Sunday, 31 March 2019

Ch 130 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 130 -- Perfect Defence Skill


Returning to my room at the inn I hesitantly called out.

"Ermm, are you there, Goddesses-sama?"

"Huh?" A certain Deplorable-Goddess-sama's reply echoed in my head immediately. "You're earlier than we expected you know, other-world-guy-kun." There was a mental shrug. "Anyway you're finally being diligent, good for you. Wait a moment as I call everyone over."

A few seconds later I heard a babble of voices.

"Other-world-guy-kun, that was quick~. I'm glad, I've got a list of things I want." Agni-sama slammed in first.

"Really. Thank you for getting back to us so soon." Kishar-sama interjected.

"...Food and sweets." Ruka-sama got straight to the point as usual.

"Oh, I've been waiting for you to turn up again." Hephaestus-sama butted in. "Yeah~ The other-world booze you offer to us is the best. Hey War God, let's figure out what sorta booze to ask for this time!"

"Oh hey, it's the other-world-guy!" The last voice was Vulcan-sama. "De-fin-ately, Heffy. That other-world booze really hits the spot! Now what do we want?"

It looked like all the Gods and Goddesses were ready to order as I heard Hephaestus-sama and Vulcan-sama starting to discuss what they were wanting from me in the background. I'd leave them to the last, I decided. First of all I had to explain why I had called them to make an offering so soon after the last time.

"As a matter of fact, I'm planning to enter a dungeon tomorrow and I don't think I can make offerings to you while I'm in there. I don't want others to see me using my Net Super Skill." I wanted to avoid being seen making offerings by other Adventurers, to keep from being found out.

"Well, I can see why you don't want others to discover your ability." Deplorable-Goddess-sama answered. "That Skill is unique, it makes many things from your world available here in this world. Depending on how you use it, you gain huge benefits but you've got to be careful too. That's obvious." Hmmm, Deplo- uh, Ninril-sama was surpri- uh, being very understanding of my situation and the dangers I faced, that was very considerate of her-

"And of course it means we Goddesses can enjoy sweet things from your world so you definitely need to keep it a secret from others, you know." Ah, Deplorable-sama, your greedy selfishness broke through at the last minute...

"That's for sure." Deplorable Goddess #2 Agni-sama agreed. "Thanks to that Skill of yours we can also get our hands on other-world stuff. We don't want you haveta stop making offerings because you got found out down there."

"It's a Skill we've never encountered before, any of us." Kishar-sama explained. "Obtaining goods from a different world, it's unprecedented." It was? Well it was listed in my Status as a Unique Skill but I hadn't really realised that it was something no-one else had ever been able to do, it wasn't just Unique to me.

"...Other-world food and sweets." added Ruka-sama, restating the important thing about my Skill, in her eyes at least.

I can get all sorts of things I was used to having from my own world thanks to this Skill and I really wanted to continue being able to use it but now the Gods and Goddesses have butted in, ah, provided me with their divine blessings thank you very much I have to use this Skill to provide them with regular offerings. Ah well, the protections and magical bonuses they had provided in exchange were useful, sort of.

"Anyway," I continued with my explanation, "Because I can't let other Adventurers see me using my Net Super Skill and making offerings to you-" which would be a major problem in itself, I suddenly realised "- I decided to make my offerings here and now before I went into the dungeon. So, what is it you wish me to offer to you this time? Remember, it's limited to three silver coins worth."

"Well, you know, my usual sweets!" Really, this person (goddess) is consistent in her demands at least which made things simple for me. I opened Net Super and chose assorted sweets for Ninril-sama. Lessee, lots of dorayaki, her favourite plus Western and Japanese sweets, puddings and cakes topped off with sweet carbonated drinks to a total of three silver coins. Yosh, one down.

"Next please." I really should get a konbini barcode scanner, I thought to myself. Beep!

"It's Kishar here~." the Goddess' matronly voice came through eagerly. "That face wash, skin lotion and eye wrinkle cream you sent me last time was truly excellent! The skin lotion especially," she continued breathlessly, "As you said, adding a little more at night before sleeping really worked wonders on my dry skin. Looking into a mirror in the morning has become a pleasure for me again!"

Is that so? Kishar-sama seemed to be enchanted by looking at her face in the mirror. That reminded me of my elder sister who spent much of her time intently studying her own face in the bathroom mirror at home. She even had a large folding mirror she carried around with her in her purse. Anyway, Kishar-sama had apparently found the beauty products I suggested to her liking.

"So what sort of thing do you wish this time?" I enquired politely.

"I'm happy with what you sent me last time but is there anything, well, better to take care of my face and skin?"

Ah, something *better*? I stifled my initial thought about flighty females who were never satisfied about their appearance.

"Please wait for a moment while I look for something appropriate for you, Kishar-sama." I said, opening Net Super's skin care products catalogue and looking through the items on offer. She said she liked the skin lotion, so how about this one?

"There's a very high-quality lotion with a rich variety of ingredients to enhance your skin's beauty but I should warn you it costs three silver coins by itself."

"It has a rich variety of ingredients?!" she squealed in a most un-Goddess-like manner. "I absolutely must try it! Yes, offer it to me!" Kishar-sama, there's such a thing as being too enthusiastic, I said to myself as I selected the expensive skin care lotion in the Net Super. My opinion of Kishar-sama as a distinguished matronly Goddess had taken a bit of a knock from her teen girl reaction.

"What, you've used all three silver coins on a single item?" Agni-sama scoffed. "You're being stupid, Fuhuhu."

"Really. You should have asked for various things, you know." Deplorable-sama added.

"...waste." commented Ruka-sama.

"Leave me alone. Beauty is everything." Kishar-sama retorted haughtily, dismissing the crude comments by her fellow Goddesses. I didn't dare tell her that three silver coins was only a start in the skin care business, there were products in the Net Super listings that cost tens of thousands of yen for a small tube or jar of some kinds of lotion. My Beauty Geek older sister had once spent 30,000 yen on a tub of skin cream, saying that she would pay whatever she had to in the pursuit of beauty and never mind the cost.

"There is no price tag on a beautiful skin." my sister had declared grandly when I poked fun at her for being stupid and paying so much. I decided I wouldn't say anything similar to Kishar-sama, having grown up a little from my younger days and besides if using these sort of cosmetics meant Kishar-sama felt better about herself it wasn't for me to dissuade her from that belief. Sorry, elder sister of mine, I apologised belatedly and at a great distance, I now understand a little of what you were thinking back then. Right, I thought to myself. Move on.

"Well then, it should be Agni-sama next?"

"Yeah, me next. The same sorta booze like last time. The different kinds of booze meant I didn't get tired of any of them, they all tasted great." So she wanted the same combination I had offered to her as last time? That was easy, but I suggested changing them a bit to prevent her from getting bored.

"Well, I'll send you the same combination this time, but they will be different brands and from different makers, is that OK?"

"I'll leave it up to you." she agreed. I selected different types of beer, sake, whisky, wine and brandy and put it in the cart, three silver coins worth as usual. Keep going, I wanted to get to sleep soon.

"Next it's Ruka-sama." I announced.

"Food and sweets." she replied instantly. That was the same as last time for her too. "Beef bowl was delicious. I want it if you have some." Gyuudon, hmmm? Shredded beef in a sweet sauce over rice, simple and delicious. Luckily I had just prepared a large amount of gyuudon for the dungeon expedition tomorrow so that was an easy request to satisfy.

"The grilled meat on sticks was good too." Ruka-sama added. Oh, yakitori skewers? I ordered yakitori from the Net Super and added some beef stew and cabbage rolls from my dungeon supplies, completing the three silvers worth of offerings with confectionery and bread as usual.

"Next..." On to the two new deadbeat freeloading Gods who were demanding offerings. I cast a covetous glance at the futon on my bed. I had a long day ahead of me tomorrow, I wanted to get to sleep...

"The little ladies are all done then? Right, I'm next, Hephaestus. OK, I'm looking for strong booze like the last lot you offered us. That whisky stuff was great. We added ice like you said and it was real tasty, same with adding water but hey it was good just straight too. Other-world booze really hits the spot."

So Hephaestus-sama is looking for whisky? I made a note as the God of War butted in.

"Vulcan here. I'm looking for something different besides whisky. Strong booze, but different. Is that OK, Heffy?"

"For sure. Whisky is really delicious but I wanna try different types of other-world booze too. We can share what we get I'm sure, right, Vulcan?" It looked like these two boozehou- uh, Gods were willing to cooperate to get what they wanted from me. This fact wasn't missed by the Goddesses who, I had to admit, seemed to be less willing to share their offerings with each other. Speaking of which-

"Oh you two, always willing to conspire when it comes to alcohol, you know." Deplorable-Sama #1 interjected.

"That's true, right?" Agni-sama agreed.

"I wish I could get everything I wanted." sighed Kisahar-sama. "You two are being really sneaky about getting the sorts of booze you're wanting."

"...drinking alcohol is bad." Water Goddess Ruka-sama added reprovingly.

The Goddesses were disgusted with the plans of the two Gods to get hold of booze. From what they had told me in the past the two Gods had made great efforts to get alcohol in the past and now they had succeeded thanks to my offerings the Goddesses weren't averse to letting their opposition to their behaviour be known. The Gods, however, didn't seem to care.

"Hah, whatever you say, it's fine by us, little ladies." Hephaestus-sama said condescendingly. "Now on to the booze. Only the best, you hear?"

"That's right." Vulcan-sama added. "I'll cooperate as much as I need to for delicious booze. And Ruka? Drinking booze is fine. Anything that delicious is gotta be fine to drink."

