“This is just a hypothesis, but…… Your Royal Highness, divine items are different from magic tools. The power does not disappear forever simply because it was used once. A divine item’s existence itself is the will of the Almighty God.”
The Marquis continued speaking in a slightly shaking voice.
I used that time to grab a painkiller made of ground medicinal herbs from my leather bag.
We might as well reduce our patient’s pain if the conversation is going to take a while.
Christelle realized what I was trying to do and quickly created some water for me.
Vice Captain Élisabeth silently bowed toward us and used the medicine.
‘I hope it helps.’
“Are you talking about young lady Sarnez?”
“Yes, your Royal Highness. The ‘Blessing of the Blue Sea’ that was absorbed into the young lady’s body is using its abilities without disappearing. In that case, it’s presence should remain as well.”
The Imperial Prince and the Marquis turned toward our direction, specifically at Christelle.
The MC looked back at them with a calm face while I was sweating internally.
‘A divine item being in the body counts as a divine item? Then…… That includes me too.’
“The Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star alone makes a ton of monsters come out of the dungeon every year full of aggression. Monsters like that Tyrant Electric Dragon appeared once every hundred or two hundred years. However, the Blessing of the Blue Sea is in this place as well right now.”
‘I’m also here.’
I gulped and did my best to focus my gaze on Vice Captain Élisabeth.
The reason that I gained an immense amount of ether and the reason Christelle’s mom had no choice but to use the Blessing of the Blue Sea was probably because the divine item in the Temple of Boundaries was used for me.
So basically, there were three divine items here right now.
“I feel a bit better as the medicine is taking effect. Thank you very much, your highness.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth smiled toward me.
She must have thought that she needed to console me in some way after seeing the serious look on my face.
I smiled bitterly.
Of course I was worried about Vice Captain Élisabeth, but I was thinking that this was very bad for the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts.
I was too naïve to think that things would be smooth because we had two strong MCs with us.
I’m sure that the MCs won’t die and will figure out some way to gain glory in the end, but it was only normal for the leading roles to face some tribulation.
‘Damn it, why didn’t I think of that earlier?!’
“Did the second wave start?”
“Yes, your Royal Highness. Most of the demonic beasts are stronger than normal. Last year’s winning tribute appeared on the other side of the valley. They thankfully succeeded in killing it.”
“There are around seventy injured people including Élisabeth. Thankfully, nobody has died. The warriors of the Empire are strong, your Royal Highness. Please don’t worry too much.”
My mind instantly cleared up.
The Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star, Christelle, and I made this year’s Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts more difficult than ever.
A Legend-Grade demonic beast appeared in the first wave and last year’s winning tribute appeared during the second wave that started while we were taking the monster down.
If it continues like this, it wouldn’t be shocking for another winning tribute to appear in the final third wave.
The Imperial Prince’s orange eyes calmed down.
“You may leave.”
He withdrew the sword pointed at the Marquis.
“…Three cheers for his Royal Highness. Please be victorious.”
Marquis François Duhem respectfully addressed him.
It was the first time I realized that he could have such a serious look on his face.
The Marquis put his hand back on Vice Captain Élisabeth’s forehead.
It was really time to descend the mountain now. The young Countess looked up at the Imperial Prince.
“Cédric, you want to trust his highness. Then do it.”
I was about to speak in shock when the Marquis and Vice Captain Élisabeth suddenly started glowing and then crumpled into pieces.
The particles that resembled pollen scattered in all directions and disappeared.
Only Demy, Christelle, the Imperial Prince, and I were left in the silent valley.
‘Was she talking about me just now?’
“It’s a bit disturbing that things became complicated because of me.”
“It changes nothing.”
The Imperial Prince responded to Christelle’s comment.
Honestly speaking, our MC did not look disturbed and the Imperial Prince didn’t seem to care much about what had already happened.
It wasn’t as if they could cancel the competition.
The strong demonic beasts would break through the barrier, descend the mountain, and attack the Lord’s Castle and the nearby city if they were not stopped here.
“Then shall we take a short break?”
Both pairs of eyes turned toward me at that comment.
‘Man, they look so scary when they do that.’
