Chapter 23, A Shriek and Steak (Part 2)
Translated by Coolizer. Kappa. I never understand why people need this section. Though I guess it’s cause I run this whole site whereas some people as a part of sites? 😛 muahaha~ this whole site is mine… I sound 15. (11440 words btw)
Sometimes, we would think.
According to what the others have said, the first ones to pick that person up, when he was just wandering about, was them.
The first to extend their hands out to Shuri and help him, was Ganglabe and the rest.
If… at that time.
If at that time, the one who met Shuri first… was us.
We would always wound up thinking, whether this could have changed our fate.
It truly was a mere coincidence that This one, Tebis Newbyst, saw that.
On a certain day, we were walking down a corridor inside the Sounity Castle together with Wutin.
We were heading directly towards where Shuri is to go grab some dinner. By god, making Royalty walk. Shuri is truly a cruel cook.
Then, just as we were about to turn the corner towards the corridor, Wutin was suddenly on guard.
“What do you see, Wutin?”
We ask this, and Wutin relaxes her guard, then bows towards me.
“Over, there, Ekress, and, Gingus”
“What? Ekress and Gingus are over there?
The two of them had once, for the sake of the seat as the heir of the Feudal Lord, been at each other’s necks and fought. Although, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that, they were made to fight each other.
Those around them gathered and declared that only the one they were supporting was fit to be the heir of the Feudal Lord, and as a result lost a great many amount of things. A very typical civil war… was what it was supposed to be.
However, in the shadows was another pair of hands exercising control, trying to end the life of the Feudal Lord and put into works their plan to snatch the seat of the Feudal Lord’s heir for their own child.
That scheme however, was thwart by the efforts of Shuri, Ganglabe and the others, and as a result the country was surrendered over to Ganglabe.
The one behind the scenes in all this was Renha Sounity. The wife of the Feudal Lord. In other words, Gingus’ mother, noja.
However, after her scheme was thwart, she abandoned Gingus and ran for her life. And that was when we caught and apprehended her.
Now then, let us return to the present times where that Ekress and Gingus were walking next to each other and…
It is true. Lately, the two of them have been very close. And with the addition of Gann, it would appear that the three siblings have sorted things out.
In the past, the cold and distant attitude they held towards each other was quite evident, but lately it seems like they aren’t exactly averse to at least speaking to each other.
What happened? …speaking of which, we did hear that Shuri had done something but… could that really have been it?
There have been quite a few individuals who have been set onto the right path due to that fellow meddling in one way or another.
Well, we too feel like we changed considerably because of his cooking.
Ekress and Gingus, nou….
“Wutin. Should we interpret the fact that you were on guard signify that those two aren’t truly as things appear?”
Hearing Our question, Wutin nods once. As we thought. Even Wutin can see the scene of them being on good terms.
If, despite that, she is acting cautious then, that probably means that there is some sort of strange atmosphere around the two.
….This is truly peculiar.
“What are the two of them doing? Wutin. Go find out.”
“Master, only, me, here.”
“Fine, we wish to verify this with our own eyes. To see exactly what are those two are up to.”
It would probably be faster to check it out with our own eyes. And above all else, we do wish to find out for ourselves.
“So then, Wutin. Where did they head towards?”
“Direction, going, underground jail, perhaps.”
…Hmm, the underground jail. If those two have business in the underground jail then…
“We should go check this out as expected. Come.”
Wutin affirmed, understanding that we were not going to hide ourselves. If Wutin was capable of a range of facial expressions then, she would probably be looking rather shocked right now.
However, our interest in indeed piqued. How exactly will those two choose to speak with Renha.
Currently, Renha is locked up in the underground jail. Furthermore, it appears to be an isolated cell, just for her. Which is why, we are intrigued by what Ekress and Gingus, the two of them, plan to converse with Renha face to face, ja.
With Wutin by my side, we walk the path leading down to the jail. Given that night had already fallen, the darkness within the underground jail was naturally even darker. If not for the faint flicker from the candles, we probably would not even know what lie at Our feet.
And in the deepest corner…. When we had almost reached the prison cell that Renha was locked in,
“Fuck off! Don’t you dare lecture me, you stupid, naive brat!!”
The shrill voice of a woman reverberated throughout the entire underground area. We frown, hearing that ridiculous clamoring. That ear-piercing noise echoed, thanks to the underground jail.
How annoying, nou! That voice still ringing in Our ears!
As we were about to complain due to the volume, a certain voice sounded.
“Please stop, mother. I (Ore-sama)… I have already decided. I will let Ganglabe decide the future of this land. I… We, have decided to support them, and bring the lineage of Sounity closer than ever before.”
“Don’t spout such nonsense, Gingus! You are my son! You are the next in line of royalty, the son of the Feudal Lord’s wife. Continue the line of the Lord, and stand at the peak of this territory!”
“It is impossible madam. Neither I or Gingus have the power to protect the territory in these turbulent times. Furthermore, by supporting Ganglabe, this territory will…”
“Shut up! What would a bastard like you understand! You’re just a puny girl who can do a few calculations at best! I bet you enticed both Ganglabe and Gingus using your body! You slut!”
What a sight, it’s just an onslaught of unspeakable abuse. It truly makes us wish to sigh.
Nevertheless, we have understood what Ekress and Gingus wish to put into action. The last remaining evil of this territory… they probably wish to convince Renha of something.
Taking a gander from what we have heard thus far, by gaining the approval of Renha, not only would Ganglabe be given the land to rule, but also, they may be able to crush the possibility of her becoming the mastermind of any future coups.
There’s no problem with this approach. Even we would likely use the same method. We… In the case of Newbyst, our Royal Father is healthy, and didn’t take in any concubines or second wives due to his undying love to our deceased mother, he has treated us as the next generation’s queen. We too, by displaying our power and achievements, have been able to convince those around us as such. Which is why, any conflicts involving the king or next in line have never been raised. And thus, when it comes to the true nature of such things… such as the gruesome inner feelings of a person, it has always only been by word of mouth.
However, Ekress and Gingus are different. They had been induced to fight against one another, and they have truly experienced and know the devastation of war between those of the same blood. Which is why, they probably do not wish for their own mother to be the enemy.
That is why they went to persuade Renha but… We have thought of an even simpler solution. This like likely a solution that only someone like us, someone who is not involved, nor a relative, could come up with.
That is… to kill Renha.
If in the future, there is the possibility of Renha becoming the enemy, and enact acts of revenge upon this land then, it would be best to just pluck the bud before it grew out of hand, noja. Thus, there will be no needless blood flowing.
That is a method that we can simply say as we are not related to them, and we only speak of it as it would never be exacted upon.
Thus, we do not intend to tell them about this method. Everything will depend on Ekress and Gingus after all.
Now then, there’s no point listening to any more of this. We signal to Wutin, and decided to leave this place.
