Chapter 0011 Monster Meat is the best
“Since I managed to earn a decent sum, let’s eat something delicious.”
After I finished the transaction, I decided to leave the Adventurer’s Guild and head to the center of the city.
It was already dark outside, and the lights powered by magic stones were starting to light up here and there.
Traveling straight on the stone-paved boulevard, I found a row of restaurants with beautiful exteriors.
Many of the people walking down the street were also well-dressed, and the area was clearly catered for the wealthy.
Normally, I wouldn’t even visit a place like this, but the money I received from the guild turned out to be more than I expected. It would be nice to eat something delicious to reward myself for my hard work.
Eating is one of my few hobbies. I’d like to indulge in it once in a while.
I convinced myself as I found a restaurant called ‘Haunted’, which was famous for its meat dishes.
“…If I remember correctly, this restaurant purchases meat from cattle raised for consumption.”
Meat on the market was generally either butchered livestock or simply mass-raised and fattened for consumption.
However, I’ve heard that the cattle the restaurant procures was carefully fed and raised so that their customers can enjoy a more delicious meal.
I pitied the cows a little when I heard that they were raised only to be delicious, but I was still curious about the taste.
“Okay, let’s go in.”
When I passed through the door, a large lion-headed beastman in a suit greeted me.
They would typically be fully occupied, but there were vacancies because I was early.
I’m glad I made the decision quickly.
I sat down while feeling overwhelmed by the high-class atmosphere of the restaurant, waiter handed me a glass of water and a menu and told me how much time and effort went into the beef that was procured by this restaurant.
The recommendation at that restaurant was the white beef steak.
When I ordered it without hesitation, the waiter bowed his head politely and withdrew into the kitchen.
When I looked around the store while swirling the glass of water, I saw merchants dressed in evidently good-quality clothes having a pleasant chat, and an elderly couple cutting and eating steaks with elegant mannerisms.
No boisterous shouts or dirty jokes flying around the space. It was serene.
It was a little unsettling for me, who always ate in a noisy cafeteria, but it felt good to experience something like that once in a while.
As I was absentmindedly looking around the restaurant, the lion-headed beastman from earlier brought the food.
A thick steak sat on a sizzling iron plate, and I could smell the fragrant meat juices.
As soon as I put the knife to the steak, it sliced through the meat effortlessly, and I could see a beautiful pale pink cross-section.
“This looks delicious.”
I stuck a fork into the dripping steak and brought it to my mouth.
The moment I ate it, I was confused.
……It doesn’t seem to be as delicious as I expected.
No, no, that’s impossible. This restaurant is famous and has a good reputation in the Central district, and they have many branches outside of Barona. There is no way that the recommended dish of such a popular restaurant would not be delicious.
I rinsed my mouth with a glass of water to reset.
OK, let’s try it again.
The white beef meat cooked to perfection was very tender, and the flavor of the juicy meat spread with each bite.
But that was it.
It didn’t have the rough, gamey flavor and umami that I got when I ate a minotaur, it didn’t have the firmness and concentrated flavor of a black snake, and it didn’t have strong fattiness like a soldier lizard.
Plain and unsatisfactory. I felt that cooking and eating the monsters I defeated in the labyrinth was far more fulfilling.
Compared to the monster dishes I ate in the abyss and the labyrinth, the white beef steak in front of me was terribly lackluster.
Could it be that monsters are better quality ingredients compared to normal ingredients?
Or was it because my body mutated by eating monsters, and I came to find monsters more delicious?
“Dear customer, are you unsatisfied with the food?”
The lion-headed beastman asked me gingerly.
I stopped eating after two slices of steak. It was no wonder the waiter felt uneasy.
“No, I was just lost in thought.”
“I see. I shall excuse myself then. Please let me know if you need anything.”
After the waiter left, I resumed my meal.
It wasn’t particularly unpalatable, but it was still unsatisfactory.
