Chapter 143 My Commitment
The summary of the previous chapter.
Hokuto – Noel – Dee (Under Deliberation) (´・ω)(・ω・｀)(ω ・｀ )
“…What are you suddenly deliberating on?” (Sirius)
“Somebody has already mentioned the summary, you know!” (Noel)
“No, I was just called out here…” (Dee)
“Whoever it is, it has already started, right?” (Sirius)
“Haa!? Tha-that is bad! Come on now, you too, my dear!” (Noel)
“I told you, I am not–…” (Dee)
“Uhm… Sirius-sama challenged Mejia-san, a Dragonkin. He managed to win while struggling, and managed to solve Mejia-san’s feelings of distress.” (Noir)
“No-noir-chan!? When did you…” (Noel)
“That’s why I told you…” (Dee)
“Okaa-san doesn’t have to do this forever.” (Noir)
“Hmm… that’s a fair argument. But, no matter how cute my daughter is, as your opponent, there are things that I can’t hand over. Let me tell you this! You are still too young to pa.s.s through your mother!” (Noel)
“Can anyone… translate what Hokuto said?” ( SIrius)
(ED-note: “No. I don’t speak wolf”)
The next morning after going against Mejia, I woke up a bit later than usual.
It was probably already time to start the morning training by looking the brightness outside. I was prohibited from intense training until the injured right arm was completely healed, but I still had no reason to oversleep.
This time, I slept in Karen’s house because I was tired yesterday. When I slowly opened my eyes…
“Good morning, Sirius-sama.” (Emilia)
Sitting by my bedside was Emilia with a full smile on her face.
I didn’t know how long she had been here, but it seemed that she was looking at my sleeping face as usual.
“…Good morning. You did great even today.” (Sirius)
“There’s no such thing. It is normal for you to wake up late since Sirius-sama was tired from yesterday’s battle.” (Emilia)
“Even so, a win is a win. Come.” (Sirius)
At the moment, I didn’t give a hint of getting up to Emilia, as I was caressing her cheeks and her head as well as a reward.
After stroking Emilia’s head and cheeks while she got closer at me, I confirmed the condition of my body as soon as I got up.
The right arm was fixed with bandages and a splint. I didn’t do anything last night and properly took a rest, but there seemed to be a little fatigue left.
“Sirius-sama. Is your arm alright?” (Emilia)
“Aah, it doesn’t hurt anymore. So…” (Sirius)
“I refuse. If I can’t take care of you, what’s the point of me being an attendant? Plus, Sirius-sama is rarely becoming like this, so I will offer you my a.s.sistance to my heart content…” (Emilia)
“Can you at least suppress your rough breathing?” (Sirius)
It was possible for me to change my clothes, but Emilia wouldn’t leave, saying that she would help.
Despite those troubles, I washed my face at the outside well after changing clothes. Reese and Fia were running for their morning training while Reus and the three dragons in their human form could also be seen.
When I looked closely, Hokuto was also running… No, he was running with movements like hunting Reus and the three dragons. When he noticed I was awake, he stopped.
Then, he ran to me while wagging tail, but I had doubts at the appearance of Hokuto who was standing in front of me.
“Are you… really Hokuto?” (Sirius)
Surprisingly, there were wings growing on the back of Hokuto.
Although it were irregular wings, a shining pure white color could be seen. It made me think that a Hundred Wolves could fly into the sky in the future, but…
“…She is comfortably sleeping, isn’t she?” (Emilia)
Karen was sleeping on the back of Hokuto.
It was a morning full of questions, like why Karen, who was doing morning training, was sleeping there, or why Hokuto was chasing Reus and the three dragons in such a state…
When I stroked the head of Hokuto who was wagging his tail without knowing of my bewilderment, Reese and Fia ran to me and explained it while wiping the sweat.
“They were running like normal until halfway, but it feels like they were overwhelmed, after seeing Sirius-san yesterday.” (Reese)
“So, I thought of letting her going home on Hokuto, but he said that it was a nice handicap…” (Fia)
Incidentally, it turned out to be full scale training for Karen, and she fell asleep as if a switch was turned off as soon as the fatigue reached to a certain extent.
Since she abruptly fell down, they felt amazed as they saw it happening for the first time.
When Emilia carried Karen down, Reus and the three dragons, who were finally released from the pursuit, came close to me while tumbling down.
