[When you say pig out……]
“It’s exactly as I mentioned, your highness. They frequently request ether and want too much at once. It’s reeeeeally difficult…… I talked to them about it because I couldn’t handle it anymore and the young lady just asked why I couldn’t even do this much while his Royal Highness just sighed. Sob……”
Sand buried his face in my handkerchief. I closed my eyes for a moment, not knowing what to say.
Basically, Christelle and Imperial Prince Cédric were treating this young Clergy level priest terribly as if he was a public charger and bullying him.
I couldn’t believe it.
They openly did something so terrible but acted as if nothing was wrong when I saw them in the palace?
[That, mm. Have you spoken to her Eminence, Cardinal Boutier about it?]
I realized that I made a mistake after asking the question.
Of course Sand would not have been able to tell her.
A Cardinal was called a ‘Royal Son or Daughter of Faith’ and had authority in the Vatican, however, Aurélie Boutier was more importantly the Imperial Prince’s Godmother and the Empress’s partner.
Even if we set aside the extremely distant level of authority between a priest and a Cardinal, Sand would never have been able to go up to her to tell her that her godson was a shithead.
“Sooob, how could I……”
Sand’s eyes sank low in sorrow as he looked at me.
I awkwardly patted his shoulder while feeling apologetic.
[I understand. Sir Geens just sits by and lets it happen?]
I had to ask. Sir Johann Geens was the Holy Knight teacher for Christelle and Imperial Prince Cédric.
If they were doing something inappropriate as Holy Knights, he should have stepped in before anybody else.
It is supposed to be a partnership between theHoly Knight and a priest, not one side exploiting the other.
“S, Sir Geens, during the lessons……. He doesn’t seem very interested in his job……”
Sand’s gaze quickly fell as he trailed off.
I suddenly recalled a conversation I had with Ganael in the Juliette Palace’s reception room.
‘It should be fine since it is a spar. The teacher from the Vatican is there with them. I’m sure that he will take care of things.’
‘I thought so at first as well, but I don’t think that the teacher is capable of handling them.’
I could see the situation quickly forming in front of my eyes. I had to speak up about this potential situation.
I thought that this was something that others shouldn’t hear and deactivated my Divine Oracle before lowering my voice.
“Then, the two of them just spar everyday, suck out the ether they need from you and Sir Geens just sits there and watches?”
“Sob, yes, your highness……”
Sand sniffled and quietly responded. I couldn’t help but frown.
I couldn’t understand why they had not said anything despite him not actually teaching them.
“I never heard about that while in the Imperial Palace. Has the Duke-nim or the young lady spoken up about it?”
“It has not been very long since Sir Geens or I got here…… They seem to think that he would eventually teach them when the time is right. And the two of them… seem to enjoy sparring?”
The priest, who was maybe twenty at the oldest, tilted his head before wiping his eyes with the handkerchief.
I barely held myself back from sighing.
I didn’t know what Sir Geens was thinking, but the two of them can not be allowed to continue like this.
As someone in the same profession, I did not feel good seeing a priest being treated like this.
“Ah, your highness…… The reason I came to confess… It is because I wanted to run away. I even packed my bags in secret last night. Sniff. I know that I shouldn’t do that, but……”
Sand changed the topic to focus on the sacrament.
I quietly nodded my head and listened to his story.
However, I couldn’t stop the discomfort filling up inside of me.
It was one thing if I lived with my ears closed forever, but it was hard for me to fake ignorance now that I heard what was going on.
There seemed to be a limit to ignoring things, even if they weren’t happening to me or were my issues.
Christelle de Sarnez roamed around the Summer Palace aimlessly after escorting Prince Jesse to the temporary Confessional.
It would have been fun to chat with his attendants, but she had a strong urge to get some fresh air today.
That was the reason she had walked toward the small forest at the back of the Summer Palace.
She was feeling more free than ever because the attendant who came with her from the Duke’s Estate was left behind at the Moutet County.
The Prince’s pure and warm ether still felt as if it was roaming around her.