"Oh yeah." Haephestus-sama added. "They call booze the water of life, Ruka. Gahaha-" Ruka-sama was the Water Goddess, I remembered. That joke wasn't funny, really... anyways, to work. The futon on my bed was looking more and more inviting and I stifled a yawn as I perused the liquor section of the Net Super. Get the offerings for these two boozehounds out of the way and I could finally get to sleep. Lessee, Hephaestus-sama wanted whisky? Three bottles, one from America and one from Scotland and the third whisky I selected from a Japanese distiller different to the one I chose last offering. Vulcan-sama wanted various sorts of liquor and again I decided to make a change so I went for rum and vodka and sake with some bottles of fortified wine since they wanted strong booze. As I completed the order and got ready to feed coins into the Net Super Vulcan-sama suddenly spoke up.

"Oh, that's right. You said you're going into a dungeon tomorrow, didn't you?"

"Yes, we're planning to go into the dungeon here in Doran." I agreed.

"Hey, you guys," Vulcan-sama called out to the other deities. "You think we should confer a Defensive Protection Skill on this other-world-guy?"

"Defensive Protection Skill? Sure, Vulcan, why not." Haephestus-sama agreed.

"Hey, why are you guys talking about handing out a Defensive Protection Skill to this guy?" Ninril-sama asked.

"I can see what you're thinking there, Vulcan-sama. Giving this other-world guy a Defensive Protection Skill is essential for all of us, even the little ladies here."

"Vulcan, Hephaestus, what are you talking about?" Kishar-sama interjected. "Other-world-guy-kun here already has protection from our blessings so he'll be safe."

"That's right." Agni-sama added. "He's got the blessings of Ninril and Kishar and me and besides that Fenrir is with him too so he'll be fine."

"...his Slime has my blessing as well." Ruka-sama said finally.

I heard the two Gods sigh. "Not enough." Vulcan-sama said.

"Really?" That declaration sounded worrying. I had the blessings (small) of three Goddesses, I had Fer and Sui and Dora-chan to protect me, I had my Fire and Earth magic, Sui's High-Grade Potions, I even had a high-grade Mithril sword...

"Vulcan, explain it to them." Haephestus-sama ordered.

"It's like this." The God of War explained. "The other-world guy said he's going to dive into a dungeon tomorrow. That's the dungeon in Doran, right? Well, that dungeon has a high degree of difficulty and the monsters in there are really strong and dangerous. You said that other-world-guy-kun has three blessings (small) and he's also got strong contracted monsters along with him so you think that makes it okay? You're right, the Fenrir can use Barrier and his Slime can make high-grade potions but there's no guarantee the Fenrir can maintain that Barrier all through their time in the dungeon even with its high magical powers. The Slime, sure it can make those potions but they only heal and cure, they can't resurrect him if he dies. If his head gets crushed or his heart gets destroyed then it's instant death and the best potions can do nothing if that happens."

Vulcan-sama's words sent a chill down my spine. I had been going along with the idea that Fer's Barrier and Sui's potions would keep me safe in the dungeon but, well, it was a dungeon after all, full of traps and monsters and if things went wrong? I could die in there. Brrrr. I could pretend to ignore his words but he was the God of War after all, the God of violence and death. He knew what he was talking about.

"That's exactly right." Haephestus-sama agreed.

 "If the other-world-guy dies, you know..." Ninril-sama said slowly.

"If other-world-guy-kun is gone, that means..." Kishar-sama added somberly.

"If the other-world-guy disappears, no more..." Agni-sama added despondently.

"............" Ruka-sama said silently but with much emphasis.

"We'll never get any more different world offerings ever again! Waaah!" the Goddesses cried.

"Please give this guy a defensive Skill, for the sake of the sweets from another world you know."

"Truly, if I can't use other-world beauty products I'll turn back into a hag."

"It'll be no joke if I can't get my hands on other-world booze any more."

"... ... ... (no way no way no way)"

"Like they said, Vulcan." Haephestus-sama added. "I just got used to enjoying this other-world booze and if the other-world-guy dies on us we're gonna lose our only supplier and who knows when we can get another one, if ever."

"Totally right, Heffy. Different-world booze is rich in variety and really tasty and if I can't get it then I'm gonna get mad and the world below had better watch out."

"Well if you're gonna be like that then maybe you should give the other-world-guy your Perfect Defence Skill instead? Hey little ladies, you good with Vulcan here giving him that level of blessing?"

"No objections, you know."

"Totally."

"Oh, sure thing."

"Quick."

"Right then, other-world-guy," Vulcan-sama said after the Goddesses gave their agreement. "I'm giving you my Perfect Defence Skill. There, you got it."

...I didn't really know if I really wanted this new Skill whatever it was but it seems I wasn't going to be allowed to say no to it anyway.

"Well, this means you can enjoy different-world booze from now on, War God."

"That's right. Nothing can stop us drinking that good stuff now, Blacksmith God."

"Muffu, sweet goodness."

"Beauty products."

"Booze, booze."

"Food and sweets"

...Gods, go figure. They weren't concerned about my welfare, they just wanted their supply of regular offerings to continue so they gave me this sketchy-sounding Skill. What did a Perfect Defence Skill actually involve? I had no idea. Tomorrow, I'd ask Fer and maybe Elland-san if they knew what it involved, perhaps they could tell me. I yawned again. Dealing with Gods and Goddesses was a very tiring business.

I made payment for the contents of the Net Super shopping cart and a large cardboard box containing the order arrived as usual. I dug out the additional hot food for Ruka-sama's offering from my Item Box and to save time I stacked everything on a single large cardboard altar, not bothering to separate out each individual offering as I usually did. I did take a few seconds to describe the rum and vodka to the two boozehound Gods though.

"Vulcan-sama and Hephaestus-sama, please note these two bottles contain very strong alcohol. You can drink the rum as it is, in small amounts. The vodka goes well with ice." I blinked, almost falling asleep and rushed through the offering ceremony.

"Here are the items you wished for, please accept them." The goods piled on the cardboard altar disappeared and as usual the Goddesses and the Gods made a lot of noise as the offerings arrived in their Realm.

Haa~, done. My new Perfect Defence Skill didn't keep me from feeling tired, I vaguely noted as I collapsed into my futon and promptly fell asleep.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Ch 25 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

Ch 25 -- You've Grown, Haven't You?

~ What has gone before ~

・ The conditions for levelling up have been learned. O****ms from direct contact or indirectly (moisture required)
・ Erim is an adolescent boy when all's said and done.

* * * * *

"Erim ... you, no way ..." Erim turned his face from me and I felt suddenly alone. Had I lost the first friend I had made in this world, my only friend? I desperately wanted to take back my words, but how?

"Please forgive Richy-chan, Erim." Sumirena-san said gently. "She understands that teenage boys fantasise about girls' breasts and imagine what their lower bodies look like and at night they have to, well..." She shrugged. "You know that feeling too, don't you Richy-chan?"

...Yes I do.

 "So anyway that's the truth of how Succubi level up. In the case of humans their level is an indicator of strength but for a Succubus their level represents their total amount of magic power. However it's also a record of their experiences in battle, so to speak, how many times they have been able to induce lustful emissions in males." Sumirena-san finished.

She expected this might happen, I realised, she had worked out that Erim had been the one who gave me my 'experience point' to allow me to level up, that he had... I wanted to reach out to Erim but I couldn't find the words to make it better. Minoko just kept drinking alcohol unconcernedly, no help there.

I had to do something. If I made a mistake here, if I said the wrong thing, as Sumirena-san had warned me I might, then my friendship with Erim would be at an end, forever. I had to avoid that happening at all costs. I coughed then spoke.

"Erim, is it really a big deal? It's normal for boys and men to do that sort of thing. It's like a physiological phenomenon, yeah that's it. I know, I have done it lots of times myself," I felt my face turning red at this confession but I carried on, "Yes, really I have."

Erim turned to look at me, a puzzled look on his face. "Ehhh, Richy-san has done it too?"

"Yes, that's what I'm telling you, but it all happened before I was reborn in this world." I couldn't do it now of course, I wasn't a boy any more, it was all different down there now and girls didn't have the, umm, bits to do it. Did they? I hadn't really looked closely, was there anything there to...

"Can you ever forgive me?" Erim blurted out.

"There's nothing for me to forgive you for, Erim. I think that you were free to do whatever you wanted in the privacy of your own bedroom without asking me for permission."

"... Even though... I made Richy-san sad..." Erim continued hesitantly.

"No, I wasn't sad at all." I told him.

"Hoo, really?"

"Really, I was just disgusted and uncomfortable knowing-" I stopped suddenly but it was too late as tears sprang from Erim's eyes and he started blubbering.

"Guufuuu..."

 Oops. My plan to make Erim feel better had just taken a critical hit thanks to my runaway mouth. Should I try again or would that just make things worse? I cast a "help me" look at Sumirena-san who picked up immediately.

"Erim, there's no need to feel embarrassed. If you are a healthy boy, when a pretty girl is staying under the same roof it would be strange if knowing that girl was sleeping in a nearby room didn't excite you." Sumirena-san said consolingly. Thank you, elder sister! "It's natural that you manually stimulated yourself to relieve the tension induced by such proximity, letting your carnal desires ooze forth from your body in liquid form."

"Uhhh, guu..." Erim wiped his eyes, his sobs trailing off. Her words seemed to be working but it wasn't quite what I might have said myself.

