‘Please take a good look. It looks as if the divine item is trying to choke the young lady’s neck.’
I was so shocked by the author’s method of dealing with the problem that I said those words to the Imperial Prince.
The bastard didn’t know that I was speaking nonsense out of shock and responded seriously.
‘Why are you so stern? Are you a sternum?’
‘What kind of nonsense are you talking about?’
I felt as if I might have said something random because I was shocked by Christelle’s singing.
‘Unfortunately, the young lady is unable to be with us any longer.’
The cold North Sea breeze rustled my hair as if it was trying to tease me before disappearing.
“Seriously…… How does this make any sense?”
I was sitting on a mat on top of the grass while looking up to the top of the Bell Tower.
I couldn’t help but scoff in disbelief.
The white cliff was peaceful as if nothing had happened and the divine item had never caused a problem.
Christelle, who had calmed the Ark of the Wind Deity, didn’t seem to care much about the results.
She was seated across from me, eating a crème caramel with a refreshed look on her face.
‘Her mental fortitude is strong. Is this because she is the main character?’
“You must have been quite shocked.”
Cardinal Boutier, who was sitting next to me, pulled out a glass bottle from the picnic basket.
It was spearmint tea.
“Thank you very much. Are you okay, your Eminence?”
I asked her. Honestly speaking, I was the one who was the most shocked no matter how you looked at it.
The Cardinal had the peace of mind to grab the picnic basket while exiting the Bell Tower earlier.
She had placed the mat on the grass and was waiting for us by the time we calmed down the divine item and returned to the ground.
I was anxious because I thought that Christelle might be hurt badly or have some kind of amazing awakening, but I guess I was the only one being serious.
“I trusted the two of you. But I didn’t expect you to bring his Royal Highness, the Duke, and a whole band of pirates with you.”
The Cardinal gently responded. I couldn’t help but bitterly smile.
The main character having an adventure out on the sea while I was hiking the nearby cliff with two adults was quite the coincidence.
However, I knew this was what the author had arranged to happen.
Even though I was trying to get some rest away from the main characters; even though I moved without the two of them, I still ended up getting mixed up in their epic story.
Furthermore, the two of their appearances were important in the group safely getting out of the Bell Tower.
Although I was fated to eventually die because of the two of them, I had survived this time because of them.
My mind was as complicated as a maze.
“……Will the divine item be okay like that, your Eminence?”
That was why I changed the topic. The Cardinal lifted her beige-colored eyes to look at the Bell Tower.
The large wing, sparkling in a light purple color, was gently swaying with the wind.
Divine items are not living creatures, but this one seemed to be happy.
The Ark has been swaying like this since it tightly hugged Christelle and then let her go.
It showed quite the interest in the Imperial Prince as well, and it was calm when I reached my hand out toward it again as well.
It was quite a shocking change.
“I think so. We will have to keep our eye on it for a few more days though. That child had spent a long time on the cliff without choosing a master.”
“It didn’t have a master?”
The Cardinal understood the meaning behind my gaze. She took a sip of her coffee and continued to explain.
“Alexandre was, how do I explain it… He was like a friend to the Ark. Even Frédérique and I were unable to completely understand their relationship. How could there be something like that in this world?”
“The Ark is different from the other divine items. The Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star and the Sacred Bow of the Tree of Life have high standards when choosing their masters as well, but this child is a bit peculiar.”
I savored my tea and quietly recalled < Yves’ Great Adventure >.
It made sense if the expression about it being like a free bird was talking about the divine item’s unrestrained personality.
It seemed to mean that even if a human earns the Ark’s heart, they would not become its eternal master.
The proof of that was how the Ark did not follow Christelle to the ground nor stick to her anymore.
“But I was shocked that it reacted to the young lady’s voice.”
“Yes, that was unexpected. I could hear the lullaby from down here. Even Alexandre sang better than that.”
“Are you talking about me right now?”
The noble young lady of the ballad world, who was eating a baba au rhum, looked at us with her blue-gray eyes wide open.
‘Yes, even the main character can be tone-deaf.In fact, that might have been quite charming to most of the QNW readers.’
I still had chills on my back from how bad it was, but Jung Eunseo was not here to hear my grumbling.