“Haa…haa… we’re saved, Sirius-dono.” (Eye)
“We’ve been… chased forever, since then… my breathing…” (Kuva)
“If you didn’t come out… we would have been beaten to the ground…” (Rai)
“Hmm… even with the Dragonkin’s st.u.r.dy body and endurance, you will just get tired if you can’t manage your body well. That fatigue is the best proof… that’s why Hokuto-san is getting excited.” (Reus)
I just came here, but I was deeply thanked by the three dragons.
On the other hand, Reus was calmly translating even though his breathing was rough. Well, he was used to it since he was training with Hokuto for almost a year.
“Even so, you are great since you continuously ran without dropping Karen.” (Sirius)
“Aren’t you surprised that Karen didn’t wake up?” (Emilia)
“Do you think that girl will wake up with that level of shaking?” (Sirius)
“…Yeah, you’re right.” (Emilia)
It seemed that she could sleep anywhere. I knew that well since she wouldn’t wake up unless I used honey.
Anyhow, while training everyone, Hokuto also trained himself firmly.
I understood this, but somehow it made me feel frustrated when looking at everyone working hard.
Maybe I could train my legs without using arms…
“…You can’t.” (Emilia)
“Not good” (Reese)
“Yup, you can’t.” (Fia)
I had no choice but to abandon that intention due to the ladies’ reprove. I had no intention of showing it in my expression, but they understood it well.
When I told them so, Reese had a bitter smile when looking at Emilia who was full of confidence while Fia nodded while winking.
“It is also an attendant’s job to know the thoughts of the Master.” (Emilia)
“I wonder… But, you didn’t come out for the training today … didn’t you?” (Reese)
“Yes. If it’s you, I think you can take care of yourself, but isn’t it also necessary to have a rest?” (Fia)
The disciples were looking back at me while I looked at them.
I had to raise both arms to show that I had given up since I could feel their worries.
“Everyone, the meals are ready!” (Debra)
Incidentally, Debra called us with a loud voice at the same time I admitted defeat. Then, we went back to Karen’s house.
After having breakfast, we came to a certain part of the forest together with Karen who had woken up.
Since the place was a bit farther away from the village, we were brought by Zenodora. After arriving at the destination, he changed to his human form and asked me.
“You are really a mysterious man. What is your business in this forest?” (Zenodora)
“If my prediction is correct, there is an ingredient here.” (Sirius)
This was the place I found when moving to the place where I fought Mejia. The bamboo forest that also existed in my previous life was spreading in front of us.
For me, this was about finding new ingredients, but since it was an ordinary forest for the Dragonkin and winged people, who lived around this area, Zenodora and Karen were tilting their heads in concert.
“Something that can be eaten… isn’t this very hard?” (Karen)
“It’s hard to eat this with a human body, you know? Let alone the winged people, there are probably few of us Dragonkin who can eat this with ease.” (Zenodora)
This was mere side information, but… the Dragonkin were omnivores. They were basically a tribe that could eat anything.
It seemed that they had broad preferences such as meat and vegetables, and those weren’t cooked.
In addition, the winged people, who weren’t omnivorous, didn’t seem to attach much importance to food so far as there were only few dish variations in this village. The tastes weren’t bad, but if we as outsiders looked at it, we would get bored sooner or later.
There was also another reason. The croquettes that we made yesterday seemed to be quiet shocking for Zenodora and Asrad.
Zenodora cut out one of such bamboo which I wanted to use as a new ingredient and started eating it, but the disciples began to wonder when a dull sound echoed for every bite.
“Hmm… I don’t think I can like this. Besides, the fine part of the bamboo remains in the mouth, so I don’t like it. Is this really an ingredient?” (Zenodora)
“I certainly don’t want to eat that.” (Reus)
“I wonder if it will dramatically change if you bake or boil it.” (Reese)
“It is true that you have to bake or cook it, but that is not the part you should eat.” (Sirius)
When I looked to the bottom while replying to their questions, Hokuto, who understood the meaning, started digging the ground around the bamboo next to me.
Then, Hokuto returned after digging a hole to a certain extent. I looked at it and cut the thing that I wanted with a knife, and I showed it to everyone.
There was no need for further explanation. It was a bamboo shoot that I had seen in my previous life. (TLN: Takenoko is bamboo shoot.)
