Rumanshi: Life is scary. I have 59 chapters left to write for my own original novel, and I also have OWMB chapters I want to translate. I mean, at least there isn’t any university stuff blocking me anymore… Any advice, people?
Dinner for Four ②
“By the way Fault-senpai.”
While eating, a question came to mind.
“What is it?”
Fault stopped eating and looked at me.
“What time do you usually come to the cafeteria?”
I might have just came here recently, but I haven’t seen Fault in the cafeteria even once.
With there being so many students, it wouldn’t be strange to not see a face for a few days but…
“Now that you mention it, even I’ve never had meals with Fault-senpai” (Oh my, is Fault perhaps not human?)
Kaned also voiced his agreement at my words.
He might be a first-year student, but this junior has known Fault for longer than I have and yet it seems they’ve never had a meal together.
However, you’d expect the 2nd year Sail to have seen this extremely mysterious person’s face in the cafeteria right?
With that thought, I turned to face the wolf (more like guard dog) beside me.
“… Even I barely ever see Fault-senpai in the cafeteria you know?”
How could that be?
The strongest of his generation, an existence that is supposedly known throughout the Institute; Fault, is actually an elusive existence?
“Could it be, can you survive without eating Fault-senpai?
I’ve heard of magic that allows these sort of thing from my master.”
However, that curse causes the person to absorb nourishment, not from meals but is a dangerous thing that absorbs the life force from people around them.
Would this guy really behave in such a dangerous manner?
Fault might be in pursuit of power, but I don’t think he’s the type of person who would do whatever it takes to achieve it.
“Oi oi, don’t make me sound like a monster or something.
Usually, when I return here, I go exploring a/the dungeon. (To be confirmed)
I’ll tell you now, it’s a part of our classes.”
“Is it located outside of the Institute?”
If there’s a Dungeon somewhere nearby, then it might be interesting to try it out.
Ever since coming here I haven’t been fighting any Monsters, after all, so trying out my skills after such a while isn’t a bad idea.
“Ah, you might not know because you only just transferred.
This institute has a Dungeon that it administers.”
A Dungeon in the Institute?
What is going on here?
“When you reach the third year, there are Dungeon exploration classes.”
Sail provided the answer to my query.
“Normally it is challenged by a Party of several people, but for my training, I go exploring alone after classes.
That’s why I very rarely have my meals here.”
“Entering the Dungeon alone you say…”
Kaned said his face showing awe.
But then, if that’s the case then it’s only natural that I haven’t noticed Fault before.
“Can anyone enter the place?”
“Only 3rd years.
But if it were you asking for permission then…”
Wonder what Monsters are in there?
Considering the fighting level of the students here, there’s probably no powerful monsters there.
“Why not ask permission from Lania-kyoukan next time you see her?
If you get permission, then come along with me.”
Usually, if a non-3rd year were to ask for permission, that Lania will probably not allow it.
If I get a chance, I guess I’ll try asking her.
If perchance I can join you,”
I do want to see the extent of Fault’s powers.
“… Hey Mars, can I ask you something?”
A short while after, Fault asks me such.
His expression tightened just a little.
“… Earlier, you said something about a master but, have you received battle instructions from that person?”
So it’s about that.
But it’s not just fighting.
Master Aine taught me lots of various things.”
All of my acquired survival techniques have been learned from her.
If it weren’t for Master Aine, I’d be long dead.
“… Aine. Is that her name?”
“Yeah, it’s Aine Ruina.”
Sail, who’s been listening in, suddenly looked like he has a question.
It must have been cause we shared the same second name.
“She’s a parent who named me. She’s also the parent who raised me up.
I don’t have any memories of my childhood.
But Aine who just happened to be around; took me in.”
That moment we first met, even now I can clearly remember it.
“… This person, can you introduce me to her?”
As if his usual cheerful face was a lie, Fault had a serious face on. However,
“That I can’t do
Really I’d like to have introduced everyone to her, but she’s now in a place I can’t reach.”
If Master Aine were to see me now, I wonder what she will say.
“… Is that so.
That… there’s nothing that can be done.
I’m sorry, it really wasn’t something that should be discussed here.”
Fault lowered his head to me.
“… Nah, this subject, there’s really not many occasion to talk about it.
So as to not forget about it, I do want to talk about it.”
I will never forget Master Aine.
But I want more people to know about Master Aine.
“… Mars’s master huh. Somehow I just can’t imagine such a person.”
Sail made a troubled face.
It might be because of that, but his face became twisted.
“So Mars-senpai has had combat training ever since a child?”
This time it was the Hobbit Kaned who asked me this.
“It might have been training, but I didn’t feel it as such.”
Thinking back, the training was actually quite dangerous.
Thanks to that I am as trained as I am now though.
“It was surprising that Nenea-senpai was taken out in an instant, but as expected it is the result of strict training!”
A sparkling little boy turned to face me.
I’m not someone who should be seen with such respective eyes though.
