‘It feels so cool.’
“Little prince? Are you feeling better now?”
It was a comfortable and pleasant temperature. I smiled slightly and slowly opened my eyes.
“You’re awake. Frédérique, look at this child’s eyes.”
“Why are you acting like you haven’t seen them many times before?”
I saw an unfamiliar ceiling. No, it really was unfamiliar this time.
I blinked a few times while looking at the ceiling that seemed oddly close before realizing that it was gently shaking.
I felt odd the more my mind focused.
I was definitely lying on a bed, but the ceiling was moving and I heard the sound of horses’ hooves and a coachman’s voice every so oft……
I quickly sat up.
The cool blanket and the three red pandas that had been on top of my stomach fell like chestnuts of off trees.
“Oh no, sorry. I didn’t know you were all there.”
I apologized and helped the curled up red pandas to stretch out again.
Demy seemed happy to see that I was awake and jumped into my arms.
Feeling his warm body and petting his tail made me truly feel that my condition was better.
I was neither hot nor cold anymore. I was inside a moving carriage.
“It looks like he doesn’t even know that the Cardinal and I are in here.”
I immediately turned my head.
I could see two people sitting on the long velvet couch next to the white bed.
Empress Frédérique was sitting with her legs crossed while giving me a slight scowl while Cardinal Boutier was smiling with relief.
I gasped and showed as much respect as possible.
I then started thinking about why I was in a carriage with them and why I was lying down while these high ranking women were sitting down.
“I greet the sun that has descended to the ground and your Eminence.”
“No need for greetings. How is your body?”
“It is so great that it could not be any better…… Thank you very much for your Imperial benevolence, your Majesty.”
The Empress snorted at my response. It seemed to be her way of telling me, ‘as long as you know.’
The Cardinal then started speaking gently.
“This is a special carriage with cold air preservation magic. There was only one we could use right now so we are in the same carriage with you, our little prince. We ask for your understanding.”
“Not at all, your Eminence. I am the one inconveniencing such esteemed individuals. Thank you very much for taking me into consideration.”
‘So this is a premium Imperial family carriage with AC and a bed.’ I bowed deeply to thank them.
I slowly started to remember.
I was on my way to meet the Empress with Marquis Duhem to ask about going away……
‘I wish to make that request right now.’
‘I will allow it. Speak.’
The Empress had smirked as if she was entertained at my request.
I had not placed any hope on her allowing me to ask, but, to my surprise, she had allowed it without any issues.
It probably had more to do with the fact that I helped her son, Imperial Prince Cédric, and less with her trusting me, but……
Either way, it was good for me.
‘Benjamin, please put this in my safe……’
‘I understand, your highness.’
My mind had not been stable because of the heat but I stored the birthday present the Empress gave me in the deepest part of my room.
There will come a time when I will have use for it.
I must have fainted after having that thought and feeling relieved.
“Do you remember how you got on the carriage?”
“I remember you mentioning we were headed for the Legault Central Commerce Center, your Eminence.”
“That’s right. We used the Imperial family’s exclusive portal there to come to Yvelines.
The image of the Marquis putting the motion sickness medicine on me flew through my mind.
“When you say the Imperial family’s exclusive portal……”
“It’s a portal only Frédérique, Cédric, and I can use. It goes directly to Yvelines. Even among our attendants, only those close confidants whose identities have been confirmed can come with us.”
I nodded my head.
To sum it up, I had gotten onto the portal half-unconscious and was in Yvelines at the north of the Empire instead of the Imperial Capital.
I looked out the window to see a forest full of conifers.
There was a large mountain beyond the carpet-like green trees that looked as if it had a white snow hat on its head.
There were fluffy clouds playing hide and seek to escape the sun up in the clear blue sky.
I looked back to see two carriages following behind us.
I presumed that Benjamin, Ganael, and other attendants were in them.
“You must have left early because of me. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience.”
I had to apologize this time.
Exclusive portals only worked when an approved person was there.
It meant that the Empress and Cardinal had purposely gotten on the portal at that time to send me to Yvelines.
