The breathing noises of the sleeping divine beasts echoed throughout the room.
The ether started to gently seep into the little boy’s body.
“I was shocked because the Count’s Estate was much larger than I had expected. It was a bit disappointing that we had to return to the palace so urgently. I feel like I didn’t get to properly say goodbye to Sir Michel.”
Prince Jesse rattled on.
‘Sadie’ let him say whatever he wanted to say from the other side of the table.
His voice wasn’t annoying to listen to and he would be the one left wanting if he were to leave right now.
It was true that he had been lacking ether all day.
However, the Imperial Prince simply chose to take this appearance for a more efficient collection of ether.
“But I was told that he liked my housewarming gift. That was a relief.”
And the effects were better than he had expected.
The royal priest was looking down at his golden Holy Domain and smiling gently.
He was someone who could not raise his voice or get angry at a child.
Furthermore, this prince was aware of his true identity.
‘Sadie’ didn’t know how long he planned on continuing this facade of not knowing. It wasn’t even funny.
Even him calling the gifts a housewarming gift was unbelievable.
He could just bestow some imperial gifts if he wanted to take credit.
Why does a member of a royal family think like a commoner on the streets?
“Eva is being well-cared for thanks to Sir Michel. Sir Geens is completely healed as well.”
Sadie frowned and gave a warning after hearing that.
“Keep some distance from Sir Johann Geens.”
The prince looked a bit shocked and blinked.
“Why? Did something happen?”
“……He is someone who is difficult to trust.”
Sadie stopped after saying that.
He was certain about what he had seen in the theatre that day.
However, he had no proof and would not be able to interrogate a Holy Knight based on suspicion alone in the current circumstances.
The instructor is a patient who was injured while trying to protect the prince and has a good relationship with both the prince and young lady Sarnez.
Furthermore, that man had already passed his godmother’s internal investigation when he entered the palace.
There was nothing he could pick at.
That was the reason he had requested information from Margrave Moutet through Élisabeth.
She might have gathered new intelligence, as she has frequent contact with the Holy Kingdom while protecting both the land and sea borders.
“At first, I was suspicious of Sir Geens as well.”
The prince broke the silence. This was unexpected.
“But he seems like a decent person lately. He takes good care of Sand and young lady Sarnez. He is also nice to the divine beasts and the attendants.”
He really didn’t like this.
‘Can’t he suspect that the man is putting on a mask?’
“Not everybody is like you.”
Sadie retorted back. He believed it would be difficult to have that kind of suspicion with this prince’s personality.
The prince saw Sir Geens as someone who had saved his life.
Although nobody could know how the prince had interpreted the little boy’s comment, he chuckled as he responded.
“He even touched my teacup once. He said he was checking to see if there was any poison.”
The little boy’s eyes lit up with anger.
“I’ll send the Imperial doctor soon.”
The purple eyes opened wide after hearing that.
“That was already a month ago. I would have died already if he put poison in it.”
“Get the check up.”
The child spoke almost as if he was giving an order. The prince nodded his head as if he couldn’t overcome the child’s stubbornness.
The child found it annoying that this prince chose to treat everybody extremely well and always trust others without suspicion.
“Should I give you some warm milk?”
The prince asked as he got up. It was this kind of action that was the problem.
‘Is he going to continue treating Sir Geens the same way despite whatever he may be plotting?’
He then said something mean because of the frustration.
“You are acting like a wet nurse.”
“Did you have a wet nurse?”
However, the prince didn’t seem to receive any kind of damage at all from that comment. In fact, he looked as if he was holding back his laughter.
“I guess it would be weird if you didn’t?”
The little boy heard him mumble.
The prince picked up a kettle that was kept warm by a candle, poured some milk into an empty cup and stirred some honey into it.
‘Warm milk at night time…’
He had not had something like this since he was nine years old.
‘Wait a minute.’
“Does that mean that you did not have a wet nurse?”
The child squinted as he asked. The prince looked as if he said something he should not have said.
He smiled bitterly and returned to the table with the cup.
Sadie clicked his tongue internally.
He had heard the rumors about how the prince had received Prince Consort Werner’s hatred since he had been born and that he had not been treated properly in the Holy Kingdom.
But to have grown up without even a wet nurse…
“That, mm… You know, the Fleur-de-lis?”
The prince sat down and changed topics.
