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After the Feast 1
Almost around midnight, three females and a male were gathered secretly in a room in the feudal lord’s mansion.
「Well, I have finished setting up the anti-intelligence magic, so let’s organize the information that everyone has gathered. 」
The room is dim as only a little lighting was used, but it didn’t concern them, they were sitting on the sofa in a relaxed manner and Falsa was dividing the space.
Even though it was already late at night, he still seems to be acting as Falsa.
Palmina sat on the left of Falsa, her feet closed and her hands on her lap, smiling as usual.
And, Julia who sat face-to-face with Falsa was jumping up and down to check the feel of the fluffy sofa and Zenobia who is sitting diagonally to him had her arms folded and eyes closed.
They were dressed in black robes, nuns dress, leather jacket and hot pants, and Armor for battle respectively.
And in Julia’s ears and on Zenobia’s hair, the silvery shining ornaments, which they had put on for the banquet, were secretly asserting their existence.
「 By the way, Fal-Ani’s magic invocation is as fast as ever. I thought about it when I was in the courtyard too, how often have you been using Anti-intelligence magic. Is there something that you are guilty of and don’t want us to hear? 」
Anti-intelligence magic, as its name suggests, magic used to prevent others from listening to one’s conversation.
Voice is sound, the sound is sound waves—waves travel through the air—, the true nature of this magic is that it creates a disturbance in the waveform itself and absorbs a large part of the sound—or more precisely the magic affects a substance by drastically increasing its attenuation coefficient.1
In plain language, it is a magic spell that creates a sound-proof space anywhere.
Falsa had invoked it onto the walls in every side of the room, as well as to the floor and ceiling, to be fully prepared for the current meeting.
The room is more like an anechoic chamber or a soundproof room and the four of them were surrounded by a unique sense of floating.
「I don’t have anything ……… that I am guilty about. I just use it frequently for work. I think Julia should know that as well, right? 」
Falsa responds with a little joke to Julia’s questioning.
As far as the invocation of magic is concerned, it is commonly accepted fact among the modern-day mages that it gradually becomes faster with repeated use of a magic earnestly.
Originally, it is common to take time while chanting to refine a magic like the time with the Orc subjugation, when Falsa took time to chant–actually acted –the Flame Magic.
However, naturally, there is no reason to wait patiently for the magic to be refined while facing an enemy, and those who are famous Mages tend to emphasize the speed of invocation.
Of course, the more large-scale the magic is, the more time it takes and each of them is increasing the invocation speed of the magic they are good at.
And as an imperial court mage or even as noble’s retained mage, it is essential to master anti-intelligence magic, as it is used not only for inter-country meetings but also for many important occasions such as confidential conversations between royalty and nobles.
「 Ufufu, Julia-Chan, don’t bully Falsa-Kun too much. Indeed, Falsa-Kun is also at fault for giving presents to two girls at the same time, but let’s talk about work now. 」
Palmina’s remark froze the atmosphere in an instant, and silence took over the scene.
Julia inadvertently put her hand close to her ear to hide its presence, and Zenobia, with her arms folded, remained motionless… no, her knees trembled slightly, and a drop of sweat ran down her cheeks.
Falsa, who was facing towards Julia, also became solidified and was thinking about the best way to get through this situation.
「HUh? What’s wrong with the three of you? Don’t mind me, you can proceed with the talk. 」
Palmina, with her usual smile, leaned her head to the side with her forefinger on her chin.
This gesture is very cute and has a charm different from what Palmina shows herself to be in public, but for the other three people, this seems to be intimidating.
Julia and Zenobia are naturally aware of each other getting the earring and hair ornament—the barrette respectively.
It’s only natural to be very interested in seeing an ornament that one has never seen before, moreover, when it was especially worn at the banquet.
However, there was a tacit understanding among the party of one man and three women that no one would start a topic that would cause unnecessary feud among them, which caused a misunderstanding to be born.
Julia and Zenobia both had thought until a while ago that Palmina had received something from Falsa in the same way as them.
Palmina never shows a flippant attitude, always acting like a saint, smiling quietly even in a room without the eyes of others, reading the Bible or praying.
