Chapter 47 - Secret Hobby
“Thank you, Sir Adrian, Sir Chelleno.”
I thanked the two knights as we arrived at the office building. To my gratitude, Sir Adrian smiled, which brightened the area around him. “You’re welcome. We look forward to seeing you again next time, Secretary Harrant.”
I smiled in response to his goodbye. Then I turned around and made my face expressionless again. This was a place where everyone was wearing a mask, so I’m not stupid enough to get excited by some hollow words.
When I opened the door to the office and entered, all the workers who were suffering from their work stopped all at once and looked at me. It was Rave who opened his mouth and broke that awkward silence.
“My assistant, you have returned safely!”
“What’s the fuss? It’s not like I committed a crime.”
“You sure didn’t. So, what did His Majesty say?”
Everyone’s eyes lit up as if everyone agreed with his words, but I just smiled as I didn’t want to go into details of the private conversation. Because of that, I replied, “It’s a secret.”
“Eh? Was it something important?” asked Rave in disappointment.
“Yes,” I answered. Of course, it is important! The chess match with His Majesty was quite fun. Besides, we secretly scheduled our next appointment, so wouldn’t that be important?
“I feel you are going farther and farther away. Don’t forget about me even if you succeed in the future, yeah?”
I was annoyed at Rave, who pretended to cry with exaggerated gestures. Just as I was about to snap at him, the Director, Count Clove, called me, “Secretary Harrant, come here for a second.”
“What is it, sir?”
When I approached Director Clove and asked, he hesitated before speaking out cautiously, “Actually, it’s about the poverty relief policy you devised this time. His Highness didn’t approve of it. He wishes for you to come in person if you want to get approval. What will you do?”
I sighed a little at those words. Honestly, I really hate the Crown Prince. “I will go to see His Highness.”
Arriving at the Crown Prince’s Palace, I tried to enter his office. However, I received shocking news from the Crown Prince’s servant that he was absent and didn’t know when he would return. The servant who spoke to me looked at me apologetically.
‘If that’s the case, I will have to find him myself!’
After leaving the office, I scoured the rest of the area except for the bedroom, which was forbidden to enter. However, I couldn’t find the Crown Prince anywhere. I asked the other servants, who were always weirdly kind to me if he was in the bedroom, but the answer was no. It was frustrating.
I was so annoyed that I couldn’t help but swear. This time, I came to the library and got the servant’s permission to look around, but he wasn’t in there either. Exhausted, I leaned against the statue next to me and became startled.
‘Huh? What is this?’ I thought to myself and spoke out loud whatever was on my mind, “…A secret passage?”
A secret passageway revealed itself in the fireplace once the statue was pushed. Even though I knew it was a mistake, I stepped into it as if I was possessed for a moment. When my entire body entered the passage, the passage closed like magic. I felt like a pawn on a chessboard, one that can only move forward.
If I can’t go back anyway, I have no choice but to move forward. I walked through the narrow passage, saw a door, and I gently pushed it silently. There, I saw an unbelievable sight.
In the room located within the secret passage, the Crown Prince who had frustrated me by not showing himself until now was there. Still, it was truly an unbelievable sight.
The Crown Prince, who is a cold and merciless nutjob with a terrible personality and had the full name of “Clyde Sieghard Urd Genorium…” was surrounded by lovely stuffed dolls. He was hugging each one lovingly and even called their names!
It was a surreal sight. No, is that really him? He told me only children love such dolls… Wait. That’s a doll I made…!
“After all, you guys are the only ones who can comfort me,” commented the Crown Prince. My eyes widened in shock at the sight of the nutjob talking to himself as if he was talking to the dolls. Then he muttered, “She must be in trouble now. That unbelievably frustrating… damn woman.”
That damn girl is right here, Your Highness.
“Good evening, Your Highness.”
I could see his back become rigid because of the voice suddenly coming from behind. He turned and saw me in disbelief, to which I faced him with not a gentle, fake smile but a victor’s grin. Then I added, “I have learned well of Your Highness’s secret hobby. Since I have found you, Your Highness, it’s time for a reward.”
“How- Why are you…?”
His shocked expression was somewhat new. That expression was amazingly handsome too, but to me, knowing his true self, he was crazy.
“I accidentally touched the statue at the study, but I never imagined to find you hiding in a place like this. Especially for a secret hobby like this.”
Because of my words, the Crown Prince gave me a hardened look, which then turned into a vicious one. Goosebumps rose on my body from that frightening expression, and my legs trembled. Fortunately, I didn’t lose my smile, so victory was still in my hands.
“You, a mere officer, dared come into my secret passage and spy on me? I see that you have a death wish,” threatened the Crown Prince.
“The study also doubles as a drawing-room, so I believe my entry as a mere officer was permitted?”
“Shut up. Do you think you can get out of here alive with your sly mouth?”
“Yes,” I replied.
The Crown Prince, who had been speaking to me viciously, heard my short answer and hardened his expression from astonishment. Then I explained to that lunatic why I had a justifiable reason, “Your Highness. I was summoned to the Crown Prince’s palace by summoning me. Didn’t you call me to question me on the policy proposal? Isn’t that right, Your Highness?”
“Even so, isn’t it also true that you broke into a private, secret area at will?”
“But Your Highness, you wanted me to find you, did you not? Why are you threatening me when all I did was follow your orders?”
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