When I turned to the direction of the voice, I saw Cher-kun waving at us with one hand, while pointing to the seat next to him with his other hand.
Looks like he noticed us looking for a table, and it just so happened that the people sitting next to him were about to leave. From how he’s gesturing at us, it looks like he’ll be securing the table for us.
“Looks like we’ve found ourselves a table. Let’s go get our food.” [Ryouma]
I thanked him with a gesture, and left with the others too get some food.
“So we can pick our food from the menu here, huh.” [Clarissa]
“Food is the fuel of all activities, so I got some people who used to work as cooks or at restaurants to man this place.” [Ryouma]
Of course, employees don’t have to pay to eat here. Today’s Lunch A is a sandwich, while the B Lunch is sausage with vegetable soup. It’s likely that there are only 2 choices now to make it easier on the cooks, but it is the first day, so let’s just see what happens in the following days.
I was interested in the soup, so I went with Lunch B. Everyone chose their food, and we went to the table that Cher-kun secured for us.
“Thank you, Cher-kun.” [Ryouma]
“Don’t mention it. By the way, who are these people?” [Cher]
It’s only natural he’d be curious, and it’s not a secret or anything, so I went ahead and introduced him to the doctors.
“Cher-kun is a skilled adventurer trusted by the people.” [Ryouma]
“Y-You’re exaggerating, Ryouma-kun. I’m not that amazing.” [Cher]
Cher-kun was acting all humble, but I really did think highly of him. He’s a really good kid. I know this sounds really arrogant coming from me when I’m physically younger, but he’s really mature for his age.
“Besides, aren’t you a lot better adventurer than me, Ryouma-kun? It hasn’t even been a year since you registered and you’ve already caught up to me in rank.” [Cher]
We’re both D Ranks, but even though he’s saying something like that, I can’t feel any jealousy or anger from him. It just feels like he’s honestly acknowledging me, just like back when we first met. I’m glad he’s so accepting of me, and at the same time, I think that’s really amazing.
I worked as an instructor for the new adventurers recently, and unfortunately, not everyone saw me favorably. There were even senior adventurers who started openly avoiding me after I displayed my abilities at the mock battle.
I don’t blame them, though. Adventurers might operate on a merit-based-system, but it still doesn’t feel good to have someone overtake you. As my senpais, I’m sure they didn’t enjoy being overtaken by me.
Someone who can look past that senpai-kouhai relationship and honestly acknowledge a person’s skills without being discouraged isn’t easy to come by. Sure, ideally speaking, acknowledging one’s abilities might be a ‘given’ and something ‘ought to be done’, but humans are creatures ruled by their emotions, and it’s not an easy thing to put that ‘ideal’ into practice.
I’ve personally been surpassed many times by my subordinates in my previous life. Really, there’s no end to the number of people more skilled than me. I recall being frustrated a lot back then, but of course, I didn’t let it show.
I vaguely told that to Cher-kun, and Cher-kun scratched his cheeks.
“When you put it like that, it’s really embarrassing… I’m not very talented, so all I can do is work diligently, and I do get jealous of other people too. Speaking of which, do you actually ever lose to anyone or get jealous of anyone?” [Cher]
…Just what does he think I am?
“I mean you’re strong and you know a lot of stuff, you’re smart too.” [Cher]
“It’s true that I’m strong and can put up a good fight with most people, but I’m actually average or bad at everything else. For example, when it comes to human relationships.” [Ryouma]
In that regard, it took me almost 40 years to get to where I am today.
But of course, given how I look, it’s a bit too much to expect others to realize that.
“And I think ‘knowledge’ and ‘intelligence’ are two different things altogether. Knowledge would be the tool, while intelligence is how you use it.” [Ryouma]
In that regard, there are a lot of people way better than me, and the only reason why I know so much is because compulsory education was a thing in my previous life. I even went to college. Also, fortunately or unfortunately, I had a lot of opportunities to experience many things. There were also a lot of people near me who taught me many things whenever I asked. And then, there was this convenient thing called the ‘internet’ that fed me as much as my curiosity demanded.
