94 I am

The next day we went to the City Lord’s manor. He was expecting us and the guards let us pass without a problem. A servant let us to a room, different from the one from before. It was smaller but more comfortable, it felt like a home. “Please sit down —said the City Lord—. First I want to congratulate this boy for obtaining the second place, I have seen the recording and it really was a wonderful fight. It really is good how much you have grown.

As you both accomplish our deal, it’s time for me to do the same. The man who you are looking for, it’s me.”

That was something that we didn’t expected to hear. He saw us astonished and began to tell us his history.

“I was the second son of a mortal merchant. He was very rich and loved his family as any good parent do. He was also a good man, even if sometimes did immoral business, he treated his people well and nobody could complain about him. He was respected and he was powerful in the city. He wanted that all his sibling have the knowledge of a merchant, even my sisters. He always said that someone that doesn’t know how to earn money is useless, not matter if it was man or woman. So all the family was in the business. I was really good at it, but I didn’t want to become a merchant. As you can see me right now, perhaps you think that I wanted to become a powerful cultivator, but that it’s far from the truth, I wanted to be a chef.

Could imagine? I had everything that I would ever want, but I wanted to be something else. My father didn’t see chef as more than mere cooks. I didn’t exactly why I wanted to be a chef, perhaps the exotic spices that my father imported were the reason, and perhaps it was the delicious smell of our food. I don’t know, but I wanted to be a chef. 

My father didn’t know that, and I would never tell that. So after my studies I escaped home and went to a restaurant near my house, an I asked if I could work there. He didn’t know who I was, if he knew he would have said no right away, but I changed my clothes and I seemed to be a nothing special kid, even an orphan. So he take care of me while I was working with him. He was very strict, and I could tell you how difficult to me was t master the art of the knife!  Received a lot of hits because of that. And after I finished my job, I returned quietly to my home. That went ofr many weeks, until my father found out.

Loved that man, but, when he yell, I could sense my ear blooding. I tried to explain him that I wanted to be a chef no matter what, and he exploded. He almost slapped me, and he had never hit me before, but stopped it. ‘Do you really want to be a simple cook?’ he asked almost resigned. ‘No, I want to be the best chef, to make a restaurant where people will make large queues to enter, and where all people could enjoy a good meal’.

He began to think, most of his fury disappeared. ‘How large the queue?’ he asked. ‘Two or three blocks perhaps’. ‘Would you not do reservations?’ ‘Depends of how large would be my restaurant”, I responded. After that he asked many things. And saw that I my merchant blood was there, but not in that business. ‘I will paid your studies, I will make you a good cook. For five years you will study how to do it besides studying the family business. If you can accomplish that, I will support your dream, if not you will stay with the family forever.’

When he said that I was happy, my father would help me, but at that moment I didn’t understood his last words.

Then he gave me the best culinary tutoring that money could buy. Great chef came to my home and teach me many things. It was very tough but it what I wanted. So I kept studying cooking and the merchant way for those four years. And when that years ended… my father threw me out of the house. “I have given you the best of the best, now you have to make your own path in life. As you will not be a merchant, you will be officially banned from this household. You will never return. But I will give you these two guards and money for your journey to begin, because you will no longer will live in this city. This is the path you wanted, this is how things will be from now on.”

Nobody of my family knew about that, it was a shock for all of us. My mother implored to him, but he was not someone who changed his mind. I still remember my mother crying while I left. In that moment I couldn’t understand what he was thinking, I tried to hate him, but he did a lot for me. He gave me the best education, guards to protect myself and money to use to open my own restaurant. The only thing that I could do was to follow my own path outside the city.

The first days were normal, my guards didn’t like to talk to much, but they kept me safe. They were hardened warriors, and if my father put his trust on them, I thought they were trustworthy. However, trust is an expensive commodity. The fourth night we were camping, I was preparing the meal when I felt a stab in my back. I didn’t felt pain, only surprise. “Did you father really give you this money to open a restaurant? —one of the guards said—. He is an imbecile, don’t you think? All that gold is better if we used to other things, don’t you think?”

And they stabbed me two more times and went their way. I was on the ground, my blood was running everywhere, but I only could think that my dreams were about to end before they began. I cry. And them, I closed my eyes.

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