Hmm… I don't have all the seasonings I would've liked to use but I suppose this is the best I can do for now.
"Here, egg fried rice."
I placed the plate in front of the starving girl alongside a cup of water. The bandits must have robbed a number of merchants for them to have this much things lying around.
Not only were there gold and jewellery but foodstuffs and spices too.
The girl stared at the plate of rice and gulped nervously.
"Can I… Really have this all to myself?"
"I… Really can eat all this? By myself?"
I nodded again.
"Sniff… Sniff… I… I… I really will… Eat this?"
Why is it a question? Just eat it. I nodded once more.
"I will… Really, really eat—"
"Just eat it already!"
She started stuffing her face after I shouted at her.
Heh heh, I'm rather proud of my cooking even if I do say so myself. Surviving by yourself in those Planes was a chore you know? I was treated worse than a servant would after all.
Why didn't I just use that healing pill on her?
Hey, it's not every day I get to flex my cooking skills like this understand? With all the cooking materials lying there, I just had to do it.
Also there was something I noticed about her. Behind that crying and servile facade gleamed the eyes of someone on a hunt.
I won't mistake those eyes anywhere.
The people who 'welcomed' me into the Spiritual Royal Family's archives had that same look too. All smiling faces until they trashed me the very next moment the guards left me.
I won't be fooled again.
As I was thinking to myself, I noticed her plate was already polished clean of food. She was even licking the plate shamelessly.
Ugh, don't make that crying face just because there's no rice left.
She stared at the plate.
"Can I… Have this?"
"Just eat it already, I'll make as much as you want ok?"
"Sniff… Sniff… I… I don't think…"
I flicked her head, "Just eat."
Her eyes were teary but she seemed rather happy.
I know what you're trying to do you know? You got me in the first half though, not gonna lie.
I waited for her to polish off her fourth plate before I finally asked, "Your name?"
"Ummm… They… They always called me Bait…"
I raised my eyebrow, the girl looked no older than sixteen. Her clothes were tattered and torn though her face looked free from abuse. Other than the fact that she might be a little too skinny to be on the healthy side, the bandits shouldn't have mistreated her.
Her black hair was long and dishevelled though, covering half her face and hiding her large grey eyes from view most of the time. She really needs a haircut quite badly.
Either she was newly captured by the bandits or she's actually one of them and was put in the cell for something she did. Or maybe she managed to fool them somehow like what she's trying to do to me?
Well, I don't blame her though, she's probably just cautious about a lone man clearing a bandit hideout by himself. For all she knows, I might be just as bad, if not worse, than the bandits.
Caution is good, saved my life a lot of times before.
"Do you know where your parents are?"
A shake of the head.
"What about where you came from?"
"Anywhere that you can go?"
Another negative answer.
I sighed as I stared up at the ceiling.
What do I do with her?
She grabbed my shirt, "I… I will be useful! I can… I can do chores! I always did chores for the bandits! I can wash your clothes! I can cook your meals! Polish your sword!"
I held up my hand.
"I highly doubt you could do any of that in your current state."
She poked her fingers together, "Be… Because I told those Adventurers to run away when the bandits used me as bait… They locked me in that cell with barely any food or water until now…"
I sighed again.
I barely got myself acquainted with Cai Hong and I'm already picking up another girl.
Nah, I think I'll pass her to Markus as well.
She seems more trouble than she's worth.
As if sensing my intentions, she clutched my shirt harder.
"Please! Don't throw me away! I promise I'll try my best!"
"I can help you find a place to—"
"NO! Please! Don't abandon me!"
"I'm not abandoning you."
"You can eat there as we--"
Godamnit. It's the bloody fried rice isn't it?
She definitely wants more of it and I'm pretty sure no one else in this world can make that, at least not similar to what I made.
I learnt it from the other world after all.
Her acting might be good enough to fool others but don't underestimate me. I had also honed my acting skills in those two Planes in order to fool all those monsters! Something like acting attached to a person just to get food to eat… I've done it plenty of times!
It's not shamelessness, it's survival!
At least she's honest about food.
Oh, I know! I'll teach her the other world's recipes! Then she can recreate them here and I can eat those 'junk food' everyday!
I can probably teach her some swordsmanship as well so she can go hunting on her own for the meat.
Shame she isn't a Practitioner.
Five star chef in training get!
"Hmmm… I'll name you… Eris."
