After returning home, Locke saw nobody aside from the guards at the entrance, not even Angelina, Glace or the others. It was around four in the afternoon, so there would be an hour or two before they returned home. So, he went to Angelina's residence to play with Angie the scorpiondrake for a little.
It was growing larger and larger. Nowadays, it no longer liked being kept within a spatial habitat as there was nothing else but pitch-black darkness within. Not to mention, Angelina wasn't able to create her own spatial habitat that would be large enough to accommodate it; it would cost too many materials.
When he tossed Angie a piece of crocodile flesh, it licked it carefully. Even after a week, it still gave off a frosty chill. Seemingly interested in the piece of meat, the little scorpiondrake poked its purple tongue out and licked it excitedly, as if it wasn't affected by the chill at all.
Locke didn't bring too much with him, probably only having enough for one of Angie's meals. He had lately been bringing it treats whenever he returned from his missions. Monster meat could help its power grow too, not to mention help it grow attached to him. Any monster would like someone who brought it treats that helped it grow stronger, especially if they hadn't matured yet.
Not long after, the sound of carriages could be heard outside. Glace and the rest had probably returned. As expected, Kristin jumped off the carriage towards him when he went outside, followed by the armoured Laffey and Glace, who slowly trudged along. Locke's sister, Lia, was on the carriage behind them. It didn't take long before he saw her getting off, clad in a yellow dress along with the beautiful Suzanne.
"Big Brother!" Kristin greeted the instant she hugged him. She had grown quite a bit since half a year back, now standing 1.57 metres tall near, about the height of Locke's upper torso. Still, she was still rather short compared to him, who was 1.8 metres tall. Most people would assume they were siblings when they were out in public.
The other women didn't seem too surprised to see him there; it was hardly the first time he left on a mission for a period of time. Suzanna gave Locke a warm hug, and he didn't fail to pull Glace over for a kiss before he whispered 'I'll come looking for you tonight' by her ear.
Before he got to see her expression, he was dragged inside by Kristin. While she didn't mind Glace getting intimate with him, Kristin didn't like seeing Suzanna do so. The way she saw it, Suzanne already had her fill of Locke since she knew him the longest, and now, it was her turn to monopolize him.
Suzanne didn't really mind this little slight; she was already used to it. Though, she was still fuming a little after hearing what Locke had said to Glace. No matter how forgiving she was, even she would be unhappy that the first woman Locke sought out after a month-long excursion was Glace. Laffey, on the other hand, was the calmest of all of them.
In the end, Angelina didn't make it back in time for dinner. According to a few maidservants, she had been busy with her experiments in the academy. Locke wasn't too interested in the details; it was enough that he was informed that she would be returning late. He wasn't too worried about her safety, as she was shadowed by powerful guards almost all the time. She was probably safer in the academy than at home anyway.
During dinner, even the usually quiet Laffey asked him about his experiences. She was a knight herself too, so she was quite curious about going out on missions to train. Though, that didn't stop her from scrutinizing every step of Locke's fight, as if she was the one on the mission herself. "You should be more careful when you go out on missions in the future," she said as she put down her utensils.
"Yeah, sure," Locke mumbled with food still in his mouth. He then took a swig of wine to wash the bread down. Usually, only Lia and Angelina could talk down on him like that. Lia was the one who usually gave him sisterly advice, and he rather enjoyed being on the receiving end of her concern. Angelina, on the other hand, spoke out mainly out of worry.
Locke's excursions in the past half a year had lasted a month or two months each time. As he usually hid his wounds rather well, the others weren't aware of the true risks he was facing, so they could only guess how dangerous it was after talking to other knights with similar experiences.
Incidentally, the academy Laffey, Suzanne and the other women attended was also a rather good one in Princeton. They also had knight and caster faculties, though they couldn't really compare to Princeton Academy's; the success rates of missions taken were much lower too.
Like Princeton Academy, it also had its own mission hall. They had often seen knights return in quite bad shape without managing to complete their missions, hence their anxiety whenever Locke departed for another.
After the interrogative dinner, Lia was and Suzanne were the first to leave. They got along the best with each other, often being able to spend a whole night talking about embroidery. Lia was probably going to have Suzanne accompany her tonight as well. Suzanne, knowing what Locke was up to tonight, was all too willing to stay the night at Lia's.
Laffey was also aware of what was to come and dragged Kristin to bed. She was the one who always made sure she went to sleep on time anyway.
Soon, only Glace and Locke were left in the hall. This strong-willed woman dropped her facade and seemed a little nervous.
Locke came up to hug her, feeling her sensual curves on him. "Let's go to your room."
"Alright," she sheepishly responded.
The two stumbled into her room, but Locke didn't go all out right away. Instead, he took out an outfit Irene picked for him from his spatial gear. "Put this on, will you?"
She bit her lip, swallowing her pride as she changed into the frilly, cutesy apparel. It was his first time seeing her in something like that and something about the cuteness that contrasted with her usually mature air was irresistible to him...