Perfect Reflections

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ch 121 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 121 -- Secret Drinking Exposed (second part)


"Ignore those noisy Goddesses for the moment while I introduce myself. They call me Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths." The deeper male voice resounded in my head.

"Me, I'm the God of War. Name's Vulcan." The first male voice chimed in.

Oh, the two Gods the Goddesses warned me about, the ones who liked to drink. The secret was out, it seemed.

"You're making offerings to the ladies, aincha? In that case we want offerings too. Booze, of course." Hephaestos-sama got right to the point.

"Lots of other-world booze and we want it right now." Vulcan-sama followed up. Hey, these people (gods) are really selfish and demanding, aren't they?

"Muu-," Deplorable-sama screeched, "you guys, what are you doing butting in here? We don't get these offerings for free, you know!"

"Yes, we have granted this other-world-guy our divine blessings in return for him making offerings to us once a week." Kishar-sama explained. "It's the rules."

"That's right." Agni-sama added. "You guys haven't done anything for him so you can't get anything from him, see?"

"...you two, can't get." Ruka-sama declared.

Just as I had decided that the God of Blacksmiths and God of War were being selfish, the Goddesses stopped bitching at each other and jumped in unnecessarily to explain how things worked to their fellow dieties. I had a bad feeling about this...

"Hou, so that's how it is. Hmmm..." the God of War mused, "Okay then, we'll give our divine protection to the other-world-guy too. That way we'll be entitled to get booze from him, right? Whaddya think, Blacksmith God?"

I now had a really bad feeling about this.

"Sounds good to me, War God. Right then, here's my blessing-"

I couldn't begin to decribe how bad I was feeling about how this was going. I was going to receive yet more divine blessings I didn't want from a couple of musclebrained Gods just so I'd have to offer them booze on a regular basis. Really. Not. Want.

"Hold it, hold it, hold it, I do not need any more blessings." I burst out before they could do anything.

"No? You refuse our divine protection~!" the God of Blacksmiths exploded. "To say that to the likes of us? In the name of Heaven I will punish you! Mega-hammer chastisement strike-"

Woah, woah!! He seemed a bit angry for some reason.

"Wait, what I said was inexcusable, I should have been clearer, oh mighty God of Blacksmiths." I grovelled (insincerely). "Why don't you give your blessing to my contracted monster, this Slime here since I've got all the divine blessings I really need for myself. I will of course make offerings to you in return for the bestowal of your divine blessing." I pointed to Sui -chan who was sleeping in the futon on the bed. S- Sorry, Sui...

"Well, I see, so that's what you meant." The God of Blacksmiths deflated. "All right, I understand. I'll give my divine blessing to that Slime." There was a pause. "Right, it's done."

"I'm next then." the God of War announced. "Do you want me to grant my divine protection to this contracted monster too?"

I thought quickly, Sui had already received the blessing from the God of Blacksmiths but somehow I didn't want darling Sui to have the God of War's protection too. She was enough of a battle maniac as it was, how she would be with that particular blessing... I shuddered. Too risky. And I didn't want it myself, either. Safety first, after all. I might turn into a battle maniac too and get killed. Nope, not gonna happen. Dora-chan didn't have any divine blessings though and he was a Dragon so...

"M- Maybe my other contracted monster, a Pixie Dragon..." I offered hopefully. I could go down to the beast stables and get him, bring him up here if the God of War was willing to wait...

"I understand." There was a pause. "Ohoho, you also have a Fenrir as a contracted monster? Then I'll share my divine protection between the two of them. They're both creatures that are compatible with my blessing, after all." The God of War knew about Fer somehow? "It is done." Ah... So Fer and Dora-chan have both received the God of War's blessing.

I figured Fer would be OK with this God's blessing, after all he liked to fight. Dora-chan I didn't know about but Fer seemed to think that Pixie Dragons were good fighters too so it shouldn't cause him any problems. Maybe.

"Fuahahaha, they're received a great blessing even if I say so myself." the God of War went on to explain. "My protection provides a 50 percent boost to their Status when fighting." 50 percent boost? That much? "Of course it makes them more belligerent for a time but then again who doesn't like fighting? Fuahahaha!" I don't, I thought to myself. I had dodged a bullet, it seemed. It would have been helpful to know that at the start, God of War-sama. Still, what's done is done, I decided. Time to open up the Net Super and order up what everyone wants.

