Three days later.
Thursday, 4:30 PM.
All the classes had ended.
Today was the regular meeting of my second club, Foodie Exploration.
Aisha glanced at me and left first, evidently not wanting others to see us leaving together.
Following her cue, I waited about five minutes before departing.
To an outsider, it might resemble a secret romance.
I packed my bag while conversing with Noctar.
“Are you taking care of yourself, Theo? Even if you don't train, make sure to take the elixir regularly.
It's most effective if you take it an hour before bed.”
“Yeah, I take them every night before bed.
But I haven't noticed any effects yet, and they don't taste good either.
When can I expect to see results?”
“Hmm, for someone like you, Theo, you should see effects within a month.
Our ancestors who went to the side of the War God proved it themselves.”
“Alright, I'll keep that in mind.”
“Great, stay strong.
I'll go ahead.
See you tomorrow.”
With those words, Noctar and the orcs left the classroom.
Just as I was about to leave,
Piel approached me.
“Why haven't you been coming to the training grounds lately?”
Then, Piel coughed awkwardly, looking embarrassed.
I recalled my words to Piel last week, urging her to overcome her struggles and not to mention despair.
Considering she's talking to me again, she must have taken it well.
I decided not to mention my poor physical condition.
“I've been busy with club activities lately.”
“Really? What club?”
Piel widened her eyes in surprise.
I have a regular meeting today, so I'll be going.”
With that, I left the classroom.
Aisha, who had been peeking from a distance, quickly averted her gaze.
Approaching her, I asked,
“What are you doing?”
“Well, since you were taking so long, I thought something might have happened.”
“Of course! Anyway, what took you so long?! Even though I'm the next club president! We're going to be late… Luckily, I booked our reservation a bit late!”
Aisha seemed unusually flustered.
I felt like teasing her, but that would only make her upset.
I matched my pace with Aisha and said,
“There was a reason for it.
Anyway, I have a question.”
“What is it?”
“Why do you have Foodie Exploration meetings on Thursdays? Wouldn't Fridays be better?”
Of course, all the club members are underage, so they won't be drinking alcohol, but why not Fridays?
Wouldn't it be better to enjoy delicious food at the end of the week, as a way to wrap things up?
Aisha spoke with a serious expression.
“Absolutely not on Fridays.
Everywhere is crowded on Fridays.
What's the purpose of the Foodie Exploration club? To savor good food in excellent restaurants.
I don't like eating in noisy environments.”
Aisha is a character who enjoys a high-end lunch box for lunch and dines at a restaurant for dinner.
She could be considered a gourmet, but she's not a true food connoisseur like Amy.
Amy enjoys delicious food itself, while Aisha tends to eat more for her self-esteem.
But it's a bit strange.
I encounter her every day in the noisy cafeteria.
Well, Aisha must have changed too.
Just like Andrew did.
As I nod in agreement, Aisha gazes at me curiously.
“By the way, what did you talk about with Piel?”
“She asked why I haven't been showing up at the training fields.”
Anyway, let's hurry.
We don't want to miss the carriage.”
At the newly opened restaurant behind the Magic Department, Aisha and I arrived with the Foodie Exploration Club.
Including Aisha and me, there were a total of seven people, consisting of two second-year students and five first-year students.
However, there was a familiar face.
“Welcome, Aisha, Theo.”
It was Andrew.
“We've been seeing each other quite often lately, Andrew.
Are you a member of the Foodie Exploration Club as well?”
“Of course, isn't the joy of eating the true pleasure of life?”
Andrew leaned back in his chair, smirking.
I couldn't help but agree with him.
Having a romantic relationship seemed like a luxury to me.
Before inhabiting Theo's body, my life's pleasures consisted of playing 'Kyren Zena Chronicles' and savoring delicious food.
That was all.
For that reason, I'm genuinely excited now.
Since arriving in this world, I've barely had the chance to dine at high-end restaurants, as I've been preoccupied with surviving each day.
Delicious food is something we can't live without in life.”
Aisha laughed and agreed.
“Then Theo, before we sit down, let's introduce ourselves.
Everyone, our new member is Theo.
You all know him, right?”
