Chapter 80 - The Dining Hall
“Can I go yet?” Kale asked, still being forced to rest in the hospital bed.
“Yeah, I think you are good to go now. We’ll escort you to the dining hall,” one of the nurses said. “Class is over now, but all the children eat together for every meal.”
“Really?” A bright smile formed on his face. He hadn’t enjoyed a meal with others in such a long time, his stomach immediately felt hungry, although the nurses had brought food for him not too long ago.
The nurse led him down the hallways, taking turns and turns until a door similar to that of the classroom came into view. She smiled and gestured for him to go inside.
Kale stepped towards the door, taking in his surroundings. There weren’t any children’s art pieces covering the walls, but instead there were multiple posters displaying delicious looking food. Underneath the food had the dates marking which days the meals would be offered. Kale couldn’t believe this place was offering them such food of such quality. At his old school he didn’t get excited for lunch, the only thing he liked about it was he got to relax and sit by friends.
The double door opened and Kale walked through, and the chattering hall turned to silence as all faces looked upon him. Then to break the silence a familiar voice shouted, “Kale! Are you okay!?”
Hage rushed up to Kale as well as Vei, who Kale had remembered from earlier.
Kale looked up and down, forming a wavering smile. “I feel fine, but the nurses told me it might happen again…”
“It’s okay!” Vei chimed in and then lowered her voice. “I’ve actually seen something similar happen before, but she grew a tail…”
Hage and Kale both froze and slowly turned their eyes, fixating on Vei’s wild expression.
“You never told me this!” Hage said.
“I was scared! After it happened she was taken away, but the teachers said she graduated. She did have two hundred Nelto Points, anyway.”
“Who was it?” Hage asked.
Kale balanced his eyesight back and forth between the two, as if watching a ball bouncing back and forth. Someone else around his age had side effects as strange as his? No, a tail was much stranger.
“It was Rinari.”
Hage’s body twisted back, then his expression grew softer. “I guess that makes sense… She never wanted to get close with anyone and always seemed to be hiding something.”
“So, do you know where she is now?” Kale hesitantly asked, gulping down a breath.
“Maybe she is with the others at the other school… That’s what happens when we graduate after all,” Vei said. “Anyway, why don’t you join us at that table Kale, after you get your food.” Vei and Hage both smiled at him and hustled back to their table.
“A tail?” Kale spoke to himself and looked down at his normal nails.
“Hello child.” a voice spoke from the side of him. “I haven’t seen your face around here, if you want some food just come over to this window, I’ll help you out.”
Kale glanced over, and saw what reminded him of The Montria Mall’s food court, if it had only one restaurant to choose from anyway. From behind a large open space, people were making food, and one person stood at the front ready to take orders, as if it were a real restaurant. It was beyond fancy for feeding a group of children. Perhaps the adults that worked here ate there too.
A sign that advertised an ice cream machine caught Kale’s attention as he glanced over the signs advertising a large variety of food, and he booked it towards the order taker.
“Hello, what would you like today?” she asked.
“Can I have a bowl of ice cream?”
“Certainly, that will be one Nelto Point.”
Kale looked back up at the sign and noticed that underneath it it did indeed say it costs one Nelto Point. He did get two for reaching the top of the rope today, right? “How do I know if I have points?”
The order taker tapped the screen before her. “I can check for you, what’s your name.”
She typed on the keyboard with a speed that he couldn’t believe, and within a second she responded, “Yep, it looks like you have two points. I’ll go grab that ice cream for you.”
If he was going to want more ice cream, he was going to need to work hard in class. But what happened if he ran out of points? Would he starve? He felt a bit nervous.
She brought back a large bowl of ice cream, and all his thoughts dissipated. She proceeded to ask what kind of toppings and syrups he wanted as his mouth watered. He snatched the bowl as soon as she handed it to him and turned away, only for a moment. He then spun back to ask a question.
“If I run out of points, can I still get food?”
“Of course! You just can’t get the premium items, but even normal food here is delicious, so I wouldn’t worry too much. However, all unhealthy foods do cost points, so if you want to keep having desserts, be sure to try hard in class!”
Kale nodded, and dunked his spoon in and out of the ice cream as he fed himself on the way to Hage’s table. Someone besides Hage and Vei were sitting there, Topaz. They all looked over and waved at Kale.
“You only got ice cream?!” Hage asked.
Kale paused for a moment. “Yeah, the nurses fed me earlier.”
“You are already spending points?” Topaz asked.
“Yeah, what else would I spend them on?” Kale tilted his head slightly.
“You can buy cool things for your room if you save up the points!” Topaz said while nodding her head ecstatically.
“But ice cream is cool!” Hage said and laughed to himself, but everyone only stared at him blankly.
Vei placed her hands on the table. “You should try to save as many points as you can. Once a month they open up a store in here and we can buy so many things. Way better than ice cream, plus sometimes we get ice cream for free when Ms. Kanole is in a good mood.”
“Oh okay… What kind of things though?” Kale asked.
“It’s different every month, but last month they had a lot of movies, comic books, and trading cards. They even had hermit crabs, fish, and hamsters. I have a cute hamster in my room now, I named him Floof! They even give us free food for them!”
“Oh, well I already have my pet cat, Zair, in my room.”
Everyone at the table gasped.
“B-but we aren’t allowed to have cats here! Why can you?!” Topaz asked.