Cook of the Mercenary Corp Chapter 45
Finally. lol. I’m gonna try squeeze these out asap. This is my main project after all, so when I said uchimusume is back on my fb page, perhaps i fibbed a little o3o
!!!!Also, remember how the author made some edits? I read them a while ago, and the edits cleared up some points, which I really should add, but translating is tough lol.
Chapter 23, A Shriek and a Steak. (Part 1)
Perhaps their distant hearts had finally been able to come together? Recently, Ekress-san, Gann-san and Gingus-san all have a bright look on their faces.
Before, when they would pass by each other in the hallways, they would appear slightly awkward, and even saying hi to each other was somewhat weird.
However, recently it looks like when they would pass by one another, they would exchange a few short words with each other.
It warms my heart everytime I see that. It's not very pleasant to watch family members continue to fight each other after all.
Hello everybody, this is Shuri.
Having successfully gone through with Ekress-san's great present plan, I had also been relieved, and thus continued devoting myself to my everyday work. Gann-san too, has almost become even more passionate and motivated towards his work.
I tell him not to go overboard, but I can see that he's become quite keen, so I carefully, and cautiously guide him.
Today too, Ganglabe-san came to find me.
It was when I was in the middle of work, setting up the tables in the dining hall for breakfast.
"Renha isn't eating her food."
For some reason, Ganglabe-san had a meek look on his face.
"Eh? But I tasted all the dishes that Gann-san and the other cooks made, and there weren't any problems?"
Renha Sounity. The one who had been pulling the strings from behind the scenes in Sounity's Civil War this time.
It's a little hard to understand for people with the common sense of the Modern Japanese, but I'll do a quick explanation of it again.
First of all, the mistress… not the concubine, or the legal wife, a woman hidden from the world, gave birth to the eldest son, Gann-san. Then the concubine gave birth to the eldest daughter, Ekress-san. Who came to be Gann-san's sister from another mother.
So, the last one to be born is the legal wife's son, which basically means, he was to be the second son, Gingus-san. The youngest child.
If you would allow me, someone who possesses the common sense of Modern Japan to just say a word.
This was a ridiculously annoying, ridiculously heavy story. A story with a gloomy darkness hanging behind it. If this was Japan then, the relationships were on the level of novels or shoujo mangas.
Going back to the story.
That Renha-san is a criminal. The mastermind… She was the one who orchestrated this mess behind the scenes.
She tried to kill him, by taking advantage of the previous feudal lord's metal allergy. And then, tried to fix her own son, Gingus, into the role of the feudal lord. Although her reason for doing so is unknown.
That's how things came to be, so at the very least we had to prepare the meals for her, but that was left up to my subordinates, and Gann-san.
As a job that had been left up to Gann-san, he had been excited for it regardless of who he was making it for.
I taste tested the final product, and since there wasn't any problems with it, I sent it out but….
"No, she just keeps arguing back with 『I am a noble! Such dog food is unfitting!』."
How rude. Saying that what they worked on is dog food despite them not making any mistakes or anything… I knew it, she's still held a grudge against us.
However, Ganglabe-san seemed to have a rather flabbergasted look… and with his hands against his temples.
You could just ignore it, if it troubles you so much.
"But, for criminals like her, we need to treat her harshly, right? To withhold their food and such. Humans won't die even after two or three days without drinking or eating, so maybe it would be fine if we leave her alone until she really does need the food?"
If I had to say it, I don't understand why we would allow such a selfish criminal to do as they pleased.
Even in the current Japanese prisons, we probably aren't that gentle. I had thought that in this world which is two, three times more severe than Modern Japan, they would definitely be more severe.
However, Ganglabe-san said with a troubled tone.
"No, it's just that…."
Hm? Ganglabe-san isn't being direct with me?
"Well, Renha is the legal wife of Sounity's lord. We can't be overly rude towards her. Besides, her authority hasn't exactly been cut clean yet, even now."
I see, I think I understand it a bit better now.
Basically, if we were to just treat Renha-san however we liked, then something problematic would probably come into question.
Speaking of which, there was also a group of people who supported the legal wife. If we don't punish her with a method that everyone agrees on then, there's a possibility that that group of people would riot.
