"I guess we should formally introduce ourselves." Prince Gérmann declared on the other side of the seat while pulling off the fake hair he used as a disguise.
"Of course Your Highness." Right now me, Itia, Kumo, and Gabril are seating on one side of the sofa while the Prince alone is seating on the other side. Since he's incognito having too many guards around him would make people suspicious.
"Oh, and let's drop the formalities right now shall we? It's easier for me to talk like this." He looks at me with a glint in his eye as he's combing his hair.
"Well it certainly is Your Highness." I drop my formalities as well but not enough to call the prince by his name. [Even if monarchies are irrelevant in my world it still feels wrong calling by name.] Is my reason.
He seems a bit annoyed with me insisting to use your highness but quickly shrugs it off. "...My name is Prince Gérmann del Xanthos von Arin, 5th Prince of the Kingdom of Santhos. Just call me Gérmann for short in this private carriage." Gérmann formally declared. "How about you, Lady Sibylissa?" Then he passes back that ball of formally to me.
[Shit, you won this one.] Like hell I would want to be called a lady! The remnants of my male past wrecks havoc in my head, just thinking of being called that makes my stomach crawl in anguish.
"...Well it is Morus, Morus Sibylissa, sir Prince Gérmann." I also introduce myself while not grinding my teeth. I'm still not comfortable calling him by name so I added the prince.
"...I see, I have heard of your name during the duel but it is good to finally know." The Prince folds his arms in satisfaction and looks around. "I have met Itia and Kumo, but who is this woman?" He specifically points at Gabril.
"Me?" She points at herself. "It is just Gabril Sir, a loyal servant of Morus-sama." And holds her chest and bowed.
"I see." The Prince folds his arms. "I guess I should consider you important as you're allowed to be inside this very carriage." It might be carelessness or genuine trust on his part but he lets go of any suspicion towards my Gabril.
"But that aside..." The Prince switches his focus back to me, "Let's start this conversation off with the obvious." Specifically, "How are you able to walk around with all that wrapped around you?" My appearance right now.
[I really should have been more prepared for him...] Although you can't really notice it from my mental state my entire body right now is covered in cloth from the wounds that I sustained during the fight.
I shouldn't be able to even walk properly yet but here I am, why? [Even if it's painful I shouldn't have plucked the ring off so easily.] The Teaching Ring that I used in the fight with Carmine to be at the same level as her earlier not only puts my strength the same as her but also my abilities as well. In this case my regenation. [When I pulled the ring out it instantly healed my wounds.] And I can't really say that or else my cover is blown so,
"Hey, something wrong—" The Prince once again asked which I realized I was taking too long so I moved quickly.
"Here." I quickly open up my pouch and grabbed my own regular healing potion I made myself and not Kurumi's version. [I don't really want that thing to be dangling around me.] It'll be troublesome if the Kurumist church would find out about it.
"W-what's this?" The Prince quickly looked at the small, heart-shaped bottle I've given him. "Is this what I think it is?" He immediately turns around and grabs checks out some books that were sitting behind him.
Looking at the sight of royalty bending down and reading the pages of a book, I couldn't help but be puzzled about this scene, [I guess this'll forever tarnish the image I have of them.] I know for a fact that the boy that I'm looking at is an exception but still,
"...What a weird human." Even Itia, who's not even a human, whispers this under her breath it's clear that the one named Gérmann is a strange one.
[...Maybe I'm the strange one.] Suddenly arriving here bringing out items that shouldn't or very hard to find in this world left and right. [Either way I seem to be a lighthouse of sorts for these type of people.] I end my thought looking at the "Ah!" reaction of Prince Gérmann.
"I see!" He shouts aloud.
"Found anything?" I ask.
He nods happily. "Yup!" And shows me the pagest of his book.
"...Hmmm..." In the pages it shows a potion described as having a purple hue with a sweet taste. [Very similar to my own potion.] In fact this almost seems like...]
