Sunday, 30 September 2018

Ch 108 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 108 -- The Forest of Ishtam

We stayed that night at an inn called "The Spinning Wheel", recommended to me by the Guild Master Rodolpho-san. In the morning I tried on the clothes I bought the day before. They felt really good, comfortable and easy to move in with a texture I had never experienced before. I wondered if I could ever go back to the sorts of clothes I had been wearing when I arrived in this world. My shopping expedition had been a definite success.

It was now time to fulfil Rodolpho-san's request so we got ready to head off to the forest of Ishtam to collect Venom Tarantula threads. I didn't want my new clothes to get dirty but there was no helping it.

"Fer, ready to go?" I asked.

"Uh huh." As usual I got on Fer's back with Sui in her bag on my shoulder.

"Okay, let's go." Fer ran off towards the forest of Ishtam.

* * * * *

"That seems to be the forest of Ishtam, isn't it?" I said as we paused for a moment, gazing at the gloomy forest spreading wide before us. It had a creepy atmosphere.

"Looks like it." Fer agreed. A low sound like creatures calling to each other, "Giii Giii" resounded from the forest.

"Let's go." Fer said, pacing slowly up a slope and into the forest of Ishtam. Although it was still before noon the darkness enveloping the trees was disconcerting.

"Oh, that's right. Rodolpho-san told us there are lots of poison-insect monsters here, can you handle them OK?" I said nervously, looking around. The darkness could conceal anything, after all.

"We have the Goddesses' blessings and my Barrier as well. Don't worry." True, Fer, Sui and I all had blessings from the Goddesses. But, I worried, I only had Deplo--, ah, Wind Goddess Ninril-sama's blessing (small), would that protect me properly?

"But I've only got a blessing (small)," I reminded Fer.

"Don't forget what Ninril-sama told you. Yeah, it's a blessing (small) but unless it's an instant death poison your blessing has the power of state abnormality invalidation so it will nullify any lesser poisons." Ah, now that he had mentioned it I remembered what the Goddess had said when she bestowed her blessing (small) on me so long ago. "From what I can detect," Fer continued, "there aren't any monsters with immediate death poison in this forest so you don't need to worry." I was glad to hear it. Safety first, after all.

"So, do you know where any Venom Tarantulas are?"

"Ah. I've got an idea where they're likely to be found. It's pretty deep in the forest. Let's go." Fer headed for the place he thought the Venom Tarantulas would be. Giant moths and other insect monsters like huge mosquitoes attacked us as we passed but they were dealt with casually by Fer's claw-slash magic without him even slowing down. It just showed how inconsequential he considered them as opponents, I supposed. Bad luck, insect-sans, to encounter Fer today.

However a bit further on Fer suddenly came to a halt. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"Something big's coming." As Fer spoke an enormous centipede appeared before us, at least a metre wide at its head and its seemingly-endless body receding back into the forest's darkness.

"Giiii-" it screamed.

"Hey, is that a Giant Centipede?" I asked worriedly. I had been warned about them by Rodolpho-san, they were A-ranked monsters and really dangerous.

"Yeah. Get off and wait behind me." Fer bared his fangs and faced off against the Giant Centipede which raised its head...

Pew. Thud. The Giant Centipede fell down sideways. There was a big hole in its head running from its underside all the way up through what was left of its brain and out the top.

"Yay! Sui defeated the big creepy-crawly!" Sui bounced around happily. Su-Sui-chan...? When did you get out of your bag? And how...? Fer was shocked that Sui had dealt with his intended prey.

"Uh, sorry, Fer-ojichan-" Sui apologised for butting in, a bit late perhaps.

"Humph." Fer conceded, not very graciously. Since the Giant Centipede that Sui had defeated was an A-ranked monster I put it into my Item Box.

"Right then," Fer announced, "We actually came here for Venom Tarantula, didn't we?" He looked at me. "Didn't we?" Yeah yeah Fer, the A-ranked Giant Centipede that cute little Sui-chan one-shotted through the head was a mere distraction and hardly worth your attention and you're definitely not annoyed she killed it before you got the chance to fight it yourself. Sure.

"Let's go then. Get on." Fer said brusquely, not meeting my gaze. I resisted the temptation to pat him on the head and say 'there there' as I climbed back on board after collecting Sui again.

"Is there something else to pew-pew where we're going-?" Sui asked eagerly. Fer's hackles rose.

"Ah, let Fer-ojichan do it this time, will you?" I said, trying to defuse the situation. For a country-destroying monster Fer's feelings were more easily hurt than I had anticipated.

"But, Sui wants to pew-pew some more-" she persisted.

"Help Fer with knocking them down but only if he needs it, OK?" I told her.

"Yeah, I got it-" Sui sounded disappointed.

I hoped there would be plenty Venom Tarantula-sans where we were going since battle maniac Sui wanted to go pew-pew a lot more. I got back on Fer and he ran off quickly. After a little while we came to a place where there were curtains of thick spider webs between the trees. I could see a huge spider with a blackish-purple body about 1 metre wide in the middle of the webs.

"Is that a Venom Tarantula?" I asked.

"Yup." Fer confirmed. I'd been told you can eat Venom Tarantulas but was that really true...?

"Rodolpho-san said we only needed two Venom Tarantulas to meet the request so go ahead and get this one for now." Fer could probably find another Venom Tarantula quite quickly...

"I'll get all of them." Fer said, immediately firing off his magic. What did he mean, all of them? I could only see one...

Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Lightning Magic? It was like a super-powered stun gun.

Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Eight Venom Tarantulas fell out of the webs. There had been some kind of hidden nest behind the one spider I could see where more of them were lurking, apparently.

"All done, no assistance required." Fer said with some satisfaction, glancing at the bag Sui-chan was peering out of.

"That was quick." I was a little reluctant to approach the spiders lying immobile beneath the webs. "Are they all really dead?"

"Uh huh. I fried their brains with electric shocks." Well, that was us finished the request then. Fer's a quick worker, I mused as I packed away the 8 Venom Tarantulas into my Item Box.

"Is it Sui's turn now-?" Sui-chan appeared out of the bag.

"Sorry Sui, next time maybe, yeah?"

"But Sui wanted to pew-pew and knock down the Bad Guys too-"

"Oh no, that's... ah," I struggled to avoid disappointing cute murderous battle maniac Sui, "Uh, you see, there's a dungeon in the next town we're visiting, you can pew-pew and fight a lot there. "

"A dungeon, is that full of Bad Guys Sui can pew-pew?-" Sui asked hopefully.

"Yes, that's right."

"Dungeon-! Dungeon, dungeon, fun~ " Sui bounced around happily. Sh- ... I never thought I'd ever agree to enter a dungeon again.

"Kukuku, you're committed to going into that dungeon now." Fer sniggered. Damn you, Fer, it's not a laughing matter but I couldn't deny darling Sui her chance to go pew-pew at Bad Guys.

"If Sui is looking forward to it I'll have to go with her. Make sure nothing bad happens to us, OK?"

"Hah, there's nothing to be scared of in a dungeon." Fer stated authoritatively, glancing over at Sui who was still eagerly bouncing around. "I'll make sure Sui doesn't get hurt." Uh, me too Fer, right? Right? I sighed, if Fer was with us I'd probably be OK too. I was his meal provider after all.

"Are we done here? Should we head back to Claire?" Fer asked. I think he was hoping to run into another Giant Centipede or two but I demurred.

"Yeah, let's go back." We had what we came for. I got on Fer's back and he started running back the way we had come until we left the forest. The sun was still quite high in the sky, it wasn't that late in the day.

"We got done really quick today, I'm surprised."

"Yeah, we've got plenty of time to get back to the city." Fer stopped and looked around at me. "I'm hungry. Let's eat something here."

"You think so?" I shrugged. "Okay, gimme a minute and I'll start getting it ready." The day's work was done, time for a well-earned snack.


Monday, 24 September 2018

Ch 107 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 107 -- The Guild Master is a Dwarf

The next day we arrived at the city of Claire as Fer had predicted. I presented my Adventurers Guild card at the entrance to the town and got in without problems, well apart from the guards explaining to me that as Fer and Sui were my contracted monsters, if they caused problems in the city I'd get the blame and be punished appropriately for their misdeeds. I'd been told this before when entering other towns, of course.

The town of Claire is mostly a spinning and weaving town with dedicated stores selling yarns and woven cloth built next to shops selling finished items of clothing and the like.

"Fer, how about we go to the Adventurers Guild first?"

"Umu. Let's find out about the requests they want us to deal with." Fer still had the Dungeon City of Doran on his mind, obviously but I couldn't take my eyes off the shop displays here. However, business first so I asked a shop clerk in a store nearby and got directions to the city's Adventurers Guild.

