Why The King Needs A Secretary - Chapter 23
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
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Since then, until the end of the banquet, she had been called here and there, along with three other Academic representatives, and introduced as a prominent talent at the Academy. She was so busy that she didn’t even have time to recall her worst reunion with Serek.
In the meantime, she was introduced to the Empress Dowager. She did not bring up any particular accusations, rather she smiled and uttered a couple of words of blessings. Long story short, she said she wanted her to graduate quickly and come to serve the kingdom. Celestia noticed her talk while looking at her the whole time, but she quietly backed away, pretending she didn’t see her.
The morning after the banquet arrived soon. She realized the effect of the banquet when she returned to the Academy. Simply put, they were suddenly the stars at the Academy.
It was an amazing opportunity to receive the Academy’s award as a representative before the Imperial family, the hall filled with so many nobles, emperors, empresses, and envoys from all over the world. Therefore, both the students and instructors constantly kept asking about their experience.
As soon as she entered the premise, the head of the Academy called the four of them, swarming them with long praises, and she had to give an out-of-the-box self-introduction everywhere she went. They wanted to stamp their eyes on those who were destined to work closely with the royal family in the future.
If there was something different between the other three and Celestia, she strangely began to attract quite a lot of attention from many boys. They would say that the brown dress she wore at the event looked really good on her, or ask if she wanted to join the next Academical Festival. Being a commoner, such talks were foreign to her.
She was a little elated, but from the first glance, she could tell that everyone who approached her thought of it as a chance to gain the Emperor’s favor.
Victoria and the other students of class 3-B were no longer seen proud. Even if they met each other, they quietly avoided looking at Celestia instead of trying to disturb her like before. It seemed that the memory of the face-to-face meeting between the Emperor and her father was quite large to bear.
Celestia might gain too much attention in the rest of her academic life, but she felt she would pass out without being bullied.
There was no unusual change in her schedule at the Imperial palace and Academy until the reminder that her final exam was approaching. At the banquet, the Emperor defended her and treated her normally afterwards. And, she went back to the Academy studying hard to try to emerge out as a talent to repay His Grace as much as he had done for her.
Even after the Emperor himself had pointed out some of his high demeanour, Serek still seemed to be quite a popular magic officer, but he had not shown himself in front of her. Yet.
Meanwhile, the coalition seemed to have progressed smoothly and reached a close. It was around that time that the Imperial side sent a manager and divided the territory.
One day, the Emperor called for her presence.
“You’ve been looking for me, Your Majesty.”
The Emperor, who rarely left the expedition these days, seemed to be very stable. He glanced at her from his position of lying in bed, rummaging through the papers again.
“Is your Academic progress going smoothly?”
“Graduate faster and come to my side as soon as possible.”
His sudden demand made her look up at him with her eyes wide open. He was gazing at her, not on the documents. She laughed softly, thinking of it as a joke.
“Even if you say so, the Curriculum is already set.”
But, it seemed he wasn’t joking at all. Putting down the files, he sat up to be in the same eye level as her.
“It’s fine not to be able to complete the regular course. Step fast if you need. I heard that there is an early graduation course.”
There were certain requirements for an early graduation. However, the course required to be tested and approved by more than eight instructors. Students also needed to prove that they had gained all the essential knowledge in the remaining credits.
She’d heard it was unprecedented. Even though it had been so long since the Academy was established, those who graduated early were considered among the five fingers of wisdom. She heard that there were exactly four.
She fell into embarrassment, but he was adamant.
“Can’t you accomplish it? I’ve never seen anyone as smart as you.”
She was grateful that he recognized her. However, even if he asked her to graduate quickly…….
He continued, taking note of her troubled face.
“There’s a lot to worry about, but can’t I take every care to raise a person’s status who treats my every move?”
He seemed to be sincere. He was fine, but something must’ve happened when he was suddenly urging her to graduate soon.
“Perhaps something wrong has happened?”
“Seems like it’s getting increasingly difficult for Count Jacques to assist me in my work.”
“Has he fallen sick?”
“Well, he can’t help it because he has become old. He is a pretty good secretary, but he seemed to be having a hard time. Speaking of which, I thought it would be better if you started acting as an agent……”
That was unexpected.
“Do you know about the Masu caves?”
“Yes. I’ve heard that the Empire has several Masu caves that have been sealed with magical powers for many years.”
