top of page
  • Writer's pictureRina

Chapter 73


Tara catches a lead in her case while Kyle plots at a crossroads.


This chapter is dedicated to ck! Thank you so much for your ongoing support!


Disclaimer

DO NOT publish our edit anywhere else.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


Episode 73. 60kg (3)


"What's the point of that? What could you possibly accomplish by going back to the Capital? I've never heard of anyone leaving this kind of place and wanting to go back so quickly. It's only been a month since you've arrived, and they don't want you back. The pay here is good, and the work is easier than anywhere else you could end up. Being transferred because you're up for a promotion is the worst possible option. Keke-kekeke. It's better here. But, you're a noblewoman from a well-to-do family, Third Secretary, so it's strange that you're here to begin with."


I tried to open the official document that Jack had given me without paying attention to Sgt. Bruno. He repeated the same speech every time he came, and there was nothing new

about it.


Sergeant Bruno continued to talk as if my reaction was irrelevant.


"Besides, you need to stop thinking so seriously... Ah! Do you want to hear a good story?"


Nothing that Sgt. Bruno wanted to say would be interesting. Whenever he said, 'Do you want me to tell you something interesting?' It was going to be boring.


But as a military administrator, I needed to get along with the non-commissioned officers.


I looked up from the official document I was reading, quickly smiled, and nodded.


“Ah… I’m very curious.”


"Everyone who heard this thought it was interesting. Ah, anyway, one of the 2nd ranked infantrymen had their house burglarized not too long ago."


"Oh... really?"


I nodded mechanically, my eyes darting back to the paperwork.


“But as soon as I was dispatched, the guy begged me to handle it under civilian law rather than Imperial Military law. The Public Security Act has lesser sentences for trespassing cases. I mean, if you've been caught enough times, you know the ins and outs of military and civilian law that most people aren't aware of.”


"Ah... I see."


At the bottom of the August missive, there was a list of each case of "Discipline for Missing Reports of Consular Officers," with a request that those clerks who wanted to appeal should submit their reports.


I skimmed the list for missing reports, but there were none. The sergeant kept munching on his cookie and continued telling his 'funny story'.


"Ha! But while he was negotiating, he insisted he was the only witness to the disappearances of the two officers who went missing 20 days ago. He claimed he saw them again a few days ago."


“Hmm… I see…”


I replied nonchalantly, then suddenly looked up from the September documents to stare at Bruno.


"He said he saw who?"


"Kekekekeke. Yeah, yeah, see! I told you it was interesting! He said he saw those guys, the ones who were reported missing."


"Is that true? Where?"


"That's weird. You know about the Local Residential Complex, right?"


The Local Residential Complex, a short distance from the center of Durben, was a planned neighbourhood created by a large number of locals who moved there after Durben was classified as a conflict area. It was under the joint management of all three countries.


"Yes."


"He said he saw them in one of the houses in the complex. But it was a bust."


"What?"


"I went to check and they weren't there, it was a lie. He said there was a secret room, but I searched everywhere, and there was nothing there. He lied to me to get a lighter sentence. But you know what he said later?"


"What did he say?"


"He said that the buildings in the village look nearly identical, and said it might be in the house next door. Who does he think I am? That little weasel."


"Ah... So do you think he was lying?"


"Of course he's lying. He's acting like he knows something, somehow, to get an advantage...!"


"What if it's true?"


"No way..."


"Hmm. I don't think it would hurt to look into it one more time, though, since it could be real. Why don't I come with you and help?"


"Why?"


"I can get a better performance review if I find the missing people."


"Ah..."


Sergeant Bruno looked at me like I was a strange animal, then smiled and nodded.


"Well, that's great, then. I suppose I could post a missing person wanted flyer here, just in case."


"Sure."


The faces of the missing men were clearly drawn on the flyer he handed me. They resembled mugshots or pictures taken by police to identify a culprit in custody.


One looked like a rat, the other like a bear.


"If they don't show up, we'll do another search."


"You could go with my knight and the embassy staff...!"


After taking the leaflet, I casually opened the September correspondence before stopping in my tracks.


[Official Dispatch from the Ocerian Imperial Army


One day ago, the nation of Skandoa made a surprise invasion across Imperial borders. As a result, the Ocerian Empire is going to war. All military units within the Empire are hereby placed on wartime alert.


The Imperial Army has diligently and meticulously prepared for the war with Skandoa and is ready to risk lives in defence of its people. The Imperial Army is united in their cause of destroying the enemy, from the front line to the last.


In accordance with wartime regulations, each embassy is directed to adopt wartime procedures and must be more diligent in communicating with and supporting general command and local military units in the region in which they are posted.


September 2, 1815.

Kyle Amure, Commander-in-Chief of the Military of the Ocerian Empire.]


It was as I had been expecting!


As soon as I finished reading the correspondence from September, I hastily opened the mail from October again.


In an instant, the world around me blurred out of focus, only the words on the page were legible. At the same time, my heart was racing in my chest.


[Official Dispatch from the Ocerian Imperial Army


The Ocerian Imperial Army's fight against the Skandoan invasion culminated in a final victory on October 1, 1815, about a month after it began.


All military units within the Empire are hereby returned to peacetime status.


The Imperial Army has prepared diligently and meticulously for the Skandoan War. We risked our lives to defend our people, and we won. The Imperial Army has defeated the enemy, from the front line to the last.


In keeping with peacetime protocol, each embassy is instructed to take diligent responsibility for communication and support between the general command center and local military units in their region.


