Tsuki – Extra 65: The endless path of Mio at the shadows

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“Aaaaahh—?!?!?!” 

The kitchen of a certain place in Asora. 

A shining miracle of many coincidences overlapped. If it were to be compared to something, it would be like the miracle of a Dragon Slayer defeating the Devil. 

“This is…!! I was following the trail of an extremely enticing scent, and here it is. What a true delicacy!!” 

“…”

The scream of despair and the delight and high praise was mixed a little bit. 

The former being from a rare hyuman girl in Asora, and the latter being from the mighty woman that no one in Asora doesn’t know, Mio.

What’s in the hand of Mio, who is ecstatic and has her cheeks flushed faintly, is a pure white plate.

There’s a variety of races gathered around the two of them, and they had a hard to describe atmosphere around them. 

“Y-Yeah…” 

The girl that was in tears and was looking at the plate as if her ego had crumbled was Keema. 

Because of various reasons involving Tomoe and Mio, the girl was now showing up in Asora. 

As for the circumstances of Tomoe alone, it would be that Keema’s sister, Carol, is involved in lacquer ware, and by the time they noticed, they had touched upon the depths of the Kuzunoha Company. 

“Are you the cook that made this?! How did you make it?! What’s the name of this dish?!” (Mio)

Mio grabbed the collar of Keema and shook her in every direction.

“I-I don’t know…” (Keema)

Keema was shaken about as she squeezed out those words.

“What do you mean by not knowing?! Wa, you! Don’t go to sleep! Wake up and make it one more time!” (Mio)

“T-That’s so unreasonable…guh.” (Keema)

Keema smiled in tears as she lost consciousness with her eyes open and the whites showing fully. 

This isn’t your regular despair. It is the hardboiled fainting where you can feel the many trials and tribulations she passed despite being young. 

“Mio-sama, please calm down!” 

“That person is clearly unconscious already!!” 

The residents of Asora rushed to the side of Mio with Keema losing consciousness as the trigger. 

“What-ja? What’s all this ruckus about?” (Tomoe)

Noticing the rising commotion, Tomoe peeked her head out. 

It is the moment when curry, which is one of the memories of Makoto, had been miraculously recreated in Asora, and had been lost. 

◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆

Lime, Carol, Keema. 

The hyumans that cooperate with the Kuzunoha Company are unrelated to the Rembrandt Company. 

They all have their own respective ambitions, but they have formed a relationship with the Kuzunoha Company where they can cooperate with each other. 

Well, since they all are in a relationship where they can’t raise their heads to the Kuzunoha Company, you wouldn’t be wrong to call them subordinates. 

The first one, Lime Latte, was a former adventurer, and with his previous enmity with the Rembrandt Company, he holds the past of having challenged Makoto, Tomoe, and Mio to a fight. 

Despite that, he managed to survive with all limbs attached and turned to serve the Kuzunoha Company instead, which you could say makes him a pretty blessed man. 

He was an adventurer with ability and had a good reputation as someone who looked well after others, so he is taking the role of a spy that keeps an eye on the current state of affairs in Tsige under the wing of Tomoe.

Carol and Keema are coincidentally from the same orphanage as Lime, and also sisters. 

At the place where both sisters were adopted to, they were hammered the ways of the underworld life, and took the occupation of assassins.

However, because of the sudden announcement of the boss retiring, they were dangling for a little bit. When the sister Carol was beginning to plan her path of living as a craftsman, she met the representative of the Kuzunoha Company, Raidou.

Her woodworking techniques were evaluated highly, and a relationship where they bought her creations was born. It eventually fell into the eyes of Tomoe, and she soon became one of the key people in the production of lacquer ware. 

As of present, they have obtained the protection of the mysterious trees of Asora, gained a decent degree of strength as adventurers, and would join up with her little sister as she crafted and went out adventuring, making for a very busy life. 

The little sister Keema felt comfort in the dark side of the world and holds outstanding capability, but because of her sister Carol and Raidou, who found her name reminiscent of a spicy dish**, she also fell into the eyes of Tomoe. <Keema is an indian dish>

And so, she was practically forcefully taken in by the Kuzunoha Company, and her connection to the dark side of the world was severed. 

