「Rei-kun, it’s great that you’re safe.」
Half running and half walking, Rei, Hasta and Set set a forced march pace to arrive back to Gilm before sunset, where Ranga greeted them with a big smile on his bearded face.
Ranga, the captain of the guards, unexpectedly gave Rei a big hug.
Rei didn’t have the hobby of hugging men, but seeing Ranga’s big smile, he gave a sigh in his mind and just accepted it.
「Captain, captain. About this. Rei looks quite bothered about it.」
「Oh, ah. My bad.」
Ranga pulled himself together at his subordinates words and released Rei.
「No, that’s fine……what’s the matter, all of a sudden?」
「What’s the matter……I heard from the members of Wind’s Blades that you fought against the rare species Gamelion. They said that you were fine, but I was worried until I actually saw you.」
Hearing Ranga’s explanation, Rei immediately understood. Next to him, Hasta nodded as well.
「Have they arrived safely?」
「None of them were missing. However, I was shocked that the cart they had borrowed had been destroyed by monsters.」
Similar to Rei a few seconds ago, a sound of understanding came from Hasta’s mouth. However, unlike Rei’s, it was somewhat sympathetic.
To Hasta, who had no money to spare, he was no stranger to having to go out to complete requests in winter, as Wind’s Blades had talked about.
「Well, at the very least I’ve confirmed that both of you are safe……」
As if to say don’t forget about me, Set poked out his head from between Rei and Hasta.
Seeing that, Ranga offered some dried meat.
「Of course I wouldn’t forget about Set. It’s also great that you’re back safely.」
Giving a proud cry, Set grabbed the dried meat that Ranga presented in his beak.
Stroking his head, Ranga turned to Rei again.
「Well then, let’s complete the procedures to enter the city. ……That said, it’s great that you’re all fine.」
Ranga said that quietly to himself. He knew that Margrave Daska had a high evaluation of Rei’s fighting power and he felt the same himself. As expected of the person his lord wanted to take in, he fought against a rare species of Gamelion, that was currently a popular ingredient in the city, and killed it……thinking about that, it was no wonder that Ranga breathed a sigh of relief.
After showing his guild card as usual, he received the Necklace of Subservient Monster and completed the procedures to reenter the city.
「Ah, Ranga-san. I believe that Gamelion dishes will be served at the eatery my family runs in a few days, so please come to eat if you feel like it. I will tell my father to provide some extra service for the various concerns I have caused.」
As they left, Hasta smartly advertised his family’s eatery.
「Ahh……seeing the surroundings like this makes me feel like I’m back at home.」
Seeing the people walking about the city, Rei muttered to himself.
Because the city of Gilm was on the frontier, it was hard to say that it had a lively atmosphere. However, there were still quite a few people busily walking through the city.
Perhaps there were some people who wanted to go home early to warm themselves up from the cold.
Only in a frontier city like Gilm would various rare materials and magic stones gather. Of course, they were exported to other cities, towns and villages. But on the contrary, because merchants would come over to buy them, there was always a certain number of people in downtown. And as autumn was nearing its end, before winter came in earnest, a lot of merchants had come over……there were plenty more people in the city of Gilm than usual.
Among them were merchants who hadn’t come to the city of Gilm for a long time or merchants that had come for the first time. Them and their adventurer escorts were startled seeing Set and would fall back unintentionally. Accustomed to that sight, Rei, Hasta and Set continued walking down the main street in the direction of the library.
「Ah, here it is.」
Saying that, Hasta turned into a side street just before the library. They walked for about 5 minutes down the narrow road that could be called a back alley. Eventually, they saw an eatery with a signboard hanging out with 『The Satisfied Stomach』written on it.
「Heh……it’s quite nice.」
Rei couldn’t believe it was in a back alley. It was nice enough to the extent that it wouldn’t appear strange as a big eatery on the main street.
「Ahahaha. That’s because we’ve just rebuilt it. ……Well, thanks to the money we borrowed.」
「In order to help return it, you wanted to get some Gamelion meat, isn’t that right?」
「Yes, well, that’s right……even if we sold dishes made from Gamelion meat, that doesn’t mean we’ll be able to return all our debts. 」
「So, what do you plan to do? Although the place looks pretty popular and you’ve gone to get some Gamelion meat, your father would still be worried about it.」
「……I guess so. It can’t be helped, let’s just wait until all the customers have left.」
Saying that, Hasta proposed that they went somewhere else to kill some time.
But at that moment, a young girl under the age of 10 unexpectedly came out from the entrance of the eatery and looked at Hasta with an expression of surprise before shouting back into the eatery with a big smile.
「Ah, it’s onii-chan. Mother, father. Onii-chan is back!」
「Ah, is that so? Then why hasn’t he come in?」
「I don’t know! But he has a friend……ah, it’s Set-chan. Set-chan is over there!」
The girl, who was looking at Rei puzzled, raised a cheer and ran over to hug Set as soon as she saw him.
「Set-chan, you’re so fluffy and warm!」
The girl clung tightly to Set with an expression that was enchanted by his smooth fur and touch.
At the girl’s reaction, Set gave a somewhat troubled cry.
「Is she your sister?」
「Ah, yes. She’s my younger sister, Arka. Hey, Arka, Set is feeling troubled so let him go.」
「No! I haven’t played properly with Set today!」
Arka shook her head as she clung to Set. Every time she shook her head, her green braided hair shook intensely.
「Hasta, Arka, what’s wrong? ……Ah, are you a customer?」
Wondering what Arka was up to, a middle aged woman in her forties with a good natured smile came out from the eatery entrance.