It was extremely kind treatment since I was a diplomatic hostage.
“It wasn’t much. We were planning on leaving in the evening anyway.”
The Cardinal smiled elegantly and handed me a gold glass bottle.
Gold-colored tea with ice sloshed inside. The Empress mumbled something but I couldn’t hear.
“It is tea made by boiling hawthorn berries. It is a bit sour so it should get your appetite going.”
“Thank you very much, your Eminence.”
I had been feeling parched.
I opened the lid and gulped the tea down, making the curious red pandas grab my arm and tilt their heads.
I quietly chuckled and rubbed all three of their noses.
They were also unexpected fellow passengers.
“I had been wondering why Vice Captain Élisabeth left these guys behind.”
“I told her that I would take them. The divine item of the north is in Yvelines, so it is much closer than the Moutet County.”
The Cardinal explained. I observed the three divine beasts squealing and rolling around before raising my head.
“I didn’t know that the divine item was in Yvelines.”
It had been over two months since I transmigrated to QNW, but there were significantly more things that I did not know than the things I knew.
I only had the bits and pieces I heard from Eunseo and had to learn most things of this world through books, and even that was mostly done through cramming.
When I first got here, I had to even memorize the order in which I use the fork and knives during meals.
“I heard that the Ark of the Wind Deity was in the northern part of the Empire, but it did not explain that it was in Yvelines.”
I quickly commented. That was the same in Archduke Yvelines’ < Kaboom! Yves’ Great Adventure > as well.
Based on what I remember……
‘There’s a divine item in our backyard too, Yves.’
‘I told you to cut the bullshit, Nikky.’
‘It’s true. It is the wings of the Almighty God called the Ark of the Wind Deity.’
‘Mm. Was ‘our backyard’ talking about the territory? Then I have no excuse.’
“Yvelines is a pretty new territory. Do you happen to know about Archduke Yvelines?”
The Cardinal asked in a sly tone. I answered honestly.
“I read some fairy tales written by Archduke Yvelines. However, I do not know who it is.”
Her beige-colored eyes opened wide. She immediately turned to look at the Empress.
Her cherry-colored eyes slightly frowned.
“Is it that Yves’ Great Party or whatever?”
“Yes, your Majesty. It is the Yves’ Great Adventure series and they were in the Imperial Family Library.”
The Cardinal laughed out loud.
The Empress peeked at her for a moment before turning back at me.
She did not seem to want to talk about the fairy tales anymore.
“Enough about the book. You don’t know who Archduke Yvelines is?”
“Yes, your Majesty. My apologies for my lack of knowledge.”
“No need to apologize. That name was only used in the territory anyway. It would be weird if the prince of the Holy Kingdom knew who it was.”
The Empress pulled off her cravat as she said that.
I used the information gathered from the two of them to try to piece things together like a puzzle.
Archduke Yvelines was a part of the Imperial family but his territory was pretty new.
She said that the title of ‘Archduke Yvelines’ was only used here, so there had to be another name he was known by.
He had written some fairy tales for his child and both the Empress and Cardinal seem to know something about it.
‘…..I have no idea. There are too many possibilities.
There are over a million nobles and Imperial family collateral line in the Empire.
Prince Jesse’s family tree was causing me enough headaches that I didn’t have the room to figure out the Imperial family’s family tree as well.
“Then you don’t know who Duke Yvelines is either?”
The Empress asked. I nodded my head.
“I do not, your Majesty. But if he is the Duke, he must be the Archduke’s child.”
A corner of her lips curled up.
I had an ominous feeling for a different reason from when Christelle’s eyes were sparkling.
The three red pandas jumped into my arms as if they were a bouquet.
“The Duke should currently be on the outskirts of the territory catching pirates. You should be able to meet him in a few days. That should be entertaining.”
‘What? What is entertaining?’
“Frédérique, don’t tease this innocent child.”
“I never did such a thing. Teasing would be something like this.”
The Empress brushed back her silver hair and smiled tiredly.
