That was the moment I thoroughly understood why I was the ‘second’ male lead while the Imperial Prince was the ‘main’ male lead.
There was a time when Ganael told me something embarrassing and said that ten out of ten people would turn around to look at me if I walked past them.
As for Imperial Prince Cédric, people would not only turn around to look at him, they would drop whatever they were doing and chase after him because he was so handsome.
Even looking at him from down here, I could tell that he was at least 10 cm taller than me. This was quite the difference in specs.
I tried my best to snap my mind out of this funk.
The Imperial Prince and I looked at each other for a while.
I had at least had the broken wooden window between us when I met Christelle.
Although I couldn’t keep a poker face, it had been easy to hide my expressions because of the dark Confessional.
The fact that Christelle rushed in and out was advantageous for me as well.
They were all great conditions for me to hide my shock and embarrassment.
But I was facing this guy face to face.
We were also on a balcony with red torches and magic lights shining brightly from the garden below.
I was almost resentful to the damn Imperial Prince for choosing this particular balcony out of all the balconies in Strauder Palace to get some air.
“Yes, your royal highness, I will take this little guy with me. Her Eminence, Cardinal Boutier, will be informed of it as well.”
I put on as natural of a smile as possible and opened my mouth.
We didn’t exchange greetings or whatever even though this was our first time meeting. I had no regrets about this, as I was hoping that this would be our first and last meeting.
I reached my arms out to the red panda.
The Imperial Prince, who was looking down at me and the little guy, started speaking.
“I heard that you were not going to attend the ball.”
“I am not. I just happened to see this baby red panda here while passing by, your royal highness.”
Anybody would be able to tell that there were vines that resembled Jack’s beanstalk, so why the heck was he mentioning the ball?
I also didn’t like how the Imperial Prince was speaking informally to me during our first meeting.
While all of that was going on, the red panda wasn’t listening to me either.
The little punk seemed to be curious about the newly arrived individual, as it stopped heading toward me and walked over to the Imperial Prince’s side instead.
The Imperial Prince was smirking, as if he found this to be amusing, instead of helping me when he could clearly see that I was working hard to lead the divine beast to me.
He truly lived up to his infamy.
Why did such a stupid obstacle have to appear when I don’t have any crackers up my sleeves?
I really wanted to go and get some rest, so I held back a sigh and released my aether.
My Holy Domain appeared and the area under my feet became brighter.
I then whispered the little guy’s name.
The noble that asked me to name his daughter earlier today told me something.
‘They say that if you call them by a great name, they will respond with a great heart.’
It made sense.
I’ve never heard about it in Korea, but I decided I would use it if the Empire had such a saying.
I based it on the name Demeter since he is an earth attribute divine beast.
He is a divine beast so it is partially (demi-) a god…
Even though this little guy may leave tomorrow……
I thought that this guy might respond well and come to me if I gave him the best name I could think of right now.
The red panda screeched louder than ever before because of my Divine Oracle.
To be more specific, it was a noise in-between ‘piiiii!’ and ‘SCREEEEEECH!’
The way he was opening and closing its mouth while looking at me again made me feel really good, because it looked like he was smiling at me.
The little punk started trotting over to me as if he was never led astray in the first place.
He then jumped right over the ledge and crawled up my arm, making me smile.
“Let’s go now, Demy.”
The little punk pushed down on my neck with his hind legs and stood up.
I carefully held Demy’s black front paws as he tried to get on my back.
“What is the meaning of this?”
The Imperial Prince asked that question.
‘He keeps talking informally…this bastard must have been taught wrong when he was younger.’
“What do you mean by that, your royal highness?”
I’m sure he’s not suddenly curious about my name, so he must be asking about ‘Demy.’
“That, mm… he’s similar in color to demi-glace sauce.”
I couldn’t mention Demeter in a world without Greek mythology, and I didn’t want to suddenly talk about prefixes when I still didn’t know a lot about how language worked in this world.
After I said whatever came to my mind… Imperial Prince Cédric scoffed.
“You really seem to like food.”
“I eat very well. I will be on my way now, your royal highness.”
There was no need to chat any longer.
My work here was done since I procured the red panda, Demy.
I confirmed that Demy was safely on my shoulder and slowly started to mo……
‘Hold on. How does he know that I like food?’
I suddenly got the chills.
I mentioned the color of demi-glace sauce, but I never said that I picked the name because I like that sauce.
It made me feel odd. I knew that I was being overly sensitive, but it nagged at me that he immediately figured out that I was a glutton.
I slowly moved my eyes from looking at the vines for a place to step to the Imperial Prince.
The young man was still looking at me.
“Did you need anything else?”
The clouds parted at that moment. The bright light of the moon shined down on his silhouette.
I could clearly see his bright orange irises as they reflected the light.
The way his satin-like black hair was slightly curly seemed quite familiar as well.
– Dang, dang……
I flinched and looked down.
I could see Benjamin lifting nine fingers to me. The bell was ringing because it was 9pm.
“Nevermind. I will be on my way now, your royal highness.”
I rapidly blurted those words out and took a step down the vine.
It seemed too personal of an issue for me to say my hypothesis out loud.
My mind was quite chaotic with all sorts of thoughts.
The Imperial Prince just slightly tilted his head without showing any other reaction.
– Screeeeeech click.
I heard the balcony door open and close at that moment.
I could hear the voices of the guests and the waltz music for a moment before they disappeared again.
I then heard someone’s gentle voice.
I ignored everything and carefully took another step down, so that Demy would not shake.
