Why The King Needs A Secretary - Chapter 16
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
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Celestia kept studying with all her might. There were numerous fun events before the midterm examination, but she didn’t bother to show up. If she had appeared in a place where students from the same class were hanging out, it was obvious that she wouldn’t have much fun. Now, her only goal was to get promoted.
No matter how well she was treated by the head of the academy, she could only beat the nobility by getting promoted.
What she needed was to memorize all the history of the Burg Empire. It wasn’t easy for her to learn all of the knowledge built by the famous philosophers and researchers, which was completely different from that of Goldina’s.
She worked hard day and night.
In the meantime, whenever she treated the Emperor, he kept asking her about her academy life. She even heard from the head of the academy that Van was interested in the beauty of the Academy, and he really was.
At first, she was forced to speak about the behavior of her classmates towards her, but later, she tried her best not to mention it. Although the Emperor had the ambition to nurture talented people regardless of their status, he himself was the one who stood on a new branch. Even so, it didn’t sound good for her to serve the sins of the aristocrats, even if she was from another country.
Knock, Knock, Knock-
Two days before the exam, she heard someone knocking on her door. She raised her head from her book, her arms piled up. She had fallen asleep and her eyes were sore from reading the book.
Lately, she had been reading all day long, so the maid Luana often came to cheer on her. Luana was an orphan like her, so both of them made the perfect pair.
She thought it might have been Luana who was before her door. This was because she didn’t meet Serena lately, who was one of her other frequent visitors aside from the person who’d inform her to meet the Emperor.
But she was wrong.
She stood up from her desk and ran out to open the door. She stepped back almost reflexively, bowing to him, while Van walked inside and closed the door behind him. She knew he had to attend a couple of important meetings these past few days, which is most likely the reason why his face always showed tiredness and annoyance. It was the same today.
“You don’t look well, Your Majesty.”
Van usually sat on the chair, but today, he just stood there as his eyes roamed over the books she was reading. Following his gaze, she looked at her bed. Her face turned red, seemingly embarrassed about her scattered notes.
“Hmm, you’re reading a difficult book. You’re from Class B, aren’t you?”
“Is it necessary to read that much in Class B? You could’ve just read the modern political introductory books. They’re much easier.”
“The examination is near…..Besides, I needed to look for more information.”
‘I bet he knows all about these books.’
She glanced at the political introductory book, which only contained the recent theories.
She thought she could easily talk about any topic with him.
“What brings you here, Your Majesty?”
“To inform you that I’m preparing to travel to a distant land.”
“There’s been a recent debate on the issue of a coalesce.”
“Yes, see you in three days.”
“Uhm….you’re not going to use magic, are you?”
“We’re planning to develop a friendship bond, and there’s no reason for me to use magic. If we face any signs of an armed conflict, the other country would not be far from extinction.”
“……I see, but if you were just going to tell me this, why didn’t you call me instead, Your Majesty? You must be very tired.”
“I wanted to give you something.”
“I beg your pardon?”
She stared down at the badge he held out to her.
It was a small ornament. The crystal in it was colored in yellow on one half and purple on the other. This badge, which featured a hand-crafted pedestal, could only be owned by a secretary of the Emperor.
She lifted it up and flipped it over.
The inscribed lion pattern, which indicated that it was presented by the Emperor himself, was glittering in silver.
Although she had seen this badge over someone else’s chest a few times, it was her first time touching it. Surprised, she raised her eyes at him.
“I’m giving it to you now.”
“I’ll get in trouble if you die by getting hit by a flowerpot while I’m on a business trip. Use it if you face any difficulties.”
“……I’m not doing that, Your Majesty. This is too much.”
He rolled his eyes at the ceiling, seemingly annoyed.
“If you need an imperial badge, I can make it in a day. But are you not being mean by wasting my time sounding modest?”
“Then, I will study real hard, reach my goal, and earn it honestly.”
“I think you are already giving your best. In fact, if you work any harder, you’re going to fall sick. Even your eyes have turned red.”
Van touched her forehead with the back of his hand as if he was trying to check her temperature. Then, he just stared at her, who was blinking with a puzzled look on her face.
“Come to think of it, I don’t even know how to check someone’s temperature.”
‘How are you still alive, Your Majesty?’
But it seemed quite odd for him to touch someone else’s forehead.
She mumbled as she touched her forehead briefly as if she was trying to capture his touch.
“Then, I’ll be taking my leave now. I’ll have to prepare for the journey.”
“…….Huh? Y-Yes, Your Majesty. Please take care of yourself.”
As she bowed down, he walked away from her room.
She kept staring at her door. He did not call her, but came to meet her in person instead?
‘He didn’t come here because he was worried about me, did he? No, that can’t be……but as soon as he came in, his eyes fell to the book I was reading….’
She hurriedly shook her head for the weird assumptions to disappear from her mind and lifted up the badge. The shiny badge was quite heavy even though it was small in size.
‘How can I attend the academy wearing this? I don’t need to prove my identity, but at the same time, I’m very grateful for his effort.’
She took out the best dress she had. She planned to make a pocket on it and use it as a talisman to swore to devote to this duty of hers in the future.
The Emperor had come to inform her about his trip even when he was busy.
‘I should do my best. I can’t come back defeated by those stupid bunch of aristocratic garbage.’
It was just her mid-term exam, but as if she was a warrior who’d participate in a war, she seemed so desperate to do well. She hurriedly threw off her dress into the cupboard before lifting up her book again.
Two days passed away instantly, and she finished her test safely by adjusting her sleeping schedule.
Fortunately, there were no questions she wasn’t familiar with, and she was able to write descriptive answers from the reference books she read. On the contrary, the paper was so long that her hands were on the verge of going numb when the test was over.
She was boosted by a feeling of achievement she had never felt before.
She hadn’t gotten much from her efforts when she helped Serek. He became so greedy that he even forgot about her when she was busy struggling to earn money to take care of her younger brother.
However, she felt very satisfied to achieve something on her own.
She thought she should thank Van for letting her know that feeling.
As soon as she returned back to the palace, she flopped down on her bed. She couldn’t afford to change her dress or take a bath due to the reason that she had stayed up studying for the past two nights.
It was still night when she slightly lifted up her heavy eyelids that seemed heavy. Not only her eyelids, but her whole body seemed heavy as well.
‘Am I sick? But I was fine when I studied late at night. Ah….I must have relaxed at the thought that the exam was over. People usually get sick when they do that.’
Recalling that the next day was a day off in the academy, she closed her eyes again and tightly wrapped the blanket around herself. Even though she was using a fairly thick winter blanket, she kept shivering strangely….. It never got this bad when she used to suffer from the side effects of her engravings.
She even had a series of bad dreams. When she was very young, she was left abandoned in front of a nursery school and was told that her mother was a shepherdess. Even though she could not remember who her mother was, the same scene kept repeating.
The faces of the evil aristocrats from her class flashed before her eyes from time to time. And the last thing that appeared was a nightmare, the epitome of a dog, Serek, which could not be missed. He sweetly smiled at her and said, “You’re the only one”. She felt like she wanted to stab a sword at his heart, but she was unable to control her dream.
Her eyes flashed open, but soon, they dropped down again.
Then suddenly, she felt like someone was embracing her.
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