"Tis' a bottle of succubus." Is what Itia said, aka a succubus potion.
"Good job Itia." I praise her for figuring out the mystery so easily.
"Yes, that's right. Also known as the potion of desire and..." Gérmann pointed it out but realised his own geekness for once and refrained saying more and moved on. "This book which I borrowed from the Mages Guild here describes it as such." He said while closing the book and looking at it deeper.
"I see..." I don't really know what to say. [Thank god...] But I breathe in relief. [I won't have to make any more lies than I already have.] I said to myself, as I look at the curious prince in front of me. [It's pretty similar but not quite.] I wanted to answer him but can't.
A succubus potion is essentially a succubus' liquids... None I say more.
Avoiding such topics, "Still though, to have found one in such a condition. Did you find a new succubus nest or something?" I raise my brow a bit when he asked me this sudden question.
"Succubus Nest...?" Aside from the place I knew too well for my own good, I'm surprised to hear those from this inexperienced prince.
"I guess you haven't aren't from around here." He looked at me curiously. "Well you see according to legends..." So he explains.
Long ago when the city was still the size of a fishing village a carriage of slave girls escaped and found their way to El Niño. There unexpectedly they were greeted with hospitality from the lord and eventually settled there.
But unfortunately years later, the slave trader came to El Niño and demanded to bring them back, at which point many of the girls were married and then he announced "They're succubus!" which angered the girls so they killed him, in doing so revealing their true identity and becoming shunned by the village in the process.
"...Or so the legend goes." Prince Gérmann ends the story at that note.
"...That's a bit..." I'm reciting the story in my head but still, [There's something at odds here.] I've been intrigued in the story so it took over my thoughts.
Just thinking about it a little bit, [Ah!] I knew it. "It feels a bit too abrupt towards the end there." I said, to which the Prince nodded.
"Yup, that's what I thought." He looked at me with a grin as he continues his explanations. "It is generally thought of they were banished after they killed the slave trader but after looking through the records and older text of the stories, it seems to be that's not the case at all." He looks down, "In fact..." And sighs. "It seems anything that happened after the death of the slave trader was gone, like they were..."
"Scrubbed from history..." I muttered.
"Yup." The Prince nodded. "Fortunately I may know why." He explains. "It seems the oldest record of this case was a Santhos Kingdom report to the king at the time, where the king only imposed a fine to the village chief and regarded the case of the succubus girls as 'allegations with no proven evidence' and didn't investigate further." He finished explaining.
[So that's why...] If no one investigated it further it seems pretty easy to hide what happened afterwards. Especially with the level of communication in this world.
[But still, what were they hiding—] Just as I was about to ask more questions.
"Your Highness! We made it to the Mages Guild." The carriage came to a halt as the driver calls out the prince.
"I see." Prince Gérmann looks at me. "I apologize for the sudden turn of our conversation, but please trust me we can talk about relevant subjects later." He bowed slightly befor returning his items where they came from and quickly went outside.
Now with only me. [Wait a minute.] I turn to the side and see my companions, smiling silently. [Oh shit! I forgot!] I was so absorbed with my talk to the prince that I didn't bothered these three at all.
"A-Alright guys, lets go outside and quickly catch up with..." Just as I quickly sat up and turn around.
"""Yes Morus-sama.""" They all talked at the same smile without changing their expressions.
[This almost feels like...] "Oh no..." I muttered.
"Is something the matter Morus-sama?" She asks but I didn't bother.
"Come here!" I grabbed her hand and I pulled the other two by their shoulders.
As for why, [Those are the same expressions they have on the game!] I don't want to bad mouth Endless so much but... [At least have their mouths moving.] It reminded me of that.
So when I looked at the three behind me, one blushing and the other two with exaggerated confused expressions. [Good.] Happily seeing their reactions, I pulled them outside.
