Satou's here. I remember about being surprised to see the figure of someone scooping the egg yolk of a boiled egg with a spoon in some kind of movie long ago. I've already forgotten the rest of the movie, but for some reason, only that scene leaves a deep memory.
"Then, thanks for everyone from 『Pendragon』 for their rescue! And for our safe return, today let's drink the night away!"
The feast begins with the leader-shi's greeting. His name is Koshin, and he seems to be the leader of a veteran explorer party called [White Horse Mane]. Gathering multiple parties and then going to the labyrinth deep like this time isn't their first time.
The party is located on the square where stalls have gathered ahead of the street with bungalows that's 300 meters to the east of the west gate. Around 30 food stalls and 10 drink stalls are lined up. The light from the stall signs are bright. Apparently, life magicians are using magic to illuminate it.
Besides us, there are also other explorers and day laborers-like people like carries who are enjoying the food and liquor from the stalls. Among them, there are young ladies with sensual clothes and strangely sexy young men here and there, sprinkling their charms. Either of them seem to be prostitutes.
One section of the square has been occupied today. It seems they've reserved one liquor stall, and three food stalls for the party.
There are no chairs and tables, it seems we're going to eat and drink in a circle, sitting on the ground. Lulu and Liza have put a sheet on the corner for the place we're sitting now.
The menu for this party this time are grilled meat, dried meat, boiled beans, and boiled potatoes. They're probably not shabby since Koshin-shi said teasingly "These are some feast" before the party began.
"Magician-san, thank you for the clothes that time."
The two people from [Beautiful Wings] come to Mia while carrying something that look like folded clothes. Since Mia who looks troubled seeks help from me, I act on it.
"Please have those clothes if it's fine with you. If you expose too much skin, bad bugs could come after all."
The two are forced to wrap few cloth on their body, so although they can hide the important places, their shoulders and stomaches are bare, it's quite sensual.
"Is it alright?"
"Thank you very much, Chevalier-sama."
The two must have been embarrassed, they readily wear the cheap shirts. They leave the mantles folded since it's hot.
"This meat person is quite tough nodesu."
"Haha, chibi-chan, you won't chew it if you eat like that. You thin it with a knife and then eat it."
Pochi bite through the meat with a 'pssh' sound. The man who seems to be the stall owner that gave her the advice looks at her in wonder.
"Is it tendon meat?"
Lulu cuts a thin slice of the meat, puts it on a plate, and passes it to me. I chew that meat on my mouth, it's hard alright. It could be softened if it was boiled in a pressure cooker. With some peculiar bad smell, it's hard to say that it's delicious, but it's also not bad enough to make you vomit, it's a delicate taste.
"This might be not to noble-sama's palate since it's monster meat."
"Insect meat is cheap after all, and you get used to it when you eat it everyday."
Looks like these grilled meat and dried meat are made from insect-type monsters. It's a meat that's pitch black before it's even grilled, and it's as tough as tendon meat of animals. As to what kind of insects they are, even the explorers only call it [Insect meat] or [Meat] since the stocks change everyday. It's extremely cheap, one skewer of the meat only cost one penny.
"When I've just become an explorer, I often follow along a strong party from behind and collect the meat of the monster after they've finished stripping it off the materials."
"Although it did become cash, it was quite nasty huh."
It seems there are a lot of explorers who only collect the shells or the claws that can become money from insect-type monsters, and then there are also explorers who specialize in collecting the meat from the leftover. The people who collect such monster meat are called [Corpse Retriever (Looter)], and seen as the lowest. What a strange story considering it's a fine job that supports meals like this.
Some young explorers are exhibiting sword dance-like acrobatics in the center of the explorers circle. When that was over, Pochi and Tama came to the center.
I wonder if someone incites them, they're demonstrating the jump like the one they've done to the mantis' back. Whoomph, toward Tama who's jumped five meters above, cheers are coming from the surrounding.
Nana caught the fallen Tama. Pochi and Tama, and also the spectator who plead the two to do the jump were scolded by Liza since they made dust enter the meals, they were downhearted.
"These beans and potatoes are soft."
There are a lot of vegetables even though it should be expensive in the labyrinth city.
"These are also monster meat though."
"These are not the meat part you know. They're from the bodies of plant-type monsters called Walking Bean and Hopping Potato."
Looks like these beans and potatoes are taken from monsters. The labyrinth isn't only a mine, but also a ranch, and a farm is it.
I tried eating them a bit, and it seemed that these beans and potatoes are a bit different than normal ones. The bean has hard rind, and peculiar grass smell. There are white fibers that looks like of orange inside, this part is a bit bitter. When I chipped off the part, and then spooned the inside and ate it, it tasted like normal beans.
