The Other World Dining Hall - Chapter 51
There were four heroes in the Eastern Continent.
Leonardo was a proud Saint of the Temple of Light, loved and protected by God of Light more than anyone in the Eastern Continent.
From the Kingdom, a genius who was the strongest magic user in the whole world, the Great Sage Artorius.
The Sword God Alexander, who continued to spend his long life of half-elf in the battlefield, able to defeat even the demon king with one sword.
...And then, with aptitude for black magic comparable to Artorius, a samurai swordsmanship hailing from the Western Continent comparable to Alexander, and loved by the Goddess of Darkness similar Leonardo's.
The hero who ended the war with evil demons that spanned for hundreds of years and killed the Evil God summoned by the demon king from the chaos of the world in exchange of her life, Yomi.
With the effort of these 4 heroes, the demons significantly lost their powers and the era of human peace began in the Eastern Continent.
That was about 70 years ago.
With the exception of Yomi, all three of them were still alive.
They separated and walked their own path.
Leonardo accomplished a feat incomparable to anyone, as a pope who gathered the believers of Temple of Light.
Artorius with his genius brain became a great wise man who developed magic and was etched into the Continent's history.
...And Alexander was the legendary undying mercenary who travelled from battlefield to battlefield.
A legendary swordsman who journeyed as freely as a Halfling, and sometimes overthrew monsters and thieves.
It was a certain winter day he visited the Kingdom and asked his old friend.
[Alex, I won't ask about you... you're still the same as usual.]
That day, the great sage was delighted with his reunion with Alexander for the first time in decades.
[Yup. You also haven't changed, Al... is what I wanted to say, but you're getting old now. You're perfectly an old man.]
Alexander said without mincing his words.
It's been 70 years since that battle.
A young genius magician, who once had a face comparable to Alexander, had become an old man like a dead tree that could break any moment.
[...You really haven't changed at all.]
That's right. Alex who was already 70 years old at that time was such a fellow, he often argued with himself and a young Leon.
Even such reminiscence made him felt nostalgic, and now he felt hungry.
Perhaps it's because he's ’’old’’ now.
[So, what do you want today? For you to come visiting a man, is there something wrong?]
With his mind corrected, Artorius asked.
When they were journeying together, the man boasted ’’I've embraced a real princess before’’, but not afraid to dump a woman if there was too much work.
He wouldn't come unless there's something he wanted to do.
He probably hadn't changed since 70 years ago.
[...Un. You always get straight into the matter.]
Even though he looked weak, he confirmed that his friend's mind was still sharp, and Alexander told him why he came all the way to the Kingdom.
[Actually... I want to go to otherworld dining hall. There's something I want to eat for a while.]
He only heard the rumours from Halflings and other adventurers.
A restaurant of a strange world that appeared once in 7 days and the delicious foreign food offered by it.
And there, whenever people visited, was an old mage similar to a dead tree... the great wiseman that was a living legend.
Artorius was convinced.
He had never seen Alexander in otherworld dining hall for the last 30 years.
So Artorius was certain that he had never been there before.
[If that's the case, then I'll bring you... tomorrow evening.]
It was a request from a former comrade... a friend that protected each other's backs with their lives.
Artorius agreed... while making amendments with his genius brain.
Alexander asked curiously.
[...Umu. There are customers that will likely not react well if they see you. Wait till they return home.]
As he answered, two regulars came to Artorius' mind.
If his womanizing friend tried to chat up with the princess of Empire, he could make the prince of a foreign country angry. Not to mention, he heard that the demon gladiator lost to Alexander.
That restaurant was also important to Artorius.
He didn't want to cause extraordinary commotion.
The next evening.
Using the magic circle engraved in Artorius' laboratory, they passed through the door.
'Chirinchirin', with the sound of bell, they entered the other world.
[Welcome... oya, I thought you're not coming today.]
The owner looked at Artorius and said in surprise.
As far as the owner knew, the oldest regulars among the all the customers usually came at noon or near the closing time.
It was rare for him to show up when the sun was descending.
[No way. I brought a companion today.]
After he coughed once, Alexander, who smelled of woman's perfume and was with him from morning to evening, greeted the owner.
[Yo! You're the foreign chef, huh! I'm... well, even if I give you my name, you wouldn't know it. Anyway, best regards!]
[Ha, haa. Nice to meet you too.]
Despite puzzled by the sudden light greeting, the owner bowed his head.
[Well, he's not a bad guy. Take care of him.]
Artorius interceded while coldly sweating due to Alexander.
[No problem. It's better for young people to be energetic... well, what do you want to order?]
The owner asked Artorius for the order without knowing that Alexander was roughly twice the age of Artorius.
As usual, he didn't bother to ask.
The usual roast cutlet and beer.
But this time he had a companion.
For a first time customer, he did not know what he liked.
[Aa, it's the usual for me...]
