“This is my first time at the opera. I’m extremely excited.”
Christelle de Sarnez, who was seated on the other side of the carriage, commented with a bright smile on her face.
Johann Geens nodded his chin once before smiling.
She might have watched the opera at the Lord’s Castle prior to her illness, but it seemed to be her first time since losing her memories.
She had happily gifted one of the two tickets, which had been delivered to the Ducal Estate in the Imperial Capital, to her instructor.
Johann opened his mouth.
“I was surprised that you invited me.”
“It is difficult for Prince Jesse to leave the Imperial Palace and I’m sure Vice Captain Élisabeth is busy standing guard.”
Christelle answered honestly and smiled.
That meant that Johann was third in line, but even that was quite shocking in his opinion.
He had only known Christelle for about a month.
However, she didn’t even offer the tickets to her parents in the Sarnez Duchy.
He had not heard any news about her having a bad relationship with her parents.
Johann recalled the information he had received when he was in the Vatican.
Had their relationship deteriorated because her memories were not fully there? It was possible.
– Clack, clack……
For a moment, the clacking of hooves was the only thing that could be heard through the silence.
Johann’s mint-colored eyes shifted from the window to Christelle.
His tired eyes became sharp.
The woman’s bright gaze was busy looking outside.
He thought that she was somewhat wary of him but that was apparently not because he found the foreigner from the Vatican to be suspicious.
She probably didn’t like the fact that another Holy Knight appeared in front of Prince Jesse.
The corners of the man’s drooping eyes slightly curled up.
He thought about when Cardinal Aurélie Boutier informed him about Christelle’s condition before her lessons started.
This person had absorbed the divine item the ‘Blessing of the Blue Sea.’
Basically, Christelle’s power of water was much purer than that of the water attribute Holy Knights who were born and raised in the Holy Kingdom.
It was understandable that she and the fire attributed Imperial Prince Cédric clashed against each other so much.
She seemed to have been concerned about him while busy being wary of the Imperial Prince.
It was because she probably wanted to be partners with Prince Jesse.
The mercenary created a small breeze at his fingertips.
It was understandable that the Imperial Prince and this young lady were both drawn to Prince Jesse.
However, Johann had never had anything substantial within his grasp even when he was a very little boy. After he became a Holy Knight of the Vatican, his life became one that was half led by his own desires and half led by the desires of others.
That was the reason he could control himself despite knowing that the prince’s ether was clean and precious.
A few strands of Johann’s stray white hair gently fluttered.
It was important for him to get close to not just the prince, but the Imperial Prince and the young lady as well in order to fulfill the ‘request’ he had received.
He needed to earn their trust not just as their instructor, but as a person.
“I think that we are almost there! The theatre is so big. It’s so pretty.”
Christelle quickly leaned toward the carriage door.
He didn’t understand why she was gasping so much while looking out the window when she must have grown up with only precious things around her.
Johann chuckled and nonchalantly looked out the opposite side window.
The sun set late these days, brightly lighting up the streets despite it being almost 8pm.
He witnessed an extremely weird sight at that moment.
A young boy who, dressed in the errand boy uniform of the Opera, was sneaking into a narrow alley with a woman.
The two of them smiled brightly, looking at each other before starting to kiss.
The errand boy’s face turned stiff almost immediately.
His eyes opened wide as his face turned pale. He soon lost consciousness and fell to the ground.
The face of the woman who kissed the errand boy then changed. It was the same face as the errand boy.
She was actually a demonic beast.
Johann felt chills and sat up straight.
He reflexively turned his head to follow the movement of the demonic beast, however, the carriage was still moving and there were too many people for him to keep track of it.
The bastard quickly hid himself in the crowd.
He must have been planning to lay low for a while, as Johann did not hear any screams or shouts.
He scrunched his eyes.
“I think that it will be fun. Don’t you think so?”
Christelle sought out Johann’s thoughts. He flinched and turned his head.
The carriage was already in front of the theatre.
“I heard that the title is the < Phantom of the Pas de Trois >, but I don’t know what Pas de Trois means. Do you think it is just a proper noun?”
She mumbled as she grabbed her small purse.
