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Episode 85 - Unexpected Bets 3 ‘Outing to another country!?!?’
“You were so amazing yesterday sister! Not even Brother Louis can be that amazing!” Aernest eyes glistened with stars as he recalled the beautiful sets of moves Eugene displayed in yesterday’s training.
‘Oh..That?’ Eugene pressed her lips in thoughts.
‘Again, I had many roles that required some martial arts knowledge.’ Eugene silently kept this thought to herself.
“You were so beautiful! It was as if you were flying around in the air?” Aernest repeatedly confessed his admiration for Eugene.
“......” Eugene blinked, unable to reply.
Most of what she displayed at the end of yesterday’s training was her previous life’s knowledge mixed in with this life’s knowledge. Ever since Aedelak and Aeselak first began their paladin training, she would quietly observe the two from close by and secretly practice by herself.
Her baby life was very boring, so moving around and about after Euria fell asleep was somewhat her way of relieving boredom. But it was difficult.
Her body wasn’t able to move the way she wanted to, and her swinging her body here and there in the dark was incredibly awkward. Her limbs were too short, and her head was too heavy. Aedelak and Aeselak made plenty of mistakes during their practice, making it difficult for her to know if her current move was right or wrong. -In other words, the beginning of her martial arts journey was rough and confusing.
Then came the idea of practicing the martial arts she knew from her previous life. -‘How to escape the clutches of men, beautifully.’ The moves she thought were useless in real life because of certain things she had to do in the middle of the moves, such as stretching her legs to make it seem longer or curving her body to show her S-line, was unexpectedly useful when you took those parts out.
And so that was how Eugene was able to dance with grace during yesterday’s training and was able to execute the moves Aedelak and Aeselak taught them in a heartbeat.
“Yes! Miss Eugeneia was really amazing yesterday!” Aedelak laughed at Aernest jumping around and about Eugene.
“... It was nothing..” Eugene awkwardly replied. She did not think of herself as amazing. She understood full well who the real amazing was, and that for sure was not her. She wasn’t too narcissistic about herself after all.
All she has is her knowledge of her past life, which she is currently taking advantage of. Because her former world was hectic and advanced, nothing in this world amazes her. People in her former world were able to build technology to go to space!! People here wouldn’t even be able to imagine the world beyond the sky! Anyways, this was her advantage, knowledge. The real amazing is Aernest and Aeselak who rapidly improve by leaps and bounds with no prior knowledge. - And the genius is Louis. The all-perfect man.
“Haaa….” A long exhale of regrets was suddenly heard from above the 3, breaking the exciting atmosphere around them.
Glancing up at the big man that just sighed, their eyebrows scrunched up in confusion.
Something was wrong for this happy-go-guy to look like the world was ending.
“See…” Duke Rodriguez began. “Haa…” Just to sigh again.
“???” The three children looked at the proud man putting his head down in defeat and frustrations.
“Originally” Duke Rodriguez began the second time, still keeping his head down. “Originally, all Paladins posted in Xenperia were supposed to head to Zene, our neighboring country, for joint-friendly training. However, because of how young Eugenenia, Euria, and Aernest are, you weren't required to go.” Duke Rodriguez sighs a third time.
‘What?’ Eugene looked at Aedelak in surprise.
“Your father was against you going, so the Emperor made a bet.”
‘If one of the three manages to hit 10 out of 10, they must be sent together with the older Paladins!’ The Emperor challenged Levis!
“Alright!” Taking the bet lightly, Levis hastily agreed!
“So.. what teacher means is..” Aedelak spoke but was unable to finish her sentence. The shock from the general in front of her saying something about leaving Xenperia couldn’t register in her mind. ‘No one told me this!’ Aedelak stared at Duke Rodriguez in speechlessness.
Eugene, as well as Aernest too,, reacted like Aedelak. Speechlessness couldn’t fully describe their feelings at the moment.
“This whole thing wasn’t supposed to happen. No one, except for the Commander’s son, was able to shoot all 10 on their first try out!” Duke Rodriguez looked at Eugene and slightly chuckled.
Seeing the Duke laughing at her made her even more speechless. ‘I mean… was I wrong to go all out and seriously practice?’ Eugene scoffed in sarcasm.
