Two days later, I faced the greatest trial since transmigrating into this world.
I was just lucky that the main characters didn’t have a lesson because it was Saturday.
– Step, step
This time, I was not being overly self-conscious.
All attendants, soldiers, royal servants, and guests I met in the Empress Palace sent me odd gazes.
It felt as if there were more people than usual in the Imperial Palace today.
I felt my ears going hot as I filled my mind with any other thought.
‘I hope lunch is delicious.
After I eat and head back to Juliette Palace, I’m going to stay in my room like a hermit all weekend.’
I wanted to lower my head and run as fast as I could but I could not do that because this was the Empress Palace.
I clenched my fists and walked as quickly as possible.
Percy, who was also invited, sat on my shoulder and tilted his body.
“Your highness, I thought that it was really cool! It is not just a regular angel but a Fallen Angel.”
“It feels like something that would come out in an opera or play. The attendants of Romero Palace said the same thing. They said that they watched you descend to Juliette Palace on the eve of the festival, your highness. Lord David said that he knew you would help his Royal Highness……”
Ganael rattled on despite Benjamin trying to stop him.
The attendant of the Empress Palace, who was escorting us, quietly agreed.
Only I was receiving critical damage in the middle. This was how dangerous the power of the press could be.
‘Everybody everywhere has heard about it already.’
“Lady Sarah Belliard’s intuition is still just as sharp. I think the term describes you perfectly, your highness. You are nice to everybody and as handsome as an angel sent down by the Almighty God in the crowd……”
I had to stop walking and cut the young boy off. The three of them looked at me.
I looked around the hallway before lowering my voice.
“Let’s just…… Go with crowd.”
‘Short and sweet. Impactful too.’
“Your highness, I’m sure you saw the article, but Lady Belliard came up with such a title because she was full of awe and praise for you. It does seem a bit dramatic, but it was definitely memorable.”
I couldn’t tell whether Benjamin was consoling me or messing with me.
I could not say anything because I had not read the article.
How could I turn the page when the front page has, in giant writing, ‘The Fallen Angel in the Crowd, consecrates the Imperial family’?
If it was not for the information I was gathering from it…if there was an alternative, I would have immediately canceled my subscription.
I had never expected my actions to be exaggerated like this when I decided to take the crown prince to the eve of the festival.
To be more specific, I thought that the focus would be on revealing the Ark of the Wind Deity to the masses and that I used it.
The crown prince had thought about that as well.
Percy pecked my neck and chirped loudly. Ganael continued to speak.
“It is very rare for the < Biweekly Riester > to give a title to someone. It is only given to precious individuals who have earned their love and interest. “’The Ice Prince’ and ‘The Thrilling Archmage’ were also titles that Lady Belliard personally came up with or decided upon after an internal meeting.”
Something like ‘The Thrilling Archmage’ sounded normal now.
Even the ‘Ice Prince’ title sounded somewhat cool. They were all fine compared to ‘that.’
My cheeks felt hot again. I urged the three of them to start walking again.
“Her Majesty and her Eminence also have titles. But her Majesty’s title came not from the magazine but from the Riester citizens……”
“Welcome, Prince Jesse.”
We turned a corner and Chief of Staff Laura, who was waiting outside the room for me, saw me and respectfully greeted me.
I sighed in relief, thinking that I did not have to hear about this damn title any longer.
I silently greeted Laura before checking my outfit one last time and entering the dining area.
The one good thing about the chaos of this morning was that I did not have the time to worry about why the Empress requested to have lunch with me.
“Why is your face red? Are you weak because you are a Fallen Angel and not a regular angel?”
‘Why are you trying to stir the pot as soon as I sit down?’
“Should I call the Imperial doctor?”
“……No, your Majesty. But thank you very much.”
I barely managed to respond.
Empress Frédérique, who was seated at the head of the table, poured some cherry-scented liqueur into Cardinal Boutier’s glass first.
Her similarly-colored eyes looked entertained.
The Cardinal, who was seated across from me, started speaking with an apologetic look on her face.
“I enjoyed reading the article. They wrote quite well of you. The content about the succession confirmation ceremony was great too.”
‘Would it be possible to not read it and could you please confiscate and burn all of them?’
