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    Opportunity Cost

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    Antonius824

    Posts : 39
    Join date : 2012-05-04
    Location : Florida

    Opportunity Cost

    Post by Antonius824 on Mon May 07, 2012 10:23 pm

    His mind ached. The young boy’s hands were slightly stained with bits of black ink from what seemed like countless hours of performing calculations. His father loomed just behind him. The older man’s eyes quickly darted though the arithmetic, checking for even the slightest error. With a satisfied grin, he patted the young boy on the shoulders.

    “You’ve done well, my son.”

    Antonius let out a groan of relief as he stretched his arms. “Are we finished for today, father? I don’t know if I can keep going like this.”

    “You must remember that we practice for your own good. You must train your mind to be just as sharp as any blade.” His father’s eyes fell upon a shield bearing the family crest, an eagle perched on a scale weighing a sword against a pen. “A mind can grow dull if it is not continuously honed on worthy tasks.”

    Antonius let out a yawn; he could feel another one of his father’s lectures coming on.

    “You should know, my son, that our family was not originally a noble one. We earned out place among the ruling elite of human kind. The Argentarii are respected because we have preserved the hardworking entrepreneurial spirit of our ancestors.”

    Antonius turned his chair to face his father, who had begun to pace around the room in a ritual that was now very familiar to the young boy.

    “The road from poverty to riches is never an easy one. It is long, hard, and often less than honorable. None the less, it is a road worth taking, as the experience one learns whilst traveling it is invaluable.”

    His father stopped for a moment as he removed an old gold coin from his pocket. He examined it briefly with a kind of nostalgic longing in his eye.

    “Eventually my time will come, and when it does, you will be given a choice. You can choose to take up the mantle of the family, and undergo the trials to prove yourself worthy. You will be cut out from the family fortune and given ownership over only the clothes on your back, a blade, and a single gold coin.”

    He raised the old coin in the air as if to emphasize the statement, and then placed it down on the desk.

    “Prove that you have the same spirit of our ancestors, and the title and collective wealth of our family will all be unquestionably yours.”

    Antonius reached over to the coin, feeling the bumps and grooves on its surface, before gripping it tightly in his fist, returning attention to his father.

    “Or, should you find yourself not up to the challenge, you may choose to not to take part in the tradition. You would be given ownership of a small cottage, and a more than modest sum of coin to sustain yourself with.”

    His father stopped dead as he said this, and turned to face his son.

    “You would also have to relinquish all titles and deeds that fall under my name. The family records would expunge you from existence. You would no longer be considered a member of house Argentarii. The responsibility of leading the house would be transferred to your uncle instead.”

    Antonius took a deep breath, a cold sensation crept down his spine as the magnitude of what he was presented with sunk in. He continued to grasp the coin, and as he did, he could feel his strength return to him. Turning to his father, he spoke plainly and boldly.

    “I won’t let you down, father. I will prove myself worthy, I swear upon the family grave.”

    His father’s serious expression slowly melted back to his normal, more jovial one.

    “I’m happy to hear that, my son. Just remember this, no matter what happens, you always have a choice.”


    --------------


    Antonius sat in his chair, peering out of the window of his room towards the city of Velika. His eyes were locked on the Great Machine that powered the whole of the city. It’s dimly illuminated form was still quite visible from his father’s villa despite it being the middle of the night. Its ceaselessly turning gears and wheels perfectly mirrored his current state of mind.

    His room was clouded with smoke, and the scent of his Luria cigarettes and cologne hung heavy in the atmosphere. He briefly turned his head towards his desk. The normally neat and organized piece of furniture was buried under a mountain of legal forms and other paperwork. Sighing, Antonius returned to his midnight vigil of the Great Machine.

    Removing another cigarette from a silver case, he quickly lit it and gave it a puff. Sinking back into his chair, he took a long, slow drag, enjoying the relaxing sensation of the smoke filling his lungs. Now more comfortable, he reached into his pocket and removed a single gold coin, flipping it up in the air and catching it. As he stared out into the city, a renewed sense of confidence slowly began to come over him.

    “I did always have a choice.”

      Current date/time is Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:09 pm