118. The Second Day
Fran and I started getting everything ready for tomorrow after seeing Urushi on his way.
I was originally planning on saving the spicy kind so I could introduce it on the second day, but all the stress had gotten to me, and I accidentally ended up having them sold alongside our other two flavours. In other words, I’d have to introduce a brand new flavour in order to make sure everything went according to plan.
「Master. Thought up new curry dish.」
『Oh? Sounds interesting. What kind?』
「Combination of Master’s best dishes. Curry sushi.」
『Not bad. The name’s got a good weight to it.』
I can’t really speak for the taste though. The combination seemed so odd that I couldn’t even fathom it. Moreover was the fact that the concept itself didn’t really seem all that applicable to curry bread in particular.
But that aside, I did have a pretty good idea myself.
What I needed to make was a super spice that transcended the realm of super spices, a super spice that went even further beyond. Naturally, a flavour as potent as that would need itself a pretty solid name. I’d considered a few things like Death Spice and Ogre Spice, but I ultimately ended up going with Dragon Spice. Dragons were considered the world’s most powerful creatures, and the whole idea was that the spice was the same. I was thinking of giving it a dragon themed slogan too. I could totally see it selling if we said that “eating it’ll make you breathe fire, just like a dragon!”
The Dragon Spice Curry Bread had a bit of alteration put into three different parts of its cooking process. First was the filling. Most of my other curries had been made Japanese style. They’d also only used a single type of meat. The Dragon Spice, on the other hand, was a pork and beef curry that moreso followed the Indian Qeema style. The dough I was using for its breading had a bit of black spice mixed into it, and as a result, shone with a much darker lustre. The final change was the manner in which it was deep fried; I mixed quite a bit of lard into the oil so I could fully draw out the curry’s taste. 
I then came up with an iteration of our mildest flavour. The idea was to remove a bit of spice, add some cheese and ultimately craft a batch of Cheese Curry Bread. 
Furthermore, I’d improve the recipe even further by grabbing all the bread crumbs I’d gotten from the whole frying processes I’d done over the past few days. The point was to rub them into the Cheese Curry Bread’s dough. I figured children would enjoy the texture more that way.
I couldn’t make all that many of either of the two new variations, but I estimated that I should be able to ramp production up enough to get us at least a solid two thousand of each. Besides, the idea was to call these products limited edition anyways. We’d sell them at twenty Golde a piece, with a limit on four of each type per customer. I was almost completely sure that our strategy would cause them to sell. The urge to collect the scarce was something that would have an effect on people regardless of what world they resided in.
「As expected of Master.」
『I’ll work on the two new products I just introduced. Fran, you focus on deep frying the stuff that’s already been prepped.』
The two additional types we’d come up with ended up leaving us with a total of five different product variations.
With that in mind, the two of us silently worked until the clock struck midnight. It was only then that I finally finished getting a large batch of curry bread ready to be deep fried.
『Whew. That’s half done.』
『Thanks. Wait, what’s that?』
Fran had finished with all the frying she’d been assigned a bit earlier, so she’d moved on to cooking up a little something in a pot.
「Curry sushi. Complete.」
Fran would normally mind how tedious the work was, but today all her reluctance had been thoroughly suppressed by her curiosity. The pot beside her looked like something along the lines of curry. She’d swapped one of the ingredients out for a fishy stock, and caused the pot’s contents to moreso resemble a soup than a curry. Beside said batch of soup-like curry was a few pieces of the tuna sushi we’d made back on the ship.
「Put sauce on sushi. Eat.」
Fran immediately began pressuring me into consuming her creation.
I’ll admit the dish was a bit weird and off putting. However, Fran was its creator, and thus, I had absolutely no choice but to eat it. Period. Full stop.
Thus, I made a doppelganger, grabbed a piece of sushi and dipped it right into the pot of curry. Again, I couldn’t help but note that it didn’t look delicious. Seeing a piece of tuna smothered in yellow sauce did nothing but curb my appetite.
But that didn’t matter! There was no way any real man could possibly back off from a situation like this one!
Nom nom nom…
Huh? That’s weird. It doesn’t taste bad at all. In fact, I’d say it was pretty good. For some odd reason, the curry’s spices actually managed to draw out the Tuna’s flavour. The vinegared sushi rice actually seemed to work decently well with the whole combination too.
