‘I am trying to leave young master Heathcliff’s side now.’
‘Catherine, you know that I love you.’
‘Yes, but that is why I cannot be with you.’
‘I don’t understand. Our hearts are connected as one.’
‘That’s good. I will be able to feel young master Heathcliff’s warmth no matter where I am.’
“What the heck is going on?”
I quietly mumbled.
This week’s chapter of the Riester Empire’s most talked about work, ‘Reason, Sensibility, and Holiness,’ ended there.
I slowly closed the June 1 volume of < Biweekly Riester >.
I had to wait until returning to Juliette Palace in order to read the latest volume because there weren’t many copies in the Summer Palace.
But Heathcliff still was unable to keep Catherine with him.
“Are the two of you done reading? I cried after reading the last line……”
Sand sounded as if he was crying on the other side of the reception room couch.
After watching Sand for the past week, I could tell that he was an emotional 18 year old who was full of tears.
I was worried that he would have some mental trauma from his suffering until now, but he became much brighter after receiving apologies from two of the three Holy Knights and an expression of regret from one bastard.
He often spoke first to Christelle and me like this too.
“The best thing about coming to the Empire is that I can read ‘Reason, Sensibility, and Holiness’ as soon as it comes out.”
“He is an otaku.”
Christelle mumbled while sitting next to me. I smiled and pretended not to hear.
It was an understandable sentiment, as someone who read the < Biweekly Riester > from the first day I transmigrated into this world.
The magazine not only had the newest information on the Empire’s Beau Monde, there were also all sorts of articles, interviews, beautiful artwork and novel series like this one.
Reading a few volumes to catch up could easily pass a whole day, basically making this the Empire’s version of Netflix.
I heard that ‘Reason, Sensibility, and Holiness’ was extremely popular, even among commoners, who found it hard to access publications.
“The main characters do not talk enough with each other.”
“I had the same thought! It’s so annoying. I want to grab Heathcliff by the collar.”
I shared my thoughts about the latest chapter and Christelle strongly agreed.
Sand looked at us with a slightly wronged expression.
Benjamin smiled as he poured me some tea.
“Sob, but Catherine is young master Heathcliff’s one and only true love. I believe that it will work out well between the two of them.”
“It does seem like that is how it will end up, but I think that the young master is being too wishy-washy with Jane and Catherine. If his feelings for Catherine are true, shouldn’t he break his engagement with Jane? I understand Jane’s reaction as well.”
Sand’s broad shoulders curled a bit at my comment.
“That, that is true, your highness…… But! The young master personally watched Jane insult Catherine. I feel like there has to be some sort of conclusion in the next chapter!”
‘Can you really call that insulting her? She only stated facts. I guess even if it was true it could be considered defamation.’
I nodded my head and received a cup of moringa tea from Benjamin.
A taste similar to green tea gently wrapped around the inside of my mouth.
Christelle grumbled about how Jane and Catherine should just date each other.
‘Reason, Sensibility, and Holiness’ was a love story about young master Heathcliff, a man caught in conflict between his Political Partner, young lady Jane, and his Religious Partner, priestess Catherine.
He was physically engaged to Jane while he was mentally together with Catherine through the celestial covenant. Jane was demanding that Catherine leave him because she recently learned that there were romantic feelings between Heathcliff and Catherine.
‘You are a commoner so you are unable to satisfy the young master’s political needs. Please leave if you are not simply cultivating a religious relationship.’
The way she said that to Catherine was surprisingly calm.
It made sense that she was the character representing ‘reason.’
It was a typical love triangle found in fiction, but the author seemed to be a really good writer as you couldn’t help but keep reading.
I had not even read the ‘QNW’ that my sister praised so much before I transmigrated here, so it was a bit ironic that I was reading a romance novel now.
“I hope a Holy Knight appears in the sequel as well.”
Sir Johann Geens, who had been quietly listening, chimed in.
He had been focused on origami for about an hour now.
“A story about a Holy Knight who was obsessed with a priest’s ether and the priest who ended up loving that Holy Knight sold very well in the Holy Kingdom. Of course, ReSeHo has its own charms.”
I had wondered what ReSeHo was, but it was just ‘Reason, Sensibility, and Holiness.’
