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  • Writer's pictureRina

Chapter 270


Andrei continues to be elusive about his collaboration with Kyle.


This chapter is dedicated to AmaraLin, thank you so much for your support!


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Episode 270. About Eight Months (3)


Andrei cocked his head, puzzled.


"Normally, when I break news like this, people either get furious or demand answers. Why are you so calm?"


I answered without hesitation.


“It's called déjà vu right?”


"The phenomenon where you see or do something for the first time and it feels familiar? That?"


"Yes. It's usually an illusion or the result of confused nerve cells experiencing poor information transfer.... Ah. Not that the definition is important. Perhaps then...?"


“Perhaps what?”


I quickly leaned forward secretively.


"Have you met with the Second Prince recently?"


Andrei's unfocused gaze widened instantly.


“Huh! What? Did you get someone to follow us? Me? Or the Second Prince?”


"No. As much as I desire to do that, I don't have that much power yet."*


I let out a deep sigh of disappointment. Andrei narrowed his eyes and asked again.


"Then what is it? How did you know.... Oh, déjà vu? Did the Second Prince mention the same thing?"


"The context was a little different, but similar. So, are the two of you working together?"


"...."


Andrei merely furrowed his brow.


"Co-operating?"


"Hmmmm. No. Why would we...?"


"You're looking upwards and to the right, and your tone suddenly got higher. That's proof that you're lying."


"Whoa! How did you know.... Um, that's not it."


Andrei's eyes narrowed, as if shocked he'd been caught in a lie. I quickly raised my hand and swore.


"I won't tell anyone in my family about the collaboration between the two intelligence agencies, not even Bernard and Beth. I swear!"


"Fine. It's my fault for getting caught."


"Even if you won't tell me about the case you're working on, why can't we still meet?"


"Because I need to focus on the case, and more importantly, it could be dangerous for you if things go wrong. I don't want you to get involved or be in harm's way."


The Second Prince's words from the night of the 21st flashed through my mind.


[It's a top-secret operation, and it's better you don't know about it. So don't go looking for the main culprit. The more you know, the more dangerous it is for you.]


They were both doing it for me, so why did it bother me so much?


But the two agencies were working together? Working on what?


A collaboration between the Empire's most prestigious private intelligence agency and the Empire's leading official investigation department.


I sipped my water slowly, lost in thought.


The biggest case at hand for Kyle was, of course, catching the masterminds behind the multiple assassination attempts, who were still at large.


So, had Andrei found and shared information with Kyle about the main perpetrator? Had the mastermind been identified? Could it be Hans? Or was it someone else?


If it was Hans, perhaps there was a connection to the Black Map in the Imperial Palace?


If the culprit had been identified, whether it was Hans or not, law enforcement would have immediately organized an operation to catch the culprit, but if they were working with the Black Society, they must still need their intelligence.


The next thought followed quickly on the heels of the previous one.


But why use the Black Society? Kyle's intelligence was also excellent...


Ah! So was there a reason Kyle couldn't use his network? Or did this imply they weren't enough? Maybe because he needed more people?


And if it was that vast of an operation, didn't that mean the size and impact of the outcome was going to be massive as well?


As my thoughts ran wild, my gaze snapped up to meet Andrei's. He tsked and shook his head in disbelief.


"Nuh-uh. Don't look at me like that. No."


"What's wrong with how I’m looking at you?"


"That's the look of someone who's reading too far into a situation. You're just dying to know if your guess is correct or not, aren't you?"


I immediately put on my best personable smile.


"Of course, Master. There's just one thing...!"


I was about to ask if it had anything to do with a Black Map in the Imperial Palace, but my question was cut off mid-sentence.


“Why? Why did you stop yourself?”


If he asked me how I knew about the Black Map, I wouldn't know what to say, so I made a simple excuse.


"I'm not sure of the question."


"Yet, your eyes were full of conviction.... I guess not."


Instead, I changed my mind to just ask if the main culprit had been identified. But when I glanced at Andrei, my experienced teacher, he had already read my eyes and spread his palm forward to immediately block my question.


"I won't accept questions about the case, and I previously decided not to tell you that we were working together, but you found out and I didn't deny it because I didn't want you to get into trouble while trying to find the answer. So don't ask."


"...Hmmm. Yes, I understand, Master."


"Instead, my student. There are two reasons why I asked you to see you in the midst of my busy schedule."


As he spoke, Andrei pulled out a newspaper and a small key and placed them on the table.


"What are these?"


"I won't be in the Capital for some time, more or less depending on how the case goes, and I won't be able to send you messages in person, so I thought I'd use this to keep in touch, just in case."


I looked at small black the key and the copy of the Imperial Daily News, and scratched my head.


"You're not asking me to guess how you're going to contact me with this, are you?"


