Note: From now on, Elisha will be used as the name due to it being more uni-sex, compared to Elisia, at least by http://www.names.org/n/elisha/about.
The Dormitory of the Jupiter Institute ③ The First Friend
The chime for dinner have not been sound.
I, who was rather free, was checking out tomorrow’s lesson materials, when ….<Gachaa>.. the sound of the door knob came.
“Oh, you are already here.”
From the opened door came a young boy whose high-pitched voice seems to have not matured.
“Are you my roommate?”
“Yep. Elisha Haynest of the Second Year. You can call me Elisha. You are of the same second year course right? I will be in your care from now on.”
Elisha hold out his right hand, seeking for a hand-shake.
“Ah. I’m Mars Ruina. You can also just call me Mars. I will be in your care too.”
After replying with my name, I firmly hold Elisha’s hand. Though his hand felt kinda small for a guy, Elisha also firmly returned the grip. He’s quite the charming guy.
(… But… his body line seems rather slender…)
Is he eating properly?
His height is shorter than me by around ten centimetres, while having a small build. His silver eyes that gazed upon me gave the image of dignity and intelligence. No matter who, they will see a properly arranged appearance with features of neutrality.
“Is something the matter?”
“No, I just thought that you seem like a girl. ”
“Ahaha…. I hear that rather often, but I am a boy, okay?”
From his behavior of shrinking back, I can understand how much he have been told the same thing again and again.
Thinking that Elisha was a girl is not something that only I thought of.
(Well… it can’t be helped that there are such misunderstandings with that appearance.)
If what he is wearing is female clothings, I don’t think anyone would doubt him as a girl.
“I wonder if I grow taller, the misunderstanding might die down?”
“It’s also possible that it is due to the long hair, right?”
Elisha had tied his hair of artificial-like beauty in a bundle with a string.
It’s usually not really appropriate to call a guy beautiful, but for Elisha, there don’t seem to have any problems using that description.
Though there seems to be many girls that have beautiful hair that doesn’t requires grooming, I believe Elisha’s hair has a beauty that can’t be surpassed.
“…. I don’t really want to cut my hair, you know. Even if I am mistaken for my gender due to it.”
Though it’s weird to say this, but the figure of Elisha saying that while listlessly touching his hair can only be seen as girl.
Even if you say he is a guy, eight or nine out of ten would not believe that, while shaking his head. But, even though he wanted to be seen as a guy, to cut such a lovely-looking hair is truly a waste.
“It’s fine not to cut it, right? It’s such a beautiful hair after all. If you say it’s a hindrance, then I won’t stop you, but if you do not wish to cut it, then there is no need to do it. There are many ways if you wish to be seen as a guy after all.”
Have I said anything weird?
Elisha’s eyes was looking at me wide-opened, as if looking at a mysterious object.
“Ah.. No, I was just shocked as it’s the first time a friend said something like this. But I am really happy when you say that. Thank you.”
Could it be that he was referring to me?
“That was my intention, but am I being over-familiar suddenly?”
For some reason, we are already friends.
(I didn’t know that…… you can become friends so suddenly….)
Without any effort, the aim of making friends has been achieved.
“Could I have been a bother?”
“N.. No.. That’s not true. Or rather, I couldn’t ask for more on my end. Elisha, would you be my friend?”
“Ahahha, you don’t have to ask. I already say it, haven’t I? I already have that intention. Once again, I will be in your care, Mars”
With a smile, Elisha again seeks me for a hand-shake.
The smiling Elisha is really cute like a girl. However, I can’t say it out loud as a matter of course.
Even if the expression he displays is extremely fitting.
I hold out my hand and firmly griped his hand in return.
So like this, I made my very first friend.
The chime rang soon after that.
“Mars, if you like, do you want to have your meal?”
Using Elisha’s words as a start, we went down to the canteen.
After exiting the room, the corridor is nosily filled with students, going down the stairs in small groups.
“When it gets to meal time, everyone makes their move instantly. As the school lessons consist mostly of practical skills, our stomach are rather empty by then. ”
As if the surroundings will continue while going down the stairs, Elisha made such a remark.
In reality, when we reach the canteen, that remark was proven by the many students filled up the area.
