The Four Seasons Café is more comforting than I`ve expected all along. The tables, chairs, and walls are made with wood, which is quite a rare sight for a restaurant, not to mention… the cost for wood is highly expensive.
A simple, very old model oil lamp was hanged on the air above the tables, it gives a comfortable feeling as we sat down and relax to have a cup of tea or coffee.
At first, I`m surprised on how long the line is when the café is in sight. There are many students that littered here. And I thought we would need to wait for a long time. If Persia really insists me to try here, then I have no choice but to queue.
But Persia looks at me with a confident smile and took me to the back door of the restaurant, then she knocks the glass door twice.
After a while, the door opened. Revealing an old man in a waiter suit.
He had a white moustache, with some wrinkles on his face. He had quite a kind and serious look. What`s more, he`s giving me a feeling of a butler— no, as if he`s one.
“Miss Persia, you are here today? It`s rare to see that you aren`t coming yesterday.” He said.
“How are you doing Zuckerberg? Something troublesome happened yesterday but I brought an extra customer here so don`t worry about it~” Persia replied to him.
“Ah, this young lad is?” He looks at me.
Before I could even reply, Persia interjected and spouted her nonsense. By the way, just how much do you like me?
“Ho ho. Nice joke, Miss Persia. I presume that this young lad is just a friend?”
The calm answer from the old man surprised me. From their conversation, it`s pretty obvious that Persia and this old man are acquaintances.
“Please come it. Miss Persia, I already reserved your usual table. Should I go with the usual today?” The old man asks as he invites us in.
“No, please give me your specialty today.” Persia replied with a smirk.
“Yes, two sets right away.” The old man replied, and walks away.
Is it my problem...? Or did the old man`s eyes glinted just now?
“Follow me~” Persia said, as she pulled my sleeve with her fingers.
From the office, we walked across the hallway and took a left detour. That`s Persia`s table, a square shaped table suitable for four persons.
A ‘reserved’ sign above the table disappeared after the moment we sat down on the chairs.
“Are you the only VIP?” I ask Persia.
“Actually, before he was the owner of the Four Seasons Café, he`s an ex-butler. He`s my personal butler that looks after me when I was little.” She said.
“No wonder… That`s why you are able to enter from the back door.”
In other words, that`s cheating. I wonder how the others waiting outside feels?
“That`s right. The prices for all the food and drinks here are all discounted~”
“That`s not important. Is the food good?”
“Taste are very personal. It`s all up to you to decide. But you can count on me~!” She confidently replied.
“Heh. You sure are confident.” I smirked.
“Because it`s you, that`s why I will do my best…” She softly murmured.
She looks away, with her eyes gazing downwards and cheeks redden.
Normally any guy would have his heart skip a bit the moment they saw Persia`s cute look. But I`m sort of fed up with this earlier on Lefiya, so I completely ignored her murmurs.
“Say Persia. What`s with the email today? Why didn`t you just tell me where Lefiya`s waiting instead but rather pinning her location? It`s weird.” I asked.
“Because you have a terrible sense of direction…” She looks at me innocently.
I can feel my face twitching because her reason.
“No I don`t.” I replied.
“But… you got lost even during the first day…”
Are her eyes pitying on me? They totally did.
“That`s Nightwalker, not me…!” I said.
“Really? But it`s troublesome to remember who you are…”
She`s right. It takes time to figure out who I am if you didn`t know me well enough.
“Ugh… fine.” I placed my hand on my temple, rubbing it from the irritation.
Suddenly, I hear click-clacking sounds scattering on the table. Until I actually look what`s on the table, the old man, Zuckerberg filled the table with the dishes that Persia ordered.
A total of 8 dishes for two of us. It`s pretty fast for an old man like him, not to mention the long queue— did he skipped them? So VIP comes first?
“Enjoy your lunch, Miss Persia and Mr. Lucifer.” The old man slightly bowed his head.
He then makes his way back to the kitchen again.
“That`s a lot, don`t you think?” I said.
