"So where to now?"
"Like I said to meet an old friend of mine. First head downstairs and then outside from there you'll need to catch a train."
"Train got it."
As soon as I exited my private dining room all eyes were again on me. Even though it was over an hour later the place was still packed to the brim. To my surprise on one of the light tables, I spotted a person I recognized Grand Cardinal Montalto. He was sitting next to another man on a smaller excluded table near the window corner. And I wasn't the only one who noticed the other. After saying something to his acquaintance he waved me over to them.
"Sure go to him. I wonder what he wants. Also, I'm interested in who he's with."
As I entered through the glass door I was surprised how quiet the dining hall was. The main reason for that is probably that if now before now all of the guests' eyes were on me.
As soon as I awkwardly navigated to them he greeted me.
"Ahh. Lucy good to see you again. " The Cardinal greeted m while gesturing to the empty chair at their table. "And this time we can even converse. I presume?"
"Yeah... I'm also glad to see you again. And I am certainly in a much better state right now."
Before the older man could respond the other still-unnamed one made himself noticed.
"How nice. You brought me a catgirl. As a gift to our new friendship perhaps? I haven't seen one out in the wild in quite some time. If you catch my drift. And what was she doing in the VIP area don't tell me you were putting on a show without me."
The leaching look in his eyes as they roamed across my body made me feel an emotion I don't think I ever felt before. Somewhere in between fear disgust and a little confusion. I wasn't scared that he'd do something to me, but rather what kind of person he was and things he did that would warrant this kind of hello to a person he just met.
Now closer to him and my attention diverted I got a good look at the man who so rudely interrupted my first attempted conversation with anyone but Miia in this new world. He was quite tall that was for sure. While I still had no relations for height since I didn't know how tall I was. Still comparing him to me either meant he was a giant or I was tiny since even while he was sitting and I was standing he almost reached up to eye level with me. Also because the waited from back then were not much taller than me and neither was the majority in the restaurant I had to assume the first.
His physical appearance apart from his height was almost human if it weren't for a pair of short horns peeking out of his forehead their base hidden behind his hair he wouldn't be too different from a middle-aged man. Though even without either of those factors he would still stand out in most rooms as his body was beyond muscular. His upper arms barely kept contained by his black suit were probably thicker than my head.
Montalto apparently as surprised by his reaction as I, had a similar reaction written on his face as I looked back to him in search of some help. Hoping this kind of interaction wasn't the norm in my new home. But as it clearly wasn't his was mixed with a hint of anger rather than fear. Jaw clench and his eyes slightly squinted he brought himself to the hulking man's attention who himself was still fixated on me and apparently my breasts. At least now I knew what it looked like from this side. But I at least hope, not even remotely as discrete.
"Mr. Rodrigues I must disappoint you but Lady Lucy is an honored guest of this holy temple. While I am not authorized to disclose her relationship to me or the church at this point. But you can be assured that neither I nor any other member in want of keeping their position. will continue working on our planned deals if you don't apologize to her this very instant and refrain from making any such remarks in the future. And also for your information, Lady Lucy was not in there with anyone but rather she was the one using it to eat in peace."
To my relief, my first assessment of Grand Cardinal Montalto wasn't too of and he came to much apparently much-needed defense while keeping my personal info at least somewhat hidden. But as I looked back to the man trying not to look too smug for my own good, instead of the apologetic and appeasing look I was expecting the apparent musclebrain didn't that lecture to his heart. Rather he looked furious and ready to rip both of us into pieces.
Crashing both his forearms onto the table, almost breaking it in half, and also throwing over everything on it, the giant almost screamed back at him.
"Grand Cardinal how dare you. I leave my home unguarded by me in times of war and come here to negotiate on your wishes and this is how you repay me. You attempt to humiliate me in public because of some girl?"
Seeing how this situation could easily get out of hand and that while they negotiate about something related to war. I quickly step in.
"Grand Cardinal Montalto, I agree with Mr. Rodrigues, was it? There really is no reason to apologize. It was a simple mistake. And also as he said your duties are more important than to risk them over me."
Both of the men looked at me one of them with surprise the other with smug. The smug I should have. But I'm not risking interrupting peace talks on my very first day here. That will have to wait for later.
"See even the woman gets it." ....And instantly regret what I said.
But still sticking with the not causing a war plan I look at the other man. To what he would do after I undermined his defense of me. After a few seconds of silence, the shock and all other emotions disappeared from the Grand Cardinals' face. Until a few seconds later like with the push of a button a small smile returned.
"You are right. I instead have to apologize. I have overreacted it was just a simple misunderstanding. You must excuse me I am simply so protective when it comes to children of our goddess Miia. But then again aren't we all her children." Don't want to think about that one, to be honest.
"But I have to apologize yet again because I think I've left a sour aftertaste in all our mother with my overreaction. That's why I think we should delay our talks about your home joining the HF. As such discussions no matter how grim the circumstances shouldn't be discussed in such an equally dark mood. Now if you excuse us. My Secretary will notice you when we can meet again. Goodbye and enjoy your stay on the house of course."
And with that, the old man got up and quickly left the room.
After muttering another quick apology to the equally confused and triumphant-looking giant I quickly left as well.