As soon as I returned to the dorms, I was taken by Melia and dragged to the dining room alongside Peony. I lost my way racking my mind around who I would dance for and didn’t get back until late, but Melia was still there waiting for me. Peony was pretty annoyed, so I don’t think she was still there by choice.
“Training only makes a meal more delicious don’t you think?”
Dinner time has become a highlight of the day for many of us, and Melia opened the dining room doors with a large smile on her face.
Long tables are lined up in a long hall large enough to accommodate dozens of people at a time. The embroidery on the tablecloths were finely done, marking them as another luxury item like everything else in this building.
We needed to walk to the counter to order our food. It is just part of our perfect treatment that whatever dish we order is free of charge.
“Huh? There’s no more grilled chicken?”
All light in Melia’s eyes died immediately. The meal she was looking forward to so passionately is gone. It is later than we usually eat, so they must have run out of ingredients.
“Eh!? This, how could…..”
Peony was looking over the menu board with huge, round eyes. All ten of the menu items were crossed out. In other words, there were no meals available.
“My apologies…..the patrons there asked us to prepare them a full course meal tonight…..”
In one corner of the hall, a group of about ten people were gathered around a table. Candles on candlesticks were lit at the table’s center alongside a pile of whole roasted chickens looking absolutely delicious. Delicious, and completely untouched.
It’s just a hypothesis, but I’m guessing that a group of aristocrats rushed in and ordered the cooks to prepare a meal using everything they had left to use.
It doesn’t sound like Melia is willing to give up on her chicken, but as you would expect, she isn’t going to rush to a table of nobles. Even if you yell and scream, the kitchen isn’t going to be able to pull out any more chicken, but her pride won’t allow her to go up to a table and ask for their untouched chicken. You don’t know what kind of sarcasm would be thrown at you if you did.
Lily is sitting at the center of the aristocratic table. She is smiling and chatting with the ladies sitting around her. There was plenty of lip service in the past, but she does interact with other nobles. I don’t know if she really enjoys it or if it is a social relationship she would rather do without, but I hope it is the latter.
“I still have some dried meat and beans, so I can prepare some soup with bread…..”
The lady at the encounter steered us back apologetically. This person has done nothing wrong. The ones in the wrong are those who wasted all the food for a dinner party where nobody eats anything.
“That’ll work for now. We can head to the market later if we’re still hungry.”
Peony was quick to switch. Food must not be a big deal for her. Since I came to the dorms, the quality of the food I eat has improved dramatically, so while it’s not to the same degree as Melia, I’m still not satisfied just eating the kind of soup and bread I’d eat back home. It’s scary how immeasurable human greed is. Take it too far, and you will eventually end up like those aristocrats who won’t be satisfied without a mountain of food in front of you.
Soup poured into a bowl and some hard-looking bread came out from the back of the kitchen. I’ve rarely ever eat fresh baked, soft bread, but now that I’ve gotten a taste of it, I feel reluctant to eat bread that needs to be dipped in soup to soften it up.
After receiving my food, I moved towards my seat with tray in hand and glanced towards Lily. She was looking at me too. Did she get bored talking with Olive who was sitting next to her? She gave me a wink before rolling her eyes and playing at being exasperated.
Just like I thought, Lily is different from the other nobles. That’s what I think. This is just her needing to participate in socialization.
“Geez! Don’t stop. Or do you want some of their chicken too?”
“Ah…..no. It’s nothing”
Peony almost walked right into my back when I slowed down. We decided to keep our distance from the noble group and use a different table.
Sitting in our chairs, the two sisters fervently prayed before they started eating. With both sisters being healers, they must come from a pious family. It is a huge difference from my home where the slogan is, “You can’t season rice with faith.”
Before they finished praying, two people sat down on either side of me.
“Ugh. It’s ridiculous that they took all they all the food. Do you want to go to the market after eating this?”
Glossy black hair and eastern features. It was Ran Longines.
“Ran, would you please head anywhere else? How about mixing in with those nobles?”
The person sitting on the other side of me came in verbally swinging at Ran. She also had an eastern appearance. Her eyes were thinner than Ran’s, and she has a foreigner atmosphere around her that makes you feel envious. Thinking about it, I saw them once before during that dinner party. I think their name was Ren.
“Ren, you go. Cold chicken is your favorite food right?”
