“It wouldn’t be a bad thing to know about it.”
I was as defensive as possible. Christelle lightly nodded her head.
However, it felt more like an, ‘if you say so,’ than her actually believing me.
I hoped I was wrong about that.
“I thought that you hated his Royal Highness and me or something.”
“No, I wouldn’t say hate……”
I became flustered and did not finish the sentence.
I absolutely did not want to get close to the two MCs and end up getting dragged out to war and be placed in danger of death, but it wasn’t that I thought that the two of them were bad.
There was no way I could hate characters that Jung Eunseo loved so much. (TL: Author posted both Yeseo and Eunseo as the official spelling so I commented in ch 1 with Jesse/Yeseo, the same name business doesn’t work in English)
That was the case even though that Imperial Prince bastard was a bit annoying.
“That’s a relief.”
Christelle’s face lit up a bit.
I thought about how I could change the topic before lightly shaking the fairy tale in my hand.
< Kaboom! Yves’ Great Adventure - Yves Blanquer and the Phoenix Holy Knights Brigade >.
“Thank you for the book recommendation. Did you read it?”
“Yes, I had the librarian help me but this was the only book I could find related to Holy Knights. I think, if I studied here, I would be a good historian instead of a good Holy Knight.”
She was right. I smiled bitterly and walked out of the area between the bookshelves with her.
I then headed toward a bookshelf on the opposite side.
I received her help finding the book, so I wanted to return the favor.
“Here is a fairy tale about divine items. It was also written by Archduke Yvelines.”
“He must have loved his son quite a lot. He personally wrote fairy tales for him.”
“Yes. He seems to have drawn everything himself as well.”
She received the < Kaboom! Yves’ Great Adventure > I handed her. She looked through it before thanking me.
Now that she decided to become a Holy Knight, gathering precious information was good for her growth.
Then, she might be able to meet a decent priest partner too.
‘By the way, did she just say his son?’
“Oh right, your highness. Is there anything you would like?”
“Why are you suddenly asking that……?”
“Your birthday is coming up.”
Everybody and their grandmothers seemed to be considerate of my birthday.
Although getting a present from the Empress or Marquis Duhem was one thing, I could not accept the MC’s sincerity.
I couldn’t just receive a gift and call it done. I would have to give her a gift on her birthday too, but doing that and getting closer to each other was burdensome.
“Everybody seems to be talking about my birthday.”
“I’m pretty sure that everybody in the Empire knows your birthday because the < Biweekly Riester > listed that your birthday is on May 31st.”
‘So that’s what it was? No wonder every noble I met at the celebration knew about it!’
“I’m not sure. Her Majesty takes such good care of me, I don’t really need anything.”
“Oh come on, your highness. You don’t receive birthday presents because you need them. You receive them to feel good.”
I had never thought of it that way.
I smiled awkwardly and she let out a short sigh.
“I am heading north with Vice Captain Élisabeth tomorrow. I won’t be back until about June.”
“You are talking about taking a summer vacation.”
I nodded my head.
Christelle and Vice Captain Élisabeth, who became quite close through the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts, were going to go relax up north during the June heatwave.
It seemed a bit early since it was still May, but the MC leaving the Imperial Capital was great news for me.
“Yes, your highness. We were originally planning on leaving in June, but the mages’ prophecy apparently changed. They said the heatwave will start tomorrow if it is early and the day after even if it is late.”
Benjamin told me something similar this morning.
The Empire had a mage advisory team that prophesized things like demonic beast attacks, and the weather in the Imperial Capital. Their prophecy suddenly changed yesterday.
They said that the heatwave would arrive at the Imperial Capital over a week earlier than usual.
It seemed more like a telecast than a prophecy.
“I’m sure it’ll be cool up north. Please enjoy your time.”
“Thank you very much. I think that it will be fun. To be honest with you, Vice Captain Élisabeth is going up to inspect the territory. This is apparently when the pirates show up in the North Sea.”
‘Wait a minute. Hold on.’
“Did you say pirates?”
“Yes! I hope that I can see them. I heard that they don’t show up every year. They apparently roam both the territorial waters of the Venetiaan Holy Kingdom and the Empire……”
Her blue-gray eyes sparkled like stars with anticipation.
