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Where father and daughter have a talk and Tara takes stock of the situation.
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Episode 159. About 10 months (36)
“I didn’t say that I’m going to help you financially straight away, I was just saying that we’re going to find a way together to get you started. Setting up a shop with a sponsorship is something for the future. You can study at least, right?”
"Of course! Niels did it as well! If there’s a will, there’s a way. What does the environment matter?"
As I spoke, I felt that I heard my words before. Instantly, I remembered what high school students in Korea would always say.
[Save your free time to study. Only people who didn’t study because they were talking to friends instead blame it on the environment. The situation doesn’t matter. If you have the will, you can even study in the middle of the street or during a noisy concert.]
That’s where it came from.
Ah… My Korean habits weren’t going anywhere, after all…
"Can I really do it?"
“Yes. Let’s get some advice first and do what we can right now. If you set too big of a goal, it becomes rather daunting. That’s why we should start out small, step by step. And at some point, your dream might be standing right in front of you.”
That last sentence was kinda cool.
I wasn’t the only one who was feeling that way, because Beth clapped.
"Yes, My Lady, it’d be great if I could do that.”
“But don’t expect too much. Even despite your will and effort, not everything will turn out the way you want it to.”
“It doesn’t matter if I fail. It’s good to be able to try, Miss."
“Alright, alright. Then, I should get dressed.”
After I finished getting dressed, I sat down at my desk, and Beth left the room with a spring in her step to instruct the carriage to prepare for departure.
After returning from the hunting grounds, I hadn’t left my room except for the two days of horseback riding with Bernard.
During that time, I tried to recall remaining chapters of <The Ocerian Chronicles>, but nothing came to mind, so I mostly struggled and suffered.
Then last night, I vaguely remembered a few things, so I was able to organize a few lines.
“Now, let’s make another plan.”
I took out the notepad I used yesterday and looked through it again to see if there was anything to add.
My only memory related to the Hunting Contest was the title of each chapter.
1. The repercussions of the Hunting Contest.
<The Ocerian Chronicles>, chapter 4, section 1 [Winter Forest Hunting Contest incident]
The assassin and his family were the ones who actually died.
During the Winter Forest Hunting Contest incident, the Elias family was left unscathed. They switched from neutral to the Second Prince’s side.
Changing their allegiance affected me too as I was appointed as his Second Aide. It was a huge promotion for a mere administrator.
2. Chapters after the Hunting Contest.
<The Ocerian Chronicles> chapter 4, section 2 [Scandal that shook the social world]
I don’t know when the incident takes place. I don’t know the exact details. I don’t even know who is involved. Author Kim’s writing is frankly boring. It’s natural not to remember.
<The Ocerian Chronicles > chapter 4, section 3 [Black Map in the Imperial Palace Warehouse]
I can't remember anything.
<The Ocerian Chronicles > chapter 4 section 4 [Conspiracy to usurp the throne]
About 9 months remaining (or maybe even less). The only thing I know is that the Elias family is involved because of the Imperial Family.
3. Things to do while working as a Second Aide:
Figure out what's behind the advice that Master Andrei gave at the Hunting Contest.
Investigate the sociopath Hans Button.
Investigate the meetings and conspiracies around the Elias family.
Find out more about the cases and circumstances around the treason centered on the 2nd Prince.
I frowned at the contents of the memo and then I sighed.
To be honest, just recalling the title of each chapter was a great feat.
I couldn’t remember what happened in sections 2 and 3 at all. And that the Elias family was executed because of their rebellion against the Imperial Family was all I could remember.
It felt like I had done a lot of work without actually getting somewhere.
“It’s alright, I’ll get by somehow. Just looking at what I’ve done so far, I know I got the potential. I’ve lost weight, and I’m already the Second Assistant! Huzzah!”
I purposefully yelled at the end and stood up quickly to carry out the plan.
Today was the last day of the Hunting Contest reward vacation, so I had to meet Andrei to discuss the future.
Before leaving the room, I looked at myself once more in the full-length mirror.
Well, the dress certainly wasn’t a joke. And a pretty face was wearing it.
After all, it was a dress that radiated wealth, the material was high-quality, and it was easy to move around in. Of course, it was eye-candy.
Beth, who chose the light purple dress out of a total of 12 dresses, praised my taste and paired it with a black cloak.
Hmm. Was it too dark…? No, this was how to dress for Lackton Road.
First, I headed to Father's office. As I was about to knock, I heard their conversation.
[Why is the Emperor rooting for a guy like him? Huh? You’re smart. Don’t you want your future to be bright?]
