Her voice seemed welcoming.
“The food’s going to cool down! Hurry up and come please!”
As if she was just inviting him out for a meal, she had a friendly expression and attitude.
“Y, you mustn’t. They might’ve put poison in the food.”
Romils quickly waved his hands and several nobles nodded their heads in agreement but Manus was nonchalant.
“They don’t have to resort to such a complicated method to kill me.”
It was true. The army that stood behind Aerea, the soldiers of the Defence Corps of Meland were several times greater than the numbers following Manus.
Romils and other nobles couldn’t find any other words, as they knew how true that was. During that, Manus got rid of his helmet and armour to change into casual clothes before pacing towards the table. With an extremely calm expression, he sat on the other side of Aerea’s seat.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Manus Persion.”
Polite but not over the top. In response to such a greeting, Aerea smiled brightly and reached out with her right hand.
“The captain of the Meland Defence Corps of the Istel Kingdom, Aerea Britz.”
It was a very straightforward attitude, and Manus grabbed onto her hand after a light smile. A light handshake would follow – that’s what Manus had thought but,
Making a slightly surprised expression, Manus stared at Aerea. It was because her long tender fingers started to tighten its firm grasp around his hand.
‘Is she looking to see who’s grip is stronger?’
He hadn’t seen that coming at all and on top of that, Aerea was still hanging the same bright smile on her lips.
The fingers dug into the back of his hand. It was a truly remarkable strength and at this point, Manus couldn’t stand back doing nothing.
‘Shall we try it then?’
Intentionally making a light smile, he put force into his right hand.
A grim sound echoed away. It was a fierce battle of strength but the two of them still wore relaxed expressions along with unchanging smiles.
The long table quivered itself due to their fight. With one mistake, all the food could end up on the ground and more importantly, one of the two could end up with an injury. But even then, Aerea showed no signs of backing off.
‘What Romils had said were exactly right. This woman is a spider.’
Making a bitter smile, Manus suddenly released the strength within his right hand as a sign of forfeit. He didn’t want to injure her.
Aerea made a strange smile.
She immediately retrieved her force and released the hand. At the same time, she raised her left hand a little and a man wearing baggy attires approached with a bottle of alcohol. His hair was messy and covered his face, making it impossible to see it.
The man poured alcohol into Aerea and Manus’ glasses. Raising the glass, Aerea asked softly.
“Did you lose? Or did you yield?”
Manus too raised his glass and shook his head.
“Who knows. Is that important?”
In response, Aerea asked again.
“Was it taken? Or did you yield?”
The subject was missing but it was clear what she was talking about – the Persion Kingdom. Manus shrugged his shoulders.
“Let me ask you back. Does it look like it was taken or does it look like I let him take it?”
Aerea made a smile and shook her head.
“There’s no way for me to know.”
She immediately emptied the glass and likewise, Manus followed suit. He wasn’t worried a single bit about poison.
‘She’s not that kind of person.’
He believed in his eyes.
The man holding the bottle once again filled up the glasses. Manus and Aerea’s glasses were back full and,
He poured alcohol into an empty glass next to him. It was a strange action.
With a slight frown, Manus stared at the man and it was then that the man let the bottle down before making a faint smile.
“In fact, whether it was taken or yielded is not important.”
A clear voice filled the area. With an intrigued expression, Aerea stared at the man while the man properly tidied up his unkempt hair.
“If it was taken, you can take it back, and if it was yielded, you can have it returned.”
The face that had been covered soon came into view.
“The important thing right now is not the Persion Kingdom.”
Incomprehensible words, but his calm voice was filled gradually with strength. Then, Manus made a slightly surprised expression.
He was very familiar with the man’s face. Soon, the man lowered his head at Manus.
“Long time no see.”
The man and Manus – they were acquaintances. The man raised his head back up to stare directly at Manus’ two eyes.
“Peid Neil here.”
The man was a noble of the Istel Kingdom, known for being the Fox of the Battlefields, Peid Neil.
<Dragons (5)> End.