TLN: Hey guys, Reigokay here!
Just a little update. My luggage safely returned! At least that’s over with. And so, it is two chapters to celebrate my coming back! :D!!
I will soon be unlocking the sponsored chapters since I am basically already settled in now.
Haah, it is good to be back 🙂
I do have a variety of things to do, but for today at least, let’s hang out with Erin to our heart’s content.
After breakfast, I told the Queen about my intent to go out and requested a free day for Erin. Looks like they were aware that Erin had been working without any free days.
Just that, in regards to the maid’s work times, not even royalty is able to thoughtlessly speak as they want. Well, if the top speaks, the ones below have no choice but to obey. However, if the order were to be pushed, it might affect the will of the people, in other words, their loyalty.
In modern terms, it would be called power harassment.
“Now then, where should we go.” (Makoto)
While relaxing at a bench in the plaza, I ponder about what to do.
The only time I have gone out of the royal castle has been to go to the slums. This is my first time in the city.
“Erin, do you have any place you recommend?” (Makoto)
“Eh? R-Recommendations?” (Erin)
“Yeah. Places you would like to go to are fine as well.” (Makoto)
Erin was flustered with her tail wagging left and right.
She is not in her usual maid clothes. It is a free day, so she is wearing a casual one piece. A light pink one piece matched Erin, and when I witnessed the excited Queen who tried to hug her and had been stopped by Niva-san, I thought how pathetic of a sight that was, which I am most likely not the only one who thought that.
Erin suddenly raised her voice and looked at a certain direction, so I directed my gaze at that direction too, and I saw a food cart.
“Is that…dango?” (Makoto)
“Ah, yes. It is a dango food cart which has been getting pretty popular lately.” (Erin)
To think there would be a dango food cart.
Even so, there’s one, two, three… Just how many dango food carts are there here? Even if it is popular, aren’t you guys riding the fad way too much?
“In the beastkin country, it is an usual pastry.” (Erin)
“Ooh… Is that why a beastkin is making it?” (Makoto)
An old man with round ears at the top part of his head was calling out to people with sweat running down from his face and a dango skewer in hand.
“Is that a racoon?” (Makoto)
“Uhm…I think that’s a Grand Bear.” (Erin)
That’s a bear? It is so fat that I can only see him as a racoon.
“I am getting hungry, so let’s try it out.” (Makoto)
“Ah, yes.” (Erin)
The scent of the dangos were riding the wind and tickling my nostrils, and honestly, I couldn’t endure it anymore.
While pulling along Erin who had expectation in her eyes and voice, we head to the dango food cart.
“The dango is delicious~! It is fluffy dango~!”
The bear old man calling out to people while covered in sweat and dango skewers in hand was a comical sight. The people that passed by glanced at the bear old man, but they didn’t stop and just pass by.
How to say it…the tragicness of the old man is sticking out pretty hard in this place. The more desperate you get, the more isolated you become; that’s the kind of atmosphere that’s covering the bear old man.
“Hah.. Today was no good either huh.”
“Don’t make such a grim face, old man.” (Makoto)
I call out to the bear old man that had his shoulders drooped, but he raised a voice of surprise.
“Makoto-sama, speaking like that to someone you have first met is a bit too much…” (Erin)
“Ah, I unintentionally leaked out what I was thinking right outta my mouth.” (Makoto)
A straight stare from Erin is actually nice!
“Old man, give us some dango.” (Makoto)
“Eh, ah, yes!”
He made a dumbfounded expression for a moment, but he soon made a business face. What an amusing old man with that repertoire of faces.
“Are there varieties of dangos?” (Makoto)
“The dangos are made of rice flour. In regards to what it is smeared on top of it, there’s red bean paste, azuki beans, and strawberry and orange jam. There’s also green-tea and kelp tea as drinks.”
“There’s even kelp tea?” (Makoto)
Red bean paste and jam can be seen normally in the royal castle’s cafeteria, so I guess it is common in this world. There’s not much to get surprised in that part, but since the options are so common and there’s nothing unique, this food cart is not getting much popularity.
There’s also the possibility that the taste is dreadfully bad.
“Then, I would like the red bean paste one. Ah, and green-tea. What about you, Erin?” (Makoto)
“I will also have red bean paste and green-tea, please.” (Erin)
“Understood. Please wait for a bit”, is what the bear old man said as he smears red bean paste on top of the dango, and makes two packs.
“Excuse the wait. It is 600 norme.”
“There ya go.” (Makoto)
I take out the exact amount from my pocket and give it to the old man.
The money is from the Queen who gave it to me for when I am to head out. It is pocket money from the Queen, but the reason is apparently to reward me for fortifying the protection of Almina and the previous king.
