Why The King Needs A Secretary - Chapter 29
“It’s not uncommon to be able to heal without medicine, and I don’t know anyone else who can do what I did. Besides, I’ve never shown any reluctance to use magic, so I don’t think I need to worry.”
“That’s true, but you’d better be careful of what the empress will do.”
“So who was the man?”
“It must have been a secret that has been hidden for many years; it couldn’t have been a pleasure to have someone tell her that someone knows about it now. Even if the empress didn’t believe it, she would have every reason to catch and kill the person who did it.”
His manner of speaking was unexpectedly fierce, and I had to shake my head apologetically.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not sure who he is… But I’m sure I’ve heard his voice before…”
“Hmm.” The emperor frowned.
“Does the Empress know that you heard?”
“I’m not sure about that either. Like a fool, I spilled a package of cookies…”
“Hmm… I can’t conclude that the attack on you was the work of the empress, but I can’t rule out the possibility either. But if she suddenly found out about my illness and your abilities…” The emperor groaned, reached out, and grabbed my chin, tilting my head left and right, before briskly letting go.
Is there anything on my face?
“I’m glad you didn’t get hurt, but if your abilities are revealed, the threat against you would be doubled. By being someone I care about, while also possessing your particular ability, you are a threat to both the empress and her power.”
A strange question lingered in my mind.
Isn’t the ability I possess the reason why the emperor cares about me? This feels odd, somehow.
But I didn’t dare ask it.
“I didn’t know being your secretary could be so dangerous.”
The emperor laughed. “You don’t know this world very well yet. You were thinking of soaking only your feet, but you’re already submerged up to your neck.”
“In my world, there are no kings whose lives are not threatened, no secretaries whose lives are not threatened, no ministers, no knights.”
He smiled so confidently that my heart skipped a beat. I was terrified, but I didn’t want to run away from this brave and beautiful king.
The emperor then said that he had already heard the whole story of my attack from the knight, but asked me to narrate it again. I told him about what happened on the way home, and his frown deepened.
“I told you to listen to everything that I said, but I never imagined your escort would be so sloppy.”
My heart sank when I heard the emperor muttering. The knight had done his best to meet my demands, and I didn’t intend for the emperor to believe anything less of him.
I waved my hands frantically. “What are you talking about? The escort was perfect… Better than I deserved.”
“A perfect escort doesn’t allow attacks,” he said in a tone that meant the discussion was over.
“It’s not like that. Now I understand everything. Before I met the escort, I was told it was a type of magic that couldn’t be beaten with a sword. It’s full of mana… It’s not that the driver neglected his job, it’s because the conditions I asked for were too strict. I have to go to and from the academy hoping that it will not be obvious that I am from the palace, and yet because of the will of my master, it remains my accommodation… You’re already doing a perfect job by having someone escort me on my way back and forth.”
His eyes narrowed. “Are you always this generous with your praise? Or are you just defending that knight? Perfect…” He leaned further into the chair and looked at me rather coldly. “I’ve had enough of hearing about Suha rolling on the floor with his throat hurt. You don’t know what I went through.”
“When I heard you were attacked, the first thing I asked was how you had died.”
Anger rolled off him in waves, but I could detect some sadness too. Somehow I felt guilty for that.
“The culprit in this case clearly approached with the intent to kill. Either someone wanted to warn you, or they really wanted to test you. Enemies are everywhere, and they are as cruel as they need to be. It’s a miracle that you’re alive.”
I knew enough that the emperor was right. I’m sure he’d already lost countless men.
He himself, the most powerful figure in the empire, is always threatened with poison. The fate of the countless nations he is defending depends on his power, and he has to balance the nation’s politics on a blade’s edge.
I couldn’t say anything more to him.
“I don’t know why I didn’t escort you in the first place, but don’t ask me to not blame your escort.”
My small voice earned me a small smile, crinkling the edges of his eyes.
“What made you so quick to acquiesce? I thought you wouldn’t back down in this regard.”
