3 days of preparation time is a short span of time, and the day of the competition came in the blink of an eye.
By the way, the days leading to this moment were a repeat of spending time with the Purple Demon Lord. Since the opportunity was there, we even went to buy cooking tools.
The Purple Demon Lord was happy about this in those 3 days, but whenever I returned home, Ilias would complain to me about what the hell I was doing.
My resolve was being shaken by her seductions in those days, but I gave Rakura booze, and by watching her unsightly self, I successfully managed to endure.
To think Rakura had a use like this. Let’s make use of her for a while.
There was a simple venue constructed outside the ramparts for this occasion.
Was this the doing of the devils? I decided not to pry on this.
Ekdoik checked the tools and facilities beforehand, and after judging there’s no abnormalities, the match finally began.
We freely chose the tubers and ingredients that were gathered on the big table that’s between both kitchens, and began the cooking.
“Now, let’s do my best.”
I promptly placed the tubers in a pot and filled it with water, and lit up a fire with a kindle stone.
Fuuh, I haven’t been making food on our dining table for show.
My working speed doesn’t lose to that of Gozu. The Purple Demon Lord and cooking beginner shouldn’t be able to achieve this speed.
“First is fire, right? —Ei, this should do, right?” (Purple)
“Isn’t using magic cheating?”
“Oh my, it is free to use the powers that I personally have, you know?” (Purple)
On the other hand, the Purple Demon Lord lit it up with magic, and she was preparing the ingredients at astounding speed with wind magic.
She hasn’t even held a kitchen knife. How terrible.
But no matter how convenient magic is, the ins and outs of cooking are a different story. I must not lose.
“Now, it has finally begun. The cooking showdown between Mister Friend and the Purple Demon Lord. It looks as if the Purple Demon Lord is at an advantage here with her flexibility of using magic to finish up the preparations efficiently, but what do you think, Ekdo-dono?” (Mix)
“Let’s see… The work speed of Comrade isn’t bad, but the handicap is big with just the fact that he is a cook that can’t use magic.” (Ekdoik)
The spectators began to do commentary. By the way, the ones in the spectator seats from our side are: Ekdoik, Mix, Wolfe, Rakura, and Gradona.
Ilias, Lord Ragudo, and Marito are absent as a precaution for the Enticement.
They apparently have to be careful until they have made clear the reason why a joke of a showdown like this one is taking place.
Placing Gradona here just in case is good. He has been drinking booze the whole time and doesn’t seem motivated though.
“The dish of Counselor-sama uses meat, right? Will he be using the tubers as relish for the meat? It bothers me that I barely see any other ingredients though.” (Rakura)
“Compared to that, the Purple Demon Lord’s got a nice body there~. I would like to be enticed by a beauty like that~.” (Gradona)
“Gradona-sensei, I will forbid you from drinking.” (Wolfe)
“Young Wol, please spare me from that.” (Gradona)
This should be a tense situation, and yet, because of Ekdoik and Mix getting so into the mood here, the others from my side have no tension at all.
On the other hand, I can see 2 people in the spectator seats of the Purple Demon Lord’s side.
One of them is Dyuvuleori and the other one I haven’t seen before.
They are transformed into a human, but have a giant body over 2 meters tall. I can see inhuman parts here and there.
Most like a Great Devil. Must be the judge this time around.
I directed my gaze at them, and they must have noticed my gaze, they glared back at me. There’s only bloodlust in that no matter how you see it.
Of course they would be like that if they are made to tag along with this farce…
Dyuvuleori apparently obediently came to the call of the Purple Demon Lord, but it seems like the other Great Devils were pretty much forced to come. Do they have a constraint similar to the Hierarchy Curse in the power to rule the monsters that was taught to them by Yugura?
The Purple Demon Lord in an apron looks so innocent, it is nice—wait, that’s not it. Judging from her preparations, does she plan on making soup?
She normally directs a heated gaze at me, but she is currently concentrating on cooking.
It must mean she is serious here. Then, I shall take up that challenge.
“Now, I have finished on my end, I guess? How about you?” (Purple)
“Yeah, I am done here too. It is broiled, so can I bring it out first?”
“I don’t mind?” (Purple)
We both put a cloche on top of our dishes and placed it on top of the judge table.
And then, we sat on the judge chairs, but Rakura raised her hand.
“Here, here, Counselor-sama~! I want to eat the cooking of Counselor-sama~!” (Rakura)
“If it is just your dish, there’s no problem though?” (Purple)
That’s true. I have taste tested my own dish, so there’s no need for me to eat it.