Therefore, Julia and Zenobia thought that even if she got something from Falsa, she would not expressively admire it in public, nor would she wear that the banquet, so although they were curious about her present, they didn’t probe deeply about it.
However, as far as they heard earlier from Palmina, Falsa gave nothing to her alone, so how on earth did Julia and Zenobia’s actions thus far look like?
Wasn’t it normal for her to think, that the two were boasting about the present from a man, which she didn’t receive?
「A-,nn-,nnn, Pa, Pal Mina-San, would you mind me making a small proposal before proceeding to talk about work?」
Falsa repeatedly cleared his throat, then turned towards his left to face Palmina and began to speak.
Falsa was the only one who would be able to hold the scene, with this thought Julia and Zenobia watched the two of them closely, while completely erasing their presence.
It seems that Zenobia, who is a first-class warrior, and Julia, who can be said to be her disciple, erased their presence perfectly and seemed like an object.
「Oh my, Falsa-Kun is speaking strangely. Are you nervous? 」
「That, since there’s such a pretty woman sitting next to me, it would be strange for a man not to be nervous. 」
It seems that Falsa has returned to his usual style, as words began to come out from his mouth with a jaunty rhythm.
With Palmina, Falsa believes that he can’t deceive her like Zenobia and Julia.
It’s not that Zenobia can’t use a certain degree of rhetoric from her experience as a Marquis’s daughter, but her pride and character as a knight hinder her, which doesn’t allow her fundamentals to be bent, and this inflexibility is a flaw, which she is aware of.
Julia’s character is naïve and free-spirited, so she doesn’t care about the details, and easily show her emotions.
Both have easy-to-understand characters and their attitudes towards Falsa are lenient, so putting it in a bad way, they are very easy to handle.
「Falsa-Kun you are quite good. Don’t lie to me that you are nervous sitting next to me when you can fully grab any girl’s heart. 」
However, Palmina alone is different and in a way the worst, she is good at discerning people, yet doesn’t reveal it and no matter how unpleasant a person is with her, she always maintains her manner as a saint.
Her face as a girl, which Palmina only shows to her close people, appears occasionally in this group of 4 people.
But as Palmina doesn’t completely disintegrate her attitude as a saint, it is very difficult to understand the feeling held by her.
In the current situation, she might only be a little angry for being the only one left out of the group, but she seems even more frightening, as they are not able to perceive the extent of her anger at all.
Palmina, whose tone of voice is no different from usual mixed, only with a little sarcasm, appears to be sulking a little and seems like a woman holding back her feelings of jealousy.
A person’s psychology is quite a fascinating thing, it is strange for one to feel more fear than necessary of the person whose bottom line cannot be seen.
「I think Palmina knows the best whether it is a lie or not. If you check my eyes, you can clearly see what’s in my heart, can’t you? 」
As he spoke, Falsa took Palmina’s hand naturally, wrapped it in his own hands, and looked into her eyes.
Usually, Julia and Zenobia should protest around here, but Julia is sitting on the sofa, huddled up, and Zenobia is sitting like a statue with her arms folded and eyes closed.
They seem to have decided not to disturb Falsa and leave everything to him.
「……. I don’t know, Falsa Kun’s eyes are shining strangely. And I’m feeling a little embarrassed when you hold my hand like this. 」
「I will not let you look away, nor will I let you escape from my hands until you believe me」
「 I…….I think Falsa-Kun will be stabbed by a girl someday. I advise you to confess before you commit too many sins. 」
「There are so many things to confess, but I think there is one thing that I have to confess to Palmina right now. 」
They keep on looking at each other and talking as if they are lovers talking about love.
And then when he was able to get to the main point, Falsa resolutely decides in his mind.
「Palmina……. excuse my rudeness」
「what rudeness……. Kyaaaa!」
As soon as he says so, Falsa puts his hands behind Palmina and draws her body towards him.
Palmina who appeared to be hugged by Falsa was plunged onto his chest while she let out a cute little scream.
[1.TL NOTE: There are few things here that are scientifically wrong, so please do ignore it and treat it like a fictional world thing. What is wrong is a whole another thing and I will not mention it here.]