The Other World Dining Hall - Chapter 120
As usual, the ship was floating under the clear blue sky.
On the roughly shaking deck, Alice braced her legs so that she wouldn't fall.
Grasped in her hand was a wooden stick made from carved out branches of old trees with a complicated pattern engraved onto it... a magic staff made by her ’’teacher’’.
While she occasionally poised it, she spun the ’’spell’’ that her teacher taught her.
Together with her shout, she shot out the magic. A shining arrow of magic shot out from the tip of her staff... it hit the empty sea.
For practice, the task imposed to Alice was to shoot this magic arrow in order to master her magical power by accustoming her to magic itself while keeping in mind not to shoot it to living beings.
When her teacher was as young as Alice, she was taught magic the same way by her parents, casting magic arrows the same way towards rocks where plants did not grow day by day.
She repeated the action three times, sat down when she felt tired and said.
[...Nothing to do.]
She didn't mind her clothes getting dirty;she sat and watched the sunny sky with no clouds obstructing it.
While sailing across the continent, which took about half a month, she had a lot of free time.
Before she boarded the ship, she heard that people with pointed ears was more difficult.
Sometimes terrible rainstorm would come, and monsters that lived in the sea would attack the ship.
If one was to fall into the sea then they couldn't be saved, there were a lot of ships that had sunk into the bottom of the ocean without reaching their destinations in the first place.
If a big ship encountered a terrible storm or a huge ocean monster, then nothing could be done.
When she heard that, she was really scared and after hearing the story, her master decided to change the schedule and stayed in town. She then took the branches of big trees that grew deep in the nearby forest to make a magic staff for Alice to make it easy for her to handle magic. She also made various preparations for sailing across the sea by buying and making arrows and various medicines.
After Alice was picked up by her teacher and left that forest, she had learned a lot.
...She wondered if it's because of the protection from other side, nothing had happened, but the life of just being swayed by the ship was very free, surely it was a good thing.
Maa, she thought that there were no oceanic believers who would attack humans, and they also had an amulet that protected them from the storm... but they still had to be careful.
Perhaps nothing happened due to the ’’amulet’’ given to them which was made from stone and shell picked from the bottom of the sea by the ’’witch of the cape’’ who they had become close to at the port town.
When they obtained it, she remembered that her teacher had a very surprised face and somehow, Alice could feel the strong magical power imbued in the amulet.
As such, their first ship trip had been favourable. So favourable that there's nothing to do.
After sitting on the deck for a while, Alice stood up with a sigh.
Her teacher... the elven magician Faldania was currently secluded in their cabin writing various things about magic on papers, so Alice was mostly alone.
Since they had spare time, she wanted to finish the magic she was previously researching. That's what she said.
[...Teacher's new magic. I wonder if she can finish it today.]
Suddenly, Alice remembered their talk this morning. Her teacher seemed to want to make it in time for something, and Alice was told that she wanted her to keep away from their cabin, so she went to the deck.
[...Moo, is it finished yet?]
Looking up at the sky, the sun seemed to be going down a bit. It was such a time.
What kind of new magic was her teacher making? She hoped that she would finish it in this spare time.
While thinking so, Alice returned to the room at the bottom of the ship... back to the cabin room assigned to her and her teacher.
[...All right! It's finished!]
Nearly simultaneously with Alice returning to their small room with no window but illuminated with her teacher's magic, Faldania proclaimed so.
[Aa, Alice. Your timing is just right. I finished it. The new magic!]
Alice congratulated Faldania while feeling slightly bothered by her slightly outgoing atmosphere in contrast of her usually calm deposition.
[Thank you. It took me a bit of time, but I was able to make a simple magic.]
After hearing Alice's words, Faldania smiled.
It was more than a year ago since she started developing it.
...If a human and half-elf magicians were able to do it, then it would be impossible for her to not to be able to do the same. She repeatedly researched about it.
It was finally completed. It was a matter of course that she was feeling slightly excited.
[I see... what does it do?]
Alice who was intrigued by her teacher's appearance asked about the kind of magic was made.
[It's a kind of summoning magic. By distorting the flow of magical power with magic, distant things... I will be able to call on something completely different from this world that meets the specified conditions from different dimensions.
...Maa, to put it simply, it's a magic that calls what I want here.]
To Alice who was interested in the new magic, Faldania explained it simply so that she could understand.
[Hee... that's what you're making?]
[Of course. That's why I stayed up all night.]
While she nodded to Alice, Faldania got up from the bed... she then channeled magical power into the magic circle drawn on the cabin floor without permission and started chanting.
In this short but meaningful journey, she acquired new knowledge that was comparable to her knowledge she had gained for the past hundred years. With the skill she had acquired in her journey, Faldania channeled her magic with all her might.
She wouldn't shake even when in a ship being rocked by waves.
