|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2516 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1293 words|
We did not have much break time. If we did not hurry up, we would run out of time to buy something. We quickly entered the next store, and a similar scene to that in the previous store greeted us. But it did not affect me since I had already experienced it once. I followed tightly behind Miranda, who opened a path through the crowd of girls without hesitation, until we arrived at the corner with the casual clothes. She quickly scanned through the clothes there and then lined up her selection in front of me. I really appreciated her efficiency.
“Well, these here would fit Karin, and these would fit Ciel. You can choose now.”
There were around five sets for each of them. I picked each one of them and spread them in front of me. Karin has brown hair and eyes, so it was best to avoid similarly colored clothes for her. So instead of choosing dark colors, bright ones would suit her well, if possible ones closer to white. Ciel’s peachy pink hair was her most noticeable trait, so black clothes would help accentuate that even more, which also went along with her being a magician.
After a lot of deliberation and double guessing, I decided on a white one-piece dress for Karin, and a black tunic with white borders for Ciel. They fit perfectly with their appearances and were good clothes to wear every day, so I was sure they would be happy to receive them. When I was done paying for them and stored them in my bag, I quickly bowed to Miranda.
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“Thank you for your help. I would’ve never been able to choose these without your help.”
“I’m glad for you.”
I thanked Miranda for sticking together with me. On our way back to the guild, I treated her to some fruit juice and she accepted it more happily than I expected. I really felt like I had to thank her again. When the night arrived and work ended for the day, instead of heading straight back to Ciel’s home, I went to the restaurant I had become familiar with. It was my payday, so I had promised them I’d treat them tonight.
It was already time for dinner, so there was a strong flow of people in and out of the restaurant. As I passed along people I turned to look at them to make sure I did not pass them by, but they all ignored me. When I was inside the restaurant, I spotted the two of them sipping ale on the table furthest inside.
The two called me, raising their voices so they would not be drowned by the chatter of the restaurant. I waved at them as I walked over. Rio was waiting the table.
“Welcome, Lapis. What will you have tonight?”
“It’s my payday today, so we’ll have three Comer beef steaks please.”
“Oh wow, you’re having a feast tonight, but got it! I’ll tell dad to make them even tastier.”
Comer beef was the meat from a certain type of cows that were crossbred specifically to be consumed as food. The price of that meat was jaw-droppingly expensive, so a steak made of it was also rather expensive even in a cheap restaurant like this one. Karin and Ciel looked a bit troubled, but I waved it off with a smile.
“Is it really okay? Something like Comer beef…”
“You don’t have to force yourself.”
“It’s fine. You both know the salary at the guild is quite good, right? It’s not like I’m dirt poor, and there’s nothing else I can spend it on, so this is the least I can do. Rather than that, where did you two go today? It was a quest from a nearby place, right?”
“Ah, yeah. And you know, you should’ve seen Karin. She didn’t listen to anything I said and just jumped straight into a group of monsters—”
“Hey Ciel! I thought you promised you’d keep that a secret!”
I had taken care of their paperwork many times already, but unfortunately this day Miranda had taken care of it, so I did not know much about it. I laughed as they comically told their story, mentioning where they went and what monsters they defeated. By the time they were done, Rio was back with three steaks which she placed on the table.
“Thanks for waiting. These are the well known Comer beef steaks. I hope you enjoy them.”
“Woah! This might be my first time trying this!”
“Same here. I’ve never had such a chance.”
The two of them had been customers of this restaurant for a long time, but they had never tried this specific dish. It was worth it to treat them to it after all.
“Let’s not remain staring at it and eat before it gets cold.”
“Right, thanks for the meal!”
“Let’s try this. Wow…it’s so soft.”
As soon as the fork pierced the steak, its juices began overflowing. That had never happened with any of the steaks I had to date. But that just went to show how high quality the meat was. I swallowed the saliva that was building up as I grabbed a knife and tried cutting through the steak, slicing through it with barely any effort. My hand trembled a bit in excitement as I picked the slice up with my fork. I slowly carried the slice to my mouth, and as soon as I bit into it, a flavor I had never tasted before spread through my mouth.
“It’s…it’s so tastyyy!”
“How is this so good?!”
“I can’t believe I was missing out on something like this through my entire life.”
The three of us were similarly impressed as we continued eating slices of the steaks. Afterward, we cleared our throats with some ale, then took the remaining meat and tried various forms to eat them, like between two slices of bread or mixed with vegetables.
Good food really made life much happier. When we were done eating and felt relaxed and in a good mood, I remembered what happened during lunch break, so I took out the clothes I bought from my bag. The two tilted their heads when I gave them the clothes.
“It’s a present for you, to thank you for always taking care of me. Today I got my first paycheck so I wanted to get something for you two.”
They looked surprised at the clothes I gave them, then jumped at me with strong emotions.
“Why are you like this? You’re such a good girl!”
I felt like I was being crushed between the two as tears formed in their eyes. It was like they would pop out my innards out of excitement, and they ruffled my hair until it was completely messed up, but I did not feel bad. I actually felt happy, but the feeling was so foreign to me I did not know what to do.
“I-I’m happy you liked them. You should wear them next time we have free time and go hang out somewhere.”
“Yeah! We really should do that!”
“That sounds fun! We should look our best when that time comes!”
I had not expected them to be this happy, but I was glad it happened. And while we still did not know where we would go on our next break, I was already having fun imagining it. It had only been a month since I came to the city, but I was already wishing from the bottom of my heart for the rest of my life to continue happily and without problems like this.