Chapter 114 – The Next Step

“I guess this is it,” Luon muttered as he looked at the empty room where he had lived in for the past three years.

Today was the graduation ceremony. Most people would consider going to the event, but Luon decided to opt out. It’s not that he didn’t like the school, rather he enjoyed his time while it lasted. The event was optional, there were only a few honorable mentions and an atypically long speech. The awards and certification had already been given to the students by mail, so there was no reason to go unless one wanted to feel sentimental.

There was no way they were going to individually give gifts to thousands of students in a single day and congratulate each student. After all, It costs too much manpower and time to do so.

Thinking about rewards Luon couldn’t help but recall the arrival of the two robots he had received from the Engineering Examination. He took them to Zekar’s shop to have them checked out only to find that they were definitely the top of the line products. Although their level of AI was on the low side, their abilities were much better than what Luon had expected it to turn out.

Zekar recommended that he should retrofit and bring them along the battlefield. Their combat abilities may be subpar compared to most powerful beings, but their piloting skills would be a great asset in the upcoming battles against the Inzektors.

“Thanks for everything,” Luon muttered to his empty room that he felt at home in.

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Closing the door behind him, Luon exited the room only to meet up with Bendan, Tyron and Gizmo.

“What’s up? Why aren’t you guys at the ceremony?” said Luon out of curiosity.

“We aren’t going to hang around at a pointless ceremony. If I wanted to feel youthful, I would rather watch a drama instead. Anyways, since it’s our last time together, the guys and I decided to hang out, and we can’t have a complete party without you. What do you say? Are you coming?” said Gizmo.

Bendan and Tyron both nodded in agreement. Luon let out a short sigh. He then said, “Although I would like to spend our last moment together, I have to report into the military training facility tomorrow so I can’t stay for too long.”

“Then how about we get a meal together? We won’t have that many opportunities to do so in the future,” said Gizmo.

“Well if it’s just dinner then I can probably come to hang out with you guys,” said Luon. Seeing him agree Gizmo said, “Great. I know the best place for us to dine. Let’s go!”

As they were about to leave Luon stopped and asked Gizmo, “Hey, what about Thomas? Aren’t we going to invite him as well?”

“He’s already waiting for us at the venue. Or more like he’s being held there. Anyways, let’s just go, ” said Gizmo as he motioned Luon onwards.

‘Being held there?’ The way Gizmo worded it made it seem like he was left behind against his will. He didn’t ponder on that too much as he realized something else, “Wait if he’s already waiting at the venue then you guys have long planned for this event. How come no one ever told me of this? Don’t tell me you already anticipated my answer.”

“Well, we sort of did… anyways all of your concerns will be answered when we get there, ” said Gizmo.

The group departed, their short trip together was filled with laughter as they started to reminisce over the past memories they made together at school, but it all ended when they arrived at their destination. Luon couldn’t help but be at awe at what kind of venue that Gizmo’s had arranged.

It wasn’t your run in the mill nightclub which he assumed it would be when considering Gizmo’s disposition, nor was it a regular family restaurant or apartment complex which was his next best choice. The building they were standing in front of was a huge hotel. Luon couldn’t fathom how he was able to afford to rent such a place.

“Hey, where are you going? The door is that way,” Luon said as the group suddenly turned towards a different direction when they had reached the entrance. They soon stopped in front of a food stall that was situated in front of the company.

“No way, when you said a nice place to eat did you mean this place? This… this is just a normal food stall!” Luon said in disappointment. His expectations were immediately destroyed by the reality of things. There was no way for Gizmo to rent out such a place after all.

Luon could see Thomas sitting down on one of the seats, Luon couldn’t help but say, “Hey, I thought you said he was being held captive, how come he’s completely fine? ”

“He was being hostage against his will, it was to ensure you actually came out with us,” Gizmo said.

Luon’s eyes rolled as he said with disbelief, “Oh really and by who? The food found in this stall?”

“Hey man, there’s nothing wrong with food stalls. In fact, most food stalls are rather good, ” Bendan argued.

“Most of them are good, but how many places in the universe actually follow the sanitary regulation that the Alliance outlined? It may not be this store, but many other ones don’t even bother to ensure that the quality of their products. Only thinking about profits over customer satisfaction and health, ” Luon replied.

“Food is food, whatever fills your stomach, tastes good and comes out on the other end is all that matters, ”said Bendan.

‘Aren’t you taking the idealization of food to the utmost simplicity? I can’t help but agree to the sentiment, but I honestly believe that food culture couldn’t be explained by just those words, ’ Luon thought.