"Richy-chan's magical powers of enchantment mean that if you ever lay your hands on her breasts even once then you are condemned to be her slave forever. Self-abuse is the only safe way for you to avoid succumbing to her sensuous eroticism and I can only applaud your firmness in being determined to keep a grip on yourself and remain an upright member of this household instead."

Actually, did what Sumirena-san just say have some kind of double meaning? I tried to puzzle it out. Did she suggest my breasts had magical powers, was I really sensuous, what? Erim's crying had redoubled. It looked like his sister's attempts to console him were just making matters worse.

"It would have been so easy for you to creep into Richy-chan's bedroom last night and do unmentionable things to her helpless body as she lay asleep." What? Sumirena-san turned to me. "Richy-chan, I recommend you lock your bedroom door at night from now on. You might also wedge a chair against the door handle and maybe bar the window shutters too just in case." She turned back to Erim as I tried to process her advice. Surely Erim wouldn't try to... would he?

"However, as an older sister I feel proud of my brother's growth. Erim, you have gotten bigger." She smiled whimsically. "It was so short in the old days, but now..." she held out her index finger and thumb, about 5 cm apart. What growth was she referring to? Erim wasn't tall by any means but, 5cm? What did that measurement refer to? His hair? By now Erim looked like he was ready to collapse but Sumirena-san wasn't finished speaking.

"A man's instinct is a man's instinct, Erim and you are a man, truly. It's nothing to be ashamed of so stand proud and don't falter even if Richy-chan says she despises you and says you're foul! Disgusting! She never wants to see your face again! Erim is a mindless bastard ruled by his gonads! and other things like that."

"Guwaaah!" Erim sank into a chair and started beating his face into the table top, thunk thunk thunk. It takes an elder sister's words to really crush a younger brother's spirit...

"Richy-chan, I'm sorry. It seems like I said the wrong thing somehow." Sumirena-san said with a winsome expression on her face as Erim's tears flooded across the table.

"It seemed you achieved your aim perfectly, as far as I can tell." I said, watching Erim sob his heart out. I wanted to console him, hold him close to my chest but knew that the way I was now that would be a BAD idea. He might suffocate, or worse, he might enjoy it.

"... hated. ... completely hated." Erim started bawling again. I felt a pang of sympathy for Erim, I had been there behind my bedroom door crying in anger and shame, despising myself. I shook my head at the memory of the day I had become a hikikomori.

"I wouldn't say I loathe you, Erim." I said gently.

"... angry ... not?" he blinked at me, his eyes red and puffy.

"I'm not angry. I understand that men have desires like you did. It's natural."

"... Well ... are we still friends?"

"Of course we are. It was just like we were sharing some dirty stories. It got a bit out of hand, that's all."

"Uh, u u, if you say so ..." he hiccupped.

In fact, for me, a former boy, talking coarsely about girls was a regular topic of conversation with Takuto. For example he had a pet phrase, "I want to do her. I want to do her." after he whistled at a nice girl on the street. "I like big tits." was another of his common sayings, and "I prefer blondes" and "she's stupid but cute" and... I stopped there, suddenly realising that I was now well within what Takuto called his "strike zone", well apart from the "stupid but cute" part. Sumirena-san kept on calling me "cute" but I wasn't stupid, of course. Takuto would agree with that, I'm sure if we were ever to meet up again. He was an open-hearted sort of a guy and it was easy for us to talk to each other, especially about girls although mostly I just listened to his stories of amorous conquests and triumphs since I never spoke with girls myself.

"Don't overthink things, Erim. If you want to relieve your tensions, next time come and ask me and we'll entertain each other." It would be good for me to talk to another guy about girls like that, man to man.

"Can I really do that with Richy-san?" Erim said, his eyes wide.

"My friend Takuto said once, 'You know, erotic things deepen our friendship to a surprising degree.' I sure enjoyed doing those sorts of things with him back then and I think I'd like to do the same with you to in order to deepen our friendship, Erim." I suddenly thought of something. ""Oh, but-"

 Erim looked confused. "Well, but what?!"

"Can I just add one other thing?"

"W- What is it?" He looked worried again and I hurried to reassure him.

"Oh, I'm not going to criticise your way of doing such things, I'm sure you've had a lot of practice." Erim must have spoken about girls with his own friends a lot, the same as Takuto and me.

"Hah ... hah ..." Why was Erim's face getting red again?

"I only want to be your friend and provide you with more erotic entertainment..." Chatting about girls with Takuto had been a lot of fun, I remembered. "But if it causes you pain then we can stop already."

"Uh ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah !!" Erim stood up and hit the swing door at the front of the tavern hard as he rushed out.

I stood there, stunned as Sumirena-san said, "Oh dear oh dear" while Minoko shook her nose and uttered a loud "Mofuu".

"You smashed him flat, Richy-chan. That was merciless." Sumirena-san said.

"Eh, how is it my fault?" I didn't understand what had happened.

"It's not that I'm standing up for Erim but his girlfriend telling him to his face she'll provide him with 'erotic entertainment', is it really a surprise that he reacted so badly? How do you think you would have reacted if your own girlfriend said that to you?"

My mind was in a whirl, I tried to remember what I had said to Erim, how had he taken it the wrong way? I had been trying to patch up our friendship... ah, but Sumirena-san thought I had had a girlfriend back in my own world? "Actually, I never had a girl friend." I explained.

"Oh. That explains a lot." Sumirena-san muttered under her breath.

"Something's been worrying me though..."

"What is it?"

"Does Erim actually know that I am a man, that is I was a man in my previous life?" I thought back to all our chats and discussions, had it ever been clear he knew this important fact about me?

"You didn't tell him yourself?" Sumirena-san raised an eyebrow.

"Well, why would I need to?! I told you, Sumirena-san in the bathroom last night so I thought you must have told Erim about me being a man!" I blurted.

 Sumirena-san shook her head. No? "I wouldn't tell him something like that, Richy-chan. It's something he needs to hear from your own lips." Sumirena-san explained.

"But I died for a stupid reason and I was reincarnated as a Succubus and I was confused..." I said, trying to think over what had happened between Erim and me since we met the day before. When would have been a good time, the right time to tell him I had been a man before I was sent this world? When...

"You died for a stupid reason? I'm intrigued but I won't force you to tell me the details..." Sumirena-san said as I realised I had made a big mistake not telling Erim straight away that I was a man inside this female Succubus body. Erim must have accumulated some strange ideas about me, I decided. Very strange ideas.

"What's past is past." I said. "It doesn't worry me and I'll tell you later, but what's more important right now is that I tell Erim I'm really a man when he returns."

"No, it would be better if you don't do that." Sumirena-san said with a thoughtful look on her face.

"Why not?" I had to tell Erim, didn't I? Our friendship depended on us being honest with each other, surely.

"Well if you did tell him then, ha ha-" Sumirena-san looked away and coughed.

"What's so funny?" I couldn't see anything to laugh about.

"Ah, I was just imagining what Erim's reaction would be when you told him." she said, her features back in control. "It would hit him so hard."

"How would learning I'm really a man, well a man inside, hurt him?"

"Richy-chan's soul is a boy's, right?" Sumirena-san asked.

"Absolutely. My heart and mind is totally male." I declared, trying hard not to recall the events of the previous night's bathtime and how this Succubus' body had reacted to Sumirena-san's caresses.

"Well then, Mister Totally Male, think about it." Sumirena-san went on. "You know that Erim enthusiastically masturbated last night with you in mind while thinking you are only a cute girl. Now you intend to tell him that he was actually pleasuring himself thinking of someone who was truly a man despite their external appearance, that you had been male for all your life before your reincarnation in the world." She shook her head. "I don't think that boy's mind could take such a revelation. He's still a child in many ways and the shock could destroy him for life. He might even kill himself."

"Would- would he really go that far..." Surely Erim wasn't that weak? But what would I have thought, what would I have done in his situation, if... No, the despair.... my mind was in a whirl as I tried to understand what Erim might do if I told him the real truth about my previous life.

"I would like to ask something of you, Richy-chan." Sumirena-san said in a serious voice.

"What is it please?"

"Let's just agree for Erim's sake that that you were a girl in your previous life Richy-chan, at least for the time being. Please let me decide when it is right to tell Erim the truth."

"You would judge when it would be OK to tell Erim the truth about me?"

"Yes, I want you to leave the timing to me. I won't make things worse." Sumirena-san declared. She was Erim's elder sister, she knew his mind best, I decided so I readily agreed to her suggestion. For Erim's sake I would pretend I had been a girl in my past life.

"... I understand. I don't want Erim to be hurt any more." I said.

"Richy-chan is really cute." Sumirena-san said, inconsequentially.

"Why did you say that just now?" I asked, puzzled. Just because I had agreed to this little white lie so that Erim wouldn't be hurt, why did that make me cute? Deceiving a boy wasn't a cute thing to do, was it?

"Hmm, I wonder..." Suimrena-san said enigmatically. Why did you look like you were enjoying my discomfort even  though you were talking about such a serious subject? "Well, I think it's okay for you to talk about things with Erim when he returns, as long as you remember that to him you have always been a girl."

"I have faith in Erim." I declared. "We will be friends no matter what."

"Friends? You want to be friends with Erim..." Sumirena-san looked me up and down and shook her head again. "It's going to be difficult for you to stay just friends."

I hoped so, I was determined that we would go beyond simple friendship and that soon we would become best friends. That was in the future though, and would Erim be able to be best friends with a girl, the way Takuto and I had been best friends in our previous life? Might Erim's belief that I was really a girl preclude us from a relationship more intimate than being friends? I didn't know if it was possible and it worried me a little, how would that work? The morning's events had left me drained emotionally and I sighed.