Just in case though, that so called party that supports the legal wife, has already been kept away from Sounity. And are being kept in watch by the Mercenary Corp.
"Is that so. Then I'll cook something today."
"Sorry for the trouble."
"No, after all, appeasing customers who do nothing but complain with a dish that would leave them speechless is also the job of a cook."
Now then, what to make? I think, placing my hand on my chin.
Be that as it may, it's not like I know what she likes as well…. For starters, maybe I should go bring her some soup and bread that's has a little more detail to it.
As that thought came to mind, I suddenly look away and, I see the sight of Gann-san, peeling away at his potatoes, looking down in the dumps.
"Ahhh, it's you, Shuri…."
Oh noes, he's really feeling discouraged. He has no spirit.
Maybe it couldn't be helped… to have something that you made with such efforts to be called dog food….
"Sorry, I couldn't get Renha to agree with my skills…."
"Haha, I've still got a lot to go…. I have to try even harder."
Even though he was speaking positive words, Gann-san's eyes were sunken. This is bad. His confidence has been completely shattered…..
I placed both my hands onto Gann-san's shoulders from behind.
"I used to fail a lot when I was cooking as well. Tons."
"There were also times when I wanted to stop cooking. I've had times when I wanted to run and eat outside, or something that was already made."
"But, every time that happened, I would try my goddamned best. Gann-san, relieve the stress in your shoulders. And then keep piling up on that training. If you do that then, you will definitely be able to cook a dish that would make someone smile."
"So, take it easy and try your best? Okay?"
Gann-san hung his head down in shame and nodded.
There's no need to look at his face. I didn't see anything. That's also a form of kindness, I believe.
Now then, I wonder what would be a dish that would appease Renha-san….
As I was thinking that, I moved to start.
"What did you come here for!? You damned territory thief! Don't show that dirty face in front of me!"
Yes, that was the first thing she said. To be scolded as territory thief all of the sudden. No, well, I had thought that would happen though.
Anyway, I had prepared a dish, and brought it over to the underground jail where Renha-san was being kept.
And then, that was the first thing that Renha-san said upon seeing me.
I had denied it before, but I'm not a hardcore masochist. I'm not a pervert who would get excited by having someone scold me…. I'm pretty sure?
In any case, hearing these words do nothing but irritate me. I haven't been so annoyed since that first time I made Curry Rice for that stupid Feudal Lord of Alturia. I wonder what that stupid lord was doing nowadays?
Well, even if I say that, there’s no point in playing the clown like back then. I have absolutely no idea what I should be doing and, she would probably think that there was something wrong with my head instead.
"Ummmm…. I brought you your food?"
But it really is scary. My voice is shaking. Even if you say that I’ve won and survived through countless wars, it wasn’t like I was actually on the battlefield, or have killed anyone. I've just been supporting everyone with my cooking.
Thus it really is a shock seeing a woman in front of me with dishevelled hair yelling at me.
"Go away! Did you think that such garbage would be fitting to my tastes!?"
Renha-san says in rage but… I mean, I don’t think there’s a problem with the flavour and it has nothing to do with fitting to your taste or not.
"This is an intricate soup that I, as the chef, cooked up. Please, do try it."
In any case, it’s not like I can just get angry here and leave. It’s what Ganglabe-san asked of me after all.
This soup, is the Pot-au-feu that I made when I first came to this world.
"It’s garbage! Get out of my sight!"
This person sure gets on your nerves…. With a wave of her hand, she completely rejected the dish that I tried to pass over to her.
Geez, what if you knocked it over!?
"Anyway, please eat. I hear that you haven't eaten in many days already. There's a limit on how long you can live on just water, right?"
"Shut up slave! As invaders, don't speak as if you understand anything! You probably put poison in the food, right?!"
It's no use….. There's nothing I can do here. Maybe she's got hysteria?
Psychology doesn't exist in this world so I can't say for sure though. And I have no knowledge on the subject, so it's not like I can make a judgement either.
However, this is quite frustrating.