Comparing to the others, it`s size is visibly larger.
“Humph, I won`t get fat so don`t worry about it.” She pouted, and took a dining knife and fork.
Normally girls are quite sensitive about fats and calories, but she doesn`t seem to worry about that.
Yeah… because she`s eating so fast. Nearly half of the food is gone under… 9 seconds.
Are you a descendant of the gluttony? I`m really surprised in your hunger.
“…Can`t you eat more slowly?” I inadvertently murmured.
“(Swallows)… Sorry, it`s been a habit.” She wipes her lips with a handkerchief.
“Sigh… you`d get an upset tummy if you do that frequently.”
“That`s why I always bring a small portion of healing water with me~”
…So it`s for healing her stomach ulcer and gastric problem.
Healing water (or potion), are a special medicine created through process by several magic that heals any physical wounds on the user when consumed. Comparing to the western and eastern medicine, it has no side effects at all.
But in comparison, the price is extremely expensive.
Although I knew someone who`s able to make tons of that without any problems but still…
“You shouldn`t rely on that. You are going to be in deep trouble when you are out of it.” I said.
“I can`t help it… I constantly skipped my meals because of the work from the Student Council…” She replied with a tired look.
Is she really that busy…? I mean… Kuroyuki doesn`t seem to have this sort of problem when she did all the work alone.
Even if she had different capabilities… the difference in them handling their work couldn`t have such a big gap.
“That shouldn`t be happening. Don`t you have more than enough members in the Student Council?”
Persia immediately looks shy and embarrassed.
Tch, I`m being serious here, can`t you stop with the act already?
“I-I can`t… I`m not good in interacting with others…” She continues to play her act.
Yeah right. I don`t believe in any of her words, at all.
“But you talked fine to others, me, and even Kuroyuki that`s nearly impossible to approach.” I retorted.
“B-Because you are with me—”
I chopped her on the head without giving her any sign warning.
Perhaps it was too sudden, the shriek that she accidently leaks out was so cute that many of the customers turned their attention over here.
But since this table was special for Persia, she quickly turns on the privacy mode on the table screen. A mirror and soundproof hexagonal panel wall then isolates us from the others, like a room. But it`s possible for us to see from the inside.
“Ngh…!” Persia`s face was red like an apple.
She silently held her anger and embarrassment by looking to the sides with droplets on the corner of her eyes and pouting her cheeks.
I held off my laughter as much as I could after seeing her expression.
“It`s your fault…!” Persia shouted, and stood up.
She quickly walks to me and hits me repeatedly with her harmless fists.
“Hahaha I`m sorry about that.” I laughed as I replied.
Persia then grabs me on the chest of my shirt and shakes me as hard as she could, like a brat. That again, my head nearly hits her fine chest.
“Geez, jokes aside, Persia. I`m being serious with you here.” I said, and grabbed her on the waist and pulled her closer to me.
Perhaps my stare was too manly, Persia quickly averted her eyes from embarrassment.
“…I`m sorry. I know you are worrying about me…” She mumbled, and quickly avoided herself from my arm.
…Somehow the line she said feels a little déjà vu.
Persia then elegantly walks back to her seat and sat down like nothing happened.
“Actually… I already have the best member to help me in my student council`s work. I`m sure you know who she is.” She said.
“Really… So she`s still helping out? She sure can`t let go her old work, despite being a special student.”
Kuroyuki is helping Persia in part of her work.
“You sure think fast~ as expected of the special transfer student~”
Something`s not right. Kuroyuki alone is able to handle all the job in the Student Council. So why is it that Persia is unable to handle it despite all of that? I wanted to ask her but…
…my stomach is warning me.
“Yeah, whatever. I`m starving.” I said.
Luckily there`s a heating system installed on the surface of the plate itself, the wouldn`t get cold unless you wanted to, except for cold food.
What do I have here… honey cream pancake decorated by colourful colours of summer berries, coffee with an extravagant aroma, a steak on a sizzling plate with signature sauce and a slice of tiramisu cake.
