There were many things Ludovich looked at for reasons other than what would be obvious.
Standing in his penthouse, white suit and himself just as pale, he would look out over the city bathed in moonlight. While he would certainly notice the beauty that the slivery light gave the buildings, the way the moonshine softened the hard angles of the business centers that surrounded him, the way the roads far below resembled rivers so alien in civilization. While he would take note of all these things and enjoy it, for beauty in any form gave him pleasure, the reason he would look out of his window, sipping wine and standing silently, would be to think to himself: Someday, this will be mine.
It wasn't a thought filled with malevolence, about how the fools who had shunned him would pay; and it wasn't filled with some misplaced righteousness of how the world would be a better place when he ruled it. It was simply the thought of a man who wanted something and would take it. The thought of a man who did not think there would never be difficulties or setbacks, or that it would happen instantly or easily. Just a man who thought that whatever he wanted he would get, no matter how much planning and time had to be taken. It was a declaration of war of sorts.
He would never talk to people for reasons which were apparent, either. He had no need to bounce his ideas off others; all plans that issued from his mouth were perfectly formed. All the testing would be done inside his mind.
When he did talk to people, it would be an extension of his thoughts. Ponderings out loud that people could answer, but the answers were something he usually didn't need. It didn't matter what people said to him, he would come to his own conclusions. It was just a way for him to hear himself better.
That wasn't to say that he never took advice into consideration, he was nothing if not practical, but just that others' thoughts were never part of his process of conclusion.
If someone asked him a question, when he did answer, it was never a direct answer. Preferring to draw them along with his train of thought. Not to irritate them or give display to his intelligence, but if he helped them to come to the same answers as he, he did not have to explain everything in detail. It saved time.
Sometimes, he would just sit at his desk and reflect. He was the kind of man who believed in learning from the past, though not in yearning for it.
To wish for time, which was fleeting and constantly moving forward, was a folly and weakness he did not indulge in. But he would review his experiences to learn from them.
From his childhood in military academy, where he had been drilled in leading men and making plans. There he had learned to read the enemy before making any plan, that one must always have a backup, and that men responded to real leadership. It was here that he discovered his talent and passion for leadership.
It was in his life in high society where he had learned diplomacy and had obtained his taste for beauty. It was here that he learned that one well placed word could make or break you reputation better than any action, and he observed what power and money could obtain.
His home life was one of strange relationships. The only thing his father had was his title, his lands did not produce anything and their fortune had been decimated in the last war. What little money they were able to procure his father spent on his private vineyards, it was no surprise that his son turned into a sommelier himself. Ludovich learned pride from his father, as well as the discipline to only demand the best. His father was much more hot-headed than his son, refusing all help from what friends he had in his time of need.
Ludovich's mother was the one who was willing to receive extra food from them. It was not that she didn't have pride. She merely thought herself that pride taken too far was foolishness. She was willing to accept charity to continue her family, and would work to pay it back.
From her, Ludovich took the lesson that sometimes more things could be gained from lying still than from demanding.
By and large, most of the lessons he learned were on his own from observation. He spent most of his time at the academy, aside from the short holidays during the year. His parents were very nice to him, that was certain. But to say love was putting it too strongly.
He wasn't even sure if they loved each other. When they were young they were a good match. And when he observed them, he was sure his father knew where his mother obtained the food. But he never said anything about it.
And she didn't say anything about where she got it, or even ask her husband to lay down his family pride long enough to think about manual labor for extra money. It was a kind of duty that each knew they owed the other, a loyalty to the others integrity, that they didn't cross.
Even to Ludovich himself, he never mentioned either of these things to his parents and as long as he respected them, they respected him.
He was given free reign over the castle, to come and go as he pleased.
Even years later, Ludovich would be able to cast back his mind and apply these lessons from the past to the problems he faced in the present.
But there was one time in his life that eluded him. He had gained a fortune from it.
Indeed, without that particular year of his life, he wouldn't be where he was today.
The only other thing he had gained was an antique watch. It was gold, it was an heirloom, it was Swiss and it still kept excellent time. But what the watch represented was confusion. For a man who had to take everything for himself, the watch was the only thing he had ever been given. Maybe that was part of the confusion.
But no matter how many times he would take it out and look at it, relieve the experience, he could never understand what he was supposed to learn. The facts kept playing over and over in his mind. It was something he could never quite forget.
The ultimate moral of the story he could not grasp.
Maybe it was the giver herself. She was like something he had never met before or since...Maybe it was she he had never understood.
It was strange. When ever he was facing a dilemma or savoring victory; whenever there was a decision to be made or just a thought to be followed to its end, when he wondered if he should act or wait, he would look at the watch. The movie that played through his mind was never relevant to the problems at hand, and he was never able to understand it, but Ludovich was always able to center himself once again after glancing at it.
Again, maybe it was the influence of the original owner of the watch. Five years ago...it felt like so much longer.
A/N: In case you just clicked on this out of curisoity, I highly reccomend downloading the series before reading this fic.
. You know where it is. I think it's on Veoh as well. Either way, you won't regret it.