074 – Boutique and Catalog
Editor: Thor’s Stone
The dishes we were presented with truly looked like they came from every corner of this resort planet’s oceans.
There were boiled lobsters that sported four claws, grilled shellfish skewers, a large salt grilled fish resembling sea bream, assorted fish sashimi, a dish resembling seafood pilaf, assorted fruits, seaweed salad…… and a good deal more. And they all looked quite delicious.
Mimi froze up when she saw the dishes. Their appearance really was a shock to the senses, especially the four clawed lobsters that were cut in two.
“H-Hiro-sama, these are……”
Mimi was blue in the face as she pointed to the lobsters.
“These seafood dishes sure look tasty.”
It looks like Mimi felt ‘betrayed’ after seeing my reaction and made a shocked expression. Un, sorry. As a true blue Earthling, I don’t really feel any apprehension after seeing these dishes. I guess Mimi has not seen any other creature that’s treated as food except for those artificial cultured organisms back at the factory we visited.
The majority of people in this dimension mainly consume food made from food cartridges after all. The only exceptions are those rich enough to afford all natural food.
When I turned to Elma and Chris, the two of them didn’t seem too perturbed by the dishes compared to Mimi… Or rather, they didn’t look perturbed at all. Chris is a noble so I’m sure she’s at least seen some of this stuff before, but I wonder what’s up with Elma? Either she’s experienced seeing them during her long mercenary career, or just like I suspected…… Oh well. It doesn’t matter anyway. She’s not a child anymore, so I’m sure she’ll tell me about her circumstances once she feels the need to.
“So, should we freely take any dish on the table?”
“Yes. We can present you servings of each dish if you want.”
“We’ll be troubling you then. The lobsters won’t be much of a problem, but we’ll need your help with dividing the fish. Some of us aren’t used to eating them, and there’s the fish bones to watch out for as well.”
After acknowledging my request, one of the maidroids started dividing up the large salt grilled sea bream-looking fish into equal portions using a knife and fork. The other maidroids also started putting portions of all the other dishes on plates and serving them to each of us.
“Alright then. Let’s eat. But first, a toast girls.”
After everyone’s plates were filled with dishes, we each picked up our drinking glasses filled with some kind of juice, and took a sip. The drink was non-alcoholic as per my request, and tasted like grape juice.
I started with the four-clawed lobsters. Each of the lobsters was covered in light brown sauce. I pierced a piece of exposed lobster flesh with my fork and brought it inside my mouth.
I couldn’t help but let out a groan due to its deliciousness. It had a satisfyingly chewy texture. Instead of being fluffy, it was chewy huh. And the sauce was also quite delicious and flavorful. I’m pretty sure they used the contents of the lobster head in order to make the sauce. It pairs really well with the lobster flesh and brings out its natural sweetness.
I sampled the salt grilled sea bream (lookalike) next. I took a piece and brought it to my mouth. The flavoring was simple because it was just salt grilled, but it was still plenty delicious. The flavor of the salt and the umami of the fish flesh danced an elegant waltz inside my mouth.
“I recommend pouring this condiment on top of the fish.”
I followed the advice of the maidroid and poured some of the condiments on top of the fish. When I brought the fish near my mouth, a vivid and fresh aroma wafted toward my nostrils.
Was this condiment made from something similar to sudachi? The fresh, citrusy undertones completely erased the remaining fishy smell and enhanced the overall flavor of the dish. The other dishes were nothing less than superb.
Mimi, who was reluctant to eat them at first, was completely conquered by their taste after she took the first bite. Her eyes shone in wonder as she kept sampling each dish. Un, she’s definitely satisfied. She was just unused to their appearance. Not all weird-looking food tasted bad. Just like that F*cehugger thingy Mimi and I sampled back then.
But I was surprised at how standard the dishes were from my perspective. I was actually expecting funky looking dishes made from unknown creatures earlier.
“Can I ask just where these dishes were cooked? And who cooked them?”
“Yes. These were prepared by the high performance cooking machines inside the equatorial supply base. They are then packed, sent up via mass driver, and delivered by the drones to the maidroids on standby in this island.”
