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Chapter 84

During the approximately two weeks Ivan was hospitalized, Elizaveta never visited his room even once.

She simply stayed quietly in her study, as if trying to emulate her father who rarely emerged from the palace.

Instead, she dispatched Dmitri.

“Darn it, look at this peel’s thickness, Miss Isabelle. At this rate, you won’t find a husband. You’ve practically butchered the fruit, not thinly sliced!” remarked Dmitri.(Dmitri)

“Isn’t there a way to carve it even thinner?” (Isabelle)

“Oh? Want me to show you?” (Dmitri)

Dmitri snatched away the apples and began deftly running his knife over them. Literally, it looked more like stroking than peeling.

Suddenly, apples thinly sliced (even in a single line) appeared on the plate, so thin that the opposite side could be seen shining through.

“Ta-da!” (Dmitri)

“Wow…” (Isabelle)

Isabelle dumbfoundedly lifted the apple peel. It was so thinly sliced that it crinkled like paper when picked up with tweezers.

“Do Counterintelligence Command receive some kind of bridal training? How did you do this?” (Isabelle)

“Hehe, there’s a terrifying secret there.” (Dmitri)

“It’s part of the torture techniques.” (Ivan)

Ivan casually uttered his words with a relaxed expression.

“It’s just basic torture technique. It may not be useful in today’s world, but Dmitri, you haven’t lost your touch, preparing for something that might happen soon, huh?” (Ivan)

“Well, I prepare in advance for everything. Perhaps there will be a need for it soon?” (Dmitri)

“…Soon?” (Ivan)

“Yeah. It’s top-secret, but…” (Dmitri)

Dmitri glanced at Isabelle and nodded his head.

“Isabelle, may I borrow our captain today? This is somewhat related to official duties.”

“Oh, are you going to torture him?!” (Isabelle)

“What? Even if I were fully armed while doing that, I’d be the one tortured by that ‘uncle,’” (Dmitri)

“Isabelle, go back.” (Ivan)

Ivan sternly spoke to Isabelle, who was puckering her lips in a lively manner.

“There are things to prepare, aren’t there?” (Ivan)

“Uncle, I’m genuinely serious.” (Isabelle)

“I’m always serious.” (Ivan)

“Oh, I get it. I need to deal with those strangely pickled vegetables. Yes, yes, civilians can’t hear that; I understand!”

Grumbling, Isabelle exited the hospital room. Dmitri, who had momentarily closed his eyes to gauge the sound of her footsteps, suddenly tightened his expression and pushed the apples aside.

The apples he moved were then enjoyed by Pavel.

“Have you felt the strange atmosphere in Frechenkaya lately?” (Dmitri)

“Atmosphere?” (Ivan)

“Well… um, the Counterintelligence Command is currently outside the city for training.” (Dmitri)

Dmitri looked at Pavel with resentful eyes. Pavel shrugged and finished eating the apple.

“How many direct assaults has the city faced this year? Two train bombings, a terrorist attack targeting students near the city, an attack by demons within the city, and that gentleman…” (Dmitri)

“Oh, please call me senior, not ‘that gentleman’. How old are you? Ah, Ivan. Isn’t he from the Guard too?” (Pavel)

“…One amazing attack by the senior. Now the king of Drovian himself has attacked once. Wow. Even throughout the war, Frechenkaya has never been raided like this.” (Dmitri)

Dmitri cautiously pulled out an envelope from his pocket. A royal seal… to be precise, it was an order with Elizaveta’s seal stamped on the wax seal.

As Ivan began to open the envelope and read the order, Dmitri interjected by his side.

“Especially, there was a commotion at Jan’s University directly managed by Her Majesty. The nobles in the palace began to find the connection between the Counterintelligence Command and Her Majesty somewhat… uncomfortable. In fact, Her Majesty, using training as an excuse, recently drove all the members of the Counterintelligence Command out of the city. Seems like a kind of reprimand.” (Dmitri)

“A reprimand?” (Ivan)

“Yes, to make it look that way. Even recently, you got beaten up by Einar….” (Dmitri)

As Ivan’s pupils began to precisely stare at Dmitri’s brow, Dmitri hastily continued his words.

“…After the intense skirmish, you even ended up hospitalized. We spread rumors like ‘The enraged warrior king, angered by the excessive external intelligence operations of the Counterintelligence Command, physically expressed his protest.’ You know, to cover that up a bit.” (Dmitri)

The Counterintelligence Command is fundamentally specialized in domestic intelligence rather than external intelligence. The foreign affairs were Alexander’s domain, and Krasilov was dealing with the situation just before the civil war.