Through her sense, she grasped the nostalgic signs of her magic through the magic circle.
A sign of nostalgic forest, the place where she spent most of her life as an elf.
She was raised in the forest, in between the rows of trees, the beginning of her journey, and Faldania summoned it all at once.
The magic was completed and it showed up on the magic circle.
[...Is this... probably?]
Seeing it, Alice noticed the familiar object.
A door with the picture of a cat that she had went through so many times before ever since that first time with her teacher.
[Yes. It's the door. I don't want to miss today and wait 7 days later, so I persisted on... well then, let's go.]
While feeling satisfied that her magic went well, Faldania's mouth watered and she said so to Alice.
Alice answered with a full smile.
'Chirinchirin', the sound of bell echoed in the small cabin.
Faldania and Alice breathed out after standing on a ground which did not not shake for the first time in a month.
It was a calm voyage which was not attacked by monsters or storms, but for the elves that lived on the unshakable ground of the continent, it seemed that life on the swaying ship was painful.
Faldania who had learnt anew that it was good that the ground did not shake ordered something she usually did not order to the waitress who came to ask for their orders.
[Since it may take some time, they would like to drink miso soup?]
After the owner heard the unexpected order from Saki, he unintentionally asked back.
Miso soup was basically served with set menus. With the exception of Tonjiru during meat day, there's no need for one to inadvertently order one.
[Yes. The customers are those two over there.]
[...Aa, I see.]
As he was told, he confirmed that they were the familiar regulars of sisters so he knew what they would like to ask.
[What? Do you understand something?]
[Aa, the customers over there... for people with long ears, regular meals are no good.
Aa, it's a story I heard from the old man regular, but they're a tribe like that.]
He remembered hearing about it before. It seemed that the people with long ears and did not seem to age for a long time disliked foods made from animal ingredients.
As far as he could tell, all of the customers with long ears did not seem to age over the years, and that blonde customer, he remembered her first visit well since she asked for food without meat, fish, milk and eggs.
[Aa, then this miso soup is no good.]
On the other hand, Saki understood the owner's explanation.
Nekoya's miso soup used bonito stock. She guessed that the smell would be bad for them.
[That's right. Maa, I can always make miso soup using kelp stock, but... it'll take a while. This should match the cuisine. I want to leave it as usual.]
[What to do?]
[There's a new dish which I thought of before. Let's try it out.]
While saying so, the owner looked into the refrigerator. He thought a little... and then took out a silken tofu.
(Cotton tofu is delicious too, but when it comes to texture, it has to be silken tofu.)
TN: Left is silken tofu while right is cotton tofu.
He cut a large piece from the part which was going to be used for miso soup, he then covered it with cloth.
He placed a plate on top of it to mimic the weight of stone.
[Well, I'll make the miso soup now.]
It took a while for the water to drain. Meanwhile, the owner watched the condition of the cooking for other customers and put water into a small sauce pan, he then made miso soup with kelp stock.
On the other hand, Faldania and Alice enjoyed the restaurant after a long absence.
Due to the nature of her order, the dishes would come later than usual, but the cold water with fruit essence was much better than the old water with disgusting smell they had been drinking at the ship.
Their long ears were able to hear a lot like the endless roar of the waves, the squeaky sound of the ship, the passengers who snored in their sleep due to their excess free time, and the calm voices of the guests.
Among the customers was the witch friend of Faldania who was probably not human they had encountered at the port town;she had a natto spaghetti and rice on her table.
(...She looked class="img-responsive">
(...She looked healthy as usual. That's good.)
Looking at her, Faldania felt relieved.
The world seemed to not have changed since they boarded the ship, and ever since they went out to the sea, they had not stepped on land except on islands for occasional restocking of supplies.
[Thank you for waiting! Here's your deep-fried tofu!]
The demon waitress came carrying their order.
Faldania unexpectedly said her gratitude after smelling the delicious fragrance wafting from the food.
The steaming miso soup and white rice. Thin yellow pickled vegetables.
Mingling with them was the day's main dish.
A slightly sweet scent, a square dish with golden colour, soaking in the blackish brown sauce.
Above it were shredded deep green vegetable and something pale yellow.
(This is a tofu dish right?)
Looking at the food served in a deep dish, Faldania saw the true identity of the dish since she had a habit of observing the cuisine of otherworld.
It had a different colour and appearance, but since it had tofu in the name of the dish, it had to be a tofu dish.
(This yellow colour... is it deep fried in oil?)
The port city was part of the Empire's territory;there were a variety of dishes sold that were deep-fried in oil, and these dishes were also often served at otherworld dining hall.
This dish, intermingling with the sweet aroma of its sauce was the scent of the high quality oil it was fried in.
This scent stimulated Faldania's appetite.
[Ne, this. It's delicious! But it's a little spicy.]
