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  • Writer's pictureRina

Chapter 28

Updated: Jun 25, 2023


The Third Prince and Empress scheme, while Tara is shocked to hear unexpected news about Bernard.


This chapter is dedicated to ck, thank you for your support!


Disclaimer:

DO NOT publish our edits anywhere else.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


Episode 28. 85.5 kg (1)


Joseph decided not to question the Empress's words, because he knew she wouldn't answer even if he asked.


Well, he could find out on his own.


His mother, the Empress, had been constantly worried about his brother Franz ever since Kyle began taking the spotlight.


His older brother was beyond weak. He was lucky that he was the firstborn. He had no talent whatsoever except for greed.


There were too many mountains to climb.


"But why is His Majesty standing by? Even though he's openly recruiting soldiers for his personal army. It makes no sense!"


"Kyle has only a third of our armed forces. So, his excuse about lacking enough men is quite convincing. Officially, it saves the Imperial Military money, so it's good for the Palace and His Majesty doesn't seem to mind."


"By God, I will rip that man to shreds! You should have stepped forward when he said he wanted to take over the Military! If you had done so it never would have come to this!"


“…”


Joseph shut his mouth again.


In fact, he had been given a chance to take over the military before Kyle. But it was his mother, Empress Vivian, currently sitting in front of him, who had ruined that opportunity.


She had declared that if Prince Franz was unable to take on everything, they couldn't assign the military to just anyone. She borrowed the power of his maternal family to insist that Duke Max Stuart, who was an old man at the time, should get the position. He was eventually killed in the Three Year War with Skandoa, and the position had been handed over to Kyle.


"Ha... It's true that the circumstances back then were somewhat unfortunate, but what could we do? But now that he's making a move for the throne... How should we defend ourselves?"


“… We can just ignore him. He lacks support from the nobles. This time only Baron Kezak sent a positive reply.”


"Yes, yes, I know. But didn't you hear that the Elias family sent all of us some of their knights? Hah, what a pleasant surprise! I thought they were only interested in accumulating wealth, so I didn't expect they would think to do such a thing. I would like to meet with them sometime."


“Okay, I’ll arrange a meeting with them for you.”


Mildly excited, Empress Vivian drank her tea, which had rose petals floating on the surface.


"Oh, by the way... Aren’t you in charge of planning the Administrative Officer exams this year? I'm sure you've been working hard at it." She asked with a slightly calmer expression.


"Yes, Mother. There are many applicants. There are quite a few hidden talents from prestigious families throughout the Empire."


"Yes, they're all going to serve Franz in the future, so please keep an eye out for our family’s interests. There is little use for nameless Houses, so mainly worry about the children from the families I've told you about. Understood? Oh, yes! Are any of the children from the Elias family taking the exams?"


"They are, but I'll have to look at the details of how many of them are applying."


"Alright. Take a good look at them and use your influence during the interviews."


"... Yes, Mother."


Joseph bore a strong resemblance to the Empress, with his bright blonde hair and blue eyes. As he left the reception room, Gabriel, the commander of his closely devoted Knight Order, who had been waiting in the hall, immediately followed in his footsteps.. 


A group of noblewomen, who were visiting the Palace on request of the Empress, squealed behind Joseph's back as he walked briskly down the hall. 


"Oh, we're so lucky. I didn't expect to see him here!"


"That's right! While Prince Kyle is handsome in a cold kind of way, Prince Joseph is handsome but gentle looking. I don't know why it's taking so long to pick another Princess Consort."


"I know! After Prince Franz's wedding three years ago I thought it would happen right away..."


"Oh, I can't wait for another Princess Consort selection!"


"Hahaha, I know. I would be the first to sign up."


"Oh, but don't you have a fiancé…?"


"But anything could happen between now and the ceremony, am I right? Hahaha!"


Joseph maintained his smile until he could no longer hear the noblewomen's voices, then his expression changed as soon as he exited the Empress's Palace.


"I don't care how long it takes. Go and investigate anything you can find about where he lived before he entered the palace," he secretly instructed Gabriel.


"Where should I target my search, Your Highness?"


“Mother… Look for any connections with Her Majesty the Empress.”


