Updated: Dec 26, 2022
Where Tara convinces her Father, Kyle finds her plans entertaining and Theo plays the onlooker.
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Episode 135. About 10 months (12)
The hunting competition went smoothly.
As the hounds chased after rabbits, pheasants and roe deers, the beaters beat their drums driving the prey to the right place.*
Then, the nobles, dressed in flashy hunting outfits, waited at the designated place, and then fired their bows.
The nobles interacted with each other as they sat loftily on their horses and waited for the hunters to bring their prey. It was a very elegant hunting competition where not a single drop of sweat was shed.
During the first hunt, only the Emperor and Joseph were present. Since it was customary for the Imperial family not to appear all together on the hunting grounds, they took turns attending.
The snow, which had been falling lightly since morning, turned heavy in the afternoon.
By the time the footprints were made in the low snow, it was already late afternoon. Kyle, observing the overall situation on the hunting ground, beckoned at the edge of the hunting forest.
A huge horn trumpet sounded as a signal to those words, and starting with that sound, more trumpet sounds were heard one after another at various boundary points signaling to end the hunt.
The Tandra Forest echoed with the sound of horns for a while. After all the nobles left the hunting grounds, Kyle remained to the very end while patrolling the area.
After that, he returned to his accommodation after meeting all the knights who had started their guard duty shift.
Meanwhile, Theodore, who had been watching the falling snow for a while through the window of the dormitory's drawing room, was glad that he had chosen not to attend the hunting contest.
"It's nice to see your eyes like this."
"Yes. It is a magnificent view."
"If I were 10 years younger, I’d go out to build a snowman...! Oh! Who is that? Isn't that Tara!"
Theodore, who had turned around, looked out the window again at his grandmother’s exclamation.
A red-haired and brown-haired women were laughing and rolling their eyes. And next to them was a knight holding an axe.
"... Is she that red-haired girl?"
"Yes. That’s her. How can she be so bright? She's like a puppy. Isn't she, Theo?"
"Yes. She certainly is different from other young girls."
Theodore smiled involuntarily as he looked at her grinning face.
For some reason, he watched her for quite a while as it was a smile that kept drawing his attention.
I came into my room shaking off the snow. As soon as I closed the door and took off my gloves, my whole body trembled.
"I told you not to go out like that. Are you okay? You're still not feeling well."
Beth held my bare hands tightly together and started to warm them by blowing her warm breath.
"It's okay. I still have chills, but it's getting better every day. And when I saw the snow, how can I not go out? You rarely see snow in the capital."
"Even so... Next time you go out, I'll prepare warmer clothes. Miss, can I get you a meal?"
I took off my hat and coat and grabbed a piece of wood from the pile on the other side and moved toward the fireplace.
"No, before that, Beth, I have to go to my father. I need to get confirmation before proceeding."
"Yes. Then, start with the cinnamon tea here. It's perfect for a day like today."
Maybe doctor Oliver had recommended this, and Beth had packed it before we left for Tandra Forest.
‘If I drink it with honey, it will warm my body, so I should drink it frequently.’
After putting in the firewood and taking a few sips of hot tea, I heard a knock at the door. When I opened it. My father was standing there, his face ashen.
"... If I do it that way, I really won’t become a target to the aristocratic faction, right? It'll be fine, right?"
After agonizing over my idea all day long, father had become very nervous. After I had Beth serve the same tea, I sat down with my father.
"I was just about to visit you. Please drink your tea first."
Father took a quick sip of the tea Beth had given him and let out a long sigh.
"Hey... Why can't we leave our family like this? I'm so anxious. Yeah. All day long, I've been thinking about the method you came up with. I guess…"
I swallowed and waited for my father's next words.
"I should do it?"
"Yes. Father. At least, the sharp gaze of the nobles will fade a little. In addition, there will be some families who understand us, and I think it will increase the trust of the merchanting groups."
"That rotten guy. To make it so difficult for our family. I'll go and cut his head off."
I let my father spit out his harmless venom so he could alleviate his resentment at being somewhat cornered by Prince Kyle’s offer.
"You had to make a choice someday. The Stuart family, who maintained neutrality, have already joined hands with the Toulouse family for a long time. Of course, it seems neutral on the outside but..."
"Yes. Yes. We also gave the patent right to His Majesty the Emperor Louis who is tacitly siding with the Second Prince, so let's push him. It is true that His Majesty the Emperor is on his side, right?"
"Yes. I honestly don't know if he’s going to abdicate the throne, but I think it's true that he’s using the Second Prince to keep the nobles in check. The Second Prince sending Viscount Allen Godfrey to help set up the aristocracy’s opposition during the mid-banquet is done with the tacit consent of His Majesty the Emperor."
"Yes. Yes. If the Emperor's power grows stronger, he has a chance. Delay the choice and wait for it to be safe. Rather than catching the dragon's tail, you should take the snake's head even if it’s risky. Of course, I will."
As if trying to convince himself he said, 'Yes, I should do it' repeatedly.
"That's right. There's no guarantee that we'll be safe if you postpone your decision. And, in my view, the Second Prince is already a venomous dragon on his own... He just doesn't have wings yet."
