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Chapter 271


Where Tara's daily life flies by and she has an unexpected encounter.


This chapter is dedicated to nomi ! Many thanks for your donation!


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Episode 271. About Six Months (1)


I uttered a series of praises.


"Master, today you’re very bougie and handsome!"



I said it with all my sincerity, and gave him a double thumbs up. Andrei grinned from ear to ear and held himself high.


"Well. That's it. Hmph. And not ten, but fifteen. The little building back there is mine too. Hehe. This just means I'm as powerful as the head of House Elias, doesn't it? My disciple will eventually become the Head of the Elias family as well. Anyway, one of the two things I wanted to ask you is this!"



"What is it?" I asked dryly, trying to calculate the value of Andrei's buildings in my head.


“What the heck is going on? Why were you appointed as a Second Secretary in the Permanent Secretarial Division? Is it really over between the two of you? But the Prin... No. Anyway, did you really get kicked out and sent to the Permanent Secretarial Division?”



Andrei changed his proud posture and leaned forward towards me, his gaze fixed on my mouth.


"Ah... Saying I was 'kicked out' is a bit much. Tsk. I can't tell you the details either."


"I don't need the details. I just want to know if you two are still on good terms or not. That's all that matters to me!"


"Why is our relationship so important to you? What the hell are you expecting from me?"


At my direct response, Andrei smiled brashly and retorted.


"What's the big deal? I’m just surprised that you're in a relationship with the Second Prince, right? What happened? Did you really break up?"


I opened my mouth to answer, then shut it firmly. I was tempted to laugh at him and to tease him like he'd done to me, but I forced myself to remain expressionless.


"Well, you'll have to guess, Master, whether or not I'm with Kyle, I mean the Second Prince, then."


I stood up on the pretext of needing to leave, and grabbed my keys and the newspaper while Andrei furrowed his brow and replied, "Yes, yes. Goodbye.” Before smiling brightly.


"Hahaha! I see! My disciple calls the Prince by name so easily! So, it isn't over yet! If you were kicked out you would have called him a jerk or bastard or even worse. Hahaha! Am I right?"  


"That's a lot of epithets, haha. You're my Master alright. I'm off. Take care of yourself. Stay away from make-up for a while, I'll check with Elias Pharmaceuticals about your skin problems."


Andrei laughed out loud, but he was too busy praising himself to wave back. I left the restaurant and didn't see him for quite a while after that.


And two months later.


***


The first Friday of May, the Permanent Secretarial Division. Morning.


It had been two months since I was reassigned here. I only had six months left, and I haven't seen Kyle once during that time.


"Let's go." Joseph urged me, as soon as I dropped my bag at my desk in the office.


"Uh, I thought there were no dispatches today?"


"It's always like this in our department. I received an urgent request this morning saying that next week's schedule had been pushed forward."


I nodded and took the stack of papers from my senior's hands.


"Then I'll have to get moving right away! Where am I being sent?"


"It's good to see that you don't have any complaints! Today's dispatch is from the Vice-Captain of the Central Palace Guards." 



"You mean the task of organizing and recording the coordination of weapons, supplies, and training procedures required for the joint training of the deputy commanders of the Imperial Guard and the deputy commanders of the Military's Capital Defense Forces?"



After completing my preparations for the dispatch, I inserted a pre-written official document in the folder.


"That's right. How do you remember things so well?"


Joseph gave me a thumbs-up, and I shrugged as if it was no big deal.


"I'm quite adept at typography, hehe. Ah! Then can I go to the Central Palace warehouse after work to look for some materials?" 


"Hehe. You're the first Junior I've ever seen so eager for a promotion! Well, if I help, can you tell me how to become the next First Aide?"



"Hehe. Yes. If you look at the past administrative materials often, you become better at your job, and if you gain more skills, the higher-ups will be pleased with you and give you a promotion."


"You have a point. Just put in an official request, like you've been doing so far. No one is going to stop you from doing more work."


"Yes, Senior!"


I nodded in agreement with Joseph as we moved to the training grounds behind the Central Palace to check the weapons quantities and their condition for the future joint training.


To get to the training grounds, we had to walk through the long corridor of the Central Palace.


When we, the low-level administrative staff, passed through there, we didn't walk in the central aisle, but right next to the massive pillars. It was an unspoken rule that we stayed out of the way of the Palace's major figures.


I was offended by this treatment at first, but what could I say? I blamed my fate for being stuck in this era.