"It's not like I care at all whether you eat or not. However, it's just that I've been told that it'll be a problem if you keep up your selfishness, and that we'll be troubled if you end up dying, is all."
"How dare you speak to me like that! I am the wife of Sounity's Feudal Lord, Renha Sounity!"
"But you're just a criminal right now."
Whoops, maybe I've gone too far with that. But still, it's something that has to be said.
I just couldn't keep a hold on my feelings, being someone who works with food, and been told such cruel things, such as poisoning my own food.
As I feel the temples of my head coming together to form a frown, I look straight at Renha-san.
There was no sense of fear like before. What was controlling me right now, was just the anger that arose from having my cooking being insulted.
"Stop joking around! What did I do and what crime did I commit?! There's a limit to how much bullshit you can spout!"
"Preparing poisonous tableware for your husband, and then running away when it looked like it was getting bad. That's exactly what a criminal would do."
A person who would say they were innocent at this point probably have nerves are thick as a Yakushima Cedar tree….. In a certain sense, I'm impressed. It's not an example I want to follow though.
However, I've done what I came here to do, so I guess it's time to go~
"Wait, where are you going?"
"I'm leaving. If you don't intend to eat then there's no point of me being here."
"What are you planning on doing with my food!?"
"I'm handing it over to the guards."
I can't stay here any longer. Her shrieking is giving me a headache. She's gonna give me neurosis.
….Though, I can't say it out loud.
"I'm joking, naturally."
If I can, I want to grant Ganglabe-san's request. After all, I'm forever indebted to that person for everything he has done for me up till now.
I once again turn towards Renha-san.
"In that case, what sort of dish do you feel like eating?"
"Hah! Nothing you make would match my tastes! There's no way I would even feel like eating!"
"Hmmm…. Stop being so tough and prideful. There's probably something you want to eat right?"
Yes, it's possible that Renha-san is irritateed.
As a former authoritative figure, being arrested as a criminal, and tied down in an underground jail.
I think that if even her pride was broken then, she would go crazy.
However, she won't be able to live like that now. She can't.
At the very least, she should eat.
"You bastard…. What are you planning?"
Perhaps Renha-san didn't expect me to deal with her in this manner, so she responded with a bewildered expression.
Yea, I don't think she expected this at all. Probably, the people up till now didn't empathise with her at all, only looking down on her, and treating her like a criminal.
I calm myself down, as much as I can, and then said in a warm tone.
"Simply speaking, there's a limit to how long you can hold out with just your will. I'm sure you don't want to continue with this stalemate either. Besides, I'm sure that being on a full stomach for when you really need to be active, would not be a bad feeling at all."
Yea, this is more like me.
Rather than be enticed by someone else's hatred filled words, it's better to just go with the flow, ignore their anger, and try to understand them.
After all, food doesn't only fill a person's stomach, but also their heart.
It's better to feel like this rather than to get all irritated.
"Hmm, alright then. It doesn't seem likely that I won't be able to dent your stubbornness.
Which is why, it means you've left but one path available for me as well."
Renha-san puts a smile on her face, and said to me.
Those eyes were used to mock someone, and I could see that from her cold, emotionless eyes and smile.
"Something for me to eat. Come bring me over a luxurious meat dish. But, it has to be to my taste."
"A meat dish, you say?"
"Indeed. Why don't you show me just how good, a peasant like you, truly are?"
A meat dish, she says…. My, now I'm in a pinch.
I mean, the problem isn't with the meat itself, nor is it with the dish.
What I'm worried about is the difference in values.
Since I was born as a commoner, when someone says luxurious meat, I think of anything over 2000yen.
However, Renha-san is royalty. Basically, the equivalent of an oil tycoon on Earth.
Basically, someone who owns a private holiday villa, and could just casually drink some high class tea in the afternoon out of boredom. Our values were different.
Which meant that I had to choose a dish that was the equivalent of what wealthy people on Earth ate, for this royalty.
Hmm, in that case, I think I've got just the right thing!
"Alright then, I'll bring you something absolutely stunning!"
It's gotta be steak!
And so, I'm thinking about making steak.
I immediately run back to the kitchen, and asked Ganglabe-san, who was waiting for me there.