The wrinkled cravat was in the Cardinal’s hand now.
“Starting from this moment, nobody is allowed to inform Prince Jesse about Archduke Yvelines and Duke Yvelines. This is an Imperial Decree.”
“Young lady Christelle! To the left!”
Christelle shouted loudly and charged her horse forward.
Élisabeth’s dark green hair that was fluttering on the other side seemed to be a part of this place.
The two of them cut through the northern forest that was full of trees above their heads and brown pine needles under their feet.
Their prey was running with everything it had between the two of them. It was a demonic beast.
It looked like a normal elk at first glance but its metal horn was as sharp as a blade.
The regular soldiers covered their ears in pain whenever it screeched.
It was inevitable that Élisabeth, a Grade 8 swordswoman, and Christelle, a Novice Holy Knight, stepped in.
The demonic beast was extremely quick and released the annoying sound waves to annoy people.
The skilled archers from the County, Élisabeth’s dagger, and even Christelle’s water could not hit the monster on the first try.
All that was left for them to do was to drive it to a specific location.
– Clack, clack, clack!
“Doria, big sis is going to use water soon. Don’t be scared.”
Christelle warmly whispered and petted the horse’s head.
She did not forget to release a quiet stream of water next to the horse’s ear so that it could get used to it.
The high quality horse, Doria, slightly moved its head at the ticklish splash.
Christelle looked forward again.
She could see the North Sea that was extremely blue.
There was a steep cliff right in front of her.
“I’m going to withdraw now, young lady Christelle!”
“Okay, please leave it to me!”
Élisabeth slowly decreased her horse’s speed and blocked the demonic beast’s exit route.
‘Eek!’ Christelle’s threatening shout had shocked her.
The demonic beast did not realize that the young Countess was gone from its left side and sped up even more.
It seemed to have gotten anxious after feeling threatened. Ash-colored saliva was dripping from its mouth.
Flash! The forest ended and the wide ocean revealed itself.
The demonic beast became shocked at the sudden change and raised both paws into the air.
As it was about to use its sharp hooves to quickly change directions…
An avalanche-like wave descended upon the demonic beast. It had nowhere to dodge. It had all happened in an instant.
– Pruuu, piiiieeeeeeh!
Christelle struck down with her whip in the air and the ocean water followed the direction of the whip and started freezing one after another as if they were dominoes.
The demonic beast turned into a large block of ice without being able to resist in any way.
Doing this allowed her to instantly kill it while also making sure that its body fluids did not seep into the ground or spread around.
It wasn’t as thorough as a job as a fire-attribute knight but Christelle liked this finish quite a bit.
“Great job, young lady Christelle! It was a clean finish this time as well.”
“Thank you very much. You worked hard as well, Vice Captain Élisabeth.”
The young Countess who had quickly arrived on her horse smiled brightly.
Christelle smiled as well while feeling a thorough sense of release in her heart.
The open sea, the cool and salty breeze, the subtle scent of pine and a good friend.
She did not have many fun moments like this since transmigrating here.
She could see the knights of the County running over in the distance.
The people of the House of Sarnez were too careful around her and half of them still looked at her with pitying gazes.
Such attention was nice but also burdensome for someone like Ham Ga-in, who had no memories of receiving love from her parents.
Everybody around her was nice and affectionate to the point it felt forced and was even scary or chilling at times.
She felt as if she had joined a cast of a play.
The people were natural but unnatural at the same time and there was an odd sense of stoic dryness amidst the kindness.
There were only a few people who didn’t give her such awkwardness.
For example, Vice Captain Élisabeth over here, her mother, Margrave Moutet.
Empress Frédérique. Cardinal Boutier. Her fellow student, Imperial Prince Cédric.
Prince Jesse who has extremely pure ether……
The Imperial Prince and Prince Jesse were very special cases even without that group. To explain…
There was a loud explosion. Christelle quickly turned her head and looked toward the ocean.
The young Countess shouted before she could figure out what was going on.
Pirates! Inform the Margrave immediately. Gather the troops down at the beach!”