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  • Writer's pictureRina

Chapter 59


The chaos escalates and the Prince takes action.


This chapter is dedicated to PattySanchez, thank you so much 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DO NOT publish our edits anywhere else.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 59. 77kg (3)


"It'll take five minutes for law enforcement to get here. Do you want me to help?"


"No, let's watch a little longer."


Kyle focused on Tara's knight, especially his body movements. He was faster and more precise than expected.


His nimbleness could use some improvement, but he was quick to move back into a defensive stance after each attack to protect the women.


Those were some of the best moves he’d ever seen from a knight wielding an axe. He must be ranked as a Sword Expert at least.*


And it seemed he had already mastered the art of manipulating Aurore, even imbuing it into his weapon.


Kyle’s grip on his sword hilt tightened. Watching Bernard made him want to swing his own blade in a fight for the first time in a long time.


It seemed like the knight would be capable of defeating the gang members in time, but he was outnumbered, and with two women to protect, he couldn't move as he pleased.


Kyle turned his attention to Tara.


"Oho..."


He already knew from his research that she'd been training with an axe.


But, it turned out she wasn't bad at it. He’d assumed she'd just been doing it for physical exercise purposes, but that clearly wasn't the case.


The fact that both her axe skills and her hand-to-hand combat skills were adequate was likely a testament to the skill of her teacher.


After kicking four men in the shins in quick succession, she ducked low, spun around, and punched the man behind her in the jaw.


In keeping with what he'd noticed during the interview, she was capable of some pretty agile movements for a woman of her size. He wondered if that was due to the skills of the student or the master.


What he appreciated even more was that while the thugs were brutally unafraid to use their blades, she and the knight weren't using theirs.


Imperial law prohibited knights from wielding their weapons recklessly in the Capital. But even Tara wasn’t using her axe, though it technically wasn’t against the law for her to do so.


Her movements weren't particularly impressive for a two-month knight trainee, but she already had some basic skills that were quite useful.


He wasn’t shocked to see a woman in the midst of a fight, because he’d witnessed female knights in action many times before this, but it was his first time seeing a noblewoman, who had only been learning to use a weapon for a few months, do something like this. As a result, Kyle kept a close eye on the fight.


Of course, it was purely due to her knight's ability to valiantly handle whatever was thrown at him, that Tara was able to wield her axe and defend herself safely in the midst of so many enemies.


A short time passed.


“Ew!” 

“Ah!” 

“Oh, shit!”  

“Son of bitch!” 

“Fuck!”

“Argh!' 


Cries and curses erupted from the mob.


More than half of the gang was sprawled on the ground, holding onto various injured parts of their bodies.


"...That knight moves well." Walter had clearly noticed his skill as well. His eyes shone and he couldn't hold back his exclamation of admiration.


Just because the knight and the rookie were good at attacking and defending didn't mean they didn't take any damage. They weren't fatal wounds, but some of them were pretty nasty.


Strangely, when Tara narrowly avoided a potentially lethal blow, Kyle's hand unconsciously tensed on his sword hilt.


Meanwhile, Bernard had taken several blows to the chest and acquired a small cut to his side.


Tara narrowly dodged a knife to the back, but couldn't avoid a fist to the head, which landed hard on her temple.


"Oh, no. Not my secretary."


Kyle jumped to his feet without even drawing his sword. Walter was taken aback by the suddenness of his movements.


‘Hmm... He's intervening himself?'


But there was no time to think about it. It wouldn’t be good if an Imperial Prince got into trouble while in public and caused rumours. It would be best if they ended this situation as quickly as possible.


Walter quickly followed hisMaster into the fray.


Kyle went to the man who had just hit Tara in the temple and struck him with the back of his sword sheath. The man collapsed in a heap.


‘How dare you… To my secretary!'


He immediately jabbed the hilt of his sword between the nose and mouth of a man who tried to stab Tara in the back.


"Keuk!"


Tara Elias's eyes widened at the sight of the thug falling to the ground, and then she frowned.


"Uh...um, what was that…?"


"Let's save the greetings for later, Secretary Elias."


There were now only four of them left.


"Wh-What? So suddenly?"


"I make it a point to always pay my enemies back in full."


".....?"


The gang had no way of knowing why this strange man had suddenly intervened, especially since his clothes loudly proclaimed his princely status.


All the thugs could do was scratch their heads. The only man out of the three who could have recognized Kyle from their original confrontation on Lackton Street was hiding behind the leader, and the other two were already on the ground.


The man tilted his head. "I think I've seen him before...."


But his words didn't sink in. The gang members were restless, and seemed to be looking for a way to save themselves as they sensed the fight had taken an unexpected turn.


Kyle stood beside Bernard and drew his sword. Bernard looked at him and gave him a short nod, then adjusted the position of his axe.


"Wh-Who are those assholes? Fuck them all!" One of the thugs yelled.


But the last of their rampage was dealt with in less than two minutes. After a few slashes of Aurore, and half a dozen strokes of Bernard's axe, the remainder of the gang was also on the ground.


Bernard stood in front of Beth and Tara, his axe positioned defensively as if he would never let anyone get past him ever again.


The thugs slowly rose to their feet and backed away, clearly ready to flee. But then…


"Walter, Chris."


"Yes, Your Highness."


“Fwee!” Chris, the older of the two knights standing behind Kyle, put a finger to his mouth and whistled sharply.


Clomp! Clomp! Clomp! Clomp! Clomp!


There was a shout, and a group of security forces came running from the entrance of the alleyway.


Beth was still shaking, her ears covered and her eyes tightly closed.


Kyle gestured towards Beth with his chin. She looked like she was about to collapse. On cue, Tara shook Beth and forced her to open her eyes.