"It's all been a bit of a disaster today, hasn't it?" I summed up but Sumirena-san put her hand on my cheek and patted it lightly.

"What is it?" I asked puzzled as she smiled.

"It wasn't all bad." she said with THAT look on her face again. "You should know, Richy-chan, if the targets for you  getting experience points weren't limited to men, your Status wouldn't be (0/2) but (1/2) right now."

"Ummm, what do you--?" I started to ask her what she meant by that but stopped abruptly, deciding that I really didn't want to think it through as I felt I wouldn't appreciate knowing the answer.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Ch 129 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 129 -- His Dragon Steak Was So Delicious That He Wept


Elland-san took me, or rather dragged me to a residential area not far from the Adventurers Guild where there was a row of two-story town houses looking like a high-end street in London, England -- (If you are talking Japanese style it would be a tenement). We stopped in front of one particular house which seemed even larger and finer than the others in the street. I presumed it was higher-class than the others because he was the city's Guild Master. He escorted me into the house, or rather pushed me in and took me to the house's kitchen. It was large and well-equipped but showed little or no evidence of actual use.

"The kitchen is here, but I, I do not cook..." Elland-san said uncomfortably. I looked around at the worktops and sinks and stoves, having given up on trying to avoid Elland-san's intention to eat Dragon meat. Nope, all this was too unfamiliar, I couldn't cook in this kitchen without spending a lot of time, too much time, making mistakes and learning how everything worked. I had been cooking outdoors, in the wilderness and inn courtyards all the time I had spent in this world and it was the only way I knew how to cook here. As Elland-san led me into a reception room I saw a small garden just outside the window. Ah, that would work.

"I have my own cooking tools. Can I cook out in that garden?" I enquired.

"Yes, of course you can." Elland-san replied immediately and led the way out into the garden where I set up my Black Magic Cooking Stove.

"Oh, you have a much larger Item Box than I first thought, Mukouda-san." Elland-san said as I took the stove out of storage. "It was obviously large enough for the Earth Dragon but you can store even more than that in it as I can see. I have Item Box as a skill myself but I could only get half of the Earth Dragon into it if I tried."

"You also have Item Box, Elland-san?"

"Yes, since Elves have high magical power Item Box is not uncommon among us." That's right, the image of Elves as magical beings of great ability is a common one. Elland-san went on to explain that he could use plant magic -- he gestured around the small but well-kept garden as he spoke -- which was unique to Elves as well as the more common wind magic. He had used these magic skills along with his abilities as a swordsman to rise high among the ranks of Adventurers. He was not a bowman himself, he admitted when I asked. I had the idea, from a certain series of movies perhaps that Elves were all natural bowmen but no, Elland-san's expertise was with the sword. Maybe that was why he was really looking forward to getting his hands on a Dragon sword, because of his experience with swords but I suspected much of his enthusiasm for the project was because of that "Dragon" word again.

I knew that Elland-san was a former S-rank Adventurer but my personal impression of him had been formed by watching him obsess over Dragons to a deplorable degree so I found it difficult to see him as a strong figure. Nevertheless he had become the Guild Master of Doran by merit and achievement and, putting aside his dangerous fixation with Dragons I had to assume what I had witnessed of his behaviour was not necessarily what others saw in him. I would have to keep that in mind in the future, I told myself.

Anyway, enough about Elland-san, I thought to myself. It's meat, Dragon meat we're here to cook. But how to cook it? Hmmm, I decided steak was the way to go, quick and simple. A steak was the meat of a creature cooked in its most basic form, after all so Dragon steak it would be. The only additions, at least to start with would be salt and pepper... hmmm, I had bought some high-quality salt and pepper from the Net Super when I had cooked Wyvern steaks for the first time, hadn't I? I dug into my Item Box and located them again. Ah yes, fresh black peppercorns in their own grinder and premium sun-dried salt. Yosh.

l took out some Dragon meat and cut it into thick steaks. I admired the meat as I sliced it, lean and firm and beautiful-looking. I decided to prepare it like Bloody Horn Bull steaks so I turned on a burner on the cooking stove to high and heated up oil in a big frying pan. I sprinkled salt and pepper on the steaks just before I put them in the frying pan.

Sizzle---. The smell of cooking meat rose from the pan and my mouth instantly flooded with saliva. I swallowed, concentrating on the timing. Something this good, I couldn't ruin it by overcooking simply by being hypnotised by the smell, no matter how exquisite. Concentrate... after a minute at high heat I turned the burner down and cooked at a lower setting for another minute before flipping the steaks over and cooking the other sides in the same way. I then took the pan off the burner and put some aluminium foil over the top for five minutes to let the steaks cook through with the residual heat.

As the cook I had the privilege of the first taste... could Dragon meat really be as good as Fer had insisted? Munch munch... My brain froze in mid-bite. What was this...? "The flavour, this meat is more than just delicious..." I mumbled around the mouthful of Dragon meat. My first ever taste of Dragon meat was so much better than all the other meats, even Bloody Horn Bull and Wyvern that there was no comparison. It was... I took another bite, I couldn't speak, it was as wonderful as the first bite, I... I stopped after swallowing, my eyes fixed on the plate, trying to make sense of it. Even though cattle and pigs are different from birds the taste of each species has individual good points, mouth feel and umami, the juices and gravy flowing from their meats as they are consumed. Dragon meat, though, had all of their good points in one meat and... my philosophical reverie was rudely interrupted.

"What, are you going to eat all of that and not give us any? Hurry up and dish it out, you." Fer's muzzle was almost, but not quite, in the frying pan, his eyes focused on the perfectly-cooked Dragon steaks.

"Like the big guy says, don't hog all of it for yourself. Let us have some." Dora-chan was hovering almost motionlessly on the other side of the pan, as if ready to fight Fer to the death for his chance to eat the Dragon meat.

"Aji, Sui is hungry-" Sui-chan's tentacle was probing up over the lip of the frying pan, as if to smell or taste the meat within.

I'm sorry... The Dragon steaks are almost TOO good, guys. I got lost. Sorry sorry. I hurried and dished out steaks to Fer, Sui and Dora-chan who dug in immediately then I cooked another Dragon steak for Elland-san whose own eyes had been fixed on the frying pan, his hand clenching and unclenching as if he was grasping a sword hilt. Please don't fight my contracted monsters for your chance to eat Dragon meat please, Elland-san, I said to myself as I let his steak cook through after taking it off the heat. Your serving will be ready in another minute.

"Here you are, Elland-san." I finally said, putting down a dish of Dragon steak for him where he sat at the terrace table facing his garden.

Elland-san said "Well, here I go" and I watched as he sliced off a piece of Dragon steak with exquisite care before putting it into his mouth. A moment later his eyes widened. Yes, I know Elland-san. It's delicious. I didn't think it could be so delicious until I took my own first mouthful.

"Delicious... Dragon meat is so delicious..." Elland-san mumbled around his first mouthful of Dragon steak. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's delicious. Just wait until you take your second bite though. Speaking of "Seconds" I wanted some of it too, a complete steak and not just a sample so I started cooking more Dragon steak, for myself and for, inevitably, Fer and Sui-chan when they finished their own first servings. I wanted to eat Dragon steak.

Dragon meat sliced thick, just salt and pepper to taste, cook it hot both sides and let it rest in foil to cook through and... the third taste was shockingly good just like the first and second tastes I had had. I cut another slice and...

"This Dragon meat is more delicious than I remembered." Fer said in a wondering voice, his dish empty. I was a little surprised, normally when he ate he gulped his food down like a ravenous beast, this time he had been almost dainty in his eating habits, taking his time and savouring every morsel. He soon reverted to the old Fer once he noticed there was no more Dragon steak left in the dish in front of him.

"Seconds. Now. And keep them coming." he ordered. Yeah yeah. The next steaks I cooked for everyone I used a soy-based steak sauce rather than the simple salt and pepper dressing of the first round. Sui-chan would want another steak of course but Dora-chan would be satisfied with a single serving as usual-

"So this is the meat from that Dragon, yeah?" Dora-chan said, his own dish empty. "That Earth Dragon was really tasty. Another steak for me too." Dora-chan wanted seconds? Wow. As I cooked more steaks I thought about what Dora-chan the Pixie Dragon had said before about his willingness to eat the meat of other Dragons and how it wasn't really cannibalism if he was hungry enough. It seemed that any qualms he might have harboured about that had been washed away in the juices from the first Dragon steak he had eaten.

"Aruji, Dragon's meat is delicious. Sui wants seconds, too-" Of course you do Sui-chan. Dragon meat is truly delicious and you want to eat a lot of it. Eat up, eat up. As I dished out the next round of Dragon steaks to my contracted monsters (and myself too, I should add) a tearful voice interjected.

"Ohhh...Uggh... I am blessed. I can finally eat the meat of the Dragons that I saw in my dreams." Tears ran down Elland-san's cheeks as he stared at the plate before him, his knife and fork motionless. "Guuh... and the taste, it far surpasses anything I ever imagined. It's sooo delicious..." Elland-san cried as he ate the Dragon steak. "Mukouda-san, truly, thank you very much." He shook his head in wonderment. "Thank you. I finally got the chance to dismantle an Earth Dragon and we could purchase valuable Dragon materials and now you've allowed me to eat Dragon meat, I can't thank you enough. Today is the reason I have lived so long, and I rejoice. Uhhh..." He blinked and then took another bite of the Dragon steak, more tears streaming from his eyes.

