Updated: Dec 27, 2022
(Image to be updated)
Chris gets an ominous red envelope while Kyle feels guilty about what happened. As for Tara...... well.... read on!
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Episode 219. About 10 months (96)
Capital. The Second Prince's Palace.
Among the working officials currently staying in the Second Prince's palace, the highest ranked one was Knight Commander Chris.
With neither his Lord, nor Nick, nor Walter present, Chris had remained in the palace until late for several days, filling in for their absence.
Today as well, he was busy processing reports and scheduling inspection requests from all over the Empire.
After finishing everything and drinking a glass of cool water, a red envelope on his desk caught his eye.
Chris picked up the envelope.
It came from the social order maintenance team affiliated to the Ministry of Public Security, and the color of the envelope varied according to its content.
There were a total of five colors and their classification went as follows.
Level 1: White. A false rumor that will soon disappear.
Level 2: Yellow. False or plausible rumors that will spread in a small area.
Level 3: Purple. Slightly exaggerated truth or rumor that will spread within a small area.
Level 4. Blue. A truthful rumor that will disrupt social order.
Level 5: Red. Rumors that will disrupt social order that cannot be rectified or have their falsehood proven.
The Ministry of Public Security's social order maintenance team handled rumors up to the Purple Level directly. Blue and red ones, which had a bigger possible impact, were sent directly to the Second Prince's Palace.
Level 5 red envelopes were infrequent and, upon investigation, most were unsubstantiated so, despite arousing the anger of the populace at large, they quickly disappeared, buried under the next rumor.
One or two of them had spread throughout the Empire and caused a lot of damage.
Perhaps because they were rumors, they subsided quickly once the truth came to light.
However, there were many victims following those rumors, so when the red envelope came up, the state immediately formed a response team.
Chris put the envelope on top of the pile so that his Lord, who would be back tomorrow evening, would see it first.
"Hmmm.... It's only been circulating around the Southern Coast so far, so maybe we'll catch it soon...."
As he finished reading the red envelope report, his hand shook.
".... How dare they harm my Lord by exploiting his noble deeds?"
Chris immediately left the Second Prince's palace, ready to rush to Reese Castle, but stopped himself.
"Wait. If I leave, the palace will be empty... aha... I need the fastest and most reliable guy."
Chris summoned the most astute and agile messenger of the Order of the Phoenix.
"Ride as fast as you can, ride as if death was chasing you!"
Chris's expression stiffened as he slapped the horse's ass and went straight to the Ministry of Public Security to form a response team.
Kyle's accomodation in Reese Castle.
The pajamas, designed in a bell shape, were more than voluminous enough to cover my whole body. So much so, that they actually dragged on the floor.
Even though I lifted the hem to walk, and probably because of my stiff muscles, I managed to step on the front edge of my pajamas. As I was falling forward, I instinctively swung my arms.
Rather than just letting myself fall, which would have just hurt momentarily, I struggled to stay upright, which made the situation even more ridiculous.
I instinctively swung my arms around, trying to grab something and slammed into the door! If that wasn't enough, as I was tilting forward, I quickly attempted to grab the doorknob, but missed it.
And Thud! Fell into a crumpled heap on the floor.
Pain notwithstanding, I felt extremely embarrassed.
Even though no one saw it, I slowly replayed my attempt to break my fall in my head.
'Haaaa.... Come on. Really?'
Just as I was just thinking about it, the last person I wanted to witness this opened the door.
Fortunately, the door opened towards the hall, thus preventing the disastrous possibility of me getting hit in the head by it.
"Tara! What.... Oh!"
He stood against the bright light of the drawing room as I glanced up at him.
He must have just washed up. His hair was wet and messy and he was wearing a comfortable shirt.
He had a towel in his hand, as if he had rushed here after hearing the dull sound of my fall.
Bewildered, he watched the situation for a moment before crouching next to me, the cool scent of his freshly washed body tickling my nose.
'Why do you smell so good again....?'
I curled up in embarrassment, hiding my face in my hands.
"Oh, it's nothing."
"Did you.... fall down?"
"It would be great if you could just pretend you didn't see it."
But he seemed to have no intention of doing so.
"Were you trying to get some water?"
When I took my hands off my face and looked up, he shifted his gaze from me to the table and back.
"Ugh.... Yes. But my pajamas are too long, so I stepped on them."
"It's the local style. Can you get up?"
"Of course. I can do that much...."
I put my elbows on the floor and tried to get up straight away. But immediately stopped and let out an unconscious scream.
"Are you hurt?"
"No. I have a stitch in my side....!"
Before I could finish my sentence, Kyle picked me up.
As if it was tailor made for me, I fit very snugly against his chest.
His sudden embrace surprised me and I felt the heat rise on the back of my neck and my face burn.
"Your Highness, please give me a little notice before you pick me up."
He looked at me quietly as I said that.