Soon, the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Armed Forces will conduct an inspection with Military leaders throughout the Empire to encourage troop morale.


October 2, 1815.

Kyle Amure, Commander-in-Chief of the Military of the Ocerian Empire.]


What on earth...? It only started a month ago! The timeline was speeding up again!


I'd guessed this was a possibility, but after being confronted by the speed at which everything was happening, it felt like my head was spinning.


Josh's research wasn't complete yet. But the timeline of events was speeding up. In [The Ocerian Chronicles], the war was described as lasting a full three months.


But it had just ended after only one month. Moreover, now that the war had ended, the prohibition was going to be lifted soon.


I’d vaguely expected to be in the Capital when it happened, but my expectations had been dashed into nothing.


What to do...


And then, a sudden realization hit me, and I stopped dead in my tracks yet again.


Shit. At this rate, I had... about a year left.


I was going to be hanged much sooner than expected. We were about halfway through my three-year time estimate.


That meant I only had about a year left to live.


"Oh... Oh God."


"What's the matter, Third Secretary? Is it serious? Is there a war going on or something?"


I’d never expected the sergeant's dad jokes would be so dead on.


"...Yes."


"Hehehe– What?!"


"You're right. There is a war. Here's the dispatch from the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Armed Forces. Take a look."


The sergeant stood up in surprised hesitation, as if suddenly remembering he was supposed to be a soldier. As soon as he read the missive I’d handed him, he immediately moved to run out of the building, but I hastily caught him.


"But it's over now."


"What?"


"Here. A dispatch from October."


The army had been training until now in preparation for a possible war.


I could imagine his surprise from hearing that war had recently broken out and had been resolved within a single month.


However, regardless how late the official dispatches were, the fact the local Military had been oblivious to the war... Ah... Well, it was standard procedure to only send messengers to areas where the troops were directly required for combat.


Besides, the Empire was vast and constantly engaged in small-scale conflicts with various nations... So news of a new war was rather commonplace.


The sergeant's face contorted as he stared at the dispatch from October.


Perhaps it was the last line of the dispatch that was making him more nervous than the news of the war itself.


[Soon, the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Armed Forces will conduct an inspection with Military leaders throughout the Empire to encourage troop morale.]


"Gee.... Why doesn't it say when he's coming?"


"It's customary for such things to be a surprise."


"Shit, you're right."


This really wasn't a great time for this to happen. I gained nothing from staying here during peacetime. One way or another, I had to get back to the Capital as soon as possible.


“Ugh, the good times are over....”


As I watched the rotund sergeant's retreating back, I began chewing the fingernail of my index finger, wondering how I could get back to the Capital as soon as possible.


Lingering in burnout was a luxury for me now.


***


Proto's Crossroad.


Kyle was on high alert, even as the war with Skandoa came to a close.


Wary of renewed hostilities, he’d done his best to rebuild the units that had suffered losses in battle.


After remaining on the front lines for about a month, overseeing the inspection, movement, and re-organization of his troops, he was accompanied by about 1,000 men, including the Phoenix Knights of the Second Imperial Palace, wounded soldiers, and wagons full of war spoils that had been obtained in exchange for Skandoan prisoners of war.


As they travelled, Kyle came to the fork in the road at Proto.


"Your Highness, do you intend to travel on your own?"


The fork in the road pointed towards the capital city of Oceria to the right and the Hellarion Mountains to the left.


The Black Society had made a bold move towards Scorpion. It was Scorpion who had been stealing information from the Military.


In addition, the Imperial Military and Ministry of Security had mobilized all of their resources in the past month to identify the regions and bases in the Empire where Scorpion had obtained their stolen Military intel.


That information was being deliberately withheld from the Black Society.


He had to catch them before the Black Society could seize it all.


"Yes."


Hearing Kyle’s words, Walter immediately stepped forward.


“Then I will assist you.”


Unwilling to be outdone, Chris stepped forward as well.


"No, I'll assist you."


The knights of the Order of the Phoenix, red-eyed with exhaustion, who had been accompanying Kyle also offered to go with them.


Betrayal was considered the most despicable offence among knights, and all of them wanted to personally hunt down and behead the perpetrators.


Moreover, someone had leaked life-and-death secrets to an enemy nation during wartime. There was no way Kyle was unaware of their sentiments.


"Walter and Chris are coming with me. I'll take ten knights. Nick, in my stead, take the rest of the troops and the war spoils and ride straight to the Capital. Go straight to the Emperor and tell him why I'm going to be late for the victory ceremony. Here, take this."


Kyle held out a letter and handed it to Nick.


Telling the Emperor he wouldn't be attending the victory ceremony with only a single letter as explanation would surely anger him.


Nick hoped that the Emperor's shouting wouldn't last too long. The 2nd Prince Kyle seldom participated in events arranged by the Imperial Palace anyway.


Or rather, it would make his journey to the Palace easier if he believed that.


"Chris, go get it from the wagons."


Chris bowed at Kyle's command and moved toward the wagons of war spoils.


As he moved towards the wagons at his master's command, Chris wondered why he was leaving all the gold and silver treasures behind and only taking that thing.


Enjoyed the chapter? Buy us a ko-fi!


365 views3 comments

Related Posts

See All

3 Comments


ProMama
ProMama
Mar 21

I suppose being nice to him finally paid off? 😅

Like

Rina
Rina
Mar 19

I feel like we've all had a co-worker like Sgt. Bruno who rambles on a bit too much, lol

Like
Replying to

Ha! Tell me about it....😑

Like
bottom of page