* * * * *

All attention was on Fer when we entered the Adventurers Guild and I was roundly ignored as usual. I was used to it by now. Really. When I showed my Guild card at the counter the receptionist (a cute little Beastwoman with floppy dog ears) asked me to wait a moment before she scurried off.

"Oho, I've been waiting for you." A little old man with a moustache and a long flowing beard headed towards me, speaking in a loud voice. Was he a Dwarf? I had heard they existed in this world but it was my first time seeing one in the flesh.

"A message came from Willem of Carerina, saying you were on your way to us." Willem of Carerina? Oh yes, I remembered that the Guild Master of the Adventurers Guild of Carerina was called Willem. The Dwarf, although short and obviously not young had a strength and dignity about him that impressed me. He caught my frank stare.

"Ho, is this your first time meeting a Dwarf? I'm surprised, we're not that uncommon in this country. You're headed to the Dungeon City of Doran after you leave here, right? There are quite a few Dwarf Adventurers and blacksmiths there." So there are Dwarves who are Adventurers too?

In Carerina I'd caught sight of Beastmen Adventurers a few times but never a Dwarf. Johan-ojisan had spoken of elves but that was another race I'd not encountered personally. Maybe when we got to Doran, a much larger city, I'd run into more of the other races in this world. Elves, maybe, I had a vision of elves as handsome men and beautiful women. If possible, I'd like to make the acquaintance of beautiful elf women...

"Oh, I forgot t'introduce myself." the Dwarf said with a start. "I'm the Guild Master of the Adventurers Guild of Claire. Name's Rodolpho. Nice to meet you." Saying that, Rodolpho-san took hold of my hand and shook it vigorously. He may have been getting on in years but like Johan-ojisan back in Carerina he still had his strength, I thought to myself as I surreptitiously massaged my fingers to restore the blood circulation.

"Right, we can't talk here, let's go to my room." He turned and stumped off. We followed Rodolpho-san into what was obviously his Guild Master's office. I sat down on a chair opposite his desk while Fer lay down in a space beside me and closed his eyes. Rodolpho-san studied the pretending-to-be-asleep figure of Fer with a keen eye.

"Hmpfh. I had heard all sorts of rumours, about how someone had taken a Fenrir as a contracted beast, then Willem got in touch about you and your companion there." He shrugged. "I was still skeptical, I thought it was too unlikely to be true but... well, I can see that's a legendary monster, right enough." He looked at me. "And I've heard you've got a strong Slime as another contracted demon, is that so?"

If I had heard the same rumours I'd be incredulous too until I came face to face with the legendary monster in question. Of course the legendary monster was Fer, a cry-baby who hated to be washed, a glutton who ate everything in sight, a slave-driving black-company boss who dragged me into impossible battles, who... well. Sui, of course had been growing and evolving so fast I was as much surprised at her abilities as the Guild Master was.

"So, you just arrived and it's impolite of me to hurry things along but can I discuss the request with you straight away?" Rodolpho-san said, getting down to business.

"Yes, please do." I said.

"Actually..." he explained that the object of the request was from a business called Bruno Company, a major customer of the Adventurers Guild in this city. The aim was to obtain the thread of a Venom Tarantula. The request was complicated by the fact the Venom Tarantula's habitat was the Forest of Ishtam to the north of the city, a dangerous place. The forest harboured many dangerous insect monsters like the A-ranked Giant Centipede as well as Venom Tarantulas.

"Insect monsters have few materials that can be profitably harvested and no Adventurers want to go into the forest because of the risks of being poisoned for little or no return, especially if they ended up facing A-rank monsters like the Giant Centipede I mentioned." Rodolpho-san sat back in his low chair. "Bruno Company have been pestering me about this request for a while now and it's getting to be a real problem for us."

Clothing made with Venom Tarantula thread is said to be the highest grade, used for aristocrats' dresses and outfits. A sudden order came in from an aristocrat who was a regular customer of Bruno Company and they panicked when they found they had no Venom Tarantula thread cloth in stock. Rodolpho-san had tried his best to collect Venom Tarantula thread to meet Bruno Company's needs but he was still a little short of the amount needed. So that was his request, basically. The Venom Tarantulas in the Forest of Ishtam had been left untouched until now because of the dangerous nature of the place but everywhere else had been picked clean, there were no Venom Tarantulas left elsewhere to hunt.

"So will you accept this request? Bruno Company is a regular and very lucrative customer of the Adventurer's Guild and we'd hate to disappoint them on this." Rodolpho-san looked troubled.

"Fer, what do you think?" I looked down at Fer who had opened his eyes. He had been listening to every word of Rodolpho-san's explanation, of course.

"Eh, bugs... I'm not fond of hunting bugs because they're mostly inedible. However the Venom Tarantula is one that can be eaten and they taste OK so that's something, and their bodies are huge too." Fer licked his muzzle, never a good sign when he was discussing large nasty monsters and the edibility thereof.

Edible spiders? "Can you really eat Venom Tarantula?"

"Well, as Fenrir-sama says," Rodolpho-san interjected, "insect-type monsters are not usually suitable for people to eat but among the edible types the Venom Tarantula is said to be the most delicious. Cooking it in salt is the recommended method of preparing them, apparently." Rodolpho-san thought for a moment before continuing.

"As I said earlier, there are only a few materials that can be harvested from an insect monster... Venom Tarantula's most important product is its thread of course but it also provides meat and there's a poison sac too, as usual in such an insect monster. The Venom Tarantula is B rank so there's no guarantee of a mana stone though." Rodolpho-san leaned forward. "Because the request is urgent the usual price for subjugation has been raised quite a bit. What do you say?"

It sounded like he was really desperate and I was keen to help out since I had just arrived in town but it would be up to Fer to do all the hard work.

"So Fer, is this a difficult request for you?" I asked Fer telepathically, already guessing what he'd reply.

"Don't be an idiot." He gave me That Look. "There's no such thing as a difficult request for me." He licked his muzzle again. "Anyway, if you're doing the cooking I'm expecting it to taste delicious, got it? Let's accept the request."

"It seems to be fine, we accept the request." I confirmed to Rodolpho-san.

"Oh, really? You've saved me." Rodolpho-san's relief was palpable.

"You sound like you're in a hurry so we'll get it done quickly for you." I offered.

"I am sorry to rush you but thanks for doing so."

I looked out the window of the office, it was approaching evening time. "Fer, how about tomorrow?" I asked him telepathically.

"Umu, that's fine by me." he confirmed.

"Well then, we'll go to the Forest tomorrow." I told the Guild Master.

"Wonderful. Come back safe, please."

"Oh, could you recommend us an inn where I can stay with a contracted monster?"

"Hmmm," Rodolfo-san thought for a moment, "I'd recommend the 'Spinning Wheel Inn' for you." He described how to find it and then after another knuckle-crushing handshake we left the Adventurers Guild.

"Fer, I want to have a look around the clothing shops before we head off to the inn." We had returned to the area with clothing shops I had visited earlier. As a city specialising in spinning and weaving the clothes on sale here were of noticeably better quality than anything I could have bought in Carerina. They were still quite plain in style and cut but the dyes and colours used were bright and solid.

"Oh, this looks good ... Fer, I will be in this shop for a while." An ivory shirt and dark-green trousers in a shop display had caught my attention. Everything I was wearing then was a dull brown-ish colour and the new clothes looked very desirable. Another thing was that all the clothing on display in this street was new, not second-hand as it was in other areas of the city and indeed in most clothing stores in other cities.

"Do you like them? One shirt is a gold coin and five silver coins, the trousers are 2 gold coins." the shop clerk explained. "If you bought our goods in another city they'd be twice the price but since they're made here they're a real bargain." He was trying hard to make the sale but I was ready to buy regardless. The cloth felt superior to the clothes I was already wearing, thicker and warmer too. The price seemed a bit high but I had plenty of money after all. I bought 3 shirts and 3 pairs of trousers in the end. The shirts were all ivory-coloured, the trousers were olive-green, a dark blue and a dark grey colour. It was impulse-shopping but I was quite satisfied with my purchases. I'd wear them tomorrow, I decided.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Ch 106 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 106 -- Peeping is Prohibited

"Er, can you hear me, goddesses?" I didn't quite know exactly how I communicated with them, radio waves maybe? but I thought just calling to them out loud would work. Perhaps.

"We hear you. We've been waiting for you, you know." Wind Goddess Ninril-sempai was the first to answer.

"Okay, I have something I want." Fire Goddess Agni, abrupt and pushy as usual.