“What can be eaten was this sprout part. Since it is soft, you should be able to eat if you take appropriate measures.” (Sirius)
“Heh… Oh yes. If this is the ingredient, our teeth will be fine.” (Emilia)
“It seems to give a good feeling if we chew it.” (Reese)
“Although it’s quite large, it won’t be enough with just one. Let’s split up and gather it.” (Sirius)
“Alright! I’m going to dig it!” (Reus)
“Hmm, if you dig like that, you will get hurt, right?” (Fia)
Then, all of us dug for the bamboo shoots, and I called everyone back after gathering some.
“This should be good enough. Well then, let’s go back and prepare this quickly.” (Sirius)
“Haven’t we just eaten the breakfast?” (Emilia)
“This ingredient requires a lot of treatment. Besides, there’s also a possibility that it can’t be eaten.” (Sirius)
The shape was similar to the bamboo shoots I knew, but since this was produced in a different world, it might be somehow different.
It seemed that there was no poison based on Hokuto’s reaction, so I was thinking of treating it like normal…
“Ooh? I found out that I could eat it after peeling the skin off.” (Reus)
“Hmm, this is not likely to be good. And the taste is…” (Zenodora)
“Aah, wait a sec…” (Sirius)
It might be because I was thinking of various things, I was too late to notice Reus’ and Zenodora’s actions.
Before they heard me, they took the skin of bamboo shoots off and bit it.
At that moment…
They intensely spewed out.
Let alone Reus, for the Dragonkin to spew it out like that… I guess the taste was terrible.
By the way, the bamboo shoots would start to produce a bitter taste the moment they were cut, and that was why those two spit out.
In order to remove the bitter taste, it was necessary to put it in the water and boiled it.
However, it should be fine to eat it immediately after harvesting in most cases. This bamboo shoot might contain a sharp and bitter taste from the very beginning.
“I wonder if it would be fine to eat it even if we remove the bitter taste.” (Sirius)
“Aah, is that what you mean with treatment?” (Emilia)
“So, you can’t eat as it is… right? It seems to be going to take some time, but I’m interested in the taste.” (Reese)
I felt uneasy when looking at the reactions of the two who just ate it, but I tried it just to make sure.
Then, the two who were agonized with the bamboo shoots bitter taste, asked for help from Reese….
“Re-reese… give… me… water.” (Reus)
“Gohuu! Gunuu… me too, please.” (Zenodora)
“Yup… this is certainly a terrible taste. But, without the taste of bitterness, it would be a delicious dish.” (Reese)
It seemed like they were going to be alright as the two became speechless when looking at Reese who casually bit the bamboo shoot.
After that, we returned to Karen’s house. I prepared a simple stove outside the house to remove the bitter taste of the bamboo shoots.
The bamboo shoots were put in a large pot and boiled with only water. I only had to adjust the temperature and since I had already prepared the other things, I remained still in front of the stove.
There were many hotpots. One of them continued to simmer with only monster bones and water inside it. Incidentally, these bones were the bones that Emilia got when dismantling monsters that looked like pigs.
At a place a bit away from me…
“Yup! Eii! Yaah!” (Karen)
“Keep going. Although it’s only a bit, I can feel that mana is gathering on the soles of your feet.” (Reus)
“Just a bit more, Karen! You’re almost there.” (Frenda)
Karen was practicing [Air Step] while being watched by Reus and Frenda.
But, no matter how many times I taught her how to do it, there was no way it was easy to kick things produced by mana. So, there were many times when Karen was only jumping on the spot.
However, the appearance of her trying so hard was pleasant to look at. It was a sight that was somehow soothing to the heart.
“Kuh… when I tried to jump quickly, I could feel that there was something on the feet…” (Karen)
“That’s because you jump too nimbly, guh! That’s why, Karen!” (Reus)
“Nimbly? Guh?” (Karen)
“…First off, you need to remember the feeling of stepping on mana with your body. If you think that you have stepped on something in the air, that means you almost got it, so remember that feeling well.” (Reus)
“Got it!” (Karen)
It seemed that Reus’ intuitive explanation wasn’t really thorough, but it worked well for Karen.
I gave a follow up advice for Reus to Karen while adjusting the temperature and stirring the contents of the pot.
The strangely warm-hearted training continued for a while. Then, they made a break when Karen got tired.
Karen drank the water she got from Emilia as she arranged her breathing. Nevertheless, she got close to me since she was interested with my work.