"Now that's out of the way, I wanna drink some booze in return for granting my protection." the God of Blacksmiths announced.

"What he said. Booze, liquor preferably, something strong, like me. Fuahahaha!" the God of War added.

These two are super-annoying... Just then Ninril-sama interrupted again.

"My fellow Gods, there are rules about the offerings you can receive from this other-world-guy, you know?"

"That's right." Kishar-sama explained. "To be fair to everyone there's a limit of up to three silver coins in value."

"Oh yeah. No cheating, no trying to get more from the other-world-guy than the rest of us get. Arguing with him is right out or else he'll stop making offerings completely." Agni-sama added.

"Don't be greedy. Up to three silver coins each." Ruka-sama's summary was blunt and to the point as usual.

The Goddesses laid out the rules quite clearly, didn't they? Especially the favouritism thing. I decided to sweeten the deal for the two Gods who were new to the offerings setup.

"That's how it is, Vulcan-sama and Hephaestus-sama." I explained. "Offerings worth up to three silver coins each keeps it fair for all the others. However just for today I have increased this to four silver coins to apologise for being delayed in making my offerings as I had promised."

"Che-, how annoying but-" I heard the God of Blacksmiths sigh. "Very well, today we get offerings worth four silver coins, right? In that case I want to try lots of different kinds of other-world booze since I don't know what I'd like."

"I want to try various sorts of liquor too, like Heffy says." Heffy? Ah, Hephaestus-sama. "Just pick some booze for us will ya? Up to four silver coins worth each." The Goddesses were spot-on when they told me Vulcan-sama and Hephaestus-sama would want offerings of booze...

"Yeah, just pick some for me too." Heffy- oops, Hephaestus-sama agreed.

"Haa~" Agni-sama sighed. "I give up. Now these two have shown up you're stuck with them, other-world-guy. Oh, and can I have what they're getting?" She didn't seem that concerned about how this was going to affect me.

"It looks that way. We didn't want these two to get involved but... Sorreee." Kishar-sama said insincerely.

"These two, nose too good." Ruka-sama added. Just like that the Goddesses gave up and left me holding the bag. Thanks, all-powerful Deplorable-samas. I added my own sigh to the collection from Heaven and bowed to the inevitable. Booze, they all wanted booze right?

I started with cans of beer, one of each of a different type, a well-recommended dry lager, a premium beer and a dark stout, each costing 2 copper coins. A 720ml bottle of top-quality sake was a silver coin, a 700ml bottle of imported whisky another silver coin and a 640ml bottle of brandy for yet another silver coin. A bit of searching in the Net Super located a reasonably-priced bottle of Spanish red wine for the remaining four copper coins.

I got three of each for the three drunkards, oops deities who had requested booze as their offerings, total cost twelve silver coins.

"Finally is Ruka-sama."

"Same as before. Sweets and food. Extra food."

Coming right up. Something warm perhaps... ah, the beef bowl, I had it ready anyway. How much should I charge? I know it's cheap enough back in my own world but here? I put the price at five copper coins. Did I have any gyoza left? Ah, yes, here they were. I put out a dozen gyoza and set the price at five coppers too. Side dishes, I'd get them from the Net Super, lessee, a platter of assorted kushikatsu mixed meat and vegetable skewers with dipping sauce, there were chicken, peaches, scallions and liver. I added a couple of fishcakes and some deep-fried marinated meat tatsukage. The rest of the offering for Ruka-sama was bread and confectionery as usual.

Yosh, I had everything. I set up all the offerings on cardboard altars as usual, six this time thanks to the over-sensitive noses of a certain God of Blacksmiths and a certain God of War. I realised as I lined up the assorted lotions and tubes on Kisha-sama's altar that she'd need a little help with the items I had chosen for her.

"Kishar-sama, I'll explain how you should use your offerings. Oh, can you can see them as I point them out?"

"Yes, I can see them perfectly." she reassured me so I continued.