As expected, the highest ratio of races in the dormitory seems to be human, but I could identify the the Tree-people, Elf, and the Wolf-people, Werewolf, the Smithing-people, Drawf, the small people, Hobbit and various other races.
“Various races are co-existing here”
“Yep. I was shocked when I first got here. But, if you think about, it’s natural. This is not an institution for humans. An institution for Adventurer after all. It’s an assembly of excellent students, regardless of whatever race you might be.”
Lania seems to have said something like that just now. If you didn’t like it, you can use force.
A nurturing institution whose principle is “Might is Right”.
So including racial problems, the use of force is allowed to settle them.
“Though there are some problems, I believe it was implemented after considering the possible repercussions. Rather than that, let’s go for our meal.”
Elisha pointed out the canteen’s counter.
“You can see that counter where everyone is receiving the food, right? You will first receive a tray there, then from 3 different choices, you will pick one. ”
At the counter, Nirfa is there, carrying food one after the other.
There hangs a signboard with the following menu,
[Today’s Recommendations ]
Salt sauté lemon butter sauce chicken (TL: Doesn’t sound very appetizing!?)(Ru: YESITDOES!)
Boiled Tomato White-fleshed Fish
Mutton Stew, filled with plenty of vegetables.
Though they are foods that I have heard of, I have never eaten them before in reality.
From the start, I have never been picky with my food. In terms of food that I have prepared are monster meat that I have hunted and grilled, wild plants that I have picked and eaten, pretty much food that are extremely ill-prepared. But, the food that are appearing here are nice looking and give a sense of high classiness.
As the students queueing at the counter received their food in succession, our turn came shortly.
“Ah, Mars-san, Elisha-san”
Though Nirfa was busily passing food, after noticing me, she stopped her actions, and specially took the time to greet us.
“Welcome. Both of you are already getting along as roommate, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, we became friends.”
“That’s a splendid thing. Then, as a commemoration for both of your friendship, I shall present a special service.”
“Yes, of course. For now, please choose a cuisine.”
“Then, I shall take the stew.”
“Certainly. How about Mars?”
“All looks really good, but what’s Nirfa’s recommendation?”
“All have been made with confidence but, if I really have to choose one, I would recommend the chicken to Mars-san. As you have been just admitted today, I believe you should be tired so the chicken and the lemon in the sauce that have the effect to recover the fatigue from the muscles would be the food that fits today’s Mars-san. And, for the staple food, I would recommend rice.”
And, an instant reply.
Exactly the image of a Maid — A Maid above all maids.
From now on, I shall call her the Perfect Maid in my heart.
“If the Perfect Maid says that, then let’s go with that.”
“….sorry, please forget about it.”
I said that unconsciously.
(I have to be cautious from now on….)
As recommended, a tray with chicken dressed with lemon sauce was brought to the counter.
“Then, this will be service given to both of you. Please enjoy the after-meal dessert.”
A bag of cookie was placed on top of both Elisha’s and my tray.
“Uwa… Thank you very much. I will have it later.”
How nostalgic. Before I arrived at a stage where I am aware of my surroundings, there was a time when Master Aine bought a cookie.
For me, eating is just an action for the sake of living through the intake of nutrients so I don’t really have an interest in the indulgence of food. But on that day, after being told ‘Give it a taste’, I ate the cookie and was enveloped in a sweet and fortunate feeling.
(Now that I think of it, I believe she bought something like that on a whim. )
“Could it be that you dislike sweet stuff?”
Most likely being bothered about me being silent, Nirfa looked worriedly at me.
“…. nope, it’s not true. Thanks for the cookie.”
Nirfa satisfyingly smiled after receiving my reply.
We randomly looked and sat on empty seats after receiving our food.
“Then, shall we start?”
Elisha join his hands while saying ‘Itadakimasu’
I followed his example in joining my hands and started eating.
Using a knife, I cut the chicken into sizes where fork can easily facilitate eating, and brought one into my mouth.
“….!? Thi, This is…..”
To the extent it doesn’t seem like chicken, the juiciness of the meat juice is satisfying the insides of the mouth while the lemon sauce gives refreshing flavour that erase the scent of the oil.
In the sauce, it’s not just lemon, but also… salt?
The taste should have been adjusted by multiple seasonings.
