Here’s the new chapter, please enjoy~
I joined Canaan, Hannah, and Sanya to introduce Antia to the three of them.
“I thought you went to fight a monster, but you came back with such a beautiful woman!”
Canaan-kun, why are you talking like I’m a master seducer? That’s not my purpose.
“They say heroes are fond of sensual pleasures, as expected from Master!”
Hey, Hannah, I’m not a hero, you know.
“Everyone is just as cute, Master.”
Sanya, that’s a nice compliment, but it depends on the subject.
“I want a cute daughter, too.” said Antia with a chuckle.
Antia, don’t say things like that to provoke them! Now their eyes have suddenly changed!
“Master! Canaan wants a boy and a girl!”
“Hannah wants about ten children.”
“Sanya, too. I think ten children will do.”
It’s chaos. Why are women so noisy when they gather?
Leaving them aside, I went to prepare dinner. Today’s feast was all about the iron crab, a crab monster with a tough shell and delicious meat.
For the first dish, break the shell, boil the legs, then place them on top of lettuce, onions, and corn for a nice crab salad. For the next, mix the crab body with crab miso, add plenty of moo-milk cheese, sprinkle in some breadcrumbs, and bake it. Yes, it’s crab gratin.
The third dish is raw crab’s legs, but you need crab vinegar to eat it, it’s pretty tricky to make. They say making crab vinegar is more difficult than cooking it, but I finished it in the blink of an eye.
Fourth is crab stew. This is made with Chinese cabbage, leeks, shiitake mushrooms, grilled tofu, and crab legs.
Canaan shed tears while eating crab gratin.
“Even a first-class chef can’t cook the food that the Master made.”
Hannah’s way of eating is so elegant.
“Big sister, Sanya is so happy to eat the food that the Master made.”
Ayumi also makes a face like that when she eats my cooking… it makes me happy every time they say it’s delicious. Come on, eat more.
“Oh my, this vegetable… It’s so tasty. The liquid that covers it is tasty as well.”
I prepared salad because I thought the majority of elves were vegetarian, but Antia reached out not only for the salad, but also the crab gratin.
“The salad relies on a special lemon dressing. Does it suit your taste?”
“Yes, it’s delicious, and so are these burnt-cheese dishes.”
Antia, with her beautiful face and elegant manners, said that all the dishes I served were delicious.
A little while ago, the two of us fought a life-threatening battle, but now there’s nothing wrong with it. I can’t hate her for some reason. Somewhat easygoing, she may be the embodiment of a naive elf, so I can’t hate her.
“Hey, so who did arrange those large hordes of monsters?”
I asked her what I was a little worried about.
“Actually, I thought you were the one responsible for that, but it seems I was wrong.”
“Then why were they heading towards Algria?”
“Perhaps a demon was involved. Now that I think about it, some demons have a skill to make monsters obey them.”
Demons, huh… Since I’m living in this world now, I thought I might come across that race eventually.
“The demon race has a mix of good people and bad people, just like humans and other races, right?”
“It is not a matter of good or evil, they’re just incompatible with each other.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You realize it will be a long story, since it goes all the way back to the Age of Gods?”
“…Why don’t we listen after we finish eating?”
The meal was Canaan’s stage, after all.
After the crab stew was finished, I made rice gruel, but Hannah, Sanya, and Antia didn’t really like it, so they didn’t eat it. Almost half the rice gruel in the big pot was eaten by Canaan alone.
“Fuh, I’m full. But I have a whole other stomach just for dessert.”
Can you still eat!? Seriously, her stomach is amazing.
After the meal, we heard a long story from Antia. It was just like a good sleeping story.
Thousands of years ago, there was a war. A four-race alliance of elves, humans, dwarves, and beastmen fought against a coalition of giants and demons. The four races ultimately won, but an entire continent was destroyed, and the six races were said to have caused considerable damage to the planet.
After the war ended, the giants and demons on this continent were persecuted. It seems that the giants and demons have now escaped to the eastern continent, but that place is a much harsher environment than the continent we’re living in now, so even giants and demons with strong bodies were having a hard time.
For all this time, the alliance of four races has been in repeated skirmishes against those two races.
The four-races of the alliance were supposed to avoid interfering with each other if nothing out of the ordinary happened, but in the last few hundred years, the human race has become hostile to the other three races. Their ultimate intentions were unknown, but if this situation continued, the enemy coalition’s power on this continent would grow.