“We were talking about how great your singing was, young lady Sarnez.”
“Hmm… I have heard that quite often. Thank you very much, your highness.”
Christelle looked a bit embarrassed as she looked for an Iced Americano.
It seemed as if she had no idea that she was tone-deaf.
I quietly nodded my head and looked at the Bell Tower again.
According to the Grand Duke’s book, the Ark was here from the beginning of time.
The Bell Tower was built much later by the Empire in order to serve the divine item.
The temple next to it was built at that time as well.
There were even legends about how the Ark enjoyed the prayers of the people and used storms to defend the Empire from approaching pirates and enemies.
If it wasn’t as capricious as the Almighty God, this punk should be able to calmly perform its duties.
“Anyway, it all worked out.”
I quietly mumbled.
It had closed the door to its heart for a long time after its close friend had left this world.
It had flailed around after waking up to my ether because unfamiliar people approached it.
But this divine item finally calmed down after hearing a lullaby from someone who was tone-deaf like its friend.
It had the title of being the Authority of the Almighty God, but it was acting like a puppy or a child.
It was a bit sad too.
I picked up a profiterole and threw it in my mouth.
My mind cleared up after eating something crispy and sweet.
“Where did Demy go?”
I finally realized that one of the red pandas was missing.
I slowly looked around.
Empress Frédérique and Vice Captain Élisabeth seemed to have left earlier to take care of the pirate ship issue.
The young Countess had to report on the details behind how the pirate ship ended up adrift, barged into Yvelines, and ended up with Duke Yvelines on board.
Someone else had caused the trouble, but the confidant had to deal with the explanations.
The small group of knights who had been on board were dragged along as well, looking like a bunch of sausages in line.
Off to one side, I could see the instructor of the two main characters, Sir Johann Geens, sleeping on the grass in the distance.
I turned my head to the other side. Rhea and Perry were near the forest with the Imperial Prince.
They had been pestering him for a while now. It seems they finally managed to get him to play with them.
‘What is that? Is it a ball?’
“His Royal Highness even knows how to create toys out of flames it seems.”
Christelle commented in awe.
She said that she had no idea he could do such a thing since he only launched attacks at her.
The Imperial Prince, who had been inspecting the area to see if there were any traces of demonic beasts around his father’s grave, threw two flame balls at the red pandas before focusing on his task again.
The divine beasts frequently showed their friendliness to the Imperial Prince like this.
They must have enjoyed going to the Sarnez Duchy with him.
“By the way, why is his Royal Highness wearing a fur coat during his vacation?”
I suddenly asked.
To be more specific, I was wondering why he was focusing on the concept of the Grand Duke of the North when that wasn’t even his title.
“It’s a keepsake from Alexandre. He got cold easily when he was alive.”
“It’s beautiful. It makes me want one as well.”
I quickly added on. The Cardinal laughed out loud.
“Call him Duke Yvelines while you are here. That was a deal we made with him.”
“I see. I understand.”
I quietly gasped.
It wasn’t awkward to connect the Imperial Prince as Duke Yvelines as I had considered the fact that Prince Consort Alexandre was Grand Duke Yvelines.
It was just embarrassing.
“Then will the Duke-nim become the Grand Duke in the future?”
“That is not the case.”
The Cardinal received a profiterole from me and smiled.
“Alexandre is the only Grand Duke of the Empire. It was Frédérique’s decision.”
Christelle and I both stared at the Cardinal.
There was something that slowly came to mind.
The < Biweekly Riester > once mentioned that the Grand Duke was someone who ‘threw away his title of Duke and chose love.’
It was possible that he had cast aside his family to become the Prince Consort.
“The Duke’s House of Blanquer is a household of mages who have a long history in the northern part of the Empire.”
The Cardinal could not win against our gazes and started speaking with a smile on her face.
This lesson for the diplomatic hostage, who was clueless about the situation of the Empire, and the young lady, whose memory was not ‘fully recovered’ continued.
“As you know, the inheritance of wealth and titles on the continent gives priority to the eldest child. Alexandre was the eldest child of the House of Blanquer and was a promising mage. The Beau Monde frequently talked about him being a genius who would take the Duchy to new heights. Even the collateral line of the Duke’s House rose up to complain when it was revealed that he had secretly become engaged to Frédérique.”