“Uhmm, why are you stirring the bones? Is it edible?” (Karen)
“You mean this? It can be eaten depending on what I’m doing now, but if I continue doing this for a while, I can make a thick soup out of it.” (Sirius)
“Soup… is it delicious?” (Karen)
“It might be too thick for some, but it’s delicious. How is it?” (Sirius)
Since it was fine to leave the bamboo shoots for a while, I scooped out the lye that came out of the bones and talked to Emilia and Fia who were working next to me.
Before the two of them, there were numerous boiled bamboo shoots which had been cut into thin stripes arranged on a net.
“Yes. Our work is done.” (Emilia)
“Based on what you told us, we left it for a while to dry it. But, is it safe to eat?” (Fia)
“By doing so, the good taste will be concentrated. At the same time I would like you to circulate the air around it to speed up the drying, by asking the spirits.” (Sirius)
“I couldn’t think of asking the Wind Spirits to help drying these. It’s really like you to think of such a way.” (Fia)
“I know that it is less preferable to have them outside the battle, but is it really no good?” (Sirius)
“Well… it’s not really a problem, I think? These children don’t complain, and it seems that they want to join in.” (Fia)
“Is that alright, Spirits?” (Sirius)
Well, I often times asked them for such things. Let me say this for the time being, I really wasn’t making fun of the Spirits.
Reese, who had been handling the meat nearby, was bitterly smiling when listening to our interaction.
“The Spirits don’t like the environments which are opposite to them, but apparently, when they let me use their power, they usually get pleased. Anyhow, they are existences who easily succ.u.mb to loneliness.” (Reese)
“Yeah there are times when they are not in a good mood, and in some cases, I feel like they behave like children.” (Fia)
“This type of conversation is really something that I can’t tell to those who believe in Spirits, huh?” (Sirius)
I guessed I could leave it to Fia without needing to worry.
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After the bamboo shoots had been fully cooked, I took the pot out of the fire. I noticed Karen was coming closer with chopsticks in hand.
“In other words, I also make mistakes. But even so, I keep repeating without giving up, and this is the result of grasping the trick of doing it. Isn’t this matter applicable to magic too?” (Sirius)
“Reus also had it similar. It took him quite some time before he could use [Air Step]. So, you have to be patient, Karen. Look, don’t think of the bad things. We’ll eat this and you will feel better.” (Sirius)
When I fed her a piece of fermented bamboo shoots that had been soaked in hot water, she begged to have more with glittering eyes.
She became dispirited when I told her to wait until lunchtime, but after I did this, the kids in the house wouldn’t shut their mouths.
Since they were lining up with Reese as the leader, I ended up feeding everyone with a piece of fermented bamboo shoots.
“This is pretty similar to bamboo shoots but different… what a mysterious texture.” (Reese)
“Ramen is delicious, but this is also delicious!” (Reus)
“It’s a taste that also goes well with rice. Perhaps, I should eat more…” (Emilia)
“Yeah, it isn’t just a mere change of the name. Isn’t this pretty tasty?” (Fia)
“The size became a bit smaller, but the taste is acceptable, right? Aah, Frenda-san, do you also want it?” (Sirius)
“Eh, yes. Well, let me have it please.” (Frenda)
Although Frenda looked somewhat absentminded, her eyes glittered like Karen’s as she ate the fermented bamboo shoots.
She listened to me while watching Karen whose expression was a little softened. Then, I resume the preparation of the noodles again.
With the help from everyone, we prepared noodles and ingredients in large quant.i.ty. Not only Zenodora and Asrad, we also called Mejia and the three dragons and this became the debut of the Tonkotsu Ramen.
I hadn’t met Mejia for a while, but the harsh look he had when we met at the beginning had disappeared, and he looked calm.
Because we suddenly called them ower, the Dragonkin were curiously looking the Ramen put in front of them, but when they had a sip of the soup, they closed their eyes, and let out a deep sigh.
“This is… good!” (Mejia)
“Yes. It feels like eating a good amount of meat.” (Zenodora)
“““It’s delicious.””” (Eye/Kuva/Rai)
“Hmm… it’s brilliant. Croquettes were delicious, but this is no less than that!” (Asrad)
Maybe because they were Dragonkin, but I thought that it was to be expected for them to be able to casually drink the hot soup without burning their tongues.
