“You’re late.” [Glen]
After retrieving my inheritance and stepping outside, I found that Glen-san had built a mountain of undead in front of the Grave Slimes.
“These guys just keep coming no matter how many I crush. Let me borrow that cleaning critter of yours from yesterday.” [Glen]
Well, he was certainly in no condition for a conversation given how he was covered in blood from head to toe. His fists were particularly nasty. Let’s clean him up first.
“Thanks, that hits the spot.” [Glen]
“It was quite gruesome…” [Ryouma]
“Indeed. But why are there so many undead in a place like this?” [Glen]
It was probably because of that monster.
“There’s a monster living at the mansion at the center of the village. It’s been there for a long time already, and it has the ability to create undead. Dealing with it is one of the reasons I came to this village.” [Ryouma]
“Oh, a battle of vengeance for the villagers?” [Glen]
“No, we weren’t that close. I just came to collect the inheritance, and while I’m at it, clean up a bit. I want to gather the plants around here and take them back too, and if possible, tidy up the house to use as a base in the future.” [Ryouma
“So, in other words, we’ll have to keep beating up zombies…” [Glen]
Glen made a disgusted face as he no doubt recalled his earlier state.
“I found something earlier.” [Ryouma]
I took out a weapon from my Item Box. It was a hammer, one size larger and with a dull black glow compared to the one Glen had. There was a “dignity” to it that reminded me of my late father’s sword.
In fact, all the weapons in the underground had a certain dignity to them, but this hammer was exceptional. Unfortunately, I didn’t usually use heavy weapons like this. Also, Glen beating up the undead like that was definitely a hygiene issue.
“How about using this to replace your old hammer?” [Ryouma]
Even if it turns out to be a shoddy item, it should be much better than punching the undead barehanded. He just tagged along, but if he helps me defeat the undead, I’m willing to lend it to him. When I suggested that, Glen-san seemed to sense something. He grasped the handle of the hammer with a serious expression and lifted it up.
… His movements were slightly slower than before, but he swung the hammer many times. Sometimes with both hands, sometimes with one hand, sometimes in a light swing, sometimes in a heavy swing. He swung it many times as though to confirm its feel. Finally, he turned towards a nearby heat-emitting tree, and in the next moment.
The wall-like trunk burst, leaving behind a large crater.
“Is it Glen-san’s power that’s amazing, or is it the heat-emitting tree that refuses to fall that’s incredible? Or rather…”
I thought the hammer might break again, but then I saw Glen beyond the dimness and the dust scattered by his attack smiling.
“The hammer actually withstood that?” [Ryouma]
“Hey! This is amazing! Where did you get this?” [Glen]
“I told you, it’s from my house. It was among my grandparents’ inheritance.” [Ryouma]
“You have grandparents who own something like this in their inheritance… This is adamantite, right?” [Glen]
“You know?” [Ryouma]
“When it comes to crafting heavy impact weapons, adamantite is one of the best materials. Even I know that much. My weapon also uses it.” [Glen]
Glen took a broken hammer from his pouch and showed it to me. Indeed, it was made from a similar metal. A little different in color, though.
“The difference in color is due to differences in purity. The guy at the weapon shop who ordered this hammer told me that adamantite is extremely hard and has strong resilience, making it difficult to process as it is. So, they mix it with iron and other metals to make it easier to process. My hammer, made by the shop’s exclusive craftsman, is supposedly crafted from the highest purity adamantite. He proudly claimed there’s no weapon made with higher purity adamantite! I don’t think they were lying, but… probably, or rather, this one is definitely of higher purity, right?” [Glen]
I wouldn’t know for sure, but if all the talk about purity is true, it would mean that the inheritance hammer uses higher purity adamantite than those sold in shops. At the same time, it would be higher purity than the highest purity commonly found in adamantite.
…This might be more troublesome than I thought.
“Do you want it?” [Ryouma]
“Huh? If you’re asking if I want it, then yeah, I do. But isn’t this your grandparents’ inheritance?” [Glen]
“I’ll give it to you if you keep the source a secret. As I mentioned earlier, I won’t use it. I could force myself to use it, but it would just be a waste in my hands. So, if there’s someone who needs and can use it properly, it would be much better for them to have it instead. In that regard, you’re more than capable.” [Ryouma]
“Hmm… well, I’m sure people might start pestering you for a good weapon if they found out, so I understand wanting to keep its source a secret. I’m not one to hold back either if it’s something favorable to me, so if you’re giving it away, I’ll take it without hesitation, but this hush money seems a bit too high… Oh, I know!”
Glen-san took out another broken hammer from his pouch. It was probably the other hammer that broke.