"Oh, wait, wait!" That sounded like Earth Goddess Kishar.

"Food and sweets." Water Goddess Rusalka chimed in last, short and succinct as always.

... okay, that worked. I sort of expected it to for some reason. I took a deep breath, hoping against hope they'd not ask me for totally over-the-top things this time. Three silver coins worth per offering and no more, I reminded myself firmly.

"So, have you all decided what you want? Remember there's a limit of three silver coins for each of you. Please stick to it." If I didn't warn them up front then they'd surely try and extort more from me. Ninril-sama especially.

"Wh- Wh- why did you say my name like that?" I could hear the pout in deplorable Goddess-sama's voice. "I- I was going to stick to the limit exactly, I'll have you know. Th- three silver coins like you said." Really? Of course you were, I thought to myself, I was just making myself clear, Ninril-sama. I distinctly heard her pout again.

"Hey Ninril-chan, don't look so down-hearted." Kishar-sama chimed in. "Other-world-guy-kun told us three silver coins each. If you keep on arguing with him maybe we'll get less or maybe even nothing from him at all. You see that, don't you?"

"That's right. Don't be selfish and screw this sweet deal up for us, Ninril." Agni-sama jumped in.

"Ninril, not a good idea." That would be Rusalka-sama.

"Gubububuuuu..." Was she blubbering? "Even though I found him first and gave him my protection first, you know... Gubuuu." There was a pause then, in a little-girl voice, "I think that it's okay for me to get some preferential treatment..." Haa, Ninril-sama is the most deplorable goddess among all the goddesses indeed. I felt truly disappointed in her.

"Nuu, hey you, I've told you oh so many times that I'm not a deplorable goddess, so there!"

"Uhufufu, deplorable goddess. It suits you Ninril-chan." Kishar-sama stuck the knife in.

"Ahahahahahah, deplorable, that's you to a tee." Agni-sama gave the knife a twist.

"Exactly, deplorable goddess." and Rusalka-sama finished her off. I almost felt sorry for Ninril-sama. Almost.

"Muuu, why're you all being so mean to meeeeee-" Ninril-sama's usual Goddess-like behavior, no change there.

"Hey you, she's a goddess, really she is." Agni-sama seemed to be trying to convince herself of that, not me but... "You should show her some respect." Like you lot just did? I'll take it under consideration.

"Oh well, Ninril-chan calm down." Kishar-sama stepped in. "What did you say you were wanting as an offering today?"

"Well," she hiccuped, "naturally I'm hoping for sweets. And, I want some of that black drink and clear drink too this time round. They were delicious, you know." There was a pause. And? "Also, dorayaki." Bingo.

Kishar-sama is kind and obviously used to dealing with Ninril-sama. I had a vision of her as a Mama-san, wiping little Ninril-chan's tears after a tantrum and promising her a treat when they got home if she stopped crying. Somehow I got the impression of her winking at me...

"Ninril-sama wants sweet things and cola and cider, then." I confirmed. She was consistent in her desires at least. I opened Net Super and started loading up the cart with cakes and puddings and dorayaki of course and cookies and a couple of chocolate bars. I finished the order off with two 1.5 litre bottles of cola and cider.

"Next Goddess please-" It was like working behind the counter at a konbini. I idly wondered if the Net Super sold barcode scanners...

"Next is me, Kishar. That shampoo, treatment and hair wrap you offered to me last time worked really well." she said excitedly. "My hair's glossy again, not dry like it was and it's so easy to brush out now. And the fragrance! It smells so good and it's so soft and it's wonderful when I move, my hair bounces and... well, the male gods have started to notice me." There was a giggle. Mama- uh, Kishar-sama?

"Anyway," Kishar-sama continued, sobering up, "Didn't you say that there are dozens of different shampoos and such in the other world? I'd like to ask for shampoo, treatment and hair wrap again but with a different fragrance this time. Make it a nice one, please."

So it's shampoo, treatment and hair wrap for Kishar-sama this time too? Well, myself I rather enjoyed the smell of freshly washed hair. It seemed the male gods liked it too. The subtle fragrance from a nice shampoo is better than strongly-scented perfume in my opinion. So, let's see what I can offer to Kishar-sama this time. Flicking through the Net Super catalogue, I avoided rose scented products since that's what she received last time... Ah, this looks good. "Fruity-floral" scented, and there's a non-silicone oil treatment for damaged hair with the same fragrance to match, just like the last offering. Kishar-sama was worried about her damaged hair and this should be to her benefit again. The price was the same as the last time, shampoo, treatment and hair wrap were nine copper coins each.

"Kishar-sama, the shampoo, treatment and hair wrap I bought for you leaves three copper coins over, what should I do with the extra?"

"When other-world-guy-kun was taking a bath earlier you put some nice-smelling crystals into your bath. Bath salts? I'd like some of those, please."

Bath salts, that sounds fine. I changed the Net Super's page, bath salts, let's see... Hold on -- "Hey, how do you know that I use bath salts?" I asked indignantly.

"Well you know, when you were taking a bath earlier everybody was watching you in my scrying pool and..."

"Don't tell him, Ninril-chan!" Kishar-sama interjected, a little too late.

"Excuse me, goddesses, what do you think you're up to?" I asked coldly. "Peeking on someone having a bath is a crime!"

"No, no, we didn't do it deliberately, but while we were watching you, other-world-guy-kun, you started taking a bath and..."

"No no no, you just stop looking when that happens, don't you?" I protested.

"Umou, don't be silly, you're making a big fuss over just being seen naked, you know." Ninril-sama said in what I presume she thought was a conciliatory manner. No, Ninril-sama, what you just said is totally wrong. Men hate being seen naked just as much as women do. If I think that you are watching me I can't relax even though I'm having a well-earned bath and then what's the point?

"Well yeah. Saying that, you're pretty weedy-looking in my opinion, not much there to ogle anyway." Loose cannon Agni-sama stuck her oar in. Damnit, Agni-sama, I know I'm skinny and weak but men are not just muscles for your entertainment. I have other qualities like... ummm...

"Right, Ruka?" Agni-sama went on.

"............" (I'm not part of this)

"Anyway, please do not peek at me when I'm taking a bath." I took a deep breath. "I might stop making these offerings if it happens again."

"Awawawawa, I'll stop but you're being a meanie, you know."

"Okay, I get it."

"Yes we will."

"............" (agreement)

These deplorable goddesses quickly agreed with my totally reasonable request. Right then, back to business. I added citrus scented bath salts to Kishar-sama's offerings in the Net Super cart.

"Who's next?" I was maybe a bit more abrupt than before for some reason.

"Yeah, it's me, Agni. I'm good with getting booze, but is it okay for me to just get a single item this time?"

"It might be okay if it's just one you know, what does everyone else think?" Ninril-sama chimed in.

"Well, it sounds a bit odd to me that Agni only wants a single item..." Kishar-sama sounded doubtful.

"...... If only one" Rusalka-sama echoed Kishar-sama's suspicions.

"Agni, are you sure you're only wanting one thing?" Kishar-sama asked.

"Oh, I understand. Y'see I'm wanting a bottle of liquor, not just beer, something a bit stronger... (a big bottle) and some snacks like the last time, y'know the potato fries and the meat'n stuff."

Agni-sama, did I hear you right when you whispered "a big bottle" like you didn't want the others to know what you were asking for? Well one bottle is all right I suppose and if it doesn't cost over 3 silver coins then the others can't really complain.

If it's alcohol you're after then the first thing that comes to mind is whisky. I looked on Net Super and something I had seen a commercial for on TV turned up. A 700 millilitre bottle was one silver coin and four copper coins. I added some French fries and pork cutlets to the offering, fried mincemeat cakes and some Cheese IN burgers too. That made the offering about 3 silver coins, maybe a few coppers less. Ah, if I added in some soda water then Agni-sama could make highballs with the whisky... a PET bottle of soda water made the price up to three silvers exactly in the cart. Done.

"The last is Ruka-sama. What do you want?" I asked, more brusquely than I had intended.

"Sweets and food. More food this time." So you're wanting more cooked food this time? I took some hamburger and mincemeat cutlets from my Item Box but this time I added some prepared dishes from the Net Super, prawn croquettes and stir-fried shrimp in chili sauce, macaroni salad and baked omelette. I rounded up the offering to three silver coins worth with bread and onigiri rice balls plus some sweets and cakes.

Yes, that's everything, finally. I arranged each offering on four cardboard-box altars.

"Here are the items you asked for, goddesses. Please accept them." I prayed. The goods on the cardboard altars disappeared promptly followed by the sound of the exclamations of the goddesses receiving my offerings. This time there were no loud arguments which was something, I suppose. Ah, I should mention...