Or actually, I guess this does make sense. Fran’s cooking is maxed out, and she’s even got a title for it. She would actually be even better than I am at it should she give it her all. Needless to say, the making of this dish had caused her to do exactly that.
Unfortunately, I still don’t really think that the whole thing she’s got going here is something we can actually apply to curry bread, but, she seemed satisfied with the result, so all was good. After confirming my approval, she polished off the rest of the sushi before heading back to the inn with her spirits high.
I, on the other hand, had no choice to get back to work. That said, I’d just managed to get myself a portion of Fran’s cooking, something that was pretty much of legendary rarity. Hence, I was as pumped as could be, and ready to fry all night.
The first thing we did the next day was submit a few documents to the cooking guild so that we could get our new merch approved. We’d written all ingredients in the documents we handed over, so they ended up giving us an immediate thumbs up after giving the products a quick sample.
Our second day went much better than our first. News about our products had spread through word of mouth overnight. As a result, we ended up being permanently stuck with a line about two hundred heads long. Our two new additions were doing just as well as anticipated, and as I’d expected, the cheese type was especially popular amongst children.
Moreover was the fact that we’d yet to experience any sort of trouble.
Speaking of trouble, The Noble’s Dish had managed to benefit from it greatly. Rumours of their “benevolence” had spread throughout the town, and as a result, they ended up being much more popular than they’d been the day before. I heard that they’d also hired a few adventurers as guards as a result of yesterday’s occurrences.
I thought it to be odd, so I ended up appraising the people going around spreading the aforementioned rumours.
Are you kidding me!? Each and every single one of the rumour spreaders was a goddamn hoodlum; they all had level one intimidation. There was no way in hell people like them would go out of their way just to sing someone praise.
This be suspicious as all hell. Urushi’ll probably be able to fill us in on a few more details once he gets back. I’d very much prefer if nothing happened, but having information just in case would be pretty handy.
And again, I jinxed it. The moment the thought crossed my mind was the moment something happened. It looked like someone had tried to bud into the line, and thus, he ended up arguing with a few of the other customers.
Fran and Colbert quickly rushed over in order to resolve the situation. However, it seemed to resolve itself before they got there. One of the people in line had been an adventurer. Said adventurer had quickly pinned down the man that’d tried to bud.
Something about the unruly man felt a bit off. He continued to shout what sounded like nonsense despite having been thoroughly physically repressed. It almost seemed as if the guy had been high as a kite.
Appraising him returned the result that he was suffering from an abnormal status condition. Specifically, he was afflicted with the “Agitated Heart of Evil.” The heck was that supposed to be? Is it any different from just being a bad person?
We immediately cast Refresh and returned the man’s mental state to its usual demeanor. He didn’t lash out or anything like that again thereafter.
「Thanks for watching over him and waiting till we got here.」
「No problem. Thanks for all your the work you put into keeping the peace.」
「Alright, you. Stand up and walk. Man, I can’t believe how many people have been acting up like this today. It feels like I’ve been escorting rowdy festival goers all day.」
Was the guy just one of many rampaging drunks or something? I mean, the people back in Japan would end up getty pretty unruly during festivals too. They’d often end up brawling and committing petty thievery and whatnot. The phenomenon was described as falling to the devil’s temptations, and I didn’t see any reason for it not to occur here in this world as well.
There were only two interesting things that happened after the man’s initial onslaught. The first was us getting harassed by yet another one of his kind. The second was when a bunch of dudes with serious looking expressions joined the line. I mean, they hadn’t really tried to bother the other customers or anything like that, so I figured that they were just adventurers or mercenaries. The only issue was that they were so overly grim that seeing them ended up making everyone else feel a bit unsettled. They weren’t really our only set of weird customers, and it wasn’t like we could send them away just cause their faces looked a bit intimidating at a glance.
It turned out that the reason they’d come was because they’d heard rumours of our Dragon Spice variation. The adventurers had started talking about it, and it’d become a widespread claim that only a true man could appreciate its flavour. Thus, many adventurers had ended up coming over to the stall in order to undergo a sort of trial.
「It appears that I may have exaggerated a bit too much.」
God damn it Colbert, this was your fault!?