“How about taking these two in exchange too?” [Glen]
Glen’s hammer was a custom-made top-quality item from a high-end weapon shop in the royal capital. The material was the commonly found highest purity adamantite. However, it couldn’t withstand his full power, so a magic tool protecting the weapon was incorporated into the handle to enhance its strength.
Since adamantite has a property that doesn’t allow magic to pass through, it’s difficult to enchant it as a magical weapon even with an alloy. And that’s even while using high-end fantasy metals like mythril. It might be broken as a weapon, but it’s still a lump of precious metals.
“The price of the material isn’t all it has going for it. If you sell it to nobles as ‘a weapon used and worn out by an S-rank like me,’ the price will skyrocket. It seems like weapon shops make quite a profit from that as they always tell me, ‘Bring a broken one, and we’ll prepare the next hammer for free, and even pay you.’ So if you want, I’ll even sign it for you.” [Glen]
I guess premiums exist in this world too. This guy’s actions are all over the place, but he seems to be an amazing person, and if he’s famous, he likely has fans.
“Also, well… I can’t think of anything right now, but if you ever find yourself in a bind, I’ll help you once for free.” [Glen]
“You mean I can ask you to take on a job?” [Ryouma]
“Yeah. I generally don’t take on jobs that I’m not interested in, even if the client is a noble. I might consider it if the reward is good, but if I can get this hammer, I’ll prioritize any job you give me. Of course, that’s on top of dealing with the undead here. You helped me out a lot with that room of yours, so I’m not about to be stingy with helping you. Oh, but count me out if it’s a job that requires using my brain.” [Glen]
I don’t have any jobs in mind right now, but being able to ask him to take on a job, moreover with priority, doesn’t seem like a bad deal. A favor from an S-rank adventurer is sure to be useful.
“Okay, I agree. I’ll transfer the ownership of the hammer under those conditions. I don’t have any requests for now, but please keep the confidentiality in mind.” [Ryouma]
“No problem. I am an S-rank, you know. There are a couple of things I’ve been told not to talk about. Oh, but what if someone asks about it? People who have too much time on their hands might try to find out where I got this unfamiliar weapon. At the very least, the familiar weapon shop would be prepared for the next hammer assuming I’d break it, and they might come to sell it to me. If I have a different hammer, they’ll definitely be curious. I don’t plan on talking, but I’m not good at lying either.” [Glen]
“If asked, just say you found it in the Great Forest.” [Ryouma]
The Great Forest has a history of people venturing in search of wealth and fame. It wouldn’t be strange for their equipment to be scattered around, and since it was found in the abandoned house of a destroyed village, it’s not entirely a lie.
“Got it, I’ll say that if anyone asks.” [Glen]
“Thank you. Now that that’s settled, shall we have supper? We’ll do the subjugation job tomorrow.” [Ryouma]
“Sounds good! Do we still have meat left from yesterday?” [Glen]
“A snake of that size? There’s plenty.” [Ryouma]
And so, dinner preparation. The soup was in a retort pack, so it was enough to just prepare the pot and heat it. After that I took out two barrels that I prepared after yesterday’s supper, as well as a large pot made with alchemy.
“Oh, fried food!” [Glen]
He noticed right away what I was making as I poured plenty of oil into the large pot. That’s right, today’s main dish is fried Immortal Snake. The contents of the barrel are a trial marinade sauce with various seasonings and sake lees from white sake. The snake meat has been marinated in it for a day in a cool, dark place.
Once the oil has warmed up enough to produce a little foam when a chopstick was inserted, I added the meat coated with batter. In the oil, which crackled softly, the slightly reddened meat swam. I waited for the right timing before lifting it and adding the next batch of meat. After letting it rest for a bit, I double-fried the fried pieces in another pot.
“Is it done yet?” [Glen]
Ignoring Glen-san, who was impatiently staring at the pot, I cut some lemon to complement the fried chicken. The debate over whether to squeeze lemon on fried chicken or not is unending, but personally, I’m fine with either, or rather, I like both. Moreover, the more diverse the seasoning options, the more enjoyable the meal.
…So, let’s add another touch. On a small plate, I poured the sauce I prepared last night. It’s a tartar sauce made by adding vinegar and chopped onions to Clever Chicken eggs and seasoning it. When combined with the fried chicken, the result was a Chicken Nanban-style dish.
After plating the crispy fried chicken, preparing lemon and tartar sauce on the side, the dish was complete. I grabbed one for a taste, and Glen-san’s thick hand too impatiently reached out.
It’s hot, as I literally just fried it, but the rich umami burst in my mouth nonetheless along with all that delicious oil. With the crispy coating and the firm meat, as well as the texture, the result was no doubt a delicious meal!
