Telling Golem and Gallant that I was heading out with Esta was a bit weird. I mean, I... Ugh. Maybe I am overthinking this... Nope, I am overthinking this. My heart is racing a bit, and my face is red.
Before we confronted my two knights, Esta demanded- DEMANDED- that I wore something nice on our date.
-A few minutes ago-
"Master, are you going to walk around in that?" She was referring to my standard baggy brown pants and a dull looking black shirt.
"Eh... yeah?" I looked at myself, seeing no issue in my attires. It was comfortable.
"No... I don't like it. Can you please change out of it?"
"Cause... I want to see you in a dress." Huh? Hearing Esta say that made me blush. Looking away from her, I scratch my chin.
"W-Well... I d-doubt I can wear something too nice. I'll stand out-"
"Don't care!" She glares at me. Oh god! Why is her glare cute?! Fidgeting under her gaze, I try to look away.
"N-Nah... Everytime I stand out, something bad-"
"P-Please... M-Master..." I regret everything. When I cast my eyes back on Esta, she was blinking rapidly at me. Chewing on her index finger, pouting and staring at me with big eyes, fidgeting in place, swaying side to side, she attacks me with her cute factor! Grabbing my chest, blushing madly and forcing my hands at my side, resisting the temptation to glomp her, I try to say no. I... must... not....
"Pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaassssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Leaning forward, almost kissing me, the cute elf stretches that one word out. Staring into her eyes, I can see tears forming-
"Okay, okay! I-I will wear a dress for you!"
-Back to the present-
I don't know why I let Esta select the gown I have to wear. I don't like this at all. Unable to voice out my concerns, I stand before my two knights in a white summer gown. With tight short sleeves around my shoulders, the velvety, soft laced material runs smoothly against my skin. The skirt of this gown stops around my knees as my feet are covered in my white open toed heels. Esta even added a sun hat on me, matching the same color as my outfit. Pulling down the tip of my hat, I try to hide my face.
This is soooo embarrassing.
Gallant lets out a whistle along with several other strangers. Before I shot a deadly glare at the strangers, Golem turns to them. Acting oblivious, and faking their interest, they went back to whatever they were doing.
"... I would say that I would guard you or call Abdul, but you're in Zezrious. I highly doub that some IDIOT," Gallant emphasized on that word, looking over his shoulders, "Would try to attack you. If they do, I bet some other random stranger will help you out. By the way... Why did you come to us? You could have just went."
"Showing. Off?" Golem hinted.
"I-I... I mean," stuttering, shaking, I try to look at the two, "I... Just letting you two know! I-I'll be back later!"
"Yeah, yeah. We'll be here. Now get going you two." As I turn around, I can hear Gallant say, "T-They're growing up so fast... I-I'm so proud of our girl..." in an instant, I pull out one of my spare shoes from my storage ring and fling it at Gallant.
"Shut up! Stupid Gallant!" I stomped out of the inn. Esta, bowing at the two, followed suite. The moment we stepped out, a lot of people were eyeing at us. At me. This unnecessary attention will surely ruin our date. As if someone was answering my plight, Abdul and his soldiers came into view. Noticing how a lot of people were looking at us, he came up to us. With Len's soldiers within the vicinity, everyone went back to business. Abdul actually looks me from head to toe, whistling.
"Damn. Going on a date?"
"Yes." I glared at the man. "How many people are going to do that. Gallant just did that!"
"The fucking whistling and oogling." Noticing my sudden anger, he backs away, raising his hands.
"Hold on! You can't blame us for your sudden appearance! I mean... I haven't seen you in such clothing! And its a compliment! Don't take it the wrong way now!"
"I will forgive this action if you somehow get these strangers from interfering with my date." I folded my arms across my chest.
"Consider it done." Abdul ushers one of his soldiers over, telling him the details. The soldier, knowing full well about procedures and what not, stared at his commander.
"Sir... I don't think we can-"
"Do it. Or else." Abdul strictly interrupts him, emphasizing his words. Resigning to the commands, the soldier nods and disappear from sight. "There. I will have a couple of my soldiers make sure that your date will go smoothly. No stranger will gawk at you and stare too much. With that, I will bid you ado." The armored man and his group left us alone. Being protected from the shadows, Esta and I continued our trip through the city. Remembering how the city was divided into three layes, we sticked to the first area between the first and second walls. There are a lot of terraced buildings, but there are semi detached ones, and detached houses. There are tall apartments here and there with a typical box shaped design while others stood out with intricate shapes. There are many, many stores and vendors shattered on the road or off to the side. Activity is bursting through the streets, people coming and going.
A lizardman was standing on a box, exclaiming the news about ongoing events. There was an elf arguing with a gnoll over a lucrative accessory. Guards were investigating a crime scene of some sort, while little kids of different races, play tag with one another.
