The carriage shook gently as it moved. Ganael’s voice was shaking as well.
“I’ve committed a grave sin, your highness. Please forgive me.”
“It’s okay, Ganael. People sometimes forget things when they are busy.”
“I mean it. I’m totally fine.”
I smiled and consoled Ganael.
The young boy’s extremely depressed golden eyes finally lit up a bit.
I thought that he might continue begging for forgiveness so I quickly put three macarons in his hand.
Benjamin sighed after having watched our interaction.
I had run into Imperial Prince Cédric, who got off from the carriage next to mine, as I waited for Demy in the garden earlier.
The bastard was talking as if I was the reason the trip was delayed. That was when I learned that the Imperial Prince was traveling with me.
‘No wonder there were ten carriages there. No wonder the Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard was going with us.’
Many pieces finally fell into place.
I was shocked after seeing the unexpected face, but to be honest, things like that didn’t shock me much anymore.
What could a diplomatic hostage say or do when his royal highness decides that he wants to save money and observe the life of his people?
“I definitely meant to inform you that his royal highness would be traveling with us, but my mind was scattered yesterday……”
Ganael’s voice became quiet.
I recalled when the young boy came with Vice Captain Élisabeth to see me yesterday.
‘If I remember correctly, Ganael was……’
“Yeah I know. You were so busy looking at Demy that you didn’t even finish your juice.”
I calmly commented.
Ganael’s face blanked out for a moment before he vigorously nodded his head after missing a beat.
‘Demy is seriously cute after all.’
I don’t know for sure, but it seemed as if Vice Captain Élisabeth didn’t tell me about the Imperial Prince on purpose to surprise me.
“We’re on different carriages and it’s not like my schedule changes because of his royal highness. It doesn’t matter.”
I smiled while speaking the truth.
Ganael’s complexion looked much better as he handed me a hot off the press copy of < Biweekly Riester > that was released this morning.
The cover had the phrase, ‘Belliard asks and Venetiaan answers’ in large text.
Lady Sarah Belliard’s interview with me seemed to be the main article.
I felt extremely embarrassed despite hearing about it in advance.
“The story about the prize for the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts is here too.”
I did my best to avoid the title and talked about something listed in small letters at the bottom of the cover.
‘The Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts and the Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star – the divine item wants a master.’ It sounded dramatic.
The article that could not be published in the last issue on the 15th was finally out after receiving Her Majesty’s approval.
I started thinking about the Imperial Prince in the carriage in front of mine.
It might be easy for him to win since he is said to be the most skilled with weapons in the Empire, but I had no idea how he planned to pull the Sword of Wisdom out.
‘Will he dig out the entire area around it?’
“Your highness, this should be your first time in this direction.”
Benjamin gently started talking to me.
My gaze followed his hand to look out the window.
The carriage was passing the building next to the Empress Palace. My jaws dropped on their own.
“Wow, everything’s big here.”
The two attendants quietly chuckled at my gasp of admiration.
There were already so many things I had yet to see, despite not even having left the Imperial Palace yet.
Most of the palaces I’ve visited were located at the rear of the Imperial Palace, giving me no reason to come this far to the front.
I might be exaggerating a bit but there was a fountain as large as Juliette Palace and a garden that seemed at least three times the size of the Empress Palace.
There were also numerous palaces that looked extremely luxurious even though I have no idea what they were used for.
There was also a statue of Empress Frédérique’s mother, the late Empress Céline, which was at least 5 meters tall.
“We are now passing through the main gate.”
Benjamin continued his explanation. We had already made it to the main gate while I was blanking out at the marvelous view.
Exiting the Imperial Palace shouldn’t be a big deal, but I couldn’t help but be nervous.
The carriage seemed to slow down for a bit before I faintly heard the horses’ hooves hitting the ground as the carriage pushed forward once more.
My forehead was up against the window as I observed the outside.
The tall black gate was opened wide.
Knights in silver armor were kneeling on one knee along our sides as we passed by.
They were showing respect to the Imperial Prince as he left.