Under those circumstances, Antia came out of the Holy land of the elves, feeling the sign of us fighting against the hordes of monsters in this Great Borf Forest.
That’s the summary of her story. Thanks to that, I slept well.
The next morning, we went to Antia’s village, while sweeping up remnants of the horde.
“Now that the subject has come up, I cannot even recall the last time humans and beastmen came to an elven village.”
“Do they not interact much?”
“As I said last night, it is essentially a relationship of non-interference. Since we are elves living in the forest, we have a weak relationship with other races.”
I knew their relationship with other races was thin. So far as I can tell, they’re well aware that it’s a self-imposed seclusion.
Antia brought us to the inner part of the forest and we arrived at the elven village. We were supposed to stay there today, but the elves’ faith in Antia was tremendous. The moment they saw her, they groveled before her in dogeza, which was a bit unnerving.
“I want to see the elder. Please guide me.”
When Antia told one of the elves that, they guided us directly to the elder’s house. When the elder came out, he also went into a dogeza. People have been groveling constantly on the way here, so I was more amused than surprised by now.
“These four people and I would stay here for tonight.”
“Certainly! It’s not a great house for the founder to stay at, but we’ll give you the best hospitality we can.”
“I’ll be imposing on you, then.”
No matter how I look at him, the elder has the appearance of someone in his twenties.
Come to think of it, I haven’t seen a single old person in this elf’s village, but if an old person like an elder still looks young, I can’t imagine how old any of them are.
The elder treated us politely. For the room, Antia was given a room to herself, and me, Canaan, Hannah, and Sanya were using a room that could contain the four of us.
At first, we were given separate rooms, but I asked them to put us together, so they changed it. I wasn’t originally going to ask, but Canaan looked like it was the end of the world when we separated, so it can’t be helped.
“I’ve heard that elves are a hard-to-please race, but the elder-san was kind.”
“Probably because Antia was with us. What would have happened if we had come to this village alone?”
Indeed, it was because they have so much faith in Antia. Some of the elves were actually hostile to us; Hannah was aware of it, too. She’s more sensitive to that than Canaan anyway.
Later that night. The elder said that they would hold a banquet to welcome Antia, so I decided to cook.
“To have a guest do that is just…”
“Just think of it as a gift from this guest.”
The elder refused once but accepted and said they would prepare food, too. I suppose it was a social order. The elves made a whole roast of a caterpillar monster called a black crow. These elves were surprisingly wild.
Next to me, Canaan, Hannah, and Sanya were frozen, taken aback when looking at it. I asked Hannah if beastmen eat that worm too, but she said, “I don’t eat it” she vehemently denied it.
Well, since this is a whole roasted caterpillar about the size of a person, it might be hard to eat if you aren’t used to it.
As for me, I’m fine — it’s food. Even if it looks like a caterpillar, I have no misgivings at all. Food is food.
I prepared some dishes out of an iron cancer, a bigger crab monster than the iron crab, and I made it raw, boiled, baked, and grilled. The shell was as hard as adamantine, so it was difficult to peel it off, but that’s where my skills come in.
Today’s crab vinegar is better than yesterday’s. I had a hard time making so much, but the satisfaction of finishing washed away that struggle.
The crab vinegar was made with equal parts rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and sake, with five parts kombu or bonito soup. I got the kombu and bonito soup when I went to the Port back then. I don’t know if it’s the same as real crab vinegar, but I think it’s delicious.
“This is… iron cancer?”
“That’s true, those are iron cancer legs!”
The elves were making noise. It seems iron cancer is an unusual foodstuff since their shells are so hard and they’re difficult to hunt. I can understand that; iron cancer really is extremely hard; I had a tough time cutting them even with Black Mist. However, striking at any place with a slight gap, such as a joint, was surprisingly easy.
“What a rich flavor!”
The elves praised the iron cancer sashimi they were throwing into their mouths.
“This sauce also suits the iron cancer meat well.”
Yep, it sure does. Alright, next is boiled crab!
“What is this? This is also sweet and delicious!”
“That’s true. It also goes well with the sauce, it’s so good!”
Hahaha, I know, right? The last one is grilled crab!
The grilled crab was served with crab miso soup, and the usual sauce.
“What rich flavor!”
I already heard that before, you know.