Christelle continued to ramble away. However, I could not focus on what she was saying because I was trying to keep myself from blanking out.
Eunseo’s voice rang like heavy rain during the rainy season in my mind.
It sounded extremely clear as if she was speaking right next to me.
‘Chris was abducted by pirates not too long ago and readers were fighting about whether to get off and stop reading.’
‘But you didn’t stop.’
‘Why would I stop when it’s entertaining? It wasn’t that much of a sweet potato either. (TL: Sweet potato is Korean slang for extremely slow progression in a story) Jesse and Crapdric worked together to save her so it progressed quite quickly. And how can we expect things to be cider every time? (TL: Cider is when things are extremely easy) There needs to be danger like that too.’
‘This is… This is that storyline I know……’
“I guess you didn’t hear what I said.”
“……I’m sorry. I blanked out a bit because it is hot today.”
“Oh my. I see that you’re sweating a bit too.”
Christelle pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket with a pitying gaze.
“You must not do well with the heat, your highness. It’s not even that hot yet….”
She continued to sound worried.
I had my own handkerchief, but I was too busy organizing the complicated thoughts in my mind and I couldn’t even reject it.
I wiped my sweat drenched forehead with her silk handkerchief.
Christelle had been abducted by pirates in the original QNW.
I didn’t know what happened before that.
All I knew was what Eunseo had told me while pretty much grumbling about it.
However, Christelle just mentioned pirates and she was leaving for an area by the sea tomorrow. It sounded as if that episode was about to start.
“Thank you for the handkerchief. I will wash it and return it to you.”
“Of course, your highness. Thank you very much.”
She probably won’t be abducted this time. I watched Christelle turn around as I concluded my thoughts.
She was not the Christelle in the original anymore.
Their character was not very different, but this Christelle, who had absorbed the Blessing of the Blue Sea and now possesses an immense power of water, would never lose to anybody in the sea.
In fact, it was probably the pirates who should avoid her.
“I will bring you your present when you return the handkerchief, your highness.”
“Young lady Sarnez.”
“We are friends. I know we are not that close yet, but we are still friends.”
Christelle looked up at me. I could not say anything to that.
I was the one who asked her to keep a secret in the valley of the Duhem March during the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts regarding the unconscious ‘Sadie’.
It was also me who did not say anything when she said that we were friends.
“……I just need a small souvenir.”
“Souvenirs are great. I will get you one, your highness.”
Christelle smiled so brightly that it could light up the whole world.
I firmed my resolve once more while looking at her face.
If this was the process of the MC influencing the people around her, I will become the first and last supporting cast to not fall for it.
“Please be cautious of the pirates.”
‘Mm, but just in case.’
“Are you telling me to be careful, your highness?”
“Who knows how things will go with people?”
She laughed out loud this time.
I quickly sent her back because she said that she needed to take the portal tomorrow morning.
I was thankful that she must have felt my discomfort, as she did not ask me to go with her.
I had Archduke Yvelines’ fairy tale in one hand and Christelle’s handkerchief in the other as I was left alone in the library again.
The day after that was peaceful. But now, it was difficult to ‘enjoy’ it.
“Is it very hot, your highness?”
“This is bad. The heatwave hasn’t even arrived yet……”
Ganael and Benjamin looked anxious while standing next to me.
I had a pair of thin pajamas on while lying on new bed sheets that were supposed to feel cool.
The other two people in the room did not seem very hot, but I felt as if I was dying.
I had wondered if this was the case, but Prince Jesse’s body really was weak against the heat.
I never expected things to be like this because extreme temperatures never bothered me.
“Please don’t say that, your highness. If it is difficult for you to go to sleep today, you may really need to go away.”
Ganael fanned me with an extremely concerned look as he said that.
I had instantly rejected Vice Captain Élisabeth’s offer to go on vacation with her about 10 days ago, but the young boy’s suggestion sounded great now that I was in such a state.
People truly were capricious.
Christelle and her instructor from the Vatican left to head north this morning.
I heard that Imperial Prince Cédric was traveling to some Duchy tomorrow, when the heatwave was officially supposed to start.
I wasn’t too sure about that because I just happened to hear some attendants talking about it.
