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Chapter 34: Predictable

The chapel has a constant light.

The lamp that is always on in the chapel, called the Everlasting Lamp, has a soft light that shines all night long.

I don’t know how it works, but it keeps the lamp burning all night long without any additional oil.

His Royal Highness told me that nearly a third of all the lights in the cathedral are related to these lamps, which the cathedral has the exclusive right to sell.

Because you can’t really save or support anyone if you rely solely on offerings…

It’s not without its contradictions as a religious organization, but the State Church in Dardinia is easy for me to accept.

I watch the dim light of the lamp and then look up at the high ceiling.

This small prayer hall, despite its small size, is elaborately decorated for being in a royal palace.

Basically, the chapel is built with small windows that don’t let much light in, and this is no different.

Therefore, it is dimly lit during the day, but feels brighter at night.

I’m sure they calculated the lighting effect, right?

The height of the ceilings, for example, and the heavy use of white and gold, and the somewhat excessive amount of shimmering decorations, all form the majesty of God.

Honestly, if it wasn’t for a this situation, I’d look around.

The carvings on the altar are amazing, but so are the ceilings and walls, and even the floor is lined with mosaics and other meaningful designs.

It is not well known that the cathedral in the West Palace is also designed by Arsei Ney.

‘Did you know?’ His Eminence Shion asks.

“…Not just the main palace?”

A sudden topic. His Highness Shion seemed to be at a loss for something. There is no smile on that profile.

So I quietly spun my words as well.

“Yes. This cathedral was…not a cathedral at the time, but a detached palace…but not all of it is recognized as Ney’s architecture because it wasn’t made just by Ney. To be specific, the front part of the nave, from the front pews to the altar, was built by Ney, and the rest of the structure is entirely the work of later generations.”


I was genuinely impressed. The patterns on the floor appear to be the same, but they are indeed somewhat different in color.

“Your Highness has a lot of knowledge about Ney, don’t you?”

“I was interested, so I did a little research, and I also took a lecture from Lilia, who wrote Ney’s report on behalf of His Eminence.”

Not only that.

When I smiled, His Eminence Shion’s face pulled up as hard as it could.

Well, I didn’t mean to be sarcastic, but maybe this was being painfully sarcastic.

…Maybe I shouldn’t talk too much. There’s something about this kind of glibness that feels too good to be true.

At times like this, I say things I don’t need to say. I get it. I’ll pull myself together.

I’m in a mild state of excitement, and I hardly feel drowsy.

I’m so used to silence that I don’t feel particularly uncomfortable, secretly observing my surroundings. At a time like this, I might never get tired of staying for any length of time.


The front altar relief depicts the opening of the scripture, the opening of the heavens and the earth. Probably the best angle is where to sit in the congregation pew like this. What you can see clearly.

Of course, there’s also the scene that gave me my name.

I was rather engrossed in the scene when His Eminence Shion opened his mouth.

“……You understand, don’t you?”

There was no cheerfulness, no suppressed fury, nothing.

It wasn’t a question, just a confirmation.

…His Eminence’s expression, as he stood up, was shadowy and hard to understand.

I knew it.

I found myself convinced before I understood.

“…It wasn’t like that, though.”

But I think I had predicted this development from the beginning.

Probably from the time His Eminence Shion asked for a meeting with me.

I see…

Suddenly, I realized.

What the rough and uncomfortable feeling was…what had stuck with me so much.

“His Eminence would never betray the trust of His Highness the Crown Prince. But I knew that for… Lilia’s sake, he wouldn’t back down no matter who he was dealing with. That’s why I wanted to talk to you about Lilia…”

To His Eminence Shion, Lilia is number one on his priority list. There was no doubt in my mind from the many things that had happened.

And no matter who he was dealing with, His Eminence would not retreat if it was about Lilia…I was not the only one who thought so.

His Eminence would not retreat if it was about Lilia, even if it was against the Crown Prince.

“Why is this about Lilia?”

I pull the cuff out of my coat pocket.

“Because this has arrived,”

There was only one…only one cuff.

Why was it only one…it was because the other one had been delivered to another person’s hand.

His Eminence Shion also took the same single cuff from his pocket.

“Anyone close to her will know that this is Lilia’s. It’s the same design, but the quality of the stone is completely different from that of the other maids.

His Eminence Shion nods at my words.

“I thought it was a message that this was delivered to me…so I thought I’d pass it on to His Eminence as soon as possible.”

There was nothing I could do about it.

