Once he finished the preparations, Sol began to follow the servant in order to meet the so-called Nefertiti while chuckling inwardly.
‘So, after the grandmother, it’s the turn of the granddaughter.’
The place where the meeting was taking place was a patio with nature in abundance and a beautiful scenery composed of rivers and trees.
Even though the air outside should have been terribly hot because of the three suns hanging in the sky, the temperature on the patio was rather mild. Sol supposed that it was the result of a protective barrier like the one used for the hanging garden in Lustburg.
Looking at the one he supposed was Nefertiti, as she sat in a prim and proper way, Sol’s eyes couldn’t help but lit up.
Saying that Nefertiti was beautiful would be a redundancy since Sol had never seen an ugly phoenix. But, Nefertiti was on another level altogether.
Nefertiti looked like a slim young woman with shoulder-length brown hair decorated with flower ornaments, and her eyes were of a beautiful and soft pink.
Her delicate brown skin seemed to shine under the light of the suns and contrasted nicely with her white and gold egyptian dress fit for a princess.
When Sol entered, she stood up and gave a curtsey full of grace.
“Good morning honored guest, I hope I did not bother you.”
A gentle smile lit up her face as she addressed him.
“… Your highness?”
As if waking up from a trance Sol also answered with his own smile,
“Forgive me. It was just that I was completely entranced by your beauty.”
Nefertiti did not seem to take offense and covered her mouth with her hand as she let out a light and gentle laugh,
“I am honored. Would you like to take a seat? I asked the servants to prepare a light snack.”
Taking a seat not far from her, Sol had to fight all his instincts to not throw sneaky glances at her.
‘She is really worthy of her name.’
In history, Nefertiti was recognized as one of the most beautiful queens to ever exist in Egypt. In fact, her name meant “A beautiful woman has come.”
He didn’t know if the name had the same meaning here, but this didn’t matter.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
‘Why the hell am I acting like some teenager in heat? … Ohhh.’
He grumbled inwardly before releasing that he was indeed a teenager in heat.
His heart was beating fast like a drum and his cheeks felt warm.
In all his life, the only time he had ever felt like this was when he met Medea for the first time.
Thankfully, even though he was quite mesmerized, Sol wasn’t inexperienced.
Calming down his wildly beating heart, he looked straight at Nefertiti’s eyes and asked.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”
Even though her expression did not change, Nefertiti was quite startled at how fast he managed to get his bearings back.
Even though she was not a vain person, she knew very well how devastating her beauty could be.
The Nent project was really on a large scale. Each of the partners she chose for her children were the result of generations of careful selective breeding.
Nefertiti’s mother, for example, was born from generations and generations of unions between metal-type spirits while introducing one charm spirit every two or three generations.
When her parents mated, even though she did not manage to obtain a core, she stood proudly at A+ rank. Furthermore, her beauty was devastating, to the point where even divine beasts from other territories asked to become her mate.
But until now, none of them caught Nent’s attention, and as such Nefertiti remained unmarried.
At least, that was until today.
Waving her hand, one of the servants who stood on the side with a cage covered by a veil advanced and kneeled before presenting the cage respectfully to Sol.
Arching his brow, Sol wordlessly asked what it was about, but all Nefertiti did was smile.
When Sol finally took off the veil from the cage,
“What a beautiful cat.”
Sol exclaimed quietly. Even though he wasn’t a pet person, he had to admit that this cat struck his fancy.
Its lustrous white fur swayed in the wind and jewel-like blue eyes were looking at him with aloofness as if asking, who the heck are you?
But what really caught his attention was the frigid air he could feel coming from that cat.
“A magic beast?”
“Indeed. This cat should have been one of your spoils of war. We recovered it from the belongings of the bandit chief you killed a few days ago.”
Sol was quite surprised at her honest confession.
“Wouldn’t it be more advantageous for you to hide the information from me?”
Nefertiti smiled, “Phoenixes do not lie easily. Though I am just a hybrid, I still follow that principle.”
Of course, there was another reason. Since Isis was a necromancer and had seemingly changed Rio into an undead, even if Nefertiti gave that cat without explaining its origins truthfully, it would only be a matter of time before Sol learned the truth.
If this happened, any amount of trust that had managed to be built between the two parties would be destroyed.
After all, trust could take years to truly form, but all it needed to be destroyed was an instant.
“I see. I must say, I have received many gifts in my life, but this is the first time I received a pet as a bribe. This is rather refreshing. Still, I do not believe in free things. Let me be blunt, what do you want?”