Cardinal Boutier told me about her plans to go to the Summer Palace with the Empress during my morning lesson.
As a result, in two days time, I would be the only one in the Imperial Palace.
I could have enjoyed a nice hotel staycation in this big palace on my own if it wasn’t for this damn heatwave.
No, if it wasn’t for this damn body of mine.
“How long did you say that the heatwave is supposed to last? A week?”
“A week if it is short and 10 days if it goes long, your highness. Most of the shops in the Imperial Capital close during this time. The commoners stop working as well.”
I could only swear internally.
This would have been nothing if I was in my own body, but I was not confident about surviving for a week in this Prince’s weakass body.
Furthermore, the heatwave had not even started yet.
“Once the heatwave passes, the summer will feel more like spring, your highness. It’ll be a bit hot in the morning but the evenings will be cool.”
Ganael explained to me. I wanted to just close my eyes and latch onto the Cardinal until then.
It seemed wrong to be the third wheel in the Empress and the Cardinal’s vacation, but……
“How about I go to sleep today and we can talk about going away tomorrow if I can’t handle it?”
“I’m glad you are willing to discuss it, your highness.”
Benjamin placed a basket of letters on the bed with a benign look on his face.
They were messages from the Riester nobles to celebrate my birthday, which was now just around the corner.
The presents went directly into the Imperial family safe, but the Empress’s benevolence allowed me to receive these cards.
I didn’t care if I got cards or not, but Benjamin and Ganael seemed rather in awe at this action.
“Then we will withdraw for now, your highness.”
“Please sleep well, your highness. Please call us if it gets too bad, even if it is the middle of the night.”
“Thanks Ganael. Both of you rest well too.”
I waved my hand to the two attendants who were heading out while looking concerned.
Demy, who was at my feet, slowly crawled on top of my stomach once the door closed.
It was painful to have his warm body on me when I couldn’t sleep because of the heat, but I couldn’t tell an animal that could not speak to go away.
I petted his ears and started opening the envelopes.
A golden cart was next to the bed. On top of it was a block of ice that was doing its best to cool the room.
“Damn, I really wish they had air conditioning here.”
Demy screeched as if responding to me and rubbed his head against my chest. He was so cute that I chuckled.
He seemed fine now, but I thought that I might need to consider leaving tomorrow once the heatwave starts, at least for Demy’s sake.
“This is a card from Marquis Duhem. This is from Margrave Moutet…… It’s from Vice Captain Élisabeth’s mother. As for this one……”
A piece of paper folded into a ddakji fell out of the luxurious basket of cards. (TL: If you watched squid game, you know what ddakji is. The red and blue papers that were used to recruit players.)
I became a bit flustered and blinked a few times.
‘What is that and why is it here?’
“Demy, look at this. Someone sent something like this.”
The tip of the divine beast’s nose twitched as he sniffed the ddakji.
He soon plopped down without interest , so I guessed there weren’t any suspicious auras around it.
I cautiously opened the paper. I wondered if one of the attendants’ love letters got mixed in.
‘My beloved Losna.
I have faith that you are doing well.
I hope that we can see each other again.
‘……I guess this doesn’t sound like a love letter.’
I sat up with a stiff expression on my face.
Demy slid down to my crossed legs.
I tried flipping the letter over to inspect it. I even took it near a candle just to be sure, but there were no hidden texts to be found.
It was written in a firm yet neat handwriting.
It seemed like it was meant for me since it mentioned birthday, but I did not know the name of the sender or the receiver.
I had an odd feeling about this.
The table at the center of the bedroom caught on fire at that moment.
I held Demy and the suspicious letter in my arms as I quickly jumped off the bed.
Thankfully, the fire was only the size of a fist. There was no need to hesitate.
I grabbed the vase on top of the table and quickly poured water onto the fire.
“What the hell is going on now?!”
I couldn’t help but shout. The fire was quickly put out.
I was feeling off because of the suspicious note, but the handkerchief on the table spontaneously caught on fire……
‘Eek, this is the one that Christelle lent me.’
“The stench of water was disgusting.”
I heard an all too familiar child’s voice at that moment.
I flinched and turned around.
Orange eyes were glaring at me. It felt as if the bedroom caught on fire again.