TWSB – Chapter 185: Not Baker Street just a Bakery (1)

“There is no way the Prince Consort is aiming for your life. If he does not want a war, that is.”

Empress Frédérique suddenly continued.

My eyes opened wide at the sudden mention of Werner Venetiaan.

It was quite an unfriendly statement to add to the Imperial Decree for us to play detective, but I clearly understood what she meant.

That was the reason I had requested a nobility title in the first place.

“Your Majesty, you must be saying that he does not dare to touch me because I am the Marquis of the Empire.”

“Yes. I can no longer feign ignorance if he tries to harm you. The Queen has also regained her sense of reason.”

She responded.

She meant that Prince Consort Werner was probably not the mastermind behind Madame Victoire trying to abduct me.

The Empress seemed to believe that these series of thefts were the actions of an attention seeker within the Empire.

In that case, that was probably correct.

I heard that she tended to be correct about these kinds of things and I was certain that she probably saw and heard a lot more information than I had. However……

“This is very presumptuous for me to say, but your Majesty.”

“What is it? Are you not confident?”

She smirked as she looked at me. Her cherry-colored eyes did not show any signs of anxiety.

“It is a pity for you youngsters to only stay in the Imperial Palace and your homes. Back in my days, Alexandre and Aurélie went around the entire Empire causing trouble.”

“Frédérique, you and I were the troublemakers. Alexandre was in charge of dealing with things once we ran through.”

Cardinal Boutier put down her coffee cup and answered with a complicated look in her eyes.

I finally felt as if I could understand the Empress’s mentality.

She had lived a long time as the ruler of this Empire.

There were too many reasons she could not roam through the Imperial Capital with her friends to cause mischief or go on new adventures.

The duties and dignity of the throne held her back and did not let her go.

To her, we were just snotty kids.

She seemed to be saying that she would live vicariously through her son and his friends acting like fools.

‘Almighty God, my goodness, seriously?’

“As long as this prince doesn’t blank out and follow strangers, it should be quick to find the culprit. Isn’t that right, Hervé?”

“……Prince Jesse is the first to see Victoire up close and engage her, your Majesty. We were also unable to discover, in past incidents, any clue about her being part of a circus troupe.”

Once the Empress and the Captain of the Imperial Guard finished their conversation, Christelle and the Imperial Crown Prince stared at me.

Sir Johann was smiling brightly as well. I felt my ears turning hot again.

‘Oh come on, people can make mistakes from time to time.’

“The heir to the throne, the little girl who will carry on the most famous house of the Empire, and a Royal Priest. There is also a punk who has learned the sword of the Margrave and a Cardinal-level Holy Knight. What are you all lacking that you can’t catch a simple thief?”

“Please let me raise a glass to your extremely astute statement, your Majesty!”

Marquis François Duhem played along and raised his teacup high into the air.

His light pink eyes were sparkling as if he was about to roll over onto the ground in laughter.

‘Please shut up if you are not going to help us!’

“……Mm.”

Well, technically she was correct.

Our party had Divine Power, wealth, strength, governmental authority, bloodline authority, and intellect.

‘I’m fine but my friends are all busy people. Will we really be okay?’

“……”

“……”

Christelle and Crown prince Cédric had been riled up by the Empress’s words and their eyes were sparkling with competitive spirit.

They looked like fraternal twins. ‘I was worried for nothing.’

“Then I guess it has been decided.”

The Empress cheerfully commented before picking up her teaspoon.

Her eyes were looking right at me.

“I am officially commissioning the case to you, Detective Prince. Go capture that criminal.”

“……I will do my best, your Majesty.”

I could not go against an Imperial Decree.

I nodded my head and finished the remaining bouchée à la reine in one bite.

I needed to eat well starting now since it looked like I would be putting my body through a lot of work.

It was true that I wanted to capture that attempted abductor and have them be punished.

I had done all sorts of nonsensical things since coming here and now that would include being a detective.

‘I’ve never even seen a detective in real life!’

*

‘……But since I’m in charge of it, I should do it properly.’

I felt the heavy weight of my responsibilities as I stood in front of the group of people.

Christelle, the crown prince, Vice Captain Élisabeth, and Sir Johann were here in Juliette Palace.

We were gathered in the largest reception room to discuss our plan.

