Chapter 265. The Beauty at the Opening Ceremony (2)

“Golden Lion, huh.”

After staying silent until now, Kim Hannah spoke up for the first time.

“That’s one of the better names.”

“Right? Right?”

Maria rejoiced when Kim Hannah took her side. Then, she sent Seol Jihu a gloating smile.

“Let me ask just to be sure…”

Clack, clack. Kim Hannah walked over to Maria and placed her hand on Maria’s head.

“When you say Golden Lion, you mean the animal, right?”[1]

“Hm?”

“You didn’t say it to mean Buy Gold, right?”

Maria looked up at Kim Hannah with a flustered expression. For a split second, her pupils shook. Kim Hannah didn’t miss this reaction.

“Jeez!”

“Aak!”

Kim Hannah pushed Maria’s head away before turning to Seol Jihu.

“…Anyway, what do you think? I say you should choose between Valhalla and Golden Lion.”

Seol Jihu hesitated. Speaking truthfully, he wasn’t sure if these names were okay, but they certainly had points that caught his fancy.

Valhalla, the mythological palace and the utopia where only the most honorable and heroic warriors could enter under the Valkyries’ guidance.

Golden Lion, ‘gold’ representing the Golden Commandment and ‘lion’ representing courage and the king of all beasts.

“Valhalla. It’s decent. Not too much and not too little.”

“Golden Lion. I like how intuitive it is. The organization’s insignia will look nice too.”

The members’ reactions were positive as well.

“At the very least, they’re better than The Strong or Tyrant! As for I came, I saw, I conquered…! Uhuhuhuhu!”

Seol Jihu glared at the giggling Phi Sora. He wanted to choose the name he liked, but he had to be fair as the representative of an organization.

“If we went with the name you chose, dear, I wouldn’t be able to say what organization I’m from out of embarrassment!”

Phi Sora hated the name that much. As someone who had suffered several times under Gula, he couldn’t do the same thing.

“…Okay.”

In the end, he sighed and nodded his head.

“That’s fine. Valhalla or Golden Lion.”

Kim Hannah offered to put these two names for anonymous voting, but Seol Jihu suggested putting all the names mentioned up for voting as well.

Just like that, a secret voting was held. The result: Valhalla received five votes and Golden Lion received five votes.

And Veni, Vidi, Vici got two votes.

“….”

Everyone’s gaze turned to Seol Jihu.

“Wow…”

Phi Sora couldn’t hide her shock as she feigned a smile. When Seol Jihu stealthily turned sideways, Kim Hannah sighed.

“I can tell where one vote came from, but what about the other one?”

Hearing this, Seo Yuhui slowly raised her hand.

“M-Me.”

“You’re the problem, Unni!”

Phi Sora pointed fingers at Seo Yuhui.

“You side with him too much! You have to pick a name that at least conforms to common sense! No, this is a matter of conscience!”

‘Common sense? Conscience?’

“He’s like that because you baby him every day!”

Phi Sora cracked up as she hit the floor.

“No… I just….”

Seo Yuhui dropped her head while stammering. Seol Jihu decided to write Phi Sora’s name in today’s diary entry.

“Alright, so it’s 5:5…”

Kim Hannah shook her head.

“Jihu, you put all the names up for a vote so you can vote the one you like, right?”

“….”

“Pick again. You too, Miss Seo Yuhui.”

“Why?”

Seol Jihu grumbled.

“Once you vote, that’s it. What, I can’t vote for the name I like?”

He wasn’t wrong, so Kim Hannah didn’t know what to say. It was then.

“Pyak!”

A familiar chirp caused everyone to turn to the little chick. Kim Hannah muttered.

“Ah, you were here too.”

“Pyak!”

The little chick dashed forward and stopped in front of Yi Sungjin. Once it pecked Yi Sungjin’s side with its beak, Yi Sungjin groaned and twisted his body side to side.

Kim Hannah asked just in case.

“Ch— no, Arcus, you like Valhalla?”

