PHA - Chapter 74 - The King's Job Is A Karmic Blessing
Alice covered her face as she followed Luna into the palace. She never thought she would be so nervous as to stumble when getting out of the car. Worse yet, Luna had picked up the pouch she dropped and saw the panties she snatched from Rosa.
Fortunately, Luna did not link Alice with the Hero because of this incident. She also didn't know the true purpose of those panties. She simply treated Alice as a strange little girl whose hobby was to carry a bag of panties around with her.
To allow herself to retrieve a pair of panties at a moment's notice, Alice had deliberately tied the pouch's drawstring loosely. The drawstring would come loose so long as she inserted her fingers into the opening. However, this decision had ended up backfiring on Alice because the pouch's drawing had loosened from its impact with the ground.
Should I continue keeping the drawstring loose? Or should I tighten it a little to prevent today's accident from happening again? Alice mentally agonized over this conundrum.
However, Alice still had official matters to take care of despite her agony, so she did not stop following Luna.
From the outside, the palace resembled a castle one would typically find in the Middle Ages. However, after entering the building, Alice found that the interior was no different than that of modern-day government office buildings.
As Alice and Luna had arrived at Hall City in the middle of the night, even though the palace hallways were brightly lit, the offices lining the hallways were pitch-black. Evidently, most of the palace's staff had already retired for the day.
"Was it the king's intention to assign you as my maid, Luna?" Alice asked, deciding to strike up a conversation with the silver-haired maid. The awkward silence as they walked through the empty hallways made Alice feel somewhat uncomfortable. "Have you been working by the king's side before getting assigned to me?"
"The king was indeed the one who assigned me to your side. However, I did not work as the king's personal maid before this," Luna said, her voice and expression remaining as indifferent as usual. "I might be wearing a maid outfit, but my actual job is to do investigation work in the intelligence agency. I was previously investigating a missing case in Mana City. However, I got recalled before I could find anything."
"I see." Alice nodded. She finally understood why Luna had taken the same train as her from Mana City to Hall City. However, Luna's explanation also brought up another question in Alice's mind, so she asked, "Since you're working for the intelligence department, why are you wearing a maid outfit? You even took on the king's assignment to work as a maid."
"Because it is my hobby."
Luna's reply was simple and concise that it had rendered Alice speechless. After all, there was no way she could criticize other people's hobbies, especially not when Luna was under the impression that her hobby was to carry a bag of panties around with her.
While Alice had fallen into another round of agonizing whether she should further tighten her pouch's drawstring, Luna suddenly stopped in front of the first floor's innermost office. Meanwhile, labeled on top of the office's doors were the words "King's Office." Unlike the other pitch-black offices, light could be seen coming through the gaps of the King's Office's doors. Evidently, even though it was already midnight, the king had yet to get off work.
By the looks of this situation, Alice guessed that being the king of a human kingdom might not necessarily be a good thing. At the very least, it definitely wasn't as relaxing of a job as being a king in the demon realm.
Although the demon realm's Four Heavenly Kings were also kings, they had relied on strength to attain their position. Apart from giving their approval on important national affairs, the Four Heavenly Kings would typically offload their work onto the countless intelligent but weak demons subordinated under them.
In comparison, the kings of the human kingdoms had attained their position through political achievements. If they wished to retain their position of power, they would have to show the people that they were worthy of the position. Thus, the human kings must have a lot of work on their plate.
Seeing that the lights in the King's Office were still on even though it was already midnight, Alice judged that Chris Hatter must still have a lot of unfinished work. It was also probably the reason why he had chosen to meet her in the palace. Otherwise, if it was only for the sake of verifying her identity as the Hero, Chris Hatter could've simply chosen to meet her in his house.
"Lady Alice has arrived, Your Majesty."
While Alice pondered the differences between the human and demon realms, Luna knocked on the door and notified the king of their arrival. A tired but surprisingly young voice of a man came through the doors:
"She's here? Have her come in, then."
Alice had heard this voice on the internet before. It was none other than the Gryffin Kingdom's king, Chris Hatter's, voice.
Luna promptly extended her hands and opened the office doors. Then, she took a step back and made way for Alice. King Hatter's words did not include permission for her to enter. So, since she was currently taking on a maid's duty, she naturally wouldn't enter the office.
After taking a glance at Luna, Alice stepped into the office. Then, she closed the doors on her way in. However, the instant her right hand came into contact with one of the office doors, a block of information immediately appeared in her mind.
[Weapon: Custom-made Manawood Door]
[Quality: Not Bad]
[Effect: Strength +5, Control +5]
[Additional Effect: Soundproof Barrier (Passive Skill. The door has been processed using special mana and is capable of stopping all vibrations transmitted through the air to achieve sound insulation.)]
Alice's gaze stopped on the closed doors for a moment before she turned around to look at Chris Hatter. However, she didn't get to see the Gryffin King immediately as a mountain of documents separated them. Only after the king had carefully pushed the documents to the sides of his desk did Alice get to see Chris Hatter's appearance.
Meanwhile, just like the information Alice found on the internet, Chris Hatter was a relatively young-looking man. At first glance, he looked to be a young man in his twenties. However, his actual age was already in the forties. His layered blonde hair also gave him an energetic look, which led to him having many fangirls on the internet.
However, unlike the pictures Alice had seen on the internet, the Chris Hatter in front of her had a significantly paler complexion. His eyes were also void of spirit, looking like he was incredibly weak. The difference was so stark that Alice had a difficult time connecting the person before her with the spirited lad she saw on the internet.
"You're finally here, Lord Hero." The moment Alice stepped into the room, Chris immediately recognized her as the person in the photo Father Kasandora had sent him. After letting out a sigh of relief, he said, "This room has been soundproofed, so you don't need to worry about getting eavesdropped here. We can freely discuss matters that cannot be made known to others."
Matters that could not be made known to others naturally referred to matters relating to the Hero.
Alice had seen the information on the doors, so she readily nodded to Chris Hatter's words. Then, looking at the king's pale complexion, she asked in confusion, "I heard from Luna that you are troubled by illness. Looking at you now, you indeed don't look as energetic as your pictures floating on the internet."
"Troubled by illness… I guess you can say that. At least for me, this is definitely an incurable heart disease," Chris said, letting out a long sigh.
Then, under Alice's shocked gaze, he extended his right hand, and dark mist began seeping out of his hand. The dark mist wasn't some special effect as Alice could sense the incredibly dense dark mana it carried.
"This isn't my power. My main affinity is wind, while my supporting magic is mind magic. As for this intense dark mana of unknown origins..." In a troubled voice, Chris slowly said, "I'm sure you can guess where it comes even if I don't say it, right, Lord Hero?"
-Hellscythe, 20th January 2022
Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
After Being Bent By Reader (ABBR)(GL)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
Miss Cousin is Always Busy (MCAB)(Yuri, Quick Transmigration)