Yes yes, I understand, but please don't eat and cry at the same time, please? Anyway it's not me you should be thanking but Fer who caught the Earth Dragon in the first place.

"It is Fer who captured the Dragon. If you wish to thank anyone it's him." I said, indicating the glutton beside me who was now well into his third serving of Dragon steak.

Elland-san turned to Fer and said "Fenrir-sama, I really appreciate it."

"Umu. Dragon is delicious after all." Fer interrupted his eating to be polite to the Guild Master, a first for him in my recollections. No Fer, he's thanking you not just because the Dragon tastes so good but... I gave up. Fer was Fer after all. I cooked more Dragon steaks, continuing with the soy-sauce dressing. Even Elland-san wanted a second steak, especially with the soy sauce which, he said tearfully as he ate it, tasted even better than the first. I wasn't sure if I would totally agree with him but, I had to admit, my own second steak was truly delicious too. My first steak had been wholly satisfying but somehow there was space for the second one too and I felt that meant the world was a place of true justice.

Finally Fer, Sui and Dora-chan finished eating just as Elland-san and myself finished too. We looked at each other, Elland-san's handsome tear-streaked features curiously relaxed. He seemed to be at peace now he had finally achieved the ambitions of a long long lifetime. He finally looked down at his plate and nodded, as if to say "Done."

As we left Elland-san's house he gave me 100 gold coins which, he said, was the price of a Dragon steak. He had told me before that Dragon meat was expensive but I hadn't realised just how much it was worth. Of course that was the price, he explained, when there was any Dragon meat to be had and the owner was willing to sell it which was, basically, never. Now I had eaten Dragon meat myself I had to agree -- who would sell such a thing for mere money? Elland-san offered to pay a similar amount for the second steak he had eaten but I refused. Despite his somewhat questionable behaviour earlier he had been both fair and generous in his dealings with us and indeed he had disassembled the Earth Dragon at no cost to us so I told him the other steak was a gift from Fer and me. In the end I only received 100 gold coins.

I headed back to the inn with Fer, Sui and Dora-chan. Did Sui feel sleepy after eating a lot? As soon as she could she got into her leather bag and settled down. Dora-chan had eaten so much he couldn't even fly, instead he rode on Fer's back.

"It was too tasty, I was forced to eat too much..." Dora-chan grumbled. Yeah yeah, it was you that demanded a second helping, remember?

Fer being Fer just said "Dragon was delicious again". I nodded in agreement. It was really delicious. I wished, for a moment, that Japanese had more words to describe something that was delicious, like English was supposed to have but I decided "delicious" was good enough. Dragon meat was truly delicious. I'd reserve it for special occasions, I decided, when we really deserved a treat I'd take out more Dragon meat and cook it. The Earth Dragon was big, sure but we'd run out of its meat quite quickly if we ate it every day and then going back to Bloody Horn Bull or even Wyvern meat after that happened would be a disappointment. 'Variety is the spice of life' was an English saying, I remembered from somewhere or other.

When I got back to the inn I just wanted to fall into bed and sleep off my feast of Dragon steaks but I had more work waiting for me. We were going to dive into the dungeon the next day and there were things I had to do beforehand that I couldn't do where other Adventurers might see and I didn't know when we'd be safely out of the dungeon afterwards. The sooner I got it done and out of the way the better, I decided.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Ch 128 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 128 -- Truly Deplorable Elland-san


So the next morning I was busy cooking again, preparing food before we entered the dungeon the following day. I was working hard to make as much food as possible since I was on a deadline, especially since I intended to go to the Adventurers Guild in the afternoon. Before I went to bed last night I minced a lot of meat to make hamburger and cabbage rolls. They're good food to have on hand to make other dishes with. I went to the Net Super and bought yet another half-size stockpot and a large can of chopped tomatoes along with instant soup powder and cheese too.

After forming some of the the ground meat into patties with my fingers I took half of them and separated them to make Cheese IN hamburgers while the rest were left as regular hamburgers. The rest of the minced meat was for cabbage rolls. I peeled off the outer leaves of the remaining cabbages I had bought in the shops in Doran to expose the tender inside leaves which I then boiled for a short time before wrapping them around a handful of ground meat and securing them in place with a toothpick. As an experiment I made some of them with Cheese IN as well.

I put the cabbage rolls side by side in the bottom of the new stockpot and added water and cans of chopped tomato until they were covered. I broke up the instant soup powder and sprinkled it on top and then added some ketchup to sweeten the sauce a little. I brought the mixture to a boil then turned the heat down and covered the top with aluminium foil, letting it simmer and bubble for thirty minutes or so. I cooked the hamburgers I had made while this went on, alternating the cooking process until noon and putting everything away in my Item Box. After I finished cleaning up we had lunch consisting of the rest of the ground meat with bean sprouts and sweet bell peppers in a spicy Chinese miso sauce before we all headed off to the Adventurers Guild.

* * * * *

We were directed straight to the warehouse by the receptionist at the Adventurers Guild, as apparently Elland-san was waiting there for us. Well, not "waiting", I presumed it was more like he had never actually left the warehouse in the past three days. When we entered the warehouse Elland-san was standing over in the area he had reserved for the dismantling of the Earth Dragon's body. Lined up on the workbench, was that all the Dragon materials?

"Ummm, Elland-san?" I said hesitantly but he didn't respond as he stared fixedly at a glass bottle containing a red liquid in his hand. I tried speaking louder.

"Ahem, Elland-san......" Nope, no response. He was in a world of his own.

"Ahhh, this is truly the blood of a Dragon. This crimson colour is wonderful. I could stare into your depths forever..." Elland-san muttered as he held the bottle to his cheek, rubbing it against his ecstatic face. I worried that he might drop it the way he was trembling. Use both hands to hold it please, Elland-san, I thought to myself.

I waited a few more seconds, hoping Elland-san would come to his senses and notice we were here but he continued to ignore us, muttering under his breath to the bottle in his hand. He's the Guild Master of an important city's Adventurers Guild, he's the man, well the Elf I entrusted the Earth Dragon to for disassembly, had that really been a good idea after all? I finally gave up and spoke out loudly.

"Elland-san!"

"Oh, it's Mukouda-san, isn't it?" Elland-san finally noticed my existence. Yes, it is Mukouda-san, I thought to myself exasperatedly.

"Yes, I'm here about the Earth Dragon..."

"Yes yes yes, I started dismantling it without delay, as soon as you left in fact and it's all gone perfectly." His expression changed. "This has been the most wonderful experience of this Elf's long life." he sang. "I can't think of a better time..." he sighed. Really, Elland-san, disassembling an Earth Dragon is the number one experience of your hundreds of years of life? I decided it was best not to dwell on what he was saying too much and pressed on with business.

"Anyway, you were talking earlier about buying some of the Dragon materials?" I enquired. Elland-san's expression changed again, back to what I was starting to think of as his business-like "Guild Master" face, an expression I was really thankful to see.

"Well, this has given me the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my long Elf's life." Yes, I know Elves have long lives, you don't have to keep mentioning it. "But, after wrestling with the problem for three days I finally came to a decision!" Elland-san said firmly, shaking his fist (not the one holding the bottle, I should add).

"So, what parts of the Dragon are you wanting then?" Keep him engaged on business or he'll start singing, or worse, dancing, I thought to myself despairingly. Focus, man- uh, Elf, focus.

"I gave great consideration to what you said but I was really really conflicted." He gestured at the workbench. "Everything here is something I desperately wanted to keep, but... well, to start with I chose this, the Earth Dragon's blood." Elland-san picked up another of the bottles containing red liquid lined up on the workbench.

"See, Dragon's blood, look, look!" He held out both bottles to me, his eyes gleaming. "It is a panacea of sorts because it is one of the ingredients for Elixir. If mixed with other medicines it will magnify their effectiveness immeasurably. Moreover a medicine made from Dragon's blood excels in its power as a preventative tonic.  Indeed it is said that drinking one drop prevents any sort of illness for an entire year!"

Heeee~, that was amazing, but please calm down Elland-san.

"These are two bottles of Dragon's blood." He looked down at the bottles in his hands, thankfully quieting down again. "I would like to purchase them, 150 gold coins per bottle."

 …………What? 1 bottle, 150 gold coins? Wait a moment. Looking at the bottle, it resembled a sake bottle with a cork in the top, maybe about a litre or so? I transferred my gaze to the workbench where the rest of the bottles were lined up... there had to be over a hundred bottles there-

"Incidentally, I got 160 bottles of Dragon's blood from the disassembly." Elland-san said with a smile of satisfaction on his face.

Hu- A hundred and sixty bottles... Lessee, a bottle is 150 gold coins, there are 160 bottles, ummm, that's how much in total? I couldn't think, I started to count on my fingers and forced myself to stop. I felt faint. Elland-san continued, oblivious to my dazed expression.

"Next I would like to buy the Dragon's liver. This is a panacea like the blood but, it is said, several times more effective so it's something I wanted to possess at all costs." Elland-san's face fell. "Sadly it's too expensive and we can't afford all of it. We'll buy half of the liver and pay you 1500 gold coins for that portion if you agree."

Half of the Dragon's liver, they'll pay 1500 gold coins... Now my stomach was starting to ache. Help me, help me...

"Really, this Dragon was a splendid specimen, fully grown and unbelievably healthy. The liver is beautiful, large and with a nice colour." Elland-san's voice was getting more and more enthusiastic as he discussed the creature's innards in glowing detail. "Realistically speaking Mukouda-san, this Dragon's liver was actually worth more than 3000 gold coins, being such a good specimen but if I bought all of it even at that price I'd not be able to afford anything else from the disassembly."