The club members subtly nodded their heads, mirroring the serene atmosphere of the restaurant.
However, a question crossed my mind.
“…Before that, Andrew, when did you start participating in club activities?”
It's unusual for someone like Aisha to be in three clubs, as most people are only in one or two.
Naturally, overlapping clubs are rare.
Moreover, in the original story, Andrew never joined any clubs.
Even if the story has changed, it's still peculiar.
Aisha answered on his behalf.
“Andrew joined this week, just like you, Theo.
He also joined the Tactical Strategies Club.”
…During the Tactical Strategies Club meeting, Andrew never mentioned that he was a newcomer.
He actively participated in discussions, so I assumed he was an existing member.
Suddenly, I felt wronged.
I had awkwardly introduced myself to kids who were at least a decade younger than me.
“Andrew, why didn't you introduce yourself during the Tactical Strategies Club meeting?”
“Theo, I did it before you arrived.
You were late this time, and the last time too.”
Andrew replied nonchalantly.
It was true, but I didn't like how he casually accepted my introduction as if he were a regular member.
I confronted him directly.
“We should have introduced ourselves together, Andrew.
I don't know your hobbies or why you joined this club.
I know nothing about you.”
“I don't want to.”
Andrew rejected my proposal outright.
I turned my head and looked at Aisha.
“Is this right, Aisha?”
“Uh, um, well······.”
Aisha stuttered after hearing my question.
How about introducing yourself together with Theo? He and I don't know the details of why you joined this club.”
Andrew kept his mouth shut.
Aisha continued to speak.
“We're curious about who you are, Andrew.
We couldn't hear your introduction properly last Friday.”
She smiled as she said this.
Finally, Andrew reluctantly stood up and introduced himself.
My name is Andrew Jackson.
My hobbies are magic and tactical strategy research, and the reason I joined this club is─”
After Andrew finished his introduction, I smiled sincerely.
'You brat, you should have been more courteous.'
After my introduction, we enjoyed our meal in a friendly atmosphere.
Since it was a course meal, it took a long time to eat.
When we stepped outside, it was already evening.
We said our goodbyes to the club members and headed to the carriage stop.
I felt good after having a satisfying meal for the first time in a while.
The dark sky looked beautiful.
As I was admiring the view, Aisha spoke to me.
“Tomorrow is the long-awaited~ drumroll, please.
Fishing club! As a direct descendant, you must know, right? Most heroes who left their mark in history enjoyed fishing.
We're meeting after the lecture tomorrow, okay?”
“…Also, also, also.
You really sound like a blunt old man.
Can't you speak a little more nicely? Anyway, bring a change of clothes tomorrow.
You might need a spare set.”
After parting ways with Aisha, I boarded the carriage heading for the dormitory.
I detest fishing.
It's because of my uncle.
Due to a tragic accident, I lost my parents and had to live with various relatives.
Among them, I stayed the longest at my uncle's house.
My uncle was obsessed with fishing.
It went beyond a hobby; he was a true fisherman.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of him is the pungent smell of seawater.
He always had that lingering, unpleasant odor that wouldn't wash away.
The only good memory I have of him is when he caught a sea bream and prepared it as sashimi.
[It's not about catching fish; it's about catching life.]
Every weekend, without fail, my uncle headed to the sea.
[What, you think I'm lying? It's true.
If you're an experienced fisherman, you can read a fish's mind.]
Yet, he couldn't read the crumbling heart of his wife.
His main focus was sea fishing, which entailed transportation costs, bait expenses, and boat rental fees.
It was a significant burden for my uncle, who wasn't well-off, but he couldn't give up fishing.
─Why on earth is this useless man so obsessed with fishing? Instead of wasting time, go out and earn some money!
─This is all~ part of social life, you silly woman.
How dare you nag at your husband like this?!
─Ugh, I can't take it anymore.
What did I do in my past life to deserve a husband like this…
Our child isn't even being raised properly, and I have to feed a child not related by blood…
As soon as I turned twenty, I left that house.
I didn't have anywhere else to go.
Even after so much time has passed, the sound of my uncle and aunt's arguments still rings clearly in my ears.
My weary sigh echoed hollowly through the empty carriage.
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