A Vacation in Another World Part IV: The Eatery
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“Wow…” The hero spoke in a half exasperated, half impressed tone as she watched Lefi and I shove copious amounts of food down our throats. Her gaze darted back and forth between the dragon girl and I as she tried her best to keep her jaw from dropping. “You two sure do eat a lot…”
She’d brought Lefi and I to a restaurant open to the general public, and a rather large one, at that. The three of us were situated around a single round table located therein. Overlooking the store and its operations was a slightly older woman with a few extra inches around her waist. Business was booming. It seemed there were too many customers for the lady to handle herself, as she was being assisted by a younger woman, who I presumed to be her daughter. The girl was quite the looker and seemed to carry a sort of sophisticated but cheery aura. Wew. Half the men here are staring at her with their faces red as tomatoes. No wonder this place is so damn packed.
“You know, now that you mention it, it kinda does feel like I’ve been eating a good bit more than usual. That’s kinda weird.”
“Wait! Why are you of all people confused!?” The hero couldn’t help but retort in a fit of indignance.
“Well, I never used to eat this much back when I was hanging around the dungeon. ‘Course I’ll find this sudden, ravenous hunger of mine kinda strange.”
As far as I could tell, my appetite had never been anywhere near as abnormal as it was now. Yeah, Iunno. I’ve always just eaten as much as the next grown ass man back while we were at the dungeon, but now it feels kinda like I could easily devour twice that.
“That is due to this region’s lack of magical particles. The density is far lower than what you have accustomed yourself to,” said Lefi. “There is not enough of it in the air for your body to sustain its energy reserves in its regular manner. Thus, it is encouraging you to acquire it through other means.”
The silver haired maiden’s words had been spoken between mouthfuls of the spaghetti dish she had sitting in front of her. She was slurping up both the noodles and the extra meaty sauce in a manner so impressive that it managed to get her a smile and compliment from the owner, who just happened to spot her while passing by. “Wow! You’re slurping those down like a champ! You go girl!”
I lightly nodded in the older lady’s direction before redirecting my gaze towards Lefi once more. “Wait, the magic particle density makes that much of a difference?”
“Wow. Honestly, I can’t really tell.”
“That is a result of none other than your own incompetence.”
“…” There was no way for me to refute Lefi’s point. She’d hit the bullseye, and no amount of complaining would change the accuracy of her claim. Feelsbadman… Wait a second. Doesn’t that mean that my body’s not actually anywhere nearly as energy efficient as I thought it was? I’ve already eaten way more than a single person ever should in one sitting, but I’m still not feeling anywhere remotely close to full.
“Oh yeah, speaking of magic and stuff, that reminds me.” I turned towards the hero. “Why was that old governor dude all worked up about that magic blade anyway?”
Naturally, I kept my hands moving as I spoke to her. I wrapped a piece of meat that resembled teriyaki chicken inside a piece of some sort of vegetable that resembled lettuce, topped it off with tomato-like fruit and a cheese-like substance before cutting out a piece of what looked like a burger and extracting it from the bread-like thing it had wrapped around it. I then stabbed both the lettuce wrap I’d made and the meat I’d cut with a fork and crammed it all into my mouth. I had no idea what any of the ingredients used actually were, but I found myself enjoying them nonetheless. Oh man, burgers sure are great. Anyone that’s had actual burgers overseas should know exactly what I mean. ‘Course, I’m talking about the stuff you find at restaurants, not fast food joints. Why do the burgers served as fast food taste so much worse anyway? God damn enigma if you ask me.
“Well…” The hero paused for a moment to think. “It’s not anything super confidential, so I guess there won’t be any harm in telling you. The truth is, stuff like that has been happening a lot lately.”
“Oh?” I stopped shoveling food down my throat and looked towards the hero with interest. “So what you’re telling me is that there are more cursed magic weapons just like the axe I picked up?”
“No, that’s not what I meant,” replied the hero. “The only person with a cursed magic blade was the one you defeated yesterday. The part that’s similar is that the axe you picked up can make people go crazy. This city’s been experiencing a bunch of weird cases involving insanity lately. There’ve been two main types of cases. The first involves people known to be straight-laced, hard workers suddenly picking up weapons and killing people. The second is where people go on rampages and throw incoherent fits. Governor Raylow was thinking that it might have something to do with drugs or other similar substances, but he hasn’t gotten any tangible evidence.”
“You sure it’s not just happenstance?” I asked.
“Apparently not.” The hero shook her head from side to side. “The governor said it couldn’t be. The incidents started with the month and there’s been far too many of them for it to just be a coincidence.”
“Oh, and do you remember the guy you got the enchanted axe from?”
“Yeah? What about him?”
“Well, magically enhanced weapons with curses that powerful almost never appear on the market. They’re really, really hard to get, so the guards questioned him about it when they first saw him hoisting it around. Apparently, he said that someone had given it to him.”
“I see. I think I’m starting to get what’s going on,” I said with a nod. It looks like someone’s sneaking around behind the scenes and handing out items like that enchanted axe, items that make people lose their minds.
“So that’s why there are so many guards up and about?” I glanced outside and just so happened to see one of the governor’s patrols pass by. The group I spotted had three men in it, each in a suit of armour. Huh. And here I was thinking that this was normal. “So you guys think there’s someone out to destroy the city or something?”
“Just you guys.”
“Oh come on…” I rolled my eyes. “We’re totally innocent here. I’ve already told you guys that I’m not here to kill anyone or mess the damned place up. And more than once, at that.”
“Yeah, I know,” replied the hero. “Your methods would probably be a whole lot more straightforward.”
I couldn’t deny her claim. Yeah, if I wanted to blow this place up, I’d probably just summon a bunch of monsters and have them flatten it overnight or something. Cheap dungeon monsters probably ain’t gonna do much to the monsters living in the Wicked Forest, but they’re still a fair bit stronger than humans.
“So yeah, be careful! I know Yuki will probably be okay, but you’ll definitely want to stay on your toes, Lefi. The city can be a real dangerous place for a girl like you.”
“Uhhh… Yeah…” I agreed with the hero in an awkward, forced tone. Right… We never did tell her that Lefi’s the Supreme Dragon. “You hear that Lefi? She’s telling you to be careful.”
“Be careful?” The world’s most powerful dragon furrowed her brows in confusion. “What exactly must I remain cautious of? Eating more than my stomach can handle, perhaps?”
“Uhhhhh… yeah, sure. Let’s go with that.” I gave a half hearted reply to the girl that had clearly been more focused on the food than the conversation it came with.
“That’s really not what I meant…”
The hero slumped her shoulders and heaved an exasperated sigh. Yeah, I getcha, but don’t worry Nell. Lefi’s probably at least a couple hundred times stronger than you think she is.
Editor’s note: Hey, guys! Joker here. Looks like the hero is learning the hard way that feeding Lefi and Yuki is going to cost her quite a bit in the short and long run. Hope being the hero means she gets a fat paycheck. Probably not, though. So that’s a shame. That sword she wanted just got further away. Also, before I forget, hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I sure did. Got quite a bit of moola myself, plus got my car inspected and registered for another year. So there’s 100 bucks I saved. Woohoo. More money for light novels. Shame neither TSKD or Jingai have gotten licensed yet. Hopefully one day soon. Those would be instant buys for me. Unless I ran out of money that check and would have to wait. Which would suck. Save your money, kids. That’s another one of Joker’s Life Lessons. See y’all in the next chapter!