Kingdom of the Weak - Chapter 109

Published at 19th of February 2019 08:46:57 PM
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Chapter 109

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Fifty thousand . It was all Remian's money anyway, but a lot of that shopping was actually meant for furniture to set up a new schoolhouse . It didn't have to be very big; they didn't have that many children . Most of the Fal'Herim refugees who had children to consider all preferred going to safer, more developed places .

Roughly two hundred children were between the ages of 7-12, half of them being from the Harvest Sun and High Rock clans . Another hundred or so were below the age of seven . There were also over a hundred teenagers .

Compared to a population of five and a half thousand, those were very low numbers indeed . It seemed most people agreed with Mandy's opinion; the frontier was no place for children .

At least, not yet . This new schoolhouse was a small first step . Someday soon, they were going to have to get serious about education, but they first had to be sure the Beast Waves were ended for good . If they hadn't, well… the hospital might be rather busy in the future .

"It's not that bad . " Mindy said defensively . She, Tim, George and Max had arrived on the Red Fang bearing more goods and offering more space to bring stuff back . "We seem to be doing just fine . I mean, just look at Tim, George and I . We're okay . "

Jane snorted . "You guys all got electrocuted and spent days in the infirmary!"

"That's different! I'm talking about what we have! Even if we never go to school, we'll never have to worry about money in the future!"

"How is that even a good thing?"

"Did you know the gardener has a college degree? Yet for all his schooling, he's basically just taking care of plants and he has the lowest income in the entire household, even among the servants!" George threw in .

"How did you even know that?"

"Um… because…" George hesitated . "He told us . "

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"Why would he tell you that?"

"Because he wanted to come with us . "

That much was true . It was almost inevitable . As far as the gardener could tell, George was doing pretty much the same thing he was doing, but earning much, much more .

"That doesn't mean that an education is useless!" Jane protested .

"It doesn't mean that an education will solve everything either . " Mindy countered .

Remian cleared his throat . "Actually, Mindy, Tim, George… I want you guys to study too . "

"What?!" Mindy spluttered .

"Language, math, history and culture, geography, science, magic… I want all three of you to pass Ashdale's General Certificate of Education before you're teenagers . "

"You want to send us to school?!" Mindy gasped .

"No . I said I wanted you to pass the GCE . Nobody ever said anything about sending you to school . "

"Then, how…?" Jane asked .

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"How did Mindy learn magic?" Remian asked . "How did she learn to build her own airship? She never went to a school of engineering . "

"Arnold taught me . Charlie taught me . You taught me . " Mindy reflected .

"See? You had teachers . You had books . You had the freedom and space to experiment and experience . More importantly, you had the drive to learn and you did it on your own . " Remian paused . "When I was in school myself, one of the things I noticed was that most of the students didn't even want to be there . They didn't want to learn, or to sit in class while a bored teacher droned on and on repeating the same lesson to class after class of equally bored students . Something is very wrong about the way school was done where I came from and I don't want you guys to go through the same thing . "

Tim glanced at Jane . "Is it the same here?"

"Well… yes… no… maybe… sometimes?" Jane scratched her head . "But there are fun times too . Maybe it's just the teachers? I heard there were good teachers and bad teachers . "

"For the three of you, I want your experience to be different . " Remian told them . "When you learned math, you learned it counting your own money, measuring your own airship parts, distributing cheese to your own subordinates . When you learned cultures, you learned it living with the Sand People, working with the Sea People, and coming to Ashdale yourself . It's not that I don't want you to have an education . It's that I want your education to be meaningful and real . "

"Can that really be done for everybody?" Mindy asked . "I mean… not everyone wants to build airships, or could if they tried . "

"It differs from person to person . That's why I'm not promising it for everybody . Just you three . " Remian hesitated . "And maybe Darian and Eriane . "

"Personal tutors? That's the way I was raised . It's not cheap, though . " Charlie threw in . "Public school is much cheaper . This is how the quality of education a child gets relates directly to his parent's money . The rich get the best education and thus the best jobs, while the poor get whatever's left . It looks like you're already creating class differences in Shadowflash Fief . "

"That…" Remian scratched his head . "I would love to offer equal opportunities to all, but I only have so much time and resources . "

"You, and everyone else in the world . Bring on the class divide!" Charlie intoned .