“Pyak pyak!”

The little chick flapped its wings and nodded vehemently.

“He says he likes Valhalla more. Golden Lion isn’t bad, but apparently, it gives off a bad vibe.”

“A bad vibe?”

“Yes, he says with that name, the group will fall to the abyss from one wrong choice after reaching the apex…”[2]

Yi Seol-Ah translated the chick’s words for the team. Kim Hannah had no idea what to make of that statement, but was satisfied with the extra vote.

“Perfect. With six votes, Valhalla is the winner. No one has any complaints, right?”

Seol Jihu grumbled quietly but didn’t have any objections. Just like that, the new organization’s name was chosen to be Valhalla.

Maria belatedly murmured in regret, “I was gonna ask for a name usage fee or at least a naming fee—”

So now, there was yet another reason to not choose Golden Lion.

Kim Hannah wrote Valhalla in fancy handwriting, then stood up.

“I’ll be off to the palace then. It shouldn’t take long.”

Then, she really came back in just two hours. Sorg Kühne had approved the registration with blazing speed, just like he promised.

“Here.”

Kim Hannah held out a piece of paper stamped with the Eva Royal Family’s insignia.

It was the organization registration certificate.

Seol Jihu stared at the certificate in a daze, then checked his Status Window. The affiliation…

[Your Status Window.]
[1. General Information]
Affiliation: Valhalla

…had changed before he noticed.

“Congrats!”

Kim Hannah spoke with a smile.

“Now, you’re really the representative of an organization. Valhalla’s representative.”

The words, Valhalla’s representative, sounded strange, but he forcefully shook off the awkwardness. Now, it was time to break away from the title, Carpe Diem’s leader.

Seol Jihu clenched his fists.

Finally, he had finally established an organization.

And thus…

“…Yeah.”

Today…

“Thanks.”

Paradise saw the official birth of its 83rd organization.

*


Charlotte Aria. She was the queen of Eva and the Paradisian royalty who lived a very sheltered life.

Of course, no one dared to say this to the queen’s face, and considering Paradise’s situation, saying that she was sheltered was a bit strange as well.

Over ten years had passed since the outbreak of war. Paradise wasn’t an environment where anyone could be ‘sheltered’. Still, there was a reason that Eva’s queen was called ‘sheltered’.

Strictly speaking, in Paradise, the main purpose of a woman of noble origin was to pass on her bloodline. As a result, many noblewomen married for political reasons.

Meaning, Charlotte Aria was not someone who would have become a ruler. It wasn’t as if there weren’t any males in the royal family either.

Of the previous king’s two sons and one daughter, the oldest son had been crowned the heir to the throne and dutifully received the education of a future king, and the second son had been alive as well.

That was how things were in the past, and that was how she lived her childhood.

That was until the war broke out.

While she was growing up being spoiled by her parents and two older brothers, an alien race suddenly invaded Paradise. The king, queen, and the crown prince all died in the chaos of war, and the alien race’s overwhelming power made Charlotte Aria abandon the capital and escape to humanity’s final line of defense.

Even the Empire, which was filled with countless heroes, fell to the alien race in less than 4 years, so there was nothing a young girl, who knew nothing about politics could do other than stay inside the palace, shaking in fear.

Thankfully, the second son, Campbell Aria, survived and took care of his younger sister with utmost care. However, he was killed in action during the war against the Federation.

Having lost her last remaining family member, Charlotte Aria fell into depression. And as she was forced to rise to the throne without any preparation, there was no hope of the government being administered properly.

Most of the royal family’s retainers had died, and even the few who remained alive grew tired of the long war and one by one left to find their livelihood.

In truth, Eva had lost hope the moment Campbell Aria died. Without Sorg Kühne’s dedication and effort, Eva truly may have collapsed.

Unfortunately, Charlotte Aria and Sorg Kühne’s relationship had slowly turned sour during this long series of events.

Sorg Kühne had been serving the royal family even before Charlotte Aria was born, and he had dragged his old bones to help the royal family even after the war broke out.

