TWSB – Chapter 186: Not Baker Street just a Bakery (2)

After that, we made up a general plan, came up with things to watch out for, and decided on our secret codes.

Christelle seemed quite used to this, potentially because she had come up with ‘Operation Verona’ in the past.

It was lunchtime by the time we were done, so all of us had lunch together.

It would have been better if we could relax as we ate in the dining area, but the Imperial Crown Prince could not push back all of his administrative duties and Vice Captain Élisabeth had Imperial Guard work as well.

Chef Laurence urgently cooked up some tartines and sent them up to the reception room……

“Wow.”

It was extremely delicious. ‘This is truly master chef level.’

“I am truly debating asking for a transfer. To be honest with you, it was my stubbornness that led me to enter the Imperial Guard. My parents were against it as well. But people in Juliette Palace get to eat delicious food like this every day?”

The Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard looked cute as she finished off her sandwich and said that. I answered with a smile.

‘The Margrave’s Lord’s Castle up north should have fed her well and the meals for the Imperial Guard should be the highest-class as well.

‘She probably thinks it is even more delicious because she is eating with friends.

‘Well, our master chef is truly amazing as well.’

“Your highness, the Imperial Guard has entered Juliette with the circus troupe. I will get them ready to be questioned whenever you call for them.”

“Thank you very much, Benjamin.”

I quickly answered and bit down on the last slice.

A large baguette was sliced in half and lathered with freshly made tapenade, topped with Saucisson Sec that gave off a strong fragrance of cheese, and finished with crunchy cucumbers and tomatoes. This sandwich was truly close to perfection.

While I was wiping my mouth with a napkin……

“Tithé, is this your rattle?”

– Aarf!

“Gasp, it disappeared! Where did Tithé’s rattle go?”

– Aaarf……

“It’s over heeeeeere? Wow, so amazing!”

Christelle, who had finished eating, was holding Tithé and playing with him.

She created a cute little rattle with water and shocked the harp seal by hiding the toy in between her hair and taking it back out.

His black eyes opened as wide as the full moon before curling like a crescent moon. The corners of my lips curled up as well.

Tithé was so good that he listened to everybody including me, but he especially liked Christelle.

He seemed to feel an instinctual level of peace with her because they both had the water attribute.

On the other hand, he was a bit scared to be around crown prince Cédric.

“……”

– Screeeech

The crown prince was about to stand up but stopped momentarily as Demy grabbed his ankle.

Perry and Rhea rushed up his legs as if they had been waiting for this.

The young man let out a quiet sigh before leaning back against the chair.

‘Even you know that resisting against the Three Red Panda Musketeers will lead to defeat.’

“Ganael, we will start the questioning as soon as the table is cleared. Please prepare the other room.”

“Yes, your highness.”

“……Tell the other attendants to behave themselves as well.”

I awkwardly gave the order. It was to set the discipline as my teacher said.

My tone probably sounded weird but the young boy’s golden eyes sparkled as he nodded his head.

David used this down time to hand the crown prince some administrative documents.

I peeked at him and then tried my best to give off a solemn vibe.

‘Should I act all lofty like him later? Puff up my chest while scowling the whole time?’

“Haha.”

Sir Johann quietly chuckled after seeing what I was doing. ‘I’m so embarrassed I want to crawl into a hole and die. Can’t believe he saw me doing that.’

*

The crown prince and Vice Captain Élisabeth ended up having to leave for a bit.

The ceremony to open the Imperial Capital’s Garrison Officer Candidate School, which was scheduled to take place in November, had been pushed back to December. There was a lot of work to do because of that.

‘Wasn’t that originally supposed to take place in October?’ Anyway…

“Your highness, I will first bring in the longest tenured member of the circus troupe, Serge the Clever.”

Ganael vivaciously commented. I wrote down ‘1. Serge the Clever’ on my paper.

I sat at the center of a long table with Sir Johann to the left.

Christelle on my right, was mumbling some weird things. ‘Mr. Serge, we will see you at the next stage.’

‘This is not the acrobat survival program!’

– Click.

“Stand at the center over there.”

The door opened and Benjamin gave the order.

A clearly scared man walked into the room.

He seemed to be in his late twenties and his already large eyes stood out even more because of the dark circles around them.

It was difficult to recognize him because he had beautiful makeup on his face when they came to perform in Juliette Palace.

The way his chopstick-like thin body was shaking made him look pitiful.

