One day had passed since Elise Venetiaan entered the Riester Imperial Palace.
The other Cardinal from the Vatican arrived yesterday evening, and we were now having a feast to welcome them.
“For the two VIPS who have come to the Riester Imperial Palace.”
The Empress gave that short speech before the numerous Pair de Riester who gathered at the hall cheered.
Elise elegantly picked up her glass and looked around.
She could feel the high level of wealth and authority of the Empress Palace based on its size, its decorations, the food, and the clothing of the nobles enjoying the food.
She had also seen how beautiful the Empire was as she traveled on her carriage.
The Imperial Capital was a city overflowing with liveliness. Even the homes in the rural villages far away from portals had magic lights dangling over their heads.
The crown princess accepted the rumors about Frédérique Riester’s reign being a world of peace for the Empire based on the expressions and health of the citizens and the well-maintained roads and buildings.
“Your highness, the broth is amazing. Please have a taste.”
Maartje, who was seated to her left, gasped in admiration while putting some food onto Elise’s plate.
“They said it is called Pot-au-feu. I never thought I would desire something hot like this in the middle of summer but it is delicious. I would love to have it again tomorrow morning to cure the hangover I will probably have.”
Elise thanked her coachman before tasting the meat and vegetables.
The broth was clear but flavorful and putting some bone marrow on a slice of toast made it even more amazing.
Maartje looked at Elise with satisfaction before pouring some mead into Elise’s other cup.
She did this despite knowing that the crown princess had not had a single sip of alcohol since leaving the royal palace.
“Does the food suit your tastes?”
The Empress, who was seated at the head of the table, sliced through her goose steak as she asked. Elise answered effortlessly.
“Yes, your Majesty. The chef is extremely talented.”
“I’m relieved. Your brother eats well too.”
It was just a passing comment. Incredibly, Elise kept her face from changing.
She was no longer just a young first princess. She was the crown princess of a kingdom.
That didn’t change because her younger brother was living as a diplomatic hostage in a distant, foreign land.
“Will Jesse and Sir Johann Geens not join the celebration?”
Elise calmly asked.
Cardinal Aurélie Boutier, who was seated diagonally across from her, answered back.
“Johann sleeps a lot. As for the little prince, he is relaxing in his palace these days.”
“His heart might be heavy because of the incident from March.”
Cardinal Boutier observed the crown princess with her dark beige eyes.
Elise understood that she was talking about her father, Prince Consort Werner’s, assassination attempt.
Her hand gripped the spoon tightly
It was obvious that the Imperial family prevented her brother from joining the celebration in order to protect him.
That was most likely also the reason they had not approached the palace that Jesse is staying in yesterday or today.
Although there had been no messages to her from Sir Geens…… She could not make any excuses.
As the praiseworthy first daughter of the Prince Consort, she was never free from guilt.
“Ah, I heard about that as well. The entire Vatican was in uproar.”
“Is that so?”
Cardinal Boutier responded after the white-haired old man commented.
This was the Cardinal from the Vatican, Ari Schot, who arrived half a day after Elise.
He was seated to the right of the Cardinal.
“The Prince Consort claimed he wasn’t responsible, but is there anybody who believes him? His highness was the only one who suffered a terrible incident.”
“I’m sure it must have been quite embarrassing for her Majesty as well. This old man knows that I should be preparing for my own funeral based on my age, but I couldn’t help but be concerned for the young prince.”
Schot was over eighty years old and was part of the neutral faction in the Vatican that did not side with either the Empire nor the Holy Kingdom.
He must not have had anything to be scared of as he said whatever he wanted to say.
The Empress simply smiled and drank some rum.
“It is a good thing that his highness was able to overcome such a dangerous situation and made some achievements in the Empire. I heard that he is to receive a title of nobility from the Empire. It is our Almighty God balancing things out.”
The old man smiled while putting some red currant jam on his bread.
Elise did not show her shaken emotions on her face as she changed the topic.
“Your Majesty, I ask for your grace to allow Jesse to have a taste of the food here. He doesn’t eat very much, so just a little……”
“I have already sent some over.”
The Imperial Prince, Cédric Riester, cut her off.
Elise looked at the man seated to her right.
This young man was the most beautiful person among the people she had met yesterday, but he did not have even a speck of emotion visible on his face.
“It should be plenty because I sent enough for ten people.”
“Cédric, do you think that that will be enough? The little prince alone eats as much as four people. He will probably have every palace staff member passing by to have a taste.”
Cardinal Boutier commented in a concerned voice. Elise could not understand what she was hearing.
Her younger brother had a habit of not eating much since someone attempted to kill him by poisoning his food when he was younger.
He didn’t eat much and he even made sure to boil clean water.
Although taking care of those who worked for him was definitely something Jesse would do……
“I sent dessert in addition to that, your Eminence.”
