Our Daughter is in Your Hands
TLN: Chapter 23-25 are sub-story, retelling of the story so far from Alma's POV. They can be skipped per author's word so I'm skipping them for now in favor of progressing the main story. They will be done at a later date.
This chapter is a direct continuation of chapter 22.
Chak chak chak
Hello, good evening. It's time for today's cooking show.
Our menu for dinner tonight is katsudon. Absolutely not kattadon even if it's to celebrate our victory.
And today we have Alma Mama, Lunatiara-san as our guest star.
Or more like she offered to herself. Which is a big help honestly.
Having a beauty with a nice body as a support would have normally been quite a boon, but she's a married woman and her husband is watching behind us, I really shouldn't have any weird idea.
This person is the mother of 16 year old Alma, so I believe she should be in her 30s, and yet she looks like someone in her late 20s.
Do you age slower if you raise your level from a tender age or something?
<<Conjecture: She simply dresses to look young.>>
...Let's stop probing this topic further. Would be scary if she picked it up.
Let's focus on the cooking, for starter, the preliminary work.
First I put prepared seaweed (or something that looks like it) from the water into the pot and take it off the flame just before it boils.
It's gonna take time if you don't prepare beforehand, so be careful here. You'd get a nice stock soup if you had it sit in water for about 30 minutes.
Throw katsuoboshi (or something*(abbreviated)) into the seaweed-less water. Let it boil and take it out.
I stealthily store the taken out seaweed into 'Item Screen'. This Screen is handy and all but it's gonna turn into a trash bin if I'm not careful, I gotta remember to regularly sort it out.
Then I put in soiso (soy sauce-like), sake, sugar and mirin-like made from sake while sampling.
Everybody has their preference, and it's mine this time. Judging from their reaction to karaage last time, it should do well.
Once I'm done with the flavoring stock soup, I proceed with the ingredients.
I peel (slice) Rock Onion's skin, or more like husk and mince it.
Alma Mama helped with the slicing, at a tremendous speed, she was done with it as I stared in wonder.
I was gobsmacked. Alma Mama had a smug look with her whole body. So this is the power of Cooking Skill... No that's probably not all, her high stats must have contributed too. Also, another form of experience different from Skill exp from cooking everyday or something.
For the pork, I sliced it up shallowly and rubbed salt and pepper on it.
Pepper is even pricier than sugar at 3000 en per small bottle. My sense of value is going wild.
I smear the pork cutlets in flour, drop them on powdered flour, seep them in egg and cover them in bread crumbs.
I made the crumbs from cutting up bread, drying and crushing it.
It turned out too hard I had a hard time breaking it down, but Alma Mama easily did it by gripping it in her hand. Gotta take care not to make this person angry. Scary.
I threw the pork cutlets into heated oil. I flipped them over and took them off the flame after five minutes.
On the drying rack, I sliced the surface every 2 cm.
Then I put sliced up onion, stock soup, the softly cut cutlets, beaten egg into the saucepan and shake it so it makes a circle.
I poured the rest of the beaten egg, shook the pot and put them on top of arorice bowls after 10 seconds and sprinkled sliced spring onion-like atop.
I put pickles around bowl edge as a replacement for vegetable to make it a poor man's nutritionally balanced diet.
"It's done. Thank you for your help Lunatiara-san. I'm impressed how fast you were at cutting up the vegetable."
"Ufufu, you're very welcome. The way Hikaru-san cooked was quite unique, I had a lot of fun myself. That crushed dried bread looks like it'll go well with other cuisines besides meat."
"Yes. It also goes well with marine products like fish, and especially shrimp."
"My, that does sound good, I'll give it a try next time. For now, let's all dig in."
We took our seats and dug in our bowls. Thanks for the food.
Uumu, yummy. Donburi/rice bowl dishes really are the best for their sheer volume.
Can't remember the last time I ate my handmade katsudon.
Thinking again, I've only started cooking for myself every day after coming here. I usually made do with convenient store's or instant stuff back on earth.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"This is good, really good stuff! It's so juicy yet crispy, I can't get tired of this."
"It really is. It looks a bit like oyakodon from back then, yet the texture and flavor is anything but. Tasty."
"Ufufu, now that I've learned how to cook it, that's another win for my repertoire."
I've probably been keeping at this because I'm sharing with someone else.
