Updated: Jul 9
The business trip continues and Tara makes the most of her break.
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Episode 178. About 10 months (55)
"No matter what, the Second Prince's new aide is still unique."
Edman, a fourth-year knight who had been recruited alongside the rest, gave me a thumbs up. They were all knights, so they were all in excellent shape. Edman in particular was very athletic.
However, even if the greatest treasure in the world was in front of me it would be of no use to me because I was in such pain. Therefore any sense of inspiration didn't last long.
The words, ‘I’m suffering, can’t you stop bothering me and go away?’ were on the tip of my tongue, but I held them in.
I had to spend the next three days with them.
In addition, my deep-rooted Confucian mind warned me that I should respond to the goodwill of those who cared about me, not ignore them.
(I’m not sure if “Confucian mind” has a specific meaning, however, Confucianism is a highly influential philosophy/religion in China and the East-Asian cultural sphere, including Korea https://www.britannica.com/topic/Confucianism)
I took a deep breath and forced the corners of my mouth up.
"Haha...That's right. His Highness has an eye for talent. Hahaha."
The Second Prince was accompanied by one of his three main knights, Nick, Walter, and Chris, while the rest of the knights were selected from a group of volunteers
The knights of the Order of the Phoenix were always eager to serve the Second Prince and accompany him, and the lucky knights were very proud to serve as his escorts.
To the members of the Order of the Phoenix, the Second Prince was an object of reverence and envy. He was a respected lord whom they were willing to follow for the remainder of their lives.
Well, that was a given. The Order of the Phoenix was composed of individuals who had admired the Second Prince from the beginning.
The three knights, wearing fluttering red cloaks, all said that they had experienced accompanying the Second Prince on business trips once or twice previously.
“It would be nice if the weather would clear up a little… What if it pours before we arrive? Oh, my."
As Paul looked up at the sky and spoke, Mark and Edman also looked up at the sky in response.
I also looked at the sky full of dark clouds.
The weather would not be unusual if it rained soon, but not a single drop of rain had fallen. Instead, it was a little windy.
I put back on the gloves I had taken off, shuddering in the chilly breeze.
Then, I took out a brown square wooden container from a pouch attached to my waist and opened the lid.
I was looking through the herbal medicine bottles.
A dark shadow suddenly appeared over the medicine box, and I looked up.
Mark, Paul and Edman gathered their heads together, and stared down at my medicine box.
Their gazes were full of curiosity. Without thinking about it, I casually pointed to the medicine box and explained.
“Ah. This is an herbal tea made with weeping willow and lily-of-the-valley, which are good for muscle paralysis and pain.”
Because of Oliver's advice that natural healing would be more helpful, he did not prepare any medicine for my cold poisoning side-effects. And right now, my hip and leg pain was worse than the chill, so I had to address that first.
"There is such a thing?"
"Then are all the round containers next to it also medicine?"
Paul and Edman, their eyes wide, asked at the same time.
“Yes, this is [Indigestion Potion] made by squeezing arrowroot juice, which reduces vomiting and nausea. This is [Constipation Goodbye], made with cassia seed. This is [Stop Diarrhea] made by squeezing elm juice, which is good for diarrhea. And this here is [Ballava for wounds] an ointment made from chrysanthemum pollen, which can be applied to minor wounds. The names are very intuitive. Hoo.”
(As far as I can tell all of these herbal remedies are traditional Korean remedies. I was unable to find what 'Ballava' is though.)
Exclamations flowed from the knights' mouths. And their eyes never strayed from the medicine containers.
This was all Josh's work.
As an aide, of course, I believed that common medicines were essential for a business trip such as this.
I also remembered that when I was a composition writer for travel programs in the past the medications I always took with me were quite useful.
“If you need any of these medicines while on this business trip, please let me know. The effects are not exceptional, but they have been tested, so they will be of some help.”
"What? We can use it too?"
"Of course. Absolutely."
The knights glanced at each other, and then immediately looked at me and asked.
"Why? Isn't it precious...?”
It was only natural for them to be puzzled.
There were only a handful of medicines that could be properly made here, so medication was quite expensive, and it was difficult to procure such a wide variety of remedies on a knight's salary.
For example, just look at what Bernard was willing to do for me in exchange for giving him access to laxatives. That conveyed how valuable medicines were to them.
I thought for a moment, shrugged my shoulders, and replied as if it were nothing.
"The role of an aide on business trips is outlined in the Administrator's Manual."
I told them to listen closely and explained step by step, pointing at my fingers for each one.
“The aide should pay attention in order to keep their superior in the best physical condition at all times. In addition, staff who accompany their superior must also check the condition of the party members at all times and help them on business trips…"
“Is there such a thing?”
“I can't believe you memorized the manual! That's amazing."
"Haha, it's nothing. I don't mind reading that kind of literature. Hehe. So, I brought this with me to fulfil my responsibilities. It just so happens that our family has permits for handling pharmaceuticals, and besides, I am both a daughter of that family and an aide. It's an advantage of belonging to my family, or of being an aide, something like that."
Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!
They applauded enthusiastically with exclamations.
I shrugged my shoulders and waved my hands in front of me as if it wasn't a big deal, trying to prevent the corners of my lips from curving into a smile.