However… the problem of the rightful heir, no matter where it happens nor who is happens to, will surely never end well.
A few days since then, we gave Wutin our instructions, and had her investigate whether Ekress or Gingus was still going to visit Renha. From this, we gathered that they were still visiting her quite often, noja.
Perhaps the matter with Renha is truly that deeply ingrained, or maybe, they are just too soft…
After briefly reading that report, we decided to sort through all the resources about the meeting before tonight’s dinner.
Naturally, most of the contents correlates to the reward for capturing Renha, a recap of what happened before that, the information regarding Sounity’s current internal state and the situation in Newbyst ever since we left. There were mountains upon mountains of work to do. However, it wasn’t all that tough when we were doing our work in this place.
Why, you ask? Because we can eat Shuri’s cooking, ja!
If we could get a verbal agreement out of Shuri, then we should be able to eat some Mapo Tofu soon. Fufu, the idea of maybe casually extending and delaying the meetings until that time comes sure sounds tempting.
What a shame though, we are royalty after all. One must not slack off when it comes to work.
Should members of royalty turn their back on their duty, hundreds if not thousands of citizens would die. That is the one thing we cannot do. For royalty to decide to rule, to reign at the very top, they must consider the lives of those under them.
Without the people, there will be no rule. Without a ground, there will be no sky.
Is that not something to solemnly ponder upon? (粛々とこなしていこうではないか)
“Hmm, let’s finish up around here, no.”
In a room lit up by a magically engineered lamp, we were finishing up our work.
This magically engineered lamp. We had heard that this was an invention by Riru-dono.
The white light spreads throughout the entirety of the room, making it as bright as noon.
It appears that this too, was a concept that Shuri came up with. Truly, the breadth of Shuri’s imagination utterly baffles us. Gee, why didn’t that guy come to our country? Such a shame, truly.
Even without his skill in cooking, just that imaginative strength of his is marvelous.
“Ahh! What’s the point of thinking this, no! Rather than that, we would rather wait expectantly for dinner.”
Honestly, it’s already been so long. Right now, that fellow’s cooking has got our lips a’smackin’. Let’s just leave it at that.
In any case, just what exactly is for dinner? How exciting.
“Nou, Wutin. You think so as well, right?”
In the corner of our room, where a narrow space was enveloped with a little darkness, there was a faint presence that you would be unable to notice if you didn’t strain your eyes to look.
It was only due to the fact that we had been together for long time, that we would even be aware of that presence.
It could be considered Wutin’s unique ability, to enter the least noticeable space within a room, a spy technique that allowed her to hide both her presence and existence.
This was also useful during battles. When you would expect her to cut at you with her dagger, she would kill you with the other weapon that she had hidden away.
It was a technique that could use the opponents sight and concentration against them. With this, she wouldn’t be at a disadvantage even if she was facing Cougar, is what we believe.
Anyway, let’s leave it at that.
“I… not, really.”
“Do not spit out such lies. Despite your lack of expression, we have seen you happily eat your meals. Don’t think that we don’t know of you getting a fried rice-like meal from Shuri for you hard work.”
Indeed, this spy technique. For some reason, there are times when it wouldn’t work on Shuri.
There had been a few dinners when he had been able to find our guard, Wutin, standing guard in a corner of the room, and give her a bowl of fried rice.
Even Wutin, who was usually expressionless, was so surprised that she almost jumped.
And we knew, that despite her indifferent outward expression, she had been drunk over the umami in that fried rice.
“That, that is…”
“If you continue to lie then perhaps we may tell him to ‘not feed our guard from now on’, hm?”
“Please, do, not.”
“By the way, what were the ingredients?”
“Egg… and… Spring, onion. Just something, simple.”
We were too late, jano. Looks like her stomach has already been completely snatched away.
Well, this is truly a matter of the pot calling the kettle black.
Anyway, it should be about time.
“Wutin. Is it not almost time for dinner?”
“Yes, Princess. The time, matching the, descent, of the sun… fits the description.”
“Alright, alright, let us go then-”
It was then. Unexpectedly, it was something that we had never caught a scent of before, an indescribable, and faint fragrance.
There was also a trace of a certain fragrance that we have only smelt a few times before coming here.
This is… meat?
“Wutin. Do you smell something?”
“Yes, Princess. It smells, good.”
“Hmm, smells good, you say?”
Indeed, ordinary subjects merely take this as a delicious, enjoyable smell.
However, this was a scent that we simply could not ignore, despite it not being Mapo Tofu.
This was a certain cooking technique that our country had recently developed, researched and devoted ourselves to.
Its name, Wine cooking.
As the name suggests, it’s a technique where you cook meat or fish in alcohol, but using this technique, a special effect will be added to the dish.
Pouring a strong alcohol with high concentration onto a hot iron plate, it is a technique that would then add the flavour of the concentrated alcohol onto the dish.
Through this technique, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that even dishes such as steak and meuniere would rise in rank.
It’s just that, the smell of this dish goes above and beyond even that. Even though it is for sure a dish cooked using the same technique, the scent of it seemed like it came from a different dimension.
Yes, this is the future, the pinnacle of our research and devotion, the most complete form of our wine cooking technique, Wine Cooking.
Whoops there, we accidentally let out an unexpected laugh.
As far as we know, there is only one person who is capable of doing something like this. Which means that, that one person, had used this technique to make this dish.
That person, had used this technique to make this dish. Our curiousity has been adequately piqued.
Oh Shuri, what did you make this time, noja?
“Wutin! Come! Let us go find where this smell originates!”
We get up from our chair and head out of the room.
Ohh, we had thought that the scent would have stopped once it had reached our room, but what is this? This delicious smell is everywhere!
Even as we were walking down the hallways, we could see the people working in the castle all getting drunk off the smell.
Kuku, oh Shuri.
You truly are an individual I cannot get enough of, nou!
The closer we get to the kitchen, the stronger the smell became, turning sweet almost.
Our sights are on it! Our Utopia is beyond that door!
“We hath caught the scent of something delicious so We hath come, noja!”
Opening the door to the kitchen, there stood Ganglabe and Shuri, fighting over the plate.
We hath confirmed it.
It was precisely that plate. That plate was where the smell was coming from!
“Oh! Shuri, could that be a steak that was made by cooking it with alcohol!? We expect nothing less of Shuri, even knowing of our country’s newest technique!”
“Ah, Princess Tebis.”
Perhaps, it was because Shuri had also noticed our presence, but he was looking over here, rather shocked.
“Come now, let us make way towards the dining hall! Allow us to try that wholesome steak!”
“No, this is for Renha-san.”
“What a delicious smell, su! I could smell it all the way from the training grounds, su!”
“Truly, it is wonderful, nou. Tonight’s dinner will surely be luxurious.”
Mu!? Cougar and Teg?!