"And so Ganglabe-san, please prepare for me some good meats."
"You've really been taken advantage of by that woman huh…."
Having explained the entire series of events to Ganglabe-san, he responded to me with a look of dismay.
This guy, did he request something of me all the while thinking that I wouldn't be able to do it?
Well, it is that insane, hysteric woman so it's not like I don't understand where he's coming from….
"I mean, anyone would realise, if they were hungry, that they couldn't just keep on toughing it out."
"These words sound rather dangerous coming from you."
It was the truth in a certain sense. As living beings, it was something we couldn't escape from.
"So, Ganglabe-san. What meat are you planning on getting?"
"Don't worry about it. It'll be the good stuff."
And so, what he prepared for me was a cut of beef tenderloin. This really is a good section.
However, there weren't many cows in this world that were breed just for the sake of meat. All cattle were used as extra help in agriculture, or for their milk. It seemed as if Newbyst was the only country who actually ate beef, and would raise cows just for their meat. But, maybe that wasn't the case?
Because of that, even though I said it was a tenderloin cut, it was a little bit tough since it was the meat from an old cow that had been toiling away in the fields.
Furthermore, it was something closer to fillet mignon, a cut that came from the smaller end of the tenderloin.
Was there such a shortage of beef?
"Hey, are you really going to make fried beef with this?"
"Ganglabe-san. It's called a steak."
"Ooh, you're right. It really is a steak."
Hm? Is there such thing as steaks in this world as well? Since it had the same name, perhaps it was the same dish?
Well, I guess that's the case. No matter where you're at, there will definitely be grilled meat. Perhaps it's a coincidence that the names are the same.
"Even so, you don't hear of steak being made with beef very much."
"Ahh. Cows are generally used for agriculture or for milking right? You know about that, yeah?"
"Yes, of course."
"That's why there's not much beef from cows herded for their meat. You know about that too, yeah?"
"Yes. I've heard it in the passing from Gann-san."
After coming to this world, in order to increase my understanding towards this world's common sense and knowledge, I've tried to learn about as many different things from as many different people as possible.
Due to that, there have been times when I've been treated as a weirdo. How rude, I'm such a normal person.
Even if I'm from another world.
"Basically, there aren't even many Feudal clans or Royalty who would feast on beef. As a result, you don't hear about it often. That's all. I've never heard about how it tastes either. Even this, although it's a pretty good cut, came from a cow that was almost useless. Can this make a good steak?"
I tear a bit off and took a bite.
It's true. Isn't this a little tough for tenderloin?
But I don't think there'll be any problems with the taste.
"No problem. Although it is tough."
"No, that's definitely a problem. Since if you cook tough meat, it'll become even tougher."
"Cooking is an art that will take care of that problem one way or another."
This time I have a secret plan.
Leaving aside Ganglabe-san, who looked at me in daze, I called out to Gann-san.
I decided to ask for Gann-san's help for the dish this time around.
If this goes well then, I'll be able to reverse Renha-san's opinions, is what I said, and he agreed, full of spirit. I knew it. Gann-san was feeling depressed. Which is why I think he's so motivated towards this request of mine.
"Gann-san, how goes the onions?"
Gann-san gave me a bowl full of the onions he grated.
However, his eyes were completely red, with tears rolling down his cheek. No way!
"Ah! Didn't I tell you not to rub your eyes with the hand that cut the onions!"
"Sorree, I forgat…."
Arara…. It seems he was too into this, and totally forgot about the warning i gave him about the onions.
Geez, he really needs to be looked after.
"Please put some ice on your eyes. It'll help."
"Now then, I've got the garlic here so, let's start."
I can imagine a more high class, luxurious steak to be soft and juicy.
So, let's create something similar to that.
First, knead the grated garlic and onions well into the tenderloin, mixing it in thoroughly. By doing this, it'll add flavour, and make the meat even more tender because of the enzymes in the onions.
I then roughly scatter some pepper across it, then rub it into the meat nicely.
I then let this set for some time.
"Let's start making this sauce."
"Oi, aren't you going to add any salt to this? Even I know you should add that."