She was mercilessly implanted Raidou’s memory of the taste of curry rice by Tomoe, was ordered to replicate it, and changed jobs from a waitress to a cook and adventurer, going to the wasteland together with her sister. 

The sisters have been acting as spies together with Lime, and they have sniffed a variety of conspiracies. Their performance is quite the sight. 

Tomoe felt like she was tasting a bit of that Onihei experience and was delighted by it. <Onihei is the nickname of Hasegawa Heizo which means Heizo the demon. He led a band of samurai police and cultivated reformed criminals as informants to solve difficult crimes. wiki>

And so, things were going decently well. 

“You were overly hasty there, Mio.” (Tomoe)

“That is…curry rice?!” (Mio)

“To be more precise, it is the curry part. See, Keema is wailing there, ya know.” (Tomoe)

“Uuh…who would have thought that was one of my dream dishes that was miraculously made possible…?” (Mio)

“Well, learning that the chances aren’t 0 is already a great harvest. Or rather, you could say we have certainly done a big step forward-ja. But…it succeeded all too suddenly, so it will be hard to get back to it immediately…” (Tomoe)

Even though it is in a room where Tomoe and Mio are present, Keema was bawling her eyes out. 

It is as if she is saying ‘if you are going to kill me, kill me already’.

“And so…was there not a recipe left there with roughly what it was?” (Mio)

“According to the people around…” (Tomoe)

When it comes to making dishes, moreover, a new dish, it isn’t rare for there to be detailed records of the preparation process and the ingredients, as well as the amount utilized.

It is because Mio has learned in that field that she touched upon this possibility. 

However, according to Tomoe’s explanation, this day was an experimental phase where they brought a wide variety of ingredients with strong fragrance from Tsige, the wasteland, and Asora, and would test everything they could think of. 

In the first place, there were a lot of ingredients that were a mystery aside from the fact that they weren’t poisonous, and the success this time around was from the experimental dishes when they haven’t clearly decided even the base of it. A coincidence among coincidences. 

Unfortunately, due to the sudden intrusion of Mio and the commotion that followed, they could only remember the spice used as a base and one other ingredient, so recreating the recipe was not possible in the end. 

Even though this was a rare big success, only two things were clear within the ones to be used. 

To try and recreate it by using an indefinite amount of ingredients within the hundreds of ingredients…it would be pretty rough. 

If at least the finished product still remained, trying to deduce the components might have been a bit easier, but not a single drop of the original product is left. 

The plate left on the hand of Mio is…yup, pure white. 

“The chili pepper and the seed; aside from that, it is back to zero, huh. A spice dish as intricate as that… I really did something bad there.” (Mio)

“So you have become a bit more reasonable when it comes to cooking, huh.” (Tomoe)

“The dishes that were tasty to the point of being moving all had really meticulous recipes after all. The techniques used goes without saying, but even the way to assess each ingredient shows the condensation of their efforts. On the other hand, the common dishes have had all unnecessary things cut off, and it is left with enough room to match the tastes—” (Mio)

“Yeah, I got it, I got it. I will listen to your talk about cooking when we are eating. And so, Mio…” (Tomoe)

“Yes?” (Mio)

“This Keema here is a former waitress that has taken over the mantle for the Kuzunoha Company to recreate the curry that you at first made everyone shudder and writhe.” (Tomoe)

“…So it seems. Even I can tell now that that is actual curry.” (Mio)

“The ingredients that the sisters here got from the wasteland and the ones that can be obtained in Tsige, well, we can manage something about that, but the problem is the ingredients that were gathered from here with the helpers of this girl.” (Tomoe)

“…”

“Whether it is fragrant plants, spices, herbs, or medicinal plants, it won’t be easy to obtain them even if Keema were to request for them. And the reality is that, even the seed that we are certain of apparently came from this place-ja.” (Tomoe)

Considering the taste, Keema said there’s no doubt it is the seed that resembles in shape, taste, and scent to that of what’s called the cumin seed** in Japan. 

