage and opened the door.
Di Lin went forward and wrapped him in a gentle embrace for a moment. He greeted happily, “Uncle Bob.”
Bob patted him on the arm and shifted his attention to Hydin. “This must be the Tutor Tagilis that Young Master Di Lin mentioned in his letter.” Despite having been a butler for nearly ten years, he hadn’t adopted the flattering and fawning way of speaking that nobles used habitually; his manner of speaking was still as succinct and straightforward as before.
Hydin nodded. “Hello.”
Di Lin was a little surprised. It was rare to see him this amiable.
Of course, Bob didn’t think that much. After inviting them up the carriage, he immediately drove the carriage back to the Basco residence.
As the empire’s top dukedom, the Basco residence occupied a whole half street, the scale of which was second only to the imperial palace.
The carriage traversed across an expansive land and crossed a wooden bridge before coming to a stop.
Hydin alighted from the carriage, raising his head to take measure of the building that was no less imposing and majestic than the Saint Padeus libraries.
Di Lin asked Bob, who was handing the carriage over to the other servants, “Where’s father?”
Bob replied, “The Duke is currently in the imperial palace discussing government affairs with His Majesty the Emperor. He might only return at night.”
Di Lin made a sound of acknowledgement. The disappointment in his eyes could not be covered up.
Hydin raised a brow. No matter how precocious, Di Lin was just a youngster who needed care and attention. He would surely want to be welcomed by family after returning home.
Bob said, “Young Master, please enter. Your room is swept every day and the things inside haven’t been touched at all. Tutor Tagilis’ guest room is on the floor below yours.”
Di Lin asked, “Is there any progress in that matter?”
Hydin knew he was referring to the matter of finding Vincent, and thus immediately inclined his head, his gaze fixing on Bob.
Bob answered, “There are a total of 360 Vincent·Lin’s within Shamanril. 113 are excluded since they are deceased. 236 of them aren’t of the right age, so there are 11 left. The Duke has already requested for the officials in the various parts of the country to take note of this. News will arrive very soon.”
Hydin commented, “He is very adept at disguise.”
Bob brimmed with confidence. “Please be at ease, Sir Hydin. The enemies on the battlefield are also very adept at disguise, but they are ultimately laid bare under our swords.”
Di Lin recalled another matter. “Has Princess Qiaoni returned to the palace?”
“She has already returned. According to the Duke, she might marry into the Carter clan,” Bob said.
“Carter?” Di Lin sighed. It was unknown if this sigh was for the princess or Justin, who could never express his feelings openly.
They walked while talking. Very soon, Di Lin reached Hydin’s guest room.
Bob opened the door to the room personally. Di Lin observed that the room’s layout was very similar to his own room, but the decorations were completely different. His room was filled with a youthful sunshine, whereas this guest room was compact and serious.
“All the furniture here was personally selected by the Duke,” Bob stated.
Di Lin was surprised. “Father?” He didn’t know his father had this kind of time.
Bob glanced at Hydin and said meaningfully, “The Duke said that this is an expression of gratitude to his beloved son’s tutor for instructing him with great care.”
Hydin responded noncommittally, “I am grateful for his kindness.”
After sending Hydin to his room, Bob and Di Lin went to his room together.
Bob’s attitude softened, and he asked gently, “Is everything going well at the institution?”
Di Lin’s gaze focused, and a ball of water appeared in front of them. “Very well.”
Bob asked in astonishment, “You can use magic without incantations and gestures?”
Di Lin replied helplessly, “Tutor doesn’t allow me to learn any gestures or spells.”
Despite not knowing how to use magic, Bob was knowledgeable. He immediately said with deep emotion, “You have an extraordinary tutor.” He inwardly resolved to use the best of things to host Hydin during the few days he stayed with them.
Di Lin said, “I hope we can find Vincent soon.” He was aware that Hydin was paying the most attention to this at the moment.
“Relax. As long as this person is within Shamanril’s borders, he will definitely be found,” Bob declared resolutely.
Andre·Basco only rushed back at midnight.
Di Lin was sleeping soundly in the study room.
Andre opened the door and stared blankly for a moment, turning to look at Bob.
Bob said, “Young Master insisted on waiting for you to return.”
Andre nodded. “Bring some snacks for supper.”
Bob accepted the order and left.
Andre entered, took off his coat and put it over Di Lin.
Di Lin shifted and opened his eyes. After getting a good look at the person in front of him, he stood up with a whoosh, his body as straight as a pen. “Father!”
