Where Tara is obliged to disappoint and Bernard shows who's boss on the training grounds.
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Episode 25. 86 kg (1)
I could imagine the Prince's crooked smile.
The fact that there were so many kids following such an arrogant alley leader meant there were many talented people surrounding the Second Prince. That's why he didn’t need me, someone who was untested.
Nevertheless, if I was unwilling to wait, I could get one gold right now, but if my worth went up to 206 gold, he would see me again.
Come to think of it, this encounter with the Second Prince had been quite beneficial to me.
Even after passing the Administrator's Exam and entering the Palace, the probability of working as his close aide would have been very low.
One could call this a blessing in disguise.
Even though I was deep in thought, the useful information coming out of my father's mouth brought me back to reality.
"Gehrig Anton committed suicide in prison."
The room, which had been buzzing at the surprising news, soon became quiet as each of us reflected on it.
Oh... That was the reason. This is why he set the deadline for the homework until 'tomorrow'.
There was no proof with the witness gone.
Of course, there could be other evidence, but they couldn’t arrest noblewomen without a clear testimony.
Shortly thereafter, Andrei Pitt entered the study sporting his signature heavy makeup.
He was gorgeous again today.
Ruby-studded earrings glistened on Andrei's ears.
Even more so, the knee length blue coat embroidered with a golden dragon was quite eye-catching.
As the Head of the Black Society, shouldn't he be hiding himself as much as possible? Where the hell did he get those fancy clothes?
"Well, shall we listen to the results of your homework? Jason? Go ahead."
Jason, unable to hide his displeasure, answered curtly.
"The answer is spying."
"On what basis?"
"Gehrig Anton killed himself, didn't he? So, the Second Prince stopped by to spy on the families involved in the incident. It's a scare tactic. He'll probably visit other families as well."
Andrei didn't react to Jason's words.
"I'll answer last."
She still had a smile on her face....
Andrei looked at Chloe for a moment then turned to me.
"Good. Then Tara, what is the purpose of the Second Prince's visit?"
The word 'warning' had come out of the Second Prince's mouth. That meant there was a person in our family he considered a threat.
There was a chance it was the person I was looking for. A character whose ultimate purpose was to assassinate the Second Prince.
That was why I needed to go deeper in the tiger's den, and work under the Second Prince.
To do so, I required the support of my family lineage and needed to give a good answer to this homework assignment, but I couldn't tell them.
Come to think of it, why did the Second Prince tell me that?
Don't tell me he knew I wasn't going to be able to answer?
After all, how could I say, 'There's a family member who is a threat to the Second Prince'. That would cause quite the commotion. And I don't even know who the culprit is.
"...I don't know."
"Really? Even though you managed to get a private meeting?"
That smirk told me he knew that I had fainted. What a snake. Oh, yes, he knew everything.
When Andrei said that I had gotten a private meeting, Aria, Jason and Chloe's heads turned sharply. Jason and Aria glared at me while Chloe tilted her head and grinned again.
What was it? Why did she keep smiling at me? What did she find out?
My vow to not complete the assignment, made it even more difficult for me to speak as I kept thinking of my father's disappointment. Eventually, I managed it after gulping.
"I couldn't figure it out."
".... Then why? Why did you tell me that?"
I was rather surprised at my father's question. He obviously thought I had found something.
Ah... I hated this kind of situation.
"Well, I was scared."
Pfft! Aria and Chloe both burst out laughing.
"Hahaha! Of course, she was! There's no way this loser could win!"
Jason's derisive words didn't affect me, despite the disappointment in my father's eyes.
Ha.... I had lost points...
Still, Andrei seemed to think there was something more to the story.
"Next is Aria."
"Yes. His Highness, hehe..."
OMG she was blushing again.
"... Is here to find someone who will become the Princess Consort."
What the... I could see Yoo Ah-In laughing from here. *
I wasn't the only one looking at Aria in bewildered amazement.
"Oh really? What made you think so?"
"Isn't it obvious? Many people have mentioned that he should choose a Princess Consort, but he keeps delaying it. But he's older now. Besides, compared to other well-known families, the Elias women are especially beautiful. Except for one of them of course! Ho ho ho!"
What a bitch.
"I see. Now, Chloe, your turn. The reason you delayed your answer is because you know something, right?"
"Yes, Sir. Here. Please take a look at this first."
Chloe handed over the small briefcase she'd been holding to Andrei.
Andre's eyes widened slightly as he opened the document.
"This is the official schedule report from the Ministry of Public Security. How did you get this?"
"It's not that difficult. I just spent some money. Teacher, if you look here, you can see the details. Originally, the person in charge of investigating the fraud case was supposed to visit but His Highness the Second Prince arrived just prior. The purpose of the visit is to investigate the Elias family’s involvement in the fraud as indicated, although they didn't."
"Hmmm.... I see. But if this was the purpose for the visit, didn't you find the assignment too simple?"