The new topic must not have been an easy one either, as his eyes were gently shaking.
Sadie let out a deep sigh through his nose.
It was because he was reminded of how the prince had been frequently checking his expressions since they heard some old hag’s nonsense in front of the Commerce Center.
The prince looked as if he was trying his best not to be noticed while doing it, but he was terrible at hiding emotions of gratitude or concern.
It had been that way since the little kid first met the prince.
“Would you be satisfied if I banished all fortune tellers from the Imperial Capital?”
“No, why are you trying to make people unemployed?”
He urgently shook his head.
“I was just curious. I can’t see the related records but I heard that the mages’ prophecies are sometimes reversed.”
“They frequently change their words or cancel their prophecies if they call for a specific death and the person does not die.”
He was asking vaguely about the Fleur-de-lis, the mage advisory team of the Empire, but it was clear what the prince was curious about.
The prince couldn’t just look past the fact that they had prophesized his death.
His white face seemed to be in pain after hearing the answer. He was like this, despite not being his own issue.
“How irresponsible. What about the people who are hurt by their prophecy?”
“They are simply doing their jobs.”
Sadie responded that way before getting up.
Golden pebbles were floating up from his small body.
The little boy looked at the cup of milk in front of him before picking it up and drinking the whole thing.
The Fleur-de-lis was about eighty percent accurate.
“And I survived.”
The Imperial Prince was a part of the other twenty percent. The only thing necessary for an unpleasant remark like that was to turn it into a lie.
The Almighty God was capricious, but his fire also might not be an ominous power.
He walked toward the balcony.
It was time to head back.
The little boy who had milk all over his mouth had left by the time the next day arrived.
The summer garden of Juliette Palace was full of guests. It was right after Sir Geens’ lesson had ended.
They had not seen Imperial Prince Cédric because he had been busy since early in the morning.
“You must be happy, Vice Captain Élisabeth.”
“Yes, I am very happy. I thought that it was a miracle that I was still alive after the Annual Prayer Meeting ended, but to receive a vacation as a reward after that……”
Vice Captain Élisabeth looked emotionally moved as she responded to Christelle.
Ganael, who was seated next to her, congratulated her on while Benjamin smiled benignly and poured some cidre into her cup.
It was very rare to see her drinking in the middle of the day in the Imperial Palace.
It was only possible because although she was the Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard yesterday, she had entered the palace as young Countess Moutet today.
“I had heard about it in advance, but the prayer meeting had so many people when I went. I know this is late, but you worked very hard, Vice Captain Élisabeth.”
I made a comment about it as well.
I recalled how she was tasked with guarding the Annual Prayer Meeting when we were at the Summer Palace.
‘It was because of the pirate ship abduction incident that Christelle had caused.’
‘Élisabeth, you will be in charge of security for the event. That is your punishment.’
‘Your Majesty, please kill me instead.’
There was a reason Vice Captain Élisabeth had given such a serious response at the time.
The Annual Prayer Meeting was the first event that the young Countess had taken on without Captain Duhem’s help.
I knew that it was quite the task for the Imperial Guards to protect Cardinal Boutier, the Imperial Prince, and me in the middle of the Imperial Capital.
However, I didn’t know that she also had to take care of the confrontations with the garrisons of the Imperial Capital, who were guarding the Central Temple, as well.
I learned that the Imperial Guard and the garrison were weirdly at odds with each other.
She had to pay full attention to prevent useless friction between the soldiers.
“Thank you very much, your highness.”
“Have you made any plans for your time off?”
I asked. Vice Captain Élisabeth was a talented knight with great leadership skills.
It was amazing that the event passed without any of the two thousand bishops getting injured.
It was a pity that she had to come to work yesterday in uniform even after the event had ended, however, she said that the Empress had given her an unexpected week of time off starting today.
‘That’s a relief.’
‘I plan on getting a good rest at the Count’s Estate for a few days first. And next week……”
“Apparently Marquis Duhem has a polo match. Vice Captain Élisabeth received tickets too!”
Christelle’s blue-gray eyes were sparkling. An odd premonition brushed past my back.
Sir Geens, who had been quietly listening, chimed in.
“When you say Marquis, is it the person who was in charge of commentating on his Royal Highness’s duel? He seems to have a lot of interest in sports.”
“While that is true, he is actually personally participating this time.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth responded. I immediately asked.