“What an interesting conversation that you guys are having. Speaking of food, do you guys want to hurry up already and get inside? You’re making us feel awfully embarrassed about the commotion your making outside, ” Arisa said as she came out of the hotel along with Belle and Janet.

“That’s why I said we should just ignore them. Hanging out with them will just lower my public image, ” Janet said.

“Come on guys let’s hurry up and get inside already. I can already see some people looking over here, ” Belle couldn’t help but comment.

The crowd of students attracted the attention of some people nearby who started to slowly crowd up when they noticed a few prominent figures such as Janet and Arisa who recently became popular through media.

The group hurried on inside of the hotel causing the crowd to disperse due to the security that the hotel provided.

Arisa and others began to guide Luon and others to the venue. According to information he was able to perceive, the group initially planned to eat at a regular restaurant, but the girls offered to book a fancy hotel under the condition that everyone in the group is there.

Thomas was one of the people who didn’t want to celebrate, and Luon wasn’t notified because Belle and Gizmo both argued that whether or not he was going to attend the event if they ever asked him.

‘Was I always this easy-going, ’ Luon couldn’t help but think so.

While they were conversing Luon couldn’t help but ask Belle, “By the way, it’s quite uncommon to see you wear your uniform. Why aren’t you wearing your usual clothing?”

Everyone attending the event wore their school uniforms despite being at a fancy hotel event. Luon couldn’t help but point it out since he knew how sensitive Belle was to her clothing style.

Belle revealed an unsatisfying expression as she said, “After today I’m going to be forced to wear a military uniform similar to our school ones. Since this is the last day of school, I thought I might as well wear it for a change. I definitely don’t look and feel good wearing this.”

“I think it looks good,” Luon said.

“And I think you need to get your eyes checked,” said Belle.

“Here are your rooms for the night as for the venue we are using it’s just down this hall,” Arisa said as she started to distribute the hotel keys.

Luon received the key to the room that was next to large ballroom that they were going to dine at. After checking to make sure that everything in the room is in tip top shape he went to the venue to find Keyral, Kiri, and Janet’s idol team members at the venue.

Luon gave them a light greeting and as he did the others had arrived at the venue.

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“Wow this place is quite fancy,” Gizmo said as he evaluated the surroundings.

The space the venue covered was equivalent to a basketball court only slightly smaller as it was filled with neatly arranged tables and chairs and a stage in the middle. On top of the stage was a series of robots playing a sweet melody using instruments one would see in a classical band.

“Let’s go and eat! Come on, guys!” Bendan ushered the group to the food stand, and everyone started to create their meal. There were no servers, and the entire event was run by robots that would evenly distribute fixed portions. If Luon wanted to have more than one servings for a particular dish all he had to do was tell the robot to give him another.

The intelligent robot then calculates the remaining space on the plate that he held and accurately places the product in the designated area.

After setting down his plate on the table where Thomas who was done first was at, he went up to the area where the drinks were held. He was surprised to see that besides juice, water, and coffee, they served a multitude of different types of alcohol.

Luon hasn’t drunk before despite being of age, and he couldn’t help but remember that he hadn’t drunk alcohol in any of his previous lives. Luon mentally jotted down in his mind to try drinking when he has free time. He didn’t want to pass out dead drunk if he couldn’t hold his liquor.

Luon, Bendan, Tyron, and Thomas began to eat their meals with vigor. It wasn’t often that they were able to eat food like this. The last time Luon could recall eating such as fancy meal was last year on the trip to the Alliance Tournament.

While Luon was halfway done his first dish, Gizmo’s came and said, “Why aren’t- you guys… drinking?”

Gizmo who was already drunk brought over several cups of alcoholic drinks.

Bendan who was curious started to drink one of them and said, “Woah.”

It was his first time drinking alcohol, and like most people he found it to have a rather strong taste.

“Hahaha! Let’s drink until we drop,” Bendan yelled as gulped another mouthful of alcohol.

“Woohoo, nobody’s going home tonight!” Gizmo hollered as he also downs a drink.

Unlike the other two, Tyron took one cup and merely sipped on it.

Everyone started to drink, and Luon couldn’t help but feel unsteady after a single bottle that Arisa came by and prompted him to drink. Luon couldn’t help but recall that he had something important to do the next day, but he slowly started to lose his conscious. Before he did, he managed to reach his hotel room’s bed and began to doze off.

By the time he woke up, he had realized it was too late. He was late on his first day in the military camp.

- my thoughts:
Sorry for the lack of releases lately. Been working prior to Christmas and crashing when I get home. Merry Christmas everyone.
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