"As expected of noble-sama. You're refined~"
"Maybe I also should use the spoon?"
Oops, I didn't mean to look refined. Even though I only wanted to take the inside and tasted it, I got some strange admiration instead.
The potato has thin sweetness of potato and stickiness-like taste of taro. They told me that the violet part inside the potato is poisonous so I shouldn't eat it. Although it seems that it only causes upset stomach, there's no danger to life.
The <<Walking Bean>> is a 30 centimeters tall pod with arms and legs, and there are 2-3 beans inside the pod after you defeat it. Since it's four times as big as normal broad beans, it seems you can earn a penny from 20 of it.
The Hopping Potato is a strange potato-type monster that's jumping around with spiral spring, it's as big as the Walking Bean. You can get as much as 10 kilograms potato from one monster. Since one kilo is one penny, you can get some money from it.
A middle-aged spearman told me that you could easily defeat them by just readying your spear since they attack by ramming themselves. This man has been passionately talking about Liza and spears since a while ago.
Both are area 14 monsters, and explorers who have lost competition for monsters in the big first area often hunt them. Curiously enough, these two monsters either don't give experience at all, or give extremely little. They're monsters no doubt since they have magic cores the size of a rice grain, but it seems that there are people who don't level up despite hunting them for a year. Therefore, they tell me the theory of poor explorers, that is to earn income at the area until you have enough money to buy equipments and then move to another area.
"Now, now chevalier-sama. Let's pour you some."
I taste the ale that I've received in the cup. It's sour and bad. It tastes like diluted beer mixed with vinegar. According to him this is a luxurious item, everyone is drinking deliciously. The alcohol strength feels less than 5%.
"Ara, Chevalier-sama, you can't drink ale with such refined manner! You have to drink it like, so, in one gulp!"
Looks like the beauty-san of [Beautiful Wings] changes when she drinks liquor, she passionately speaks the way to drink ale.
I've forbidden our members from drinking alcohol since it would be chaotic like before otherwise. Everyone is drinking fruit water that I've brought.
There are also some small barrels of wine and spirits among those, and then the contest quickly happens not long after the start of the party. Although those liquor were just normal things that I bought from liquor store along the way here, it was good that they happily received it.
The patrolling soldiers in red hard leather armor came just 3-4 hours after the sunset. They ordered us to dismiss in loud voice since there is a restriction for doing business late at night in this city.
Since I can't leave the completely wasted [Beautiful Wings] and I don't know their addresses, I've decided to let Liza and Nana carry them to the mansion. The guest room is vacant, so they can just sleep there.
We told our thanks to Koshin-shi who couldn't even articulate words properly from his drunkenness and went back to the mansion.
"We have troubled you greatly yesterday."
"We're very sorry."
The [Beautiful Wings] apologized for last night while enduring the headaches from the hangovers. They don't usually drink themselves that bad in the bar, but they went overboard last night since Koshin-shi was treating. I offer them magic potions for hangover, and invite them to breakfast.
They were deeply moved at the breakfast that Lulu had cooked, maybe it suits their taste. Lulu who looked proud while being bashful from the praise was impressive.
I've heard in the party yesterday, their fine for the ant-train case is two gold coins for each. It seems they have loaned money to pay it, but the debt increases by 30% every 10 days, and they will be sold as slaves if they can't pay the interest every month. I think that's quite an usury, but if I think about the high mortality rate of explorers who die in the labyrinth, it might be appropriate.
I offered the two to let me take over their debts.
Of course this isn't out of sympathy.
Briefly speaking, this is a part of the measure for the labyrinth city orphan plan. Arisa and I racked our brains lately for this problem, and we concluded that training baggage carrier children who want to become explorers in the labyrinth to become full-fledged explorers is the quickest.
They should become able to sustain themselves once they reach levels to an extent, and if they want stability, I could refer them to become soldiers or subordinates of Baron Muno in his territory.
The former baggage carrier children who have become full-fledged explorers then can raise the next generation children and it becomes a nice loop.
The problem with the rearing is if it follows our training regime, they will level up without even getting the minimum knowledge. As the result, they would grow arrogant, careless and thought that they wouldn't die.
Then I heard the story about their debts when I was searching for teachers, so I scouted them.
These girls should be qualified as they've gone through hardships as explorers. These two should be enough for the meantime, but since the three beastkins from the ant-train case should also be suffering from the interest rate, let's think about increasing personnels soon.
I can't lead Arisa and the others for the next two days. During that period, I'll ask everyone to train these two.