''What's wrong? Liana.''
''Isn't it odd?''
''The fact that that woman earlier didn't approach Christina back in the ball a month ago.'' Liana said, raising an eyebrow. ''If she's that smitten with this redhead, then she would have flew straight at her that time.''
''That's... True, actually. She openly fought with me today, despite knowing full well that I'm a princess. There's no way she would have stayed still that day.''
''I've been thinking about that, too.'' Tina said. ''But Anna said that she didn't feel anything wrong about her, so I just glossed over it.''
''Eh?! My intuition is not perfect, you know?'' Anna said, waving her hands. ''It's true that I can't feel anything wrong with that woman, but... Actually, I could smell something odd about this place from earlier.''
''Hm? Tell us more about it.''
''Mghmm... It's hard to describe, but there's this sinister feeling, how do I say this... 'fake'? Feeling I could feel somewhere inside this estate.'' Anna replied, frowning, her tail and ears twitching.
Well shit, the genre changed from K-drama to horror real quick.
''Well, let's save that for later, we need to regroup with Emilia first, I bet she's surrounded by men, and women trying to woo her now.''
''Ahh~ That's possible.''
Opening the door to the party hall, I could immediately spot the familiar white head standing in the distance.
Partly, because she's very tall, taller than a lot of men, even. And, there's nobody around her at the moment, except for a blonde man. He has cleared out that whole area, actually. I guess that guy is a high noble?
Based on what I could see, the man is trying to say something very earnestly to Emy, while Emy herself is just silently eating a pudding, not a change in expression detected on her face. Classic.
''It's quieter than I thought.'' Liana commented.
''That's true. They can't approach her because of that man, a Vivian, I remember.'' Christina replied.
''She looks alright, but I bet she's annoyed now, let's go rescue her.'' I said.
-So, I was nominated as the best hunter that year. Unfortunately, I didn't get the title, but I think I have a pretty good shot this year. When that time comes, could I ask you to accompany me, my pretty lady?'' The man said, bowing his head lightly and extending his right hand.
''No.'' Emy replied, taking another bite of the pudding.
''That's unfortunate. Ah, how about the Founding festival a few months from now? I would love to look around the capital with such a wonderful lady like yourself.'' He awkwardly takes back his hand.
''No.'' Emy takes another bite.
''H-Hm. Ah, that's right, my little sister will host a tea party in a few days, would you be interested in it?''
''No, that woman is my girlfriend's enemy.''
''...You really are adamant about this, my lady.'' The man's eyebrows twitch a little bit.
''Well said, Emy.'' I injected between the two.
''Sylvia.'' Emy said, immediately goes behind me and hugs me tightly.
The man widen his eyes instantly after seeing me.
'''' ... ''''
''Gentleman, I will be frank here, you are bothering my girlfriend right now. How about we keep some distance?'' I said.
''Ah!'' The man finally breaks out of his trance. ''That, that was rude of me. I am Leo Vivian, the heir of house Vivian. May I know your names, fair ladies?''
''Sylvia Everwood, crown princess of the Everwood kingdom. We are all taken already, so don't bother us anymore.'' I said, then give a wink to Anna.
''Ah...'' The man exclaimed dejectedly. ''But-
Why are all of these guys so persistent??
''My, my. It looks like we're really fortunate today.'' A middle-aged man with the same features as the guy suddenly appears. 'To be able to host such precious guests...''
''Please forgive my son. He's still immature, he does not know where to stop when it comes to pursuing ladies.'' He said, forcing the guy's head down, together with his own head. ''Leo, you already have a fiancé, stop bothering people.'' He said sternly.
''Ghrm...'' He grumbled.
What, he has a fiancé already? And he still has the gall to flirt with Emy? Can I do a nut kick real quick?
Needless to say, all of us frown at that information at the same time.
''Ah, Your Highness.'' The Marquis turns to Tina. ''May I ask, how is your relationship with my daughter going right now? She was very excited to have you here.''
''You should should re-educate her about relationships, Marquis.'' Christina said firmly. ''Not only did she still bother me despite being rejected multiple times, she also insulted my girlfriend.''
The Marquis grimaces for a second.
''...I understand. Please forgive us.'' He said, bowing his head once again. ''We've been nothing but a shame to you. We will not bother you anymore, please enjoy the party.'' He then retreats with his son.
Well, at least that guy knows his stuff. But it's also unsettling somehow, why is he so different from his children?
''...It's that man.''
''Hm? What do you mean, Anna?''
Turning to Anna, I could see her glaring at the back of the Marquis, her tail waving around annoyedly.
''He's the one I was talking about.'' She said. ''He feels odd. Out of place. Fake.''
Hearing that, Emy rightfully tilts her head.
''Let's go over all of it while eating. No point standing still like this.''
After picking all of our food and finding a quiet table to sit, we are now going over all of the things that happened so far.
''Mhmm.'' Emy grumbled. ''I couldn't focus on the desserts because of him.''
''It's alright, Emy.'' I consoled her.
''Rather than that.'' Liana injected. ''We probably should find a way to undermine the Marquis somehow, seeing that there's something fishy about him. It will be helpful for us.''
''That's true.'' Tina commented.
''Ah, talking about that.'' I said. ''When I went down to ask for directions earlier, I met a few thugs.''
''Eh? Did they do anything to you?'' Anna asked worriedly.
''Of course not, they only tried.'' I replied. ''But, the people there said that the thugs have some connections with the city guards, which is a clear sign of corruption. Assuming that we could trust them in the first place.''
''Hmm, we could use that.'' Tina said.
''We don't have enough information though.'' Anna commented.
''I think we might have a solution for that.'' I said.
I then proceed to scan the entire party hall, looking for a few specific people. After a while, I finally notice a group of four students standing in the corner, looking around intently.
I signal them with my hand to come over.
''Who are those people?'' Tina asked.
''Our allies.'' I simply said.
Of course there would be some of our people infiltrating the academy, no way they would let two high nobles and their only princess alone without any escort. For camouflage purposes, they all look like humans now, being elves would be pretty eye-catching after all.
One of them is Justia, our beloved bodyguard. The other three people are specialists, capable of quick escape and illusion magic.
They're all here for the sole purpose of rescuing us in case of trouble. I'm pretty sure there's a separate escort team following us to this territory as well, just, they're not in this very space.
The four seemingly normal students approach us. I then set up a sound barrier around us, just to be sure.
''May I ask, what do you need from us, Your Highness?'' A man said.
''I've noticed that the Marquis here has some suspicious movements. There's sign of corruption in this territory as well. I think we could use this against the crown prince. Can I ask you guys to investigate them?''
''Your Highness...!'' Justtia exclaimed, looking at Tina and Anna intently.
''Don't worry, I trust them.''
''...Understood. Please leave it to us.''
''How long would it take?''
''Three days, Your Highness. Please enjoy your time here while waiting.''
''I'll make sure to. Thank you for your work.''
''We're honored, Your Highness. Then, please excuse us.'' And then they left.
Yup, why would we have to investigate ourselves? That would just be dumb and inefficient.
''Wow... I've never thought that there would be people following us...''
''You don't have secret bodyguards?''
''Yeah... No one really cares about a princess without political background, after all...'' Tina said dejectedly.
''Don't worry! You have me, and if you marry me, you'll have plenty of people that will care about you as well.'' I hold her hand.
Tina lets out a chuckle. ''That's true. I am very excited to meet my new family.''
I'm sure my parents would love a gentle daughter-in-law like her. She's not very gentle in bed, though. I've noticed that she's very possessive towards me, and likes to monopolize me all for herself.
...Maybe I should spend a day alone with each of my girlfriends soon.