He was talking about the 2nd Prince.
My Father’s spat out his words so aggressively he had to cough.
[He’s so rude. He’s got to be taken down a peg… What? ‘If you wish, tell me who the culprit is when we meet later, and I’ll take care of it’? Oh? Will you take care of it? You know exactly what I’m talking about! Of course, I want you to take care of them!]
[Did that happen?]
It was Dylan's voice.
[That rotten man. Now I have to help him sit on the throne!]
He had a lot on your plate. Seriously, did the 2nd Prince aggravate more people? I was upset too that day. Ugh… I hated it!
[But it’s a bit sudden. Why did he accept it? Most of the candidates are from the Empress’ side, and that would never be beneficial for the Second Prince.]
[I know. Although at first glance the range seems diverse, because of the additional age and residence limits, the Empress will be able to restrict it to her own side.]
[So far, he refused every time the Selection was offered. I thought he would do it after a long time or after his position was established… There must be a way to know what the hell is going on in his mind.]
When I turned around in surprise, I saw the butler, Dixon.
“Why didn’t you go in…”
Dixon asked quietly, tilting his head.
"Ah. I thought they were having a serious conversation, but it looks like it’s over now, so I’ll go in."
That was when I knocked on the door and entered the office. As soon as Dylan saw me and greeted me, he asked me.
"What do you think, Miss? You have become the Second Aide now. Why do you think the Second Prince has accepted the Selection?"
I could feel my blood pressure rising, but I pretended I was indifferent.
"I don’t know. I don’t really care either. Guess he just wanted a wife. What?”
Dylan’s mouth opened slightly, but he cut himself off. It seemed like my answer hadn’t met his expectations, but I didn’t feel like coming up with a more logical answer.
“Whether he picks somebody or not, you just need be a good assistant to him. Nevermind. If that bastard keeps misbehaving, just quit!”
“Ahaha. Yes, Father."
Just by thinking of Prince Kyle, my Father’s words turned sharp.
"So, where are you going?"
"Yes. I wanted to see Master Andrei. But before that, Father, I have something to discuss.”
"What is it?"
“As you know, I was appointed as the Second Aide to the Prince because of my participation in the Hunting Contest. So, the merchanting work is…”
“Oh, I was thinking about that. He’s a strict guy, isn’t he? You’ll be busy as the Talent Training System will be implemented soon. So, let’s put off starting the merchanting work for the time being. Of course, if you want to secure a stake in being the Head of the House, I won’t stop you.”
Whoa. I let out a sigh of relief inside.
“I think it’s better to focus on being the Second Assistant for now.”
“Alright. Making good choices and concentrating are also virtues for the Head of the family.”
“Don’t forget, you’re working in the Palace to become my successor. So, keep the future of the Elias family in mind in everything you do.”
My Father’s face, solemn and serious, represented the driving force behind the Elias family.
Oh… Why did he suddenly say such a meaningful thing?
My Father’s words caused me to lose my composure. As I stood there in a daze, Dylan interjected.
“Isn’t Lady Tara currently the one who has the highest position in the palace amongst all the heirs?”
“So, for now, you’ve proven yourself to be an obedient young lady who successfully took the administrative exam.”
It was weird that I had to enter the palace and become Head of the House to prevent the destruction of the Elias family.
Regardless, once I stopped it, I’ll immediately quit my job as an administrative officer. I’ll just give up on becoming Head of the House and live a peaceful life in the countryside...
"Yes. I’ll never forget the weight and meaning of my position. Ah, Father, do you have anything to say to Master Andrei?
Father nodded at my words and instantly turned into a picturesque version of the Head of the House.
“Oh, yes, yes. It would be nice if you ask him what he thinks about the fact we’re on the 2nd Prince’s side now and how we should deal with it in the future, and if there’s a way to optimally maximize the profits while keeping the losses to a minimum. It would also be good to ask why the Prince accepted the Princess Selection.”
He seemed to see Master Andrei as somebody who had the answer to any and every question.
Then again, aside from the vast amount of information Master held, he was a man of great insight as well.
“Ah, make sure you have enough for the consulting fees. And take Bernard alongside other escorts.”
"Yes, Father. Then I will leave.”
"Yes, Yes. Be careful.”
I nodded and left. Taking a deep breath, I looked up at the clear sky when I remembered something unpleasant.
"How could you accept the decree during the banquet?!"
I sat down with Bernard at the counter of the Drunken Dragon’s bar and waited for a long time. Partly because we arrived too early, but also because the customer before us was dragging out their appointment with Andrei.
After a while, an amused and alluring voice greeted us.