“……Young lady Sarnez, I think we should find this guy’s nest first.”
I calmly responded.
Demy wasn’t the type to do something like this, but it was possible that he looted a bird’s house and abducted this chimney bird.
It was only right to return it back to its home if it wasn’t injured.
Our tone-deaf and rhythm-lacking MC, who also seemed to have a terrible naming sense, finally gasped and nodded her head.
“I guess that should come first. I became too excited because it was so cute, your highness.”
‘You think it is cute but you want to give it a name like ttukbaegi?’
“I admit that it is cute.”
I said that and carefully reached my hand toward the chimney bird.
It rapidly blinked its black eyes, opening and closing its yellow beak. Itstill did not seem wary of humans at all.
It was likely not a pet since Yvelines did not have any residents.
“I’ll take you back home.”
– Piiiiiiiiiiruuuuuuuuu, pipi!
The chimney bird surprisingly jumped onto my palm.
At this point, I wondered if Demy had befriended the bird instead of abducting it.
I asked for Cardinal Boutier’s understanding before slowly getting up from the mat.
Christelle also stood up.
Her blue-gray eyes were sparkling like stars. It was as if she was not tired at all.
“Demy, where did you grab this chimney bird from? Let’s go back there.”
Demy, who understood exactly what I wanted him to do, slithered out from my arms as if he was made of noodles.
Christelle and I walked behind Demy.
I could see Imperial Prince Cédric peeking over to see what we were doing.
My whole body was tense because the warm creature in my palm was so small and soft.
I felt as if it would die if I put even the slightest amount of pressure into its body. As for the chimney bird itself, it didn’t seem to have a care in the world.
The punk looked at me and tilted its body side to side before moving backward. That must have been too much for it, as it turned around and faced forward.
– Kiiiiiiiiiii, kiiiiiiiiii.
At the end of the green grassy field, on top of the white cliff…
We didn’t have to walk far to arrive at the hot potato of today, the Bell Tower.
Demy energetically approached the Bell Tower, probably thinking that I might mistake the location.
He then raised his body on his hind legs to stand up before patting the outside of the Bell Tower.
He seemed to be saying that he was certain this was the place and that I had better not get it wrong.
“Is it really a divine beast?”
I looked down at the chimney bird and mumbled to myself. Of course, it could also be a regular bird that lives in the Bell Tower.
It wouldn’t be weird if it made its nest underneath the sharp roof.
The problem was when Demy could have gotten up there……
“You just need to check it.”
A cool low voice pierced through my ears.
Christelle must have known that he was coming as she didn’t seem shocked at all.
Only I, the extremely normal human being, flinched.
‘Make some noise when you walk!’
“Is there a way to confirm if it is a divine beast, your Royal Highness?”
I calmly asked the Imperial Prince.
He slightly lowered his head and his orange eyes were oddly sparkling.
I was wondering what he was thinking when he took off his glove without any hesitation and reached his left hand toward the chimney bird.
He was right about to create a flame!
– Pi pi piiiii?
“Hey! The bird is going to die!”
I moved like a flash of lightning to hide the chimney bird in my arms. The Imperial Prince bluntly opened his mouth.
“It will block my attack if it is a divine beast.”
“Why are you thinking about attacking it, your Royal Highness? It’ll be terribly injured if it is a regular chimney bird.”
He raised one eyebrow at my comment before he returned to his original spot and put his glove back on.
‘This is one crazy bastard.’
There was a reason Jung Eunseo had stopped liking this guy.
He looked like a beautiful sculpture, but his personality was shit. Christelle seemed decently shocked as well.
“However, the Bell Tower is closed. Nobody can enter until the repairs are completed.”
He warned. That was also true.
The Imperial Prince had used his authority as the Duke of Yvelines to order the Bell Tower closed.
According to the Cardinal, although the Bell Tower has received some minor repairs, it has never had any significant work done to it since it was built.
It seemed like he was planning to renovate it since multiple places were destroyed by the divine item’s problematic actions. Besides, it was time for some repairs anyway.
“Then what about Sir Geens?”