"The facial cleansing foam here is squeezed out this way," I demonstrated, "and lathered up with some warm water to wash your face. Rinse it off thoroughly afterwards though. After washing and drying your face use the mosturising lotion here. Put a spot of lotion about the size of..." ummm, umm, what does a 100-yen coin look like in this world? ah, "the size of a silver coin on your fingers and apply it gently to your face. Repeat if your skin is particularly dry."

After putting the skin lotion back on the altar I held up the tube of eye wrinkle cream. "Just a small amount on the tip of your finger and apply it around your eyes. You might want to put a little more on at night before you sleep." Do Goddesses sleep? I didn't know but that's what the instructions on the back of the box said to do. The rest of it was based on memories from watching my sister hard at work fighting the onis of bad skin and acne with her arsenal of chemical weaponry in the bathroom cupboard. As I put the tube back on Kishar-sama's altar my eye caught the bottles and cans on three of the other altars. I should maybe give some advice about them too.

"Oh yes, I should explain to Hephaestus-sama, Vulcan-sama and Agni-sama about their offerings. Please be careful as the alcohol content is high in them." I said, pointing out the bottles of sake, brandy and whisky.

"Because they're strong you should pour them into a glass and drink them like that, maybe with some ice. It's similar stuff to the liquor I offered up to Agni-sama last time. It still tastes delicious even if you add water as well."

"I get you. Strong booze is especially welcome, yeah." Hephaestus-sama said.

"That's right. I'm looking forward to drinking this booze real soon. " Vulcan-sama added.

"War God, let's partaaay!"

"Oh yeah, time to get it on."

Hephaestus-sama and Vulcan-sama sounded like they had been drinking already. I sighed (again) but it was out of my hands now. Time to send the offerings to their recipients and call it a night.

"Then, here are the items you wished for. Please accept them." I couldn't be bothered with saying anything more elaborate. The goods on the cardboard altar disappeared promptly nevertheless, accompanied by the voices of the Goddesses (squealing) and the Gods (roaring) as my offerings arrived in their realm.

Haaaa, somehow the number of deities looking over my shoulder had increased. I couldn't refuse them, the God of Blacksmiths and the God of War were just too intimidating and besides I was exhausted after spending most of the day dealing with the Dragon-maniac Elland-san. I worried about how the Status of Fer, Sui and Dora-chan would change now they had the blessings of Hephaestus-sama and Vulcan-sama but I was too tired to investigate immediately. I'd get a good night's sleep and check on them to see what had happened tomorrow.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Ch 23 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)


Ch 23 -- Elementary School Student?

~ What has gone before ~
· My new genitals had a workout.
· I was raised to Level 2 for some reason after I completed my first day in a different world.

* * * * *

"Urggh, I overslept."  How long had I been asleep? I was still only half-awake but it was bright daylight outside. I must have been really tired after the previous day's events. I jumped out of bed and left the room still wearing my pajamas.

The inn was about 50 tsubo or about 165 square metres with about two-thirds of the floor area dedicated to the bar area with a door to the main street in front, the rest being for the living area at the back where Sumirena-san and Erim-san (and me too now, I realised) resided. I had been told by Erim-san yesterday there was a stable on the back of the main building for horses. Since it was currently empty Minoko was living there.

There were no signs of anyone else in the back rooms. I supposed the residents would have been up doing errands and chores a long time ago. I hadn't planned to get up early but as a freeloader here who was supposed to work for my keep it was embarrassing to be the last to wake. I walked quickly down the corridor and opened the wooden door at the end to enter the tavern area at the front of the building.

"Good morning! I'm sorry, I overslept! " I announced. As I feared, I was the last to get there. Wearing an apron Erim was standing behind the bar counter cutting up vegetables and other ingredients with a kitchen knife, obviously getting food ready to serve at the bar. Sumirena-san, dressed in a long skirt was sitting on a stool out in the middle of the tavern floor. The other tables and chairs had been moved into a corner to make space for Minoko who was sitting next to Sumirena-san.

"Good morning, Richy-chan." Sumirena-san returned my greeting with a gentle smile like sunbeams filtering through dark green trees. "There was no need to hurry to get up today. Take your time."

Seeing her sitting there serene and elegant my mind flashed back to last night as I remembered her nakedness and my idiotic foolishness (and the blindfold and her hands and...) and I felt my face flush.