So, the Counterintelligence Command excelled in gathering intelligence on domestic nobles. And information, even if it doesn’t seem so, flows ‘bidirectionally.’

Being able to collect information also means being able to disseminate false information. Most of what the Counterintelligence Command does revolves around such activities.

Therefore, rumor spreading and manipulating public opinion are truly the Counterintelligence Command’s real roles. Torture, kidnapping, terrorism, and sabotage are just added bonuses.

“So, our Princesses is practically isolated now. That thought has slowly started to spread, hasn’t it? Foreign affairs are not fully under control yet, the military, excluding the Capital Command, is still declaring ‘neutrality,’ the Counterintelligence Command has become ‘negligent,’ and on top of that, Jan’s University keeps erupting.” (Dmitri)

“What about Enrique?” (Ivan)

“Oh, she’s doing something else right now. Adding to that, our Princess is somewhat… under suspicion of leadership, regardless.” (Dmitri)

“Are they trying to prune her?” (Ivan)

“Yes, we need a gardener.” (Dmitri)

There’s no need to read the order. Ivan was an experienced agent who had gone through such situations enough times.

There’s only one case where a ruler deliberately reveals weaknesses. It’s a kind of loyalty test.

The nobles of Frechenkaya were not foolish. When Princess Elizaveta, who had fully grasped power in the absence of the questionable ‘disappeared’ Alexander, suddenly declared constitutional monarchy, the nobles collectively bowed low.

It was a kind of propaganda. Even if explicit authority was relinquished, it declared confidence in being able to encompass the entire nation.

But not anymore. The princess’s power has taken a fatal blow over the past few months, and now the national system is a constitutional monarchy.

From the nobles’ perspective, it’s a situation where it might be possible to implement true ‘constitutional monarchy.’

“Her Highness must be getting many visitors.” (Ivan)

“Are you saying that she’s bothered by all sorts of nuisances, wanting to claim royal blood?” (Dmitri)

“Yes.” (Ivan)

Ivan nodded his head.

“Now that the monarchy has crumbled, the most attractive option for nobles to choose is forming a marriage alliance with the isolated princess.” (Ivan)

Continuing family lineage through marriage, then usurping the royal authority to rule the kingdom is not a new idea.

And that is…

“By visiting her, they literally create a death list for themselves.” (Ivan)

“Yes, thankfully.” (Dmitri)

Dmitri chuckled and nodded. The nobles sending condolences to the princess now are ambitious individuals wanting to seize the throne.

The list of these ‘succession candidates’ is essentially a list of candidates standing in front of Elizaveta’s muzzle for execution.

Ivan slowly organized his surroundings and stood up. His condition was already top-notch.

“Hand over the list. If Her Highness wants pruning, that’s how it should be.” (Ivan)

“No, Her Highness prefers to resolve the situation in a more sophisticated manner.” (Dmitri)

“…Sophisticated method?” (Ivan)

“She mentioned handling it according to the old palace regulations. Haven’t you finished reading the order yet? Take a look!” (Dmitri)

Ivan lowered the order that he had been reading. About half of the order consisted of complex political investigations and a greeting, but there was something strange from the bottom.

“So, Vanca, I’ve prepared a position for you. While looking for things I can do for you, I happened to notice that due to your humble origin, there’s no clause about not being able to pay the pension in full.”

Krasilov’s military pension surprisingly had differential payments based on status.

Ivan, despite about 20 years of military service, found it challenging to receive the full military pension. It was because he came from a tenant farming background.

“So, I’m trying to offer you a suitable position. It seems that Yermov, a northern colonial estate, unfortunately lost its third son. From now on, you will be Yermov’s third son. Congratulations. You’ve done quite a service to your father.”

Oh. He became a noble.

Why all of a sudden?

“Now you are one of my suitors. Your family might be lacking the status to dare to become Krasilov’s companion, but surprisingly, you seem to be a true ruler who doesn’t cling to status and lineage. Even under the stern kingdom laws, the royals should be subject to the same standards. Your marriage has been legalized according to the legal procedures.”

Seems like I proposed to the princess after all.

Ivan nodded his head.

“No matter how old the law is, it is a sacred national law containing the words of the ancient ancestors. I plan to declare it based on the palace regulations. According to the laws promulgated by Andrei Pyotorovich Krasilov, the five Grand Laws, I intend to settle the succession through a duel.”

Ivan now understood all of the princess’s intentions.

Seizing the list of potential execution targets, nobles couldn’t be executed recklessly. It was an impossible task even during the time when royal authority was soaring high. Quietly handling them one by one was also difficult. Nobles were not foolish. If the princess’s suitors started disappearing one by one, nobles would grasp the princess’s scheme and likely find alternative measures.