"While it's certainly going to need it, that's something you add right before cooking it."
The pepper is mainly to get rid of the meat smell, and the salt has to be seasoned right before cooking.
The pepper has to be sprinkled on at least 15 minutes beforehand since there needs to be time for the smell to be dispersed, and the salt in particular, if it's added on too soon, will cause all the meat juices to leak out, resulting in it becoming really dry. There was a time when I had made the exact same mistake, and it was quite difficult to eat.
Furthermore, you can't add salt whilst you're cooking the steak. The salt wouldn't be spread evenly across the meat, and so the saltiness would be too much on one side. This would also lead to failure. One does not simply cook a steak.
That's why I won't add it now. Let's make the sauce first. And so I decided to make it whilst the tenderloin was marinating in the onion and garlic.
"Gann-san. Allow me to use the red wine that you secretly hold on to."
I mean, I do know. Even though your alcoholism hasn't gone away, you secretly hoarded away tons of liquor, and I even know where you hid them.
I turn away from the stunned Gann-san, and make the sauce.
I scraped half of the grated onions onto a plate I had prepared in advance, and finely cut them into small pieces.. The garlic too, apart from four slices, was finely chopped. The other necessary ingredients were the fish sauce, to get rid of the scent, and butter. It would be best if there was olive oil as well, but there isn't any so it'll have to do. It's something I plan on manufacturing one day.
Then, I heat up the pan now that I've gathered all the ingredients, warming it up.
"….That took quite some time huh. Even though you're just gonna grill it."
"Even though it looks like I'm just grilling it, that's where a cook's skills, ingenuity and work are necessary."
Ganglabe-san was complaining, but well, it's not like I don't see where his coming from. The first time I tried cooking steak too, apart from my aforementioned failures, there was also a time where I had grilled it without any preparations other than taking it out of the fridge and defrosting it.
Once you take the meat out from the fridge, you have to get it down to room temperature. You might think, "Isn't that the same as defrosting?", but there are many different ways to defrost.
Usually this is done by putting it through running water. When you think of defrosting by running it through water, you usually think that you put a stiff block of beef into a full bowl of water. Or if the meat was a bit thick then to let running water continue flowing over it.
What you shouldn't do, was to defrost it unnaturally with a microwave.
By doing it that way, you would quite literally raise the temperature in a jiffy, and you would be able to defrost it, but if you do this then all the umami from the meat juices would leak out, so you really shouldn't do that. Even though it would look like it was defrosted on the surface, the inside would still be frozen! That's the sort of disappointing image it conjures up.
I said that you shouldn't defrost it with a microwave, but it's not all microwaves and ovens. There are also higher end machines that have better functionality which are excellent, but the simple ones, when they defrost would simply warm it up, albeit slowly, on low heat. So if you're gonna use the microwave, buy a good one.
Anyway, there are plenty of different ways to defrost meat. The one I have today is already at room temperature so I'll just be grilling it though.
Alright. Since the pan's already warmed up, let's get spread the oil evenly and start cooking.
I lightly sprinkle and season the steak that had been marinating with the pepper, onion, and garlic with a little salt, and put it into the pan. Even now, there was a trick regarding how strong the fire should be.
There are some people who cook it carefully on low heat, but I'll be opting for a high heat this time. It was so high that there was smoke silently coming out from the pan. You shouldn't be scared of this though.
And also when you're cooking, you absolutely can not touch the meat. There's a method where you have to constantly press on it too, but let's hold ourselves back. As long as we restrain ourselves, there will be a delicacy waiting for us.
I cook it steadily on a high flame, and once the meat juices start to leak out I flip it over.
And, it looks like it’s time to flambe it.
"Gann-san, your red wine will be used to cook up the finest of steaks."
I pour two large cups of red wine into the pan, inciting the flames further.
"Oi! Are you trying to cause a fire!? Someone! Get water!"
"Adora-san, I'll be angry if you do that, okay?"
I stop Adora-san's uproar with a single sentence, and calmly put a lid over the pan.
"With this…. Alright."
"Is that it?"
"Yes, that's all."
Hearing Ganglabe-san's voice, filled with fear, I calmly replied.
