The chapter itself has many sub-chapters, so I'll breaking it up and publishing them as the sub-chapters, since the whole chapter itself is long.
'Did night shift last night, catching up on my sleep. Come again later. — Sheltis'
Stuck on the door was a piece of note written in messy handwriting.
The furniture in his room consist of only a bed, table, chair, and a dresser. To put it nicely, it was neat and refreshing; to put it bluntly, it lacks any features worthy of mentioning. In a corner of such a room-
A teenage boy was snoozing in regulated breaths.
His slender arms are a little too slim for a guy, and his face looks slightly androgynous. The slightly purplish tea-red colored hair is not neat, and gives off the impression that it was casually snipped. From his height, his age is probably somewhere around sixteen or seventeen. However, he does look one or two years younger, from the way he was sleeping.
It was not known if that was him sleep-taking, or simply him breathing.
Next to the bed he was sleeping on, was a folded apron hanging on the back of his chair. On the floor was a piece of paper that had fallen down, on which was written 'Duty timetable, Sheltis'.
He had forgotten to switch off the light on the ceiling, under its illumination, only the clock next to the pillow was moving along with time. Just then-
The door of the room opened suddenly, and a young girl peeked her head inside from the corridor.
She is a young and innocent girl roughly of the age of five to six, with a pair of eyes that is filled with happiness. Her shiny smooth black hair is tied to the back in twin tails, and there is a sky-blue scarf lightly wrapped around her neck. Her looks gives one a rather lasting impression.
After staring around the room, the girl suddenly locked her sight. The place she was looking at, was the teenage boy who was still sound asleep. After looking at that scene for some time-
The young girl clapped her hands with a mischievous smile, and rushed into the tiny room.
She ran towards the chair next to the bed, and used it as a platform to make a jump.
"Shel-nii, time. To. Wake. Up——!"
A dull thud.
The young girl's jump kick landed directly on the teenage boy's head.
"...... Girls are not allowed to do jump kicks."
Grabbing onto his painful head, Sheltis lifted himself out of the bed.
"Waa- this bed is awesome. The body will actually sink down?"
"That is because the bed has a memory foam material beneath it...... Wait, Yuto? Are you listening to me?"
The young girl named 'Yuto' stopped jumping on the bed, and lifted her head to look upwards.
"Eyri-nee said that if I do that, you will definitely wake up."
"...... I woke up in a shock. In my dream just now, the fine meadow was suddenly dyed blood-red."
"But, Shel-nii has finally woke up. Let us hurry to the plaza! Eyri-nee asked Shel-nii to go there quickly."
With his sleeves tugged endlessly, Sheltis climbed out of his bed unwillingly.
"The plaza? She's doing experiments again?"
"Mmm, the usual! Hurry hurry!"
Yuto waved her arms and urged on.
"Really, Eyriey just loves to bring me trouble......"
He took a short jacket and hung it on his shoulder. His white shirt and black shorts were what he was wearing while he was sleeping.
...... Really, there went his rest time, which was hard to come by.
After putting the fallen timetable back onto the table, Sheltis left the lounge.
Outdoor cafe 'The Two Swans <Albireo>' is located on the main street of the Second Residential Sector.
The so called 'cafe' was actually just a front, as the red tea served taste rather typical. It's a rather strange shop, as it is their hand-made cakes and the ever-changing daily set meals that are more popular with the customers.
"Chef, are you busy?"
After instructing Yuto to wait outside, Sheltis opened the backdoor of the kitchen. Together with the sounds of the automatic dishwashers working busily, came a certain scent of red tea.
"Ara, Sheltis, are you here to volunteer your help?"
In the kitchen which was rather relaxed due to being after-lunch hours, a lady with golden-hair tied up high on her head turned her head towards Sheltis.
Even then, the knife in her hand continued chopping the vegetables.
"How can that be? Oh right, can I go out for a while? Eyriey said that she will be doing some new machine testing in the plaza again."
"That's not good. If you don't go there quickly, someone will be suffering yet again. Since the machine will be out of control anyway."
The chef placed the knife on the chopping board, then crossed her arms while giving a troubled expression. Despite her being the shopkeeper of the cafe, due to her own personal interest, she preferred others to call her chef.
"Remember to come back before the break is over. The shop is lacking in manpower."
"...... You are already that busy, and yet you have time to try out new combinations?"
While watching the back of Chef, Sheltis sighed.
The kitchen was stacked with all sorts of ingredients. For the past two years being the errand-boy of the shop, Sheltis had never seen a single day with the same combination of ingredients that had been used before.
"It is not a new combination, but a 'new dish'. Fufu, please look forward to it."
Without shifting her sight, her hands began cutting the decorative fruits. In actual fact, a majority of the customers love her dishes, so that could not be helped.
"Then again, chef. What's for dinner?"
"Mumu-Shellfish's Piping Hot Steak, and Jirususu-Plant' Shrieking Condensed Soup."
"Putting the names of the dishes aside, ain't those ingredients a little too disgusting?"
Those huge pink spiral shells on the chopping board were Mumu-shellfish, while the bright red plants with spikes on their stems were probably Jirususu-plant.
"Ara, you can't judge a book by its cover. They are all really tasty."
Chef covered her mouth and laughed.
"Mumu-shellfish and Jirususu-plant both contain lethal poison...... but on the account of that they are cheap."
"Chef-! Did you just say something?"
"Don't worry, I have cleared all toxins cleanly. They are absolutely safe."
"...... That dangerous smile of yours is hardly convincing."
"Also, it does not matter since the one to test for the poison is you, Sheltis."
Sheltis took a step back in shock. Just then, Chef had already turned her eyes towards the pot in front of her.
"Alright, stop talking about such silly stuff. Hurry up and get Eyriey back. I cannot handle everything without the help from you both."
"And here I go...... before I am forced to test for any poison."
Bidding goodbye to Chef, who was waving her hands, Sheltis left the kitchen.