Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint - Chapter 119: Meals for Everyone
༺ Meals for Everyone ༻
She had reclaimed her heart, yet Tyr’s movements were still driven by bloodcraft. There was only one reason why Tyr, who no longer needed to eat anything, would come to the cafeteria.
“Hu? I thought you would be here.”
Tyr came to me as always, naturally positioning herself by my side. I cleared the dishes and asked her.
“What have you been up to?”
“Shei made a request of me. To finish instructing him in the art of bloodcraft.”
“You’re still teaching that?”
“Lessons have been infrequent of late, but he seems to have reached a certain determination. His gaze has changed. I glimpsed a heightened sense of urgency, or should I say desperation.”
Was she preparing for the fight against the priestess who would soon descend? The regressor had always been dedicated to training, but the impending clash seemed to have injected an even greater sense of urgency into her.
From what I had read, it didn’t seem like fighting and winning against the priestess was originally part of the regressors’ plan… but well, the situation must have changed. It was a positive development for everyone, except the regressor.
“Didn’t you mention your bloodcraft has weakened?”
“I wonder. Has it weakened or transformed…? Regardless, who is to judge? None possess a greater mastery of bloodcraft than I.”
“Did you explain this to Shei?”
“Why should I? A master must always uphold their dignity. Can learning occur if the student harbors unease?”
Tyr was genuinely asserting that her disciple was the one receiving instruction. Therefore, as the master, there was no harm in projecting a little grandeur. Seriously.
Conversing with people of differing mindsets had its own charm.
Amidst our tranquil exchange, Tyr suddenly turned her head toward the dining table. Callis and the undying were caught up in their own little world. There was a hint of envy in Tyr’s eyes as she observed the undying feed Callis. Then abruptly, her focus shifted to my hand.
Hold up. I think I’m hearing strange thoughts.
“…Hu. Now that I think about it, I do feel rather hungry myself.”
“Sorry? But you can survive without eating.”
Tyr retorted with a deliberate air of authority.
“Who mentioned food? I am Tyrkanzyaka, the Progenitor of Vampires. What I consume is exclusively blood.”
“So, you’re saying you want blood? Why not ask Shei since he’s got the tasty juice in him?”
“Silence. How do you expect me to take the blood of a disciple who is busy training?”
This won’t work, that’s no good either… From my experience, when someone was being this difficult, they usually had an agenda.
｢Since I have made it so obvious, surely he will offer his own blood.｣
Didn’t she say my blood tasted awful? Why was she so intent on drinking it?
Besides, I hated the idea of suffering injury. Time and place didn’t matter. Even in the abyss, I still felt a bit repulsed by the idea of making holes in my body.
As I plainly stared at Tyr without a word, she squirmed, trying to gauge my reaction.
｢Have you not realized, or are you pretending?! Gah…!｣
Despite her hesitation, Tyr eventually couldn’t contain herself and blurted out.
“…It is the wish I obtained through the wager!”
I couldn’t help exclaiming at her sudden revelation.
Tyr shot me a resentful glare as she continued her outburst.
“Did we not make a wage previously? You promised me a wish if I saw through your magic.”
“Ah, that time.”
“I demand the wish I won. Share some of your blood with me!”
“I mean, is this something to make a wish for?”
Despite my reservations, if she wanted to use her earned wish for this, there was no avoiding it. I dragged my feet over to the kitchen sink and washed my hands clean. When I turned around, Tyr was standing there with a look of slight anticipation.
I shook my hands dry and asked a question that had popped into my mind.
“Come to think about it, wasn’t that victory a bit forced?”
“Which is why I shall be content with merely a few drops of blood. Do you feel it is not worth it? To the extent of breaking a promise?”
“Well now I can’t argue.”
Yeah, it’s just a few drops of blood.
I held out my freshly washed hand. Tyr gulped nervously and looked at my finger, then summoned darkness to obscure our surroundings.
｢…Up until now, I had not needed to resort to sinking fangs into flesh to obtain blood. Only retainers of far lower rank would partake in such a vulgar practice. However…｣
With her incomplete bloodcraft, Tyr had lost the ability to draw in all the blood in the world. In exchange, she gained absolute control over the blood within her.
To absorb blood from the external world, she had to undergo a process of consumption to make it her own. But even with all that in mind, Tyr didn’t have to drink blood thanks to her abundant Blood Aura.
｢…How embarrassing. Engaging in such a base and shameful act… No, that is not right. This is simply a meal. I need not feel embarrassed for doing what everyone else does!｣
Tyr decided to just do the very thing she thought vulgar. It was only after 1200 springs that puberty came for her.
So much for all those centuries.
“…Then, I shall drink now.”
“Ugh. I never thought I’d end up as vampire food. As if cooking for beasts wasn’t bad enough. Well, you may as well savor it while you’re drinking.”
And then Tyr’s fangs entered my body.
Contrary to worldly beliefs, being bitten by a vampire didn’t turn you into one. Bloodsucking was only a form of dining for them. Then again, meanings could be freely attributed to words.
Tyr sank her fangs into me with a gentle, delicate sweetness.
｢It should not hurt, right…?｣
Hurt? I wasn’t even bleeding. Her fangs were barely grazing the tip of my finger. I wondered if this was really bloodsucking. In fact, her tongue was making more contact.
｢…Come to think of it, there is no real need to drink blood. Neither inflicting wounds nor craving blood appeals to me.｣
Aren’t you just nibbling my finger then? I can’t even see any trace of bloodsucking.