By the way, Makoto only knows how to make the really common curry that utilizes curry roux**.

His knowledge of what spices are used is close to 0.

It may have peculiarities, but Keema managed to pinpoint the cumin seed clearly, simply from the taste and image of an unknown dish that was hammered into her head, so her tongue itself is pretty abnormal too. 

“I see. Then, I will cooperate in searching for the ingredients over here with her for a while.” (Mio)

“If you do something like that, Asora and the Kuzunoha won’t operate properly.” (Tomoe)

“? Then…” (Mio)

“The Arkes will work just fine-ja, so I am thinking of having them follow Keema for a while. How about that-ja?” (Tomoe)

“So bodyguards and ingredient gathering, huh. If it were anywhere else, it would be one thing, but there’s cases where it would be dangerous even for them in the Tree Garden and the Vegetable Garden if they were carrying luggage, you know?” (Mio)

“I am aware of that. For that area, I am thinking about having the Orcs, Lizards, and Forest Onis harvest as part of their training. Basically, we send the ingredients that were obtained in that way to Keema, and they can help out on everything else Keema needs to do elsewhere.” (Tomoe)

“That…does sound doable.” (Mio)

Mio nods at Tomoe after thinking about it for a bit. 

Tomoe considers the fact that Mio is feeling some responsibility for this as a big plus in adapting to society.

But Mio, who is a higher up, staying in charge of a single Tsige spy the whole time would be troubling.

And so, letting the Arkes, who are the familiars of Mio in a way, go in her place as an apology is a good point of compromise in the eyes of Tomoe. 

“Considering the charisma, I would say Akina.” (Tomoe)

Tomoe nominates the female Arke that would show up at times at the store. 

But Mio shook her head to the sides. 

“Her fighting style is a bit problematic. If they will be heading to Tsige too, Haruna would do better-desu wa.” (Mio)

“Fumu… It is true that those girls also go out to the wasteland. A way too peculiar fighting style would be dangerous instead.” (Tomoe)

“Yeah.” (Mio)

“Got it. Then, Haruna will go alongside Keema.” (Tomoe)

“Understood-desu wa. And so…” (Mio)

“?” 

Mio directed her gaze at Keema who had gone from bawling to silent, sticking her cheek right on the table, seeming as if she were looking at something far and apart. 

Tomoe tilted her head, wondering if something more happened.

“When will that curry be completed? Tomorrow? Tomorrow? Is it tomorrow?” (Mio)

Mio was chewing that miraculous taste with a glittery face while leaking unbecoming liquid from her mouth. 

Tomoe simply placed a hand on her forehead and sighed loudly. 

“…As if! A while is a while-ja! It could be half a year or a whole year! It is your just desserts here, so don’t put unnecessary pressure and shut up!” (Tomoe)

“…It was just a bit of a joke.” (Mio)

“What part of your face said it was a joke-ja?! You totally looked like you wanted to eat curry by tomorrow night! Also, we still haven’t found rice yet!!” (Tomoe)

“Now then, I will inform Haruna of her role-desu wa.” (Mio)

“Wrap that up with Thought Transmission! In the first place, Mio, without Waka you are—!” (Tomoe)

“Aah, so busy, so busy.” (Mio)

“Miooooo!!” (Tomoe)

Tomoe was right. 

The scent of curry would only be reborn in Asora after half a year later. 

On top of that, the strong and sticky small grain rice of the Lorel Union, the recipes used to match the ingredients to utilize, along with adjusting the spiciness of it; all of those factors made it so it took close to a year before it could settle in Tsige as a dish.

“I won’t forget this damn turmeric.” (Keema)

In her original research notes, at the last page for the curry rice, there was a complaint about the spice. 

Keema is the spice wizard and can be counted as one of the prodigy cooks. 

The ones surrounding her are her sister, Carol; her reliable bro, Lime Latte; her adventurer comrade and friend, Haruna; and the kind and mysterious black haired master that guided her in the path of cooking. 

It eventually became a staple story that brought laughs and tears in Tsige for a long time, and it always begins with talk about the curry rice. 

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