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Chapter 38

Updated: Oct 1, 2023


Where we get to see Logan's, Jason's and Tara's POV before the interviews start in earnest.


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Episode 38. 80kg (3)


"Hmmm. Oh, stop it. What a rude thing to say about a precious young Lady of the Elias family. Besides, isn't she the younger sister of a fellow graduate? I, uh, apologize on his behalf..."


"Apology accepted."


Logan's brow furrowed slightly as he remembered the way Tara had looked when she first entered the Great Hall.


The round-faced curious look she'd given him didn’t belong to a daughter of the Elias family.


To him, his sister, Tara Elias, was an Elias in name only.


They only lived in the same manor and shared the same last name. That was, until recently.


‘My sister.... What the hell is so interesting about my half-sister?'


Logan glanced at Tara then quickly looked away, trying to push the question out of his mind.


"Lord Logan Elias who we all follow is truly generous after all...."


"......!"


Logan's eyes snapped back to Tara for a moment. He could barely hear the chattering of Count Boten’s second son.


"What's.... Those eyes?"


Logan had already turned away, so he only saw Tara's profile, but her gaze was distinctly different.


Tara's gaze had always been the same when she looked at him.


A dazed expression, as if she'd just woken up after suffering a long illness.


But now they had changed. The fogginess had disappeared, replaced by a strong will that should not have been there.


There it was again. That strong determination to achieve whatever she set her mind to. An unwavering gaze without a glimpse of hesitation.


The will to dare and claim her place as a member of the Elias Family.


Tara Elias had definitely changed from who she was 3 months ago.


It had been seven years since Logan had witnessed her as a little girl locking herself away in her room and he hadn’t cared whether she came out of it or not.


Seven years and another incident later, for the past three months Tara Elias had begun to assert herself and had caught their father's eye.


In a way, it was like she was trying to get back at him. Until now, he hadn't minded the remnants of Tara Elias, his half-sister. She hadn't been much of a threat to his goals anyway.


However, that look in her eyes, which he had only seen briefly, lingered in his mind for some reason.


"What's bothering you so much?"


"Nothing. Tell me the rest."


"So, you know, my dad says this interview is just a formality...."


When Logan, still distracted by the chatter around him, unconsciously glanced at Tara again, she was pacing around the Great Hall like a stupid country bumpkin.


‘Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm overestimating her...'


***


Thump, thump, thump!


A dull thud on the floor drew everyone's attention toward the podium at the front of the room.


A young man, standing beside the long podium, tapped his cane on the floor. He was apparently the administrator from the Imperial Office tasked with conducting the interview.


Is this the beginning…?


The novel had described that this interview was unlike any other, and unusually rigorous. It would last three rounds.


"There are three rounds of interviews. The first is a personal interview where you will answer questions in a straightforward manner. You will be organized into groups of 10, the other candidates will wait here while the selected interviewees will follow me into the smaller meeting room attached to the council chamber."


"Twenty percent of the total pool will be eliminated during this first round."


There was a small stir in the room.


"The second round of interviews is a physical test, which will take place outside the council chamber. Since this is the first time we're introducing this test to the Administrator's Exam, there will be no eliminations here."


The murmur grew a little louder.


"The Third interview will be an open debate that will be held in the Great Hall, where anyone can answer the questions asked by the interviewers in any order. This is the interview where the qualities of the candidates will become most evident, so 30% of the remaining participants will be eliminated. The above will be announced again as each stage takes place, so please check your group first and then stand by."


There was a loud rumble in the room as the administrator spoke.


"No. This is ridiculous. I thought they were supposed to pass over 80% of the applicants, and now half are going to be rejected?"


"That's right. Yesterday, my dad told me that it would be a quick second round of interviews and then an announcement would be made. I can't believe they're eliminating people in the third round!"


There were murmurs of dissatisfaction from all over the room, and rightly so, because all the interviews after the written examination in the Administrator's Examination so far had been a simple process.


After checking my group, I took a seat in one of the chairs arranged in a row on the floor of the Great Hall.


This was tricky. Big company interviews be damned! By the way, I remembered this interview was supposed to make someone famous.


What was his name? It was like a Button or something....


Ha. I needed to look out for that guy.


I looked around the room, waiting for my group to be called, but didn’t recognize anyone.


It was to be expected. I didn't know the name or face, so how could I find who I was looking for?


‘Let's wait and see. If he's going to become a celebrity, he'll show up soon enough.’


I stopped looking for the nameless celebrity and calmly waited for my turn to come up.


"It's true. All the Elias's are here, even that fat ass...."


"Shhh, she’ll hear you. But she's less fat than I expected."


“C'mon, she's still fat. She's stealing other people's opportunities... What kind of administrative job could she even do?"


"Sheesh. That's too much. The other Elias siblings are famous and talented, so I'll give them credit, but how is it possible that a dullard like her could pass the written test?"


