– Clack, clack……
The hooves were consistent. I was dozing off in the cozy shaking of the carriage.
We arrived at the Eastern part of the Empire almost instantly after using multiple portals.
We would have had to leave a few days ago and stay in multiple inns if it was not for the headdress that Christelle gifted me.
‘My friends, as well as the attendants and imperial servants, would have all suffered.’
I was having a relaxing trip thanks to the main character. I couldn’t help but smile.
– Wake up, oh Prince. We don’t have much time.
I heard a magnificent voice that I had heard before. The man gently grabbed my shoulder.
I immediately opened my eyes.
I could see the blue sky and my head was on some soft golden grass.
I was in a carriage before I fell asleep, so this was an unexplainable change of scenery.
I jerked my body up.
I could see a familiar Bell Tower and the blue North Sea.
However, instead of the salty taste of the sea, the air smelled like sweet Gugelhupf.
The seagulls in the blue sky did not chirp but made noises that sounded like the wheels of a carriage.
“Oh, it’s Yvelines. No, it’s a dream.”
– It is similar, your highness.
I heard the familiar tone respond to my mumbling. I was still seated on the ground as I urgently turned around.
The man’s long black hair fluttered in the wind and his dark blue eyes were rippling like waves.
A handsome face that looked almost the same as the Imperial Crown Prince’s…
He was wearing an Archmage’s formal attire, the same as last time.
I barely managed to stand up without falling.
“Your Royal Highness. Nikky.”
– Yes, I am your chimney bird.
“……This must not be just a dream. Well, it is a dream, but……”
I scrunched my nose. I spoke as soon as the thoughts came to my mind.
“Did you borrow the location?”
– You are wise, your highness. I knew I liked you.
The Ark that had taken the appearance of Alexandre Riester gently curled its eyes up.
I was completely stunned.
“Something like this is possible? You’ve never talked to me like this before, sir.”
– You’ve gotten quite strong, your highness. Your plate will not break because of this level of interference. It is only for a very short period of time.
Nikky then approached me extremely quietly.
I couldn’t hear any footsteps or even the rustling of his clothes.
Funnily enough, it was only then that it really registered that he was not human.
I calmly looked at the man. It was great that I had gotten stronger.
A divine item’s assessment would not be a lie so circulating my ether all this time without stopping did pay off.
– And this body has also gotten stronger.
– It is because we are gathering together. I was shocked as well, as something like this has never happened before.
He was silent for a moment. He seemed to be giving me time to analyze what he just said.
I thought to myself.
‘If it is something he would call as ‘we’……’
“Sir, are you saying that you are getting stronger because the divine items of the Empire are gathering in one place? That allowed you to borrow my dreams?”
There was no other possible hypothesis.
The last divine item of the Empire, the ‘Sacred Bow of the Tree of Life’ was in a forest within the Blanquer territory.
Christelle’s body held the ‘Blessing of the Blue Sea’ and Crown prince Cédric had pulled out the ‘Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star.’
Nikky in front of me was the ‘Ark of the Wind Deity.’
All of them were heading toward the Duchy, so the four divine items getting close to each other was inevitable.
Nikky smiled as if he was proud of me.
– That is correct. However, you cannot forget the most important existence.
He then extended his index finger and pointed at my heart.
– The item within your plate is something that was controlled by the regent of the Almighty God. I do not know anything about that.
I had expected it for a long time but I became certain based on Nikky’s comment.
The divine item of the Pope, the ‘Paten of Wishes’ was really inside of me.
I subconsciously placed a hand on my heart. Thump thump, my heart was beating healthily.
The handsome man covered his mouth with his sleeve and chuckled.
– We were scattered all around this land at the will of the Almighty God. We have met many humans throughout the ages but have never chosen a true master. That is why……
“Are you giving me a warning that you have no way of knowing what will happen when all of you are gathered in one place?”
– Yes, your highness. You understood very quickly.
He answered and looked toward the horizon in the distance. I inadvertently looked in the same direction as well.
My eyes then opened wide. It might sound ironic, but I felt like I was waking up.
The border where the sky and the sea met was crumbling like a sand castle during a storm.
– Crack, psssss……
Where there had once been seawater and clouds became a dark area of nothing.