"It is. Very simple. But since you asked me to find the purpose of the Second' Prince's visit, what could be more accurate than the official record? This assignment was too easy for me. Moreover, I didn't have to be alone with the Prince or commit sedition."
Ah……! She knew.
"This is ridiculous. This kind of information was available to me as well. The purpose of his visit couldn’t be so simple. Master Andrei clearly asked for us to understand the Second Prince's intentions."
Jason’s hackles were rising.
But his words were empty. Chloe had solved the exercise.
"... That's right. Documented evidence is more accurate than hearsay. Besides, Tara met him but didn’t figure it out and Jason, you didn’t even meet him at all, so your answer is based on simple guessing. So, this assignment goes to Chloe."
With the exception of Chloe, Lloyd looked disappointed at his children as he left the study with Dylan.
Andrei, who was still smiling, casually spoke to me as I left the study.
"You spent over 30 minutes alone with him and didn't find out anything?"
"Hmmm.... Either you really don't know, or..."
"Is it something you can't talk about?"
"... See you next week Ma-as-ter! Oh yes. Thank-You-So-Much for giving my siblings another chance! Until then."
I lifted my skirt and walked out haughtily until I heard from behind me.
"Hahahaha. This is fun, my disciple candidate!"
Fun my ass! Ugh...I couldn’t even. I hated these guys.
2 weeks later. Imperial Palace.
As Kyle was leaving the Palace, his knight, Walter, who had just arrived, reported immediately.
"... The professor brought in by Andrei Pitt gave the second assignment and the young lady got a perfect score."
"She passed the written test. What's their answer?"
"We received answers from Counts Spencer and Battenbir, stating they wanted to remain neutral. Baron Kezak answered that he would comply with the request, while Duke Stuart and Count Elias are asking for more time to think."
Kyle frowned in frustration and left the hall, Walter falling in his steps.
"It's been 2 weeks, but they still haven't made their decision? What are they worried about? This won't do. How many of Andrei's people do I have left in my Palace?"
"Two in total."
"Did you fire the others?"
"Yes. They kept trying to access confidential information, so I sent them off quietly. The remaining ones are a servant attached to the butler and an esquire attached to the Knights.
"Hmmm.... Discreetly leak information to the servant attached to the butler. There needs to be progress to make the waiting palatable. Don't you think so?"
Walter gave a disciplined answer and left. He glanced back at his Lord who was walking towards the training grounds and tilted his head.
"I don't understand what he's thinking..."
Well, it wasn't anything new, so he headed straight to the butler's office in the Palace.
Elias Training Grounds
I started intermittent fasting and increased my training time with Bernard by one hour.
The second task had been easier than I thought. My perfect score allowed me to sleep soundly for two weeks.
Maybe that's why I lost 4 kgs during that time and presently weigh 86 kgs.
"But Bernard. How much more weight do I have to lose to freely swing my axe?"
"Hmmm.... If you lose about 30 kgs, it should be easy to swing it. Of course, you have to gain muscle while losing weight."
"Whew... How long will it take to lose that amount of weight if I continue to work out like this?"
"Maybe about a year. Of course, it could take longer if you quit in the middle. And even if you don't pull it off, you will be good enough to swing the axe."
"Huh? It will take that long? Can't you make it faster? I'm confident about losing weight but this body... It can't resist temptation."
"Well, there is another way. If you train like the knights that live on the battlefield, you'll lose so much weight that you'll be all skin and bones. It's not hard when you exercise with that intensity."
I just stared at him.
"That just means that you're going to kill me under the pretext of training!"
"You will not die."
" But I'll be on the verge of death, won't I?"
Seeing that he didn't answer, I was right.
Bernard's voice grew louder as he started the basic drill after the physical training.
"No! Why do you keep bending your wrists? Straighten your arms from your elbow to your wrist. Now, look! Use your strength like this! Huh?"
"I know! I know! I know! But it keeps bending! What should I do? The axe is too big. Do you have a smaller one? Why does Peter have a wooden axe while I have an iron one? I want to use a wooden one too!"
"Peter is 8 years old, you are 18. Peter weighs 22 kgs and you weigh 87 kgs! And Peter does what I tell him to do without a fuss! Don't compare yourself to him!"
"It's 86 kg!"
"87 or 86."
"Bernard, are you done talking? 1 kg is so important! Besides, I'm losing weight so I'm losing energy as well!"
"That's more of a problem. You're only thinking about losing weight and don't focus on building up your muscles! You don't have the mindset to train properly. That's why you keep blaming your weapon!"
Bernard was making a good case today.
There was nothing I could say, because he was right.
For me, the purpose of this training was only to diet, so it was true that I was focused more on my weight than my training.
However, for Bernard, as a knight, this drill was akin to training a squire.
"I need to lose weight to train better."
Maybe because I only whispered it, Bernard kept getting riled up and rebuking me.
* Yoo Ah-in is a famous Korean actor. A self proclaimed feminist and political activist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoo_Ah-in
This chapter had some quite horrible MTL. To be honest it did my head in. I'm glad it's done!
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