The Other World Dining Hall - Chapter 52
A small inn in a small town of a small country was busy that day.
[O~i! another serving of knight's stew!] [Here too! Two servings! More meat! Beer and bread too!]
[Excuse me~, bill please~.]
[Yes, yes! Right away!]
Myla walked around the bar delivering food and drinks, receiving money from the customers, and cleared the tables after the customers went away.
They had hired a new server, but it was so busy that it made one's eyes spin.
Although the inn opened at dawn, until the closing time at the end of the day when the sun was setting, customers like a traveler who headed towards the Capital and a husband who had finished his work would come constantly.
In addition, the inn was also popular, and now it seemed that there were customers who had chosen to lodge at the inn while knowing that it took half a day to arrive at the nearest city.
That and thanks to ’’knight's stew’’ as only their inn sold it at that town.
The trick was thanks to a Halfling couple who came to the town around a year ago.
They travelled around while purchasing food ingredients in the market and sold cooked foods as chefs.
When they first arrived at the town and made ’’knight's stew’’, Myla's father, Rauli, ate it and it triggered his business intuition.
He asked the couple who made a potful of stew to sell as their merchandise when customer traffic was quite high to sell the recipe to him.
At first, when Myla's father heard that the price he needed to pay was half a month of the inn's earnings... which was 100 silver coins, he fainted.
As the inn was not that popular, they had no money to spare.
However, Rauli's judgment was correct, as a result of putting the knight's stew in the menu, their customer increased more than twice the original amount and they made a lot of savings.
(My father said ’’I thought I could sell it at the inn when I first ate it’’.)
And during afternoon.
[Yoshi... we're out of ingredients, so that's it for today. Myla, you can take a break until evening.]
[Ye~s, call me later then.]
As the large pot of stew prepared at the morning was then empty, Rauli said so to Myla.
At this inn, other dishes like sausages with Baron's fruit, simple soups and alcoholic beverages were served, but the selling point of the inn was the knight's stew.
If it was absent, then the customer traffic would lessen.
As a matter of course, they would make another pot, but they would leave the rest of the work to other servers until the evening when it would be ready, so Myla could take a rest.
Her weak mother had died due to a disease, and Myla was an only child.
Therefore when Myla took in a husband, he would succeed the inn.
If she collapsed, then there would be no one that could inherit the inn.
That's why, even while being charged with innkeeper work, Myla had free time.
[U~, so tired...]
The town was a rural town with no entertainment, so she had nothing to do when she had free time.
Myla returned to her room on the first floor and collapsed on her bed.
[It's good to make money, but I should take care of my health when I'm too busy.]
She said such while lying flat on her bed.
For a moment, she missed the old days when she was free.
In those evenings, there was no problem for her to take a nap until customers arrived.
...However, it was true that she honestly didn't want to go back to when she and her father would look at their account book every day.
It was when she was thinking such.
[O~i, Myla, you there?]
She heard a call from outside of her window.
[Is something the matter, Johan?]
Myla replied, raising her face from the bed.
There was a familiar face of Johan, the second son of a baker whose age was similar to hers, who lowered an old sword borrowed from the town's vigilante to his waist.
[Actually, I found an awesome restaurant. Do you want to go together?]
Myla confirmed while turning to face him, and immediately asked Johan.
[An awesome restaurant? ...Is there such a place here?]
Myla tilted her head hearing his words.
Myla had lived in this town ever since she was born, and the amount of time she left the town could be counted with both hands.
She was familiar with this town, but she didn't know about Johan's ’’awesome restaurant’’.
[Aa, I found it not long ago, it's a bit weird... but the food there is really delicious. Are you in?]
[How preposterous... well, you don't seem to be lying...]
She had served the inn's customers.
Johan didn't seem to be lying.
...And, he was the type that was more brawn than brain, so his intellect was not excellent.
[...Well, alright. I have a break until the evening, so if it's only until then, then it's fine.]
[Ou! You have to come! Let's go quickly! I've been looking forward to going there since this morning so I'm famished!]
Johan hold out his hand just like back when they were children.
[That's right. You always go immediately after you decided.]
Myla took his hand naturally, and both of them took off.
They walked for a while.
[...Hey, Johan. Perhaps, I am being deceived?]
Myla asked Johan as they walked through the forest where children were forbidden to approach as a wolf was sometimes sighted.
[Why are we in the forest when we're going to have a meal?]
Two people of a similar age alone in an unpopular forest and one of them was a young man.
It's a situation where a young woman like her couldn't help but being uneasy, never mind that Johan was her childhood friend.