3000 gold coins, 3000 gold coins, 3000 gold coins for one liver... I clamped down on my sudden desire to open up the Net Super and see what a beef liver would cost in my world. A single gold coin would buy ten prime beef livers, twenty, fifty... and, I reminded myself, that was a single organ. Johan-san, the Guild's disassembler back in Carerina had told me there was nothing that wasn't valuable in the disassembly of a Dragon, there must be other organs as well? How much was the whole thing worth? My stomach twinged again. I had thought the Dragon was like the other monsters I had brought in for disassembly and sale, I had underestimated just how valuable it was.

"The last item I've decided to purchase is a single fang. I'll pay 2000 gold coins for it." Elland-san's gaze swept the workshop table covered with Dragon parts. "To tell the truth I was in two minds whether to buy the eyeballs or a fang but in the end I chose the fang."

A- A single fang, two thousand gold coins... Ha~, I could only sigh now, my mind had gone blank. Numbers that big didn't mean anything to me any more.

"You see, there's a renowned blacksmith who works in this city and I've spoken to him about a sword I'm thinking of having him make for me which would incorporate the fang. It would be the sharpest sword ever, a sword any true swordsman would wish to wield just once before they die. A Dragon sword, the sword of my dreams muahahaha!" There was that Dragon word again...

What he had said worried me a little. The purchases were being made by the Adventurers Guild, right? But this sword he was eulogising seemed to be something he himself wanted, a "Dragon sword, the sword of my dreams" right? Was it OK for him to be spending the Guild's money on a personal desire? I asked him about this and after he calmed down (a little) he explained the sword he wanted made would belong to the Adventurers Guild, not himself personally. It would be a showpiece item.

"It's a Dragon sword after all. It will be a sword comparable to any cursed sword from the deepest level of any dungeon anywhere." Elland-san explained. "Such a sword is sure to be a big attraction for this Guild. Since there is a dungeon here Adventurers gather in this city. If the Guild possesses a Dragon sword it will attract more Adventurers. A Dragon sword is a legendary sword for those who wield swords."

Adventurers are interested in fine weapons, not surprisingly so if they heard rumors of a Dragon sword it meant that they would flock to this city to catch a glimpse of it. Once they're here there's the dungeon too, another reason to stay. Now he had laid out his thinking I understood what Elland-san's intentions were regarding this Dragon sword he intended to have made. It was just that "Dragon" word and Elland-san's, ummm, enthusiasms still left me with a lingering suspicion of his motives. He was stunningly handsome but I had seen him being absolutely deplorable about anything to do with Dragons and I couldn't totally believe his professed reasons for buying the fang were truly why he had made that choice. Ah well, let it go and move on.

"Well then can I take all the rest?" I pointed to the Dragon materials which covered most the workbench. An astonishingly huge manastone in the middle, presumably from the Dragon, caught my eye but I was getting tired and just wanted to leave as soon as possible, to go back to my room to rest. Dealing with Elland-san was a tiring business.

"Yes, all the materials on this table are to be returned to you." Elland-san put the two bottles of Dragon's blood he had been holding all this time on a small table nearby, beside a large clear jar filled with a large lump of brownish-grey material, half of the Dragon's liver I presumed, and a very large heavy fang.

"Those items on the table here will be purchased by the Guild." Elland-san had made preparations for my visit, obviously. "I will pay you the purchase price. Since it's a large amount of money I'll give it to you in large gold coins." Ah, I remembered, large gold coins were worth ten regular gold coins. I had been paid for the Wyvern subjugation and the Mithril Lizard affair back in Carerina in large gold coins.

"The price is 3800 gold coins for the two bottles of blood, half the liver and the fang so here are 380 large gold coins."  Elland-san handed me a very heavy hemp bag with the payment inside. I didn't bother to count the coins inside, I had become blase about such matters and I had grown to trust the Adventurers Guild about payments like this. I still looked inside the bag though, just to see...

"Oh, that's right, how much did the disassembly cost me?" I asked. Disassembling something as large and complex as a Dragon must require a large fee-

"No no, there's no charge for the dismantling." Elland-san reassured me, a dangerously familiar gleam in his eye. "Rather I should have paid you for giving me the opportunity to disassemble the Dragon." His lustful gaze swept the table overflowing with Dragon parts. "I have had a wonderful time over the past three days, it was a dream come true for me." He lifted his slim strong hands before his eyes. "I had the privilege of disassembling a Dragon, a DRAGON! with these hands..."

Oh, oh, I see. Well if you don't want to be paid for your work then I will go along with that. Thank you. I started transferring the Earth Dragon's material from the workbench in my Item Box, counting them off as Elland-san watched over me, taking in the last sight of the creature he had disassembled. There were 158 bottles containing Dragon blood, a jar containing eyeballs and other jars with assorted organs all filled with some kind of liquid. When I asked Elland-san about it he explained it was a preservative fluid. As the name suggested it would keep the various body parts fresh. The preserving fluid had been made by Elland-san personally, a result of knowledge gained during his studies as a pharmacist. It was uncommon for Adventurers to learn such skills but not unknown. As he explained though, he had learned that Dragon was an essential component of Elixir and that had driven him to learn pharmacy against the day he'd get to disassemble a Dragon. Such dedication, I thought to myself, or obsession or crazy fixation or... I kept my hands moving, packing away the various Dragon parts on the worktable. The last items I tucked away were the remaining fang and finally the Dragon's huge hide, rolled up neatly into a bundle.

"The Earth Dragon's hide is beautiful, isn't it~?" Elland-san sighed as it disappeared out of sight into my Item Box. "As expected it was too expensive for me to purchase but I could stare at its gleaming scales for days on end." I recalled him rubbing his cheek on the Dragon's skin when I left it with him to disassemble earlier but quickly tore my thoughts away. "However we don't have 10,000 gold coins to spare to buy it from you." he finished.

..................? Did I hear that right? "Uh, just now, how many gold coins did you just say?"

"10,000 gold coins, I think I said?" Elland-san replied with a smile.

"............ Soooo, 10,000 gold coins." I repeated, dumbfounded.

"Yes, 10,000 gold coins." Elland-san confirmed.

10,000 gold coins ... 10,000 gold coins ... 10,000 gold coins ... my stomach lurched again. What could I buy with 10,000 gold coins? I couldn't imagine anything worth that much. Was there anything in this world that actually cost 10,000 gold pieces? I didn't know.

"I have to ask, is there anyone who would actually pay 10,000 gold coins for this skin?"

Elland-san thought for a moment. "Well, it would be difficult even for very rich nobles to afford it. Hmmm, maybe the Duke of Beauven in the south could manage to pay for it somehow. I can't think of anyone in this country other than him."

The skin is so expensive, its price is so high that virtually no-one can afford to buy it and so it's effectively worthless. Strange. Going around saying "Buy this please." would be a hard sell. No matter, I'd just let it rest for the time being beside Orthros-san and Chimaera-san in my Item Box. I'd do the same with the other Dragon parts I had already stored away, leave them be until I needed them or I found buyers for them elsewhere. The blood, other Guilds might buy some, I didn't know. I'd ask Elland-san about that later.

"The Dragon meat is being kept in an ice storehouse over here." Elland-san led the way to a heavily-insulated door in the far wall of the warehouse. When he opened it cold air flooded out. I peered in, noticing the floor of the small thick-walled room had long grooves cut in it and filled with ice. Elland-san explained that an ice magic user came by regularly to refresh the ice channels.

"Since the body wouldn't fit in here in one piece I cut it into three sections." Elland-san explained. I nodded, surveying the piles of meat which just about filled the ice room. Right, to work. I quickly packed the Dragon meat away in my Item Box and Elland-san closed the door again. He looked hesitant as we returned to the centre of the warehouse floor again, then he coughed and spoke.

"Mukouda-san, we talked earlier about Dragon meat and you agreed, didn't you that... ummm..." Oh, THAT discussion, back in Elland-san's office the day I arrived in Doran.

"Eeh, I remember we discussed it, yes." I was trying to politely make my excuses and leave when Elland-san continued excitedly.

"Really? Then let's go!"

"Uh, where is it that we're going?" I asked, confused again.

"We're going to eat Dragon meat, what else?" Elland-san asked loudly. That wasn't a good thing to say around the Gluttonous Trio who were, of course, accompanying me and well within hearing distance.

"Nuu, have you finally finished here? Then it's time to eat some Dragon meat." Fer said, already heading for the door. No it's not time to eat yet Fer, I told him telepathically but he wasn't listening.

"Meat? Are we going to eat meat? Meat meat~" Dora-chan had picked up on Fer's enthusiasm. No, Dora-chan, it's not time for meat meat. Slow down, you two! but they were already at the warehouse door.

"Mukouda-san will do the cooking, right? So let's go to my house." Elland-san babbled on, his excitement almost palpable. "You don't know what sort of folks might turn up and interrupt if you cook Dragon meat somewhere else. My house, it's the best place to sit down calmly and and eat Dragon meat in peace. I can lock and bar the doors and-" He had me by the arm and was dragging me mindlessly towards the warehouse door despite my best efforts to hold back.

"But you're working, you're the Guild Master here, you must be very busy right now-" I said, trying to distract him. If I could only get a solid grip on the worktable, even he wouldn't be able to drag such a large sturdy piece of furniture like that around, would he?

