Ex Strongest, Having Dinner with the Demon King
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To be honest, Steina even remembered the feeling of eeriness. The people around her made a fuss about fate and the inevitability of it, but this was surely not such a big deal. It was something more severe and vicious.
While thinking of that, she looked at it just now. The blackish and distorted shape object was barely spherical. If it was lying around there, people wouldn’t even think that it was just a stone or something.
No, let’s correct that statement. If it was lying around there, people would surely leave the place immediately. It was giving an eerie and ominous feeling that could be understood in a glance.
Of course, that was normal. In any case, this was a fragment of the Evil God’s power. It wasn’t unreasonable since she could understand when she looked at it.
However, its quality or quantity wasn’t a big deal. Although it was eerie and ominous, the object was just only at that degree. Compared to what was sealed in the underground labyrinth of the Royal Academy of Radeus, there was a wide difference.
However, this was enough for now. It was enough to the extent that she wondered why there was such a thing.
At that time, there was a conversation of that object holding the power of the Evil God. She said it herself and that made the surrounding people become too excited.
‘However, it can’t be used as it is now.’
The reason was simple. The thing that was used to release the seal last time hadn’t been found, and it wasn’t possible to identify the place where it was sealed.
It was called something like a ball that concealed something, and this object had been offered instead. Would that be good enough?
The last one wasn’t a particular material, but a container for transferring it that was sealed, and it should be the source of its power. In short, they couldn’t find anything that was enough to unleash the power, but… if it was no good, there wouldn’t be anything suitable. In other words, at the very end, everything needed was already in place.
Yes, it was everything. Strictly speaking, until she came here, it wasn’t possible to identify the sealed place.
The moment Steina came here, she was convinced. This was where the sealed place was.
It was the night before the decisive battle, and just before that, everything was prepared.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” (???)
Then, she was suddenly called out while she was thinking about it.
When she looked at the source of the voice, there was a man standing there. Honestly, she didn’t remember his name, but he knew that he was the person who arranged the meeting this time. He was the person who handed Steina the object she was holding.
“You were staring at the object that I gave you… Was there anything wrong with it?” (Man)
“No, it’s nothing. I just thought how you could prepare something like this.” (Steina)
“Aah, I see. Well, I got it by chance, but… I brought it here since you might be able to use it this time. Even so, since you can make good use of it, I’m not sure what kind of good luck it will bring.” (Man)
Yes, that was right. She wasn’t sure what kind of good luck it would bring. She was sure that she wouldn’t know unless everything was over even if it looks like a needless help.
With that in mind, Steina was looking at the object again… While listening to the voices of the surrounding people who were still making noises, she tightly grasped the object.
After making fuss with Iori, Soma and others went to the dining room. The time was right.
By the way, this room was created as a result of remodeling a part of the castle, and it seemed the room didn’t exist originally. The surrounding area was physically disconnected from other places, and it could only be accessed by Iori and others. This was probably the residential area that Aina mentioned.
Anyhow, it was Soma who came to the dining room, but to be honest, the room was unexpected. He imagined that it was a larger place, but surprisingly, it wasn’t that big.
There wasn’t much difference from the inn that he stayed in the previous town during that time. Unlike there, there was only one long table, and it would be almost the same by the proportion of the dining room.
By considering the size of the castle and the fact that this was the place where the Demon King lived, this room clearly didn’t match.
“Hmm, isn’t this place lacking in many ways?” (Soma)
“No? There’s no such thing, you know? For starters, this room can only be accessed by me and people related to me. Other than us, people wouldn’t be able to go here unless they are nearby, so this is at a manageable level.” (Iori)
“I see. I’m convinced, but is that the reason why you deliberately made this place? Before that… speaking of the time during the previous Demon King, how did he do it?” (Soma)
“Well. If you ask those who know about that time, you’ll understand, but I wasn’t there at that time, and I didn’t bother myself to ask about it. It’s just that there was a possibility that the place to eat didn’t exist to begin with. Perhaps, they had done it somewhere else. They were unusually scared of us at first.” (Iori)
“Come to think of it, I went to say hello to the village chief of that village yesterday, but he was overly alarmed.” (Aina)
“The attitude of those guys has become softer, but… only that Jii-san is not yet. Rather than being obstinate, I get the feeling that he’s doing it out of necessity. So, it doesn’t seem to have adverse effect. Well, he will change over time, probably. By the way, have a seat. Maybe, it’s time for the dish to come out.” (Iori)
“What do you mean?” (Soma)
Even while talking so, Soma also sat like Iori, who had started to sit down. Whether it was necessary to worry about that matter, it was easy to decide the order of the seat later thanks to Iori who sat on the head seat.
Well, since the other owner of the house was Aina, there was no one else to decide for the seating arrangement.
However, when they sat down in that way, the dinner was brought really quickly. It was put in front of everyone by the chief butler, but they didn’t know what kind of dish it was. After all, the dish was covered, and they couldn’t feel any smell.
“Aah, let me tell you beforehand. I made him to cover the smell from leaking out. If you smell it, you will know it immediately.” (Iori)
“You’re doing something needless again…” (Soma)
Anyhow, it would be a lie if Soma didn’t look forward to it.
Moreover, he was told by Iori that it would be a surprise. The expectation of what kind of dish will be served would rise as a matter of course.
Perhaps, the next dish would be brought after this since there was no sign that the next tableware or dish would be brought, or it might finish with only this one dish. For the time being, they understood that they only need to eat that single dish.
The shape of the tableware was oval, but the depth was unknown since it was covered with a lid. It was pretty good in size, but that didn’t help in guessing what kind of dish it was. There was a possibility that even if the tableware was big, the serving was little.
