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Arrive at the bar and sit in an empty seat at the counter.
“Master, please.” (Innkeeper)
“Here you go.”
I called the innkeeper and showed him the board with my room number on it. He turned over the board on the wall, poured the stew into a wooden bowl from the cauldron, grabbed a loaf of bread from the large basket, put it on a plate, and put it in front of me.
Just the smell coming from it makes my mouth water.
I tore off a piece of black bread and dipped it in the brown stew before tossing it in my mouth as if my mouth was being urged.
…Yeah, it’s good. It had a rich meaty flavor, a hint of herbs, a solid taste of salt, and maybe even some spices.
I moved to this inn after I was able to advance steadily through the 16th to 18th floors of the dungeon. I used to stay at an inn near the east gate or at a cheaper inn on a back street near the dungeon, but now that I’ve been able to kill D-rank monsters consistently, my income has grown more stable, so I decided to stay at a middle-class inn on the front street.
The price was five silver coins for a single room, but I think it was worth it.
It was safe, close to the dungeon, and the room had a desk and chair, and the bed was clean. And above all, the food was good. The bread was soft because it was baked that same day.
In this world, for some reason, the food from high-ranked monsters tends to taste better. Therefore, expensive restaurants tend to have better taste because they use higher-ranked ingredients. This stew must have been made with meat from D-rank monsters or even higher.
So even if the stew is similar to others, it tastes a rank higher.
However… perhaps it is because of this system that the cuisine of this world has not developed, or perhaps the reason why simple cuisine is at the forefront. I’ve recently come to think about this.
At the moment, most of the dishes I eat in this world are stews, soups, bread, spit-roasted meats, sausages, dried meats, smoked meats, etc. I guess that’s about it. The cooking method is very simple: grilling and boiling are almost all. If you go to a more expensive restaurant, you will probably find a variety of dishes, but there is not much variation.
The fact that the rule is that if you simply use high-grade ingredients, the food will be good, leads to the conclusion that if the food is not good, it is because the ingredients are low grade, which reduces the opportunity for experimentation and hinders the development of new cuisines.
“Master, some of your good wine and skewers.”
“Here, one silver coin.” (Innkeeper)
I place an additional order, which I forgot to do because I was so hungry, and then I put a silver coin on the counter.
After collecting the silver coin, the master gave the young waitress a single word of instruction, “Hey,” and began preparing the kitchen.
As I was sipping my stew while watching the master grill the skewers, I heard a man’s voice at the back of the bar.
“Oh! Then I’ll add water in using my new great magic.” (Eager Magician)
“Hey, don’t get carried away just because you’re happy that you’ve learned a new spell.” (Waitress)
“It’s okay. Let him go. Let him do it.” (Innkeeper)
“Shut up and just watch! Here I go! Water, pour into this hand, [Water Drop]!” (Eager Magician)
As I paid attention to the man shouting for some reason, a drop of water about an inch in diameter appeared from the palm of the man’s right hand, which was floating in front of him.
――then it fell onto the table with a splash.
“…I don’t have to tell you… You don’t have a talent for magic, do you?” (Waitress)
“Gahahahaha! Looks like it!” (Innkeeper)
“Shut up! Damn! Even though I have a talent for water attribute!” (Eager Magician)
“Maybe just a tiny bit?” (Waitress)
I glanced at them as they continued to buzz and fuss and continued to eat.
He used the Life Magic [Water Drop]. Mel used it often too.
…But it is not just affinity …perhaps his INT and other factors are too low to make it powerful or useful. In a sense, it might be cruel to say that you can learn magic with the proper affinity, but you can’t even use it properly.
With that in mind, I tore some of the bread, and the master put them on the counter, saying, “skewers and wine.”
I quickly took the skewers and the wine and put them in my mouth.
The aroma of the grilled meat, the smoky scent, and the juices spread in my mouth.
As I chewed once, twice, three times, more and more juices flowed into my mouth. The salty taste of the meat hit my tongue, and some kind of spice added a tangy note.
I knew the inn was using good meat. I’ve had D-grade El Sheep meat before, but this was better. I wonder if they use C-grade meat? Or is it even better?
I focused my attention on my tongue and enjoyed the taste. Then, holding the wine in my left hand, I gulped it down. The sourness of the wine washed away the meat juices and refreshed my palate.
For a moment, I felt as if my happy time experiencing the juicy meat was over, and I thought it was a pity. But I was wrong. The happy times would continue.
I shoved the skewer I was holding in my right hand back into my mouth.
As I continued to munch and chew, the man to my left began to fidget with something.
As I glanced sideways at him, he suddenly started chanting a spell.
“Flame, come from this hand, [Fire Seed].” (Customer)
Then a fireball about two centimeters in diameter appeared from the fingertips of the man’s right hand, and he took out a knife from his left hand, stabbed it into a three-centimeter-long yellow mass on a plate, lifted it up, and held it over the fireball.
After a while, the yellow lump bubbled up and became so sticky that it almost dripped. The man dexterously spun the knife around to roll up the dripping part and continued to sear it.
In the end, the yellow lump began to change its shape into a round shape, and when the good smell began to reach me next to him, he put out the ball of fire and smeared the melted sauce on the bread.
…Could it be?
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