Chapter 1-6 : Greeting The Neighbors Ⅰ (part 3)
「Well then. Sarasa-chan, is there anywhere else you want to visit?」(Ells)
Hmm… I still can’t cook today since I don’t have a stove or a pot, so there’s really no point in buying groceries now.
I’ll ask Ells-san to introduce me to the farmers next time then.
And since I can’t cook, the most important thing for me now is to get the meal!
Yes. The dining hall!
「Umm. Ells-san, this village has a dining hall, right? Can you guide me there?」(Sarasa)
「Ah, come to think of it, it’s almost lunch time. There’s only one dining hall in this village, but their menu is really good!」(Ells)
「Oh, really!? Ah, Ells-san, how about we eat together? It’ll be my treat. Consider it as my thanks for guiding me around the village today」(Sarasa)
I wanted to thank her by buying her lunch, but for some reason, Ells-san laughed and slapped my back several times.
Un… It hurts….
「Aha, ha, ha, ha! It’ll be lame if a young girl like you gives this adult woman a treat! I should be the one who treats you instead!」(Ells)
「Eh!? But, you are already kind enough to guide me around the village, I feel bad if you even treat me to a meal…」(Sarasa)
「A youngster like you doesn’t need to think about such things. Let this adult woman treat you to a meal, will you? Because, I’m a ‘generous’ woman! Aha, ha, ha!」(Ells)
Ells-san was slapping her belly as she said that.
Well, indeed, Ells-san is a fatー I mean a generous woman.
*/ in Japanese, ‘generous’ was written like this -> 太っ腹 (futoppara)
太 means ‘fat’, and 腹 means ‘belly’
But when combined, 太っ腹 means ‘generous’
So, it was a pun only Japanese would know.
After that, she guided me to a building that was both an inn and a dining hall.
The building was very large. There might be a lot of rooms here.
When I entered, I saw several groups of people who seemed to be Collectors eating at the dining hall.
Hooー There are a lot of Collectors here, but… most of them are in the Great Sea of Trees by now, right? I’m sure the total number will be several times larger than this.
With this many Collectors in this village, maybe my business will go well?
「Diral, you there? I came to eat」(Ells)
「Oh? Ells? It’s rare for you to come in the middle of the day like this」(Diral)
Responding to Ells-san’s voice, a woman, who was probably the same age as Ells-san, came out from the back with a smile on her face.
She looked friendly, and… she looked as fat as Ells-san.
「Oh, stop it, Diral! Your way of talking makes me look as if I only came at night to drink, you know!」(Ells)
「Haha. Thanks to Ells, I earn a lot at night.」(Diral)
While laughing, Ells-san and Diral-san were slapping each other’s backs.
Hmmm… I wonder if that “slapping someone’s back” thing is the way women in this village communicate…
It was pretty painful for me who has a small body…
「So? You have business? You didn’t come to drink in the middle of the day like this, right? Or is it about the girl behind you?」(Diral)
「Yup. You know what? This girl is an alchemist-sama! I came to introduce her and have lunch here.」(Ells)
「M, My name is Sarasa. I’m opening an alchemy store in this village. Nice to meet you!」(Sarasa)
Because Ells-san pushed me forward all of a sudden, I hurriedly greeted Diral-san and bowed my head.
「Opening an alchemy store at such a young age!? Missy, you’re amazing! I’m the landlady of this inn, Diral. Please, eat here anytime!」(Diral)
「Yes! Actually, I can’t cook yet because I don’t have a stove, so I think I’ll eat here regularly for a while」(Sarasa)
「Ahh, I see, you just moved here today, eh? Alright! I’ll cook you a free meal to celebrate your move!」(Diral)
「Really!? Thank you very muchowー!」
Honestly, I’m happy she is giving me a free meal, but my back hurts after she slapped it.
「Oh, Diral, you’re very kind. Thank you for the treat.」(Ells)
「Huh? Ells, you’re paying for yours. I’m only making a free meal for this Missy!」(Diral)
「Eehhhー You’re so stingy! Isn’t at a time like this you should be generous and treat me to a meal too?」(Ells)
「E, Ells-san. Let me pay for your meal! I still want to thank you.」(Sarasa)
「Look! You’re making this girl become so considerate!」(Ells)
While presenting me, who made an “I feel bad” face, Ells-san grinned at Diral-san.
「Tsk! Alright, alright. Yours will be free too」(Diral)
I looked at the two with a slightly troubled face.
Ells-san and Diral-san then looked at each other and laughed together.
「Don’t worry about that. Ells and I are childhood friends, we’re always like this. Besides, I was always helped by Ells’ husband, so treating her to a meal or two is nothing」(Diral)
「Haha. We’re always fooling around like this, you know?」(Ells)
「Ahh, I see. Well, that’s good then!」(Sarasa)
According to them, Ells-san’s husband is a hunter, and he always sells meat to this inn, and sometimes, he gave Diral-san extra meat.
Because of their give-and-take relationship, arguing like that was just fooling around.
But… Ummmm, I don’t understand!
Maybe because I don’t have a close friend…?