After that, we were going to call the circus troupe to interrogate them.

“Your Royal Highness, there is something I would like to request before we get started.”

His orange-colored eyes immediately turned toward me.

The crown prince was seated extremely relaxedly with his legs crossed as if Juliette was his house.

The red pandas, who were plopped down on the ground looking like pancakes on the soft carpet, perked up their tails after hearing my voice.

Percy was plopped over on the crown prince’s head as usual while Tithé was dozing off in Christelle’s arms.

“You are going to ruin your back sitting like that, your Royal Highness. Please uncross your legs.”

“Is that your request?”

He scowled and elegantly uncrossed his legs.

‘Do you really think that is it?’

“No, your Royal Highness. Do you remember the fortune teller we met in front of the Legault Central Commerce Center last summer?”

“……”

His handsome face instantly stiffened. I knew he would recall the person right away, but he was still full of repulsion.

Christelle raised her hand into the air.

“I remember her. You are talking about the old lady who said that I was the closest to the center of the world, right, your highness?”

“That is correct.”

I responded. That was already five months ago.

I had been trying to stick Eva, who had just been a young lady of the House of Blanquer at the time, with the main character couple, and the crown prince had chosen shopping.

He had even done the weird thing of renting out the entire Commerce Center for the whole day.

Thanks to that, Eva gave me a gift and we had a fun time, but it was an extremely unexpected person who ended that day.

I would call it the ‘fortuneteller cliche.’

‘Please accept my deepest apologies, your Highness. This old lady is a street fortune teller……’

I recalled the awkward look on the Commerce Center employee’s face.

‘Sir, you are not from here.’

‘Excuse me?’

‘And it looks like our esteemed sir will lose a connection once again. How pitiful…….’

The old lady’s subtle voice was still vivid in my mind as well.

The fortune teller had spoken as if she knew that I was from outside QNW.

The crown prince simply called her words nonsense, but I could not get rid of that eccentric feeling.

I added on.

“I would like to know how that old lady is doing. Would you be able to ask around for me, your Royal Highness?”

“The reason?”

“Because of Captain Modeste Bacary.”

The crown prince squinted after hearing me quickly respond.

His gaze seemed to be saying that this was unexpected so he was willing to let me explain.

I took a sip of Laurence’s special tea, apple juice boiled with cinnamon, cloves, and sugar.

The sweet and warm liquid instantly cleared up my mind.

“It is not related to this incident. I had forgotten about it for a while, but seeing the old ladies in the alley selling stuff yesterday suddenly made me recall it. It has also been weighing on my mind that Captain Bacary made a prophecy in the Blanquer Duchy and lost his memories. She is the only one aside from him who made anything similar to a prophecy in front of us, so I wanted to check on her.”

“She is just a lowly scammer.”

The crown prince growled.

His ether must have started going wild as Christelle gasped and went over to sit on the couch.

She then consoled Tithé, who was woken up from his nap, with a water bubble.

This reaction was to be expected as the old lady made an uncomfortable and rude prophecy regarding the crown prince.

I released a lot of ether in the air to calm him down. ‘It’s partner duty time!’

“I understand how you feel, your Royal Highness. I am also not saying that what the old lady said is true. I am simply curious about her recent well-being. I will also stop giving her any attention if she goes around telling anybody such things without any reason. Then she would really be a fake.”

“……”

I calmly explained. He settled a bit down after hearing that.

I couldn’t feel the power of a Holy Knight, but Christelle’s quiet sigh let me know what was going on.

We were only exchanging glances for a while when the young Countess broke the silence.

“Please leave that to me, your highness. I will look into it for you.”

“Élisabeth.”

The crown prince called out her name in a low voice. She did not budge.

“Your low growling doesn’t work against me. Your highness, I should be able to get some information for you quickly if I send two or three Imperial Guard members. I will get you some information soon.”

“Thank you very much, Vice Captain Élisabeth.”

I smiled. The young Countess said it was nothing and sipped her tea.

The crown prince seemed discontent but did not say anything.

Sir Johann, who was sitting there quietly like a shadow, finally said something.

“How do you plan on catching Victoire, your highness?”

“That, I do have something I’ve thought about. I would like to request all of your advice and cooperation.”

I cautiously commented.

I thought about it on our way back from the Empress Palace but there were not many methods we could use against an elusive commoner bandit.