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"Hey, poor people from public schools can do well and get good jobs in the future too!" Mandy threw in, not wanting to discourage the kids .

"That's the exception, not the norm . " Remian knew . "Public schools are more likely to smother ambition and opportunity than nurture it . "

"They were designed to train factory workers to read and write and operate machinery . They do a good job of that, but if you want to raise scientists, or doctors, or government leaders, you'd better try to get private tutors . " Beth, Charlie's mom, advised . Somehow, she'd heard the conversation and wanted to chip in . "It would save them years of time and effort . "

For some reason, Mandy's face went pale .

"Or you could go the other way . Force everyone to have the same starting point, make public schooling compulsory . That's another form of equal opportunity . " Charlie pointed out . "Doesn't the Rising Dragon Empire do something like that?"

"Military High Schools, yes . " Remian remembered . "But those are taught by Draconians with decades of experience . They're very competitive and there's a lot of combat involved . Students get killed all the time . There's a whole might-is-right concept prevailing in those . "

"It's good for a strong military . If you're really concerned about fighting Wilds all the time, you might want to consider that sort of martial focus . " Charlie commented .

For some reason, Remian turned to look at George .

George shook his head slowly .

"We may not need to fight them all that much . I think we're making good progress in befriending them . " Remian told Charlie . "Deepsilver hasn't attacked us, so far . "

"Not deliberately . " Mindy piped up . "She's just a bit clumsy . "

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Charlie shook his head . "If it were that easy, we'd have colonized the Wildlands long ago . Trust me on this, Remian; keep your defenses up . Nobody has ever succeeded in colonizing the Wildlands . "

"Why? What happened?" George asked .

"Sounds like it's time for a history lesson . " Charlie mused . "Okay . So, the last three colonization efforts happened over the past twenty years . Deutero, Itarim, and Germat all took a shot at it . I'm not entirely sure about the other two, but I know for a fact that Deutero's effort involved thirty Sky Galleons and over a hundred Sky Frigates and Corvetes . They built five walled towns, hired thousands of guards, brought in heavy war machines like cannon wagons and armored carriages . Judging from Deutero reports, they fought off small Beast Waves like the ones we faced, at first, but then one day, a much bigger attack hit and wiped out all five towns all at once . "

"What? What happened?" Remian stared .

Charlie sighed . "They called it a 'Beast Tide' . Imagine a hundred Beast Waves put together, dozens of Tier 5's, even a Tier 6 or two, and more Tier 4's the size of Carrie or Buff than you would bother to count . They said it was like the tide coming in, and all Deutero's forces and defenses were swept away like sandcastles . "

Remian paused . "Air forces too?"

"There were flying Wilds . " Charlie confirmed with a grimace .

"That kind of assault… only a King of the Wilds could have done it . The regular Lords don't have that kind of power . " Remian drew a deep breath . "So… let's not offend any of the Kings, all right?"

But if that was the power of a King, what would an Emperor of the Wilds be capable of? Remian shuddered just thinking about it .

Then again, they wouldn't have to worry about that . Their particular area didn't have any Emperor Wilds . The reason for that was that Mal'thor and Kor'ag-dras were right there . While they might be the greatest power in other regions, in front of the Twins, they'd merely be dinner .

Remian cleared his throat . "Mom? Dad? We need weapons and magic to be basic courses in school . Also, we have to talk about integrating the Adventurers' Guild missions and points into the system . "

Talk about equal opportunities and class divisions could wait . First, they'd need to survive a Beast Tide .

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