"Oh wow..." I say in wonder as I look at the fantasy-like structure of the building.
A symmetrical rocky stone mansion with blue clay tiles as its roof, multicolored glass panel windows similar to those of European cathedrals, with a large brown double door as its entrance filled with intricate wood carvings of what seems to be a battle of some sorts.
That isn't even the most noticeable feature of the building, otherwise I wouldn't be staring up like I am right now, "The only downside for having such a tall tower is at a certain time it casts such a long shadow over the area." Prince Gérmann complained while scratching his head.
"Indeed." I silently nodded.
"Such inconvenient placing."
"What an erect building~"
Kumo, Itia, and Gabril all chimed in their own opinions. With Gabril taking the chance to make a Washington Monument joke.
Anyways, there's a tall tower of stone like those in Rapunzel erected in the center of this building. [Considering there's a wall to the side it means in the guild building is practically a art of the castle huh?] I wonder as we walk towards the entrance.
Right by the door, "Who's there—" What looks to be a guard approaches us but "Oh it's your highness!" Realizing the boy beside us he immediately bowed his head.
"That's fine that's fine..." While Gérmann was explaining his circumstances to the guard. [He's already pretty well known in this guild.] I guess him being an avid magic otaku it's no wonder why.
"Morus, everyone, let's go." Gérmann said to me as he opens the door.
"Of course, your highness." Since we're not in the carriage right now I should be more mindful of our appearance.
While following his back, my space was suddenly invaded by a ikemen wearing a butler uniform. "Morus-sama." It's Kumo with furrowed brows.
"What is it?" I ask.
"Well there seems to be..." He goes on and whisper to my ear.
Then when I looked at the other girls, they seem to have a displeased expression as well.
"Well that was surprisingly easy." I said to myself while setting in an extremely comfy sofa.
"Well that's where my blood comes handy." Although not directed at him, Gérmann answered, obviously referring to his royal status.
Right now we're in a room sitting at a sofa at the back where not many people will interrupt us. As for why, "Please sit here your highness." Is what the receptionist said to us before guiding us here.
We were supposed to go to the reception desk the same as the merchant and adventurer guilds but this time we were suddenly told to be here, and now we wait.
[How long will they keep it up?] I'm getting more and more irritated now than Itia and Gabril were when we entered.
I was looking for a way to do something to forget about it so fortunately, "Lord Norkin will be entering now!" Said by one of the guards with a pull, he enters the room with a full wizard cloak.
[You can't even tell him out to be a noble he's dressing like that.] Is what I first though of Norkin with his wizardry getup.
"Hmm... I seem to have gotten a bit late, if you don't mind." He asks, as he closes the door shut.
[Well, he's pretty dignified.] Is my first impression of him. Norkin by the tone of his voice is a man that is at least able to carry himself. [I guess there's some good nobles after all.] My impression of him isn't bad for now.
We watch him silently as he walks over to us and pull the chair back, "Now then..." As he sits, his eyes pierces through the prince for a brief moment before piercing even more at me.
"So you must be Morus Sibylissa, the current head of your house I presume?" He asks, like he's interrogating me or something.
"Yes I am, the one and only." I answered with my best effort, even using some of my untapped feminine potential that I haven't used till now. [He's definitely interrogating me.] Is the thought I've locked on.
"Hooh..." The wizard noble raised his eyebrows in surprise, "I see, I guess my suspicions have been lifted." Then, his tense nature immediately soften and sat back at his chair. "You carry your house with dignity, you pass~" The old noble scratches the back of his head.
[I guess I passed their test or something?] I wonder.
It may be due to my expression that gave it away but Norkin seemingly has answered my question, "Hoh, I was just testing you that's all Morus. If you can't even handle the responsibility of being a house head with pride then I would have probably just finished this meeting prematurely and tried to have your family work for me instead." He bluntly said to me.
"I-I see..." Even I was shocked that he said all his intentions out in the field like that.