“I guess they didn’t want to lose a precious family member to the Imperial family.”
“Yes, but Alexandre was extremely stubborn. He packed his things and ran away from home the day before he became the young Duke.”
“Wow, how romantic.”
Christelle commented. The Cardinal smiled bitterly.
“It was foolish too. After that, Frédérique pushed her Majesty, the former Empress, to have the wedding. What could she do when the two of them said they love each other?”
“Then what happened to the relationship with the Duke’s family?”
I asked. It was fascinating.
There was a reason the main character of the < Yves’ Great Adventure > series had the family name of Blanquer.
“The House of Blanquer and the Imperial family had maintained a good relationship for a long time. Support and aid from the Imperial family was necessary because the Blanquer territory was on the border with the Holy Kingdom. The Duke and his wife were not foolish enough to forget about that. That was why they did not put up any serious objections once the marriage date was set. However…….”
The Cardinal took a sip of her coffee.
Christelle and I waited for her to continue as if we were caught watching an ad in the middle of a Youtube video.
“They disowned Alexandre. They cut off all relationships with him. They erased his name from the family tree and made it so that he could not contact any of his family members.”
“Who knows? Maybe it had to do with the family’s dignity and pride? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t have done that if it was me.”
She quietly responded. My pity for the situation rose like the tide.
No matter how important the family’s authority might be, I would never understand isolating a beloved member of the family.
“That was why Frédérique gifted Alexandre her land. She gave him the most beautiful of the Imperial family’s private property with the best view and gave him the name of Yvelines. She didn’t hesitate at all even though it was a place that had a divine item. She gave him the title of Grand Duke once she ascended to the throne and proclaimed that nobody else would be allowed to be a Grand Duke as long as she was alive.”
Christelle and I dropped our jaws at the same time.
Christelle looked as if she was half in love with the Empress.
“That is why Cédric cannot become Grand Duke. At least for now.”
The Cardinal then stopped speaking. I looked at the Imperial Prince with a different feeling.
That was the reason he was a Duke instead of a Grand Duke despite receiving his father’s territory.
I heard Demy’s voice right behind me at that moment. I quickly turned my head.
“Demy. Where did you g, huh?”
He spit something out of his mouth. It was moving.
My body froze for a moment.
– Beep, beeeeeep!
I stared at the tiny little creature.
A round brown ball of fur was huffing and puffing while chirping.
“Oh my, did you catch a bird, Demy?”
Christelle commented as if she was humoring Demy. Demy looked at me and purred with pride.
“Demy, did you capture the bird for this big bro?”
“You should compliment him first, your highness. Getting flustered or rejecting it might hurt him.”
Christelle quickly whispered.
‘Isn’t that what they say about cats?’
I was extremely close to saying that before I calmed down.
Demy had never hunted anything until now.
Divine beasts were able to live on ether alone; Rhea and Perry didn’t even consume any human food.
Demy was peculiar in that he liked fruit or flowers, but he never ate meat.
‘What is going on all of a sudden……?’
“Uhh, good job. Our Demy is the best. You’re so cool.”
“You should hug him. Hug him, your highness.”
I quickly opened my arms following Christelle’s suggestion.
Demy’s nose twitched before he jumped into my arms.
I petted his white ears and observed the hunted animal.
It resembled a sparrow but I didn’t think it was one. Thankfully, it didn’t seem hurt.
It was odd that it was tilting its body side to side and observing Christelle and I instead of flying away.
‘Is it a divine beast?’
“It’s a chimney bird.”
The Cardinal, who had been quietly observing the situation, slowly commented.
Unlike red pandas, it seemed to be a creature that originally existed here.
Christelle proclaimed with confidence at that moment.
“Why don’t we call it Ttukbaegi?”
‘Maybe…… Is it because it is a chimney bird?’ (TL: Chimney bird in korean is ‘gulttuksae’. ‘Ttukbaegi’ is an unglazed earthenware bowl. The name is based on the shared ‘ttuk’ character. I tried my best to come up with an English equivalent of the pun but I couldn’t)
In addition to singing, Christelle seems to suck at naming things. Oh wait, I already made this assessment before… welcome, female version of Lee Soo Hyuk…