The Other World Dining Hall - BestLightNovel.com
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Peperoncino There were more customers than usual that day. [Well, I’ll come again.] —I will come again.
After he sent off “Indian Curry”, who ate so much that he wondered where she packed it in, and “Beef Stew”, who held a silver pot large enough to fit her slender body in, silence fell over the restaurant. [Alright, good work today.] [Yes, thank you for your hard work. There are so many customers today.] After the door closed, the two people exchanged words while feeling liberated after the day was over. After the beautiful woman that ordered beef stew (her, and the lady who recently became a regular and wore a differently coloured Nekoya’s waitress uniform that ate curry all the time from the time she came before midday until closing time) went home, the business was over. The time was 9 p.m., Nekoya’s usual closing time. It was a time that couldn’t be said to be late at the owner’s world, but it was considered to be late at the otherworld where people went to sleep as soon as the sun went down. By this time period, the customers who came in the evening for alcohols already went back home as well and only few customers would come. Although there were few Halfling customers, there was only few food ingredients left as there were customers who ate enough to win an eating compet.i.tion, but he there were enough to make food for him and her, so he would manage somehow. While considering such, the owner stretched his body in relief after his work was finished. While he did not dislike the work of a chef and felt that it was a rewarding work, he always felt released after his work was done. With such liberated feeling, he returned to the kitchen. ‘Chirinchirin’, the sound of bell indicated a customer coming in. When he looked backwards, there was a bearded young man with brown skin and black hair wearing white clothes that was a little dusted. It was a face he had never seen before. Perhaps he was a first time customer. […Welcome.] [Welcome to Western restaurant Nekoya!] A customer was still a customer though. So the owner greeted him with a smile. [Ne, Nekoya? What is this place? Why is there such a place in the middle of a desert?] [Ee, actually…] The owner thought while explaining to the customer. In this situation where a majority of the ingredients had been used, what should he cook? On full moon night, Nadel, a journeying merchant, cautiously rode his camel which was strong against the cold and did not slow down even at night. He looked around his surroundings from on top of his camel. There might be dead corpses that turned into undeads lurking in the sand. From ancient times, in the desert where the full moon shone over the majority of the Sand Country, the full moon night possessed a different danger from daytime when the sun, the incarnation of fire and light, could easily kill people with its heat. There was a danger of being attacked by undeads and subsequently turned into one. Those who died in this vast desert rarely received proper funerals. For this reason, when the neighborhood was dyed blue, the full moon which was the incarnation of darkness and death would cause the undeads to rise from the sand and attack the living. (I failed. To think I can’t avoid travelling on full moon night.) The origin was an oasis where its water was exhausted, so he had to make a detour towards another oasis. So he journeyed to the city before full moon, and to think that he thought he would leisurely drink alcohol at the city inn at night with the money he obtained after he sold his silk that he obtained at the port city. (At the very least, I want to arrive by the end of the day.) If there was another half day to the city, he estimated he could arrive the next morning if he left then. Just that the full moon was a problem. (There are strange signs… un?) Nadel who saw it from the corner of his eyes stopped his camel and went to see it. A black door standing on the sand, stained blue by the night. (Mirage… no, it’s night now.) For a moment, he thought that it was an illusion floating in the middle of the desert, but he reconsidered. It was currently midnight and the full moon was about to reach its peak. He had never heard that a mirage would appear at such time. […Un, it’s a real door. Moreover, it can open properly.] He got off his camel and touched the door to confirm that it was real. The door was well-maintained; it shone black in the full moon light. He turned the bra.s.s handle and noticed that it was not locked, so he opened it a little. […What? There’s a scent coming from inside. Is there food?] As he opened the door, there was a bit of a smell drifted from inside. A scent of spice and fragrance like meat soup. To that smell, Nadel instinctively gulped his spit and remembered his stomach’s hunger pain. (I have only eaten dried fruits today.) That day, Nadel traveled without taking a time to eat as it was a hasty journey without water. While avoiding wasteful sweat, he completely covered his body with a hooded cloak, ate dried figs on top of his camel and continued his trip with little precious water. Therefore his stomach was empty. Because of that hunger, Nadel unintentionally pushed the door and stepped inside. ‘Chirinchirin’, he snapped out of it when he heard that sound, but it was too late. […Welcome.] [Welcome to Western restaurant Nekoya!] And almost simultaneously as Nadel looking inside, a man with black hair similar to people of Mountain Country and a female demon with black horns welcomed him. Making a sound, he gulped down the cold water that was precious in the desert, cold enough to make his head ache. […Oi! Bring me another pitcher!] Soaking in his dry body, the water with lemon scent was so delicious he almost cried. As he drank from the superbly