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Chapter 34: My Treasure

“…Your Highness, aren’t I heavy?”

He had probably been walking through the underground city for more than fifteen minutes already.

His Highness’ gait didn’t seem to have changed at all from the beginning, but I was very curious.

“You’re not heavy at all…you can be a little fatter.”

“…Your Highness, getting fat is a forbidden phrase.”

I smile and chide him softly.

These things need to be fixed right then and there!

“Then…you should go and put on some more weight.”

“…I don’t like that.”

Even if you change the words, the meaning is the same!

I’m not fat at all. Rather, I’m probably not as tall or wide as most kids my age, by far. But still, getting fat or gaining weight are not words I want to hear.

“You’ll need to put on a little more meat, or you won’t be as strong as you should be.”

“I’m going to exercise! That’s how I’ll build muscle.”

“You’ll never have the muscle…It’s a problem before that.”

“What? What do you mean ‘before that?’”

“If you exercise suddenly, you’ll collapse…You may not be aware of it because it hasn’t affected your daily life much at the moment, but you are…Elzevert is a rather frail constitution.”

“…Is that so?”

“Yeah…I hear you have a particularly weak respiratory system.”

Six months ago, my doctor changed. My new doctor is a middle-aged woman named Mariana Ravel. She lives in the university city across the river from Al Greya, and unless something happens to me, she teaches at the university.

It has been rare for a non-noble person to officially become a royal doctor, and it has been controversial, but in the end, His Highness went ahead with his decision.

When I think about it, the palace has changed a lot since the death of His Majesty.

“Perhaps I was unaware that you had rarely left the palace before, but I doubt that this will be the case from now on. You are frail and physically weak. Of course, it is impossible for you to exercise, and you should avoid running at full power as much as possible.”


“That’s what it means to have a weak respiratory system. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve got a fair amount of knowledge about it…You don’t have to look at it so pessimistic.”

“No, because…I don’t plan to run as fast as I can, but I feel very much like I’m His Highness’ baggage.”

“What do you mean? I never thought of you as baggage.”

His Highness opened his eyes lightly and said so.

This is a little confusing, but it’s His Highness’ face when he’s surprised. Rather than being surprised, the nuance is more like I’m, ‘out of my mind.’

“… I think the current state of affairs is literally baggage.”

“Silly. If you were just baggage, then I wouldn’t be holding you up so carefully like this. You’re my treasure.” ( ***Σ>―(〃°ω°〃)♡→ awwww )

His Highness tells me in a tone of voice as if to say the obvious. As if it were common sense.


That’s right. You are my “Elverut.”

“Elverut”—in the old imperial language, it means ‘Key Princess’. But I think His Highness probably means the even older meaning of ‘Treasure Princess.’

“…I’m Your Highness’ treasure, am I?”

Unintentionally, a murmur escaped me. His Highness seemed to have heard the faint voice, but he still heard it properly.


He nodded as if it was perfectly natural.

That attitude of naturalness, that word of telling me I’m a treasure…yeah, my cheeks loosened because I was happy with everything His Highness was telling me.

Wow, what am I going to do…

I didn’t know what to do. My back felt mushy and my fingertips were tingling. I felt warm in a place deep in my chest, like the middle of my body, and I felt something warm and hot.

…I’m happy.

Little by little, the things that overflowed seemed to never run out, and I couldn’t quite put into words what it was.

Somehow, I feel kind of invincible!

At this moment, my heart was a diamond. Physically I was very frail and poor, but in my heart alone, I was the strongest and most invincible hero.

“Nigel-sama is my treasure too.”

I felt like I convey it well no matter what I said, but I couldn’t help but say it.

At my words, His Highness suddenly stopped.

He doesn’t move as if he’s frozen.

“Your Highness? Your Highness, can you hear me?”

I gently tapped his chest as I clutched at it.


When I called his name, His Highness inhaled deeply and took a deep breath.

“…nothing. I was just thinking about something.

Oh. I was worried.

I was worried because he stopped moving so abruptly. I’m sure he was thinking a lot about how to handle everything afterwards because he forced himself to come for me.

“……From here, it becomes the grounds of the royal palace.”

His Highness told me as if nothing had happened. That being said, I looked at the road surface, but I couldn’t tell the difference at all.

“…Nigel-sama, what is the light on this road surface?”

It’s not just the light from the road. I wanted to know what these fluorescent lights, which are only found in the basement, are.

…It’s obviously over-technology, isn’t it?


“What…foreign matter?”

Foreign matter? No, a relic?

