There was a long, thin scar across his throat. Jonathan wasn’t sure what type of weapon would create damage like that except for a blade. The wound didn’t particularly hurt, but it would likely scar.
While his hands were busy, his mind was as well. If this was a new world, did he want to stay? He didn’t want to be a prince and would leave when he saw a chance. However, there wasn’t a point in going back home if there was no one who wanted him there.
Jonathan tucked the end of the bandage in. He checked his work in the mirror and it looked decent enough.
“Are you ready to go, Your Highness?” Mr. Trival pulled out a pocket watch. “Breakfast starts in twelve minutes.”
Mr. Trival had led him to a large hall with a long table in the middle.
Jonathan guessed that this was where he would be having breakfast with Roscoe’s family.
He walked into the hall and had the horrible realization that he had no idea where he was supposed to sit. There were probably some sort of seating arrangements based on importance or favoritism, but he had no idea what they were. He also wasn’t sure whether he would want to be closer to the head of the table or further away from the most powerful person to avoid danger. He felt strangely like he was trying to figure out where to sit on his first day of class in elementary; the front row was only good if the teacher liked him.
Jonathan chose a seat on the left, halfway down from the head of the table. Now that he had some time, he looked around the room. The floor was made of timber, and the colored glass windows let in the soft, morning light. The brass chandeliers held dozens of candles with their elegantly crafted sconces. He wasn’t sure how much the goldware in front of him would sell for, but he had a feeling it would be a lot.
While the transmigrator was distracted, several other people entered. Two young men bickered before being scolded by a young woman with dangling pearl earrings who walked in behind them. The former two sat next to Jonathan and the latter, once she greeted everyone, chose to sit on the right side of the table close to the head chair. A red-headed woman, smiling the whole time and wearing a heavily embroidered green dress, sat on the other side of the table. The child—with damp, red hair and a bright smile—who was walking beside her ended up directly across from Jonathan.
Everyone stood as a man dressed in a purple, fur-lined coat stalked into the dining room.
Jonathan quickly shot to his feet as well. He didn’t really have any plans at the moment except trying not to be executed for disrespecting the person who appeared to be the reigning monarch.
The man waved his hand and everyone sat. He took his position at the head of the table, prayed solemnly, and signaled for the staff to start serving the food. His portion was delivered first.
The young woman and the monarch seemed to be discussing something about trading agreements—or perhaps it was about a peace treaty. Jonathan honestly wasn’t paying much attention to their conversation.
He was a bit more concerned with eating. The bowl in front of him seemed to be made of mother of pearl, or something like it. He had only waited for someone else to start eating—in order to confirm whether he had to use the larger or smaller spoon—before he dug in.
Jonathan looked up from the soup to see the red haired kid across from him. The kid waved, and Jonathan hesitantly waved back. He found it somewhat funny how the kid smiled so brightly at the response.
He suddenly heard the word ‘rune’ and started paying attention to the table talk again. Jonathan didn’t want to risk asking questions, but he could listen. Runes meant that there was the possibility of magic existing in this world. However, he was a bit late, as the conversation had already moved on to complimenting one of the princes on studying.
“It’s impressive how much you have managed to learn, Millan,” one of the young men with blond hair complimented. He had been referred to as Emlyn.
“Indeed,” the monarch said. His gaze traveled down the table and landed on Jonathan. His eyes were a sharp, sea green color. “Roscoe, I’m curious. You did not go hunting with them last night, but you still ended up injured?”
Jonathan straightened up as everyone’s attention turned to him. He would have responded if he’d had any idea of what had happened.
“He did come with us, but he had to head back early, Your Majesty,” the same young man that was talking before—two chairs down from Jonathan—interjected. The jerkin he wore was dark blue in color. He stared straight at the monarch, with no fear in his eyes. “He was injured when he killed a wild boar.”
Jonathan shot the young man, Emlyn, a grateful look. Because of this, he noticed that everyone was looking at the monarch, except for the second young man; this prince, Millan, was staring at the woman in the green dress with narrowed eyes. The transmigrator only managed to catch a strained smile as it flashed across the woman’s face.
The monarch nodded and leaned back into his chair. “With skill, risk can pay off. Do not be ashamed. You are young and will become more experienced over time.”
Jonathan felt uncertain as everyone turned to him once again. He hesitated, then took a breath and politely responded, “Thank you, Your Majesty.”
“What did you manage to catch on your hunt?” The young woman with pearl earrings, Adoncia, asked Emlyn.
Jonathan sighed in relief and continued to eat his soup. It was fortunate that he hadn’t messed up on how to address the king, or emperor, or whatever title the person held. He glanced to his right.
Millan quietly muttered to him, “What’s going on?”
Jonathan almost laughed; his brief moment of relief was gone. He had no idea how to respond to the other princes in a way that wouldn’t scream he was a different person than the one that had gone to bed the night before. He shrugged slightly.
“Fine. Whatever. Just don’t always expect us to be able cover for you,” Millan stated. His eyebrows tilted downwards in frustration.
Jonathan decided just to nod in response. He caught Emlyn looking at him with a raised eyebrow, despite the other prince still being in a conversation. The transmigrator ignored Millan’s stares for the rest of the breakfast.
The food was good, yet his mind wasn’t on that anymore. This breakfast proved one thing for sure: he needed to get more information and he needed to do it quickly before he outed himself as a different person or accidentally got himself killed. Emlyn had covered for him by interrupting, but both him and Millan already knew something was off.
Fun fact time. In previous drafts, Emlyn and Millan didn’t cover for Jonathan at the dinner.
Edit: Thanks to Zel for catching a misspelling and North for description tag being wrong. Both are fixed now as of 7/9/2022.