Cillin and Wheeze didn’t stay by lakeside. Instead, they took a school bus and traveled to another area. All the hotels and the accommodations were fully booked, and it wasn’t hard to imagine that the locals would drive a hard bargain with anyone who wished to rent a room at their place. However, Cillin had no intentions of renting a room. He and Wheeze were perfectly fine with sleeping on a wooden chair at the plaza if there was no better alternative.
They lay down at a small park inside the institute after grabbing some food. In fact, Wheeze probably preferred this spot compared to a warm bed because it spent the whole night rolling across the grass and catching bugs as snacks. Cillin simply ignored it and shut his eyes.
The next day morning, the weather turned out to be pretty fantastic. Cillin had arrived at his next planned destination, a book store.
An institute’s bookstore could reveal insights to its ethos and foundations.
The library was open to the public, but Cillin didn’t mind that. If his goal was to hunt down some rare books, he could do this easily at the RAS’ storeroom or database. No, he just wanted to check out San Calombo’s style so he could choose a presentation topic that was suitable for them.
It was early in the morning, but some students were already sitting at tables and reading quietly. They didn’t look like nobles, meaning that they had to invest more time and effort to achieve the goals.
Cillin looked at the books on the bookshelves. There were plenty of e-books out there, but the process of flipping a physical book and reading it impresses on the memory more. It was why a lot of people preferred to pen down notes while they were reading a textbook, for example. Not everyone had a memory like Cillin, so they had to use a process like this to strengthen their memory.
Cillin looked over all the books on the book shelves and formed a rough idea about their style. Then, he chose a book that described the culture of the locals, walked to the reading area and read it.
Of course, reading the book wasn’t everything he did. He also observed the books the students were reading and asked them about it. Since everyone thought that Cillin was also a San Calombo student, they traded complaints about the institute in general and answered some of his questions.
About three hours later, it was almost lunch time. Cillin bought a book and exited the bookstore. He then called out to Wheeze—who was on a tree playing with a sparrow—and left the place.
Some time later, he stopped at a restaurant who seemed rather popular with students and ate his lunch. It wasn’t the most popular restaurant around, but they didn’t forbid pets.
Most of the waiters and waitresses were students, not robots. A considerate girl about seventeen to eighteen years old handed him a menu and placed a chair that was specifically designed for pets right next to his.
Cillin ordered fisk steak, fish biscuits and seafood porridge for Wheeze. The fish steak was apparently one of the student’s favorites.
Suddenly, a piece of fish steak landed inside a young man’s bowl. He was boasting about something when the surprise caused him to jump in his seat.
There were eight people of both genders sitting at that table. The young man was red-faced because he felt like he was humiliated in front of his fellow female students, so he shouted,
“Who?! Who was it who threw fish steak into my bowl?!!!” He stood up and looked around, but no one paid any attention to him. There were many customers who ordered fish steaks including a couple of children, so it was impossible to tell who did it.
The young man’s face turned green when the beautiful girls of the table covered their mouths and giggled in amusement. He then called over a waiter and asked to check the security record. Some wrangling later, the waiter ultimately acquiesced and did as the young man asked probably because the latter was someone important. But to everyone’s surprise, they couldn’t find anything suspicious in the footage at all. One second there was nothing, and the next a piece of fish steak had dropped into his bowl. It was impossible to tell where it came from.
The young man was still mouthing off complaints, but without any lead or evidence he had no choice but to give up.
Meanwhile, Cillin was staring at Wheeze licking its seafood porridge like that was the only thing it had been doing up until now. In reality, it had one ear raised and pointed toward the table where the commotion happened, and the fish steak in its plate was completely missing. It was none other than the culprit who accidentally sent a piece of its fish steak flying into another person’s bowl just now. However, altering a security footage was but child’s play for Wheeze, so anyone who tried to find the truth using that would have no choice but to stay ignorant forever.
Cillin was drinking his tea and reading the book he bought when more customers walked into the restaurant. Sensing something and looking toward the entrance, Cillin realized that he actually recognized their faces!
The newcomers felt his gaze and looked at him. They exclaimed in surprise.
“Big brother Cillin!”
It was none other than Chang Four himself.
Chang Four wasn’t a student of San Calombo, but that wasn’t a problem since the school he went to was as good as San Calombo, if not better. He was here for the same reason most foreigners had shown up recently: to attend the presentation by the RAS representative. He was here with his classmates as well.
Chang Four informed his classmates that he would be spending some time with Cillin before walking up to him. Lunani told him that she had run into Cillin at Ulaganuo cousin’s wedding, and that Cillin was currently studying at AF1. But that was all she told him because Cillin told her to keep quiet about his identity. Therefore, Chang Four wasn’t aware of Cillin’s other identity.
“Hi, Wheeze!” Chang Four looked happier and a lot more confident. Although he still looked a little immature, he was a lot bigger than when they last saw him. The fact that he was able to join a high level educational institute at his age was a testament to his abilities.
Wheeze looked up, shook its whiskers in response and went back to its seafood porridge.
Cillin pulled out a chair for Chang Four to sit on. He wasn’t expecting to run into the young boy here either.
“Why are you guys here, big bro? By the way, I heard about you from Lunani. AF1 eh? You’re my idol, you know that?” Chang Four said with shiny eyes.
“I’m here on some business. I was going to stay a couple of days for that presentation before visiting you all,” Cillin said with smile.
Chang Four didn’t pick up on the hidden meaning behind Cillin’s words. He had no reason to think that Cillin was the presenter himself.
“Me and my classmates are here for the same reason, although we had to book a hotel long before we came here. Thank goodness we did, or we’ll have to pass the nights in the park.”
“We slept in the park last night,” Wheeze commented without a shred of shame at all.
“Ahem, why don’t you stay with us then, big brother Cillin? There are a lot of us, sure, but nothing a bit of squeezing can’t fit. It’s only for a couple of days anyway, not to mention that we’ll only be spending the night at the hotel.”
“It’s fine, don’t worry about me. I can always find a place to stay if I really need one.”
Chang Four thought for a moment and accepted his explanation. AF1 students shouldn’t have financial problems, not to mention that students of the affiliated schools got usually got special treatment.
“We’re going to take a walk at San Calombo’s Blossoms Garden after lunch. Would you like to come with us, big bro?” Chang Four asked with an expectant look.
Blossoms Garden was one of San Calombo’s most famous and frequented scenic spots. He supposed that it would be a shame to miss it since he was here, and it wasn’t like he was busy anyway. So he agreed.