Where Tara claims her bet and Kyle shows who's boss.... again.....
This chapter is dedicated to Suya! Thank you for your support and kind words!
DO NOT publish our edits anywhere else. Especially on social media. Otherwise me might have to stop doing this. Thank you.
Episode 48. 80kg (13)
A knight soundlessly emerged from the far corner of the parlor, he’d been there for god knows how long. He answered Kyle's question then quickly and silently left the room to carry out his orders.
Frozen in place, I stared at the door where the knight had exited from for a moment and came to a belated realization.
How ridiculous must I have looked to him in my momentary state of fright?
"A bodyguard. Are you surprised?"
"Oh, no, I'm not surprised. Guards are supposed to act like that. Ha ha ha."
Thick beads of sweat trickled down my back, but I unclasped my arms and turned around as casually as possible.
That teasing expression again. I was sure he had called out to that guard on purpose. Haaa. I couldn’t stand this damn Prince!
While I calmly waited for the herbal tea to arrive and the maid to leave, I reorganized my thoughts for what I was going to say next.
Hmm. What should I bring up?
Finally, the maid left.
"I'm sure you're upset that I brought up the war with Skandoa in the interview earlier."
I couldn't figure out what he was thinking as he stared at me, but I pulled myself together and said.
"That information must have been confidential. It shouldn't have come out in public like that. It was rash of me."
"You should have known better. Did the situation in front of you cloud your judgment for a moment?"
What did he mean? I quickly began to scan what I’d said for any mistakes.
It didn't take long for me to realize what he meant.
I had really gotten it wrong.
"So, you were leading me to that answer? Because it looked like... Did you think I would know?"
"You don't have a bad brain, so I figured you could put the pieces together, but I didn't think you would do that."
"The part where you brought in newspapers and compared and contrasted them."
As a TV writer, I'd always been in the habit of synthesizing material and briefing producers on it, so it was natural to me, but it might have looked different to them.
"Yes. Well... But do you think there's really going to be a war?"
"Did you not speak with conviction?"
"I wasn't sure, I just thought there was a good chance, and It’s hard to say."
"What was the probability?"
"I thought there was an 85% chance it would happen, and a 15% chance I could be wrong."
One of Kyle's eyebrows rose and fell quickly.
"A fifteen percent chance of being wrong, and yet you managed to convince me during the third interview. What was your evidence?"
His words acknowledged that I was right, but he was asking for the exact basis of my conviction.
Clearly, I had already explained the signs of a war. However, even as I had tried to explain it, I’d felt that something was missing.
In fact, there had been several indicators of war.
For about a year, the Skandoan newspapers had been publishing frequent articles about the circumstances, mostly negative.
Conflicts with the Principality of Ga'an ruled by Archduke Gellerhan, the cousin of Emperor Louis Amure, and trade conflicts with the Ocerian Empire like the diplomatic frictions sparked by the issue of prisoners of war.
Those signs of war were also supported by the fact that the Skandoan nation had been increasing its military budget, and mercenary troops had been flocking there.
In addition, the fact that the envoys who had visited once every three months for the past eight months had been suddenly called off, also contributed to my prediction that Skandoa was preparing for war.
Despite all these circumstances, there was no single indicator.
There were clear signs of war. Nevertheless, the reason I was able to discuss the war in the interview was because the renewed conflict with the Skandoans had been briefly mentioned in < The Ocerian Chronicles >, and because Prince Kyle had been present.
I had remembered the novel mentioning the new war with Skandoa while I was searching for information in the newspaper. But before that I hadn’t even considered there could be such a thing. It was Prince Kyle who had convinced me of it.
"It was because of Your Highness."
His teacup paused in midair.
"On what basis?"
"You requested knights from multiple families."
"I did. Are you saying that you predicted the war when I demanded the knights?"
He sipped his tea calmly, as if he knew what answer I would give.
"No. At the time, I only thought you were expanding your power, and if it hadn't been for the third interview, I would have continued to think so, but you went through the effort of asking each family, even though you knew it would be misunderstood by your enemies. You could have recruited mercenaries, but according to the newspapers, there are too many mercenaries going to Skandoa, so you couldn’t use them. Ah! Now that I think about it, mercenaries from Skandoa would naturally be suspected of being spies, so you needed knights from noble families with clear loyalties!"
Curiously, the more I spoke, the more plausible it seemed.
"Why didn't you say that during the third interview?"
"Your Highness, being the the involved party, didn't correct the misunderstanding. Unless I wanted to be a fool, there was no way I would’ve said such a thing."
"If you aren't a fool, then you already know that what you are about to ask will be denied."
Why does he know everything?
Still, I had to say it.
"I'm far too inexperienced to deal with soldiers and knights. I believe that because Durban is an area that experiences regular conflicts it should be handled by a trained administrator. It's not that I won’t do it, but I think it would be better if you gave me the assignment after I've had some more training in the Capital. If you're doing this simply because of your resentment for me......"
"Look here, rookie."
Ugh. I'd made a mistake.
I had no choice but to shut my mouth after hearing his suddenly frosty tone.
"Peter told the alley boss that he would be coming for him day after day. He came covered in bruises, he came no matter the weather. You asked me what the alley boss should do with Peter after he was so persistent, right?"