Hmmm, I wonder if this world doesn't know about flambeing? No, there's no way, they definitely know about it.
After making sure that the fire from the flambe had gone out, I take it off the pan and arrange it onto the plate.
Now then, let's use the rest of the fat on this pan for the sauce.
I add the garlic, the aroma bursting out, and then the onions and fried them.
Once it was hot enough, I add red wine, and it started boiling, looking like it would jump out; the odourless fish sauce, and melted the butter. With this, it was done.
I pour the sauce into a small container I had prepared, and put it onto the plate with the steak. Done!
Hmm, this turned out well. The fragrance is entrancing, and it even looks good. It's perfect.
"Alright, time to take it to her, I suppose."
Just as I was going to take it to Renha-san, Ganglabe-san grabbed me by the shoulder. What for?
"Give me… just a little taste."
"Hah? There's no way I would allow that."
Since it was the Filet Mignon, there wasn't a lot of it already. If you split this up more, there won't be anything left for Renha-san.
However, Ganglabe-san just smiled, and didn't try to understand what I was thinking at all. Even worse, he was gradually coming closer to me.
Please stop, even if you keep approaching me I won't give it to you.
"Just…. A little bit of that piece there?"
"Where did this come from…. I'll make it again after so please just wait until then."
"Letting me smell such a delicious fragrance, and hearing such sounds, yet telling me to postpone… how cruel!"
"A person who would try to take someone else's food is even crueler, right?"
"We hath caught the scent of something delicious so We hath come!"
Bang! The one who opened the kitchen door was Princess Tebis. Wutin-san as well.
You guys, what happened with the meeting? Don't you guys have work? I'm pretty sure I heard you guys did though?
In my stunned state, Princess Tebis walks into the kitchen triumphantly.
On the other hand, Wutin-san made a resigned expression, and was following behind her. You can't just give up, yo.
"Oh! Shuri, could that be a steak that was made by cooking it with alcohol!? We expect nothing less of Shuri, even knowing of Our Country's newest technique!"
"Ah, Princess Tebis."
"Come now, let us make way towards the dining hall! Allow me to try that wholesome steak!"
"No, this is for Renha-san."
"What a delicious smell, su! I could smell it all the way from the training grounds, su!"
"Truly, it is wonderful, nou. Tonight's dinner will surely be luxurious."
Ehh, Cougar-san? Teg-san? Even you two came?
"What a nice smell…. I think I'm hungry."
Ahrius-san as well?
Ah! Riru-san is hiding in the door's shadow!
"Shuri-kun, I could smell something really nice, and heard something, but what's going on?"
Even Ekress-san boldly walked in!
"Ore-sama's stomach seems to be rumbling now that I've finished work…. What an irresistible scent."
Ah, huh? Gingus-san!?
"Oh, is that tonight's dinner! What is that, Shuri?"
"Um, Gingus-san. This is…"
"Wait, Gingus. I'll be tasting this first. It's a new steak after all, you know."
"Ah, that's not fair Ganglabe, su"
"Indeed! This one is tired after all my training!" (Cougar)
"Please wait a moment. The Magician's troops are tired as well. We should be the first."
"…..This new product will give Riru inspiration."
"Riru-chan just needs Hamburg right? I should be first." (Ekress)
"Cease. If we're on that topic then fried chicken (Karaage) is all you need too Ekress! We should be the one who should confirm the taste first."
Wh-what's all this? The charm of steak has spread!
Nevertheless, with all this time, the meat has probably rested enough.
For steaks, just because you cooked it, it doesn't mean it's immediately delicious. You have to let it rest a little, and allow the meat juices gathered in the centre to spread outwards to the whole of the steak.
Okay, let's just ignore these people and go.
Trying to turn my eye away from these people causing all this noise, I take the steak with one hand, quietly disappear from their view and left the kitchen.
I can't take this anymore.
So, time to head to the dungeon. I carry the steak and the sauce, covering them with a beautiful cloth so that no dust could get in.
I bet, around about now, those zombies (Commanders) above me are craving their meat, and are on the prowl right now. Once I get back up to them, I might have to make a steak in the shape of the cross.
