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I briefly felt as though my heart was about to burst with shock, but I barely showed it.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“What? What… What are you talking about?”
Ian’s movement was seen roughly thanks to my vision that I was used to the dark.
I looked in the direction Ian was pointing.
My right hand was holding the blanket so tightly that it wrinkled.
“……Oh. This one.”
It’s nothing. It happened when he made such an evasive mouth-opening.
“Is there anything that bothers you?”
I could hear his low voice in my ears.
The quilt I was holding started to wrinkle even more.
“No, nothing is going on. Are you all right?”
“You are not very good at lying.”
What do you mean I’m not good at lying?
I just muttered to myself.
Without even imagining how much I was keeping a secret from him.
“What makes you so anxious?”
“It’s not like that. Is it because you can’t sleep?”
“You are strange.”
I could feel Ian turning to me.
I abruptly closed my eyes in response to the gaze I could feel even in the dark.
“……What is strange?”
“You used every trick in the book to avoid me.”
What on earth am I struggling with that I can’t even get sleep?
I shut my mouth.
Ian was no longer questioning me.
It was different from usual when he screamed and stared at what I was hiding.
My heart, therefore, became heavier the more I had to restrain myself from speaking.
“Well, I’m not requesting that you be honest. I’m not good at counseling anyway.”
“But, if you ever need my help.”
“…… Would you like to help me?”
What did I expect? I made a pouty face.
For whatever reason, he said something nice.
Ian laughed softly, sounding as though the wind were blowing.
“So, please put away the poor quilt.”
He didn’t say anything after that.
Those words with a soft smile seemed to be trying to comfort me, even if it was blunt.
‘I know that cold-blooded man can’t do that.’
I shut my eyes tight.
I was afraid Ian would discover my secret if we continued to talk.
“Good night, Sir Ian.”
There was no response given.
Yes, it was about time to squish down deep into the duvet.
“See you tomorrow.”
The small night greetings could be heard.
That night, I couldn’t stop myself from removing the pendant.
“I can see it now!”
I yelled, pressing my nose against the carriage window.
Over there, the outer walls of the capital city could be seen.
‘Looking at it this way, the capital must have been very busy.’
Rycallion was a fortress city that guarded the border. As a result, it felt preserved in some ways, but distinct from the capital’s magnificent splendour.
There was a short check at the checkpoint, but the guards who confirmed Ian’s face swiftly saluted and let us in.
The carriage convoy arrived safely in the capital.
I blinked open my eyes, still staring out the window.
“Is this the weekend? Why are there so many people?”
Of course, people were everywhere in the capital, but the streets had never been this crowded.
Besides, why is everyone cheering for our carriage convoy?
‘Wait a minute. No way, these people.’
Did they all come just to meet us?
I thought that I was being overly self-conscious.
However, the shouts of those who could be heard quickly dispelled my doubts.
“Guardians of the Empire!”
As they rode ahead, some holy knights on horseback waved to the crowds.
“Oh, it’s the saintess!”
Everyone’s attention was drawn to me as I raised my head.
“Saintess! Please look here as well!”
“Yay! Also here!”
“You are reincarnation of Saintess Jasper!”
The word “reincarnation” has finally been uttered.
The intense pressure rendered me speechless.
Some people shouted while running at the speed of the carriage parade at the time.
“Saintess! Please say something!”
“I’m from The Imperial Daily! How did you predict that there was a failure in the gate!”
“Is it true that God Elun whispers about future in your dreams every day!”
I was scared as I watched the reporters run at the same speed as the carriage.
No matter how far we enter the capital, we’re slowing down. But is that possible? Does this empire hire a reporter for their running skills?
“Saintes! Please say something!”
“Thousands of people have been saved because of your foresight! Please let us know how you feel!”
Oh, I see.
It turns out that there is an issue with the teleportation gate.
It was fortunate that I didn’t become a braggart. Still, I was not used to being interviewed.
I was nervous about speaking then, staring blankly at the reporters moving as quickly as the carriage.
“Please accept my apologies.”
“My wife is shy.”
Having said that, Ian pulled back the curtain.
Moments later, a deafening roar erupted from outside the carriage.
“It’s noisy outside.”
The emperor, Rashid, said and tossed the paper.
The Prime Minister, who had just handed him the report, shook his head, a cold sweat forming on his brow.
“Is that so? I can’t hear it well with my small ears…….”
It couldn’t have happened. They clearly heard it.
“Long live the saintess!”
“Kyaah, Sir Ian! Please take a look at this!”
Even the most famous minstrel could not ignore the scream.