"Richy-san, good morning." Erim interrupted his preparation work, opened the partition door between the bar counter and the floor and hurried out to greet me but he stopped, looking puzzled.

"Hullo? Richy-san's wearing my pajamas?"

"Oh this? Didn't Sumirena-san ask you? She borrowed the top for me from your wardrobe after all, Erim." I stretched out both arms right and left to show him it was a comfortable fit on my body, but the sleeves were so long my hands were hidden in the cuffs.

"Maybe it's a bit too big in the sleeves but... It's not too baggy, is it?"

"W- Well, maybe." Erim seemed distracted for some reason, an awkward smile on his face as he looked away towards his older sister, unable to meet my eyes. Was he annoyed?

"I wore it without asking you, was that wrong?" I asked worriedly.

"N- n- no!" Erim burst out.

N-? "Ah, are my nipples showing through again?" I looked down, trying to see for myself. The cloth the pajamas were made of was thicker than the material of the dress I was wearing yesterday so I didn't think they would be standing out --

"They aren't! Richy-san, acting like that... it's too cute... mumble" his voice tailed off.

"Sorry? I didn't hear the last bit you said."

"Well, uh, it looks good on you, or rather you look... ummm."

"Rather?"

"Well, moving on!" Erim said briskly. "It doesn't smell strange to you? If I knew Richy-san was going to borrow it I would have deodorized it thoroughly."

Erim seemed excessively apologetic about possible smells so I brought the sleeve of the pajama to my nose and sniffed deeply trying to detect any odours while he watched anxiously. There wasn't an unpleasant smell, but... was it because Erim cooked in the tavern? Besides detergent I detected a faint smell of food, of cooking oil and seasonings. The smell of Erim's work had somehow transferred to his sleepwear. I was surprised, it seemed my sense of smell had improved after I was reincarnated as a Succubus. To check further I leant forward and put my nose against Erim's chest.

"Ri- Ri- Richy-san !?" Hmmm, the smell was stronger on his work clothes than on his pajamas, not surprisingly. As I sniffed Erim's chest the food smells suddenly brought back memories of the ramen noodles I had been eating at the Tenka Ippin chain restaurant when the truck came through the wall and killed me. I wanted to eat them again but of course I'd never get the chance again, would I? Knowing it was impossible just made the cravings worse somehow.

I was jolted out of my nostalgia when Erim said "Hey?" and I stepped back, flustered, realising what I had been doing.

"Ah, it's just... this body seems to have a, well, call it a fetish for smells. Ummm, don't take that in a weird way, please." I waved my hands, trying to explain. "Anyway I'm used to a man's body odour so the smell from your pajama top isn't disconcerting to me."

"You're accustomed to the body odour of a man... how?" Erim looked puzzled. "Do you have any brothers!? "

"No, I am an only child." I explained.

"Well, was it Takuto-san!? Was it that you saw him so often you remembered what he smelled like?" Erim seemed rather excited for some reason.

"Takuto, eh? Why are you bringing him up again?" I enquired.

"I'm desperate! Please tell me!" Erim's angry expression frightened me so I hurried to explain.

"Well, I didn't see him that often, maybe once or twice a week. I didn't get out very much."

"That is, once or twice... that often..." Erim muttered, his eyes far away. What should I do? I didn't know why Erim seemed resentful all of a sudden. Muttering something like "I'll absolutely not lose" Erim went back to the other side of the bar counter. Sumirena-san, who had watched our exchange, giggled and then laughed outright.

"You're an imp, Richy-chan, aren't you?"

"Yes, well... unfortunately, I'm not human anymore." I sighed and she laughed again.

"Uhufu, I didn't mean it in that sense. But you're so adorable when you do things like that, really cute."

"You're calling me cute again... I thought you were going to stop doing that? "

"Yes but I've had time to think about it since last night and I came to a conclusion." Sumirena-san said brightly.

"...What kind of conclusion?" I asked, dreading the answer.

"It's better this world is destroyed than I refrain from calling things cute when I see cute things. That's all."