Ah, that’s right. So they’ve already finished the day’s training and instructing the night patrols! From behind them, a crowd was arriving in droves!
“What a nice smell…. I think I’m hungry.”
“Shuri-kun, I heard something and could smell something really nice. What’s going on?”
“Ore-sama’s stomach seems to be rumbling now that I’ve finished work…. What an irresistible scent.”
Kuh! Even Ekress, Gingus and the commanders who’ve just finished work are here!
No good! Just by looking at that steak on that plate, it’s clear to see that there’s not enough for everyone here to go around….!
Which means that, that is the first, and last steak!
We cannot let this chance slip by.
We cannot give this chance to anyone else.
“Oh, is that tonight’s dinner! What is that, Shuri?” (Gingus)
“Um, Gingus-san. This is…” (Shuri)
“Wait, Gingus. I should be tasting this first. It’s a new steak after all, you know.” (Ganglabe)
“Ah, that’s not fair Ganglabe, su” (Teg)
“Indeed! This one is tired after all my training!” (Cougar)
“Please wait a moment. The Magician’s troops are tired as well. We should be the first.” (Ahrius)
“…..This new product will give Riru inspiration.” (Riru)
“Riru-chan just needs Hamburg right? I should be first.” (Ekress)
“Cease. If we’re on that topic then fried chicken (Karaage) is all you need too, Ekress! We should be the one to confirm the taste first.” (Tebis)
This argument will never end. And it seems everyone has realised this as well.
That, if they were to let this opportunity slip away then, it would be quite some time before this chance would come by again.
If that is the case, then we must not back away here!
“Everyone! Control yourselves!”
With a sharp rebuke from us, this group which had been causing a ruckus, stopped moving.
“Listen. There is only one steak, where there are many of us.”
Hearing our words, everyone here stole a glance at each other.
Yes, everyone. It wasn’t just the commanders who had been targeting the dish. Even the cooking assistants were looking on enviously, drooling almost.
They were looking over here as if saying, ‘Even though we’re in the middle of cooking, you guys can snatch the food just because you’re the big shots.’
And given that we could almost hear the resentment just through their eyes.
It seems that everyone here finally realised it, noja.
If that is the case, then it’s simple.
Make them suspicious of each other. And everyone will become enemies.
“Now then, what will you do in this situation, Ganglabe-dono?”
Ganglabe-dono ponders, trying to collect himself.
“I am tired training my subordinates and positioning the guards, su! I want my food rations given now, su!”
“If you are to say that then, that is true for This one as well! Training in swordsmanship, inspecting weapons and managing supplies. That’s a lot more work than positioning guards! Teg is also working as the vice-captain, but This one’s work completely revolves around the brain, so This one’s had more work to do!” (Cougar)
Cougar and Teg’s reasons are let loose, but they were rather weak reasons in our opinion.
“In that case, you guys should just get the dishes with a lot of volume.”
Riru said absentmindedly, however despite her being so quiet it reverberated through the room.
You said it. If they’re tired then they should be eating a large quantity of food which is both delicious and able to relieve their fatigue.
“Riru is completely concentrated on deskwork and research and developing. So, it doesn’t have to be a lot. However, Riru wants something delicious.”
Riru’s counterclaim and insistence. It was more to the point than Teg’s and Cougar’s argument from before.
Perhaps noticing this, both Teg and Cougar looked quite despondent.
Kukuku, this is exactly the development that we had wished for.
Sowing discord amongst them, allowing them to create rational arguments and deny each other.
By doing this, the people who are qualified to eat will slowly lessen.
“Riru. Aren’t Hamburgs the only dish for you? Is it okay to betray them?”
Within Riru’s eyes were astonishment. They were the eyes, of realising that she had almost crushed her own dignity.
The colour of Riru’s eyes changed from astonishment to sadness, and tears started to trickle down steadily.
What exactly is going on here? What is this?
“Ri…Riru, Riru was going to betray the one thing, that Riru was never to betray?”
She was there, on her knees, seemingly whispering something, but let’s just leave her alone. We won’t be able to help her in any case.
On her face, a look of tragic despair and grimness was plastered, and even now she was on the floor, looking like she could collapse at any second, but well, she probably won’t die.
Suddenly, a voice came from behind us.
From the voice, we could tell it was Wutin.
“What is it Wutin? This is an important moment.”
“Shuri has, disappeared.”
Immediately, we took a look around the place, and sure enough, Shuri was not here. Hah, he actually ran off in the midst of all this ruckus!
To actually run away and disappear into the chaos… that just signals to us how much he doesn’t want to hand us that dish. As if we would let you go!
“Wutin. Where did Shuri go?”
“To the underground jail.”
“Mu? If he’s going there then…”
Shuri cooked, but to not want to share it with everyone, and then running off… So that’s how it is, he had said it earlier too. That it was for ‘Renha-san’.
Indeed, so that’s what’s going on. That dish was something made just for Renha.
Which means that, that was something made due to her selfishness or something. Hmm, to have something so delicious to be all eaten by Renha is rather spiteful, but it is what it is, we suppose.
Renha is someone who is rather “difficult to deal with” after all.
“Wutin. Let’s go sneak down into the underground jail.”
“As you wish.”
We quietly, yes, quietly, leave the kitchen. Those people over there were arguing even now.
Ha! Take that!
In any case, we started to walk towards the underground jail.
However, this place known as the underground jail was rather damp and not likeable in the slightest. We have this in our castle as well, but we could never grow to like this sort of place.
Well, there’s no reason for us to be in this sort of place with only criminals and jailers, apart from acknowledging the presence and merits of those who work here anyway.
Suddenly being spoken to from behind, we ended up jumping in fright!
“Where is your esteemed self heading towards, I wonder?”
Turning around, we could see Ekress looking over here from the shadows of a pillar. She had an extremely scary smile on her face.
Don’t you blame us for trying to outwit the lot of you…!
“Even if we were over there, we wouldn’t be able to eat. Off to the dining hall-”
“What’s going on in the underground jail, I wonder?”
Kuh, she heard!
“Can’t help it now since you’ve found out, nou… It looked like Shuri was heading towards the underground jail, so we considered going there as well. That’s all.”
“Eh? To the underground jail?”
“It seems that, that dish, had been created because of Renha’s selfishness and so, even though we know it’s a rather lowly thing to do, we had hoped to be able to be the first to get a taste of that dish.”
“… For the madam, is it?”
Ekress’ face darkens. Well, naturally. After all, the main wife has been rather cruel towards her. She probably wouldn’t even want to look the main wife straight in the eyes.
Furthermore, there was also the conversation that we had heard the other day. Looking at her like this now, Ekress is likely completely worn out. There’s no doubt that she’s mentally and physically exhausted.
However, she cannot run forever. The past is one’s connection to the present. One must either accept it one way or another, or find a way to conquer it. Which is probably the reason behind the story of why she went with Gingus to try to make peace with Renha.
