The caravan under the tree cleared a small area for us to camp in. We wasted no time in setting up some tents and building a fire. I had been keeping the food for the horses in the hollow bag, and so I took it out and fed them. I also created some water in a bucket and drank.
“They’ve had to run quite a lot today…”
“Surely they will be fine tomorrow?”
“Yes. The imperial capital is very close now. There should be no problem if we go at a moderate pace.”
After he said this, I looked to the east and saw that there was a light, warm glow. Perhaps it was the lights of the city. A city that never slept…
“Now, let us eat. I was kinda hoping to dine on the Grendel, you know.”
“Haha. But I have made quite a lot thanks to Mister Asagi.”
We had decided to share the money with him. Of course, Daniela was fine with it.
‘We are not exactly in need of money now. And he did run off so desperately. We might as well reward him a little?’
And so with Daniela’s blessing, I had relayed the news to Mister. I knew he would object with his typical modesty, but I sort of just forced it onto him. We both took two-hundred pieces of gold and now had a place to sleep. It was an all-round good outcome, I thought.
“It will be our last night together, so I’ll cook this time.”
I declared in front of the fire. Then Daniela stood up.
“Mister. Asagi is rather good with this cooking business. You should look forward to it.”
“I see. Well, I certainly will!”
“I’m so hungry…”
Mister, Daniela and the driver started to talk enthusiastically about their favorites foods while I prepared the pots. You always had to start with a pot. I would put water in it and put it over a fire to make some soup!
No, not really. Damn it…I wanted to join the conversation. I could tell them of the midnight beef bowls I used to eat.
“Beef bowls…I’d sure like that now…”
I muttered with a sense of nostalgia. Daniela overheard it.
“Beef bowl? What is that? Asagi.”
“It’s a dish consisting of boiled beef on a bowl of rice. It’s great.”
“Food from your old home…”
Daniela whispered sadly. Indeed, I was sad too. We had meat here, but not rice. No soy sauce either. Of course, I didn’t know anything about fermenting, so I wouldn’t be able to make it either. Now that would be a nice cheat to have.
“Well, I’m going to make something much better than that. So sit over there and drool with anticipation.”
“What kind of vulgar woman do you take me for!”
Mister tried to calm the agitated Daniela. I just laughed and refocused my attention on the food.
□ □ □ □
Spicy meat skewers. Fresh fish grilled with salt. Vegetable soup. Bread. And fruit wine.
That might sound a little like fast food, but when displayed in front of us, it felt like a worthy last supper. There was so much that it didn’t fit on the low table I had made, and so we decided to spread a sheet on the floor of the wagon and place the food there where it could be enjoyed by the light of the lanterns.
The four of us put our hands together before reaching out to the food. I went for the fish. Daniela to the meat. Mister and the driver went after the soup. Personalities, eh…?
To me, the crispy, salted fish was irresistible. Its flesh would fall apart in your mouth and was very juicy.
“Mmm…! Hot! But good!”
Daniela was eating meat that was covered in spices I had bought from the market in Usk. I had tested various combinations before reaching this one. The more you ate, the hotter it became. Sweat would rush from your forehead. I was confident that it would sell very well at the street stalls.
“The vegetables and bacon work so well together in this soup.”
“The chunks are so big yet they are cooked through!”
I was also quite proud of the soup that Mister and the driver were having. I had made a lot of soups since coming to this world. And this was like its final form. A soup for vegetables. My only regret was not having any consomme.
“The meat also goes well with the bread.”
Daniela’s hands stopped when she heard those words. In the next instant, one of the buns vanished. Daniela had snatched one faster than the eye could see. She put the meat inside and pulled out the skewer.
“Hmm….! Mmmm…mm…mmm…gg… it is not bad!”
The others looked intrigued, so I offered them some bread too. They copied Daniela and bit into the bread. Then their eyes widened and they looked at each other before taking another bite and then another. Perhaps it was too good for words…I was quite happy to see it.
I sipped on some fruit wine and watched them eat. It really was fun to eat with others like this… No, I wasn’t great in larger, noisier places, but this was a nice way to have dinner. It would be even better if there was another cook whose food I could compare mine too.
Well, we would arrive in the imperial capital tomorrow. Vellefrost, the imperial capital of the Empire of Flugelnia. What kind of place would it be? Now, I heard about sweets and parades, but nothing we had seen up until now suggested those things. Perhaps it was a culture that was still spreading. Either that or Daniela’s information was wrong.
In any case, we’d have the pleasure of discovering the truth soon enough. It was decided that Daniela and the driver would take turns on the watch tonight, and so I went off to bed. Well, we were in such a large camp. Surely no monsters would dare come close…