It was not immediately clear whether the separation between Diana and Harmonia was successful. I decided to wait with a relaxed mind.
And while waiting for the result, a call finally came from Helios.
“He thought about it for a long time. Hmm….”
I laughed cynically as I opened the envelope bearing the crown prince’s seal.
The contents of the letter were simple. To enter the palace and see the crown prince. It was not clear exactly how Helios made up his mind.
But that’s a pretty good sign. I avoided the worst.
There was no reason to hesitate, so I immediately prepared myself and headed to the palace.
“I see the noble little sun of the empire.”
Somehow Helios doesn’t ask me to omit the etiquette.
It’s a big deal. Have you changed your mind?
I raised my head quietly as ordered and waited for Helios’ words in an expressionless manner.
Even in the midst of all this, he’s really annoyingly handsome. Black hair with slightly sunken golden eyes. He looks like a sculpture, so it’s at least forgiving.
Helios also did not show much emotion on the surface either.
“Last time, I had a private meeting with your husband.”
It reminded me of him who passed by in the villa at the time. A cold-faced man.
Helios asked, raising his chin.
“You’ve heard a rough story from Kaelus, haven’t you?”
“I didn’t hear the details. But I thought you might be struggling with my future.”
I answered in a calm tone, looking down.
A snortful voice was heard.
“Well, you’re quite sensible, though.”
What? I thought something changed, but it’s the same. I was worried for no reason.
Helios rose from his sitting position. I strolled through the room and opened my mouth.
“In the meantime, you have not delivered many prophecies.”
I’m embarrassed for some reason. It was a countable number of times in one hand, so honestly, I can’t deny it.
Still, the ensuing words were quite understandable.
“But each and every one of them was very important enough to determine the fate of this empire. And it was accurate.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
It’s a good thing to hear, but I calm down myself so that I don’t get excited.
In fact, I appreciate that the events before and after regression have not changed much since I don’t really have prophecies.
Therefore, this is not a compliment obtained by my own ability.
Helios was right in front of me before I knew it.
“…I can’t help but admit it anyway. I need your ability.”
“I appreciate it, your grace.”
I kept looking down to avoid eye contact with him.
I heard something similar to snorting somewhere.
“Aren’t you glad, Hestia? In that I can’t help but need you after all.”
It’s a sarcastic tone, but Helios’ feelings were slightly real in it.
A sense of defeat and some sort of resignation.
I raised my head. And I looked at him with a calm face.
“The reason I’m happy is that I can continue to support you in the future. At the same time, it’s bitter because….”
I deliberately trailed the ending of my words. Nevertheless, Helios waited for my words without worrying.
When I look at this, I wonder if things have changed a bit. I have no idea. Normally, I would’ve caught something.
Anyway, I went on.
“Your Highness seems to be at a crossroads of choice, and even a servant can see that you are worried.”
Helios was just quiet.
Of course, unlike as I said, I’m never really sorry for him. Rather, I feel like I want to cheer because my wishes have come true.
It’s just a little strange. It’s supposed to be Helios that’s annoying. Strangely, however, he is being modest.
It can’t be helped. If I want a taste of his true heart, I have to go in first.
Let’s ask boldly.
“Have you spoken to her highness, the crown princess?”
“Before that, I will order you as your superior and crown prince of this empire. Tell me everything you talked about with Diana the other day–without a falsehood.”
Helios’ voice was like a cool, sharpened blade.
But there was more relief than fear. Because everything is going the way I want it to.
Alright, Helios. I’d be happy to follow your order. A promise with Diana to keep a secret? To me, that’s lighter than dust flying in the air.
I lowered myself as much as I could.
“I will faithfully obey your orders. But first, I have to apologize to you.”
The cool gold was distorted for a moment.
“The truth is, the prophecy that should only be given to the crown prince…… I have informed her majesty the crown princess.”
A sound of embarrassment and anger at the same time.
Before the rebuke poured out, I quickly bowed my head deeply.
“This is the prophecy I told the holy princess. In the next two years, the healing power of her highness will be completely gone, your highness the crown prince.”
Helios literally hardened like ice. Ah! The joy that spreads through my heart!
“…If you’re lying, I’ll blow your head off.”
“It’s not a lie, your grace.”
It’s definitely a threat, but what if I’m not scared at all?
I knelt at his feet and fell flat on my face.
“Her highness had ordered me to remain silent, saying that she will tell the crown prince herself. How could I, the humble one, violate her majesty’s orders?”
“Forgive me, Your Grace. Between my responsibilities as an aide and my compassion for her highness, I have put my heart first….”
Listen, Helios. I don’t hate Diana. I was rather considerate of Diana’s position!
A saint who has lost her healing power, what will happen to her? Helios, you can see it clearly. You want to keep her secret, too. Don’t you?
I mean, I’m not a villain. Do you understand?
Acold but muted tone. I smiled inwardly.
“Yes, your highness,”
“Is that why? The reason why you asked about the condition of the illness.”
“…I’m apologize, your highness.”