I felt as if I was watching the most dreadful domino in the world.
I then heard something heavy breaking. I urgently turned to look at Nikky.
This was not at the level of a nightmare, but I had to push my fears away as there was something I had to ask.
This seemed to be the limit right now for borrowing my dreams.
“Is that it?”
He looked at me with a concerned gaze.
– You are in danger.
Rumble! The erosion of my dream had quickly arrived at the coastline and was trying to swallow everything.
Nikky continued to speak.
– This is just an intuition and I have no proof whatsoever. However, there seems to be something that the Almighty God has planned for you.
“……Am I going to die? In a war?”
My voice naturally became louder.
If it is something the omnipotent existence of this world fated for me, I couldn’t help but think of the flow of the original QNW.
Nikky was silent with an awkward look on his face.
Crack, boom! The white Bell Tower in front of me fell into the other side of the black subconscious.
Clack, clack! The clacking in the sky sounded as loud as thunder.
– Please be careful. The world is already relying on you.
“What does that m,”
The area underneath my feet disappeared as I gasped. I started falling down and the back of my neck turned cold.
The Archmage, who was holding onto the black cliff, was looking down at me with a look of desperation.
This fall looked like it would never end.
I almost screamed as I woke up. And then…
Percy, who was on my thigh, chirped oddly like an alarm clock.
I breathed heavily and extended my hand toward him.
The chimney bird jumped onto my palm before rubbing his body and beak on my finger and acting cute.
I couldn’t help but scoff in disbelief.
‘Are you apologizing for surprising me with such scary information?’
“Are you okay, your highness?”
Christelle asked from the other side.
I raised my head to see her looking at me with an extremely concerned look on her face.
The crown prince, who was also seated on the other side, was scowling just a bit so that it was hard to tell whether he was actually scowling or not.
Eva, who was seated next to me, seemed to have a lot of dark clouds in her eyes.
She was so shocked that she left half of the Gugelhupf that she was eating.
“You seemed to be having a nightmare. However, you wouldn’t wake up even when we shook you and his Royal Highness and the young lady said that your ether was unstable, so…… I am not a healing priest so I was debating whether we should call the Imperial doctor…… Is it altitude sickness? Is that it?”
“No. I just had an intense dream. I am fine now. I am okay.”
I calmed the anxious child.
The red pandas on the crown prince’s lap came over to me one by one.
Tithé was flailing in Christelle’s arms.
The crown prince clicked his tongue and looked out the window. I could see his fists relaxing.
I felt sorry that I made all of them worry.
Percy was now dancing on top of my palm.
‘You sure are trying hard.’
“Over there, that is where I was born!”
Eva pointed outside the window at that moment.
I hugged a bunch of animals and observed the great spectacle in front of my eyes.
I couldn’t close my mouth.
The mountain range that resembled an endless row of flat iron steaks were covered in beautiful red and yellow leaves with the arrival of Fall.
There were clouds everywhere I looked, making it confusing to know whether we were in the sky or on the ground.
The view outside the window became slanted as the slope became drastic.
We continued until we arrived at the top of a sharp cliff, where the grand Blanquer Lord’s Castle revealed itself.
There was a bird of prey with its wings spread wide open flying around the spire.
I couldn’t help but gasp in admiration.
How many people and how long must they have worked to create such a castle in the middle of a mountain like this?
Christelle started speaking as I blanked out at this exotic view.
“Is it your first time here as well, your Royal Highness?”
The crown prince nodded his head.
‘I guess that makes sense.’
The crown prince’s father, Prince Consort Alexandre, had chosen love over family. The Duke’s House of Blanquer had instantly cut off their relations to their first son.
There was no social communication between the Imperial family and their in-laws after that, so this was the first time the crown prince was visiting his father’s hometown.
‘He must be having mixed emotions right now.’
“Ah, there are my parents.”
Eva’s voice quieted down. I thoroughly observed the castle.
I then saw the large gates opening in the distance.
I could see a group that had come out to greet the envoy of carriages from the Imperial family.
There were two silhouettes in front of the group. Duchess Cecil Blanquer and her husband.
I let out a sigh. I then made eye contact with Percy, who was now on the back of my hand.
