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Chapter 228

Updated: Mar 17


(Image to be updated)


Where Tara, Andrei and Kyle each make plans.....


This chapter is dedicated to XOXOX101 ! Thank you very much for your donation and Happy New Year!


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Episode 228. about 10 months (105)


Victor looked at me in amazement while Bernard scratched at his ear since he was used to it.


"Does the Master know about this?"


"I've sent him a report about the Countess, but I don't know if he's read it yet. Still, he does check his disciple's work foremost."


It wasn’t confirmed, but something to keep an eye on.


"Yes, yes. It could be possible since this is the Master we’re talking about. Even on short notice, would he be able to retrieve them?" Victor asked curiously.


"What do you mean?"


"The ledgers!"


"Oh! The ledgers! It's better to have them!" Bernard affirmed.


And Beth, who only had been listening in the whole time, tilted her head and asked while still sewing.


"But are they that easy to find? I'm sure they’re well hidden. They might not even be there."


"Yes. maybe they aren't, and it is impossible to find them within the day. But isn't our Master the head of the Empire's best Intelligence Organisation?"


Victor rose from his seat.


"Wait, wait! I should ask for this kind of thing myself. Beth, please give me a brush pen and paper!"


"Yes, Miss!"


Beth put down the clothes she was sewing as if she had been waiting for this, straightened her back and walked to my stationary box.


It was a persona that I wouldn’t forget anytime soon. That of a very good secretary.


Then, she opened a drawer and elegantly took out paper and a fountain pen with her fingertips, came over to us and neatly placed them on the table.


Bernard sighed and shook his head. Beth glared at him while Victor looked at Beth in a curious way.


After organizing the contents in my head for a while, I quickly wrote the letter.


[My dear Master, you haven't been upset with me for the last three days just because I didn't send you an invitation for my birthday, right?

My father said he sent you an invitation separately, so I purposely didn't send one.

Had my father not sent one, I would have invited you first.

So, please let go of your anger and come congratulate your Disciple, who wishes to follow your path, on her birthday.

Oh, and not that I'm expecting a gift from you, but if you wished to bestow one to your lovely student at her first birthday party, you should give her one that she wants.

Fancy jewels or dresses, property deeds, ranches and fine horses or mines, I don’t want any of these...

Just one very small gift and it's the Contract Request Ledger from [Donnie's Gambling House]!

By the way, you didn't forget that I brought you the Scorpion Ledger while suffering from poisoning in Durban, right?

Even as I write this letter, my hands are cold because of the side effects.

However, I think it may not be possible to get it because you are too pressed for time. Even if Master is the head of the Empire's Best Intelligence Organization, it is extremely difficult to get it on such short notice.

So, even if you come empty-handed, your disciple will fully understand. You can't have everything you want.

Then, I'll be waiting for your arrival.

Sincerely yours, from a lovely pupil that earnestly wishes to resemble her teacher.


P.S. I can't wait to see what kind of clothes you'll wear to enlighten my poor fashion sense today. I'll go out to greet my Master, who will come with his hands full, with socks.] *


"Oh, my God. Tsk, tsk."


His arms crossed, Bernard clicked his tongue as he read my letter asking for a present.


"What?"


"Aren't you flattering him too much? Besides, didn't you say that you recovered from the side effects?"


I shrugged as I put the letter in the envelope.


"It slightly pricks Master’s guilt and pride. And you don't know this Bernard, but Master Andrei likes flattery more than anyone else."


"Aren't you trying too hard? It's very obvious."


But, as everyone knew, it always caught people.


***


That day, the Drunken Dragon on Lackton Street had been noisy since morning.


"Whahahahahahahahahahahahahaaha! You're such a smart disciple! Such flattery! You think I don't know what's going on? Besides, 'Even if Master is the head of the Empire's Best Intelligence Organization'? You think I'm going to fall for this shallow trick, get you the ledger and offer it to you as a gift? And get it today? Also, what's with the socks? There are times when you say weird things. By the way, is that how you see me, who is the epitome of seriousness?! Whahahahahahahahaha!"


Andrei's laughter continued filling the basement of the Drunken Dragon for a long time after that.


Then, at some point, the laughter stopped. The subordinates waiting outside were curious.


"Hold on! She’s my disciple now, but in the future.... Curtis?"


Count Elias had emphatically denied it, but Andrei trusted his instincts and had no doubt. The more he thought about it, the more plausible it was.


Assistant Curtis entered the cellar straight away.


"Go and assemble a stolen goods acquisition team."


"All of a sudden?"


"Yes, our golden future, no. Our precious student knows what birthday present she wants. Ha ha ha. Of course, we should give her what she wants. That way she will remember my services. Yes, of course."


"Aren't you being too partial? Disciple Cézanne will be disappointed."


"Well... Can't I celebrate my student's birthday and return? And there is also the Scorpion ledger that she got poisoned for in Durban...! No. Why am I justifying myself? aren't I the head and final decision maker here?" Andrei asked with a frown.


Curtis pretended not to see it, cleared his throat, and answered with a big smile.


"Of course, Your Excellency is the final decision maker. Haha. Where should I send the stolen goods acquisition team?


"[Donnie's Gambling House]. Go and make sure you get all the ledgers recorded in the last month."


As it was a notorious gambling house, Curtis immediately remembered its location.


