Ch 51 -- Silent Pressure
The carriage came to a halt at sunset. "This is far enough for today." Lambert-san ordered as they prepared to camp for the night.
"Hoi, don't forget your promise earlier." growled Fer.
Wait, did I promise him something?
"You said you'd make me a luxury dinner. Remember?"
Oh, so I did. I'd completely forgotten in all the excitement but Fer had remembered, of course.
"I get it I get it, so what do you want to eat?"
"Sui wants to eat fried food-" Sui interjected.
"Ooh, what you made last time sounds good. Fried food for me too." Fer added, going along with Sui.
I wasn't that hungry but something hot sounded good.
Since I promised Fer a luxury meal I decided to make two kinds of flavouring, one with a soy-sauce base and one with a salt base. For the meat, I chose some Black Serpent and what was left of the Cockatrice and Rock Bird and deep-fried them with soy-sauce and salt.
"Aruji, can I eat it-"
"Just wait a moment." I put the fried food on a dish and pushed it over to Fer and Sui.
"Oh, this tastes different. It's also delicious-" Sui said. Oh, Sui noticed. It's nice to be praised.
Fer was silent as usual, gobbling up the fried food. I expect it's delicious for you too the way you're devouring it. Well I can always fry up some more...
Lambert-san, a boy he had hired and members of 'Phoenix' were gathered around us. I was being silently stared at. Some of them were drooling. The pressure...
Oh, right. I got it.
"Here, if you'd like to help yourself..." I pushed a plate of fried food in their direction and jumped back as they dived towards it.
"Really, I couldn't wait to try some..."
"Oh so tasty, it's wonderful..."
"I've never had anything so good..."
Fried food is popular after all. After that I was frying and frying continuously. Just cooking for Fer and Sui is hard work, cooking for this lot was much harder. Worse still, at the end there was none left for me.
I couldn't help myself, I bought a sweet bun from the Net Super when no-one was looking to console myself and I ate that instead.
On the other hand I didn't have to stand a night watch. Fer always set a Barrier so I never needed to carry out a watch although it's usually something you should do in camp.
"As a thank you saving us and for cooking such delicious items please have a good night's sleep instead." The members of 'Phoenix' told me so I happily went to bed instead.
"Here you lot, some travel rations for you. It's crappy muck but you can eat it or starve." Rashu-san who was taking the first watch finally gave the bandits a little food before we turned in. "Try and escape though and I'll cut you down without mercy," he warned. Adventurers aren't totally heartless but the bandits had reaped what they had sown.
As it had been a while since the battle that day I thought that some of the bandits might be considering the idea of causing trouble later so I added some more threats.
"We'll be asleep but his hearing is very good, just so you know." I said, looking at Fer as I spoke.
"Even asleep I'm always ready for trouble." said Fer. "Rashu-san won't have to lift a finger, I'll shred anyone who tries to escape into little pieces." At his words the frightened bandits trembled. "That's right, if you don't want to end up like your boss just stay quiet tonight." Fer's threat seemed to be quite effective.
I couldn't use a futon for a bed so I went to sleep wrapped up in my cloak for the first time in a while. Sui prefers a futon too so she grumbled a bit. I explained it was only until we got to the city, telling her to be patient.
Ah, Sui-tan is so cute. I promised myself I'd make Sui something good to eat tomorrow.