２．Haruna’s Stand/Tournament Arc
「So are we fine on stocks？」
Haruna murmured with a serious face as she glared at the day’s products. Today was technically the first day of sales in accordance with when the tournament began. The products were three different varieties: the usual curry bread, taiyaki, and then adrasia sauras zapre (Farlane-style leaf wrap baking). Taiyaki was really the only time consuming one, while she could get a good amount of zapre via the oven in the minivan food stand and the curry bread could be fried in her sleep.
They had some alcoholic lees, which was why Haruna considered sake lees, but that was more for cold seasonal food than it was for the upcoming hotter season. Since there was no guarantee of it being popular, Haruna decided to pass on that for this time.
「I wonder what this stall is selling？」
Once she had lit the oven and began to bake the first batch, the first customer had arrived for today. He was an older middle aged man.
「So I guess this would be Farlane cooking? The super popular curry bread and the traditional zapre, and then our hometown’s dessert, taiyaki.」
「Then zapre must have been the leaf wrap bake. I wonder what’s inside it？」
「Adrashiazaurus peach flesh. I’m extracting the stench with a special manufacturing method to make the flesh softer to eat and wrap bake it with myocream leaves.」
Hearing the word adrasia zaurus, the man’s face showed his curiosity. Adrasiazaurus was a dinosaur that could barely be defeated by class 5 adventurers , and the skin had the highest quality of what normal craftsmen could handle. On one hand, the meat could be eaten, but it had a unique stench and with muscle all around, and the meat was certainly not tasty. Then again, the monsters were so strong that their materials hardly circulated and there was hardly ant human who had tasted it.
Also, myocream was a one year herb you could easily find in the area, its big leaves the size of two clenched adult fists. Smoking these leaves made a nice fragrance, so you often found smoked leaves under flame broiled food. While myocream was technically a weed, it was still a plant rooted in Forre’s society to some extent.
「Then I will have one zapre. After that, how about that curry bread thing. Taiyaki…I am not especially fond of sweetness, so I shall pass on that this time.」
「Kaーy. I just started the grilling, so hold on a sec.」
Haruna told the customer after she took the order, briskly frying the curry bread. The man already knew that zapre took a fair amount of time to prepare, so he nodded without any complaint. Besides, there was a fried item he had never seen. He had no intention of caring about the small details.
「Come to think of it, are you from Farlane？」
「In a sense yes, and in a sense no, I suppose？」
「Hm, it sounds fairly complicated.」
「Well, more like I’m not sure I’d be able to explain it as you wait for your zapre to be grilled up. 」
Haruna said as she quickly drained the oil from the dried curry bread, wrapping it in wrapping paper before handing it to the man.
「Oho, this seems quite tasty.」
「And did you know that there would normally be lines in front of this shop in Wulls？」
「How exciting. I will go ahead and pay for the zapre right now. How much？」
「Curry bread is 35 doma, zapre is 40 doma.」
「……It’s a bit interesting that curry bread is so pricey, but then why is zapre with high class monster meat as an ingredient so cheap？」
Hearing Haruna’s price, the customer made a strange face. In total, perhaps it would balance out, but the monster meat was just too cheap.
Considering how 10 domas could satisfy for the minimum amount of food and 100 domas could (ignoring rent) keep you going, curry bread was unmistakably expensive.
「The curry powder we’re using for curry bread is currently at a high price due to excess in demand. I pay my own expenses to mix the stuff, which is why I can lower the price, but there are still other factors that pile up, making it difficult to change the price very much.」
「I see. I understand the curry bread part. What about the zapre？」
「It’s meat that my friends hunted, and it’s not in demand so there’s no market price. That’s why we have it so cheap.」
「Ah, I see.」
Convinced with Haruna’s explanation, the customer paid 75 doma. It was just around that time when the first batch of zapres came out of the oven, nice and roasted.
「Alright, thanks for waiting.」
「And here is yet another good bake.」
The zapre was still a bit too hot for bare hands. Haruna put it on a leaf-covered plate, which the customer took. In this world, thanks to Lorren, the country of sages, paper was no longer such a valuable article, but of course there was yet to be anything like a paper plate. As there was a large amount of recycled paper from unimportant documents circulating around for dirt cheap, food stands did in fact use it like newspaper for wrapping food, but that was about it.
「……I see. Curry bread is plenty good to have a value of 35 doma, and zapre is too good to be only 40 doma. I’m flabbergasted by how deep the flavor is and how soft this adrasiazaurus is.」
The man quickly cleaned out the food before him, expressing his amazement and requesting another round. Nodding at him with an wry smile, Haruna took 75 doma in exchange for another curry bread and zapre.
Onlookers with a deep curiosity and children who wanted to know more about these baked fish treats rushed over to Haruna’s stand. Thanks to the oven’s conveyor belt function, she was able to sort through the customers without making them wait too long, but the word seemed to spread faster than anticipated, and within half a day all the food besides taiyaki had sold out. The taiyaki took more time simply because of the amount Haruna could bake at once, and even that was entirely sold out by the afternoon.
All in all, things were off to a great start.
「Oh my. Is today a different menu？」
「Today I decided to go with the flavor of my hometown.」
One of the female customers who had lined up yesterday looked at today’s menu, inclining her head. Today’s menu was curry bread, meat-wrapped rice balls, and spit-roasted dumplings. Curry bread was already a staple, which was why Haruna didn’t do away with it.
The dumplings in this case were mitarashi dango with either miso sauce or sugar soy sauce. This particular recipe was quite the sight.
「What’s being skewered over there？」
「Those are dumplings we made with rice, or to borrow the elves’ phrasing, laas wheat, a type of grain. I guess you could say it most resembles a type of confection？」
「Really？ So what’s spread over them？」
「Miso and soy sauce. Both of them are condiments from my hometown, currently booming in Wulls. The sauce over here has a soy sauce base with many things I added in. The meat wrap onigiri sauce also has a different composition but still uses soy sauce.」
Hearing that the food was booming in Wulls appeared to have piqued the woman’s interest.
「10 doma for one stick」
「Then please give me one of each type.」
「Coming ri～ght up」