Ran bit back with obvious disgust.
“Um….you two, try getting along for now……okay?”
Melia and Peony never stopped praying, probably realizing two troublesome people just arrived. They should be done by now, but after they opened their eyes and saw the situation, they started their prayers over from the beginning. Meaning I have to be the one to mediate.
“Ren-san, right? I’m Liffi Ruhuna.”
“Ren Pirochun. My main job is fighter, but I also have a bit of magic. My ancestors come from the same hometown as the cockroach over there. Thankfully I have nothing to do with them now.”
Ren introduced herself while attacking Ran at the same time. She looked me in the eye when speaking with me, so I don’t think she is a bad person. But it is impossible to deny that she sees Ran as an enemy. And the feeling is mutual.
“Cockroach…..Waah, waah, waah…..I don’t know who you think you’re talking about, but if your ancestors hadn’t betrayed the emperor, you wouldn’t be eating hard bread and soup right now.”
“Are you on that again? I’ve said this time and time again, but there were all kinds of complex political matters at play there, and the truth of the matter is irrelevant to what happened. We would have been forced out of the country even if no rebellion had been planned……is what I heard from my Grandpa.”
Somehow from that point on I was subjected to a history lesson argument from the two of them.
Apparently their ancestors were well-known families from a foreign land, but they were expelled from the country after catching the attention of some big-wig. The Frati Kingdom is where they ended up.
Ran’s family, the Longines, have continued studying martial arts and act as the guardians of their village while also working as farmers.
On the other hand, Ren’s Pirochun family were content with being minor nobles in a remote countryside. However it seems that a talent for magic blossomed for Ren’s parents, and they suddenly jumped up the social ladder to become a part of the capital nobles.
So, strictly speaking, Ren should be on the side of those people currently wasting all the food rather than sitting with us, but newblood nobles who made a name for themselves with their magic and the hereditary nobles who have ruled for generations don’t get along. What a troublesome world we live in.
While I listened to their backgrounds with growing interest, the nobles had at some point finished their dinner party, and they purposefully walked past us. You could tell it was on purpose because Olive was in front, and they were walking by so slowly.
“Ara. So familiar meets do fit commoners’ stomachs after all. If you aren’t satisfied with that, we have plenty of leftovers there, so please help yourself.”
Olive had a creepy smile floating across her face. Lily was nowhere to be seen, so she must have left the dining room by herself earlier. Since she was walking at the front, Olive must be the highest ranking noble here after Lily.
Nerine was acting as a follower and pulling up the rear of the nobles. Her parents are upstart aristocrats, so I would think they would be narrow-minded towards her however she still dares to hang around them. It sounds like a lot of work.
All five of us soaked our bread into the soup while ignoring the sarcasm.
I’ve learned it is best not to react to these kinds of provocations. Olive was visibly displeased about that and left the dining room with the other nobles closely behind her.
“What’s with that? It’s like she’s saying it’s our fault we’re eating this. And they’re the ones wasting all that food. How about a little retribution? Justice is on our side.”
Ran glared at the doorway of the already closed dining room door and tried provoking us.
“The enemy of my enemy is an ally. I will ride with you.”
Despite having a cat/dog relationsip with each other, Ren agreed with Ran. I guess they share an opinion on aristocrats.
“U-……Umm. Before that, could I have some of that whole roasted chicken? I’m still hungry…..”
Melia apologetically raised her hand and spoke up. I think it’s fine, but the other three were all looking at her with the same look as if saying, “Are you really going eat leftovers from those nobles?” She guessed their thoughts, so Melia turned her eyes down.
“I’ll give you mine Melia. I’m already full.”
When I handed over my half-eaten piece of bread, Melia accepted it with shining eyes.
“Enough. This is disgraceful. We look like a bunch of girls from poor families begging for food. I’ll join too. Let’s do it.”
Peony was apparently also boiling with anger over the poor treatment. And, after seeing her older sister happily eating hard bread, I guess she couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Is Liffy coming too?”
It’s hard to refuse with this atmosphere. Lily won’t be there with them though, and a small bit of revenge on Olive isn’t going bring out any karmic retribution. So I nodded at Ran’s invitation.
Thus it was decided. The five of us left the dining room with revenge against those wasteful nobles burning in our hearts. Melia, who was reluctantly gazing at the leftover food, was dragged along for the ride.