"To think that extraordinary presence was you all along, Eda."
"Ehehe. There's another extraordinary person over there though."
Eda pointed her finger in a direction, but no one was there. At least not in Norma's eyes.
"Is someone there?"
As if responding to Heles's words, a skinny man wrapped in a dark brown mantle showed up from the shadow and bowed at Norma.
"Oh it's you Reis. Were you hiding yourself?"
"Do pardon me. It is an order from the marquis."
"Norma. This is a mage from our house, Reis. Forgive him for his impoliteness."
"Hahaha. There is no way they would let you go alone. It's only natural."
"Is the other person there a guard. He looks quite to be a skilled one."
"May I call him?"
As beckoned, Jinga got in the gazebo, and made a knight salute at Heles.
"I am Jinga Tauer."
"Jinga is a knight of Wazrof assigned to me, you see. He just got reinstated as a Chief Knight of Wazrof the other day."
"What. The Chief Knight of Wazrof? Uumu. No wonder."
Reis and Eda also introduced themselves. Reis called himself a mage who works as a minister's secretary, but Eda innocently saw through his real identity right away.
"Reis-san, you're a spy aren't you."
Heles sounded surprised.
(Looks like you can't expect this girl to keep a secret.)
"Is that true, Reis?"
"Yes. More like, you never figured it out until now?"
"I thought you were really good at erasing your presence."
"Much appreciated. By the way, you will be late if you don't get going soon."
"Oh, is it time already. I haven't talked quite enough yet. Norma, could you spare some time later."
"I would be very glad to."
Norma and Heles smiled at each other.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
The dine together was to be held on the first period of Needle Fish time.
The royal family's chefs and waiters were brought out of the <Snow Flower Arbor>, replaced by chefs and waiters dispatched by Marquis of Gido House. Marquis of Smarc is in charge of providing bodyguards. No mage can listen to the conversation from outside, no assassins can infiltrate the place no matter how good they are.
Norma and Heles were told that they could only bring one companion inside the dining room.
"Fumu. Findin. You will be coming with me."
Despite saying yes, Findin was awfully shocked. He thought she would bring Jinga there.
Yet, it was Findin who was named.
It's a sign of her trust and also her way to tell him to take note. Or perhaps, because this is a battle of wit, not brute force. At any rate, Findin is to be Norma's sole companion inside. It's his duty to protect Norma's life and well-being. Findin felt himself shook.
Norma brought Findin, while Heles brought Reis inside.
A big window is let open to afford a nice view.
The eldest son of Marquis of Gido, Solusgia Indole and the eldest son of Marquis of Smarc, Pentaros Fotos were already waiting inside the room. Both of them are standing up. Norma and Heles are on the taller side for women, yet Solusgia's and Pentaros's statures dwarfed even theirs.
The two made a very formal greetings to lady. Heles and Norma got three step close and bowed next to each other. Norma made a lady greeting, Heles made a knight salute. It's like they were in one breath, looking picturesque.
The four took their seats after introducing themselves.
The table for four is a snug fit.
Two men on one side, and two women on the other side.
Norma sat on the left.
Norma is facing Pentaros Fotos, while Heles is facing Solusgia Indole.
Her heart had a mysterious stir when she looked at Pentaros. He looks like Lecan.
Pentaros is a slender tall man, with steel-like forged muscles, the very figure of masculinity. His red short hair is let unfurled as if it's blown in the air. He's got a sharp gaze, like a bird of prey surveying the meadow from a height.
On the other hand, Solusgia is solidly built man with a composed conduct. However, a military man aura is drifting off him, even a layman like Norma can tell he's quite skilled.
Pentaros and Solusgia are staring hard at Norma and Heles without even trying to hide it.
Norma and Heles took on their stares without getting shy, calmly measuring the two.
That's weird, thought Norma.
Marquis of Gido and Marquis of Smarc were on the side of being lied to about the death of a royal princess they proposed to. A long time has passed since then, but there's no telling if time has whittled down their grudge. It might have grown more intense even. Norma believed that rage was a motivation behind all this debacle.
Yet, she could not feel anger in the two men's gazes. On the contrary, they had this romantic look like they finally got to meet the woman they had been yearning for.
It was Pentaros who broke the silence.
"Oy, Solus. You speak."
"Hm? Ah yes, allow me."