Guiding Heat and Alice through the lobby, Chi Mels quickly arrived in front of a tall, stern man.
"This is my father, Marquess Bryant Mels." Marquess Bryant Mels was a tall man that had an air of authority. With his expressionless face, he looked disciplined and demanding.
"Father, this is sir Quanye Lest. Sir Lest is a powerful expert that I met coincidentally at Rambling restaurant yesterday." Speaking politely, Chi Mels stood between the two men as she introduced them to each other.
"Ahem. My daughter has told me of the occurrence at Rambling restaurant yesterday. Rest assured sir Lest, the Nard family will be held responsible for disturbing your meal without reason and will be giving you a proper explanation. Meanwhile, let us enjoy the party for now!"
Every city inside a territory would be controlled by a Marquess. Being the Marquess of Rock Edge city, how could Bryant Mels not understand from his daughter's descriptions that Heat was clearly an Earth Knight or stronger.
The amount of Earth Knights in each territory of the Herya Empire does not exceed one hundred. They're existences with more influence than a Marquess and only just below a Duke, each of their names is famous throughout the empire.
With less than a thousand Earth Knights within the empire, almost each and every single one would be conscripted into the Royal Guard of the Herya Empire answering only to the King.
Now that his daughter has brought forth an unknown Earth Knight, how could Marquess Bryant not be excited? Once he heard that there was a fight between Heat and the son of Viscount Leo Nard, he immediately made it clear to Viscount Leo Nard that he must attend this social gathering with his son.
Even though his daughter mentioned that Heat rejected her invitation, Marquess Bryant is quite wise and has seen much of the cunningness within politics. He knew that even though Heat initially rejected the invitation to the party, he might still show up. Thus Marquess Bryant wanted to be thoroughly prepared for anything that might happen.
If Heat didn't show up, with Viscount Leo Nard there, Marquess Bryant could use that opportunity to speak to the Viscount regarding how to sincerely apologize to Heat.
It would be even better if Heat did show up because then, Marquess Bryant could throw Viscount Leo Nard's son under the bus and gain Heat's support. If Marquess Bryant helps Heat deal with Ren Nard, Heat would owe him a favor.
So now, when Heat actually appeared at the social gathering, Marquess Bryant was excited. He didn't show it on his face but he was giddy at the fact that everything was working out perfectly for him.
"Thank you for your warm hospitality Marquess Bryant Mels. I'm here to personally apologize for breaking the jade dragon in which you were gifted. It was truly an accident that was due to my lack of focus. If there's any way for me to compensate you I would be more than willing." Heat cut straight to the point since he did not want anything to happen to Alice later on.
Seeing how the Marquess was very friendly, Heat was not too worried about this matter but still felt the need to make it clear so that Alice would be completely free of blame.
"Jade dragon?" With one raised eyebrow, Marquess Bryant looked at his daughter hoping that she would clue him in on what Heat was talking about.
"Oh, I think sir Lest is speaking of a gift that some other nobleman must've brought for you, father." Chi Mels knew that her father was usually not concerned with such trivial matters.
With a mansion full of beautiful artworks and statues, how could a small jade dragon figure possibly amount to much?
"It was a gift that Viscount Jerd Mun brought for this party, housemaster." Alice chimed in. Since she was responsible for bringing the gift to Marquess Bryant Mels' study, she would naturally be more knowledgeable on the subject.
"Ah, well no harm was done. A jade dragon figure is but a trivial decoration." Marquess Bryant truly did not feel much heartache for losing the figure.
Although it was probably worth a good sum of money, it would not amount to how much befriending an Earth Knight would be.
"Sir Lest, you must try this Spring Glacier Wine that I've recently received from a merchant that traveling through our Herya Empire. He obtained this rare wine from the northern parts of the Azern Empire."
Feeling that no trouble would befall Alice regarding the matter of the jade dragon, Heat finally relaxed as he let go of Alice's hand.
"Marquess Bryant Mels, I'm not too well versed in the subject of wine so forgive me for being a layman. I am however curious regarding your order. I heard that you're looking for the Azure Lantern flower?" Heat asked as he received a glass of wine.
Seeing how friendly the Marquess is, Heat was beginning to doubt what he heard from Jef Frey regarding the tyranny of the Marquess' soldiers as they carried out Marquess Bryant's order for retrieving the Azure Lantern flower.
"Ah yes, my daughter Chi has broken through to level 1 Mortal Warrior, this is why I am searching for the Azure Lantern flower. You see, Chi has a water energy core, which is why the Azure Lantern flower would help her break through to level 3 or 4." Looking at Chi Mels lovingly he continued.
"Her mother died giving birth to my daughter, I wish for no harm to befall Chi. That's why I ordered my army to go around inquiring about the Azure Lantern flower's appearance. My troops have been unsuccessful so I even gave out a notice to all the nobles that whoever is able to find it for me would receive Chi's hand in marriage. Unfortunately it's been almost a month and still, no one has found it." Marquess Bryant sighed as he shook his head in disappointment.
"I've heard that some of the villages nearby have been put in distress due to this matter, even going so far as being completely destroyed with no survivors. Would you perhaps know of this?" Heat could not resist asking.
Heat thought that the Marquess was only being friendly due to him being acquainted with his daughter, but he still wanted to know exactly who it was that destroyed Grey Grass Village.
Even though Min Lest tried to take his life, Fang Lest saved his life. If he was strong enough in the future, he would definitely avenge Fang Lest.
"Is that true sir Lest? I have not heard of such a thing. My troops have been mostly searching the forests and questioning people who return from the forests." Marquess Bryant shook his head as he furrowed his eyebrows.
Clearly, Heat was unhappy with what his order caused. However it truly wasn't his fault, he just put out the notice that he wished for the flower to be found and given to him. What the other nobles did outside of the city was not really within his control.
With a slightly helpless look, Marquess Bryant asked "Which villages have suffered damages sir Lest? I will get to the bottom of this and find the culprits. Although it isn't a crime for a noble to kill peasants, it's still an unspoken rule that no one should massacre peasants if they were not offended in any way."
Heat had an appreciation for the Marquess for his help in this matter. "Thank you Marquess Bryant Mels, I'll leave this matter to you then. The only village that I know of which was destroyed recently is Grey Grass Village."
Right at this moment, a server standing at the large door of the lobby announced in a firm voice "Viscount Leo Nard and young master Ren Nard have arrived."