"Is it really that important for you to say such things out loud?" Maybe Sumirena-san could survive by just thinking those kind of thoughts and not speaking about them to me if I asked her? As I sighed I heard my belly rumble. I'd have to get something for Minoko to eat so I could drink some of her milk.

- Or so I thought. Minoko was already consuming something, licking noisily at a soup bowl. Was it water? It was the wrong colour for that, some kind of amber.

"What is that?" I asked anxiously. I didn't want Minoko to be poisoned or-

"Minoko-chan was interested in it." Sumirena-san explained. "It's something I was playing around with, trying to come up with a new taste."

"A new taste?"

"Alcohol." Sumirena-san gestured around the tavern. "I mostly sell drinks as they come, in bottles or casks but I sometimes combine different kinds of alcohol, mix in fruit juices and other things to make them taste different."

"Is it like a cocktail?" I asked.

"Kakuteru?" the word was obviously unfamiliar to Sumirena-san. She shrugged. "It's somewhat of a hobby of mine, I don't call it anything in particular. I even try to cook sometimes but Erim's much better at that than me and all that happens is I make a mess and get in his way." Sumirena-san smiled. "No man will ever take me as a bride if I can't cook, right?"

Sumirena-san spoke with no sign of being disheartened but it was clear to me that her current unmarried situation worried her somewhat. Women don't talk lightly about such things after all. As a man I'd be wary of offering advice but, well, my present circumstances meant I could talk about such things with her woman to woman in a way even her younger sibling, Erim couldn't.

"Maybe this world has a similar saying to the world I came from." I said in what I intended to be a serious tone of voice. Unfortunately what I said came out in my new super-cute voice.  I coughed and tried again.

"In the world where I came from there's a proverb, 'failure is a stepping-stone to success' (Shippai wa seikou no motto)." Aaargh, I still sounded like a child but press on, press on. "There are things that you can learn from failure. Even if you make mistakes you can discover what you did wrong and move on and do better the next time. You know what you're not good at so why not learn the basics of cooking from Erim, a bit at a time?"  Yup, that sounded good.

"'Big breasts for sexual intercourse is my motto', you say (Chippai wa seikou no motto)?" Sumirena-san replied, affecting a shocked expression as she deliberately mispronounced the proverb as a Japanese schoolboy might. "You're very bold this morning. Besides as you learned well last night, small breasts like mine are equally entertaining, wouldn't you agree?"

 She shrugged her shoulders and moved to stand up. "I don't know what I can learn from you but if you're worried about me let's go back to your room and you can, uh, 'educate' me in such things."

"That sort of crude joke isn't suitable for the morning," I said as frostily as I could.

"Hehe, I am sorry." Sumirena-san settled back down on her chair with a smile. "But I was only half joking."

I laughed out loud, surprising myself but I was also relieved that Sumirena-san's expression was no longer tinged with sadness.

"Has Minoko been drinking all that alcohol?" I asked, changing the subject. Was it OK for her to do that?

"Yeah. This kid is a real booze-hound." Sumirena-san said. "No matter how much she drinks she isn't affected. She'd make a great bar-hopping buddy."

I didn't know much about alcohol but clearly Minoko had consumed a lot more than I would have been capable of drinking. Of course any time I had been somewhere alcohol was being served I'd hadn't been allowed to drink because of my age so my experience had been limited to watching others indulge. But watching Minoko drinking I realised I was different, in a different world so maybe I could actually drink alcohol now? I cleared my throat.

"Can I try some of that?" I asked. Sumirena-san studied my face for a moment.

"I've been drinking since I was twenty years old which is the usual age for this world. In the world where Richy-chan came from at what age were you allowed to drink?"

"Well, it was twenty years old there too." I admitted.

"In that case, no you can't." Sumirena-san declared.

"But here that's a rule that only applies to humans, doesn't it?" I argued. "It doesn't apply to me now the way I am."

"So you're claiming you're a Succubus only when you think it's convenient for you, Richy-san?" Sumirena-san said archly. "I'm disappointed in you." That shot me down real quick.

"Although, thinking about it, you're going to be working in this tavern and it's not impossible you might end up drinking booze by accident or if you make a mistake." She went on. "Maybe it would be a good idea to find out now if alcohol has much effect on you or not before you deal with customers."

