Marquis François Duhem stood a large trunk next to him and started speaking with the piece of cloth in one hand.
The Imperial doctor slowly packed up as the Marquis’s one-man show started.
‘I’ve seen something like this quite often down in the subway.’
“There is an extremely unique glue on the back of this cloth. Shall I give you a hint since you seem curious? You simply need to think about ‘Demonic beasts’ and ‘animal-hide gelatin’ together. Hoo hoo hoo. If you stick this part under your ear, the mana in the animal-hide gelatin and the cloth fuse to create a unique reaction. I personally participated in the research……”
He had a lot to say, and seemed to be every bit the attention seeker that I heard he was.
His every gesture was large and swift. It was to the point that it would seem loud even if he stopped talking and only continued with his movements.
Cardinal Boutier was not even hiding the fact that she was ignoring what the Marquis was saying as she took the kimi- no, the portal motion sickness medicine- from his hand. (TL: The Korean motion sickness patch is called Kimite)
“Ah! You are interested in it as I expected, your Eminence.”
“François, could you quiet down? The little prince is a patient.”
She sounded annoyed.
It was interesting because I had never seen the Cardinal treat anybody like this.
However, Marquis Duhem didn’t seem dispirited at all.
“Of course, I was extremely rude. However, please don’t worry as he will brush it off and get back up soon enough, your Eminence. Here are some more, Prince Jesse.”
He smiled elegantly and started rummaging through his other bag.
I thought that he seemed quite carefree for a Marquis, but decided that I should be thankful since he came over after hearing about my poor condition.
Being smart and having a lot of interest in the welfare of his residents should mean that he was a pretty decent person of power.
His words and actions might seem extremely light and carefree, but he had a handsome face and a lot of money, so the pros probably outweigh the cons.
“Here you go, please take some.”
The Marquis limped over and handed me some of the motion sickness medicine.
I suddenly realized that I had not noticed his condition because I had been listening to the Imperial doctor.
“How did you hurt your leg?”
I asked with curiosity.
The Marquis made some dramatic movements, as if he had been waiting for me to ask, and touched his splinted left leg.
His light pink eyes shook a bit. I felt as if I was watching a play……
“Our beloved Majesty handed down some vicious worldly pain on the Almighty God’s behalf.”
‘She must have beaten him up.’
“I heard that you were putting the divine item in your territory, the Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star, as the prize for the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts.”
I asked about it. The Sword of Wisdom was probably the reason for the Empress to call him over and beat him up.
The Cardinal had canceled my lesson to deal with what the Marquis had done, while the Empress made a deal with Lady Sarah Belliard and allowed her to interview me.
I was shocked that the Empress was violent toward someone, especially a Marquis at that, but it was not that shocking considering what I had seen from Empress Frédérique regarding her personality until now.
“Yes, your highness. It was a decision that came from my family’s loyalty, however, anger was clearly visible on Her Majesty’s face and……”
“You should feel lucky that you still have your leg.”
The Cardinal sharply cut him off. I heard the Marquis quietly sniffling.
I couldn’t help but laugh because it was like watching a skit.
I heard that Marquis Duhem was one of the Empress’s close confidants, and in some sense, they truly seemed like family.
“Anyway, thank you very much for the motion sickness medicine.”
I controlled my laughter and received the medicine from him.
He elegantly bowed with extremely dramatic movements.
‘I guess he’s skinny because he moves so much that it counts as exercise.’
“Then you must have used carriages the whole way on your way from the Holy Kingdom. That must have been difficult.”
The Cardinal looked at me while speaking in a pitying voice.
I stiffened a bit at this unexpected statement. It made sense now that I thought about it.
Prince Jesse would not have been able to use portals with this body, despite portals being used a lot in the Venetiaan Holy Kingdom as well.
If he did use them, he would have crossed the border half unconscious.
“Well, it’s all in the past.”
I just mumbled something that came to mind. I could see the compassion in her beige-colored eyes.
I guess I earned some sympathy without even aiming for it.
“You should be able to try using a portal again if the medicine works as it should.”