So much life- Eh. I felt a bit troubled at the sight of other couples. Biting my lower lip, fidgeting, I look at Esta. She is still wearing her mage getup. There was nothing wrong with her being normal, but I feel like I should have shoved her into a dress as well. Then again, would I be able to survive? Imagining the elf in a dress...
"A-A-Aisha, w-w-w-we should go that way!" Snapping me from my thoughts, the elf grabs my hand and drags me towards a rectangular building. At first, I thought it was an apartment or some department building, but then I notice the sign. It was the library? The building has multiple storeys and windows, making me assume that it was some important department building. I would have thought that Zezrious' library would have some sort of intricate deisgn to them. Going up some steps, Esta turns towards the right, away from the library's entrance. I tilt my head at Esta.
"Aren't we going into-"
""Sister!"" I couldn't finish my sentence as two small figures glomp me. Luckily, I didn't fall. That would have been bad if I did. Esta lets go of my hand for a bit, so I can wrap my arms around my little sisters. How did you-
"Your highness." Two black knights bow at my presence. I wave them off, watching Olivia and Ethan approach us as well. Rushing to me as well, Olivia joins in on the group hug. Her tone is shaky, saying, "Y-You're alright! G-Gallant said not to worry, b-but you didn't-"
"I'm fine. Don't worry about your big sis." I comforted my little sisters, staring at Ethan. He has a book in his hand, but he closed it the moment we arrived. He nods at me, giving me his own smile.
"You're already becoming an adventurer."
"Not an official one, but something like that." I replied.
"You look nice... in a dress. Should wear one every now and then."
"Yeah!" Jessica steps back, awing at my outfit, "You look really nice!"
"Super nice!" Jennifer echoed, "Should wear it! Maybe a lot more!"
"I-I don't think she'll like that." Olivia laughed nervously, "F-For obvious reasons." Staring past Ethan, I notice that there are a bunch of books on a table. I didn't realize that the library has an outdoor lounge? Is that even safe? One of the knights notice my inquiry, or where my eyes were at, explaining the situation.
"Young Jessica and Jennifer are quite... loud. Being the kids they are, most of the librarians suggested that we take them outdoors so they do not disturb the other occupants. There are some people who would like to read in silence."
"Aren't they afraid that someone might take their books?"
"Sis, it's Zezrious. Who would try that?" Ethan countered. Eyeing around the open space, I can still see a good amount of soldiers walking about. Hell, I think there are a couple of soldiers purposely hanging around the library to ensure such things don't happen. Nodding my head, his eyes turn to Esta.
"Who is she?"
"Esta?" I was going to answer them honestly until my voice disappeared for a second.
I can't tell them she's a slave. Well, maybe Ethan, but not the other three.
"I'm her lover." Esta answers.
Crap. Watching my siblings' reaction, I was not surprised at Ethan's confusion. No, that was natural. I was baffled at my younger siblings though. Jennifer and Jessica were squealing and jumping in place. Is that normal? No, that's not. At least Olivia had a normal sort of reaction. Her hands were covering her shock- well, specifically, her mouth. The two knights just shook their heads at once another. At they pitying me? They are...
"Lover?! L-L-Like mommy and daddy?!" Buying into it, Jennifer rush forward and grasp Esta's hand, "So, so, so, you do things right! Like this!" The little girl tightly hold her hand and swings it around, "And hug a lot!"
"You can't forget kissing!" Jessica added, running up to grab Esta's other hand, "They hold hands, they hug, and kiss!"
"Y-You two stop that! S-Show some consideration!" Olivia rushes forward, trying to pull her twin sisters away from Esta. Letting them have their own conversations, Ethan walks forward. Rubbing his head, he lets out a loud sigh.
"What exactly happened over the few days?" Laughing at his question, I can only scratch my head.
Letting my sisters play and chat with Esta, I sat down and discuss the events that have unfolded over the past day. Days. The two knights also joined in on the conversation. They are still keeping an eye out on their surroundings. My younger brother has his hands on his head, trying to piece everything together. The real reason behind his gesture was due to the troubling news of our older siblings who were close by.
"They both have high standings and do not have bad personalities." Ethan gives his opinion, "I know that they both have their own armies, yet the benefits would vary. Louise is not married compared to Caesar. Tied up with another family, who also has their own connections, they can aid us in our time of need. Connections can do a lot in this world compared to having armies. Caesar is also a father." I frowned at that fact. I didn't know that some of my older siblings have their own families now. Ethan continues on, "Louise, with our father's death, could now marry whomever she wants. She could stick with a potential suitor, but knowing her, she wants someone who can be her equal. Or a bit above her. But she does not have that many contacts compared to Caesar. In terms of their army, Caesar has a well disciplined and well rounded army compared to Louise who utilize a lot of defensive maneuvers. Not onl that, I think Caesar has a lot of elite troopers in terms of mobility. Especially the Alduin. His dragon riders... Can't you save both of them?" Ethan looks at me with pain. I already know my answer to that question, and I will not risk my knights to such dangers. Never again.
