top of page

Chapter 266



Where Thighs are assessed, a new future is determined and Kyle sets up a partnership.


This chapter is dedicated to Pro Mama! Thank you for your donation, kind words and general involvment on our website!


Disclaimer

DO NOT publish our edits anywhere else. Especially on social media. Otherwise we may have to stop doing this. Thank you.




Episode 266. About 9 Months (25)




"Oh, my God. Are you still thinking about that?" 


“Because it’s an important issue.”


He furrowed his brows in mock seriousness, and Tara giggled before completely turning around and burrowed into his chest. That little gesture sent a wave of unfamiliar relief through his body. 


He wanted to hug her crushingly tight, but he was worried about hurting her with his strength, so he didn't. 


"Since you're a Prince... I’ll give you a pass..."


Her voice was drowsy. 


"Thank you, because I was having some doubts, Tara." 


"Huh? About your thighs... You?" 


She burst out laughing. 


"Of course not. It'll be hard to pretend not to know you in the Palace."


"Oh... For me as well. But it can't be helped... So, fight... ing..." 


"What?" 


"... I'm sleepy, Kyle."


"Alright. Sleep well." 


She nodded. 


"... Always take Bernard with you, no matter what. And an escort too."


She nodded again. 


"And no contact with Toby for a while." 


Another nod.


"I'll... I'll miss you a lot." 


Her head stopped moving, the hand that had been lingering across his chest stilled, and her breathing deepened. 


He carefully pulled himself away. 


He put on the clothes he'd haphazardly thrown onto the ground, tidied her things, and approached the bed again. 


Her face was painted gold in the light of dawn as she slept. 


His woman, who had granted her night to him, was sleeping soundly in a disheveled state. 


It was tempting to stay and watch her so he could greet her in the morning. But it was time to leave. 


He would do everything in his power to capture this hidden enemy. 


Perhaps today would be an important turning point in revealing the true nature of this foe. 


As if for the last time, he bent over and kissed her cheek as she slept and whispered, "I never thought I'd find it so hard to leave... I think... I love you." 


It was the first time the word 'love' had ever left his lips. 


Kyle was so surprised at himself for saying it, his breath caught. 


She was so deep asleep she didn't respond and just breathed slowly and steadily without answering. 


Kyle brought his hand to his chest at the strange feeling that was spreading through him. 


And at that moment, in the future he pictured in his head, she was right there beside him. 


‘As soon as I catch this mastermind... I will welcome her to the Palace as my lifelong companion.' 


With this firm resolution, Kyle's head felt unusually clear. 


He brushed that stray strand of hair that always bothered him behind her ear and smiled. 


‘This damn hair...'


And with that, he left her room, taking one last look at her, the last time he would see her for a long time. 


***


Knox County / Morning.


Andrei led the Second Prince, who had arrived earlier than he'd expected, down to the bar's cellar and offered him a seat. Nick and Curtis stood by the tightly closed door.


"We have confirmation that a number of the members of our organization have been captured. Most of them appear to be infiltrators of the High Noble Order. We'll start our investigation from the locations where we first identified them."


"How many people do you have available?"


The frosty Second Prince's eyes were sharper than ever.


"I will allocate about two-thirds of my highest-ranking spies. After investigating, if I deem more are necessary, I will deploy additional staff."


"We'll have to make sure they don't realize they are under surveillance."


"Your Highness, this will be a Black Society operation."


As if the Empire's largest intelligence organization wouldn't know the basics. Andrei emphasized the words strongly, his usual smile wiped from his face.


Kyle's piercing gaze flew to Andrei's and stayed.


The Second Prince spoke without hesitation.


"You're getting excited, Count. This is not an easy foe.... Complacency will cost the lives of your men."


Andrei understood the Second Prince's intentions at once.


A warning to never underestimate the enemy.


Andrei then realized that he was getting carried away as the Second Prince had said. The news of this village had come as a shock to him.


He didn't know how many such villages existed throughout the Empire, where innocent people were imprisoned and degenerated as a means to an end. 


He didn't know what was going on in them, but he knew it wouldn't be pretty.


"I was careless. I will be prudent in all my operations, Your Highness."


"Nick, bring it."


"Yes, Your Highness!"


Nick, who had been standing by the door, sprinted over and placed a blank sheet of paper and a quill pen on the table.


Kyle grabbed the quill and began scribbling without hesitation. After a few moments, he held the paper in front of Andrei. The cool handwriting befitted him.


"Sign it and we will be on our way."


The Second Prince had already signed it.


[Secret agreement for a public and private partnership.]


Andrei immediately started reading it.


It was mostly about the division of labor.


It said that the Second Prince would oversee the investigations involving the flow of funds to the people involved in the village's construction as well as the subcontractors and nobles who participated, while Count Knox and the Black Society would be in charge of identifying all the Black Crown villages within the Empire.


In addition, the legal penalties for breaking for violating confidentiality were clearly described.


"I would like to see compensation for our Black Society personnel included in the compensation for the victims."


The Second Prince nodded without hesitation and immediately amended the text.


Andrei read through the agreement once more before signing it, a serious look on his face.


This was the first public-private partnership since the creation of the Black Society, and it would be the most labor and man-power intensive case the Society had ever undertaken.


The Second Prince stood up and made a final request.


"We will be hunting down the spies that have infiltrated the Palace, so please give Nick a list of your men stationed there to avoid any confusion." 