Moreover... "That's certainly an interesting proposition, but I would humbly decline sir...." Itia answered calmly. "As family, we would never think of working someone other than Morus-sama." I can practically see the sparks coming out of the two.
But, it seems the little girl was the one that lasted longer. "Hmph~" Lord Norkin let out an amusing smirk. "My subjects say that I should carry my title with more weight in these types manners but I really don't like baggage you see." And finally let out a wide grin. "It seems that His Highness is not wrong about you two." Lord Norkin finally lets go of any remaining uptightness of a noble and lay his back on the couch with a lax expression.
"Is that so." I could only reply as much.
Seeing that this conversation is coming to an end, I move in to a topic I've been wanting to ask since I came to the entrance. "So uhm, Lord Norkin, I may ask." I piqued their interest. "But do you use sensory magic to look at us?"
It seems I definitely piqued their interest. "Oh! So you noticed that." Lord Norkin was stroking his beard.
"Eh?!" And even the Prince hasn't noticed it as well.
Norkin patted the Prince's shoulder to reassure him. "I apologized but that was just security against anyone that may harm His Highness." He says, but adds an anecdote. "Though only His Highness since that spell consumes a high amount of mana."
"Is that so..." I look around my subordinates and they seem relieved albeit a little but creeped out. [Well I guess that's understandable.] I give a small smile to them. [I mean an old man was just spying at us so I understand why their hairs were standing up in the entrance.] A little bit of an exaggeration but yeah.
"So Morus..." After being left out in the conversation Prince Gérmann finally spoke up. "You're for all instance and purposes a member of the Mages Guild now, so why don't we tour you the guild a little bit? Especially the library."
My eyes lit up at the word library. "Really? Thank you Your High- I mean Prince Gérmann." I bow my head before standing up, being excited at the prospect of the library.
[This means that I can finally get reliable information about this world.] And my companions seem to know the queue as well as they all stand up at once.
But as was I look at the two aristocrats again it seems the Margrave was whispering to the Prince about something.
The Prince look at us again with a strained smile and said, "I'll have to go shortly after you Morus. I have a short conversation with Sir Norkin for a moment, so I'll sadly not be able to guide you right away." He nods down and scratches his head. "But just ask the staff where you want to go and they'll take you there. I promise I'll join you afterwards."
I nodded, "I understand." I turn towards the exit. "Well let's talk about some magic okay?" Is what I said before I leave the room with my friends beside me. "Thank you Prince Gérmann and Lord Norkin." I said before leaving.
[Library time!] My thirst for knowledge is rivaling that of my lust!
Silent fills the room as the interesting bunch left for the library. "I wonder who they are?" Is all I got to say after seeing them, and especially their enigmatic head, Morus Sybilissa.
[They are definitely nobles, but from where? They're certainly not from the empire, maybe at the mountain nation of—] As I get into deep thought, as punch that was neither strong nor powerful hit my side.
"Hey!" It's the Prince. "Ugh stop thinking in deep thought after you've forced me to stay with you!"
[Oops, I made him angry.] I thought. [I'll leave my thoughts for later.] I look at His Highness and ask him the all important question.
"So what do you think Your Highness?" I ask. "What do you think of Morus?"
"What do I think? What do you think Norkin?" He called me without any honorifics.
We stared for a while and the Prince was the one that lost this time, not me. "Haa... Well they certainly are an interesting bunch." He collected his thoughts.
"They are definitely not commoners, but rather some foreign nobility, but I have no idea how they got here..." The Prince wondered deeper. "Maybe they were exiled? Forced to come here? But that would mean she should have an idea where she's going, but it seems she doesn't even know what the hierarchy is..." And begins to go into deep thought himself.
[I agree, I definitely agree.] Her origins are dubious at best. [But at this rate we won't be able to do anything but think.] I look at the young prince.
