“As expected, it’s different when actually seeing it.”
Many participants had already arrived at the party hall. Though everyone had dressed up, it was interesting to be able to know who was an adventurer and who was not.
“There are various impressions at the party held by nobles.”
“That’s how it is, huh?”
Though he only knew about noble’s parties and such from movies and anime, Schnee seemed to be used to it, perhaps that’s to be expected.
There were many people who paid attention to new arrivals as they appeared one after the other. When Shadow and Holly appeared, the watchers focused their attention on the two. Hibineko and Kaede got similar treatment when they appeared following them.
“…Uu, they’re watching us!!”
“Well, I guess so.”
“Shin is the center of attention, right?”
“While you say that, I feel that most of the attention went to Schnee and Tiera though..”
The ratio of attention was 50% on Schnee, 30% on Tiera, 10% on Shin and 10% on Yuzuha. Furthermore, the eyes glaring at Shin were mostly the envious eyes of the men.
(The mood was darker than the time in the guild.)
Shin had experienced what was called the “I ENVY this bastard!” stare in the guild, in some respects it was a neat feeling. He was feeling a large amount of the same kind of feeling again coiling around him.
Besides the eyes of jealousy, though it was not much, he was able to feel the eyes of respect and observation. His achievements in the battlefield would be helpful proof for the time being.
It was only natural that most of the attention was directed towards Schnee. If Shin had been in their shoes, it was certain that he would have reacted the same way.
While leaving her left arm entwined with Shin’s right arm, she swayed in a way that matched her walking; It seemed to be like a mother leading a child or something to that effect. Compared to the somewhat awkward Shin, she didn’t mind the gazes at all and behaved gracefully.
Unlike Schnee, it seemed that all the attention was difficult for Tiera. Tiera clung to Shin’s arm, as she shrank away from the crowd’s gaze. The situation wasn’t comfortable for her because she was still not very good with crowds of people. At first, her eyes sparkled as she showed great interest in the new surroundings when they were initially entering the hall, but now her eyes had become dull with discomfort.
While trying to ignore the happy sensation touching his arm, Shin walked in a way that shielded Tiera from the eyes of male group observers. Schnee too cooperated with Shadow and Holly by making a wall, as they walked toward to the hall.
Then, they noticed a commotion which seemed to be happening at the entrance of the hall.
From the discussions they heard around them, they learned that Rionne had entered the party hall.
Even though the party had a large attendance and many invited guests, due to the hall being wide enough, from where they were standing they could just about identify Rionne’s presence through the gap in the crowd. Rionne was dressed in a crimson dress with her hair tied up in a knot at the back of her head leaving a free length of her hair hanging down. She advanced through the hall with the dignified pace of royalty.
Shin watching Rionne, had a feeling that she had glanced over at him for a moment. Having an unpleasant premonition, he pulled Schnee and Tiera’s arm and began to move away.
“Eh, what’s the matter, Shin?”
“It’s the second princess of Bayreuth. You know, the one who was transferred with me..”
“So? You don’t need to run away.”
“…Shin, did something happen between you and her?”
Tiera wasn’t feeling any need to move replied to Shin’s words, and Schnee paused for a moment before asking Shin a question.
“Ahh…well, she was very interested in things like 『Kakura』 and my magic and other things. The talk of engagement in order to make me attached to the country seeming very…possible. Because of that, the ‘approach’ which I wasn’t sure was serious or joking…happened.”
Schnee still seemed to be smiling but, Shin felt a slightly overpowering feeling from her. Eye’s swimming, without any hesitation, he confessed all things that happened during their journey. His arm was then pulled as if she wouldn’t ever let it go, and a very happy sensation surged on his right arm.
He was absolutely baffled about what kind of expression he should be making right then.
“She had ‘approached’ you, right?”
“No, of course I refuse her, for real!?”
And then, Rionne’s presence approached while they having such an exchange. Shin’s vain struggle seemed only up to here.
“It’s been a long time, Shin. Why did you run away after making eye contact?”
When Shin turned around to look at the source of the voice, he saw Rionne standing there with a nice smile on her face.
Rionne talked to Shin casually. In the same manner as during their journey from Kalkia. Since she had put aside her royal behavior, her friendliness had increased as well.
Shin hadn’t seen her clearly from the glimpse through the crowd. A close up view though, revealed that Rionne’s dress exposed more bare skin than Schnee and Tiera. Her back and shoulders were completely exposed, while in the front she showed a deep cleavage, there was also a deep slit in her skirt. Was she aware of the change? The gallant and somewhat manly appearance she wore while on the battlefield was completely gone. Instead she was now displaying the feminine appeal of a woman.
“My companion isn’t very good with crowds. Being around Rionne-sama would simply attract too much attention.”
“Muu! Why are you talking to me like a stranger, Shin?”
“Because we’re being watched from all sides after all.”
