Sir Johann was emotional for quite a while.
The tip of my nose was starting to get tingly so I just quietly stared at his head.
Cardinal Boutier and Imperial Prince Cédric did not say anything either.
He sat up just as I debated whether I needed to console him so that he doesn’t suffer from dehydration.
His movement was slow and his breath was shaking but his complexion looked a bit better.
“Are you okay, sir?”
“I, if there is anything you wish from me…… I will do anything you want.”
He looked up at me with extremely drenched eyes and whispered. I smiled bitterly.
“That…… To be honest with you, there is a condition. The reason you are able to live, Sir Johann, and the reason we were able to plan all of this in order to save Gerrit, was thanks to her Majesty’s benevolence.”
“Yes, your highness.”
He answered immediately. I continued to speak.
“You have to make a Promise of Ether to her Majesty and become her sword as an unofficial Cardinal. You will be serving the Riester Empire from now on. You and Gerrit will both be seeking asylum here.”
Sir Johann slowly started frowning.
He was a felon and not in a position to make his own conditions. In fact, he would normally be awaiting execution.
However, it was also true that I had dealt him like an item. I was a bit worried.
“Is he going to think that he is being treated the same way he was before but just in a different place?”
“That…… Is that all, your highness?”
“Excuse me? No, you must also live happily with Gerrit for a very long time. That is my condition.”
I urgently added on after hearing his question. The Imperial Prince suddenly interjected.
“That’s right. You also have to continue the Holy Knight education for his Royal Highness and young lady Sarnez.
This, too, was an extremely important condition. I calmly observed him and waited for his response.
Sir Johann blankly stared at the Imperial Prince, me, and my teacher, who was behind us.
He then scowled as if he saw something truly weird, before…
He let out some damp breaths. Tears dropped from his mint-colored eyes again.
On his face was the brightest smile that I had ever seen on him before bowing toward me.
It was not because he could not control his emotions like earlier. The man’s demeanor was elegant and classy.
Even his closed eyes and mouth showed dignity.
“……As you command.”
He looked like a knight vowing his loyalty.
Sir Johann requested to be asleep again until Gerrit arrived.
I wondered if he needed to eat but he probably couldn’t eat while thinking about his son who was still in the Holy Kingdom.
My teacher accepted his request and put him back to sleep.
The Holy Knight looked at me and said the following before his eyes closed.
‘Now I will be dreaming of the future.’
I gently smiled at him.
A day had passed since then.
The sky that had been raining until dawn was still dark. Today was the day that Elise was going to return to the Holy Kingdom.
The crown princess and Cardinal Ari Schot gave their final goodbyes in the audience room before descending the long staircase of the Empress Palace.
I escorted Senior Ari to his carriage.
Empress Frédérique had given a weird comment in order to take me into consideration and allow me to see them out.
‘What did she say again? Was it, go make sure that the wheels of the carriage did not break or something?’
“I’ve seen something marvelous and I return after eating well and resting well here.”
“I’m glad, Senior Ari.”
Senior Ari, who had received a separate farewell feast yesterday, seemed extremely satisfied.
I opened the door of the Vatican carriage he had traveled on to get here.
The attendants with him didn’t know what to do with themselves and bowed toward me.
The old man looked at me with a deep gaze.
“Your highness, please look for me if you ever have a reason to come to the Vatican in the future.”
“Yes sir, I will do so.”
“Even an old man like me, who is in his last few days, can still be a guide for an esteemed individual like yourself.”
“You are still extremely healthy, sir. Please have a safe trip.”
I smiled and assisted him into the carriage. He laughed out loud before sitting down on the seat.
I said goodbye to the old man before turning toward the convoy from the Holy Kingdom.
Elise and Maartje were standing outside waiting for me.
I noticed that the attendants of the Imperial Palace and even the Imperial Guard members were looking away.
Captain Hervé Duhem was no exception.
‘They’re making such a big deal out of this.’
Elise responded warmly once I called out to her.
She reached her hand out and squeezed my shoulder. Maartje smiled brightly while looking at the two of us.
The crown princess was still difficult for me to deal with but I was not scared of her anymore.
