Chapter 0207 All for the Sake of Ramen
“I thought as much.”
At the back of the dining room, four people were sitting on a sofa, the Lord Progenitor, Agnes, Ryo, and Abel.
Agnes was leaning on the Lord Progenitor looking all happy.
She seemed uninterested in the conversation.
“Yeah. I mean, recreating such perfect ramen would be impossible unless…you truly love tonkotsu ramen and have eaten it hundreds or thousands of times.”
“Oh…you had it at Agnes’, didn’t you? The chef over there is the best in Land. He could reproduce my recipe perfectly, it was quite tasty wasn’t it?”
The Lord Progenitor said, smiling and nodding repeatedly.
“Unbelievably so, it was a masterpiece in a bowl.”
Although Ryo had two bowls.
“That good huh…”
Abel muttered next to Ryo.
“Yeah, it was amazing. I’d love to bring it to the Kingdom if possible…”
“That’s probably not going to happen.”
Ryo stated, and the Lord Progenitor responded, shaking his head with a sad look.
“I went through a lot of trouble just recreating that…”
“The challenge is with the noodles, isn’t it? The kansui…”
Ryo said, and the Lord Progenitor nodded broadly.
“As expected, you know your stuff. Ramen noodles absolutely need ‘kansui’, but it’s difficult to obtain. And that’d be the biggest reason why you won’t be able to reproduce it in the Kingdom.”
“Hmm? Wait a minute…I thought Lord Progenitor succeeded in chemically synthesizing kansui, now I see that isn’t the case.”
“Not at all, it’s not through chemical synthesis, but natural kansui that I discovered.”
It is said that the original form of ramen was discovered on modern Earth in the 17th century, when it was found that kneading flour with water from a saltwater lake in Mongolia produced noodles that had great elasticity and texture.
The inland saltwater lake is called Kanko, from which the word ‘Kansui’… ‘water from Kanko’ was derived.
In other words, ‘kansui’ originally existed naturally and continued to exist until the 21st century.
In Japan, however, the use of natural kansui was prohibited by law until recently.
“Since you can’t obtain natural kansui, it’s impossible to reproduce it in the Kingdom.”
Ryo became depressed along with those words.
“In fact, I decided to build a nation on this land because of that natural kansui…”
These words surprised not only Ryo but also Agnes.
“Agnes, keep this a secret from the rest, okay?”
“Uh, sure, of course. It’ll be a secret between me and the Lord Progenitor!”
Agnes was happy to share the secret with her beloved Lord Progenitor.
(What a guy…to build a nation for the sake of ramen…. Indeed, food is the cornerstone of a nation…)
Ryo was impressed, albeit with a slightly biased perception.
So from the bottom of his heart, he said.
“Lord Progenitor…I am deeply impressed.”
The Lord Progenitor was a little embarrassed.
“Um, I have a few other things I’d like to ask…”
Ryo was able to solve the biggest mystery in Land, the mystery of the ramen, but there were several…other mysteries that were of course insignificant compared to the ramen.
“Of course, I can answer as many questions as you want me to. We come from the same place after all.”
“Same place as Ryo…”
Abel muttered softly. Although it was a really low murmur, Ryo, who somehow heard it, decided to pretend he didn’t.
“Well, it’s nothing much compared to the mystery of the ramen, but why overthrow the government…the coup d’etat, to be precise?”
(So for these two, ‘Ramen’ is more important than the overthrowing of the government…?)
In his heart, Abel was surprised and dismayed, but wisely prevented himself from expressing it.
For he knew better than to offend either Ryo or the Lord Progenitor.
And, somehow, he felt that if he so much as attempted to make fun of the ramen, he would be shooting himself in the foot….
“Oh, I believe that’s just to pass the time.”
Sure enough, even Ryo didn’t see that one coming.
“Isn’t that right? Agnes.”
Agnes, who was suddenly questioned by the Lord Progenitor, freaked out and then opened her mouth while avoiding his gaze.
“Um, well, the thing is…”
“Ahh…. I knew it.”
The Lord Progenitor gave a small sigh before continuing his words.
“It’s been a hundred years since this country was founded. I think the vampires who joined us have had enough of peace and quiet. You see, we are immortals, and therefore live forever…as long as we don’t disintegrate that is. We are a race that is extremely difficult to multiply, but also difficult to diminish in number. For those who live a long time, it is very important to have something to pass the time. Our lifespan, you see, is totally different from that of a human…so, it’s near impossible to really grasp what I’m talking about.”