The Black Society always played close to the boundaries of the law. When it touched the legal realm, he sought advice from his lawyer, but when it was closer to being illegal, Andrei intuitively judged and implemented his decisions.


"Would he have recorded it?" Curtis asked after hearing Andrei's explanation.


"We can't be sure, but there's a good chance. Such a criminal group has nothing to fall back on but their records. There's nothing they can do without it. I really want to find it and gift it to her, Curtis!"


"What if I can't find the one?"


"Well, I'm willing to go out of my way for such an urgent request. That should be enough. But I must find it to ensure my future, no. I want to give it as a gift to my disciple, Curtis!"


It is said that when the chief came to the village, one must, without fail, come find him.


Curtis let out a deep sigh.


"What kind of strategy should we use?"


"These days, they're selling a lot of stolen goods, so disguise yourself as a generous party and pretend you want to buy something. Request a contract, something that will drive them crazy. We can then take care of it in the meantime. It's better if they don't even know it's gone. If you still can't find it, then we'll have to get its location directly from the head of the place, Donnie."


"Yes, Your Excellency."


Curtis left immediately and Andrei tapped on the desk while opening the report he had pushed aside.


It was titled: [Report on the rumors spread in the South and approaching the real truth of the matter.]


"There's a good chance that the Second Prince knows. Then he might not. If that is the case, he will be indebted to me. Will he accept it?"


But Andrei shook his head as if to erase the thought from his mind.


"I'm not the kind of person to reconsider in a situation like this. Besides, he's our disciple's man, so even if I help him at this level.... Haha. Have I gone too far? Well, I'll definitely be able to confirm this on her birthday."


Andrei, of course, had no doubt that Second Prince Kyle would come on Tara's birthday. There was no way a man would skip the birthday of the woman he liked.


"Maybe. Since the Second Prince hasn't returned from his business trip yet, I wonder if he's feverishly running over right now? Hehehe. When I see him later, I'll tease him a little. Hehehe. I can give them a report like this as a gift. No. But this couple has enemies everywhere. Haha! That's why it's fun! Hehehe!"


After examining the clothes he was wearing today in a full-length mirror, he shook his head.


"Hmmm. On a dramatic day like today, this outfit is a little weak. Besides, she's looking forward to it. Yes, I need to change!"


***


At the same time, in a conference room at the South Central Security Department in the southern port city of Monteo.


The conference room was large enough to accommodate more than 50 people. Kyle spread out the papers on a large table and checked them one by one.


He was looking for a possible error by comparing the last comprehensive case file with the individual files.


After completing all the interrogations, Commander Mack, from Monteo's South-Central Security Force, and several members of the Social Order Maintenance team entered the conference room and took their seats.


After Mack listed the circumstances of the various interrogations, he reported the results.


"Fortunately, I was able to step on the tails of those who distributed the money. Stupidly one was waiting next to the central square where the children were playing. When I checked his ID, he turned out to be the son of a landless baronet. He said that members of aristocratic clubs in each small town, including Monteo, took turns to distribute money on a fixed time basis. They've already spent quite a lot on it."


After Mack finished his report, another team member supplemented it.


"When I checked the funding sources, several borrowed-name accounts came up."


"Find out if the same borrowed-name accounts are available in other areas. What is the atmosphere like in the city?"


"Parents are having a hard time with it here. The lyrics were very popular with the children who first started singing it."


The Second Prince nodded.


"After they started giving out money, the news must have spread like wildfire amongst the children, bringing more and more in."


Next to him, another team member added.


"Yes, Your Highness. Now, rather than the lyrics, the melody has become more familiar and duller. What shall we do with those who were captured, Your Highness?" asked Mack.


"Now that the tail blew the body, it's time to grab the head. After receiving the written confession from those who were arrested and imprisoned here, release them so they can go back to the main body."


"Aren't you going to send them to the Capital?"


The people who confessed did not give the ringleader’s exact identity. However, according to what they did say, the final part of this conspiracy is in the Imperial Palace. Then of course, it would be advantageous to take them to the Capital and cross-examine them.


"There's no need for that."


Mack and his team were surprised but didn't show it.


"May I ask the reason why, Your Highness?"


"Because even if I don't confront them, they won't be able to get away with it."


The Second Prince's voice had become colder than ever.


----


Editor's Notes:


* So.... Why would Tara greet Andrei with Socks? I was really puzzled when I read the original MTL which mentioned "Beoseon" (traditional Korean socks). Well there is a reason! It's a traditional winter solstice gift! (I know it's end of January in the novel but it's still winter, so we'll let it slide.... right? ^ ^).


Dongji heonmal (Kor. 동지헌말, Chin. 冬至獻襪, lit. gift of socks on Winter Solstice) is a custom observed on Dongji (Kor. 동지, Chin. 冬至, Winter Solstice) in which women sew quilted socks for their female in-laws, such as grandmothers, mothers, aunts or sisters-in-law.


It still works here for 2 reasons despite being gifted to Andrei:

  1. Andrei is a queer character.

  2. It is also a tradition to offer gifts to teachers in Korea (even if a law passed and it is quite regulated nowadays)

If you wish to learn a bit more here are the links:


https://folkency.nfm.go.kr/en/topic/detail/3651

https://thesoulofseoul.net/gift-giving-guide-korea/#forteachers


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