Lantern Festival (4)
TL/N: Our editor Sasha was unfortunately busy with personal things so this chapter was proofread by me. Any mistakes or unnatural flow, do send me a message via discord or leave a comment! Also, I mistranslated Metropolitan Police Department as City hall… I apologize for that and the possible confusion it can cause; I will fix all the previous chapters too.
He had a thing like a reader’s obsession so he did finish the whole book but it wasn’t that impressive to him.
It just felt like a regular, old folktale collection.
It was to the point he wondered why it was in the royal library.
The only difference it had from the ones in the market was that it’s the original while the ones in the market are copies.
But his beloved author seemed to be unsatisfied about something. She pouted like a frustrated child.
Karlos flinched and cowered.
Did I do something wrong?
Ironically, the song praising Josef the 2nd’s bravery and boldness was playing in the background.
“Then tell me something you want from me in return.”
Karlos’s eyebrows slightly slouched. His face got a little more gentle with a confused expression.
“If you are going to give me something, tell me anything you want from me in return. If not, I can’t accept it.”
Eva placed her hands on her hips and met her eyes with his.
She was usually the one that had difficulties meeting eyes with people but this was different.
He is ‘E’ who she exchanged letters with for 8 years. She wasn’t scared of him.
Instead, the person avoiding the eye contact was Karlos, who was at least twice as big as her.
Now, this is an interesting feeling.
Eva gained some confidence and puffed her posture more.
“You will regret it one day if you only keep giving to people. Whether it be small or even it be just a word of gratitude, the person giving must want something in return.”
This came from her 27 years of life experience.
Something I want from Eva?
I just want her to be a successful writer, healthy, wealthy… But I doubt she meant things like this.
His eyes rolled sideways as he contemplated.
Eva watched his beautiful amethyst eyes move frantically.
While they were in their own world, the play was approaching its climax. The stage staff was placing a magical firework behind the stage.
[Glory will always shine over this land!]
When the paper puppet of the emperor raised his hands, the firework fired and all colors of light and paper flowers flew over the audience.
It was ironic how the actual emperor was struggling with a simple question while the paper emperor stood so proudly on the stage. And the only person who knew about this other than Karlos was busy laughing her life out.
“I really can’t…..”
“Think carefully. There must be something!”
No way there is.
Karlos was the emperor. Even though he was always getting dissed by the Chancellor and pressured to marry by Duke Aragon, he was still the emperor of a vast and mighty empire.
It wasn’t an exaggeration. He was the only person in this Western continent that was in the position to get anything he wanted.
However, the reason behind his tragic life was because he didn’t want anything.
The only thing he ever wanted, which was ‘meet my beloved author’, was already accomplished.
Karlos’s eyebrows slouched even more.
Eva made a weird noise.
Specifically, she made a noise that people made when they saw a cute puppy.
She didn’t realize when his eyebrows were pointed upwards but now that it is drooping, he resembled a cute puppy and she liked it.
She shut her eyes and looked away.
If I keep looking I will be defeated by his face. This is why handsome men are dangerous.
Eva scorned her beating heart and took a deep breath.
Then the leather bag Karlos was holding caught her eyes.
Thinking about it, he was holding it this whole time.
It was the durable type with double locks.
Karlos followed her gaze and noticed what she was looking at.
“Ah, I have one!”
Excitement glowed from his face.
Because of that, his amethyst eyes shined, reflecting the firework in his eyes.
Oh my, it’s like a shooting star.
Eva’s mind went blank for a moment.
Karlos unlocked the double locks hastily and pulled out the thing deep inside the bag.
Another firework fired.
The burst of the firework was loud but Karlos’s voice was louder.
“Sign this please!”
Eva looked at the book he was holding and screeched internally.
The book this kind and loyal fan pulled out was her very first work, <The Undelivered Letter>!
But this soprano tone scream was not from Eva.
Karlos, Eva, and even Brigitta who was laughing uproariously turned to the source of the voice.
The scream came from the stage.
“A, a person, a person is dead!”
The square that once sang the glory of Lesa turned into chaos.
*.·:·.☽✧ ✦ ✧☾.·:·.*
“Is this really the last one?”
Another mine was destroyed.
With dust all over him, Diego flipped through the list.
He was surrounded by Cartulians and the Leonharguese.
