Volume 5 Chapter 2.3
「I have no intent of complaining about every little thing, but how about we begin with reforming the school cafeteria and the school store?」
「There’s no way any other reform would work if we leave those uninspired sections alone.」
「Yup. I don’t think any facility takin’ money with such amateurish practices will ever git stable, talented employees at this rate.」
The two of them couldn’t seem to suppress their anger. Hiroshi and Haruna fiercely snapped at Tatsuya’s question. Makoto just watched all this with a slightly drawn-back expression.
「Okay, that’s settled, but how specifically do you intend to accomplish this?」
「First, I’m thinking we need to do something about the cafeteria’s seasoning. Judging from the amount of food, I figure there’s no point increasing it if it’s still bad, right.」
「And I wanna start off with unclassified potions. Next, I see they’re sellin’ bread, so I might as well have ‘em increase variety ‘n make them tastier.」
「I understand the cafeteria, but I didn’t expect the school store to be about food too……」
Tatsuya simply had to make an exasperated remark on how Hiroshi and Haruna were back at it with their usual antics.
「So you say you’ll be starting out with the seasoning, but how exactly will you go about it?」
「I can’t say much unless I see them cooking, but I need to at least have them study from the basics with seasoning.」
「Okay, it’s cool you want that, but does Rufues even have all that many different seasonings? You really think they can just do everything you can?」
「I know. And before that, it’s a bit dicey if they’ll even accept the same seasonings from the west, so I would need to tweak that a bit.」
The two elders of the group made unexpected faces when they heard Haruna’s response to Makoto’s question. Grimacing a bit when she saw that, Haruna explained all the shared elements she had sensed from Rufeus’s cuisine they had tasted up to now.
「I think it’s a feature of the center northern regions of the continent, but the people of Rufeus seem to have less tolerance for spicy foods than those in Japan. Also, they appear to like the harder kinds of bread even if they’re a bit exquisite, and too strong of a smell is a turnoff.」
「Yeah. For instance, I had some of the people at the inn try curry powder and they said it was a bit too strong compared to what they use. Soy sauce and ponzu seemed to have too thick of a taste to just put on food, while miso and cooked rice also had too strong of a smell. At least the stew I put in with the rice had a pretty good review, so condiments like mirin seem okay.」
Even Darl had accepted a certain amount of the Japanese food culture, but now it was the first defeat since coming here. Makoto heard this and made a complicated face. It was probably reasonable, since they were in another environment, but it was also still probably reasonable for them to feel like their entire existence had been denied.
Then again, not only had she just brought in items that Darl might accept, Haruna had also made sure to make minimal tweaks to match the food culture there, but Makoto didn’t know that much.
「Well, considerin’ all that, the pioneer bird bone instant ramen had a super good rating despite the noodles bein’ too long.」
「Oh yeah, that was awesome.」
Hiroshi and Haruna threw an odd explosive into the conversation, not realizing what kind of face Makoto was making. When she had heard this, Makoto’s eyes opened wide.
「I-Is this true?」
「Sure is. The world’s deep, mate.」
「I know right? Pioneer bird ramen strikes again.」
Hiroshi and Haruna earnestly discussed this as Tatsuya and Makoto quieted down, unable to comment. They really had to hand it to super gigantic pioneer bird industry, which had the world’s aggregate demand numbering around a hundred billion meals. This one at least seemed to be always hitting the bull’s-eye.
「Well, leaving that aside, from what you said earlier, Japan-esque seasonings aren’t super popular over here, right? So how are you going to implement that into the cafeteria food?」
「I have a decent grasp on most of Rufeus’s seasonings, so I try to match it with the flavors here and adjust various things. I don’t know if I’ll do it or not, but when I set up shop I’ll go that route too.」
The prospect seemed to hold firm. In that case, Tatsuya concluded he may as well let them do as they wanted.
「So Bro ‘n Makoto-san, whach’all do?」
Hiroshi threw the torch to the elder members, who made sour faces. Judging by their demeanor, this wasn’t a very good situation.
「First allow me to give a report……」
「I…kinda underestimated the library.」
「Was it that difficult?」
「Yeah. Honestly, there was nothing I could do about it by myself.」
Tatsuya suddenly began with a complaint, to which Hiroshi and Haruna just looked at each other. Sure, this was supposed to be a huge library, but there was no way Tatsuya would just give up like that, right?
「What in the world happened that made you struggle like this?」
「Yeah, you see, the archives were actually a dungeon.」
Everyone’s expressions froze at Tatsuya’s report. The naive thought that a building could only be so large was crushed to powder in an instant.
「……No matter what happens we’d be right in a god’s turf, and when no miasma emerged we let our guard down. I didn’t expect that mate.」
「But if ya think about Spirit Spire Cave, it ain’t impossible. I definitely let my guard down there, mate.」
A sourness spread across Hiroshi and Haruna’s faces at Tatsuya’s report. This was certainly something they could have anticipated. And yes, they were a bit too naive this time. Still, having the result be something like this was just too dreadful.
「So Tatsuya, what kind of state was the library archive in when you went there?」
「I didn’t go past the shallow sections, so i can’t say for sure, but in that area at least there were no monsters. Still, there were traps placed all around the area, and it would have been seriously difficult for me to go by myself.」
「In other words, we have to basically wait till Mio’s free.」
Hearing Tatsuya’s report of traps, everyone decided to immediately postpone the investigation. You sort of got the impression that the group always ended up getting involved with a dungeon in every region, but this was always for the sake of the mission, so it’s not like they could help it.
「But if there are enough books to make it a dungeon, wouldn’t it be super difficult to look for the right ones?」
「Yeah. Quite a hassle. We do have Daljan-sama’s priestess and priests working as librarians, so if need be they can use holy power to narrow down the locations a bit, but that would still leave us with the amount of books you’d find in a prefectural capital library.」
Tatsuya continued to give troubling answers to Haruna’s questions. The situation was starting to sound worse and worse, and Hiroshi and the others could only let out parched voices.
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