Chapter 109:

Burgers and Shakes

A Terrible Evil Villain And Their Destiny

“A drive-through? Really?” Bryson said sounding very unimpressed as he sat at the back of the car watching the girl scarf down her third burger.

“You wanted to feed her quick, and it is called fast food.” Lila said as she drove to the orphanage, “What are going to do afterwards?”

“Good question.” Bryson said aloud. He had no idea what to do with her now. He wanted to continue his search, but it didn’t feel right to drag this clueless girl along with them. It felt even more wrong to just kick her to the curb as well.

What was he going to do? Take her in? She isn’t some lost puppy and doubted that his parents would very much care for some abandoned orphan girl. Though her potential power was interesting. Unlike that of Florence or Lottie he could tell that her powers weren’t active yet.

That doesn’t mean that she’ll have much power even if it does though. Bryson mused. Measuring the potential of people who’ve never trained was always tricky. If she had what it took, then maybe Bryson could get her a place to reside, if not then she would be back on the streets.

It did feel rather extreme on both sides, either essentially adopting this dirty child or letting them starve in the cold. Normally Bryson would just drop her off at the city orphanage and be done with it. But somehow, she was kicked out of the orphanage.

Bryson wasn’t sure if he believed her claims, it wasn’t something that the orphanage does. So unless she did something truly atrocious, there should be no trouble getting her back in.

I’ll just drop her off and then have someone keep tabs on her development. If she proves to have any potential then the family will already have influence on her. Bryson decided as the girl drained her milkshake.

“You sure can eat.” Bryson observed staring at the devastation of the family meal that she had laid waste to.

“S-sorry.” She said turning a tinge of pink.

“You… didn’t offend me.” Bryson said confused.

“Oh. Um, where are we going.” She asked after a moment of silent chewing of fries.

“Back to the city orphanage.”

“Oh… I don’t want to waste your time, but they won’t accept me.” She said gloomily.

“Why wouldn’t they?” Bryson asked.

The girl looked hesitant but seemed that Bryson had earned enough of her trust to get an answer, “They said I stole.” She said quietly.

“Did you?” Bryson asked, noting the fact that she said they said not that she did.

“No!” She said shaking her head adamantly, “But they didn’t believe me.”

Bryson looked at her, he didn’t feel as though she was lying. Even if she was, theft shouldn’t have caused her to have this fate. Though exceptions do occur.

Bryson leaned forward towards the girl, and she shrank back instinctively. Bryson ignoring the reaction tapped her shoulder once and some of the grim on her face and hair vanished.

“Hmm. Still not very good at that spell. But at least I can try to make you a little more presentable.” Bryson said looking at her.

“Oh… thanks.” She said slightly embarrassed as she felt some of the mud she was caked in disappear. It was the cleanest she had been in a few days.

“I didn’t do much.” Bryson said shrugging. Lila overhearing the conversation simply smiled to herself as she heard the conversation.


“So this is what the orphanage looks like.” Bryson said as he got out of the car and towards the orphanage.

The orphanage looked rather nice. It was a large place and located just outside of the heart of the city. It was an older building that had been around for a couple of centuries at this point if Bryson recalled. Which explained why so many more modern structures had all been built around the place such as a massive train bridge that was erected right over the place.

“A bit intimidating from the outside.” Lila said. The place was rather desaturated with its dark brownish-red bricks and lacked any design that might be seen as inviting. It was a rather ominous-looking place for kids to live.

“Well, it’s an orphanage. It doesn’t need to be asking for attention.” Bryson said as he entered the orphanage. Lila guided the hesitant girl with them into the building.

At the reception there was a bored-looking man surfing his monitor. Bryson approached the desk, head not quite reaching past the counter, “Excuse me.” He said.

“Hmm?” The man said looking up, he saw Lila with the girl and looked at her confused. She in response pointed down towards Bryson.

“Oh.” He explained in surprise peering over the counter and seeing Bryson, “Uh, can I help you?”

“I would like to return this child.” Bryson said looking up at him and pointing towards the girl.

“Uh, where did you find her? Off the streets?” He said studying the girl who seemed to be trying to hide behind Lila.

“Yes.” Bryson said with a nod.

“Ah. I see. Huh, I don’t recognize her.” He said as he seemed to search something on his monitor, “I’ll get the director.”

