Previous Chapter l Next Chapter
“Something must be done about this bad taste.”
I have eaten the cooking of this world a number of times.
That goes the same for the food at the stalls.
I haven’t had an adverse reaction towards the taste of this world.
However, the cooking of Gozu honestly tastes bad. The style itself reminded me of British food.
It was fine that it had raw salad. Having oil smeared on it resembling olive oil is fine too.
But it stinks of too much oil. Rather than virgin olive oil, would it be easier to picture if I were to say it is more oil than salad?
Next, the meat is hard. It has been grilled way too much and the sinew still remains, making it almost impossible for me to bite through the steak. I felt like I was biting a sandal or something. There was of course no taste of salt, and the pitiful taste of spice was gone by the time I finished biting through. I should train my jaw next time.
He spoke with a tone as if saying ‘there should be no issues as long as you get the nutrients from the food, right?’ and didn’t even try to tell me about the greatness of the taste.
“I feel like it would be better for Saira to make it.”
“The owner can’t work as a waiter~. Also, I have only learned how to make economical cooking…” (Saira)
Tears almost came out from me.
But the fact that they can continue on the business while paying a salary without going under must mean that they are holding ground with their alcohol.
I was shown a brief look at their inventory of alcohol.
Yeah, this is good.
There’s a wine cellar made below the kitchen, and there was a lot of alcohol lined up inside that cool and fresh atmosphere.
The scent of alcohol that tickled my nostrils was certainly stirring the desire to drink from my throat.
“Did you not think about improving your cooking?”
“I do think about that at times, but I don’t have anyone I can learn from.” (Gozu)
“Lower your head to a housewife or something. Just that alone would increase your sales, you know?”
“Hmm, but with my face…” (Gozu)
“You have been apprehended by a newly appointed knight after all~.” (Saira)
I see, so his build and face are influencing this, huh.
“Alright, let’s close the store in the afternoon. There’s no customers anyways, right?”
“T-They do come every now and then!” (Gozu)
“They are most likely new people who just came by out of curiosity. As if there would be any that would come back again!”
“You are so sharp, Onii-san!” (Saira)
“Wouldn’t exactly call it sharp when the obvious stares you in the face.”
Their preparations for the night apparently are already done, so I had them close the store and head to the church with those two.
“Hey, Nii-chan, why the church?” (Gozu)
“Because there’s a person who can cook tasty food there.”
When I asked for Maya-san, she was in the middle of enjoying tea after lunch. She prepared our share too.
“So you got acquaintances in an instant, boy.” (Maya)
“The owner of Dog’s Bone, Gozu. The one here is the waitress, Saira. There’s actually a request I had for this occasion…”
And then, after explaining the gist of the situation, I asked her if she could teach them a simple recipe even if it is for just one dish.
That said, the two of them are frozen stiff.
Aah, this pattern is that, right?
“Could it be that you were famous in the past, Maya-san?”
“I did indeed create many tears as an exorcist in the past.”
“Tears, you say. Is that true, Gozu?”
“Yeah, of course! Maya-sama is the highest authority in the Taizu branch of the religion that has the most people, the Yugura Church!” (Gozu)
Why are they all getting their famous setting afterwards?
It makes it harder for me as the person asking them for favors the whole time though.
“So this is not the time to be asking for stuff like this when you are busy, huh…”
“It is okay. I am free anyways.” (Maya)
“So you are free.”
“To be more precise, I have finished reporting to headquarters and am waiting for a response. The other deskwork is done by the young ones. It has been a while since I have done manual labor, so everyone is kind.” (Maya)
She doesn’t look like she is at an age where she needs to whip her body into shape, but the others must be burning with motivation to regain their standing since the highest authority in the country fought in the frontlines.
Or maybe she has a fighting style that scares others like Ilias and has etched fear in them.
Let’s leave aside the enquiries.
“Well then, I am counting on you.”