But saying that out loud would sound silly.
“Woof?! (what) You— You fought Nenea-san?”
Looked at by an amazed Sail, Kaned closed his mouth thinking “oops”.
“Today I went to the Student Council.
At the time we did a little.
But we didn’t get a conclusion.”
It’s not a lie.
Fault saved that werecat part way through.
Weeeeell, there’s really no need to talk about the specifics.
There’s no telling who will be listening in.
“So that’s when you made friends with Fault-senpai and co”
Sail who finally understood said that (well he’s stating it as a fact).
And then that wolf person gave Fault a harsh look.
“Oi oi Sail,
I’m telling you now, I didn’t know what was happening there myself okay.”
As if it were like that, Sail seems to be more concerned about me than himself.
Surely Fault isn’t here to pick a fight with me, is he?
Sail should have this thought.
“This is for all intent and purposes, to deepen the relationship between Mars and us.”
Fault explained as such to Sail.
After which Sail relaxed a little.
Following which Fault faced me,
“That’s right! Mars!
You, you said you wanted friends right?”
I did want to say that just now.
By the way, things are going、
“How about being friends with Kaned?”
What’d he say?
It must be because the topic suddenly shifted to him.
The hobbit boy let out a voice that didn’t seem possible coming from such a small body.
“… No, obviously I wouldn’t mind but…?”
I only know him for a bit, but Kaned doesn’t seem like such a bad guy.
However, the person I really want as a friend is,
“Of course, are you also fine with it Kaned?”
“W-well, I, I’m important.” honored to be called a friend by someone like Mars-senpai, but, someone like me…”
A restless Kaned had his gaze wondering all over the place.
This Kaned was hesitating,
“If you feel you’re not quite there yet, just learn things from Mars.
Besides, you only have us, members of the Student Council, right?
What are you going to do once we all graduate?”
While having a lazy smile on, Fault messed up the little folk boy’s hair.
Kaned had a look that showed him absolutely not enjoying it.
“M-Mars senpai is really okay with this?”
“Yeah, a reason to den—”
… No, wait up a bit.
“Let me just impose one condition.
If you become my friend, do be more at ease.
If you can do that, then starting today we’re friends.”
I held out my hand.
It’s the same as when I first became friends with Eri.
At that time, it was Eri who offered the hand though.
Looking at his hands, Kaned took in some deep breaths.
He seems to be calming himself down.
“… Yes. I understand.
From today onwards, yoroshikuonegaishimasu” (Please take care of me).
Kaned took my hand.
Since coming to this Institue, this is the first friend I made from the juniors.
This is a happy occasion but, there’s one thing that’s bugging me.
From a while back now, it feels like Fault is strongly not wanting to be my friend.
I showed Fault an accusing look.
“Glad you two became friends. Friends are a good thing after all.
Of course, hanging out with each other means seeing the bad side of a person.
But even so, if you really want to keep staying with that person, you definitely shouldn’t betray that person right?
And with that, the other partner would reciprocate the sentiment.
This way of thinking might sound naive and idealistic, but that is the art of making true friends.
Having a far away look, Fault spoke about the intricacies of friendship。
So ‘best friends’ is recognising a friend as something more than just a friend?
Can I get closer with Eri, Raphie, Sail and Kaned?
Hearing what Fault said, such a thing came to my mind.
While I’m at it, I remember something my Master Aine had said.
Aine told me to protect my friends.
Fault said to not betray my friends.
There might be a connection between what these two had said.
“… Fault, do you have a best friend?”
Curious, such words escaped from me.
Alicia and that stupid cat, they are both my important best friends.
Well, not sure how they think about me though.”
Fault bitterly said that,
“ … As such, should harm ever befall those two, no matter who I’ll be facing, I will protect those two.”
He might still be putting up a cheerful air, but I can feel the super firm resolve hidden behind all of it.
In reality, Fault did save Nenea when she was fighting me.
“If you call them friends then protect them with your life”
“If you do that, those friends will surely return it in kind.”
Something Master Aine said in the past.
What Fault said, resembles what Master Aine said.
“I think I can get along with Fault-senpai.”
“Me too. I like strong people like Mars.”
If I observe this guy, I’ll get a better understanding of friendship.
This thought passed me.
And so I to Fault,
“Hey, Fault, please be my friend.”
I said it.
I tried several times, after all those missed opportunities I finally said it.
But even so,
“Sure— is what I’d like to say but-”
After raising the expectation Fault said,
“Sorry, it’s impossible.”
Is it because I wouldn’t join the Student Council?
For that reason, they might be considering the possibility of fighting against me.
“And if I said I’d join the Student Council?”
Let’s test him out.
“… To be honest, whether you enter the Student Council or not is not what’s important”.
He responded as such.
“If you somehow manage to become friends with Alicia and that stupid cat, these two, then at that time we could”
Such a condition was given.
“Welp, I’ll be heading out first.”
Fault left us and departed from the cafeteria.