"Yes Sir!"


***


<3 days before the written test. Friday.>


It had been 4 days since the homework assignment and I weighed 85.5 kg. I had only lost 0.5 kg.


But that hardly mattered right now.


Oh God, I was so embarrassed!


It was entirely my own fault that I was now lying on the seat of the 2nd Prince's carriage.


No, it was actually all Bernard's fault. This, and my stagnant weight!


Ha... Should I open my eyes? What would I say?


Why did I have to step in and embarrass myself like this? I just needed to be patient. Then I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be lying here right now!


I was even getting a bit sore. What should I dooooo?


It all started two days ago...


***


<Wednesday. Two days before the embarrassing incident and 5 days before the written exam. >


After morning training, the practice yard was buzzing with knights, all of whom were gathered in groups chatting amongst themselves.


What was going on today? Why were there so many knights around at this hour? Had I arrived too early?


I grabbed one arm and pushed it straight behind my head, stretching while I waited for Bernard to appear from the tumultuous throng of people.


Little Peter was also a fair distance away, practicing his axe drills.


He hadn't paid me any mind after I greeted him. He was concentrating solely on his drills, and his movements were very orderly.


Argh! Was it because he was so young? He was so agile!


Despite my jealous gaze, Peter concentrated on his practice without getting distracted.


"... Bernard, do you know why he's so late?" I asked.


"I don't know either."


Peter shrugged and concentrated on his axe drills again.


Damn, just wonderful... It must be something big.


Bernard was running pretty late. Bernard was running pretty late. Was he late for our appointment because he was in the pillory or something?*


I decided to exercise some self-discipline.


One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight… One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.


I turned my stiff back, and slowly warmed up my neck and ankles.


While I was contemplating whether or not to stretch a bit more, Beth came rushing towards me and answered my question.


"Huff... Huff... Miss. Phew... He's been kicked out."


"Huh? What do you mean? Who was kicked out?"


"The knight! Sir Bernard Smith! The one in charge of your training, Miss!"


"No way! Really?"


"Yes. Here! His servant gave this to me just now."


The note that Beth handed me contained only two terse sentences.


[I'm quitting. I'll get the money for the medicine and send it to you later. 

- Bernard Smith]


“Huh… He quit? So suddenly? But, Beth, why did you say he was kicked out if he wrote here that he quit?”


"The servant from the knight's quarters who gave me this said he had been kicked out, not that he decided to quit."


My mind was blank with indecision for a moment.


"Excuse me, Miss."


"Uh... Yes?"


I felt a tug on my training pants and looked down.


It was little Peter, in a mess of tears.


"That knight over there said our teacher committed a bad crime."


"What?"


He must have approached another knight and asked as soon as Beth came in making a fuss about Bernard being kicked out.


When I looked in the direction Peter was pointing I saw a pair of knights. I recognized one of them. Mixed in with the others was the brown haired knight who came to the training yard a few days ago. He looked at me and sniggered.


Again! Look at him laughing at me!


I strongly believed that all people were created equal regardless of class, but this wasn't right. Someone who treated me with such blatant dismissal didn't deserve my principles.


"Beth. Wait here for a second!"


“What? Yes, Miss.”


Beth noticed my serious tone and expression, gulped loudly, then nodded.


Bernard left the Elias Knights in the novel, but not until one year later.


Why? Why was everything happening so quickly?


Lost in thought, I walked towards the knights....


"Hey Peter! Why are you following me? You should wait back there as well!"


"But I'm- I'm his student as well!"


"Who said you had to? Does it matter if you're his student? What could you even do?"


"He was very rude when he spoke about our master. I'm sure he'll do it again. I won't let him insult our Master like that."


"Ha... You're a loyal little thing. Okay, follow me. If he's rude again you can insult him!"


From a distance me and skinny 8-year-old Peter probably made a pretty funny combination but we approached the group of knights with fierce determination.


One of the knights from the crowd of excitedly chattering men noticed us and tapped the knight beside him.


Tap! Tap! Tap!


Following his signal, silence descended on the group. By the time I stood in front of them their mouths were closed and they stared at me with blank expressions.