Christelle looked up at me and the Imperial Prince looked down, silently asking for an explanation.
‘I really can’t get used to these two.’
“I feel bad asking him again, but Sir Geens should be able to check the inside and top of the Bell Tower without touching it.”
‘He can easily make a pirate ship float so why would he not be able to lift his own body?’
I thought that we might be able to figure out where the chimney bird came from if their instructor, Sir Johann Geens, stepped in.
If there was a nest in there, he could even help move it.
The two main characters stared at Sir Geens, who was sleeping on the grass.
They seemed to agree with me since they didn’t say anything, but they seemed discontent.
It was time for dinner.
“Being able to eat in the Summer Palace…this is the greatest honor of my life that could never be beaten.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth, who came down in clean new clothes, sounded slightly excited.
Everybody had washed up and arrived with new clothes.
I looked at the members around the round table with a new kind of feeling.
The head of the table, the Empress’s spot, was empty while the Imperial Prince, Christelle, Vice Captain Élisabeth, and I were sitting clockwise around it.
The Cardinal was scheduled to sit in between the Empress and me.
I felt as if everybody here except me deserved to be scolded.
That was the reason Vice Captain Élisabeth looked a bit tense.
Everybody was allowed to stay in the Summer Palace with Empress Frédérique and Duke Yvelines’s consent, but it was definitely a sin to drag a pirate ship into the Imperial family’s territory.
That remained the problem despite the Duke himself having been on the ship.
‘Cédric was in the wrong for not actively trying to stop them.’
That was what the Cardinal said on our way back to the Summer Palace.
Although his friend and an acquaintance were onboard, it was careless to allow a ship, especially one he had no idea about its true intentions, into the territory.
I had nodded my head, as it sounded completely reasonable.
‘Yes, the main character and his friend should be scolded since they caused an incident.’
“What would you like as an apéritif, young Countess-nim?”
“Just water, please.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth responded sincerely to the attendant’s question.
She must have thought that she would get scolded more if she was drinking alcohol.
Christelle smartly asked for water as well.
The Imperial Prince didn’t say anything since he had been drinking water from the beginning.
The two of us made eye contact for a moment.
I immediately thought about the suspicious letter.
I wondered if I should have tightly grabbed Sadie and taken it away from him, but I could not be so rude to him when he looked like a child.
I could not change this about myself, as it was something that had been ingrained in my mind since forever.
The Empress still didn’t seem to know about the existence of the letter, so I debated bribing him with ether when he became small again.
The fact that he didn’t tell his mother might mean that he was open to making a deal with me.
“Your highness, what about ttukttak?”
I was drinking my buckwheat tea and organizing my thoughts when Christelle said that terrible name with her beautiful voice.
“When you say ttukttak…”
“The name for the chimney bird.”
I was silent because I could not figure out a good response.
It was hard, but we managed to wake Sir Geens up to take a look at the Bell Tower. However, we were unable to find the chimney bird’s nest.
I also wondered if it was unable to fly from the shock of being in Demy’s mouth, but that wasn’t the case either.
It flew over, sat on the Imperial Prince’s shoulder, and pecked at his fur cape on our way back to the Summer Palace.
It was currently playing hide-and-seek with the three red panda musketeers in my room.
‘Is it just a bird that ran away from home…… Is it a delinquent?’
“Don’t you think that ttukttak is lacking some love? It was really pretty when I saw it earlier. How about a name like Leticia or Aymeric?”
Vice Captain Élisabeth gave some suggestions.
They were great suggestions, but I thought that they were too long.
The three of our gazes naturally turned toward the Imperial Prince.
“…..What is it?”
He slightly frowned. It was at that moment.
“Her Majesty and Her Eminence, Cardinal Boutier now entering.”
We quickly turned our bodies and stood up.
We heard some dignified footsteps following the gentle scraping of chairs.
I quickly bowed toward the two adults.
Soon, the Cardinal was seated to my left while the Empress took her place at the head of the table.
She gave an Imperial order. Everybody sat down without making a peep.
That was the signal for the attendants to quickly bring out the food.
