Updated: Dec 26, 2022
Where a suspicious and furious Kyle waits for Tara's explanation about her possible involvement in the assassination attempt.
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Chapter 140. About 10 months left (17)
Damn it, I was screwed.
Was it because of the flickering stove light? The Prince’s contorted face was very frightening.
I had never seen him so angry.
What a cold expression.
My throat was closing up. I swallowed until it passed.
Thoughts were spinning like crazy through my mind. I decided to pretend I didn’t know anything.
"What, what are you talking about?"
He hit the huge rectangular table with all his might.
Oh, my God!
Surprised at his outburst, my whole body trembled in shock, leaning against the back of the chair.
I was stuck. Whether I did it or not, his gaze was unwavering.
“Did you think it would be easier to deceive me just because you came into my service? You dare test my patience since I offered you the position of Second Aide?
With my right hand, I grabbed the hem of the skirt above my thigh. And took a slow deep breath.
Shit. My eyes were stinging. Ha. What about just keeling over? Wouldn't it be okay if I could faint and tomorrow would be like nothing ever happened, just like you see in dramas?
But I quickly put an end to that idea. Passing out to avoid this situation wouldn't change a thing.
The issue remained, and the seeds of doubt would continue to grow.
I pretended to be thirsty and looked at him.
I brought a glass of water to my mouth to avoid answering immediately.
How do I resolve this…?
While I was trying to think of a solution, he came at me again.
“During the Dragon Fruit incident, yes, I believed your words, but the situation is different now. You fell down with Lady Benson. And at that exact moment, an assassin's arrow flew towards the 1st Prince. If Lady Benson hadn’t fallen, she would have been beside him. And if I hadn't been there... Tell me, is doubting you such a leap?”
No. Quite on the contrary…
Still, I decided to close my eyes tightly and pretended not to know once more.
"That is. I don’t know...”
But his next words cut off my 'pretending to not know' technique.
"Knowing that an assassin would shoot an arrow could be interpreted as circumstantial evidence that you were involved in the assassination attempt!"
It thundered in my mind.
Ah… Why was it never easy?
After taking a deep breath, I made up my mind.
Yes. I’d need to use Andrei…
“I will explain it in detail so that Your Highness does not misunderstand any further. So please, don't look at me like that."
“And what look do I have right now?”
“As if you are ready to pull out your sword…”
"Huh. In the midst of all this, you're quick to notice, Aide Elias.”
“Please, hear me out. And then do as you see fit.”
“… Go ahead.”
After taking a couple of deep breaths, I started to explain as calmly as possible.
“Before he left, Master gave me a piece of information. He said, 'There are rumors that suspicious movements could occur on the 3rd day of the Hunting Contest, so be careful. Please don’t go to the hunting grounds, there are signs an assassination could happen. Never go to the Tillis Valley or the hunting grounds.'"
“However, I had forgot that warning until now, and when I heard that Lady Olive was going to see the First Prince on the Hunting Grounds, I suddenly remembered and came here in a hurry.”
He folded his arms and just looked down at me.
More suspicious than ever.
His eyes. I wanted to avoid them, but if I looked away, it was over. So, I did my best to keep mine on him.
“Are you saying that I forgot that important point until today?”
“Obviously I had kept this in mind, but after coming here and being so busy, I was so distracted that I really forgot that today was the day...”
“Are you saying that you are the kind of person who could easily forget something like this?
I shook my head so quickly that I thought my head was going to fall off.
"You’re right. I'm not that kind of person. If I just had my normal schedule, it wouldn't have happened, but you forgot to tell me something about it...”
“You are also responsible.”
He wildly ruffled his tousled hair once more.
Still in full armor, he exuded a feral beauty, that was only enhanced by the messed-up hair on his forehead.
He was a sight to behold. If only I could take a picture right now.
“Why aren’t you talking?”
“Ah, yes, yes. I am, I am.”
'Where was your mind wandering, girl?' I quickly swore under my breath while pretending to keep calm about all this.
“Your Highness sent Viscount Allen Godfrey to test me. It was completely unscheduled. Thanks to that, did I not spend the night alone with your Highness, drinking strong alcohol until I passed out?
“You spent the night drinking… So, you forgot?"
“You think that’s all? Thanks to our deal, I had to think about your agenda while also planning on how my family could forward it with as little disadvantages as possible against the nobles and do my job as an Aide for Captain Nick Bright. Wasn't my situation a little hectic?"
“You could have said something when you first heard it upon arrival at the mansion. Why didn't you tell me?"
Kyle leaned against the table with his arms crossed. Since my words were believed to some extent, the hostile energy emanating from my body had subsided a lot.
I sighed in relief, pretending to drink the water again.
