Lunch, Family Interview
Hello. It's way past lunch time I'm starving here.
Currently making food for four.
I cut up garlic (-like ingredient) and forest ginger clumsily, ground them into paste and mix them together with salt, soyu-like, sake, sugar (pricey) and pepper (stupid pricey) in a bowl.
Adding to it, large pieces of chicken meat-like meat. I massaged and left them for a while on the pot lid. It's kinda inconvenient not having plastic bags in a kitchen.
And now it's finally time. This sure feels like a cooking show. I've prepped it beforehand this morning.
Cut up the seasoning, mix it with beaten egg, and pour wheat-like flour. Would have used potato starch there if I had it. Too bad.
I couldn't help feeling like a host of a cooking show because of the three people eyeing me from behind.
Why are they staring so hard anyway? Alma's the same as ever, but the parents, their eyes are glaring...
Alma Mama is smiling softly but on a closer look it's obvious she's been watching my meal preparation in minute details.
Wonder if she's mad because I'm too clumsy... I feel like a newlywed getting stared at by a mother in law. I'm neither a wife or a husband though.
Alma Papa has a gentle expression but I can sense this hard prickly aura from him. He's definitely hostile inwardly.
I mean, thanks to the innlady saying, 'My, you're not carrying Alma on your back today', when we arrived here, it almost turned into a scene of carnage.
I explained that I had to do it cause she ran out of mana due to training, he pressed hard instead, 'You haven't done anything untoward on my defenseless daughter, have you'... I might have been cut down there if not for Alma and Alma Mama pacifying him.
I've been feeling how close to death you are living in this life recently. The weight of life is so light, so light.
...Let's get back to focusing on the food.
Next up, just gotta turn on the stove and fry the meat.
"Alma, can you light the stove please."
I asked the same thing like this morning, Alma Mama spoke here.
"My? Did you have a ring on Alma-chan?"
"W-was livelihood magic cast-able without the ring on I wonder...?"
This person's pretty sharp. How'd she figure that.
Alma seems hesitant to tell them about direct mana control.
"Alma, you can tell them. I mean they're your parents right?"
Honestly, I wouldn't give the permission had they been abusive parents, but these two seem all right.
I'm sure they're not going to needlessly leak the info and trouble their daughter.
In fact, they'd likely boast to everybody around 'Our daughter's amazing'... Huh wait, isn't that bad? Am I being too hasty?
"Hikaru taught me how to directly control mana. I can do this much without a ring."
"Directly control mana...? Was there a skill like that?"
"It's not a skill. It's a technique to control mana without relying on skills."
"It uses up a bit more mana, but it has a much broader practical use than skills. You can do many things without skills."
"T-that's incredible! Our girl is a genius~!!"
"Keep it down. You're bothering other guests."
Wonder if these overt reactions are default with these two.
Well, I do agree that Alma is a genius.
She wasn't able to adjust her output at first, it was like on/off where she either used up all her mana or none at all, yesterday she was finally able to grasp the knack and today she managed a delicate control.
Then she activated a magic sword-like technique and immediately learned the real magic sword skill.
She even defeated a hobgoblin with that new skill and Job Changed to Paladin, a job with stupid hard-to-fulfill conditions.
She's undoubtedly a prodigy with how much steps she accomplished even just today.
Whoa, the oil's at the right temp, time to put in the meat.
Gotta put five at a time to prevent cooling the oil too much.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
The moment that sound filled the kitchen, Alma Mama turned her gaze here again. She's staring hard, kinda scary.
Looks like she found deep fried food unusual, she's got this curious looks.
As for Alma Papa... he looked startled. Well anyone would with that sudden loud sound.
After a minute, I put the meat pieces on a metal plate to cook them on the remaining heat, I whack them a bit and cut them, then put them back in the oil for a minute before repeating the above process.
Lastly, I cook at high heat for 30 seconds and drain the recess oil, done.
Japanese-style fried chicken, aka karaage.
...Even with the cooking show in my head, the gazes from behind is making me anxious. Let's just cook the rest.
I plan to have karaage for dinner too, so I'm making a lot... Maybe I should make a new menu tonight. What a pain.
Adding stir fried vegetable, heated aro rice and now we have karaage sets for four.
By the way, I heated up the rice by imagining my mana changing into thermal energy. Mana control is way versatile. Cooking made easy.
Normally we'd eat in our own rooms, but not today with the parents here.
"It's done. Please have a bite before it's cold. Ah, and please don't force yourself if it's not to your liking."
"""Let's dig in."""
"...Let's dig in."
The three said that in harmony. Guess they are parents and child in this regard.
I followed after.
Umu, the outside is crispy while the meat inside is juicy. Even my unskilled hands can make some good karaage. I don't actually dislike this stuff when cold either.
As for the three's reactions.
Alma just keeps chomping down, though I'm not sure if I'm just imagining when her face looks beaming whenever she crunches the crispy part.
