༺ Evening in Opal Black ༻
Marian dragged her tired body to the dormitory cafeteria.
Her body desperately needed food, perhaps because she had just taken a combat training class with Instructor Eon.
‘I’m going to die like this… for sure….’
Physical training classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Combat training classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Every week is like this, and there’s not a single day without Instructor Eon’s class.
Gwyn, Batar, and Elizabeth might be fine with their good physical condition, but Marian’s body was too weak to handle this crazy schedule.
‘I’m crazy! I thought taking combat training would make a difference….’
Now she knew it was a ridiculous plan. Although it was genuinely regrettable that she couldn’t cancel the class now, people cannot undo past choices.
When she entered the cafeteria to eat not so much for enjoyment but for survival, there was a rare face sitting at a table.
Marian couldn’t help but be surprised at the sight of Eon.
Maybe it was because she had been so tormented by the combat training just a while ago, but Eon had never appeared at a meal with students since the semester began.
It was so strange to see him sitting casually in the cafeteria that she thought she had mistaken the place, but no matter how much she looked around, it was the familiar scenery of the dormitory cafeteria.
Marian suddenly wondered what kind of change of heart this blunt and mysterious instructor had gone through, but unfortunately, she was not a mind reader, although she was quick-witted.
Inside the cafeteria, other students were already sitting at their tables, waiting for dinner. She was the last one.
Marian sat down, feeling sorry, and coughed lightly.
“Sorry, am I too late?”
“No! You came just in time!”
Titania replied with a gentle smile.
As all the students took their seats, the dormitory servants brought the food to the table one by one.
Of course, these servants were not actual people. They were all magical golems called ‘Shabti,’ created to faithfully execute only pre-programmed commands without any autonomy.
Since the entire vast dormitory was managed by magical golems, there were really only eight people in Opal Black Dormitory. Including the instructor, there were only nine.
Only nine people were sitting around a large table that could easily accommodate dozens, which felt like a considerable waste of space even to Marian, who was born as a noble lady and used to luxury.
Marian skillfully cut the meat with a knife and ate it. The meal prepared by the golem wasn’t as good as the one made by a first-class chef from her home, but it was still quite decent.
At that moment, Saladin, who had been silently eating, suddenly spoke to Schultz.
“Is that good?”
It wasn’t that Schultz didn’t hear, but rather he was surprised because he didn’t expect Saladin to suddenly speak to him.
Marian felt the same way. Saladin, who always seemed to be there and not there during meals, quietly eating and disappearing, had unexpectedly initiated a conversation. And with Schultz, with whom he always bickered?
Marian, who was skilled in reading people’s minds while navigating through the social circles of many nobles, realized that it was a clumsy and simple sign of an apology from Saladin.
As evidence, Saladin seemed indifferent on the surface when he spoke, but in reality, he was quite tense, looking down and unconsciously rubbing the back of his neck.
Schultz seemed to notice that too, hesitated for a moment, and cautiously asked back.
“Um… Do you want to try some? The taste is pretty good.”
“Huh? Why should I eat what you were eating?”
Saladin scrunched up his face and immediately refused. Then he cut a piece of the fish dish on his own plate, which Schultz had been eating, and took a bite.
As far as Marian knew, Al-Kamil was a desert region, and people there were not accustomed to eating fish. That’s why Saladin had never even tasted fish before, but for some reason, he tried it for the first time today.
“Ugh, do people from the Empire really eat this kind of food?”
“Why? I find it delicious.”
“The flavor is too weak. It’s just salt and pepper. Hm, I think it would be better with coriander…”
Despite saying that, Saladin didn’t leave or discard the food as he used to. He simply ate the unfamiliar food, occasionally grimacing.
Was it just Marian’s thought that it felt like Saladin’s first attempt to adapt to the Empire in some way?
To Marian, Saladin’s voice still sounded rough, but it didn’t seem as sharp as before.
Wondering if they knew something about Saladin’s sudden change, Gwyn and Schultz’s gazes turned towards Instructor Eon. Marian also followed their gazes and looked at Eon with curious eyes.
Eon continued eating silently with an indifferent expression, even under the students’ gaze.
‘…What’s going on? What on earth did he do?’
What kind of influence did Instructor Eon have on Saladin? However, as the president of the Opal Black class, whatever it was, it undoubtedly had a positive effect on the class. There was nothing wrong with the students getting along better.
Marian glanced at Eon and thought.
Is he not only skilled as a soldier but also as an instructor?
During the meal, which continued in a softer atmosphere than usual, Titania, sitting next to Eon, smiled brightly and opened her mouth.
“It’s my first time eating with Instructor Eon. Will you be joining us often?”
“If there’s no special reason not to, I plan to.”
“Wow, really? Then all of the Opal Black class is finally together! Mealtime will be more enjoyable and lively!”
Elizabeth, who was elegantly using a fork and knife and perfectly demonstrating the royal etiquette, continued with a soft voice.
“I’m looking forward to that too. By the way, do you have any favorite food, Instructor?”
“Why are you asking that all of a sudden?”
Elizabeth showed a meaningful smile.
“…I don’t particularly have any preferences. I believe food should not be wasted.”
“Oh, would you mind taking some of my portion then? It feels like a bit too much for me.”
“Are you planning to leave it?”
“If I eat it alone, I suppose.”
After pondering for a moment, Eon nodded with a somewhat hesitant expression.
“Well, I can’t help it then.”
“Hehe, thank you.”
Elizabeth gently smiled and transferred about half of her food to Eon’s plate.
Seeing this, Oznia, who had been eating silently all along, glanced at Eon and moved some of her food to his plate as well.
“…Please eat a lot.”
Eon and Oznia’s gazes met for a moment, but Eon just let out a short sigh and didn’t say anything in the end.
Marian, who knew both Elizabeth and Oznia always tended to leave food, didn’t think much of it.
In the meantime, Gwyn, who had lived in the mountains and didn’t care about etiquette or rules while eating, suddenly hesitated and spoke to Eon. It was a very cautious look.
“Instructor! After the meal today, um…”
“Yes. Wait for me at the training ground.”
“Thank you! I look forward to working with you today!”
Gwyn was always energetic and had a powerful voice, but Marian had never seen her look so happy.
Did they have a separate appointment after the meal?
Could it be that they were going to train alone at the training ground?
At that point, Marian could notice it too.
Gwyn, Oznia, Titania, and even Elizabeth.
Their gazes toward Instructor Eon were very different from the beginning.
Marian didn’t know the details, but somehow, she could feel much friendlier emotions than before.
When did this happen?
When did they all become so close to Instructor Eon?
What happened while I was locked in my room all weekend due to the student council establishment?
As the student council president, should I be unaware of what’s happening in the class to this extent?
Marian suddenly felt left out.
Surely, she was the one who knew Instructor Eon best. She thought that she, who knew the instructor’s identity that others didn’t know, would be relatively close to the instructor.
Had their relationships improved so much in just a week?
In the midst of an unprecedented harmonious atmosphere at the dormitory cafeteria.
Marian felt an inexplicable anxiety as she stabbed a piece of meat deeply with her fork.
After the consultation with Saladin, I had been living smoothly without any particular incidents.
The various events that had occurred during the past week seemed like lies in those peaceful days.
A week passed by so quickly,
I headed to the Dark Guild to check the results of the request I had made to Sylvia.
I was just planning to lightly confirm some information about Ella’s whereabouts.
“Now, let me introduce you all! The undefeated hero! The indomitable warrior! The new rising star of the underground arena!”
Somehow, I found myself as a competitor in the underground arena.
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