[Croquettes for me. As for my drink, the same as this grandpa's.]
Alexander answered clearly.
[...Oh right, you did say there's something you want to eat.]
To that unrepentant attitude, Artorius remembered what Alexander said yesterday.
It was a memorable dish that a deceased regular had never given up saying that it was the most delicious deep-fried dish.
According to a rumour he heard, there was a dish made by regular cooks of the Empire named croquettes.
(I see. So his target is the other world's croquette...)
Artorius was convinced.
As far as Artorius knew, Alexander was so curious that it was more fitting for him to be a child of Halfling rather than an elf.
His curiosity might be the reason he ordered the croquette that he had never seen before.
[I understand. Your orders are croquettes and roast cutlets. Please wait a moment.]
The owner took the order and returned to the kitchen.
[...Well, this way.]
Artorius led Alexander to his usual seat.
Alexander looked over the restaurant as a ’’precaution’’ while he followed Artorius.
[Is something the matter? There seems to be something in your mind.]
To those words, Alexander knew that Artorius was ’’unaware’’ of it and became more alert.
[...Hey. That elf woman sitting over there, isn't she dangerous?]
[...!? E, err, she's here again?]
Artorius instinctively followed Alexander's line of sight.
A female elf wearing a black version of otherworld costume quietly sitting in a corner seat.
...During the first time, even ’’Curry Rice’’ who was a veteran warrior could not sense here.
If it's not because of Alexander, he wouldn't even notice her.
The woman did not utter a word, just moving her hand like an ancient magic apparatus or something similar to eat chicken curry.
...Every time her plate became empty, it seemed that she directly transmitted her thoughts to the demon waitress as she suddenly answered and brought another serving.
[Un. She's dangerous. She's someone that you should absolutely never turn into an enemy...]
Alexander who had a sharp intuition that he honed in battlefields for the last 100 years sank to his seat with a cold sweat.
He understood. He would be no match if he ever fought against her.
[Aa, I guess.]
Artorius agreed with Alexander.
Artorius also knew that ever since 7 days ago when he first saw her.
That's the sort of being that one should never turn into an enemy... perhaps she was even stronger than the Evil God that they defeated before.
[Sorry to keep you waiting. Here are your croquettes and roast cutlets. And your draft beers too.]
It was the owner's voice that broke the heavy silence.
With thinly sliced leafy green vegetable on each plate, the owner brought roast cutlets and croquettes along with two mugs of golden draft beers.
[...Goo, good. Shall we eat?]
[A, that's right. Un, it looks delicious, these otherworld croquettes.]
Utilizing this delicious opportunity, they decided to forget the figure they just saw.
As long as they didn't interact poorly with that existence, they shouldn't worry about her.
In fact, with the exception of the owner and the waitress, Artorius and Alexander were the only customers that were aware of her presence.
And Alexander finally saw it.
[Hee... so this is the real croquette?]
Before Alexander were the elliptical, wheat-coloured croquettes.
It seemed to be fried with fragrant oil as a slight scent of oil wafted from it.
Alexander used a fork and a knife to cut the croquette while swallowing his saliva.
The croquette was cut easily, arousing a good feeling.
From the cross section, white mashed Baron's fruit mixed with something brown could be seen.
The vivid contrast between white and brown was excellent, and Alexander brought the piece to his mouth.
Spreading inside is mouth was the taste of fragrant coating, the slightly sweet Baron's fruit seasoned with spices, salt and butter, and the odorless, good quality oil.
Apparently the brown thing mixed inside was minced meat, and from it, the meat fat oozed out enhancing the croquette's taste.
(...Un, as I thought, this is different.)
To that taste beyond his expectation, Alexander washed the oil in his mouth with a gulp of his beer.
To Alexander's knowledge, the Empire's ’’croquette’’ was something made from mixing mashed Baron's fruit with salt and coated it with flour dissolved in water.
It was the taste of commoners that could be purchased mainly from food stalls.
It was good when it was freshly fried especially during cold winters, but this was exceptional.
(No wonder he's addicted to this.)
Alexander thought while the taste of croquette spread inside his mouth every time he took a bite.
In the first place, the reason why Alexander wanted to try the otherworld croquette was because of a story he heard from a middle-aged Halfling that happened to be his acquaintance.
A story of a deceased man who loved ’’croquettes’’ of the otherworld dining hall, told as a story at a bar.
The Halfling laughingly said ’’Croquette built a huge castle at the place where one of the doors was located in this wide world’’.
He noticed it at once. The identity of the man referred as Croquette.
...That was why Alexander travelled to the Kingdom and visited his friend to ask a favour.
[That's not right, Alex. Sauce is the life of croquettes.]
While thinking such, Artorius admonished Alexander.
[Umu. It's indispensable for otherworld fried food... this is it.]
Artorius handed a red bottle to Alexander who tilted his head after hearing that unknown word.
