Chapter 2 - A new start (2)
[Ding Dong ~ Dang-Dong ~]
Gazing down through the window, Rai watchedthe droves of children drift out of the building as they traveled somewhere.
"Ah, ya, ya, ya~! The side effects of that headlock from seonsaengnim earlier..."
"Shinwoo, are you okay?"
"Huh? Oh yeah. Haha ~ my neck’s a little stiff. Not enough to worry about."
Even though Shinwoo said he was alright, Suyi and Yuna couldn’t tear their guilt-filled eyes from him as he massaged his neck.
“How’s this your fault? Sure, he jumped up from from his sleep in vain, but if he had to get up, did he have to pull that stunt? I nearly had a heart attack because that guy knocked over his chair.”
“I was surprised as well. Although just for an instant, I had thought that he had dared to purposely throw his chair to the ground during teaching time when we receive instruction. Of course, about you, such accidental behavior is typically understandable.”
Regis agreed with Ikhan in a similar tone.
Shinwoo slurred over his shame with an evasive laugh.Ikhan looked at everyone else and spoke,
Yoona and Suyi nodded at his proposal.
As the group started to discuss the day’s lunch, Shinwoo suddenly sat down on the desktop and crossed his legs in a shaky stance. He raised his chin and gazed down at them ostentatiously with his arms folded across his chest.
At his call, Ikhan, Suyi and Yoona stopped talking about their dining options and turned towards Shinwoo as did Regis and Seira. Rai’s eyes also left the window and wandered to him.
Ikhan exhaled a long sigh at Shinwoo’s excessively arrogant attitude.
“Hu~ Today, it’s my treat.”
“Yeah, Ikhan, this hyung will take care of you.”
“Oooh~ So you came into an ample supply of money now?”
At their words, Shinwoo swept his hair aside and gave an oily smile.
“How displeasing. This is not worth any concern.”
Contradictory to the perturbed manner in which he spoke to Shinwoo, Regis slightly bowed his head toward Rai with courtesy.
Rai stood and immediately departed. Regis and Seira followed him, and the other kids also walked away from Shinwoo.
“Yeah. We should.”
“Ey~ What’s up with you? I’m just pulling a little prank! Haha~”
“Ugh! What are you doing? I almost fell!”
“Yeah, I know, get off. Now!”
Despite Ikhan’s disconcerted shouts, Shinwoo still refused to let go. Laughing, he clung to Ikhan with both arms, and the noise of their uproar reverberated down the hallway.
The two boys made such a sight that Yoona and Suyi burst into laughter.
With a long sigh, Regis closed his eyes for a moment, and although standing right next them, he and Seira silently left for the cafeteria as though they hadn’t been in their company at all.
Accustomed to the attention from the other students by now, Shinwoo remained unconcerned and courageously lead them to the counter side.
Smiling confidently to his friends, Shinwoo reached into his pocket.
At that moment, embarrassment crept in Shinwoo’s voice.
“Huh? That’s weird…”
Suyi commented Shinwoo’s behavior.
Ikhan’s expression turned incredulous as Shinwoo absent-mindedly muttered his answer to himself.
“You didn’t lose it by any chance?”
“That’s not it. Oh!”
Shinwoo instantly looked up as if the thought had just come to him.
“I didn’t take mine with me since you said you’d pay, Shinwoo,”
without it... Usually, I always have it with me. Why not now of all times!”
Yuna muttered, too.
Ikhan asked. The next instant, an idea flashed through his mind, and he continued swiftly,
“Come on. No you don’t, Rai. I incited you to do this from the start, so let’s do it like this. If you lend me the money now, when we return to the classroom-”
Rai silently interrupted Shinwoo’s words merely by slightly lifting his hand. A simple act, but it felt strangely hard to argue any further.
“Fair enough. Then let’s choose our meals.”
Excited about their choices, the children investigated the menu board, but at that moment-
“What are you saying?”
[One of the most popular noodle dishes in South Korea]
“Ramen conjointly. The lot of you... you have no right to choose.”
They fell silent under his glare.
“Y-Yeah. Ramen sounds good.”
“Suyi, what sort of ramen shall we have?
“We would like seven orders of classic style ramen.”
But Regis was already placing the order.
Unable to put up a resistance, the children could only stare blankly at Regis. The woman behind the counter who took the order shook her head.
“It’s funny how foreign students speak so formally. Ho ho ho ho~”
Yoona and Suyi whispered together.
“Oh, you think so? Ah, when you look at it that way, it’s the same around Ahjussi.”
Upon recalling how Regis occasionally bickered with M-21, Yuna and Suyi both nodded in agreement.
Regis stepped aside at her words, and Rai strode forward to the counter. Standing in front of her, he slowly took something from his breast pocket.
Everyone who was watching involuntarily exclaimed in admiration. Even the lunch lady reacted in the same way. What Rai lightly held in his fingertips was a credit card.
Without knowing the reason, Regis felt true adoration.