However, this was an interrogation to find a serial thief and attempted abductor, so I could not show any compassion or sympathy.

It was possible that he was in cahoots with the thief. I firmed my resolve and opened my mouth.

“Mr. Serge, I will ask the first question.”

“Ahhh, your highness!”

Serge jumped up and bowed down with his head on the ground.

He sounded completely scared. It was understandable.

They were arrested during the parade, given only minimal amounts of water and food, interrogated by the Garrison and the Imperial Guard, before finally being dragged to the Imperial Palace and coming face to face with me, a prince and a Marquis.

Even I felt as if I would experience phantasmagoria.

“P, please don’t kill me, your highness! I, we, absolutely…… We absolutely do not know anything about this Madame Victoire person. I swear to the Almighty God, your highness!”

Serge desperately pleaded. I asked as calmly as possible to help him settle down.

“I heard that you are the longest tenured member of the troupe. But when the troupe came to perform at Juliette, I saw an old lady. What about her?”

“Uhh, umm, that…… My apologies, your highness. Old lady Pomme passed away…… Yes, your highness. S, she passed away.” Serge answered before lowering his head.

I became shocked and exchanged glances with Christelle. She sharply asked.

“When did she pass away?”

“That, umm. She was struck by a carriage the day after we came to perform for his highness…… We did not see it happen, your highness. The one who was with her, her granddaughter, Henriette…… S, she handled the body. She didn’t even call us……”

This was unexpected information. Serge’s voice started choking up.

I prayed for her deep in my mind. If it was right after they performed for me, it should have been the middle of October.

I only saw them for the two hours or so of the performance, but I could easily tell that the members of the troupe were extremely tight with each other.

Old lady Pomme had a clown’s makeup but did not participate in the performance and just sat in the distance.

That was why I had been curious about her role at the beginning of the show.

‘Good job, Serge. Our clever little boy.’

‘Thanks, granny.’

I was able to quickly figure it out without asking.

She kept a watch over the belongings of the young performers and gave them water, endlessly cheering them on and whispering to them what they did well and what needed improvement.

I recalled thinking she was like a warm ‘manager’ type as I watched her.

Her back was bent and she seemed to have trouble moving, but Old lady Pomme had not rested at all during the show.

“Are you saying that her granddaughter, Henriette, took care of her grandmother’s funeral on her own and then came back?”

Sir Johann asked. His mint-colored eyes looked as cold as the aurora in the North Pole.

Serge struggled to breathe before he answered.

“N, no sir. She must have received quite the shock.” Sob. “She just gave us a short goodbye and headed back to her hometown…… She headed south. We have not seen her since she left the troupe, sir. She hasn’t responded to any of our letters as well……”

The man sniffled. I exchanged a meaningful gaze with Sir Johann.

“One more question. Comparing Victoire’s whereabouts to the circus troupe’s travel path, they are not completely the same but there are many suspicious aspects. It seems that whenever she is robbing a territory, your troupe was performing in the next territory over. That is what is written in the report from the Imperial Guard. Of course, this is the first time Victoire was found at such a close distance.”

“Ah, ah! I swear that we had nothing to do with it, your highness! We really have no idea!”

Serge was almost frantic now. I was scared that he might end up fainting or something.

The young performer jerked his head up and proclaimed with teary eyes.

“Y, your highness…… We are p, pitifully poor and don’t even know the origins of our birth. We are lowly beings who have grown up only relying on one another. Crawling into the homes of esteemed individuals and stealing from them…… We have never even considered doing something like that. If we are ever caught doing something like that, w, we would be immediately executed. The fact that our path overlapped with the thief, that, that is just- A, co, coincidence, your highness……”

He ended up crying.

His mental fortitude must have reached its limits as his pale face was sweating as if rain was pouring down on him.

I couldn’t do it.

I called Ganael over to get Serge a blanket and some tea. Sir Johann smiled bitterly as if I could not be helped. ‘I’m sorry, Sir Johann.’

“Please relax, Mr. Serge. I can determine whether you are lying or not, so all you need to do is confess the truth. I will do as I always do as well.”

I commented. Acting all lofty unlike my usual self was as uncomfortable as forcing myself to wear clothes that were too small.

There was a thick blanket over Serge’s shoulders as well.

He was holding a cup of warm passionflower tea in his hands and I had them bring in a chair with a back.

