Back to Barbra
『Man, we’re finally back in Barbra? It sure has been a while since we were last here.』
Only a month had passed since we left the city, and it honestly hadn’t changed all that much while we were away. The only real difference was that most of the stuff that’d been busted up by the Evil Beings had been fixed. The city’s current state made the whole thing feel like it wasn’t such a big deal after all. That said, I still couldn’t help but feel that we’d been away from it for quite some time.
『Let’s start off by visiting everyone we know.』
The first place we visited was the Chef’s Guild because it happened to be the closest. Unfortunately, the person we’d set out to visit, the old judge guy, was nowhere to be found.
We tried to leave the moment we learned that he wasn’t there, but one of the receptionists stopped us before we did.
「Um, excuse me, but could I have a bit of your time?」
「The truth is that both you and your master have qualified for a rank up, so I was just wondering if you wouldn’t mind me giving you more up to date guild cards.」
I didn’t recall the fact that we were a part of the Chef’s Guild until the receptionist reminded us. I’d totally forgotten that we had to sign up in order to participate in the cooking contest.
And that was exactly why I didn’t understand why we were getting our chef rank’s raised. The only thing we did was participate in the contest, but they would’ve ranked us up before we left if that was why this was happening.
「The curry recipe that the two of you are responsible for has become incredibly popular. Curry’s rate of growth is so explosive that it’ll likely soon spread throughout the entire country.」
I was rather pleased to hear the receptionist’s words. Fran would probably end up rejoicing if curry got so popular she could buy it regardless of where she was.
「Your contribution to the development of both our country’s economy and culture have earned you both the right to silver guild cards.」
Fran pulled out both our cards and had them traded for a pair with silver borders that the guild had already prepared for us ahead of time.
The cards issued by the Chef’s Guild were quite different from the ones the Adventurer’s Guild issued in the sense that they weren’t magically enchanted in any which way. Comparing the two was like comparing analog to digital.
「That card serves to demonstrate that you have our backing in all the business-related endeavors you pursue within the city.」
「Nn. Got it.」
We didn’t really need their support, but hey, why not, right…?
「Please keep in mind that your rank can go down over time if you don’t renew your card before it expires, or if you don’t accomplish anything significant for an extended period of time.」
I wasn’t really all that interested before, but got sucked in when the receptionist told us we had to actively do stuff to keep our rank. We’d already raised it, so just letting it dropped seemed kinda wasteful.
（Master, what now?）
『Hmmm… I guess we should probably give them some sort of recipe.』
Their interest in curry seemed to indicate that they would probably appreciate us giving them any sort of exotic recipe. Hmmm…
『Got any ideas, Fran?』
Handing over one of Fran’s favourites seemed like it was probably the best choice. I came from another world, so I doubted my taste palate was the best to go by.
『Yeah, I guess that does sound like a pretty decent idea.』
Fried foods and recipes that made use of eggs were both few and far inbetween. Likewise, soy sauce was also really considered to be a bit of an unusual spice. The combination of the aforementioned three factors made katsudon an incredibly rare dish. I’d never seen anything that bore even the slightest resemblance to it here in Barbra.
And so, we ended up handing the guild a copy of my katsudon recipe. We made sure to record how one made the katsu part of katsudon, as well as any of the recipe’s optional seasonings and finer details in order to make it easier for the recipe to spread.
Fran filled in all necessary documents and handed them over to the receptionist.
「Wow. This… is amazing. It looks like a genuine innovation and even describes how the recipe can be expanded upon. Should I file this recipe under both your name and your master’s?」
「Okay, feel free to consider this recipe accepted. We’ll make it public soon. It looks really promising, so I expect it to spread the same way curry did.」
「Of course. Your curry recipe has made you quite well known. I’m sure many chefs will ask for the recipe the moment they hear that you two are its progenitors, I don’t doubt that it’ll spread through Barbra like wildfire.」
The katsudon recipe’s prospects sounded pretty good. I hoped that one of Barbra’s chefs would end up being creative enough to combine our two dishes and create katsu-curry.
With that done and out of the way, we left the Chef’s Guild. The receptionist saw us out with a big smile on her face the whole way through.
『Hmm… what now? That took quite a bit more time than I was expecting.』
『That’s not a bad idea. We might as well stop by and check it out.』
We knew that Amanda had done something, but we never did end up personally visiting the place after her intervention.
Fran, Urushi, and I all ended up stiffening up the moment we finally laid eyes on the orphanage. The change it’d undergone was just that incredible.
The exterior used to be all messed up; one could tell the place was in tattters from a glance. It’d since been repaired, but that wasn’t all. The wall surrounding the orphanage had been repainted, and the garden now featured a massive flowerbed.
「Look, it’s Urushi!」
「The adventurer girl is here!」
Fortunately, the children themselves hadn’t actually changed. They were wearing better clothes, and no longer looked even the slightest bit shabby, but that was pretty much it. Well, that’s Amanda for you, I guess.
It seemed that the orphans all still remembered Fran and Urushi, as they immediately gathered around her with smiles on their faces.
「Oh, hey Fran!」
Io came out from the orphanage and greeted us upon noticing that the children were stirring up a fuss. I still remembered her both because she was kind to children and really good at cooking.
「Thank you so much for all you’ve done for us. The orphanage is finally in much better hands, and the children are smiling much more than they were before.」
The skilled chef bowed her head to us even though we didn’t really think we’d done much of anything at all. Amanda was the one that saved the orphanage, not us.
「Amanda told us that you were the only reason she knew that the orphanage was in trouble, and that you had asked her to help it.」
「Only did that. Nothing more.」
「Don’t be silly. There’s also the matter of the curry recipe you published. The children just love it. They can’t get enough of it even though I’ve started making it once a week.」
「The curry you make is really tasty, Ms. Io!」
「It’s super yummy!」
Io was already capable of making an incredibly delicious soup without access to anything more than vegetables of the lowest grade. I was really curious as to what she was now capable of making given that Amanda had provided her access to higher quality ingredients.
Apparently tomorrow was this week’s curry day. We ended up asking Io to make a bit extra for Fran and Urushi because I wanted to see her take on the dish.
「Bye. Will stop by tomorrow.」
「We’ll be waiting!」
I took a moment to consider what to do next. Checking out the Luciel Conglomerate seemed to be one of the few remaining choices. All our other acquaintances were adventurers, which in turn meant they were likely still in Ulmutt.
That, however, didn’t mean we were out of options.
『Alright, whaddya say we go looking for the old man?』
「Nn. Sounds good.」