“I see. The Empress said she was having a wizard trained to actually manage it. But one of the seals went wrong, resulting in the wave within to rush out.”
“Oh my, so you’re going there yourself?”
“Because I’m the best magician in the Empire.”
What he said, perhaps, was correct.
Most royal or imperial families were often invited by talented wizards or prosecutors. The ones in the royal bloodlines were generally gifted with magic.
In addition, she’d felt all the magical complexity he used. Just catching up with such complexity gave her a headache, so she wondered about how much power he’d use to implement the magic.
He never answered her, and she no longer asked him. She’d come to assume that he didn’t want to talk about the countless lives that were taken by magic.
But it was ironic as well. She couldn’t imagine how great his power was when his wounds could not be subsided just by taking pills.
“It’s not long before we set out.”
“So you called me to let me know?”
“The battle wouldn’t be against a human, unlike it has been before. The battle against other races is much more fierce and more brutal. I don’t know how much my body can handle.”
She’d never heard him say something weak about himself. Surprised, when she looked up at him, he nodded.
“You will accompany me. And now, you’ve got a good cause for the act.”
She repeatedly asked him if he would mind her tagging along. However, the answers that came back were the same every time.
She felt like she didn’t have a good cause, or rather, she was just attending the Academy to be more helpful in the future.
But now, he really needed her before those excuses. And before she knew it, she might get qualified a little to meet his needs.
She answered without delay.
“I’d be happy to assist you if you allow me.”
It was the third time. To see him smile deeply.
Also, it made her heart flutter proudly to be one of some to make him smile.
She did not participate in direct attacks, take charge of dissemination, nor play a role in leading the whole group. She was simply taking part as Count Jacques’ deputy in the hopes of completing the Emperor’s wish.
But, she was pleased at getting an opportunity to see what he was going to do. Instead of just sticking by him, she wanted to properly complement what he did outside the palace as a secretary reserve. And, she wanted to treat the side-effects of his magic properly.
During the given free time, she prepared for this expedition to the destination of the ‘lush cave’.
In the beginning, she didn’t know much about the history, designation, and events of the empire because she was from a different country, but now it was different. She got to know it better, and she wanted to learn more.
Now, even when the Emperor told a historical event or a legend, she did not ask back what it meant. It was knowledge learned by cramming, but if one learnt more about that country than others, they could be confident that they know it better, but they didn’t know how to be. It was now possible for her to recite the names of all the emperors and what happened during their reigns.
Some of the learnings were about those ‘lush caves’.
First of all, the Masu cave was like an oyster that revealed the undead. Unlike humans who lived in the world of sunshine, they were creatures who lived in the dark.
They were like insects and infectious diseases, and they disappeared from someplace, but never went extinct. Also, if one had to kill them, instead of stabbing them with a spear, one had to burn or freeze them and bury them in pieces. Therefore, humans had developed magic to deal with their kind.
While searching fiercely, she was able to find relevant materials from the ancient books in the Academy’s library.
The undead living in the ‘lush cave’ were more heat and fire-resistant than other individuals, and were vulnerable to cold and ice. However, more information could be helpful, but it could also be the basis for identifying power. Killing them seemed really difficult. The more she read, the more worried she became.
No matter how perfect the Emperor’s understanding of mana was, how many other auxiliary wizards there were, or how powerful the entire army of the Empire was, she doubted they would safely be able to seal the cave again without any damage.
The idea of hers staying beside the Emperor to the battlefield did not waver, but her concerns grew stronger and stronger.
A Lush Cave
Just in time, the departure was scheduled after her examination at the Academy. She was able to participate in the expedition without any pressure.
The size of the expedition escort was much smaller than she expected. She thought it would be about a thousand soldiers, if not some large army, but it was just a cluster of wizards and knights counting up to 30 or 40. Most of them had faces she’d never seen before, but she definitely saw a few of them at the banquet.
Apparently, according to the documents she read, an undead’s life and attacking strength in the ‘lush cave’ were deadly strong. She wondered if it was okay with this scale of wizards.
She couldn’t bear the worry about the emperor and this party, but she didn’t seem to care a bit about anything about herself.
There wasn’t even a ceremony of heated battles to resolve disputes with other countries or forces. The group gathered early in the morning and departed as soon as they finished inspecting supplies, personnel, and equipment. And by daybreak, their party was already passing by the outskirts of the capital.
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