Actually, I initially wanted to order many other dishes, but now I didn’t feel like doing that, and after eating the steak, I left the restaurant.
Aren’t monsters better as ingredients?
I couldn’t help but wonder about that, so I traveled to the grassland outside the city to confirm that thought.
Darkness had already set into the surroundings, and the grasslands at night were pitch black.
However, for me, with the [Night Vision] skill, I could see in the dark as if it were daytime.
Using [Heat Source Perception] while stepping on about knee-high grass, I strolled through the grassland.
[Sound Wave Perception] is effective indoors where sound waves can echo, but in an open space like that, the sound waves wouldn’t echo as much and the information that could be picked up was small, so I chose [Heat Source Perception] instead.
As I continued while looking around, I sensed two heat source reactions in my field of vision.
They were horn rabbits. Their level is low, and they can be said to be the first monster that novice adventurers face.
The horns on their forehead are threatening, but their linear movements make them easy to dodge.
When I back-handed the side of the horn rabbit that charged at me in a straight line, I heard the sound of bones getting crushed.
Then, I placed my dismantling knife on the nape of the horn rabbit that jumped from my left and cut it.
With just that, the two horn rabbits were slain.
Previously, I had fought horn rabbits many times without any trouble. Even without my current level, I could easily kill them, so that result was not surprising.
I focused all my nerves to make sure that the horn rabbits wouldn’t be reduced to dust due to my increased status.
Anyway, both were relatively intact.
After the horn rabbits were drained of blood, I snapped off the horns growing on their foreheads.
Since the guild would buy their horn for 100 Regins, I made sure to put them in my magic bag.
Then, I made an incision in the skin around the ankle on both hind legs.
Grasping the hind leg and the skin with each hand, I pulled toward the head to peel the skin off.
After peeling off all the skin, making an incision in the belly and removing the large bones and internal organs, I wash them thoroughly.
Only the liver could be used for cooking, so I decided to keep it.
After using fire magic to burn the small hairs remaining on the body, I applied salt, pepper, and herbs all over the body and skewered the whole rabbit.
After assembling the stones that served as the foundation, I used fire magic to start a fire, and the two skewered horn rabbits were roasted whole.
After carefully roasting them for about an hour while being cautious of my surroundings, the horn rabbits were properly cooked.
They used to be a beautiful pink color, but after being roasted by the fire, they now had an enticing color.
“Ooh, they look delicious.”
If I were in a restaurant, I would have cut them up elegantly and eaten them, but I was in an empty grassland at night.
There was no need to worry about manners. I ate the roasted horn rabbit directly from the skewer.
The surface was crispy, and the inside was moist, soft, and chewy.
There was no smell of blood at all, and it had a refreshing taste. In addition, the umami spread in my mouth and I couldn’t stop eating.
If rabbit meat is overcooked, it tends to become dry, but horn rabbit meat was not like that at all and was soft like chicken.
It had a faint flavor of blood, but it felt elegant like I was eating high-quality wild meat.
The liver, which was roasted at the same time as the whole roast, was also squishy and had a strange texture, but was packed with rich flavor.
“This is more delicious.”
To be honest, it was many times more delicious than the white beef steak I ate at the restaurant earlier.
The taste was worlds apart.
The white beef steak I ate earlier at the restaurant was priced at about 10,000 Regins for one serving, while a horn rabbit subjugation request was about 500 Regins for five rabbits. Even if I sell off all the magic stones and horns, I would still only reach 1,000 Regins.
Even so, the fact that horn rabbit meat was more delicious meant that monster meat was of higher quality as an ingredient.
The only way to find out if it was just me was to get other people to eat monsters, but I couldn’t have them try it so casually, so there was probably no way to find out.
At least for me, cooking and eating monsters was more delicious than normal food.
Just knowing that was a big win.
I couldn’t tell if I should be glad, but I didn’t think I’d feel any inconvenience as long as I lived as an adventurer.
I reached for the second horn rabbit without worrying any further.