"That venomous snake-like dragon wants our House to be his wings. Damn him. Why our family? There are other families who would be too happy to oblige!"
"Hahaha. That's right. Shall we send a letter to the Second Prince then?"
I quickly cut his cursing the Second Prince short before it became a problem.
My father looked very shaken, but he bit his lip and nodded.
"Will it be dangerous?"
"If you keep your calm and wits about you, you won’t get hurt. And Bernard will always be by your side. So, Father, don't be afraid."
"Yeah. I've already done it once so, maybe I can do it twice. This way at least we can avoid being criticized by the nobles. Yeah. Send him a letter."
I silently shouted 'Fight', which Koreans loved to say, behind my father's back.
"Beth. Bring a pen and paper, please."
Beth, hearing my determined voice, gave me an understanding 'secret agent' look and replied with a double entendre.
"Yes! Miss. I'll call you right away."**
Walter handed Kyle a letter as he came back from his first hunting competition. He started untying his armor in his accommodations.
"Your Majesty. Assistant Tara Elias, no, this is a letter from the Lady."
Since the seal of the Elias family, and not his subordinate, was stamped, Walter quickly changed her title.
"Did she bring it herself?"
"Yes. She left it about 20 minutes ago."
"You left too quickly."
"No. Go and rest."
"Yes, Your Highness."
After Walter left, Kyle immediately opened the letter.
[My father, Count Lloyd, head of House Elias, agreed.
To that end, we thought a little about how to avoid our family being criticized during the mid-banquet.
I think this is the best trick for now and, despite being thought up in a hurry, it can bring various benefits. We'd appreciate your feedback if you have a better idea in mind.
If you agree there is no better way than this and follow my idea, our family will be willing to serve as the first foundation to your history and a strong pillar throughout your reign.]
"So, you’ve got a trick up your sleeve… And Elias is going to become a strong pillar? Heh… I’ll hold you to it...”
Kyle smiled and continued to read the next content that Tara had added. Immediately after, he summoned the knight outside the door.
“Is Chris the general manager tomorrow?”
"Yes, Your Highness."
"Go get him."
"Yes, Your Highness."
Chris arrived just as Kyle finished removing his armor.
"You called, My Lord?"
"Yes. we'll have to change the location where we record the number of game acquisitions tomorrow. I'm also attending the competition, so Chris, you need to find a place."
"What should I keep in mind?"
“It should be an open space close to the mansion where at least 200 people should be able to gather, and it should offer a clear view so that you can see everything. Do you understand?”
"Do you mind if we cut some trees?"
“Do it in moderation so that it doesn't show. It's snowing, so don't overdo it."
"Yes, Your Highness. We will do it right away."
After Chris left, Kyle quickly scanned Tara's letter again and laughed out loud.
"... It's so fresh everytime, I can’t wait."
The second day of the hunting competition.
Lloyd sat on the horse and waited to register today's game.
Tension rose and he felt his throat close up, but he pretended to be calm and exchanged pleasantries with Count Boyle, whom he had just met.
Count Boyle also sat on his horse and waited to register the game he had caught today.
"... I watched it again this time. How did you think about it? For a while, the patent right that Elias Pharmaceuticals gave to His Majesty the Emperor was the biggest topic of discussion among the upper administration. It is an honor to meet such a famous person."
Count Boyle's merchanting group was in top 20 of the Empire, and the wool trade was his main business.
"Hahaha. Well, well, well, well…"
Count Boyle tilted his head. For a while, in the Toulouse faction, there were rumors that House Elias held a position that didn’t fit their abilities and Count Llyod Elias was often ridiculed.
However, after seeing how House Elias dealt with the Emperor during the Dragon fruit incident, he thought it was strange.
"It was a pity that we couldn't talk about this masterpiece together during the opening banquet because I only arrived today. Would it be okay if I asked you how you came up with such a brilliant idea during the mid-banquet?”
"Hahaha. That… Well… Everything."
Count Boyle tilted his head again. Count Lloyd seemed to be distracted somehow.
'Is the rumor from Toulouse true? Then, among the vassals, are there any intelligent people...?'
Count Boyle's thoughts had to stop there.
[Whee hee hee hee hee hee! Tac a tac, tac a tac, tac a tac…]
Count Lloyd's horse, startled by something, reared high on its hind legs and neighed once, then immediately started galloping around the clearing.
About 40 nobles were gathered there to submit their tally. Along with them, if one included the hunters and court servants, there were about 120 people.
Even so, the clearing was spacious, and the horse carrying the Head of Elias found an empty space, stampeding while kicking and rearing.
Count Lloyd's scream, as he struggled to hold on to the horse's bridle and stay in the saddle, echoed through the field.
* A beater is a real thing in hunting, especially to help nobility hunt. They did a lot of the hard and dangerous work since they were on foot.
** This bit is quite confusing. I think the double entendre here is related to what happened just before, as in, Tara being called to go see Kyle again late at night and Beth ready to cover it up if necessary. But the MTL wasn’t nice with me, and it doesn’t really come through with what I’ve got here.