Elise stared at Christelle.
The crown princess’s blue eyes did not seem angry or as if she would scold her.
They were simply shaking in pain. Christelle was familiar with that kind of gaze.
“You already know that, your highness.”
Elise was silent despite the noble young lady’s whisper.
That made it even more important for someone to play the villain.
There needed to be someone to say something that might be hurtful as a suggestion despite it being none of their business.
Nobody around the crown princess would dare to say something like that and Imperial Prince Cédric and Cardinal Boutier’s positions made it impossible for them to say it.
It was an issue of diplomacy.
Christelle clenched her eyes shut before opening them back. She could hear Eva’s faint laughter in the distance.
“I am not telling you to say goodbye to him forever. This does not symbolize never being able to see him ever again.”
“It’s just that…… His highness will be in so much pain if it continues like this. You might even end up hating his highness in the future. I know that you cherish your younger brother, but you know how human hearts can be, your highness.”
At first, she could have hoped that her family member would return to her.
However, the human psyche was extremely strange, sly, and weird.
You can’t help but develop some sort of hate when you see the other person being happy even without you.
You might say out loud that you want them to be happy, but sometimes, you can’t help but want them to cast it all aside and look at you again.
Of course, it was possible that only she was like that. However, the crown princess’s situation was quite extreme.
The prince was living an indefinitely diplomatic hostage life and the main culprit for all of the evil things that had happened to him, the Prince Consort, was her father.
“It will be hard mentally dealing with such contradictions, your highness. You are in a position that is full of pressure even without something like that.”
“Aren’t you an only child?”
The crown princess asked. She was asking how an only child could understand such feelings.
“……Yes, your highness. But I have heard of such situations from those around me.”
“Those around you…”
Then there was silence.
Although the conversation was not over, both of them were busy calming their minds.
Christelle was the one to break the silence. She had to say something really terrible now.
It was something the crown princess knew as well but something nobody dared to step up to tell her about it.
“As long as the Prince Consort is alive…… His highness cannot be safe in the Holy Kingdom.”
“Yes, he has faced hardships here as well, but it will be much better for him when he receives the Marquis title in the near future. He will have her Majesty’s backing.”
Elise stared attentively at Christelle.
The child’s blue-gray eyes were looking at her with a firm gaze.
Elise knew from the beginning that this girl was not saying such things as the member of a Duke’s household with authority.
Then why was she saying such things?
“I will also become stronger than I am now to protect his highness. His highness already knows. That is why……”
“I think it is okay for you to relax a bit, your highness. Prince Jesse and I are friends.”
The young lady smiled with embarrassment.
Elise could tell this child was telling her the truth based on how she was scratching her nose with her hand and awkwardly fixing her grip on her whip.
This was the answer to the question that the Imperial Prince did not answer and Jesse could not answer.
She recalled the incident a few days ago.
Her brother had seemed apologetic toward her but did not step aside from in front of the Imperial Prince. She had seen the warmth in the gazes of the people standing by her younger brother.
She had not been able to see something like this even once back home.
“Then, if you would allow it…… I will make my leave now, your highness.”
The young lady’s comment snapped Elise out of her thoughts. She could see Maartje now standing next to her.
She must have heard the conversation as Maartje was massaging her hurting shoulder but smiling.
Elise flicked her chin. Christelle bowed elegantly and walked away.
“Please have some ether, young lady Sarnez!”
“Thank you, Eva.”
A table quickly became loud. The crown princess watched the people there for a long time.
Summer rain had been pouring down since I saw Maartje from the window.
I have spent the last few days in Juliette Palace without any issues.
Imperial Prince Cédric and Christelle’s evaluations ended well.
Elise confirmed the two of their special ether utilization abilities while Cardinal Boutier and Senior Ari checked their ether circulation and plate status.
That was why I was in the Empress Palace today. I was here to participate in the crown princess’s farewell party.
“Please enjoy, your highness. We prepared a lot of the meat you like.”
“Thank you very much.”
The attendant served a plate of veal steak as he made that comment.
I frequently had lunch here after my lessons with Cardinal Boutier, so they must have figured out my eating habits in the process.
Elise had a pitiful expression on her face as she looked at me from across the table.
I had no idea what caused the expression so I simply smiled at her.
All of the staff withdrew and only the sound of utensils moving filled the luncheon hall for a while.
“This is really delicious. The outside is crunchy while the inside is smooth.”
Christelle, who was seated to my left, pointed at a baked camembert as she whispered.
I chuckled and nodded my head.
I expected a large-scale event because it was called a farewell party, but it was the complete opposite.
Empress Frédérique, Cardinal Boutier, Imperial Prince Cédric, Christelle, Elise, Maartje and I…
Only the seven of us were here eating lunch.
The thing I had to tell Elise was difficult to bring up around a lot of people anyway.
The fact that they were serving Senior Ari separately made me certain that the Empress set this up because of the deal.
I peeked at the present on top of my knees. ‘How should I break the silence…’
“Have you used the diary?”
Elise said something to me at that moment. I blinked my eyes.
The only thing among the prince’s belongings that could be considered a diary was the magic tool notebook.
It really must have been given by the crown princess.
That meant that she too knew about the notebook’s abilities.
I put down the knife I was using to cut the meat.
I knew the intentions behind the question and I just needed to answer well in order to start a conversation, but it was not easy.
I was sure that she would be shocked. However, I could not keep it a secret and I should not keep it a secret.
She deserved to know the situation.
“I have used it once. It was at the beginning of this month.”
Elise dropped her fork at my comment.
I was saying that the magic tool activated after being struck by Sir Geens’ blade.
Her beautiful and strong face turned pale from shock. She looked toward the head of the table.
The Empress understood what she wanted and answered her.
“It was Johann Geens.”