As Joseph and I walked carefully between the pillars, we saw the silhouette of someone at the other end of the hallway, near the entrance of the Central Palace corridor.


Everyone froze in their tracks as soon as they appeared.


Curious, I took a closer look and saw Kyle enter the hallway with Nick.


"Oh!"


I held my breath for a moment and looked at him.


This was the first time in two months!


I screamed internally.


Bathump, bathump, bathump.


I could feel my heart racing.


Everyone from the Central Palace's high-ranking officials, to the ladies and nobles who were visiting the palace to the servants and maids, all stopped and stepped aside, clearing the way on the carpet where the Second Prince would walk, bowing as he passed.


I did too, of course.


Walking with his back against the light, he strode closer and closer toward me.


Perhaps because it was the first time since that night, my heart pounded faster and faster as he approached.


As he came close, I took a peek at him.


"....."


He glanced down at me with an incredibly indifferent expression, then turned away without hesitation and walked away.


I was momentarily stunned. I hadn't forgotten that we were supposed to be oblivious to each other. Even though I was fully aware of that fact when I looked up at him, his indifferent gaze had rendered me breathless.


Haa. It was so realistic!


At the same time, I felt a tingling pain, as if someone had pinched my heart.


I knew it wasn't real, but it felt like it. In truth, it was terrible.


Next time we met, I was going to give him a completely expressionless look as well!


I felt strangely hurt, even though I understood the situation.


Whether or not he knew how I felt, Nick gave me a quick smile and mouthed 'hello'.


Then continued, 'Oh, it's been a while since I've seen you. I've been travelling all over the place lately, so I've been too busy to say hello properly. Uh...Yes, see you again!'


But soon, he hurried off under the Second Prince's murderous glare.


As expected of Captain Nick.


"The two of them never change...  His Highness the Second Prince has a cold expression that makes me shiver. How on earth did you survive?" Joseph asked, wiping his brow as if he was breaking out in a cold sweat.


"I couldn't stand it and got kicked out. Let's go, Senior."


With a quick glance at Kyle's back as he walked away, I turned on my heel and left quickly.


As I followed Joseph, who was walking ahead of me with a big smile on his face, my own expression suddenly turned serious.


‘Get a grip!’


Don't feel bad. Because this is all an act. Kyle was doing well.


So, time to do my job as well. I only have six months left!


Time flowed mercilessly without regard for my circumstances.


According to my estimation, there were only about six months left before my house fell into ruin.


My composure was eroding as each day went by.


But there was also no time for me to be anxious.


So I had decided to find out what I could do from my end, and for the past two months, I had been working on two things.


One was finding out whether the map that appeared in the [Black Map in the Imperial Palace Warehouse] incident in Part 4, Chapter 3 of the Ocerian Chronicles was indeed the same as the map left behind by Hans.


That was definitely the case in my dream.


It would be a map of Hans's evil deeds, and could be connected to the assassination plots the Second Prince was looking into. It was supposed to be in the Palace warehouse.


If so, I had no choice but to find it.


The other involved being more proactive in learning about my sibling's movements, the people they met and gatherings they attended. 


Nothing unusual had come up yet.


There was no time to be disappointed. I had no choice but to investigate further until something came up.


Cheer up! Let's do it!


***


For two months, he often saw her from a distance, but never approached her.


Once, he saw her carrying a stack of papers as she left for a military dispatch. Another time, he saw her resting after lunch, sitting under a tree in front of the Administrators' Dining hall.


And another time, he saw her laughing and chatting with a fellow female colleague in the Permanent Secretarial Division.


"Wahahahahaha."


Her clear, piercing laughter had reached Kyle's ears and he had grinned broadly.


“Sounds like you're doing well. Fortunately… ”


He didn't finish the sentence because, for some reason, he felt a twinge of regret, but quickly pushed it away.


He wanted to reach out, but for her own safety, he held back.


Today was the closest he'd been to Tara in months. He felt fortunate to offset his regret with this.


As she bowed her head in salute, he glanced down at her.


Sparkling eyes. A clear face with an expression full of curiosity and liveliness. Everything was the same.


A glimpse of her like today would help him endure the hard days to come.


‘No. This won't be enough to get me through the coming days... I guess I'll have to go see the craftsman.'


As he pictured his beloved's face in his mind, he immediately turned his head and walked away, never looking back.


A spy might be watching them from somewhere.


In the last two months, the Internal Affairs Department had caught three spies.


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