“What about my will, Nii-chan?” (Gozu)
“None. That scary face of yours shouldn’t be an issue with Maya-san, right?”
“I am the one withering here though.” (Gozu)
“So pathetic. Even though the boy has enough courage to even threaten me.” (Maya)
“What are you doing, Nii-chan?!” (Gozu)
The possession spell matter was a necessity.
“Leaving that aside…”
“Is it okay to leave it aside?” (Gozu)
“Maya-san, does this country not sell salt?”
“Oh my, you know of something quite valuable.” (Maya)
“In Japan -the place I was in before- it was a common commodity after all.”
“Really? I think you already know, but Taizu is a country surrounded by forests and mountains. There’s no production of that within the country.” (Maya)
“So the merchants bring it in?”
“Right. They would have to cross several nations before reaching us, so it is an expensive product. It is traded among a number of nobles for high cuisine.” (Maya)
“Because of the forests and mountains, the spices may be abundant, but the salt is in that state, huh. Salt and pepper would be pretty sought after products.”
Hearing the market price, it certainly is high.
1 kilogram is around 1 gold; basically 10,000 yen.
It probably didn’t cost that much even on the Sanriku Coast in the Edo period.
If there’s no sea, direct production is almost abysmal. Most likely can’t hope for a salt lake either.
The remaining method would be the production of rock salt. This one is actually more prominent overseas.
But seeing this state of theirs, those kinds of methods are not being used.
Salt has been used almost with the same worth as money in the history of the world.
Despite civilization being this developed, the circulation of it is low.
In the hunting era, they would get their salt intake from the organs and bones of animals.
When grains and vegetables were consumed more frequently, the importance of salt increased.
There was a period when salt was used as salary, and even wars happened for the sake of salt.
If salt exists, it wouldn’t be strange for this world to have trailed the same history. But what’s with this low circulation structure of salt?
“Salt is being produced in a variety of methods in other countries in order to obtain their necessary nutrition source. Is that not the case here?”
I tell Maya-san what I know about the history of salt on Earth.
Maya-san went ‘fumu’ and made a pondering face before speaking.
“One possibility is most likely mana. There’s a decent amount of mana inside vegetables and grains harvested in a land with a lot of nature. There’s a tendency that the better the land the things were made in, the healthier they are.” (Maya)
I see, minerals with mana…is that possible?
Aah, but that does make a bit of sense.
That may be the reason why the amount of mana in my own body is that of a child or even lower than that.
The people in this world are consuming food with mana in it in their daily life.
Mana is a legitimate nutrition source. It is most likely serving as a substitute for the required nutrients a human needs.
In other words, there’s no ingredient necessary for intake, so they can just produce the easiest food they can produce in their land.
The necessity of salt was lost, and now doesn’t move from its standing of just being a product for gratification, huh.
In that case, there’s the possibility that rock salt might be slumbering among the mountains around Taizu.
That said, it is not like I can just grab an ice axe and do something about it.
“The quality of the food will shoot up drastically with salt though.”
“If you want it that bad, I could talk to a trading company, you know? I think they would give us some with a discount.” (Maya)
“I am grateful for that, but even if we managed to obtain it cheaply once, it doesn’t change the fact that the supply wouldn’t be stable…no, wait… Maya-san, can you tell me the structure of merchants?”
After a lengthy lecture, I left Gozu, who was uneasy and had puppy eyes, in the church, and headed to the market with Saira.
When we arrived at the trading company, I showed the introduction letter of Maya-san, and we were guided to a room deeper in.
It seems to be a room for receiving guests, and it is the most luxurious room I have been in since coming to this world.
When we sat there waiting for a while, a man in his prime showed up with a bright smile.
He had a sharp attire and tidy hair swept all the way back.
That expression of his was filled with confidence, and I could feel clearly how he is a proficient merchant.
“Nice to meet you, I am the owner of this company. My name is Ban.”
