• Rina

Chapter 17


The Second Prince reacts to Count Elias's plan while the Elias siblings attempt their own approaches.

This chapter is dedicated to Jade, thank you so much for your support!


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Episode 17. 90kg (4)


"Will they be able to find it out?"


"It's worth it, even if they don't succeed."


"If they don't?"


"You'll be able to see what your sprouts can do."


"Yes, you're right."


"By the way, aren't you worried?"


"What do you mean?"


"... If your children are rash and commit sedition, wouldn't it be a big problem?"


"Ha, that's just it. If they pass the exam, they'll endure even more. If they're punished for sedition, we will know their capabilities. If so, I'll be rather grateful to have learned of their true potential in advance."


"As expected... of the head of the family I chose."


The two shook hands as if they were old friends, and Andrei Pitt left the drawing room after saying that he would come back tomorrow to hear the results.


***


"The wives involved in the incident, including Countess Victoria Elias, are locked in the main house."


"And?"


"The vassals gathered in the main building’s office and had a meeting, then they all exited separately and waited."


"And?"


"Well, Andrei Pitt visited, and all the children of the house gathered in the drawing room. The informant we planted heard that he's been appointed as their teacher."


"Really? He's going to play teacher. Interesting. What about the vassals gathered in the hall?


“Yes, after they left the office, they all went home. There were no more meetings."


"He's a clever bastard. What about the information I requested, about the wall girl?”


"She is the fifth-born child of the Elias Family. Her name is Tara Elias. She was confined to her room for about seven years, and it hasn't been long since she emerged."


"And?"


“Dinner will be at 7pm, and they inquired if there was anything you needed before then.”


"That's all I need. Wow, how easy-going of them. Are they implying they already know?"


"What?"


“Did all of Count Elias's children apply?”


“Yes, all five of them applied for the Administrative Exam.”


Kyle remained silent. Instead, he simply skimmed through the security report that Walter had brought.


How long had he been standing in front of the desk waiting for a dismissal? Finally, his Master issued his order.


"Tell them to do background checks on everyone, including all of the minor vassals. I want them to report even the smallest clues."


"Yes, Your Highness!"


“If we don't get any more information by dinner tonight we clear out. So put the knights on standby."


"Yes, Your Highness!"


Knock, knock, knock.


At that moment, a knocking sound was heard and the conversation halted.


"Your Highness, Jason Elias is requesting an audience."


"... Really? The Count is sending his son in his stead? Hooo. How confident. Is this Andrei trying to play with me? Tell him to wait."


"Yes, Your Highness!"


The butler who managed the annex left and Nick could no longer contain his curiosity.


“Your Majesty, I don’t understand. How dare Andrei Pitt play with Your Highness? It’s disrespectful,” he asked.


"Are you curious?"


"Yes, I'm very curious."


"Then keep wondering. That way you'll be twice as happy when you find out."


There were times when his Master stripped him bare with his words. Just like now.


His mouth twitched and he stood still, his Lord was clearly not at all interested in leaving the office.


"Um, Your Highness, it's been half an hour."


"Nick."


"Yes, Your Highness."


“Who do you think I am?”


“Are you not, of course, an Imperial Prince of the Ocerian Empire? Who has led the Empire to victory in every battle he's taken part in, and who hunts down rebels and burns their organizations down to the roots..."


"And?"


"And... you're a Swordmaster...?


"And?"


"And the Commander-in-Chief of the Military and Imperial Ministry of Security..."


"And?"


And? There was more? He was never truly satisfied.


Nick racked his brains for more of the Prince's accolades.


"Oh! You were also ranked as the No.1 most desired son-in-law by the Empire Daily in their yearly list. Also the No.1 man you don't want to meet on the battlefield, No.1 man you want to spend New Year’s Eve with, the No.1 man you want to go on an island boating trip with, the No.1 marriageable bachelor. And... The No.1 man you desire everlasting love from, and the No.1 man you want to bury alive at night in the Noble’s Weekly ... Ah! Not that one."


"Nick, do you want to die?"


"I–I've made a mistake, Your Highness. Please don't kill me."


Nick immediately fell to his knees in front of his desk.


"That's enough. That is who I am. In which case, why should I rush out to see a mere son of a Count, who is neither the head of his house nor anything else of importance?"


"Ah. I cannot possibly comprehend the depth of your thoughts, Your Highness."


"Don't flatter me!"


"Yes, Your Highness."


Nick continued to kneel, but since he had not been ordered to stand again he just stayed there. It wasn't a big deal, because he had experienced it once or twice, but his legs had started to slowly fall asleep.


He put his finger in his mouth, trying to put a little saliva on his nose.


“Nick.”


Oh! He was so surprised that he almost poked his nostrils with his finger. He quickly hid his hand behind him and answered casually.


"Yes, Your Highness."


“Three years ago, I tried to capture an underground intelligence group.”


"Yes, Your Highness."


He wiggled his numb toes. The sensation in his legs gradually faded away. He hoped that the explanation would not be too long, but that was a vain prayer.


"The only organization that we failed to completely track down was the Black Society. There was no evidence, so even though we knew who the leader was, we couldn't catch him. However, if I had put more force and intelligence into it, I could have succeeded in catching him and locking him up. But do you know why I didn't?


"Yes. Your Highness is a righteous man."


"More flattery."


"Hahaha. How is it flattery? I mean it, Your Highness."


"Nevermind, there's only one reason. The Black Society doesn't deal in information that could harm the Imperial Palace. Of course, he loves playing games though. It doesn't matter whether it's the Ministry of Security's prisons, the Palace, or the nobility. He was not involved, even though he was suspected to be a member of the gang. But today, he's just playing tricks on me."


