TWSB – Chapter 86: The Phantom of the Pas de Trois (1)

“Then that kid is the young Duchess. Not that brother of hers.”

Empress Frédérique dropped the bomb.

My jaw dropped.

‘I was wondering if that was the case, but for real?’

“Are you saying that young lady Eva Blanquer is the young Duchess, your Majesty?”
“Yes. The fact that the Sacred Bow of the Tree of Life glowed means that it has chosen its master. It gave the blessing of longevity to the little kid when she touched it.”

The Empress commented as if it was not a big deal and sipped her coffee.

The way she said it was hot and scowled was pretty identical to her son.

I grabbed a pair of tongs and grabbed an ice cube from the plate with my share of ice cubes and placed it in her cup.

Cardinal Boutier smiled at me.

My mind was a complicated mess, putting together the pieces of information I have recently learned.

‘The young heir of the House of Blanquer has received the blessing of the divine item for generations. Longevity is that family’s specialty.’

It felt as if I could hear Marquis François Duhem’s voice right next to me.

The divine item guarded by the Ducal House of Blanquer, the Sacred Bow of the Tree of Life, is said to bless the future head of the family with a long life.

I had presumed that the divine item would give the blessing as an after-the-fact service once the eldest child was officially named the heir.

However, it looked as if the order might be the reverse.

Eva was selected immediately by the divine item when she happened to approach it by chance.

Then it meant that Eva was to become the person who looked over the House of Blanquer.

“Young Duke Robert Blanquer must have prevented his younger sister from talking in order to hide the fact that he was not chosen. He constantly bullied her after that because he was worried that she would gain confidence and speak up.”
“Based on the information, that seems to be the case. He probably didn’t want to lose his position. He was born with a strong magical aura, so he probably thought that he would be able to gain the position as long as the little girl remained quiet.”
“It is not surprising knowing that bastard’s personality.”

The Cardinal and the Empress responded one after the other.

My hands were heating up from anger after thinking about how that poor girl must have suffered all alone.

I tightly clenched the cold glass cup.

The dark orange Fragrant Olive flowers and ice were decorating the surface of the water.

I calmed down, as it reminded me of Eva’s curly red hair.

“What is it? Are you thinking about placing Eva Blanquer in the position of Duchess so that you can play with power as the puppet master behind her?”

The Empress threw a scary question at that time. I raised my head in shock.

Her cherry-colored eyes were turning dark and cold.

“I wonder if I put my guard down too much with the prince of an enemy kingdom right in front of my eyes.”
“No, not at all, your Majesty. I simply asked because I want to help Eva.”
“Frédérique, that’s enough. You said that you will stop teasing the little prince once we left the Summer Palace.”

The Cardinal gently squeezed the Empress’s arm.

The Empress snorted and took another sip of coffee.

I finally realized that this was her unique way of joking.

The chills all over my back slowly disappeared.

‘Her making a joke like that two times would probably kill me……’

“Thank you for your response, your Majesty. I had no intention of asking for your thoughts on the matter as I know you are extremely busy. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.”

I spoke as calmly as possible.

The Empress, who was seated on the couch across from me, simply flicked her chin once.

The Cardinal smiled warmly on the Empress’s behalf.

Now that I think about it, she basically created this situation.

It was already two days ago that I met Eva, the girl who was lacking about 98 percent of what it took to be a villainess.

The young lady accepted Vice Captain Élisabeth’s invitation that day and has been staying at Countess Moutet’s residence in the Imperial Capital.

She has basically gained the young Countess’s protection until the young Duke bastard left the Imperial Capital.

She started coming to the temple for an hour of janitorial work yesterday, but needed help from an imperial servant because she couldn’t differentiate between the rags and the towels.

Agnes, the Imperial Palace’s mountain keeper, came to show off a Chinese fringetree flower to me and ended up being dragged in as Eva’s teacher.

My mind was a complicated mess for my own reasons.

I read through Prince Consort Alexandre’s < Kaboom! Yves’ Great Adventure > after hearing the young girl’s story, but the book was oddly unfriendly.

The Prince Consort referred to his territory, Yvelines, as ‘our backyard’ and did not write anything about his family when explaining the Sacred Bow of the Tree of Life.

There were more fantasy elements than facts because it was a fairy tale written for children.

There was even a wacky explanation in the chapter about the Sword of Wisdom from the Flaming Star, claiming that you needed a fire-like personality to pull out the Sword of Wisdom.

‘……I guess it is not completely wrong since Imperial Prince Cédric was the one who pulled it out.’

Anyway, it was difficult to find clear answers in books regarding mysterious existences such as divine items and divine beasts.

‘I guess all of the divine items in the continent would have masters already if something like that existed. It also wouldn’t be so difficult to see a divine beast.’