“…The original was an earring.”

His Eminence murmured.

“…Lilia told me that she wanted to keep it on her person at all times, so she remade it when she became my lady-in-waiting.”

Naturally, the maidservants rarely wear jewelry, and the dress code is strict, so only what is considered appropriate for a maid to wear is allowed.

Of course, my current appearance is out of the question. His Eminence’s description of me as ‘strangely dressed’ is an understatement.

“She taught me that it was a symbol of determination and resolve.”

“…Is that so?”

“Because we’re good friends.”

When he said it clearly, His Eminence Shion gave a small smile.

“It would seem so.”

The air is soft and unwinding.

Even in this situation, I’m a little more relaxed.

“Honestly, I’m jealous.”

“You can be jealous of me a lot.”

“…Is it my imagination that I feel so defeated?”

I just laughed at His Eminence Shion’s words.

A gong and the dull ringing of a bell was heard in the distance.

It’s the ringing of the clock tower bell in the university’s special ward across the river.

“…It’s late.”

I say so, looking up at the small window high above me.

There is no sign of dawn yet, but I was hoping to get it all done during the night.


His Eminence looked at me with a very goofy expression.

“I wanted to come quickly, because if I don’t clean up quickly and get back, my absence will be noticed.”

“No, no, but…”

“Maybe if I come back during the night, I can manage to cheat.”

As I’ve said many times, I didn’t want to make it a big deal.


“Oh, His Eminence will definitely help Lilia, won’t he? I’ll be fine.”

“Princess Arthirea…”

His Eminence Shion, who had been stubbornly calling me ‘Your Highness,’ made a slightly stupefied expression and involuntarily called my name.

“What is it?”

“Um, are you going to forgive me?”

“I don’t forgive you, Your Eminence, what have you done?”

I nodded my head lightly.

I truly meant it.

In a manner of speaking, it might have been that His Eminence had invited me to come here, but in reality, it was my intention to come here.

In short, it could be said that it didn’t matter because His Eminence Shion’s position was that of the other side, and the rest seemed to be going my way.

“I haven’t done it yet, but I’m trying to trade the princess for Lilia.”

“Oh…no problem.”

“No, that’s wrong. Think normally.”

“It is within expectations. I’ll be fine.”

His Eminence stared at my face seriously.

Even though he looked at me like that, he hadn’t actually done anything to me yet, and I didn’t have the slightest desire to hate him or anything.

In the first place, His Eminence himself was complicit in the threat. It’s not that I have any ulterior motive. Considering the circumstances, I don’t blame him for this.

One could argue that it’s because it’s me that it seems most likely.

If I were only a child of my age, I would probably feel betrayed and desperate, with no idea what it was all about.

“…Do you know who will come?”

“I’m kind of imagining it, but I don’t know if I’m right…but if I’m correct, as I imagine I am, I will not be physically hurt.”

“…Yes. Physically.”

For the first time, His Eminence flashed an expression that resembled hatred.

A dusky fading…something that made him feel negative emotions, but it was only for a moment.

“I’m sorry.”

I nod my head, not knowing what His Eminence was apologizing for.

“…I knew all along. That you were going through a hard time. And by whose hand it was done.”

‘But I couldn’t accuse him of that,’ His Eminence said, and his eyes were downcast.

“I’ve forgotten the old story.”


“I don’t want you to apologize for something I don’t remember.”

In fact, I can’t remember.

I’ve reset it once.


“It’s okay, I’m not the same person I was before.”

I’ll smile to reassure myself.

Yes. Now I’m not just a child who can’t say anything back, nor am I a vulnerable, soft-hearted little girl.

“I understand that, but…”

As I said before, Your Eminence can only think about helping Lilia.”

“…We are supposed to trade you for Lilia here.”

“Yes, that’s good.”

I let out a sigh of relief. That was all I was worried about.

If Lilia would come back safely, my goal would be accomplished.

After that, it will  be bit of a challenge…

However, I’ve decided that it’s okay.

It feels a little bit like things have been left to chance, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.

It was like I was half telling myself that I would be fine. But for now, it was enough for me.

“Your Highness.”


His Eminence, High Priest Shion, made a quiet noise as he stood up, bowed with a graceful motion and fell to his knees.

I watched him with a puzzled expression on my face.

I could see His Eminence’s face clearly because our eye level was not that different.

His Eminence, who, according to Nadi, was the most popular clergyman in the world, certainly had a figure worthy of being called a good-looking man. I was told that his slight nervousness was also an attraction.

