I barely managed to cover up the look on my face.
Very few people were allowed to go in and out of the Imperial Family Library, and I knew that nobody else was around us, but a library was still a library.
My voice naturally quieted down.
“Do Holy Knights have a hobby of erasing their presence?”
The young Imperial ignored me and said something else.
I had no idea what he wanted me to answer, but I saw < Romero: Records of Executions > in his hand and came up with the question.
‘He asked me if I was curious about the people his great-grandfather killed.’
“To be completely accurate, it is the opposite, your Royal Highness.”
I whispered to him.
His orange colored eyes squinted in between the dim gap between the two tall bookshelves.
I extended my hand to ask for the book but the damn crown prince bastard raised his arm to increase the distance.
‘Must be nice being that tall, you cheap bastard.’
“……I am curious about whether there is a spy who managed to survive without being killed by the late Emperor.”
I debated on my choice of words for a bit.
I knew it was a dangerous topic for me to discuss as a prince of the Holy Kingdom. It might even lead to some misunderstandings, but I had no intention of hiding it from him anyway.
It was something I wanted to tell not just Crown Prince Cédric but also Christelle if I got the chance.
Whether I could prevent the war or not, the main characters knowing about an issue like this would not hurt.
“Do you remember Joanne de Haas, your Royal Highness? The criminal we met in Sérénité.”
“You mean the artist you are exploiting.”
“I wouldn’t call it exploitation-”
I then realized that he was joking. I chuckled and continued to speak.
“Joanne believes that her great-grandfather was framed as a spy and killed. She felt so wronged, so I was looking into the files; the late Emperor Romero truly did execute those accused of being spies without even having a confession. This continued until his passing.”
“Are you trying to help restore the House of Haas?”
“That is beyond my abilities, your Royal Highness. She said they have no proof of their innocence either.”
I calmly answered. The crown prince slightly tilted his head.
“However, if what Joanne said is true, that means that there is a spy household that managed to escape the late Emperor’s grasp. They may still be actively spying on the Empire.”
He had no response. However, he didn’t seem shocked or perplexed.
He just looked down in the darkness with his usual stoic expression.
Silence filled the room as we exchanged glances. I felt nervous and broke the silence.
“I don’t expect to find the spy by reading a few books, but I thought I might find even the most trivial of clues if I understood the situation at the time. Ultimately, it would be helpful to her Majesty as well, don’t you think so?”
The crown prince let out a low snort.
‘Hey, big bro is talking about a war.’
“Those people can end up the reason for a conflict or war. It would be great if we could get rid of them before something like that happens.”
“That is quite the commendable loyalty, but…”
The young man responded. He seemed happy for some reason.
He basically shoved the book to me before taking a step back.
‘Wait a minute, just now……
Didn’t he stagger a bit?’
“I’m surprised that you think her Majesty doesn’t know about the existence of spies.”
“Her Majesty has people actively working for her in the Holy Kingdom as we speak.”
He did not elaborate on that. However, the meaning behind his words was clear.
As obvious as it was for the Empire to have spies in the Holy Kingdom, the Imperial family was already aware of the fact that there were spies of the Holy Kingdom within the Empire.
My mouth opened and closed without saying anything at this unexpected development.
“Then do you also know who the spy of the Holy Kingdom is,”
“This is like < Infernal Affairs >.”
I gasped once again. My heart thumped wildly after suddenly hearing a voice behind me.
I closed my eyes and leaned against the bookshelf while heavily breathing when I heard an apologetic voice.
“Oh no. I’m so sorry, Your highness. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
I opened my eyes.
Her blue-gray eyes were gathering light even in this dim area to sparkle.
‘At this point, this place is more like a haunted house than a library!’
“I came to look for you because my dance lesson ended Your highness, but I couldn’t find a moment to interject because you seemed to be having a serious conversation.”
“I’m okay, Dame Sarnez.”
I smiled and waved my hand around.
She barged in with magnificent timing for someone who was struggling to find a moment to interject, but either way, this was something that would be good for her to know as the MC of QNW and as a member of the Duke’s House of Sarnez.
She checked again to make sure I was okay before showing her respects to the crown prince.
