Chapter 136: Red attempts Veronia naval cuisine
The day we returned Ririnrara to Prince Sarius.
After that, we left Misufia, Prince Sarius, and Ririnrara in the room and went down to the hall of the inn where the sailors were at.
The soldiers seemed to be having their meals in turns there as they ate soup and bread.
“I feel kind of hungry.”
It was already dark outside.
I left to deliver medicine to Newman’s clinic at noon, fought with Ririnrara along the way, carried her to Ruti’s mansion, called Misufia and the others, Prince Sarius attacked and we brought Ririnrara and the others here.
It has been quite a busy day.
I want to take it easy tomorrow.
“Ou, are you hungry?”
A soldier … a man who seemed to be half Human-half High Elf called out to us.
Apart from the slightly pointed tip of his ear, he looked exactly like a human. His body characteristics were almost entirely human.
He probably had a High Elf in his great grandparents’ generation.
His tanned and rough skin was unmistakably that of a sailor but his face of no wrinkles and cool eyes that did not suit his skin tone showed vestiges of a High Elf.
That man glared at us with hostility as opponents who captured Ririnrara when we returned to the hall but after Ririnrara’s subordinate who was captured with her explained the reconciliation, he became very friendly.
“Yeah, I have not had anything to eat since noon.”
“Is that so? Then you could have this if you are okay with it?”
The man said as he pointed at the soup on the table.
Veronia naval cuisine huh?
Due to the hostilities between the Kingdom of Veronia and the Kingdom of Avalonia, I had never tasted Veronia naval cuisine. I was very curious as to how it tasted.
“I’ll have some in that case.”
It seemed that he was an officer as after he loudly ordered his subordinates, a couple of unshaven soldiers quickly brought soup and bread over enough for a number of people.
The soup was slightly cloudy white but it was translucent enough to see to the bottom of the bowl.
The aroma … wasn’t much.
The soup had pork, irregularly cut green onions and carrots floating in it.
The pork was thick and still remained reddish.
” …… ”
Hn … is this by any chance.
I scooped some soup with a spoon and brought it to my mouth.
It was saltwater.
When I tasted the ingredients, none of them were properly cooked and the core remained undercooked, or rather, the insides were still cold.
It was bad.
“This is bad.”
Ruti who was sitting beside me said frankly.
Her face was expressionless but her eyebrows were just slightly scrunched so it seemed that she felt it was seriously bad.
The officer didn’t appear angry and even smiled after hearing that.
“You heard it Kurt! It’s bad after all!”
“Sorry, I don’t have the cooking skill.”
The soldier in his early 30s named Kurt was brought over and smiled as he replied.
Not only not having the skill, but it also seemed that he didn’t even have a basic knowledge of cooking in the first place …
“Ah, so you don’t usually cook? That can’t be helped then.”
“No, I am the cook. I made the meals even on the ship.”
Kurt scratched his head in embarrassment.
No way, that’s strange no matter how you look at it.
“Incidentally, what is your experience with cooking?”
“I first cooked when I entered the army.”
“Well that happens sometimes but … did anybody teach you how to cook?”
“I was not taught how to cook but was taught how to manage the inventory and prevent sailors from stealing.”
I see, perhaps that might be the most crucial skill Kurt needed on this ship.
“Yeah, his cooking is terrible but Kurt is a 『Sniper』. His skill as a lookout is terrific.”
“Thank you very much.”
That is certainly important as well but … but.
After hesitating for a little, I stood up.
“Since you traveled all this way to Zoltan, I can’t accept it as a citizen of Zoltan if you use Zoltan’s ingredients for such cooking.”
Well, the major reason was that my empty stomach could not endure such terrible food.
I moved to the kitchen without saying a word and didn’t care about Kurt who followed along while looking bewildered as I started preparing.
I was hungry.
This time, I’ll pass on making dishes that would take a long time.