“Your loyal subject greets our esteemed royal highness.”
‘What did he say?’
“Sorry, sorry. I made a mistake.”
Demy screeched at me for missing a step.
I anxiously held onto the vine in front of me.
‘Why is that person here?’
“Madam, I saw that young lady Sarnez has yet to arrive.”
“Yes, your royal highness…… I was informed that she was going to change as she found her clothes to be uncomfortable.”
Lady Sarnez’s voice was shaking.
The Imperial Prince was speaking respectfully to her, but the coldness in his voice made him seem more like a loan shark than her future son-in-law.
Demy wagged his tail in front of my face.
I rebooted my body that had stopped for a moment out of shock.
Thankfully, the two of them were not visible to me right now.
“I greet your highness, Prince Jesse Venetiaan as well.”
Lady Isabelle de Sarnez suddenly spoke to me as well.
“I had not expected the two of you to be together……”
I thought that she should only be able to see the top of my head, but then I remembered that I had a tall mitre on my head right now.
I felt like a pheasant.
It was made so that I couldn’t feel the weight or heat from it, but I felt more like a damn pheasant than a person right now.
I barely managed to speak.
I wanted to tell her that she got the wrong person, but I could not do that.
I was wearing fancy formal attire and had purple eyes.
I had no choice but to charge forward.
“First of all, I want to thank you very much.”
Lady Sarnez then walked toward the ledge.
I raised my head as a shadow appeared over me to find a much younger face than I expected.
Her face, that made her seem at most in her mid-thirties, seemed to be full of guilt and fear.
“I know that your time is very precious…… I understand how disrespectful it was of me to make such an appointment as I pleased. That is why I can only thank you for your kindness to still show up……”
“I’m sorry Lady Sarnez. Unfortunately, I did not come here to meet with you.”
A teardrop brushed past my cheek. I clenched my teeth.
“I came here to rescue a divine beast. This little guy over here. I would have gone to the farthest balcony on the right if I was headed to see you, Lady Sarnez.”
She blinked her eyes. She did not seem to understand what I was saying.
“Your highness, this is the farthest balcony on the right……”
“This is the farthest left.”
I sharply cut her off.
The Imperial Prince, who was quietly listening in the back, snorted and…
“It is on the left if you look at it from the back.”
……That was what he said.
The red panda Demy’s fancy special ability, ’using thick vines to create stairs for humans,’ was put on full display.
The wish that he would have used such an ability earlier was, sadly, too late.
With the little punk around my neck, I put on the calmest expression possible, and stepped into the balcony.
I would lose if I showed them that I was embarrassed.
I could feel the obvious ridicule from Imperial Prince Cédric’s gaze, but I pretended not to notice it.
Thankfully, Lady Sarnez did not ask if I was terrible with directions.
“Then shall we get started? Your Confession.”
I hoped that the progression would be dramatic but smooth since I was in a novel.
Even if I fail, maybe I could fail at a good spot to make myself look cooler than I do currently.
I wanted the type of scenario where the reader can’t help but wonder about the character’s growth as they scroll down.
I didn’t want it to focus on my accidentally showing up at the meeting location because I couldn’t tell the difference between the building’s front and back door.
Now it made sense why there were no carriages in ‘front’ of Strauder Palace.
There was no need to park in the back since all guests would go in through the front.
It was increasingly unbelievable the more I thought about it.
“Didn’t you say that you came here for the divine beast?”
‘Can you please stop talking? You’re making me furious.’
The Imperial Prince did not even blink at my glare.
I suppressed the embarrassment boiling inside me again and turned my head toward Lady Sarnez.
She seemed concerned that someone might open and enter through the balcony door, but looked a bit better after hearing that I would take her confession.
“Thank you very much, your highness. I would have had nothing to say if you chose to leave……”
‘It’s fine, this is to preserve the last bits of my dignity.’
I almost blurted those words out loud, but they quickly disappeared from my mind.
I thought that saying something like, ‘I made a mistake with front/back, and left/right, but I am still leaving,’ seemed even stupider.
The image of acting cool and taking her confession seemed like the better option in the current situation.
I was curious to know what she had to say about the divine item that disappeared from the ‘Temple of Vigilance’ as well.
“Now then, could our Imperial Prince please exit the balcony? Confessions are done one on one in order to maintain confidentiality.”
The Imperial Prince’s eyebrow twitched after hearing my statement, in which I purposely did not address him as ‘your royal highness’.
The response I got back was unexpected.
“I’m pretty sure you’ll need me.”
He then raised his left hand, which had a black glove on it.
He made a horizontal gesture in the air and the balcony door clicked and locked.
Lady Sarnez seemed calm but I couldn’t help but be astonished.
“I guess you haven’t heard that I am a magic swordsman.”
I had not.
However, I clearly remembered Eunse calling this bastard a ‘sword master.’
I swear that I didn’t get this confused with a setting from a different novel.
I thought that she was right since he just swung his sword around all the time, but a ‘magic swordsman’?
Furthermore, the ‘magic’ did not seem to be the type of magic I imagined in my head.
Is this < X-Men > or something? Is he some kind of mutant?
“Your highness, it is fine with me. I will take it as a blessing from the Almighty God that I can even confess to you. In addition……”
Lady Sarnez seemed to be stuck in the middle of this standoff that wasn’t really a standoff between the Imperial Prince and me.
Her voice was still shaking, but her black eyes seemed firm.
“His royal highness has every right to know of my sin.”