It was high noon.
All the tables were occupied by the lodging guests and the adventurers who stopped by to eat. Shin was taking orders while used the brooch to send Chloe’s footage to the prince’s entourage.
Locke came back around the time the customer traffic had loosened and sat near the counter. The mistress, who knew their circumstances asked for Chloe to entertain him instead.
“Welcome back. Did it go well with the new members?”
“Yeah, they will stay at the lodging tonight so I’ll introduce them later. They also want to meet you too.”
‘How is it? Are you certain it’s him?’
‘I cannot tell from behind sir, and we haven’t met in three years… but I do recall his unkempt greed colored hair.’
As Momo hesitantly replied remaining fully focused on the mirror, Chloe began to hand over her baked cookies to Locke, blushing slightly. She had already tasted them, so whether that behavior was brought by her lack of confidence in her baking skills or not, the prince was not certain.
“Although, I do not think it will measure up to Miss Momo’s baked cookies…”
“Did you bake this, Chaco? I’m honored to be the first taster. Then, I’ll take–“
Locke said as frivolously as he reached for the platter but, someone else took the cookies before him.
The intruder grabbed the cookies and threw them all into his mouth making a crunching sound as he ate. His behavior astounded not only Chloe and Locke those within the mirror but even the ones observing it.
‘W-Why is he…’
‘What is that idiot trying to do?’
“Hmp, it’s true. Momo’s cookies were far more delicious.”
Saying so with a laugh, the man was none other than the absentee in the observation room, Dai, himself.
“What’s your deal? That’s really rude, and by Momo, you mean..”
“I came here to observe that woman over there. I even saved you the trouble in case that woman put some love potions in there or something. Isn’t that right, Chloe Sereknight?”
Dai suddenly drops a bombshell without the slightest hesitation. Minister Blackia’s ducal house, the Sereknight, is a name known even in the most remote mountain regions. The same goes for the fact that its ducal lady, Chloe, used to be the temporary saintess and the prince’s fiancée.
Although most of the customers had already left after lunch time, most of those who remained were all stirred by his words.
Chloe only caught her breath, her eyes open wide, with her eyes downward on the ground.
“Chloe Sereknight? The heck is that?”
“I’m talking about that criminal near you. That woman got abandoned by the prince for harassing the saintess and was thrown out of the capital as a result. She may look meek and sweet right now but she was fooling you all this entire time.”
Locke turned his entire body towards the screen. Momo’s eyes widened in surprise which confirmed to the prince that he was truly the childhood friend Momo knew.
(Putting that aside, Dai, you bastard! What the hell are you thinking!?)
The original plan was to have Shin cruelly discard Chloe after she grew reliant on him without letting her know that she was under observation. The prince thought that perhaps Dai was trying to show Locke the true nature of the lady to disillusion him of her deception.
Still, he considered the approach far too direct.
“So what if Chaco is that Chlo-whatever that you talked about? That kind of personal history is common among these fools who try to challenge that dungeon over there. The policy of Grace Church had always been to not refuse those who come, but not chase after those who leave. Isn’t that right, Boss?”
Locke’s glance headed towards the entrance that leads to the church where Father Grace’s peeking silhouette could be seen.
Update after two days, maybe?