“I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to cause confusion because there was no clear information, and nothing was certain. Also, because it is information that I got personally, I was careful because it could have increased confusion if it were to be incorrect. Besides, I have no obligation to tell the Military.”
He slowly unfolded his arms and placed his hands on either side of the table and looked at me.
Whoa... I was out of the woods. I unclenched my right hand from my skirt.
I felt the tension in my body subside and blood rushing back to my head again.
“Is that so? You don’t have to give private information to the military? Aren't you obligated to tell me?"
"Really? Then I’ll ask again. You are Andrei's disciple and now my closest aide. If Andrei’s work conflicts with the Military’s next time, what are you going to do then? Will you still say that you will act according to your interests?”
"Yes. I will still act according to my interests. Now, your interests are my interests.”
As the tension was relieved, I started to grin. The Prince, realizing the meaning of my smile, snorted in absurdity.
“Huh. You’ve become better at playing with words.”
“Did you think it was a pun, my lord?”
"Well... Would Andrei be happy to know about this?"
I shook my head. What to do…?
Keep going. It was natural to move according to my own interests.
The reason I first visited Andrei, then became the Second Prince's closest Aide, were all for my own benefit.
In other words, in order not to be decapitated in the future. Damn, these were my choices to save my family.
“I told Master Andrei of my intentions from the moment I first went to ask him to accept me as a disciple. Now the Elias Family has decided to stand on Your Highness’s side, and I also became your Second Aide. As I said, your interests are mine. So, in the future, if I have no other alternative but to choose between Master Andrei and Your Highness. My choice is my unconditionally the Second Prince.”
“Oh, my, my, I’d love to see Andrei’s face where he to be here right now.”
“I’ve been preparing for this moment. I didn't know it would happen this fast, but...”
Deeply inside, I was trying hard to figure out how to tell Andrei about this.
Even so, he often got upset that I didn't act as a disciple and just did as I pleased, but since I have already put the Second Prince first and not worked for him, he might already have been upset for quite some time.
Thinking about it, I smiled for a moment.
Oh my, to think that Master Andrei was not angry, but rather upset... Was I in trouble?
Well, thinking like that made me laugh out loud.
“… Why are you laughing?”
"Ah! It's nothing, hoo. Have all your doubts been cleared?”
“It makes sense, but it’s quite uncomfortable.”
“Even if you change your mind, nothing will change. But what can you do? It is true... I'm in the middle of all sorts of difficult situations because I'm really possessed by the devil. Hehe."
This was a blunt truth, if ever there were one. It was obvious, the devil had decided to intervene in my life.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t have died while going to eat Korean sausage soup and transmigrate into a book where the family I was part of would soon be destroyed… What’s more, having to deal with the world’s sharpest Second Prince!
This man… He must've saved three countries in his previous life.
Doubts still lingered. In this situation the best course of action was a safe and quick retreat.
"Ah! I'll wait outside… Then I’ll go back to the mansion...!”
I spoke with emphasis as I was about to leave, but he just naturally caught my arm.
Surprised, I heard the most unbelievable words come out of his mouth.
"Wait. Let’s go together.”
“We’ll be done organizing soon, so let’s go together then.”
His serene gaze didn't show any emotions.
What was this hot and cold joke...?
“Why do I have to…”
But I couldn’t finish my sentence.
"Your Highness! Captain Nick Bright reporting. We finished the cleanup.”
Captain Nick entered the barracks, shaking off the snow from his body while making funny noises.
“As you’ve seen before, with my God-given speed and ghostly movements, the enemy’s arrows… Oh! You’re here, Third Assistant?"
The characteristic rapid-fire rap-like words immediately changed the atmosphere of the quiet barracks.
"What's the matter?"
"Oh! God, I came to tell you that I’ll be waiting outside to give you a report and escort you to the mansion, Your Highness."
“Ha… Make your report.”
"Yes, Your Highness, Nick Bright reporting. Currently, all the remaining personnel in the clearing lot are moving under the direction of the knights. There are only the hunters and clean-up crew left."
Nick put his arm on his chest and bowed to the Second Prince.
"Alright. Get out of here.”
"Ah. Let me talk to my Aide for a moment, Your Highness. Haha. I need to know if my schedule has changed, and since my Aide is here, she may have some questions for me as well.”
After finishing the report, Nick smiled and immediately walked over to me.
I looked at Captain Nick and Prince Kyle in turn, wide-eyed.
Dumbfounded, Second Prince Kyle burst out laughing and slowly folded his arms while staring at Captain Bright.
His demeanor was like, “let's see how far you will go.” Well, that was just what it felt like.
"By the way, has your afternoon schedule changed? Oh! Were you waiting for me here?"
He looked so happy.
Why couldn't Captain Nick see the Prince's expression that looked so clear to me?
Why did I feel like I was walking on thin ice?