"Your Highness!" And forced him to out his thoughts as well. [This prince is too similar to me in some aspects that it gives me shivers.] Is what my honest evaluation is of him.
Anyways, "Thinking about her origins would make us sitting slimes here in this room for hours, what's important is her ability right?"
In the Santhos Kingdom, as long as you are powerful in magic, even slaves would be able to get the respect of the nobility, and what Morus is—
"She's the read deal." The Prince is actually shaking right now. "Her powers, I don't even know how to evaluate it." He looks at me with an extremely wry smile. "I know for a fact that she's repressing her powers; she unintentionally lets out her mana by her emotion or by sheer boredom, and quickly realizes it and represses it immediately." He finished. "I can just feel it. Her control of her magic is so great that I don't even think she's genuinely human." Is what Prince Gérmann's full evaluation of her seems to be.
"..." I'm speechless. [The Prince has highly evaluated a lot magicians before, but not by this degree.] He doesn't even rate the court magician of the royal family this highly!
I'm honestly wondering if he's exaggerating but this is His Highness Gérmann, he doesn't lie to me. [And when I remember our talk as well...] Although I didn't get as much time talking to the three of them as His Highness, even I feel there's a lot of mana flowing out not only in Morus, but in her subordinates and servants as well.
Shivers. The reality of it all hits me like a cavalry charge and I actually got my hair standing up right.
"Norkin...?" The Prince Gérmann looks at me with worry.
And I get back on track. "I apologize Gérmann."
[I'm such a terrible vassal.] Speaking to His Highness this frankly, normally I would get lèse-majesté right now but, "That's alright teacher." Then I realized, [Oh yeah, I'm his teacher when it comes to magic.] It means I'm at a higher position than him in that regard.
I smile and finally calm down, then all I can say about her is... "I'm glad she's on our side." That's honestly all.
"Yeah, me too." Prince Gérmann agrees as well. "Now I'll do the non-fun stuff of actually giving her peerage and having it approve in the palace." The Prince grimaced at that regulatory reality and hung his head.
I smile at that face of his. "I'll give her my letter of recommendation and have her socialize with my connections in the future. So don't worry about it." I made him reassure. [I'll use my connections to get them to recommend her as well.] But that's behind the scenes so it's not necessary to tell him that.
"Oh yeah..." I just realized. "Don't you have a meeting with her right now?" I ask him with a grin.
Knowing that he'd freak out. "Oh that's right! Sorry Norkin but I have to go now!" He does action that made you question him as a prince as he goes off and runs to the exit.
Now I'm finally alone at last. [That woman...] Although I'm terrified of her, I can somehow trust her beside the Prince.
"Although she's aloof at high society for now, I wonder if her sensitivity to magic can translate to nobility as well." After all, [She's the first one to notice the surveillance magic after all.] I lied to her about that spell a little bit. It doesn't consume much mana at all but maintaining the spell for a long time is a pain in the ass so that's why I can't use it much.
[But she probably knew that already.] I concluded.
"Ahh..." I sat back on the couch, thinking about the future. [Morus and Gérmann huh...] Thinking about them side by side, having such a powerful mage beside him would not only guarantee his position but maybe...
"...Make him qualify for the throne..." Words that never came out of my mouth before because of its impossibility now came out, meaning there's a chance above zero now.
[If only he wasn't the the youngest prince.] Honestly, despite his immaturity he is a brilliant prince, his knowledge and his care for the people is bar none the highest out of all his siblings, and the one of the only ones that haven't embraced that foreign religion yet. [Although I hate the backstabbing of the palace as well, but when it comes to that...] Although I technically am neutral, I guess I know who to choose.
"This thoughts about the future makes me want to move now." I stood up and left the room now.
Upon leaving, I saw the sigil of the guardian god of the Santhos royal family and its first king, Arin the first 'The Golden Fortress.'
It took me a while to realize it but, [You may even be similar to such a legendary figure.] I thought as left the room.