“We will be leaving next week… To Zene….” Duke Rodriguez grinned, dropping the next big news.
“........” The three stared at Duke Rodriguez blankly.
‘Where am I going?’, ‘Wait, what bet?’, ‘Who am I again?’, ‘Where am I?’... Wait. We are leaving Xenperia in one week??
The words, leaving next week, finally registered in their mind when they came home and sat in front of Levis and Moniqua who had on a black expression. Louis, Ramon, Aernest, Eugene, Euria, as well as Aedelak and Aeselak silently sat in a row across Levis and Moniqua.
It has been a good thirty minutes ever since the last person spoke. They all just sat there in silence, everyone in their world.
It was Euria who couldn’t take it anymore and broke the silence.
“....... What is Zene?” Euria’s body uncomfortably twitched from staying still for thirty minutes straight. She’s only ever been to the Imperial Palace, the Knights and Military training ground, and the capital of Xenperia. So whatever was Zene? A cafe?
“Zene…” Moniqua sighed, bringing her palms to her forehead. She too didn’t want to believe the situation they were in.
There was a reason Aernest, Eugene, and Euria never even traveled around Xenperia and that was because the group behind the incident at the Imperial Palace was never caught. Two groups! But what? They were about to head to another country?
This was more than Moniqua could currently handle! If only that Amos didn’t open his mouth, they could’ve pretended as if the bet never happened!! Not only Amos, her 3 kids too!
Moniqua couldn’t help but stare at Eugene, Aernest, and Aedelak in annoyance. How could you just shoot 10 out of 10? She and Levis were already reluctant to let Louis, Ramon, Aedelak, and Aeselak leave, but now everyone is leaving simply because of one bet to shoot an all kill?
‘No..’ Moniqua shook her head. She shouldn’t blame it on her talented kids. They did a fantastic job at today’s training. Switching her target, she glared at Levis! The main culprit! How dare he bet with the Emperor over their children’s well being? Don’t you know, a promise to the Emperor was sacred! A knight’s oath! Aren’t you a knight yourself?
Towards Moniqua's blazing gaze, Levis looked away in guilt. “...” How was he supposed to know that Eugene and the children were this capable? It was Amos and Earnest’s fault for hyping the shooting machine as difficult to control and that only the son of the commander of the Military was able to shoot perfectly on his first try because he was a war genius. Whatever happened to that? Is my daughter a war genius too then?
Seeing his mother on the verge of beating his father, Ramon intervened.“.... So we will be leaving Xenperia next week?” He asked, wanting to dismiss this unforgettable atmosphere as soon as possible.
“Yes.” Moniqua gritted through her teeth.
“Will you be leaving with us?” Ramon asked again, worried about his parent’s married life.
“.... Naturally so.” Moniqua forced a smile on her face.
Her reply caused Levis to immediately turn to her. In fact, too fast that Moniqua’s anger rose to 250 percent.
“You.Are.Coming.As.Well.” She declared, without looking at her shocked husband.
Gulping his dry throat, he briefly glanced towards the children before nodding. “Yes. We will be coming with you.” He too replied to Ramon’s earlier question.
“So… Where is Zene?” Euria repeated her question that was ignored. From Ramon and her parent’s conversation, she was able to pick out that Zene was a place and not a thing. But already she was incredibly excited! Because wherever Zene was, meant that they were about to go out!
Moniqua motioned for Levis to reply to Euria’s question.
Zene is our neighbor country, a country known for music and peace. Children, there are more interested in the arts of instruments rather than joining the knighthood, hence why they are known as a country of music and peace. No matter which social class you are in, everyone is a master of at least one instrument. A country where the music follows you with every step you take.
The joint training between Zene’s knights and Xenperia’s knights is a tradition that dates back many years ago and occurs every 5 years. This is to share experiences and be friendly towards one another. And this year is the 5th year which is why you children will go as representatives of Xenperia.
To Levis’ explanation, Eugene could only silently nod. Like Euria, she was now slightly excited as well. ‘Finally, someplace new.’ She thought.
This would be her first time traveling since she transmigrated. And for this trip, maybe she should take the chance to relax and pause her hectic three-year-old life. A country of music and peace.