“This is great… Is this the same meat as yesterday? That was delicious in its own simple way, while this one, I don’t really get, but it’s tasty.” [Glen]
“Yesterday, I just grilled the cut meat as it was. It was surprising how delicious it was, but today, I used various seasonings in the marinade, and I made some efforts to make the meat tender.” [Ryouma]
However, even with all that, the taste of the Immortal Snake didn’t lose to the seasonings. It was mysterious how it left such a strong impression despite being so mild. Also, I’m craving rice like crazy.
“Hot Water!” [Ryouma]
Creating hot water with magic, I poured it onto a new pack of preserved food. Inside was rice that has been cooked once and freeze-dried. Although there was a difference between natural drying and using machinery in the manufacturing process, it was still commonly used as portable food or emergency rations.
You can eat warm rice anywhere with just hot water, so it’s convenient for regular use. Glen-san was staring, so I prepared some more, and in the meantime, I continue to fry more fried chicken. Glen-san’s hands never stopped. He even brought out yesterday’s white sake and started to drink.
“Glen-san, the soup is easy to make, so feel free to make as many as you’d like yourself.” [Ryouma]
“Yeah, I can handle that much. More importantly, can you add more fried chicken? And you got any more of this sauce?” [Glen]
Glen-san replied without stopping his hands or mouth. The fried chicken I cooked vanished as soon as they were served, and it seemed as though Glen-san would never get full. However, as the cook, it made me happy to see him enjoy the food so much.
I wonder if the owners of eateries that host binge-eating challenges or those featured on competitive eating talent shows feel this way?… Watching him, I’m starting to feel like having a drink too.
“Since we’re having fried chicken, rice, and liquor, then…” [Ryouma]
First, I prepared alcohol extracted from the cheap failures of the goblins’ mass-produced sake using alchemy. I made this for disinfection, but I didn’t add any extra substances since there was no need to avoid liquor taxes like I would have needed to in my past life, so it’s safe to drink.
I used “Freeze” to chill the glass with magic, then “Sparkling Water”.
By combining water and wind attributes, I was able to generate carbonated water. Then I added a small amount of extracted alcohol, squeezed the lemon cut for garnish, lightly mixed it, and voila, the “Lemon Sour” was complete.
Taking a sip, it might be due to the alcohol extracted through alchemy, but it lacked the strong aroma of whiskey or shochu, and it was a bit tasteless. To be honest, the expression “cheap taste” came to mind.
But this was fine too. I took a bite out of the freshly fried chicken, then I chewed and swallowed. After which, I poured the Lemon Sour down my throat, washing away the remaining oil and allowing the scent of lemon and a hint of alcohol to escape through my nose before I naturally reached for the next piece of fried chicken.
This reminds me of my university days at the cheap izakayas when the money was tight. Despite my age, things haven’t changed much, have they? If anything it’s just gotten more luxurious with the sake.
After adding the rice, the endless loop of fried chicken, Lemon Sour, rice, fried chicken, Lemon Sour, rice began. It’s not good for the body, but it’s cheap and delicious.
“Hey, what’s with that delicious combination?” [Glen]
“Yeah, I figured you’d ask.” [Ryouma]
I gave him some of the Lemon Sour and rice to go along with the fried chicken, and in no time at all, Glen-san was hooked. His hands and mouth started moving in full gear again. And when the frying speed couldn’t keep up anymore, or maybe it was just out of boredom, he looked at the bottle of extracted alcohol and said.
“I never liked sake that just burns your throat, but drinking it like this isn’t bad.” [Glen]
“You don’t drink cocktails or mixed drinks?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t care that much for it, but many dwarves can’t stand mixing anything with alcohol! My old man was like that, so I never got into it. I prefer strong liquor, and there hasn’t been a mixed drink that I thought was good.” [Glen]
“Tastes do vary from person to person… Oh? From what you just said, Glen-san, are you a dwarf?” [Ryouma]
“Huh? Ah, yeah, dwarves vary in height, but probably due to my constitution, I’ve gotten bigger than the average human. I’ve eaten a lot, so that’s probably why I’ve grown this big. Hardly anyone could tell on first glance that I’m a dwarf.” [Glen]
“Ah… but now that you mention it, your body size is large, and the proportions of your arms, torso, and various parts of your body certainly seem dwarf-like.” [Ryouma]
Appropriateness aside, if you were to take a photo of a dwarf and enlarged it using a computer, you’d get Glen-san.
“Anyway, enough of that! I’ll have the fried chicken, rice, and this alcohol. Feel free to take materials from my spoils for it.” [Glen]
“Alright. Fried chicken and Lemon Sour coming right up!” [Ryouma]
Yesterday was a barbecue party, while today was more like an izakaya (Japanese pub). It was quite nostalgic as it reminded me of my part-time job at one.