Getting up from his desk the man exited out an interior door and disappeared. A few minutes later he reemerged with a new stranger behind him. They were an older woman, the grays in her hair could be visibly seen in her normally dark brown hair.

She had several wrinkles indicating the passage of time, but her eyes seemed as lively as ever. Seeing Bryson, she walked up and greeted him kindly, “Oh, hello my dear boy! How are you?”

“Hello, I am Lord Bryson Coldwater, I’m here to return this girl.” Bryson said simply pointing at the girl still hiding behind Lila.

“Ah, Coldwater.” She said wide eyes getting even wider in recognition of the name, “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t realize you were coming!”

“This wasn’t a planned visit. I simply stumbled upon this girl. I believe that she is part of this orphanage.” Bryson explained. Pointing at the girl who seemed to be even more frightened than before.

“Ah, I see.” She said nodding her head and then turned her attention towards the cowering girl, “Hello, my name is Maggie. What’s your name?” the directly asked sweetly.

“K-k-Kristel.” She stammered out.

“Kristel?” Maggie repeated, her brow furrowing for a moment, “Where have I heard that name?” Looking over to the receptionist she asked him, “Could you search her name up for me dear?”

“Of course, uh how do you spell that?” The receptionist asked as he searched for a name.

“How do you spell your name sweetie?” Maggie asked the girl kindly.

“K…r…i…” She said slowly.

“Ah, got it.” He said typing in the first few letters and found her name, “Kristel with a K.” He said as he began to read the file, “Uh, miss. You might want to have a look at this.”

“Yes?” She said approaching the receptionist who showed her the monitor. Bryson tried to take peek but at his angle he couldn’t catch sight of anything.

“Oh. That’s troubling.” She said brow furrowing. The two then had a quick hushed discussion that Bryson was not privy to.

After a moment of deliberation, she turned back towards Bryson, “I’m sorry, but Kristel seems to be permanently banished from our orphanage.” She said cautiously.

“What? By who? You didn’t seem to be aware of this.” Bryson said.

“Yes, I had heard of this in passing about a month ago. I wasn’t there when it happened, but apparently she stole something extremely valuable from our main sponsor and it hasn’t been found since.” She explained as she read the file.

“I didn’t steal it!” Kristel said adamantly, fear in her eyes but she felt the need to try to exonerate herself from the accusation.

Bryson looked from Kristel to Maggie, “Who is this sponsor?”

“Earl Blizwarn.”

Bryson tried to recall that name. If he remembered correctly Earl Blizwarn wasn’t known much for charity or philanthropy, instead he focused on private education for rich families. It was a bit odd that he was the main sponsor for an orphanage.

“Is there any proof?” He asked.

“A few people saw her sneaking in. But I was on my day off that day, so everything I got told was second-hand.”

“So you can’t accept her? Despite her current state?”

“I would love to, but you probably know quite well already, messing with the rules of nobles isn’t something that the orphanage can afford.” She said, though seemed a bit worried about Bryson’s reply.

Bryson knew why, if he wanted he could force her arm and make them accept her in. But that would only be a temporary fix. Likely Earl Blizwarn would kick her out immediately and punish the entire orphanage for disobeying him.

Bryson could try to use the Coldwater name to protect both the orphanage and Kristel. But that was highly unlikely and would be a mess that his father would have to deal with. Bryson was not in the mood to bother his father, especially in his current period of punishment.

“Where is the nearest orphanage then?” Bryson asked after a moment of thinking.

“Outside the city, around a seven or eight-hour drive.” She said looking a bit relieved.

That’s going to take too long. Bryson thought. He could request someone to bring her to the orphanage, but he would need to get permission from one of his parents first. I have to get back home soon anyway. Mother and Father won’t be happy if I return at sundown. But what do I do with her? He wondered looking over to Kristel.

Upon noticing Bryson’s gaze, she seemed to shrink back even more. Bringing a dirty child home is probably not going to look good for me. But she does have some potential… maybe I can use that to try and convince my parents. I just need to keep her around long enough to get her to the orphanage.

“I see. Thank you.” Bryson said giving a polite nod of the head at her before turning and leaving.

“Thank you, Lord Bryson, sorry we were not able to be of more assistance.” She said bowing her head deeply as he left.

As Bryson, Lila and Kristel exited out, Lila while holding Kristel’s hand asked him, “So, where to next?”

“Frost call my parents, we’re heading home.” Bryson said as he looked back at her and Kristel, who tried to hide herself.