I did my best to pretend some not so nice words from coming out and smiled. The Empress picked up a spoon.
“Let’s eat first before we chat.”
It was a wise and thoughtful proclamation, as expected of the ruler of the Empire.
I quickly wiped my hands and picked up my utensils.
Percy sat away from the food and observed us.
Around one hour passed. The food of the Empress Palace was as great as usual.
The barbeque I had while we slept outside in the forest was delicious and the homely food the seniors of Aightz Village made for us was stellar as well, but the hands of an expert truly were different.
I ate five plates of veal braised with red onions and grapes.
I could taste honey and vinegar in the sauce.
The crunchy fried monkfish did not feel greasy at all when eaten with capers.
The way the white flesh of the fish smoothly and deliciously melted in my mouth was just top notch.
I also cleanly finished off three plates of that and had about half of the herb-roasted chicken in my stomach when…
“I heard that the bird over there saved you. That little thing is also the one who brought the crown prince to Claire Plaza this time.”
The Empress sipped some of the liqueur as she asked. ‘As expected, that is why she called me.’
I wiped the sides of my mouth with the napkin before responding.
“Yes, your Majesty. He has looked like this from the moment I first met him in Yvelines. That was why I did not know that he was the Ark of the Wind Deity and thought that he was the child of some divine beast. But he showed the power of his main body when Sir Johann Geens used his stigmata against me.”
“The power of his main body?”
“He hid me inside the Ark.”
The Cardinal and Empress exchanged glances. Her cherry-colored eyes seriously sank down.
“Are you saying that the divine item has accepted you as its master?”
“It is not that, your Majesty.”
I immediately responded. The Empress tilted her head. It meant to keep explaining.
I gently petted Percy, who had trotted over to the top of the table, with my index finger.
Yvelines belonged to Prince Consort Alexandre and was now the territory of the Imperial Crown Prince.
The Empress must have felt curiosity and concern since the divine item that had remained in that territory for so long randomly started to follow a foreign prince.
She had not interrogated me about Percy for over a month despite Vice Captain Élisabeth most likely submitting a report about the day Sir Geens attacked me.
That was quite the shocking level of patience considering her characteristic hot-tempered disposition.
“Before I explain that, thank you very much for waiting until now for an explanation. I know that you were being very patient, your Majesty.”
“I’m glad you know that. You would have been dragged off to the dungeon a long time ago if it wasn’t for my punk of a son or my contractor.”
The Cardinal called out to her, almost as if to scold her, as the Empress grumbled. I gently smiled.
Although she was talking like that, I was able to quickly get out of shock because of her consideration and come up with that plan to rescue Sir Johann and Gerrit.
Of course, putting that plan into action as well.
“There is a sort of guide inside the Ark. The divine item took the form of a human to talk to me.”
“My goodness. I have never heard of something like this before.”
My teacher put down her fork and her eye underneath the monocle sparkled.
I debated whether I should tell them about how the Ark had turned into the Prince Consort, but I thought it would be better not to say something that could bring them pain.
I continued to speak.
“He explained that I am not the master of the Ark. He also said that I was not the one to open the Ark but the will of the Ark itself. He said that I could not handle him with my current level of Divine Power…”
– Piiiiiiiiiiruuuuuuuuu, pipi!
Percy opened his yellow peak and chirped, as if to emphasize that part. I couldn’t help but scoff.
“As you can see by his response, your Majesty.”
“Then why does the punk still follow you?”
The Empress asked in a sharp tone. I recalled the conversation I had with ‘Nikky’ that day.
The low and gentle tone, long black hair, his dark blue eyes that curled up beautifully…
‘ I will be by your side. I am curious about the story of your friends and you.’
“I’m not sure either, your Majesty. However, he said that he will be here because he is curious about the story of my friends and I.”
I answered honestly before smiling awkwardly and rubbing Percy’s forehead.
The little guy seemed to like it as he just sat there breathing.
I raised my head up to look at the two of them, and the Empress, who could tell that I was telling the truth, scowled.
“The Almighty God’s capriciousness knows no bounds.”
“Maybe this is to be expected. The Air attribute is said to be free.”
The overlord’s soulmate responded warmly. She then took a sip of the liqueur with a satisfied look on her face.