"Miss... Waaaahhh! I, I was so scared...."


"It's okay now, it's over. Bernard protected all of us. It's over. You're okay."


Tara breathed her own sigh of relief as she comforted Beth.


When all was said and done, Tara stood in front of Kyle.


"So, you're helping me now? What do you want?"


"In a way, I helped you, but I also gained something myself... You're right... This was an exception. Normally people appreciate my help, even if they only receive it once in their lifetime, but the Lady, or rather, the Third Secretary, has received it twice. You must be honoured."


"Argh. You're playing with me... like this is a game of cat and mouse..."


"Hmm.... I sensed this earlier, but I've observed that the Third Secretary doesn't seem to know how to convey gratitude towards those who go out of their way to assist her."


"Your Highness hardly..."


Seeing the look in Kyle's eyes, Tara immediately changed her demeanor, and bent over in a deep bow.


"...Your Highness, you've personally helped this humble subject of yours twice.... And, thank you for coming to the aid of my subordinates and I when we were in danger. You’ve earned my gratitude, Your Highness!"

Kyle chuckled softly as he watched Tara, she looked like she was performing lines from a play.


"That's all I needed to hear."


She continued bowing, but glanced up slightly, her expression annoyed.


Then she resumed her theatrical tone of voice.


"...I am incredibly grateful for your help, Your Highness. But had you assisted me a little earlier, my respect would be even greater, Your Highness....!"


"Hmph, that's enough, Third Secretary. I know you're dissatisfied with being assigned to Durben, but there's no shortage of talented people who would be eager to take your place."


Her contrariness disappeared in an instant and her expression sobered. Tara straightened and looked up at him.


"Yes, Your Highness, I am dissatisfied, but I will not go back on my decision. Rest assured, I plan on making a worthy enough contribution and will be returning to the Palace as soon as possible."


"I see... Suit yourself."


"It's interesting. The first time we met, you were dressed as a vagrant, the second, a military commander, the third, as a regular knight, the fourth as an interviewer, and today, you’re the very picture of a golden boy...."**


"Ha! Golden, what?"


"Nothing, it's just that you're quite fashionable today... Um, you’re dressed like quite the lady's man."


"No, I’m dressed like a Prince."


"Ah..."


Had anyone ever evaluated his appearance so blatantly before?


Someone probably had, but he couldn't quite remember when, and it was an unfamiliar feeling. Kyle stared at her.


Her hair was dishevelled and her left temple was red and swollen with bruising.


Feeling his gaze, she touched her temple with her fingers and grimaced in pain.


"....."


Embarrassed, Tara shrugged and blurted out, "Hah.... I guess I'll have to train more, you never know when or where something might happen after all.... Haha...."


A sudden thought flashed through Kyle's mind, and he voiced it.


“I understand that your goal is to become the head of the Elias family. But no matter how you look at it, applying to the Security Department and accepting an appointment to the Military is a bit excessive.”


"Pardon? What do you mean..."


"....."


Kyle stared at Tara, his eyes now even more probing.


As if he was trying to figure out what was going on in her head.


"Count Elias's condition was that you must become the closest administrator to the throne, and working in the Inner Palace would've been the fastest route for you to achieve that. The fact that you applied to the Ministry of Security, and accepted a Military commission, indicates that you have ulterior motives for trying to work under me. Isn't that right?"


***


A hiccup squeaked out of my throat and I quickly closed my mouth firmly, holding my breath to prevent any more from coming out.


He was sharp as a tack, and his accusation had come completely out of the blue.


"Third Secretary Elias, even though you're unusual for a noblewoman, this kind of move is far too obvious."


"Why are you suddenly suspicious of me now...?”


Why was he asking me about this when he'd already issued orders to me?


"There's no reason to question the intentions of one's subordinates unless you have reason to believe they're an enemy, and I didn't have any reason to do so until now. Wouldn't you agree? But all of a sudden my intuition is telling me something isn't right."


So, that was why he hadn’t questioned me when I first accepted the position.


Haa... How should I answer this?


Prince Kyle's gaze had sharpened, a cold light glinting in his eyes. He was now determined to find out my exact intentions within moments of developing a suspicion.


"I didn't choose the Inner Palace department because it doesn't suit my constitution."


"Bullshit!"


".....!"


"In all our encounters up until now, when we met on Lackton Street, when you came to me to get the answer to your homework, and when you passed the written exam, I thought you were simply trying to become the head of House Elias. But, if that was the case, you would've chosen to work in the Inner Palace, where you would have an easier path, even if it didn't match your constitution."


"That... The Inner Palace has too much intrigue... and it's exclusively women... And well... that kind of..."


"I know you're lying."


"... What leads you to believe that?"


"There are many ways to become a close confidante of the Imperial Family, but you've chosen the most difficult path. If the Inner Palace isn't for you there are many other options that are easier than the Ministry of Security, but you still persisted. When you fell through that brick wall on Lackton Street you wanted to avoid getting involved in anything complicated. You rescued me, but after seeing through my disguise you walked away. You don't like getting involved in dangerous things. You're far too...."


"Too what?"


"Too cautious."


".....!"


___


Editor’s Notes - 


* So in chapter 50 I introduced the auror/sword mastery ranking system and said that Bernard was a Sword Master, turns out I was wrong (oops). He’s not a Master axe/Aurore master yet but he's currently one rank below mastery.


** Here Tara uses one of my favourite Korean idioms 엄마 친구 아들 - Mother's friend's son,  which basically means a paragon of virtue/golden child. It's based on how parents often compare their own children to that one mythical child of a friend who’s super high achieving in an attempt to guilt you. 


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