“M-My name is S-Saira.” (Saira)
Saira was nervous again, but it can’t be helped this time around.
If you are going to be the owner of a clothing store, exchanges with merchants is an absolute necessity. Even if it is a future trading partner, she was brought to a party that is in a high position.
We do a light self-introduction too.
“I have read the introduction letter of Maya-sama. It seems you desire salt. We of course will provide you with some. It is a request from Maya-sama, so we intend to discount the price on a variety of fronts.” (Ban)
“No, I don’t mind the amount I want this time around being at the market price. It is enough that you are providing it to us.”
“Oh, is that so? Then, what else brings you here?” (Ban)
“I am thinking of dropping the market price of salt in this country.”
“…Can I hear the details of this?” (Ban)
“I would like to increase the demand for salt. And then, increase the supply of it as well as decrease the cost.”
“Right. If demand increases, the amount of salt entering this country would increase in turn. That way, we would be able to obtain it at cheaper prices too. But it won’t be so easy. The market price changes by the day, but that change is lax. It would be hard for sudden changes to happen unless a war breaks out or famine hits.” (Ban)
“There’s no signs of a war happening in this country, and the worries of famine are low. Also, salt doesn’t fall into any of those categories.”
Salt would enter in the necessary products on Earth, but in this world where it is not necessary due to the nutrition supply of mana, it is a pleasure product that can only be obtained in limited regions, so salt wouldn’t get affected by such eventualities.
“Yes, but you must have a plan if you are proposing this, right?” (Ban)
“I will provide dishes made with salt to the citizens in the future and will have them admit its worth.”
“Fumu, it is true that, if the taste improves and sales increase, other stores will try to imitate this. But not many know how to use salt. Can you do it?” (Ban)
“Yes. Actually, the country I came from was an area where salt was produced, and salt was a staple in homes.”
“Oh, so you came from an area near the coast. No wonder your attachment to salt is so strong.” (Ban)
“It would be enough for me if you were to increase the supply by matching the demand. I don’t think it will increase that much at first. However, can you please provide us with enough that it won’t run out of stock?”
“That much shouldn’t be an issue. You will be a customer buying our product, and if it doesn’t work, salt is a product that lasts, so there’s no need to worry about it going bad.” (Ban)
With this, the risk of running out of stock is gone.
The production cost will increase, but we can’t make a drastic increase in price. The profit on the food might actually decrease instead, but with customers increasing, alcohol will be consumed too.
If we just use salt in small doses, we can recover the losses plenty enough.
The cost of it will decrease in the future.
What’s left is to tell him about my other idea.
“I am thinking of leaving it as a luxury product for a while. I would like to increase its demand and lower it gently. Ultimately, I would like this to become a lubricant for the general public to accept luxury items.”
“Hohoh, that’s a big objective.” (Ban)
“But I think this is a good opportunity. The amount of merchants bringing products to Taizu with the bandit subjugation being a success will increase. Merchants increasing means that a variety of goods will come in too. I have heard that the king of this country is an outstanding king evaluated highly by his subordinates. If the country flourishes, the citizens will also begin having a desire to buy a variety of things. Alcohol is already a luxury product with results.”
“Fumu fumu, I agree with you greatly on this point. Using the flow of the bandit subjugation to spread luxury items and widen the market is a thought I had too.” (Ban)
“Within those, I plan on making salt trend as someone who understands the most the worth of it.”
“Understood. If you are planning on getting on those tracks, please allow me to help out as well. I have several connections that can contribute to this.” (Ban)
“Thank you very much.”
The cuisine of this country will progress with this.
And if I can get a bite of this, I might be able to obtain a bit of profit too…!
“Also, hear me out as if this were just gossip, but…do you know about halite, Ban-san?”
“Yes, salt is originally something you get from the sea, but you can at times obtain minerals that have salt in them from the mountains, right? But I have not heard of a mine in Taizu where halite has been obtained.” (Ban)
“That’s right. However, new caves have been discovered recently. There’s a lot of savage land in Taizu, so there’s the possibility if we were to investigate the mountains. I am thinking of investigating this in the future.”
