“The boutique will come for confirmation in the afternoon, your Royal Highness. They would like for you to choose the quality and length of the cape you will be using at the succession confirmation ceremony. I am here to inform you that there are a total of fifteen options including silk offered up from the south and demonic beast leather gathered from the northern ice region.”
“Furthermore, her Majesty has suggested that you attend the Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Imperial Capital’s Garrison Officer Candidate School as a representative of the Imperial family. It is currently scheduled for October but it is a bit fluid and may change.”
“Finally, young lady Christelle de Sarnez has requested an audience-”
Cédric stood up from his seat.
David stopped talking and watched as he headed toward the balcony.
There was a sparkling crystal cup in the Imperial Prince’s hand.
The fact that he usually drank his coffee in an elegant ceramic mug made his choice of cup for the last few days quite odd.
“How is Juliette Palace?”
He did not think that the Imperial Prince had ignored his comment.
This young man had become quite skilled at remembering the schedule and responsibilities of the Imperial family.
It was something that has been drilled into him even during the days in the past when he could only be awake for six hours a day.
That was why his current question meant, ‘I understood clearly so answer my question first.’
David calmly continued to speak.
“All of the items that came from the Imperial family’s safe were moved into the first floor guest room and reception room. I also heard that Prince Jesse wanted to gift every person who was a part of his palace family something so the staff have been in line since yesterday to receive their gifts.”
Cédric scrunched his eyes.
It was none of his business as to how the prince used the gifts he received from the nobles, but he had not checked every treasure for poison and completed mana tests on them so that the prince could share them with his minions.
However, this should have been expected based on the prince’s personality.
The Imperial Prince clicked his tongue internally as he reflected the sunlight off the crystal cup.
There were no reactions from the other side. This was already the third day.
Had this person, someone who was a prince, not learned the codes from the Warring Era?
‘How neglected had he been growing up?’
“According to the children at Romero Palace…… Everybody in Juliette Palace is drenching their sleeves with tears every single day. Prince Jesse is getting thinner day by day. He is not eating properly, and has lost his smile because of loneliness and sorrow. They said that the way he just buries himself in his room and does not come out resembles a spring flower that accidentally blossomed in July and withers-”
‘What a spectacle.’
Cédric had that thought as he frowned.
The prince that he knew was easy going but not weak.
Although he was informed that the confinement was indefinite, his mother would definitely let him free when the time was right.
The Imperial Palace also knew that the people in the Imperial Palace loved to gossip and seemed quite passionate about this useless weight-gaining issue.
He reflected the sunlight off the coffee cup once again.
There was still no reaction. He had no way to tell whether it was because the other person did not know the code or was ignoring it.
Even if the prince really was discouraged, he could not be freed immediately because crown princess Elise was about to enter the Imperial palace.
What was the problem when he had sent over all sorts of treasures?
‘Is it because of Johann Geens?’
Unfortunately, the issue of the sinned Holy Knight was already out of the prince’s hand.
That issue was up to his mother and his godmother now.
He was frustrated.
And, as the son of Frédérique Riester, the Imperial Prince was not the type to let his frustration fester.
10 p.m. on the fourth day of confinement.
I had spent the last two days reading and organizing past issues of the < Biweekly Riester >, history books, and extra editions that had been released.
I also received a map of the Venetiaan Holy Kingdom, but it was not very helpful since I didn’t know anything about the Holy Kingdom.
I could not decide whether I should laugh or cry at the fact that I knew more about the geography of the Empire than that of the Holy Kingdom.
However, the new information I gathered about the Vatican was quite useful.
The irony was that I got this information not from a handbook of the Church of the Almighty God but from the < Biweekly Riester >.
I read through the paper I ripped out once again.
「I want to raise my child as a servitor for the Vatican! – The teaching method for faith that is hot among the nobles right now.」
“Oh my, are you sleepy?”
Demy climbed up the leg of the bedroom table and plopped down on top of the notebook.
This was his way of telling me to stop reading and to sing him a lullaby.
Percy was nodding off on my pillow while Rhea and Perry left the balcony and had been gone for thirty minutes.
They played a good amount in the garden during the day, but they were probably acting up because they were upset that I couldn’t go with them.
I picked Demy up and hummed a lullaby.
