Chapter 10 – Reward!
“Did you see that? I passed as well.”
I boasted after the battle was over, and Luke looked at me with a smile.
“I did see it. You’re still as strong as ever.”
“Indeed! Indeed! I’m a lot more capable than I thought.”
I had felt complete despair at first, but I couldn’t help but smile now that I had passed.
Because I had heard that Luke had passed as well.
In the end, I really didn’t want to lose to him, so this result made me happier than anything.
“Of course, I did it with a lot more ease than you.”
“No, no. Clearly I was the most impressive.”
“You didn’t even see me. But I know both, so I can make a comparison.”
“I don’t need to see in order to know! There is no way I’d lose to you.”
It was really starting to sound like we were back to the old days.
“Huh. So you make faces like that.”
Mr. Gawain’s voice suddenly sounded from behind me.
He was looking at Luke.
“I don’t know what you mean. This is normal.”
“No, while you are generally calm, your smiles are always put on and completely insincere. But now, you look like a grown adult who is suddenly in front of the girl who he was smitten by as a student for so long, but never acted on it because he was too afraid to destroy what they had.”
Luke looked unusually annoyed as he tried to stop Mr. Gawain, who enjoyed mocking him.
However, I was happy to see that he was on friendly terms with his coworkers.
“So, you… Noelle, was it?”
Mr. Gawain turned to me.
“Since you survived for sixty seconds, I will take you out to eat anything you like. What will it be?”
I could ask for anything…!?
After thinking about it hard, I answered.
“I want to eat meat!
Could there be anything else?
As a commoner from a poor household, I had always wanted to eat some high-quality meat.
And since Mr. Gawain was a Magus-rank magician, his income must be very sizable indeed.
Surely there could be nothing wrong with being indulged a little?
It was a reward, after all.
“Very well. I will take you to the fanciest place in the capital.”
How very generous!
This man was a good superior…!
With expectation welling in my chest, I followed after Mr. Gawain.
“So, why are you coming too?”
“Because Noelle is my buddy.”
“You’re just trying to get another free meal, aren’t you?”
“You misunderstand me.”
Luke said, though he was clearly on a course to getting a free meal.
He was as clever as ever.
The place that we arrived at definitely had the appearance of an expensive restaurant.
Normally, I would feel too intimidated to even get close to such a place. And so I felt rather nervous as we entered.
Beyond the doors was the world of the highest upper class.
They probably drank cups of water that cost more than my daily food budget.
I started to feel as if even the air that I was breathing was also expensive.
“You can order anything that you like. And eat as much as you want.”
“Do you mean it!?”
I asked excitedly.
“…You might regret saying that, captain.”
“Hmm? Why is that?”
“In spite of her appearance, Noelle is quite gluttonous.”
“You mean, compared to other tiny people. Well, leave it to me. I make quite enough to feed my two juniors until they are full.”
Such were the proud words of Mr. Gawain, but half an hour later, he was looking into the abyss with dead eyes.
“Another plate of this!”
“…You’re still eating…”
“I have extra space when it comes to meat.”
Once my stomach was quite full, I left the restaurant with a feeling of pure bliss.
Mr. Gawain and Luke seemed to be talking about something as he paid.
“Hah… That’s half my food budget for this month…”
“Cheer up, captain.”
“Well, uh, perhaps you could pay for your own meal?”
“Thank you for the delicious meal, captain.”
While I couldn’t really hear them, it seemed like they were having a friendly conversation.
In any case, the fact that I was able to relax and eat lunch like this…!
Back at my old workplace, there were many days where we were too busy to take lunch breaks. So I was incredibly grateful to be able to eat so leisurely.
Ah, what a wonderful thing. A white working environment.
And so under the cloudless sky, I relished this joy on the first day of my new life.