A few days had passed since I visited Inukami-senpai.
I had gotten used to running while carrying Bluerin and my magic power consumption had also decreased.
I wondered if this was a substantial amount of growth but Rose told me “You still have a long way to go”.
It really made me question whether Rose knew any words of praise.
Well, that didn’t necessarily mean that I wanted to be praised though.
Today as always, I was finishing up my own training menu. Rose had to go to the castle for some personal matters. It was an unusual occurrence, which was why it was just one human and one animal doing training today.
The contents of the training itself didn’t change; I would still be carrying Bluerin around while jogging. Since I had gotten used to having Bluerin on my back, the training wasn’t bad to the degree that I hated it, but rather than that… Wouldn’t this lazy bear be lacking exercise when it slept like a log on my back every day? I was really worried but…
I held onto that thought for now and temporarily returned to the lodging house since morning training was over.
My stomach felt empty which was why I was thinking about eating lunch.
For the time being, I moved Bluerin to the stables and then entered the lodging house’s dining room—
“….Nn? Oh hey, isn’t that Usato? ”
“I was about to go snatch some food but ended up with this.”
“Well, if it isn’t Mill and Gomul.”
Inside the lodging house’s dining room were my two senpais, Mill and Gomul.
Although I say they were my senpais, just like Tong, there was no need to address them with any honorifics.
They didn’t use honorifics at all either; they just weren’t suited for guys like these.
“Hey hey, as always you’re a cheeky kid, isn’t that right Gomul?”
“Yeah, for sure.”
The short and plump man was Mill and the one slightly taller than me and with a tough body was Gomul. Both were frightening to look at, just like Tong.
There was also the fact that seeing them next to each other, they looked even more sinister and appeared to be guys up to no good.
Appearances aside, their personalities weren’t too bad actually.
“I came here to eat but… just telling you, there’s none.”
From what he said, it seemed like there were no bentos.
Well I didn’t really mind, I could just eat some fruits.
I spent 10 days in a forest with nothing but rations after all. Maybe it was due to the influence of that experience but now I cared more about convenient and high in energy foods… the flavor was just secondary.
It seemed that my eating preferences were becoming similar to a mountain person’s even though I was still in high school.
“Oi, wait a minute Usato. This is just perfect, eat some of my cooking, you’ll definitely like it.”
Certainly, I could smell something good but… Was Mill really able to cook?
While I was having my doubts, for some reason, Gomul was the one brimming with confidence as he opened his mouth,
“It’s unexpectedly good, this guy’s cooking that is.”
“Hey, what do you mean by unexpectedly? But these are the results of my cooking after much trial and error. Everyone else has eaten it as well.”
“Well, if you’re going to say that much… I guess I should eat some.”
Although Alek was the one in charge of cooking till now…
I see, Mill was able to cook too. I hadn’t been into the kitchen area at all myself so that was probably why I didn’t know.
Gomul vouched for its taste so I could be reassured… Was this really okay?
“I’ll make your portion Usato, I’m heading back to the kitchen.”
Mill left and went inside the kitchen.
The only ones remaining in the dining room were me and Gomul.
I wasn’t particularly on good terms with Gomul nor was I on bad terms with him. Unlike when I was in the same room alone with Tong, I didn’t talk much aside from meals.
Sooner or later, we’ll be comrades entering the battlefield together… Forming the best smile I could, I started talking to Gomul,
“Where are the others?”
“Those guys, they have a different menu from us yeah? Well fundamentally, our training menus are all different from Usato’s in the amount of freedom we have. Usually, we’re divided in two pairs as a team.”
“Hooh, is that so… Gomul, do you eat Mill’s cooking often?”
“Yeah. Just a bit before you came here, we found his cooking tools that he was secretly hiding. That was when I got to start eating it. It was the beginning of everything you see.”
I see, it wasn’t like they were eating it for a long time.
Hiding his cooking… hmm, I wonder why he hid it. Was there a special reason? Or was it simply that his cooking was inexperienced?
“Why did Mill do something like hide his cooking?”
“An? I don’t know all the details but even from way before, he personally had a lot of interest in cooking. Apparently his cooking wasn’t on the level where people could eat it yet though, so he hid it.”
“Well, Gomul says it’s delicious so he should have more confidence in himself I think…”
Was he unexpectedly strict on himself?
Well he was a plump man, but he displayed feats during our trainings together that didn’t match his physique.
Oops, I shouldn’t make light of him since right in front of me was Gomul who was pretty much the same as him.