When you put all of that together, well…
“I just happened to be blessed with a good environment.” [Ryouma]
“I see… In that case, I should work harder then.” [Cher]
Uh, the guild and the townspeople already acknowledge you, so I don’t think there’s any need to work harder, but… Well, if he’s fired up, then so be it. I’ll just cheer him on.
“Come to think of it, what things do you have a hard time with?” [Ryouma]
We’ve known each other for a while now, but he’s always struck me as an all-rounder who can do pretty much anything decently.
“Ah, well, how do I put it, it seems I’m the type that finds it hard to put on muscle. That’s why I’m not that confident in my physical strength or explosive strength. The guild master also told me to work more on my technique than on my strength.” [Cher]
Apparently, the reason why the townspeople trust him so much is connected to that. When he was just starting out as an adventurer, he didn’t have the Stamina or skill that he had now, so he did all sorts of odd jobs throughout town to build his strength.
The reason why he seems so flexible is probably because of that too, but if that’s the case, then maybe I can help.
“Sorry to ask so much, but what kind of training have you been doing? And also, you need to get some protein, though I wonder if you can even get some…” [Ryouma]
I’ve never heard anyone mention it, and I even tried asking the doctors just in case, and apparently, not one of them know about it.
“Is that protein a muscle-strengthening drug? From how you describe it, it sounds like it is.” [Cher]
That’s a misunderstanding.
Protein is protein. It’s an important material used by the body not just for muscles, but for internal organs, skin, hair, and even the nails. They can normally be found in food. It’s not a ‘drug’ that has side-effects.
“So that protein stuff is one of those nutrients you were talking about?” [Clarissa]
The one who said that was Clarissa-san, who was quite taken by the topic of nutrients.
“Yes. It wouldn’t be wrong to think of it as such. Protein is one of the essential nutrients needed to build muscle and maintain health, but in order to maintain one’s health and build even more muscles on top of that, a considerable amount of protein is required. If one were to try and procure that amount of protein just by eating, other unnecessary nutrients like fat will also be procured in the process, and that will naturally puff up one’s belly, making it difficult to procure the necessary amount. That’s where pharmaceutical technology comes in, and by extracting just the necessary protein, we are able to produce a protein supplement.” [Ryouma]
“Remove the waste and leave only what’s needed, huh. It’s just like when packing up for a trip.” [Cher]
Looks like he understood it from an adventurer’s perspective.
By the way, protein also needs to be taken at the right time and be accompanied with the right training. In that way, the effects of protein can be maximized, and the body can build more muscle. When I explained that to him—
“That’s amazing. But is it really okay to tell me that?” [Cher]
Cher-kun is helping out with my work, and I think this will be quite useful in raising my guards. Maybe it’s even possible to mix muscle training with healing magic. The more I talked, the more interested he became.
I hear it’s not good for children to put on too much muscle while growing up or it’ll affect their growth, so if he’s willing to cooperate with me as a test subject, I’d be really grateful.
When I told him that, he offered me his right hand.
I happily took it and gave him a firm handshake.
“Can I participate in that research too?” [Tint]
It was the athletic resident, Tint-san, who said that.
It’s a huge help to have his support, but what are those flames burning within his eyes?
When I asked him about them—
“As a child, I’ve always wanted to be a knight of the royal family. I fell off a horse while training one day and was injured, so I had no choice but to give up on it. Since then I’ve decided to become a doctor, so that there’d be less people who’ll have to give up on their dreams because of an injury or illness. I know muscle training doesn’t fall under treatments, but I’m very interested!” [Tint]
No wonder his voice was always so loud. Come to think of it, he’s also the one most interested in the serum, isn’t he? I didn’t think there’d be this kind of backstory behind it.
“I don’t have any reasons to refuse, so, by all means, please, do help us. Your cooperation would be a huge help.” [Ryouma]
“Thank you very much!” [Tint]
Like this I found myself a new research topic, a new test subject, and a new assistant.
“Umm, excuse me, Ryouma-sama, but… The two of you are drawing attention.” [Mafral]
When I looked around me, it was just as Dr. Mafral was saying.
We were in the cafeteria, so naturally, there were a lot of people here, and because of that a lot of odd gazes had gathered onto us.