「Ah, mother. Mm. You see, you know how I told you I was going to hunt Gamelions yesterday? Rei-san helped me with that.」
「Well……Hasta didn’t cause too much trouble for you did he?」
Getting asked in a somewhat leisurely tone, Rei was lost for a moment but he soon nodded in reply.
「There were no problems. As expected of someone who has been a rank D adventurer for over a year.」
「That’s not true. I can’t kill a Gamelion by myself like Rei-san can……」
Involuntarily, Hasta immediately interjected, but Rei shook his head.
「In the first place, a Gamelion is a rank C monster. You are rank D, you would be too proud if you thought that you could solo one by yourself.」
「Now that you say it, that’s definitely true……as expected, Rei’s strength was absolutely necessary.……」
Remembering Rei’s fight with the rare species in his mind, Hasta gave a sigh.
「First of all, you two haven’t had dinner yet right? So come in and eat together.」
「Eh? But there are still so many customers……」
「It’s all fine. I won’t tell you who’s more important between the customers and my son who just came back from a dangerous hunt. Here, Rei-san was it. You too.」
「……Is that okay?」
Rei asked as he glanced towards the eatery.
Certainly, the eatery was still quite crowded as Hasta said. There weren’t any customers lining up, but you could still imagine it was quite busy inside. However.
「I can’t just leave out someone who has taken care of my son. In addition……」
At that point, Hasta’s mother stopped talking. Looking ahead, Arka was still hugging Set.
「It seems Arka doesn’t want to leave. I would be grateful if you could stay. ……Ahh, that’s right. It’s a late introduction but I’m Hasta’s mother, Enedra. Nice to meet you.」
With a warm smile, Enedra bowed her head.
While a bit puzzled over her gentle attitude, Rei was guided into the eatery by Hasta and Enedra.
「Set, I’ll leave the girl to you.」
Saying that before going in, Set heard it and replied with a gentle cry after getting used to Arka’s actions.
「……The business is a lot better than what I could see from the outside.」
Rei mumbled that as he entered the eatery.
About 80% of the seats were filled. Dinner dishes of stew, ale and wine, dried meat, stir-fried food and salad were being passed back and forth. Naturally, the customers who were eating were also talking lively. The place was bustling with noise.
「Here, Rei-san, Hasta. Please take a seat. I’ll bring some food soon.」
「I see. Thank you very much.」
「Mother, I would like some Fang Boar stew.」
「Yes, yes. Your favourite food will be served. Um, Rei-san. Do you drink?」
「Ah……well, just a light one.」
Nodding with a smile at Rei’s words, Enedra walked familiarly past the tables and went into the kitchen.
「Your mother is very generous.」
「Yes, well. Saying that she’s generous, there are also naturally some troubling moments.」
While saying that, the smile on his face made it easy to tell he liked his mother’s personality.
They probably had a good parent-child relationship. Thinking about that, Rei asked about Hasta’s future plans.
「So, what do you plan to do now? Should I tell your father about the dish I’m familiar with?」
「Well, I would appreciate it greatly if you did. By the way, how much meat is used in the dish you know about?」
「Not much. It is an ingredient but it’s not the main one.」
「Heh~. I’m looking forward to it. We sell alcohol here, but since this is still an eatery, we will be closing in under 2 hours. Would you be able to tell us then?」
「I don’t mind.」
Despite saying that, remembering the dish he wanted to tell……he suddenly thought of something.
(It will be nice to tell them about udon, but since there’s not soy sauce or miso, what do I do about the broth……? If this was close to the sea there might have been fish sauce, but there is no sea nearby. In that case, do you just eat the udon in stew or soup? Well, I guess there’s still curry udon. ……No, the only thing I can provide is udon, I’ll just have to leave the method of eating to the chef. There’s no reason that soy sauce and miso would exist in a different world. I don’t know how to make them either.)
While a bit flustered in his mind, he decided to leave the cooking to the people who actually knew how to do it.
「Here, I’ve kept you waiting. Stewed Fang Boar and baked bread. Vegetable soup and cheese and ham sandwiches. Lastly, a cup of ale.」
Maybe considering it as a way to pay Rei back for his help, dishes were placed onto the table one after another as Enedra said them.
「Wow, it looks delicious. Thanks mother.」
「It definitely looks delicious. I’ll eat without reserve.」
「Yes. Because we’re quite proud of our dishes, go ahead.」
Saying that with a smile, Enedra left the next moment after being called by other customers.
Although there were several other employees, Enedra was also busy due to the large number of customers. Seeing that, Rei and Hasta started eating.
It didn’t just look delicious, it was delicious. In fact, as he brought a portion of the Fang Board stew to his mouth, the fatty part of the stewed meat slowly disappeared as if melting. Only the meaty portion remained, but it still delighted Rei’s tongue. Next, he took a bite of the bread and filled the rest of his mouth with salad to clear up the thick taste.
(Certainly, if it’s cooked as well as these dishes, it will definitely be popular. However, I’m still a bit regretful……)
Glancing at the stew and Fang Boar meat stuck on the tip of his fork, Rei gave a sigh while Hasta was absorbed in eating.
(Is this is the so-called western style stew? Since there’s no soy sauce, simmering pork or Fang Boar in soy sauce is impossible. If I recall correctly, the ingredients were soy sauce, sugar, mirin and ginger?)
Remembering the cooking show he had seen on TV before, he gave a sigh again.
(I have checked that sugar and ginger are sold in the markets. But, there’s no mirin or soy sauce. Either way, I don’t know how to make them. Was soy sauce made from soy beans?)
While thinking to himself, Rei slowly tasted the delicious food.