"If that is what you want, I will. Now, can I hold you and take you to my bed?"
He seemed to be following what I had asked, but I had the feeling he was also making a little fun of me on the side. Whether he was or not, I nodded quickly to get out of this situation.
"Yes, please. Your Highness."
“Ah…. yes, Kyle.”
Ha. My face was burning, so I turned my face into his chest, then felt his heartbeat and hard muscles, so I turned my face towards the ceiling.
He reached the bed in a few steps, carefully set me against the bed head, and immediately turned away.
'Are you leaving? Already?'
I inwardly lamented at the momentary sense of loss that I felt, then a sudden realization shot through my mind.
'Ha.... A sense of loss? Were my feelings already this bad?'
I thought he was leaving, but he poured a glass of water, set it on a tray and placed it in front of me.
He smirked when he saw my slightly enlarged eyes.
"Why? Because I'm sweeter than you thought?"
'What are you saying....'
I immediately picked up the cup and drank. The cold water that trickled down my throat tasted sweet and cleared my mind.
"How does your body feel?"
"I think it's fine, thanks to the medicine."
"Even the stitch in your side?"
I turned my body to the left and right.
"I'm a little sore."
"Does it hurt much?"
"No. It just feels a little awkward."
"Yes? That's a relief. How do you feel?" He asked while placing the tray on the bedside table.
"Better than before."
I shrugged my shoulders while I spoke as he gazed at me quietly. Then, locking his eyes with mine, he slowly opened his mouth.
"After I asked my cousin for a doctor, I briefly explained our situation to her while you were asleep. I couldn't keep my promise."
"That’s good. Had I known that things were going to turn out like this, I wouldn't have asked for such secrecy."
Kyle shook his head before I finished talking.
"Well. I should have respected your request and told my cousin at a better time."
"I should have explained things to you properly in the first place and rejected your condition. I didn't expect my judgment to be this poor. I'm sorry Tara."
"Don't do that. I told you to keep it a secret."
"I shouldn't have forced you to attend the banquet."
He was blaming himself and not listening to me.
"I…. I know you did it impulsively because I asked you to be her escort."
He gazed at me quietly.
"So, I'm even more sorry."
His voice was bitter.
"Stop. Don't blame yourself anymore. It's over. I'll be more careful from now on."
I smiled faintly, but his expression stayed serious.
After staring at me, he paused, breaking his speech, as if it were difficult to continue.
"In the future, if another toxic situation happens and I'm not there..."
"Then what?" I asked cautiously.
He replied immediately.
"Just kill him."
Surprised by the unexpected words, I didn't say anything, but looked at him and nodded slowly.
"Of course, I won't let it happen again. I'll protect you."
His eyes were willful and very determined.
"Yes. I'll protect myself as well, and protect you as much as I can."
He smiled softly at my words and pulled the blanket up to my neck.
“I think you’re right.”
“What do you mean?”
"You said that I met you because I had accumulated great virtues in my previous life. I'll admit it."
When I smiled and nodded, he bid me 'Good night' and we smiled at each other.
Then he got up and quickly turned around.
Maybe it was because I didn't want to see him leave without hesitation, I ended up saying something before I realized it.
'Oh.... my god.'
Startled by my own words, I held my breath and shut my mouth.
He turned slowly and looked down at me.
It was past midnight. I was laying on his bed in pajamas, and asking him to stay. A woman who had confessed that she liked him too.
"Did I hear you wrong?"
Captivated by his gaze, the devil and the angel were fighting in my head under rapid fire.
‘Hurry up and say you made a mistake,' whispered the angel.
‘Well, it's about time,' retorted the devil.
‘About time? What time?’ The angel asked.
‘You already know. Have you forgotten your real age?' The devil protested.
‘I…. I…. I don't have any idea what you’re talking about.' The angel evaded.
‘Really? Then should I point it out and tell you? Ji Yeon-Woo and Tara Elias are both sending Kyle a signal! As in: "Would you like to stay the night?"* Hmmm..... Together..... You know!' Then the devil explained in great detail.
‘Stop it! My spirit is still family friendly!' The angel refused to listen to the devil's explanations.
‘Hehehe. Playing coy.' The devil refused to back down.
And I’d always preferred the devil more between the two.
"It's just.... I wish you to stay by my side...." I said avoiding his gaze.
A short silence flowed through the room. I looked at him again. His eyes were deep.
"Well.... ah.... With what happened today, um, when I'm alone, I remember...."
An enlightened expression crossed his face as he lightly swept his hair back.
"Sorry. I misunderstood. You'd be scared after what happened today. Of course you would."
* The original sentence was: "Would you like to go eat some kind of ramen?" Which is Korean slang for: "would you like to spend the night?" with, of course, sexual intercourse in mind. Just wanted to put it here because I found it funny and it can help you when you come accross this puzzling sentence in other manwhas.
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