Extra 9. Witness’ Statement: Patrick Wardington
“I’m looking for a good place… an empty place…”
Lunch break after a long class. A man was wandering around the grounds of Fala Rubia Academy.
The man’s name was Patrick Wardington—the only son of the Margrave of Wardington. ‘If you’re a man, be strong’—such were the words the strict and upright father of Patrick had left behind. He wanted to enjoy a carefree school life for a while.
“That’s right, if it’s in the back, no one should be around.”
As soon as Patrick, who carried his lunch in his pocket that day, came up with a good idea, he immediately went outside.
There was no scary father, nor excessive training—the only complaint he had with his pleasant school life was his dietary circumstances. All of the meals served in the academy’s cafeteria were too sophisticated and delicate to satisfy Patrick’s appetite. It would be better if the meals were simpler and also more filling.
Therefore, he decided to have a meal that consisted of only meat, meat that had been grilled and salted—now, he was looking for a place to eat.
If he ate such a thing in public, where there were many other elegant students, he would feel a tad bit humiliated.
“I need a blind spot, a blind spot… huh?”
The courtyard had a dining room, a cafeteria, and a gazebo. There would be people everywhere the eyes could see during lunchbreak—however, no one would go to the backyard. Because there were nether waiters nor tables, and it was just unthinkable for an aristocrat to just sit on the ground and eat—
—or so Patrick thought as he went to the backyard.
“For today’s sandwich, I made two layers of hamburger and included three pieces of cheese and bacon!”
“Today too, the volume is big…”
“Since Riol said one sandwich is enough, I tried to put numerous things inside one!”
“I am not talking about how many ingredients you put in…”
He suddenly halted when he heard the voices of a girl and boy from ahead of him. Whether it was due to his environment or his lineage, Patrick had good hearing. Even at a distance, he could pick up a noise easily and listen to it as if it was a normal volume.
“So, there are people already…”
From the shadows, he saw a girl student presenting something to a boy sitting next to her under a large tree in the backyard. The face of the schoolboy could barely be seen, especially from the place Patrick was standing—despite so, he could see his hand receiving the food.
The boy received none other than a sandwich containing large pieces of meat. It was truly different from a small sandwich that could be pinched between fingers—just like those thin sandwiches containing thin ingredients served in the academy’s cafeteria.
“Because Astraea said to me—‘No matter how hard you try to balance the vegetables or use sauce, it won’t make sense to a young man—there’s nothing more delicious and wholesome than a big piece of meat’ What do you think, Riol?”
“Those words are seriously coming from the mouth of a chef?”
Isn’t that basically a perfect sandwich!?
Patrick swallowed his saliva as he continued to eavesdrop. A big piece of meat sandwiched between two loafs of breads… was there a better dish than that? It looked so much better than vegetables which looked like jelly, or some sloppy sauce—he thought he had made a good lunch, but it turned out someone was two times better than him!
“What a relief! As I thought, should I make a bigger one next time?! Should I make a three-tiered one tomorrow?!”
“Please, take how wide I can open my jaw into consideration.”
Patrick concealed a growl. If it were him, he would readily accept a three-tiered sandwich!
I am jealous! How envious!
As he could conclude from the conversation, those dishes were handmade by the female student. Moreover, it seemed that she did it every day. Her happy voice told him her true feelings—it seemed that the two were in good faith. Patrick was sure the two of them were close—they had probably been betrothed from an early age. He felt that kind of atmosphere from them.
“Please, have the potato, too.”
“Astraea said this was the best way to recommend potato fries, but I do wonder about the true implication behind it…”
“…? Maybe it’s a chef’s jinx or something?”
Moreover, the girl was pretty cute. A full smile and overflowing strawberry blonde hair. She might not be the most beautiful woman in the world, but her cuteness could be understood from a distance.
Patrick leaned forward a little more, wondering what kind of face the lucky man with such a good fiancée would have.
After leaning forward, Patrick’s jaw fell. The fiancé of such an adorable, devoted, and good at cooking girl—he was sure he would be a beautiful, high-class, boy.
“However, I think it’s better to include vegetables, too, even if Astraea said this—‘Vegetables are akin to reason. Exactly, and before meat, any reason will fall apart.’”
“For a chef, why does he have a lot of serious sayings like that…”
Dark black hair which stuck to his shoulder. A dark, lifeless complexion. Patrick didn’t know his precise height because he was sitting, but he was probably short for a man—a height that was no different from a girl’s.
“Oh, could it be, that person isn’t a ‘he’, but instead a ‘she’? ‘Astraea’ is such an androgynous name…”
“No, your first guess is actually correct. It seems that Astraea’s parents didn’t know it was actually a Goddess’ name, and named him that just because they thought it sounded cool.”
No matter how he looked at him, the boy seemed brooding and dark, not to mention, plain. If the boy was walking down the street, even if he passed ten to twenty people, no one would probably recall his face.
Patrick softly retreated as he murmured—he couldn’t even come up with a single compliment. Nothing about the boy screamed handsome.
Moreover, Patrick was actually familiar with his gloomy face. He was Riol Glen, whom had been a hot topic since the entrance ceremony last month.
He became a special student through practical skill. In short, he received the highest score in writing exam—even though it was the most looked down department in the academy; the academy’s dirt. Not to mention, he was also the third son of a poor baron who lived in the countryside—it wasn’t even possible for him to enroll in the academy without the help of a scholarship. A lot of people jeered at him, calling him a big mistake amongst the freshmen.
“People have different tastes, alright…”
A scholarship student was a scholarship student, no matter what was said behind the system. Those who were jeering at him were the people who didn’t want to be exempted of tuition because they thought it was shameful. Patrick himself didn’t care that much about it.
However, it was hard to imagine that such a cute girl also didn’t care.
Despite everything, the boy’s status, appearance, and magic were truly below average! Was it his personality that caused the girl to be so infatuated with him? Patrick wondered if he was such a good and wonderful person inside.
“What book are you reading today?”
“Ancient magic theory and its history.”
Said ‘wonderful personality’ couldn’t be perceived through hearing… On the contrary, Riol Glen’s answer was all-the-time plain—Patrick couldn’t feel Riol’s slightest desire to liven up the conversation.
“So you’re learning about the past to make use of it in the future! As I thought! Riol’s sincere attitude towards studying is truly wonderful!”
“Be silent for a moment.”
The girl sounded cheerful, even though she had been given such an abrupt answer. Where was the fun part of the conversation?
Probably due to Riol’s silence, the girl also became silent.
But that was convenient! Patrick became concerned—the girl must be expecting a good conversation… when Patrick sneaked a peek at the two of them again, however…
The girl was smiling—a full smile. The happy atmosphere could be felt even from where Patrick was standing—she was happy just by being next to him.
From the conversation alone, Patrick thought Riol was a cold person. However, Riol held the book in a slightly unnatural manner—it was as if he was trying to shield his face from her gaze.
—Riol was probably blinded.
“Wow, got it, you guys are a happy couple. I got it already…”
He hadn’t even touch his lunch, yet, but he was already full. There was no way he could still force his way in there and interrupt the happy couple. Only a fool who couldn’t read the atmosphere to death would do such a thing.
“Aah, I also want an adorable girlfriend like her…”
Then, secretly praying for their happiness, Patrick Wardington left.
Only a fool who couldn’t read the atmosphere to death would do such a thing.
If this is pre-defeated Leonardo, I bet 3 mins later Leonardo barges in and do exactly that.
FINALLY! A CONFIRMATION ABOUT ASTRAEA’S GENDER! Sometimes it keeps me at night thinking I’ve translated the gender wrong, but so it turns out the author really wanna confuse us all.