Updated: Mar 17
Tara tries to strategize for the Hunting Competition and House Elias gets some visitors.
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Episode 121. About 11 months (13)
Despite my words, I couldn’t close the notebook so easily.
I strained to recall any details of the Hunting Contest, but there was nothing in particular that was related to my family.
I used this notebook last night before going to sleep.
Here I had written down all the events that had taken place in "The Ocerian Chronicles" as well as the events that writer Kim said she planned to resolve if she resumed serialization past episode 60.
The parts I’d read before possessing Tara were Chapters 3 and 4, and the middle portion of those was when the other families, including the Elias family, had been swept up in treason together. After that, in episode 60, it was implied that the plot would develop into a full-scale fight for the throne.
Around there, during Section 1 of Chapter 4, was the 'Winter Forest Hunting Contest'.
Ah… This meant that there wasn’t much time left until the execution date.
This "Winter Forest Hunting Competition" was an event that should have been dealt with quite comprehensively, considering the repercussions of the incident and the people involved, but it was also around the time Kim’s writing had entered a slump.
After chapter 4 there had only been 3 more sections before serialization ended…
The actions of the characters appearing in the 'Winter Forest Hunting Competition Incident' had not been properly described, and the incident occurred and ended without any sort of detailed explanation.
There was someone who had suffered as a result of the incident, but what kind of damage they had suffered had not been described in detail.
This incident had made the number of views on the〈The Ocerian Chronicles〉webnovel drop. It was after that chapter when writer Kim had begun mentioning ending serialization.
That pivotal section had been Section 1, Chapter 4, the "Winter Forest Hunting Competition".
There were a few more incidents that resulted from this incident, so it was quite a big one, but to be honest, none of it had been interesting to me, it held no emotion, and I couldn't remember it well.
In particular, there had been so many characters that I couldn't remember who was who. All I could recall was that an incident during the Hunting Contest which caused a stir, and as a result one of the families in the Empire had been completely destroyed.
I knew that a person had died, but I couldn't remember their name. Just knowing that single detail would be enough to tell me whether this event would affect the Elias family or not.
"Haa. I wouldn't have remembered even if I had really enjoyed reading it... but I forced myself to read it, so...”
Looking through the notebook carefully in an attempt to get to the bottom of it, I re-examined the list of the events that writer Kim had created, but once again it was useless.
There was only the name of the incident itself listed, and no specific details. That was it. Of course there was.
When writer Kim talked about the story to me in the first place it had all gone in one ear and out the other. It was questionable whether the names of the events I’d listed in the notebook were even correct.
It was hopeless.
“Ugh. Writer Kim, seriously!"
All I could do now was hope that writer Kim hadn't changed anything further since the serialization had ended.
I closed the notebook and opened the accompanying note.
Up until this point, I’d never suspected I might be assigned. It had been only two days since I had started this position, I was quite literally a 'newbie'.
But the note deviated nicely from my expectations.
[It's almost the end of the workday, but you aren't here yet. So I left this note.
Shyne and I have been dispatched to the Central Palace for a mock training drill starting tomorrow and will be working there for two weeks. So you'll have to go to headquarters for this hunting competition request.
As this is an assistantship position in a location where an unusually large number of people will be gathering you should prepare thoroughly in advance.
The exact dates haven't been released yet, but the hunting competition will last a total of seven days, including three days of banquets and four days of hunting.
It's only been two days since you started, so I'm a little worried, but I'm relieved that you've already worked in a conflict zone. With your spirit and passion, you will surely be able to succeed.
Ah. By the way, the higher level reporting documents related to this transfer are located at the front of the bookshelf. You know that participating in special events has a high promotion value, right? What a chance to get as a newbie! You're so lucky! I’m quite envious!
Your leader and supporter, Senior aide Joseph Howe.]
Was there even a point in laughing? With these kind of stakes, how did laughter even enter into it?
I looked at the memo and spoke to it, as if it was Joseph himself.
"Senior aide. Last night my luck turned out to be utter crap. I was extorted for 8 hours of my time every month. Even at this busy time!"
I tilted my head when I opened the envelope and saw the name of person I would be assisting.
"Knight Commander Nick Bright?"
The person I was assigned to assist was Prince Kyle's closest aide, a knight belonging to the Order of the Phoenix. Nick Bright, the commander of the Military's 1st Knights Division.
"Hmm. I think I've seen them together a few times... What kind of person was he again?"
First of all, I would have to consider the hunting contest a little more, and then I would need to investigate the tendencies of Nick Bright’s assistants.
I had just entered the Elias mansion. I was hungry because I had been too absorbed in my work today.
"What's going on with Father?" I asked Dylan, glancing towards the office.
Dylan explained the situation. A messenger had come from the palace, and my father, the lawyer, and Doctor Oliver were with him.
"They are discussing the paperwork regarding the patent rights. An official notice arrived."
"The Hunting Contest?"
Dylan nodded indifferently.
"Yes, I see you heard about that, too.”
"Yes, I’ve been assigned as an aide for it."
"I was surprised as well. I can't believe I'm being transferred two days after I was appointed. Hmm. Father won't like it, will he?"
"I don't know. It's related to your work, so as the head of the house, he'll understand."
“Even though I willfully overturned the arranged marriage? … He wouldn't even look at me last night or this morning...”
