TWSB – Chapter 30: The Last and Only (2)

Three days passed and it was now Saturday.

Cardinal Boutier canceled one of our lessons.

I didn’t hear the reason behind it but her attendant, Natalie, personally came to Juliette Palace to deliver the message.

I believed she was dealing with the issue of the Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star being offered as the winner’s prize for the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts.

It wasn’t bad for me.

We could make the lesson up at a later point, and the less contact I had with Christelle and the Imperial Prince, the better.

“You have nothing else on your daily agenda other than taking confessions in the afternoons, your highness. In addition, your monthly dignity maintenance allowance and salary have arrived so I have placed them in the safe.”
“I understand…… Excuse me?”

My voice automatically went up after hearing about an allowance or salary for the first time since transmigrating into this body.

‘I have money?’

“Dignity maintenance allowance and salary?”
“Yes, your highness. I informed you about it the morning after you arrived.”

Benjamin responded respectfully while standing on the other side of the table.

I tried my best to recall the events of the day after my transmigration.

However, all I remembered was eating well during my meal, eating well during snack time and burying my face in my notebook.

My ears must have temporarily shut down from the shock of transmigrating for the first time in my life.

‘How did I miss such important information?’

“I frequently…… I frequently receive money?”
“Yes, your highness. The Imperial family deposits 1 million francs every month for your dignity maintenance allowance and another 1 million francs for being a priest working in the Imperial Palace.”
“So, 2 million francs a month.”
“Yes sir.”

Francs were the currency of France.

I thought that the French patch was only for the names of people in the Empire, but the author must have simply made everything, including the currency, French.

It made me wonder if the Venetiaan Holy Kingdom used euros.

“I am having a hard time getting a sense of how much 2 millions francs are. I think the value of things might be different in the Holy Kingdom?”

Naturally, I asked the question in the most natural way I could. I wondered if it was the equivalent of about 2 million won.

If the value of the currency in the novel is the same as the value of won in real life, the author could calculate things easier.

All I do here is take confessions, study, eat, and play with Demy.

I pay no security deposit. I pay no rent. The attendants take care of all my meals, all the cleaning, and all the laundry, so 2 million a month was like winning the lottery.

“Mm, mm. With 2 million francs…… You should be able to buy a luxurious residence on the outskirts of the Imperial Capital. It is unfortunately not enough for a place beside a lake.”

My mind blanked out at Ganael’s response.

“What?”
“If you build it yourself, you should be able to afford one near a lake as well, your highness.”

Benjamin must have thought that I was disappointed about being unable to get a house by a lake as he quickly added on.

I had no idea how to accept this.

I wondered why they were giving a diplomatic hostage, who basically ate all their food, so much money.

They also pay in advance, which meant that 4 million francs were currently sitting in my safe……

But I had nowhere to spend it.

It’d be one thing if I was planning on packing up my money and hiding in a remote territory or investing in something prior to the war to better my circumstances, but I was a hostage whose true goal was to go home.

“……The Riester Imperial family is quite wealthy.”

I could only gasp in amazement. Ganael laughed out loud.

“It is not an exaggeration that his Royal Highness is called the Empire’s greatest heir.”

I nodded my head.

‘I guess the main male lead of a Romfan can’t just be tall and have a pretty face.

“Ah, is it possible for me to send the money to someone else?”

Benjamin looked concerned at my question.

I immediately realized what he must have mistakenly thought.

“Of course, I am not sending it to the Holy Kingdom. There is nobody there to receive it anyway.”
“Then……”
“I wish to send it to the House of Bellang.”

Both Ganael and Benjamin’s mouths shut.

I recalled the twin assassins from the Holy Kingdom who had disguised themselves as attendants in an attempt to kill me.

I sometimes woke up feeling frustrated whenever I thought about the poor Bellang twins who were murdered for their attempt.

I didn’t even know their faces, but how could I sleep well at night knowing that they died at such a young age because of me?

“I know that the hearts of parents who lose their children cannot be consoled with money. But…… The Bellang twins were hired for me. I know it is late, but I wish to help cover the funeral costs if possible.”

Benjamin slowly nodded his head. It meant that he would proceed as I requested.

“Please send 3.5 million francs to the Baron couple.”

Ganael covered his mouth in shock. I smiled bitterly.

The money was useless to me currently and I would get more next month anyways. I thought that it might be at least a little bit helpful to the Baron couple.

That was enough for me.

Demy silently walked over and rubbed his furry body against my ankle.

*

“How is it, your highness? We made it so that you could open the wooden window from your seat as you requested.”
“It’s perfect, Maxim. Thank you very much.”

I also told him he did a great job and the Imperial Palace’s carpenter scratched the back of his head as he smiled with embarrassment.

Maxim was the one who had made the ‘The priest is currently unavailable’ and ‘Now taking confessions’ plaques for me as well.

He was friends with Agnes, who works in the rear mountain of Juliette Palace.

“It doesn’t even make any noise when I open it.”
“I spent a lot of effort on the hinges. Those small details are the difference between plain high-quality work and the highest-quality work, your highness.”

He proudly explained.

I continued to gasp in amazement at the Confessional’s wooden window that Maxim had completely fixed.

‘This is why technical skills are so important.’

Maxim and the Imperial Palace’s carpenters seemed to have some down time after the Spring Ball, as they have been in and out of the Imperial Palace temple for the last few days fixing the Confessional.

I made a slightly difficult request, hoping that the wooden window could be opened from the priest’s side, and they just asked me to leave it to them as if it was nothing.

