10-45. Mithril Plate (3)
Satou's here. The end of year party season is the time for banquets where they served yakiniku and hot pot. However, there are a lot of people who have works during the 31st December and the new year day that they don't notice that the year has changed.
The one who first found me when I got back from the royal capital while bringing souvenirs was Mia after all. Looks like spirits become flustered when teleport magic is used, and although it's only for a blink, she seems to notice it.
Slightly after Mia, Pochi and Tama were also running here from the villa. It seems these two can sense either magic or space fluctuating, and aware when I'm teleporting. Since they know it [Somehow], the two themselves are not sure what is it that they're sensing.
"Knew it! It's master nanodesu!"
The three arrive at the same time.
Mia is 'plop'-ing from the front.
Tama energetically jumps with 'pyon', landing on my neck and assuming shoulder riding position. The delicately fail, "Pao daru~in", when she landed is probably Arisa's fault.
Pochi spiritedly bumps with her head using a force that'll even knock down a knight. To prevent her from hitting the head of Mia who's on my lap, I gently receive her with Magic Hand.
Pochi appeals with teary eyes from below while saying, "Arisa is~"
I wonder what happens?
She only answers with au, au, "Arisa is" when I ask the reason, the talk doesn't advance. Due to Lulu's and Liza's disciplining her that she shouldn't talk bad about other people, looks like she can't speak abusive languages about other people.
"Nn, emotionally unstable."
From the side, Mia tells me who's carrying Pochi, but I don't know if she means it about Pochi or Arisa. I'd love to have more words.
I guess she meant kenkengougou (uproar) or kankangakugaku (heated debate)?
Tama who's riding over my shoulders is peering while scrambling my hair.
I don't really understand, I guess I'll just ask Arisa directly.
"I've brought some souvenirs with me, let's talk while eating them."
"It's both of them."
The three's spirits have raised from my words. When Pochi's eyes meet mine, she awkwardly turns away slightly while saying, "I have another stomach for meat nanodesu!", and then acts like she's whistling.
If meat are for another stomach, then what's the real stomach for? I'd like to cross-examine her for an hour.
When I open the villa's door, I can hear the dispute between Arisa and the others.
"That's why! I've said since awhile ago! We should do the first blow by attacking from afar with magics that have maximum attack power!"
"Negative. If that blow cannot defeat it, Arisa and the others in the rear guard will be in danger."
"That's right. The first spear is the honor of a soldier. The proper method should be us vanguards charging and whittling the enemy, and then Arisa and the others on the rear guard will give the decisive strike from behind."
"But, Liza-san and Pochi will be injured then!"
"Arisa, I should be aiding them, so I propose."
"Nana's guard isn't impregnable. Even a mid-ranking demon won't leave unscathed if they're hit by the triple attack of Magi Hydra's breath, magic and bite."
"It is all thanks to the equipments and the new magic. I recommend to forward the praise to master."
Looks like it's reaching the climax.
Or rather, even though I had already said that they should not fight the Magi Hydra since it had charm attacks, they still fought with it huh. After the meal, it's punishment time.
"In other words, Arisa, Liza and Nana have arguments regarding the tactics, and misunderstanding during the fight?"
"That's right, but that's not it."
"Arisa is saying some unreasonable thing nodesu."
"Eh~, didn't I only say that you should use Lulu's smoothbore gun to hit the Bringbird."
"Arisa, hitting the Bringbird with magic is difficult enough, it's unreasonable you know?"
Lulu tells Arisa while preparing the tablewares and the dishes on the table.
"But, Lulu hit it right."
"It was a Bringbird that was resting on a rock and from a distance though. I also had the interlinked goggle and the space stake that helped the gun barrel's stability. I don't have confidence to hit a Bringbird that moves like Pochi-chan, I think."
Lulu cutely puts her finger on her chin while thinking, "Nn~", and corrects Arisa.
The interlinked goggle of the smoothbore gun is a thing I've added to cover the difficulty of using the scope on the gun barrel. Linked to the smoothbore gun, the goggle will display image from the scope. However it doesn't have enough speed to display video, it's barely enough to show grainy picture of the point blank shot.