Dylan smiled, as if telling me not to worry about it.
"It's because he's apologetic."
"Yesterday, the Grand Duchess threatened him in the parlour. And the Black Society also came to visit this morning. Regarding you."
I was startled to be hearing about this for the first time. My eyes widened and I stuttered my reply, "Sir, what do you mean? Threats? The Black Society?"
Dylan led me to a chair in front of the office and sat me down, his soft eyes wrinkling.
“You have a talent for making allies.”
"What? Did the Grand Duchess actually stand by me? And the Black Society?"
"Yes. You have successfully pricked at the Lord's conscience."
"As soon as the Grand Duchess entered the drawing room, she threatened the Lord to not to interfere with the matter because your bet was sacred."
As befitting a true expert, Dylan approached and whispered to me quietly, bending his upper body closer.
“She said that in the future the Stuart family would communicate directly with our family, without going through the Philippes. Which means…”
I was impatient when Dylan hesitated to finish his sentence, I had forgotten to breathe. So, guessing what Dylan was going to say, I whispered.
“That means the long-broken ties with Stuart could persist without Philippe. And if this relationship develops well, my betrothal will no longer be necessary.”
"That's right, but the Grand Duchess added another statement."
"She said you and Lord Theodore are a match made in heaven, and that she's going to make sure you get married, so just wait...”
I saw her as a friend of my grandmother. But of course she wasn't that easy.
"Ha. Grandma doesn't know when to give up. I'm glad to hear that. I was afraid my father would be disappointed. What about the Black Society?"
Dylan glanced back at my father's office and continued.
“At around 10 am today, a man introduced himself as Leonard, saying he came from the Black Society.”
"Ah… Leonard, the messenger."
Dylan went on to describe what had happened this morning.
Leonard Bench, a first-class messenger of the Black Society, had just arrived at the Elias Mansion under Andrei Pitt's orders.
Since he was curious about where Andrei's apprentice lived, he enjoyed the opportunity.
A servant said he would bring in the person in charge, left him in the corner of the hall, and then disappeared.
"Hmm. I wonder if the apprentice is okay? She could be experiencing aftereffects...”
"She's already had some. Long time no see, messenger."
When someone replied to his directionless musings, Leonard looked up in surprise.
Despite how he looked, Bernard moved very lightly. Leonard pretended calm and feigned ignorance.
"Ha. Oh, my. But since she's so healthy, surely she'll recover soon...!”
"That's enough. Stop talking nonsense. I've heard from the lady that you have informants everywhere. Your organization must be quite busy."
He didn't deny it because he wasn't wrong, but his tone seemed to be covertly mocking.
"Do you not like me or something?" Leonard asked flatly.
"You fucking son of bitch."
Leonard whipped his head towards Bernard.
"I sent a message to your boss, in Durben, but did you tell him?"
Leonard, unable to muster a response, had no choice but to say nothing. Bernard had a surprisingly good memory.
“As long as my master continues to suffer from side effects, I won't stay idle. And to tell you the truth, I don't like your boss very much anyway. So, I advise your lord to tread wisely!"
"Well, but the chief sent...”
But Bernard had already said his part, so he stalked away.
As if it had been choreographed, a round-looking man came and took up the space that Bernard had vacated. It was Viscount Dylan Gabriel.
"I was going to go visit you, but you arrived at the right time. Count Lloyd asked me to inquire about something. About Lady Tara and Durben...”
"Oh. That's why I came. The chief said that the Count must be very saddened, but that the young lady will recover quickly because she's healthy. Also, thanks to his student... Or rather, thanks to the lady, he said things went smoothly, and requested I attempt to beg forgiveness. He has instructed me to give this to the Count."
Dylan suddenly seemed confused, but automatically accepted the two envelopes Leonard offered with the names of Count Lloyd and Tara written on them.
Leonard mildly explained what had transpired in Durben.
"You're saying that the poison symptoms she suffered from Durben aren't because of the Second Prince?"
“Unfortunately, yes. And for the time being, the chief is absent. He said he plans to be away from the capital for at least a month. If you ever need anything, you can tell Cezanne, the bartender."
"Ah. Can't you tell me where he's going?"
“If the head of the information guild just announced his destination, what kind of information guild would we be?”
"Ha ha ha. That's… True.”
Dylan chuckled slightly, as if the covert implications had just hit him.
"Yes, of course."
Dylan watched Leonard's retreating back as he left, and then quickly returned to Count Lloyd and reported.
Lloyd was livid after hearing Andrei's message, saying he wanted Tara to immediately quit her position as an apprentice at the Black Society. However, the information in the envelope that Andrei sent rendered Lloyd unable to act on anything.
"Does–Does he think I won't get angry in this circumstance? Let's go. I want to see that bastard’s face right now!”
Lloyd stood up with an agitated expression on his face, like he was actually about to go confront him. Thankfully, at that moment, Dylan grabbed Lloyd by the arm and pulled him down.
"You won’t be able to meet him even if you go now, sir. He said he's away on a long distance business trip for a month."
"It can't be helped. When he gets back, I'll pay him a visit and give him a stern talking to.”
"What information did he send you?"
“Hmm. He said that the problem that I've been worried about will be solved three years sooner."
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