Once Alice ate the food, her face unraveled.
She had visited this restaurant several times before with her teacher, all of the dishes she ate in this place were all delicious.
Alice wouldn't hesitate because she knew it. She quickly brought some to her mouth and knew that today's dish was also delicious.
[...That's true. Well, I guess I should eat.]
Seeing Alice's wonderful smile, Faldania started to eat.
(First, I'll check the identity.)
Carefully, she broke a piece apart while avoiding the sauce.
When she cut it apart with the silver knife, she could see the yellowish white colour beneath the golden coating, Faldania was confident that it was tofu.
She carried the piece with her fork.
(Un... it's tofu after all?)
It was expected in a sense, but the taste of tofu was not the one she expected.
It was expected that it contained the slightly sweet taste of tofu as it had a trace of the flavor of elf beans, and as expected the coating had the aroma of being fried in oil.
Perhaps it was fried with something like flour. Then thin surface part tasted different from the tofu.
The fragrance gave a flavor that was not found in the smooth, hot, light-tasting tofu.
(But, it's a little harder than usual... no, it's tightened?)
She tasted it while rolling it with the tip of her tongue, she then sensed it.
This tofu was harder than when it was made into tofu steak. Of course, it wasn't tough enough to be considered as hard, but it had no softness that would collapse the moment it touched her teeth.
However, the taste of tofu was strong. The fragrance and taste of elf beans firmly spread in her mouth.
(I wonder how this was made...)
As usual about the food of this world, even if she knew about the ingredients, she did not know how to create it.
...While she thought such things, Alice who raised her face saw the weird expression on Faldania's face.
[...Perhaps, this is not tasty?]
[...That's not true.]
She answered with a wry smile. Certainly it may seem that way if one only ate a only ate a bite and had a difficult expression.
So this time, she firmly cut a piece and ate it with the sauce.
[...A, it's delicious.]
She tried eating again, her voice then unexpectedly leaked.
The tightened taste of white tofu, it matched well with the sweet sauce made from sugar, shoyu and sake.
The fragrant oil taste of the coating tied the two very well.
The pungent and spicy taste of the grated pale yellow root on top of the tofu, and the pungent taste of the sliced tube-shaped green vegetable also complemented the taste.
Alice's smiling face lit up after hearing Faldania's words.
[...Sa, let's drink the soup. In a way, it's my favourite.]
Feeling overpowered by Alice's smiling face, Faldania looked at the soup this time.
The usual brown miso soup was served in a bowl the size of a palm, which was slightly different from those served to other customers.
The ingredients floating in it were tofu and dark green seaweed.
As far as she could see, it's what was served to other customers, but the scent was different.
The scent drifting from the soup did not contain any scent that was considered bad for the elves. It's just the miso's scent.
She scooped the soup and tofu with her spoon and brought it to her mouth.
The miso soup of the otherworld that she drank for the first time was delicious as expected.
The soup in which miso was dissolved in contained the umami of seaweed that was cooked moderately, and combined with the heat of the soup, it permeated her tongue.
The seaweed used as the ingredient sucked in plenty of the soup's flavor and had an unique texture, and the small blocks of tofu broke apart softly as usual.
(Really, I wish I can eat this every day.)
Instead of the soup for humans which contained the offensive scent of fish, this one should be served instead. It was delicious enough for her to think so.
After looking at Faldania, Alice brought the soup into her mouth and her ears quivered due to the heat of the soup.
However, she probably liked it since she started to eat spoonful after spoonful in a fast pace.
While feeling satisfied after seeing Alice's reaction for some reason, Faldania carried the pickled vegetables along with rice into her mouth.
The strong salty taste of pickled vegetables and slightly sweet flavor of white rice were tasted by her tongue that was stained by the flavor of miso, after that she ate her deep-fried tofu.
After visiting this restaurant a couple of times, Faldania knew that after a while, the dishes of this restaurant would show different flavours.
After losing the aroma of freshly made food, the taste became slightly softer.
Dishes in which one could enjoy another taste due to its unusual flavor. From its appearance, deep-fried tofu seemed to be one of those dishes.
(...N. As I thought.)
Faldania confirmed that her prediction was true after a bite.
The coating had soaked in the sauce;the taste of deep-fried tofu was different from before.
As it lost its smell of oil, the coating which had soaked in plenty of the sauce was now soft and sweet.
The thick flavor enveloped the tofu.
(It's a bit too thick to be eaten alone.)
While thinking so, she ate a scoop of rice.
If food with thick flavor was cooked, it should be eaten with rice and it would add more taste.
(Un. This is it...)
Faldania who was satisfied with the food noticed the gaze.
Alice seemed to envy Faldania.
There was no more deep-fried tofu in Alice's bowl.
Noticing Alice's expression, Faldania wryly smiled and moved half of hers onto Alice's bowl.