Black Cat Chapter 143: Dinner Party

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 The dining room table was large enough to seat about ten people on each side, and the hosts, the Viscount and his family, and Chariot, sat facing each other.


 It was the Viscount, Laius, Gad, the Madame, Serge, Shure, and Aida, my brother, and me.



 Looking at the dining table with several knives and forks laid out on the pure white tablecloth, my brother is trembling with nervousness.



“Nya-Nya-Nyango… Wh-what should I do…” (Fawkes)


“C-c-calm down, b-b-big brother… W-we’re not going to be eaten, so it’s okay…” (Nyango)



 Even in my previous life when I was an otaku high school student, I had never been to a fancy restaurant, so I didn’t really understand table manners.


 But don’t we have a model called Aida right in front of us?



 I whispered to my brother in a quiet voice so that Aida would not hear us.



“Brother, let’s imitate Aida. Just watch what knife and fork she uses before eating, and we’ll be fine.” (Nyango)


“I see… you’re smart, Nyango.” (Fawkes)


“I don’t think I’ll get a chance to come to a place like this too many times, but we’ll keep an eye on it for the future.” (Nyango)


“Yeah, that’s right…” (Fawkes)



 Even when Aida returns from the shooting range, she keeps looking at me with a displeased look.


 No, I feel like she’s in an even worse mood because I shot more powerful magic than her favorite, Joubert.



 Still, she is like a lifeline for me and my brother, so let’s take a closer look at her.


 Aida looked a little dismayed when she was stared at by my brother and me, who had been so timid and uncertain until just a few moments ago.



“W-what… do you want to say something?” (Aida)



 I thought that saying something would only put her in a bad mood, so I unintentionally shook my head silently along with my brother.



“Well, what is it?” (Aida)



 Aida looks uncomfortable being stared at by catkin brothers, but we’re in a pretty tempestuous state ourselves, so bear with us.


 Dinner was a course meal, as you would expect from an aristocrat’s mansion.



 First, fruit wine was poured into glasses with small feet, and the viscount greeted the guests.



“Once again, welcome to my castle. Tonight, please drink, eat, and enjoy yourselves without any thought of formalities. Cheers!” (Viscount)



 My brother and I raised our glasses and immediately turned to Aida, who, to my surprise, drank it all in one gulp.


 I looked at him and my brother, and we conversed silently.



“Nyango, are we going to drink this?” (Fawkes)


“No, no, if we drink all at once, we’ll collapse.” (Nyango)


“But… She drank it all.” (Fawkes)


“I-I guess we can just pretend to drink it or just take a sip.” (Nyango)


“I-I see…” (Fawkes)



 We, catkin brothers, sipped the glass with trepidation, took a sip of the fruit wine, and our bodies trembled.


 It would be totally suspicious behavior, but I think we are doing our best as catkins.



 After the aperitif, the appetizer was shrimp and fish carpaccio, patterned with red, yellow, and green sauces.


 I looked at Aida and she had begun to eat using the knife and fork that were laid out on the outermost side of the table.



 My brother and I made eye contact, nodded to each other, and then went to our food.


 I was nervous, but I was also hungry, and most importantly, the food in front of me looked terrific.



 We started with the shrimp, which were arranged like a dome in the center of the dish.


 The shrimp seemed to have been lightly boiled to bring out their sweetness.



“Yummeow! This shrimp is plump and sweet, and it’s so yummeow! The fish has a silky texture and a rich flavor. It’s super yummeow!” (Nyango)



 I just started screaming like I always do, but when I noticed the scene and the quiet atmosphere in the dining room, I broke into a sweat.


 The Viscount’s laughter echoed, breaking the silence.



“Hahahahahaha! I’m glad you liked it. I hope you enjoy your meal without worrying about formalities.” (Frederick)


“Oh, thank you very much, milord.” (Nyango)



 The viscount laughed happily and offered drinks to Laius and Gad.


 Aida gave me a freezing glare, but me and my brother were more interested in the food than anything else.



 After the appetizers, soup, and bread, a sautéed fish was served.


 It was a white fish, but judging from the shape of the fillet, it appeared to be quite large.



 The fish seemed to be lightly floured and sauteed in butter, and a savory smell rose in the air.


 When I put my knife into it, I could tell that the skin was crispy and the flesh was tender, and I was salivating even before I took it to my mouth.



