Return 2 – Night Banquet
They opened the door and Aeris and Grudo entered the room. Both of them were carrying large baskets.
“Something smells nice.”
Chiharu said as she sniffed the air. Aeris scanned the room and then approached the table where tea had been prepared. Then he opened the basket.
It was full of delicacies that they had wanted to eat at the party but were unable to. Then Grudo opened his basket.
There were small cups and many bottles inside.
“I thought you hadn’t been able to eat much since you were surrounded by dwarves.”
“You probably didn’t have time to get a drink either.”
“Of course, Kaider and Edwy knew about it too. But young men are not allowed to visit ladies so late at night.”
Grudo explained. Aeris then added,
“But it’s fine if it’s us.”
“No one will suspect anything.”
“I am a veteran. And I don’t have any silly pride as a man. Now, eat up.”
Maki and Chiharu laughed at this rare joke by Aeris. Then they sat down and started setting the food while the drinks were being poured. As breakfast was sometimes eaten in this room, the table was quite large.
“The wine tastes so much better when I think about how bitter the other two will be.”
“That is so true.”
Aeris and Grudo said mockingly, but Maki and Chiharu were too focused on their food to hear them. There were vegetables that had been cut into bite-size pieces and also meat for the main course. There was also bread that you could put them on. Maki had already sandwiched her meat in the bread and was eating it.
Chiharu cut out a bite of fruit cake and brought it to her mouth.
“Wait-wait-wait. Chiharu. You should eat the meat first.”
“Why? No one’s watching us?”
“You can’t. We have to eat dessert together. So eat your dinner first.”
Maki instructed. And so Chiharu somberly pushed the cake away.
“Well, you two. If you are going to eat meat, then have this too.”
Grudo said as he poured them some red wine. That would go really well with the meat. And so Chiharu happily brought the meat to her mouth. The meat was also cooked in red wine, and it fell apart in her mouth.
“This is mutton. And this is chicken. It’s really good.”
Grudo said as he pointed to some meat cooked in herbs. It was cut into smaller pieces.
“Oh, it’s so juicy.”
“This skin is covered in salt and herbs and is really crispy.”
Maki and Chiharu talked in surprise as they ate. Grudo looked very happy as he explained each item to them.
“Yes, that. The skin has been covered in honey. The honey is from the elf territories. They usually use tree sap that has a distinct smell. But today is a special day, and so they used honey.”
I see. I see. Chiharu thought that she would like to taste the tree sap one as well.
“Speaking of honey, the elves are really good at acquiring such blessings from nature. I remember being able to harvest honey close to where I grew up. The bees are hard workers.”
“Yes, Aeris. It was really surprising the first time I saw it. Those bees were so much larger than the ones in the dwarf lands.”
“Hmm. If you ask me, it’s the bees that are everywhere else that are too small.”
Those two must have not been able to drink much at the party either. They talked happily as they drank.
“Hey, Aeris. How big are these bees?”
Maki asked with deep curiosity. Maki. Chiharu sighed. She hadn’t asked this question herself for a reason.
“Yes, about this big.”
Aeris made a large circle with both of his hands.
Grudo also made a circle. Chiharu had already had enough of this subject. And she drained her cup of wine.
“What are you saying, Grudo? Your hands are much too small. It’s like this.”
Aeris made another circle with his bigger hands.
“Too small? Ahahaha!”
Grudo laughed as if this were very funny. Maki then asked Aeris hesitantly.
“Uh, are they like small gazers then?”
“Hmm? Oh, you’re right, Maki. Since they both fly. That’s a good comparison. Hahaha!”
Aeris seemed very amused. However, Chiharu was rubbing her forehead. She looked just like Arthur.
“It’s because the bees are so big that honey is cheap in the elf lands.”
“I see. By the way…”