Well, it’s just as well.
We too, have words we must convey to Renha.
It is a matter that concerns Gingus as well, ja.
Should it be handled poorly, it may even affect Ekress as well as the one truly in charge of this territory, Ganglabe.
That is the degree of power that this secret holds. And it is within Renha’s hands.
Furthermore, it is highly likely that we are the only one to have realised this.
A secret hidden from even her son, Gingus. Rather than a secret, it could be stated as the reason as to why Renha was still behaving so stubbornly.
Do you not find it a little strange? For a person who is, at the moment, still quite literally on death row to not show a hint of even wanting to beg for their lives, rather, spewing out strings upon strings of vulgarity, and to assert their selfishness to such an extent…
What comes to mind, naturally, is that she has a “shield” behind her, allowing her to be so at ease…
“Just as well. You shall come with, Ekress.”
“How much longer will you be cowering in fear over the main wife that is Renha?
We do not know the state of affairs behind your mother, the concubine, however in the end, Renha is your stepmother, ja. Continuing to run away from her like this serves no purpose.”
Ekress was convinced, though rather reluctantly. Mhmm, understand that you can only face your past in the now.
If possible, we would have liked Gingus to be here as well, noja. It would have been perfect to solve all these fellows’ problems all at once. In any case, we can simply have them owe us one.
Hurrying my feet down towards the underground jail, and yes, mmm, there’s the smell.
“The scent comes through from here, noja!”
“Ah, Shuri-kun. You really are here.”
We go down the stairs, and sure enough, an enticing smell has filled the room. Irresistible.
Shuri looks over to us with a look of surprise seeing that we were rushing down the stairs. Although, it must be said that there appears to be a bit more fear than surprise.
After all, he seemed to be shivering even as he saw us. You don’t need to be that scared… We will not eat you. (取って食わぬわ。)
Although we may have you let us eat some of that dish. (もらって食べるがな。)
“T’is just a prank. Shuri, did we hear correctly in that, that was food for Renha?”
“We came because we too, have some business with the Lady.”
Tis not a lie.
“Exactly. We want to speak with her.”
“I’m her chaperon.”
To say that you are merely my chaperon, Ekress…This matter really does, to a certain extent, concern you, you know.
“Well, I don’t mind. As long as you don’t try to steal her steak.”
“We cannot promise this, but well, we’ll try to hold ourselves back.”
“I can’t guarantee this. But, alright, Shuri-kun.”
It appears that we just implied that we were still targeting the steak with furious fervor, but ah well.
It does, after all, look very delicious.
And as we continue talking, we, Ekress, and Shuri decided to go down the stairs together.
“By the way Shuri. The technique that you were using to cook the meat earlier. Was that Wine Cooking?”
Oya? Did Shuri use the technique without even knowing the name?
“The technique where you added red wine to shut in the fragrance.”
“Ahhh, you mean Flambe?”
Hoh~ Shuri calls it Flambe?
Hmm, it is a much better name than ‘Wine Cooking’, ja. Perhaps We should spread the name of this technique by this name from now on.
“Where did you learn that technique from?”
“Umm, mostly self-taught.”
…Shuri truly is a marvel, nou.
Our country’s chefs had needed to go through trial after trials of research and hard work, and yet, for Shuri to be able to use such a technique all by himself, and self-taught….
Which basically meant that he came up with, and perfected this technique all by himself.
“Wonderful! Even in Our country, this is a technique that we had only recently started developing.”
There’s honestly no more that we can praise him on.
“Is Wine Cooking really that amazing, Princess Tebis?”
Ekress looks rather confused, but we suppose this can only be normal.
The Wine cooking technique has yet to spread far.
“Indeed, the technique that Shuri displayed, was one that would use a wine with high alcoholic concentration, pour it into the fry pan, and evaporate all of the alcoholic attributes all at once.
Making use of the final touches, if this was someone who was practised in the technique then, it’s possible for a brilliant fragrance to be attached to the dish.
As we have stated earlier, even in our country, Newbyst, it is a newly developed technique, and so there is still a lot of room for improvement. We did try the very first steak that had been made through our technique, but that did not have this indescribably wonderful scent, noja.
You could smell it from afar, right Ekress?”
“Ahh…. to think that such a good smell could reach such a distance.”
Indeed, the fragrance that emitted through Wine cooking is incredibly wondrous. The thick scent, one you could almost taste, would cause you to drool before you even took your first bite.
“And, for such a wonderful dish to be first experienced by that woman. My, oh my. We have no words.”
Our grief can no longer be expressed without the excessive use of hyperbole, ja. Why… to think that something like this, the pinnacle of food culture, is being fed to that stubborn woman with no understanding of food.
Ahhh… Our sighs just will not stop.
They just won’t stop, truly.
Perhaps he could feel our sighs as we could see Shuri’s complexion darken. Does he understand our lamentations?
“A wonderful new technique, and new sauce. And finally, a new steak. No matter which one we choose, they would all be more fitting in our mouth. We are even captivated by its mere fragrance.”
“Umm…. if you praise it so much, you’re going to make my back itch.”
Praise, you say… We are merely speaking the truth.
“Hmph, on top of being a peasant, can you not stay quiet even when you’re delivering food to a noblewoman.”
Hmm, it seems that we have already reached our destination.
At the end of the stairs leading underground was a certain jail. Even though there were countless cells within, most of them were empty. There was only a single person locked up.
The wife of the former Feudal Lord, Renha Sounity.
Likely, the reason why there were no other criminals here, was in consideration of her influence. We would do the same.
Though she no longer held the power she once had, Renha, as the Lord’s wife, could still stir up various clans and cause strife, inciting fights for the authority of the Lord’s clan. Who knows what will happen should they stuff all the other criminals and gangs into the same place.
Renha turns over towards this direction with fierce despise, looking at us with a glare.
“Do refrain from calling him a peasant, Renha. A friend to the Newbyst Royal family he is, after all.”
We should kick her down a notch, nou.
“!! …Princess Tebis is here as well I see.”
“It’s been a while Renha.”
Hearing us call out to her, the end of Renha’s brows crease.
“Although it seems like it was just yesterday for me! Did you come here to scorn me!? You too, Ekress!?”
“Madam, I have no such intentions.”
Renha has quite some hate in her. And it has been utterly, and completely unleashed upon Ekress.
Well, perhaps having lived up to this point she has already gotten used to it. Though, it would do little but wear down her heart.
In addition to that, there was also the accumulated pain of watching her countless days of persuasion have no effect at all. Just thinking about what Ekress could be feeling right now makes our chest hurt a little.
“And? You’re saying that, that cook there, has brought something fitting for me to eat?”
After that, she decided to attack Shuri with her eyes. How hideous.
“Yes. It’s my trump dish.”