Nefertiti was truly beautiful. So beautiful that he could hardly tear his gaze away from her.
But this did not make him happy.
For Nent to send this girl to discuss with him clearly meant that they intended to affect his rational judgment through her beauty. Using a honey trap was one of the most effective traps after all.
At the same time, it showed that Nent and her group were still underestimating him, or rather, Nent was judging him using the standard of a dragon and thought they could easily manipulate him.
Of course, it was also possible he was horribly wrong and was looking too much into it. But, it was better to be safe than sorry.
This was the second time Sol had managed to startle Nefertiti. Usually, when she went to negotiate, men would do their best to make their discussions last longer. But this one was trying to shorten it.
She had to admit that this was quite the novel feeling. Still, she had work to do and she could not let herself be distracted.
“Your highness, I…”
“Sol! How are you!?”
The moment Nefertiti tried to explain what brought her, her smile stiffened when she was interrupted quite rudely.
She was about to berate the person, but when she saw who it was, all she could do was swallow her words and show a stiff smile.
“This was quite rude, don’t you think Isi…”
“My, you are also here, Nefertiti!? I didn’t see you at all.”
Interrupting her once again, and quite loudly this time, ‘Sheherazade’ gave a fake smile as she greeted Nefertiti.
Of course, Sol did not miss what Nefertiti had tried to say. But even if he did, the way she restrained herself in front of ‘Sheherazade’ showed that she couldn’t be a simple guest, which made her true identity all the more obvious.
Sipping on the still steaming cup of tea that the servants had placed on the table, Sol admired ‘Sheherazade’.
Currently, she was draped in a black and gold robe that barely covered her thighs. while her curves were not that impressive, they were still a little above average.
Standing next to Nefertiti, the contrast between the two was all the more obvious.
A pure beauty clad in white facing a mischievous beauty clad in black. Even though ‘Sheherazade’ wasn’t as beautiful as Nefertiti, she was still a top class beauty.
Nefertiti was just in another class altogether.
‘What a charming scene.’
Drinking a good tea, feeling the wind, and looking at two beauties bickering.
This brought him quite the nostalgic feeling as it made him feel like he was back at home with Setsuna and Lilith fighting against each other.
Thinking about them, a warm smile unconsciously formed on his face.
‘Hum? Why is everything silent suddenly?’
Bringing back his attention to the scene, he was surprised to see that ‘Sheherazade’ and Nefertiti had stopped arguing and were looking at him in trance.
In the end ‘Sheherazade’ shook her head as she took a seat next to Sol. Inwardly, she couldn’t help but murmur,
‘This should be cheating.’
Not far from her, Nefertiti shared the same opinion.
She never thought she would one day be the one dazzled by a smile.
Once ‘Sheherazade’ calmed down, she took a cookie from Sol’s plate and munched on it quite happily, as if oblivious that she was intruding.
In the end, Nefertiti did not wish to break the good impression she had managed to establish.
“Well, it seems like we will be unable to continue this discussion.”
Sighing, she stood up and gave another curtsey,
“If you will excuse me, I need to bid you farewell. I hope that we will meet later—in a more private setting.”
She did not forget to shoot a pointed look at the intruder.
“I am most thankful.”
Smiling, Nefertiti turned around and walked away with her servants. Sol did not miss the fact that they went away without taking the cat with them.
“Humph! Shameless vixen.”
‘Sheherazade’ murmured angrily before stuffing her face with another cookie.
Sol gave a wry smile as he took the napkin and wiped off the crumbs at the corner of her mouth.
“Stop acting like a child.”
“I am not a child!”
She blushed heavily at this intimate action and took the napkin from his hand to finish the job.
“So…” Taking another sip of his tea, he asked, “Why are you here?”
‘Sheherazade’ hesitated for a short while before gathering her resolve.
“I want to talk with you.”
Seeing Nefertiti, Isis understood that she could not continue to drag this situation on. It was time to end the lies.
(AN: Ah, even though I am writing him. If I ever meet a guy like Sol in real life, I would feel like punching him because of how envious of him I would be.)
Trivia: Did you know, in history, Nefertiti is the one who promoted the cult of a sun god, Aten. She even changed her name to Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti, meaning “beautiful are the beauties of Aten, a beautiful woman has come,” to show her faith and promote the sun god as the head of the pantheon and the only one worthy of respect. Now then… Why is this trivia important? Heh, who knows.