Book 6: Chapter 123 - Family Meal

The Ghost Prince walked out from behind them. When he lifted his head, he was surprised to see me. Seemed like he hadn’t known that the Great Ghost King and the Queen had invited me to breakfast.

I stood up. This kind of scene made me feel awkward.

With how I’d been killing and fighting all the time, I’d always kept a strong guard up against others. Yet now before me, the Great Ghost King had shed his loftiness and the Queen her nobility, instead dressing in ordinary working adults’ outfits and sitting at an ordinary dining table to have breakfast together. The sight made me feel as if the world had turned upside down.

The Ghost Prince froze by the door in surprise. He too was dressed casually in a white T-shirt and long pants. A white rose had been embroidered on his chest, its vividness turning the T-shirt elegant. He looked just like an ordinary university student in an ordinary family.

The Great Ghost King supported the Queen towards the seats across from mine. Both wore a half mask that covered the top half of their faces. The Great Ghost King and the Queen were even wearing matching couple masks.

The Great Ghost King pulled the chair for the Queen like a gentleman. The Queen smiled and sat down. Her beautiful smile and perfect lip shape were enough to prove that the Queen was a beauty.

Plus…

I found her smile familiar.

That’s strange. Why would I find the Queen familiar?

The Great Ghost King’s lips were plump with a vibrant color as well. I seemed to have seen that lower face somewhere before.

Having undergone training by my dad and the other detectives, I was definitely more sensitive when it came to people’s facial features. But now, I couldn’t believe in my gut feelings.

Because the Great Ghost King and the Queen hadn’t just appeared within my timeline.

I had first come to this world five years back, whereas the royal couple before me had already united the Ghost Eclipsers seventeen years ago. That meant that they had been living among the Ghost Eclipsers since seventeen years ago or even earlier. It was impossible for us to have met before.

But the Ghost Prince had appeared in the past two years. Hence, it was still plausible if I’d found him familiar. Maybe I had seen him before in the past five years.

For example, in Blue Shield City. Or… in Silver Moon City.

“My child, what’s wrong?” Seeing the Ghost Prince still standing blankly at the door, the Queen became worried.

The Ghost Prince came back to his senses, yet he still stood there in silence.

It was my first time seeing those eyes behind his mask quiver. Seemed like the unexpected encounter made it difficult for him to keep his cool.

“Come and eat together.” The Great Ghost King looked gently at the Ghost Prince. “Your mother means well, don’t let her down.” 

The Ghost Prince hung his head low, still hesitating.

The Queen looked sad. She turned and held the Great Ghost King’s hand. “Don’t force our child. It’s our fault. We didn’t inform him earlier for him so he’s not mentally prepared…”

The Great Ghost King furrowed his eyebrows and nodded, then turned back and sighed. Both him and the Queen were overcome with sorrow.

Just then, the Ghost Prince walked to the dining table and pulled out the chair for me. His gesture startled the Queen into a smile. The Great Ghost King held her shoulders, happy for the Ghost Prince as well.

I sat down as the Ghost Prince pushed the chair in slightly for me. Then, he sat next to me in silence, keeping his gaze down without making another sound. But, technically, he had never made a sound. He didn’t look at me again either.

I took the jacket from the back of my chair and gave it to him. “Thank you.”

Turning to take a look, he took the jacket from me. His long hair shielded his side profile, preventing me from getting a clear look at his half-exposed face. “When did you meet?” The Great Ghost King asked happily; he seemed glad to have his son spend more time with other people. “How did my son’s clothes end up with you, Bing? Oh, I’m sorry. Is it rude of me to call you Bing?”

“It’s okay,” I said faintly.

“Don’t ask so much.” The Queen quickly stopped him. Likely she was worried that it would disrupt the precious progress between me and her son.

The Great Ghost King nodded with a smile and waved. Servants walked in from doors on the other side, bringing in the breakfast that I’d smelled earlier.

“Bing, you look better in women’s clothing,” the Great Ghost King complimented with a smile as the servants served breakfast. “Get the Queen to pick a few more fitting dresses for you later.”

Breakfast was abundant, with sweet potato, corn, potato, peanuts and bread.

Seeing the sweet potato, corn, potato and peanuts, I thought to myself that they’d left out yam. Only if they had all five could it be considered a bumper grain harvest - a must-order during a fancy New Year’s dinner in a hotel restaurant.

“What are you laughing at?” The Queen asked curiously.

“From where I’d come from, this is called a bumper five-grain harvest.” I picked up a sweet potato and peeled the skin with a smile. Eating a sweet potato in a magical castle gave me a funny feeling. Too much sweet potato would make you fart.

Of course, sweet potato was considered a luxurious food in this world. Even Noah didn’t have it.

Sweet potato was picky when it came to soil. It would only grow sweet and tender if the soil was good. If the soil was not good enough, the sweet potato would turn out tough and bitter like a rotten log. Judging from the fragrance of the sweet potato, it had been grown on good soil.

“Thank you, I haven’t eaten sweet potato for very long. Did you know that sweet potato soup is very sweet too?” I chatted with them with a smile. They looked surprised that I even knew about sweet potato.

I continued, “And this potato.” I picked up another potato and began to peel its skin. “It can be made into many dishes. Soy-braised, curry, soup with salted meat… Mhmm.” Just thinking about it made me salivate. I immediately dipped it in some salt to satisfy my cravings.

“You… can really cook. Many of those dishes you mentioned are ones I’ve never heard of before.” The Queen got excited. “How do you soy-braise them? What is curry? And salted meat? Oh yeah, these skins, what are you going to do with it?” The Queen pointed at the skin I’d peeled.

I’d forgotten that the people here ate the skin too. I chuckled sheepishly. “I don’t eat the skin.”

The Queen was stunned. She blinked and looked down in pity. “Isn’t that wasteful…”

Yeah, I had come from a world with an abundant food supply. We’d been particular with food because the supply had been more than sufficient to fill our stomach. Hence, we’d sought after texture. Not eating the skin hadn’t been considered wasteful; rather, it had been just a matter of taste in a world where the act of dining itself had been practically an art form.

“I’m sorry. I’ll eat them.” I began to grab for the skin.

Suddenly, the plate of potato skin was taken away and a clean plate was placed before me.

I glanced to the side in surprise. The Ghost Prince had taken away my plate. I stared at him in shock. Not only me, the Great Ghost King and the Queen were gaping at him in shock too. He even started to eat the skin I’d peeled.

“You don’t have to!” Before I could stop him, he’d stuffed everything into his mouth.

I felt numb all over at that very moment.

Seated across from me, the Great Ghost King and the Queen got visibly excited. Surprised tears were welling up in their eyes. Their child had quietly eaten the skin I hadn’t wanted. The royal couple was excited that their child had finally walked out of his isolated world to communicate with others. 

However, his way of communication was to eat the skin I’d peeled off...

 

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