“I’ll make the same pork and vegetable soup.”
“With the same ingredients?”
“The basic ones, yes.”
I cut the carrots into small pieces without peeling them. Root vegetables were the most delicious closer to their skin.
I cut the white portions of the green onion diagonally in thin slices and minced the green portion finely.
Next, I cut a large chunk of butter and dissolve it in the pan.
After that, I added the vegetables in and stirred well. By stir-frying, I could prevent the vegetables from falling apart and the taste and nutrients from leaching out.
I sliced the pork thinly and laid them on top of the vegetables.
I added water of about half of the vegetable amount. I still had not cooked the soup yet.
When the water started boiling, I covered it and steamed it for 7 minutes. Doing so would allow the heat to pass through them quicker than boiling and the sweetness of the vegetables would not escape.
After that, I added water and salt and boiled it. As I tasted the soup, I adjusted the flavor by adding salt, pepper and some slight amounts of fish meal that was kept in a small jar.
It was a simple soup that took less than 20 minutes to complete including the preparation time.
Lastly, I carved some parsley and let them float on the soup and it was complete.
I could smell the fragrant smell of vegetables when I poured it into a bowl.
“Oo, let me have some too.”
“Sure, I made enough for about 20 bowls.”
Kurt took the bowl I offered and took a sip on the spot without even going to the hall.
Life on a warship is so severe that it is unbearable for ordinary people.
Because of that, if all the soldiers were allowed to disembark when they reach a port, there would be deserters.
In many cases, a manageable number of people would be allowed off the port to take a vacation while most other soldiers spend their time on the ship.
There were even captains who treat their soldiers poorly and not let them get off the ship for years.
In other words, even while the ship is at the port, they would spend most of their time eating on the ship.
“It-it’s been a long time since I had something so tasty. Are you a 『Cook』?”
“Nope, I only have the common cooking skill at level 1.”
“A level 1 skill can make something so tasty!?”
“I have the skill but most importantly I have the basics of cooking memorized.”
The significance of pre-cooking preparations, the principle of seasoning, and imagining the kind of flavor the dish would take while cooking.
That was all there was to it but as most of the people in this world believe Divine Protection and skills are everything, many of them neglect the basics.
Nevertheless, the reality was that leveling up would somehow make up for the lack of basics so that contributed to the current trend.
Well, it might be all right if it turns out fine.
But it becomes a problem if the people decide that they can’t cook because they don’t have the skill.
That was not only limited to cooking, it also holds true for the sword.
The lack of sword techniques is a regular occurrence in any army so there is the opinion that instead of spending time to memorize sword technique, hunting monsters and leveling up was a lot better and there are even some commanders who actually abolish training and use that time to subjugate the monsters from various areas.
As a result, the only method to solve problems was to ‘raise your level’.
But what should they do when they have an issue they have to solve at that exact moment but they do not have the level required to do so?
The captain of the Bahamut Knight Order that I was in was a through and through advocate of the necessity of sword techniques.
As he acquired strength beyond a person’s level through swordsmanship,
Captain mastered the general use of all weapons such as the sword, spear, axe, club, and sickle, not just those that Captain could use his skills with.
Although he was normally calm and easygoing, the moment it became a topic of weapons he would joyfully start talking quickly to the point where his subordinate knights suspect if he is merely a weapon maniac … but nevertheless, as a 『Guide』 who can’t rely on any skills, he is my benefactor.
“I see, so cooking has to be done while having such considerations in mind.”
Kurt nodded multiple times with emotion after I taught him the basics of cooking and seasoning.
And his tone oddly became honorific for some reason.
“Then, please help me to serve the meal.”
In the end, I ended up making bread porridge with the bread that was as hard as rock, grilling the dried fish to make them soft and fluffy and made plentiful of salty mashed potatoes that would go well with beer. Even though I was feeling hungry.
Kurt helped with the dishes that I added on. Well, bread porridge, dried fish grill, and mashed potatoes were all simple dishes.