“We need to fill our bellies and come up with a strategy. Resting when we can rest is also an ability.”
Demy quietly screeched as if to show his agreement. ‘See, even this guy is saying he’s hungry.’
Frédérique quickly put the coffee cup down.
The strong coffee felt extremely hot, as if it was still boiling.
Aurélie Boutier tilted her head after seeing the frown on her face.
“Why were you in such a rush to drink it?”
“Shouldn’t you be asking if I am okay?”
Aurélie’s beige-colored eyes curled up as she laughed.
The two of them were seated in the Empress’s office as usual, going about their respective businesses.
The Empress was reading a report about the incident in a small village to the south while the Cardinal was finally catching up on the May 1st edition of the < Biweekly Riester >.
“I heard that those punks took care of it well. The daughter of the innkeeper from that time was dragged to the prison in the Lord’s Castle.”
“Yes, it happened as you said it would.”
The Cardinal nodded her head and slowly sipped her coffee.
She was able to receive new information without much worry after working hard to brainwash herself that the children would be fine.
She had learned this from her contractor, the Empress.
Her movements were light as she flipped through the magazine.
“She took over forty percent of all the imperial gifts for ten years but has only spent 2 million Francs for the inn or herself.”
“That is a bit suspicious.”
“Yes, it looks like I’ll need to badger the territory lord about it. I’ll also need to make them search the inn again, including underneath it.”
The Empress’s cherry-colored eyes squinted as she commented.
The situation had been quite simple when she and the Cardinal flipped Lucas village over ten years ago.
She had wondered what kind of grand scheme a person who dared to commit scam gambling at a place the Imperial Family stayed would have, but that bastard did not have much planned out.
However, it seemed a bit different this time.
According to the report, a large amount of cash seemed to have disappeared.
“Do you think that the territory lord would have received bribes from that woman? But we might need to look through the entire Empire if that is the case. I’m sure there are many similar cases.”
“That is my job.”
Frédérique brusquely responded.
Aurélie simply smiled as if she was a painting since she knew the Empress was right.
It seemed better to change the topic.
“Oh, would you look at this? Lady Sarah Belliard was quite nice in this article.”
“That old hag is an old hag no matter how nice she is.”
“No, the contents of her interview with the prince…… I don’t think there is anything in there that will be a problem. Has something like this ever happened?”
“She must have become quite capricious with old age.”
The Empress responded with annoyance.
She had already heard on the day it was released that the exclusive interview with Prince Jesse had come out quite favorable.
Although she had not personally read it, there seemed to be nothing talking badly about the Imperial family or mentioning their relationship with the Holy Kingdom.
That was enough. She brought the coffee up to her lips again.
“Damn it, it’s still hot.”
“Drink it slowly. You’re not good with hot things.”
The Empress put her coffee cup back down on the desk.
The Cardinal seemed quite concerned now.
Frédérique suddenly brought up a topic.
“I have a bad feeling.”
“Those punks. Do you think that they are doing a good job catching the demonic beasts?”
“It’s not like you to worry about something like that, Yves. Are you angry because you have more work?”
The situation seemed opposite of how it had been last week.
She had been the one who was anxious about the children back then but now it was the Empress thinking about her son and the others with concern.
The Cardinal laughed out loud before summoning the Chief of Staff.
“Let’s ask for cold coffee instead. You should feel better with that.”
“Here you go, please try it.”
Imperial Prince Cédric glared at the beef jerky in my hand.
‘People are going to think I poisoned it or something.’
“It was made in the Juliette Palace kitchen. Your stomach needs to be full for your condition to be good.”
“Can I eat that if you’re not going to? It’s really good.”
Christelle’s eyes were sparkling as she stood there alone.
She seemed hungry even after finishing a third of the veal jerky Ganael packed for me.
I couldn’t blame her since this was neither too salty nor too chewy. It stuck right in your mouth.
Even Demy seemed interested in it.
“I’ll give it to the young lady if you don’t want-”
The bastard snatched the jerky from my hand so quickly that I couldn’t even see him as he was moving. My fingertips were tingling.
