Still, as they tasted the local vegetables and grilled pheasant, they eventually stopped caring about the looks they were getting. And the mildly sweet and strong apple wine that the waiter had recommended went very well with their meat.
Dessert was a hearth-baked souffle.
“Please eat it quickly.”
The waiter had said, and so they ate the souffle, which was so spongy and soft, and melted hotly in their mouths. They sighed with contentment before remembering that they were being watched.
“Chiharu, do you think that they’re thinking that we eat too fast?”
“I hope so. They may become annoyed at us and look away.”
“Oh, yeah. Maybe I should start burping.”
Maki-chan, that’s crossing the line.
“Mister Edmond requests that you two drink with him after you are finished eating.”
Said a waiter who had noticed that they were finished.
“Mister Edmond is a regular here. The kindest man.”
The waiter assured them. Maki and Chiharu were relieved and followed the waiter to where Edmond was sitting.
“Thank you for accepting my invitation.”
“No, thank you for having us.”
“Well then, let’s choose a drink, shall we? I am guessing that you’ve tasted their special apple wine already?”
“Yes, we have. I do enjoy good sweet wine, but I feel that this one really enhances the flavor of the food.”
“Hm, then what about this apple wine here? It is also a mildly sweet apple wine that has had dried pieces of apple peels inside it for two hours. The smell is divine.”
They said with beaming faces.
“Very good. Allow me to introduce you to this man while we wait. This is my son, Kreis.”
“I am Kreis. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“I am Anne.”
“And I am Mary.”
They could obviously not say Maki and Chiharu.
“The Edmond Company mainly handle leather goods. Do you know those bags that use levitation stone?”
“Oh, is that so. Of course, we know about them. They are very important for us in our travels.”
“Ho ho, indeed.”
Edmond smiled. The son asked:
“I am very curious about new things. Tell me, how are the human territories lately?”
The son looked to be about the same age as Kaider. His curly red hair flowed naturally to the back, and he looked sharp and handsome.
“Well, we did stop by a Midland port town on our way here.”
Maki and Chiharu assumed that he would want to hear something that would benefit his business, and so they talked about the clothes, bags, and food they saw there, and also the noble ladies they saw in the castle.
Edmond watched the two as they keenly detected what he wanted to hear and chose subjects that he was interested in. He had instinctively approached them out of concern but ended up enjoying their time together.
“I see. By the way, are you two here to sightsee?”
Maki glanced at Chiharu. Yes.
“Our father is in Gromble.”
“Gromble! Ahh, they sell magic stones.”
“Something like that.”
“Which companies carriage did you use?”
“Uh, a public one.”
“But that is so dangerous!”
Kreis clearly wanted to question them further, but Chiharu looked at Edmond with pleading eyes. Help.
“Now, Kreis, the girls don’t want to talk about that.”
Kreis closed his mouth with a discontented expression.