In the cornered high-ranking nobles, the likely ‘alternative measure’ ultimately meant rebellion. In a situation where the loyalty of the frontier military and local nobles, excluding the Capital Command, is still uncertain, and even Krasilov, just before the civil war, can transform into a powder keg at any moment, the poison spread by Alexander’s ‘democratic revolution’ beyond the king’s domain still continues to exert its influence.

So, according to the laws, a duel.

And in this primitive pre-modern society, these duels were usually life-and-death decisions.

“Date?” (Ivan)

“Starting in five days.” (Dmitri)

“That’s hasty.” (Ivan)

“Because if the news spreads beyond Frechenkaya, it will be troublesome. Once even local nobles start poking their noses, it’ll be uncontrollable. First, clean up the interior of Frechenkaya, and then deal with them one by one afterward.” (Dmitri)

“So, that’s why the Counterintelligence Command was moved outside the city.” (Ivan)

Trained agents never set just one goal for a single action.

Elizaveta, the command tower of these trained agents, had already set multiple objectives from a macro perspective.

First, to thoroughly train the Counterintelligence Command to make up for the failures in espionage. And induce the training itself to appear as a kind of reprimand, making it seem like the loyalty of the command was lost.

In addition, smoothly deploying the agents of the command post outside the city. This strengthens the intelligence network regarding local nobles.

It’s remarkably sophisticated and neat handling. Ivan nodded approvingly.

“Becoming an excellent ruler.”

Indeed, an excellent ruler isn’t someone who receives the loyalty of their subjects. A truly excellent ruler is someone who orchestrates a situation where loyalty is the only option for their subjects.

From that perspective, Elizaveta was truly perfect. Machiavelli would shed tears if he saw her. Ivan felt a sense of pride within.


“Did Vanka have any particular comments on my proposal?” (Elizaveta)

“Yes, Your Highness.” (Dmitri)

“Hehehe.” (Elizaveta)

Elizaveta faintly laughed in the darkness.

Well-trained agents never perform just one task at a time.

Everything Ivan anticipated turned out to be true.

However, there was one more thing Ivan didn’t anticipate… and what if that turned out to be more important than anything else!

“Vanka. With this, you can only become my own companion. I’ll congratulate you in advance… Hehehe… Hehehehe!” (Elizaveta)

Originally, this operation was established with the assumption of winning the ‘marriage duel.’ In other words, if they win that duel… there’s no choice but to marry the princess!

Dmitri couldn’t bear to look at the wryly smiling Elizaveta and bowed his head.

To think that such a cunning and scheming person is our king. Ah, the future of the country is indeed bright, he thought.


In this world, the race most proficient in foreign espionage is the elves. As mentioned before, elves were the adepts of the Mind Sorcery.

With their active use of befriending (brainwashing) and joking (memory manipulation) to create a friendly rapport, elves had established a meticulous information network throughout almost the entire Unified Kingdom.

Therefore, upon encountering the massive issue of ‘the princess seeking a husband!’ and the astonishing cultural phenomenon of ‘in the world, humans find husbands through duels…’, the elves, having a keen sense of how to turn this into a ‘benefit for intellectuals,’ immediately began figuring out how to use it.

By the way, intellectuals refer to elves. Because the word ‘intellect’ would undoubtedly be too difficult for humans. (This is how kind elves are to the lower races.)

And once again, a prominent noblewoman from the Elven Society in Frechenkaya, who came across this information, trembled with confusion.

“Petrovich was actually a noble…?”

What a big deal being a human noble is. It’s just a matter of purebred or crossbreed. Since Elpheira was a very open-minded and bold young elf, she didn’t fuss about the lineage of lower races.

However, this issue posed a bit of a problem.

“Petrovich participated in the marriage duel…!!”

To defeat that gentleman, we might have to bring our dad… But if we win, doesn’t that mean we have to get married!?

Elpheira eagerly grasped the ‘List of Participants in the Krasilov Royal Marriage Duel,’ muttering in amazement.


Author’s Note:
The academy is always in the middle of the city, and it keeps exploding.

It’s inevitable that there will be political repercussions, right…?

But after writing that, I wonder if this is really a school setting.

Actually, it seems fine since politics and intrigue have been part of school settings since the Harry Potter days…?

The Minister of Magic, who fiercely campaigns against the headmaster of the combined elementary, middle, and high school facility, is a common sense of school settings in magical novels…?

Oh, luckily, my novel is still a school setting today! Look forward to the next chapter.

(TN: By making Ivan one of the candidates for the princess’s husband, the princess can kill two birds with one stone. Eliminating the nobility and legally marrying Ivan without the barrier of their social status, what an outstanding move!)

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?


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