Under the Oak Tree - Chapter 125
Chapter 125 – Rare Praises (2)
“I’m going to have to show them all how to catch mice. It seems they all like their new family. For them, the chef’s standards are exceptionally strong. This morning, I woke up a little early and caught him cooking a special meal for these future rat catchers.”
Rudis said, pointing to a flat bowl placed on the floor. Inside the round wooden bowl, white fish and milk were finely chopped and mixed like porridge together.
Max happily watched the cats eating on a plate while they dined bravely, then she concentrated on reading again.
“Now, once you are done with this one book, you will have read all the books that Ruth has given you. The training to feel mana is a topic where I didn’t make much progress, but thanks to the step-by-step guide, I could understand a little bit about the magic concept and principle.” Max told herself.
She took out a new piece of parchment from her leather pocket, spread it out, and opened the last page of the book while Laura, the white cat who was snuggling against her stomach, crept out and began to play tricks against her skirt.
For a while, she scratched the cat’s back while watching the cute scene and as the cat began to rattle violently, the letters she was reading began to dance in her head and she could no longer comprehend what she was reading.
Max glanced at the cat with an embarrassed face. Rudis quickly picked up the cat and put it in its sleeping basket, but the heartbroken cat did not stop crying.
“I can take the cats out if you want, Madam.” Rudis suggested.
“Oh, no. I was just about to go to the library. I’m sorry, but could you take care of them a little bit?”
“Don’t worry. They will be calm soon after I feed them some milk.”
Rudis affectionately stroked the cat, took the pot out and heated the milk in the fireplace. Max gave her a thankful smile before she put a robe over her clothes, took the book and went out.
Finally, Max found peace in the library as she entered it after she passed through the cold corridor, as soon as she settled into her seat and began reading, she heard a familiar voice greeting her.
“Hello. Madam Calypse. Have you slept all night?”
Max, who had a perplexed expression on her face, blushed at the thought of drunkenness last night.
“To me-mention a la-lady’s mistake and make it this shame-shameful… It’s not po-polite.” Max snapped at Ruth.
“Which lady in the world drinks half a barrel alone?”
Max glared at him with a look of distrust.
“Don’t lie to me. I could-couldn’t have drunk that much.”
“You only drank half a barrel of ale. When you add the wine, it’ll be a lot more. You must be a natural drinker…seeing that you’re fine after drinking like that. Even Nirta praised you.”
“No, it can’t be. My head hu-hurt this morn-morning….”
“You’re looking fine.”
“Be-because I drank her-herbal tea! I… I’m not a drunk-drunkard!”
Max even raised her voice and outright denied it.
For a woman, there could be no more embarrassing title than being a drinker, she figured. Fortunately, as if he had no intention of making fun of her any more, Ruth shook his shoulders and sat down at his desk.
“Well, maybe there is a second chance for you to test your capacity for drinking.”
“That chance does-doesn’t exist! I won’t drink like that a-anymore.” Max declared.
“Yes, yes, I understand, you’re here to study, right? Please sit down. I’ll stop now. How far have you read the book?”
For a moment, Max stared at him with discontented eyes, before sitting weakly on her desk.
“Now, I have only one b-book left to read. I don’t understand it all, but….”
“You’ve read quite a lot. Tell me what you don’t know, and I’ll describe it as easily as possible.”
Max pulled out a pre-arranged bundle of parchment from her pocket. Ruth picked it up and looked over it. Max noticed that as he read the pages of her notes, he had a satisfied look on his face.
“You’ve been studying hard for days. It’s great that you’re so motivated.”
”I-I just wrote down what I didn’t un-understand while reading.”
As she murmured shyly at his rare praise, Ruth coughed in vain and came back with a stern look again.
“Okay, then I’ll explain. Listen closely.”
Max quickly took out her stack of clean parchment, the quill pen and the ink bottle. Looking at her, Ruth smiled and began to explain, and every word he said was written down by Max.
With Ruth’s monotonous voice and the sound of her pen gliding against paper, they spent a long time inside the library.
Max asked the maid to prepare a simple meal and bring it to the library for them, as her study hours grew longer.
They sat face to face on the desk when their dinner arrived, eating bread and soup, and exchanging questions and answers.
Max held the bread in one hand and ate it bit by bit, while busily taking in Ruth’s explanation as the latter talked.
With each new learning she had, Ruth became excited from time to time, and when she asked him to repeat the explanations, he explained them again, step by step patiently. He was kind to her unexpectedly, so she did not worry and tried her best to earn his reproach, even though she did not understand the topic all at once, Ruth had a generous attitude so she felt relaxed and able to ask questions about anything without worrying about being wrong.
“It reminds me of when I was on the world tower.” Ruth suddenly muttered with a look of nostalgia on his face. His expression made Max wonder what he was thinking.