“I see. So….”
A giggle of laughter inside. I’m not laughing because it’s funny. I’m laughing because it’s too much to stop.
Soon there was a hard voice.
I picked myself up carefully.
Without a word, I waited for Helios’ next words. I laughed inside. There’s nothing special about the original couple who can’t live and die.
His way of speaking had become quite plain.
“…Diana was not born with healing power from the beginning.”
“Yes, I know.”
The background of Diana’s healing power in the original work was explained in only one line.
As a child, Diana, who witnessed the miserable lives of the poor, prayed hard to God and one day she suddenly became capable. The original novel did not give any reason why only Dianna was given this power.
If you insist, isn’t it just because she’s the heroine of the novel?
I spoke with a grain of salt.
“It is God’s will to take it back, for it is God’s power. Like a man is born and dies.”
Helios did not answer back.
At the same time, I had a lot of thoughts. In a way, I am in the same boat as Diana. One day, I woke up and found myself in a novel. So if I close my eyes one day and open them, I may go back.
But Helios’ next words made my heart ache.
“Then your prophecies?”
He’s so sharp. I shouldn’t let my guard down until the end.
“Yes, one day my ability will be like that.”
“Well, that’s fair.”
Not really. Because I’m not as capable as Diana.
I don’t have a superpower. I just know a little more than people in this world.
I’m an icebreaker who came into the book and a regressor who went back to the past.
So what I lose is not ‘ability’.
It’s life in this world.
I asked, looking at his countenance.
“Well, your highness, the crown prince. From now on… What would you do?”
Helios’ sighs revealed a complicated plan.
“First of all, we’ll have to wait….”
I can’t help but applaud his willingness to trust his beloved wife.
Lonesome golden eyes turned to me.
“That day, he used honorifics from beginning to end.”
That day. Is he talking about the time he had a private meeting at the villa?
I held back my laughter.
“It’s only natural when he’s out there under orders, your highness.”
“Is that so?”
He also muttered resignedly.
I looked at him expressionless.
That’s how he cut off the old friendship that was left behind. If you wanted to restore your relationship with Kaelus, you made a big mistake, Helios.
“I thought it would work out somehow if I faced him again….”
I clicked my tongue inside. What a simple thought.
Helios turned to me.
“I will retain your position as an aide. Keep helping me with that ability.”
“Yes, as long as my abilities remain, I will accept with grace.”
There is always no lie in what I say.
I repeated, bending over politely.
On the days I met Helios, I always visited Kaelus and spoke to him.
On this day, I visited his room without fail.
“I’m back, Kaelus.”
Kaelus put down the document he was looking at and looked at me.
“You must be tired.”
I replied in a light tone.
I sat facing him.
“To start, I’m going to keep my job as an aide.”
“And I told the crown prince that the power of the holy princess would soon disappear. He ordered me not to remain silent.”
Well, in fact, I was going to tell him out even if Helios didn’t order it, but it gave me a good excuse. Good for me.
“Then there’s nothing we can do.”
Kaelus replied calmly.
I laughed bitterly.
“The crown prince was disappointed. You used honorifics the whole time.”
There was cynicism around Kaelus’ mouth.
Of course, he wouldn’t be very close to Helios. Even though Diana caused the two to fall apart, it didn’t mean that Helios’ fundamental values or humanity were taken apart.
So he just quit being a friend, and the role as Helios’ loyal servant will continue.
I don’t want to force ‘revenge’ on Kaelus.
Sometimes it’s too much to even sharpen a knife at someone. At a time when it’s hard to keep your head down.
But when I want to sharpen the knife instead, I need to ask him for permission.
Purple eyes like jewels turned to me.
“I have an important prophecy. This is something you must know in advance.”
I took a quiet deep breath.
“Remember when we predicted a border provocation to the crown prince a few months ago?”
“Of course. I thought it was a band of bandits, but it was actually an enemy army.”
As expected, my favorite memory.
Anyway, Helios realized the usefulness of my ability and came to meet me as a marquis. That day I asked him for the estate of the dead Duke Orcus and his title.
I made a serious face.
“The provocation will not end with that. The second one is more serious than that.”
Kaelus’ eyes also changed sharply.
“You have to step up before it goes to war. There’s no one in this empire who can solve it diplomatically besides you.”
He shut his mouth.
When the armed conflict broke out with the neighboring country before the return, the emperor regretted the absence of Kaelus, who had died. Not only the emperor, but also the entire aristocratic society felt the same way.
At that time, Helios prevented the war by allowing enemy merchants to do business on imperial territory for free. It was a disappointing result for the empire in many ways.
So what about now that Kaelus is alive?
“What the enemy covets is the economic power of the empire. I’m sure they’re trying to get their merchants into the empire.”
“It’s been like that for a long time now. They were always envious of the wealth of the empire.”
Kaelus nodded knowingly.
In the past, when he died, everyone said in unison, ‘If only he were alive.’ Helios, however hard he tried, was not as diplomatic as Kaelus. Though he could never be called incompetent.