“But, Student, the school cafeteria can’t accept credit cards.”
Silence churned turbulently for a moment.
“In the cafe, where the teachers go, it might be possible, but here, where only students come...”
Despite the kind explanation the woman had offered, Rai still stood in silence with the card outstretched.
“Did the chairman give you that card?”
As Rai nodded in response to Ikhan’s question, Suyi smiled and reached for
“So, it can’t be helped. Shall I, then?”
The startled children stared at Regis, their eyes asking what it was this time. Regis faced them outright, looking straight at Suyi.
Nothing in which they should interfere... Although they wanted to ask what this meant, all of a sudden...
At his ferocious aura, Suyi instinctively let her wallet slowly disappear. Although the other children surrounding them weren’t holding their own wallets, they still moved as if putting something away. Even if not a wallet, it had felt like they had to put up something.
‘If only I could, I would offer to pay the ramen’s value with my own hands, but He has already decided to take on the commitment so that if I were to act in such a way, I would end up committing an act of severe disrespect. Aahh... What would be appropriate? Regis K. Landegre, think! You must!’
“If this is the case, I will offer to use the kitchen in this place to prepare ramen for everyone.”
“Oh! That will do. If Seira used the kitchen to make...”
Right after the lunch lady’s outright denial, Seira started to explain as if she had expected it.
“Pretty girl, what are you talking about? Students are not allowed to enter the kitchen. Where would we end up if students could come in and go out of the school kitchen as they pleased?”
At a loss about what to do after her definite refusal, Seira inclined her head, and Regis’ face fell in disappointment. The lady, on the other hand, could only contemplate how strange these foreigners were.
“Ah~ Then how about we asked the chairman to take the bill?”
‘Right! That’s it. Since the chairman owns this place... then this whole property belongs to the possession of his master, Rai-nim. It’s just natural! This way, there arises no problem at all!’
Now that she had listened to the kids talk for a while, the lunch lady frowned.
But the woman could not finish what she had said in annoyance.
The lunch lady as well as the kids saw an intense flare emerge from Regis’ body. This force put the woman’s annoyance to rest at once, and the foreboding feeling that she would have to grant it to them now grazed her mind. With a little sigh, she turned to Suyi.
“Wa... wait a second.”
“This was nothing to concern the chairman about. As soon as the secretary heard the matter, from his side came the question of how much was he supposed to give. It seems like you’re quite close to the chairman.”
Shinwoo and Ikhan answered simultaneously under their laughter. Where would there be students that frequented their chairman’s house almost daily and were allowed to treat his place as though it was their own living room, even using his kitchen and refrigerator more often than their own?
“Hey girls! What, you’re buying food?”
Some girls from their class approached Suyi and Yuna from the side.
“What, Rai’s paying? Great! Rai, you’ll pay for us, too?”
Their reaction made Suyi and Yuna look hard-pressed for a moment.
“What’s up with you? Only paying for girls?”
When they had seen this, the boys from their class rattled loudly while surrounding the group from behind.
“Yeah, I heard so.”
Mass mentality led them to gather around Rai’s group because they wanted to get close to them, and some people brought their friends from other classes with them. In an instant, the counter to order food was perfectly packed by their class.
As the number of children multiplied within a brief timespan, Regis glanced at Rai whereupon Rai gave him a slight nod. Understanding what had been meant, Regis spoke up.
His voice sounded throughout the whole room.
“Say a word!”
Rai’s mouth opened slowly.
Exactly one word, bursting with charisma.
Surprisingly, the whole hall burst into cheers. Who could have made one word like “ramen” breathe with such an intense radiation? Regis trembled with emotion, and Ikhan and Shinwoo joined in their friends’ shouts with both fists stretched into the air.
The chairman’s office:
The office phone rang. Frankenstein quit examining some paperwork and stretched out his hand to press a button.
“Please put him through.”
With her answer, the straight voice of a man could be heard.
His voice, by its sound alone, was rough enough to constrict any conflict, but Frankenstein answered him carrying a smile.
“Either way, this had to be reported to you in person.”
The change in Ahn Deachil’s voice caused the atmosphere to grow heavy. When he heard it, Frankenstein also felt the foreboding of grave developments.
“It’s... a terribly ugly situation arose... that’s why I am reporting the events.”
“An ugly situation?”
“The situation arose as follows: although lunchtime ended, the school bell rang and class began, we were told that no students had returned to their classrooms.”
“None of them?”
“Yes, sir. When the teachers informed us about the matter, we moved out to investigate, and the report we heard was nothing but unbelievable.”
“What kind of report...?”
Frankenstein urged to know.
“I see you are shocked, but do not worry too much. On this account, we, the special security department, immediately moved out and, bringing the situation under control, sent all the students safely back to their classrooms within 15 minutes. It was a party of such a large scale that the whole school participated... Huuuh~ Really, I get dizzy just thinking about it.”
The only sound audible in the office was Ahn Deachil’s confident laugh.