Apparently, he’d claimed to have passed out as a result of its intense taste, and thus, spurred on all our make a man out of you type guests.
Yeah, we ultimately decided to end up just pretending they were regular people. They certainly were standing out, but they didn’t cause any harm, and even served to function as deterrents for any potential aggressors, so yeah. Why not, right?
In other words, the number of real problems we ended up running into before finally making our way back to the Chef’s Guild was two.
I immediately looked towards the Lord’s third son upon our arrival. He was surrounded by his cronies as usual, but Urushi was far out of sight. My guess was that the wolf was observing from a bit further away.
「It looks like we did pretty well today~」
「Victory is within our grasp.」
The noble had come to the guild with more than just his staff members. He’d also brought along some guards, and even the merchant responsible for replenishing his stocks. He even had a few additional noble-like people with him this time, which I figured was pretty much natural seeing as how he was the son of a Lord. They were all really haughty and cocky looking. There was no way in hell anyone like them would ever prostrate before a mere commoner, even if said commoner was a customer.
I wanted to observe the group for faults, but was ultimately interrupted as someone approached Fran and started up a conversation with her.
「I am The Dragon’s Table’s owner. The name is Fermus.」
The man who named himself Fermus had wavy long hair, and a pair of thin, wide eyes. He stood at about a hundred and eighty centimeters tall. Despite the fact that he was fully clothed, I could tell at a glance that his entire body was constructed of steel-like muscle; his long limbs were built as could be.
His face was decorated with a gentle smile, one that I was sure had taken the hearts of many a woman captive. Even the man’s wrinkles seemed to add to his charm. He seriously didn’t look his age. I couldn’t shake the impression that he just had to be in his mid forties.
I did as I had yesterday and once again gave him a quick scan, and verified once more than the numbers I’d seen were correct. He really was sixty, and a pure blooded human at that. The hell sort of anti-aging cream was he using!?
「You see, I have recently had the opportunity to sample your shop’s curry bread.」
Oh? Is he trying to pick a fight, or…?
「I have to say, eating it really inflicted me with quite a bit of emotion. Tasting something so unique left me feeling moved, its flavour was one I’d never before even imagined. I believe they say that it was your master that constructed the dish?」
「Nn. Master’s creation.」
「And a wonderful creation it is. Please relay to your master that I was incredibly impressed with his work.」
Being praised by a chef as accomplished as the man standing before me gave me a rush of dopamine.
『Do me a favour and tell him that I’m delighted to hear his words.』
「Nn. Master happy.」
「Please do stop by my store with your master sometime. That concludes my business, so I shall be taking my leave for now. I do hope to see you there.」
Fermus did as he said and left immediately afterwards. His actions were mirrored by a few other chefs, they each approached us in turn in order to sing praises of how unique and delicious our product was. I couldn’t help but feel the urge to smile. Each and every single one of them was offering honest praise.
That, however, was soon interrupted as the Lord’s third son approached us. All the other chefs backed away the moment they saw him start to move in our direction.
「Ugh, I don’t like that guy.」
「All of his profits come from his connections.」
「He definitely goes out of his way to make himself look good too.」
「The guy has a lot of rumours about him, so be careful, alright?」
The chefs immediately began bad mouthing him as they took their distances. Looked like he wasn’t what you’d call liked.
「The name’s Waint. I hail from The Noble Dish, and like the others, I have also recently had the opportunity to sample Curry Bread.」
「It was quite the wonderful dish. It had a novel taste to it, and contained within it a series of vivid flavours.」
「I wish us both luck in this competition going forward.」
Pretty much everything that came out of his mouth had been a lie. Moreover, the guy totally started wiping his hands off after exchanging handshakes with Fran.
「What an extraneous amount of effort that must have taken. I never would have expected you to not only be obligated to exchange handshakes with, but also compliment a filthy beastman.」
「Fret not. It’s not too hard a task to complete if you think it an act done in good humour.」
These sons of bitches start shit-talking the moment they thought they were out of earshot! You know what? Fine. If you think your hand’s all that dirty, I’ll solve your little problem by cutting it the hell off. That way, you’ll never have to deal with having a dirty hand again.
