LTBE - Chapter 465.2: Doting Has Inertia Too! (2)
Summer arrived late for the eastern border of the Austine Empire, so the region wasn’t as hot as other places. In exchange, the temperature would abruptly plummet when transitioning from evening to night.
At a temporary campsite, four youths sat around a campfire. Upon confirming their dinner, they exchanged glances with one another.
“We’re having fish today?” Roel asked in surprise.
“Yeah! I wanted to switch things up. There was a clear stream nearby, so I figured that the fish there should be not bad,” Selina replied with a happy nod.
Selina’s tail wagged fervently as if a hungry cat. Judging from her Saint Beast Bloodline, it was hardly a surprise that fishes were her favorite food. Unfortunately, this spelled a disaster to the other members of the party.
“I really don’t understand what’s so good about those stinky things. They don’t have any blood, and their texture can’t compare with other meat,” Juliana grumbled in disinterest.
“I don’t mind eating fish, but it’s hard for me to deal with the bones with my limited visibility…” Stuart awkwardly scratched his head as he chirped in.
“You can just chew the bones down,” Selina replied matter-of-factly.
“Normal humans don’t chew down the bones when eating a fish…”
Just like that, the three nobles from Knight Kingdom Pendor began their daily argument over dinner. Roel calmly watched their squabble by the side, having already accustomed himself to this.
A month had passed since they left Saint Freya Academy, and the seasons had moved on from spring to summer. Roel and the others had finally arrived at the border of the Austine Empire, thus kickstarting their investigation of Braytown’s disappearance.
The auxiliary team moved independently of the main team, but the two teams still strictly observed safety precautions and maintained communication with each other. They would exchange information every day, Paul would visit the auxiliary team once a week to catch up on their progress, and the two teams would meet at an agreed location every month.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any progress in their investigation thus far, but that was partly because neither of the teams had ventured deeply into Braytown yet.
Shortly after Braytown’s disappearance, the scholars who came to investigate the incident noticed a spike in the region’s mana concentration density. They proceeded to map out the mana concentration density and identified the center of the anomaly.
To be safe, the two teams had decided to first look around the outer perimeter of the anomaly before slowly closing in, so it was only normal for there to be little progress thus far.
While there wasn’t much progress with the investigation, Roel did manage to make some gains elsewhere—his connections. He was the leader of Rose of Dawn, and the transfer students had been showing him greater respect due to his wise allocation of missions. However, there was still some distance between them due to their unfamiliarity with one another.
However, after the four of them had spent a month together, the distance that once stood between them had unknowingly vanished. This could be seen especially during dinner time.
“What the hell are the two of you talking about? Do you know how hard it was to catch these plump fishes? Besides, you can be sure that Roel will make them delicious!”
“What do you say, leader? If you want meat, I can get some right now. It’ll be a walk in the park for me now that the sun has fallen.”
“It’ll be even faster if I use my eyes to lock down a prey. Leader, can I use my ability?”
As always, the three problem children were unable to come to a consensus on their dinner plan and eventually tossed the problem to him. Roel first looked at the displeased Juliana and Stuart before glancing at the pouting Selina. In the end, he let out a sigh..
“We can’t waste the fish, but it’d be nice to have something else for dinner. Stuart, use your ability to look around for a prey and leave the rest to Juliana. Make sure to properly drain the blood, or else it might attract demonic beasts. An hour should be enough for the two of you, right? Bring some firewood back while you’re at it,” instructed Roel.
With delighted cheers, the meat loving duo immediately set off to hunt down an animal of their liking. Meanwhile, Chef Roel got to his station and began his work.
The best way to win a person’s heart is through their stomach.
Roel wouldn’t dare claim that he was a professional chef—gluttons like him had high standards as to what constituted a professional chef—but his culinary skills were at least decent enough to win the transfer students’ Affection Points.
No nobles on the Sia Continent were equipped with cooking skills, including the problem children from the Knight Kingdom. They could still bear with munching dry military rations at the start of the journey, but ever since Roel came to the limit of his tolerance and started making his own food, things swiftly spiraled out of control.
The following day, Stuart and Selina proclaimed themselves as the party’s hunters, with the former scouting out a prey and the latter taking it down, whereas Juliana offered to take over Roel’s night duty. In return, Roel would prepare dinner for them and satisfy their craving.
From then on, there would be three heads glowing affectionately green around the campfire every evening.
In just a month’s time, Roel managed to get closer with the other three and become the true leader of the team.
“Give me that fish, Roel!”
“For Sia’s sake, Selina, you’re a noble! Can’t you at least maintain basic etiquette? How can you snatch food from another person’s bowl?”
“Who cares? Didn’t you ask Roel for his blood too?”
“I-I can’t help that…”
Selina and Juliana began quarreling yet again during dinner. Stuart watched their squabble while waiting for Roel to join them.
“Leader, aren’t you coming over to eat with us? Selina is going to finish all the fish at this rate.”
“Sorry, you can dig in first. I’ll take a look at the map first.”
Stuart tilted his head in confusion, but Roel didn’t answer his question.
Roel wanted to indulge in the food he had made after working hard for the day, but there was a nudging sensation in his head that left him concerned.
In truth, he had been suffering from occasional hastened heart palpitations as they approached Braytown. It felt like an ominous sign that something bad was going to happen, as if they were swimming into a huge net. He had been more vigilant than usual due to that, but he hadn’t found anything particularly worrying thus far.
Earlier, just as he was about to join the others for dinner, the hastened heart palpitations struck yet again, this time more intense than before. He took this premonition seriously and immediately took out a map to study it, hoping to see if he had missed anything. However, he couldn’t find anything that would have posed a major threat to him in the region, as if it was all his imagination.
Is the nervousness just getting to me as we come closer to Braytown? No, that can’t be it…
Confused, Roel slowly made his way over to the campfire and picked up one of the barbecued fishes. Before he could dig in, he heard a perplexed exclamation coming from Stuart.
“Hm? Is that…”
“What’s wrong, Stuart?” Roel turned to Stuart and anxiously asked.
Stuart didn’t answer the question right away. He continued staring intently in a certain direction as if trying to ascertain his observation. A moment later, he put down his plate and lifted one side of his blindfold, revealing an eye with ever-changing colors.
“Leader, a fog has appeared in that direction!”
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