"Busy? What are you talking about Mukouda-san?" His eyes were filled with excitement and, dare I say it, lust. "There is nothing more important right now than tasting the meat of this Dragon!" He waved his arm around the room, encompassing the entire Guild building. "Besides, in a Guild this size we have an assistant Guild Master who can run things and deal with any problems if I'm not here so it's fine if I take some time off." Oh, are you saying that you value your job here as less important than eating Dragon meat? That's deplorable, Guild Master Elland-san. Do your job like you should and don't just dump it all on your poor suffering assistant.

"Right, let's go!" My attempt to hold onto the worktable was to no avail and I left, well I was dragged from the Adventurers Guild by Elland-san. As the front door closed behind me I caught a glimpse of the stunned expression on the florid face of a rather overweight fellow standing by the reception desk. He was probably the assistant Guild Master, I decided as I was pulled along the street uncaringly by his boss. I felt some sympathy for him for having to work under the truly deplorable Elland-san.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Ch 127 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 127 -- Boiled Pork and Pickled Soft-boiled Egg


Well, what shall I make now? I asked myself as my contracted monsters went off for yet another nap after gobbling down their lunch of Wyvern steaks over rice.

Let's see, I had bought black bread in Doran's shops, quite a lot of it. That meant stew or soup that would go with the bread to make it more palatable. Stew? I could make the beef stew I made once before. It had turned out to be quite popular, in fact so popular that there was none left after a single meal, I recalled. However, I patted the stove beside me familiarly, I could cook a lot more at one time now. I ordered up two more half-sized stockpots from the Net Super along with butter, a can of demi-glace sauce and a bottle of red wine to fill in the items missing  from my beef stew recipe. Right, let's get started, peel, peel, chop, chop, slice, slice...

"Boil until the vegetables become soft then add the can of demi-glace sauce and ketchup, a bit more boiling and they'll be ready." I said to remind myself as I shredded lots more cabbage and rinsed it thoroughly in clean water. When I was a student I used to earn some money doing part-time work in the college dorm's kitchens helping out with the cooking and cleaning. Despite that experience I'm not actually that good at things like preparing cabbage but it's OK if there are occasional thick slices, it's... artisanal, I told myself. Artisanal, yup. Now what did I need to do now? Ah yes, add the demi-glace sauce and the ketchup and stir it into the vegetables then lower the heat and let it simmer. Having done that I shredded more cabbage until...

"Fu~, is this it?" I had nearly run out of cabbages to slice up. I looked at the giant pile of shredded cabbage and shrugged, I hadn't really meant to make so much but it was easy repetitive work and the extra wouldn't go to waste. I had plans for the remaining cabbages so I put down my knife and stored the shredded cabbage away in my Item Box. After that I peeked into the pots on the stove where the beef stew was simmering. I stirred the stew some more, listening to the sounds of it bubbling away in the pots. Yosh, that was going well.

What will I make next...? I'd like to make hamburger steak but I just used up all the ground minced meat and it would take me a lot of time and effort to make more right now. Ah, remembering working in the dorm kitchens brought to mind another part-time job I had as a student, working in a ramen restaurant. I could make boiled pork, an essential ingredient for ramen but it was tasty enough served over rice like gyuudon beef bowl. I shouldn't take me much time to prepare it and after that I can just let it simmer away like the beef stew. Thinking about ramen that suggested soft-boiled eggs as another option, hmmm. Making boiled pork meant ordering another half-sized stockpot from the Net Super but I added cooking string, leeks, garlic and ginger and eggs to the list.

First of all I tied up pieces of Orc meat in tight bundles with the cooking string. It didn't have to look pretty and it's a hassle to do it properly, the way the pros in ramen restaurants do. The key thing is to keep the pieces of pork bundled up and prevent them from falling apart when they're being boiled so I just wound the string around and around the lumps of meat until they looked about the right shape. I oiled up a frying pan and set it to a high heat before searing the Orc meat bundles to seal the outsides. Now for the boiling.

I put water, soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar in the new half-size stockpot and got it started boiling while I added the white root parts of some leeks and the remaining onions and carrots, crushed garlic and sliced ginger. Once it was boiling properly I added the bundles of seared Orc meat and let it cook thoroughly.

While that was all happening I made a lot of soft-boiled eggs. A tip, if you make a small hole in the bottom of the shell before boiling the eggs it makes them easier to peel afterwards. I used to use a safety pin to do this before I got one of those gadgets to do it properly when it was on sale at a 100 yen store. Hmmm, I had a look in the Net Super and yes, there it was so I ordered one. It wasn't 100 yen, of course (plus sales tax) but at three copper coins it was still pretty cheap.

Drill a hole in the shells with the gadget, boil the eggs for about 6 minutes letting them roll around gently so that the yolks get fixed in the middle, soak them in cold water and peel off the shells. After that I turned the heat off under the boiled pork pot. I'd let it cool down and leave it overnight to marinate in the stock before it was ready to take out and store. What could I make now? The stew was still in progress, I had to wait for the boiled pork to cool down, the eggs were done. The burners were all in use but the oven? Hmmm, maybe roast beef?

I carved a generous piece of Bloody Horn Bull meat, dressed it in olive oil and then coated it with grated garlic, salt and coarse pepper before putting it in the pre-heated oven on the top shelf on a cooking sheet. I was starting to get an idea how the oven performed but I kept a close eye on the cooking meat and when it turned a proper brown colour I took it out, wrapped it in aluminium foil and let it cook through with the residual heat as I had with the Giant Deer steaks I had cooked yesterday. I had lots of raw garlic to hand so I didn't use the herb salt this time though. After my patience ran out I unwrapped the roast and cut a slice of the meat. It looked well-cooked, brown and crisp on the outside but a vivid pink in the middle, oozing juices. Now to taste it...

Munch. Umu, it's delicious. My attempt to take another bite was interrupted by-

"Have you cooked dinner?" Fer, initially.

"I'm hungry, you know-" Dora-chan, sequentially.

"Food, food-" Sui, finally.

Uh huh, these three guys definitely won't miss a chance to interrupt just when I'm about to eat. Well, this roast beef wasn't meant to be for dinner, but I haven't made dinner yet and this roast won't be enough for the Gluttonous Three, never mind myself... roast beef sandwiches, perhaps they'd do the job? I've got to save some of this roast beef for myself at all costs. Protect the meat! And I've got all that shredded cabbage, ummm, yosh.

"Please wait a moment." I ordered, taking a peek into the pot of boiled pork before I took it off the stove and put it down out of the way. It was looking really good and smelling even better. I'd leave it overnight to grow cold and let the flavour of the broth completely soak through the cooked meat to make it really yummy. I'd do the same later with the soft-boiled eggs, putting them in a saucepan to marinate in a mixture of soy sauce and mirin overnight too.

Once I'd dealt with the boiled pork I started on the roast beef sandwiches. I bought bread and butter and Japanese-style onion dressing from the Net Super. I heated the bread in the oven, spread butter on the slices and topped them with shredded cabbage before adding slices of juicy roast beef and coating them with onion dressing and another slice of buttered bread. I might have used a steak sauce instead of the onion but the shredded cabbage really called for a more acidic dressing taste-wise. I made a pile of sandwiches and put them out on dishes.

"It's ready-" I said redundantly as I was pushed rudely aside and the sound of chomping jaws filled the courtyard.

"This meat is delicious." Fer said as he stopped for breath. "But what's with all this other stuff?"

Fer, if I only ate meat I would die, I told him telepathically. Just eat your greens like a good little puppy. I kept that last thought to myself. I still had some roast beef left over and I was ready to defend it to the last. Protect the beef!

"I don't get you, big guy." Dora-chan said, a satisfied expression on his face as he finished off yet another sandwich. "It's not just the meat, the rest of it, the veggies inside and the sauce, the bread too makes it tastier to eat." I agreed but I was surprised that Dora-chan thought the same way. He was quite discriminating in his tastes.

"Sour sauce and vegetables and meat together, mmmm tasty~" Sui-chan was a gourmet in her own way, I supposed.

Fer and Sui had "Seconds!" several times but somehow I only consumed two sandwiches. The roast beef was very satisfying. And I had some left over, I thought to myself smugly. The roast beef had been successfully protected, tucked away safe in my Item Box. I put the saucepan of marinating soft-boiled eggs and the half-sized stockpot of boiled pork back in my Item Box too. I'd take them back out once I returned to my room and let them stay out overnight. The Item Box was a great convenience, keeping hot food hot but anything I cooked that needed time to achieve results, like marinating eggs had to be done outside the Item Box where time ran as normal. Finally I turned off the Black Magic Cooking Stove and put it away in the Item Box too.

"Okay, I'm going back to my room." I announced as Dora-chan's eyelids flickered sleepily. A full belly of roast beef will do that to you, I thought to myself smugly. "Oh, and tomorrow I'm going to the Adventurers Guild at noon."

"Nuuu, what for?" Fer inquired, his own eyelids drooping heavily.

"What for? To get that Earth Dragon meat, what else?" I replied. Fer's eyes snapped open. "Elland-san said it would be ready after three days." I reminded him.

"Oooooh," Fer started to drool, "three days, you're right... we can finally eat Dragon..." Fer fixed me with a glare. "We'll be eating Dragon tomorrow night, understand?"

"Yeah yeah." Dragon meat, I wonder what it tastes like. Fer seemed very keen on it and we had eaten some very tasty meat together, could it really be as good as he claimed?

Once I was back in the room I put the stockpot of boiled pork on the desk to cool down and parked the saucepan of marinating soft-boiled eggs beside it, then I put Sui's bag on the bed.

"Sui, I have a small favour to ask you, is it OK just now?" I said. Sui looked out from her bag.