[I'm not lying! The awesome restaurant is ahead.]
But apparently Johan didn't care about all that.
What could be heard from his enthusiastic voice was no doubt appetite.
At least it seemed that there was no lie in ’’the awesome restaurant is ahead’’.
[I mean, why do you know that there is a restaurant in such a place?]
Johan didn't seem to be telling a lie, but the mystery deepened.
Why was there a restaurant in the forest?
And why did Johan went to the place where the restaurant was?
[Aa, around a year ago, the chefs Halfling couple? Those guys who made the stew at your family's inn.]
To answer Myla's doubts, Johan talked about the couple that was Myra's family's benefactors.
Including the chance on how he discovered ’’that restaurant’’.
[I heard it from the adults, but when they stayed at the town, they went to the forest while singing a strange song.]
If it was only that, he would miss it.
Because humans couldn't understand Halflings who spent their lives travelling around the world without any place to call home.
[However, I noticed it when going around the town. Halflings that came to our town always went to the forest.]
Yes, Halflings visited the town quite often.
The Halflings that cooked were only those couple, but roughly once every few months, Halflings stopped at the town during their journey.
They usually shopped at the town and went to the forest without stopping at the inn.
...When he talked to a warrior that was escorting a noble, he heard from him that Halflings came to his town once a year.
Too many Halflings visited this town.
[I thought that there was something at the forest and went all the way to the back.]
And he found it.
[...What is that? Why is there a door in the forest?]
Myla was surprised seeing a well-maintained black door floating in the dark of the forest.
[Ou, that's our destination. The purveyor of Halflings called Nekoya.]
That's what Johan explained to Myla, being in good mood seeing her shocked face similar to his 7 days ago.
'Chirinchirin', while listening to the sound of the bell, they went through the door.
[A! Welcome! Please have a seat!]
At the same time, a girl wearing an unusual hair ornament with tailor-made clothes that boldly exposed the legs from knee down while carrying a somewhat large book cheerfully greeted them.
[Etto, Johan-san is able to read the menu right? Here is the menu. Please let me know if you have decided what to order... yes! I'll be there soon!]
They were prompted to seat at a well-maintained seat;the waitress gently placed the book on the table and went to attend another table.
[...What is that?]
Myla murmured, as if somewhat disappointed.
[It's something like a different world costume. It's somewhat embarrassing, but here it's normal.]
To such Myla, Johan elaborated that the waitress (it seemed her name was Aletta) had served him at the restaurant before.
[A different world? ...Perhaps, is this a different world?]
[I guess. It seems that this is called the otherworld dining hall because it's in a different world... eh? Did I not say that?]
In response to Myla's question, Johan remembered that he had forgotten to explain what this place was to Myla.
[I have not heard of it.]
Myla sighed at her longtime childhood friend and proceeded to browse the interior of the restaurant.
[...It's somewhat obviously strange here.]
When she looked at it, it clearly showed that the clientele were strange.
...Rather than an ordinary customer of an ordinary family, there were noble customers wearing expensive clothes that Myla would likely never could afford in her lifetime, an elderly man who seemed to be a magician, a group of young priestess and warriors that seemed to be 100 times stronger than Johan.
There were also customers that were obviously not humans, small dwarves and fairies, a lizardman, monsters such as two teens with wings and a woman with the lower body of a snake. There were no such beings in Myla's world.
She was convinced that this was another world because such occurrence was unlikely, Myla then opened the book on the desk and read it.
There were descriptions of various foods written beautifully in the familiar language of Samanak.
She would not try to eat those with unfamiliar names and descriptions, but there was one thing she knew for the time being.
[...The price is a bit higher than usual.]
Added to the descriptions, the price of the food was higher than Myla's inn where even Johan's small pocket money could afford it.
In other words, it was the price for commoners;it was not a restaurant for people like nobles where one cup of alcohol could amount to 1 silver coin.
(I don't care that among the customers there were a lot of wealthy nobles.)
[It's different. Here you could have all-you-can-eat bread that was even more delicious than the ones sold at the bakery as long as you order a food item for 1 silver coin.]
However Johan overturned Myla's thoughts quite easily.
[E!? Are you sure!?]
[It's this restaurant's policy. You can eat bread or rice as much as you want.]
To Myla who had a floating facial expression, Johan pointed to one menu that he tried 7 days ago.
[This is my recommendation. It's as tasty as knight's stew.]
Last time, this came out when he ordered for something ’’cheap’’, now he would order it from the beginning.
While thinking that Myla would definitely like it.