Selfish, I know, but... I can't.
"No. Even if I were to go right now, I can only save one of them."
"I see. Well, I hope you make the right decision." He stands up straight, hands at his side. "By the way, how come you brought her?" His gaze was directed at Esta. As I was having a chat with Ethan, it seems like Esta is enjoying her time with my sisters. I only let out a soft sigh of my own.
"A lot of reasons." I could explain it to him, yet I think thee will be a better time for that, "Since I told you my stories, what have you been doing?"
"Other than shopping, reading. I decided to teach our sisters about some important history lessons along with some politics. The usual lessons that we took before we left the mansion." Ethan answers.
"Keep on doing that. I will have to repay you for being the babysitter. Along with you two," I address the two knights, "Thanks for watching over them." They both shrugged at my remark.
"Well, I will need to take Esta back with me. It hasn't been an actual date since we aren't spending it together." Hearing this, Esta finally approach me, patting my sisters' heads. Ethan nods at my remark, saying, "Dont forget about our older siblings now."
"By the way, you do look nice in a dress. Should wear one time to time." Ethan compliments me as well, throwing me off guard.
"Man, you need to find a suitable girlfriend then." I countered, seeing a light blush on his cheeks.
""Bye bye Esta!"" Waving at my little sisters, we walked away from my younger siblings (along with the two knights). Giggling to herself, I gaze at my elf. I couldn't help but smile alongside her, although I had a feeling that she planned this. Or she had some sort of objective. But first...
"How did you know that they were my siblings?" I did not tell her about my younger siblings.
"When you were knocked out, Gallant told me almost everything about what had happened. Not only that, they have two black knights with them. There is only one person who controls these knights."
"I wouldn't say I am the only one, but I haven't seen anyone else with black knights." I corrected, hearing Esta giggle and lean on my shoulder. Her hands also grab at my right arm, hugging onto it.
"Your sisters are nice and innocent. I enjoyed their company. They're cute!" I chuckled, patting her head.
"Alright, enough about them, we should go back on our date. I feel like you had some hidden agenda, but I won't bother you about it... for now."
"Hehehe, alright." Esta did not let go of me as we stroll through the streets. I would have bought something for her, but she denied it. I can see that her eyeing at multiple outfits, accessories, and other pretty things. Everytime I try to get something, she would deny it. She would even use her puppy face against me. Knowing that we didn't have enough time, we were going to go back to the inn. Before we head in that direction, Esta stops me.
"Ah, it's pretty." Turning my attention to the left, Esta was walking into a park?
Zezrious has a park? I didn't expect this. Being so industrial, I wouldn't think-
Staring at the scene before us, I was amazed at its beauty. It was like we were in the wilderness, not in a city. There was no hints of civilizations other than the gates we came through. The outside noises were nonexistent. I know that the buildings of Zezrious are taller than these trees, yet I saw nothing but sunlight. Scratching my head at this, someone noticed my confusion.
"Ah, hello there. It seems like you noticed how this place is rather odd." Turning, a woman in white robes stood before us. With her blonde hair tied in a ponytail, she bows at Esta.
"[[Your highness.]]" She says this in an elven tongue. Esta lets out a cute squeal as I raise an eyebrow at the title.
"[[She is Elenaril. They must be treated with respect, but I can see that you both have a special relationship. I will not pry into it. The forest is under our care. Using a bit of magic, some illusion magic, we make this park look like a real forest. Some people may not want to venture out of their safety, so we just recreate it to the best of our abilities.]]"
"[[I see. Well, thank you for informing us. We will enjoy the scenery. Have a good day.]]" I bow my head slightly to her. She bows back, leaving us be. Leading the way, Esta drags me to the biggest tree in the park. It was an oak tree, but something about it stood out. The leaves let a slight glow, changing to a light yellow color. Sometimes I can see a bit of pink and red pop up. As if the lights on the leaves weren't enough, you can see small specks of yellow and green appear through the air.
"It's pretty." Esta says in awe.
"Is it?" I look down on my elf, seeing a glint in her eyes.
"W-Well... I haven't seen a lot of things, so I can't say."
"Right." I forgot that Esta was sheltered from the world just like me. She hasn't seen as much. Wrapping an arm around Esta, I whispered this, "I will make sure that you get to see the world then. This is just the beginning." Kissing the side of her head, she lets out a giggle.
"I can't wait." she replied.
"Now let's get going. We need to take care of some business."
"Hehe, on our next date, I'll make sure to wear a nice dress as well. And yes, you're wearing something nice again." She looks up at me with a gleeful smile, making me pat her head.
"Alright then." I gave her a smile as well, enjoying my time with her.