“……There is no way, your Majesty.”
The crown princess’s voice sounded quiet. Maartje looked at me and started speaking.
“No way. No way, your highness. Sir Geens is……”
“The Prince Consort has Sir Geens’ son hostage.”
The coachman wiped her face with her hands.
I turned my head to see Elise looking at me with a miserable expression on her face.
Her eyes were red as if she could start crying at any moment but she did not cry.
“How. How did you survive? He is an unrecognized Cardinal.”
“Young lady Sarnez and his Royal Highness rescued me. They are not here but young Countess Moutet and her father were both extremely helpful as well. Marquis François Duhem and her Eminence as well.”
Elise looked at the Imperial Prince and the young lady, who were seated on either side of me, after I calmly answered.
There was an odd sense of relief in her eyes as she looked at Christelle.
“The two of them are your partners.”
“……Yes, your highness.”
“The rumors about your advancement to Archbishop are true as well.”
“That is correct.”
The crown princess firmly closed her mouth. Blue flames were visible in her eyes.
She finally started speaking again after a long time.
“What happened to Johann Geens?”
“He’s alive. He is currently sleeping.”
Elise looked stunned at the Empress’s response.
“Your brother asked me to do so. He made quite the reasonable proclamation.”
The Empress commented before taking a bite of her Coquille Saint Jacques.
I gulped and looked at Elise. She and I immediately made eye contact.
I could not demand it if the crown princess did not wish to forgive Sir Geens.
My neck became stiff with anxiety.
“Sir Geens’ son is sick but the Prince Consort has imprisoned him without even letting him have his medicine. He is only ten years old.”
“I hope that you could help that child come to the Empire, your highness.”
Maartje let out a deep sigh.
I could not read anything from the look on Elise’s face.
I decided to start the story that I had prepared.
After all, I told myself that I would do my best no matter what happens.
“I am not sure which prison he is in, but he should be able to be transferred due to his illness and age. The Prince Consort should not care since he is not being freed, and with your help, your highness, he should be able to have his medicine for a while. And the second of August is Cornelisse’s birthday.”
I recalled all sorts of information I gathered from the < Biweekly Riester >.
That had included a list of holidays in the Holy Kingdom.
“There is a large-scale pardon on Cornelisse’s birthday, and she chooses the people and the number of people as she desires. However, you are currently doing it on her behalf as the child is still young.”
“Your highness, even if her highness uses the special pardon to let the child go…… How are you going to get him to the Empire? The child will be in danger as soon as he is released.”
Maartje asked with concern. I calmly nodded my head.
“That’s right. However, if we send him to the Vatican as a servitor, he should be able to maintain a level of safety.”
“When you say servitor…”
“It is a position that a child under the age of fifteen can only get if their identity is assured by two or more bishops.”
I could speak without any issues because I memorized what was in the article.
Servitors were children who attended to the priest of the Church of the Almighty God.
Sending their children to the Vatican as servitors was currently the big fad among the nobles of the Riester Empire.
It was because they decided that going to the Temple of Boundaries, where the Popes usually stay, to help a priest was better than teaching faith at home.
The vain nobles also wanted this for their children because they could show off their relationship with a bishop.
“Young lady Eva of the Duke’s House of Blanquer has written a note assuring the child’s identity.”
Maartje was shocked.
Eva had called me a pushover and mumbled about my being wicked and cunning but still personally wrote the note.
I was thankful to the good child.
“Her Eminence will write the remaining assurance.”
Cardinal Boutier asked in confusion and looked at me.
I wanted to talk to her personally about it and not send a letter, but it ended up like this because I did not have a chance to see her until now.
I sent a gaze of desperation toward her. My instructor’s eyes curled up gently.
“That’s right. I agreed to write it.”
I couldn’t help but smile. ‘Thank you very much!’
“A young boy who has his identity assured by the Cardinal of the Empire and a Pair de Riester will be safe on his way to the Vatican and once he gets there as well. The Prince Consort will not dare to touch him.”
I commented. Elise still had no response. Maartje was the one who asked the question.
“Then how will you get the child to the Empire……”
There is a priest from the Vatican named Sand. He was dispatched to the Empire to supply his Royal Highness and young lady Sarnez with ether.”
“How meticulous, your highness. I knew that you were someone who got things done when you wanted to, but…”
The middle-aged woman mumbled in admiration. I simply provided the answers I had studied thoroughly.
“I asked priest Sand and he said we just need to request the child to be his servitor from the beginning. He said that there should be no issues as he has never had a servitor before.”
‘Then the Vatican will send Sir Geens’ son to me in the Empire!’
That was the reply I had gotten from Sand.
I thought about Ganael, who had worked so hard to send my letters to multiple places outside the Imperial Palace.
I would not be able to be here without all of the people who had helped me in small ways and big ways.
‘I would probably still be stuck inside Juliette Palace without them.’
“……Your wish is to do that to allow the child to meet his father?”
“That is correct, your highness.”
Elise finally said something. She looked as if she was both crying and laughing.
She slowly reached her hand toward me.
I suddenly felt emotional and the guilt I had been suppressing this whole time burst out.
It wasn’t as if I had transmigrated here by choice, but I was not the person she desperately wanted to see.
I felt sorry that I could not be her real younger brother.
I reached my hand out without any hesitation and shook hers.
Her palm that was full of calluses was warm.
‘If I work hard, I should be able to make sure that her younger brother does not die.’
“You want to do all of that to save a child you have never even seen before.”
“Yes, your highness.”
Forget getting revenge on the Prince Consort, I had to ask for help from so many people to save a single kid, but…
I might be able to save someone’s life if I don’t give up.
“You have not changed at all.”
The crown princess smiled brightly. A single raindrop fell down on her cheek.
Old Jesse and new Jesse similar eh?