My film cut off like that in Romero Palace.
As for Eva, she apparently returned to the Blanquer residence in the Imperial Capital after being ‘stood up’ by me.
‘How can I make it up to her?’
“Sleepyhead. You’re a sleepyhead, your highness.”
“Yes, Eva. I’m sorry.”
The young Duchess grumbled and I apologized once again.
We were wearing the formal attire of a Bishop and an Archbishop as we walked the grassy area in front of the Imperial Temple.
All I remember is how I was giving Sadie some ether before I got really tired and fell asleep.
I had no idea what happened after that.
I was in Juliette Palace when I woke up and the sun was setting.
Christelle headed home to the Sarnez residence after checking that I woke up.
She did tell me something before she left.
‘His Royal Highness is doing fine, your highness. Please rest well without worrying about him. His esteemed self will personally explain.’
Based on what I heard, the attendant, Pierre, carried me up to the bedroom.
I knew he was a diligent guy but he was also a strong dude. I bought him some beef because I was thankful and apologetic.
Two days have passed since then; today was the day of Crown Prince Cédric and Christelle’s Holy Knight appointment.
“Thankfully, Benjamin-nim gave us your measurements, your highness. He said that you recently got measured for an Archbishop’s formal attire. We were able to place your disguise order safely. The accessories and the outfit will all arrive at the Lord’s Castle by the twenty-ninth.”
Eva added on.
I peeked toward Benjamin and Ganael, who were following behind us.
The two of them smiled and shrugged their shoulders.
They seemed to have worked hard to handle the young Duchess’s anger while I was sleeping.
‘I should treat them to a feast too.’
“The disguise will be a precious one, hand-made down to every detail by an expert in the Duchy. But why did you suddenly go to sleep, your highness? Was the dance lesson with me too intense for you?”
The child sassed at me.
I danced with Eva every time I got the chance since we returned from Sérénité, but it was not that hard.
Both my original self and Prince Jesse’s body have decent strength and stamina.
After testing out a waltz with Eva, I was told that I had a talent for dancing.
My physical strength was zero, but I seemed to have been trained in essential cultural things such as horseback riding and dancing.
Although I was lacking in many ways compared to the male lead, the second male lead was still the second male lead.
“The practice was not intense. You were very nice as you taught me, Eva. I have been busy lately so I must have been tired without knowing it. The blanket at Romero Palace was so soft.”
I answered. Eva was nodding her head with satisfaction before she suddenly stopped walking.
The young Duchess’s eyes opened wide as she looked up at me.
“……Are you saying that you entered his Royal Highness’s bedroom?”
“That is correct.”
Eva whispered and I whispered back.
The temple knights guarding us peeked at us.
I finally realized that I said something wrong.
Although I was his priest partner, the fact that I was the diplomatic hostage of a hostile foreign nation would make it not favorable for me to go into the Imperial Crown Prince’s most private location.
Eva would trust me, but it would not be good for such information to spread.
“Please don’t worry. I was not by myself. Dame Sarnez was with me and David was waiting outside.”
The young Duchess’s face turned as red as strawberry jam.
I became anxious and looked back at my confidants.
Ganael moved his hand around his neck to tell me to stop.
Benjamin was calmly standing there with his eyes closed. It was at that moment.
“It would be best for you to know where to draw the line.”
I had never heard this voice before. I quickly turned my head to see an unfamiliar man.
We had arrived at our destination, the main entrance to the temple, before I realized it.
The attendants and knights escorting Cardinal Boutier bowed toward me.
However, the person who spoke to me just flicked his chin.
‘Wait, I think I’ve seen him before?’
“Captain Bacary, please show proper respect. His grace is the First Prince of the Holy Kingdom, a Marquis of the Empire, and a revered Archbishop.”
“I’m sure that someone who specializes in prophecies knows all of that, of course. You will need to apologize for your disrespectful comment as well.”
Benjamin and Ganael sharply responded first.
Eva glared at the person before taking a fancy fan out of her sleeve.
She opened it up.
She then loudly talked to herself, saying things like ‘how detestable,’ and ‘he doesn’t know his place.’
There was an odd moment of silence with the person not saying anything.