I had no choice but to bite my lip. Self-contradiction. I had fallen for my own tricks.
"You came to me with bruises all over your body, pushing forward regardless, and now that the results are in and it all worked for you, you're getting cold feet? Did I overestimate you?"
I was speechless.
I had begged him to give me a chance and, curiously, he complied. But, when the occasion arose, instead of being cool about it, I was running away, because the outcome was one I hadn't considered.
Even though I understood this intellectually, emotionally it was difficult.
"You can just give up. No one will criticize you now."
He leaned back in his chair, arms crossed, looking at me with all his princely arrogance.
Yeah, go ahead and gloat, you asshole. Damn it, he was right! But why was I getting so pissed off? *
He knew I would never give up. There was too much at stake in this.
Andrei, my father's expectations, my chance to avoid my family’s destruction, my promise with Bernard. All of it was on the line.
Of course, the Prince thought I was aiming for a higher position.
Kyle had to grip both forearms tightly to avoid letting a laugh escape as he watched Tara's face threaten to explode with ire.
A sigh escaped her pouted lips while her cheeks reddened with anger.
Her green eyes darted back and forth as she tried to figure another way out of it.
It was funny. Absolutely hilarious. He wanted to tease her more, but held back. There would be plenty more occasions to do so in the future.
When she finally thought of something, her round eyes grew bigger as she stared at him.
"Please give it to me."
"The money. 206 gold. You lost the bet, so I should get paid!"
As if he'd been waiting for those words, Kyle pulled a pouch out of his pocket and set it on the table.
"Why did you ask for 206 gold?"
"I refuse to tell you, so farewell!"
Kyle would have laughed out loud, if it hadn't it been for the knock at the door.
The Palace staff was fully aware that they shouldn't disturb him when there were guests.
Still, the knock meant it was urgent.
It was a messenger. After a moment of silence, Kyle turned his attention back to Tara.
As she was turning to leave, Tara eyed the messenger from the Order of the Phoenix with considerable interest.
"Tell me, and I'll tell you how long you'll be stationed there."
For a moment, Kyle thought he saw fire in her eyes as she stared back at him.
She seemed to have forgotten that he was a Prince now, and that made it even more enjoyable.
"Evidently, Your Highness has a way of knowing everything. So, I.shall.take.my.leave.now!" She retorted through clenched teeth.
She forced herself to turn around at his command, but didn't make eye contact.
"I wish you the best of luck in Durben. 3rd Secretary Tara Elias."
Unknowingly, she stretched out her hand towards him with a slightly surprised look in her eyes.
Kyle didn't notice the corners of his mouth curving upwards as he looked at her quizzical expression and her small, outstretched hand.
Then she frowned for a moment, pouted, and pulled her hand away.
‘You have so many different expressions.’
"They’ve changed a little."
"The eyes have changed."
"What? Who are you talking about? Me, Your Highness?"
"Nick. Don't worry, your eyes are always dim."
"Huh? Your Highness. My eyes are always bright..."
But Nick's words stopped after Kyle's small hand gesture. As Kyle's face grew increasingly serious as he read the news brought by the messenger, so did Nick's posture.
"Let's go. We leave tonight."
"Yes! Your Highness!"
They all got positions in the Palace, except for Aria.
Jason was placed under Franz, and to everyone's surprise, Logan was placed under Kyle.
Finally, Chloe was assigned to the Inner Palace.
In an odd twist, Hans Button, who was expected to serve under one of the Princes, was assigned directly to the Treasury.
Tara's room in the middle of the night.
It was a quiet night. I was just about to drift off into a deep, restless sleep after staying up late cursing Second Prince Kyle, but then...
A sound had come from the door.
Surprised, I sat up and quickly turned on the light, looking towards the door.
But there was no other sound or movement.
Did I hallucinate?
As I laid back down, something caught my eye. I cautiously approached the door and discovered a paper envelope slipped halfway under it.
I slowly pulled the envelope out and looked inside, only for familiar writing to catch my eye.
"Haha. No way. Why was that man here in the middle of the night...?"
It was Andrei. His agents would never have made such a noise normally, so it must have been on purpose.
Meaning these are documents that shouldn't fall into the wrong hands.
"How many are there?"
Maybe I should start an investigation on the mansions' employees later.
Rubbing my eyes, I pulled out the papers filled with his familiar penmanship.
[Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha h a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha h ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha... Durben Tripoint. Ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha h a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ... 3rd Secretary of the Army. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha h a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ... Congratulations, Apprentice.]
Editor's Note -
* Shall we learn some Korean slang? In the original MTL the sentence read something like this: 'What a know-it-all you are. Your X is so thick. Damn it, you're right, but why am I so pissed off.' The other version was (wait for it...) : 'Yeah, you're good. Your x is freaking huge. Damn, he's right, but why am I getting so pissed off.'
Now in Korean F* you is written: 좇까
The literal translation of this is: 'peel your cock' or 'get your cock circumscized'
ISTDF being for all ages, I think Munirang went a roundabout way for Tara to say F*you to Kyle by mentioning the size and/or girth of his X....
The depths we have to go to figure out the MTL sometimes never stops to amaze me LOL!
I hope you like this little tidbit!
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