“That’s kind of cool. Demy, look over there.”
I called for the red panda that was spread out like jelly on top of my knees.
He seemed to be sleepy after having played in the garden, as he didn’t respond much.
I gently caressed Demy’s back while taking in the world outside the Imperial Palace that was slowly appearing in front of my eyes.
“Seriously, there are so many people.”
“You’ve already said that four times, your highness.”
Ganael laughed out loud as he responded.
I had been starting my sentences with ‘seriously,’ ‘you know,’ and ‘for real’ for a while now.
Seeing a new part of the Imperial Palace was enough to wow me, but the Imperial Capital, the city outside the Imperial Palace, was truly a new world.
There were nobles wearing fancy outfits and commoners wearing simple clothes walking around in the same place.
The clean streets had vendors selling street food and flowers.
The houses looked like they came straight out of fairy tales as they were all sorts of shapes and colors.
Generally, the people looked happy but busy.
It seemed fitting for the Imperial Capital that was said to have ten percent of the Empire’s population.
“Your highness, please be wary of your facial expressions as they may be able to see you from the outside.”
I quickly moved away from the window after hearing Benjamin’s advice.
The large number of people outside were all bowing toward our carriage procession.
It wouldn’t be weird if at least one person raised their heads but nobody was moving.
The people looking out of building windows either took off their hats or bowed their heads to show their respect.
It gave me the chills.
“The people of the Empire have so much respect for the Imperial family.”
“If you are surprised by this, just wait until later, your highness.”
Benjamin smiled as he gave a benign answer.
He seemed to enjoy the fact that I was being surprised left and right.
“We are almost at the Legault portal, your highness.”
Ganael offered me the portal motion sickness medicine.
I put the Marquis Duhem brand motion sickness medicine underneath my ear and waited for the carriage to slow down.
The Legault district, which was at the center of the Imperial Capital as well as the largest district, had so many people that it was one of the first places in the Empire to get a portal.
The plan was to use the Legault portal to travel to the southern part of the Imperial Capital and take carriages from there.
“I believe that we have arrived.”
“It is because the roads were cleared for his royal highness.”
‘Is that it?Is it similar to how the light is always green and the Gwanghwamun is clear whenever the president is headed out?’ (TL: Gwanghwamun is the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.)
“Your highness, people may try to talk to you once you get off the carriage. You don’t need to respond to all of them.”
“I heard that his Royal Highness does not say anything at all.”
‘That bastard is always like that.’
I barely held myself back from saying that out loud and simply smiled.
People were still bowing extremely respectfully as our carriages passed.
The Imperial carriages soon stopped in a single file line outside a sparkling building.
It wasn’t as luxurious as the Imperial Palace, but I could tell that it was a not building where just anybody could enter.
– Knock knock.
The coachman knocked on the door before soon opening it.
I checked my outfit one last time.
I also didn’t forget to ask Ganael and Benjamin if there were any marks on my forehead from pushing up against the window earlier.
I didn’t like crowded places or having a lot of people looking at me, but it was time for me to get off.
I’ll start with the conclusion.
The Legault Central Commerce Center was similar to the Korean Coex. (TL: Coex Convention & Exhibition Center located in Samseong-dong of Gangnam-gu district, Seoul, is one of South Korea’s convention and exhibition centers.)
I worked very hard not to look scared.
Demy was still sleeping in my arms without a care in the world. I was jealous of him.
“Your highness, please only look forward as you walk.”
“I will, Benjamin.”
The entire building was full of different shops, and the path was as complicated as a maze. The lobby was connected to the portal entrance so the building would be full of spectators whenever celebrities came by.
It really was the same as Coex. For example, our current situation.
“Long live his Royal Highness!”
“We greet his Royal Highness, Imperial Prince Cédric, the future sun of the Empire!”
“Three cheers for his Royal Highness!”
“Please be victorious!”
This was the first time since my transmigration that I was happy to have Imperial Prince Cédric with me.
“He’s so popular.”
