9-25. The Search at the Duchy Capital (2)
Satou's here. I hadn't think about it when I was in the former world, but I didn't think just how the things I usually ate were made or from what ingredients they were. It feels very real after I come to another world.
"Hello, it has been a while."
"Ou, if it isn't young master Satou. Long time no see."
"It's been a long time, chevalier Pendragon-sama."
The head chef-san who welcomes me while smiling is bad with polite speech like usual. He looks fit to be someone who's wearing an armor and wielding a great sword on a battlefield, but he's one of the five people in Shiga kingdom that can make the delicate imperial dishes. Another one of them is that head chef's support, the slender young man chef.
The maid-san who's guided me to this room is waiting close to the wall with face full of expectation, today I'm not here to cook though.
As souvenirs, I take out the dragon spring liquor and brownie wine from my bag. The brownie wine isn't something that rare in the market, so I probably won't be find out. On the other hand, the dragon spring liquor is completely unknown in the market, so even if it's analyzed, they should think that it's made in a minor sake brewery.
"Are the wine and the other one both Shiga liquors?"
"I'm sorry chevalier-sama, please don't mind him."
"No, it's alright. I found some unusual liquors during my journey, so I thought that I should bring some to everyone."
Actually, in exchange for tempura jelly recipes, they taught me various things like the way to decorate vegetables, or make shaped candies. The character bento for Pochi and the others are some of the result.
I get down to business after we're done with the pleasantry.
"Red pickles huh? I don't know no soy sauced pickles, but pickled peach and salted lulu should be red, they are."
"Let's see, pickled carrots and fruits that are related to gabo are also red, but they're more like orange if I have to say."
Unfortunately, neither of them are aware of soy sauced pickles.
They're mentioning various red pickles, but I've never come across Japanese radish in the duchy capital in the first place. Due to that, I'm out of radish stock since I've been using them for the Japanese-style hamburg steak. I've also made grated radish too many times for the grilled fish dishes, so I guess it's not strange for me to run out of stock huh?
"If you know the ingredient, why don't ye' make some yerself?"
"I understand that it uses Japanese radish, and lotus root, but there's some flavoring that I'm not sure."
I think it uses salt and vinegar, but I don't remember what creates that red color at all. It's not from coloring agent right?
"There's no one who cultivate radish round here 'fter all."
"There's a legend from long ago that says orcs will come if you plant radish, though it's just a superstition. It should be cultivated around the territories of earl Kuhanou, and earl Seryuu."
It's hopeless if there's no radish.
I thanked the two, and decided to go back. The maid who was waiting near the wall looked really disappointed, but I secretly gave her one bag of baked sweets while saying, "It's a secret okay." I've been giving them to the pixies and the elves everyday, so I don't have many in hands.
It'll be too conspicuous to go to the territories of earl Kuhano or Seryuu if it's not in the night, so I've decided to pay my acquaintances some visits.
I came to the airship workshop before I got out of the duke castle, and presented some brownie wine to the workshop head. This was not because I skimped the dragon spring liquor of course. Even though his red face looks like someone that can hold his liquor, he's not good with strong liquor, so I didn't give him that one. The brownie has only 10-30% alcohol degree on top of being sweet and easy to drink.
While being careful as to not make it unnatural, I ask about the way to control the aerodynamic engine, but it seems the engines that are in the duchy capital all only use fins that have identical output. He grumbled that because of that, sometimes new aerodynamic engines aren't made even after there are monstrous fish that have been subjugated. Even the second-hand aerodynamic engine that's been serviced from the other day is being keep as a spare for the engine in operation today.
"Is Satou-dono familiar with a country called Talbia."
What's with that beer-loving-like country name.
"It's a country southwest of the Parion holy country that's located past the desert of death on the western part of the kingdom, they make small airships called floating pot that a person can ride."
The workshop head moves his pen on a paper, and draws simple structure of the thing.
It looks like a hanged caterpillar falling from sea of acid. How do I say this, if we leave out the landing legs, it looks like a sake jug. There are small fins on the bottom of that pot, those fins rotate along with the pedestal, and equalize buoyancy it seems.
Shiga Kingdom seemed to have tried to imitate them, but it ended up just like it did for me in the other day; it couldn't even fly, and did serious damage instead.
It seems they had investigated that the thing might be convenient for scoutings, but concluded that the birdkin were better for it.
The workshop head isn't thinking about the floating pot, but whether the mechanism of the pot can be applied to the big airship.
"Oh right, has Satou-dono heard the thing about the prince from before?"
The workshop head-san who knew about my quarrel with the third prince told me about various news concerning him casually. The third prince seems to have retired from the holy knight with illness as an excuse, he has also lost his right to the throne, and got confined in the imperial villa at the back country that's under direct control of the royal family.
Honestly, I had forgotten the things about the prince, but I thanked the workshop head-san's kindness nonetheless.
Seems like Orion-kun wouldn't like it if I visited him, so I splendidly ignored him. I'll just send him a letter of apology for not showing my face later.
First, I stopped by the mansion of the previous earl Walgock whom I'm indebted with while bringing some brownie wine and gold crafted music box that I had made together with the elves. It's a normal spring type music box, not a magic tool.
I leave without taking too much time, and head toward marquis Lloyd's mansion this time.
I've received a report from the messenger, whom I've sent earlier, that an appointment has been securely made. Since he's a busy person, I didn't know if I could meet him or not, but since it was not good to postpone the particulars about the arsonist noble from the other day, it was good that I could meet him sooner than later.