[Try it. It's absolutely delicious for this restaurant's fried food.]
That made him laugh.
There was a strong rival of tartar sauce for deep-fried seafood, but sauce was important for other deep-fried food.
[I see. Then...]
Alexander nodded and tilted the bottle.
Leaking from the bottle was a brownish black sauce.
It slowly spilled from the bottle's mouth, leaving a brown stain on the croquette.
That part of croquette entered Alexander's mouth...
[...I see. Certainly, there's a large difference if I use the sauce.]
He nodded to that taste.
At first, there was a sour taste similar to vinegar. But not only that, there were also saltiness, the sharp taste of spices and a hint of sweetness in the complex sauce.
A mere moment when the too strong taste was mixed with the deep-fried food and the taste of oil in the coating, the taste became balanced like a miracle and spread inside his mouth.
(I see... croquettes are definitely something that should be eaten with the sauce.)
He became aware of that while continuing to stuff mouthful after mouthful of croquettes into his mouth.
Croquettes were delicious when eaten alone, but when sauce was used, it became a different taste altogether.
At least Alexander liked it.
[It's a pity. Is there no way to get this food in our world?]
[Umu. This world's sauce cannot be made in our world yet. Even Yomi agreed.]
Artorius responded in a good mood.
...Also in order to tell an important news to his friend.
At the moment he heard that name, Alexander immediately stopped eating.
Feeling surprised, he looked at Artorius whose eyes showed that he was not telling any lies.
Why did that name come out now?
Yes, his eyes asked that.
[Aa, that Yomi... she's still alive.]
Feeling comfortable seeing his comrade's surprise, Artorius remembered his reunion 30 years ago...
He replied while remembering the first time he visited the restaurant.
[Aa, it seems that she was flung into this world by the Evil God 70 years ago.
When I saw her again, she had completely became a resident of this world... she even has a grandson now.]
He looked at the owner who was busy going back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room while replying so.
[...Is the owner Yomi's grandson? ...He doesn't seem to be able to wield a sword or use magic though.]
Only by that, Alexander recognized the meaning of Artorius' reply and said his doubts.
The owner that he saw earlier.
If he considered the taste of the croquette he ate, his cooking skill was good, but the way his muscles were developed was not that of a warrior, and his magical power was weak.
Even by his looks, he was only a chef, and both his swordsmanship and magic skill were not what one could expect from the grandson of a genius.
[Of course. In this word, both swordsmanship and magic are useless. There's no way she could teach him.]
Artorius smiled wryly to his friend's words.
When he met her again that day, Yomi said so with a serious expression.
He does not need swordsmanship or magic over here, but I want him to inherit only the cooking skill.
Those words became reality. Yomi's grandson... the owner could not handle any sword or magic at all, but his cooking skill was peerless.
[That's the case. Yomi is Yomi and she seemed to enjoy her life here.]
Yomi's smile when he met her 30 years ago was natural... unlike when they travelled together, the only thing in her head was to kill the demon tribe and her heart was empty.
Artorius felt great pleasure and a little loneliness seeing his former comrade who changed as if she was an ’’ordinary human’’ now.
[I see... Yomi had an enjoyable life in her own way, huh...]
Hearing that, Alexander also felt relieved.
Back then, Yomi said that ’’I was born to kill the demon king’’ with a serious expression, the only thing she had in her thoughts was to kill the demons.
When the demon king and the Evil God were killed, she disappeared from the world without experiencing enjoyable things... an important comrade thought so.
It was good news that she survived and lived happily in the otherworld.
[I see... ok, let's drink. To celebrate that Yomi survived.]
[That's right. Let's thank this world that accepted Yomi... excuse me, owner. Another serving of croquettes and roast cutlets.]
Artorius nodded to Alexander's proposal.
And the two continued to eat and drink until late night.
The day after they visited otherworld dining hall.
[Well then, you've taken care of me in various ways. Thank you.]
[Aa, come visit me again. Especially on Satur's day.]
As he had experience the thing that caught his interest for many years and heard an unexpected good news, Alexander decided to travel again.
He decided to go as far as the wind blew.
That was Alexander's way of life.
[Well, for sightseeing, let's visit Ady's and my son's graves. I have considered visiting that place before after all.]
Thinking a little, he easily decided the designation of his next travel.
His next destination was the Empire.
There, he would pray for his former lover and son who rested in one of the most luxurious mausoleums of the continent, which became one of the Empire's symbols.
There was a carving that said ’’I have no father. As a son, I only have my mother Adelheid as my parent’’ on the grave. It was a reminder that he hated nowadays.
He would also tell that he had eaten the croquettes that his son loved more than anything in that restaurant.
(It was my son that died earlier than his father, and that's good enough.)
Alexander left while thinking such a thing.
That day, ever since the day he rescued his former lover and his son from the former Empire capital with the cooperation of his comrades, he went to visit the graves of his former lover and his son that had never met him.