While having a hard time not to stare at her cleavage and the slit in her skirt, Shin looked at Rionne’s eyes when he spoke.
‘Can a princess be over-familiar in a public place?’ He also included the meaning when he said so.
“I don’t mind it.”
‘Forgive me’ should be written on Shin’s face.
Did she read that? Rionne shrugged her shoulders as if to say it couldn’t be helped.
“Well, it’s fine. We can only have empty conversations out here anyway. Putting that aside, shouldn’t you introduce the two flowers on both of your arms? Oh, as you’ve probably heard from Shin, I’m Rionne Strail Bayreuth. I’m the second princess of Bayreuth Kingdom.”
Rionne seemed to be interested in Schnee and Tiera who were on Shin’s right and left side, because her gaze kept shifting left to right.
“Pardon my rudeness. These are my fiancée’s, on my right is Yuki and on my left is Tiera.”
To forestall any awkward questions, because it would have seemed odd if only Schnee was called fiancée but both women were hanging off his arms, they decided earlier that both of them would be identified as fiancées.
“It’s my first time meeting you. I am called Yuki.”
“Um, a-and I’m Tiera Lucent”
Schnee introduce herself gracefully, but Tiera’s tone was strained due to her nervousness. When the word fiancée was spoken, Rionne narrowed her eyes a little.
“I’d heard that you had a fiancée, but I didn’t expect that she’s an elf. Well, if it’s a man like Shin, it’s natural isn’t it?”
“Well, a lot of things happened.”
While Rionne had been surprised that they were elves, she quickly returned to normal. She nodded as if she understood immediately.
(In this world, is polygamy considered normal for an upper class Chosen One?)
Even if Rionne had been surprised that his fiancées were elves, she didn’t seem surprised at the fact he had two fiancées. As far as Shin knew, none of his acquaintances had multiple wives. Still, his knowledge of the world was still too small to be of much use as a reference.
“They made it here pretty quickly. They had originally been in Bayreuth, weren’t they?”
“I can’t go into details but there are methods to travel quickly.”
“Ho, Shin surely surrounds himself with interesting people. I want Shin to become my country’s exclusive asset after all. Of course, I’ll be willing to pay.”
Rionne change her posture in order to make Shin more conscious of her own assets.
“That won’t be possible. Rionne-sama.”
Shin who saw in Rionne, the eyes of the hunter aimed for their prey, looked for some way to decline without being rude or impolite. However, Shin was interrupted by Schnee who stepped forward.
“What do you mean by that?”
“If Rionne-sama saw a portion of Shin’s power, I think you can understand why it’s impossible without me having to express it in words, right?”
Though Schnee and Rionne were smiling at each other, Shin thought he saw sparks flying between them.
As the abrupt situation unfolded, Shin was barely able to keep his poker face.
“Well er, Yuki..san?”
“If you’ve seen his power, I think you would want it more, right?”
“But, that is for Shin to decide. Besides, did you hear the strange story that happened between us?”
Shin’s comment was ignored.
Apparently, neither one was willing to give up when the topic was related to engagement.
Shin could only watch the exchange between Schnee and Rionne. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do in this situation.
“Yuki-san and Rionne-sama, how about we shelve this for now? Because this is a party to celebrate victory, it’s not really a suitable place for this kind of discussion.”
While glaring at each other with smiling faces, the one who skillfully separated the two was Tiera.
Where did the cowering Tiera go? With her back straight and a faint smile, she seemed completely unlike the normal Tiera.
“Yes. Tiera is right. I am sorry, Rionne-sama.”
“No, I was also being impolite in front of the fiancées. Please forgive me.”
At Tiera’s words, which carried a sense of authority, the two pulled back the dangerous air they were emitting.
“Well then, there are people here I still need to greet. I have to do it before it’s too late. Let’s meet again later”
Though the party hadn’t really started yet, there seemed to be lots of people she still had to say hello to as her royal duty. In addition to the adventurers who had achieved victory in the war, many of Balmel’s nobility and wealthy merchants like Berett were also attending. There were many other people running around trying to make connections like Rionne.
“No well… because your moods were somewhat different from usual. Well that’s good. I’m at fault, but you save me the trouble.”
“Not really, it’s not a big deal. Now, let’s go eat a lot of delicious food!”
“You are..right. Enjoy yourself huh?”
Tiera who had a vague lonely expression on her face, gave out a small sigh in order to get over something. However, that was immediately dismissed with cheerfulness as she turned her attention to the lined up foods.
Though Shin was worried about her state, he hesitated to mention it here. He replied to her as natural as possible.
“Oh, it’s the appearance of the organizer, huh?”
In a timely manner, Taul appeared.
After the speech where he mentioned how glad he was that there were few casualties and that the war ended safely, voices for a toast echoed.