There really was no other to put it…
｢Just, a little bite…｣
…because this was just skinship. Her front fangs lightly prodded at my fingertip, eliciting sensation. Tyr was wholly caught up in the act of “bloodsucking”, disregarding me completely.
Having regained a beating heart, Tyr held a profound sense of gratitude toward me. Trapped in this isolated dimension, she had no way of escaping the inevitable. I was confident that as we spent a little more time together, her emotions would grow evident. Then, she would desire something from me.
I was a reader of minds and desires. Upon sensing the yearnings of others, grasping the desperate wishes swirling within them, I would collide head-on with their inner voices. It was my destiny to feel this sway. When their wishes outweighed even their own lives, that intensity would connect with me.
Similar to heat moving from hot places to cold, this overarching law applied to matters of the heart. For someone like me who directly faced the inner realm through mind reading, the transmission was far quicker. And once it occurred, I would let them see their desires to the end, my heart infected with fervor.
In this way, I was a magician. Even if things didn’t unfold as they hoped, or events took an entirely unexpected turn, I would guide them to confront their true wish.
Yet there was one wish I couldn’t fulfill—the wish to change me. That included ending my life, or even saving it.
“Why are you just holding it in your mouth? No blood is coming out, you know.”
“You know, I’ve just realized you really love fingers. Putting them in your mouth every day. Into your chest, too. Seems like you prefer fingers over me.”
I hooked my finger slightly, letting her fangs prick my skin and release some blood. It melted away on Tyr’s tongue before it could form a drop.
“This is a one-time thing, allowing injury to my precious body for the sake of giving you blood.”
As I began to bleed, Tyr appeared surprisingly unsure of what to do. Nevertheless, the blood trickled down her throat.
In that moment, Tyr forcefully spat out my finger, coughing slightly and showing an uncharacteristic teary look.
“Eugh… it is bad.”
“So it does taste bad!”
Looking at my finger, I saw a tiny trickle of blood from the slightly torn flesh. Even this small amount was bad enough for her to spit it out? Wasn’t it almost like poison then?
“H-hold on. It is my first time taking blood like this, you see…”
When I extended my bleeding finger, Tyr flinched. Seeing that, I pressed my finger firmly to stop the bleeding and continued speaking.
“I didn’t know my blood had this kind of effect. Turns out, it’s not vampire sustenance, but a vampire repellent.”
“I, Hu. I am yet to be satis—”
“Take this, Holy Blood.”
“Satisfaction? After how you just reacted? Enough. Now we know you can’t take it, isn’t it over?”
Tyr closed her mouth, and I pushed out of the darkness with striding steps. She followed me out reluctantly.
Emerging from the shroud, I found Azzy and Nabi entangled in a squabble.
“Myaa! Surrender mew tribute!”
“Woof-woof! My canned food! Woof-woof!”
Nabi was causing a ruckus, trying to snatch Azzy’s snack. Meanwhile, Azzy seemed perplexed, unable to bite Nabi or subdue her.
“What’s going on?”
As I asked, Azzy cried out while clutching her can protectively.
“Woof! She’s trying to steal mine!”
Was that cat mad? She should have learned her lesson not too long ago, ending up half-dead.
“Looks like not taking drugs made her fearless.”
“Can I bite?”
“If you can do it without hurting her.”
Azzy abandoned the idea and focused on guarding her snack. How hard had she been intending to bite…?
The undying and Callis had already disappeared. Nabi was the only one causing a scene, lunging at Azzy while relentlessly eyeing the unopened canned snack. Her claws were still retracted, but there’d be bloodshed again if she went wild again.
I quickly searched for the regressor.
“Where’s the drug manager? Get over here!”
We had to administer the medication when she was nearly at her limit to acclimate her to the situation without it. However, if we developed a habit of providing the cigars when she made a fuss, it might lead to such behavior in the future.
Beasts were simpler than people might think. But then again, humans were no different.
“Bring the mana cigars—!”
“Woof! My can—!”
“Myahaargh! Tribute! Surrender the tribute!”
Amidst this raucous yet oddly harmonious moment, a lonely thought echoed from beyond the wall.
｢…How peaceful. And relaxed. It’s a nice sight.｣
I simply couldn’t see the peace and relaxation. No, it wasn’t good. I inwardly screamed for her to bring the cigars already.
｢I guess everyone will leave when the sun shines over the abyss next time, won’t they?｣
Of course. There was no reason to stay.
｢I don’t know when or how “she” will come, so I have to keep staying here. I need to keep Jizan, the sword of the earth, out of her hands.｣
A slightly bitter smile played on the regressor’s lips. She fiddled with the long mana herb cigar in her hand, pushing off the wall she was leaning on.
｢It’d be nice if this cycle were the last, but it probably won’t be. I… will fail again this time, probably. Especially after wasting 9 months in Tantalus.｣
The regressor firmed her resolve as she made her way to the lively cafeteria.
｢So, I won’t settle for this lifetime. I’ll find a better possibility… if only to prevent this moment from turning meaningless.｣
The cafeteria door swung open, revealing the regressor playing with the cigar, tossing it up and catching it. She called for Nabi.
“Nabi. Here’s today’s tribute.”
“Myahaa! Tribute! It’s my tribute! Hand it over to mew!”
Nabi dashed like lightning to snatch the cigar in midair, but the regressor was quicker, catching and hiding it in her palm. Following the instructions I’d given, the regressor sparingly released the scent of mana herbs, bit by bit.
“Stay still. You have to savor it slowly.”
While Nabi was drunk on the drug, Azzy proudly gazed at her canned snack, having successfully defended it.
It looked like I had a lot to teach the regressor, whether it was the pet canned food I made for Nabi or anything else.