Perhaps the sound was too noisy for them, because the Second Prince and Walter glanced our way for a while and then turned back again. They were still talking seriously by the road.
What's going on?
The gazes of the knights, looking at me with their sparkling eyes, was burdensome, so I stood up from the rock.
"Uh… Oh my gosh… Ah. Ugh. I need to brew some herbal medicine, so water…!”
“I will bring you clean water to boil. I’m the second best at making fires after Captain Walter.”
Mark ran back to his horse before I was finished speaking.
Oh... So, Captain Walter is good at making fires.
"Ah. Then I will prepare a mug. Simple cookware and camp supplies are my responsibility.”
At the same time, Edman also ran to where his horse was tied.
"Oh! You don't have to… But in this case, the favour is appreciated!!"
I saluted the back of their heads and grinned at Paul, who was still standing in front of me.
Seeing them do that, Paul looked around. He felt like he had to do something himself, but he was nervous because he couldn't think of what to do.
"Do you think you need to do something as well?"
"Yes, I can't just take that precious medicine!"
I flicked my fingers while pondering.
“Then, can you tell me about the Phoenix Knights? Talking to someone is different from only reading about it in documents.”
Then Paul smiled broadly and nodded vigorously enough to shake his head off.
"Oh! That's my specialty. Well, where to start…? Well... First of all, our Order of the Phoenix is led by Prince Kyle Amure..."
“While drinking warm tea during the break, I was able to glean a lot of information on the achievements and activities of the Order of the Phoenix, such as the date of its foundation and the number of people in it.
In addition, the knights began to circle around me to tell me about the exploits of the Order of the Phoenix.
The knights had a talent for telling stories expressively using their bodies. Because of that, it felt like I was watching a play being presented in front of me, so I had no chance to get bored.
They were all wearing chainmail armour and had swords at their sides. Their fluttering red cloaks flared around them like halos, making their strong physiques stand out even more.
A bunch of strong, young, muscular men in front of me? Heh heh, this was truly a fortunate feast for the eyes.
It put a UltraHD 4K TV to shame.
To be frank, could the head of the military and security departments, who ranked first in the newspapers every year, measure up if some of the knights looked like this?
I rested my chin on my hand and watched Second Prince Kyle and Walter who were still staring at the map and talking seriously.
What was it? What happened?
The Second Prince hadn't given me any special instructions during today's travel. Now that I thought about it, I just kept riding, so I didn't have any "concerns" to discuss.
The outdoors definitely suited him better than the palace... That height, that body, that face… Wasn’t it a waste of good fortune…? He put his muscled leg on the rock facing towards me, as if he had read my mind, and opened a map on his thigh.
Damn, his thighs were so sturdy.…. What was it he said then?
[I don't know what size thighs you want, but it's okay.]
They were alright, just a little too lean. Hehe.
Should I have kissed him when he'd asked me to back then?
When would someone like that confess to me again...
I stared at him blankly and looked at him from his thighs to his upper body, and from his upper body to his face, highlighting his beautiful profile.
(Damn, Tara... do you realize how much you are objectifying this man? Also the theme of sexy thighs continues...)
Ugh, damn it.
He turned his head and met my eyes.
‘What? What's with that weird look?’
That's what his narrowed eyes were asking.
Argh. As if I hadn't been staring and met his eyes, I casually turned away and averted my gaze. Then he seemed to focus on the map again.
However, no matter how you looked at it, it was obvious that I had been startled and had looked away too quickly.
I clapped my cheeks. This is crazy... stop! ‘What's wrong with you all of a sudden?’ I stood up straight away.
"Ah… I’m feeling sleepy... Ouch!”
“Are you alright?”
“Oh, if you move suddenly...”
I laughed awkwardly at Paul, Mark, and Edman's words.
"Oh, yes. It hurts to move suddenly. Haha… It's okay. It's all right."
Each of the knights' eyes were filled with concern for me. It was very burdensome, as if I was a piece of glass that might shatter if held slightly wrong.
"Oh no. When you arrive at the accommodation later, make sure to use a hot compress. That's how you can relax your muscles, My Lady."
"That's right. That's how you relax your muscles."
"It's also good to take a bath and soak your lower-body in hot water. My Lady."
"Oh... Yes, yes. By the way, Sirs."
"Hmm. I will tell you this now since we have to travel together for the next three days. I am not an object to be protected, but a colleague who will work alongside you. So, I hope you won't treat me as a young noblewoman, but as a companion."
"Ah… Haha. We've never had to work together with someone like this before...”
“Yes, I will keep that in mind.”
They smiled awkwardly but responded cheerfully. For a moment, they were reminiscent of a group of college juniors, so the pressure I felt a moment ago was greatly alleviated.
"No worries, please take good care of me, Sirs!"
I lowered my head again and bowed.
We were smiling amicably when Walter approached us bringing his horse.
We immediately shut our mouths as Walter put his index finger to his lips and glanced around seriously.
What? He's been looking very serious for a while. Did something really happen?
Editor's note: This chapter got a lot thirstier than I expected . Also Paul, Mark and Edman are kind of cute! ^_^