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Reigokai: I have added one more chapter since I felt like the previous one was a bit short. Enjoy!
Thanks to the sponsor, HT G!
Chapter 29: Whereabouts of Mari-ane and the Deer Meat (Part 1)
I unexpectedly got an item that can serve as poison, but I safely managed to clean out my Item Box from anything related to goblins.
What I noticed at that time was the existence of the [Meat of the Forest Deer].
Deers are famously used in real life as an ingredient in wild game dishes on the same level as boars.
Of course, I haven’t cooked them or eaten them in real life.
“Isn’t this just perfect for the main ingredient of my next dish?” (Mari)
I immediately accessed an external site and searched for the recipe.
What was most abundant was roasted deer meat.
There’s variety in them, like for example; one with sauce that’s made from boiled down red wine or the Japanese style with what’s apparently wasabi and salt originated from the book of Motoyama Aoi.
They all look tasty, but I want to test out a bit of a different cooking method.
I continued searching, wondering if there’s anything else, and what I found was jerky.
“It takes time and effort, but smoking sounds novel.” (Mari)
A different cooking method, and it does seem like it would go well with the Forest Deer’s meat.
Also it is written that you can use walnut wood for the wood chips used in smoking.
There’s Walnut Lumber that was dropped from the Walking Wood in my Item Box.
It is practically telling me to make it.
“I can buy the other necessary ingredients, so the problem would be the tools used for smoking.” (Mari)
When smoking, I feel like I could manage by surrounding it with a decent amount of boards, but since I am going to be doing it, I would like to try making proper tools.
Also, there’s the possibility that the smoke will be troubling the residents.
After pondering about it, I decided to ask Vanessa-san, who is my cooking master.
The Pavillion of the Rabbit Tail I hadn’t come to in a while was really packed.
Even though it is not meal hours, a number of the customers couldn’t get in and were waiting outside.
The waitresses were desperately running around the establishment to the point they had forgotten their smiles.
That said, I feel like there’s been an oily smell for a while now.
Also, am I imagining it? Most of the customers were making nice crispy sounds as they ate.
“Could it be…” (Mari)
When I took a peek at what the customers were eating, I noticed that they were eating the potato chips that I made before.
“Eh? All the customers here have come to eat these potato chips?!” (Mari)
In real life, it is a normal sight to see people eating fried potatoes eaten together with a hamburger.
But I don’t think there’s many instances where a great number of customers come just to eat fried potatoes.
Especially when what’s being provided are not fried potatoes but potato chips.
I stood dumbfounded there, and a waitress that passed me by coincidence saw me and made a splendid turn as she came back.
“You are Maria-san, right?! There’s no doubt you are!!”
I don’t know if she is asking or stating, but why is she grabbing my arm?
Moreover, I could feel strong determination from the strength she was putting in that hand of hers as if saying she won’t be letting go no matter what.
My STR is abysmal, but even with that taken into account, isn’t this lady way too strong?
I even tried confirming whether my HP lowered from this.
She didn’t wait for me to answer and I was dragged into the kitchen deep in the establishment like that one calf that appears in a popular song. <Most likely a song called Dona, Dona about a calf being led to slaughter>
The kitchen I was brought into was -putting it kindly- hell.
The jumping oil, the ceaseless sound of kitchen knives cutting potatoes, and the sound of washing plates that clearly isn’t keeping up with the speed of the dishes being made.
Is the cook that’s sitting at the corner of the kitchen and holding their arm having tendonitis?
There’s even people treating their burns with potions.
I said hell, but it is more like a…battlefield?
Rather than calling it resting, it is more like the people out of commission are at the corner of the kitchen as if it were a field hospital.
Unfortunately, there’s no medic, so they have to manage something by themselves.
Within all that, the one making potato chips silently was Vanessa-san.
“Vanessa-san, I have captured Maria-san!!”
Hey, don’t speak of someone else as if they were criminals!
“What?! Good job! Your pay today is doubled!! Also, carry this and you can rest for a bit.” (Vanessa)
Vanessa-san gives the lady that dragged me here recently made potato chips, and she once again faces me.
Her eyes were completely still.
Aah, they look the same as a shop manager that’s about to give a part-timer a shift they can’t say no to.
“Now then, Maria, as you can see, our place is currently completely packed. I have absolutely no intention…of saying that it is because of the dish that you taught me, Maria, but…there’s no way the disciple will ignore her master who taught her cooking when that very master is in trouble, right?” (Vanessa)
Again with these flow of events?!
It sounds as if she is confirming my will here, but it is actually an order that I can’t refuse, right?!
While I was thinking that, letters flew by my face.
[Quest ‘Sla** Work’ has been made available. You will accept the quest, right?].
The wording of the notice is vaguely different, and why are the only choices Yes and Yeah?!
I can’t take this anymore…
“It is nothing complicated. You only have to make potato chips again. It is simple for you, right, Maria?” (Vanessa)
“It may be simple, but…around how much should I be making?” (Mari)
“You want to know?” (Vanessa)
Her suggestive smile made my back shiver.
This is the type that would break my heart if I heard it… Yeah, let’s not.
“…Never mind.” (Mari)
“That’s great.” (Vanessa)
Good bye, jerky.
Hello, potato chips.
I didn’t want to meet you again in this fashion.
I just gave up and tapped the choice icon that I didn’t feel like choosing from…
…My memories of a few hours after that were blurry.
The only thing I clearly remember are 3 things that have been ingrained into my ears.
The sound of the kitchen knives, the sound of oil jumping around, and the sound of plates being washed.
Hm? What did I come here for…?
(Maria: Marionettist. Lv.16)
(Skill: Skill Points +24)
[Faith String]: Lv14→Lv15
[Companion Puppet]: Lv7
[Preliminary Arrangements]: Lv2→Lv6
[Night Vision]: Lv3
[Vision Enhancement]: Lv2
[Hearing Enhancement]: Lv2→Lv3