The downtown area was quite far away, with the main street leading from the imperial palace, but a huge roar could still be heard.
“Was Ian’s return date today?”
“Yes, yes. Yes, Your Majesty.”
The Prime Minister shook his head, sweating even more.
Rashid spoke calmly as if nothing had happened, but the Prime Minister had no idea what was going through his mind.
Rashid has whimpered since Ian’s birth because he feels inferior to his younger brother.
Obviously, the enthusiastic citizens’ reaction to Ian’s return would not be satisfactory for him.
‘His Majesty has yet to garner widespread public support, so even more…… Hmm.’
The Prime Minister was lost in thought as he read Rashid’s face.
Rashid was young and handsome, so he had a lot going for him, but the suspicion that arose during his succession to the throne was a problem.
The sudden death of the emperor and his wife.
After a long battle with lung disease, the former empress died first, followed by the mysterious death of the former emperor.
Rashid concluded that the mysterious death of the former emperor was the work of an immigrant named Rakum, and in retaliation, he burned Rakum’s homeland to the ashes.
However, some people were still suspicious of the emperor’s sudden death.
‘I wonder if the late Emperor was assassinated in order to prevent Prince Ian from becoming Crown Prince……’
Rashid’s ferocious voice brought the Prime Minister to his senses.
“D-Did you call me? Your Majesty?”
“Does what I’m reading right now true?”
Rashid’s venomous gaze caused the Secretary of State to flinch.
He was angry.
The Prime Minister trembled and lowered his head.
He also knew he would be angry.
That report was sent to the imperial family from the Magic Tower a while ago.
It was content to inform the existence of a new substance discovered early this morning, ‘Stormstone’.
That was a welcome surprise. This new mana stone, which is far more powerful than the existing one, will bring prosperity to the empire.
‘The problem is the person who found the stone……’
The Prime Minister remembered the report’s contents he had read just before meeting with the Emperor.
“As storm stone has a strong intrinsic force, direct contact with the human body can cause various side effects such as excessive magic absorption. The people of Rycallion mistook these storm stones for Holy Stones and misused them by coming into contact with the patient’s body.’
‘If it hadn’t been for the powers that detected and warned us of the danger, everyone would have died.’
Those who had forewarned them about the Mana Stone…
He mentioned that it was none other than Irene Grace, currently at the centre of the topic.
‘Everyone is praising her because she foresaw that the gate would malfunction!’
The new saintess foresaw an error that even magic experts failed to notice.
That fact aroused great enthusiasm among the people of the Empire.
Rumours circulated that Jasper, the legendary saint of wisdom, had been reincarnated.
The Prime Minister said with a flattering smile.
“I-Isn’t it a good thing? Saintess Irene is Ian’s wife. In other words, she is a member of the Imperial Family. As Saintess Irene’s popularity grows, she will inevitably gain favor with the imperial family-“
“Do you think so, Minister of State?”
Rashid widened his eyes.
The Prime Minister took a big gulp.
Lorelai, the empress who had been listening quietly the entire time, spoke coldly.
“God must loves her so much. My head is such a flower garden, so I don’t have to worry as long as I live.”
“Y-Your Majesty the Empress. God just…….”
“My dear brother.”
Crunch, Rashid crumpled the report as he spat it out.
“He hugged a woman for the first time. I didn’t mind if the opponent was inconsequential. No, I would have applauded.”
“But, is the opponent a saintess with the ability to appear only once every century? Two significant forecasts in two months. Were there any other saintess who excelled in the Empire?”
Rashid’s words caused the empress’s face to harden into a cold expression.
The Prime Minister was sweating as he looked at the Empress.
Rashid ignored their reaction and tossed the crumpled report aside like dirt.
“A bastard who has spent his entire life looking at women falls in love with a genius saintess. Do you think this is a probability that makes sense?”
“Oh god, that is……therefore.”
It seemed that the Prime Minister could now bathe in sweat.
He predicted the emperor would be wary of Irene and Ian’s growing popularity.
Rashid’s outrage had grown into something more.
Rashid’s eyes grimaced.
“My dear brother may have begun to take over this older brother’s position.”
The Prime Minister became agitated and spoke in a panicked tone.
‘You’re at it again. Your suspicion of Ian is endless……!’
“My younger brother is a person who can’t love anyone. Isn’t love for someone he care about?”
Rashid laughed bitterly.
The Prime Minister shuddered as he knew Ian stole the love from the adults in the imperial family that Rashid deserved.
“That brother fell in love with a saintess? No. I bet on the opposite side.”