"Whaaat izzit, aruji-" Sui-chan sounded a bit sleepy. Sorry for interrupting your post-dinner siesta, Sui.

"Anyways, can you make a sword like this one for me, the same way you made that knife?" I took out the short sword I had purchased so long ago (and never used) from my Item Box. Sui-chan looked closely at the sword.

"Gotcha-." She trembled a bit. Was something wrong? "It may take a bit longer to make than the knife, is that OK?"

"Of course It's OK. Well then, please do it." I handed several lumps of Mithril ore to Sui and sat down to wait. It hadn't hurt her when she had made the knife earlier, making a sword shouldn't hurt her this time but I worried just the same. I didn't interrupt her though and after an hour or so had passed----

"Aruji-, I made it." Sui extruded a gleaming sword. I quickly Appraised it.

[ Mithril short sword + ]
A high-quality Mithril short sword.

Oh wow, that's truly amazing. Just what I'd expect from Sui. "Thank you so much, Sui." I said sincerely. As a reward I bought her strawberry shortcake, pudding a la mode and cream puffs from the Net Super.

"Sui, this is a thank you for working so hard, help yourself." I pushed the dish with the desserts towards her.

"Can I eat-?" she asked hesitantly. She knew she shouldn't snack between meals. Sui-chan was a good girl.

"It's okay this time, eat up." I winked at her. "But don't let Fer and Dora-chan that I gave you this."

"Well, secret~" Sui said conspiratorially, ingesting the strawberry shortcake. "Mmmm, sweet and delicious~" After all Sui likes sweet things and she deserved a treat for her hard work making the sword for me so it was fine.

Thanks to Sui we would be able to make weapons in an emergency, even in a dungeon if necessary. I examined the Mithril sword carefully. Boy it looked sharp, just like the knife Sui had made earlier. Very sharp. I resisted the temptation to run the tip of my finger along the edge to test it by touch. Not a good idea.

In fact I had been thinking about asking Sui-chan to make me one or two Mithril kitchen knives but this kind of sharpness was, well, TOO sharp. I was scared really, after all every now and then my hand slips or I make a mistake when I'm cutting and preparing food and if I was using something this sharp I'd run out of fingers pretty quickly. The kitchen knives I can buy from the Net Super will be enough for me, I decided. Weapons though, that was different. I'd want something as sharp as possible in that case to protect myself. With this Mithril short sword, the way it felt in my hand, even someone like me whose motto is Safety First could use it successfully. All I'd have to do is hit something with it and it would cut through. Skin, scales, armour, bone, shields, even other swords, I felt that nothing could stop it.

Thank you truly for your assistance, Sui.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Ch 126 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 126 -- Pork Miso Soup

The next day was dedicated to preparing meals to eat in the dungeon later. Even if I got the chance to cook or I was forced to cook later while we were in the dungeon I wanted to spend some time stocking up my Item Box with cooked food beforehand.

I served a simple breakfast to everyone so I'd have the rest of the day free. I chose Bloody Horn Bull steak which I quickly baked in the oven of my new stove, a meal my three contracted monsters found delicious. They didn't have a problem eating something so substantial for breakfast but for myself I just had some instant soup, bread and coffee.

Well, what will I make today? I pondered. Yesterday I cooked beef bowl and fried dishes... topping bowls of rice with meat and other items was really convenient, the rice underneath made everything delicious. Should I make more toppings like that? Pork fried with ginger perhaps, or something pickled in miso? Ah, speaking of which I remembered had some Orc General in miso I had prepared a while back and totally forgot about. I rummaged about in my Item Box and yup, there was a fair amount still left. The oven was still hot so I grilled it all with ginger. It was nice and easy to prepare, the sort of recipe I made a lot because it was quick and simple and went very well on top of cooked rice. How about pork chops while I was at it? The Orc General meat was really delicious after all.

Thinking of rice I realised I really wanted to eat curry again. I'm a standard-bearer for the "pork in curry" faction and I've got some Orc General meat still left but the smell, well, I like it but others such as the landlady of the "Labyrinth City Inn" might object if I filled her courtyard with the pungent smell of curry being cooked. The Orc General meat was still in my mind though, what could I cook with it... ah, I could make pork miso soup. It's hot and filling, a substantial meal in itself and would go down well in a dark dank dungeon. I didn't know how Fer and the others might appreciate it, maybe if I put in more Orc General meat than normal? I'd give it a try.

First of all, I went shopping at Net Super for cooking implements. I bought a half-sized stockpot like the ones I bought yesterday to make the pork miso soup in and also some big 28 cm-wide frying pans which were a lot deeper than the ones I had used until now. I bought four of them with lids to fit since the Black Magic stove had four burners. While I was at it I bought more bowls and Saran Wrap, wooden spatulas, ladles and the like before I moved on to buying ingredients. I had plenty of pork, potatoes, carrots and onions but I was missing essentials such as sesame seed oil, dashi soup stock, daikon radishes, burdock and konjac and of course miso. I also stocked up on some of the pork-fried-with-ginger sauce from a certain un-named company that I always use, and ketchup too since I was running low (again!)

I looked at the order list and hesitated, what had I forgotten? Ah, if you make grilled pork with ginger and pork miso soup, whether you ate it separately or on top of rice you needed shredded cabbage as a garnish. The cabbages in this world, well they didn't lend themselves to be eaten raw... I added a pack of shredded cabbage to the order at Net Super since I was more certain how it would taste.  I started to think the cabbages I had just bought in this world were going to go to waste, unless maybe I could cook them? Something simple, like a casserole, Szechuan twice-cooked pork or maybe even as a hot-pot? I added some commercially available Szechaun sauce to my order from the Net Super, I'd give it a try later.

Hmm, that took quite a while. The half-size stockpot and the frying pans were a good price, I mused as I fed coins into the Net Super but really the cost of such items was trivial to me now. The order arrived and I rubbed my hands. Right then, time to cook.

First thing was to prepare the pork so I sliced the Orc General meat into thin strips about 3 cm wide then I moved on to the veggies. I peeled and scraped the potatoes and carrots before slicing and dicing them along with the daikon. The onions I cut down into rings about 5mm thick and then I shaved the burdock down and put them all into a little water before starting to heat it. The konjac jelly I similarly cut into strips and added to the water as it started to warm up.

While that was cooking I put some sesame oil in the half-size stockpot and fried the strips of Orc General's meat. When the colour of the meat changed I stirred in the vegetables and konjac and added more sesame oil then more water and soup dashi and mixed it thoroughly. I scooped off the fat as it boiled and once the vegetables softened I added the miso soup stock and let it boil some more before turning the heat off and tasting it experimentally.

Su-su-, I blew on the first spoonful, oh yeah, it's delicious.

The vegetables were cooked through and soft as they should be in a soup, not crisp as I'd want in a roast or fry. Cooking it a bit longer might have let the juices soak in a bit more, I judged critically.

This pork miso soup is quite a bit different from what I had at home when I was a youngster. Well, I used sesame seed oil because my parents used sesame seed oil but I like sesame seed oil, it smells and tastes good but the rest is quite different, like the onions. I suppose everyone has their own recipe for basic food like pork miso and I grew into using onions in my cooking and they ended up in my version of pork miso soup, in part because they add a certain sweetness to the final dish. You could use sweet potatoes instead, I suppose or taro perhaps, it will still taste all right. Pork miso soup is a dish you can change around depending on what you like and what's to hand. Perhaps it's because it's the sort of dish that you eat when it's cold and dark (like in a dungeon) and you appreciate it more then.

I left the pork miso soup to sit for about 1 hour then boiled it again and put it away hot in the Item Box. While I waited I cooked Orc General with ginger, a mix of the regular meat as well as the Orc General meat I had marinated in miso and then finished off by grilling pork chops. As I finished each batch I put it into my Item Box to reamin hot and ready to serve.

"Fuu~, should I stop now or carry on?" The idea of Szechuan twice-cooked pork was tempting me, I had the sauce so... I got to work slicing more Orc General into bite-sized pieces followed by chopping up some of the locally-bought cabbage. I oiled a frying pan, flash-fried the meat at maximum heat and when it started to change colour I dumped in the chopped-up cabbage and stir-fried them together. When the cabbage started to soften I added the sauce I just bought from the Net Super. A few moments more stir-frying and it was done. I served it into a dish and put it into my Item Box. Another super-simple dish done and ready to eat later.

Well, after that it was almost time for lunch. I considered the extra shredded cabbage I had left over, could I do anything with it? "Today's lunch is.... It's gonna be steak again." I decided. I knew the Gluttonous Trio would quite happily eat steak morning noon and night. "I'll make it like a beef bowl though."

Sensing I was being closely watched I looking behind me and sure enough Fer, Sui and Dora-chan were waiting, line abreast. It was like they had inbuilt clocks or something.

"I'm hungry, what's for lunch." That was Fer, of course.

"Give me food." demanded Dora-chan who was picking up bad habits from Fer, it seemed.

"Sui is hungry too, aruji-" Ah, darling Sui-chan is hungry? Just wait and I'll get lunch ready for you.

I cooked Wyvern steak for lunch, topping it on rice along with garlic-flavoured steak sauce, a simple and quick recipe like a beef bowl. This time I ate lunch too and I had to agree with the Gluttonous Trio it really was delicious. Then again anything with Wyvern meat was tasty, I mused, patting my full belly once the "Seconds!" had been dished out. It was maybe a bit luxurious for lunch but I was well satisfied, deciding to wait a little before doing more cooking.