“It’s a legacy of a past civilization. If we were to date it roughly, it’s probably mostly from the early Imperial period…It is impossible to duplicate it at the moment, not to mention with today’s general technology and even with the university’s complete efforts. The reproduction and repair of these items is also only in the research stage. Most of the mechanisms are known, but the materials are often unknown.”

His Highness’s voice as he explained was as always indifferent as always. But there was a slight soft sound at the bottom of his voice. His Highness doesn’t mind having this kind of conversation.

“The underground…we call this city the Royal City Labyrinth.”

“The Royal City Labyrinth?”


‘You can watch,’ said His Highness, turning around with me in his arms.


I hardly felt that we had climbed the stairs, and yet before I knew it, we seemed to have reached a much higher ground.

Below us, the ruins of the city spread out in a myriad of bluish lights.

“…It’s like a starry sky.”

It was like looking down at the illumination from the heights of a skyscraper in the other world.

What spilled from His Highness Nigel’s mouth was a poetic expression. His Royal Highness is unexpectedly romantic.

A sentimental feeling, akin to nostalgia, rose within me as the air gradually eased.

Beautiful, but somehow pensive and melancholy.

A myriad of sparkling lights…It was so beautiful beautiful and yet a lonely sight to me.

Perhaps it is because I know that this underground city is no longer inhabited by anyone.

“…The number of these lights in the Royal City Labyrinth is decreasing year by year.”

His Highness said in a pout.


“Because they can’t be restored with today’s technology. Records show that it was once surrounded by much more light. We have been studying this underground city for many years, but we know very little about it. There are so many mysteries left to us that even with my whole life, I don’t think I can solve all of them.”

“…But Your Highness is not going to give up, right?”

“Of course…I will follow that mystery as far as I possibly can.”

His Highness smiled softly.

I’m glad that that smile, which is really faint, is directed at me.

“Will you help me too?”



“What can I do to help?”

“There are many things…In the first place, you are the greatest of those mysteries, and all of those mysteries can probably be traced back to you. You are the ‘Princess of the Key’. Once you have completed the rituals of the Founding Festival, you will be the lord of all of the Imperial legacy.”

“…lord of the imperial legacy.”

I parrot the words I’m not familiar with and nod my head deliberately. His Highness speaks as if I’m all-knowing, but there’s far, far more that I don’t know.

I don’t want to get bogged down in the conversation, but if I don’t make a point of demonstrating that I don’t know anything, the conversation will go on and on without my knowledge.

“How much have you heard from His Majesty?”

His Highness, who had a straight face, asked me quietly.

I’m so grateful that His Highness understands my intentions properly.

“…That this country was created to protect my last princess bloodline of the Unified Empire. I am considered one of the last to properly hold that bloodline. And that Your Highness is the husband chosen to protect me in such a way, right?”

I count my fingers and tell him what I know as briefly as I can.

I have talked about the story with His Majesty several times.

“That’s right…You are the only person who will inherit the legacy of the Unified Empire.”

His Highness nodded with satisfaction and continued.

“There are two publicly known imperial legacy sites and in this country.”


“Yes…It’s the university and the ruins.”

He looks at me and tells me the words as if to say to engrave it in my ears.


“That’s right. There used to be seven university cities on this continent, but now there are six. All those university cities, all the research institutions and facilities belonging to them… all of them are collectively called ‘universities’. This Dardinia is… rather, this Al Greya has a special formation that is unique on the continent. This royal city labyrinth is supposed to be administered by a university on the southern coast of Al Greya.”

“Is it really different?”

“The university is just blocking off the ruins to prevent those in the city who don’t know anything about it from entering the ruins. The ruins are not what we want them to be. As you know, just as there are guards in the underground of the palace, other ruins can have their own kind of guards. If you enter without knowing anything, you will be excluded by them. Most of the time the means of exclusion will be unreasonable, so we seal them off so that those who know nothing about it will not be harmed.”

“…Is there a guard like the ones in the underground of the royal palace in this place we’re walking now?”

The guard in the underground of the royal palace will not hesitate in killing and wounding. Or rather, I’ve heard that they are willing to kill outright. Knowing this, I fled to the basement.

What happened to the people who pursued me I do not know, nor do I want to check.

I know it’s not fair, but…

Some people may have lost their lives because they pursued us. I’m ready to accept the consequences of that, but I don’t dare to ask about it myself.

“There are two other buildings that are known to have something similar in them at the moment, besides the one in the royal palace. I’d love to go with you there to see, but alas, I don’t have time.”

Surely we don’t have time for a detour now?

“…If I’m here, can you include those buildings?”