“You should eat the ramen together with the soup, alright.” (Sirius)
“Even if it’s thin? It’s hard, but there is no help.” (Mejia)
“I want more please.” (Reese)
“Aniki, I want more!” (Reus)
“Onii-san, me too!” (Karen)
“Yes, yes. Please wait until it is completely boiled.” (Sirius)
Since this was an experiment, there was a limited amount of the soup. For that reason, I would prefer them to eat the additional serving of noodles.
It seemed to be hard for them to eat with the fork except for the disciples, but since everyone was asking second helpings one after another, it became difficult to even boil the noodles.
Meanwhile, the one who like the Tonkotsu Ramen most among the Dragonkin, Asrad, asked for another helping.
“The noodles are good but this small and chewy ingredient is also delicious. Can you give me more of this?” (Asrad)
“I’m fine with it, but are you sure?” (Sirius)
“What do you mean?” (Asrad)
“It is called fermented bamboo shoots, and of course it is made from the bamboo shoots that Asrad-dono dislikes.” (Sirius)
At that time, Asrad had a difficult expression, but he seemed to be fine because let alone the soup, he beautifully finished eating the fermented bamboo shoots too.
In this way, the new dish was accepted by everyone, and I was satisfied with the result.
However, as things continued…
[By the way, Sirius. I would like you to teach the way to make Tonkotsu Ramen to these dragons.] (Asrad)
In the morning of the next day, when I was wondering why I was called by Asrad, not only were Zenodora and Mejia, who were in their dragon from, standing in front of me, there were many young Dragonkin who I met for the first time.
[Hmm… I do understand your feelings by looking at the complicated expression on your face. But, this morning, I had no choice but to tell them that you are the main person who knows the way to make Tonkotsu Ramen. Indeed I was also amazed, but it’s not that I don’t understand your feeling, alright.] (Asrad)
[I feel bad, but I also have to agree. After all, I want to eat it again.] (Zenodora)
[[[[Please treat us well!]]]] (Dragonkin)
Yesterday, it was Asrad who returned home with a complex feeling, but it seemed he became fond of Ramen in spite of that.
The duration of our stay in this village was likely going to be longer.
The Morning of Hokuto.
“Run, if you have time to cry! If you fail to run away from the happy Hokuto-san, you’ll be knocked down immediately!” (Reus)
On that day, Hokuto-kun was chasing Reus-kun and the three dragons for the morning training.
No… he wasn’t chasing them, this was totally hunting them. If they got caught, they would fall prey to Hokuto-kun’s paw pressure.
“He-hey, Karen-chan! Don’t fall asleep in such a place!” (Reese)
“Yeah… that’s not good. She is not going to wake up in this situation, isn’t she? Hey, Hokuto. Can you come here for a bit?” (Fia)
With that, Hokuto suddenly stop hunting (while still looking at Reus and the three dragons), and ran towards Fia-san.
By the way, Hokuto-kun acknowledged Fia-san as a person who supported the Master. It seemed that he trusted her like a comrade in arms.
“Since Karen is unable to continue training, could you bring her to her house? We are still in the middle of training and we’re a bit away from the house.” (Fia)
When Hokuto-san barked as if to say to leave the matter to him, Reus-kun and the three dragons could be seen resting.
Apparently, the training was temporarily stopped because Hokuto had to bring Karen home.
Hokuto-kun didn’t remember telling them that it was a break time, so while having soft heart…
“Eh!? No… but that…” (Reus)
“He looks somewhat angry…” (Kuva)
“What did Hokuto-sama say!?” (Rai)
“He said this is good handicap! He won’t let Karen fall, and he will go at us with full power…” (Reus)
“““He’s coming!?””” (Eye/Kuva/Rai)
With a fearless smile, Hokuto-kun was charging ahead.
“Wh-why he’s doing it while carrying Karen–!?” (Kuva)
“He become faster… aargghh–!” (Rai)
“Listen, we need to run! Even if he is in that state, he will show no mercy!” (Reus)
In this way, the hunting (which seemed to be real from other people’s view) continued until the Master arrived.
Oh my… how is Hokuto?
Congratulations, Hokuto had evolved into Hokuto (with wings).
The attack power and maneuverability had gone down.
The appearance and the male adventurous spirit had gone up.
With the (Karen’s) wings attached, it cost him more food.
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