“Open your mouth, Demy. Here comes a fruit.”
– Chomp chomp chomp……
I delivered a nicely peeled pear to our esteemed divine beast.
The punk finally looked like he was not angry anymore as he grabbed my wrist and munched on it.
The carriage was gently shaking and Benjamin and Ganael were quietly chatting with Christelle.
I looked at the red panda and calmly assessed the situation.
‘It’s okay, Jung Yeseo. Why do you think the official couple is an official couple? They are an official couple because they end up together in the end no matter what.’
First, let’s return to the information from when I transmigrated into this world.
1. Christelle is the only child of the Duke’s House of Sarnez.
2. As a result, Christelle needs to become the heir to the Duchy.
3. However, due to the Duke’s loyalty to the Empress, he agreed to marry his daughter to crown prince Cédric. It was because he needed the ‘Blessing of the Blue Sea.’
4. Tada! Christelle has absorbed the Blessing of the Blue Sea. The engagement was canceled.
5. Since the marriage discussions with the Imperial family were gone, the Duke now wanted his daughter to become the young Duchess as custom.
I used a wet napkin to wipe Demy’s mouth and whiskers before becoming serious. There was one thing that stuck out to me.
“Dame Sarnez, if you ended up getting engaged to his Royal Highness, who would have carried on the Duke’s line?”
“Apparently they were planning on adopting the nephew they are closest to.”
Christelle stopped drinking her iced coffee to respond.
Ganael nodded his head as if that was obvious.
“That is how everybody in Riester does it, your highness. It is rare, but it happens when the only child does not carry on the family name and becomes a member of another household. Isn’t it like that in the Holy Kingdom as well, your highness?”
I just vaguely smiled.
I wasn’t sure because there was not much I knew about the customs of the Holy Kingdom.
Looking at the young boy made me think of the Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard riding on a horse outside.
Ganael was the first son of the Viscount’s House of Callamard, however, he offered the title of young patriarch to his younger brother to be engaged to Vice Captain Élisabeth.
‘Things would not be this complicated if Christelle had a younger sibling……’
“Dame, do you not wish to be the young Duchess?”
“I don’t mind being the young Duchess, it is just that I do not wish to get married.”
Christelle clearly stated her feelings at my question. I bit down on my lip.
This was the complete opposite of how the original went.
Christelle needed to have an issue with being the young Duchess while feeling positive about marriage.
As crown princess, she would no longer be a person of her household but a part of the Imperial family.
“My mother talks about considering it when my memories return, however, my father is very firm about his wishes. They said that I need to bring a good husband to provide stability for the family. They have this book of portraits and they are looking to see if any households have a decent second son.”
The MC sighed as she said that.
Once I thought about it, Duke Sarnez’s disposition was clear from the moment he didn’t care about her opinion and set her up to be engaged to the crown prince.
He had pushed for a marriage despite his daughter just waking up from being sick and having issues with her memories.
Truly loving his daughter seemed separate from his mindset as a proper Pair de Riester.
It was something that was difficult for me to understand.
“Duke Simon de Sarnez got married at eighteen years old, so it is not shocking that he is worried about the future of his nineteen year old daughter.”
Benjamin’s explanation supported my thoughts as well.
I observed the side of Christelle’s face as she sat there looking upset.
‘Should I just close my eyes and ask? It might be okay to just feel it out?’
“Umm, what about his Royal Highness?”
“What about him?”
I cautiously asked and Christelle blinked in confusion.
Benjamin and Ganael looked at me with confusion as well.
‘Why is the mood like this?’
“Isn’t he handsome? He is tall and has a great voice.”
“That is true.”
“……Is that all?”
“Did I miss something?’
Christelle nonchalantly responded before crunching on a cracker-like roasted tulle.
She seemed to have finished off that broken Wells of Love cracker. I was at a loss for words.
I looked at the other two to ask for help, but Benjamin avoided my gaze and Ganael sent me a pitying gaze back.
Christelle seemed to feel much better after spilling her guts to us.
The critical issue was that I was the one who had to share her concern, but that was something only I knew.