“I see. So the ingredient collection, cooking, as well as delivery are all automated huh……”
I wonder how much that system costs? It doesn’t seem too efficient… I mean, instead of preparing them at that base, doesn’t having the maidroids cook the dishes make more sense?
It sure is puzzling. Oh well.
I decided to stop thinking about that stuff and went back to eating. The shellfish skewers sure are tasty!
After having our meal, we rested up a bit in order to let what we ate settle down our stomachs. We then headed to the boutique to finally do some shopping.
“Sure looks cozy.”
We came to the shopping area, but instead of a mall, what greeted us was a good number of small storefronts that were lined up neatly. Miro said it was a boutique earlier, so I kinda expected a gaudier establishment.
“Well, maybe it’s because of the system employed here? Since the goods can be delivered quickly via mass driver and drones, there’s no need to keep too much inventory in the stores themselves.”
“I see. That makes sense.”
We entered a nearby store. Apparently, this was the so-called boutique. There was a spherical terminal just like Miro looking after the store. There also various mannequins wearing samples of the store’s clothing placed at a number of spots inside.
Oh, wait. Those ain’t physical mannequins. They’re holograms. They change poses as well as the clothes displayed from time to time.
“Welcome. We have a good selection of quality design templates from various reputable designers available here, so please take your time.”
“Yes. We procure design templates made by well-known designers and compose clothes tailored to each individual’s tastes. Once you order, we will deliver the items directly to your lodge within thirty minutes.”
“……In other words, once we order, you’ll tailor the clothes based on our individual measurements, make them on the spot, and deliver the finished products directly to the lodge, right?”
“Yes. That is correct.”
I’m actually speechless. So I’m betting this also makes use of that mass driver system. But is that really okay? I mean, that’s just so roundabout.
“Isn’t it fine? C’mon Chris. Let’s choose some clothes.”
“Right. But we can’t try the clothes on, right?”
“Yes. Please go to that area to undergo a full body scan. Once we have the scan data, you can try the designs on by using the hologram projectors.”
“I see. Let’s go have ourselves scanned then, everyone!”
“Fufu, you don’t have to be that excited, Mimi.”
The womenfolk went to the scanning area further inside the store while chatting and giggling in a lively manner.
“Where’s the men’s area?”
“It’s right over on the opposite shop, sir.”
“I’ll be going then. Over there, right?”
I left the girls to their devices and went to the other shop specializing in men’s clothing. I entered the shop, went over to the scanning area, and had that full body scan.
“I’ll shop for swimwear first.”
“Of course. How about these?”
After I had my scan, Miro floated toward me while bobbing up and down and gave me some recommendations.
“Uh, nah. These speedo-looking things look pretty tight and awkward. Can you give some more normal suggestions? Normal ones, okay.”
“I see. You brought three women with you, so I assumed that you preferred these types. I shall revise my customer data accordingly.”
“And what made you assume that!?”
I scanned through the hologram display of male swimwear. Surf pants would be perfect. What sort of design and color should I pick though? I don’t want it looking too flashy. I’ll just choose quickly. There’s no point in obsessing about men’s swimwear anyway.
“Have you finished selecting?”
“Yeah. I’m not all that picky when it comes to clothes.”
I usually wear my mercenary get up anyway, and I have a number of similar clothes back on Krishna, so I don’t think I need to shop for new ones all that much anyway. I mean, my usual clothes will pass for casual wear if I took off my jacket, and they don’t show any signs of fraying even after washing them a couple of times, so they still look pretty new. Well, I guess I’ll buy some more underwear anyway. Hm. And maybe an aloha shirt or two as well. I mean, we’re on an island resort after all.
“I’ll take these underclothes and……”
As I was busy choosing my clothes, the girls suddenly entered the men’s clothing shop for some reason.
“Eh? W-What’s wrong?”
I was surprised by their sudden arrival. When she saw my confused face, Elma made a mischievous smile.
“We were thinking of dressing you up, you see.”
“Me…? Is that sort of thing actually interesting?”
I was honestly puzzled. I just can’t imagine what’s enjoyable about turning a male into a dress up doll. Or rather, can’t they just do that via the hologram display?
“I’m sure it will be fun! I mean, really, really fun!”
“I’m also of the same opinion.”