“Hmph, at best it would be fitting for the likes of a cook of a mercenary corp. There’s no way you would be able to cook something fitting of my tastes.”
…Oh wow, my… to think that ignorance can be this pitiful, nou…
Since Renha has declined, then we shall gladly take it.
“No, this here is a steak worthy of you.”
We look at Renha with a pitiful gaze, however it did not appear as if anyone here noticed.
Shuri brought the dish he carried in his hands and, a knife and fork in front of Renha.
“Steak in red wine sauce, topped off by cooking it in red wine.”
….Hm? Why did it feel like Shuri was being rather extravagant and original when he was announcing the dish’s name?
No one appeared to realise what we were thinking, and Renha’s eyes burst open in surprise.
“Wh-what? This fragrance… The fragrance of the rich meat and sauce is filling up this dungeon….! What is… this. You! What have you done to that dish!?”
Although it was for just a moment that Renha’s grim pretenses disappeared, but it was immediately followed by her open cautiousness.
That would be a normal reaction, we ponder on. The art of wine cooking had yet to spread throughout the world. There was no way that Renha, being locked up in jail, would know of it, nor do we think that she held any interest towards the subject in the first place.
However, for the gourmets of this continent, every single one of them would understand the value of this meal.
A dish made using a technique that they have yet to witness; a dish they must try once, as a gourmet.
In our eyes, this dish was like a mountain of gold.
“W-what, I did? I just cooked it….”
Having been shouted and scolded at so suddenly, Shuri seemed to feel rather confused.
‘Even though This one had tried, with all my might, to come up with this dish, why must this one be suspected of like this?’ Perhaps that is what is on his mind?
No, for someone like Shuri, he would probably just be thinking that she would understand if she just hurried up and ate it.
“Don’t lie to me! There’s no way a steak could release such a ridiculously rich and mellow flavour! What kind of magic engineering did you apply to it?!”
What? Just what on earth? Sigh…
As if a thing like Magical engineering could make something like this… We simply cannot understand how such ridiculous words could be spoken. What do you have to be suspicious of when such a rare delicacy has appeared right in front of you? We simply cannot understand.
…Hm? Wait one moment. Is this not a great chance?
“Hmm, if you think that there’s a trap laid inside with magic engineering then, We shall go ahead.”
Yes, a poison test. Poison testing as a way to sneak a bite.
Ahh, do forgive us, Dear father, your majesty. We simply cannot resist under the scrutiny of such a luxury.
Immediately after getting ahold onto our knife and fork, we reached out towards the dish.
Just as we tried to quickly bring the spoon up towards our mouth before Shuri could stop us, we could suddenly sense a dangerous atmosphere from behind us.
Wutin, we presume. Now that we are reminded of it, we remember. Wutin is our guard. On the note of food tasting, Wutin would definitely be the first to do so.
Which is exactly why Wutin came to warn us even though it was simply with her aura, noja.
Furthermore, Wutin was serious this time, and had hidden inside the darkness so Shuri didn’t notice her either. However, just by releasing her aura like that compromises her duty as a spy.
“Do not fret Wutin. Stay hidden.”
We say quietly as we brought the steak to our mouth.
Ahh, how are such wonderful flavours possible.
“Ahh, how marvelous. We knew of the meat’s tenderness, but it’s so much more tender than we could have thought. A mere pull with our lip would be enough to tear it apart. And despite that, the mouthfeel of the meat remains, and every time We bite into it, a magnificent fragrance erupts, flooding through our mouth.
Then there’s this harmony that originates from the combination of flavours that is, the meat, sauce, and addition that comes from cooking it in the wine, ahh, an indescribable happiness is filling up our mouth. This is something that cannot be accomplished without being cooked in wine, and brings forth an occult-like flavour that could not be accomplished by anyone other than one who is practised in the art. It’s spreading all through our mouth and nose, ahhh, how wonderful.
And naturally, it tastes splendidly delicious. The sauce made with a new technique; The garlic, onions, red wine and fish sauce mixed together with the fat that had been melted down from cooking the meat. Together with that sauce, the meat is cooked just right, correctly, perfectly, releasing a terrific flavour. There isn’t too much salt added, yet it’s not too little, just exquisite. And the natural smell of meat has been erased using pepper.
Every single thing, whether it be the new technique, the new sauce, or the perfect cooking and calculations, it truly is the perfected form of how one should prepare and perfect steak. There will be nothing that will surpass this for the next hundreds of years, I dare say.”
We unexpectedly let out our review in a single breath, but this should be ended here.
Should we be allowed to express our feelings here for however long we desire, then we would probably be able to spend the entire night listing its beauty. That is just how wonderful that bite was.
As had described previously, this dish was stuffed to the brim with wonderful flavours and fragrances.
Indeed, we can definitely taste that this is a dish completed using the pinnacle of the technique that is, Wine cooking.
This is the feeling that we had wanted all the food we had taste-tested thus far to aim for.
Ahh, if we ate this, perhaps even the act of taste-testing might end up becoming dull.
Would it not just make us want to eat this again.
It is indeed as we had believed. Shuri’s skill, his cooking, never ceases to amaze us.
This skill, this calm personality, this pure spirit that doesn’t desire authority.
We wish to have Shuri, no matter what.
When we had finally awoken up from our stupor, our cheeks were feeling rather warm for some reason. Almost as if we were a young maiden in love.
That can’t be, is what we wish to say but… ever since meeting Shuri, we have been having so much fun. We would always think about wanting to eat Shuri’s cooking again, and closely linked to that thought, would be the thought that we can finally see Shuri again.
However, let us, in this moment, thoroughly enjoy the current satisfaction from the food.
“Now then, I apologize for using the knife and fork first.
However, not even we could resist any longer. How about it? Try a bite.”
While grasping that sense of satisfaction within us, we handed the knife and fork to Renha.
The fact that we wished to have a little bit more, is a secret, ja.
It appeared like Renha too, after seeing us, held a bit of interest and was probably at her limit.
Renha timidly holds the knife and fork, bringing the food towards her mouth.
It seems even someone like you understand, Renha.
The fact that even if you were a part of a sophisticated Lord’s clan, you wouldn’t be able to eat something as good as that.
“I see, this is indeed a dish worthy of me, no, a steak that even surpasses me.”
Plunk, Renha puts down the knife and fork.
And then looked straight at us.
Within those eyes, there were no longer any hints of hatred.
“I see, Princess Tebis. Is this the reason you would try to attain this fellow, to the point of even purposely exposing yourself?”
Hoh… she’s smart, nou. We didn’t expect this at all. It seems we have underestimated her slightly.
“Shuri. we and Ekress, still have a few words to speak with this thing. Could you please return first.”
Hearing our request, Shuri looked a little hesitant. Given that it was so sudden, it’s natural that he wouldn’t be able to read the mood so quickly.