The ones who will be eating my dish are the Purple Demon Lord and the Great Devil. The rest can be eaten by other people.
“If you are going to do that, then maybe I should have Dyuvuleori eat it too aside from just Gugugeguderstaf.
“I am honored.” (Dyuvuleori)
And so, the first ones to sit on the judge seats were the Purple Demon Lord, a Great Devil by the name of Gugugeguderstaf, and Rakura.
Rakura looks so out of place, but she has the track record of having defeated a Great Devil. You could say they are equals in a sense.
I lifted the cloche and a sizzling sound rose from there along with steam.
“This dish here is a hamburger of minced meat mixed with vegetables, and puree of tubers.”
Puree: it is a dish often seen in France where you mash tubers. Basically, a side-dish.
But nowadays it is being made by famous restaurant chefs as one of the main dishes. It is simple, but has a lot of depth.
It is a simple dish that uses milk, salt, and butter, but they are not being produced in this country, so I used goat milk.
As for the butter, at the time when we were trying to make a container that you can adjust the temperature in my magic research with Nora, I tried to make some.
Puree matches well with strong flavor dishes. When I asked the taste of the devils, he responded straight on with meat, so I decided on this.
I thought steak was fine too, but Taizu is abundant in spices, so I chose a hamburger.
I have already investigated that the Purple Demon Lord can eat meat dishes. Don’t know about Rakura.
Gugugeguderstaf must have been drawn by the smell, he held his hand above the hamburger.
When he did, the hamburger was sliced in 6.
A large amount of meat juice and a strong scent spread around.
Gugugeguderstaf didn’t say anything and grabbed a fork, stabbed a slice of hamburger, and brought it to his mouth.
“The meat itself is really soft. The sweetness of the vegetables inside and the scent of spices dyed away the peculiar stench and oiliness of the meat and changed it into a strength. The overflowing meat juice is also bringing all of those together into one flavor… What’s bringing this about even more clearly is…the salt, huh. The meat that holds a gigantic power here is getting the help of the vegetables and spices, and the salt was clad in the aura of the meat juice, singing their epics in my tongue…” (Gugugeguderstaf)
What’s with this guy? This was the same at the time with Ekdoik, but are all devils reviewers?
Seeing Rakura eating happily at the side without saying anything, I feel like we are losing in the judge department.
“The tubers are next, huh…” (Gugugeguderstaf)
I could feel his motivation is slightly lower compared to the time with the hamburger as he scooped a bit of the tuber puree and brought it to his mouth.
“This is…tuber, but is it? If the dish of before were warriors singing their epics, this one would be a maiden that is welcoming her fleeting last moments. A tragedy of departure from this world was being left mournfully in my mouth along with a gentle and supple taste… No, wait, if I put both in my mouth… How can this be?! It is as if a stormy epic and a tragedy were intertwining and creating a single story!” (Gugugeguderstaf)
Seriously, what’s with this guy? On the other hand, there’s Rakura eating happily.
You could say points are increasing with Rakura eating happily here though…
“How about you give your opinion too, Rakura?”
“It is tasty! Why don’t you make it the whole time?!” (Rakura)
“To think you would complain instead.”
Making a hamburger is a lot of work… Even the butter is for trial use, and we have only made a low amount of it.
By the way, the Purple Demon Lord is…eating silently.
They all ate everything after a while.
“—It was really tasty.” (Purple)
“Hmph, decent for a damn human, I guess. But you are no opponent for the Demon Lord-sama.” (Gugugeguderstaf)
Seriously? Even after giving a review like that, he can still say something like that? Just what kind of explanation will he give for the dish of the Demon Lord?
For now, I had Rakura stand up and I sat down.
The Purple Demon Lord also stood up and Dyuvuleori sat on it.
“Counselor-sama, I want to eat too~.” (Rakura)
“Just go back to your seat.”
“This is my dish, okay?” (Purple)
When she lifted the cloche, what was there was soup just as I suspecte— What’s this?
Putting it in simple words…what’s this?
This scent is…slightly astringent. Is this…could it possibly be poison?
“Now, go ahead.” (Purple)
I glanced at Rakura who I should be sacrificing here -she had already taken refuge at the spectator seats.
Unforgivable. Just you remember once we get back!
I directed my gaze at the other two Great Devils. They were obviously looking bewildered here.