The young man openly looked annoyed.
‘How is this punk going to be the Emperor in the future if he can’t even control his facial expression?’
“……Your Royal Highness, are you ill?”
“That is none of your business, Dame Sarnez.”
The crown prince sharply reacted to Christelle’s question. I immediately turned toward her.
‘That wasn’t my imagination earlier?’
“Your Royal Highness, are you unwell?”
“His flow of ether is weird, Your highness. He is also drenched in cold sweats. I guess it might be difficult for you to see it.”
She spoke seriously. I immediately released my Holy Domain.
A golden circle lit up the floor.
The area between the bookshelves and books became dyed gold. I could see the crown prince’s pale cheeks and drenched forehead.
I couldn’t help but gasp.
“Are you lacking ether, your Royal Highness? Why didn’t you tell me earlier-”
“That’s not it.”
He cut me up. I decided to first release some ether.
The crown prince seemed to hesitate for a moment, but thankfully, he did not reject my ether.
However, he really did not seem to be suffering from a lack of ether as he did not desperately suck it up.
‘Is it just a cold? ……Wait, do the male leads of Romfans even catch colds?’
I said that I would call the Imperial doctor but the crown prince said no.
I then said that I would go call his godmother, but his gaze became even sharper.
We ended up laying him down on the large couch in the middle of the library and while we dragged some chairs to sit in front of him.
I did not stop my circle so that it could help stabilize him.
‘You’re not a kid. What is going on? Well, you do become a kid every so often, but……’
“Dame Sarnez, we need to check if his Royal Highness has a fever.”
“Yes, Your highness.”
Christelle immediately answered. Then there was a few seconds of silence.
Neither of us put a hand on the crown prince’s face. I became anxious and looked at her.
“We need to check if his Royal Highness has a fever.”
“Yes, Your highness. Go ahead and check.”
‘I meant for you to do it……’
Christelle looked confused as if she did not even consider herself as an option.
A bitter smile appeared on my face.
I had no choice but to put the back of my hand on his face when the crown prince, who had his eyes closed, suddenly started talking.
“The Imperial family does not know the name or identity of the spy.”
I stopped moving. He must have been thinking about our conversation from earlier that had been cut off.
He continued to speak.
“That is why the Empress must treat them the same as the rest of her subjects. She needs to administer over them so that they do not act out.”
“She said that that was a burden of being a ruler.”
He took a deep breath after saying that.
It didn’t sound like something Romero would have said, so the crown prince’s grandmother, the late Empress Céline or Empress Frédérique, must have taught him that.
A life where she has to always consider whether someone who has pledged their loyalty to her might be a spy……
I had no idea what that would be like, but it seemed as if it would be quite tiring.
Basically, what I tried to do was nothing new for the Empress.
She was always scoping out the nobles when she chatted with them and would run a check on them from the shadows if need be.
There were probably many times she quietly got rid of some people as well.
“Is that why your ether became unstable? From overworking?”
Christelle bent down and whispered to me.
I quickly placed the back of my hand on the crown prince’s forehead before removing it. It felt warm.
The man was silent.
“Is it normal for people to end up like this because their body is tired?”
I asked Christelle.
Even if the body and soul are in constant interaction, I had never heard of ether becoming so unstable because of a physical condition.
‘The crown prince trains with his sword daily, and his body is extremely muscular…… But his ether depletion has been severe since birth.’
‘When Cédric was very young… We had to put restraining tools on him and imprison him here when the flow of his ether became unstable and he overloaded.’
I let out a short gasp.
Cardinal Boutier’s voice became clear in my mind and I recalled Sir Johann’s explanation about how the crown prince seemed to have a foundational depletion.
Christelle must have recalled that as well as she looked extremely serious.
She had watched the crown prince turn into Sadie at the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts.
“……It is because his Royal Highness is not normal.”
Christelle explained in a single sentence.
I barely managed to nod my head while the crown prince was still silent.
He must end up like this if he overworks even if he doesn’t use any ether.
‘It’s not like he is doing a month’s worth of work at once; how much is he working for the male lead to be this close to being KO’ed?’