"Oh, Agni-sama, just to warn you since that whisky is quite strong, it's not a good idea to drink it quickly. You should sip it slowly and maybe with some ice in a glass. You might want to try mixing it with some of that soda water I also sent you as that makes it taste better."

"Oh, I got you. Thanks~ " the connection to the world of the gods broke off suddenly, as always. Ahhhh- finished at last. Every time I make offerings to the goddesses I get exhausted, it's never straightforward, well except for Ruka-sama. Time for bed. I slipped into the futon with Sui and went to sleep.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Ch 105 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 105 -- The First Day of the Trip and Shabu-Shabu

Fer sprinted along the highway connecting Carerina to our first destination, the town of Claire. I kept telling him to slow down in case I fell off but he was in a hurry and ignored me as usual. I had spent so much time riding on his back and I'd never fallen off before but still... the merchants, Adventurers and other travellers we encountered (briefly) on the road looked surprised at the sight of us passing them so swiftly.

Fer finally stopped. "This is far enough for today." he announced. I climbed off his back and sat down on the solid unmoving ground with a sigh of relief. I squinted at the sun, it wasn't evening yet...

"Aren't you stopping a bit early?"

"Nu, it's maybe a bit early but you were getting tired and I thought you might fall off." Fer's consideration for my well-being surprised me a little and naturally made me suspicious.

"I wasn't planning to fall off," I told him, "but if I had I'd be seriously hurt at that speed. That's why I was holding on so hard." I poked him in the ribs. "Take it easier tomorrow, hey?"

"I got it. Anyway we'll get to the city called Claire tomorrow."

"Eh, really?" The distance on the map had made me think it would take us longer than that. Just how fast had Fer been travelling?

"Umu, there are more and more signs of human activity along the road, that means there's a city up ahead and it's got to be Claire. Not much farther." Well, 'not much further' for Fer probably meant quite a distance to us mere mortals.

"If that's so why stop now? There's still quite a bit of daylight left." I wondered.

"It would be nice to get there today but I'm hungry right now." Fer said. I got the feeling he wasn't telling me the absolute truth but I let it go. I was getting hungry myself.

"Well, hang on while I make dinner." Today's meal was going to be shabu-shabu hotpot with thinly-sliced Wyvern meat as the main ingredient. Before going to bed yesterday I had soaked konbu seaweed in a big pot of water in preparation for making this dish. Now I had to buy vegetables and the like from the Net Super. What would be good, hmmm, Chinese cabbage, mizuna mustard greens, carrots, oh and of course green onions and maybe some enoki and shimeji mushrooms? Yoshi. As for the shabu-shabu sauces they were a given, they had to be citrus ponzu and gomadare sesame seed.

First of all I had to prepare the vegetables. I cut the Chinese cabbage into pieces then trimmed the mizuna mustard greens, removing the roots and chopping it into pieces about 5 cm long. The carrots were julienned into short thin strips, the same for the green onions to make them quick to cook but crisp to eat. I removed the root tips from the enoki and shimeji mushrooms and broke them up into easy-to-eat pieces ready for cooking.

I heated up the big pot of water then removed the konbu kelp before quickly shabu-shabuing the Wyvern meat and the vegetables in the boiling stock. I piled up the shabu-shabu meat and vegetables on dishes, adding citrus-flavoured ponzu sauce to start with.

"Fer, Sui? You awake?"

"Of course I'm awake." Fer was in his usual pre-dinner position, staring over my shoulder at the dish of food I had just prepared.

"Dinner, dinner-" Sui appeared from her satchel. Time to eat.

"Here you go." I presented the shabu-shabu dishes to the Gluttonous Duo, piled high since I knew their appetites.

"Umu, is this Wyvern meat?" Fer asked after taking a large mouthful. "It tastes a bit sharp somehow..." the rest of his comment was slurred as he was muzzle-deep in the shabu-shabu, "but I'll eat it anyway."

"Yeah yeah, it's got a sour flavour but that refreshes your mouth so you can eat as much meat as you want." Saying that I helped myself to my own dish of shabu-shabu, not wanting to be left behind before the inevitable demand for "seconds!" came. The ponzu sauce had a cleansing flavour that made me feel hungrier somehow and I dug in, unable to stop myself.

Hmm, I'd have to try the sesame sauce soon but first I shabu-shabued some more vegetables and dunked them in the ponzu to accompany the Wyvern meat. Munch munch, ohhh that's very tasty. Some more Wyvern meat and ponzu, more veggies, mmmm. The citrus sauce kept the fatty meat from being overbearing, the crisp veggies provided a good feel in my mouth. The meat was fantastic but the vegetable sides kept changing the taste of each bite. Delicious!

"Seconds!" came the chorus. Shabu-shabu, shabu-shabu, into the boiling stock pot and out again, dunking it into the gomadare sesame sauce this time.

"Here you are." I handed out two more dishes loaded with shabu-shabu, thankful that it was fast to cook.

"Oh, it tastes different~. But delicious too."

"Umu, it's delicious."

I made some more because I wanted to taste it myself. Shabu-shabu, veggies and mushrooms as well as meat. The enoki and Wyvern's meat in the sesame seed sauce... well, it just worked. The savoury fragrance of the sesame seed sauce meshed with the tender juicy meat flavours. I decided that both ponzu and gomadare sauce were delicious with Wyvern meat, in fact I couldn't choose between them despite them being so different in taste. I'd have both kinds of sauce for the next shabu-shabu, I told myself.

""Seconds!"" So fast? Sure enough the two dishes in front of Fer and Sui were empty again. I shouldn't let my mind wander like that otherwise I'd never get seconds of my own. Right then, I set to work, shabu-shabu shabu-shabu shabu-shabu shabu-shabu...

* * * * *

After the meal I made a box type 'house' to sleep in with my Earth magic, laying out Fer's futon inside beside my own.

"Hey Fer, I'm going to take a bath, you can go to sleep first if you want."

"Understood. I'll go to bed first then." Saying that Fer went into the 'house'. Right then, it's bath-time for me.

"Aruji, is a bath like in hot water?" Sui piped up.

"Yes, that's right. Do you want to come in too, Sui?"

"I want in-" Sui bounced happily while I made an enclosure with Stone Wall and took out the bath (My bath!) from my Item Box.

"Will you put some water here for me Sui?"

"Yes-" Sui filled the bath with fresh water and I heated it up with a Fireball. This time I judged it better and the temperature was just right first time. I reached into my Item Box and pulled out another Net Super purchase, something I hadn't thought about the first time I had taken a bath. Tadaa! It was a bath mat. My bare feet wouldn't end up all muddy afterwards.

"Right then, jump in first Sui." I  offered.

"Understood-" Splash! "S'warm, aruji-" Sui floated in the warm water like a large plastic bath toy, seemingly enjoying the experience.

I took off my clothes and thoroughly washed my hair and body. Rubbing the lather into my hair until it bubbled left me feeling refreshed. I rinsed myself off with more hot water from the bath. Oops, I nearly forgot the bath salts... it was my favourite sort, with a yuzu-based citrus-y smell, a bit like the ponzu sauce for the shabu-shabu, I thought to myself as I sniffed the fragrant warm vapour rising from the bath water.

"That smells nice." I said.

"Nice-" Sui agreed as I climbed in beside her.


After having enjoyed a bath with Sui I was getting ready to go to bed immediately after but I remembered something I had to do, unfortunately. That thing. I sighed but I knew I'd get no peace from certain personages if I put off any longer. It can't be helped, you made a deal didn't you? I told myself.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Ch 20 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

Ch 20 -- It Turns Out I'm Not Ugly, Apparently.

~ What has gone before ~
· There was a sneak-thief in the bathroom. (※ not)
· A blonde busty robber wearing a white one-piece dress, a super-cute girl (who, it turned out was a total airheaded idiot.)

* * * * *

A Doppelganger? Turning back around I looked closely at my opponent. The blonde-haired sneak-thief girl was behaving very suspiciously. Why, for instance, did she imitate my every move? And there was another intruder who looked just like Sumirena-san (?) inside the bathroom and she was having problems controlling her laughing the same way the real Sumirena-san behind me was.

"Sumirena-san, what does this mean ...."

"R- Richy-chan, how are you going to capture yourself? Who's going to capture who?" Sumirena-san burst out laughing again. "Oh dear, this is soooo funny!" More peals of laughter followed. "Silly Richy-chan is too cute! Ha ha ha ha!"

Wait. Wait a minute. Is it really-? Let me check this.