‘Your Eminence. I have a question before we get started.’
‘Your gaze looks serious. This feels interesting.’

That was why I sought out the Cardinal’s help as soon as my lesson started.

The Cardinal, who made time for me for every lesson despite being busy preparing for the Annual Prayer Meeting, looked quite amused after hearing about Eva’s situation.

After that…

‘I have never seen the Sacred Bow in person either. The House of Blanquer is quite closed off. However, there is someone who knows about that household.’

She sounded kind of suspicious. She then called her attendant, Natalie, and…

‘Will you tell Frédérique to come here for a moment? Let her know that it is an extremely urgent matter.’

She then said such unbelievable words.

That was how I ended up using the Empress of the Empire as if she was Wikipedia.

Prince Consort Alexandre was kicked out of his family the day before he became young Duke Blanquer because he chose to run away for love.

According to the Empress, the reason the Prince Consort was able to make such a decision was because he had never come in contact with the Sacred Bow until that point.

“Out of the three of us, Alexandre was the person with the greatest sense of responsibility. He probably would have given up on marrying you if he had received the blessing of longevity, don’t you think?”

The Cardinal sipped her coffee after asking that question. The Empress nonchalantly nodded her head.

She didn’t seem upset at all despite being called to the Cardinal’s office out of the blue and being falsely told that it was an urgent matter.

“Whether the little girl from Blanquer becomes the young Duchess or not is up to her own will.”

She looked right at me as she said that.

I nodded my head and wet my throat with the cool Fragrant Olive tea.

The thick fragrance of flowers seemed to poke at my brain.

The succession of title and wealth prioritized the first born child.

In other words, both title and wealth only fell to the second child if there were any issues with the eldest child, or alternatively, if the eldest child did not want it.

Although the parents determined whether a child was qualified to be the heir, siblings could challenge that qualification.

Basically, Eva could inform her parents about her legitimate claim to the title at any time.

‘I should go tell her as soon as this lesson is over.’

“It will be easy to pull him down in rank since he dared to mock my son recently.”
“That is true. Would Cédric benefit at least a little if the little girl becomes the Duchess in the future?”

The Imperial Prince’s mother and godmother were already discussing potential benefits.

I awkwardly smiled and looked away.

‘People in politics sure are scary.’

“May I ask what that is in your hand, your Majesty?”

That was why I said whatever came to mind.

It didn’t matter if the Empress didn’t answer. If she did answer, then I would have an answer to something I was curious about.

“Oh right, there was this thing.”

The Empress mumbled and handed a gold card to the Cardinal.

Her eye under the monocle opened wide.

“What is this?”
“An invitation to the opening of the opera. Do you have some time in two days?”
“Of course not.”

They were tickets to a show. The two of them just started casually chatting.

I had felt this at the Summer Palace as well, but the two of them seemed more like regular siblings than the Empress and Cardinal, who were two people in great positions of power, whenever they were like this.

I gently smiled and looked at the desserts that Natalie left on the table.

My intense lesson would resume once the Empress leaves, so my plan was to fill my snack stomach prior to that.

“It’s probably good for me to show my face. The Imperial family is sponsoring it after all.”
“Why didn’t you deliver it earlier by sending it with Laura?”
“I was going to talk about it in person but I got busy and forgot. June is always such a hectic month.”

A puffy purple soufflé filled with grape purée…

A Tarte Tatin with golden caramel and large slices of apple piled on top of each other…

An île flottante with strawberries and mango slices on top……

“I guess it isn’t that important if you forgot about it like that.”
“Yeah. But it is too large of an event to ignore.”

‘Large? The largest thing here is the tarte. Okay, I choose you.’

I nodded my head and started to cut the dessert with a knife.

The sweet fragrance was already tickling my nose.

“I guess I have no choice. Let’s send Cédric.”
“I guess so. He should have no plans this month other than the Prayer Meeting.”
“Frédérique, wait. There are two tickets.”

I cut off a piece of apple pie and put it in my mouth.

The chewy thick apples were the first to melt away on my tongue.

The pie must have been baked in a special way, as the crunchy texture was extremely satisfying.

I crunched on the pastry pie bottom that crumbled and filled my cheeks.

The strong savory flavor of butter had a subdued fragrance mixed in along with the bitter taste of caramel, which completed the taste.

It was so delicious that the corners of my lips curled up.

‘I wonder if I can pack these to go.’

“Little prince.”
“Yes, your Eminence?”
“Do you want it? Should I give it to you?”
“I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much, your Eminence.”

I smiled brightly as I responded. The Cardinal responded with a ‘thank goodness.’

The Empress raised one eyebrow as if my response was unexpected.

“Good. Pay the price for making the Empress come and go.”

‘……Wait a minute. What are they talking about?’

*

I ended up getting mixed up in something with the male lead because I was too focused on food. I couldn’t even tell anybody because I was so embarrassed.