Nothing much happened until we arrived at our lodging.
We unpacked at an inn that was smaller than Le Siffre. Though at least the employees seemed to have a lot more freedom here.
We all had a filling dinner together before I thanked the Duke and his wife as they walked out of the dining area.
“Thank you again for joining me on this trip.”
“Not at all, Prince Jesse. Thank you for always taking care of my daughter. I am happy to help you with something like this at any time.”
Duke Simon de Sarnez politely responded.
He seemed to be in his late thirties or early forties but he gave off a solemn demeanor unlike Marquis François Duhem, who should be similar in age.
Although he didn’t give off a bad impression, it always felt difficult to converse with him.
Although he could have arrived at the free city of Haas in half a day if he used portals, the Duke happily agreed to the Imperial Decree to take the long road with me.
I was extremely thankful for that.
“Then please rest well and I will see you tomorrow morning, your highness.”
“I hope you have sweet dreams as well, Duke Sarnez.”
I responded. The Duke bowed picturesquely before walking away.
Lady Isabelle motioned to her husband with her eyes before staying behind.
Christelle, Vice Captain Élisabeth, Benjamin, and Ganael cautiously looked at us before walking up the steps first.
Demy and Percy were playing by my feet.
“I pray that you have a peaceful night as well, Lady Sarnez.”
“Yes, your highness. Umm…… Thank you very much for last time.”
The lady’s black eyes sparkled as she spoke.
It took me a moment to understand what she was saying.
She seemed to be talking about when I took her confession during the Spring Ball.
I smiled at her.
“I just did what I needed to do as a priest.”
‘I tried to run away at the time but let’s just leave it at that.’
“Not at all, your highness. You forgave me for my disrespect and gave me some heartwarming advice…… I was able to chat with my husband and resolve our difficulties.”
Isabelle fixed her shawl and smiled. I was relieved to see that she looked much happier than at that time.
I was about to send her off before thinking of something and bringing it up.
Christelle mentioned that her mother was on her side.
“Lady Sarnez, your daughter spoke to me about her marriage earlier.”
“Ah, that child ended up discussing it with you, your highness. I had expected it to happen.”
She awkwardly responded. I calmly chose the words to say in my mind.
I also spoke extremely quietly so that nobody else could hear.
“As Dame Sarnez’s friend…… I think that she needs to personally make a decision for something so important.”
“Of course, I’m sure that the two of you think differently. I apologize for stepping out of bounds to make a comment about such private affairs. However, I was concerned that my friend did not seem to have a say in this matter.”
“No, you are right, your highness. I was just a bit shocked……”
Isabelle looked flushed as she responded.
She touched her arm and thought about something for a bit before looking up at me and asking.
“Your highness, you are a close friend of my daughter, yes?”
‘Close…… I guess you could say that we are. We are friends and now I am officially her priest partner as well.’
“Christelle also easily confesses any secrets or concerns to you as well. I am pretty much aware of how my daughter feels about you, your highness.”
She whispered. It made sense.
Although Christelle seemed to find it awkward to be around her new parents, she seemed weak to her mother who felt more like an older sister.
The reason she first met me was to ask me to take her mother’s confession after all.
The two of them seemed to have chatted frequently.
“You’ve also received the title of Marquis recently, your highness. Congratulations on becoming a noble of the Empire.”
“Excuse me? Yes, thank you very much.”
The conversation suddenly switched topics.
I had no idea why she suddenly brought this up while discussing Christelle and my relationship.
Isabelle then looked extremely satisfied while looking at me.
I felt deja vu and tried to think about when I had seen something like this, and I recalled how Cardinal Boutier had such a look toward me every so often.
‘Did I do something praiseworthy without knowing about it?’
“I will speak to Simon about it.”
My mouth opened wide.
“That’s great. Your daughter will be very happy.”
“Yes, she definitely will be if it is you, your highness.”
She elegantly bowed after saying that.
I thought that her last sentence was odd, but I couldn’t ask about it because Demy looked as if he would attack her dress.
I bowed back before quickly grabbing the divine beast and chimney bird who rolling around on the ground.
