Upon departing from Taglagas, Naell had immediately experienced motion sickness.
Owly could only HOOT his disappointment while the knights smiled wryly. They then decided to slow their travel which Naell appreciated greatly.
It made him feel slightly better. Not to mention he was able to atleast stare at the beautiful horizon and sceneries with their travel.
Frozen ponds, trees dyed in white and roads covered with layers of snow giving a different ambiance from when he left Berlydot.
Some might think that view was dreadful, yet not Naell who wanted no more than to rest and hibernate like most beasts in that season.
He felt happy underneath the subtle nausea he was experiencing. If only a surprise had not come into view, Naell certainly would have enjoyed the trip in its entirety.
‘Why was I even happy when we slowed down...’
Not too far from them, the sigil of Arigare was visible. Its sigil of a sword with clear silver wings on its back showed the deep history of martial arts within it.
As was their custom, Naell’s carriage stopped to greet the travelling nobility.
The Barons, Viscounts, and Counts of the northern part of the Autumn kingdom, belong to the faction of the Dukedom of Arigare.
They were known for their loyalty towards the family of Taglagas making them a major alliance.
Nobilities from the capital belonged to the faction of the Marquis of Star, loyal to Taglagas as well. In the south was the faction of another Marquis whose side was often neutral.
The east and west faction however belonged to both Duchesses. The two often allied themselves to oppose the family of Taglagas.
Nevertheless, the politics revolving around the kingdom of Taglagas was quite peaceful compared to the history Naell learned on Earth.
Naell, Owly and his knights stopped and proceeded to greet them. Although he wished otherwise, he knew who they were.
It was no surprise that it was the protagonist's party. Just a week ago, Naell invited Rizaul and the two who also hailed from Beryldot. (out of kindness and just formality) to his carriage.
Luckily, they declined since they would be going to Arigare for a vacation, which made Naell quite happy, afterall he wanted to travel in peace.
He had even asked Owly if he wanted to go with them, in which the young owl declined as he berated him.
Owly had even blackmailed Naell that he would tell Lily. Had it not been for his peace offering of food, things would have taken a turn for the worst.
Going back, the greetings had been normal, Andrew and the rest had already gotten used to Naell. Even Note who was at first rude to him, was quite friendly already.
After some time, they then decided (without Naell's yes) that both carriages would travel together.
Therefore, Naell's plan of leaving early to avoid meeting anyone, no one in particular like other nobles or a duke's daughter and others like that, had failed.
Naell even found himself in Arigare's carriage. His (respectful) pleas to travel alone were of no use with the persistent Note.
“The carriage will be cramped with my presence.”
“Nonsense, it can fit 4 more people.”
“I get nauseous quite a lot.”
“Viola will get rid of the nausea for you.”
“Owly might need some snacks from my bag.”
“Luckily we have some for him.”
With that, Naell could only concede.
He awkwardly sat by the carriage’s window and looked at Owly happily eating the sweets Rinca offered to them.
At times he would even accidentally meet her eyes, yet the icy gaze she had shown him at their first meeting was no more.
It wasn't a secret that Rinca had already accepted Naell's presence. She knew that he changed, and regardless of what happened to them in the past, she was certain that he meant no harm anymore.
Yet that didn’t mean they could just talk to each other normally. Both him and her were unfortunately awkward potatoes.
Not to mention, their history together with the pretense of marriage and the incident of the great slap.
She however was thankful to Owly. Even Andrew and the rest found the bird quite tricky. Only Note, who had determined Naell’s intentions in their first meeting, seemed to also understand the owl’s intentions. Likewise could be said with the young owl.
For Andrew and the rest, they at first thought the bird was just easily swayed by food and didn’t really bother if Note said stupid things to Naell.
Yet they remembered those scenarios, and only then did they figure out how every time they were with Owly, they somewhat questioned Naell's character.
By the time he saved Viola, Owly had already brainwashed them with subtle persuasion that perhaps Naell changed or had really forgotten the past.
They however could not identify the severity of the memories Naell might have forgotten. Even when they asked him, he would just say yes and would never delve into details about it.
Nevertheless, Owly would never outright declare he was observing them for the sake of Naell, as the young master would never let the poor owl hear the end of it.
Other than that, he believed that regardless of the past, the young master would not do anything rash without reason.
That was why out of curiosity, Owly tried to go a bit deeper; This task not being too difficult as even Naell was okay with the bird being with them.
Yet this brought a sense of betrayal in Owly’s eyes, as Naell in the off chance he’d get, often shoved him away with no worries.
Therefore Owly, could not help but berate Naell at times, or like earlier, threaten to tell his sister.
Especially on occasions like that where he even went so far as asking him to go with them.
Luckily, the bird understood Naell far better than anyone, and the same could be said with the carefree young master. Thus, misunderstandings were not really a thing for their friendship.
Had Naell known what Owly did to make the protagonist's party atleast understand his mindset, he would certainly feel grateful to the young bird.
"You should go visit us in Arigare Naell, and make sure you bring your sister, alright?" Namiku said loudly, babbling here and there.
Her energy was far too strong for Naell and so he could only smile wryly.
Luckily they travelled at a much better pace, giving Naell the excuse of nausea acting as if he was tired.
Yet due to Viola's magic which was done out of kindness, Naell’s acting became a reality as he felt nothing but exhaustion.
In truth, he really was happy he could get acquainted with the protagonists' party, yet he knew that was only him fanboying.
He gawked at the others and Owly, seeing them in full vigor. Stiffly he held back a sigh as he thought to himself,
'They were built differently.'
Namiku was pouting when he got back to his senses. She had been asking him a question which he did not actually try to answer.
"Oh, Princess… I mean um---" Naell wasn't able to finish his sentence as she pouted even more.
He knew Namiku didn’t like being called princess, especially around friends.
Her amber eyes were already locked onto Naell, yet only for a moment as she smiled and waved a “nevermind” before continuing on and talking like usual.
Naell was glad that was over. He would never dare go to Arigare where the father of Rinca lived.
Regardless if he was forgiven, he knew what the old Naell did was foolish.
'Even if he had other reasons, It would have been better if he didn't slap her!' He thought in dismay before catching a glimpse of Owly.
The owl in its full glory had lazily waddled over to the half-elf’s lap, resting and closing his eyes, as if he was meditating with the elf.
As it was quite the odd sight, Naell couldn’t help but chuckle slightly, earning him slight glances of relief from the rest of the party.