Having food you made raved on by other people does make you happy.
I washed the dishes and dried them up after we were done.
I've gotten pretty good at drying dishes while floating them, though I gotta take care not to let people see this.
"I-it looks as surreal as ever..."
"Oh but I don't do this when there are other people around."
"Naturally. Oh yeah, apparently you did pretty well during the Stampede."
"Oh not at all, I just threw the mushrooms and horns at most."
"From what I heard, you grabbed several Bladewings and crashed them down the ground."
"I've also heard about how you turned several Hob Goblins into minced meat or worse by dropping rocks from above."
"He also stopped a Werewolf with bare hands and gave me an opportunity to finish it off."
...My oh my, I might have stood out a bit too much.
Also, Alma, please stop adding fuel to the fire.
"...I can understand the former two seeing as you can fly, but what's this about grabbing Werewolf bare hands? That's pretty hardcore."
"Us two could do that easily, but that's quite a tall order for a beginner adventurer."
"Oh no, it was only thanks to the Werewolf being spent from fighting two level 20 adventurers and Alma."
"...I don't think that could be done by just anyone even with the Werewolf spent..."
Alma, are you pulling me up or throwing me down the cliff, which is it.
"M-more importantly, it must have been a hard work defeating the boss. Supposedly, there were a lot more high level magic beasts in the forest than the ones invading."
"Nah. I coulda easily beat it up bare handed."
"The boss was a mere level 40 Goblin King, we should have left Duke here to deal with the raiding beasts."
"Well, even the weak ones sometimes got physical void or magic void equipment, so you still wanna bring an insurance."
Aah, guess Alma Papa would've a hard time against physical void.
"...The boss this time managed to ambush Lunati. That thing's weirdly shrewd for a boss."
"Eh? W-were you alright?"
"Not really, the boss I mean. Lunati sensed the ambush beforehand and beat it down with her cane..."
"I don't need magic to deal with that. Ufufu."
I see even mages become physically strong when they're at a high enough level....
"Oh yeah, been hearing about people asking Alma to join their party."
"They all talked about how Alma-chan delivered the finishing blow to the Werewolf."
"It was only possible because the spearsman and the dualblade exhausting it, and also Hikaru stopping it. I didn't do it alone."
"Right. I'm proud of you realizing that."
"Ooh, look at how much you've grown...! Here, let mom hug you!"
"Just please be careful. I don't want to get choked to death."
She almost did earlier after all.
"So we told 'em we're not gonna butt in if Alma herself declines their invitations."
"Some of them were getting a bit too persistent, a little pressuring glare knocked them out. We won't entrust Alma-chan to people like that."
"That's good, thank you. I've decided on which party I'm joining."
"And is that Hikaru-kun's?"
Felt like the peaceful mood has turned slightly prickly.
Though unlike when we first met, I didn't feel hostility directed toward me this time.
"Un. Hikaru has saved me so many times. I want to repay him even just a bit from now on."
"No no, I haven't done much. But well, I welcome you with open arms. I'm still too weak though, gotta work hard not to drag you down."
"Ufufu, Hikaru-san has got enough guts to introduce himself in spite of Duke's and my glares after all."
"...I'm still not entirely convinced, but yeah, Hikaru-kun is a much better pick than those bunch."
And now I'm curious about that party.
They all looked like they did their best during the Stampede, had no idea there were good-for-nothing adventurers mixed in.
"Our daughter is in your hands."
"Ah, dare you make a move on her and... I trust you get it, capiche?"
I said yes in reflex, but what's with the way they say it like they're sending their daughter to marriage. We're just forming a party, aren't we?
Even Alma, why are you blushing a bit, looking content?
"Ah, almost forgot. Reward distribution for the Stampede starts the day after tomorrow, do make sure you go fetch yours."
"It seems the amount of reward is relatively small due to the few participants, but with all the clean-up and stuff, the guild can't make it tomorrow."
"Is that right. Thank you for letting us know."
People are gonna bother Alma into joining them again if we go during busy time, guess we're going later then.
I mean my reward is informally Soarer's after all.
Wonder what to do once our party is official.
Maybe wander around to different places in search of good food.
Ah, but I'm scared of strong magic beasts. Hmm what then.
Well we've got all the time in the world anyway, I'll discuss with Alma later.