Translator: Pink Tea Editor: JackOFallTrades
AUTHOR’S NOTE I’m sorry that I was unable to reply to any of the comments. I’m planning to fix typos when I have free time, but because I have to move due to a new job it will be delayed to a later date.
Also, it might be obnoxious but the first part of this chapter is basically a gag part.
It would be greatly appreciated if you enjoy it in a laid-back manner like something similar to Intermezzo.
「Huff, Huff. Aaah, I still feel like I am itching in various places.」
「Ha~ Ha~ Uuuuh, my eyes, my nose, it still buuurns. And even now, the tears will not stop…」
A bit after the previous events, the redhead jumped into the spring that was in the corner of the room. Witnessing that, I jumped in there after her.
After desperately scrubbing my whole body and washing it thoroughly, I crawled out of there and ended up on all fours with my elbows touching the ground.
The redhead was in a similar position next to me.
「You… You damn redhead, how dare you use such magic.」
「Hu, Humph, that will teach youuuuu.」
「The fuck are you saying with that crying face. Ain’t you still talking in a nasal voice. Uuugh, shit, it is still itchy.」
Although it seems like my skin does not have any irritations, I still cannot get rid of the uncomfortable pricking sensation.
The power and the influence of spells are reduced proportionally to the opponent’s magic resistance. In other words, she is at least as much of a monster as me.
Just having one of the attributes not belonging to the basic six is already incredibly rare and she has multiple of them. At this point, it is already confirmed that she controls 7 attributes: Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, Darkness, Plant and Smoke.
If you include spells not tied to attribute magic like teleportation, that would make 8 attributes.
Looking at the redhead as she sits with teary, slightly reddish eyes, it seems that she is also still affected to some degree. Looks like she dried her clothes with some spell so her outfit, that had droplets of water dripping from it, was already dry.
As for me, I was sitting cross-legged and flapping my shirt, trying to make it dry as soon as possible.
My equipment itself had the「Quick Dry」magic enchantment cast on it, so it will soon be dry even if I won’t do anything. Until then…well, it feels a bit disgusting but it is not unbearable.
(Though, when was the last time I was yelling at someone like some primary school kid.)
Now I realize how right people were, talking about 「spilling what’s on your heart」. After saying what was on my mind without restraints, I feel much better.
Thinking about it, until now, when I was alone, I only single-mindedly pursued more power.
Even though anxiety has been piling up in my heart, I didn’t have the time nor the composure to get it off even as grumblings.
I somehow feel like I took a breath of air for the first time in a while.
「What? Stop staring at me, you pervert!」
「Who is a pervert! You sinister redhead!」
「Si, sinister, you say?」
「Of course sinister! It’s not so bad since I was able to send one of the spheres back, but if I was unable to resist at all, then on top of this itching, I would have been affected by that tear gas!!! Are you a devil or something?!」
「Shut up, baldie!!! Baaldie, baaldie, baaldie!!!」
「I said I am not bald! Can’t you see all this fluffy hair? Do you have trash for your eyes?」
「Then lose all your hair!!!」
「Isn’t that just cruel? You are sinister after all!」
Well, she still pisses me off, so I don’t feel like I should be thankful to her in the slightest.
However, right now there is something more important that I have to ask.
「…Hey, just tell me one thing.」
「Do not want.」
Puffing her cheeks, the redhead turns away.
「ARE YOU A KID?!」
「Who is a kid!!!」
「Whoa?! Stop shooting magic without any reservation!!! It’s dangerous!」
By hurriedly tilting my upper body to the side, I managed to avoid the incoming fireball. Though I was surprised by that unchangingly swift magic activation, it appears that she didn’t intend to actually hit me as the fireball that flew past me had both its power and speed suppressed. It reached the wall behind me and disappeared with a small clap.
「Well, it can’t be helped.」
There are a lot of ways to make a little brat listen to you.
If words don’t work, you just have to teach it to her body. Precisely, through the stomach.
I was getting hungry as well anyway. Surely, I will be able to make something better than her.
「Mm? What is it?」
I rise to one knee and take a portable kettle that I found on the market in the Capital out of the Storage Pouch and some fuel rocks. I get a stove ready, light fire in it and place the pot on top of it.
I cut the vegetables that I took out with a knife, throw them in the water and begin to simmer them.
「Now meat… Ah, let’s use that.」
I had the meat of a「Grateful Boar」which is perfect. If you cook it normally, it turns into utter crap. However, if you chop it up into chunks with the bone and cook it together with a certain ricol fruit wine, it will turn into a completely different kind of amazing meat.
It is a secret that I learned from an old blacksmith with dwarven ancestry when I was in the Kingdom’s Capital.
After removing the skin from the meat, I arrange it into one huge lump and throw it into the pot. Bones give out a lot of flavor so to make it easier for the flavor to spread, I cut the meat along with the bones by infusing the knife with a bit of magical power.
After putting all base ingredients into the pot, I put it onto the fire.
It seems that the redhead was interested in the cooking process, like the ingredients or the inside of the pot or the spirit sword that I used to cut ingredients and then made it disappear. Even though she was interested, she did not try to say a thing. Not sure whether it was due to her nervousness or simply out of stubbornness, She just glanced my way from time to time without doing anything.
