The school cafeteria is more like a restaurant than a typical cafeteria.
The decors are okay.
But, the students drank tea in groups as they chatted about a variety of topics.
They don't need to pay tuition, board, room, and food.
They didn't think about pinching pennies because drinks are on the house.
Heck, some of them ordered desserts to top up their lunches.
There are also students who are having breakfast. Then, suddenly, everyone looked at the entrance.
"Ah, there he is."
"That is the Irregular?"
"The famous new student?"
"He's kinda handsome."
Noah entered the place as the center of attention.
He is already used to this.
In the [Black Bullet] universe, he became infamous for protecting and nurturing Cursed Children. Everyone there remembered his face.
Naturally, in a world where people abhorred Cursed Children, their protector also became a social pariah.
Compared to the stares of annoying people, the students' gazes were fine.
Noah just wished they would keep the staring part until he finished his meal.
But, he isn't going to do anything about it.
He decided to just go about his business.
Noah went to the ordering platform.
The school had three basic meal plans.
Meal set A revolves around rice and meat.
Meal set B revolves around rice and fish.
The other remaining set is self-service, choosing from a variety of western, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese dishes.
Meal set A and set B were designed by a qualified nutritionist. But, the self-service option was the most popular since the students can choose whatever they want, nutrition be damned.
Noah isn't picky. He just liked having the choice to pick his dishes.
He picked his poison, plopped a plate of rice, poured himself some soup, and made it to his table after picking a few desserts.
"Ah, there he is!"
A clear voice rang behind him.
Julie, Imari, Miyabi, and Tomoe approached his table while carrying trays of food and drinks.
These four ladies were exceptionally beautiful.
The students here also looked at them.
They were charmed by the ladies.
They wished they were Noah.
Imari and Julie sat down on Noah's left and right sides respectively. Meanwhile, Tomoe and Miyabi sat across Noah.
Imari peeked at what Noah had before gasping.
"As expected of a guy, you sure can eat."
Noah had a plate of rice, three different servings of add-ons, and a soup.
His main courses were small plates in and of themselves.
Imari, Julie, Tomoe, and Miyabi only had a plate of rice and some additional courses. Tomoe had an extra plate of rice but that is it. Imari also binged on soup while Julie helped herself to one small bun and Miyabi had extra riceballs.
The ladies ate way less than Noah.
Julie looked at her plate of food before comparing it with Noah's.
She sighed in dejection because she obviously ate less than her cohorts.
"Maybe I should eat more?"
"It's fine, just eat what you can manage."
Noah rubbed her head.
"As long as you're full."
"Noah is so nice to Julie."
"You look like her brother."
Tomoe joined in.
"Aren't you afraid you might spoil her?"
"She is strong, you girls know that right?"
"But, it sure is nice to have someone looking out for you."
Miyabi watched as Julie's ahoge twitched under Noah's caress.
"Man, that is so nice..."
Imari, Julie, and Tomoe looked at her at the same time. She blushed like mad when she realized she just let her intentions out.
Noah laughed it off when someone pinched his waist.
Imari, the assailant, continued to sip her soup like nothing happened.
Noah rubbed his aching waist. He also rolled his eyes at Imari.
After Imari spat her feelings out, she kept doing things like this when she is angry. She also got weirdly happy when Noah did some favors for her.
This closed the distance between Imari and Noah. However, Noah couldn't get used to this erratic behavior.
Noah looked at Julie. He wondered why she is still here.
Among the victims of the attacks, none had dropped out.
Imari is here because she wants a good job and a solid income to support her family business.
Tomoe is here as the rep of her family's dojo. The inheritor of eighteen styles isn't going to throw in the towel just because assassins might be after her.
Miyabi is also finding her own identity so staying is her way of expressing her resolve.
But, what about Julie?
This petite girl, for what reason does she have to stay despite the dangers present?
Julie felt Noah's gaze so she prompted him with a question.
Noah rubbed her head.
"Fine, let's all dig in."
Noah reminded them with a pair of bright eyes.
"Don't forget, we are Ascending today."
Imari, Julie, Tomoe, and Miyabi nodded frantically. They also started munching away.