“Fumu, if it goes well, it would be a profitable resource.” (Ban)
“The chances are low in mountains that have trees growing on them. If anything, my real aim is to see whether I can obtain mountain salt.”
“Mountain salt? That one is a first for me.” (Ban)
“Mountain salt is salt you obtain by boiling down hot spring water that contains salt. It is not as high quality as halite, but depending on the location, salt that can be obtained in the mountains which is far disconnected from the sea is a priceless treasure.”
“Hoho, there’s something like that?” (Ban)
“There’s plenty of chance for there to be underground water with high nutrition properties slumbering in the wealthy mountains where rivers flow and many caves are found. If there’s salt within those, we would be able to get it.”
Being able to get salt in this country would mean that it can create a craze in this nation.
If it is a trend that flows from another country, it is possible to make it popular easily.
But trends that originated from your own country have the added effect of flowing to the outside.
It would be best to have as many means to turn the economy around as possible.
“Fumu fumu, this is a pretty interesting topic.” (Ban)
“But I would just like to ask for your cooperation in the management of it if we were to find this, so please don’t put too much expectations on it.”
“No no, you have told me something interesting. It is to the point where it would be fine to invest in it.” (Ban)
“That would help out, but there’s the possibility of ending as an empty shot, you know?”
“That would be the case for salt. Rather, the chances of there not being any results would be higher. However, what I am interested in is the investigation of the unclaimed lands.” (Ban)
Ban-san was shining like a young boy in front of an unknown adventure.
Looks like he didn’t pave his path as a merchant with just booksmarts. He hasn’t forgotten his adventurous and challenging side.
It is true that there’s chances of profitable mines to be found if they were to investigate the untrodden land.
That would become a new business opportunity for Ban-san.
“There might still be treasures sleeping in this country. Searching for the chance of discovering them; such talks make me excited as a merchant!” (Ban)
“That said, I can’t have you shoulder the danger of a heavy loss. Let’s keep it as a pastime until chances can be seen.”
“Yeah, but I have heard something nice. I didn’t expect I would get so excited despite my age from a young one like you. No wonder Maya-sama would introduce you.” (Ban)
“That part is just luck. I met her by luck and I just managed to put that connection to practical use.”
“Luck is also part of one’s strength. I would like to work with you from here on too.” (Ban)
We managed to buy salt in that way. 1 kg is 1 gold at market price, but I managed to buy it for 8 silver.
I was made to promise I will be a patron of Ban-san in the future too, that is.
Anyways, my pocket is getting colder and colder.
But it is not like success is assured, so it would be harsh to demand Gozu to pay for the salt.
If it doesn’t go well, I will use it for myself in the future. Let’s just accept it as a good purchase.
“Hey hey, Onii-san, was I even needed?” (Saira)
“Yeah, in the eyes of Ban-san, you looked like ‘the girl that was brought to learn’. On this occasion, we probably looked like people burning with passion for business. That’s why even a person in the position of Ban-san interacted with us in a gentle manner.”
“Hooh, you were thinking that far.” (Saira)
“There’s also the possibility that Ban-san was purely a good person though. That part is just luck.”
I personally thought it would be good enough if I managed to bring the conversation to a point just before the talk of investment.
If I can ask about the know-hows when investigating, I can investigate on my own, and if I find material to convince him, I planned on bringing out a negotiation, but…he probably has a sharp sense of smell.
I myself wasn’t thinking only of mountain salt either.
There was also information of unknown caves within the map Dokora had.
They were not used most likely because they weren’t fit to be used as a base, but the landmark information was written down.
That means they left that map after exploring the untrodden land beforehand.
It is a secret that I stealthily left a copy in my possession wondering if I could use it somehow, okay?