‘What an interesting thing to shorten the title.’
“Wow, teacher. You’re so good at origami.”
Christelle gasped in admiration after watching his hands move.
Sir Geens gently smiled and handed her the finished work.
It looked like the Tyrant Electric Dragon we took down at the ‘Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts,’ so it was basically an origami T-Rex.
“Please keep practicing, young lady Sarnez. Imagination is just as important as ether to a Holy Knight. You need to be able to quickly conjure up all sorts of shapes and forms in your mind to stay focused in battle.”
Christelle nodded her head at his explanation and moved her hands to her origami paper.
She has only been able to fold cranes and origami fortune tellers so far, but it seemed as if she was going to attempt something else this time.
The way Sir Geens taught the two MCs changed greatly since I started observing their lessons.
The amount of sparring definitely decreased.
Instead, they started devoting some time to circulating a Holy Knight’s special ether and meditation techniques, along with activities like this to increase their imagination.
Christelle had suggested watching an opera, but it was not possible because it was difficult for me to leave the palace.
‘The three of them could have just gone without me.’
“Your highness, there is apparently going to be an interview with the author of ReSeHo in the next volume.”
I was giving Demy, who had just climbed onto my knees, a piece of origami paper when Sand commented with excitement.
“There will even be a Q & A section based on questions from the readers. I’m so excited!”
“I am curious about that. Wouldn’t everybody take young lady Jane’s side?”
“Aww, your highness……”
‘Honestly speaking, I’m team Jane.’
I smiled and started making some origami.
Imperial Prince Cédric had some work today, so it was just us spending time together.
Now that the heatwave was over, the weather at the Imperial Capital was similar to spring or fall, as Ganael mentioned. It was nice and cool whether you were indoors or outdoors.
I even had a short lesson with Cardinal Boutier in the morning.
She told me that my Holy Domain didn’t seem ready to evolve just yet.
‘You need to break the egg and come out, my little prince.’
It wasn’t as if this was an egg or < Demian >. It was the kind of teaching that I thought I could understand, but couldn’t.
– Knock knock.
Someone knocked on the reception room door at that moment.
I raised my head to see a pale Ganael rushing into the room.
“What is it, Ganael? Did something happen?”
“His Royal Highness, he…… Huff.”
He must have ran a long distance, as the young boy’s forehead was full of sweat.
Benjamin handed him a handkerchief.
‘Did the Imperial Prince get hurt or something?’
“Thank you very much, sir. Umm, he challenged someone to a duel. The whole Imperial Palace is in uproar that his Royal Highness challenged young Duke Blanquer to a duel!”
‘Oh, he was planning to hurt someone else.’
Christelle threw the origami paper that was in her hand.
I was wondering what she had been so focused on making, but turns out it was just a paper airplane.
“My goodness, he ditched class and went to do something more entertaining. How fun!”
Ganael had a rather complicated look on his face after seeing the genuinely jealous gaze in Christelle’s eyes.
His golden eyes then cautiously turned toward me.
“Apparently the reason his Royal Highness requested a duel was because of you, your highness.”
“Explain it in detail.”
Benjamin politely urged him to speak. The young boy gulped and resumed speaking.
“Apparently, young Duke Blanquer publicly spoke ill of his highness at the Empress Palace. His Royal Highness heard it while passing by and immediately threw down his glove. Young Countess Moutet, who was with him, is serving as witness. Numerous attendants of the Empress Palace saw the young Duke pick up the glove. Although his face seemed calm his hand was shaking quite a bit.”
I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t understand why such chaos was happening after it had been so peaceful.
“According to the attendants of Romero Palace, his Royal Highness was making the young Duke pay for the sin of daring to insult a guest of the Imperial Family……”
I quietly thought about the Imperial Prince’s logic.
I was not in charge of Juliette Palace; the master of Romero Palace was in charge.
It wasn’t a stretch to say that I was a guest of the Imperial Prince by staying here.
I didn’t care what the young Duke had to say about me, but it felt odd that the Imperial Prince responded like that.
I was a bit thankful.
‘Is it okay to feel thankful?’
“His Royal Highness is a good student. He learns ten things when I teach him one.”
Christelle smiled proudly.
‘There must be something only the two of them know… Wait a minute.’