“It’s done, hey!”
“Oh you’ve finally come, I’ve been waiting for this!”
Mill brought a wooden container that carried something akin to curry soup.
There was definitely a great smell coming from it, it felt a bit different from Alek’s usual cooking… It smelled close to sesame oil. Due to hearing Gomul’s praises from before, I couldn’t help but gulp down on my own saliva. The first impression was good, now the essential part was the taste.
“Heh, I found some good salt in the kitchen. Which is why this time, I’ve taken this chance to use an abundant amount of it.”
Was salt really something you used in abundant amounts?
I was a bit uneasy due to Mill’s words. Was this man aware of SaShiSuSeSo1 and its absolute conditions for handling flavors? No, that was assuming the fact that this world had that kind of system to begin with…
While I was sitting still and holding onto my spoon, Gomul approached the container in high spirits. He scooped out something and was about to take a bite…
“Then, I’ll help myself!”
First of all, I should let this guy test for poison before eating.
He opened his mouth wide and slowly savored it before he gulped it down heartily————
—He suddenly started exclaiming so.
Seeing the contents from the container disappear in his mouth, I stopped focusing on it.
“As expected, it’s good! I really like this flavor ya. I already want to eat this along with some sake!”
“I-Is it really that good…?”
“What are you saying!?!? You should hurry up and eat, I’ll eat it all at this rate!”
This rising tension, it didn’t seem like he was saying it simply because of flattery.
Swapping places with Gomul, I made up my mind and scooped up the contents with my spoon. It was similar to stew with its gooey texture. Preparing myself, I brought it close to my mouth.
I shouldn’t be getting cold feet here. There was no point of using the standards for cooking in my former world. Even this was splendid cooking….. If I ate it, it’ll be delicious for sure! …Probably!!
Putting the spoon in my mouth, I gulped down the soup.
When I noticed it, Mill and Gomul were looking at me in expectation.
The flavor that spread throughout my mouth was——————
“……How is it?”
“As expected, it’s good right?”
To begin with, it tasted as salty as that time when I accidentally tried ocean water. This wasn’t normal, my mouth felt like it was overrunning with salt.
This was no good.
This was also my critique after the fact that I came back from the forest where the flavor became secondary to me. Although he said he used plenty of salt, this was obviously way too much.
And on top of that, the soup’s texture felt very rough. I felt nauseated since the water and potato starch solidified and that made it seem like some foreign substance.
However, I frantically endured it because I was in front of my teammates and just when I was about to swallow it down— The pointlessly viscous soup demonstrated its adhesive power and clung to my throat.
What was with this poisonous thing!? Were you intending to kill me!?
After a while, it finally passed through my throat, leaving behind an unpleasant sensation. I was also being continuously attacked by a feeling that was similar to heart burn. Dropping my spoon, I fell down on the ground, prostrated.
“What’s the matter Usato?”
“Huh, was it that good that you’re unable to stand up due to the shock?”
‘Be silent, you damn fools! Does your sense of taste have a screw loose or two huhh!? No matter what kind of methods you’re using, you shouldn’t have been able to make something that even a pig can’t eat, hey!! This was just me sampling a taste of it, isn’t this already hopeless!?!? I would like you guys to tell me what you ate for this to be considered delicious!! If it’s just me who can’t comprehend this flavor, please, teach me so I can understand!! But let me tell you, there’s absolutely no way at all you can possibly convince me that this is good!!’
—Was what I would like to say. But right now, I just really wanted to throw dangerous Object A at these two stupidly grinning faces. However, I couldn’t talk at the moment because my throat was in pain. What was going on? I couldn’t restore my esophagus with my healing magic? While I was remaining still, Object A was continuously destroying my insides…..
This wasn’t good, I might just die.
“You aren’t saying anything? What’s more is that you’re shivering?”
“Well, it’s fine isn’t it? Can I have seconds?”
Gomul, you shitty bastard, you were fine even after eating this poisonous substance that essentially destroyed the human body?
…..Come to think of it, these guys always told Alek that his cooking was too lightly seasoned.
Was that the reason? It was guys that liked a stronger flavor… Then they ate Mill’s cooking, which used a lot of seasoning and was met with extremely high praise. Mill wasn’t self-conscious of the fact that his cooking was too heavily seasoned. Because no one warned him, it continued like so and then it got served to me……
Unforgivable. I definitely won’t forgive these bastards.
“Ou, I just came back—”
Rose returned from the castle.