The space stake is something that eliminates the smoothbore gun's shaking, I've crafted it by copying the world tree's technology. It's absolutely nothing compared to the space stake that holds the world tree, but it can stabilize the gun barrel to completely eliminate the shaking.
This magic circuit is activated by a button or voice input. The reply is recorded from me. I didn't feel shy since during the time when our game didn't have enough budget, the staffs took turn to act as voice actors.
"And, did Pochi hit it?"
"I did hit it nodesu... with Magic Edge Cannon."
Pochi's words fell in volume for the last line. I see, when the bullet didn't hit, she liken the smoothbore gun barrel to a sword and used Magic Edge Cannon out of desperation huh.
"Pochi is amazing~ Magic Cannon~ Bending, de gozaru."
Tama reported Pochi's feat while looking up from my lap.
Magic Edge Cannon's orbit can bend huh. She's like the strongest space pirate from somewhere. I should practice it next time.
"However, why were you practicing with the smoothbore gun?"
"It's a measure against enemies that are dangerous to approach."
"Then you can just use Magic Edge Cannon right?"
"I mean, something like Floormaster must have strong magic resistance. I want to increase our means to do remote physical attacks."
I see, that one huh.
However, we have buckshot bullets for smoothbore gun for that purpose.
"Buckshot is no good. Friendly fire is scary, and the power is weak isn't it."
"Its power should be quite powerful if you use acceleration formation."
It can even drop a jet fighter if it hit after all.
"Okay! The difficult talk stops here! Please continue after the meal."
Lulu who had completed the meal preparation clapped her hands to gather everyone's attention, and declared the closure of the meeting. If she doesn't close it forcefully like this, the argument will become too heated, and the dishes will become cold.
"Uhha~! Is this marbled beef? Where did you get it?"
"Un, I found a ranch being attacked by a giant monster during my way back from the royal capital. I got it as thanks for getting rid of that monster."
It seemed to be an official ranch, and I got the meat from the half-eaten cows as the reward. The ranch called it [Damaged Article] but it sounds like a nonsense when you look at this lovely beef with its interweaving lean meat and fat meat. Although, thanks to that, I got actual meat instead of money as the monster extermination reward, so I'm grateful for the ranch-shi's opinion.
10 platters of sliced meat are served before our eyes. And then, there's a peculiar-shaped pot with steam raising from it beside them.
"Kuh~ I didn't think that I'd eat shabu-shabu when I came here!"
"The meat person is flat nanodesu!?"
Pochi and Tama lowered their point of view to the table's height, checked the thin meat from the side, and gave such impressions. As far as the two are concerned, meat is probably something thick.
Fufufu, I'll shatter that illusion of yours.
"This is you see, the thing called shabu shabu---"
"Forget about that, let's quickly eat!"
Since Arisa demands me to stop my explanation, the meal begins.
Bottles of sesame sauce and ponzu, and small dishes of condiments are lined up around the large platters.
The condiments are grated radish, carrots, gingers, cut spring onions, green perilla, onions, and continuing on, sesame seeds left from the making of sesame sauce, and various other things like crash nuts and wasabi. The more the merrier right.
I hesitated whether I should also put crab and sashimi besides the beef, but since today is our first shabu-shabu, it's beef only.
"Hold one slice of the beef like this, quickly dip the beef to the hot soup, dip it to the sauce and then eat it."
I explain to them while eating it.
First I use plain ponzu to eat the meat. As expected of the official Shiga Royal Family purveyor merchant. It's delicious enough to be comparable to the Kobe beef and Matsusaka beef that the company president treated me a long time ago. The tuna from the other day was good, but beef has its own taste after all.
"You can add any condiment you prefer on your own. For the first time, try eating the beef without the condiment."
With my encouragement, Liza holds one slice of the beef and dips it into the hot soup while looking very serious. Before I knew it, she has become skillful in handling chopsticks.
However, you really don't have to look so serious while eating.
Since Pochi and Tama can't use chopsticks, I've prepared slender tongs for them to use. If I had prepared forks, they'd likely drop the meat into the hot soup after all. I've added three kind of symbols, that are of dog, cat, and chick, on the tongs' flaps. Nana nabbed the tongs with chick symbol from the very beginning.
"Delish. It's A5 rank at least! I can eat this no matter how much."