「Are there any ingredients you don’t like?」(Diral)
「No. At least, I like all the food I’ve eaten so far.」(Sarasa)
Because I didn’t grow up in an environment where I could eat anything I wanted, there’s no food I can’t eat.
I’ve heard that in this world, extreme delicacies such as ridiculously smelly food, rotten food, insects, ect, exist.
I said, “there’s no food I can’t eat”, but if I had to eat such things, I would definitely throw up before even smelling it.
「It’ll be just fine then. Because I also serve the Collectors, I can only use common ingredients in the dishes I serve.」(Diral)
She said, because I ‘also’ serve the collectors, I ‘can only use’ common ingredients…?
Could it be…
「I, is there any unusual local cuisine in this village?」(Sarasa)
「Well, it’s not local cuisine but, in a countryside like this, sometimes people eat insects, hornworms, and even hairy caterpillars…」(Diral)
I knew it!
I would rather starve to death than eat caterpillars!
「A, ha, ha ,ha! Don’t worry, I don’t serve such things here. Besides, it’s a delicacy that only some of the villagers enjoy」(Diral)
「A, Ahh… I see」(Sarasa)
I imagined if Diral-san said, “Actually, it was made of caterpillars.” After I ate her food, I might run outside, put my hands on a wall, and hoek~ the waterfall of ‘rainbow juice’ would come out of my mouth.
But, fiuh~ I’m glad it won’t happen.
「But you serve ‘those pickles’, right?」(Ells)
「’Those pickles’, huh? Yeah, but only if the customer orders it」(Diral)
After I asked, Diral-san explained that the “pickles” Ells-san said were special pickles.
Unlike ordinary pickles, this one was made by soaking it in barrels for a long period of time, usually a year or more.
Actually, the pickles were made as an emergency food when the harvest was poor.
The taste was a little tough even for people in this village.
If people from outside wanted to try it, they had to soak it in water for a while before they ate it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to stand the sourness.
However, there were some people who were addicted to its strong sourness and smell.
They usually enjoyed it without soaking it in water.
「Well, I don’t recommend it. Even for me, the taste was tough」(Ells)
「I, I see…」(Sarasa)
Even Ells-san can’t stand it?
Then, it would be absolutely impossible for me.
「I also don’t recommend it. But~ I’ll bring this inn’s recommended menu! Please wait a moment!」(Diral)
After saying that, Diral-san went back to the kitchen, and then Ells-san and I sat at an empty table.
After waiting for a while, Diral-san came back with the meals for Ells-san and me.
「For the lunch menu, I usually serve this dish. Today is my treat, but the price is 40 reas. If you like it, please come again and order it next time」(Diral)
「Thank you very much!」(Sarasa)
What was lined on the table were two pieces of bread, a soup with plenty of vegetables, and the main dish, which was made by stir frying shredded meat and beans together.
A good smell drifted from the food.
I tried it and….. Mmhh! Delicious!
I’ve only been eating salty dried meat and hard bread during the long trip, so I’m happy to be able to eat something delicious again.
「You seem to like it.」(Ells)
「Yes! It’s delicious!」(Sarasa)
「Haha! I’m glad to hear it! Please take your time and enjoy!」(Diral)
After slapping my back again while laughing, Diral-san returned to work.
Umm. She’s a good person, but I hope she stops slapping my back…
I’m just a fragile girl who did nothing but study, you know?
「Forgive her, Sarasa-chan. There’s no fragile girl like you in this village, so she doesn’t know how to treat you except, well, slapping your back like she always does.」(Ells)
Eh? How did Ells-san know what I was thinking?
Was it shown on my face?
「A, Ahh, no , it’s fine. Diral-san is a good person… By the way, Ells-san, do you often come here?」(Sarasa)
「Yes. But rarely during the day. I only come during the day if I feel lonely at home, because I’m usually alone when my husband goes hunting」(Ells)
「Umm. Do you mind if I ask about your children?」(Sarasa)
「Ah, I have two daughters and a son. My daughters are married and live with their husbands. My son doesn’t want to succeed his father’s job as a hunter, so he left the village to become a merchant…」(Ells)
Awawa! What should I say at a time like this?
Uhh! I don’t know! I have so little experience in life!
「Ah, Sarasa-chan, you don’t need to mind it. I’m doing fine! And sometimes, my son comes to this village for business. Knowing that my children are okay, is enough for me.」(Ells)
It seems she’s just fine.
She was looking into the distance when she told me about her children, so I thought her children had left her for good.
I’m glad that’s not the case.
「It’s a small village so we already visited most of the places, but… after we finish eating, I’ll introduce you to the village mayor.」(Ells)
「Ah! That’s right! Visiting the mayor is important! I forgot because we don’t do that in the royal capital…」(Sarasa)
「Ahaha! Of course! The ‘mayor’ of the royal capital is the king. You can’t visit the most important person in the country just to say hello.」(Ells)
「Haha. You’re right」(Sarasa)
I completely forgot about this, because when you move to the royal capital, you only say hello to your neighbors.
There’s no royal law prohibiting people from moving from town to town.
However, in a small village like this, it would be rude if a newcomer didn’t visit the mayor to say hello.
Thank you, Ells-san!
If Ells-san wasn’t with me, I might never have visited the mayor.