“I see. Then it should be enough.”
This conversation was extremely weird.
Elise calmly picked up her glass of water as she looked toward Maartje.
She seemed quite shocked as well.
“You will be able to get a taste of it tomorrow, your highness.”
She heard a clear voice at that moment.
Elise turned her head to look at the person seated across from her.
This noble young lady was full of an aura of pure water.
She was the bold and daring child who had tested her strength in the audience room yesterday.
“His highness has agreed to observe our evaluation. I’m certain that he will come with about three picnic baskets from Juliette Palace. Whether it is bread or a cracker from there, please make sure to try it. Chef Laurence is top class.”
Christelle de Sarnez smiled. The crown princess simply nodded once.
The lobby of Juliette Palace was busy.
It was probably because I was packing food and heading out for the first time in a long while.
It was now day three since crown princess Elise entered the Imperial Palace, the day that Christelle and Imperial Prince Cédric’s Holy Knight evaluation was to start.
“We have prepared four picnic baskets because there is the Cardinal from the Vatican as well, your highness.”
“Thank you very much, Benjamin. I guess Laurence deserves a bonus.”
“He’ll be fine for at least thirty years thanks to the golden toad you gave him, your highness.”
I chuckled at Benjamin’s comment.
The Imperial Prince had moved all of the presents that the nobles had sent me to Juliette Palace not too long ago.
He said that it was because there was no room in the Imperial family’s safe.
Everything except one was useless so I gave away a portion to my palace family. Laurence had taken a large golden toad from the pile.
I didn’t know why a golden toad existed in a Western romfan world but I was satisfied after seeing him looking so happy.
I seemed quite used to the jjampong setting of QNW now. (TL Note: Jjamppong is a Chinese style Korean noodle soup with red, spicy seafood- or pork-based broth flavored with gochugaru. Common ingredients include onions, garlic, Korean zucchini, carrots, cabbages, squid, mussels, and pork. The dish was inspired by Chinese cuisine. Basically it means just a mixed up setting)
Ah, I really want jjampong with creamy shrimp.
“Your highness, twenty Imperial Guard members will be closely guarding you.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth, who picked up one of the picnic baskets as if it was natural, explained.
I opened the cover to make sure that the fruit juice for her and Ganael were inside.
We quickly walked out of the palace.
“I will be by your side until the evaluation ends today, but this decision was made in order to prepare for the worst. Unfortunately, you will not be able to be within ten steps of the crown princess, your highness.”
“That is okay.”
In fact, I welcomed it with open arms.
I would be put in a disadvantageous position if I have unnecessary conversations with Elise.
The young Countess and I chatted about Marquis Duhem’s polo match as we headed toward the outdoor training ground behind the palace.
My confinement was loosened just a bit after Empress Frédérique allowed me to meet Elise.
Originally, Sand, who was confined in his lodging, would have been summoned to supply the main characters with ether today.
However, the Empress designated me to do it.
It sounded a bit as if she wanted me to do my job as their partner but also as if she was giving me a chance to greet the crown princess before getting down to discuss business with her.
Or maybe it was just giving me a chance to get some fresh air since the outdoor training ground was going to be used anyway.
“……You will be able to go on walks as you please soon, your highness.”
“I understand. It is still bearable.”
I smiled and responded to Vice Captain Élisabeth’s consolation.
The crown princess was scheduled to return home in five days. I was anxious just knowing that we were in the same area.
However, I was in a situation that was a thousand, no, a million times better than Sir Geens, who was imprisoned and asleep somewhere in the Imperial Palace.
I made sure not to forget that fact in order to give it my best.
“Yes, very good. You have talent, young lady Sarnez.”
“Thank you very much, your Eminence.”
I heard an old voice I didn’t recognize along with Christelle’s distinct voice. I quickened my steps.
The familiar sight of the training ground soon appeared.
The noble young lady smiled brightly after noticing me and created a water flower.
“Hello, your highness!”
“Hello, young lady Sarnez.”
“My goodness. I can’t believe I am seeing the moon of the Holy Kingdom before I die.”
I finished greeting Christelle and the old man standing next to her extended his hand toward me.
The old man with white hair and hazelnut-colored eyes looked quite wise.
He was wearing casual attire that seemed to follow the holy Kingdom’s fashion trends but I immediately recognized who he was.
He was one of the three judges.
“Ah, you must be Cardinal Ari Schot. Nice to meet you, your Eminence.”
“Please call me Ari. Your eyes are so beautiful…… It is a blessing from the Almighty God.”
The old man stared at my face in astonishment and did not let go of his hand that was shaking mine.
I grabbed his cane and offered him my arm.
The old man laughed out loud before holding my arm and walking.
