I asked the butler to circle his reco on the map I bought at the gate earlier, here I am now, standing in front of that shop. The interior was pretty nice, with an arched brick ceiling, plastered walls and tables, chairs and floors that were meticulously maintained even if they had cracks.
It was a while before I got seated.
「 What do you recommend here? 」
「 The Simmered Beef. 」
Not sure if they didn’t know what it was called, since they only told me the ingredient and how it’s cooked.
「 Then I’ll have that, and water, too. 」
「 Do you want some bread, too? 」
「 Please. 」
My stomach was rumbling already, and nothing rang a bell even if I checked the blackboard menu, so I decided to go with their reco.
The rattling cart came soon enough, and it stopped beside my table. A lump of beef as big as my face sat on top of a silver plate along with the onions and carrots that had been simmered with it. No idea what cut of meat it was, though.
The waiter sliced the meat with magnificent moves on top of the cart, then he plated and drizzled it with gravy while a different waiter brought the bread and water.
There were a lot of people around me eating the same dish as mine.
The bread came with three kinds of sauces in condiment cups arranged on the same plate, so the guest could savor the different flavors by dipping the meat in them.
Whoa, the meat’s super tender and juicy and it didn’t stink at all. Not sure which part this was, but it was kinda like jelly and really tasty. I didn’t attempt 【 Appraisal 】 for fear of seeing something related to innards again.
The bread was a bit too dry for my taste, so I dipped it in the meat sauce ー problem solved, plus it’s tasty, too.
Yeah, that was satisfying. I thought that it’d be lamb (hitsuji), though, since, you know, butler’s (shitsuji)’s choice ー well, I didn’t voice that pun aloud, though.
Even if there was that kerfuffle midway, it was still fine since I finished what I needed to do, plus got more information than I expected. Also, I got to enjoy two shops that were normally off-limits to those without connections, so all good.
That scary looking guy ー er, Ojou-sama, was it? I don’t know what happened to her, so let’s just pray that she’s safe. Actually, she seemed like a good person despite her priorities being kinda skewed. She did answer all my questions conscientiously, after all.
Next stop was the bookshop, and I was looking for something to read. This book store’s system was different from what I imagined. Instead of being able to look around on my own, the shopkeeper would take the books out per request.
The first book the shopkeeper showed to me was Anathema.「 If you steal or damage this you will be cursed! 」 ー those words leaped off the page the moment I opened it.
「 Books were treated as treasures not long ago, you see. 」
Plenty of the books had curses inscribed on them, but the shopkeeper told me not to mind it and just treat it as something pirates would probably scribble in the caverns of treasure islands.
「 There are curses that might get activated for real, but please rest assured that all the books legitimately purchased in my shop would have no such effect. 」
Oh, okay, but that’s not really reassuring, though.
I decided to buy some books about architecture as well as about magic potions. The history ones were quite tempting, but books were awfully expensive. If I bought all I wanted, the bill would probably be crazy enough to make me faint. White gloves were given to me after I paid. They should be worn when reading — so I was told.
The quality was bad, but at least it was made from paper. Whether it be paper made from plants or parchment, as long as you leave a loose sheet around, whatever was written on it would completely disappear. Spirits’ prank, they said.
The only way to preserve them was book-binding. The method for making parchment was easy, but the process of making paper and books was a lot harder.
Spirits dwelled in the original works of the authors, and if the book was well loved, then they would bestow the contents of the book to the next owner, apparently. If the spirit that dwelled inside was strong, then the manuscript would also bear that power. According to Mr. Shopkeeper’s experience, 「Books that are worth it 」will cost you an arm and leg.
I didn’t understand it at first, but I finally realized what he meant after he gave an example. He said that grimoire books would enable a normal person to use magic. No wonder they were crazy expensive.
Time to go home, so I left the royal capital. Ah, I forgot to stop by the 『 Fae’s Bough 』.
When I reached my house, I checked on Riche before going to the kitchen to prepare dinner. Well, I did say ‘preparing’, but I just grabbed some veggies and meat then chucked them together inside a stockpot, then left it in front of the fireplace. It’d be super delicious after a couple of hours or so.
Since that will take time, I better sit beside the window to read while there is still sun. Candle light is dark, after all. Fortunately, sunset is very late in this place, and the nights are short in this country. The sun is still out until 8pm during this season.
One of my goals is to convert one of the sheds into a laboratory. Well, it’ll be great if I can expand the house and add more rooms, ideally. Ah, but there’s no danger of earthquakes, so maybe I shouldn’t worry too much about the construction?
Still, shouldn’t making lamps come first before renovation? I didn’t have ethanol for fuel, but there was some canola oil in the food storage room. Maybe it’d be brighter than the candle light if I attached it to a glass or a cleanly polished metal that would reflect light?
「 Lights on. 」
I tried doing magic, and a faint glowing light appeared. Yep, I also had this just in case. Well, it is available for use anytime, but I still prefer a lamp.
The materials weren’t available back at that island so I wasn’t able to make it, and that still bothered me until now. I didn’t want to move an inch except to cook when I first came into this house, though. Well, anything that made life easier was good.
Few days had passed since my trip ー it’s time to deliver the goods to the Commerce Guild, so I pretended to catch another horned bear. The Alchemist guild also allowed me to observe and study, and as for agriculture, I helped a farming family while studying how and what tools to use.
I got along pretty well with Dinosso’s family, the farming family that I’m talking about. They taught me how to care for livestock, and also let me observe cheese-making. They even helped me with reconstructing the shed ー Dinosso was pretty strong, and I also used 【 Manufacturing Ability 】 so I wouldn’t get in his way.
They treated me by roasting a whole pig after we were done. As thanks, I also gave them a jar refilled with wine, along with the excessively sweet cookies that I hadn’t been able to eat. They gladly accepted it.
I apologized to them since the cookies were already opened, and said that it was for the children, but even the adults were happy, maybe because sweets were rarely eaten here. It’s not like they could go shopping in the city on a whim, now that I calmly thought about it.
I’d go help them when it’s time to preserve food for winter, since it’d be a busy time for them.
Aside from that, I also started to gather materials for the house extension. I wanted to buy wood and other important stuff, but buying them without building a house nearby would make me stand out too much. I should just pick another unexpected place and buy it there.
I also hoarded cheap glass and iron. This place was far from the sea, so rather than going for glass made from silica sand, it was way faster buying broken glass bottles. Adventurers frequently broke the vials when they used potions.
It’d be great if I could shut myself indoors before winter came, since they said this season was harsh here.
This time around, spending autumn here is way, way better compared to spending the start of winter at the island. It couldn’t be helped that this is more fun.
Aahh, I should start planning what to do while enjoying being a shut-in.