“Yes, yummeow! What’s this? It’s more yummeow than Malur!” (Nyango)


“Hahaha, that’s a fish called Mordal, and we’re currently trying to farm it.” (Frederick)


“When you bite into it, the fat from the skin spreads out, and the flaky flesh and the crispy skin mix together… and it’s very yummeow!” (Nyango)



 Once again, Aida, who is sitting across from me, gives me an icy stare, but I can’t help but talk about the deliciousness of Mordal.


 After finishing the Mordal, a plate of meat came out next.



“Could this be…?” (Nyango)


“Yes, it’s the wyvern you killed.” (Frederick)



 The meat was cut into thick slices, and the sides as well as the underside were grilled and crisp, but when I pushed the knife in, the meat was cooked to medium rare.


 The meat was cooked over a low flame after being browned around the edges to prevent the flavor of the meat from escaping.



 The meat was still cherry red in color, but it was cooked through and did not drip blood.


 The brown sauce that accompanied the steak smelled familiar.



“Yes, yummeow! This rich flavor is what the Wyvern is known for, but the smell of this sauce is… prone mushrooms?” (Nyango)


“Oh, you got it. You’re right, it’s a sauce made with prone mushrooms.” (Frederick)


“When I lived in Atsuka Village, I often walked around looking for prune mushrooms.” (Nyango)


“I see. So there are secret places only Nyango knows about?” (Frederick)


“Huh? Ah… that’s right. I don’t know what’s going on there now, but…” (Nyango)



 Prone mushrooms sell for a high price when brought to a town like Ibouro, as I did to earn a little money during the Nest Leaving Ceremony.


 I was careful not to be followed when I went to get them so that others would not find them.



 Maybe the prone mushrooms are growing in secret because I don’t think anyone has found that place.


 Next time I go back to my hometown, I’ll fetch some, and we’ll all eat them together.



 After the main dish, wild berry sorbet was served for dessert.


 Wild berries are in season from June to July, so they must have a freezer in the kitchen.



 The final course was a small marron cream pie and Calfe.


 I found myself so engrossed in the cooking that I didn’t pay any attention to my manners, and I left the discussion of wyvern subjugation to Laius.



 This was far from being a mature adventurer, but the food was too good to resist.


 And while the portions might be just right for a normal person, for a catkin, they are at a level where I don’t think I could eat any more.



 We were so full that we had to loosen our belts or else we would be in pain, and my brother and I were dozing off and swaying back and forth.


 Well, he had been tensed all morning, and I guess he was mentally tired rather than physically.



 When I propped him up with an empty cushion to keep him from falling forward, he fell into a sound sleep mode.


 You may think it’s sloppy, but it’s a habit for catkin s to sleep after eating, and I could barely keep my eyelids from slipping down.



“It looks like you enjoyed your meal. Well then, I think it’s time to call it a night, but Laius, can you stay a little longer?” (Frederick)


“Yes, I will join you, milord.” (Laius)



 Dinner was over, but it seemed that Laius, Serge, and Gad were going to have a few more drinks with the viscount.


 I’m not sure if I can stay awake if I’m asked to, but my brother and I, and Shure, are going back to our room.



“Come on, big brother, stay strong…” (Nyango)


“Meow, I know…” (Fawkes)



 Even when I lend my shoulder to him and start walking, he seems to already be half asleep.



“Leave it to me…” (Shure)



 Shure immediately picked him up and carried him to his room.


 After all, we’re just like a big cat.



 When we returned to the room, Shure washed my brother in the bathroom, and after they washed, I dried them both with my warm air magic circle.



“I’m going to soak in the bath some more.” (Nyango)


“Okay, I’ll pick you up later…” (Shure)


“No, no, you don’t have to come. Please be satisfied with my big brother.” (Nyango)


“I can’t guarantee that…” (Shure)



 After sending Shure and my brother off, I run the bath water and pour more in.


 I don’t mind bubble baths, but as a former Japanese, I like to relax and soak in clear water.



 Since I am the only one in the bathtub, a half-filled bathtub is enough for a relaxing soak.


 At the base, the six of us take turns taking a bath, so I can’t take it easy, so this kind of time is very precious to me.



“The Royal Capital… I wonder if Horacio is doing well?” (Nyango)



 Suddenly, the idea of going to Royal Capital became a reality.


 The Viscount and Viscountess are going to accompany Aida to the cathedral in the Royal Capital to join the Nest Leaving Ceremony.



 If I can accompany them there, my world will expand again.


 Until then, I need to complete my requests to kill orcs and other monsters.



 After I return to Ibouro tomorrow, I’ll start working hard the day after tomorrow to finish up the requests for subjugating orcs.


 If possible, I would also like to accept a request to escort people to the clay pit and practice my gun fu against goblins. 




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