Vice Captain Élisabeth skillfully stationed the Imperial Guard members.
It didn’t seem like Cardinal Boutier, the Imperial Prince, and Elise were here yet.
“There is a seat over there by the shade. It should be a good place to eat some snacks as there is a table there, your Eminence.”
“My, my. You truly are as kind as I’ve heard, your highness.”
Such compliments made me feel awkward.
‘Someone else prepared all of this though.’
Christelle, who was walking to the old man’s right, responded after seeing the awkward look on my face.
“This is a secret I am only telling you, your Eminence, but his highness is my partner.”
“Oho? Is that so? May the two of you be blessed.”
‘She didn’t respond on my behalf. How close did she get to this old man in such a short period of time that she is telling him about this?’
I looked at her in shock. Christelle winked with her left eye and then her right eye.
‘She’s driving me nuts.’
“Now it is completely clear why her Majesty is bestowing a title of nobility to him. I understand completely, of course.”
The old man chuckled as he sat down on the couch.
I put his cane somewhere he could reach before receiving a picnic basket from Benjamin and opening it.
Ganael took out a beautiful tablecloth and spread it out as well. The old man continued to speak.
“How high of a title of nobility did she say she will bestow? You should ask for something high if you’re going to ask, your highness.”
“That…… I have not thought about it yet, your Eminence. I was planning on receiving whatever her Majesty gave me.”
I placed a Paris-Brest on each plate as I responded.
Now that I thought about it, we had not discussed that far in my deal with the Empress.
I must have considered a title of nobility to be equivalent to a green card in my mind.
‘What is the lowest one again?’
“Wouldn’t a Baron be enough?”
“Your highness, absolutely not!”
Ganael, Senior Ari, and Christelle reacted at the same time.
Benjamin, who was quietly brewing some tea, let out a sigh.
“I feel like I will have a lot of responsibilities the higher the nobility. I just need enough to receive protection-”
A low-pitched voice that was soothing to hear came from behind me. We all turned to look at the entrance of the training ground.
I could see three people walking with attendants and guards.
The young man standing at the center of the group, a position befitting of the male lead, was looking at me with his sparkling orange eyes.
“You are scheduled to become a Marquis.”
‘Ah, is that so……’
I nodded my head in bewilderment.
That was the second highest of the five noble titles and at the same level as François Duhem.
I thought that it might be too much but there was no need to say that out loud.
We stood up and respectfully greeted the new arrivals.
Cardinal Boutier, the Imperial Prince, and Elise greeted us back.
The crown princess looked calm.
‘Did she hear what I said? I’m feeling guilty all of a sudden.’
“Should we move to the table on the other side as we need to make a decision?”
“Of course. I need to walk a lot. The healing priest told me to do so.”
Senior Ari happily got up at Cardinal Boutier’s suggestion.
I supported him up as I observed the situation.
This was clearly a plan to separate Elise and me.
They could have made their decision on the empty table next to us instead of moving to the other side of the training ground.
It was at that moment.
I flinched and stiffened up.
This was the first time being called just by my name since transmigrating into this world.
I raised my head to see a bitterly smiling Elise. She was so close.
I was told I could not be within ten steps of her but she seemed only about five steps away.
Vice Captain Élisabeth stepped in front to cover about half of me. I could feel the gentle pressure of a Grade 8 swordsman.
She looked ready to use her sword against a Cardinal at any moment.
“Your ether is so pure.”
“……Thank you very much.”
I barely smiled and responded. Elise continued to speak.
“Mother will be happy about it as well. She wanted you to be my partner when you were young.”
The Imperial Prince pulled out the Sword of Wisdom. The air seemed to ring for a moment and I got the chills.
Somebody is jealous!
Thanks for the chapter!
Everyone is fighting for Jesse 🤣
The smell of vinegar and gunpowder is heavy…
Lady are you a machinery technician? Because you just pressed all the wrong buttons
Thanks for the chapter!!!💜
Can we get more of the sibling interactions? Imperial prince and christelle need to go to the sideline for now.
Haha can’t wait for the next chapter
..I have a feeling Jesse might break the 10 step boundary himself somehow
Jesus christ CP calm yo tits!!!!
The line about og!Jesse not eating a lot because of the poisoning attempt broke my heart. The fact that Elise will meet a Jesse that is not her brother despite looking exactly like him…
Control yourself cedric lmao. Poor elise though, I’m liking her a lot.
maybe elise will start thinking that her brother always had a big appetite but couldn’t satisfy it easily bc of all the prince consort’s assassination attempts… idk i have a feeling that mc isn’t completely a foreigner to this world
Is this another case of “isekai’d” into a novel but was actually an original resident in that world? 🤔
But LOL Ceddy doesn’t want yet another competitor for Jesse’s attention 😂
Thanks for the chapter 🙏