“Is he participating as a rescue team member like he did for the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts?”
“No. Old man Duhem has always liked polo. He always competes with the nobles he is close to whenever he comes up to the Imperial Capital. Though, it looks as if he is planning on increasing the scale of it starting this year.”
‘So basically, a person who had been a member of the morning soccer club is planning on starting a team.’
I nodded my head and fell deep into thought.
The voices of the five men and women became distant. I could see Sand playing with the divine beasts between some shrubs in the distance.
‘He jumps from event to event, maintains his territory, enjoys participating in sports and the Beau Monde while also inventing……’
Yes, Marquis François Duhem was the great figure who even invented things.
‘He is apparently creating some kind of crystal board now.’
‘He says that he is going to make people’s faces appear on a large crystal board.’
It made me think about the Marquis’ new invention that Vice Captain Élisabeth explained about yesterday.
That was definitely the item that would work like an electronic display in the QNW world.
There was a reason I was so sure of it.
It was because Eunseo commented about it while rolling around on the couch. She was so intense that I still remembered it.
‘She scared me.’
‘Wow, that’s crazy. They really did it. What do I do, oppa? Our kids were caught in the kiss cam and their lips really touched.’
I had not been able to understand what she meant by ‘kiss cam’ at the time.
Just looking at the cover illustration of QNW had let me know that it was a medieval European fantasy with knights and princesses.
But something that captures couples in the stands of baseball stadiums whileurging them to kiss appears in such a novel?
‘Are you watching a drama?’
‘No, I’m watching my kids. But hubby Jesse kissed Chris. Eek! He did it when everybody was watching!’
That was right.
The point was that it was not the Imperial Prince but Prince Jesse who kissed Christelle.
Eunseo’s useless comments about how she was so happy that she could not continue reading or her concerns about if it was okay for the second male lead to kiss the main character was none of my business.
It didn’t matter to me if Christelle was toying with boys or men in the original.
The problematic kiss time……
‘Will probably start with Marquis Duhem revealing the completed crystal board at his polo match.’
“Ah, I don’t feel good.”
“What is it, your highness?”
Ganael responded to my mumbling.
I drank my cool lemon tea and waved my hand to show that I was okay.
Christelle looked at me and smiled brightly.
This was definitely not right.
‘We are friends.I should not be kissing her and I have no intentions to kiss her, so a kiss is definitely a no-no.’
I did my best to look toward the divine beasts as naturally as possible.
Christelle’s first kiss was not with the Imperial Prince but with Prince Jesse.
Based on what I knew, the Imperial Prince, who witnessed the Prince share a kiss with Christelle, felt jealousy for the first time in his life.
That served as the motivation to understand his own feelings.
‘Stupid idiot. Eunseo always talked bad about you because you can’t figure anything out without some kind of external stimulus.’
But it was okay.
I didn’t know that the Marquis’ kiss cam debut would be so fast, but I had come up with a plan after hearing Vice Captain Élisabeth’s story yesterday.
I pressed a hand against my chest. I could feel my rectangular notebook and the crystal bell in my pocket.
I started to speak.
The people who had been talking about naturalization stopped talking and looked at me.
“I would like to go watch the Marquis’ polo match. Do you think that her Eminence will let me go if I asked?”
This is probably the first time that I have said that I wanted to leave the Imperial Palace.
That evening… A gentle breeze blew into the Cardinal’s office.
“So, I requested that they send Cardinals to test them for their Holy Knight appointments. The Vatican should respond quickly because it is about appointments. The Cardinals will probably be here in about two weeks if they are quick.”
Johann Geens gently responded.
The corners of his eyes drooped down combined with his smile made him look gentle, but his mint-colored eyes had an oddly cold feel to them.
However, it would not make sense if a Holy Knight did not have a sharp blade.
They were born to be like that. Aurélie Boutier looked at him for a moment before continuing to speak.
“Do you think that your lessons can be finished by then?”
“Of course, your Eminence. As mentioned before, it would not be shocking if the two of them received the Bishop level right away. Lessons on the proper attitude and fostering their plate can continue even after their appointments.”
The Cardinal smiled as beautifully as a painting, seemingly satisfied with his response.
Johann looked at her and modified his ‘plan’ in his mind.
Uh oh, Johann has some kind of plan. Should we be scared?