“How dare he… What kind of foul joke is he playing, Your Highness? I will go find this frivolous bastard and eliminate him right away!”


Nick jumped up, grabbed his sword, and went as if he was going to run out of the office that very moment.


"Nick."


"Yes, Your Highness, I await your command."


"Kneel."


"Yes, Your Highness."


Nick knelt down again. A stabbing pain came from the tips of his toes, but he held it in.


"The information about Gehrig Anton's death is irrelevant because it will be widely known by tomorrow anyway. However, using this information, Count Elias is determined to learn more about both his children and me... What should I do? He seems quite absorbed in playing teacher, I wonder what I should do with this guy?"


“Is that so, Your Highness?”


"I'm thinking I should adjust my own tune to match his. Let's go. Doesn't the Elias Family have a wide variety of horses? Shall we go and take a look?"


Nick sprang to his feet.


“Yes, Your Highness. I will guide you."


Kyle Amure left just like that, and did not return for three hours.


Jason, who had been waiting for him this whole time in the hall, had made it through five cups of tea before realizing he had been stood up. He rose from his seat furiously.


"Damn it. Asking was a terrible idea, I should have just stolen it or something."


***


3 p.m.


An hour had passed since he had started training, he was focused solely on the sword in front of him. No one was permitted to speak with him recklessly while he trained, so the knights stood from afar and watched the prince with awe.


His dark hair glistened in the sunlight. His deep, piercing gray eyes, framed by a sharp jawline and elegant nose. Drops of sweat ran down his forehead. His body was lean and strong, and he stood tall, over 185 cm. And on top of all that, he was a Prince.



The particular swordsmanship skill he used was a secret that had been passed down from generation to generation. It was rumoured that the secret technique, which was only passed down within the Imperial family, was only ever mastered once in a century. And yet, he was one of the princes who had mastered that secret skill.


Was there anything this man didn't lack?


Nick couldn't hide his envy-filled gaze as he watched his agile form, and the movement of the sharp blade as it sleekly cut through the air.


And then.


"Excuse me, Sir."


"... You're the butler. What's the matter?"


"Yes, I was asked to give you this. I was instructed to please convey this to His Highness by Aria Elias, the youngest daughter of the Count."


"Uh-huh... I don't take things like this lightly."


"Please take it. If you don't receive it, I'll be nagged at for the whole month."


The young butler, who managed the annex, looked at Nick with an almost pleading expression. The envelope he'd brought with him was pink.


Nick frowned and looked at the envelope like it was a viper.


A pink envelope was dusted with tiny flower petals. The sweet scent of flowers was strong enough to paralyze his nose.


"Sir. Please..."


He couldn't help but take it.


"Then I'll check it in advance."


"Here you are, Sir."


In case of any possible danger, he still looked inside the envelope in advance. There appeared to be nothing wrong with it.


It was just a normal letter. No, it wasn't normal at all. After glancing at it, Nick immediately had to turn his gaze away.


Nick couldn't bear to read it completely.


After about 30 more minutes, when the Prince's training had finished, Nick cautiously approached his Master.


"Well... Your Highness."


"......?"


"This is a letter from Miss Aria, the youngest member of the family. As is customary, I looked in the envelope in advance, but there was nothing dangerous."


"Really?"


When the Prince reached out his hand, which was just as handsome as his face, Nick very carefully handed him the envelope.


Immediately, the space between the Prince's eyes narrowed, and his sharp gaze came up and pinned him to the spot.


“What is this wretched thing?”


"W–Well, Your Highness. The butler gave it to me saying that the youngest daughter insisted on it being delivered..."


Kyle opened the pink envelope, thickly doused with perfume, and pulled out a piece of stationery with the tips of his fingers that was similarly steeped in fragrance.


He opened it gingerly using only his thumb and index fingers.


When he opened the letter, feminine handwriting caught his eye.


The contents were as follows:


[What should I do?

What should a lady do?


A mind that wanders aimlessly.

How did you throw stones at this empty heart that rustles like a desert?


Something stirs. Ripples come forth.

An oasis has appeared in the desert, flowers have bloomed, and fragrance pours out.

Contrary to my will, the desert blooms ever further.


What shall I do? With my heart, that has grown and bloomed so unconsciously…Far away, a butterfly seduces a lily.

Why is that butterfly so handsome?

Why is that butterfly so outstanding?

Why is that butterfly so seductive?


The flowers of the desert will never wither.

What should I do? Now that this heart has changed...

This lady awaits your answer.


The flower of the Elias Family, Aria Elias.]


Nick glanced at him.


It had been a while since he'd seen the Master grimace like that.


The face of the Lord, who never lost his cool in any situation, was filled with irritation.


And words spewed from his Master's mouth.


"Throw it away!"


"Yes, Your Highness!"


***


5 p.m.


Kyle was taking a momentary break. The odious scent of flowers still lingered on the tip of his nose.


He was leaning on the sofa in front of his desk in the office for a moment, when Nick came in again.


"Your Highness."


“... Who is it this time, the eldest daughter? Or the lady with the axe?"


“Yes… The fifth child, Miss Axe.”


"Tell her to wait," he answered.


Kyle placed his hand on his forehead and closed his mouth without opening his eyes, but he didn't hear the door shut, so he opened his eyes and looked at Nick.


"She's not here to see you, Your Highness."


"... So what then?"


"She's here to find some kind of valuable..."


Yes. Wall lady did seem a bit different.


"Tell her you can find it."


"... About that."


"What?"


"She said it's in the office. The item."


Ha. Would you look at that?


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