She must not have seen what he had, as she was too busy looking at the luxurious building on the street.
Johann thought about something before he smiled. It really felt as if it would be fun.
He responded to her.
“A dance where three people become one. That is the Pas de Trois.”
“Hello Prince Jesse Venetiaan, I greet the Moon of the Holy Kingdom. We will escort you to Box Seat 5 on the second floor.”
The owner of the theatre personally escorted us.
It was not as luxurious as the Empress Palace, but the Opera Theatre of the Imperial Capital had its own kind of beauty.
I walked down the corridor with Benjamin and Ganael.
The Imperial Guard members were standing like sculptures, equidistant from each other.
There must have been a separate entrance for the Imperial family, as we did not go through the lobby or meet any other nobles as we walked.
The employees who saw my formal attire or the color of my eyes gasped as if they would faint before bowing deeply.
People outside of the Imperial Palace always acted like this.
‘I really can’t get used to this.’
“Please call for an errand boy if you need anything at any time, your highness.”
“Yes, thank you very much.”
I answered as the owner knocked on the door labeled number 5.
She then grabbed the door knob and cautiously turned it.
I thought that I would see the seat immediately, but there was a red curtain blocking my view.
She opened the curtain a bit and whispered to a person inside that Prince Jesse Venetiaan had arrived.
A familiar middle-aged man walked out of the box seats.
“Welcome, Prince Jesse.”
‘……So it’s like this.’
“Hello David. Is his Royal Highness inside?”
“Yes, your highness. Please come in.”
The attendant smiled and gestured. I barely managed to smile.
‘Yes, this is not very shocking. This invitation was sent to the Empress, so there is no reason for the box seats to be separated. She would have come with her partner or her son.’
We followed him into the box seats.
My jaws dropped on their own. I immediately grabbed the ledge and blanked out while looking at the inside of the theatre.
The high ceiling and the dividers between the seats were all sparkling gold.
The embroidery on the curtains and the decorations of all of the Emperors and Empresses of the past were all gold as well.
I would only be slightly exaggerating to say that the chandelier dangling from the top was the size of a house.
Dark red velvet covered all the seats and the stage. The first floor was already so full of nobles that they barely had any room to move.
The box seats on the second and third floors were completely full as well.
I raised my head to see that the building also had a full fourth floor.
I could intermittently hear the orchestra tuning their instruments through the nonstop chatter.
“Basically everybody in the neighborhood is here.”
“That expression is insolent toward the Imperial family.”
I heard a low voice. I quickly turned around.
The person who was in box seat 5 before me was seated and looking up at me.
His eyes that sparkled underneath his black hair resembled Aldebaran in the night sky.
‘I wouldn’t have to watch the opera with this bastard if it wasn’t for that tarte Tatin.’
However, I would not be able to give that tarte up even if I turned back time, so I just decided to accept reality.
Furthermore, this was just payment for the meal.
I agreed to take the Empress’s place here in return for her help with figuring out that Eva was the rightful young Duchess.
“When did you arrive, your Royal Highness? My carriage was the only one when we left the Imperial Palace.”
“You may discuss my schedule with David.”
‘I’m not trying to meddle with your schedule……’
I held back a sigh and sat down, leaving one seat between the Imperial Prince and myself.
There was a total of six seats in this box seat.
It felt quite full once the three attendants sat down as well.
“Did you eat, your Royal Highness?”
I calmly asked the Imperial Prince. He must be hungry since he frequently consumes other people’s words without saying anything back.
A cold drop of water touched my cheek at that moment. I raised my head in shock.
‘Is the roof leaking?’
I quietly mumbled. I could see someone waving at me from the box seats on the other side of the theatre.
Her pink hair was twisted high up, the blue jacket, and this water drop dancing in front of my eyes. These were clearly signs of our main character.
I waved back in confusion.
The person standing next to her was Sir Geens. I could recognize him even if I was riding on the Super Rapid Train.
‘I guess she was talking about the opening of the < Phantom of the Pas de Trois > when she talked about going to the opera together.’
I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that I saw the two of them here.
“Can you come here?”
I commented. To be more accurate, that seemed like what she was trying to say.
She pointed to herself with her finger then gestured to me.