The song that subconsciously came out was the QNW OST that Eunseo was always streaming.
It was Christelle’s theme song that an extremely famous idol supposedly sang.
“It’s a masterpiece. The lyrics are so full of desperation.”
“The two of them need to quickly have this kind of dating relationship too……”
I mumbled to myself while organizing the scraps of paper that I had scattered on the table.
「The Biweekly Riester has prepared a list of the Holy Kingdom’s holidays in honor of Prince Jesse Venetiaan’s birthday. The way they worship the royal family there is not very different from the way we love our Imperial family. Celebrate their birthday, anniversary of ascending the throne, and lets not forget, the glory of victory and the scars of war.」
‘This one came out at the end of May.’
「This is the whole story regarding the twin priests’ assassination attempt on Prince Jesse. However, the noble Empress’ wrath has not ended. We have been informed that her Majesty urgently gathered the Chambre des pairs on the 27th and said the following: ‘I express my strong disdain at Prince Consort Werner Venetiaan’s rude and uncivilized action. Something like this shall never repeat itself.’」
‘This is an article from the March 31 issue.’
I wondered why I did not remember it, but Benjamin reminded me that it was the time I was having nightmares every other day.
I must have subconsciously avoided all related information.
There was a follow up article that came out much later as well.
「Prince Consort Werner of the Venetiaan Holy Kingdom had his 51st birthday on the 10th. The rumor is that he made some bold remarks and showed off his charms in a party full of members of the Vatican and other important figures.
The aide of Cardinal X, who was present at the party, claimed that the Prince Consort brought up the assassination attempt incident from March. He claimed that he could not sleep for a few days because he was shocked and felt wronged after receiving the Empress’ handwritten letter in the palace.
He even joked about how his skin became bad because of this false accusation. He then mentioned how the prince had to explain the theft that occurred in the Temple of Boundaries. He sounded as if he did not believe the conclusion about the prince being innocent at all.」
It was a brief report in the May 15 issue.
I was wondering why the article seemed so unfamiliar, but it was because the timing was perfectly aligned with the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts.
I had no idea of knowing whether the Prince Consort was aiming for that as he made his comments.
However, nobody in the Empire gave much attention to a story about the Prince Consort of the neighboring kingdom because they were all excited about the Great Clearance at that time.
Even I had been completely fatigued both mentally and physically, so nothing else needed to be said.
“Anyway, the final decision has been made.”
Demy growled as if he was responding to me. I organized the conclusions in the notebook.
1. The overall picture for how to help Sir Geens has been set. – But it is all over if even one step goes wrong.
2. I need to meet crown princess Elise in order to bring this plan into fruition. – This is making me go crazy!
3. However, I need to convince the Empress in order to meet the crown princess because I am in confinement.
4. Unfortunately, the Empress is refusing to meet with me. – new!
I couldn’t help but groan. I recalled what Benjamin had told me this morning with a grim look on his face.
‘Your highness, her Majesty has officially declined your request for an audience. She has also sent a message to you’
‘What did she say?’
‘Just stay still in your nest. This is not something for you to act on.’
‘……Did you try to imitate her voice just now?’
‘I’m sorry, your highness.’
Telling me that this is not something for me to act meant that she and the Cardinal will take care of the incident.
I could not understand it.
I was the person who was almost killed by Sir Geens and I was the one who knew his situation, so I could not understand why they would not listen to the concerned party’s story.
Although the Empress was hot-tempered, she was not a tyrant or stubborn.
‘There is no way that she would disregard a witness when judging a criminal……’
A thought jolted in my mind at that moment.
“She’s trying to negotiate with the crown princess. A Cardinal from the Vatican happens to be coming with her too!”
Demy opened his mouth. I looked at him with a serious look on my face.
“It doesn’t matter no matter what I say. They will hand Sir Geens over to the Vatican, raise a complaint to the Vatican about his lying about his rank, and have the crown princess take responsibility for the assassination attempt. The Prince Consort’s wrongdoing is the Holy Kingdom’s wrongdoing in the end.”
The divine beast pushed down on the upper part of my stomach.
“Then Sir Geens will……”
I did not finish my sentence.
It was, in some aspects, an extremely magnanimous measure to hand over a criminal of the Empire to the Vatican.