It was because I now knew that she was an oldest sister who loved her younger siblings as well as a righteous person who was scheduled to ascend the throne in the future.
“Stay healthy. You cannot run around as you please because you have her Majesty’s blessing.”
“As for food…… It’ll be fine even if you eat more than you are eating now.”
Elise smiled bitterly as she commented.
‘She’s talking like my family in Juliette Palace.’
“You stay healthy as well and travel safely, your highness. Please don’t skip any meals either.”
“It’s been a while since I heard you say that to nag me.”
The crown princess moved her hand from my shoulder and gently caressed my head.
It was weird because I had not received such skinship since I was young but it was fine after I considered it an act of affection for her brother.
Her eyes started tearing up once I smiled at her.
“That child is right. This is not goodbye forever so I will look for a way as well.”
I didn’t know who this child was, but the crown princess seemed to have received some kind of solace from that person.
Thanks to that, her gaze seemed much calmer than when I first met her in the audience room.
I happily nodded my head as I too wished for the three siblings of the Holy Kingdom to be reunited.
She then lowered her voice.
“You need to be wary of the Imperial Prince. Do you understand?”
I blinked my eyes.
‘I guess that punk really got on her bad side.’
“Being partners with two people is not unprecedented. If it is the Imperial family and the Duke’s House of Sarnez, you will be able to have two layers of security for your safety.”
“That is true.”
“However, you must not form a celestial covenant with the Imperial Prince. That punk will not let you go.”
The crown princess’s blue eyes were extremely serious. My jaw dropped.
I had never even thought about a celestial covenant nor could I form one.
That would cause an irreversible change similar to naturalization.
Christelle did not have a duty to form a celestial covenant because she was not a member of the Imperial family, but if she or the Imperial Prince were to find any sort of soul mate, it was with each other.
Elise let out a light sigh after I struggled to respond from shock.
“I have been a Holy Knight since I was six years old but I have never seen a priest whose ether is as pure as yours. Do you not know that your aura has spread all throughout the Imperial Palace?”
“I do, your highness.”
“So why is it that you are not being careful?”
‘Wait a minute…… Why am I being scolded?’
I looked at her in shock.
The desire to ask her whether she was being too conservative or only thinking in a Holy Knight’s viewpoint rose to the tip of my tongue but I held myself back.
I might reveal an opening in the wrong place if the conversation went longer.
“Worry, please don’t worry your highness. I will absolutely not form a celestial covenant. Please give my regards to Cornelisse and her Majesty as well.”
“……Okay. I will trust you. May the Almighty God’s blessing be with you.”
She said that before kissing my forehead.
She then looked at my face for a long time before getting on the carriage.
Maartje then respectfully said goodbye to me.
“Please be healthy, your highness. Goodbye until we meet again.”
“Yes ma’am, thank you very much. Umm…”
I didn’t know how to address her so I just used a filler word to get her attention.
Benjamin, who was standing behind me, walked up at the perfect time to give her a gift.
Maartje eyes opened as wide as flashlights.
“It is not much. I just thought that it must be difficult aiding her highness.”
The Imperial Palace is beautiful when the sun is out but it has been raining quite a bit since Elise and Senior Ari arrived.
I got this for Maartje, whose shoulder was not very healthy, as an apology for making her stand outside Juliette Palace on a gloomy day.
This was also an item that had come out of the Imperial family’s safe.
“My goodness, you are so considerate, your highness. Thank you for your divine benevolence.”
“Not at all. I hope you put it to good use.”
She could not open it right away due to the lack of time but Maartje looked extremely touched.
She tightly held the gift in her arms as she got on the horse.
After checking that the convoy was ready to leave, Captain Duhem went, ‘hut!’ which signaled the convoy to start moving.
The numerous people and carriages slowly started moving out of the Imperial Palace.
– Clack, clack……
Elise was smiling elegantly through the window.
I waved at her and firmed my resolve once more.
Although survival had been my goal from the beginning, I told myself that I must survive no matter what because the Prince also has family waiting for him.
“Shall we head inside, your highness?”
Ganael cautiously asked once the convoy was so far that I couldn’t see them anymore.
I nodded my head and smiled brightly.