"No way, no way, no way," I mumbled repeatedly as I gazed at the head of a girl... with horns peeping though her beautiful blonde hair. I pinched my cheek to see if I was dreaming and (of course!) the girl whose ultra-pretty face had a stunned look from shock, just like me, pinched her other cheek with her other hand. It couldn't be...

"A- a mirror?"

"Ufufu. Richy-chan, did you really not know what your own face looked like?" Sumirena-san sobered up. "I'm really sorry for making fun of you. It's just that you were being so serious and cute because of it I couldn't help myself, you see." she said bluntly.

I collapsed onto a seat, my eyes fixed on the mirror. As Erim had predicted I was shocked by the first sight of my new face, but not in the way I had expected. On the contrary. Very much on the contrary. My face wasn't homely after all. Sumirena-san left me to stare into the mirror uncomprehendingly for a while then she offered me a hand to help me stand up again.

"Have you settled down a bit?"

"Oh, well..." I was still shaken by the revelation of how much my face had changed. I should have been mad about being misled by Erim and Sumirena-san, why hadn't they just said it to me out loud? That I was... well, beautiful? But they didn't know that I didn't know so why tell me? And... my mind was circling around, shocked, unable to process the unbelievable new knowledge. My eyes tracked back to the mirror again, and the beautiful face in the mirror, my face...

"Sleepwear for Richy-chan," Sumirena-san broke in to my frozen thoughts. "You can use my pyjama bottoms but my tops just won't fit. Are you OK with using one of Erim's tops for tonight?"

"Your tops won't fit? But I'm about the same height as Sumirena-san, why wouldn't your pyjama top fit me?" I asked, puzzled.

Sumirena-san smiled and lifted my breasts in her hands. "Hehe, it's the size of your boobs, they're completely different to mine. Didn't you really realise that?" She juggled the masses, eliciting an indelicate moan from my lips. "Oh dear, they're overflowing my hands. I'm envious, you know."

"Ahh, that... please, uh... can you stop that. My knees are trembling..."  Sumirena-san didn't stop though.

"Looking like that, I'm pretty confident you'll have a warm welcome here, Richy-chan."

What are you so confident about!? What "welcome" are you referring to, and where is "here"? I wanted to ask but I couldn't, fearing the answer. I had a hunch it wasn't going to be good for me.

"Let's get on, then." Sumirena-san said, finally removing her hands from my breasts, a little late as I felt my knees buckle again and a strange heat percolate through my stomach. Was it something I ate?

"You don't have any underwear, I know," she said, "but it's okay to sleep tonight without wearing any I suppose. If you really want to wear something though I'll lend you some panties."

"What, your panties Sumirena-san?" I said, eyes wide.

"Yeah, these ones. Don't worry, I washed them properly." Sumirena-san said, holding out a small bundle of pink cloth. That precious treasure, she was offering it to me to wear?


"Richy-chan?" Sumirena-san enquired.

"............................................this feeling......just............"

"OK. I can see you're unnerved about wearing them, Richy-chan but for myself when I go to bed I feel uneasy without having underwear on." Sumirena-san went on. "Let's go buy you some of your own tomorrow."

The long silence was for different reasons, Sumirena-san, but I'm happy if you think that way. Right now the idea of wearing women's underwear frightens me and if the original owner is standing there holding them out to me, that makes things even worse.

"Buying some..., uh you said, I, money..." I stuttered.

"You don't have to worry. You can pay me back with your body." Sumirena-san said.

"My b-body!"

"Don't you want to help out in the tavern? Why, what strange thing did you think I meant?" she said with an evil smile.

"Ah, that's right! That's right! Working in the tavern, of course!" I was totally embarrassed, my perverted imagination running away with me for a moment in front of this woman. The odd way Sumirena-san had asked me to work here had made me think for a moment that she was some kind of lesbian.

"But if you tell me that you want to pay me back with a different kind of physical, ahh effort, I wouldn't mind that at all." She leered at me as I shrank back. "I love cute girls - I love them love them love them, and your Succubus powers don't work on me so you can't steal my essence and there's no chance of me dying by mistake if you get carried away while we're being intimate." She laughed. "There's no danger of me becoming pregnant either since we're both girls, right?"

Ehh? Did she just say all that out loud... my brain froze solid for a moment.

"He he, just kidding Richy-chan," she smiled. "You're so easy to tease I can't stop myself." She started to put the clean laundry away. "Don't worry about it, Richy-chan, it will be fine if you help us out serving in the tavern. Just do your best."

"I was surprised, you were joking all the time?" I breathed a sign of relief.

"Ummm," Sumirena-san said, tilting her head and staring at my face. "It wasn't entirely a joke."

"Uh, what?"

"Because you're really cute-looking Richy-chan." she asserted.

"Me, I'm cute...?" was she teasing me again?

"You don't believe me? You said yourself earlier you had seen a really pretty girl in here, didn't you?" she pointed to the mirror which I was steadfastly refusing to look into.

"Well, I did say that, or did I..." I struggled to remember.

"You don't have to deny it, you're very pretty, Richy-chan. Really really cute." Sumirena-san pressed on.

"Stop saying that, please stop." I begged.

"Why? You're really cute, so cute I want to eat you ou- ah, up." She looked away, her face and ears reddened. "Richy-chan is definitely cute. I want to... well, you know."

"Please stop calling me cute!" I exclaimed. "And, 'you know' is right out!" Whatever 'you know' was. Sumirena-san's teasing was making my whole body tingle for some reason and I wanted to dive into a hole and disappear, if I only had a hole to dive into.

"That's odd," Sumirena-san said thinking hard. "Is it just that you're not used to being complimented and being told you're pretty? I thought you'd be pleased when I said you're cute-looking."

"No way!"

"Would you object if I licked that juicy body of yours all over, princess?"

"No way...!" Uh, wait, what did she just say? I was feeling dizzy...

"Ho ho ho, I love girls who like the things I like, that's all." she said. "Well then, I have a question to ask you. I've told you repeatedly that you're a pretty girl but you don't seem to like it. Would you really prefer it if I said you were an ugly bitch instead? I can't believe you'd be happy with hearing that."

"Are you really asking me such an unpleasant question?" I asked, annoyed. I wasn't wanting to be called an 'ugly bitch' but being called a pretty girl, in its own way that was a disturbing thing to say to a 17-year old male hikikomori.

"I am." Sumirena-san said soberly. "I'm asking because I'm trying to find out who you really are, Richy-chan. We're going to be living together and I need to know if you're the sort who would lie to me, deceive me and if you're ready to lie to yourself about your own attractiveness as a woman well then..." she shrugged. "You're also going to be my employee in the tavern, don't you think it's natural for me to care about that side of things? I'll have to trust you a lot when you're working for me and that's my main worry."

"'ve got a point." I couldn't fault her argument.

"So easy..." Sumirena-san muttered under her breath.

"What did you say?"

"Nothing, nothing. So what's it to be?"

" that case," I agreed reluctantly, "If you want to say that I'm pretty then I'm fine with that." The phrase 'ugly bitch' was normally only used by women trash-talking other women when I thought about it. It's not nice.

"Huh, it's good that you can be honest about yourself. Right then, next question. If I call you cute will it make you angry?"

"It doesn't make me angry." I said tersely. It made me feel... well, annoyed but not angry. Quite.

"But you don't want me to say it do you?" Sumirena-san asked perceptively.

"Honestly ... I don't really understand why but right now hearing you say it gives me the creeps." It was like the feeling of being an innocent younger brother being manipulated into agreeing to do something wrong by a more experienced older sister. No, I never experienced such a situation in my previous life by the way.

Because I was a man inside, Sumirena-san's 'pretty' and 'cute' hit me hard because I wasn't used to such words applying to me and I couldn't adjust easily to the idea of being happy that she was saying those things about me. If she had said I was attractive then that would be fine even though it would have been the first time ever someone had said that about me too. But cute? If I was asked which one was better then ten times out of ten I would have said 'attractive'. However, Sumirena-san obviously intended 'cute' as a compliment without any intention of insulting me so I could bear hearing her say it without being offended. I couldn't convince myself I was happy about it though.

"I understand." Sumirena-san nodded. "Until you get used to your appearance, Richy-chan, I won't say much more on the subject." She clapped her hands. "Now that's out of the way, let's take a bath." Saying that Sumirena-san started to take off her apron.

"……What are you doing?" I exclaimed, eyes wide.

"Now that we're going to be living and working under the same roof I though we could strengthen our relationship even more by having a bath together."


* * * * *

Next time! Skinship!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Ch 104 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 104 -- Setting Off.