I do have to question the sanity of the Queen for giving me a reward of 1,000,000 norme for that though. Well, I take what I am given. Be reserved? I already threw something like that to the trash can at my sixth parallel world summon.
“Thank you very much.”
We were seen off by the bear old man with a smile, and we sit at a bench that was close by.
“Now then, let’s eat and see.” (Makoto)
The cheery Erin was wagging her tail feistily, and when she opened the wrapping, her nose twitched. The sweet scent of the red bean paste was tickling our nostrils. Stabbing one with the skewer, she brings it to her mouth.
“Nom…It iph gooph!” (Erin)
Erin’s tail wagged energetically, and with a blissful smile, she brings dangos into her mouth one after the other.
“…It is tasty.” (Makoto)
“Yeph, dericioph!” (Erin)
“Talk after swallowing, okay?” (Makoto)
Erin had stuffed cheeks like those of a squirrel, and ended up choking. She hurriedly drinks the green-tea, and lets out a ‘whew’ as she knits her brows.
While I was amused by this sight of hers, I thought ‘cute is justice’ as I rub her back. I also don’t forget to rub her ears as well.
“Rather than normal, this is actually good.” (Makoto)
“Why is it that there’s no customers, I wonder.” (Erin)
It is not as if the other dango food carts are prospering. It is probably because it is oversaturated here. In just this small area, there’s close to over 10 dango food carts.
“The only beastkin here is that bear old man, huh… The others are probably people that jumped on the fad.” (Makoto)
“Meaning that those people stole the business that he began?” (Erin)
“Hmm, it is not as if he has a monopoly on it, so I wouldn’t call it stealing. The other food carts probably have the same repertoire with not that much difference in taste, hence this current state of affairs.” (Makoto)
“…I-I see.” (Erin)
Erin probably didn’t understand. She gave a vague response to it. While pushing aside that, I wash down the dango with green-tea.
When I was going to take my second one, a shadow suddenly loomed over, and I heard a voice from above. I didn’t have to look up to know who it was, since there’s a conspicuous fat stomach visible which I saw not that long ago. It is the bear old man.
“Hm? What’s the matter, O-san <Old man>?” (Makoto)
“It is just that I heard your talk a moment ago, you see.”
There’s around 15 meters between the bench and the food cart. Should I say ‘as expected of a beastkin’ here? Being able to pick up our voice in this place where people are coming and going, that’s quite the fearsome hearing.
“Can I consult you about something?”
“Consult, you say? To us who you just met today?” (Makoto)
“True. It is been a while since I have had customers, so I wanted to have a talk with you.”
The bear old man was making quite the pitiful face while scratching his head, and it felt as if he would cry at any moment.
“It has been a while, you say. Just how badly are your sales doing?” (Makoto)
“I would say it has been around a week…”
“Just quit.” (Makoto)
“Haha. I honestly am thinking of quitting.”
The bear old man makes a dry laugh.
Does that mean he longed for interaction? Considering the callings he was doing just a while ago, he is quite in a desperate state.
“Is the reason that?” (Makoto)
When I point with my eyes at a dango food cart that was close by, the bear old man nods.
“Were there that many before?” (Makoto)
“No, I was the first one beginning a dango business here, but… Oh, sorry. I haven’t introduced myself yet.”
After we finish introducing ourselves, the bear old man begins speaking about the tragedy that occurred to him.
The bear old man, Lorongo, left his hometown to repay a debt and went to the Motoyasu Kingdom to get money. That was three months ago. At that time, when he had settled a food cart in this plaza, the only dango food cart was Lorongo, and with the novelty of it, he was profiting quite a bit.
On top of that, because this bear old man is so soft hearted -or more like, an idiot- he told the dango recipe to a man that was his customer. As a result of leisurely speaking about his business tool, in around two months, people doing the same business were steadily appearing, and it has turned into the current situation.
“…That’s just you shooting yourself on your own foot.” (Makoto)
“Well, that’s true, but…” (Lorongo)
This old man is a hopeless idiot.
“Who would spill out the beans about the means you rely on to bring food to your table?” (Makoto)
“You see…Business was going well at that time. Got a bit lax.” (Lorongo)
“O-san, you will get scammed one day.” (Makoto)
“I…was already scammed before I began this business. That’s why I am in the Motoyasu Kingdom to begin with.” (Lorongo)
He was actually a victim!
“Nah, it is nothing to apologize for, Makoto-kun. Hahahaha…” (Lorongo)
This old man is not fit to be a merchant. Like, at all.
“And so, what did you want to consult me about?” (Makoto)
“Ah, right… You see, I was thinking about making some new sweets, but it doesn’t seem to be going well.” (Lorongo)
“So you are asking me to help you make one?” (Makoto)
“No, I was thinking that maybe you could try them out and tell me your impressions.” (Lorongo)
His merchant spirit is tough, but at this rate, I feel like he will end up in the same hole.
