“I have heard that the Rapidfish is quite good.”
“It sounds like a monster.”
As far as I was aware, I hadn’t ever eaten a monster.
“They say that they swim incredibly fast, and fly out of the water just like an arrow. And so some people mistook them for monsters. Hence the name.”
“So they thought they were being attacked…interesting.”
We would be going downstream by boat. And if we were attacked…we would have no shortage of food!
“Alright, we should order then. …Are you fine with that?”
Daniela turned around in her chair and called for the waiter. It was as if it were the most natural thing in the world for her…
“Can I take your order?”
“Aye. We will have the River Fish Meuniere and the Rapidfish Cream Stew.”
“…Alright. Please wait just a short while.”
The waiter scribbly on a pad and then returned to the kitchen. So, he was a chef and a waiter. It must be difficult to handle everything by yourself. I had been alone in the store as well, so I assumed that I knew a little about how that might be like. And so I cheered him on in my heart. Now, go make us some good food!
We chatted about nothing in particular until our food arrived. Daniela talked about different places she had eaten at, what places had sold terrible armor. But I never got bored while listening to stories about her solo adventures.
“…And so this is what I said. ‘Get lost if you wish to live. You do not have long before I obliterate you all.’”
“And then they fled with their tails between their legs. Do you understand?”
“I do. I do. Those are the times that you’re the most impressive.”
“Aye, it is so. …Ah, and here is the food.”
Hehe. Daniela looked quite smug as her ears twitched. She had detected the presence of the waiter behind her. I cleared the table by pushing the menu to the side.
“Here you go. The Rapidfish Cream Stew.”
“That would be mine.”
“Here. And this is the River Fish Meuniere.”
We thanked him and picked up our knives and forks. I looked at my Rapidfish curiously. It was red under the white cream. Like salmon perhaps.
I stabbed it with my fork and cut off a piece with my knife.
The soft flesh fell apart the moment that it entered your mouth. But there was still plenty of texture when you chewed. It was cooked just right. And the sweetness of the cream was a perfect fit for the savory fish.
“Asking people for advice really pays off, eh?”
“Though searching can be rewarding too.”
Asking the people of the town was your safest bet. But I hadn’t really expected Daniela to be the one to prove it here.
“Yours looks good too.”
“This is a trading town after all… They seem to use a lot of spices and butter. It is delicious.”
“Yes, very delicious…”
I wanted to taste it even more now.
“Give me some.”
“You can have some of mine.”
“I suppose you can have a little.”
Unless I made that offer, she was would never nod her head in agreement. That was the kind of person she was.
I quickly cut off a piece of my Rapidfish and stabbed it with my fork. Then I carried it over to Daniela’s mouth.
“Ah…mmm…hmm… Yours is not bad.”
“Right? Now give me some.”
“Ahh. …Very well.”
Salt, pepper, and butter. It was simple, but a deadly combination…!
This was something that I’d like to make myself.
We fed each other a few more times and gushed about the food. Eventually, the waiter stopped by.
He looked a little uncomfortable.
“Ahh…I am happy to hear that you’re enjoying the food, but…”
“It really is great. I want to eat more.”
“Yeah. I kind of want to know the recipe for this.”
“Uh, yes…thank you, but…”
He scratched the back of his head awkwardly and then seemed to come to a decision.
“I’m sorry. But if you two could just save it for when you get a room together…”
Oh, were there other customers here? I slowly looked around and saw nothing but awkward glances and embarrassed chuckles.
“The brilliance of the dish blinded me to my surroundings. Forgive me.”
“Not at all. As long as you understand.”
The waiter sighed with relief and returned to the kitchen.
Of course, we had no desire to make any additional orders after that.
We quickly paid what we owed and rushed out the door.
“Well, we can come back another day.”
“Indeed. It was too good to be a one-time affair.”
We made the promise in our hearts. The sounds of the night were the same in any town. People walking to and fro as they talked. There was a gentle warmth to it. Just like the lights. Nostalgic.
Like rootless trees with nowhere to go, Daniela and I drifted through the crowds and slowly made our way back to the Babbling Brook. Tomorrow, we get our boat!