If that was the conclusion…
“Hmm, I don’t know what I am looking at.” (Soma)
“Obviously. Well, open it now. You will definitely be surprised.” (Iori)
As Soma was told that, he reached for the lid. Rather than over thinking about it, he definitely didn’t know what it was.
Then, the lid was removed, but… before the whole picture was revealed, there was something that stimulated Soma’s senses. It was the smell. A literally pungent smell struck Soma’s nose, and Soma instantly opened his eyes wide. It was very nostalgic, and at the same time, it stimulated his own memory.
The name of the dish passed his head and the whole picture of the dish reflected in the field of view. The color was clearly divided into white and brown from the center, and there were other colors on the brown side… No, the ingredients were scattered around.
Soma whispered the name that he was so firm about it.
“Is it curry…!?” (Soma)
“Heh, how about this… are you surprised?” (Iori)
There was no way Soma wasn’t surprised. He reflexively turned his eyes to Iori, but there was a figure of a smug face.
To be honest, it was a bit frustrating, but he couldn’t say anything about it.
“You… did you manage to reproduce it?” (Soma)
“Well, yeah. I had a hard time.” (Iori)
That would be so. There was no such thing as curry in this world. There was a time when Soma wanted to eat the dishes of the previous life for a while, so he tried to find it. On one hand, he could find some of it but there was no slight indication of curry at all.
On the contrary, there wasn’t even something that became the predecessor to it, and the reason was convincing as he looked into it.
“What is so great about it? I heard Tou-sama barely did anything, right?” (Aina)
“What are you talking about? I’m the one who came up with the original idea, and I was also the one who tasted it and gave opinion.” (Iori)
“That would be something that could be done unless it was you… I guess you were working hard.” (Soma)
He turned around, and the chief butler wasn’t there. It seemed that he left the place right after he brought the dinner.
Soma wasn’t sure whether he left because servants shouldn’t share table with the master or the butler still had something to do, but… anyhow, the place where he looked was where the chief butler left the room. Surely, the place where the chief butler worked hard was in the kitchen.
If the chief butler made the dish by himself, it would be too difficult to reproduce something that only existed in someone’s memory. He really did well to fulfill Iori’s unreasonable request.
On top of that…
“By the way, I’ve suspected that you’ve put this out, but… will it be alright? Kaa-sama and others are going to get mad…” (Aina)
“It’s going to be fine. If I say this is to celebrate your return… maybe… it will be fine… I think?” (Iori)
“Are you losing confidence? Even so, to get scolded because of this… does that mean it cost a lot of money?” (Soma)
“…Well, yes.” (Iori)
The reason why curry-like dishes were never made was simply because spices were high quality products in this world. With that in mind, Soma understood that they were using a lot of spices based on the smell of the dish. This wasn’t known as a dish in general.
In a situation where there were many wealthy merchants or nobles, it wouldn’t be impossible to have this dish, but then again, it wasn’t a common knowledge among people.
Moreover, there was also a problem with rice as well as curry. Rice wasn’t in circulation in this world except in a small part of it.
In addition, there were probably no places where rice was eaten as a staple food. The reason was the rice wasn’t suitable to be eaten as a staple food.
It wouldn’t be possible to compromise on rice while reproducing the curry and it seemed that required a considerable amount of money.
“After all, it requires money to reproduce it, but… as you can see, that’s the appearance of the reproduction. I’m fine with this since I’ve known this dish for a long time, but Kaa-sama and the others still don’t like it. Surely, it’s delicious, and they would be fine if this dish is made once every couple of years.” (Aina)
“I feel extremely bad about having this…” (Soma)
Well, yes, it was curry. It was equal to torture as soon as it was in front of him and he couldn’t eat it. When Soma looked at Iori, he smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
Then, he put his hands together. As he whispered ‘Itadakimasu’, he picked up the spoon. He scooped the dish from the edge, and put it on as much as he could. When the spoon was brought into his mouth as it was, the pungent smell became stronger, and at the same time, he felt indescribably nostalgic.
“Hmm… It’s really curry.” (Soma)
“Well, of course.” (Iori)
“Hmm… I can’t think how far you have striven to reproduce this.” (Soma)
It was definitely delicious. Combined with the nostalgic feeling, it also gave a unique taste.
“You’re losing money for this, right?” (Soma)
“That’s right… that’s why Kaa-sama and the others avoid making this dish. It’s certainly delicious, but if you spend the same amount of money, you can have more delicious and luxurious dishes than this…” (Aina)
“That’s true.” (Soma)
That was why Soma didn’t try to reproduce it even though he wanted to eat it. Soma’s family was a Duke family, but if he tried to make something like this, there was no way he could afford enough money. Rather than just making the prototype, the household would collapse rather than tilt, and they would fall into debts.
If people could come out with recipes and sold it, that would be another matter, but this had been mentioned earlier. Speaking of a dish that requires a lot of money, nobody could sell it as a recipe.
A good recipe was valuable enough to be fortune by itself, but that didn’t mean anything unless someone bought it.
“Oi oi, nostalgia is something you can’t change, right?” (Iori)
“Well, I won’t deny that, and since I know now, I understand why you’re being scolded about this.” (Soma)
“That’s right. Honestly, I didn’t really understand well, but… now, I feel like I can understand it a bit more.” (Aina)
While saying such a thing, Aina was looking at Soma for a moment. It felt like she wanted to say something, but she gave up. Perhaps, she wanted to say something like this.
‘Why does Soma know the dish that Iori misses for?’
That was why Soma simply shrugged his shoulders while immersing the nostalgic taste.
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