“I don’t mind doing that much, but…make sure they are actually edible, okay?” (Makoto)
“That’s okay. I am not so down in the dumps that I would bring out things that can’t be eaten. Wait for a bit.” (Lorongo)
While watching the back of Lorongo who went off with his body shaking as he went, I ate the last dango and take a sip of my green tea.
Anyways, in the dumps, huh. He must have had a painful circumstance as to why he came here. He did say that he was the victim of a scam after all.
That he hasn’t had his spirit rot is something worth of praise. I don’t know what he is thinking, but his passion is the real deal.
“Hah…Hah… S-Sorry for the wait.” (Lorongo)
“Are you okay, O-san?” (Makoto)
“I-It is okay… M-More importantly, this…” (Lorongo)
The sweaty O-san gives me a pack while breathing roughly. If I were a woman, I think I would scream creep.
“A-Are you okay?” (Makoto)
“Y-Yeah…I am okay. I have been sampling food lately, you see.” (Lorongo)
I can understand how you can get fat by sampling a lot of food, is what I think as I looked at his bulking stomach and open the pack that I received.
It looks like a pancake…but there’s two pancakes stacked, and there’s red bean paste sandwiched between them. This composition is…no doubt about it, dorayaki.
For now, I try one bite of it.
“…Hmm, the looks are that of dorayaki.” (Makoto)
“Eh? Makoto-kun, you know about it?” (Lorongo)
“There was a similar sweet like this where I lived at.” (Makoto)
“I see… I thought it was a new pastry, but that wasn’t the case, huh.” (Lorongo)
The look is incredibly similar, but my impression after eating a bite of it was that the texture of the pancake is strangely hard. Erin is also eating it, but she was looking at the pseudo-dorayaki with a complicated expression.
Honestly speaking, it is hard to eat and it tires the jaw. In that sense, you could say it is indeed a new pastry.
“The one that I have eaten has a softer texture, and a more mellow feeling to it.” (Makoto)
“…I see. I thought it would be better to have elasticity like that of dango, but a soft texture, huh.” (Lorongo)
“If I remember correctly, I have heard that they use honey to make them, but I don’t know in detail the way of making it.” (Makoto)
“Honey to make what sandwiches it…I haven’t tried that out.” (Lorongo)
A bear and honey…I think that completely fits!
“The way it is currently made can actually be eaten in its own way. Like spreading it thinly and smear it with things like red bean paste or jam. In this heat, the texture is too hard, making it difficult to eat. If you thin it, I feel like it could have the proper amount of fluffiness.” (Makoto)
“I see. Thin it…” (Lorongo)
“Other than that, maybe wrap it with things like meat and vegetables to give it taste. As long as you don’t get stuck on the thought that it has to be a sweet, there’s a variety of ways you can turn it.” (Makoto)
Food like crepes, chapati, and kebabs are more suited to eat on the go, so I think it is perfect for a food cart.
“Ooh, Makoto-kun!” (Lorongo)
“Hm? Wha—Wait, why are you crying, O-san?” (Makoto)
“Thank you! I am truly glad to have met you!” (Lorongo)
“That’s creepy, O-san.” (Makoto)
I respond in a half-baked manner to the O-san that was holding my hand with tears running down his face, and at the side, I heard an input of ‘Should I take a hint here…?’, but ignore it. Like I would want to hold the hand of an old man because I want to.
I would be happy to hold the ears or tail of Erin though.
“I see… There’s no need to stick to sweets…” (Lorongo)
As if he were a saint that had received a revelation, the O-san was making a refreshed face in a praying pose, but it seems like he returned to his senses, he suddenly turned to me.
“Right. I have to thank you in some way, Makoto-kun—” (Lorongo)
“Ah, it is fine not to. It is not as if it was my invention anyways. I only spoke of what I knew about.” (Makoto)
“But that wouldn’t sit well for me.” (Lorongo)
“Then, next time I come here, let me eat your new creation.” (Makoto)
If he were to ask me where I live in order to thank me, I would honestly find it hard to tell him that I am living in the royal castle. I’m like the extra of the heroes, and my position is quite the troublesome one.
I should leave the topic vague and squeeze out of it.
Calming down the O-san that was still clinging to it, I ordered two dangos for Niva-san.
“Thanks, come back again!” (Lorongo)
O-san made the biggest smile possible while giving us a heated farewell.
Today is the day when the heroes will be returning from the Selection Forest. A lot of things happened in this short period of time that I ended up forgetting completely about it.
Looking up at the far away sky, I pray that they return safely while I was walking together with Erin, and thus, began our outing in the royal capital.