Passing through the gate, they walked down the path to the estate.
With Galeria at the lead, Nanalus followed after her, and the knight walked behind him.
However, Nanalus sensed a presence that wasn’t gentle at all from the knight.
The knight having this attitude was probably because he was a Mazoku, but that being said, Nanalus felt that this knight was a failure as Count Guutia’s subordinate.
As long as he served Count Guutia, he had the duty of paying the standard amount of respect to the count’s guests.
Making at the very least a slight bow to the guest was proper etiquette, as well as common knowledge.
If he was making light of him and thought that the likes of a Mazoku didn’t have that kind of common knowledge, then he was mistaken.
In the Zadark Kingdom, even the Magic Operated Armors knew at least that much etiquette.
It was there that Nanalus noticed one more gaze.
It was that of Galeria who was guiding him.
This gaze was a favorable one, unlike the knight’s……but this one could also be said to be rare.
He had conversed with various women in the Jiol Forest Kingdom hosted dinner party, but he had almost no memory of having talked much with Galeria.
At most, he had talked to Galeria who had become a wallflower and handed her a drink.
Since Nanalus looked like he was of advanced age, the did not receive love letters like Sancreed did.
To begin with, he was outside the range of being a love interest to women, and Nanalus also found that to be convenient.
In other words, this favorable gaze that was coming from Galeria wasn’t a feeling of love, and it probably meant that she simply wasn’t cautious of him.
Nevertheless, even though he was walking while being accompanied by a noble’s daughter, the fact that they weren’t conversing at all was pretty new to him.
Since he could tell that Galeria was doing her best to try and talk with him, he watched her for a while, but since he felt like it wouldn’t work out at this rate, he sent her a helping hand.
「That is quite a nice dress.」
「Eh? Ah, y, yes. Um……this……」
「Yes, it suits you very well.」
After Nanalus said that, Galeria made an expression that clearly said that she was relieved.
It was most likely a dress she held a lot of pride in.
Since noble women would typically choose their outfit to match the season, the weather, the location, and the latest fashions, they possessed a surprisingly large amount of dresses.
And since that was connected to displaying the noble’s power, there were examples where the noble women of the St. Altlis Kingdom would secretly compete in their number of dresses.
Although the Jiol Forest Kingdom was not strong in that sort of tendency, it wasn’t like it didn’t have that sort of thing at all.
And then, in most cases, an 「ace up the sleeve outfit」──a so-called “best set of clothes” would exist.
The fact that Galeria was wearing that could be said to be display of Count Guutia’s enthusiasm towards this tea party.
Just what kind of request would the count make……is what Nanalus thought at this time.
Hearing that voice, Nanalus’s thoughts were interrupted.
While expressing a gentle smile, Nanalus turned his gaze to the owner of that voice──to Count Guutia.
At a corner of the garden that spread out in front of the estate, a circular table and chairs were prepared.
There were two maids at Count Guutia’s sides, but their atmospheres said that they weren’t mere maids.
They were probably the ones known as Battle Maids.
Battle Maids were maids that had somewhat studied martial arts, and it is said that there are many nobles in mankind’s territory that employed these Battle Maids.
At first, they were substitutes for Maid Knights, but nowadays they were recognized as a proper occupation……or so it seems.
Seeing as how they had thin swords hanging at their waists, they probably served as Count Guutia’s guard.
「To think I could truly have you come by today!」
「No, no, I am surprised as well. I did not think that I would be received by your daughter.」
In response to Count Guutia’s words of surprise, Nanalus purposely replied in a harmless and inoffensive way.
If he were to poorly react to how he mentioned about coming by today, it might turn into giving him some kind of information about Transfer Magic.
「Hahaha, no,no. That was Galeria’s wish, you see.」
「That is quite a wonderful daughter you have.」
「Yes, she is a daughter I am proud of.」
Saying that, Count Guutia laughed, and then sent his gaze to the maids.