The Venetiaan Royal Palace was extremely tense right now.
It was because the crown princess had released murderous intent and fighting spirit as soon as she returned to the Holy Kingdom.
She had her golden spear in her hand as she walked into the palace.
There were no emotions visible on her refined face.
“Where is my father?”
“W, we do not know, your high-”
The room door slammed loudly. Elise didn’t care that the attendants were whimpering.
Most of the attendants in the Royal Palace were her father’s people anyway.
She took big strides down the hallway before slamming the next door open.
“Where is the Prince Consort?”
“Y, your highness. We-”
The door closed again. The royal servants, who were walking on the other side of the hallway, urgently bowed down on the floor.
It was because they could not handle the murderous intent she was giving off.
Elise’s expression had been like this since Prince Jesse had left.
The staff and soldiers, who had no way of knowing what had caused this, could only shake in fear with their heads down.
The silver armor that had been heated by the sun sparkled with heat.
Elise’s gaze was so sharp as if she would slash anything that got in her way.
This was unlike her always calm and detached self.
Her face actually resembled the Queen, who was suffering from insanity.
However, nobody dared to say such a disrespectful thing out loud.
At least until until the crown princess arrived at her own bedroom with her armor clanking.
“Your highness. Welcome ba-”
It was this place. It was not even shocking.
Elise saw the Prince Consort’s attendant standing outside her room door and slammed the door open.
She then made eye contact with the person whom she both loved and hated.
Her left hand, which was holding the Vicious Manifestation, clenched tighter while the tip of her chin was shaking.
“Welcome, crown princess Elise. It must have been difficult traveling such a long distance.”
Her father, Werner, smiled benevolently. He had a sleeping Cornelisse in his arms.
This was clearly a way to make her weak.
Although his chocolate-colored eyes were warm and beautiful to the point that anybody would fall for his charms, the crown princess knew the extremely atrocious things he had done.
She couldn’t help but clench her teeth.
Elise swung her arm. The golden Vicious Manifestation sparkled. It had all happened in an instant.
The Prince Consort threw himself forward. His hand was bleeding.
He was holding his youngest child with one arm while blocking the spear of his oldest child with the other.
The weapon of a god and the arm of a human were shaking as they clashed against each other.
“Ugh, Elise. What is this……”
“Please let go.”
The crown princess spoke without any emotion. The sharp edge of the Vicious Manifestation had not been aiming for Werner.
It had been aiming for Elise’s own right palm. The Prince Consort looked at his daughter in shock.
“In front of your father…… in the place where your sister is sleeping, ugh. Why are you doing such a thing?!”
“Father, I cannot kill you.”
Her blue eyes were so cold they looked almost frozen as she said that.
His daughter’s gaze made the Prince Consort recall his spouse’s scorn.
His body started shaking and his beautiful lips turned white.
Drip, drip, the floor of the bedroom of the heir to the throne was dyed red. Werner responded.
“Of course. How could the greatest masterpiece of your father’s life and a one of a kind treasure, ugh. How could someone like that betray me?”
“That is why I will harm myself instead.”
Elise put more strength into the spear.
The Prince Consort let out a painful groan and curled forward.
His left arm was covered in blood.
However, the man persisted in order to prevent the destruction of his masterpiece.
An injured Elise, an imperfect Elise, could not exist.
He could not accept any flaws or defects.
“If you wish for me to ascend the throne without any issues…”
“Please stop sending assassins to Jesse. I beg of you.”
Those were Elise’s last words. The crown princess suddenly let go of the spear without any warning.
The Vicious Manifestation immediately fell sideways as she silently turned around.
The Prince Consort finally let go of the spear tip and knelt down.
Cornelisse growled while half-asleep, not knowing that some of her clothes had been dyed in blood.
Werner urgently hid his left hand behind his back and calmed his youngest daughter.
It was almost magical how he smiled despite his forehead being full of cold sweat.
“Please continue sleeping, your highness. Everything is okay. Shh……”
Maybe it was not magic but a curse.
Werner’s eyes were full of venom while looking at the spot Elise had been standing in before she left.
“It’s okay. Assassins are not the only way to commit murder. Yes indeed……”
Werner needs to die.