I snuck out Helios’ answers before returning.
“The enemy will demand free business rights for their merchants in exchange for not going to war.”
Kaelus said flatly.
Before regression, I had no choice but to listen to the nonsense. It was because war was already imminent.
There were, of course, several signs before that. However, struggling with the aristocratic forces, which became strained by the Diana issue, Helios (the emperor was ill in bed and he virtually acted as emperor) did not catch the signs in time.
In the end, the empire had no choice but to negotiate in near humiliation.
I tilted my head slightly and asked back.
“But are there any other options besides that? Or should I prepare?”
“We’ve dealt with the guys who were snooping around the border the other day, so we probably haven’t got the details yet. It’s enough to show you how to prepare.”
Kaelus answered firmly.
He is right, indeed. Before the return, I knew that the provocation of the border was just a bandit’s act, but I realized it belatedly, but this time, I blocked it with the “prophecy” in advance, so I lost less information and bought time.
I smiled at Kaelus.
“Please protect this empire, Kaelus.”
Save this country with your own hands. And get a duke title.
Then be a huge pillar that no one can replace, and live proudly in front of your betraying old friend and first love.
Don’t let this country go without you, and even the great heroes will have to bow to you.
I’ll make it for you.
I grabbed Kaelus’ white finger with all my heart.
On the raised finger, I kissed it as if I had sworn.
Kaelus looked at me with his hands in his in silence.
It’s okay to be relieved.
I won’t let go of this hand until the end.
After Helios’ reappointment, some time has passed.
One sunny day, I came out to the garden for the first time in a while and opened a pile of letters to me one by one.
“Is this from Madam Harmonia…….”
I was also curious about how the work between the two was done, so I opened the envelope with a feeling of excitement.
There was no mention of an outright confrontation with Diana. However, she did not speak of unconditional trust as before.
An expression that is plain and objective and therefore feels rather distant.
“Well, that’s not bad.”
It is not easy to suddenly split the two without a special occasion. Maybe it’s better to get a little farther away bit by bit like this.
That way, I won’t get caught throwing bait in the middle.
I hummed slightly and opened the next letter.
“This time, is it Erinnis….”
It was not long ago that she complained that it was difficult to get a seat next to Diana. I had told her to take in aristocratic ladies around Diana.
Let’s see if it’s going well.
As expected, Erinnis is first in terms of experience. Diana would never do as well as she does.
Diana always emphasized ‘living well’ and ‘living right’ to the people around her. There was no exception to the children of a close aristocrat.
It was always reminded that there are people who do not live in comfort and tranquility without shortage. Along with that, she blamed them for seeing justice and absurdity but not acting immediately.
“Tsk, this is why you’re stupid, Diana.”
She’s probably thinking that she’s given a very sharp reprimand. And she will praise herself. ‘I’m doing enough. I’m setting an example by what I’m saying.’
Erinnis effectively targeted young ladies who were infinitely intimidated by Diana’s ‘one-shot.’
According to the letter, once she said to the young ladies, ‘You have done nothing wrong.’ And it was pointed out that Diana was not aware of their world, which she had lived as a commoner all her life.
A person is more attracted to warm empathy than to preaching at the top of their head, no matter how good they are psychologically speaking. Erinnis’ strategy was very outstanding in this regard.
Of course, Diana sympathized well with the common people’s situation. But that was not the case for the aristocracy.
The important thing she’s overlooking is that the aristocratic class are also people who are the same as the commoners who have nothing.
I picked up my pen pleasantly and wrote back.
“I must admire the skill of the countess…. You’ve captured the souls of the young, and it’s not far off…”
When Diana came to her senses belatedly, she would have already lost all her aristocratic friends.
There is no aristocrat who is afraid of the lonely crown princess. It is not as simple as it sounds to press on by yourself, because they’ll have to deal with the consequences on their own.
“Well, is it enough for Diana to have commoners? Maybe she doesn’t care about the aristocracy.”
Mumbling to myself, I picked up the next letter. Finally, the last one.
“Oh, Helen sent it!”
Helen and Pollux. They are siblings who went to Illion to advertise soap.
I wonder if it’s going well. I opened the letter paper quickly with curiosity.
The soap prototype that Kaelus and I finally inspected was quickly produced by the craftsman and his apprentices.
I didn’t insist on monopolizing the recipe from the marquis. In fact, my wish was the opposite. I hoped that the recipe would spread to as many people as possible if they could use the low-end soap.
Regardless of the recipe, the soap was slowly spreading to Illion thanks to the two siblings models. Helen wrote in the letter that the scene and lines of using soap in the play were well received.
It’s only a matter of time before soap becomes popular in the Illion estate. At the same time, the incidence of diseases will be greatly reduced. That would also reduce the number of people visiting the temple.
And when people move away from the temple, the power of the temple is dampened.
“What will you do, Diana?”
My voice asking alone naturally reflected joy.
How far do we have to hold her down to kneel down? Now that everything is going well, this is what I’m worried about.