I asked, biting down on a small yawn.

I’d been on edge all the time earlier, but as the tension gradually dissipated as I realized everything was okay now, I started to feel very sleepy somehow.

“We can enter. Because you are literally the ‘Princess of the Key.’”

I think I was feeling somewhat tense the whole time, although I did get some sleep at the orphanage. I rarely woke up at night, and I woke up several times.

But now that I’m in the absolute safety of His Highness’ arms, I feel so much safer.

…It’s so warm.

It was moderately warm with His Highness hugging me in the cloak, and that was one of the things that helped me fall asleep. The silky feel of the cloak that I grasped to hold on to was pleasant to the touch.

“…It’s like a master key.”


“Ah, uh, a universal key…that kind of thing.”

I rephrase, apparently having uttered a word that doesn’t exist here.

“That’s right. You will not have a door to prevent you from being the rightful master of the Empire’s heritage, and the guardians will be silent in your presence…In the meantime, the only problem is that the ruins are often so large and complex that you probably won’t be able to reach your destination by yourself.”

“…What do you mean by that?”

I can guess the intent of the words by looking at the expression on his face, the corners of his mouth slightly raised.

“It’s both.”

“…I certainly don’t have the physical strength, and I think I’m directionally challenged!”

“Don’t worry. I won’t make you walk for nothing.”

His Highness gave a rare, good-humored smile. He wasn’t in such a good mood at first, but apparently it had improved before long.

“I’d appreciate that, but…”


“If I don’t walk on my own, my legs will get weak, and I will never learn the way.”

“That’s not a problem.”


No, no, no, no, there’s a lot of problems!

I have no idea why His Highness is so confident!

“I’ll always be the one to carry you around. I’m a well-trained person, so I’ll have no problem carrying you even into adulthood…And besides, being directionally challenged is an incurable disease. I feel sorry for you, but you probably won’t get over it, even if you try.”

“It’s not that bad of a problem…or rather, I promised you earlier. This is the only time I’ll let myself be carried.”

His Highness looks at me like he doesn’t know what I just said and brushes off my words. Like he’s pretending that I didn’t ask for something that wasn’t good for me.

“I’ll walk by myself as much as I can to build up my strength!”

I tell His Highness firmly in his ear.

But His Highness looks at me like a helpless child, as if I were being selfish.

“Your Highness.”

I couldn’t help but feel a twinge in the pit of my stomach.

Let me tell you, you’re the one who’s being selfish! I’m stating the obvious, you know! For a moment, I even almost felt like it was my fault.

“Well, that’s something to consider in the future.”

“What? Is there any room for consideration?”

I’m only saying that I want to walk on my own two feet, okay?

His Highness smiled lightly.

I let out one small sigh and change the subject.

“…I’m talking about the story you told me earlier.”


“When the Founding Festival is over, let’s bring a lunch box and tea.”

“A ‘Pik-nik.’”

“Yes…I’ll make your favorites, Your Highness.

“My favorite things?”

“You like thick ham, egg and cream cheese germ bread sandwiches, hard-crusted cheesecake with raisins, and fruit-filled pound cake soaked in Bharat liquor.”

“……That could be true.”

His Highness looked a little strange.

I almost wiped out and held my mouth. If you ask me, it’s very cute. I don’t think anyone would disagree with me.

“You refill a lot of things, but those are the ones where you get the most refills. Haven’t you noticed?”

“Because everything you make for me is so good…I didn’t know that because I know that whatever you make me is to my liking.”

Wow…I’m in trouble. I’m too happy about that!

If I wasn’t in His Highness’ arms, I would have cooed and squealed and rolled around on the couch and bed with joy raging within this little body.

This is further proof of the success of the feeding operation!!!!

I think the strongest thing I can do is to continue to succeed in this way.

But at the end of the day, it just makes me happy when someone says they like what I’m making.

I’m not sure if it’s the chef’s dream, or if it’s just rewarding.

I’m glad that my efforts to make sure the people I love eat good food have been properly communicated and accepted as I expected.

…because it means that it’s not a one-way street.

I think I’m so happy that I don’t know what to do.

His Highness is a difficult person to understand, but sometimes he gives me this kind of compliment in a very straightforward way. That makes me really happy. I can’t get used to it, no matter how many times it’s said to me, I can’t get used to it and I can’t help it.

I hugged His Highness tightly, not wanting to show my disgraceful, loosening face.

At first I was hesitant, but then the comfort of his hands gently stroking my back as if it was a matter of course was of no help to it, and before I knew it, I was slowly falling asleep.


T/N: I love their dynamic!!

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