“< The Phantom of the Pas de Trois > is the biggest show right now!”

Ganael looked extremely excited as he said that.

His round golden eyes were sparkling like chandeliers.

I smiled bitterly as the boutique staff attended to my formal attire.

I told them that I didn’t need any makeup or fancy outfits but they put me in an awkward position by bringing seven pairs of ‘plain’ formal attires.

“Your highness, I heard that you eat very well, but you are not gaining any weight. There’s so much room left in the chest area!”
“I’m sorry.”

I didn’t know whether this was something I should apologize for, but I did it anyway.

The head of the boutique clicked his tongue and stuck some pins into the clothes.

Benjamin brought a booklet and was reading to me as I awkwardly stood there.

The red panda trio were roaming around the floor like robot vacuums, seeking my attention.

Percy was sprawled out on the chair in my place.

“ < The Phantom of the Pas de Trois > is the main repertoire of the Attal Opera Company, which is sponsored by the Imperial family. It opens every year around this time. It is about Daphnis, a member of the corps de ballet of the Pas de Trois theatre, who grows to become a famous ballerino thanks to the guidance of Chloe, a phantom composer hiding underground. Chloe becomes Daphnis’s prisoner and the story ends when her old friend, Giselle, rescues her.”
“……”

I closed my mouth.

I didn’t know what a ‘corps de ballet’ was, but I got an odd feeling after hearing about it.

‘Could this be that? Seriously, it is the same, even down to the title.’

“Does the phantom composer…… Come out wearing a white mask that covers half her face?”
“Yes, your highness. You know about it as well.”

‘How could I not know? We have a Blu-ray of the 25th year live performance celebration of < The Phantom of the Opera > at home whichEunseo bought.’

“The show sells out every year, so even getting a seat on the fourth floor is like getting a star out of the sky. However, it is even more of a big deal right now because of something big that happened a few days ago.”

Ganael then carefully picked Demy up to clear the path.

The attendants, who were busily moving around, bowed after seeing the divine beast.

As for me, I couldn’t hide my shock at the QNW author’s endless use of parodies.

‘I knew that there must be a reason Eunseo enjoyed this novel so much, but this is a bit…… Isn’t it lacking sincerity? Is this okay?’

“Something big?”
“A real phantom appears at every rehearsal and sucks the souls out of the actors, your highness.”
“Ganael.”
“But Benjamin-nim. They almost canceled the shows because of it!”

Benjamin tried to stop the young boy. I turned to look at Benjamin.

I doubted that they would raise the curtains with such danger lurking when it was obvious that the Empress and the Cardinal would be there.

‘No, maybe they are proceeding with the show because the Imperial family is showing up?’

“It is just a rumor with no foundation, your highness. The Guards of the Imperial Capital searched the place but could not find any traces of a demonic beast. I can’t help but think that this is a way for them to promote the show.”

The middle-aged man calmly answered.

‘As I expected.’

I nodded and touched a piece of paper that was tucked away in my sleeve.

It was a letter that Eva wrote to her parents after hearing my story two days ago.

She gave it to me for review, but I felt odd because it seemed as if she wanted feedback from me.

I assumed that I would be able to read it during the intermission.

‘Am I sitting alone in the box seats? At least then I won’t have to see that Imperial Prince bastard’s face.’


Translator’s Comments

Author sure does like ripping off of things.

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8 Replies to “TWSB – Chapter 86: The Phantom of the Pas de Trois (1)”

  1. thefarshore

    [[It was so delicious that the corners of my lips curled up.

    ‘I wonder if I can pack these to go.’

    “Little prince.”
    “Yes, your Eminence?”
    “Do you want it? Should I give it to you?”
    “I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much, your Eminence.”

    I smiled brightly as I responded. The Cardinal responded with a ‘thank goodness.’]]

    I bet my bottom dollar that the Cardinal side-eyed Jesse during her convo with the Empress and saw he was drifting through Dessert Dreamland. She then baited the poor dear (or deer heh) with an ambiguous offer before walloping him with the Reality Stick 🥲

    I also bet that tarte was worth it though 🤤

    Reply
  2. Cale worshipper

    Thanks for the chapter!
    Jesse being too focus on the tarte and responded without thinking 😂, he sure loves his food. And now he has one more child (Eva) under his supervision.

    Reply
  3. Oleshik

    Jesse was defeated by the power of Apple Pies.. I bet he and a certain great and mighty dragon would get along very well

    Reply
  4. Dottore

    LMAOO Jesse 😂
    I really love him. I wish there’s more cute, precious and lovable male MC like Jesse

    Thanks for the chapter

    Reply
  5. donna

    tsk tsk Jesse would have been the perfect second parent to Raon Miru XD
    And honestly Jesse where else would the crown prince sit at the opera?

    Reply

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