“It’s too delicious! I didn’t know such food could even exist! Five hundred years I’ve lived, and this is the first time I’ve tasted something so good!”
I didn’t expect you to say that, but I’ll give you this!
“This is… what’s this smell? It’s very appealing… it’s hot!?
“Master, is this gratin? It’s gratin, right Canaan?”
“Oh, there’s Canaan’s share, too! Here, eat up!”
I placed a huge bowl of gratin in front of Canaan.
“Thank you very much. It’s so delicious!” said Canaan while blowing her food.
“Tsukuru, your cooking is delicious.”
“Antia, you almost seem like you’re saying the elves’ food isn’t?”
Well, they should at least think a little more about the salted & roasted black crows. It smells kind of burnt, and on top of that, it was baked too long, messing up the creaminess. As a dish, it looked more messy than exciting.
I think the creaminess would be better if baked medium rare, but would it hurt your stomach?
We got a warm reception in the elf village and left the village early the next morning. Many elves told me to come again when I left the village. It seems they took a liking to the crab from last night. A great man somewhere said that the best way to grab someone’s heart is through their stomach. Well, I just said it myself, actually.
“I will be going with Tsukuru. The human lifespan is short, so I’ll be back in a hundred years. I’ll leave the rest to you.”
“Y-yes! Please be careful!”
Can I even live for another hundred years? Even so, she talked about a hundred year journey as casually as going out for a walk. For an elf who has lived so many years, their sense of time is probably different.
“Where are we going now?”
“I’m going to beat that shitty old man.”
Antia asked curiously.
“He’s someone Master wants to take revenge on! He did cruel things to Master.”
Canaan’s start to talk while letting out a sharp nose breath.
“I somehow understood that Tsukuru wants to take revenge on that old man. However, we should make that vengeance exquisite!”
Canaan, who got my permission, told Antia about my circumstances. Antia seemed convinced, but… Canaan, isn’t that kinda exaggerated? What the hell do you mean ‘burned by hellfire’? I’ve never been to hell.
Hannah and Sanya were listening to the story as well. Neither Hannah, Sanya, or Antia changed their behavior toward me, despite learning I was from a different world.
“It makes no difference what world Master is from! Master took me by his side, and helped Sanya!”
“Even if the Master is from a different world, even if the master is a demon, Master is Master!”
I supposed Hannah and Sanya were accepting me. I wasn’t really sure, but I got that feeling somehow.
“Aren’t you quite loved? Shall I join you? I haven’t had my turn yet.” Antia said with a chuckle.
Isn’t this erofu misunderstanding something!?
“Yes, yes, yeeesssss! Canaan wants that, too ーー!”
“What’s that childish request? I think Canaan is my family, so you don’t have to argue. Hannah, Sanya, and Antia are my family, too, so get along with each other.”
“Yeay! Canaan is a family! Then, I want Master’s child!”
“Hey, hey, hey, what are you talking about!”
I spilled the tea I was drinking, hearing Canaan’s words.
“Master, do you want Canaan to be embraced by another man?”
“Why do you talking that!?”
“If Master doesn’t give Canaan a child, she’ll have another man’s child, or she won’t have a child for the rest of her life.”
Don’t look at me with such sad eyes…
“Master, please give a child to Hannah, too.”
“Sanya want, too!”
“Ufufufu, you’re so loved. Of course, you will give me a child, too, right?”
Stop looking at me so expectantly. Canaan and Hannah are my slaves. Slaves don’t have the freedom to get married, so I…
That was when I saw Sanya. A girl with the same face as Ayumi, with an innocent smile on her face.
As expected, Sanya is absolutely a no go. Even if I surrendered to Canaan, Hannah, and Antia, Sanya was no go.
“You can’t settle this now, can you? Then, please make a conclusion after the fight with that old man, you don’t have to think about it now.”
I can just be silent.
Antia has a relaxed way of thinking, probably because she has lived for many years.
“That’s right. After I beat up that old man, I will properly consider it.”
To be honest, I want to free Hannah from slavery in the end, so I don’t think she should stick with me. But Canaan is impossible. I actually released her from slavery yet she wanted to be enslaved again in order to have a connection with me. I had to take her seriously.
Sanya was out of the question, and as for Antia, we weren’t familiar with each other yet, so I’d look at her personality and think about it. The encounter with her was the worst, but she had a good personality and was a pleasant woman. Fortunately, I had time to think about them all. Let’s think hard from now on.