Tara uses her trump card against Jason.
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Episode 56. 78kg (2)
"...What are you talking about?"
At the sudden shout, Logan stopped in his tracks where he stood by the staircase leading up to the third floor of the main building. He hurried up the stairs.
Curiously, there wasn't a single servant in sight.
As he rounded the corner, he saw Jason on the landing between the second and third floors.
‘He's back at it again, just when I thought he'd calmed down,' he thought to himself.
Jason's tantrums were well known, so Logan started down the stairs, hoping it was just another servant who'd gotten caught in the crossfire.
But when he caught a glimpse of a dress past Jason's shoulder, his attention was drawn back to the incident.
Surprisingly, this time the victim wasn't a servant, but Tara Elias.
‘Oh, my... How shallow of them.'
Logan glanced at Jason for a minute, whose face was flushed with poorly concealed anger, and then at Tara who stood face to face with him, before shaking his head and continuing down the stairs.
Wow, immediately playing the victim. A 27-year-old man.
It was a hell of a comparison. Prince Kyle was also 27 years old. The Prince was admittedly rude and sly, but he wasn't shallow, and he thought deeply, far beyond his 27 years.
But the guy in front of me really made me wonder how simple minded and naive a 27 year old man could possibly be.
It was starting to doubt if he was truly an Elias, or actually related to Chloe at all.
"Haa haa... Miss, here you go, haa, haa."
Beth returned at just the right moment. Luckily, she had picked up on my cue and had quickly retrieved the package.
She'd brought a small black box that looked like it might contain a high-end wristwatch. I shoved the box in front of Jason.
".... What is this?"
"A gift I left for you."
It was an unexpected answer, and Jason just stared down at it, unable to process what was happening well enough to open it. Eventually, I touched the hinge and the box snapped open.
"Looks like you still have a lot to lose, brother."
I slowly opened the box to reveal the silver key that had been placed inside.
"Yes. I've created a secret vault in your name at the Imperial Palace Central Bank, and this is the key."
How many times was he going to say, 'What?'. He must be truly surprised. I suppose I had given him the key to a safe out of the blue. If I were him, I'd probably also repeat the same thing over and over again.
"Your password is 190301kk. Don't forget it, okay?"
"What are you..."
"I'm letting you keep what little you have left. Inside there's a list of the interviewers you bribed for the administrator's examination and financial proof of everything. It would be one thing if Father saw it, but what do you think would happen if I handed it over to the Ministry of Security?"
"You should thank me, I could have surrendered this immediately two days ago, but now I'm leaving this behind for you instead. If I decide to publicize this, you can kiss your chances of serving as an assistant to the First Prince goodbye. Even if you lose your standing in the family for a while, you could naturally gain favour again once you enter the palace and make your mark. Don't you agree? I'm dead serious, but I'm also craving a little blood. So that's why I left this for you."
Jason shivered with rage as he spoke, but his low tone betrayed his unease.
"...Do you really think anyone will honestly believe you...?"
"Well, they may not believe me, but they'll certainly believe the evidence."
He snatched the key out of my hand and stormed down the stairs.
Jason's thoughts had already turned to the vault in the Central Bank.
‘I'll go open it and destroy the evidence.'
I shook my head in disbelief as I watched his retreating figure.
Haa…. Seriously, Jason? What a first-class newbie. His thoughts were written all over his face.
I looked down at him coldly from the top of the stairs and said out loud.
"One more thing."
He turned around in surprise half-way down. He made quite the pathetic spectacle.
If only I could capture this moment forever... I once again regretted not having a cell phone in this world.
"The key you're holding is not the only one. There's a second one, which means that there's no use disposing of the documents in that safe. Nevertheless, by giving you this key now I'm giving you a choice in this matter."
"W-What are you talking about, 'now'?"
"You see, I'm leaving in three days and won't be here for a long while, but my mother still lives here. I don't care what you do, as long as you don't hurt me or my mother. Your reputation is on the line. Do you understand what I'm telling you? If anything happens to me or my mother, the other key will be used immediately."
"Who-Who has it?"
"Why should I tell you? You'll just try to get rid of it somehow. Of course, you wouldn't be able to do that, even if I told you."
"You're lying, you're just saying that there's a second one, aren't you?"
He stormed back up the stairs, grabbed both of my arms again, and growled directly into my face like he was about to kill me.
"Perhaps I am. But I've never been one to bluff."
I ignored the pain, looked Jason in the eyes with all the seriousness I could muster, and said my final words.
"Remember. You will not mess with my mother or me. That's all it will take to keep this quiet for good, do you understand?"
I swatted Jason's arms away once more, then stalked up the stairs with my head held high.
This time, I didn't reach for the staircase handrail out of habit. The goal was to look as defiant as possible.
I glanced down and saw Jason standing there, staring down at the key I’d given him in shock.
I breathed a deep sigh of relief as I entered my room and sat down hard on the bed.