That was probably the reason she didn’t notice Cédric Riester already sitting in the pavilion that she was headed toward.
“I greet his Royal Highness, Duke Yvelines.”
Christelle became a bit anxious in front of him, which was rare for her, but hid her anxiety as she respectfully greeted him.
The young Duke received her greeting with a gaze, as he always did.
This man always used his pretty face to its max value every time she saw him.
He seemed to have brought some documents from his office to read outside.
He must have needed a change of pace as well.
She had no choice but to change directions to the pavilion on the other side.
Neither of them were the type to suppress their ether in consideration for the other.
‘Why should I when he/she doesn’t?’
That was their thought process.
As a result, avoiding each other outside of their lessons was the best way to maintain peace.
They couldn’t cause another incident when the Empress scolded them not too long ago.
‘I hope that the other pavilion has a long couch as well so I can take a nap.’
Christelle, who was having that thought, oddly stopped walking.
It was because she suddenly recalled the conversation she had with Prince Jesse earlier.
She slowly turned her head to look at the Duke.
That beautiful face of his seemed quite serious while reading that piece of paper.
She had no interest in bothering someone who was working, but today was the Prince’s special day.
She couldn’t hold in her curiosity.
“Your Royal Highness, did you perhaps forget that it is Prince Jesse’s birthday today?”
Her pretty voice did not have even the tiniest amount of malice behind it.
However, the Duke completely ignored her as if it was normal.
‘Ahhh, this extremely rude son of a bitch.’
‘Ham Ga-in’ swore internally before turning around.
She managed to prevent anything vulgar from coming out of her mouth, but a bit of her temper ended up bursting out.
“He might start to hate you if you keep going like this.”
There was a bit of malice behind her voice this time. She knew that Prince Jesse would not hate the Duke.
He was kind-hearted by nature, and was weak toward animals and children.
The Duke was usually an animal and could turn into a little kid when he is lacking ether, so she was certain that there would never be a day when the Prince would truly treat him terribly.
However, Christelle wanted to say something to this little punk.
She didn’t care if it was childish. She was this kind of person.
“I have no need to appease him because I have his weakness.”
She was about to leave before she became even angrier when the man gave such a strange response.
To be more specific, it only sounded weird to Christelle.
She turned around to see that the Duke’s face was stoic as usual.
“You have his highness’s weakness?”
The Duke turned toward his documents as if there was nothing else to add.
Christelle was in disbelief and could not remain silent.
“You don’t think that you can use that as an excuse to treat someone as you please, do you, your Royal Highness?”
“I’m sure I can at least make him submit.”
‘Wow, fuck. Look at how this bastard is talking.’
Christelle quickly walked over and sat down on the couch opposite to the Duke.
Cédric scowled at this disrespectful act, but she ignored it as easily as water flows down.
“I thought you trusted Prince Jesse, your Royal Highness. Wasn’t it pretty nice during the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts? I felt the same way.”
She didn’t want to admit it, but it was fun. The Prince, the Duke, and she seemed to work pretty well together.
Her condition always being good because of the Prince’s ether played a part as well.
“I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.”
Christelle clacked her teeth together.
It was a subconscious reaction that happened whenever she thought that something or someone was hopeless.
Basically, the Duke trusted the prince, but came up with a shitty method to keep the Prince in his grasp.
Honestly speaking, she wanted to leave the Duke as is and get up.
She had a positive relationship with the Prince while the Duke seems to be on track for a negative relationship with the Prince being disappointed in him.
‘Oh right, the Ark of the Wind Deity. It was completely different from the keychain version I got at the Night Market, wasn’t it?’
‘I do recall it at least being in the shape of a wing. I will go to my room and check.’
‘You brought it all the way here, your highness?’
‘I put it on the handle of my travel bag.’
Prince Jesse was someone who had even kept the cheap accessory she won at the dagger throwing competition.
Something like that was probably just junk to a man who grew up as a prince, but he was surprisingly easygoing and kind.