Alma Mama had her eyes open wide briefly when she first bit on karaage but started nodding with closed eyes as she relished on the flavor. Oh good, looks like it's to her liking.
Alma Papa... He's gulping down the karaage, stir fried vegetable and aro rice at incredible pace. Does he even taste the food? Or so I thought until I overheard him whispering, 'Dammit, it's good'.
"""Thanks for the meal."""
We were done in no time. Glad you like it.
"Hikaru-kun, I heard from Alma-chan when you were busy earlier, you usually treated Alma to your cooking, didn't you?"
Alma Mama suddenly asked me.
Oh crap, did she find out I could only make simple dishes like that and get angry!?
"You went all the trouble to make food this good for her every day?"
"Eh, ah, yes. I'm sorry I could only make simple things, but I do make the food for both me and Alma every day. She pays for the ingredients though."
"Every day!? What the hell, you think you're married couple or so-- bupebaa!"
Alma Papa who interrupted our conversation got punched by Alma Mama at incredible speed. It's a wife country, I see.
How Alma Mama all smile as she hit him made it all the more scary...
"May I hope she'd keep troubling you in the future as well?"
"Y-yes, of course. We have an agreement."
"I see, thank you."
She went back to her seat.
W-what was that all about.
Afterward, we washed the dishware in the sink like usual.
Alma provided running water without the ring. Looks like she can do it with other elements besides fire.
Alma Papa spoke here.
"You really use livelihood magic without the ring huh. Hikaru-kun, was it? You're the one who taught Alma?"
"Yes. Well, direct mana control was more like a plaything, I could use some tutelage myself."
"Plaything that made magic swords possible..."
Alma muttered slightly in wonder. I mean that chuuni fire sword is a plaything compared to the real magic sword.
"Magic swords? What is this about?"
"It's a technique that bestows swords with offensive spells. I saw Hikaru using it once and asked him to teach me mana control for about a week. This morning I was finally able to do it and acquired Magic Swords skill out of nowhere."
"You mean you learned a new type of skill at the end of your training!? And in just one week! Our Alma is truly a geniussssss!!"
"Too loud. Pipe down."
"Aren't you too cold compared with your mom!?"
These couple sure are alike. Their reactions included.
No wait, I guess they're just super spoiling parents. I do agree that Alma is a genius though.
"Back to topic, Hikaru-kun, do you mind showing us how this mana control looks like for a bit?"
He asked me with a serious look out of nowhere. Not with the hostile face like earlier, but a honest curious look.
"Err, this place is a bit cramped, so I can only do this much..."
I wrap the washed dishware with mana and affix it.
Then I control that mana and float the dishware onto the drying racks one by one.
...Pretty plain. But it's gonna cause trouble if I make it too showy here.
Huh wait? Alma Papa's mouth opened wide, mama's frozen stiff?
Are they not sure how to react cause it's too plain. Ah, I'm gonna get another nickname am I.
"E-err, I'm sorry it's so sober--"
"What was that again!? It's like the plates floated around on their own!?"
"E-err, I just enveloped them in mana and then made it move."
"J-just what kind of training have you gone through to learn something like this...?"
Huh? I'm getting a bigger reaction than expected. But it's so plain looking.
"It seems to me that you are a Chef, how did you learn this kind of technique?"
"Oh I'm not a chef. According to Appraiser Fildaim-shi, my Job is unknown and I am apparently unable to learn skills, shameful as it sounds. I came up with this technique to control mana in order to survive."
"W-what, you're not a Chef? You can't learn skills? How is there someone like that alive? T-then how did you make that food earlier?"
"How you ask, I just cook them as is."
Right after I said that, Menu showed a display screen on its own.
<<Ordinarily, heat adjustment, quantity of ingredients, cutting techniques, recipes and such are done automatically through [Cooking] Skill obtainable only to Chefs, making food like you did without the help of Cooking skill is next to impossible for humans in this world.>>
...You can't make something so simple without skills?
That means the Chefs in this world are used by their skills to make food instead of the other way around.
...Wonder how will earthen cooks react to this.
"You won't last if you're surprised from that much, dad. Hikaru was flying around so fast just this afternoon."
Alma, please don't give them ideas! You're just making this more complicated!
"I can't use skill, but after thinking it hard and long, I gave using mana a try and came up with such street performer-like stuff, and nothing else. Hahaha."
For now let's laugh it away. I can't think up of any excuse!
"Well, even if it all ends up being a waste, at least I could say that I tried, better than doing nothing."
"...I, see. You have gone through a lot. Surviving to this point without a skill. Uuu..."
H-huh? Papa-san's crying?
He's sympathizing with me for some reason. Guy's unexpectedly weak to sob stories huh.
I did all that out of having fun, at least half of it.
"Ah, but I do not approve you frolicking with Alma. That's a separate matter entirely."
Alma Papa warned with a straight face all of a sudden.
I'm telling you we're not like that.