After confirming that the maids nodded with their gaze, Count Guutia turned back to Nanalus.
「Well, please have a seat. The garden’s roses are beautiful at this season.」
While pulling out the seat he was recommended by a maid, Nanalus lowered himself into the seat.
After he took his seat, baked sweets were immediately lined up on top of the table, and hot black tea was poured into Nanalus’s cup.
Although he felt a bit of suspicion in how Galeria sat close to him, Nanalus turned his gaze to Count Guutia who sat across from him.
「……By the way.」
Count Guutia, who received Nanalus’s gaze right from the front, erased his smile and started to talk with a serious expression.
While thinking “so it’s finally time”, Nanalus didn’t change his gentle smile.
For things that were too important, Nanalus would be unable to answer with his own discretion.
Since Count Guutia should also understand that, he probably intended on having this meeting be on a wait-and-see level.
What Nanalus predicted, was a request for deployment of Magic Operated Armors, which were deployed at the national borders, to Count Guutia’s territory.
Or maybe, to be given the skills related to Transfer Magic.
Talks in regards to international trade were also possible.
No matter what kind of demand came, he would need to reply flawlessly.
As Nanalus started to quickly construct replies to the predicted demands in his head, Count Guutia opened his mouth.
「Nanalus-dono……do you have a wife?」
Hearing those words, Nanalus’s thoughts halted for an instant.
As expected, this question was unexpected. Naturally, the answer was 「I don’t」 but.
「No, I do not have one.」
After thinking about it for a bit, Nanalus spoke only the truth.
He did not understand the other party’s intentions, but it was better than making a strange lie.
Could it be──
Coming from Galeria who was peekingly looking at Nanalus, a feeling of liking that was somewhat stronger than before could be felt.
If they were to go only by appearance, they were different to being like a grandfather and his grandchild.
「You see, the truth is. It would seem that Galeria has taken a liking to you, Nanalus-dono. The Jiol Forest Kingdom and the Zadark Kingdom have formed a friendship, and both countries should flourish even more from now on. In that case, this would be even more of a symbol of friendship for both countries……」
「No, please wait a moment.」
While pressing on his forehead with his fingers, Nanalus stopped Count Guutia.
「Is something the matter?」
「Ahー, in other words. This tea party is……」
In response to Nanalus who was feeling dizziness from the unexpected situation, Count Guutia expressed a smile.
「Yes, Nanalus-dono, I was thinking of trying to put you together with Galeria. So how about it? She is still young, but I think she is quite a good-looking woman. No, no, that might be parental bias though.」
Not thinking that there would be anyone that would offer up their daughter to someone with such an aged appearance like his……moreover to a Majin, Nanalus breathed a sigh in his mind.
For Galeria, she wouldn’t want to be used as a tool in such political strife.
Thinking that, he started to want to feel pity for Galeria, but in that case, that wouldn’t explain the feeling of liking of Galeria’s from earlier.
Hearing Galeria’s words, Nanalus felt a cold sweat being shed on his back.
「Nanalus-sama, do you hate young ladies like me?」
The preferred type of Galeria, who was an impeccably beautiful young woman, was an elderly, dandy white-haired man.
Galeria had thought that preferred man wouldn’t appear……but just the other day, she had met a man who perfectly conformed with Galeria’s preference, and moreover was someone who had longevity similar to Sylphids.
Galeria persuaded her father, Count Guutia, and since this was perfect for Count Guutia who was interested in ascertaining the authenticity of Transfer Magic, he set up the tea party.
In other words, the invitation to this sudden tea party was that sort of thing.
Just how should he evade the young woman that was gazing at himself?
Nanalus’s thoughts were rapidly turning in order to grasp for the optimum response to that.
To the fact that Nanalus that didn’t know about──the face that he himself was pretty popular with a portion of Sylphid women.
Nanalus’s busy days were still only just starting.