I received a passionate welcome at the mansion of earl Lloyd. To have maids lined up to welcome me in rows ahead the open door, what galge is this? was what I wanted to hear. However, please spare me from being hugged by marquis Lloyd who had waited ahead.
"I don't know how I could ever thank you sir Pendragon."
From marquis Lloyd's story, baronet Poton has voluntarily retired from being the governor of Puta town with the pretext of being ill, and another noble from the marquis' faction has replaced his position.
Seems that the current earl Bobi and marquis Lloyd worked together to deal with the remnants of the Wings of Liberty. Unfortunately, the young noble men committed suicide by taking poison starting from the son of baronet Poton after they had been arrested.
They sure work fast, it's not even been two weeks since then.
"The duke himself has sent a written letter asking for information concerning this marquis Dasles person to Makiwa kingdom, but..."
Since he was being evasive, I waited until he talked. He hesitated to say, "It was an accident without a doubt", that the ship which the arsonist noble had ridden was attacked by large herd of monsters and sunk. Moreover, the monsters ate not only the problematic arsonist noble and his party, but even all the soldiers who had accompanied them.
I see. I should dismiss the "It was an accident" part. If I am to digest it normally, it must be that marquis Lloyd and the current earl Bobi have conspired to get rid of them. Although, I won't mind even if I have to keep silent, since the arsonist noble brought it to himself. Therefore, I only answered with, "It can't be helped since it's an accident."
I added a smile to appeal that I believed him, but marquis Lloyd's face was pale. Why? He seems to be a busy person after all, he might be tired since his worries pile up.
Marquis Lloyd proposed to give several mines and businesses to me as an apology for this incident. That's really too much, and I won't be able to handle them even if I accept, so I gently decline it.
And then, he also recommends me to become the next viceroy of Mitotogena city which is a trade port located on the great river whose viceroy is going to be replaced next year, but I decline it of course. Something like being a viceroy seems so troublesome, please give that to people who love their social positions.
Afterwards, he tries to give things like jewelries, and maidens--they're little girls with one digit age as expected--to me, but since none fancy me, I continue to decline, and in the end, he asks if I want to become an adopted son of his faction viscounts who don't have a successor.
It appear that he was trying to give me something so that I would not speak, so I asked that if possible, I would like to borrow his treasured magic books if he had one.
I felt slightly bad when I looked at marquis Lloyd's face who looked really relieved. I don't particularly need a gift or an apology, but I'd accept it if he's glad with it.
There are a lot of people among marquis Lloyd's clan who excel at earth magic, so their archive is full of earth magic books.
It would be bad if I took the treasured books by mistake, so I picked severals with the suggestion of the old man butler's recommendation. Since the butler also has earth magic skill, it's probably the most suitable. He's picked about 10 books, and I borrow the five most interesting ones among them. I'll borrow the remaining five books when I come back to return this set. Since there was a map with the placements of the neighboring countries hanged on the archive wall, I took a photograph of it without permission.
Being here too long wasn't good, so I chose the right timing to leave after I had borrowed the books.
I only realized that I could have treated the tired marquis Lloyd with his favorite tempura for dinner after I had gotten out of his mansion.
I was thinking of meeting with Sera, but she was currently training in Tenion temple.
I didn't want to be a nuisance, so I didn't approach Tenion temple, and went to the downtown. I looked for soy sauced pickles among the jeering of the stalls, but I couldn't find it.
When I went to a certain shop that was said to sell red pickles, it turned out to be red turnip pickles. It seems nice to go with rice, but it's not it.
I was called so from below, I looked down.
Oh, the brother and sister sea lion children who got along well with Nana huh. They look around restlessly while sniffing with their noses. It's cute that they can't say 'master' properly.
"Where is Nana?"
"Nana not here?"
They shake their bodies around me while looking for Nana.
However, I don't think you'd find Nana even if you roll up my trousers' cuffs.
Nana seems to be quite attached to these two. I promised the two to bring Nana along when I come here next time, and give two bags of baked sweets that were reserved for Nana to the two. I see the two children off while they're saying thank you by nodding their heads.
"Young master, won't you buy some pickles?"
"Oo, aunty. You also have a stall open huh."
The one who's called me out is the mother of Futsuna, the spell-user, whose place I've stayed on last night. She's selling pickles made from cucumbers and gourds soaked with soy sauce and mirin. They're quite delicious, or rather, aren't these taste of soy sauced pickles? It's a bit too sour, but it should have tasted like this.
It seems that the one who's taught this recipe to Futsuna's mother is one of the prostitutes onee-san who has participated in the drinking bout last night.
She was selling normal pickles up until then, but her sales improved when she started to sell these Kuhanou pickles. She told me that her profit didn't increase much since the soy sauce and the mirin are expensive, but there weren't any customers who came even while we were talking, so there probably are some regular customers.
Evening of that day, I earnestly implored the prostitute onee-san who has taught Kuhano pickle's recipe to Futsuna's mother. I thought it was going to be a difficult negotiation, but she immediately replied that she would teach me. She taught me an arrangement of her hometown's recipes since she was born in Kuhanou territory. Seems that It was originally a recipe for pickle of circle radish that is specialty product of Kuhanou territory. Since she murmured, "I want to eat Kuhanou-style pickle.", I would buy her some radish while I'm buying for me.
I gave her several gold coins as a thank for teaching me the recipes which made her lose her work time. Her pride seemed to have been incited by that, and I got to be flooded by the baptism of her techniques until late at night.
I left the housing complex after I had confirmed that the kiss marks have gone with [Self-Healing].
Now then, let's fly to the radish producing area--earl Kuhanou territory during the night!