She was being so smug before. They must have thought a delicious dish would come out, and yet, this is what they got…
No, the appearance may be bad, but the taste could be good. Right, if she went as far as challenging me to a cooking showdown—ooh, Gugugeguderstaf has taken a bite!
Now, what verbose food review are you going to—
So it really is as appearance dictates.
Moreover, his face is on the plate… Is he dead?
“Gugugeguderstaf, such rudeness towards the food that the Demon Lord-sama made! Just you watch, this is how you eat it.” (Dyuvuleori)
Dyuvuleori brings the mystery soup into his mouth with vigor. He is not vomiting it.
He is trembling, trembling, trembling so much…no, he is convulsing?!
Ah, he stopped moving.
Dyuvuleori was silent while watching the blue of the sky. His posture is definitely better than that of Gugugeguderstaf.
“…Are you not going to eat?” (Purple)
I was making a big misunderstanding here. This is not a cooking showdown.
This is a ploy to force me into the judge’s stand and make me eat whatever food.
If I were made to eat food that can make even Great Devils end this way, there’s no assurance I will come out alive. But if I refuse this, I would be forfeiting the match.
She poked at the hole in the rules! This…tactician!
“…You are not going to eat it?” (Purple)
Is what I thought, but it seems like that’s not the case judging from her expression.
Could it be that she made it normally and still managed to create this tragedy? No, no, even so…
“I want to ask something, but have you taste tested it?”
“…After you finish seasoning it, you try out a bit of it to see if it is good.”
“—Aah, there’s that way of cooking too, huh?” (Purple)
This is no good. It is not a matter of what is not good; it is red flags all around.
In other words, this is complete amateur cooking without even taste testing it, and she ended up creating a dangerous dish.
No, this is not cooking, it is more of a concoction. No one knows what she has concocted here.
But now that I have accepted the challenge, I have to eat it… Aah, whatever happens happens!
I grab the spoon, and my arm trembles.
I scoop one spoon of this liquid and, finally, onto my mou—
“Right, I should try a bit myself, I guess?” (Purple)
Oh, the Purple Demon Lord brought out a spoon from somewhere and took a spoonful of the soup Dyuvuleori left…and then, elegantly moved to the shadows of the kitchen.
Ah, she is back.
“I am fine with this being my defeat.” (Purple)
“I am fine…with this…being my defeat.” (Purple)
She said with a fearsomely serious look. Now that I look closely, there’s tears in the corner of her eyes.
…So it was so bad you had to vomit at the back, huh. It is scary how she seriously thought about competing at cooking.
“…Sorry. I wanted you to eat my handmade cooking, but this was just too much.” (Purple)
The Purple Demon Lord looked dejected. Are you telling me the objective of this match was to have me eat her handmade cooking?
How reckless… But the story is different if that’s the case.
“I will dispose of this food, okay?” (Purple)
“No, a match is a match. I will eat at least one bite.”
“You don’t need to worry about that though?” (Purple)
“The Great Devils at my side ate it too. Also, I wouldn’t be able to have a sound sleep if I don’t eat even one bite of the dish that someone cooked for my sake.”
I said this, closed my eyes, and threw the soup into my mouth.
—Hah?! My consciousness flew for a moment there?!
The inside of my mouth has gone numb, my chin is trembling faintly… My mouth is most likely paralyzed here.
She is using good ingredients, so there’s no poison though…or at least that’s what I want to believe.
Even so, this is bad. This is worse than the time I ate charcoal.
“—S-Sorry, I couldn’t discern the taste there, so I will go for another bite.”
2nd bite: Yup, my whole body is acting weird.
3rd bite: My arms feel like lead.
4th bite: My stomach is causing a revolt.
5th bite…6th…7th… I don’t feel like I am eating anymore.
This is training for stoicness. That must be the case.
No matter how many bites I take, I only get more and more status ailments but no taste. And then, by the time I noticed, I had finished eating with my body palpitating heavily, asserting its bad state.
“…Thanks…for the meal…”
“A-Are you insane?” (Purple)
“A match is a match… And it goes without saying, but my dish was tastier… With this, I have 2 votes. I win.”
I will accept a challenge if they have the pure intention to. Also, I will properly follow the rules.
The Purple Demon Lord tasted both dishes and declared the winner. In that case, I should also do the same.
Also, there’s no way I can refuse if she seriously told me she wanted me to eat it.
With this, I have one win. Complete victory.
But the moment I was certain of my victory, I lost consciousness.
Taste testing really is important, yup.