"Okay!" I said eagerly.

"However, if you do get dead drunk I will carry you back to my room and nyan-nyan your helpless body, Richy-chan. I'll lock the door and hide the key to prevent anyone getting in or out. I've got some implements there that mustn't under any circumstances be shown to children which I could use on Richy-chan's soft warm flesh without let or hindrance. If you're okay with that-"

"It's best to keep to this world's rules after all." I declared. "Let's just agree we've never had this discussion, shall we?" I wondered what 'nyan-nyan' was. Something to do with cats? Some sort of technical term? I didn't recognise it but the way Sumirena-san's eyes lit up when she said it indicated I probably didn't want to find out what it involved.

"Wise decision, Richy-chan." Sumirena-san declared. "Still, you really should be careful when it comes to alcohol."

"Is it because I might become addicted or end up suffering alcoholic poisoning?" I asked.

"Well there's that possibility," she nodded, "but in the case of girls, you have to worry about your chastity than anything else. A man who offers alcohol to to a girl, well they always have ulterior motives."

"Surely not." I said. "There must be people who just want to have fun together and a drink or two helps them socialise."

"That's such a naive idea, Richy-chan," Sumirena-san suddenly licked her lips. "Maybe I should let you have a drink or two and then take you back to my room..."

"Are you so sure..." I felt my trust in humanity waver. Did all men become animals when they were drunk?

"I'm certain of it, 200% certain." She waved her hand around the tavern floor. "I've seen it happen more often than you can count." Sumirena-san's words had an authority I could not deny. Erim standing at the counter  nodded in agreement while he stirred a pot of something savoury.

The idea that I might face such a danger suddenly struck home. The way I was now, female, cute, of course men might well... I remembered the orc and Erim's party leader the day before, the way they had reacted to my new form, what might have happened to me if Minoko hadn't intervened. But surely...

"For girls, the world outside their door is full of danger. And for you, Richy-chan, who have come here," she glanced at Erim who was still at the counter cooking away but listening to our conversation, "from the countryside, young and naive, the risk is magnified tenfold."

"Oh don't try and scare me with such stories, please." I scoffed. "If this town was really like that I'd not be able to walk around by myself at all."

"Wait, wait. You were thinking of going for a walk outside? Without asking me about it?"

"Why, is there a problem?" I wanted to wander around the town, a place I had never seen before, that's all.

"It's not a good idea. A young woman like Richy-chan walking around alone especially at night, who knows what sorts of orcs, trolls, goblins, slimes and Perromena you might encounter. It would be like you were parading around naked." Sumirena-san shook her head.

"Would it really?" I asked, horrified.

"It's too terrible to contemplate." she said, wiggling her fingers. "Especially the Perromena with its slimy clutches."

"...What is a Perromena?" I asked, dreading the answer.

"They are amphibious monsters with ten tentacles." She held up one finger. "The tip of one of their tentacles is their reproductive organ." She poked her finger at my groin and I stepped back. "It inserts this tentacle in a female Perromena's vaginal orifice to fertilize it. However," Sumirena-san went on, "they will attempt to penetrate females of all races with their tentacle, not just their own females. The only good thing is that they can't fertilise their victims but that's a small comfort for those that are attacked this way."

I put my hands over my ears, not wanting to listen to any more but Sumirena-san continued. "You see it's not just a reproductive organ but also a feeding mouth, consuming female secretions which they have a taste for, especially those of human women and girls."

"Thank you for the detailed explanation." I said after my heart had stopped thumping in my chest. "I am thoroughly terrified now."

"Good. Even if you've never been threatened by a Perromena's tentacle, you faced the same sort of danger from an orc, didn't you Richy-chan? You were scared, weren't you? Such dangers are always lurking just around the corner for young girls even in the places they might feel most safe. For a girl who is sweetly walking alone at night the risk is intolerable. She should go home immediately and be scolded all evening for her carelessness."

Hearing Sumirena-san describe the dangers lurking in this world I wondered if even this house was really a safe haven. As I considered my perilous situation Erim exclaimed "Never fear!" in a loud voice.

"When you go out I will travel with you, Richy-san and stay with you at all times. If anyone wishes to harm you I will stop them even if it costs me my life!" He banged his fist on his chest in emphasis.