“Wow!!” Euria cried out, jumping down from the couch and running towards Moniqua and Levis!
In happiness, she jumped onto her parents and gave them a Euria hug!
“Really?? We are going??? Really???” Euria repeatedly questioned her parents! Her eyes looked at Moniqua and Levis in disbelief!
“Yes.” Moniqua and Levis replied.
“I love you so much!!” Euria screamed, smothering her lips at Moniqua’s and Levis’ faces!
“MWUAHH!” Euria’s eyes twinkled in happiness, hugging and kissing her parents as if she was never going to let go.
And just like that, the Veria household began packing for their trip. Every day the servants would be running around the big estate arranging and managing for the trip to Zene. The extensive work they were going through daily was as if their masters were permanently relocating to another house.
Just like the servants, Moniqua and Levis had more work to do. Their work tripled in size, working extra hard because of their five-day trip. Without any sleep, the two worked day and night to finish a week’s worth of work related to their household and the country.
The children, as always, trained and studied daily. One day they would be at the Veria estate, the next they would head to the Paladins and Military base.
The military Paladins would start and end their training day with a run and a log attached to themselves. They were running 10 kilometers, well 15 kilometers if you included their morning runs 3 days a week. They ran together with the military soldiers who ran 5km in 25 minutes. When they first began training with the soldiers, they couldn’t believe their eyesight! And that was because the soldiers passed them with ease whilst having at least 5 logs attached to themselves. Some were eating a banana as they ran, and some even slept as they ran. Anyways, they were fast, as if they had nothing attached to them.
One time, one soldier was late but still had to do his daily run. In a rush, he powerfully kicked a 2 by 2 meter tree and ran like that, with a whole tree attached to himself.
It was a sight that they couldn’t imagine ever happening.
After their morning runs, they practiced shooting with the help of the same 2 soldiers who identified themselves as Four and Tea. Yes, Four and Tea.
Aedelak was now able to shoot an all-kill every time she shot. Aernest as well, but only some days, when he’s not as excited.
The military soldiers had nothing but praises towards the three. Although the first two days had been stiff, the soldiers and the children were now getting along well. Although they didn’t talk much, the atmosphere around them wasn’t awkward.
After a lunch break, Euria and Aeselak would join the three for self-defense training. This was to make sure the children move as naturally as possible if an alarming situation were to occur.
After their self-defense drills, Eugene, Aernest, and Aedelak completed their day with another 5km run.
Just like that, the day before they were supposed to head to Zene arrived. However, with one breaking news:
Former Noble of Serv, Lady Aiya, is to be executed tomorrow!
One of the culprits behind the incident at the Imperial Palace almost 3 years ago, will be executed tomorrow at a private execution hall! Will this finally be the end of this case after the death of Lady Aiya? - Unknown.
The news of Lady Aiya’s execution spread like wildfire, just like the day the Emperor gave out two decrees. That morning, before the Emperor handed out two decrees, one to cancel the flower festival and the other to close Xenperia’s border, the whole country was flooded with papers, citing an attempted assassination at the Imperial Palace.
Just like that day, papers citing Lady Aiya’s execution the next day flooded the country. Again, by an unknown source. And again, this information was information that was kept secret, yet somehow managed to be leaked; Lady Aiya being executed was only known to the Emperor and the Great Noble Dukes.
A blonde harried man slammed the table with his two fists, a visible crack appearing after taking his hands off. With his thin lips, he couldn’t help but shout in anger!
“HOW IN HEAVENS DID THIS HAPPEN AGAIN?!!” Clyde Akler slammed the table again in frustration! ‘How! How was this leaked?!?!’ His eyes were bloodshot from anger.
“Who knew??! Only we know! WE! Levis, Amos, Irvin, Earnest, Zen, and me! Only the 6 of us knew!” He cracked his head, feeling his blood fiercely pumping against his neck.
If this were to occur in another group, they would’ve suspected one another. But this happened to the Great Nobles group! That information couldn’t have been leaked from them! They knew each other so well, well enough to know how many bones they each have, so betrayal within the group was impossible!
“Calm down, don’t talk too loud.” Earnest Marleigh chimed in, rubbing his thumbs against his index finger to calm his anger down.