I’m His Highness’ princess, so it doesn’t matter how good-looking His Eminence is!

His blue eyes looked slightly tense, and I nodded my head lightly.

His Eminence gently took my right hand and then lightly pressed his own forehead to mine.

I was a little surprised.

It was the highest proof of respect.

His Eminence, as an archbishop, does not need to have this kind of courtesy, even to His Majesty the King.

“Your Eminence?”

“Call me Shion, Your Highness.”

“Your eminence Shion?”

“Just Shion.”



His Eminence Shion smiles with satisfaction at the sound that comes from my mouth.

“I would actually like to call you by your name, but I’m afraid of my brother, so I’ll leave it at that. That’s right…Your Highness is my brother’s wife, so…I’ll call you Sister-in-law.”


What should I say?

Did I miss something?

It’s true that I’m his sister-in-law, but a 21 year old Shion calling me “sister-in-law,” when I’m 12 years old…feels strange…

Then, His Eminence Shion declared with a serious expression on his face.

“I will make amends for this incident in any way I can when my sister-in-law returns.”

There was a certain sincerity in his words that confused me.

Because there was nothing for him to make amends for.

Well, I’m sure things will get a little messy from now on, but in a way, it’s the result of my own choice.

I’m not being handed over to them without knowing anything, I’m being handed over to them of my own volition, so I feel like there’s something different about making amends or something like that.

“…More importantly, you should be prepared for Lilia to be angry with you.”

Lilia will be absolutely furious!

I think he should be prepared for a slap or two.

“I’m prepared for that.”

“And, of course, His Highness will be pissed if he finds out.”

When I say that, His Eminence wanders his gaze.

“…I might be killed by my brother.”

I can’t help but look away from the crying, laughing expression on his face.

Yup. Maybe something similar to that. I think he’ll just get angry.

I think His Highness is pretty intense. It’s a bit frightening just to think that the incredible  restraint he usually has would be thrown off.

“It’s okay. When that happens, I’ll take care of it.”



“I’m sure.”

I’m sorry if I can’t handle it.

I apologized in my mind, for a moment. Perhaps it was fortunate for His Eminence Shion that he didn’t hear my inner voice.

Maybe His Eminence is a actually a pretty sloppy personality…

But His Eminence is still only about twenty years old, so it might be unavoidable. I wasn’t really aware of it because he’s usually so imposing, but in the other world, he’d still just be a university student.

“And anyway, as long as they don’t find out, we’ll be fine!”

“You don’t get it…it’s impossible without getting caught. By this time, Phil-Lynn will have noticed your absence.”

“I’ll be fine. I have a grasp Phil’s weakness.”


The color of His Eminence Shion’s gaze was mixed with a something that seemed to say he couldn’t believe it.

Eh, isn’t Phil’s weakness so easy?

“But after all, I’m still going to hand you over to…”

Standing up restlessly, His Eminence Shion’s eyes took on a hint of hesitation.

“Please do not hesitate at this stage…Listen, you can’t get your priorities wrong. Do not mistake in the most important thing. You cannot chase a single rabbit by going after two.”

Ah, maybe I’ve mixed a little sermon in just now. It’s called my sister-in-law tone.

“You cannot chase a single rabbit by going after two?”

“Well basically, it means that by trying to do two things at the same time, you will not succeed in either one.”


Oh, how straightforward. This is the kind of thing that comes from a good upbringing, isn’t it?

His Eminence Shion looked straight at me and nodded. Then he took a seat next to me.

The brand new bench has a soft curve and is quite comfortable to sit on.

“It’s okay. I’m not going to go in unprepared either.”

At His Eminence’s gaze, I gave a small nod.

“I’m sorry. You are the one person in this country who needs to be kept safe…”

“…It’s okay. I am well aware that I am the presumptive heir of Elzevert.”

Besides, I think I’m a coward. It’s not that I’m not curious, though.

“No, that’s not all…I’m sorry. I’m afraid I can’t tell you any more than that.”

‘Don’t pry,’ he says apologetically.

“It’s okay,”

What else could it be? I was just a little bit worried.

Because, you know, it’s about me.

But the question was quickly relegated to the back of my mind when I heard an unpleasant squeak, and the front door began to open.


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4 thoughts on “Chapter 34: Predictable

    1. Hello! Right now, I’m a little bit busy with uploading all my current stories, but thank you very much for this suggestion! I can definitely put this on my list of future novels once I’m finished with my current stories 🙂


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