「Well, we just have to wait and see what’s happening with food. It’s already a separate purchase, and there’s also the dress code, so it might end up being room service.」
「Ah, right. I doubt our belongings will be professional enough.」
Makoto nodded thoughtfully in her simple spirit thread clothing after taking off equipment. Most adventurers couldn’t deal with dress codes.
Since the food was separately priced, it could be eaten outside, but it just felt wrong to eat outside after being guided all the way to their rooms by the manager, plus they were curious what high class Forre food was like.
「Such a drag to hafta deal with all this fancy standard garbage……」
「This will only just increase, so may as well adjust to it」
Haruna scolded Hiroshi for grumbling about the situation. The group didn’t want to move for a while, so in the meantime they just relaxed with the drinks.
The group actually made it into the main dining area without a hitch.
「’N somehow we got in……」
Hiroshi grumbled softly as he felt the atmosphere swallow him up. The adventurers’ clothing, while on the safe side, blended into the stylistic room without sticking out.
「I think it’s because of the spirit thread clothing」
「Prolly yeah. Even if all we’re wearin’ are blouses ‘n cutter shirts, the materials’re worth more than silk by a good amount. I ain’t look too good in it though」
At that last statement, everyone grimaced. It wasn’t that Hiroshi literally did not look good in the clothing. Maybe because of all the battles they had been through, or maybe because they were wearing this clothing on a regular basis, Hiroshi had managed to pull off this simple but refined design without making a fool of himself.
Although Hiroshi had his misgivings, at least he wasn’t rejected for being lame. Now, maybe have him wear something trending in a fashion magazine and then he would, as usual, look really lame.
「But I wonder what kind of food high class Forre cooking will have？」
Changing the topic, Haruna and Mio began discussing the food. Haruna because of her cooking skills, Mio because of her gluttony, but both of them were looking forward to a full course of fancy Forre cuisine.
「I only just realized this right now, but……」
「What is it, Tatsuya-san？」
「This is our first time paying for high class food in this world, right？」
「Ah, you’re right, come to think of it」
The group had the opportunity several times before this, but all those occasions were invites. They had technically brought along gifts, so the meals weren’t totally free persay, but this was their first time eating with their own coin.
「Well, the food we ate at the Adone hotel was like a reward for our work, so you might call that paying with our own dime too.」
「Maybe it’s better not to dwell so much on how much free stuff we have, eh?」
And as they were having a leisurely conversation (tensions lowered?) the aperitifs were brought before them. The type of drink and tendency, taste, etc, greatly differed, but it appeared that the full course meals in the three great western kingdoms had the same sort of basic form. The regions differed in what came after the aperitifs, such as soup or salad first, but in Forre, just like the other places, next came fish and meat-based cuisine.
And for the minors in the group, the sparkling beverages of that particular day were brought with the meal. The taste was subdued but with a luxurious sort of taste, so calling it “juice” felt weird.
「Mm, then let’s have a toast for making it out of Crest Cave safely and for Makoto’s early birthday celebration.」
This was a great opportunity to raise glasses and have a toast. But unlike in Japan, you did not clash the glasses together; just a light, refined raise.
「Ah, this drink’s really good. What is it though？」
「Good question, cuz it’s just called “Today’s Beverage”. Let’s ask later」
「Yeah, I never drank something like this before so I’m itching to replicate it after someone tells me the ingredients and recipe.」
After taking a mouthful, Haruna and Hiroshi let out excited voices at the mysterious flavor and immediately gained an interest in the ingredients/recipe. One of them from a cooking standpoint, the other from a crafting standpoint, but completely the same.
「The wine in the room was good, and now we have some more good quality here. I never thought I’d taste such amazing quality liquor in Forre.」
「Yeah, cause dwarf liquor is usually drunk in large quantities and well, to be blunt, isn’t very dignified or elegant……」
The elder members spoke in low but bewildered voices at how sophisticated and refreshing the taste of the aperitifs were. They had assumed that something more rustic would be brought out, so for better or for worse, this was very surprising.
「I don’t mean to badmouth Forre, but maybe because of all the dwarves, I never thought there’d be any liquor that fits the image of “upper class” or “refined”.」
「All the visitors who come here say the same thing, do not worry.」
The attendant inserted themselves into the conversation, all the while with a beaming smile. Despite lowering her voice so as to not let anyone outside the table hear, the attendant had apparently overheard that statement just as they were approaching the table to serve the hors d’oeuvres. No one had even heard them approach the table because of their movement.
「No, no. It’s very true that Forre is, as a whole, is unaffected and sincere, with fortitude and vigor, to say the best. To say the worst, the country doesn’t tend to care about its image, so it’s normal for visitors from all over to feel that way. In fact, the establishments and their food that resemble ours are a very small minority in Forre, with the main priority placed on the downtown food being of enough quantity to feed the royal family, followed by taste and then charm last.」
The attendant didn’t seem to be affected by the badmouthing. As they laid out the splendid proportions of hors d’oeuvres consisting of Forre’s traditional vegetables (cabbage, potato, and leafy greens resembling legeck, a daikon leaf), they did not boast nor look down on their country as they spoke cheerfully about it.
「I personally like the mentality of not overcomplicating the little things and piling food on your plate. That has a charm of its own. The food’s always good, and everyone can live it up while eating, which is a good aspect of setting out food in a rough manner. Although of course if you enjoy eating food in a relaxing environment, this is the best hands down.」
「I agree. In smaller groups like this, I enjoy being in this sort of eating environment, but with lots of people getting excited over something while eating, I say regular Forre food is the best. The situations that call for them are different. It’s not like either food is superior to the other. Ah, and of course I think the food right here is also tasty and lovely to look at!」
「Thank you very much.」
Smiling happily at Makoto’s follow-up with all of her excuses, the attendant gave her a bow of the head before going back to get the next dish. After seeing the attendant go off in that direction, Haruna realized she had forgotten to ask something.