(Lian Li POV)
I shivered, feeling a slight disturbance in the air.
I wonder if my reserves of Masternium is low? I have to insist that I massage Master's feet tonight no matter what.
I looked at the party that we were supposed to help today. They were rather new male Adventurers consisting of two Fighters and an Archer.
They were looking for Practitioners to aid in a lizard monster nest clearing Request. It's not a difficult Request but the lizard monsters have annoyingly high regenerative properties.
The Adventurers were adequate in handling themselves but what irritated us the most was how they kept trying to flirt with us.
"Hey, fairy Lian Li, want me to teach you how to use a sword?" Irritating Fighter A asked.
"Fairy Manami, shall I show you how to hunt with a bow?" Irritating Archer A boasted.
"Little Cai Hong, shall big brother here brush your hair?" Irritating Fighter B offered.
Even after clearly expressing our disinterest in their advances, they still kept on trying.
Could you stop wiggling your eyebrows at me? You look disgusting.
If Master hadn't explicitly told us to have a cordial relationship with the Adventurers we team up with, I would have just kicked them aside and be done with them.
We don't know why Master would even bother with fleas like this but I suppose Master saw it as a way to help the needy.
In my opinion, these three are beyond help.
Manami didn't even feel these three were worth introducing Master's greatness to.
Cai Hong was also holding in her irritation by clinging to me. I believe she was extremely close to transforming back to her dragon form to eat the three men.
Maybe we should have gone with an all female team instead.
Master, I already miss you so… Please let me touch your feet tonight… Then maybe… Master will brush my hair too? Ehehehe~~
I have to thank Manami for starting Master's hair brushing tendencies, it's a little vexing to admit but her tails really are fluffy.
Ahhh~~ Just remembering how Master was running his fingers through my hair that night sends shivers down my spine! He was so close! So warm!
His strong, tender hands holding me close, his body less than an arm's length away, his intoxicating aura just radiating off of—
"Fairy Lian Li, you look tired, shall we take a break?"
My daydream was interrupted by Irritating Fighter A.
A finger is fine right? Just cutting off one of his fingers is fine right? It's not too much to ask to use that finger to impale him and dig out his innards to use as a...
No, no… Remember Master's words. Cordial, must be cordial…
Yes, just give him a neutral smile.
"No, I'm fine. Thank you for your concern."
"You shouldn't push yourself so hard, fairy Lian Li. Shall I carry you? It would be bad for your flawless legs to receive an injury."
This guy… Can you take a hint?
Carry me? Flawless legs?
I'm surprised this guy can say all that with a straight face.
How shameless can this guy be?
Haaa… I'm tired… Master, this lowly disciple humbly request to be allowed to massage your back tonight. Mmm… just imagining it is enough to make me shiver.
Ahh… My reserves of Masternium is critically low.
I looked at Cai Hong who was walking beside me.
She was wearing clothes similar to Manami's, the kimono was black in colour with white flowers that accentuates her colourful hair. In her hands was the spare robes that Master had let her wear on the first night.
Noticing my gaze, Cai Hong gave me a bright smile before offering the robes to me.
How nice to have such an understanding little sister.
I made sure the three irritating men were not looking before taking a long whiff of the robe.
Ahhhh~~ Master's smell… This is bliss.
Taking another deep breath of Master's scent, I felt an elbow nudge me from my other side.
"Let me have a bit too…" Manami whispered.
Hum hum. I passed her the robe after taking one last whiff, sisters like us must stick together.
Especially when we're facing this painful ordeal that is the three stooges.
We'll quickly finish this stupid Request and reunite with Master!
"Fairy Lian Li, Fairy Manami, little Cai Hong, the monster nest is just right ahead. Please wait here while we…"
I didn't hear the rest of what that guy said.
Manami, Cai Hong and I already rushed straight towards the clearing that the group of lizard monsters have made their nest.
A few Lightning, Astral and Dragon Fire quarks later, all traces of the monster nest were gone.
The surrounding trees were burnt to ashes, the ground superheated to glass.
The lizard monsters were either dismembered, decapitated, or entirely disintegrated.
At the location of where the leader of the monsters had been, only a large crater could be seen
Whatever that had been alive in that area was now definitely dead.
"Shall we head back now?" I asked the Irritating Trio.
They nodded quickly.
Mmmm… I wonder why my senses are tingling again? Did something happen to Master?