The biggest difference with or without skill would be the seasoning. Even a dish cooked with only salt would taste delicious if cooked with a high Cooking skill level.
Then what should one do when they don’t have the skill?
You should choose a dish that you can make the most delicious with the existing seasonings. It may be the obvious answer but it was the best answer.
But only a minority of cooks can do so. Since many believe that the results and cause of failure are due to Divine Protection and skills.
Kurt saluted as though saluting a superior officer and energetically carried the dishes out.
Of course, it would not feed everyone present but it should be sufficient for a great number of people.
While thinking that I didn’t have any obligation to do so, I realized that my lips curled into a smile when I heard the cheers from the other room.
Well, the goal of cooking is to please others.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten something so delicious!”
I was surrounded by Veronia soldiers who were enemies just a while ago and received many praises.
“More importantly, it’s amazing that Kurt made these delicious side dishes!”
Anybody can make mashed potatoes … but only people who know the fundamentals of cooking will know that.
Just like how a person who never gripped a sword would not be able to cut anything even if he swings, a person who never touched a pot before would not even be able to grill meat.
And they would convince themselves that they failed because they didn’t have the relevant skill and anything that they make that can be eaten could be made because it doesn’t require a skill.
… At that time, I may have forgotten the horror of standing out.
“This is seriously tasty.”
“Right, my Red is amazing.”
“Yup, my Onii-chan is great.”
Without me noticing, Prince Sarius and the others had come down to the hall and Lit and Ruti were standing side-by-side with their chest swelling with pride.
“Umu, I should improve on my cooking too. Ha … Ririnrara doesn’t pay any attention to meals after all.”
Prince Sarius nodded multiple times as he muttered to himself.
That was when I acutely sensed something troublesome.
A couple of days after that.
Misufia and Mayor Tonedo came out of their way to my shop and requested for a standing party for the soldiers together with Kurt.
“Teacher! I will be in your care today!”
On the day of the standing party.
The Veronian Army cook Kurt greeted me with sparkling eyes.
I told them that they could just request a person with the Divine Protection of 『Cook』 but Prince Sarius and Ririnrara insisted on me instead.
They probably wanted me to teach Kurt how to cook as well.
The rewards were quite good. It even overshadows my usual sales from the shop.
“I’m blessed with good fortune for opening an Oden stall here!”
Oparara, the Oden stall owner rolled up her sleeves.
“No, I’m really counting on you.”
She was a helper I asked together with Ruti to come along as I was feeling worried.
Even if my cooking turned out bad, Oparara’s cooked oden would serve as insurance.
“But today’s main character is Red. I am but a supporting character, a tendon to pull you through.”
Oparara said as she started preparing beef tendon with a grin.
What? Did she just make an oden joke?
“Well, since I’m getting that much rewards, I’ll do what I can.”
I took out my favorite kitchen knife and wore an apron.
“By the way, that knife isn’t made of copper?”
“What of course. Your sword should be more important.”
Oparara laughed as she found it amusing.
Of course, telling someone that the weapon I stake my life on is a copper sword but the kitchen knife I use to cook is made of steel would certainly be strange.
Turning back to look at the voice that called me, I saw Lit and Ruti.
“Our preparations as assistants is OK too.”
“I’ll do my best.”
Lit wore a red apron while Ruti wore an apron with a cat face drawn on it and for some reason the two of them were equipped with a ladle on their right hand.
“I felt it suited the cooking theme.”
Lit covered her mouth as she laughed.
It was cute but the two of them were not good at cooking.
In terms of cooking, even Hero Lit and humanity’s strongest Hero Ruti only know the basics of outdoor cooking that ordinary people do.
The art of cooking sure is profound since even superhuman physical abilities and spirit magical powers are powerless before cooking.
Now then, it’s about time I start cooking.
I arranged the ingredients I brought on the table.