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Chapter 37: What Do You Think?

Her Highness Nora’s birthday banquet could be divided into two main social circles. One was for the nobles, and the other one was for the children they brought with them.

The social gathering for the children was much less mature, but its importance wouldn’t pale in comparison to that of the adults. Factions formed as children tended to persist into adulthood, so houses that were close with one another usually requested for their successors to huddle together and form cliques.

For this reason, this banquet was important to children like Roel too. He was already disadvantaged for being absent the previous year, and this was further worsened by the fact that the Ascarts didn’t have many offspring or subordinate nobles.

“Roel, try your best to make friends at the banquet, but there’s no need to force it if it doesn’t work out.”

Carter told Roel prior to setting off to the royal palace.

He was basically giving Roel some mental prep for what was to come. Carter himself didn’t have a good time in his younger years, due to the Ascarts’ reputation as a house of magicians, and it didn’t help that Carter himself wasn’t too interested in building factions and connections either. So, he thought that the banquet wouldn’t be too pleasant for Roel either.

“Don’t worry, father. I’m not too bothered by all these.”

“Alicia, it’ll do for you to just follow your big brother Roel around later on.”

“… I will.”

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The silver-haired girl replied obediently before slowly lowering her head. The smile on her face was slowly vanishing, replaced by unease.

Hm? Is she feeling nervous? It’s rare to see such a look on her face.

“Alicia, it’ll be fine. Just follow me later on.”

Roel patted Alicia’s head and consoled her.

“… I understand, Lord Brother.”

Alicia squeezed out a strained smile for Roel as she tried her best to push down the fear in her heart.

It will be fine. I’m a member of the Ascart House now, and big brother Roel is with me too…

—————————————–

As the proverb went, ‘clothes make the man’.

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Given the grand occasion, the nobles of the Theocracy were dressed in their finest garments. However, one would be sorely mistaken to think that clothes was the only thing they could compare with one another. No, the nobles compared their carriages too.

The usually peaceful street outside the Xeclydes’ garden was already filled with all sorts of beautifully adorned carriages. These carriages formed a long queue as they awaited their entry into the royal palace.

Carter made use of this opportunity to introduce their insignias for Roel and Alicia, paying greater emphasis toward the other four of the Five Eminent Noble Houses.

“That grey bear insignia belongs to the Belfast Marquess House. Their fiefdom is located at the northernmost border of the Theocracy, a place

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