"Miss. You were so calm, so cool and collected, it was really awesome. Honestly!"
Beth gave me two thumbs up, but I was too busy gulping down water.
"Haa... The look in his eyes was terrifying... I thought I was about to die."
"Eh? You didn't seem to be shaking at all...."
"No, I was shaking like a leaf. I didn't have Bernard or my axe to fall back on. I never expected him to be that murderous, and he was stronger than I expected. I'll have to be more careful in the future."
It was the truth. Even when things went according to plan, dealing with personal affairs and messy emotions made things challenging, especially when you were dealing face-to-face with someone who was hostile to you.
Ha. This life was difficult. I couldn't wait to find out who was responsible for dragging down my family. After that, I could beat the hell out of them and be rid of all my troubles. Then I could retreat to a countryside manor and enjoy the rest of my life.
Or I could find a man blind enough to think I was pretty who was also rich, handsome, fit, and kind, and then we could both live happily ever after.
Around the same time, Andrei took a black box from his subordinate and went to his bedroom.
He opened the box to reveal a key and a letter written in familiar handwriting.
[Greetings from Tara, your precious pupil who passed her exams with flying colors.]
As soon as he saw the first sentence, he burst out laughing.
"Precious...? Is she trying to provoke me?"
[The information you sent me as a gift for Durben Tripoint was valuable, you're good at your job.]
"She is trying to provoke me."
He straightened his posture and resumed reading.
[While you're at it, if you could do me one more favour, your precious disciple would finally be happy to go on her way.]
"Hah, does she enjoy being so shameless?"
Even as he said that, his lips were curved in a grin.
[This key is for a secret vault in the Imperial Palace Central Bank. The password is 130613JK.*
The contents include some of the materials you sent me. You'll understand when you see it. I know you have people undercover in the mansion. Please tell them to keep an eye on my mother. Master, if Jason Elias tries to harm her in any way, please check in on her immediately and personally bring everything I left in the vault!
Starting now, you’ll be compensated with the blank check three years from now. While I'm gone, try to look a little less old. Wear a little less makeup, and dress a little more modestly please.
I'll send you a message every once in a while,
Your Precious Disciple, who will return soon.]
"Haa... What manner of strange mutiny is this? How tragic…”
Even as he said it, Andrei Pitt neatly placed the box with the key in it in his personal vault behind the wall and tugged on a rope to summon his henchman.
"Tell the boys at Elias Street to keep an eye on my chubby little apprentice's mother, and that they should report back to me at once if they ever think that stupid son, Jason Elias, is going to touch her."
Jason returned to his room and stared at the box that contained the key.
It was strange, no matter how often he went over things in his mind, he couldn't put his finger on when exactly things had started to go so wrong.
Perhaps everything had begun after Tara had attended that meeting, but he couldn't be sure.
No, it wasn't that precise.
What was certain, was that his half-sister, Tara Elias – the same Tara who had been responsible for the death of the eldest son, Brandon, whom their Father had trusted with his everything– was not the same girl who had locked herself in her room 7 years ago.
Jason grabbed the box and threw it roughly.
The silver key clattered out of the box and lay there, staring at him.
"That cheeky bitch thinks she screwed me over! I'm going to make her pay one way or another!"
A day later, in front of the main building of the Elias estate.
"What is this?"
I frowned at the object Bernard held out to me.
"While we wait for that one... Use this next time.”
He jerked his chin towards where Beth was chatting with Cindy in front of the carriage.
Beth and Bernard had been acting like cats and dogs lately, as if they disapproved of one another. It all seemed to have started when we'd gone to the Shield Knights' office to find Bernard.
Anyway, despite that, they were both helping me out with my work.
I lifted the object and weighed it. It was fairly light, but I had never expected to carry something like this around, so I wasn't sure what to make of it.
"It's 0.8 kilograms. The blade isn't very sharp, so it will be more effective for striking. The hilt is leather-lined, and at 20 centimetres long. It feels a bit short, but I purposely commissioned it to be shorter to make it easier to carry. I had the master smith curve it slightly to make it easier to grip, and made a special request for the leather cover so it won’t be dangerous to carry around."
"Hmm. Thanks, but what's with the color of the holster and the leather cover?"
"Oh. The blacksmith did that... I told him that a woman would be using it, and he designed it that way."
What a bunch of prejudicial baloney. In his mind women were all crazy about pink. I didn't dislike pink, of course, but pink leather on an axe?
It was too much.
As if he’d read my thoughts, Bernard relieved me of my worries.
Editor’s Notes -
* This password is a reference to the popular K-Pop group BTS. The number 130613 is a date, June 13th 2013, the day that BTS first debuted in Korea, and 'JK' stands for Jung-Kook the name of one of the band members. So this means that Tara is probably a canonical Jung-Kook fan. I’m not personally a BTS fan but I saw plenty of people commenting about this on KKP and the manhwa so I had to look into what it meant!
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