I looked at me with a confused gaze before quickly lowering his head when we made eye contact.

At least he looked much better than earlier.

‘That’s a relief.’

“Then shall we continue?”

Christelle asked me in a bright voice. I smiled and nodded my head.

*

On the second day of December…

I was standing outside Juliette Palace while facing a pretty cold gust of wind.

The attendants were standing in a line to see me off.

Something similar was happening at Romero Palace on the other side.

I could see the crown prince and Vice Captain Élisabeth getting on horses.

“Your thumb guards as well, your highness.”

“Thanks Ganael.”

I received and put on the thumb guards.

‘I’m pretty sure that I heard that the weather was pretty calm other than the heatwave season. That’s what I heard, but……’

I guess everything was an exception when the main character of a novel appears or a hero rises on the continent.

According to Benjamin, it had been exceptionally cold since Fall this year.

Strong gusts of wind had started now that it was December.

‘Of course, of course.’ It had been a while since I lamented my role as a supporting character like this. I was already anxious.

How would Prince Jesse’s body, which could not handle the heat at all, react to the cold?

“Your ears will get cold while you are riding, your highness.”

The kind Benjamin put my hood on for me.

Today’s goal was clear.

We safely concluded the interrogations of the performers yesterday and set a course for our investigation.

That was why we could not push it back any longer.

It was time to put the ‘bait’ plan in action by riding away without any carriages.

We were riding out to capture Madame Victoire.

“Hi, nice to meet you.”

– Neeeeeeigh

I greeted the horse I would be riding today.

I petted his neck and the good little boy accepted my touch with no issues.

The little guy was a two-years-old white horse that Benjamin prepared last spring as a birthday present for me.

They escorted this precious horse from his family’s territory, The Girardin County, which was famous for their great horses.

In other words, it was my first time meeting this horse. I didn’t even have a name for him yet.

“Big bro won’t be that heavy. I’m not a beginner, but, mm. Please take good care of me, little guy.”

“That’s a female horse, your highness.”

“Eek, sorry. I forgot. Please don’t knock this old man off your back.”

– Hnnnng……

I quickly changed my words but she seemed a bit disgruntled.

It was clear that I had lost some points starting from our first meeting.

I hugged each of our little troublemakers once, said bye to Gerrit, and quietly got on the horse.

I wasn’t taking the divine beasts with me in case I needed to disguise myself during the trip. Only Percy, who was easy to hide, was coming with me.

He was in my clothes and just poking his head out while chirping. ‘You little chatterbox.’

“I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry about me and please get some rest. Demy, make sure to listen to Benjamin and Ganael. Tithé, not too much night swimming.”

– Whimper

– Aarf

At least both of them sounded as if they were saying yes. I chuckled and kicked with my spurs.

Sir Johann, who was guarding me, stuck right behind me.

“Huut!”

You are not supposed to let a horse run fast in the Imperial Palace, but I was excited as this was my first time doing something like this.

The cool breeze brushed past my cheeks and hair.

I almost instantly arrived in front of Romero Palace, only to find the crown prince, seated on an elegant black horse, looking at me as if I was immature.

‘Okay, class president. I won’t run in the hallway anymore.’

“Welcome, Prince Jesse. Your horse is so beautiful.”

“Is this your first time on horseback?”

“Your highness!”

The young Countess, pig, and Christelle each made a comment.

I looked toward the loudest of the three, our main character.

A doll on a horse was approaching us.

Her pink hair was neatly braided underneath a macaron-like hat. She had a cape that came down to her hips, and there was a pipe releasing blue smoke in her hand……

‘Hold on.’

“Dame Sarnez?”

“Shall we go capture Henriette, Watson?”

She made a clicking sound with her tongue. Then she winked at me.

I could not respond right away and simply opened and closed my mouth a few times.

‘Is it that concept I am thinking of? Isn’t there too much time difference with that world?

‘No…… Is it too late to have such thoughts?’


Translator’s Comments

Chris gets to have all the fun cosplays in this series.

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3 Replies to “TWSB – Chapter 186: Not Baker Street just a Bakery (2)”

  1. SilverBlueSea

    Pretty interesting to see Jesse as an interrogator.
    But, a two year old horse?
    Jesse is riding a fillie. Horses generally need to be about four before they’re suitable to break in and ride.
    In human years, that horse is ten and should still be living with its mother, when it should be twenty.

    Reply

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