In a little house in a little suburb a man and his sub are having chicken and mushrooms in cream sauce for dinner. The latter is kneeling, mouth open to receive forkfuls.
"No, though lots are. You guys go lighter on the oil?"
"Yeah. And it's less - thick?"
"Texture wise, though I think in general this is more saturated fat than what I'm used to - doesn't stay liquid at the same temperatures."
"Huh. Well, the other quintessentially New York food is bagels, and those are less greasy, though I like mine with a ton of smoked salmon on 'em and full-fat cream cheese."
She laughs. "What are they?"
"Torus-shaped very dense bread, boiled and then baked, sliced in half and spread with stuff."
"Oh, that does sound interesting."
"New York has the best ones and they have lots of calories in them, I have one or two almost every morning."
"Yeah, that'd be convenient if they're dense - and you can make up the protein and such with toppings, it sounds like."
"Exactly. Eclipsed are crazy about food in general."
She snorts. "Shinobi, too. I don't burn as much chakra as some, so I'm not too bad, but one of my friends eats... Something like five times as much as I do, normally."
"Wow! But I bet you don't have to spend a couple years of early adolescence in virtual reality not eating anything you can taste."
"Ouch, yeah. Early adolescence is when shinobi usually eat the most - that's the biggest jump for chakra capacity, on top of puberty."
"Anyone going for extremely high chakra control might have to calorie restrict - I did at, like, eleven to fourteen, I wanted to smooth out my capacity jumps and not lose any of my fine control - but you can still eat normal civilian amounts."
"Huh. We eat normal person amounts if we're not doing any magic, but nobody goes through virtuality all the way only to not do any magic."
"Shinobi need to eat more, always, but once you get training you're subconsciously always using chakra - it's why we very rarely get sick, in part. Also improves our physical fitness, improves temperature regulation, helps alleviate tiredness - we usually sleep less than civilians. Provides a sort of background resistance to injury, so we don't get things like scrapes, papercuts, or scalds after starting training - at least not to normal causes of those. And some other things, though how much else depends a lot on your chakra control and if you have any medical or mental training."
"Oh, those sound like neat perks. - why is 'civilian' the antonym?"
"Because all of the major traditions of chakra-use grew out of or like merged themselves into various martial traditions. Samurai were a noble class by virtue of being way better than anyone else at murder and then successfully governing the people they didn't murder. They were the Empire's standing army, and when a larger army was needed, they would also provide the officers. Shinobi didn't really grow out of martial traditions - jack of all trades mercenaries don't tend to be the core of your army if you have other choices, and us ending up making up most recent armies is historically very weird - but we've gotten to be a more martial tradition as 'being able to survive combat' has gotten more necessary for 'being able to survive, at all.' That was mostly the Warring States period, but the Warring States period was very long and changed... Everything."
"Also 'civilian' is way more polite than 'peasant,' which is what the samurai often used - when in my hearing at least - and... 'Civilian' centers that the various classes and communities of people who don't use chakra are just - a different subculture, and usually along that specific line, and there's a lot more of those classes than 'tenant farmers.' And it centers that... Not all the shinobi are part of the standing army, though we are all subject to the draft, but non-chakra-users are always effectively non-combatants, and you need to remember that. - Plenty of them decide to join combat anyways, but... You shouldn't react to them like you would to a chakra user."
"All the Hidden Villages I know about are mixed shinobi and civilians, too, so - if you're attacking another Hidden Village, it's... Worse to go after civilians. People do it anyways, of course, but it worsens your negotiating position later and increases the typical retaliation."
"That makes sense. Rhymes with some historical warfare norms here."
"Yeah. Probably universal education is going to do extremely bizarre things to this norm but extremely bizarre things are happening to our culture kind of in general."
"It sounds like it. I hope someone has the spare time to write it all down as it happens."
"Some people are, but I don't know how - organized it all is."
"Later historians can try to piece it together as long as there's stuff to piece. That's what they pay them the small bucks for."
"Well as long as no one tries purging classified documents, we're definitely taking lots of various notes."
"Good." Isabella orders some more pizza of various types. One has corn on it.