"Hello... Miss... Milady?"


His greeting was forced, as if he struggled to push out the words.


I looked at the brown-haired knight, his lips were twitching.


"W- Why did Sir Bernard Smith leave?" I asked.


Crap! I was stuttering again!


"He had an accident... I guess? That's what I told the kid behind you... Didn't you hear it from him?"


He spoke informally with a sly tone, and his words were mixed in with insincere laughter. Really? That's how he wanted to speak to me?**


"What kind of accident?"


"He was charged with assaulting his superior. He really messed up big time. Hehehe!"


"... Really? Which superior?"


He answered properly this time, as if struck by my own use of rude informal speech, "Vice-Captain Jenkins, Master Jason's escort knight."


"Really? Thanks for letting me know."


This was a waste of time. I turned around to leave, but the knight decided to comment further.


"It was nothing! Ask me anytime! If you ever want to learn to use a sword by all means let me know, hahaha! I will be much better than that idiot with the axe. You're a pretty big lady, but are you sure the axe isn't too heavy for you?"


Something in my head snapped.


To him I was just Tara Elias, the former useless recluse. A child who had no standing in the Elias Family. That was how he still saw me.


"Really? That's a great suggestion! But are you any good?"


"Hehehe! Better than that teddy bear Bernard!"


"Well, that's something that would take time and effort to carefully verify. But it just doesn't seem likely, does it?"


"... What?"


Ah, so he was hot-tempered. His emotions were so easy to read. Tsk tsk.


"People who have no skills are always the most eager to boast. They like to talk about how good they think they are."


"No, but..."


"Now that I mention it, the hilt of your sword. It's so brilliantly decorated. It doesn't even look like a real sword! The handle of Bernard's axe is so worn down that even the carved initials have been erased."


"W- Well, clearly he doesn't take good care of his weapons! I take care of mine very well…"


"Excuse me, Sir!"


I cut him off. 


"What?"


"Are you deaf? You keep asking 'what?' every 5 minutes. And you think you're qualified to train me? You don't even look that strong. How dare a knight of House Elias look down his nose at the daughter of a Count while addressing her. Surely there must be something wrong with your neck that prevents you from bowing! Yet a knight like you dares suggest that you could train me?"

 

"Th- That..."


"W- Well... What's wrong? You were so eager to speak earlier. I don't even know your name, but I suppose you belong to the infantry unit?"


"H- How did you know?"


I crossed my arms and jerked my chin towards the knight's feet.


"Your boots."


Editor's Notes -


I'm back! Well… I'm technically still overseas. I've been abroad for the entire month of May and will be away for another 2 weeks. Thank you all for your patience, May has been a very busy month for all 3 of us and our translations took an unexpectedly long hiatus. We have more chapters on the way soon. 


*This last sentence was very confusing but it think it's referencing a form of medieval punishment. A pillory is this thing:

A pillory is the medieval European version while a cangue is the East Asian version. Both were used for minor disciplinary offences in the military and civilian contexts for things like public drunkenness.


** What this guy is doing in particular is using informal polite speech (which is appropriate between strangers), but intentionally leaving a delay at the end of the sentence before adding the polite suffix -요 in order to be intentionally condescending. Think of it like someone adding a very insincere and forced 'thank you' or 'please' to the end of a sentence in English, it's hard to illustrate because English doesn't have the same levels of formality Korean does. He does this intentionally for most of the following conversation and it's really damn rude.


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8 comentarios


June
June
07 mar

Seriously, what does Vivian see in Franz?? I guess just as how Tara says hedgehogs seeing their cubs as pretty, Vivian is oblivious to Franz's shortcomings... She is the reason Joseph is how he is. 🤦‍♀️

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ProMama
ProMama
20 jul 2023

Okay, but, her putting that 💩 in his place is pure 🔥🔥🔥

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mary✨✨
mary✨✨
03 jun 2023

Oh! Yes! Finally the drought is over! i Hope your travels were fun and I’m so glad to have u guys back❤️

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ProMama
ProMama
03 jun 2023

Oh dang, this does NOT bode well…

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Invitado
01 jun 2023

Missed yall soo much u have no idea 😭😭😭

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