They didn’t even seem to question whether the priest should come face to face with the penitent.

I was thankful for it.

The reason I asked for such a design was for whenever Cédie showed up.

Two days ago, the carpenters had removed the broken wooden window. They were talking to each other about how it looked as if a knife had pierced through it and about why there would be a knife in here in the first place.

I had a hard time keeping a poker face on because I felt guilty despite it not being me who did it.

I made up my mind to teach that kid a lesson about property damage when I see him next.

“The decorative rope for summons is not in our jurisdiction, but the people in charge said that you will need to exchange the entire rope. I believe it will take some time, your highness.”
“I understand.”

I awkwardly responded as I smiled.

I didn’t dare say that I had the cut off part in my possession and that the rope would be like new if they just sewed it back on.

Then, I would have to explain about the little guest who was with me as well.

“Then I will be on my way now, your highness. Please be healthy as well, esteemed divine beast.”

– Squeeeee!

Maxim gathered his tools and put them in a leather bag as he bowed, making Demy quietly squeal while in my arms.

I said goodbye to Maxim with Benjamin and Ganael before returning to the Confessional.

It was time to start my afternoon task of taking confessions.

“Demy, stay with the two of them for a bit.”

– Whimper…

I handed the red panda to Ganael, who was pretty good at holding the animal safely now, and received a full picnic basket from Benjamin.

I watched as the group of two people and one divine beast walked into the priest’s office before Iclosed the door of the Confessional and put the ‘The priest is currently unavailable’ sign up.

And then…

– Screeeech

I entered the empty penitent’s side. It was not my usual priest’s seat, but the direct opposite side.

“Let’s see……”

It was pretty dark inside so I could not see the edges of the wooden wall very well.

I wished that I had my cellphone for the flashlight, but settled on releasing my circle.

Golden aether poured out and drew a circle on the ground.

I took a short breath in and the Holy Domain shrunk in size.

“It should be around here.”

I crouched on the ground and searched around the chair the penitents sat on.

I didn’t have a big goal today.

My mind was light because it was just a curiosity that had no need to be resolved.

I pressed down on the area right underneath the chair with my foot but there didn’t seem to be any secret openings.

– Knock knock.

I knocked on it as well just to be sure, and it didn’t sound hollow.

‘So it is not below.’

“Is it behind it?”

The Confessional was built with large wooden planks against the wall, so it was impossible to sneak in through the sides.

If the hidden passage wasn’t from below, then it should be on the back wall.

I pushed the chair slightly out of the way and pushed on the back wall.

A scene from a spy movie I watched with Eunse flashed in front of my eyes.

In the movie there was some kind of decoration you needed to twist or pull for a door to open, but there wasn’t anything like that because this was a temp……

– Screeeech

“……”

I heard the Confessional door open behind me. I clenched my teeth out of embarrassment.

‘There’s always someone like this who walks in despite the sign saying I am not available……’

“What are you doing over here?”

It was a familiar voice. I slowly turned around.

I remember getting this question from this kid the first time I met him as well.

“……You are walking in like a normal person today.”

Cédie snorted at my question.

His eyes were the same orange color as that damn Imperial Prince bastard.

*

“Excuse me.”

I continued sitting on the ground while putting my hand up to his small forehead to check on his condition.

Thankfully, he didn’t have a fever.

He wasn’t breathing heavily, nor did he have any cold sweats, so it didn’t seem as if he overdid it with his aether.

Cédie sat on the penitent’s chair and quietly observed what I did without showing any reaction.

“Shouldn’t you have a partner priest?”
“……”
“Or do you already have one but you just avoid them?”
“……”

I didn’t know who he took after to not answer any questions and be so frustrating.

I had no choice but to start with easy questions if he didn’t want to answer the hard questions.

It was similar to dealing with a six year old who won’t answer why he fought against his friend but would answer if you asked what he ate for a snack.

“Did you walk in through the main door?”
“How about you stop there since I used a path you don’t know about.”

‘See, he answered right away.”

“What about some food? I have some flaugnarde. Do you want some?”
“Did they starve you at the Holy Kingdom?”

I chuckled. I decided to increase the difficulty level of the questions.

“Did you tell your father before you came out?”
“……What?”

The boy frowned as if he heard something unbelievable.

I lowered my voice and was about to ask in detail when I heard the heavy thud of the temple door opening.

However, I did not hear any footsteps after that.

It seemed as if someone opened the door and looked inside. Cédie squinted.

“It’s okay, I put the plaque up saying I am not here.”

The boy scoffed at my comment.

I did not mention the fact that my absence sign has been ignored twice already.

I removed my Holy Domain so that it would not be visible from the outside before cautiously grabbing Cédie’s elbow.

The boy’s eyes opened a bit wider as I changed the aether delivery method to physical touch.

It seemed to be effective as I could feel my aether quickly leaving my body.

I quietly started speaking again.

“Do you want to stop here for today? It’s dangerous for you because other people can come in and out”

At that moment…

– Click.

“Eek.”

The door handle to the Confessional turned. I grabbed onto the handle out of reflex.

The fact that I basically lunged at the door seemed to have been worth the effort, as the door thankfully did not open.

But I was sure that there was someone on the other side. My heart was beating wildly in shock.

“How……”

I quietly mumbled. I had not heard anything until just now.

The temple door did open earlier, but I had not heard anything since……

“Shh.”

Cédie quietly whispered. The boy’s lips clearly formed a word.

‘Mage.’

– Clunk

The guest outside turned the handle once again.

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