“O-Okay. I see.”
I nodded involuntarily after seeing the high-tensioned Mimi and the gently smiling Chris. Mimi’s excitement had quite an impact, but Chris’ gentle looking smile strangely had an intense feeling of coerciveness to it…… What the hell is this pressure!?
“Y-You can go ahead and play with the hologram display, but dressing me up directly is a different story, okay?”
I attempted to assert my bottom line while somewhat agreeing to their request. I have a feeling things will get out of hand if I don’t do at least this.
“Eh? Rejected. We’ll have you wear clothes properly.”
“Hiro-sama. I also want to gift you with clothes you know, ufufu.”
“I also want to express my gratitude to you for saving my life. I don’t mind it if you bill the resulting expenses to my grandfather as well. It’s necessary after all.”
I get Elma and Mimi, but Chris too? Are you really fine with that? I’m not going to be responsible for your grandfather getting angry, okay? And whaddya mean necessary? Just how? I’m kinda scared now.
“A-Alright, I understand. But only one set of clothes per person, okay?”
“So, that’s one top to bottom ensemble per person, right?”
Just what are you planning on having me wear, Chris-chan? The three of them started fiddling with the hologram displays and chose clothes for me to wear. I can’t make a guess as to what Elma planned to make me wear. But it looks like she’s trying out a lot of different things.
As for Mimi, she’s picking out punkish-looking clothes. The type with leather belts with studs and a fair amount of skin exposure. Oi, oi, oi! What the heck is with that over the top skull print shirt?
As for Chris… How should I describe it? Noble-like? There’s a crisp shirt, vest, trousers, a necktie, and a frock coat. It looked quite formal. But it still had that SF feel to it.
I finished my own shopping a while ago and have been standing in a corner while waiting for the girls. I didn’t attempt to approach them, cause I’m pretty sure I’d raise objections about their clothing choices against my better judgment and anger them in the process. Yeah, that would probably be how it’ll end up. I’ll just have to wait patiently and brace myself.
Oh yeah. How about looking at the Catalogue of the Orient Corporation in the meantime? I sat at a wooden bench inside the shop, took out my portable terminal, and checked out the online catalog Miro sent me.
“They’re unexpected cheap… or not”
A model of the maidroid that served us earlier in the lodge costs 75,000 Enels. In Japanese Yen, that would be 7,500,000 Yen. So it costs as much as your average luxury car huh…? Or maybe it’s better to compare it with ship equipment prices in this dimension?
Lessee here. They possess the physical capabilities of your average human. If they’re programmed for combat ship duty, they can effectively serve as guards as well. There’s a lot of program options available. There’s the basic functions program, the specialized service program, the combat and defense program, the personal secretary program, and the ship operator program.
You can customize their figure and face to a certain extent. But they can’t go down past a certain height. Well, there’s no point in making them too small anyway. There’s also an option to request higher overall specs, but you’ll have to fork out more cash for that. They can strengthen the synthetic muscles in order to make them into high-spec combat maids as well. They are equipped with high-performance miniature positron brains and can be programmed with a good range of 『emotions』 due to it.
An android possessing human-like emotions made to serve human masters? Now that’s one controversial issue there. At least where I’m from anyway. I wonder if they’ve addressed the implications of this in this dimension? If so, how’d they address it anyway?
Eh? Don’t think about those sorts of inconsequential stuff and get on with the description, you say? Hahaha, it looks like you all are people of culture as well. Apart from breast size, there are a lot of crazier sounding options written in here. You can also freely adjust their personalities. Uh, there seems to be quite a number of freaky stuff too. This… this is just too sinful…!
Man, this sure is interesting. I still don’t plan on buying one though.
After looking at the catalog, it seems there’s a lot of emphasis on how you’ll be able to build your own version of a perfect maidroid. But I don’t think there’ll be room in my ship for a maidroid anyway. I have both a cute ship operator and a reliable co-pilot anyway.
I continued reading the maidroid catalogue from corner to corner and had a blast thinking up my own version of the 『ultimate』 super maidroid.
I don’t really think we’ll need one, but I’m just looking anyway. Hey, I’m a hotblooded guy too, okay? I’m sure you folks understand.