However, Shuri has always had a good head on his shoulders. Perhaps, immediately realising that this was a conversation that didn’t concern him, he accepted the request with a single word and went up the stairs.
We confirm that Shuri had completed left the area through Wutin. Looking towards the darkness, there came a nod from Wutin who released tiny bits of her presence.
Now then, with that, it means we can finally begin our conversation.
We took another look at Renha, taking a seat in front of her.
Already there was no longer any sign of hatred within those eyes of hers. There was just a woman who was looking straight at us, trying to understand our purpose here.
“Now then, Renha. We have a certain matter we must ascertain with you.”
“May I speak first, Princess Tebis?”
“…Hmm, alright. Our conversation will end quickly. Even should you begin first, it would hardly change much.”
Renha bows and said.
“That young man called Shuri. He isn’t a person of this continent, is he?”
With that simple sentence, we were able to feel a form of admiration for Renha who came to the same conclusion as us.
Ekress seemed rather shocked behind us but… well, there’s no point minding it now.
“Why do you think so?”
“I got it from your highness just now, when you were praising his cooking. At that time, I came up with a suspicion. That cooking skill matched with such advanced skill and foresight… I can’t imagine that all coming from a single young man.”
“That’s rather weak a reason.”
Indeed, all of that stems from nothing more than one’s ‘instinct’.
“There is no way that you would be so persistent just for one chef. That’s why I came up with this.
While it’s natural for your highness, Princess Tebis, to be enamoured by that young man’s cooking, could it be that, what your highness, Princess Tebis, truly wishes to obtain is the ‘Mysterious culture’ from whence that young man named Shuri originates?
Shuri has a different knowledge of the ‘culture’ and ‘common sense’ that one who was born into this continent should possess, and is on the contrary in possession of a ‘history’ that decisively differs from the one of our own. This can be seen from his cooking.
Steak, soup, salad, bread… and the whole roast pork crackling that he had presented to the Feudal Lord. There were hints everywhere. What I couldn’t understand, stems solely from your bold actions and that young man’s aloofness.”
“It still does not suffice as a reason.”
“Then, I realised it when I saw Shuri, the one behind all this.
That young man does not have any of the inherited features that belong to the people of this continent.”
“As you know, the continent of Sabraeu is separated from the outside by the currents of the Outer Circular Sea, so there may as well be another continent beyond the waters, however communications would surely be cut off. Thus, the facial characteristics of the continent is something that has already been set in stone. However, the young man named Shuri, has none of these set facial features.
No, I would rather insist that that Shuri is a new person, an unnatural existence that may as well have just appeared unto this continent.”
….Kukuku, to think she has realised this much.
“Is that not why you wish to have Shuri? Firstly, and naturally, for his cooking skill, but also secondly, to obtain through him, ‘what’ is ‘outside’. Am I wrong?”
“You are partially correct. And partially wrong, we would say.”
Renha’s theory is not bad. Rather, we would say that it is close to perfect. However, let’s just say that, what she believes to be our aim, is only half correct.
“We are certainly attracted to Shuri’s skill in cooking. We also like his pure heart that doesn’t shake at the scene of a power struggle. If it be him, no matter the situation, he would persist on his principles, and continue cooking for the sake of someone. We are indeed attracted to him, to the strength of his core beliefs.
“That is a rather problematic statement, for the princess of an entire country.”
“Possibly. We said it, knowing of its weight. We have no regrets.
Secondly, as for your suspicions of Shuri being a person from ‘Outside’, it was only quite recently that we apprehended that. If we were to speak in more detail, it was only after coming to this territory that we took another look and thought about the individual that is Shuri.”
In the beginning, we had only thought of that incredible creativity of his, capable of birthing a new type of seasoning, as well as his talents when it came to creating new dishes.
However, when we heard about his technique of Wine cooking, we thought again.
Calling Wine cooking, Flambe, and his education of it being ‘mostly’ self-taught.
Which basically meant that, he either had this knowledge to begin with or, he was able to self-learn this technique as it was knowledge that had been perfected and widespread.
Going back a little bit further, we had an uncomfortable feeling back when he had diluted the Nounels that we had brought over. To use water to improve how well a drink goes down. Were the ratio even slightly off, it could’ve become a failure that one may even be hesitant to drink. To dare to put it into action so boldly, would it not have been because he has seen it succeed before?
And if it were not from this continent then, where would he have seen it from?
Only a single remaining possibility came to mind. From the outside.
“After taking such a long while, what we finally realized was that we truly wished to have Shuri. He who possesses the culture from ‘outside’ that we long for. From the rumours, did not even that Riru’s invention originally stem from Shuri’s imagination?
With this, we have confirmed that the ‘Outside’, has various countries in possession of high levels of culture and techniques that the people within this continent cannot even fathom.”
“Is that the reason you wish to have Shuri?”
“It is, as a ‘Princess’.”
People of royalty, have times when they must kill their emotions, hide their emotions, fake their emotions, lie to their own emotions and move for the sake of their citizens.
If it were our reason as the ‘Princess’ then that was it. The one and only living witness in possession of knowledge from the ‘Outside’, having the knowledge of the techniques, knowing the culture, Shuri. How could we not want to obtain Shuri, that treasure trove of knowledge.
However, if we were to speak as ‘Tebis’… We wish to have Shuri. It’s true that his cooking is exquisite and full of charm. As a gourmet, we want to keep him.
No, that’s a little different. Every single one of Shuri’s dishes have this warm, and home-cooked feel that, relaxes you when you eat it.
It was completely different from the dishes that royalty eat. They were dishes that warm one’s heart.
That’s why we want him. If that person was to continue cooking by my side then, in the position of royalty where one must continue to lie to themselves, we would be able to complete our job without losing that warmth.
No, no, that may also be slightly different.
In the end, the conclusion that we arrived to was simply, ‘We wish to have Shuri, noja’.
However, these ‘true feelings’ of ours simply cannot be exposed in this location.
“Now then, the other reason overlaps with what we had to ask you, Renha.
The reasons we want Shuri is, naturally regarding the ‘Outside’, as well as what Ganglabe has already been doing, Cooking Diplomacy. After all, with this we would be able to stay a step or two ahead of other countries.”
Cooking diplomacy is not something that should be at all underestimated.
Cooking, can be used as a needle to pinpoint the level of culture in that country by observing their use and combination of seasoning in their dishes. With that needle, someone of intelligence would understand the power present in that country.
If in that Cooking Diplomacy, Shuri was to appear, what would happen then?
The answer being, a possible collapse in the balance of diplomatic relationships.
Just as Ganglabe has been doing, it was precisely because they were moving according to a cooking diplomacy that, their Mercenary Corp is as big as it is, and it’s precisely because they use the allure of cooking that they are still here today.
If one possesses so much strength, then how much more powerful would they become should a country protect and continue to strengthen them.
