The old monk with a saggy face didn’t have the slightest intention to mask his presence.
He walked across the pebble path and stopped before Kieran.
The monk looked up at Kieran with his morbid eyes before turning his attention to Tanya and Kana.
Kana put away her arrogance and saluted respectfully, so did Tanya.
Tanya even saluted better than Kana but the old monk quickly dodged her salutation by moving aside.
“Gods shouldn’t bow to mortals even if it is a thank you,” the old monk spoke slowly.
“But mother told me I must remember everyone who helped me and never forget my manners,” Tanya said seriously.
“Your mother…” the old monk opened his mouth but he failed to continue because Tanya seized the opportunity and saluted to the old monk.
“You are as persistent as your mother,” the old monk laughed bitterly.
Tanya stuck her naughtily stuck her tongue out at the old monk and introduced Kieran with a joyful tone.
“Master, this is 2567! My best friend!”
Tanya immediately gave a position to Kieran which caused him to frown for a bit, but he didn’t refute.
Tanya’s goodwill prevented Kieran from arguing, but to be honest, the time both of them spent together was only a handful.
“It’s a pleasure to see you again.”
The old monk smiled. His saggy cheeks overlapped along with the motion, making him look older yet kinder.
“I’m sorry for barging in without informing you,” Kieran bowed slightly to express his apologies.
It wasn’t an act though. If the previous scene wasn’t too surprising, Kieran would have followed the standard procedures to enter the temple.
After all, Rassho Temple wasn’t a hostile existence and given the circumstances, it was easy for both of them to talk.
Some simple chat later, the old monk invited Kieran for breakfast.
“I have some breakfast prepared here, join us if you don’t mind, 2567. Of course, it’s just a plain vegetarian meal,” the old monk said.
Kieran was jolted for a moment before accepting the invitation.
Breakfast at Rassho Temple was held at the side hall.
Those who had breakfast were only Kieran, the old monk, and the two girls.
Kana somehow took up the role of serving everyone, while Tanya also wanted to help, she was stopped by the old monk.
However, Tanya wasn’t an obedient girl, she seemingly agreed but quickly slipped out of the hall, similar to how she saluted to the old monk before this.
The old monk beside the tea table shook his head with a bitter smile.
“You seem to know a great deal of the changes in Tanya?” Kieran asked.
Kieran wasn’t blind, from the moment the old monk appeared to the conversation he had with her, Kieran wasn’t just sure that the old monk had some sort of unusual relationship with Tanya, he was also sure the old monk knew exactly what happened to her.
“The older you get, the more things you experience. Those things that look strange to a commoner aren’t that strange anymore to me, more so… it is related to you and His Majesty Great Swamp. This is Flame City, His Majesty’s Flame City.”
The old monk replied with a smile.
“So you and Great Swap are…”
Kieran stared deeply at the old monk, hoping for an answer.
Although the old monk didn’t say anything factual, the last phrase obviously had some hidden meaning behind it.
“You can say I am similar to you, 2567.”
The old monk gave such a reply and before Kieran could ask again, he continued “Tanya’s mother was one of my friends, she asked me to take care of her daughter and also told me about the bloodline inside of Tanya.”
“A divine descendant, the pitiful abandoned child. Tanya’s father didn’t acknowledge her bloodline, so her mother took her away. They came to Flame City where His Majesty protects all within his control. The matter should have reached a conclusion but Tanya’s mother…”
The old monk didn’t finish because Tanya and Kana came back with the dishes.
Rassho Temple’s breakfast was exactly how the old monk described it: a plain vegetarian meal.
Tanya placed a big bowl and three small plates on the tea table.
There were two steaming hot mantou, pickled carrot, and fried groundnuts on the three plates respectively; the big bowl had a lid over it but steaming hot air still seeped out from the corner together with a unique clear fragrance.
Impatient, Kieran didn’t care how hot the lid was and opened it with his hand.
The steam inside the bowl burst out after the lid was opened.
The fragrance of tofu, eggs, and mushroom converged into a unique smell and filled Kieran’s nose.
The tofu was at the bottom of the bowl and was soaked with clear soup. On top of it were the contrasting golden yolk and silver egg white while the minced mushrooms were mixed within the soup.
Kieran tasted a spoonful right after that.
The faint saltiness of the salt and the taste from the cabbage oil produced a clear taste just like he expected but when he tasted a second spoon with extra tofu, the taste was enhanced to the next level.
When the egg was added on top of the soup, the flavor was thickened immediately, especially the minced mushrooms inside, it produced a juicy sound when Kieran chewed it and it made him think that he was having meat.
“Very nice,” Kieran wasn’t stingy of comments.
Tanya was delighted by the praise, even more so when Kieran picked up the bowl plus a piece of mantou and gobbled down the food like a typhoon. She couldn’t hold her delight back and started to hum a certain melody.
“What are you so happy about? I cooked most of the dishes!” said Kana.
After going through the initial shock and Tanya’s naive and stupid behavior, the relationship between the two girls returned to what it was in the old days.
“But I served it!” Tanya said righteously.
“So how is it that the one serving deserves more credit than the one cooking?” Kana rolled her eyes.
“But the one eating is 2567!”
Tanya gave an irrelevant answer before she jumped back to her own tea table and mimicked how Kieran ate.
Perhaps after transcending, her body changed thoroughly causing her to eat like a rude boorish man despite her petite body which was similar to an elementary school student.
Her bowl and chopsticks moved in unison and her chewing was loud.
“Tanya, how many times I’ve told you, keep quiet when you chew… hey, damn it! That’s my soup! Put it down! I said put it down!”
“PUT IT DOWN!”
Kana originally wanted to lecture Tanya but after the Tanya took the big bowl off Kana’s table, she scolded angrily instead.
Tanya, on the other hand, didn’t care at all, she kept pouring the soup into her mouth while running outside.
Kana quickly went after her to save her soup and both of them quickly disappeared in the corridor while playing a game of cat and mice.
Kieran didn’t lift his head at the little drama and he too grabbed the remaining food on Kana’s table for himself. The old monk’s face twitched a little when he saw how hungry Kieran was.
“There is still some in the kitchen…”
“Three more servings please.”
Kieran interrupted the old monk the moment he spoke.
“There are only two more servings left… But if you don’t mind mine…”
Interrupted again, the old monk woke up and walked towards the kitchen with a bitter smile after his breakfast was looted by Kieran.
Kieran continued eating, even when Great Swamp appeared beside him, he didn’t turn around because he was completely captivated by Gluttony’s condition.