“Now then, we have obtained the salt which was our objective. Let’s go to where Gozu is quickly. I would like to think of one or two dishes made with salt.”
“Got it!” (Saira)
And then, night came.
Customers began to gather one after the other in the Dog’s Bone for the alcohol.
After finishing a day of work, they come to drink tasty booze as a reward for themselves and to show gratitude to their body.
That practice is the same even in a different world.
Now, it is time to showcase the renewed cooking of Gozu! -is what I want to say, but there’s obviously an issue.
There’s no one who would want to order the cooking of Gozu if they know it tastes bad.
I can see several people bringing in stuff sold in food stalls like grilled chicken on skewers to have as side dishes for their drinks.
Bringing in food from food stalls into an eatery is normally bad manners.
But if you know how bad the food in this store is, I can understand them doing this, and Gozu himself knows that well. Of course, it is not like I haven’t considered this.
“Here are the drinks you were waiting for~!” (Saira)
“Ooh, thanks, Saira-chan! Wait, what’s this? I didn’t order something like this, you know?”
“Actually, this is the new menu of Dog’s Bone~! It is free of charge since it is for sampling~.” (Saira)
It is just a small quantity, but we will offer it to them with sampling as the premise.
If they are not going to order it, just have them eat it for free.
“Heeh, even if so, we are talking about the cooking of Gozu, right? It really kills my desire to eat it.”
“But isn’t it giving off a pretty nice smell?”
“Now that you mention it, that’s true. Well, if it tastes bad, I can just wash it off with booze…oh, this is…!”
The customers who were dubious at first had their eyes change at the taste of it, and then stretched their hand out for a second and then a third.
“Oi, this is tasty! It really goes well with the booze!”
“True! Did Gozu die?! Someone else made the food?!”
“Don’t just go killing me!” (Gozu)
The shout of Gozu rang from the kitchen.
The first thing we prepared was a potato-like vegetable sliced thinly, boiled in oil, and sprinkled with salt.
Next would be something prepared with the same steps as the one sliced thinly.
Basically, it is potato chips and french fries.
It is a staple of junk food, but it can be given taste with just salt. You could say it is effective to show the greatness of salt, and an easy dish.
I thought about pickled vegetables too, but considering the use of salt, the cost would be nothing to joke about.
The recipe I have prepared this time around is mainly centered on things that can be made with a small quantity of salt.
“Saira-chan, can I order extra of this?!”
“Yes, right away~.” (Saira)
“Is there anything else that’s new in the menu? I would like to try that out too!”
“There’s a number of new things! Then, I will bring them, okay~?” (Saira)
Improving the salad with just salt would have been difficult, so we passed on that for now. Olive oil and salt are not a bad combination, but this place is full of men, so I don’t know if it will match their taste.
Gozu has learned how to do the preparations for the steak from Maya-san, so they can now make it without cooking it too much and prepare it in a soft state. Also, if you add salt, spicy spices, and garlic to grill it, it will be perfect.
The soup boiled with meat bone and vegetables now has enough taste with just that much, but the taste has gotten tighter now with one sprinkle of salt.
This distinct taste must feel fresh for these people who have been living a distant life from salt.
That said, they were used to a subdued taste with low salt, so it wouldn’t be good to suddenly make too salty and spicy dishes. I am stopping it at a point where I would personally prefer it to be just a bit more salty.
“This grilled chicken is tasty! What I brought can’t even compare to this!”
“What’s with this soup? Was Gozu my mom…?”
“The meat is also tasty! Another round of booze!”
“W-Wait a moment~!” (Saira)
Saira was running around the store busily.
I myself am also overwhelmed with chopping vegetables in the kitchen and washing the dishes.
Gozu is making new dishes here all of a sudden, so his work speed decreases no matter what.
That’s why I plan on working hard as a temporary employee.
I am scared of the backlash from manual labor…
The customers that finished eating and left must have spread it around, there were customers coming one after the other, stretching out the closing time to the very limits, before the day finally ended.