That sight reminded me of a cautious little animal and since it was quite funny, I decided to indirectly observe her.
As the mouth-watering aroma of the dish started to spread around after stewing in the pot for around 20 minutes, the frequency of the redhead’s glances increased as she slowly but steadily began to shorten the distance.
Even though it was written all over her face just how much she wants it, she still maintains her sitting posture with hands grasping her knees and faced the other direction. Who knows if its pride or if she is just being obstinate.
And then… *Growl* …a pretty cute sound echoed around.
「Munya?! It’s not that! It’s not! It’s different!!!」
Looks like the body itself decided to throw a white flag without any care for the owner’s pride.
Her crying and panicking face as she tries to suppress her stomach is way too funny.
「What are you laughing at? I told you it’s not that!!! It’s not like I am hungry or anything!」
I took out the wooden tableware, poured the soup into it and stuck it out to the redhead.
「Do you think that I will be tempted by something like this?」
「No, I didn’t even say a thing.」
「Well, if you truly insist that you’d want me to eat this then I’m not that much against…」
「So, on top of being blind, you are also deaf? When you’re asking a person for something, you should be saying 「Please」, right?」
As her stretched arm reaches for the plate, while gulping in saliva, I raised the plate a little higher, out of her reach.
「Wha?! Nnn, Ghh, aren’t you way more sinister yourself!!!」
「We can have a deal, my condition is that you answer at least one of my questions.」
Saying that, I break into a huge grin.
Looks like her pride and her appetite were having a fierce battle. Soon, with a growl of her stomach as the proclamation of defeat, she apparently decided to yield.
It is nice when things are this obvious. It felt like I was dangling ice cream in front of a bratty kid of some relative.
「Fine, fine, ask what you wish. In exchange, while you stay in this dungeon you shall serve as my cook. I will not accept any objections.」
「…Well, okay. To be honest, that was way too pitiful.」
My gaze for a moment fell upon the wreckage of things resembling food that have accumulated in the corner like some kind of dark history.
I doubt that her usual rations consisted of that. Most likely, she, just like me, got into some troubles and became alone. Being forced to eat that because she has no cooking skills is just too miserable.
「Do not pity me! I, I did the best I could! I did my best!」
「Whoa, whoa, don’t yell, don’t yell. Here, eat, I will eat as well.」
Since I will have to prepare her food, it means that she likely wants us to act together, but with that imitation of a battle, her strength has been verified.
It is unlikely that she will ask for help by herself and she has more than enough strength, yet as a person with a Japanese set of values, the idea of leaving a girl that appears to be younger than me behind hurts my conscience.
Well, there is also a thing that our first meeting went like that and since I have no intentions of revealing my identity as a Hero, I won’t have to put an unnecessary facade.
It is no different from the usual troubles that I deal with. The only problem worth mentioning would be that I do not wish to reveal any additional information to an unidentified stranger so that limits my battle options to the「Heavy Feather Slapstick Sword」that I already revealed earlier.
Well, I’m a bit worried since I barely used it because it hardly resembled a weapon and stood out quite a bit, but even though it normally is just a paper fan, by its abilities, it is all-around pretty good spirit sword, so I don’t really have to worry that much about combat.
「Why a dish made by such a transcendental beauty like myself is bad, yet the cooking of this black haired guy with the face of a loser is delicious? It is absurd…」
「Hey, don’t just casually diss me you, damn redhead. Who did you say has a loser’s face?」
Looking at the redhead that was eating, by my standards, my somewhat above average cooking with tears in her eyes, I decided not to tease her about the fact that she, herself, admitted to how bad her cooking was.
The redhead emptied her bowl in the blink of an eye and was already scooping another serving from the pot without even asking for my permission. Not good, at this rate, there will be nothing left for me.
「Hey, you, how about showing some restraint?!」
「Dont say silly things! By conditions of our deal, it all belongs to me now!」
「No one said that I will give all of it to you!!!」
「And that is why, nomnom, I let you have one bowl, didn’t I? Umu, this meat is indeed quite tasty!」
「What arrogance?! Also, don’t talk when you are chewing!」
The redhead boldly smiles as though she was making fun of me.
「What kind, nom nom, of sleep talk, is that? Isn’t food a foundation for everything? Gulp, Puhaah. Prioritizing food over other things is a basic instinct for all living beings. And survival of the fittest is the rule that applies to everything. Those who let their guard down are bound to have their provision stolen.」
「About which war is that talk?」
「It is about the battlefield called the dining table. In short – first come, first serve. And also, it is about me being able to have another serving while you are engrossed with the talk.」
「Ah, Hey!!! Come on wait, that meat is for me! Fucking wait! That meat is mine!!!」
「Mmuah?! That’s not fair! It is against rules to take more before you finished your serving!」
「The dining table is a battlefield, right? There are no rules on the battlefield」
I have considered asking about her kimono during the meal, but since it didn’t seem like I have such a luxury, I immersed myself into eating as fast as possible in order to secure my share of food.