The next morning we went to the Adventurers Guild and, as had become commonplace, as soon as I appeared a staff member went off to call the Guild Master. After greeting him we went down to the familiar warehouse to meet with Johan-ojisan.

"I'm all done, sonny." He waved a hand at the pile of materials nearby. "There's the meat from six Wyverns, the six mana stones and six skins for ya." I put the meat, mana stones and skins away in my Item Box as the Guild Master started to explain the details of my payment, reading from a sheet of paper.

"The breakdown is like this," he said, "The first part is the subjugation request payment. It was an urgent request so it's a premium payment, 840 gold coins. Now buying in the materials, there's 13 sets of fangs making 169 gold coins, 13 poison sacs making 143 gold coins, 13 poison stings are 169 gold coins as well, that's from all the monsters." He traced a line on the paper with his finger. "You're selling us the skins and mana stones from 5 Wyverns, that's 1000 gold coins for the skins and 1650 gold coins for the mana stones. That comes to a grand total of," he paused dramatically, checking the paper again, "3971 gold coins." He folded the paper with some satisfaction. "As before we'll pay you with 397 large gold coins and a single gold coin if that's all right with you?"

That's a lot of money. Having that much money was a bit troubling but it wasn't as bad as having too little, I supposed. We were going on a long trip so I'd get a chance to spend some of it on the way. Something worried at me, what the Guild Master had said previously... ummm, think, think, oh yes...

"Wait, didn't you tell me the payment was going to be more than 2,500 gold coins? What you're paying me is a lot more than that, surely?" I wondered if he had made a mistake somewhere.

"Oh, my estimate earlier?" The Guild Master nodded. "That was based on the regular purchase prices for Wyvern materials but the skins were in better than usual condition hence the higher price we're paying for them. There's also the urgency of the subjugation request." Oh, I see. "Having you and your contracted beasts staying here when the Wyverns arrived was a lifesaver. I could have conscripted all the Adventurers over C rank and with the aid of the Knight's Order we would have fought the Wyverns but we would have suffered many casualties trying to defeat them. I've increased the amount we're paying you for the subjugation for that reason."

So that's why the payment is so high? I'm sorry. Fer and Sui were knocking those Wyverns out of the sky and slicing their heads off, chop chop chop, they weren't even able to fight back ha ha ha. I'm glad you didn't see Fer and Sui enjoying themselves like that when you were back here in the Adventurers Guild worrying about us. I'd have to buy something for Fer and Sui as a reward, I decided. It would have to be food related, knowing those two gluttons.

Fer and Sui are too strong, really. Sui especially has evolved and is still getting stronger. Would she evolve some more? I couldn't guess but it was likely. It was almost scary how powerful she had become already. She's still cute though so I shouldn't worry.

A staff member appeared carrying a large and very heavy-looking hemp bag. "Well then, here's 397 large gold coins and 1 gold coin." The Guild Master said, handing the bag of coins off to me. I didn't bother counting it in front of him, I didn't want to appear greedy and the Adventurers Guild had always been properly correct in their dealings with me before so I just put the bag into my Item Box.

"Are you leaving Carerina immediately then?" The Guild Master enquired.

"Yes." I confirmed. We had everything we wanted here and Fer was eager to eat seafood. I wanted to see more of this world too.

"Claire, Doran, Neihof, we have already sent messages to the Guild Masters of the Adventurers Guild in each city on your route to Berleean on the coast. Please don't forget." The Guild Master reminded me.

"Yes, I understand. We'll listen to requests while we're visiting each city, don't worry. I plan to do a lot of sight-seeing."

"I'm indebted to you." The Guild Master said formally. "The Guild Masters of each city are eagerly waiting your arrival." Well, what they're waiting for is for us to turn up and deal with outstanding high-ranking subjugation requests but it was the same thing, sort of, they'd still be pleased to see us.

"Fer, Sui and I are all indebted to you and the Adventurers Guild here in Carerina for many things." I replied equally formally. "Remember that we'll be back in about half a year's time to collect the items I've ordered from Lambert-san so I'll be able to meet with you again."

"Of course of course, I'll be waiting." The Guild Master smiled, shaking my hand. "Please come back safely."

"Yep sonny, sooner you get back here the sooner I can get to work and make more money." Johan-ojisan grinned as he pumped my hand. I finished saying my farewells to the Guild Master and Johan-ojisan and left the Adventurers Guild.

"Well then, shall we go?" I said to Fer.

"Umu. The sooner we're done at Claire the better. Get on." Fer was eager to get moving. Yeah yeah, I guess you just want to get to Doran, the Dungeon City as soon as possible. Tough, I'm planning to stay in Claire for a few days, I thought to myself as I climbed on Fer's back and we headed off, leaving Carerina behind.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Ch 103 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 103 -- 100% Wyvern Meat Hamburger

Since we were leaving this city the next day I wanted to prepare a lot of assorted dishes for the trip. I borrowed the inn's courtyard again to carry out all the cooking I'd need to do. What to cook though?

Well, I knew deep-fried food was a sure thing for my two companions (and me too of course) so kaarage it was. I started with Red Serpent, Black Serpent, Rockbird and Giant Dodo each with salt and soy sauce marinades. Pork cutlets and the ever-popular cheese IN chicken cutlets were next up. I dug out the remaining ground-up meat from my Item Box and made mincemeat cutlets before deep-frying them too. I experimented by making some mincemeat cutlets with cheese IN since Sui liked cheese. What next? Hamburger? But I had just used up all the ground meat... ah well, I can make more. I fed Orc General meat and Bloody Horn Bull meat into the mincer and started turning the handle round and round. Eventually my arm hurt but I had a large amount of minced meat ready to use.

"Is this enough?" I shrugged. "Fu ~ I'm tired. It'll do for now." What next? Remembering the taste of the Wyvern meat from yesterday I thought that cooking it shabu-shabu or sukiyaki hotpot style, thinly-sliced and boiled quickly in soup then dunked in sauce might work. The thick steaks of seared Wyvern meat had been delicious, cooking them that way should be good too. I sliced a lot of Wyvern meat ready to cook shabu-shabu later, piling it up on plates, covering it with clingfilm and storing it back in my Item Box. I reckoned that hotpot would be a welcome change along the way as we travelled.

Slicing the Wyvern meat this way I ended up with a lot of cut-offs. Staring at them I had an inspiration -- I'd make some 100% Wyvern meat hamburgers. I had seen a teevee program once where the presenters turned trims and scraps of Wagyu beef left over from preparation of other gourmet dishes into 100% Wagyu hamburger so me doing it with the leftover Wyvern meat should work the same way. As I remembered it the teevee show presenters put nutmeg in their recipe so I'd follow their example. I don't usually put nutmeg in hamburgers, it's not a good idea to just throw everything you might think of into a recipe after all but in this case it was worth a try since I was using such high-quality meat. The presenters had said it improves the flavour after all. I didn't have any nutmeg to hand since I don't normally use it in cooking so I bought some on Net Super.

First I chopped up some onions finely, fried them until they were well-browned and then set them aside to cool. I didn't run the Wyvern meat through the mincer, instead I chopped it up with a sharp knife. If I minced it too finely the fatty marbling in the meat would make it fall apart when it was fried.

I'm a true believer of the 'onions in hamburger' faction so I stirred lots of browned onions into the roughly-chopped Wyvern meat. The chopped meat might seem a little bit lumpy to some hamburger enthusiasts but I reckoned it would add to the taste since you'd be exposed to the texture of the meat a little. I added breadcrumbs and egg for a binder and some nutmeg, salt and pepper to finish and stirred the mixture thoroughly before rolling it into balls and pressing them flat to make patties.

I cooked some of the patties, about a minute at medium heat and then at low heat for about 4 minutes then flipped them and repeated that cooking on the other side. I added some sake and ketchup to the sauce as usual before covering the pan to steam the meat but this time I included some butter too. I figured it would complement the tenderness of the Wyvern meat.

"Right then, where have Fer and Sui got to..." I wondered, looking up from the stove as the hamburgers finished cooking.

"Ahem." "Aruji-". They were both waiting right behind me. What a surprise. Not.

"Here you are." I dished out some 100% Wyvern meat hamburgers which they immediately started to eat.


"Wow - it looks delicious-"

They both began to eat 100% Wyvern meat hamburger. Watching them I couldn't stop myself from eating some too since I knew from bitter experience there'd be little left for me if this was a success. Memories of three meagre pieces of kaarage between two slices of bread floated through my mind as I took my first bite of the hamburger.

Wow, the juicy hamburger overflowed with gravy. The roughly-chopped texture of the meat felt good in the mouth. It's a pain to chop up meat with a knife rather than mince it but it definitely added to the enjoyable flavour of the hamburger.