“This is bad. Tuesday is the Holy Knight appointment day.”
“I’ll be fine by tomorrow.”
The crown prince immediately responded to Christelle. I cautiously asked.
“How long have you been this way, your Royal Highness?”
“……Since two nights ago.”
He answered after a long pause.
He missed yesterday’s lesson not because he was busy but because he was in pain.
Christelle quietly clicked her tongue.
“Should I call a healing priest?”
I could do simple treatments and healing, but I thought that I would not be enough because the crown prince had a chronic illness.
That comment made his garnet-like eyes open wide. He spoke with an annoyed look on his face.
“All they do is screw up my plate even more.”
“I do not want to see them unless I’m bleeding profusely.”
He then closed his eyes again.
‘He looks like an illusion of Sadie.’
[……Please sleep, your Royal Highness. I will wake you up in one hour.]
In the end, I gave him a Divine Oracle.
He seemed to resist, but he must have wanted to rest as he accepted my Divine Power without pushing back.
His handsome brows finally relaxed and his breathing became calm.
My Holy Domain turned slowly like a music box underneath our feet. I could finally relax a bit.
“Ah, a water cloth.”
I debated whether I should put something on his forehead.
I knew that cold cloths were not useful for patients with fevers, but this seemed different from a normal fever since it was caused by his ether.
He might have a headache, so would it be good if his head cooled off?
I got up to ask Benjamin and Ganael for a cloth. It was at that moment.
I heard the clear sound of water.
I turned around to see a large ball of water moving on top of Christelle’s palm.
She smiled at me.
“We are not close, but I do have a big heart.”
The water started moving as she said that.
The ball of water that was just like her eyes slowly flew over to the crown prince’s forehead and flattened into a rectangle.
I felt as if it was moving in slow motion.
It was so beautiful that I was in awe. I felt goosebumps on my arms.
The gently sleeping male lead and the female lead who was warmly taking care of him.
“There is no need for you to work hard when I am here, Your highness.”
‘That was progress in this official couple that just happened in front of my eyes, wasn’t it? Yes, yes it was.’
“This is just my hypothesis, but… I wonder if my marriage to him was brought up to do something similar to this. If his Royal Highness did not have the Sword of Wisdom and only had the Blessing of the Blue Sea, the fire attribute ether inside of him would have been completely suppressed by the divine item……”
‘I can’t hear you. The two of you like this is wonderful to watch.’
“……Maybe he was aiming for something similar to a seal? What do you think, Your highness?”
Christelle asked. I smiled with satisfaction and nodded my head.
“Everything you say is correct, Dame Sarnez.”
I smacked the surface of the pond.
My face twitched whenever I thought about the two main characters and I couldn’t help myself because my insides were getting skittish.
‘This must be why Eunseo sponsored the author so much. This must be why she punched her cushion with her fist and tortured it whenever it was time for QNW to be uploaded. I’m basically a Romfan reader now!’
A shocked Tithé swam toward me from a distance.
I finally snapped back to my senses and waved my hand that was in the water to apologize.
I gently rubbed his cute little eyebrows as well.
After leaving the Imperial Family Library, we immediately headed for the harp seal’s exclusive little place, built very quickly thanks to the Empress’s active non-intervention.
All of the details, from the tiles to the decorations, were extremely luxurious.
The area around this seawater pool– too large to be called a pond –was full of our friends.
“Is it nice? Do you like it? Should this be yours, Tithé?”
– Aarf, aaaaarf!
Tithé bobbed his head in and out of the water and cried out.
He seemed quite satisfied, judging by the way his eyes curled up.
I slowly opened my circle to not scare him, and the little guy’s white body squirmed in interest.
I quietly made eye contact with Tithé and called out his name with all my heart to tame him.
[Tithé. Your name is Tithé. What do you think?]
The harp seal immediately rubbed his chin on my palm.
I made a circle with my thumb and index finger and he placed his black nose in the hole.
Gerrit, who was watching nearby, started stomping his feet. I couldn’t help but laugh.
‘Welcome to the Imperial Palace. Let’s be good friends.’
Tithe just lost the game. Oh wait, maybe that is too dated of a reference?