I felt tired the next morning. Something must have made Daniela more passionate than usual. In any case, she was very thorough in her lessons that night, and this resulted in me only having three hours of actual sleep. The sun had already risen in the sky, and the room was filled with a refreshing energy that I did not feel a part of.
I had laid down a blanket over our sheets last night, as an extra precaution. The bed itself looked clean enough as I folded the blanket and put it back in the bag. Daniela’s pale form slept soundly on the bed, the perfect image of contentment. It suggested to me that you could not go wrong with indulging in your urges, whether they were hunger, lust or sleep. At least, in her case.
Phew. I got off of the bed and went straight to the washing room. It was nice when you had no need to take your clothes off.
There, I washed my filthy body and looked at myself in the mirror. It was definitely not the same face I had in my past life. At least, I thought so. I had that scar, after all.
“Back then… Things had been hard.”
I had tried to avoid thinking about my future. My past as well. However, it was very hard when you spent so much time alone. I had not put enough effort into living while I was a student. And I felt the harsh results once I started working. I had nothing but regret as I imagined what my future would look like.
“Though, the manager who visited in the morning was always there for emotional support…”
I thought as my attention drifted to the length of my hair. She always tried to get me to cut it as she touched it from behind. It always scared me, but I suppose it was her way of communicating. It made me feel better when I thought of it like that, anyway. Most managers would have shouted and forced me to get it cut. It was a pretty relaxed environment, and I think I was cut some slack because they knew how hard it was for me.
“I’ll have to cut it soon.”
I chuckled while my finger ran down my neck.
The manager wouldn’t like it.
□ □ □ □
A not quite awake Daniela entered a while later, and so we washed each other. Once we were done, we went out to the north district to find something to eat. I had suggested that eating in the north district would be nice for a change. After all, we had those priority passes from the intelligence people. It would be a shame not to make the most of them. I’d have to also go and find Mister Tames so I could thank him.
The dining hall was just a short walk away from the lodging facility. It was a place where soldiers ate.
“Hello. We’ll have two of the breakfast sets.”
We flashed our bracelets while talking to the old man in the kitchen.
“Understood. Find yourselves some seats and wait.”
It was amusing to see the military manner in which he talked. Daniela and I sat down at a table and killed time by talking about yesterday’s game, when suddenly, I felt someone staring in our direction. It was like being stabbed in the neck. I turned around to look, but no one met my eyes.
“What is it?”
“Hm? Uh…it’s nothing.”
I thought it was just me, and so I turned back to Daniela and continued our conversation. After a few more minutes, a young man, who was clearly new to the job, came up to us and set our food on the table.
“Th-thank you for waiting! Here are your breakfast sets!”
That’s a lot of rattling… He did, however, give a perfect military salute before disappearing. My gaze went down to the food.
Hmm. It seemed like a classic breakfast. Bread and beans. Fruits and a drink. And what was this white stuff? It looked like that stuff that grumpy cooks violently poured into the protagonist’s bowl in military movies. And then the protagonist would have an equally grumpy face as he brings it to his mouth.
I tasted the mystery food first. Hmm…the texture was…terrible. The taste was…terrible.
“Asagi, your eyebrows.”
“Taste this stuff. You’ll be making the same expression.”
Now I knew why they always looked unhappy. This was not good. I tried eating it with the beans… It tasted even worse.
“This…seems very healthy.”
She said, as if she were a reporter on air and could not give her honest opinion on the dish. Still, I highly doubted it was that nutritious.
Ultimately, my eyebrows remained firmly narrowed as I finished my breakfast. I somehow managed to eat everything and wash it down with water. Several people were staring at us with smirks on their faces. I was annoyed at first, but realized that they didn’t mean anything by it. It was more of a ‘bad, ain’t it?’ So I chuckled as I reached for the fruit.
“I saved this one for last.”
Everyone else laughed.