After that, the party hall became filled with sound and tumult. Everyone seemed to enjoy the party in their own way.
Elgin and other captains who participated in the war came over to where Shin and his party were gathered to greet them. Though they had invited them over to the knight squadron, they seemed to think it was natural that the invitation was declined. The invitation was simply a formality they had to make as a matter of course.
When the busy Elgin left for a round of courtesy calls, Guile came over next.
“Yo! You also co…Shin, come here for a bit”
Contrary to the Shin’s expectation that this should have been a casual greeting, Guile beckoned with his hand and took him aside. Since the two adventurers had both trained together, they were already on quite friendly terms.
“Oioi! Who are those two beauties? They are clearly on another level from the other women around here.”
“Ah, how should I say this, they’re my wife candidates?”
“What…do…you…say? Uh, Shin, how on earth did you get two elven beauties?! Teach me! No, please teach me!!”
Guile asked for a guidance after having stiffened with “I couldn’t believe it” expression. His expression changed completely. The last part was a little strange for his tone.
“Well… First you make a party together. After you’ve proven that you’re a reliable partner, you can then give her nice presents. It’s also effective if you devote yourself wholeheartedly to protect her in a pinch.”
While worrying that Guile was about to have a nervous breakdown, Shin enumerated the methods to raised favorability from the support characters in the game. Because he wasn’t particularly confident that the methods he used in the game would be effective here, he didn’t emphasize it too strongly.
“I understand about helping her in a pinch but that would be a problem if there’s no pinch at the very beginning. Then, it will be the presents, huh? Do they have to be expensive?”
“You’ve got it. I think it’s alright if the present is something plant related for now. Then, she would probably be pleased with a precious stone which sometimes falls near the big tree. Wait, do you like elves that much?”
Shin asked Guile. Since he was so curious about elf-related information, Shin thought that perhaps there was already a woman he was aiming for.
“Yea, to tell you the truth, there is an elf woman I’ve wanted to get closer to for some time. The problem is that elves coming out from the garden are very wary. Even though I’m a Chosen One, I’ve only been able to watch her from afar.”
“Is that so? Well, good luck.”
“Yea. I’ll introduce you sometime.”
“I look forward it….Hey, where are you going?”
Guile had a look of determination on his face as he moved to leave the party hall. Was he going to search for a present right away?
Shin thought this might be a bad idea, so he stopped him. Leaving less than 30 minutes after the special victory celebration started, wouldn’t be good, even for a Chosen One.
“Geez, this guy is always the same, when he finds something he’s interested in, his character completely changes.”
Careless of his hairstyle, Liege gripped Guile’s head and pulled it towards her. Though Guile resisted, he was just a mage and wasn’t a match for a magic swordswoman like Liege.
“Really? I guess I’ve changed too. Did you make the round of courtesy calls over there as well?”
“More or less, you know I don’t like all this formal stuff.”
What Liege displayed was a splendid iron claw, such an action was unbefitting of the figure that dressed in a deep red dress that attracted the neighboring eyes. More than Rionne, Liege’s strength was her voluptuousness.
“Even so, Shin is accompanied by some wonderful beauties too isn’t he? It made me lose some self-confidence as a woman”
“Well, anyone who see’s them say the same things, because it’s the truth!”
After they were called beautiful, Shin agreed without a hint of modesty.
“It’s a pretty refreshing feeling, when you put it that way.”
“I agree with that. But let me go!”
Guile escaped from Liege’s grasp and stood up. Because his head had been tightly gripped, his hairstyle was ruined.
“If I hadn’t grabbed you, you’d have tried to go home. There are still more places we have to go and people we need to greet. Let’s go!”
“Damn this animal strength! Let me go!”
While having an exchange like that between siblings, Liege waved her hand lightly and disappeared together with Guile in the crowd.
After that, many people continued to meet Shin. When the time was right, he moved to the terrace together with Schnee and Tiera. Though there were still many who wanted to meet them, they excused themselves and took a break.
“*Sigh* I’m tired. And this is only for being a Chosen One.”
“If it becomes known that you’re also a letter of introduction holder, there will be many more as well.”
“If it comes to that, I’ll escape.”
“Though as a Chosen One, you exposed the letter of introduction by yourself. Things will still be fine even if you don’t reveal the letter of introduction, right?”
“Argh, I-It is certainly better to just be a Chosen One…but I didn’t think that the guild would notify everyone so quickly.”
Besides the problems on how to prove himself, his knowledge about the term Chosen One were limited. After a long time, Shin thought whether or not revealing himself as a letter of introduction holder was hasty, but the damage has been done.
“Well it’s fine I guess. Since they’re Barlux-san’s acquaintances, it’s unlikely that they’ll leak the information easily. For the time being everything is good, because the city is safe once more.”
Even Shin wasn’t perfect.
They put aside the difficult discussion and decided to enjoy the rest of the party.