“Feeding him is hard too.”
I quietly mumbled.
The Imperial Prince bastard either didn’t hear or was pretending not to hear as he simply put the whole piece of jerky in his mouth and started chewing.
I used to make train or plane noises with the spoon to feed Eunse when she would mess around at the table at the age of five or six but at least that was entertaining.
‘How could she say this bastard wants to trust me?’
“Oh, they’re coming again! Demy, take a good look at your big sis.”
Christelle snorted before shouting in a loud voice.
Demy, who was eating a heart-shaped flower while in my arms, poked his head out to look up at her.
There was something charging viciously toward us from the top of the mountain.
A boar the size of a truck charged through the forest and appeared in front of us.
To be more specific, it was a cannibalistic demonic beast that looked like a boar. A person would fall under a strong curse if they were bitten by this monster.
I think that was why its name was the Cursed Black Pig.
Usually, catching a demonic beast of this level would reward a lot of points.
This was already our fifth one.
“Look at these delicious looking things acting out!”
Christelle shouted as she swung her whip.
‘Now that I think about it, I wonder if the Jeju Black Pig looks similar.’ (TL: Play on words. Curse is pronounced Juh-ju in Korean while this is Jeju).
A white spray of water looked like a large fan as it swept up the Cursed Black Pig.
The wave completely covered its sight, making the demonic beast stomp its feet after losing its sense of direction.
It really sounded like a dying pig.
It’s large body lost power as soon as it touched the water and stumbled.
The way its hide melted into red looked quite disgusting.
The beast stomped around a bit before it fell to the ground. Christelle created a circular water drop and placed it over the demonic beast’s head as if it was a helmet.
– Guuurgle, gurg, guuuuuurgle……!
“I’m finally getting the hang of this after doing it multiple times.”
She commented mischievously.
The demonic beast drowned almost immediately after touching the holy power of water.
This was the exact repertoire that was used earlier.
Christelle and the Imperial Prince took turns getting up and taking care of the various demonic beasts that charged toward us.
I just sat here with my Holy Domain released, giving the two people and one animal water and snacks while coming up with different strategies based on the attributes.
However, there weren’t many times for my strategies to be used.
The beasts that appeared in front of us after the Tyrant Electric Dragon were all at about this level.
Even one person was enough to instantly take care of them.
“Demy, how many points is that?”
Christelle asked the red panda.
There were two small apple trees at the end of the valley where the Cursed Black Pig had entered.
The tree on the left had orange fruit while the tree on the right had blue-gray fruits hanging from them.
‘Even if the colors are weird, would it still be delicious since Demy grew them?’
Demy waved the purple flower petal in his hand.
Fruits quickly grew on a branch on the right apple tree.
“That was a three-point one? Thank you, that’s the highest score.”
Three new apples had appeared.
Christelle elegantly moved her arms and legs to thank Demy.
“The two of you are finally tied.”
I quickly commented. There were now 11 orange apples and 11 blue-gray apples.
It was a bit subjective since Demy was the only judge, but……
The Imperial Prince stood up and pulled out his sword at that moment.
I was slightly shocked and turned to look at him.
“Did you just hear that, your Royal Highness?”
“Yes, your highness.”
Both of them seemed to have heard what I heard.
‘It sounded like someone taking a bite of an apple……’
One of the orange apples hanging on the tree disappeared, leaving just the stem.
I couldn’t help but gasp. I had not seen wrong.
There was white mountain fog in all directions, but what I saw and what remained was too clear for it to not be real.
‘Wait, mountain fog?’
“Since when…… Your Royal Highness, where are you going?!”
I grabbed the Imperial Prince’s sleeves as he started walking out of my Holy Domain.
Demy must have been uncomfortable when I suddenly stood up since he whined.
“Sorry Demy. I didn’t do that on purpose……”
I suddenly had an ominous feeling.
‘Your father passed away.’
I quickly stood in front of the Imperial Prince and looked at his face.
His eyes that were always as focused as if they were burning were now oddly glazed.
I frantically pulled out a handkerchief and put it around Demy’s face while covering my mouth and nose with my sleeve.
This was no simple fog.