"Oh, yeah, thanks," I said, "But you're quite weak aren't you?" His face fell at my blunt assessment of his ability to protect me.

"Richy-chan, you should keep this in mind." Sumirena-san interrupted. "At first glance Erim here seems harmless enough but he's just as dangerous as any male you might encounter on the street outside." She shook her head. "If he had spent time around women of his own age he'd be more restrained but sadly he's just a wild animal at heart."

"Aren't you supposed to be on my side, Sis!?" Erim burst out.

"I'm protecting this cute naive child here, Erim." Sumirena-san said. "She needs my support right now more than you do."

"How can you say that!" The two siblings bickered away as I considered my situation. Was Sumirena-san really being serious when she outlined the dangers I faced in this world, for me, a newly-created female creature, not human but definitely human-looking and, I had to admit it to myself, incredibly desirable to humans. I smiled bitterly. My experiences of the night before had taught me that it wasn't just male humans who were a threat to my, uh, 'chastity'...

Still one thing was firmly decided - my curfew was to be 5 o'clock in the evening. I had to be back in the tavern by that time without fail according to Sumirena-san. When I protested being treated like an elementary school kid Sumirena-san's simple rebuttal was "Do you want to be covered in Perromena slime instead?"

No, I shook my head. I'd settle for being treated as an elementary school kid.

* * * * *

I worried about whether it was better to be sticky or slimy all that night but I decided in the end it wasn't worth bothering about the difference.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Ch 120 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 120 -- Secret Drinking Exposed (first part)


I decided to stay at the "Labyrinth City Inn" Elland-san recommended. After we found our way there and got a room everyone ate in the inn's courtyard where I could cook dinner. Afterwards Fer and Dora-chan went to sleep in the stables attached to the inn. As I laid out Fer's collection of futons for them to sleep on Dora-chan piped up, saying "I want my own futon". I opened the Net Super and bought a child's futon for him. It had a fantasy-themed cover with colourful manga images of dragons and other monsters printed on it. Seeing the small Pixie Dragon curled up on it was an incongruous sight.

After settling the other two monsters in the stables I took Sui up to our room. As soon as I put a futon on the bed for me Sui got into it and fell asleep. I gazed longingly at the bed but I couldn't go to sleep quite yet myself since there were things I had to do.

Offerings to the Goddesses. I was a little late, again. Hey, I had been travelling and having to deal with Elland-san and... yeah, yeah, the Goddesses weren't going to listen, so rehearsing my excuses was useless. The sooner I got it over with the better. Time to contact them, I suppose.

"Ah, Goddess-samas, are you there?"

"Late!! You're totally late, you knowwww! You absolutely forgot about us, didn't you?" Ah, Ninril-sama. How nice to hear your delightful screeching voice again. Not. I couldn't deny what she had said though.

"Really, we've been waiting here for some time for you to make your offerings as you agreed in return for our blessings. I think an apology is in order, don't you?" Kishar-sama was next in the "kick the other-world-guy while he's down" queue, getting her dig in quite eloquently. I didn't really ask for those blessings, of course but...

"Looks that way to me too. I want an apology as well." Agni-sama followed up brusquely.

"...you broke your promise." came Ruka-sama's almost-silent voice, finishing off the four-hit megami-combo in her usual understated manner. That last smackdown was probably the most painful, I mused as I scrabbled for an answer. Ah! Appeal to their greed, that was sure to work.

"Ah, you're right of course. I am sorry I was so terribly late." I grovelled. "I know words are insufficient so as an apology for my mistake I'll increase the value of each of my offerings today from 3 silver coins to 4 silver coins. Please forgive me."

"Umm, I'll totally go for that, yeah."

"Four silver coins? That sounds fine. "

"Oh, four silver coins? You can send me more booze than usual in that case."

"...forgiven"

I have been completely forgiven for just four silver coins extra. The Goddesses are pretty gulli-, uh really kind and understanding of my human failings.

"Well then, I will ask what you want. Ninril-sama, you're first as usual?"

"Yes, It's always me first, you know." I imagined Deplorable-sama smirking at the other Goddesses as she said that. "I want sweet things, just the same as usual OK? Lots more dorayaki of course, and I want more cake and pudding you know, and more sweet bubbly drinks too. More of everything."