Anyone can make this. But the simplest of things is the hardest to master its peak taste. Persia must have her reason to order these.
If its 4 seasons… then… I would like to try the pancake first. Cut a slice with some honey and cream… eat it along with the berries— WOW.
The essence of summer…!
How could this be…?! The summer berries and honey are so fresh, as if they are freshly harvested from the first day of spring…!
What about the others…!?
“So~? How`s the food~? It`s interesting, isn`t it~?” Persia asks as she smirks.
“Yeah. Same as the name, I can feel the four seasons from it.” I said.
“Then~ which seasons they represent~? Give a guess, it`s pretty hard~”
She`s definitely testing me. That smug of hers is definitely trying to laugh at me.
“Let`s see… the steak represents spring, the pancake is summer, coffee is autumn and the tiramisu cake is winter.”
“Eh~ Can I know why such an answer~?”
“There`s no absolute answer, Persia. It`s what I felt from it. If you want, anything food can represent any season.”
“Hehe~ That`s correct. The main point is to enjoy what you have right now~ I will definitely cherish this moment~” She said.
“Hmm…” I dripped a cold sweat.
Could it be just like Restia said…? She`s serious about it…?
“Then… do you know what does the seasons represents?” She asks with a curious gaze.
“Hmm… if it were me, I think spring was to cherish, summer was to enjoy and relax, autumn was to enjoy the bittersweet life and winter was to help each other in need.”
Somehow, Persia`s voice is very soft. Her expression in that short moment was vacant but yet— terrifyingly scary.
Even my body stuttered for a moment.
What was that…!?
A ‘voice only’ screen suddenly pops up on top of the table, in front of us.
“Amazing, truly amazing.”
An old man`s voice was behind the speaker.
“…Zuckerberg?” I inadvertently murmured.
“Oh ho? So young lad you recognise my voice.” He replied.
“What`s with the speaker Zuckerberg?”
“Pardon my rudeness, but you left the ordering microphone on. By chance, I heard your conversations.”
“I see… sorry about that.” Persia replied.
“No, no it`s my pleasure. Young lad you are also one of the few that understands the meaning behind the cooking. I`m very much entertained.” He said.
“I can feel the hard work behind these dishes, old man. Only those who work hard is able to gain in return.” I replied to him.
“Ho. Youngsters nowadays sure rush through their life. Things that they do every day are starting to lose their meaning and purposes on it. I`m sure glad there`s still some young ones like both of you are able to understood it. As thanks, young lad, I will be giving you one of the best beverage in the world.” He said.
Wait, what? One of the best beverage in the world…?
But either one of those things are hellishly expensive. Even the cheapest needs at least 200,000 hurries. (Human currency.)
“Don`t worry about it~ Zuckerberg is able to make one himself~” Persia said with a smile.
“Wow.” That`s all I could reply.
As I ate with a dining knife and fork, I fell into deep thoughts… all my head could think is about the beverage.
…If possible, I would really like to have a taste of the lost drink.
Someone knocked the wall, I guess it`s Zuckerberg.
“…Come in.” Persia responded.
A part of the wall disappeared, allowing Zuckerberg to enter, with his right hand carrying a tall glass cup.
He gently places the cup on the table.
The inside of the cup was filled white mist, but yet not a single plump of smoke was spilled out from it. It doesn`t seem like liquid, and it isn`t heavy either. From the look of it, it`s a cold beverage.
“Only the one that understands deserves this. It`s not for sale, lad. Hope you enjoy it. Oh, and— be careful as you drink.” He warned.
I didn`t hesitate. All it did was just for me to take one second to sip a little.
My stomach exploded all the way up to my mouth. It hurts a little, but yet— it was surprisingly indescribably refreshing and tasty.
As I breathe out, the mist in my stomach escapes from my mouth and nose.
And that was the only thing I could say. No words could describe the satisfaction that I felt.
And yes… I confirmed that this is no doubt… one of the lost drink— the ‘Spirit Celestial’…!