Most likely, the sauce has been tuned to suit the chicken.
Just a mouthful, I discover that one can apply many ideas’ from the food.
I wonder if this is influenced by the ingredients?
However, to be able to prepare such high-grade ingredients for the students’ share, the requirements of funds should be quite high…..
I am rather curious on where did they attain such ingredients.
“Do the students here eat these normally?
“Ahaha, I can understand that Mars is rather surprised. Nirfa-san is really proficient in cooking. From the rumors, it seems that she had been invited to work as the head chief in the royal palace.”
I don’t find that weird, if it’s true.
The values towards food will change if you are going to eat food like these.
Just thinking that I will be able to eat these food everyday from now on, my life feels so much more rich.
“I wish to try the other food.”
“If you like, do you want to try my stew?”
“Is it fine?”
“Yep, it’s fine. Ah, but the spoon…”
“Hn? Then can I borrow Elisha’s spoon?”
As I reach out with my hand,
Elisha was astonished of something that his body went ‘Bikku’, shaking, and the spoon he was holding dropped on the top of the tray.
“Is something the matter?”
“E, a, u, uun. So, sorry, it’s nothing. T…the spoon dropped so it’s best not to use it, i think.”
“Even if I did dropped, it’s just on the tray, isn’t it fine?”
“….A..a..u..un, I got it.”
I found a sense of discomfort from Elisha’s embarrassed look and also his flushed face.
Was there a problem with what I have said?
Though hesitating, Elisha hand over his spoon to me.
And then, he keep looking at me intermittently for some reason.
Don’t tell me….
“Elisha, if there is any problem, please tell me. If you don’t want to, there is no need to give me your food.”
“It’s really not amusing to have your food supply diminish after all”
For a day’s worth of food, there needs to be a sufficient compensation for it.
Usually, dealings with food are made with money, but right now, I have nothing to pay Elisha with.
“Though you are likely being considerate that I just got admitted, since I do not have any compensation to pay up, you should be the one eating them.”
“E… n..no, that’s wrong! I am not bothered by that…”
Thinking that Elisha might try to say something, but in the end, he stopped while averting my face.
For some reason, his face is flushed again.
“In any case, Mars should just eat it without being bothered!”
(Somehow, i think he is getting rather worked up…? )
“…Is that so? Then, I will thankfully have it. ”
Pakku. A mouthful of stew was immediately chewed on from the borrowed spoon.
Overwhelmed by the deliciousness, I lost my words, while Elisha turned to me smiling.
Well, I did predict it would be good, but not till this extent.
It’s like a soup, but having a richness far beyond a soup would have.
The taste of cream wrap around the tongue and continues to fill the area.
The soup that is ingrained with the taste and texture of taro and mutton makes eating an enjoyable experience.
“To be able to taste two of such delicious food in a day, today is really blessed day.”
“It’s so delicious that you think that way right?”
“I really realized the importance of food. I really have to thank Elisha too. I will return this gratitude.”
“That shouldn’t be to me, but to Nirfa who made the food.”
“Even then, Elisha shared your own portion in reality. Though I wouldn’t call it my expression of gratitude, if anything happen, tell me any time. I will surely help you.”
Saying that, I return the spoon to Elisha but,
Elisha stayed silent, just looking at me.
Just that, those eyes seems hollow and lack of aspiration somewhere.
However, that was just for an instant, so I thought it must have been my imagination.
“…. I see. When the time comes, I will do that.”
Elisha smiled while receiving the spoon.
“Come to think of it, did you go to another institution before you come here?”
“Nope, I have never been to a special training institution before.”
After all, before coming here, I was jobless.
“I see. You should have heard of it, but the transfer student to this institution is already rare, you know.”
“Seems like it. In my case, though I do feel rather special, I just happen to get to know a teacher and ended up admitting to the school.”
“Hee… You were recommended, right? Though I was told after being informed that a new transfer student is coming from Nirfa-san.”
“Ah. I wonder if recommended students are so rare?”
“Yeah… In our second-year course, there is no one who got in through recommendation. So…”
When Elisha was about to say something,
“Hee.. Just when I thought I have never seen you before, so you are the transfer student.”
Suddenly, a tray was placed on my right side.
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