And Myla looked at the words pointed by Johan.
It was accompanied with description that it was a dish with knight's sauce and topped with baked cheese.
He called the waitress to tell their order and waited.
[Sorry to keep you waiting. Here are your macaroni gratins. Be careful as it is hot.]
A middle-aged man who seemed to be the owner of the restaurant brought the food along with glossy breads the size of a palm.
It was served in a deep dish that seemed thick and durable.
It did seem hot as the dish emitted small boiling sounds.
[Good! I've been waiting!]
He cheered seeing the dish that he had eaten 7 days ago.
After eating this 7 days ago, he became addicted to it and did not want to eat any other food at this restaurant.
Smiling wryly seeing the enthusiastic youngster, the owner returned to the kitchen.
[Yeah! Let's eat... ah!? But it's delicious! ...Myla, eat it after it cools. It's delicious.]
After saying that, Johan picked up a fork and started to eat.
He exhaled a hot breath to expel the heat in his mouth, but his fork didn't stop.
(...It seems hot, so I'll start with the bread.)
Myla who realized that the dish was hot after seeing Johan ate it started with the ’’all-you-can-eat’’ bread.
Myla's face loosened when eating the freshly baked bread with crunchy crust and fluffy content.
The inside of the bread was white like a snow, and she knew that it was definitely a white bread made with fine wheat.
In addition to salt, water, butter and milk, it was kneaded together with high quality sugar until they were thoroughly mixed. It was not a lie when Johan said ’’it was so good that it could amount to 1 silver coin’’.
[...Hey, isn't the otherworld awesome?]
Johan laughed while asking for Myla's confirmation.
Myla must admit it.
Even this one bread was worth the price she saw earlier.
She felt it was terrible that the ’’otherworld restaurant’’ sold it almost for free compared to ’’regular restaurant’’.
[Try the macaroni gratin as soon as possible. I brought you here so that you can try it.]
To Johan's words, Myla picked up a fork and tried the main dish of macaroni gratin.
Apparently it was hard to cool due to the thick pottery vessel;the macaroni gratin was still hot though some time had passed.
She gently inserted the fork into it.
By pressing in the fork, the layer of brown cheese stretched thinly over the macaroni gratin broke.
Peeping from inside was the white colour of knight's sauce.
Seeing the bright colour made Myla's expectation to rise.
She scooped the food with her fork... and carried it to her mouth.
(Hot!? ...But, delicious!)
After breathing out to expel the heat from her mouth, Myla chewed to taste the food.
(Ingredients are cheese and knight's sauce, and...)
First of all, the flavor of cheese. The baked cheese was so fragrant that it left a pleasant acidity in her mouth.
Then the rich flavor of knight's sauce was left.
The taste of milk and butter were thicker and richer compared to the knight's sauce made by Myla's inn.
And the sourness of cheese and sweetness of knight's sauce mixed together in the mouth and complimented each other.
(There's oranie, chicken meat, mushrooms and... pasta? I wonder if this is macaroni.)
And the ingredients contained by that sauce were also incredible.
Firmly baked by fire, the oranie melted leaving sweetness behind causing the taste of milk to be drawn out.
The chicken meat used was the breast part where one could enjoy its taste and texture.
And included in the flavor of the sauce was the meatiness of mushroom.
And, the noodle made from flour had smooth texture.
(This pasta... macaroni is delicious...)
The deliciousness of the pasta was because of its hole.
Due to its unique shape, the rich sauce was firmly entangled with the pasta.
Further chewing made the sauce jammed inside the hole to overflow in her mouth.
[Well, how was it? Isn't it delicious?]
[Un. This is really delicious.]
Myla answered with a smile to Johan who was wiping the remaining sauce in the dish with his bread.
Surely, this was a dish suitable to be served in an ’’awesome restaurant’’.
At the same time.
[...I wonder if I can serve this in my inn.]
Inside her head, such a though suddenly entered her mind.
Baked cheese on top of knight's sauce containing plenty of ingredients.
...If she could serve this in her inn, surely the amount of customers would increase.
[Seriously!? If you can make it, I'll come every day!]
To Myla's murmur, Johan exclaimed happily.
For Johan, there was nothing better than being able to eat otherworld dish in his neighbor's inn.
[Is that so... un. Then, I'll try.]
Boosted by Johan's words, Myla secretly decided.
Making the pasta would be difficult, but she would try to do so nonetheless.
(I wonder if father felt like this when he learnt how to do knight's stew...)
It would be amazing if she could.
With such excitement, Myla tasted it further to ’’steal’’ the taste.