“Uoo, even the ingredients readied for the day after tomorrow are gone.” (Gozu)
“Haafuuuh…that was tiring!” (Saira)
The two crumbled once the last customers left.
The helper has also collapsed. I can’t take it anymore.
Things getting this busy were outside expectations.
Something must be done about this lack of employees. It will be difficult for these two to manage this.
“It might be better to have one or two people who can work as waiters at night after the preliminary preparations are done. We couldn’t spare time for preliminary preparations today, so it was especially bad though. If we move at it efficiently, things should be easier on us.”
“Right. Please endure until then, Saira. I will increase your salary.” (Gozu)
“I am happy, but not happy~.” (Saira)
The sales are going well. The consumption of salt is intense, but we are profiting plenty enough.
We might have to get more tomorrow or it might not be enough.
I gave my farewells to Saira who left with unsteady steps, finished discussing with Gozu about obtaining salt, and made plans for the supply of ingredients from tomorrow on.
By the time I noticed, it was late in the night, my muscle pain was just worsening, and this modern age boy ended up sleeping in a corner of the store.
Going back in time, at evening of that day.
—Ilias was standing in front of her house.
He has been left alone for more than a day after I invited him to my house.
It has been a while since I have had such rough work. I had to stay in the castle, but there should be no issues for me to stay working for 1 to 2 days in the face of my trained mind and body.
If I had to point out any worries, it would have to be about him.
Thinking about it, I haven’t guided him properly around the city.
He most likely can manage, but what bothers me still bothers me.
“Speaking of which, how many years has it been since I have returned to a house with people in it…” (Ilias)
In the days when my parents were still alive, they would welcome me back. Even at the times when they were not there due to work, the servants would welcome me.
Since the day my parents passed and I decided to move out due to judging there was no need to maintain the mansion, it has been days of returning to a silent house with no one there.
Thinking about it in that way, there’s a part of me that looks forward to returning to a house with someone waiting for me.
Speaking of which, I have told him to freely use the clothes of my father that I have kept with me.
His physique is similar, so I am sure it fits him.
Right, I have to tell him that I was told by Lord Ragudo to participate in the ceremony.
Will he be surprised? But when you consider his contribution, this is a matter of fact.
Also, tomorrow is a holiday. Let’s guide him thoroughly around the city.
How long has it been since I have thought of anything other than my duties?
Looking back at how merry my steps are here, I giggled.
“—I am back. Sorry for leaving you alone for so long.” (Ilias)
But there’s no response.
I looked around the first floor, but I couldn’t see him.
He must be on the 2nd floor, is what I thought and looked around.
I can see signs of someone having cleaned up. This sensation is nostalgic.
I went up to the 2nd floor and knocked on the door of his room.
There’s no response. I opened the door just in case and he wasn’t there.
“Is he out? Even so, he has cleaned up thoroughly. I am impressed.” (Ilias)
I confirmed the other rooms too, but everything aside from my own room has been cleaned up.
The maintenance of the armor seems to be the only thing that wasn’t done, but the place it was left at is all clean.
“He is diligent…” (Ilias)
Looks like I will have to thank him once he returns.
Let’s change my clothes for now.
“…He is late.” (Ilias)
The sun went down, but he still hasn’t returned.
I was thinking about having dinner with him, but is he going to eat outside?
Can’t be helped, let’s have dinner first.
That said, the ingredients are all stuff with a long shelf life, and even when I cooked them, it ended up in tasteless food.
He wasn’t coming back even after I finished eating.
I got uneasy and wondered if he had left, so I checked his room, but his clothes had been washed, and has been carefully folded up, so he is probably just out.
He will most likely come back by tomorrow, so let’s just sleep for today.
I sighed as I returned to my room.
One thought on “LS – Chapter 14: Let me take a break for the time being”
[…] Previous Chapter l Next Chapter […]