I understood why everybody was upset but I was more curious than uncomfortable.
I looked at him with an observing gaze for a long time before he finally slowly showed his respect.
‘A ‘Captain’ who specializes in prophecies.’
“……My name is Modeste of the Fleur-de-lis. I greet the Moon of the Holy Kingdom.”
My guess was correct. I silently bowed back and smiled.
This man was the youngest leader of the Fleur-de-lis, the Empress’s personal mage advisory team.
His young face had large round glasses, making him look different from when I saw him at the crown prince’s succession confirmation ceremony.
His silver eyes seemed quite stubborn.
The dark blue silk robe, which had the twelve palaces of the Imperial Capital embroidered in silver, looked as if a spoonful of the night sky had been placed on the robe.
‘Oh, he’s shorter than I thought.’
“I will not apologize for the warning I gave, your highness. I simply did what I had to do as someone who receives revelations.”
“I understand. I have heard about the role of the Fleur-de-lis.”
I calmly responded to the young voice.
“I will trust the eighty percent accuracy rate that you are so proud of and pay attention even to the twenty percent exception. Would that be good enough?”
I then smiled, making the young seer’s face turn stiff.
I lightly greeted him with my eyes and turned to the side.
The knights who were blankly looking at us rushed to open the door.
The heavy temple door opened up. I escorted Eva and slowly entered.
Ganael whispered from behind me about how he felt as if he had just drunk a hundred cups of cidre.
I barely managed to hold myself back from laughing.
The captain was someone who glared at me quite a bit during the crown prince’s succession confirmation ceremony, so it felt as if it would be okay for me to stand up to him at least once.
The inside of the temple where the MCs would receive their appointment was full of high-ranking religious figures and Pair de Riester from all over the Empire.
The Spring Ball had been packed with guests as well, but the whole air was different today.
The choir, full of young deacons, sang hymns in an extremely old language.
My heart was quickly becoming reverent.
‘Strictly speaking, I’m not even a believer.’
“Right this way, your grace.”
It was awkward because people did not usually call me your grace.
Benjamin and Ganael sat down on one side of the seats for the believers while Eva headed toward the seats for the priests.
I followed Natalie toward the Cardinal.
The platform next to the Confessional was decorated with a purple carpet and a golden altar with three holy grails made of pure gold sparkled on the highest spots.
All of the golden candlesticks in the temple were lit.
The bishops I saw at the Annual Prayer Meeting were peeking at me and endlessly whispering to one another.
‘Yes, I somehow ended up stuck to the main characters. Complain to the author if you don’t like it.’
“Welcome, my beloved disciple.”
Cardinal Boutier greeted me from the Holy See.
She was wearing a sumptuous formal attire and had a Cardinal’s Holy Staff in her right hand.
I respectfully bowed to her and my instructor warmly smiled, blessing me with her left hand.
“Now that I think about it, you don’t have a bishop’s staff, my little Prince. You only brought a few things with you from the Holy Kingdom.”
“Ah, yes your Eminence.”
I awkwardly responded.
Only the author knew whether Prince Jesse had one and left it back home or if he was a bishop who never had something like that in the first place.
There was a throne on a higher platform behind my instructor.
I shyly greeted the person sitting there as well.
“We greet the sun that has descended to the ground.”
Empress Frédérique flicked her index finger.
Next to her was Sir Johann, the Sword of the Empress and the Crown Prince’s instructor, standing with a cold look on his face.
He smiled as soon as he made eye contact with me.
‘His aura changed instantly.’
“Your Majesty, your loyal subject has responded to your summons.”
“How is the holy stones testing going?”
– Dang- dang- dang……
A clear ringing of a bell interrupted our conversation.
The rowdy room became quiet as if cold water had been poured over everyone.
Then there was a boom and the door opened, revealing the magnificent silhouettes of a man and a woman.
I gasped in reflex.
“My apologies, your Majesty.”
The Empress chuckled after seeing me immediately become apologetic.
Christelle and the Crown Prince started walking toward the altar at the same speed.
Unlike priests, Holy Knights did not have set uniforms, so the two of them were dressed in their usual attires.
However, nervousness and determination were clearly visible in their eyes.
