Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic - Cel a16
- Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic
- Cel a16 - Reflection Meeting (2)
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
“But why are you working part-time, Eto?”
“O-Oh, my father runs a food stall, and I have been supporting him with that since a long time ago.”
I was at a loss for words. Now that she mentioned it, the slim figure behind her looked familiar to me…
“…Kanaki, is that the whole order?”
“Ahaha! That clothing really doesn’t suit you after all!”
Turning around, I could not refrain from laughing at the scene of Matthias dressed in a plain T-shirt and a towel wrapped around his head. His businessman-like appearance belied the fact that he ran a ramen stall, and he was not at all well-dressed. More than anything else, the sight of the unfailingly austere Matthias holding the familiar cooking utensil for draining noodles in his hand was an unbelievable view, which made me wonder if he was doing this for the aim of a goal.
For a different reason than before, Xenia slammed on the table, causing the stall to squeak and creak. Eto watched with a wry smile, and Matthias, as usual, maintained an impassive countenance.
“…Xenia, the stall is broken. I say this every time, but stop banging on the tables.”
“Pfffft…! I-I am sorry… But you look awful in that attire after all.”
“…Whether it suits me or not is the point. It’s simply that this outfit is more streamlined.”
His voice carried a touch of sulkiness, nonetheless, he spoke without altering his facial expression.
“O-Oh, yes. Two shoyu ramen noodles, please.”
“All right. Hold on a minute.”
Nodding wordlessly, Matthias turned his back on us again.
“Here you go.”
As Matthias was preparing the noodles, Eto served us a glass of water. It had a slight sourness to it that permeated my exhausted body after drinking it.
“It tastes good.”
“Thank you… By the way, Teacher Kanaki and Teacher Xenia, which way did you both come from?”
With the corners of her mouth turned up mysteriously, Xenia made an immediate reply.
“Hmm, from the hotel.”
“I will knock you down. What are you running your mouth to your student? It’s work, just work.”
“Oh no, Kanaki, for someone who has a proclivity for abnormalities, you’re so introspective.”
That was none of your business.
“By ‘work,’ is that side of work again?”
“Well, you guessed it. As you know, since you were there, Eto, there was a dog that had been on the prowl around me since the previous class on healing magic. It was extermination.”
“I-Is that so…”
“Oh… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up in front of you.”
“No, it has to do with my family’s business, which I will eventually inherit…”
Despite her words, Eto did not put on a particularly bright face during this kind of discourse. It was a far contrast from the woman next to her, whose eyes lit up luminously. Why was Eto so fixated on taking over the family business? Did Matthias actually compel her to follow in his footsteps?
I wondered if they had sensed that the atmosphere had become slightly thicker. To my surprise, Xenia was the one to shift the subject as if to refresh the atmosphere.
“Even so, Kanaki. Wasn’t it unexpected that Mr. Matthias would run a ramen stall? I first stumbled into this place by sheer luck, but then, just like today, Eto greeted me and a huffy-looking Mr. Matthias was standing behind with this outfit on, and I cracked up laughing hysterically. My stomach muscles were aching the very next day.”
“I could easily picture Ms. Xenia laughing and rolling around in front of the stall…”
“Yes, probably exactly as you imagined…”
Eto affirmed it with a nod of the head accompanied by a faint smile. While inwardly relieved, Matthias placed a bowl in front of us.
“…Eat it before it gets cold.”
There was no significant variation in the appearance of the ramen, but once tasted, its flavor was astonishingly delectable.
“My father is actually an expert at cooking. He is not so skilled at ramen, though.”
It was pure amazement that this was not his specialty dish. On second thought, even when visiting Matthias’ house, it was always either Xenia or Eto who made the dishes, and I didn’t think I have ever experienced Matthias’ home-cooked meals. Or rather, why did he operate a ramen stall in the first place?
Both Xenia and I simply concentrated on the bowl of noodles in front of us for a while, silently slurping down them. With Matthias having turned off the heat, it was even more silent.
Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp.
“…Ms. Xenia, please eat more quietly.”
“What? Ramen is supposed to be slurped noisily. This way of eating is better.”
