The thing is, I find the orphaned aristocrat who burned through all his fiefdom's wealth becoming a certain version of perfect in mind and body much more interesting than kakarantia-dude.
The orphaned aristocratic ubermensche is awesome and loathsome. He shows such incredible determination and perseverance and the end product of his training IS incredible from a certain perspective. At the same time, he's so utterly selfish and narrow-minded, indifferent to all the servants who depended on his fiefdom for their livelihood. I don't find that character to be "nothing". I find him to be someone I want to read more about.
I don't particularly want to read about someone utterly alien. Utterly alien is just another word for cipher, and ciphers are bland.
Therefore the rings work better as simply his first big score and as a visual metaphor for what kind of person he is, since they look a little like brass-knuckles and a lot like pimp-bling.
I completely disagree with you.
"Utterly alien is just another word for cipher"
No. Just no.