Shit! Where the hell is Urushi? He’s probably got some sort of evidence by now. I swear I’m going to use whatever he found to shove that piece of shit convicted of literally everything at the very first possible opportunity!
I can’t do anything for now, but polish that head of yours, you piece of shit! Cause I’m making a trophy out of it!
We, or rather, I headed back to the kitchen we rented out with my mood as sour as could be. Unlike me, Fran didn’t really seem to care. She was rather neutral about the whole thing.
『Yeah, I know.』
Fran was on guard, she looked at the restaurant we’d borrowed with her senses turned up to max. Likewise, I toned down my anger and began focusing on the much more important task of observing our surroundings.
We sensed several people within the former restaurant premises despite that fact that we were the only ones that should’ve had access. This time around, our guests really were completely uninvited; they were trespassing on our properties whilst we were away. I wanted to just get in there and slaughter them all, but we didn’t own the place, so I didn’t feel right busting it up or getting blood stains all over its woodwork.
『Let’s sneak up on them and incapacitate them for now.』
We thinned out our presences and silently approached the kitchen door. We sensed four intruders in total. Two were in the storefront part of the building, and the other two in the kitchen part.
Our first move was to cast Silence and stick the key into the door. Strangely enough, the lock was still in the same state it’d been in the morning when we left. Did they break in from the storefront side? Oh well, no point thinking about now. We’ll just beat it out of them later.
We ever so slightly opened the door just enough so that we could see into the building. None of the intruders looked to be in plain sight, they were hiding.
Were they trying to ambush us? Yeah, that’s not really going to work, not on us at least.
『I’ll get the one on the right. You get the one on the left.』
I rushed into the room whilst expanding Silence’s range to cover its entirety. I then immediately struck the man hiding behind the door frame with a bolt of lightning and caused him to pass out with his lips flapping wildly.
Likewise, Fran had also paralyzed her target with the magic equivalent of a taser. We then promptly had both restrained before moving onto their companions.
The other two invaders met a similar set of fates. All four were actually decently strong. Even the weakest of them was at least level twenty. They probably would’ve been able to beat Fran if she was just any other D ranked adventurer. Did they not learn from what happened last time? Wait, were these people even connected to the other group that attacked us?
We lined up the four assailants and began our usual interrogation processes. To be specific, we started with the highest level dude, the one that looked most leaderlike.
「W-What in the… Untie me!」
「Might. Depends on answers. Here, why?」
「The hell? Like I know! You think you can get away with this, girl!?」
And so, ten odd minutes passed.
All four men were now sitting with their legs tucked underneath their thighs and their butts on their heels. A single glance at their faces revealed that they were now but shadows of their former selves. What a wonderful sight. 
「Summary. Attacked me to stop participation in King of Cooking?」
Weren’t we getting attacked a bit too often? Like, could they cut it out already? It isn’t even threatening, it’s just annoying.
Asking about the person behind all of this ended up providing us a with a name that we’d yet to know.
「Man behind this. Named Rynford?」
Apparently this Rynford guy was some old man staying alongside a few subordinates at the manor we identified a few days back. The men here were hired by said Rynford.
So why was Rynford they trying to mess with us anyways? Was he trying to back up the Lord’s third son and increase his chances at winning? Or was it maybe something related to the whole alchemist thing that was going on a few days back? Or maybe this Rynford guy worked for the alchemist? But if that’s the case, then why try to stop us of all people?
We need more information. At this rate though, it really seemed that we might have to end up raiding the manor after all…
『Looks like we’re stuck waiting for Urushi.』
Disclaimer: It’s not my fault if I’m making you hungry! I’m just giving you more context and stuff, the job isn’t complete without it since chances are you guys don’t know what the food actually looks/smells/tastes like!
 Qeema aka Keema is an Indian dish that gained popularity in Japan. While the Indians do still retain their traditional recipes for it, the Japanese variant has naturally been adapted to better suit their tastes.
 Cheese curry bread is literally exactly what it sounds like. It’s curry bread, but with cheese. The flavour is often adjusted so it’s a bit less spicy.
 This means they’re sitting in seiza, a traditional Japanese posture often used for repentance and discipline. Sitting in it for a long time kinda hurts.
Going to try for a double release today. Probably not going to make it in time because of Fire Emblem Warriors, but I’ll try ;D