Anyway…. This time I cooked it in a pan, but if I had a choice, I'm pretty sure cooking it in a fry pan would've been even more delicious.
It's been such a hassle since there's no fry pans even now. Once I get back up there I should ask Riru-san to make me one. It'll probably make the Hamburg even tastier so she should happily cooperate with me.
"The scent comes through from here, noja!"
"Ah, Shuri-kun. Here you are."
Hah! I was found!
Princess Tebis and Ekress-san caught up to me.
"T'is just a prank. Shuri, did We hear correctly in that, that was food for Renha?"
"We came because we too, have some business with the Lady."
"Exactly. We want to speak with her."
"I'm her chaperon."
Hm? I wonder what's going on? It doesn't look like the two of them are being suspicious or anything either…. I've got no reason to stop them so it's not like I can tell them no.
"Well, I don't mind. As long as you don't try to steal her steak."
"We cannot promise this, but well, We'll hold ourselves back."
"I can't guarantee this. But, alright, Shuri-kun."
Are? That means they're just outright ignoring my condition right? How do I handle this, knowing that they can't be trusted or believed in?
Embracing my worries inside my heart, the three of us go down the stairs, heading for the dungeon.
"By the way Shuri. The technique that you were using to cook the meat earlier. Was that Wine Cooking?"
"The technique where you added Red wine, shutting in the fragrance."
"Ahhh, you mean Flambe?"
Wine cooking is exactly that though.
"Where did you learn that technique from?"
"Umm, mostly self-taught."
The internet is a useful thing. When I was on earth, the internet would teach me things that I wouldn't understand just by reading cooking books.
Flambe, in particular, was something I couldn't get my head around. The timing, or the amount of wine to put in, I had to research all of that and practise.
When you're trying this at home, please, please try to be careful. It's a heck of a lot more intense than what they show on tv, so it'll burn more than you'd think.
"Wonderful! Even in Our country, this is a technique that We had only recently started developing."
"Is Wine Cooking really that amazing, Princess Tebis?"
Ekress-san looks confused, and asked.
"Indeed, that technique that Shuri displayed, was a method that would use a wine with high alcoholic concentration, pour it into the fry pan, and evaporate all of the alcoholic attributes all at once.
Making use of the final touches, if this was someone who was practised in the technique then, it's possible for a brilliant fragrance to be attached to the dish.
As We have stated earlier, Even in Our country, Newbyst, it is a newly developed technique, and so there is still a lot of room for improvement. The first thing we did was to eat the steak that we made, but that did not this indescribably wonderful scent, noja.
You could smell it from afar, right Ekress?"
"Ahh…. to think that I would be able to smell even from such a distance."
Is it really such an exaggeration?
No, since this steak was a success, it let out such a great smell, that even I, the one who cooked it, could agree with.
"And, for such a wonderful dish to be first experienced by that woman. My, oh my. We have no words."
Princess Tebis makes an exaggerated movement, and sighed.
"A wonderful new technique, and new sauce. And a new steak. No matter which one I choose, they would all be more fitting in Our mouth. We are even captivated by its fragrance."
"Umm…. if you praise it so much, you're going to make my back itch."
Getting such rave reviews… even though this was the exact opposite of the first time I brought Renha-san food, this was painful in its own way.
I smile bitterly, and I could hear a mutter from further inside.
"Hmph, on top of being a peasant, can you not stay quiet even when you're delivering food to a noblewoman."
A voice reverberated throughout the dungeon. It seems as if we had reached the lowest floor at some point, and Renha-san was glaring over at my direction with an annoyed look on her face.
Arara…. Perhaps we were a bit too loud.
"Refrain from calling him a peasant, Renha. A friend to the Newbyst Royal family is present after all."
"!! …Princess Tebis is here as well I see."
"It's been a while Renha."
"Although it seems like it was just yesterday for me! Did you come here to scorn me!? You too, Ekress!?"
"My lady, I have no such intentions."
Oh noes, Renha-san's annoyed meter seems to be reaching its breaking point.
Princess Tebis and Ekress-san were calm, but it's almost as if they had been used as an comparison, as Renha-san's anger felt all the more furious.