The believers blanked out while looking at the novel’s official couple. It made me feel so proud.
– Click, click, click.
The two of them stopped in front of the Cardinal before kneeling down on the cushions in front of them.
The two of them apparently followed Sir Johann’s instructions yesterday to go through a cleansing ritual, do some sort of prayer and get some pre-training.
Seeing the two of them going through this ritual next to each other made it feel like a wedding rehearsal, making my heart beat faster.
Marquis Duhem will probably be in charge of officiating, but I could at least help receive the wedding gifts.
At that moment, Christelle peeked up and instantly found me.
She winked with each eye before quickly looking down again. I couldn’t help but sigh.
[I pray to the great Almighty God of the continent.]
The start of the ceremony was the same as the Annual Prayer Meeting.
The Cardinal recited something in a prayer book and released her Holy Domain, making all the believers bow their heads.
I was about to close my eyes as well when the Empress started whispering again.
“Didn’t you say that the power of a priest is helpful for stabilizing the holy stones?”
“Yes, your Majesty. That was what I discovered. Yesterday, we started opening my Holy Domain toward the divine beasts to test things out.”
I responded. She scowled.
“That makes no sense. Don’t priests have two ways they give ether?”
“That is correct, your Majesty.”
I nodded my head. The Cardinal was giving communion to the main characters up front.
There was a priest who had a holy text that was as thick as an old phonebook open next to the Cardinal.
[Let us defend the Almighty God with our lives, choosing eternity in between life and death, allowing us to breathe even where the Almighty God is not present……]
“Why are you not testing it with physical contact?”
“It is because Holy Domains are much safer for the priest. It creates an environment where it is easy to control the ether. However, we do plan on attempting contact in the future as well, your Majesty.”
I explained in detail. The Empress started squinting.
“Then take a Holy Knight and try it all. I will pretend not to see whether you are holding hands or hugging in the Imperial Palace.”
My voice squeaked. Some of the bishops assisting the Cardinal peeked toward us.
I covered my red face with my sleeve and looked at the Empress.
She mischievously smirked.
‘I was teased again, damn it.’
“You remind me of my husband when he was younger.”
“Could you please repeat that, your Majesty?”
“Queen Christanne secretly sent a letter.”
The Empress instantly fixed her facial expression and changed the topic.
I felt suffocated as I looked at her.
I looked around to see if anybody heard that but thankfully, everybody inside the temple was focused on the appointment ceremony.
I finally realized why she called out to me during this ceremony.
This was the Empress’s main point. It was hard for me to say anything.
“The content…… May I ask what she wrote, your Majesty?”
“One was for me and the other one was for you. I did not read that one. I have a child of my own so I understand.”
‘I do not plan on toying with the heart of a mother who has sent her son to a foreign nation.’
I felt my palm get sweaty and waited for what she would say next.
My tongue was getting dry and I was feeling anxious.
‘Maybe? Probably not.’
“She did not request a renegotiation.”
“She asked about how the Imperial family and I were doing and thanked me for giving you a title. That was it.”
I felt completely relieved as soon as I heard that.
I took a deep breath and did my best to control the expression on my face.
The Empress scoffed in disbelief after looking at me.
“You really don’t want to go back, do you?”
“……To be honest, your Majesty, I do not. But I do wish to see the Crown Princess and the second princess.”
She clicked her tongue. She then moved her finger to beckon me closer.
I moved even closer to the Empress.
“Look for the Chief of Staff separately once the ceremony is over. She will hand you the letter.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Will you be writing a response?”
Her cherry-colored eyes were looking right at me. My lips stuck together as if a spell had been cast.
I could not answer it easily as I had not expected this question at all.
“I will send a message to your mother if you would like.”
This was extremely benevolent of her. My mind started spinning. However, I did not have to think long about it.
I politely looked down and said the best answer that a person who suddenly transmigrated into the body of a diplomatic hostage of a hostile foreign nation could give.
“I truly thank you for your extreme benevolence which is as deep as the ocean. However, I am satisfied enough with being allowed to possess a precious letter from my mother. I will not ask for anything more, your Majesty.”
The Empress clearly has a plan.