Joaquin's party ended less-than-perfectly. A noble was beaten up and severely injured in the west district of Princeton, and the constables in the city couldn't believe it.
They surrounded Joaquin's mansion as they tried to look for the assailant. The elites couldn't suppress an incident like this.
However, the constables were speechless at Tris' behaviour. Although the casters who accompanied them had given him a simple treatment, he still couldn't stop talking nonsense.
"A black figure. I saw a black figure!"
"Hey! I have at least two broken ribs! You all are useless!"
"Hurry up and arrest the assailant! He's in this mansion!"
"I'm the margrave's nephew! Go and catch the assailant now!"
The constables initially planned to ignore him, but since he'd put his uncle on the table in the end, they had no choice but to take care of the poor victim.
Of course, Joaquin's family was not to be messed with. The constables in the west district didn't have the right to conduct a search in a count's mansion, so they could only do their minimum due diligence on this matter and just get it over with.
Nobody suspected that it was done by someone from the mansion since fistfights amongst nobility was far from common. If they were caught doing so, their whole family would be punished. It simply wasn't worth risking that behaviour.
Soon, everyone came to the conclusion that it was done by a love rival as an act of revenge on him based on the assailant saying something along the lines of his woman being stolen.
Someone had also suspected that this was an act to divert everyone's attention, but the reason for it wasn't important anymore as the elites just wanted a conclusion despite whether it was right or wrong. The security department needed some kind of explanation for this case before nightfall. Otherwise, the elites in the royal capital would question their competence.
This incident had caused lots of chaos. They wanted to close the case quickly, so they just found a slum dweller as the scapegoat in the end to settle it. Princeton was huge, and there were hundreds of homeless slum folk dying every day. Nobody would care much about them being made scapegoats. The constables didn't leave until the evening. The rest of the nobles who'd been placed under a disguised form of house arrest could finally go home after a long day.
Who would've thought that something like this would happen at a party? Most of the nobles who'd been detained for such a long time didn't complain about it at all, being more interested in the possible motives of this mysterious assailant. This time Tris was humiliated big time. He would probably be the talk of the town and a laughing stock for the next few months.
"I'm leaving now, Joaquin!"
"See you next time, Joaquin!"
"I look forward to seeing you again!"
When the sky turned dark, the nobles left Joaquin's house one after another.
These nobles' relatives were the first suspects, but they were also the first ones to be excluded. They weren't fools, after all. There were far better ways to get back at someone as a noble than using one's fists. Not to mention, all the nobles were in the garden during the incident and had an alibi, including Locke.
"Honey, you didn't actually have to do that," whispered Angelina as she leaned on Locke's shoulder.
"Hmph! How dare he pull a face at you and scold you. He was lucky that I didn't kill him," said Locke.
"You fool!" Joaquin snorted disapprovingly while looking at the lovey-dovey couple in front of her.
Everyone needed to have at least three witnesses for their alibi. Locke was vouched for by Angelina, Daenie and Joaquin. While it was a given that the former two would help him, he didn't expect that Joaquin would do so as well.
"That fool deserved it. I wasn't really trying to rescue you," said Joaquin arrogantly as she folded her arms and looked away.
"Anyway, thank you!" After holding back for quite some time, Locke finally said it.
There were roughly three hundred constables at her mansion the whole afternoon, and, given her father's status as a count, this was a rather big deal. Additionally, since Tris had such an unpleasant experience at Joaquin's house, she might earn his displeasure. Locke was thankful she didn't sell him out.
"You don't have to thank me, just treat Angelina well. I won't be seeing you off." They could hear the sound of Joaquin's crystal high heels clacking on the floor as she walked away. Doubtlessly, she had a lot of things to do to take care of the incident's aftermath.
"Let's go." Angelina was afraid that Locke would be provoked by Joaquin again. She held Locke with one hand and Daenie with the other and left.
However, Angelina was overthinking matters. Locke wasn't an impulsive person, and he would only act or make a decision after serious consideration. He owed Joaquin a favour now, so he would obviously not cause any more trouble for her.
It was quiet in the carriage. Angelina held Locke's hand, probably thinking about something. Daenie kept her head down, but she would occasionally raise her head and look at Locke curiously. After a long time, they finally arrived at Daenie's house. "Goodbye, Daenie!"
After making sure Daenie entered her house, the carriage set off again.
"Don't act so impulsively anymore in the future!" she exclaimed, pinching his arm hard. As soon as they were both left alone, Angelina immediately dropped her ladylike act.
"Ouch!" Locke exaggerated, even though she didn't use much of her strength.
"Ah? Did I hurt you? Let me have a look." Angelina panicked and looked at the part where she'd just pinched him. When she raised her head and saw Locke smiling, she realised that she'd been tricked by him.
"You're so annoying!" Angelina pinched him again, but this time, with all she had.
Even so, a low-rank Knecht like Locke wouldn't feel anything. He then picked her up, placed her on his lap, and kissed her affectionately, making out the whole way back.
It was Sunday and Locke could finally laze around at home for the whole day. He laid down on the wooden chair in the courtyard like a master as Suzanne sat beside him and fanned him. Princeton wasn't hot at all in March; Locke was just being pretentious.
"How about I find something for you to do?" asked Locke gently as he caressed Suzanne's hair.
"Sure!" Suzanne had been quite bored lately. Although she'd learned some Aomarian from Locke and the others, she rarely went out. She would only go out if Locke accompanied her.
"How about finding a school for you?" asked Locke. He didn't want her to do any business now. They'd just arrived in Princeton a month ago and hadn't figured anything out yet. Rushing into business right now might not be the best choice. Princeton was not Shalor, after all. Back then, she had Locke and the baron's caravan to count on, but not here.
"Alright." After thinking for a while, Suzanne nodded in agreement. Actually, she was very similar to Locke. She didn't like academics and was only interested in practical things that could actually help her in life.
"Then I'll ask Glace about this tonight."
Kristin was already fourteen. Glace wanted to find a school or a teacher for her when they were in Faustian, but she never had the chance to do so. Now that they were in Aomar, there were countless schools of all kinds to choose from aside from the Imperial Academy.
Glace already had a list and was about to make the final decision. She could just add Suzanne into her considerations. That way Suzanne could accompany Kristin to school. Those schools were general education institutions that taught basic subjects like arithmetic and Aomarian history. Spells and impetus weren't part of the syllabus.
Since it would be better to have something to do rather than staying at home, Locke planned to ask Lia to join too. She'd only been reading and embroidering at home for the past few days, and it was unhealthy for her.
"Study?" Lia was surprised for a moment. She then said, "Okay."
"You'll be going with Kristin and Suzanne," added Locke.
"Alright." Lia already knew about his relationship with Suzanne a long time ago.
"You're going to Santasco Academy for class tomorrow."
"Got it." It was much easier talking to Lia than talking to Kristin. When he told Kristin about this matter this morning, she threw a huge tantrum and almost demolished the whole house. Luckily, she listened to him in the end. But he had to promise her to pick her and the others up from school every two days.