Five divine items were set to gather at the heart of the Empire’s highest mountains and I was about to be in danger again.
Furthermore, I didn’t even know what kind of danger I would be in.
However, thinking about it in my perspective, Prince Jesse had a time limit since the day I transmigrated into his body and had always been in danger.
‘I will be careful no matter what. No matter who I meet here or what I do. That’s enough, right?’
The little guy chirped energetically. It was as if he had read my mind.
Duchess Blanquer and her husband were very strong people.
The way they stood up completely straight and their expressions that showed no openings proved that.
They were completely calm, even as they watched the three red pandas, the harp seal, and the chimney bird coming out of our carriage.
Sir Johann escorted Isabelle out of the carriage behind us and although Duke Sarnez was not visible, she looked as if that did not matter.
Eva, who would soon become the official heir, just greeted them before hiding behind us. They did not react to that either.
“My name is Cecil Blanquer. I greet our esteemed Royal Highness and Prince Jesse Venetiaan.”
The Duchess bowed. Her husband and the rest of the family showed their respects following their matriarch.
She was wearing a shoulder-revealing dress and had a necklace that stuck to her neck.
Other than that, her outfit was oddly different from the nobles in the Imperial Capital. Taking a closer look, I could see that there were parts that were the same as Alexandre’s Archmage formal attire.
It seemed to be a mix of her personal style and a mage’s formal attire.
“……My ill-tempered child has shown extreme disrespect toward the Imperial family and the two of you. I truly apologize for his actions.”
She followed up with an apology about Robert Blanquer’s actions.
The crown prince flicked his chin while I silently nodded my head. The couple slowly stopped bowing.
“Please let us escort you inside. Our place may be shabby but we have prepared a place for all of you to stay.”
The Duchess motioned with her hands. Everybody followed once the crown prince started walking.
I quietly asked her a question.
“Where is the young Duke?”
A small crack appeared on the Duchess’ face. I continued to speak.
“I heard that he is still staying in the territory. I hope that your son and young lady Eva will not be in the same place while we are here. Would that be possible?”
“……I will make sure that is the case, your highness.”
“Thank you very much. It does not matter to me but it would not be relaxing for your daughter.”
There was no response.
She looked back and forth at me and her daughter with her deep brown eyes before looking forward with a slightly upset look on her face.
Eva grabbed my arm with one hand and Christelle’s hand with the other before walking with a smile on her face.
I could hear Vice Captain Élisabeth laughing.
The place that Duchess Blanquer had prepared for us was far from shabby.
It was the second tallest tower in the Lord’s Castle and we had extra rooms even after the attendants, imperial servants, and Imperial Guard members all unpacked.
Everything was cleaned meticulously. We could probably walk bare feet down the hallway.
Percy and our little headaches gathered by the window to chirp, aarf, and whine.
They seemed to be reviewing our new lodging.
‘Let’s think about that after we take a look at the meals, kiddos.’
“I placed the headdress inside of your bag, your highness.”
“Thank you very much. Nobody should have seen it when we arrived earlier, right?”
“Yes, your highness. His Royal Highness and young lady Sarnez made sure that you were covered.”
I listened to my teacher and used Julite’s headdress only before we used the portal and took it off as soon as we arrived.
I was planning on brushing it aside if someone heard the rumors and asked……
“Gasp. Your highness, your disguise is in here!”
Ganael shouted in a loud voice once he opened the closet. Benjamin and I quickly rushed over to the young boy’s side.
Eva had not said anything about my masquerade attire until now.
It feels awkward for me to say this, but this was something that was so entertaining that my family in Juliette Palace even placed bets on what it would be.
‘I don’t care what it is as long as it doesn’t have that damn wing……’
“It is not an angel, Benjamin-nim. It looks like we lost our emergency fund again……”
Ganael spoke with a disappointed tone.
I didn’t care about Benjamin’s sigh as I grabbed the outfit with a smile on my face.
I could see the card the young Duchess had placed by the collar.
‘Your highness, you are a Black Knight who has fallen for the devil’s seduction. Nobody will expect this!’
I couldn’t help but chuckle.
‘A knight is great. Something normal is best. Our Eva is the best too!’
Eva, Eva, she’s the best!