The Lord Progenitor sighed as he said that.
Ryo felt that the Lord Progenitor himself might be tired of uniting his kind.
He must have been uniting those vampires for a long time….
“I came to this land after a cycle of building nations in many different places or fighting with other races. For me, I’m happy with this land because I acquired kansui and perfected my longtime dream of making ramen noodles…”
“I have to say, I envy the idea of immortality. Because it means that you can spend all that time creating civilization, don’t you think?”
Ryo loved simulation games back when he was on Earth.
He was addicted to The Ambition of the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven, several kingdoms games, mini strategy games, and of course, one something Meier civilization game.
Creating civilization from scratch over thousands of years…an immortal could certainly realize any one such game.
Ryo passionately explained.
“This really takes me back…I used to play that game too.”
With a very distant look in his eyes, the Lord Progenitor recalled his days back on Earth.
For him, it was a memory of thousands or even more than tens of thousands of years ago.
“I guess…only a vampire can do something like that in real life huh.”
The Lord Progenitor muttered with a smile.
It seemed to Ryo as if something popped into his mind regarding the country.
After that, while talking about some other things, it suddenly occurred to Ryo.
“By the way, Lord Progenitor. About the magic nullification contraption that you made and installed in Duchess Alba’s mansion…”
Hearing this, Abel was surprised.
(Please tell me you’re joking! An artificially engineered magic nullification?)
It was astonishing.
Even more than that ramen thing…not exactly, but in Abel’s mind, of course.
If magic nullification becomes common, it would drastically change the face of society.
“Hm? Oh, there’s a misunderstanding surrounding that. That was just something I picked up.”
“Agnes, did you not explain properly…oh, looks like you didn’t, it’s written all over your face. I found that one in a ruin when I was taking a walk. This was before I moved to the Central Nations. All I did was set it up, reduce the power because it was too strong, and then adjust it so that Agnes could control it. Anyway, that made Agnes’ property a magic-neutral field, and if anything happens, she can easily take care of it.”
Agnes hugged the Lord Progenitor even tighter.
“So, to clear up any misunderstanding, magic nullification isn’t something I can whip up either.”
Abel was relieved to hear those words.
Ryo seemed a little disappointed.
“But I am confident that I have a deeper understanding of magic than most people. After all, the one who introduced magic chant to the Central Nations is yours truly.”
Ryo and Abel were unanimously surprised.
“It was quite difficult to discover ‘chant’ that works with the logic of this world, you know. But thanks to it, half of the population can use magic, can they not?”
So it was you~!
Ryo exclaimed in the back of his mind.
Ryo momentarily recalled the memory before his reincarnation to ‘Phi’, he was happy to be among the elite, since ‘only 20% of the population could use magic’, but then later became disappointed as it turned out that a lot of people could actually use magic.
However, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because the Lord Progenitor’s actions were also to help people….
“There certainly was also the aspect where it’s more convenient for us vampires to have the people of the surrounding countries only able to use weak magic. The weaker our neighbors, the better. I won’t deny that.”
It wasn’t just about helping people.
“Does this include … ‘martial arts’?”
Abel asked a question for the first time.
The Lord Progenitor nodded toward Abel and continued.
“The knights who protect Land are human. I wondered if there was something that utilizes magic they could employ to make them stronger…. It was another thing I had been working on before coming to the Central Nations. It was only a hundred years ago that I managed to put it together into a proper form.”
“So, all the knights in Land…”
“Yeah, most of them can use ‘martial arts’.”
It was shocking.
Even if each one of them is not a mighty warrior…one could say that they are much stronger than, say, the knights of the Kingdom.
“We’re not a big country, nor did I intend it to be one. A few elites are all that is needed.”
The Lord Progenitor said with a smile.
To Abel, that smile was simply eerie.
Two days later.
The diplomatic mission left the ducal capital.
Accepting trainees from the Kingdom and establishing mutual embassies in the ducal capital and the royal capital.
Those were the main contents of the agreement.
The next day, it was announced that Grand Duke Silas would abdicate after six months and that his son, Norton, would succeed him as Grand Duke.
Silas was given a fiefdom in the vicinity of Karnak, a city close to the Kingdom, to live in seclusion.
Everything else remained the same.
The coup was completely covered up.
The people involved too, went about their business as though nothing happened.
The only difference was…there was now more traffic between Duchess Alba’s residence and the Lord Progenitor’s ‘library’ than ever before.