Heart of an Empire, Soul of a Worker

a story
2016-06-26 12:32:36
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A true Perdadu

      "I want you to say it, my little one."

      Little William Prescotesh starred his father right in the eye. His father's eyes were cold and looked empty, devoid of their usual light. William stood with his pack slung across one shoulder. The cart had come and outside they awaited to take him to his final day of training. 

      "My son, I want you to say it," repeated his father, "You will not join the military academy. You will learn from Grand Guru Minekesh and you will use your new knowledge to help the family farm."

      William looked around. He grew up in this little hovel as his father, his uncles, and his grandfather slaved away on their little farm. They did alright, but they lacked the funds to buy out the fertile land of their neighbors. They can barely feed the extended family.

      "Now, you'll learn great things, becoming a Perdadu, son," continued his father, "And defense and warfare was important to our history, but the government preys on the ancient ways. They only want to use you, son. They'll bribe you with talk of money and glory."

      William allowed a smile to spread across his face. Money and glory. Adventure and prestige. The stories filled his dreams. The brave Perdadu warriors striking out across the empire, spreading peace throughout the Empire, defending the laws of their beautiful nation. Traveling to far off locations and meeting new people. William couldn't help it, untold riches could really change his family's rights around.

      "Tell me! Please, my William," his father begged, "My father did not allow me to train as a Perdadu to keep me out of this nation's conflicts and wars, son. He warned me against allowing you too. But those ancient farming and herding traditions and rights will help us, and you will open up many doors for this family. Do not get enthralled in the stories and promises of the military, son.  Please."

      William stood straighter, and looked his father dead in the eye.

      "Father, I will make you proud, and I will do what is best for this family."

      William returned his father's warm smile, but he could still see the fear in his eyes. He was ushered out the door without saying much else, and he climbed aboard the wagon. With a flash of the whip, the Ox drove forward. Williams entire family waved him off. He watched them and tried to stand tall. He was going to finish his training and join the military. With the money and prestige  he could not only save his farm, but he could make life better for his entire family for generations to come.

      "I will make you proud," he said to himself again, "As an Officer and a War Hero. It's for the best of the family."