The Empress said that she did not want to noisily send the troops to capture her.

She believed that that kind of interest and attention seemed to be what Victoire wanted.

I agreed with her to an extent.

It would be a lie for a bandit who left an advance notice for her crimes and performed magic on scene to not enjoy the attention.

“……What if I show my face and use myself as bait?”

“Excuse me?”

Christelle asked in a shocked voice. I gently smiled and explained.

“I know it is difficult to trust me right now. I followed the thief, so there is really nothing I could say even if I had ten mouths. However, what is clear is that Victoire is aiming for me and actually tried to take me away. In that case, I would be the best bait we could use without getting the troops involved. At least thinking about it in reverse, that is what I came up with.”

“……”

“I think that the first step is to take the ball out of her court. The citizens will naturally focus on Victoire’s movements if it is known that I am roaming around the Imperial Capital. She would feel the pressure to do something. If the days go on without anything despite her advance notice, people will lose their illusion of her.”

The other four were silent. I could hear Benjamin and David, who were standing by the door, letting out deep breaths.

I already felt apologetic since I would be making these hardworking attendants worried.

I wet my lips with the tea and cleared my throat.

“It would be great if she shows up to capture me. She may disguise herself as Dame Sarnez again, but I will not be fooled twice. I did think from the beginning the other day that something was weird.”

“Your highness.”

Christelle called out to me as if telling me to stop lying. I smiled and explained.

“Dame Sarnez never used her strength toward me like that. She never grabs me by the arm or wrist because she is worried that I will be hurt. You even control your strength when you hit me while laughing, don’t you?”

“……”

“I’ve never felt pain because of you, Dame Sarnez. That was why I felt something was off when I was with the fake.”

Christelle’s face turned extremely odd.

Her chin wrinkled up like a walnut, then her lips looked like chicken gizzards……

“Hehe.”

Then smiled brightly as if she could not hold it in any longer.

Tithé must have felt something in her arms as well as he cried ‘Aarf!’ with joy. .

Christelle got up from the couch and quickly walked over before plopping back down at the chair by the table.

It was the seat closest to me.

“I’m fine with it, your highness.”

She announced.

That must have been entertaining as Vice Captain Élisabeth punched the crown prince on the shoulder and started laughing.

His face turned even more vicious that he looked more like the main villain than the male lead.

I thought that I was pretty close to this punk now but I had no idea what was going through his mind at times like these .

Only Sir Johann remained calm as he spoke.

“It is not a bad idea if you have a guard near you, but I think you will need secret codes. The enemy is skilled at disguise and mimicry.”

“That is a good point. I made a request for that reason……”

I turned around.

Ganael and Pierre, who had been waiting for me to summon them, walked over with a wide wooden board.

This was the item I was going to use as a chalkboard today.

“Thank you. I think it will be good to put our secret codes on here and come up with a short plan. I also prepared some writing equipment as I thought it would be needed. Please feel free to give me your suggestions.”

Benjamin handed everyone some ink, quill pens, and paper.

The young Countess seemed to be enjoying herself, talking about how this reminded her of her home tutor from her youth and wanting to work in Juliette Palace.

I could only smile brightly as I had no words.

I didn’t know how to be a proper detective, but I felt as if we would be able to put our heads together, come up with a plan, and put it into action.

“Would you like some more tea? It is made with apples from the old lady vendors, and they put so much care into growing the apples that it is delicious. There is also toast with pomegranate molasses.”

“Are you talking about the old ladies we met in the alley?”

Christelle’s eyes opened wide at my comment.

“Yes, I felt like they lost a day’s worth of sales because of me…… I bought all of the vegetables and fruits they were selling.”

The crown prince scoffed while Sir Johann shook his head in disbelief.

I quickly added on.

“I did so with my personal funds. Of course I made sure to get them tested for poison, so please feel free to have them without worry.”

The Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard suddenly plopped down on the table.

Christelle did the same, looked at her, and chuckled.

Ganael leaned his head in and asked, “Vice Commander Moutet, are you really going to request a transfer to Juliette?”

He seemed really excited at the thought.

‘……Will we really be able to pull off being detectives? We should be able to, right?’


Translator’s Comments

Thanks for all your guesses but I guess the title gives it away now…

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