I would be more than happy to have her here.
The female lead and the male lead sitting side by side, watching the opera in a dark box seat?
That would be what you call a dramatic development.
The Imperial Prince mumbled in a voice so sharp I thought it might pierce through the ground. I looked at him.
“What did you say, your Royal Highness?”
His dark, sunken red eyes and annoyed face made it look as if his condition had hit rock bottom almost instantly.
I had no idea why he was like this all of a sudden.
‘Is this usually the sign before he turns into Sadie?’
It was hard to understand this guy. He didn’t talk much about himself, so it was hard to understand the situation.
I saw a sword leaning against the wall.
“Is the Sword of Wisdom not helpful?”
I commented before opening up a small Holy Domain.
It was a relief that this was happening before the show. A circle of yellow light surrounded the box seat.
The Imperial Prince absorbed ether without giving any response.
‘Eunseo talks so much shit about you because you only say the minimum of what you need to and completely ignore everything else.’
– Knock knock.
“I’ll answer it.”
Ganael got up after someone knocked.
I nodded my head and looked forward. I did not see Christelle on the other side of the theatre.
‘Wait, really? Already?’
“Young lady Sarnez. Hello.”
“Hello, future groom. I brought delicious food. I want to share it with his highness and everybody else.”
I could hear Ganael and Christelle’s voices by the door.
I sighed, leaned my head and observed the situation.
‘It’ll be complicated if the Imperial Prince doesn’t allow it.’
David and Benjamin were looking toward us, as if waiting for the Imperial Prince to answer.
I tried conveying some signals to him once the Imperial Prince and I made eye contact. Beep beep.
Snap out of it, you punk. Let her in. Do good from now on. She’s your future girlfriend. Your future wife.
She looked away first and looked forward.
The only visible change on his face was a slight scrunch of his eyebrows but even I could analyze this much by now. It was a sign of approval!
“Please come in, young lady Sarnez.”
David greeted her.
Christelle smiled even brighter than the chandelier as she entered the box seat.
I thought that I smelled something delicious a few moments ago. I could now see that tthe source was from the box of fries in her hand.
‘Wow, our MC’s abilities are crazy……’
“Your loyal subject greets our Royal Highness.”
“Hello, young lady Sarnez. Are you allowed to eat something like this in the opera?”
“Hello, your highness. I guess so. Children were selling it on the first floor.”
‘Hooray for fictional worlds!’
I happily received the paper box from Christelle.
It was full of french fries that were still nice and warm.
I snapped out of it to realize that I was being the stupid third wheel between the two of them again.
‘Should I just pretend to go to the restroom later and ask her to scoot over when I come back?’
I was having that thought when the Imperial Prince opened his mouth.
“Why is there sauce on it?”
“Isn’t it easier than dipping each one, your Royal Highness? We won’t be able to see it soon because it will be dark.”
“I didn’t know you liked soggy fries.”
Christelle responded and the Imperial Prince sassed her back.
‘Hey guys, don’t fight over food.’
– Creeeeeak Click!
The theatre door closed and it turned dark.
I could see the errand boys scattering to the wall and hiding in between pillars.
It looked as if the show was finally going to start.
I gently deactivated my Holy Domain and handed the Imperial Prince and Christelle each a fork.
“If young lady Sarnez eats the top with the sauce and then his Royal Highness eats the ones on the bottom later……”
I heard something similar to a wind chime. I tilted my head, thinking that I heard incorrectly.
The theatre was completely dark now. The chatting audience were silent as well.
‘Is that the sign to say that the show is starting?’
– Ring, ring……
The clear ringing filled box seat 5. It was not just my imagination.
Furthermore, the source of the noise was very close to me. Christelle and the Imperial Prince were looking at me.
I felt the guilt of someone whose phone went off in the movie theater as I looked around.
– Ring, ring.
“What is it?”
I quickly rummaged through my pockets.
‘Why is such a noise coming from me when I don’t even have a phone here?’
I quickly pulled out the thing I grabbed.
The small and beautiful crystal bell was glowing white and making the noise.
Both Christelle and I heard the Imperial Prince’s low voice.
“There’s a demonic beast here.”
It’s the bell?