The Empress clicked her tongue and picked up her knife again. I cautiously asked.
“……Are you not going to take him, your Majesty?”
“Percy, the ark. What remains in Yvelines is a clone made to trick people.”
“Will that punk listen because I gave it an order? Divine items are not under human jurisdiction. I am satisfied with the fact that you did not lie.”
She grumbled. Then the Empress’s professional translator, the Cardinal, explained.
“She means that she is relieved that it is you, my little prince, and not someone else who is taking care of the Empire’s divine item.”
“I never said that,”
“Frédérique is similar to Cédric like that.”
The Empress closed her mouth.
She scowled at her contractor with her red eyes but my instructor, as usual, just received it while looking elegant.
I knew that you shouldn’t interrupt when adults were in this kind of mood, so I just took a sip of limeade.
It was a good thing as long as the opinions on my being with the ark were positive as the Cardinal mentioned.
Using divine items for personal reasons is supposed to bring divine punishment to the person, but Percy’s conscience was extremely developed.
‘This little guy won’t ever do something he doesn’t want to do……’
“I heard you picked quite a good territory for yourself.”
The Empress changed topics as soon as I put my glass down.
I blinked and organized the timeline in my mind.
The day we went to pick up Gerrit, we had gathered in the garden of the Empress Palace and discussed that issue.
The Imperial family was going to bestow the title of Marquis and a territory to me. I said that I would prefer one where I could see the lake and Eva had chosen somewhere in the southwest region of the Empire.
Benjamin asked to confirm yesterday, so I said it was fine and it seemed to have been decided.
I spooned up some warm Bouillabaisse soup before warily looking at the Empress.
“Should I change it to somewhere else if it is giving you a headache, your Majesty?”
“To be honest with you, the location of my territory does not matter. It is just that Benjamin and Ganael wanted a house with a lake,”
“This is not even funny.”
She cut me off. It felt as if her pride had been hurt a bit.
“I do not plan on denying it. No matter where you go, it is just a very small piece of land to me.”
I quietly nodded my head. I seemed to have unintentionally annoyed her.
We focused on our food for a while again.
I finished the roasted chicken from earlier, emptied a bowl of bouillabaisse, and ate four pieces of crispy baguette with garlic sauce when…
“I heard that a merchant guild leader in that land is quite the odd bastard.”
The Empress suddenly started speaking. I stopped moving my mouth and looked at her.
“Many interesting things tend to happen in territories with free cities.”
Her silver hair sparkled under the light of the chandelier. Gulp. I had an ominous feeling for some reason.
“Your first inspection will be quite entertaining.”
“Frédérique, don’t be a sourpuss.”
“Territory inspection? Am I personally going for that, your Majesty?”
My voice became slightly louder. The Cardinal warmly responded in place of the Empress who was drinking her liqueur.
“You just have to do basic things since it is a place that used to be ruled by the Imperial family. The things that used to be allowed under Frédérique’s name are just changing to be allowed under yours, my little prince. But at least one time……”
‘You need to go inspect because you are the new territory lord.’ She said that before smiling bitterly.
I was already hypothesizing the development of things from here on with the list of important dates for the second half of the year that Benjamin had given me anyway.
I gave up trying to memorize all of the events that Christelle and crown prince Cédric might attend.
There were so many of those damn Masquerade Balls that Ganael mentioned that it was possible to go to a Masquerade Ball every single day.
Yes, one every single day.
It was already enough of a headache remembering the things on the schedule that I had heard from Eunseo, but now personal responsibilities were added on.
‘……No. Maybe it is good for me to move around on my own so that the two of them can have some alone time?’
“Don’t look like it is going to kill you. I may just change your territory name to Angelique.”
The Empress commented after seeing the complicated look on my face. I muttered that French word for a moment.
I instantly got chills. ‘You’re going to continue that angel nonsense to another level?’
“Don’t worry. Frédérique won’t be deciding the territory name. And you also won’t be alone when you go for your inspection.”
The Cardinal seemed to be trying to console me. Her beige-colored eyes curled up as I looked toward her.
“The free city in your territory, Haas, apparently became sister cities with Sarnez in June.”
Well well well…