She quietly commented. I could only blankly nod my head.
I couldn’t complain that I didn’t want to use a portal when they were telling me there was a medicine that could help me deal with my motion sickness.
It was obvious that leaving the house would lead to all sorts of difficulties no matter how I go about it.
I decided to make the most of it, since this trip should be the first and last trip I make.
Demy, who woke up from his nap, quietly squealed on top of my stomach.
I petted his warm head as I thought about the date.
The Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts was on May 8th and it was currently April 27th.
It could take up to four days to get to the Duhem March from the Imperial Capital by horse.
It would obviously take longer than four days if the medicine didn’t work and we needed to take carriages.
‘Mm, we don’t have much time.’
“Prince Jesse, my family and the Duhem March will welcome you from the bottom of our hearts whenever you visit.”
The Marquis opened up like a peacock as he said that. I awkwardly smiled.
It was extremely peaceful for the next three days.
What I mean is that I did not see Christelle or Imperial Prince Cédric for three days. It felt so good.
“Where should I put the clothes for the party?”
“Put them in that bag over there in the corner. Organize the shoes later because we are supposed to get a new pair in the afternoon.”
“Benjamin-nim, there are three mitres……”
“Ganael-nim, we need to prepare his highness’s snacks separately at dawn……”
Numerous people were going in and out of my room, the hallway and the palace since early in the morning.
It was more than just Benjamin and Ganael.
All the attendants and royal servants in Juliette Palace were involved, making it quite chaotic.
It was because I was leaving for the Duhem March tomorrow.
Benjamin told me that I would be helping by sitting quietly, so I sat on a comfortable chair and was trying my best to be invisible.
Some of the attendants glared at me when I tried to fold some pajamas and pack them.
‘I can’t tell who the boss is……’
“Demy, come here.”
I called the red panda who was rolling on top of the carpet over to me and sat him on my knees while writing with a quill pen on a fancy piece of paper I got from an attendant.
“Shh, we need to be quiet since everybody is working.”
Demy was following my hand and waving his black front paw around as if he found the ink coming out of the pen whenever I moved it to be interesting.
I couldn’t draw the circle because I couldn’t see the paper.
I was trying to use this free time to study but this divine beast was being quite uncooperative.
– Knock knock knock
“Hello, Prince Jesse.”
Someone knocked on the open door. It was a familiar voice.
I raised my head and greeted her.
“Hello, Vice Captain Élisabeth.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth, who had a refreshing smile on her face as usual, walked into my room while linking arms with Ganael.
Ganael’s face was a bit red as he walked in with snacks.
I’ve had this thought for a while but the two of them seem really close.
“Ganael, you take a break too.”
The young boy’s complexion changed at my comment. He seemed to feel guilty for relaxing when everybody else was busy.
“You even brought two cups of juice to drink with me.”
Ganael’s face flushed red as Vice Captain Élisabeth jokingly commented.
“Ganael, you look like a tomato.”
“Oh, the juice you brought is tomato juice too.”
The Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard and I took turns teasing him. The young boy looked as if he would cry.
I thought that he might get upset if I teased him too much, so I stopped laughing and changed topics after having Ganael sit down.
“You must be busy as we are leaving tomorrow.”
“I am working with joy because I am going to play. Traveling for work is the best, your highness.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth smiled brightly and raised her glass of tomato juice as if she was making a toast.
I remembered how she had wanted to participate in the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts this year.
The Vice Captain finished her drink and got down to business as Ganael poured hot Elderberry tea into my cup.
“Now then, please let me brief you on the schedule, your highness. We will use the portal closest to the Imperial Palace at 11 a.m. tomorrow to travel to the southern part of the Imperial Capital. The portal is at the center of the Imperial Capital in the Legault district.”
I nodded my head and put a banana in Demy’s mouth.
I would peel it and hold it in my hand and Demy would grab my wrist and take a bite.
“It has been decided that only one portal will be used, so that will be the first and only portal.”
I responded to her.
I had tested the motion sickness medicine quite a bit with the Imperial doctor, Cardinal, and Marquis Duhem in the last four days.