"Mmmm, is this Wyvern meat?" Fer inquired.

"Oh, that's right, you can taste the delicious Wyvern meat, we can eat it like this too?" Sui chimed in.

"Sure, it's delicious isn't it? Because the meat's chopped up you can feel the firm taste."

"Yeah yeah, this is delicious~. Sui wants more."

"Me too." said Mister Redundant.

I started cooking more 100% Wyvern meat hamburgers for Fer and Sui (and myself). In the end all the surplus Wyvern meat cutoffs and trims that I had planned to store in my Item Box for the forthcoming trip had been turned into 100% Wyvern meat hamburgers and stored in the bellies of Fer and Sui (and me too, of course).

I shrugged, wiping the last of the gravy off my lips. They both ate their fill and the Wyvern meat scraps didn't go to waste, a double bonus.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Ch 19 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

Ch 19 -- Hey, It's Time For a Bath

~ What has gone before ~
Going commando turned out to be a good thing for some strange reason and I was allowed to freeload here.

* * * * *

The time had come at last. I may be in a different world now but my fundamental lifestyle will not change. I get up early in the morning, I go to bed every night. I take a bath before going to bed. I bathe. I go in the bath. Because bathing is extremely important to me I said it three times in different ways.

Now I stood in front of the door to the bathroom. Somehow I'd gained Sumirena-san's trust... I tried not to think of exactly how that had happened, anyway she had politely given her consent that that I could stay at the tavern free of charge.

"A lot has happened today and you must be tired." Sumirena-san said. "Please take a bath while I prepare a room for you, Richy-chan." She gestured to her younger brother. "Erim here will sort out bedding for your companion animal. We've got a spare horse stall in the stables behind the tavern which we're not using at the moment. Can you groom it too for Richy-chan?"

"Leave that to me." Erim said eagerly. "And if there's anything else you need done just tell me, Richy-san." I was a bit worried about him what with that excessive nosebleed he suffered when he saw my... ahem, was he really up to carrying out a lot of strenuous work after losing that much blood? But he seemed so keen to help out, what could I say? Friendship, isn't it great?

And because of this I, a sudden unexpected house-guest was going to have first dibs on the bath.

"This is a woman's body I'm in, sure enough." I thought to myself. "Even though I'm actually a guy inside that's not how I look to everyone else any more, is it?" I really wasn't sure what I should think about it, it wasn't really real to me yet. But having a bath, I had a hunch I was going to be facing my changed condition head on.

"Ah... I don't want to see it..." but I couldn't take a bath while wearing clothes, could I? In other words for the first time since I had been reincarnated was going to get an clear unobstructed look at the figure of the woman I had become. Yes, it's my own body now, I shouldn't be shy or nervous about seeing myself naked, maybe I'm being overly self-conscious about such a thing. Anyone watching me fret over such a thing might well be amused.

Look, it's not that I'm shy about such things normally, or ashamed. It's just this body is... different. And novel. And intriguing. And tempting. And... well, although I'm still disturbed about my new body I'm just a little bit interested in it too. A bit.

That's normal, isn't it? I am an adolescent boy, mentally anyway. Regardless whether this really is my body or not, man's quest to discover the mysteries of a woman's body is an eternal struggle but for me that search is nearly at an end.

My greatest fear though, was not of seeing my body but my face. From the reaction of Erim and gatekeeper-san on first catching sight of me I had concluded my face was particularly unpleasant-looking. It seemed bad enough to cause people to faint, indeed.

"My body seems to be nice enough, from what I can see..." Letting my gaze fall, undeniably outstanding twin mounds caught my undivided attention for a moment, the shadowed valley between them an enticing unknown. Continuing, below and overshadowed by them, my waist was narrow and tight with little sign of fat. My butt was fleshy but firm, not too big or too small. Of course this was my bird's-eye view, I didn't know how my body would look to others. Maybe my judgement is biased in that regard. However that was only distracting me from my real problem, my face. No matter how cute the "Nice Body!" looked it wouldn't make up for a face like a zombie. If fact, horrible features on a sweet-looking body would double the repulsion in all likelihood. Thinking about it only made my facial features even worse in my mind. Time to find out! I slapped both cheeks to fire myself up and took a deep breath.

There's no running away from this, Riichi, I told myself. You have been reborn, literally. Remember what you said once, if you ever got the chance to start over again, what you wanted to do?

I wanted to change myself, to save myself from being weak. I swore I'd get stronger, didn't I? You can't run away, you can't look away. Face up to what you've become, whatever it looks like. You can do it, you can't hide in fear from it. Compared to the fear of being attacked by the orc this is nothing. Don't look back, look forward and face what is in front of you!

I sighed. I had wasted enough time overthinking the problem as usual, putting off actually doing anything. Right, so my face is homely, no, ugly. So what, I won't die from seeing it for myself and it's what's behind the face that's important, right? I prayed for a second then feeling a bit more cheerful, I grasped the doorknob and opened the door. There was someone already in there.

"I'm very sorryyyyyy!!" I closed the bathroom door at the speed of light, did a right about face and ran off, not looking back. My resolve to face what was in front of me had lasted less than five seconds.

"I should have asked, I should have asked if anyone was in the bath before me." There was a girl inside the bathroom, but it wasn't Sumirena-san. I thought that only Erim and Sumirena-san lived here together? She had told me to go into the bath but... I was confused. Sumirena-san appeared carrying some neatly folded clean laundry in her hands.

"Oh, Richy-chan, haven't you gone into the bath yet? You're not even undressed-"

"I can't, there's someone already in there!" I exclaimed.

"Well, there shouldn't be..." Sumerina-san said with a puzzled expression. "Maybe it's Erim sneaking in to peep on you?"

"Believe a little more in your younger brother! Besides it was a girl, not Erim!"

"What kind of a girl?" she enquired.

"She was blond, a really cute-looking girl!" I said. Sumerina-san's puzzlement cleared up suddenly.

"So she's cute with blond hair? That girl, was she wearing a white one piece dress by any chance?"

"I can't say if it was a one piece dress but I think that her outfit was white." In a 2-D manga or anime when a boy like me opened a bathroom door and discovered a girl inside, she'd be naked or at least she'd be in her underwear. This girl was fully dressed though. Did Sumirena-san know who the girl was?

"Were her breasts really big?" Sumirena-san's face was stiff as if she was trying to hold back some emotion.

"...Well, her chest did look like it was big. Do you have any idea who it is?"

"I have no idea who they might be." she said with a strange smile on her features. Was she playing with me? She seemed quite unconcerned about the intrusion of a stranger into her home. "If there's someone in the bathroom, Richy-chan then it can mean only one thing." She paused, leaving me trembling in anticipation.

"A robber." she declared ominously.

"As I thought. I couldn't be sure though."

"Waah! What'll we do? I'm scared..." Sumirena-san said but she didn't sound scared for some reason. Her slender shoulders shook a little and for a moment I thought she was laughing but I decided it was my imagination.

Seeing the terrified woman before me, the male protective instinct which remained an indelible part of me burst into flaming life, fuelling my fighting spirit and calling me to duty. Yes, even though my male body had been destroyed my male essence was immortal. It will always be the purpose of a true man to protect a weak woman.

"They've not come out this door, Is there any other way to escape from the bathroom?" I asked.

"No," Sumirena-san said. "There are only small windows in the bathroom, they're not big enough for anyone to get through." That meant the robber was still definitely inside. Should I call Erim? But if the opponent had any weapons it's unlikely Erim's limited physical strength could overcome them, indeed it was possible he could be badly hurt. Or even killed...

"Stand back, please Sumirena-san." I declared. "I'll catch the sneak thief inside the bathroom." I swallowed. "If I don't succeed, then go down to Erim in the stables and escape on Minoko, please."

"Richy-chan, you're so brave." Sumirena-san said, eyes sparkling.

"Please be ready to run away at any time. I'll need to borrow a towel." When an opponent possesses blunt instruments or even knives the shonen mangas I had read suggested a good makeshift form of protection is to wrap a towel several times around a forearm. I did this on my left arm leaving my right free to grapple with. But what if they could use magic or maybe fly...? I decided I'd deal with that if it happened.

My opponent was a girl just like me but as long as I could surprise them then I was sure I could win. A girl though, and cute-looking too... I hardened my heart. No matter how pretty you are, home invasion is indisputably a crime. Don't blame me if you get hurt and start to cry.

I stepped up to the bathroom door as before but this time with a burning heart filled with justice ready to protect this house. I gripped the doorknob and stepped boldly into the bathroom.

