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In the meantime, the finished mystery steak was served on a wooden plate and presented to the dwarf sitting at the counter. The dwarf took it with an “Oh” and began to eat it with a knife pulled from his waist.
From what I could see, it looked very tender. It’s not meat, it’s more like cheese that’s been cooked a bit…
“…What kind of steak is that at?” (Rook)
“Hmm? Have you come a long way? It’s El Caterpillar. It’s a specialty of this village.” (Tavern Master)
El Caterpillar? …I have a very bad feeling about this.
“…Well, what exactly is El Caterpillar?” (Rook)
“Eh, don’t you know El Caterpillars? You know, that green thing in the forest—” (Tavern Master)
“Oh, that’s okay. I understand.” (Rook)
This sucks… That thing we just defeated. …Can you really eat it?
I glanced at the dwarf sitting at the counter eating the thing.
He was enthusiastically bringing the white steak on top of brown bread to his mouth.
No, I can’t do this, it’s just too much. I can’t eat this. It smelled so good, but I can’t. It’s not about logic. The Little Rook in my heart is screaming no.
“…Is there anything else?” (Rook)
“Of course… It’s a little pricey, there’s a fungus ste–” (Tavern Master)
“Oh, that one is no good too.” (Rook)
What is it? Is there any normal food in this village?
…Well, the fungus steak is delicious, right? Yeah, it’s delicious. But that’s not the case. Right?
“…Is there anything else?” (Rook)
“Hey. You are very picky…. Then there’s only dried meat soup and bread…” (Tavern Master)
“That one then…” (Rook)
There is a normal meal! That’s fine, that’s it.
So, I shared it with Shion and filled our stomachs.
After the meal, I decided to leave the tavern and continue walking around the village.
This square, where the tavern is located, is probably the center of the village, and there are several stores lined up around it. I wandered around, looked around, and entered one of the stores where I could see various kinds of things peeking through the open door.
The store was about ten tatami mats in size, and the light from the windows and skylight gently illuminated the narrow interior. The shelves were lined with various items such as ropes, cups, plates, and candles, and there were some swords and spears propped up against the wall. I wondered if it was a general store.
I greeted a stern-looking dwarf sitting in the back of the store and went to look around.
Thanks to the long time I spent on the run and in the cave, my stock of food was almost gone. I do have some dried fungus that I mass-produced in my spare time in the cave, but I really don’t want to count that as food now, thanks to my lengthy mushroom diet.
“Do you have any dried meat?” (Rook)
“Yes, there is… but it’s a bit expensive. There aren’t many monsters around here that can be made into dried meat. The dried El Caterpillar here—” (Store Owner)
“Oh, that’s good. That’s one’s good.” (Rook)
“Oh, okay. I see.” (Store Owner)
While the slightly reluctant dwarf was preparing the dried meat, I decided to look at the weapons on the wall. First, I drew a sword from its scabbard that was propped against the wall and held it up to the light from the skylight.
It was a double-edged straight sword with a blade about 50 centimeters long. It was made of iron, I suppose. The blade was well maintained and there were no strange impurities. There was no flaw or distortion in the blade. I’ve only gradually learned to be a decent judge of armor since I came here. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my skills, but I think I’m not bad. The quality is probably better in a village with many dwarves.
After returning the sword to its original place, I picked up the spear.
The spear is also made of iron and looks to be of good quality, with no distortion or dents in the blade. However, the shape of the spear was a three-pronged one, like a trident, which made me feel slightly uncomfortable, so I returned it to its original place. I’ll have to wait until I get to a bigger town to find a weapon.
“I’ve got the dried meat. What else do you need?” (Store Owner)
“…Oh, do you have any grimoires?” (Rook)
“A few. There are some [Life Magic] and ball-type spells.” (Store Owner)
“Is that so……” (Rook)
There are not many grimoires available in a small village, after all. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find one in the next town.
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