Percy cheerfully chirped.
‘Yeah, the author seems to have a plan.’
Johann Geens bowed his neatly tied down white hair toward the Empress.
The Holy Knight’s ability to gather information was faster than any spy she had planted in the Holy Kingdom.
Frédérique sat there supporting her chin with one hand while tapping the edge of her armrest with the other.
That was the only sound in the office right now.
“Queen Christanne has regained her sanity.”
“Yes, your Majesty. The periods of her insanity coming and going have not been stable lately. This past episode was quite long and her symptoms were extremely severe. There were rumors about how she was struggling to even look at the crown princess and the second princess’s faces.”
Johann responded. This was not bad news considering the relationship between the Empire and the Holy Kingdom.
Although the friendship between the two nations had been broken, the two nations interacted with each other for religious reasons through the Vatican every so often.
There were also citizens of the Holy Kingdom who secretly crossed the border every year.
That was why the Empress wanted her diplomatic counterpart to be able to think rationally and be logical.
She didn’t want to chat with that wicked thing that did such atrocious things as the Agent of the Queen.
In the first place, there was a fully grown crown princess available, so why was the Prince Consort acting as the Agent?
“Prince Jesse’s diplomatic hostage negotiation happened because of the crown princess’ unexpected actions.”
Aurélie responded to the Empress mumbling to herself. Crown princess Elise had been the one to sign the negotiation document as well.
Frédérique wondered what the Queens’ opinion would be on the current situation of things and whether she even knew anything about the state of affairs.
She looked toward her son, who was sitting by himself on a long couch to her left.
His orange eyes seemed to be heavily sinking down.
“I will not send the punk back for a low amount.”
The Empress clicked her tongue.
She had said that to reduce any unnecessary anxiety he might have had, but her heir’s complexion seemed to get even darker.
Any further conversation about this would need to happen separately with just her contractor.
She waved her hand for everybody to leave.
Cédric quietly bowed to the two adults before leaving the office with Johann.
Click, the door closed behind his back.
The crown prince was about to walk away when the Imperial Instructor’s words stopped him.
“I heard that you are taking care of all of your political responsibilities for next month in advance, your Royal Highness.”
“……Do you have an informant in Romero as well?”
He glared at his instructor with a vicious gaze. Johann did not seem fazed.
“I would not call it an informant, your Royal Highness. The attendants of Romero Palace are close to the attendants of Juliette Palace and the staff of Juliette Palace are close to me.”
David quietly sighed behind them.
Cédric suppressed the flame that wanted to rise from inside of him.
The Holy stone dangling close to his heart gently released warmth as if to console him.
The golden ether that he had not absorbed even once glowed radiantly underneath his formal attire.
That made it bearable.
“Dame Sarnez has been disappointed because you have not come to any lessons lately, your Royal Highness.”
“Get to the point.”
“You have finished your mountain load of work in advance because you wanted to be with your friends but you are not going to go join them?”
The corners of eyes curled up. Cédric’s low voice sounded even colder.
“Then why are you still at the Imperial Palace?”
“I am a knight of her Majesty.”
“Yes, your Royal Highness. I remained here at the order of my liege.”
His mint-colored eyes sparkled coldly.
The Cardinal did not even pretend to wear a mask in front of him.
Cédric was satisfied with learning things from him and sort of understood why the prince cared so much about his instructor, but he did not really have any positive feelings for this guy.
The wind-like voice echoed through the hallway as the crown prince felt no need to continue this conversation and turned around.
“He won’t know if you don’t say it out loud.”
“Vice Commander Moutet is an astute swordswoman. She is your close friend and can quickly realize your feelings, your Royal Highness. However, his highness is different.”
“And the reason you are telling me this?”
Cédric sharply asked.
Just like his mother, he was not the type to enjoy such riddles.
The Imperial Instructor slowly decided to let his disciple go. This should already be a decent lesson for today.
Most importantly, he had no desire to destroy the Empress Palace.
“I am your instructor, your Royal Highness. I am happy to give lessons on emotions as well if necessary.”
Our crown prince definitely needs some help in that department…