"You're trapped! Surrender!" I cried. As expected the dirty sneak thief was still inside the bathroom. Her hair was identical to mine in colour and length but her face was... gorgeous. Her wide red eyes were beautiful like scarlet jewels and her tiny mouth with tightly clenched lips was lovely like a cherry bud. Right now she was frowning but if she laughed I thought she would surely make the flowers bloom and the surroundings glow.

Even seeing her for the second time I was startled by her appearance. I could look into those scarlet eyes forever, I thought to myself. Why such a girl was a thief... the question grew in my mind. However she was my opponent but it didn't look like she was going to fight and there was no sign she had tried to escape. She didn't have any weapons but she had a towel wrapped around her right arm like the one I had wrapped around my left.

I was suddenly startled as another figure appeared behind the girl with blond hair, another person...

"Sumirena......san?"It was another Sumirena-san. What? I turned quickly and Sumirena-san was close behind me in the doorway. Huh? She was holding her sides and shaking with laughter.

* * * * *

I quickly learned that Erim's older sister liked to make fun of stupid youngsters like me.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Ch 102 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 102 -- Wyvern Meat = Wagyu A5 Quality Beef

"Right then Fer, I have to deliver a Wyvern's skin to Lambert-san's store so I'll be stopping by there for a moment."

"I understand. Please do it quickly." Fer was drooling again. Was Wyvern meat really THAT good?

Lambert-san was the only person in the front part of the store when I entered. I got straight down to business, Fer's enthusiasm for dinner was starting to get to me too.

"Lambert-san, I brought the Wyvern skin as agreed."

"Oh, excellent. This way please." Lambert-san led me through to the drawing room at the back of the store where I laid the bundle of Wyvern skin on a table.

"I'd like a cloak and a belt with a sheath and shoes made from this, please."

"Yes, indeed." muttered Lambert-san, tearing his eyes reluctantly from the bundle of raw leather on the table. He didn't drool like Fer, quite. "Very well, can you please wait a moment?" He was quickly back to business and left the room before returning a few moments later.

"Right then, here is a receipt for your order and proof I have taken in the Wyvern skin."

Lambert-san handed me a wooden tag with the day's date and the details of my order burned into it. The fact I had handed over a Wyvern skin to Lambert-san was also recorded on it.

"Since we will give you the goods in exchange for this tag in half a year's time, please do not lose it." Lambert-san laughed. "Well, in your case even if you lose the tag it should be all right as I'm not likely to forget you or your order, Mukouda-san."

"No, I will be very careful not to lose it." I said. "I am looking forward to collecting my order in half a year's time." I thought for a moment. "I'm intending  to leave this city soon, Lambert-san. If you need to contact me or know my whereabouts you should speak to the Guild Master of the Adventurers Guild. I've told him you may wish to get in touch with me and I said it's all right to pass on any messages from you through the other Adventurers Guilds in the cities I'll be visiting. I can pass any replies back to you in the same way."

"Oh, are you going to leave us?" Lambert-san said in surprise. "I am much in Mukouda-san's debt for various things."

"No no, thank you for your help. This city has been a delight to stay in." Well, apart from the Wyvern attack and rampaging Bloody Horn Bulls and the goblin village and... but those downsides were mostly attributable to Fer's battle mania. "I will return in half a year's time when the cloak and other items should be ready." I bowed to him. "Thank you again."

"No, it's me that should be thanking you. I will have your tailor-made goods ready for your return."

"Yes, thank you." After handing the Wyvern skin over to Lambert-san we left the store.

"Hey Fer, since we're heading to the ocean, should we just get started when I get the money for the Wyvern's subjugation and purchases the day after tomorrow?" I didn't know, maybe he wanted to hang around for a bit longer here.

"Yes." Fer replied promptly. "I got interested when I heard about the Dungeon City. I want us to go there right now, in fact."

"No, I don't care how many times you say it, I won't enter another dungeon. Anyway, we're going to visit a city called Claire before we get to Doran where the dungeon is. You're going to have to wait."

"Muu, that's right, that's what you agreed. We have to take those requests?"

"Yes we do. But are they really going to be so easy for you, Fer?" I was a bit worried although I'd seen Fer knock down assorted high-ranking monsters the way only a thousand-year-old super-powered Fenris monster blessed by a Goddess could.

"Hey, there's nothing out there I can't deal with. I'll polish off any requests waiting for us at Claire quick and then we can head straight towards the Dungeon City."

"We won't get there soon." I corrected him. "This country's given us permission to go where we want in return for handling a few requests. I'd like to indulge myself, do a bit of sightseeing while visiting Claire." I looked down at the drab clothing I was wearing. "That city's famous for spinning and weaving so I want to get some new clothes as well. I'm going to stay there for a few days."

"Muu, a dungeon..." Stop whining, Fer. It doesn't suit you and that expression isn't going to work on me.

"The dungeon in Doran won't run away so we don't need to be in such a hurry. It's a good idea to take a look around as we go and take our time." I said firmly.

"Nuu, it can't be helped." Fer moped.

* * * * *

We got back to the inn a few minutes later and Fer perked up.

"So then, what do you want to eat?" I asked, redundantly. I knew that Fer had been thinking of nothing else all the way back from Lambert-san's store, looking at the ropes of saliva hanging from his muzzle.

"Umu. Wyvern meat."

"Yeah yeah." I took some Wyvern meat out of my Item Box. No matter how you looked at it, this meat was obviously top-quality material. It looked exactly like Wagyu A5 ranked beef which you sometimes see in magazines and TV gourmet special feature shows. The fat marbled through the meat made it look truly exceptional.

It is said that the meat quality will depend on what the animal was eating and just looking at this meat I guessed Wyverns must have been regularly eating something good. It was a powerful monster though so I had to wonder about that. This kind of meat may just simply be the most delicious regardless of the creature's diet. Magic? I remembered the Wyvern mana stones Johan-ojisan had presented me with, did they have something to do with it? I tore my eyes from the vision of marbled Wyvern meat before me, thinking hard about what to cook but there was only really one answer.

"Steak." I muttered, opening the Net Super. Given the obvious excellence of the meat I'd only use salt and pepper, but it had to be the best salt and pepper for this dish. Looking through the sales listings for salt, one particular product caught my eye. What's this "sea salt evaporated in a salt pan for over a year by the Sun"? Okay, I bought a pack of this high-priced gourmet salt. After that, pepper. I chose black peppercorns, still in the bottle to keep them fresh. Turning the top of the bottle milled the corns and ground them directly onto the product below.

There would only be these two additions to the meat, no sauces or sides. I also bought some wine to enjoy with such a simple dish because, well, I would enjoy it. Time to get cooking. Firstly I cut the Wyvern meat thickly into steaks then I put a little oil in a frying pan, turning the heat up high. I figured the fat in the Wyvern meat would compensate for the small amount of oil I added. I dashed salt and pepper on both sides of a steak and cooked it. Meat of this quality cries out to be cooked rare so I quickly scorched both sides before removing it from the pan and letting it rest on the plate for a minute.

It looked really delicious. OK, first of all, a taste... Munch.

...Well. I couldn't believe it, how deliciously delicious it was. It melted between my teeth, the meat flavours filling my mouth. It tasted as good as it looked, no, better. I recalled the domestically produced Wagyu steak I ate once in a famous store when I got a bonus at work. This Wyvern steak was tastier than that.

"Hey, hurry up, I want to eat that too."

"Sui wants to eat it too-"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I'll cook it right now for you." I heated up the frying pan again. "Because this meat is delicious by itself I think that it's better to cook it simply with just some salt and pepper for seasoning." I explained unnecessarily. I felt unworthy, as if the Wyvern's meat was too good for the likes of me to be cooking it never mind eating it.

"Anything is good, just do it quick." Fer the Glutton ordered, the drool from his muzzle reaching down to the ground.

"Aruji, hurry-" Sui the Glutton chimed in, jumping around eagerly.

I grilled Wyvern meat steaks after quickly salting and peppering them and put them out on plates.

"Oh, Wyvern's meat is even more delicious cooked." Fer announced as his steak disappeared into his mouth.

"This meat is soft and delicious, isn't it?" Sui agreed, her own steak disappearing as if by magic too.

Wyvern's meat is truly delicious. That taste can not be imagined, only experienced. While I was cooking additional steaks for Fer and Sui even before they could demand "Seconds!" I dug into my own steak. Bliss. I sipped a glass of wine, red wine of course with steak. Melting delicious meat and red wine, I felt like a sybarite.

Thus we enjoyed the Wyvern meat. Fer and Sui kept eating until they were satisfied while I cooked steaks for them over and over again.