It could also be seen as an expression of faith that they were not using human rules to punish someone who has received the Authority of the Almighty God.
However, the Empress’ intentions were clear.
She was planning on pressuring the Vatican and the Holy Kingdom at the same time.
The Empire, Vatican, and Holy Kingdom were maintaining an odd balance.
Riester was overwhelming the others when it came to national power, but the Venetiaan was developing numerous Holy Knights and priests, maintaining control of the Vatican through its influence.
It wasn’t that the Vatican kept the Empire at a distance, but the relationship was not very amicable based on what I read.
She was probably planning on using this opportunity to yell at the Vatican and properly warn the Holy Kingdom.
She was telling them that they better not dare to mess with me while I am here.
“Damn it, this is bad.”
I stood up and held Demy as I paced in the room.
The Prince Consort claimed the twin assassins trying to kill me were false accusations without any proof.
That meant that he would not leave any proof that would be unfavorable for him.
Sir Geens and his son’s lives were basically in the Prince Consort’s hands as soon as they arrived at the Vatican.
There was no way that Werner would leave living proof alone.
‘The Imperial Guard believes that someone who works for the Bellang family received some money from the Holy Kingdom and handed over the information about the attendant candidates.’
I suddenly became curious about what might have happened to the person from the Bellang Estate who sold information to the Prince Consort.
Vice Captain Élisabeth would have told me if he was captured by the Imperial Guard, but there was no news about it at all.
I got the chills for a moment.
“What should I do, Demy? The Prince Consort is such a terrible bastard but QNW is not easy.”
– Kiiiiiiiiiii, kiiiiiiiiii!
I groaned along with Demy. I had been too relaxed about this.
The Empress held goodwill toward me but she was a politician and the leader of the Empire.
There was no way that she would look at Sir Geens with the same perspective as me.
Then, was the reason she kept Sir Geens sleeping instead of torturing him an act of generosity because the Cardinal asked for it?
“I need to meet the Empress before the crown princess gets here. I need to at least talk to her.”
I was nervous. I wished that I had something that could help. Maybe an invisibility cloak or someone like Marquis Duhem.
I was quite desperate even while knowing that magic could not be used within the Imperial Palace.
“Oh author-nim…… I will feign ignorance and take it if you bestowed an item upon me.”
I looked up at the ceiling and mumbled like a crazy lunatic. At that moment…
– Tap, tap tap.
I heard something tapping on the open balcony door.
It seemed to be about time for the two red pandas to come back.
I came out to the balcony but I could only hear, not see, them.
I put Demy down and looked at the bottom of the led-
“Eek, holy moly.”
A beautiful voice that was as deep and dark as the summer night entered my ears.
I gasped, grabbed my chest, and stumbled.
I was so shocked that there was cold sweat on my back.
I felt as if I had seen a ghost, but I had to look down again because it was a face I could not ignore.
His orange eyes resembled the sun as they shimmered underneath the moonlight.
The young man was holding a vine like a scene in a Renaissance period masterpiece as he looked up at the Juliette Palace balcony.
‘This works. No.’
“Your Royal Highness. What are you doing h-”
“I’m not the Imperial Prince.”
‘Why…… Why did you throw away such a great position?’
I grabbed Rhea and Perry, who were crawling in through the gaps in the ledge, and asked back.
“Is your name not Cédric Riester?”
“Not right now.”
‘What kind of concept is this? Am I supposed to make a guess?’
I was flabbergasted as I had no idea what he was trying to do.
‘He’s not in dire need of ether since he didn’t show up as Sadie……”
“Did you come to help me, your Royal Highness?”
I asked. A bright smile appeared on my face.
The author did not seem to have forgotten about me.
The Imperial Prince faintly frowned once I said that.
“For someone who needs help, you sure didn’t respond to the code.”
He used smooth movements to climb up the ledge before gently landing on the balcony.
My mind started to think.
Although he may have thrown away the Riester name to infiltrate the palace, he was still her son.
Item ‘blood relation’ has been acquired.
“Your Royal Highness, you said last time that you will let me go out again as I pleased, depending on the destination.”
I whispered to him. He looked down at me.
“Are you able to take me to your mother?”
If you are not yourself, then who are you?