The Empress didn’t like conversations getting cut off because food was being delivered, so all of the food, excluding the desserts, were placed on the table at once.
A soul-suppressing silence continued.
Everybody seemed to be awkwardly staring at different parts of the tablecloth.
“We hope that you have a wonderful time, your Majesty. Please ring the bell if you need anything.”
Nobody looked to be having a wonderful time, but the Chief of Staff of the Summer Palace gave such a comment before walking away.
The Empress motioned with her hand; her attendant, Laura, and the Cardinal’s attendant, Natalie, also left.
Only the six of us were left in the dining area.
The Empress picked up a spoon.
Once she and the Cardinal started, everybody slowly picked up their cutlery.
I first picked up a canapé.
I took a big bite and the stack of mascarpone and sprouts gently mixed on the tip of my tongue.
It was extremely fresh.
The adorably placed roasted seeds and pickled onions on top added savoriness to the dish.
I inspected another canapé because I wanted to know where the fragrant and salty taste was coming from. It seemed to be wine salt.
It definitely stirred my appetite.
“Eat a lot.”
The Cardinal warmly commented. I smiled and placed the second canapé in my mouth.
“Cédric. Your decision today was reckless.”
– Crunch, crunch.
“Yes, your Majesty.”
I stopped chewing. It was too loud when I was chewing on the canapé.
“Would you have made the same decision if there were residents on the coast? I know that Élisabeth and the little Sarnez girl are trustworthy children, but someone who wishes to become the Emperor in the future should have considered the what-ifs.”
It was hard to eat using just my tongue.
I just stopped moving and waited for the conversation to end.
“It was also reckless for you to get on a pirate ship as the Imperial Prince. Your body does not belong to you, it belongs to the Empire.”
“I will keep that in mind, your Majesty.”
The Imperial Prince responded in a low voice. The Cardinal glanced at me before whispering that I could eat in peace.
I nodded my head.
“As for you, little Sarnez girl.”
“Yes, your Majesty.”
“I said that I would support you to become a Holy Knight. I never said that I would support you to become a pirate. Do you remember that?”
“I remember, your Majesty.”
– Crunch, crunch.
I stopped chewing again. This really seemed wrong.
I wasn’t the one being scolded but I still felt as if I was sitting on pins and needles.
I knew that it was part of the punishment, but doing this at the dining table was something my cultural values could not understand.
‘They basically only had snacks for lunch too. Can’t you scold them after feeding them?’
“Yes, your Majesty.”
“I said this to you earlier in the day, but I must emphasize it again. You are the Margrave heir……”
I peeked around the table to see that the three of them had not eaten anything.
I pitied them as I picked up my share of the duck breast.
‘This should be safe to eat since it shouldn’t make a lot of noise.’
The meat was so soft that the knife didn’t even scratch the plate.
“I wasn’t planning on saying this, but you punks are too energetic. Maybe it is because it is time for you all to get married.”
The Empress clicked her tongue.
‘Wow, we finally have a holiday atmosphere.’
I gave the three troublemakers my deepest condolences internally while taking a big bite of duck meat.
I heard that you could usually respond to that kind of statement with ‘will you help us furnish our house’ or ‘will you help us get a house’, but the problem was that the Empress could easily do both.
“Aurélie just happens to be quite busy right now. You know that the Main Church of Riester has their annual prayer meeting next month, right?”
– Crunch, crunch
‘Ha…… It was almond sauce on top of the duck.’
I silently sighed before I stopped chewing again.
Each of the almond slivers were sweet yet bitter, probably because they were coated in sugar and slightly burnt.
It was so delicious but I was sad that I could not enjoy myself as I ate it.
“Cédric, and little Sarnez girl. The two of you will participate in the prayer meeting to look for a decent partner. Élisabeth, you will be in charge of security for the event. That is your punishment.”
“Your Majesty, please kill me instead.”
The Imperial Prince and Christelle’s faces were totally stiff.
Vice Captain Élisabeth was completely pale as if the bisque in front of her was poison.
The situation seemed serious.
Well, that was none of my business.
Jesse is mood.