Jonathan left the dining hall immediately after the monarch and the two young men. He didn’t attempt to leave before everyone as he didn’t know whether there was some sort of etiquette to it.
“Your Highness, where are you going?” Mr. Trival asked. He seemed to have been waiting outside of the hall. He was likely either a butler or some sort of personal assistant to Prince Roscoe.
“Library,” Jonathan rasped. If having breakfast with Roscoe’s family had taught him anything, it was that he knew literally nothing about this new world. It had to be another world from what he knew and had seen so far—no other explanation made sense.
“The Imperial Library? Isn’t that in the . . .” The older gentleman paused and then bravely finished, “. . . the other direction?”
Jonathan immediately turned on his heel. “Follow me to the library.” He was going to walk side-by-side with Mr. Trival and pretend he actually knew where they were going.
Jonathan left the gentleman at the door and stepped into the old library. It was far more cramped than the one at his old university. Each shelf was packed full of books, and the shelves were also packed tightly together. Instead of air freshener or clean air, the place smelled like old paper, ink, leather, and dust. Fortunately, he could read the titles on the spines despite them not being English. He wasn’t sure why.
He found a table jammed between two shelves and used it to hold the various books that he pulled out. He stacked the ones he had not read on the right, and the books that he had gone through on the left. Jonathan skimmed through the last several pages of each—as history books tended to be chronological—in order to find any relevant historical details. There were lots of deaths, lots of wars, and lots of royalty.
There was, however, one particularly concerning piece of information: the deaths of the Empress and two of the four consorts of Emperor Charles Lyon. One of those deceased consorts had been the one who gave birth to fourth Prince Roscoe Lyon. Yet another in the immediate Imperial family had died, but this one was a child prince of one of the deceased consorts.
The death of one due to illness could be excused. However, four imperial family members had died? It seemed too often of an occurrence for them to be excused as natural.
The problem was that Jonathan had no idea who could be causing these deaths. Members of the Imperial Family stood to gain the most and there could be various political plots he knew nothing of.
It would be foolish not to realize that being an Imperial Prince made him a possible target as well.
Jonathan started on the possibility of an escape plan. He had never wanted to be a prince, and he wasn’t going to start now. The chance of someone being out for him just made him want to leave more.
If he wanted an escape route, he would need to know the palace grounds, and he needed to know where he was going. Fortunately, the sole shelf for architecture held an assortment of blueprints for parts of the palace, and the shelves for geography had several maps of countries and the continent.
The problem Jonathan ran into was that he had nothing he could copy them with. He didn’t want to just rip out the pages, nor did he have a photographic memory. He would need to get a pen and paper . . . or ink, a quill, and paper from someone.
He hadn’t seen anyone after he had walked inside this place, but there had to be someone.
Jonathan searched for a bit and was proven correct in his assumption that the library wasn’t completely dead. Unfortunately, the people he found were the two young men from breakfast.
The younger one, Millan, was actually a good quarter of the way through a heavy tome. He must have heard footsteps because he glanced up from his book. “Roscoe, what are you doing here?” He asked in confusion.
The older one, Emlyn, was still wearing the same jacket as before, head resting on the bookshelf behind him. His feet were propped up on the table in the scant place not taken up by books, loose sheets of paper, and inkwells. “Finally taking your studies seriously?” Emlyn said, in an incredibly non-serious manner, as he had an open book covering his face.
Jonathan shrugged. He picked up a piece of paper and looked questioningly at it.
“You were acting weird this morning—and I get why—but you need to calm down.” Emlyn sighed and sat up properly when he got no further response. “What do you want? Just talk, we know you still can.”
Jonathan sighed quietly and stated, “I need paper, an ink pot, and a quill.” He didn’t like being forced to talk, especially when these two were at least somewhat familiar with the original Roscoe.
Millan started to grab a few sheets of unused paper. He had more than enough to spare, as he always brought extra.
“Let’s make a deal,” Emlyn interjected. “We’ll give it to you if you answer two questions for me.”
Jonathan knew nothing, but he agreed. If it was something the original Roscoe should know, his cover was blown. On the other hand, he really needed to make some maps for his long term survival in this new world.
“Question one. Did you know that was going to happen?”
Jonathan had no idea what ‘that’ was. Maybe something to do with the wild boar last night. “No,” he blandly responded.
“Alright, I believe you.” Emlyn leaned closer. He gave a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. He may have the muscles of a jock, but there was more to him than that. “Question two. Why didn’t you run?”
Jonathan returned the expression without hesitation. “Sometimes you have to run, and sometimes you have to fight.”
“And sometimes you’re an idiot,” Millan flatly tacked on. He seemed thoroughly unimpressed with the answer.
Jonathan snorted, not taking the comment to heart, and held his hand out. He had fulfilled his side of the bargain, and he walked back with his supplies. The transmigrator had gotten some information out of the conversation as well. Emlyn and Millan didn’t seem to be enemies of Roscoe.
He made one copy of the palace grounds and one of the continent. The known world seemed to be somewhat split in half, with the East being the Empire and the West being made of free countries.
Once he was finished, the transmigrator looked up and saw that Mr. Trivial—who had been left outside the library—was walking down the aisle towards his table. As he rolled up the paper maps to keep what was inscribed on them secret, Jonathan hoped the ink had dried enough to not smear. “What is it?”
“I have brought your lunch.” The gentleman was indeed holding a covered plate.
Jonathan was going to eat, then he remembered that he didn’t really trust anyone in this world yet. Despite how helpful the butler was, he couldn’t trust the man. He shook his head and wrote on one of the pieces of paper he didn’t use. ‘I’m not going to eat right now.’
Mr. Trival looked worried again. “I am assuming that you are planning to eat later with your fiancé? Lady Clementine has been looking forward to it since last month.” There was some slight disdain towards the name, but it was well hidden.
Jonathan couldn’t control his expression.
There were a lot of bad memories, recent ones even, associated with that word.
The idea of having to pretend to be Roscoe to a woman in love with the original prince? It was disgusting.
“Is something wrong?”
Jonathan tried to suppress the emotions that seemed to creep up his throat. There was an acidic taste at the back of his throat already. He spoke up clearly and ordered, “No. I will deal with her later.” His actual plan was to immediately run away.
“When are you eating lunch?”
“I can save this for you, Your Highness, but how much later?” The gentleman asked. There was a note of almost parental exasperation in his voice.
Jonathan smiled tightly and waved goodbye before he quickly retreated from the butler. He had gone through multiple gardens before he entered the library. They seemed like a good place to hide from his new fiancé for a few hours.
Both of Roscoe’s servants names are bad puns, yes.