“However, if we must speak of the reason why we wish to have Shuri, then we shall say this as the ‘Princess’.
Renha. We have something we must hear from you.”
We then said.
“Renha. You are of the Granend lineage, correct?”
It was Renha this time, who hearing those words, had her eyes wide open with astonishment. Even Ekress, who was standing behind us, trying to be as quiet as she can, didn’t seem to be able to retain her shock, letting her voice out.
On this continent, it was the country closest to being its ruler.
The biggest and main reason as to why that country can reign supreme over this land is due to the presence of their great king, and great generals.
Due to the overwhelming talent that their king and generals possess, no matter it be civil or military affairs, they would increase in power quickly, and their growth was so abnormal that it is possible that it would take no more than ten years for them to conquer this entire continent.
The symbol that is The Three Grand Commanders are well known, roaring throughout the land. The existence of their three generals.
Their undying loyalty to their king will surely be spread through this continent should they not be stopped.
“It was rather difficult even to just investigate. You, are the fourth daughter of Gibb Granend, jana. It also explains why you’re so stubborn.
Should we were to deal with you poorly, then there’s a possibility that the great country of Granend would show their fangs. Which is also why, the Feudal Lord could not so easily divorce you.
Even until just mere moments ago, you were relying on the power your family holds, correct?”
“We shall take your silence as truth.”
It is as we thought. That country is not one to make an enemy of lightly.
Their king, Gibb, was a man who was as fierce as hellfire and as cool-headed as ice.
Should anything happen to someone of his clan, angering him, he was a man capable of calmly weighing the anger stemming from the harm of a someone related by blood and the interest that would arise by letting the enemy live. A man of contradictory thoughts.
At the same time, if someone of that family was to leave for the outside then that person must show their value. That man would not give orders to someone of no value. A member incapable of realising his orders would immediately be returned back into his hand, and re-educated.
That education, as if words were not enough to express the fierceness for their family and country, meant that the re-education was close to torture.
The reason why Renha came to this territory here is likely to make this country a subordinate country to Granend from within.
And the fear of such education was the reason she was so desperate in her struggle.
The more you think about it, you simply cannot help but feel pity for her.
“Renha. We believe this war-torn world will vanish within the next few years.”
“…Do you mean that my father… his Highness, Gibb, will stabilise this war-torn world?”
“No, we do not believe that he will.”
There is no doubt that the country of Granend is a massive superpower with considerable military strength.
Not even in terms of food and rations does the current Newbyst match up to them. Rather, if we were to carelessly make a move, we may even be burnt to the ground. We too, back when we had opposed Yuyubi, had considered the thought that Newbyst may be able to survive if we had been wed to them as a condition.
However, starting from the Ganglabe Mercenary Corp gaining power, we could feel history changing its course.
With the country of Sounity in their hands, it means that Ganglabe will be able to possess a considerable amount of power from here on out.
At that time, would it really have been achieved due only to Ganglabe’s strength?
No, definitely not. It was possible only due to the presence of Shuri.
Without a doubt, Shuri will be the man to change the history of this continent. That, we are sure of.
That is why, we want Shuri.
“This continent is in the midst of a huge turmoil. While you had been fixated on wrestling control from a tiny territory, the course of history had already moved into a direction we can no longer predict.”
“…And you mean to say, that in the middle of all this, is that ordinary young man?”
“That is what we believe.”
Now then, let us take a short break.
“Ekress. Do you have any input in this?”
“You’ve come all the way here after all. Surely, you have a word or two to share with the Lord’s wife.”
At my insistence, Ekress revealed her confusion.
“…I… don’t really-”
A voice sounded, not from me, but from within the cell. Renha opened her mouth.
The tone in her voice was completely different to how it was in the beginning, and although there was still a slight bit of harshness within her eyes, it could be said that she has calmed down quite.
“Say your piece. I am calm… for the moment. I will answer your questions.”
Despite her confusion, it seems Ekress hardened her resolve after hearing those words.
Looking straight at Renha, she asked.
“Where is Gann-niisan’s and my mother right now?”
“…As I thought, it is that question.”
Renha closes her eyes and said.
“They are confined within a certain church. If we had merely banished them, there’s a chance that they could have come into contact with their subordinates and started a revolution. Don’t worry, I didn’t have them live uncomfortably. They are living just fine.”
“I am not lying. After all, I’ll probably be disposed of soon anyway.”
With a, Heh, Renha mocks herself.
“I was unable to accomplish my task, and even ended up becoming a bargaining chip of all things. No matter how much father… his Highness Gibb is capable of tolerating, I cannot imagine he would forgive such a mistake.”
Ahh, that’s right… We had exposed her as a clan member of Granend. There’s no telling where there may be a spy peeking in. We cannot fathom that man quietly watching on knowing about Renha, a variable that could end up as a drawback for his country.
Furthermore, there was even the possibility that within their clan teachings, the idea of “Disposing yourself when the time comes” had been ingrained into them.
“In that case, Renha. We have a proposal for you.”
We move closer to Renha’s face and said.
“We will shelter you in a place that is guaranteed to be safe. It will, in the end, be a place within our country, however it is a place that no one will be able to harm you, ja.”
After all, it is an isolated facility in the depths of the Holy Forest. We call it an isolated facility, but it is in fact one of the refuges for the Royal family. It is far from disease and plague, and it can even be used as an emergency evacuation shelter for the Royal family. Not even the spies from Granend could penetrate into that area.
“However, you will accept three conditions of ours.”
Sticking up three fingers, We say.
“…Do you mean for me to betray my homeland?”
“You must know you will die if you do not?”
“Even if that is the…. case.”
“We will inform you of this now, but once you die it will be Gingus they target next. Do you still not dare accept my proposal?”
Hearing our words, Renha’s face finally showed some obvious signs of fear.
It was as we believed, no matter how ill one speaks of her, she was still in the end, a mother.
“Then, Our first condition. Do not associate yourself with the politics of Sounity ever again.
Two. Do not bring harm to Sounity.
Three. Do not associate with Granend.”
They were simple, but these three conditions were likely the limits of what we could have her promise in this place.
“In that case, we shall lend you a few of our guards.”
Renha said, head down.
“My son… please keep my son safe somehow.”
Looking at her, Ekress whispered in a voice of relief.
Well, of course she would. After all, all the persuading that she had been trying up until now, had finally been realised through us.
With this, the possibility of a rebellion centered around Renha had vanished. From here on out, Sounity will fly with progress.
And if not that, the greatest domestic threat imaginable has, at the very least, been eliminated.
“I understand now, after this conversation. It is indeed as you say, if that young man, who possess techniques containing knowledge of ‘Outside’ is under Ganglabe, then Gingus would not be able to surmount the waves stirring in the background. That child… no matter how talented he is in warfare, lacks the capability to welcome the world-changing revolutions… these storms brewing in history.