The ‘Spirit Celestial’ was one of the world`s top ranking beverages five years ago. Once consumed, it causes an explosion from your stomach and all the way up till your throat. Releasing an indescribable freshness and tastiness inside your mouth.
But the flaw in this drink was it explodes. It was mainly used for assassination, causing death all over the world. And thus, the international police committee completely banned this drink, and no one is allowed to sell this beverage ever again. It`s illegal nowadays.
But why did Zuckerberg know how to make this…? If possible… her could be…
“Old man Zuckerberg, Are you the creator of this beverage…?” I asked.
“It`s all in the past, young lad. But whenever you feel like it, feel free to come here. I can make it for you.”
…I see. So he really is that man.
The butler and bartender that was excellent in making beverages. He could`ve make a fortune out of this but… he chose to serve the Silverlight family instead.
But… if he was that loyal, then why is he here? From the look of it, he`s the type that will never retire even till his death.
…Nothing good will come no matter much effort I put on thinking it, forget it.
“Thanks, old man Zuckerberg. I will.” I replied.
“Welcome, young lad. If you will excuse me…” The old man said, then he leaves the room.
“Hmm…? Persia, what`s wrong?” I asked.
Persia looks a little hostile for some reason. I felt a little tense from her expression. Why is she making that face…?
“Could it be…? You want to have a sip?” I said.
“…Excuse me. This lady wants to pardon a moment.” She said, with a drop of cold sweat on her face.
She then hurriedly rushes straight towards the direction of the washroom.
Did she really needed to go that much…? Whatever, the ‘Spirit Celestial’ is so damn awesome!
After I finished my food, I drank the Spirit Celestial and it exploded several times. At first it hurts a little, but it ended up being numb instead.
The mists escapes from my mouth and nose.
Wow, all of this explosion is making me hazy. I better wash my face and check on Persia too. Even as a girl, she`s taking a little too long.
As I exit the room and make my way to the washroom, I realized that Zuckerberg`s office is just on the opposite of the washroom.
Somehow, the office door was left opened.
I was going to go inside and tell Zuckerberg about it, but I stopped my movements and hid myself involuntarily because…
…Persia was inside there too, and she`s talking with Zuckerberg.
Persia came here nearly every day, so it can`t be a reunion chat. I know eavesdropping is bad but my instincts are tingling, I can`t help it.
“…sorry, milady. But there`s nothing I`m able to find regarding to that person.” Zuckerberg said to Persia.
“…I see. So there`s really nothing… this is troublesome…” She murmured, with a serious look.
What are they talking about…? It seems important.
Soon, Persia folded in her arms— staring at Zuckerberg with a hostile expression.
“…Zuckerberg, what did you do to that drink?” She uttered in a strong tone, no— she`s angry.
What…!? He did something to the Spirit Celestial!?
“So you knew, as expected of milady.” Zuckerberg replied calmly.
“Don`t give me that! The exploding ingredient you added is more than enough to kill a monster! What if he died?!” Persia yelled at him.
“Milady, measures are meant to be taken. If that lad died, then so be it.” Zuckerberg said.
Damn you, Zuckerberg! What on earth is it that they want?
“Zuckerberg, he`s been restricted. Didn`t I told you not to do anything risky?” She scolded.
“...I`ve taken measures already, milady. You can be rest assured.”
He pointed at Persia`s purse, which contain a bottle of healing potion within.
Persia sighed, and look at Zuckerberg with a pained expression.
“…then tell me. Is it him?”
“He`s quite similar, but— I`m not sure either, milady. He`s too… mysterious.” He replied.
“I know, you have been searching for information and there`s completely nothing…” Persia mumbled.
“Don`t worry, milady. I will do anything as much as I can within my power. I`m sure both of you would meet someday.” He replied.
Their conversation ended just like that.
Before Persia is going to come out, I quickly rush straight towards the washroom without leaking my presence.
‘OCCUPIED’ is what that was written on the door as soon as I lock it.