“Isn’t the House of Blanquer the Prince Consort’s family?”
I urgently asked.
If I am remembering correctly, Prince Consort Alexandre was the eldest child of the Duke’s House of Blanquer, a family of mages with a long history.
Benjamin responded with a disturbed look on his face.
“That is correct, your highness. The current Duchess Blanquer is the late Prince Consort’s younger sister. Young Duke Blanquer is her son, and thus, his Royal Highness’s cousin.”
‘Wait a minute…… Should he really be fighting his cousin?’
“My godson is quite hot-tempered to request a duel with his cousin the day the Chambre des pairs is called up.” (TL: French term for the meeting of the upper house of parliament)
“It also seems like you have gotten much closer to our little prince. It makes me happy.”
Aurélie Boutier leisurely commented before sipping her coffee.
Cédric Riester was listening to her without even touching his cup of coffee.
He did not regret throwing down his glove.
He was a knight before he was the Imperial Prince.
Anybody would have acted like that.
Élisabeth, who was with him, had been unable to hide her anger as well. The nobles who were trying to stop the young Duke looked as if they expected something like that to happen.
However, he could not avoid this discussion with his godmother.
“We will discuss the confirmation of your succession at the Chambre des pairs as planned. Don’t worry about that.”
The Imperial Prince lightly nodded his chin.
There had been a small commotion at the Empress Palace prior to the advisory meeting of the Pair de Riester because of his confrontation with young Duke Blanquer.
Thankfully, the duel was scheduled for this evening, evading any important events.
The reason Élisabeth had been talkative earlier was because she didn’t want her friend to be nervous when facing the Chambre des pairs.
His status as the heir to the Riester throne was solid and nobody doubted the Imperial Prince’s legitimacy.
The Chambre des pairs confirming his succession as the Imperial Crown Prince was just a nominal procedure.
Cédric was used to acting like the ‘perfect Imperial Prince’ since he was very young.
However, nothing decreased the amount of pressure he felt.
Aurélie quietly observed the young boy who was now barely twenty-four-years-old.
“Young Duke Blanquer is not a good match for you attribute compatibility wise. Will you be okay?”
She sounded concerned.
Although Robert Blanquer was frequently called trash in the Beau Monde, he was still a skilled mage.
Robert was a Grade 8 mage, which was one level higher than Cédric, a Grade 7 mage, but his attribute also put Cédric at a complete disadvantage.
He stoically responded.
“I will at least make sure he doesn’t die.”
“You truly are your mother’s son.”
Aurélie laughed out loud. Now that things were like this, that battle was just between the two young men.
She did not say anything else and changed topics.
“How is your body?”
“……I cannot become complete with the Sword of Wisdom.”
The Cardinal slowly nodded her head.
As expected a plate in the plate itself was difficult to completely cover up even with a divine item.
It was rare for the Imperial Prince to suffer from ether depletion after acquiring the Sword of Wisdom, but he also could not maintain his best condition.
What the Sword of Wisdom supplied him with was not pure ether, but fire attribute ether.
His primitive thirst for ether as a Holy Knight was not satisfied with his powers alone.
It was obvious that he would prioritize pure ether from a priest.
“Have you not turned into ‘Sadie’ lately?”
The Imperial Prince slightly frowned at the meaningful question.
There was only one person who called his young self Sadie. But just now……
“I know about the little prince’s misunderstanding as well. He’s such an interesting child. Has all that been resolved?”
The Imperial Prince closed his mouth.
He didn’t know how to explain that the misunderstanding was never resolved because the involved party has feigned ignorance since the victory celebration. He didn’t even know where to start.
He changed directions to deliver necessary information.
“I emptied the ether in my body on purpose and tested letting go of the Sword of Wisdom, your Eminence.”
“And I immediately turned into a child.”
The Cardinal’s beige-colored eyes opened wide.
She thought about something for a moment before looking at him and tilting her head.
“That means you can control when you turn into a child. It won’t happen as long as you have the Sword of Wisdom on you. Isn’t that right?”
The Imperial Prince silently placed his lips on his cup of black coffee.
He had never thought about it like that.
However, he couldn’t refute that statement because he had considered how he could use that body for his benefit.
Cedric totally used it to his advantage already.