The Lies and the Weasels – Episode 2 – Weasel words


Weasel words
– Words that have the intention to create a meaningful impression; but were, in fact, only a vague claim.
For example: “Most people think,” “Everyone knows”, “It’s a common belief”.
(Ancient Glossary)

It’s a common belief that children couldn’t remember what happened to them before they reached the age of 2. Yet, Cassius Aelius remembered his mother. Of course, this was not a clear memory, more the sense of warm hands, the feeling of happiness when he heard her coming to his room, her soft voice when she sang him a song, or her usual gesture when she patted her errand strand back into its place. The only thing he couldn’t remember despite all his efforts was his mother’s face.

There was also another memory. An unpleasant odor of sweat and lots of angrily looking men crammed into a room. Someone rudely took him from his crib; an ugly face was staring at him before being thrown back to his bed. Then total darkness.

He was just under 2 when his mother died. Assassins had killed her in her distant estate, where she isolated herself after the news about her husband only recently dying in a war. Her brother-in-law-initiated an investigation, of course, but everything was in vain. The murderers were never found.

When Cassius grew up a little, an old mother’s maid secretly showed him a small cameo from his uncle’s treasury. A woman with an aristocratic heritage look about her, a diadem set neatly in her hair, high forehead, straight nose, firm chin, and a somewhat proud austere look. The woman loved to rule and command and wouldn’t tolerate even the slightest bit of disobedience. Is this really… his mother?

Almost all his life since his mother’s death, Cassius Aelius spent it in his uncle’s estate. It couldn’t be called a happy childhood, but his uncle didn’t remember his existence up to a certain point. The only thing he cared about was giving him a classical education because “it’s a shame for the member of my family not to be able to read, write, and do the simple math.”

So, Cassius normally began his day with lessons with his tutors. After that he typically left the estate, though, spending it outside, climbing the trees in the nearby forest, building the huts on a rugged seashore, and shooting at the targets from the bow he had made himself. Or… stayed in and secretly looked for the answer to the main question of his life: who was behind his mother’s death.

By the age of 15, he knew all rumors about it. That she was killed by his uncle’s orders for attempted conspiracy against him. That she just became the unfortunate victim of some unknown band of robbers. That it was even his father’s last will that she should not outlive him for long. However, there was no proof to any of those accounts, and the only result of his investigation was the change in his uncle’s attitude, who could not stay in the darkness for long about his nephew’s hobby.

That was the time when he lost his freedom, and from now on, an army of servants was watching his every move. That was the time when he first met the Weasel.