“Yes, his Royal Highness has gone out many times to clear demonic beasts.”
Ganael was like a ghost, hearing my quiet mumbling before he responded.
I nodded my head without making it seem obvious before peeking toward the Imperial Prince who was walking in front of me.
Vice Captain Élisabeth was clearing the way next to him, without her usual smile on her face.
The Imperial Guard members were creating a barrier between the people and us.
The people, who were split like the Red Sea, were packed like sardines in the Commerce Center lobby going wild.
I was able to avoid the spotlight for a bit thanks to the overwhelming attention on the Imperial Prince.
“Your Royal Highness!”
“I can die without any regrets now……”
I saw many women tearing up while looking at him as well.
I wondered what was making them so emotional, but it was understandable considering the Imperial Prince’s face.
There were people placing flowers by his feet as well.
‘The vendors selling flowers on the streets must have been aiming for this.’
“An ad celebrating his Royal Highness’s birthday goes up in the waiting room every year.”
I questioned my ears and thought I misheard because I was paying too much attention to everything else.
“Although he does not have much activities outside, his Royal Highness is loved very much.”
Ganael explained with excitement. I couldn’t help but ask because I was anxious.
‘Is this a modern fantasy genre?’
“Well… Do they put something like ‘you are our star?’”
“Come on, your highness. How would they dare to put something like that? ‘The miracle of August 13th, his Royal Highness is our star.’ That is what they put.”
My facial muscles were no longer listening to me.
I didn’t know whether to be more shocked about the TMI pouring in or that a birthday advertisement suddenly popped up in a classical Romfan.
‘This really is Coex.’
“Thank you for your mercy, Prince Jesse!”
I heard a man’s voice at that moment.
I turned toward the source of the noise out of reflex.
A middle-aged man, who seemed to have worn the best clothes he owns, was tearing up while looking at me.
It was difficult to ignore someone like that.
“Mister, what do you mean by mercy?”
I walked near him and asked. The whispers nearby spread like a crashing wave.
I smiled bitterly after sensing the gazes cautiously looking at my eyes.
I could hear the whispers about how they really were purple.
“I, I heard that you sent a large sum of money to Baron Bellang, your highness. Many good things happened in our territory thanks to your generosity. We started construction on a canal and the territory Lord-nim is also building a large orphanage. I, it is all thanks to your benevolence, your highness.”
The man quickly answered with a grateful look on his face.
It was hard to understand because his voice was shaky, but he was talking about how I sent money to the parents of the dead twins.
He must be a resident of Baron Bellang’s territory.
“No, that is the benevolence of the Baron couple. I simply helped them with the funeral fees.”
The man bowed deeply after my comment.
“P, please eternally receive the blessing of the Almighty God.”
“Thank you very much. Please get home safely.”
I said goodbye to him and started walking again.
I looked forward to see that the Imperial Prince was silently observing me after having quickly cut through the lobby to arrive in front of the portal.
‘Of course he moved quickly, since he ignored all these people who had been waiting since dawn to say something to him.’
His gaze seemed to be implying that I was slowing things down again.
“I’m coming, I’m coming.”
I mumbled to myself.
Trying to walk briskly without looking deliberately rushed made me feel as if my arms and legs would move awkwardly.
I finally realized that about a third of the flowers on the ground were purple.
I looked around, thinking it was not likely, and noticed that there were passionate gazes directed at me.
I felt my ears instantly get hot.
‘Wow, it probably would have been better not to know.’
“I will open the door now, your Royal Highness.”
I awkwardly walked up to the portal entrance and a person who looked like an employee respectfully guided me.
The Imperial Prince flicked his chin once to respond.
The large copper door slowly opened to both sides.
Nobody had used the portal all morning, as per the Imperial Decree.
The empty area was similar to the underground portal of the Empress Palace in many ways.
The room was round and there was a fancy magic formation on the ground.
“Ah, you’re finally here. Hello your Royal Highness and Prince Jesse.”
Christelle de Sarnez was already in there with a whip in her hand.