I wanted to immediately stop these guys with their cooking, unfortunately, my voice wasn’t coming out.
Rose entered the dining room; it also felt like she was worn out. Was it because she was meeting with the King?
“…….What’s the matter Usato, is this some kind of new performance act?”
In a sense, it was amazing that those words came out from just looking at me, Rose.
Without knowing why, Rose sat next to me and Gomul started talking,
“Anego, have you eaten lunch yet?”
“No, not yet.”
“Then, try some of Mill’s cooking. It’s really delicious you know?”
I wanted to stop them. However, there was also a part of me that wanted to see Rose fainting in agony.
Damn, should I just stay silent… No, I should tell her it was dangerous, it was for the sake of her subordinates.
It was at this moment that I was forced to make a choice that was unprecedented since arriving to this world.
My decision was————
“Here you are, please eat it while it’s still hot.”
“What’s this now, the appearance seems normal doesn’t it?”
As expected, I couldn’t win against my personal grudge.
I wasn’t in the wrong here; the bad guys were Mill and Gomul.
I was the victim here, because of that it was OK.
Therefore, no matter what kind of tragic event occurs, it won’t affect me who was the injured party. It was similar to the victims that died at the beginning of a detective story.
While I was continuously feeling pain, I used healing magic on myself and laid down on a table. From here, I could convey the fact I was in agony… I turned myself towards Rose’s face.
Kukuku, from your expression, I could tell it was one that harbored no doubts at all.
I wonder how long you could continue to make that expression.
You probably never expected that what you were about to eat was actually poison that would damage your stomach.
“………I guess it can’t be helped.”
Rose nonchalantly brought the hazardous substance into her mouth.
After a few seconds, it felt like there was an unusual phenomenon happening in her mouth while her whole body stiffened. After a few more seconds passed, something grabbed a hold of Gomul and Mill’s faces that were overcome with emotion and expectation.
For the time being, I called it the Iron Claw technique. However, I didn’t know such an Iron Claw myself. After all, the one I knew wasn’t a technique where you could lift an adult man with one hand.
“It’s really…… pain— ouch ouch ouch ouch.”
“You guys, you made me eat something like this?”
“You have some nerve….. This time, why don’t you try some of my cooking? The ingredients are you guys okay?”
The scene afterwards, it will be omitted.
The reason was that I couldn’t bring myself to watch the spectacle of my comrades being punished.
Nevertheless, I really had to give my praises to Rose, her expression didn’t distort even for one moment.
Still, it was unfortunate that my afternoon training time would be wasted for the sake of having one bite of this hazardous substance.
……Huh? I wonder why I thought it was unfortunate. Normally, I should be delighted right?
“What’s going on with Mill and Gomul? Dinner’s going to be wasted.”
During dinner at night time, Alek tilted his head to the side when he noticed Mill and Gomul’s absences.
In exchange, Rose arrived first and was sitting on a long table with a displeased expression.
“Those guys, they’re skipping dinner. That’s all there is to it. Isn’t that right, Usato?”
Rose said so while glaring at me.
I didn’t show any fear towards that and with an awkward smile, I replied,
“That is so, hahaha. Even so, wasting food is not good, isn’t that right?”
Mill, Gomul, I won’t forget about you guys.
1. The five fundamental seasonings used in Japanese cooking: Sa (satoh = sugar), Shi (shio = salt), Su (su = vinegar), Se (shoyu = soy sauce), So (miso = fermented soy bean paste). The order in which these seasonings are added is important, such as soy sauce and miso being added last as they are the most susceptible to being changed due to heat. Normally, not all five seasonings are used but most sauces use at least three.
Kurokata (Author): Those two aren’t dead.
For this series to suddenly have a large increase in favorites…… I was startled.
It’s a story with poor writing and a lot of typos, however, thank you very much for reading.
Also, I’m thankful to the various readers who leave their thoughts in the impressions section.
Shiru: Wow, Kurokata is quite humble; I would say humility is a virtue. Where you could buy their Light Novel: MFBooks (potential spoilers on the covers). You can also view the first 50 or so pages for free for each volume and they usually have at least one illustration too.
As for me… I was productive today. I finished one assignment, helped out at the lab, passed my Class G Road Test, and translated a Chiyu chapter, no problem.
I’ll have more time to translate during the winter break but for now, I’ll be having lots of fun with my assignments and finals.
For reference, I have five finals, with the last one being on the 20th of December. Give me a few days to relax and I should release a chapter by Christmas with more to come.