“No, I wouldn’t act that way.”
“And from now on, call me immediately if you have anything urgent to say. Even if I’m in bed or traveling. That is an order.”
“How could I…”
It was an unusual request. I looked at him, surprised. I wasn’t his secretary yet.
“I’m afraid that if I’m too late I’ll end up with a dead body.”
Was he joking? Chills ran up my spine, but I forced the corners of my mouth up.
“Haha… then… I am honored to do so.”
Smiling, he murmured, “It’s really easy to sleep in your arms, and it seems to be helpful for my treatment.”
It was his first time telling such a joke since he went to the dark cave. Somehow, I felt like the little awkwardness that had remained had disappeared. Something like relief tickled my mind.
The emperor nodded to me as if he had done his business and fixed the documents piled up next to him. I was still sitting on the drawing room couch and didn’t know if I was supposed to leave. A couple of papers fell from the emperor’s hand. I stood up to go, but it seemed the emperor had more to say.
“Because of this event, it would be better not to go to the academy for a while. Take a rest.”
I sank back down.
What the hell was he talking about? Because of the magical attack? I was really grateful that the emperor was worried about me, but I couldn’t agree to this.
“But if I don’t go to the academy after you ordered me to graduate early… Where do I go to learn what I need to know?”
“You’ve got a good head on your shoulders. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”
While the emperor fixed his gaze on the papers in his hands, I made a face at him. It was only yesterday that I was thanking him for sending me to the academy. How can that emperor say that as if he is not the least bit interested in my hopes and dreams?
“If you could have solved everything with a good head, you’d already be prime minister of a country without having to go to the academy.”
He raised his head, red eyes reflecting the light of the candle as he looked into my eyes. Soon, I got a strange feeling that he seemed to find something funny. He raised his chin arrogantly. “Are you angry? At me?”
“At you? I wouldn’t dare.”
“Your safety comes first. I’ll remind you that you agreed to the principle of security.”
“It’s not your job to keep a citizen like me safe. It’s my decision to do what I want and stay safe how I want.”
He raised an eyebrow at me, making him look exceedingly handsome. “You are stubborn.”
“It is Your Majesty who has found my work and recognized me. So please let me do my job. I want to finish my studies at the academy properly. I’ll make sure I’m well escorted and graduate early…” I groaned.
Why did I say that? The requirements for early graduation are very challenging.
The emperor jerked his chin at me as if to tell me to get out.
Only then did I notice that he was just messing with me while he organized his papers.
He was, after all, the most cunning person in this country. The tricks I learned from the streets aren’t enough to beat him. I couldn’t believe I had gotten played like that.
I swallowed a sigh and said with great determination, “I’ll do everything I can to graduate early. There’s not much time left. Please let me finish the rest of my education.”
His expression changed, a strange look on his face. As if something was both satisfactory and funny, a deep smile emerged.
“If you’re so confident in graduating early, I have no choice but to trust you.”
Seriously, he shouldn’t be making fun of a humble person like myself. This is absurd.
“…You’re so sneaky, Your Highness.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You just said you’d take good care of yourself, so I hope you’ll ensure that you do.”
I lost all my strength in my shoulders. “Okay. Would it be okay if I quit?”
The emperor’s smile dropped and he looked straight at me. “If you still want to graduate from the academy, you’ll have to officially reveal who you are and get properly identified at the main gate. Then it could turn out that some people know your face, and then divulge that you were first sold as a slave before you entered the academy. Can you live with all that?”
He was right.
In fact, I’m still trying to hide my identity somehow, but some of the people who saw my face at the banquet might remember me, and it’s unlikely that my relationship with the emperor would forever be kept under wraps.
There’s no other way around this, and I’ve already come this far.
“If you hide it, how long can you keep it a secret? There’s nothing that can stop people’s mouths. It’s good enough that the rumors haven’t already become public.”
“Do you think so?”
“There will be continuous controversy over my status in the future. Especially because I’m from Golddina.”