“..... Bloody hell” Clyde sat back on his chair with a thump. With his head leaned backward, his fingers couldn’t help but make its way to his forehead to massage his aching head.
“We knew. We knew that there was a group behind Lady Aiya and a group that didn’t work with Lady Aiya’s group. Someone that stupid couldn’t possibly be able to control that dead man but most importantly we knew that there was a witness who witnessed the entire incident unfolding! How else would the news that was leaked out have such great detailing!” The Emperor laid out facts.
Calming down he continued, “Which was why we were incredibly careful with how we handled her. We were careful with the investigations. We delayed her execution again and again to find more information about her group and the group that bombed the hidden room to crisps!”
Unable to take it anymore, he too slammed his fist onto the table in great anger! “YET AGAIN!” The Emperor raised his voice!
“The news got leaked! Why is it that we cannot find this group? What is it that they want with my son?!”
The room turned silent after the Emperor spoke. After a while, the voice of Levis spoke in complete calmness.
“Your Majesty, it wasn’t just us who knew,” Levis announced, folding his palms together.
To his words, Clyde Akler looked at him with a frown on his face, however not speaking. “Lady Aiya knew.” Levis continued.
“..... So what if she knew? She is isolated from everyone! Only we can enter the prison, and only we can feed her!” Clyde said, annoyed.
“Is she fully isolated?” Earnest Marleigh spoke.
“.......” Everyone went silent.
“... The guards?” Clyde gritted through his teeth. There are guards guarding the entrance to the prison. However, the guard couldn’t enter prison. The lock system they used is incredibly complicated and required 5 keys that each of the Great Noble’s has. Without one key, it wasn’t possible to open the gates to the prison.
“... It’s a slim possibility, however, there’s another possibility and that is…” Irvin Graeme hesitated.
“More hidden rooms.” Earnest Marleigh sighed.
“...... What?” Amos Rodriguez felt his heart drop to the floor.
“What if…” Irvin Graeme continued. “What if the criminals spread the news outside to prevent Lady Aiya from being executed?” He theorized.
“Will this finally be the end of this case after the death of Lady Aiya?” He read out the piece of paper sitting in front of him.
Everyone looked at Irvin, shocked.
“The words could mean two things. It’s useless executing Lady Aiya, or…” Irvin Graeme glanced at Levis with the corner of his eyes.
“You think this will be over after Lady Aiya’s death?” Levis quietly spoke. “It’s a message to us.” He sighed.
“.....” Clyde bit his lips until red started oozing out. “We should execute her today. Not tomorrow, but today.”
“I agree.” replied Levis.
“It’s almost been three years yet there have been no movements whatsoever. When we finally decide to give up on Lady Aiya, this whole thing pops up! Nothing adds up. At all!” Emperor Zen rubbed between his eyes.
“Someone is helping her from inside the prison.” Irvin Graeme shook his head in displeasure. “Or… there’s someone like Aernest whose hearing is good.” He sarcastically said.
“... What do you mean to say?” Emperor Zen questioned, his eyebrows slightly raising.
“That there might be someone with special abilities like Aernest Veria, the third son of Levis.” Irvin answered, shrugging his shoulders towards Levis.
The six looked at each other before nodding towards one another. Irvin wasn’t at all dissing Aernest but was saying that there might be someone listening to them from somewhere far away. If Aernest had exceptional ears, so could others. The nod towards one another meant to never mention this case ever again and to investigate separately.
To wait for the right timing...
“I give you full authority to do as you wish.” The Emperor stared at the five.
“Yes.” They replied.
“Only Amos and Earnest will depart with the Paladins to Zene. We don’t know what might happen, but Zene is safe. Safer than Xenperia at this moment.” Emperor Zen continued with a light sigh and regret.
“Yes.” The group replied.
“Well then… ” Emperor Zen slowly stood up, looking at the five in the eyes. ‘If something happens today, we can conclude that there is someone like Aernest lurking around in the shadows. But if something happens tomorrow, it means ....’
Levis, Earnest, Irvin, Clyde, and Amos nodded, bowing to the Emperor.
Author's note: Helloo~~ I'm here again! Today was a terrible day but I managed to save it by going out to play in the snow for 3 hours~ hehe~
(February - September 2020)
(September 2020 - First half of 2021)