"Delicious nodesu! The meat of eego is as good as the tuna and the whale nanodesu!"
"I announce that the sesame sauce is the strongest and unrivaled."
"Nana-san, ponzu put with grated radish is also delicious you know."
Everyone eats with relish while unanimously giving their praise. Looks like Mia likes it too due to its light flavor.
I was worried with Liza who was chewing alone quietly, but since the corner of her eyes looked really happy, she must be immersing herself in the taste. Enjoy it thoroughly to the heart.
Arisa, Pochi, and Tama are quickly swallowing their shares like they're drinking. There are more than 100 kilos of them, eat them as you like. However, I have to warn Arisa not to eat too much.
"Kuh, the sesame sauce reigns supreme, but the ponzu is also nice! To have this many condiments variation come out!"
"Arisa is pushing the wasabi plate even while saying that, you can't trick me nodesu. Pochi has learned her lesson nodesu."
"I like sesame sauce."
"Everything is delicious~?"
"Uu, it's too delicious, I could eat too much."
It's interesting to see everyone picking their choice. Looks like Pochi has splendidly seen through Arisa's trick. Lulu is restraining herself since she's worried about her weight, but it feels like she's losing to the charm of the king beef. Isn't it alright once a while.
The flavor would have increased if there were chili oil, XO sauce, or some broad bean chili sauce. If I'm not mistaken, XO sauce and broad bean chili sauce use miso as the base, I'll try to make some later. What about the chili oil I wonder? Maybe red pepper?
Since Liza is eating in an unusual way, by putting a bit wasabi on the dipped meat and then dip it on the soy sauce, I tried to mimic her. This way of eating is like with sashimi, but it's quite nice.
However, Pochi, Tama and Mia who saw it and then ate while mimicking it, groaned while pining their nose. I burst into laughter when I saw them and got myself lightly hit by the three.
I distribute hot chocolate to the three youth troupe who have suffered from wasabi.
"U~n, I'm full. Hot chocolate eh~ It'll be nice if there's Choco Fondue or Cheese Fondue next~"
Arisa requested so when she saw Pochi and the others drank hot chocolate. I had often eaten cheese fondue but never choco fondue. Maybe I should try making one.
"What kind of dish nanodesu?"
"It's fondue meat poured with chocolate and cheese. Since the fondue bird only dwells deep inside a mountain with beautiful water, it's been called the phantom dish."
"I want to hunt it nodesu!"
Pochi and Tama were taken by Arisa's lie, but Mia saw through it at once. Looks like cheese fondue exists in Boruenan forest, introduced by the hero Daisaku.
Next day, it seems they're training with the assumption that the floormaster can null physical attacks.
When they came back for dinner, everyone was down due to magic power exhaustion.
It seemed they had trained until they used up all the magic power potion I had given them. I was glad that they had enough sense to leave enough magic power to come back.
Since my magic power was on the verge of exhaustion too, I didn't use [Magic Power Transfer] magic, but made them dishes that were good for recovering magic power, but it was somehow unpopular.
Maybe I should have taken the magic power from the charged magic swords for emergency instead?
"Pochi is reflecting nodesu. That's why, please put even tiny bit of meat nodesu."
"Pochi, Tama. You're 100 years too early to request meal from master."
Pochi and Tama seem to think that this is a punishment, they look up with pitiful look on their face while being downhearted. Pochi who used her fingers to express the "tiny bit" part was cute. She must have been expressing the thickness of meat.
Liza was reminding the two, but her voice didn't have power at all in it. Liza must also be shocked about the no meat. I think it doesn't taste bad since I have made the stock soup from chicken bones though~
"Even though I'm not dieting, why this meal! More protein! Gibumi mito purizu!"
"They're dishes good for recovering magic power."
Moreover, these boiled beans have protein don't they.
As for the other three girls, they're eating without complaining since they don't dislike vegetables.
My magic power had restored enough to do the magic power transfer during the meal, but I took this chance to observe the recovery rate of Arisa's and the others' magic power. I also have to make more magic power potion later.
In addition, for the four people who like meat, I let them eat as many whale meat steak as they like after their magic power have recovered. No, I stopped Arisa before she overate. I'd not like to accompany her on her diet again after all.