"And? You're saying that, that cook there, has brought something fitting for me to eat?"
"Hmph, at best it would be fitting for the likes of a cook of a mercenary corp. There's no way you would be able to cook something fitting of my tastes."
"No, this here is a steak worthy of you."
I place the plate with the steak in front of Renha-san, take off the cloth, and poured on the sauce.
A great fragrance immediately spread out. Yes, it's a success.
"Steak in red wine sauce, made by cooking it in red wine."
I tried saying it in a cool voice.
"Wh-what? This fragrance… The fragrance of the rich meat and sauce is filling up this dungeon….!"
Ooh, Renha-san's face finally loosened.
"What is that. You! What have you done to that dish!?"
"W-what, I did? I just cooked it…."
"Don't lie to me! There's no way a steak could release such a ridiculously rich and mellow flavour! You definitely applied some sort of magic to it!"
"Hmm, if you think that there's a trap laid inside using magic then, We shall go ahead."
Eh, I didn't even have enough time to stop her, Princess Tebis took the knife and fork from out of my hands, sat in front of the plate on the ground with the steak, and reached out for the dish.
"No need to worry, Wutin. Stay hidden."
As I thought, Eh?, Princess Tebis elegantly cut a piece of the steak and brought it towards her mouth.
On that face, a smile radiated.
"Ahh, how marvellous. We knew of the meat's tenderness, but it's so much more softer. Soft enough for it to be cut apart with Our lip. And despite that, the mouthfeel of the meat remains, and every time We bite into it, a magnificent fragrance overflows throughout Our mouth.
The meat's flavour, the sauce's flavour, and the additional flavour that came from cooking it in wine all harmonises, ahh, an indescribable happiness is filling Our mouth. This is something that cannot be accomplished without cooking it in wine, and an occult-like flavour that could not be accomplished with anyone other than someone practised in the art. It's spreading through Our mouth and nose, ahhh, how wonderful.
And it tastes delicious, naturally. The sauce made with a new technique. The garlic, onions, red wine and fish sauce mix together with the fat that had remained from cooking the meat. Along with that sauce, the meat that was cooked just right, correctly, perfectly, releases a terrific taste. There isn't too much salt added, yet it's not too little, just exquisite. And the natural smell of meat has been erased using pepper.
Every single thing, whether it be the new technique, the new sauce, or the perfect cooking and calculations, it truly is the perfected form of how one should prepare and perfect steak. There will be nothing that will surpass this for the next hundred of years, I dare say."
O-ohhhh, Princess Tebis' explanation is amazing…
Both Ekress-san and Renha-san just had a look as if they were gulping down their saliva.
I then, once again, put the steak in front of Renha-san, wiping the fork and knife with the cloth that had covered the plate, and placed them down onto the plate.
Princess Tebis had a satisfied look on her.
"Now then, I apologize for using the knife and fork first, no.
However, not even We could resist any longer. How about it? Try a bite."
Renha-san, hesitantly grabbed the fork and knife, and put a piece of the steak into her mouth.
Renha-san stopped herself from making a face of shock.
"I see, this is indeed a dish worthy of me, no, a steak that even surpasses me."
With a plunk, Renha-san puts down the fork and knife, and looked directly at Princess Tebis.
In that face, there wasn't the hate that she had previously. Her eyes, were almost as if they had seen through something.
"I see, Princess Tebis. Is this why you would try to attain this fellow to the point of even purposely exposing yourself?"
"Shuri. We and Ekress, still have a few words to speak with this thing. Could you please return first."
Both Princess Tebis and Ekress-san, had a serious look on their face.
It appears like it's a topic that is out of my reach.
Although I'm not sure what's going to happen between these three, I should probably just obediently back off.
I excuse myself with a single word, and decided to go back to wash the dishes.
The next day, I heard from Ekress-san that Renha-san had obediently accepted her sins.
Just what exactly had they talked about…..
It appears that even Ganglabe-san said that if she would quietly accept her sins then, he would be fine with her just exiled to some remote region.
It feels like there was some sort of secret backhanded deal going on….
I pray that nothing goes wrong.