Pentaros burst out laughing.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's damn good. You're amazing. I like how you shut down that slimy raccoon PM."
Then Pentaros suddenly put on a serious look.
"<Crimson Blade Lady Nicola> was a master of swords, but it was her resourcefulness that was truly tremendous. As a matter of fact, <Pirate King> could only able to amass power in one generation thanks to Nicola. Now is exactly the time for our Nicola."
Pentaros swiftly left his chair, moved next to Norma and knelt down.
"I've fallen for you!"
"I'm completely taken by Your beauty, character and wisdom!"
"Please become my Nicola."
Is this really a marriage proposal.
Perhaps it's some kind of idiomatic ways to propose.
He's pretty much telling her to take his head here.
But this is likely the highest form of courting in their sense.
Even Norma froze up unable to react to this, and this time Solusgia knelt down before Heles.
"My <Crimson Blade Lady> can only be you. Lady Heles, be my legal wife."
Solusgia also proposed to Heles.
Perhaps these two had made an arrangement beforehand. Discussing which to marry whom.
No, that's not it. Probably not it.
But thinking again, Pentaros is 30, Norma is 27. Solusgia is 26 and Heles is 22. This matching is only natural.
Thus how Pentaros sat in front of Norma while Solusgia took the seat before Heles.
But these men probably didn't decide anything further than that. Everything after that would be up to their own sensibilities. Meaning, Pentaros came to take fancy on Norma, while Solusgia on Heles during their conversation. Goodness gracious. Who'd think it'd come to this.
Norma is confident in her lack of charm. Thus she never thought this whole thing would go in this direction.
Pentaros moved his knees to get closer to Norma and took her right hand.
Norma gently, but resolutely brushed that hand aside.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Norma felt a shiver the moment Pentaros took her hand.
This was weird. As a matter of fact, Norma did not come to hate Pentaros in this dine together. In fact, she even had a good impression on his character.
Yet, she felt abhorred when he touched her. This was Norma's thought then.
(I'd rather die than let other men besides Lecan touch me.)
Even Norma found it surprising she could hold such an intense emotion. However, Norma has a perfect grasp of her own feeling due to this. No one but Lecan should be her husband. She won't marry anyone else if that does not come true.
Just realizing that alone made this marriage interview worth it.
She looked at Heles.
Wonder how her cousin would react. Marrying into a powerful marquis house and having control over rowdy men of the sea might surprisingly fit this lady knight.
Heles stared at Solusgia and spoke.
"I have heard about this tradition called Courtship Duel that exist in harbor towns."
"Y-yeah. That tradition exists. <Crimson Blade Lady Nicola> told Daros he could marry her only if he won against her in a duel. Daros would then keep on challenging her over and over again before finally snatching a miraculous victory, making Nicola into his wife. And that became a custom."
"I don't want to marry a man weaker than me."
Solusgia's eyes opened wide. Shining with joy. His gaze has gotten dangerously close to worship even.
"I grant you a chance to challenge me in a duel to take me as your wife."
"I humbly accept!"
Solusgia made an exaggerated bow.
"I shall be yours if you prevail against me. But in the event that you lose, you are to never bring this matter up anymore!"
"Ma'am! Oh what honor. What joy. My lady, I shall surely make the blooming flower of Transhe become mine by way of my sword."
Everything about this is weird.
Is what's occurring before Norma's eyes truly how a courtship between nobles performed?
There was some part in Norma's heart that yearned for courtship rituals. She was aware that would never apply to her, but she imagined how there must be some truly romantic courtships out there in the world.
But what's going on before her looks like the very picture of a duel challenge instead.
How'd it come to this.
Reis is face palming behind lady Heles. Did he predict this flow of event. Probably not.
"Lady Norma! Will you answer my proposal!"
(Ah, right I'm getting proposed too over here.)
Norma turned to look at Pentaros.
Something flashed in her mind.
Norma smiled joyfully and asked Pentaros.
"Pentaros-sama. Can this courtship duel be done by proxies?"
"Ou! 'Course it can. So long as the other party agreed to it. However, the proxy must be either a retainer or a relative. In other word, you cannot borrow some strong knight from another house or hire a strong adventurer with money. And if one side sends a proxy, the other side will also send a proxy."
"Either a retainer or a relative."
"Then I would also like to do this courtship duel. If your proxy can win against my proxy, I shall be your wife. If my proxy wins, please think of it as the end of the line for our relationship. We will never see each other again."
"What a wonderful proposal."
Norma has predicted how Pentaros would act after this. She's also made a sound prediction on the prime minister's moves.
And with this, Norma will get her hands on her wish.