Moreover, he was the sole retainer who stayed with the royal family throughout all these years.

Charlotte Aria knew this very well.

But she had risen to the position of queen reluctantly. The war began when she was only four years old, and she had to abandon the capital to escape when she was just ten. Ever since, she had lived under Campbell Aria’s protective shade.

What could such a young girl who was now forced to face the cold reality do?

She was already suffering from depression from losing her family. Every time Sorg Kühne told her to be conscious of her position as the queen or to try to act like the previous king and second prince, an indescribable sorrow would well up inside her.

She knew her inflexible old servant had good intentions, and she knew what he was saying was valuable advice. Even so, these matters were too complicated and burdensome for a young girl who had lived a spoiled life, to accept.

On many occasions, she wanted to throw everything away and just run far away.

And the person who came to her rescue was the Earthling, Evangeline Rose.

Charlotte Aria was initially on guard against Earthlings, but began to open up to them after meeting Evangeline Rose.

Despite not being a Paradisian, Evangeline Rose did her best for the benefit of Paradise and protected Charlotte Aria from nearby threats.

Charlotte Aria followed Evangeline Rose like a younger sister, so much so that she often forgot her position as the queen. And when she heard of Evangeline Rose’s death, she became severely depressed.

Just like when she lost Campbell Aria, she refused to eat for several days and only cried.

And Jung Sua was the person who appeared as the next batter.

She had only seen Charlotte Aria a few times while following Evangeline Rose, but the two of them quickly grew closer while sharing the same pain of losing her.

Jung Sua supported Charlotte Aria to the best of her ability, and Charlotte Aria did not reject her attention either. In fact, she accepted Jung Sua into her life as if it was natural.

There really wasn’t a better person to fill in the emptiness and loss caused by Evangeline Rose’s death.

Just like that, following Charlotte Aria’s parents, Campbell Aria, and then Evangeline Rose, Jung Sua took on the role of her protector with ease.

But now…

“I’m sorry, queen.”

Even Jung Sua was trying to leave.

“It looks like I have to leave.”

Jung Sua said to the queen after asking for a private meeting. Charlotte Aria slowly closed her eyes.

“You’re saying that again.”

“No, this matter will not end unless I leave.”

“You said you didn’t do it, that you were being framed.”

“But you’re the only one who believes in me. Everyone is saying that I…”

Jung Sua trailed off. She began to sniffle from her reddened nose.

“I’m exhausted. I’m tired of everything.”

“….”

“I’m sorry, queen. I wanted to serve you until the end, but…”

Jung Sua spoke emotionally and with difficulty.

“It looks like I couldn’t become Evangeline Rose Unni. I realized it too late.”

She then smiled sorrowfully.

“That’s very interesting.”

A young, soft voice reflective of the queen’s age rang out.

“You’re right. You are not Evangeline Rose.”

She then spoke with an ambiguous smile.

“She was… like an older sister to me. Her virtuous character and always serious and calm nature… they really reminded me of my first brother. She is someone I respect from the bottom of my heart.”

The queen’s eyes dimmed as she reminisced about the past.

“You are the same.”

“Me?”

“Sua, you and I share similar pain.”

Charlotte Aria smiled innocently.

“I lost my parents from war. You said you also lost your parents when you were young, no?”

“…Yes.”

“Whenever I hear your stories, it reminded me of my younger years.”

“N-No, someone like me couldn’t hold a candle to what you went through…”

Jung Sua dropped her head at a loss for what to do like she was greatly sorry.

A faint smile spread across Charlotte Aria’s face.

“Indeed, our situation isn’t exactly the same. But I am not trying to discuss who had more difficulty growing up or who suffered from more heartache. What is important is that no one else has understood me the way you do.”


1. The word ‘lion’ is ‘Saja (사자)’ in Korean, which is also the imperative verb form of ‘To buy’. So Golden Lion could also mean ‘Let’s buy gold.’

2. A MEMORIZE reference.

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