“I woke you,” Andre was slightly regretful.
Di Lin self-blamed, “It was I who wasn’t guarded enough.”
Andre smiled. “In the past, my requirements for you were based on a warrior’s standard. But you’re a mage now. The requirements can be lowered accordingly.”
Di Lin lowered his head and glanced outside. After a long period of silence, he uttered, “If I’m a mage, does that mean I can’t be a warrior anymore?”
Andre stared blankly. “Why do you ask this?”
Di Lin thought about it and replied honestly, “Tutor is unhappy whenever I use the sword.”
“He’s unhappy when I command troops too.”
“Command troops?” Doubt was written all over Andre’s face. He didn’t know when exactly Saint Padeus had troops, but even if Saint Padeus did have troops, his son shouldn’t be the one commanding them.
Di Lin briefly described the issue regarding the competition between Saint Padeus and Saint Sauvy.
Andre immediately understood. “I think he hopes that you will throw yourself completely into the world of magic. Just like how there are two methods to cross a river, swimming and rowing a boat – if you want to learn swimming well, you will need to first discard the idea of rowing the boat, if not it will be very hard for you to devote yourself to it completely.”
Di Lin’s brows creased.
Andre’s face reddened. “My example wasn’t very good. Cough, but you get it – it’s roughly this meaning.”
“Similarly, to win against enemies, swordplay and magic are the two methods. Tutor wants me to use magic because he wants me to think primarily in terms of magic, including passively?” Di Lin asked.
Andre nodded. “That’s the idea.”
Di Lin said, “But I still don’t think there’s anything wrong with me doing so.”
“I think your tutor is also very clear on that.”
Di Lin was skeptical. “Really?”
“That’s why he didn’t criticize you,” Andre paused. “Although from the way you speak, I can tell that he isn’t very happy.”
“Father, why do I feel like you understand him very well?” Di Lin was very surprised. He had interacted with Hydin for such a long time, yet he often couldn’t discern the meaning behind his actions. In contrast, Andre could comprehend his intentions appropriately.
Andre smiled teasingly. “Perhaps this is the difference between a man and a boy.”
Bob sent two bowls of chicken salad up.
Andre and Di Lin sat on the sofa as they ate while chatting.
Di Lin described all of his experiences at Saint Padeus in a lively yet orderly manner. When he mentioned Xi Luo and Princess Qiaoni, Andre asked a few more questions. Di Lin explained bit by bit. However, he hadn’t interacted much with them in the institution, so he couldn’t offer anything significant.
He saw Andre sigh and couldn’t help feeling curious.
Andre stated, “It’s a foregone conclusion that Xi Luo will succeed the title of crown prince. I heard his ability and courage is leaps ahead of the former crown prince. He’s even on good terms with Hayden·Nafist; he will definitely rule with an iron fist in the future.”
“Kanding Empire’s new generation marshal,” Andre replied. “He’s twenty years old this year.”
A twenty-year-old marshal?
Di Lin’s blood started racing.
Andre shot a glance at him. “Since you’ve already decided to remain at Saint Padeus, then don’t pay attention to these things.”
Di Lin’s enthusiasm dropped.
That’s right. The moment he chose Saint Padeus and relinquished the heavy responsibilities on his shoulders, he had lost his original position.
“Don’t worry for me,” Andre made out the struggle in his eyes. “I’ve already decided to adopt your Uncle Kelly’s son as the heir.”
Di Lin lowered his head. “Father, I…”
“The clan is not solely responsibility, even more so is it glory,” Andre said mildly. “You are unable to understand this point, so even if you didn’t mention going to Saint Padeus, I would not have chosen you to be the heir to the clan.”
Di Lin knew that he spoke this way because he didn’t want him to be too upset. In reality, his mood did indeed ease by quite a bit.
Seemingly exhausted, Andre squinted and said, “I will find a chance tomorrow to see your tutor. Anything that he’s fond of will be prepared as far as possible.”
Di Lin thought about it. “He likes coffee.”
 Another inconsistency in names here – the raws for this part actually translate to ‘bot city’ but in future chapters, it changed to ‘borg city’. Given that borg city appeared more consistently than bot city, I took some liberties and directly changed the name here to borg city.
 Similar to ‘brother’, ‘uncle’ doesn’t necessarily refer to a blood-related uncle in Chinese culture and is also commonly used in addressing older men as a sign of respect. In this case, ‘uncle’ does not imply any blood relation.