The Distant Trail of Ciara Badvia - 1-6-5 Hidden Kindness
This is EDITED MTL. Please adjust your expectations. Updates will be sporadic. Thank you for reading, and please support the author. Join the Luminary Novels Discord!
The Saria Magic Academy
Part 6: A Disquieting Shadow
It was then the sharp-eyed vendor gave attention to Misty and Tyril and gave them a winning smile. “Oh, you’re customers with orders, right? Don’t worry; no one else is in line, so you can receive your order right away.”
“Huh? So they’re all standing here like this and still haven’t ordered anything?”
“That’s right. It’s quite annoying, really.”
“What?” Ruth protested. “No, wait, we’re all here to buy some galraud from you, gorgeous. We’re just deciding which ones we want right now!”
“I don’t need that, and you’re blocking the way in front of the store, so could you please move? Oh, if a customer comes, please go and tend to them while you’re at it.”
The vendor dismissed them mockingly and turned around to accommodate Misty and Tyril. Once again, Ruth’s coterie started spewing useless comments, but the three of them ignored it. They were little more than background noise at this point.
With the girls sidelined, the two placed their respective orders, while Ruth continued to chat with them frivolously—”You’re still new to this city, yeah, Tyril? Let’s go out together; I’ll show you lots of interesting places.”—as their food was being prepared. This, despite being turned down yesterday, as if that exchange never happened. Then, like she’d rehearsed it, Misty warned him to back off from Tyril with, “Touch her and you’re dead.” It felt like some scripted drama.
Tyril sighed at Ruth’s persistence. The next moment, however, she felt a small sense of unease, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was. It was only a brief feeling that something was off. Just as Tyril started pondering it, the vendor returned.
“All right, thank you for waiting, valued customers! One galraud stuffed with sausages and honey mustard, and another with ham, lettuce, and eggs!”
The lunch they ordered was ready. The moment she received it, Tyril forgot about the minor details.
“By the way, miss, I heard your name is Tyril, right? By any chance, are you the Tyril who is being talked about lately?”
Laughter bubbled. Ruth’s group stirred with excitement, and they were now watching Tyril closely.
Sensing that Misty was going to glare at him, Ruth quickly spoke up. “Come on, let’s order something now. It’s almost lunch break and other students will be coming. All right, I’ll treat the first five people. Think fast!”
“Ooh, really? Lucky!” The girls were instantly delighted and promptly began competing for their turn. Caught by surprise, the vendor glared at Ruth again. “Hey, I’m not treating you anything, so you’d better pay properly!”
“I know, but treating five is my limit for now. If I hold up the line any longer, I’ll seriously be disrupting business, so just let us get our food quickly and we’ll be on our way.”
“… Fine. As long as you understand.”
“Anyway… Since I’m going to leave obediently, how about you make some time over the weekend? I know you’re free this Dark Day.”
“I refuse. Even if I were single, I wouldn’t choose a playboy like you.”
“Wait, seriously? You have a boyfriend?”
As they bantered, Ruth efficiently managed the line of girls. “All right, all right, that’s it for the first five. I’ll treat the other girls next time. While we’re waiting, let’s go pick our next stop!”
High-pitched, excited voices filled the air. As the girls gradually made their orders, the vendor’s hands started getting busier.
“We should go now.”
At Misty’s urging, they quietly left the store. Tyril felt reluctant to leave without thanking the kind vendor, but there was no helping it. Introducing herself in that situation was no different from shooting herself in the foot.
Twenty meters away, Tyril couldn’t help but look back. The scene in the store remained the same, with the vendor still busy. However, she could see Ruth was waving at the two of them.
“Oh…” A thought occurred to her.
Could it be? Did Ruth help us out?
Now that she thought about it, he also appeared at just the right time yesterday. She thought it was a coincidence then, but maybe it wasn’t. When Tyril told Misty about it while they swapped galrauds for a bite, Misty dismissed her suspicions with a light laugh.
“Huh? You’re overthinking it! There’s no way—not from that idiot.”
Is he really? The look they’d exchanged earlier told Tyril there was more to Ruth than that.
“Besides, even if that was his intention, it’s his fault that you ended up in a problematic situation in the first place. He’s the one who brought those nasty girls with him, and he’s the one who blabbed your name in front of the vendor. It’s all his fault, so you don’t need to feel grateful about it.”
I suppose she has a point, Tyril realized as Misty spoke.
Regardless, her initial poor impression of Ruth was certainly fading. She also felt that he wasn’t the hopeless playboy that Misty made him out to be.
“I’d like to have a relaxed conversation with him next time,” Tyril muttered to herself absentmindedly. It seemed Misty had heard, however, and she instantly panicked, placing a hand on her forehead.
“Hey, Tyril, are you feeling okay? You don’t have to go out with someone like him, you know? Absolutely not!”
“Huh? Um, y-yes, I won’t. Of course.”
Tyril frantically waved her free left hand to show that that was absolutely out of the question.
MTL/N: I’m kind of confused in this part below.
Besides, even if that was his intention, IT’S HIS FAULT that you ended up in a problematic situation in the first place.
All the MTL and the two dictionaries I used all say that it’s NOT Ruth’s fault. But that conflicts with the rest of the dialogue, so I elected to change it anyway. It seems clear to me that Misty is laying all the blame on Ruth, since she’s prejudiced against him. I might still be wrong, so check the source if you like.