I had ended up as the beta tester for a medicine that was not even out in the market.
I felt as if they were getting good use out of me as a diplomatic hostage.
I would stick the medicine underneath my ear and stand on top of the Empress Palace’s underground portal. We concluded that I would be able to use a portal at least once a day without any problems.
A second time proved to be quite difficult even while using the medicine.
‘Then I guess you will be there in four days, your highness. Stick one on in the morning, use a portal, and get some rest. Stick another one the next morning, use a portal, and get some rest. You just have to repeat that process!’
Marquis Duhem had shouted with joy like a mad scientist.
‘There may be some side effects, so I do not recommend using it for the whole duration of the trip.’
The Imperial doctor said something extremely rational to put the brakes on that plan.
‘François, there’s no fun in smacking you, so control yourself. It is probably best to use the medicine on the first day and then take carriages from there on.’
Cardinal Boutier concluded things for us.
Apparently portals were not simple movements from Point A to Point B. They worked similar to subways.
It would be great if we could use the Legault portal in the Imperial Capital to go directly to the Duhem March but we would need to go from Legault to a different neighborhood’s portal, then to another portal.
It was also super expensive, so much so that commoners and poor nobles did not even think about using them.
“We expect it to take a minimum of four days from the southern part of the Imperial Capital to the Duhem March. Things may change based on the weather or condition of the road.”
I was excited like it was the day before a field trip despite hearing that we would be traveling for four days.
I had not thought much about it until yesterday.
But seeing the people at Juliette Palace running around so early in the morning to pack made me excited and curious about the outside world.
I had been to the basement of the Imperial Palace and on the rear mountain.
I had been in many buildings and even had the temple fixed up as I pleased.
However, I had remained inside the Imperial Palace the whole time.
I didn’t have any complaints about that, but I was sure that it was a positive thing to be able to see the bigger ‘QNW’ world.
“You seem happy, your highness.”
“Is it because it is your first outing?”
Vice Captain Élisabeth and Ganael smiled as they asked.
I became embarrassed and quietly rubbed Demy’s black tummy.
‘Was it that obvious?’
“There will be a total of ten carriages. Eight of them will have attendants, guards, and cargo……”
I almost blanked out. I thought that there would be three or four carriages so it seemed like quite a lot.
‘Aren’t they spending too much money on a diplomatic hostage? Oh, are they paying closer attention because I am a diplomatic hostage?’
“I don’t plan on running away.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth laughed out loud as I anxiously responded. I meant what I said.
I had nowhere to go and it would be dangerous on my own. Why would I run away from this five star hotel?
Survival was the most important thing for me.
“Please tell that to the little kid later.”
“When you say little kid……”
I did not finish my sentence. Vice Captain Élisabeth’s grey eyes curled up like a cat’s eyes as she smiled.
She was talking about Sadie. I peeked toward Ganael.
The young boy was too distracted by Demy to hear our conversation.
“Please continue the briefing.”
I quickly changed topics.
I didn’t feel comfortable talking about Sadie when a lot of people were coming and going.
Vice Captain Élisabeth chuckled at me before taking a map of the Empire out of her pocket.
The start of May.
A long row of carriages was visible between Juliette Palace and Romero Palace.
Strong and beautiful horses were calmly waiting for departure.
The large Imperial Crest on the side of the black carriage was so shiny that it could probably be seen from 500 m away.
Benjamin and Ganael got onto the sixth carriage that was designated for me.
I was in the garden waiting for Demy, who had yet to return.
I was planning to grab him as soon as he came out of the bushes as I stood there and opened my circle to release ether.
“Demy, come on out now. We need to go see your friends.”
I amplified my voice and said out loud.
I couldn’t help but smile while thinking about the red pandas that had gone to the March long before us. It was at that moment…
The door to the fifth carriage, the one that was right in front of mine, opened.
I turned toward the source of the noise out of reflex.
I heard a deep voice that sounded like a voice actor reading a poem before I saw an all too familiar face.
My Holy Domain extended out as I lost control. My insides were already churning even though there were no portals.