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Chapter 269


Where plans start getting into motion.


This Chapter is dedicated to Suya ! Thank you for your kind donation!


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Episode 269. Approximately 8 months (2)


Same time, Ministry of Public Security, Internal Affairs Division.


"This is the list handed over by the Black Society and the spies who have been involved with the aristocratic faction’s interests. We need to find new spies to replace them. All the others are to be presumed guilty and investigated." 


As Chris relayed the Prince’s orders, Harrison Shawn, who was in his seventh-year as the Chief Inspector of the Ministry's Internal Affairs Division had been assigned to search for internal moles, asked.


"When he says ‘all’, what is he referring to exactly?"


"From the junior chambermaids in the Imperial Palace to the head of each department, including ministerial staff, such as Count Nicholas the Minister of Foreign Affairs."


At Chris's answer, Harrison glanced up from his notebook.


Literally everyone who worked in the Palace was suspected of espionage.


The main function of the Internal Affairs Department was to conduct basic investigations into the history of suspected spies and their activities within the Palace and use false information against them, or as a tactic to catch them in the act.


"We will investigate the spies we already know of and organize and execute various operations based on previous investigations."


The spies in the Palace were connected to various interest groups.


It was a long known fact that nobles approached and bribed people with minor positions at Court for information.


"There are only three members in this group, including you. The Prince has instructed you to make all requests for pre-operational information directly to him and to avoid discussing the results of the operation outside the dedicated team."


"When do we start?"


"From the moment I leave this room."


"What’s the main charge against these spies?"


There was a tacit and absolute agreement about spying in the Palace that should never have been broken.


"Gathering information and conspiring to overthrow the Empire."


The agreement was that spies would not use the information they gathered to harm the Imperial Family, work for or against other nations, or make an enemy out of the Imperial Court.


"…."


Shawn Harrison swallowed hard. He had a premonition that a great wind of change was about to blow through the Imperial Palace.


"Of course, from now on, you will dispense with interim reports and report directly to the Prince when a spy is caught."


"Yes. Commander!"


Harrison stood there for a long moment after Chris's departure.


"If things go wrong, it could be a bloodbath…"


He mumbled something under his breath, realizing that the amount of work that had fallen on his shoulders was incomparable to anything he had done before.


But there was no time to dwell on it.


Harrison immediately began sifting through all the personnel files of the Department of Security’s Internal Affairs to select the two team members best suited for the job.


***.


Same time.


[The Imperial Palace's favorite a la carte restaurant, 'The Rich and Lovely Goblin'].


I let out a blood curdling laugh.


If Kyle had been possessed, he would have figured me out a long time ago.


While my seniors Joseph and Shine's reaction had been something like this.


[It must be nice. If I were you, I'd be counting my current blessings.]


This reaction of envy following the success of Elias Pharmaceutical's heart drug was also common among my fellow administrators in the General Secretarial Department.


The word on the street was, the heart drug [Louis in the heart] was a big hit. 


In the Capital, where the drug was supplied by Elias Pharmaceutical, people were lined up from early in the morning to buy it almost every day.


The Imperial Doctor had left the Palace, opened a clinic in the center of the Capital called [Excellent Clinic verified by the Imperial Palace - Beloved by Louis] with a group of retired court physicians just in time for the heart medicine's launch.


I had been stunned by the oddity of the clinic's name and that five more clinics had been opened simultaneously throughout the Empire. But also, by the rumor that all of them belonged to the Emperor. 


This rumor was, of course, true.


[It was Chloe's suggestion. She told the Emperor that it would be a good idea to have a retired Imperial Physician in charge of the distribution. And he didn't need to think twice about it, opening clinics all over the Empire. He also agreed to let his portrait be displayed on the vials every year. In return, he allowed the Elias Family to sell the drug outside the Empire and changed the share of sales to be in our favour.]


[As expected of Chloe.]


[She's been working very hard these days. She offered the Emperor an exclusive contract, and when he heard that, apparently the Emperor's eyes shone with unveiled greed as if he’d expected the gesture.... Hmm. Anyway, he was in such a good mood that he accepted her offer. I guess our supreme leader is in need of cash.]


That was what my father had lamented to me about once he returned from the council meeting.


The Emperor, having had a taste of money, seemed to have a great appetite for it.


[The Emperor has given our pharmaceutical company wings, so it's a win-win situation. We should invest more in pharmaceutical research and figure out what's next. We're in the water, so we should keep paddling, right?]


[Yes. I'm going to raise Josh's position as a researcher and give him a dedicated team.]


I nodded in agreement with my father.


[Yes. Josh is a valuable talent, Dad, and if you're going to put your faith in him, I want you to support him generously, so he doesn't fall prey to temptation or other constraints.]


Father, who had been listening quietly, nodded.


[I've heard that other pharmaceutical companies have been camping out in front of Josh's house, or rather, the researcher's house we allocated him. It's been bugging the hell out of me. I've been thinking about getting him a mansion in the Capital with good security.... Speaking of which, we need to take care of that right away. How dare they do that to our precious Josh!]


