Chapter 91 – Ije’s Cooking
Once I decided to head for the dining hall, Pii quickly climbed up on my right shoulder.
Pii liked to be in my clothes while sleeping, and on my shoulder while awake.
As for Hippolius, it was holding onto my left shoulder with its front legs. All the while saying ‘Kyuo-kyuo.’
And so I petted them while walking to the dining hall.
“Now that I think about it, I still haven’t taken out the mushrooms and vegetables we gathered.”
‘Want to eat mushrooms!’
“Do you like mushrooms, Hippolius?”
We then entered the building that served as both a dining hall and kitchen. However, they had already started the cooking.
Not only that, but Ije was in the center of it, and giving out orders to the Adventurers.
And Ije’s clothes had changed.
They were unfamiliar to me, but seemed to be well constructed.
As she was wearing different clothes, I could tell that she had bathed before coming here.
“Yes, leave it to me.”
“Soak this in water for a while.”
“Lower the flames here.”
As for ingredients, it was the usual meat and fish.
There were also the mountain vegetables that we gathered yesterday. We had eaten them this morning, and agreed that they were disgusting.
And so I was quite amazed while I watched.
Fio, who had been helping, ran up to me. And so I patted her on the head.
“So you came here to make dinner after taking a bath?”
“Yes! Fio help too!”
“I see. That’s very good of you.”
As for the wolf cubs, they were in the dining hall instead of the kitchen.
Shiro and Kelly were taking care of them.
And so I called out to Ije.
“Ije. I have some mushrooms. Will you use them?”
As there was no place to store them, it was best to take them out right before cooking them.
Thinking this, I had kept them in the magic bag.
Apparently, they had enough ingredients right now.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Aye, you should rest Mr. Theo. We have enough hands here.”
Agreed the Adventurers.
And so I headed to where Kelly, Shiro and the cubs were waiting.
The cubs ran towards me, and so I petted them while asking Kelly,
“Kelly. Did you prepare those clothes for Ije?”
“No, Ije already had those clothes.”
“Aye. She brought them from the village.”
Indeed, Ije had brought a large bag of things from her village.
I suppose the clothes were inside.
“So that means they were made by her tribe.”
“Yes. They even made the string that was turned into fabric.”
“That is amazing.”
Apparently, they were very skilled.
Kelly watched as Ije moved busily in the kitchen, and said,
“I was quite surprised. To be honest, the quality of the cloth and skill in sewing is very high.”
Even on the old continent, you did not often see clothes of this quality.
It was at the same level of clothing that the nobility wore.
“Not only that, but her tribe also made those condiments. Considering all of that…”
They had all been unfamiliar to us.
It seemed that they had a technique for making condiments that used a lot of soybeans.
“Aye. You are right, Mr. Theo. Overall, they were a very skilled people.”
“I even received some farming tools from Ije. And they were really well made.”
The quality of the farming tools had also been abnormally high.
Even better than anything found on the old continent.
It was something more comparable to the weapons and armor of nobles than farming tools.
“It really is amazing. And yet, they do not have any letters or writing.”
“So these skills were passed down orally?”
“That seems to be the case.”
“…Perhaps they are smarter, as well as more skilled with their hands.”
Kelly muttered with a serious expression.
“It is also possible that they have some skill…”
“Hmm. You are right, Mr. Theo. That is quite likely.”
As Kelly and I were astonished by Ije’s ability, the cooking was completed.
And so I went to the kitchen in order to help them carry the food.
“Here. For the sick people.”
Apparently, Ije had prepared food for Victor and the others as well.
Their food was a thin soup that was well boiled so that it would be easy to digest.
It smelled a lot better than the food that the sick people usually ate.
Perhaps it was due to the condiments.
I decided to deliver it to Victor and the sick people.
As I did not help with the cooking, it was the least that I could do.
“I’m sure they will be overjoyed. Let’s take it to them at once.”
And so Ije and I headed to the infirmary.
I had told Ije to rest, but she wanted to come no matter what.
She wanted to see if the food would really be to their liking.
And so we entered the infirmary together and distributed the food.
Victor looked at the meal and said,
“Oh? It seems a little different compared to the usual.”
“I knew that Victor would notice it.”
“Aye, it seems a little more refined.”
They said as they ate.
“How is it?”
Victor sounded surprised.
The other Adventurers also put it in their mouths and their eyes widened.
“Aye. It’s been a while since I ate anything that was this delicious.”
“Well, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten something this good.”
Some of the Adventurers were so moved that they burst into tears.
“Well, Ije was in charge of the cooking today.”
“…Ah, thank you.”
“Glad that you like it.”
Ije seemed relieved.
The soup had mountain vegetables and meat that was cooked until soft. That was all.
Not only that, but it was the vegetables that had tasted horrible the other day.
“Is this the soyu?”
I asked, and Ije shook her head.
“No. This is Misuo soup.”
“I see. It looks good.”
Victor and the others were overjoyed by how good the food was.
And I was sure that it would speed up their recovery.
After that, I returned to the dining hall with Ije.
While I had told them to eat ahead of us, they had all waited.
Not for me, of course. They were waiting for Ije.
As the leader of the cooks, she had earned their respect.
And so after she sat down at the table, they all started to eat their dinner.
There was fried meat and various vegetable dishes.
There was also the soup that Victor had been drinking.
And so I tried the misuo soup first.
“…It really is something I’ve never tasted before. But it’s good.”
“Aye. It is delicious.”
“It’s just as Mr. Theo says. It’s amazing!”
“Wow! What a strange taste.”
I tried the mountain vegetables as well.
The same ones that had tasted awful this morning.
And so I had low expectations for them.
“…They were so bad before, but now they taste good.”
“They good if process properly.”
“…Is that so?”
And then one of the Adventurers who had been helping muttered.
“I was there, but I didn’t see anything special being done.”
“Remove the bitterness and parts that taste bad.”
So there was a trick to it.
Apparently, Ije knew a lot about how to cook the ingredients that could be found around here.
“Ah, a good meal after so long.”
“Aye, that’s true.”
“This is the best meal I’ve had in my whole life.”
Said one young Adventurer.
“You’re exaggerating now.”
“No, I was a poor orphan, after all.”
If you were an orphan who lived in a poor town, then the only way to rise in the world was to become an Adventurer.
And when you were on the road, you were rarely able to eat a delicious meal.
You mainly ate dried meat, wild birds and wild plants.
The cooking was simple.
Cook them over a fire and that was it. If you were lucky, you might have some salt.
“…I see. Then you should eat a lot.”
One of the veteran Adventurers said with a kind expression.
“Oh, it really is good. Thank you.”
“Ije, please teach us to cook like that too.”
The Adventurers were now very fond of Ije’s cooking.
“It is the same meat we always eat, but it’s much better.”
“Ije is amazing.”
Was it the condiments or adjustments to the heat? Or the way she prepared it beforehand?
Well, it was probably all of that.
“Ije. Good at cooking. Leave it to Ije.”
“Oh, we could not have hoped for better. Thank you!”
“Thanks to Mr. Theo, our living standards have improved considerably, but our meals remained untouched.”
“Aye. With Mr. Theo’s facilities and Ije’s cooking, we have more to look forward to each day!”
After being welcomed like this by the Adventurers, Ije wagged her tail with an embarrassed expression.