"Ah. I will do so. It is understood that this list will not be used against me in the future, isn't it, Your Highness?"


The Second Prince turned around and looked back at Andrei sternly.


"Are you going to keep the personnel on this list undercover?"


"Hahaha. That's right. A spy whose identity had been exposed is no longer a spy. Hahaha, then there is no need to give you a list. I will remove them from the Palace for the time being."


"Sudden staff movements would be detrimental. Keep the numbers identical for at least two months. There will be no repercussions until then."


That meant that there would be penalties if spies remained after the set period.


Andrei rubbed his throbbing temples thinking of the various complicated means and sheer amount of work it had taken to put those spies in place that now needed to be removed.


Seeing this, the Second Prince dangled a carrot.


"Once the case is resolved, thanks to your cooperation, I'll grant you what you want, Count. As long as it's a reasonable request within my purview."


"Haha. I'm not one to be swayed by such things, Your Highness. I am more concerned with the safety of my subordinates and the well-being of the Empire and its suffering citizens. Nevertheless, since you are conveniently offering, I am duty bound to accept, Your Highness!"


"Oh my. Maybe I should have done this sooner, had I known it would make you use honorifics."


"What?"


Andrei's eyes widened at the Second Prince's totally unexpected jest.


His tone was still blunt, but for the first time since the Second Prince had entered the basement, the corners of his mouth had slightly risen.


"So... Next time, don't include this type of editorial, Count. By the way, this operation must be kept secret from the Elias Family and aide Tara Elias."


"What?"


"It's unavoidable that you’ll feel bad, since you've been sharing information with them for quite some time. Well, I trust you'll deal with it." 


"Haha, how could someone as accomplished as I make such a rookie mistake? But there's one thing I'm curious about. I understand why I mustn’t share with the Elias Family. But my disciple is your closest aide, and yet, you're still excluding her from this operation?"


"I suppose you don't know yet."


Andrei was unaware of Tara's reassignment because he had left for his tour of the Empire just before it happened. Also, the reports sent by Victor were still in the Drunken Dragon's warehouse in the Capital.


"What do you mean? No. What happened in such a short time? My disciple isn't your aide anymore? Or is it, by any chance, that you are already...?"


Andrei, who had maintained his composure until now, snorted as the corners of his mouth and eyes jerked. Kyle stiffened and frowned slightly.


"What do you mean?"


"No! That. Huh? At your side, but.... Officially. You know!"


Andrei glanced at Nick, who stood in the doorway, and frowned at Kyle. The Second Prince's eyes narrowed, and he explained coldly.


"Count. I don't know what you were expecting, but the Second Aide has been reappointed as a regular secretary."


"Huh? No... Why?"


"She's no longer a member of the Second Imperial Palace so, of course, you need to keep quiet."


After the Second Prince left the warehouse, Andrei sank back in his chair.


"What the hell? Haven't those two just started a relationship? Or have they already broken up? Is becoming the future Empress's mentor out of the window? Then why did I bother touring all of the branches in the Empire? What The Hell Is Going On!"


Andrei ended up screaming the last sentence at the top of his lungs, suddenly feeling like he had aged several years.


Andrei sat in a daze, stunned into silence. He felt like his whole world had collapsed in an instant.


***


It was a sunny spring day.


I was sitting on a bench in Yeouido Park with Writer Kim. *


But the woman sitting next to me was a far cry from the spring blooming around us. The dark circles under her eyes had turned into heavy bags.


["So, you know, I'm like, supposed to be writing this, but it's driving me crazy because it's giving me such a headache, and I don't even know if it's interesting. What do you think, is it interesting?]


[.....]


[Why do you look so frustrated?]


I glared at Kim, who kept asking me questions, and said with a determined expression.


[Choose.]



Editor's Note -


* Yeouido Park is a real park situated in Seoul. It used to be Seoul's main airport from 1924 to the 1970's where it was converted to an asphalt strip called 'May 16th Square' before becoming a park open to the public in 1999.


Personal note: The first part was also edited by the three of us together, to finish off the 'first night'. We had a blast! We hope you did to!


Enjoyed the Chapter? Buy us a ko-fi!




3,770 views19 comments

Related Posts

See All

19 Comments


Liza
Liza
Jan 02

Thank you for the update 😁

Like

I hadn’t read the spoilers for the middle of the series (only the very last chapters, which has made me absolutely confused about what’s going in on the middle..) but this!!! I wasn’t expecting this to happen so fast but i love it! Have reread it three times already. It was everything I could've wanted and I love that they highlighted that vulnerable tender moment in the predawn when he realised what his emotions were. i also love imagining them waking up to each other (that’s why I wrote the fanfic to feature him watching the sunrise with her asleep and I’m so chuffed that it calls back to this scene in the original novel, although I had no idea…

Like
Laura
Laura
Dec 29, 2023
Replying to

I enjoyed that fanfic, thank you for writing it!

Like

ProMama
ProMama
Dec 27, 2023

Bwahaha I got to sponser first night aftermath, Kyle love realization, and Andre-Kyle fun ~ wiiiiiin ~

Like

floppy
floppy
Dec 27, 2023

does anyone know which chapter the picture at the top is from? I'm asking for uh educational reasons ofc

Like
floppy
floppy
Jan 03
Replying to

thank you!!

Like

Indomitable Jewels
Indomitable Jewels
Dec 26, 2023

Oho! Thick plottens...



Like
bottom of page