Christelle thought that it wasn’t right for someone like that to be hurt by someone’s incompetence and immaturity.
That was all.
“Please listen carefully, your Royal Highness. I will only explain it once.”
Christelle spoke while gritting her teeth.
She knew that this guy was so young that the ink was probably not even dry after adding him to the family tree, but she never expected that she would need to teach him how to make friends.
“Prince Jesse is a person. In fact, he is a very good person. You will not be able to win him over with such methods.”
“The divine item in the Bell Tower. It is not even human but it was very difficult for you to calm it down, wasn’t it? It would have been terrible if I wasn’t there, right? How do you think you would farewith a person instead?”
“Prince Jesse is a kind person who easilyunderstands when you talk to him. You know that well, your Royal Highness.”
The Duke’s orange eyes sank down. Christelle continued to speak.
“He’s already a Diplomatic hostage. He will only feel anxiety and fear if he is threatened. Do you really want to return Prince Jesse’s goodwill with that, your Royal Highness?”
She ended on a happy note.
“Please show him your sincerity. Then you will be able to get closer.”
She then brushed off her dress before getting up.
She thought that she seemed quite cool today.
She felt proud after giving a twenty-four year old a life lesson while feeling frustrated. Shewondered how this bastard grew up like this.
“Then I will make my leave now, your Royal Highness.”
Christelle bowed elegantly before walking away.
The clean breeze of the north brushed past the forest, the grass, and the man’s black satin-like hair.
He looked down at the document in his hand for a moment.
And then the paper lit on fire.
“Doesn’t it feel good to wash? It feels refreshing, doesn’t it?”
I smiled while talking to the divine beasts.
It took an hour and a half to bathe them and myself.
Unlike Demy, who likes water, Rhea and Perry were pouting quite a bit right now.
Percy’s feathers were wet, so he looked quite skinny, but I guess it wasn’t a bad experience since he was busy running around chirping.
I loosely tied the strap of my robe before drying each of them with a towel.
They were always clean, maybe because they are divine beasts, but cleaning them made them seem even cleaner.
“Perry, come here. I’m not done wiping your tail.”
Perry’s black ears twitched before he ran away from me.
Rhea started following behind him as well.
‘The night air in the north is cold, so I need to dry them properly to make sure that they don’t catch a cold…… Huh?’
“Did I leave the door open when I went in?”
I saw that the balcony door was completely open.
I left the divine beasts alone and approached the balcony with it’s fluttering curtains before closing the door and making sure to lock every lock.
Percy must be planning on staying with me, since he was in my room all day.
‘Is it a special birthday favor?’
“……How should I deal with things tomorrow?”
I quietly mumbled.
I had thought about a lot of things after hearing Sand’s confession today.
That was the reason I headed directly to the Cardinal’s office after hearing people’s confessions for about two hours.
I thought that it wouldn’t be bad for me to bring it up to the Cardinal now that I knew about it, especially since Sand could not do so.
‘Your highness, I am extremely sorry but her Eminence has stated that she has too much work right now. Would it be okay for you to come back in a few hours? I will personally come to escort you.’
‘I see. That is okay. I will come again next time.’
That ended up being my conversation with the Cardinal’s attendant, Natalie.
She was concerned because the Cardinal wasn’t even able to eat properly.
Natalie did not look good either.
I chose to send some of the canelés I received as a present to the Cardinal’s office instead of going to visit her.
She was so busy preparing for the Prayer Meeting next month that she couldn’t even close her eyes.
To tell such a person that their children were working together to bully another family’s precious child was a bit……
– Kiiiiiiiiiii, kiiiiiiiiii.
“What is it? Do you want to go down?”
Demy, who had climbed on top of the bedroom table, was whining.
I was picking him up by his belly, like I always did, when I saw an unfamiliar box where Demy was seated.
There was a small card next to it as well.
The box and the card were both heavily decorated with jewels and sparkled excessively.
I became extremely anxious but calmly opened the card. The message was short.
‘Always keep it with you. -C. R.’
I’ll continue to tell you what to do. – C.R.