Maximilien grabbed Diego’s head and swayed it around as he smiled contently.
He was just thinking that he should make Diego run more.
“Why, do you want more of this hell training? Actually, I think you should. You adorable lil guy.”
“No, I didn’t mean in that way!”
Diego shook his head to remove the duke’s hands and continued.
Something was not right. No matter how many times he checked, the same error showed up every time.
“The numbers aren’t right.”
“This is from your Chancellor so it should be accurate right? Nearly a 100 are still missing but according to the victims, no one was injured or killed in the mines.”
Diego was serious.
Unless he miscalculated, this shouldn’t the last mine people were enslaved in.
Maximilien’s face stiffened.
His narrowed sapphire eyes glowed like that of a snake.
“–That’s definitely strange.”
*.·:·.☽✧ ✦ ✧☾.·:·.*
‘Finicky Pochita’ was a tea known for its horrible taste.
It wasn’t just bitter and astringent, it was also slightly sour and tasted burnt so it was infamous for its devilish flavor. The crappy coffee in the central metropolitan police department was even second to this tea by horribleness.
Glenn brewed that finicky pochita into his cup and stretched his shoulders.
A bone-cracking sound that was almost unnatural came from his neck.
The data research and collection of the missing Lesans were done quite rapidly.
Over the last 5 years, the government bureau managed by the Chancellor distributed and registered each Lesa citizen with an identification number. They even casted it with magic for efficient organizing of the information.
People disdained the government for wasting money and human resources on such useless things–obviously, Glenn didn’t care–but it’s come to good use now.
Thanks to that, the Public Information Division led by Glenn gathered wanted information 3 times faster than when Duke Aragon led it.
Fortunately, only 4 to 5 gates in the Western region had to be investigated so that also made Glenn’s work easier.
The problem was with the foreigners.
Not all countries managed their information like Lesa did.
Most of the kidnapped people were Lesans but there were a significant number of foreigners too.
And this number was just approximated by filtering out foreigners who have gone missing for a long time with no travel records or transaction records.
Glenn was faced with an obstacle to find every missing foreigner that had no specific official records.
Cartul was on the lucky side because their child crown prince managed it quite well so it was a relief but he couldn’t hold a grasp of how to deal with the illegal entrants that came over from the Eastern continent.
The officials of Leonhargue would not bother to discuss it and the Empress of the Eastern continent was not merciful enough to care about the people that abandoned her country. She would actually be indifferent about their whereabouts.
That being the case, he couldn’t ignore the foreigners.
Glenn took a sip of the tea and frowned.
This situation was more unenjoyable than the finicky pochita. It was a very, deadly, chaotic situation.
The Chancellor looked at Maximilien in the vision orb.
“How many are missing?”
-73 Lesans, 11 Cartulians, 2 Siraqis, and about 4 Eastern continent people, and the rest I’m not so sure because I don’t understand them. There seems to be more people that have gone missing midway. But Chancellor, is this really the last one? It doesn’t make sense that these many people are missing?
“That’s the last mine that had a recent rise in mineral harvest. All the others are abandoned mines so no records of it exist.”
–No, but that still doesn’t make sense. It’s not like the 100 people disappeared into thin air? Could they be in a place that’s not a mine?
“You have a point…”
Glenn pressed his temples.
There are casualties in the mines.
But nearly a hundred people are missing.
Plus not all hundred of them were gone in the beginning.
According to the victims, the still-missing people were working right beside them the other day and disappeared suddenly.
If they died, all this would make more sense but they didn’t.
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TL/N: Heyya~ I noticed some of the readers are getting confused about a few things so here is my explanation! Eva and Karlos are both very not social, meaning they rarely leave whatever place they are comfortable in. Karlos rarely makes public appearances (the speech he made earlier was for exclusive people like nobles) and about his portrait, it’s been mentioned before that the painter trembled his hands so much (from fear) that Karlos’s portrait looks nothing like him. It was also mentioned that even most of the officers of the palace couldn’t exactly remember the emperor’s face because they can never bear to look at him because of his intimidating aura. And as for Eva, she was always busy with work (both as a maid and a writer) so I doubt she had enough time to spare other than researching for her book or writing (since she didn’t even bother to eat proper food before she met Bri). Hope this cleared up a few things~ enjoy!