Nevertheless, that child is still my son. However little it may be… he is… my son… if I were to say that I had no love for him, it would be a lie…
I had hardened my heart, turning it into that of a demon’s but…”
Renha just kept her head down. Without lifting her head, she wholeheartedly focused on relaying her request.
With all her heart, for her son’s safety. Thinking of her son’s future.
She had done all that in order to fulfill Gibb’s commands, however this woman was gentle at her core. Perhaps it was due to Shuri’s appearance, but this was likely never a part of her plan.
“Alright, we understand. That request, we shall grant it.”
Looking at Renha, we were reminded of our own mother.
Our mother too, likely wished for naught but safety upon us.
Since that was the case, we cannot ignore the request of someone who was also a mother, Renha.
Thinking like such, we gave an answer to Renha.
Finishing our conversation, we went up the stairs and walked down the corridor.
Both Ekress and us stayed quiet as we walked but… This mood, should not continue.
Just as we thought that, Ekress started a conversation with us.
“Should I have… at that time… asked that question?”
“You mean, about your mother?”
We close our eyes to think, then said.
“Our mother… died before we were even aware of our surroundings.”
In a time when we were so young that we couldn’t even remember, our mother had already died from a disease.
Her body had not been strong in the first place, and the fact she had lived for several months after she had given birth to us was already a miracle.
It was all the same even for someone like us, who had become conscious of our surroundings early. We… have no memories of our mother.
“When we think of wanting to meet our mother, we can only look at portraits, or expand our imagination from what we heard from others.”
She was lively despite her weak body, and even though she would do whatever she wants, causing trouble for those around her, everyone would still smile in the end.
That seemed to be the type of person she was.
Everytime we heard about her, it would make us think.
That, we wanted her to be alive.
“Which is why, if your mother is alive then wanting to meet her is natural, is it not? Furthermore, Renha didn’t take their lives, and after banishing them to place where they could not interfere with the political war, they are alive and living, even if it be in confinement.
It may be a little of a stretch, but perhaps, do you not think, that as a mother with children, she could not help but hesitate at the act of taking a parent away from their child.”
Renha had only let out her feelings when it came to Gingus.
Her services to Granend was, at the center, putting Gingus onto the seat of the Feudal Lord, and turning him into a puppet.
Yet her expression had changed so much towards Gingus, who was to be treated as a tool.
We want to believe that, that was undeniable evidence that she was a person who could not bear to abandon the love she had for him as a mother.
“If you can go meet her, then just go. Meet her while you still can, and finish up all the things that you still can, and must do. Once she’s gone, nothing is left.”
Since it was coming from us, someone who had already lost our mother, it’s definitely true.
“…. You’re right. I should go meet her while I still can.”
“Yes, yes you should.”
“Princess, you truly are experienced beyond your age.”
“That’s none of your business, ja.”
It is only that our experience as Royalty is rich. It is not like we are pretending to be wise.
The next day, we secretly met up with Ganglabe-dono.
On our side, we had only Wutin. Ganglabe-dono brought Cougar-dono with him.
“…. And that’s that.”
“Well, well, thank you very much for that.”
Ganglabe-dono said quite bluntly, but he was likely quite relieved on the inside.
After all, the seed of conflict to be, Renha has been peacefully hidden away.
With this a favour has been lent his way, ja.
“However, I never would have guessed that this matter was related to Granend.”
“We too were quite suspicious when we found out.”
“Figures. I too, at the beginning had thought of wanting to show off the strength of our mercenary corp to Granend, be recognised as a Knight’s Order, raise our achievements and receive a country as a reward for our merits.
…Yet, right now, even if I was to clash with that country, we could only lose.”
“It would be the same result even if you were to, for example, team up with Newbyst, right?”
Ganglabe-dono agrees too.
Not even the entire Ganglabe Mercenary Corp, where there were both geniuses and prodigies, could match up to the might of that country.
Even if Newbyst were to provide them with support, it would likely be useless. It would merely delay the amount of time until we lost.
In other words, a waste of energy.
“So, what do you think, Ganglabe-dono? How many more years do you think you need before you think you can engage in battle with them?
Five years, you say. That’s rather…
“Is that not impossible?”
“…We have Shuri.”
“You mean to make use of Shuri?”
“…That guy will meddle in this either way.”
If that’s the case.
“Shall we take him then? So that he can have an easier time meddling?”
“Kuhuhu, this may not necessarily be a joke, you know.”
“By welcoming him as one of my male concubines, we can give him both position and authority, allowing him to make decisions easier, right?”
“No way. Newbyst would end up swallowing him up just like that.”
Fufu, that is indeed his thought logic, nou.
“No matter, we will be taking Shuri.”
Both Ganglabe-dono and Cougar-dono’s eyes sharpen.
Wutin too, leaked a little of her fighting intent, but we continue to remain calm in spite of this.
“What did you say?”
“Just listen. In our opinion, this country here is likely deeply related to the end of this warring age.”
“And you are saying that, the existence of Shuri is the biggest reason for that?”
“Indeed. Furthermore, in order for Newbyst to survive amongst these waves, we cannot do without having some sort of marriage connection with Shuri.”
“How about it, Ganglabe-dono? Building up a solid alliance with Newbyst by taking in the relationship between Shuri and us. Can you not imagine it? We believe this benefits both of us.”
If it’s Ganglabe-dono then he should understand just how tempting this suggestion truly is.
To be able to form a connection with Royalty despite being at a major disadvantage since birth just by handing over one of their subordinates.
We could think of no condition that were better than these.
“…. Nevertheless, the person who should have the final say on who Shuri should marry, is Shuri himself. It isn’t something I can decide for him.”
“Indeed. In that case, shall we leave this decision up to Shuri’s own free will then?”
Well, the fact that we could force that one line out of him is already, in of itself, good enough.
Oh Shuri. Unknowingly you have been cast out and thrust into the center of an extraordinary storm.
When will you realise this, we wonder? How exciting, ja.
Recipe: (Ain’t it great this is back 🙂 – Steak in Red Wine)
This sauce is quite similar
Hey guys 🙂 Long time no see. I’ll be restarting this since no one picked it up 😦 Oh well. No promises for anything. Let’s just pray. 1 like = 1 pray = 1 chapter Kappa.
Story time. Context: been applying for grad jobs all over the places. Woke up this morning to a phone call. Still half asleep. Turns out to be a guy from one of the companies I applied to. Say yes to doing the interview right there. First question: You study computer science yes?
Q: When do you graduate?
Q: Oh, we actually start in July, apply next year. We liked your resume.
A: Oh… okay.
Goes to check when my exams finish and that I technically graduate: End of June.
……. Did I just cuck myself? Cockblocked but job? Jobblocked? by myself?!?!
But hey. I made steak. And it turned out shit. again. I blame the steak.