created gla.s.s cup, he drank his second cup slowly so that it would soak into his body and finally moisture had returned to his withered body. [Yes, here it is!] In response to his words, the female demon who wore somewhat s.e.xual clothes that showed her legs like a dancer immediately brought another silver jug. (I don’t know what would happen at first, but this water alone is worth it.) As a merchant, he was always sensitive to cost, but he was satisfied with this transaction. Cold water was a product which became a “commodity” to the extent that lukewarm water, transported in heavy water jars, would be sold in cities in coa.r.s.e wooden bowls. If he drank this amount of cold water with clear ice, he calculated that it would cost more than the 5 copper coins that Nadel promised to pay the owner with. (Really, what’s with today?) From what Nadel was told, this was another world. It could only be visited from a door that appeared in his world once in 7 days. This is otherworld dining hall, with some money (it was a bit more expensive than a commoner’s restaurant in Nadel’s opinion) people could eat dishes of another world. However, the owner said that “Since there are no more ingredients left today, I can only make Peperoncino”. While it was a pity that he could eat the soup or the spice using food that he smelled before he entered the restaurant, but if he was able to eat warm food anyhow then there was no loss. Regardless, it was better than dried figs, so he ordered that “Pepperoncino” which meant that he could drink as much water as he wanted. (Still, what kind of this is this Peperoncino?) After drinking his water, Nadel caught his breath and thought about the otherworld food he ordered. From the kitchen, he could hear the sound of heated oil. The owner said that the dish used wheat noodles and smoked pork meat, cooked with Togaran, Galeo and scented oil. Even with scarce ingredients, he could still make it quickly and deliciously. (Maa, the owner seems to have considerable skill. I won’t be served anything weird.) When he reconsidered, the owner came back. [Thank you for waiting. Here’s your Peperoncino.] As he said so, he placed the dish before Nadel. (…Hou. Even the smell is good enough.) Instinctively, his mouth watered and his stomach growled. Bright red roundly sliced Togaran, thinly sliced Galeo with the colour of yellow sand. Brilliant green herbs, sliced smoked meat with vivid colour and clear yellow oil slightly pooling on the surface of the plate. Nadel deeply inhaled the scent, seeing the mountain of pale noodles beautifully studded with the ingredients. [Well then, please enjoy.] The owner said so and immediately left. Nadel picked up a silver fork and quickly ate. (This… it’s spicy, but it’s delicious!) Immediately after taking a bit of his pasta, Nadel instinctively reached for his cup and drank the water. The thin noodles that looked like threads made from sheep’s wool were tangled firmly with the fine oil. The masterpiece of yellow oil with no smell was firmly sticking to the spiciness of Togaran. If he looked carefully, he could see the seeds of Togaran floating in the oil… the seeds were the spiciest part of the Togaran. The Togaran used was the spicier kind, though there was only few amount of the sliced Togaran, its spiciness made his throat hot. (Still, even if it’s painful… it’s delicious!) This otherworld dish was certainly a spicy dish, but that was not all. Faintly scorched Galeo had a fragrant aroma and crunchy texture in his mouth, mingling firmly with the spices and salt, the smoked meat contained concentrated flavor of meat and fat, and the green herb sprinkled from above gave a firm taste. Besides, the food was firmly salty, but as the spiciness had not totally dispersed in the oil, its flavor could not be obtained just by adding salt. (This oil is good. As it has no odor, it succeeded in blending in all of the various tastes.) Yes, the main character of this dish was the oil. Clear yellow fine oil. As it did not have bad smell, it was possible to even just drink it as it was, so it should be noted that it could suck in the many relatively strong flavours of the food ingredients and brought them all together. And these thin noodles then absorbed this flavourful oil and brought all the deliciousness to his mouth at the same time. (Nonetheless, it’s so elegant that it’s beyond ingenuity.) The noodles, oil, Togaran, Galeo and the smoked pork meat… Nadel could identify everything except for the herbs, so he could obtain the subst.i.tutes at various moderately sized cities scattered throughout the Sand Country. Of course, making the food that was as delicious as the one served at this restaurant required considerable skill and research, but something similar should be able to be created. (If I consider how to make this, it could be the start of a story about an unexpected business…) As such, as his belly was filled and his head thought like a merchant, the plate eventually became empty leaving only slight traces of oil. [Excuse me! Another serving please!] He couldn’t endure it, so Nadel asked for another serving. When the blue moon reached its peak, Nadel returned to the desert and shook his beloved camel, he then aimed for the next town. (I want to arrive by morning…) Nadel, whose belly was filled with food and water, forgot about his tiredness and continued his journey without feeling sleepy. He would arrive at the town before the sun rose, after sleeping in the inn for a long time, he would start the business. He would sell the silk he purchased, obtain money, buy other goods again and travel to his next destination. While he drank Kaffa and exchanged information with another merchant, he would talk about the otherworld cuisine he just ate. Such a thing filled Nadel with enthusiasm as he slowly advanced through the sandy sea.