I had the feeling that I understood why the strikingly charming Xenia was not invited to dine together with anyone.
In relation to that, I then remembered that I had an errand to run for Matthias.
“Mr. Matthias, that reminds me, here it is. Your order.”
“Oh, that’s the stuff huh. Thanks.”
I went through my pockets and handed over the three magic crystal stones I had left over from the previous battle.
“I don’t have the other one on hand, so I’ll give it to you next time through Eto. And this time, there is no payment necessary.”
“…Aren’t you a miser? What kind of stroke of luck is this?”
Matthias furrowed his brow. It was true that I was a miser, but being told that in person was a little jarring.
“No, even for me, I want Mr. Matthias to accomplish his work this time, so this is my parting gift to you.”
“Heh, Kanaki, you know, didn’t you just get beaten to a pulp by that rumored Rain?”
“Eh, with that Senior Aldar!? Teacher, are you all right!?”
“Had I not been safe, I wouldn’t be here eating ramen like this.”
I waved my hand dismissively with a smile so as not to worry Eto, whose complexion had deteriorated. It was the same smile that always put people at ease.
“You’re trying to play it cool, but it was a real mess. Your body was full of holes, your legs were blown off, and you were decapitated.”
“Ms. Xenia, please stop this for God’s sake! Eto looks like she might be about to burst into foam!”
This guy really was a wolf in sheep’s clothing when she was at school!
Even though my irritation was obvious, Xenia was unperturbed.
“Hey, I’ve been wondering about that regeneration ability of yours for a while now, Kanaki, what exactly is that? Magic? Curse? In either case, I don’t think it’s an ability that a third-class magician would possess.”
“Are you going on about that again? I wouldn’t be able to share that with you so easily, you know. Even if I am mediocre in all other aspects of my performance if anyone knew that, I would really be just a third-rate person.”
“Oh, you are a genuine third-rate person.”
“I won’t fall for that kind of provocation.”
“Seriously, Kanaki, you are way too discreet.”
Having given up prying, Xenia put down her empty bowl.
“Well, I suppose I’ll give up on that, but what have you decided to do in the end, Kanaki? About Fina Trinity who is the Princess’ follower. Have you really given up on her?”
“I told you that too before. This time is an exception, but until Mr. Matthias and the others are done with their work, I’ll stay low key too. Furthermore, if a magician of Aldar’s class is hanging around like today, I can’t do much work either.”
Well, I will only proceed with various preparations though.
I added that in my mind, which of course was not heard by Xenia, who looked downright bored.
“Hmm. But indeed, I do concur that it’s a smart move this time. Not only Rain but also ‘Kagura’ and the Garrison Corps have been on edge lately. Not a day goes by that I don’t see them when I’m out and about these days.”
When Xenia began to say, “Hey, there is no alcohol,” Eto shook her head with a troubled look on her face.
“…Well, it can’t be helped. After all, she has a solid bond with the Princess of the neighboring country, who is currently in this city. If anything befell her, it would lead to a tremendous uproar. If that’s the case, the country would have preferred to have more guards for generations to come, but since the Princess herself has refused, the country’s ministers are probably on pins and needles.”
“Ortesia’s refusal of protection is something I was unaware of but… she certainly seems like the kind of person who would be willing to do that.”
I passed the empty bowl to Eto and asked for another glass of water.
Matthias, who had begun to close up his stall as if to call it a day, spoke nonchalantly without stopping his hands.
“This is why I have to make sure my job is a success on the first shot. The problem is that there are multiple targets and they are both skilled, but with Xenia, that problem will be resolved… I would have liked to borrow your help as well, but I’ll just have to settle for these stones this time.”
“You are overrating me, Mr. Matthias. Even if I join your group, it won’t influence many individuals.”
“That’s right. With me around, you should feel like you’re in a grand boat, Mr. Matthias.”
“…I’m worried that your love of flamboyance will waste time.”
That seemed to be the most sincere feeling that Matthias had today.
A shadow of brooding lingered on Eto’s face the whole time as she listened to us.
This is the end of the first part.
From the second part, I would like to start depicting Kanaki from the student’s point of view.
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