Chapter 73: Riza's Concern

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Days passed serenely for the Rose Cruce Order members - they took jobs, gained money, had fun in the main hall, drank, sang, jested... It was like one big devoted family with a young 'father', Edmund Jaeger, at its head.

One day, when Erisa walked around the tables and brought food and drink to the members as usual, and everyone was in a party mood as always, an unusual thing happened - they began serving sushi, which they had never had in the Order hall before. The cause of this was that Kokuyo stood near the counter with a cook hat and an apron and sliced and chopped fresh fish with two knives, adroitly moving those knives between his fingers to make some delicious sushi from raw fish, rice, and other ingredients.

"Hmm, I'd say Tiggie's boy has got quite some skills..." Cherrie, seated together with her 'sisters', uttered as she leaned on her hand and contemplated Kokuyo's swift hand moves.

"I know, right? Both brothers are amazing!" Tamie stared at Byakuya on her part. This latter sat at the counter, sipped sake and chatted with his busy brother. Tamie was dazzled by his long black-to-purple ponytail dropping on his shoulder, and that purple silken kimono which matched his icy blue eyes so well, and that richly katana hung on his waist... That young man was truly something!

"Oh, looks like someone other's in love!" Jannah winked, apparently in the mood of teasing Tamie as she caught her enraptured gaze on Byakuya.

"Huh? No, I'm not!"

Seeing her reddened cheeks, the girls laughed. Tamie rolled eyes and sulked.

"Yeah, but to put jokes aside, that one is truly in love," Rianna smilingly pointed them on Riza who was singing a joyous song on the stage and dancing together with Edmund, while her mother, Danielle, was sitting at one of the tables and watching her performance with a proud smile.

"Yeah, to think she would charm the Magister himself..." Cherrie grinned.

"Well, she is still a daughter of a Joker rank Player," Tamie smiled, hinting at Danielle's might.

"Yeah, and to mention, that Joker has already attracted quite a handsome card..."

"Huh? What do you mean?" Olivia, who wasn't really attracted by these love talks, coldly asked Cherrie.

Suddenly, they heard a gruesome roar of a dragon, but more astonishing was that no one budged at such a roar. Apparently, it was already too familiar for them...

"Oh, I guess he's arrived," Cherrie playfully chuckled.

The girls sprang up, happy about another matter:

"Tiggie's back!"

Riza too, hearing the roar, stopped singing and jumped down the stage to meet up with her 'sister'. Soon Tiger and her newly-discovered father Scott indeed entered together with Fireball in his human form. All three friends laughed together with joy. Tiger even jumped around with happiness and excitement.

"I did it this time, didn't I, Scott?" she grinned at her father whom she still called by name as she wasn't used to having a father in such a sudden. After all, only a few weeks had passed since they got to know each other.

"Yes, you did it well, Tig," Scott lovingly rubbed her head. "You're getting better at riding a dragon independently. However, landing needs a little work".

"Hehe, I'll make it! I'm awesome!"

"At least she lands better than you in your first years," Fireball ironically remarked.

"Duh! It is because I didn't have such a good teacher!" Scott furrowed his brow, a little insulted.

Fireball sarcastically chuckled again:

"Some good teacher you are..."

"Ugh, you!"

Tiger didn't pay attention to them anymore. She instead caressed her three pets who happily ran up to her and rubbed and licked her as they saw her back, and then she reunited with her 'sisters' at the table, while Riza joined Edmund on the stage again, and the party continued. Fireball went up to the counter to order a glass of beer, while Scott spotted Danielle alone at a table and timidly walked up to her.

"Um, Ms. Schatzen, hello..." 

He grew all red - he had been charmed by this woman ever since he witnessed her tremendous fights back on the Zodiac Stadium - she was truly a marvelous one. Danielle surprisedly looked up at him and a courteous smile covered her face:

"Ah, Monsieur Blutendorf! Greetings..."

"M... May I sit? I wouldn't bother you, but every table is occupied..." Scott justified himself while in the heart he thanked stars every table was occupied at that moment.

"Oh, sure! Please," Danielle beamed again and moved a little, letting him take another chair, so he took a seat beside her.

Scott glanced at the stage where Danielle was looking and noticed she was watching the girl singing with the Magister. What was her name? Riza Schatzen... Her daughter, and that man's, too... He puckered once recalled how Fireball told him once, in their early years, that his whole family of dragons was wiped out by that one man, Marvin Wagner, who consumed the dragons' powers to get even stronger, and yet, dragons were his spirit kin... so sad...

"She sings well".

"Huh?" Danielle awoke from her thoughts and looked at him.

"Riza..." Scott pointed on the stage. "She is your daughter, isn't she?"

"Oh..." Danielle blushed, "Yes. Thanks..."

Scott beamed:

"Tiger has told me a lot about her... I can hardly keep up with her 'sister' stuff, but she seems to love all these girls unconditionally..."

"Tiger is an amazing child. Riza loves her so much... She and Tamie are her best friends..."

"When I first heard I had a daughter, I was so lost... I thought I'd immediately fail. Even now I have zero knowledge of parenting, and yet, every time I see her smile and laugh, I get so happy..." Scott obliquely glanced at Tiger who was giggling with her friends at their table.

"Well, to see our child happy is the joy of parenthood..." Danielle smiled at him. Scott gave her a beam back.

The 'sisters' were talking and having fun, and there was only one girl who was quite preoccupied as she watched this man have a smiling chat with her mother... Tiger's father, true, but they still barely knew him!

I've got to keep an eye on him... Riza thought.

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