Alarmed, Father turned to Dylan and ordered.


[I want to meet the head of the Elias Family pharmaceutical division, the head of the garden division, and our researcher, Josh Lucas, the head of the research team, right now].


My father had been calling Josh the Research Team Leader ever since that moment.


"Hmmm. Josh isn't famous for nothing, so I guess he could create another good drug, right?"


As they brought my mushroom stew to the table, I heard a knock.


The door swung open, and a familiar high-pitched voice pierced my ears.


"Oh, you're so annoying."


It was Andrei, whom I hadn't seen in about a month.


Dressed in a plain dark gray suit, he looked unfamiliar.


He wore hardly any make-up and no accessories. I put down my spoon.


"Are you ill?"


"What?"


"People suddenly change, when death is near... No. I heard that you were not feeling well or had a big change of heart. You asked me to meet you at a luxurious place rather than Lackton Street, and you're dressed very nicely."


"Is it that strange?”


"It's the worst thing I've ever seen."


"My student's aesthetic sense is poor."


I narrowed my eyes.


"I'm tempted to grab a passerby and ask their opinion on the matter. Forget about that, where the hell have you been? You didn't even meet with me when I got back to the Capital. You told me I was going to go get my apprenticeship classes then didn’t come for a while, and you didn't even tell me why. What's wrong? What happened?"


"It's horrible."


"What?"


"My face."


"...!"


His makeup-free face loomed over me, and I took an instinctive step back. His half-raised eyebrow looked weird.


"Look at this. These reddish-brown bumps on my temples and under my chin.... are driving me crazy."


"Ha...."


The cosmetics he had started wearing in spring had been too harsh and had damaged his skin.


Andrei didn't even bother to answer my question, lamenting about the state of his skin for quite a while, then moved on to talking about how Elias Pharmaceuticals could make skin-related products.


After patiently listening to his bemoaning/dramatics for a long time, I removed the napkin on my lap and stood up.


"When I woke up, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. Hey! I'm just getting started, where are you going?"  Andrei asked. his eyes widening.


"It's refreshing to have a girlfriend to chat with after all this time, but I'm not that free right now. You made me come all the way to this fancy restaurant to talk about something that's gotten under your skin, Master. Had I known this was coming, I'd have stayed at home and caught up with my brothers and sisters."


As I finished the remainder of my lemon juice and turned to leave, my Master finally threw a meaningful comment at my back. 


"My disciple, aren't you too relaxed?"


"What?"


I slowly turned around to witness Andrei leaning back in his chair, chuckling.


"Or have you not recovered from the shock of your birthday party? If that isn't the case, do you feel relaxed now that the Countess is gone?"


I sat back in my seat, pouting.


"I have to ask, why are you wasting time talking about your personal issues? Isn't that very unlike you, Master?"


"Sheesh. My skin isn't that personal."


I threw my hands up in the air, quickly cutting to the chase, telling him to leave the issue to me. Andrei leaned back in his chair with a cocky grin. 


"Why do you think I asked you to talk to me face to face?"


I rolled my eyes and thought for a moment, then slowly said what I had in mind.


"Hmm... Did you think that sending a letter or delivering a message through Victor would lead to an unexpected leak? Since it's that important, you have no choice but to deliver it directly?"


"Yes. The security at the Elias mansion is too lax."


"What is it, Master? I don't think there's anything that needs to be communicated in person now that has to do with my family, and I don't think there's anything that has to do with my apprenticeship classes... So, what is it?"


I furrowed my brow and stared at Andrei.


"Something has come up that will require the Black Society to mobilize all its forces for a while, so I don't think I'll be seeing you for the foreseeable future. I know you're going to miss me immensely, but please bear with it."


"...."


"I wish I could tell you more, but I can't and shouldn't. It's complicated, and besides, I don't think I'll be able to focus on anything else until it's over.... Huh? What's with the ambiguous look?"


_____

Editor's Note -


Hello All! Thamalasca here.... Finally.... So here is a long awaited forward chapter! Sorry it took so long. Life just gets in the way sometimes and Karma has been a B*** to me lately. But things are looking up and with @Rina on holidays, we are going to put in some extra effort to do some catching up. She's been an editing Monster! I have like 5-6 chapters to proofread so she can publish them. I'm also back in the game and will do my best to catch up as well. Thank you all for your patience, and hope you enjoy this chapter!


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7 Comments


Liza
Liza
Jun 07

Thank you for the update 🥰

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ProMama
ProMama
Jun 04

I missed all this goodness yuuum~

Glad things are calming.

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ProMama
ProMama
Jun 04

Okay, but low key low makeup Andrei does just sound WRONG. 😅

Like

Oh goodie, mass update! 👏🍻😁

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Bookworm
Bookworm
May 23

thank you for the hard work!

Shocked to see Andrei in a toned down suit!

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