"Oho, I hadn't thought about that, but now that such a question has come out of my disciple's mouth, I suddenly want to hear it. Yes, disciple, based on these two things I want you to infer how we will communicate."


I leaned my head back and sighed.


"Hah... Just tell me. I've got a lot to think about already and my head is about to split... Ugh."


The gears in my head spun as I spoke.


"If it were me...."


"Okay. What would you do, my disciple?" Andrei urged me on, his eyes shining with anticipation.


I calmly explained what I was thinking.


"I think I'll take out an ad in the paper. I'd write the ad in advance stating the urgency of the situation and code it. If I'm in danger, I'd put it in an underwear ad, and if I want to set up a meeting, I'd put it in a tourism ad. I'd set up a place and a time to meet. If I had a lot of money to spend, I'd put it in the obituary section."


"Ohhh... As expected. I truly have amazing judgement when it comes to people! We've been in touch through the events section before, but now that you mention it, the classifieds section is good. Hehehehe. And the key?"


I stared at the time-worn key and racked my brain, but nothing came to mind.


"I'm not sure, but judging by its small size, it looks more like a jewelry box or locker key than a door key. If I had to guess, I'd say you put something in a locker that you intend to give it to me, like important information?"


"Bam! Your guess wasn't bad, this is the key to the printing room of the Imperial Daily in the Capital."


"What? You have keys to the Imperial Daily's printing room all of a sudden? Why that place?"


“Hehehe.”


Andrei's eyebrows waggled as he laughed without answering. He looked like he was about to tell me.


"Are you allied with the Imperial Daily by any chance?"


"Something like that. To be more precise, I own more than 80% of the Imperial Daily. Kekekekeke."


"Wow..."


The exclamation escaped my lips.


"You're surprised, aren't you?"


"Yes... It never occurred to me that an intelligence organization would own a news agency."


"Hmph, no wonder you're surprised. If something happens, go to the print shop before five a.m. in the morning. Give them the key, they'll give you a page, you'll write something down, and it'll be in that day's newspaper. It's something that only the top-level intelligence gatherers, Cezanne, and you know about. This also means that you've been fully recognized by Master Andrei. Hahaha. You're happy about that, right?"


Encouraged and suspicious at the same time, I looked at Andrei's face and asked.


"No. Why are you being so nice to me, Master?"


In reality, the key was Andrei's considerate way of helping me. It's not like he would ever ask me for help this way.


"Let's call it an investment for the future. If I'm going to help you, I'd better help you fully so you don't forget my assistance. Isn't that right? Hahahaha!"


The excessive laughter was particularly annoying to my ears. Nevertheless, Andrei's consideration was something I was thankful for. I scrambled to my feet and bowed at the waist.


"Thank you, Master. You think of your students when you're abroad. I think I chose the right teacher! Then, are the Imperial Daily's year-end and New Year's surveys conducted by Black Society members all over the Empire?" I asked, sitting back down.


"Well, yes and no. I was the one who came up with the idea of conducting such a survey in the first place. Since then, other newspapers have followed suit, but they're not as good as my own. Hmph."


"So the newspaper building also belongs to you, Master?"


"Of course."


Andre shrugged, the air of wealth practically rolling off of him.


"Wow, then, Master, just how rich are you?"


With a slight gleam in his eye, Andrei tapped on the window as if he'd been waiting for this question. As my gaze turned to the window, he gestured his hand with a triumphant smile as if he was a master painter revealing a masterpiece.


"Do you see the Imperial Bank building on the first floor at the intersection in front of you?"


I naturally moved my head to follow Andrei's hand, and saw the Imperial Bank building across the street.


"There? Across the street? No way."


I jerked my head around to find Andrei looking at me smugly, the corners of his lips twitching.


"Kekeke. The whole street is mine, from that building at the intersection to the Goblin restaurant, including the buildings on either side of it!"


I gaped.


The alley, lined with two- and three-story buildings, was the center of the Capital's commercial district.


"Wow. I never thought I'd actually hear someone say that in real life! Wow! If I had to guess, I'd say you own one, two, three... six, eight... ten buildings, right?"


______

Editor’s Notes -

We’re back on track with editing, thank you for your patience!


* Here Tara uses the idiom 마음은 굴뚝 같지만 - roughly translating to ‘my heart is like a chimney’. It means to desperately want something like a chimney eagerly sucking up smoke.


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댓글 3개


Liza
Liza
6월 07일

Another fantastic translation. Thank you for your time and effort 🥰

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ProMama
ProMama
6월 04일

Andrei the Real Estate Mogul~

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Laralee
Laralee
5월 24일

Welcome back! I love more chapters. This is such a great story, with great characters and adventures. It's so much better than stories with idiots in the main roles.

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