A group of men and women sitting in the row behind me gossiped without even muting their voices as if they were hoping to be overheard.


"Don't you know? This time the Elias family, the Boten Family over there and the Duke of Portland all passed the written exam, thanks to the Empress...."



"Hush! That’s a big deal. Father told me to be careful. That's not a name you should mention lightly.”


“Sheesh. I don't know. The children of the other families? Yeah, they're famous families. I know that they excelled at the Academy. But I don't know about the young Elias girl."


From the moment I had entered the Great Hall where the interview was being held, I’d felt the stares following me every step of the way.


The gossiping and stares bothered me a lot, but I knew it was something I would have to deal with anyway, so I walked ahead nonchalantly.


I tried to ignore it because it would probably be like this until the interviews ended, but it was getting harder and harder.


‘Haa... I’m falling for their goading about the Empress's nepotism. Hang in there. Be patient.’


The stares of the other candidates in the room who were listening to them were none too kind either.


I shouldn't have been here in the first place. It was true that someone had failed because of my presence.


But I didn't get here because of the Empress. I had passed the exam on my own merit.


I turned towards the gawkers.


[No. None of it is because of the Empress! This is 100% my skill! Ho, ho, ho!]


I wanted to say that, but I doubted anyone would believe me in the current situation.


Phew... Hurry up and call my number. I'd rather do a job interview!


***


As Jason watched Tara from afar, a man approached him and quietly asked, "Hey, the interview situation has changed, are you okay?"


"Ha ha! It's actually for the better. I didn't even get a glance at the group interview anyway, ha ha. It's a God-given chance, a sign. Only after being humiliated in front of everyone will she lower that shameless fat face of hers. How dare she take that platinum mine?!"


"What? A platinum mine?"


"Yes. Are you ready?"


"I've been trying to bribe them but, as you said, the type of interview has changed, so I switched to a different method a while ago."


"Really? Did you look through her application form in advance?"


"Haha, we spent a lot of money on that. The department she applied to curiously made it easier on us, or something. Your sister is a bit of an ass."


"My sister! She's a disgrace to Elias, a disgrace!"


"Whatever. Anyway, this is going to be a lot more fun than originally planned. Let's have a good second interview."


Jason grinned from ear to ear, then looked back at Tara, his eyes sparkling in anticipation of the joy to come.


***


Jason's shining gaze kept lingering on me too long.


Tsk. Tsk. Stop looking at me. I know you're up to something Mr. Obvious.


I glanced away from his twinkling gaze, pretending not to notice.


Chloe and Aria were behind Jason, mingling with a group of female candidates, perhaps some acquaintances of theirs.


‘Hmmm. I guess I'll just have to be careful during the second round... Now I'm getting a little nervous!’


I didn’t know how much time passed, but finally my group was called.


"Okay, we're entering in five minutes. Group 7, stand by."


***


At first, I was a bit nervous and couldn't see much of what was going on inside the interview room.


I didn't really notice until I stood in front of the interviewers, confident that this was just another corporate interview.


And then.


“Ah. Shit. Hush." I heard all over the place.


What was that?


I realized that the strange atmosphere was caused by the candidates standing on either side of me.


It wasn’t until I heard the breathing of all the applicants in the room, not just the ones beside me, pause and then become erratic that I looked up.


Ah, yes. I was told that the Princes were coming in as interviewers.


Five interviewers in total. Two of the biggest names I knew of, Franz Amure, the First Prince, and Joseph Amure, the Third Prince, were sitting in on the interview.


The nervous candidates were understandably surprised.


So.... This was what Prince Franz and Prince Joseph looked like.


In the Ocerian Chronicles, which chronicled the events of the Ocerian Empire year by year, the Imperial Court was like any other dynasty, a savage battlefield full of schemers.


Two of the three Princes fighting to become the next Emperor from that story were right in front of me.


Unfortunately, Author Kim had focused only on the 3rd interview and skipped the 1st and 2nd ones. Therefore, I had to get through the 1st and 2nd rounds with my own skills and without any information.


I always hit the ground running anyway. First of all, I had to pretend to be moderately surprised....


There were two women in group 7, including me, and eight men. I glanced at the woman standing next to me and mimicked her, bringing my hand to my chest and squinting my eyes to show surprise.


As if he was all too familiar with such reactions, Prince Franz grinned broadly in a manly way, while Prince Joseph's brow furrowed slightly in annoyance.



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2 Comments


June
June
Mar 08

"We spent a lot of money on that. The department that she applied to curiously made it easy on us."


Interesting...

Like

Laralee
Laralee
Jul 30, 2023

Appreciate the hard work. Let the 'fun?!' begin. Don't underestimate our Tara and reveal your idiocy at the same time. 😋

Like
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