Ninril-sama ordered her usual sugar-bomb of sweet foods and drinks, unwavering and unchanging. I opened Net Super and started loading things she wanted into the cart to a total price of 4 silver coins. Dorayaki, cake, pudding, cola, cider, Japanese sweets and assorted chocolates and candy, that should be enough for her.

"Next is Kishar-sama, correct?"

"Yes, that's right. I still have some shampoo, treatment and hair wraps still left from your last offering. Are there any other beauty related items you could suggest?"

"Hmmm, beauty treatments...?" I gave it some thought, trying to remember the sorts of things my sister used to fill the bathroom cupboards with at home. She used a lot of facial cleansers, skin lotions and mosturisers especially in her teenage years when pimples and spots were the Enemy to be attacked on sight, no prisoners in a war to the finish.

"Well, if it's beauty treatments you're after, how about lotions and moisturisers for your skin?"

"Huh, what are they? I've never heard of them." Kishar-sama sounded intrigued.

"Ah, they don't exist in this world? They are things used to make the skin of your face and body soft and supple."

"Hooo..." Kishar-sama was VERY interested. She explained that the only thing a woman of this world might put on her skin to stop it drying out was highly-refined olive oil, very expensive and not that effective, apparently. Kishar-sama's demands for beauty products was puzzling me though, she was a Goddess after all. She could make herself beautiful with a simple wish, surely?

"I was wondering, why does a Goddess need these things to clean their hair and skin? Aren't you constantly being kept beautiful by your Godly powers?" I asked Kishar-sama.

"What are you talking about!" she exploded. "We aren't that much different from people in the world you live in even if we're up here in the realm of the Gods. Look, we have the ability to influence people of the world below and grant them our blessings, all Gods and Goddesses are born with that power, but even if we remain in this realm we get hungry and sleepy, we even grow older. We live much much longer than ordinary people and we don't get sick but otherwise we're not really much different from you."

Oh, I see. I didn't realise the Gods of this world were like that, not totally perfect in every way.

"So that's how it is. Well in that case, a facial scrub or skin lotion or mosturiser or some combination may be good for you. What sort of problems do you have with your skin, Kishar-sama? Tell me and I can help you choose."

"Well, to start with it's very dry!" Kishar-sama said eagerly. "I use purified olive oil like others do but it doesn't help much, especially on the skin around my eyes which is getting wrinkles."

Hmm, I see. I took a look at the Net Super's list of skin care products. A hyaluronic acid and collagen combination cream for treating eye wrinkles costing a silver coin and five coppers caught my eye. It was part of a similarly formulated cosmetic product line and the matching facial moisturiser and general skin lotion were a silver coin each. I added a skin cleansing foam for another five coppers. Right, four silver coins worth, yosh!

"Next is Agni-sama," I said as Kishar-sama's order arrived from the Net Super.

"Oh, I want the same booze as before-" Agni-sama said before she was interrupted by a male voice.

 "Fuahahahah, we finally tracked you down!" Who was this?

 "Uohh, wh- wh- what are you guys doing here?" Agni-sama stuttered.

"Eek! Totally no way, what's with these guys? " Deplorable-sama chimed in.

"It can't be~. What's going on Agni-chan? Did you tell them?" Kishar-sama demanded.

"Oh, no way! I'd never tell these guys anything and you know it!" Agni-sama burst out.

"They smelled booze." Ruka-sama's simple statement explained everything just before the arguments and excuses began. I heard the Goddesses scream things like "I just wanted to drink some other-world booze!" and "I told you it was a bad idea!" at each other amongst a lot of general bickering, blaming and accusations.

"Well, so you're a guy who was Summoned from another world?" a gruff male voice broke through the hen-house squawking going on in the background, obviously speaking directly to me. "And you've got a Skill that lets you get things from that world? And that includes alcohol, right...? Hey, it looks like we're gonna get the chance to drink a lot of different kinds of other-world booze too, Blacksmith God."

"Fuahahaha, that's right, War God. This is our lucky day!" Another male voice replied, even deeper than the first.

"That's right." The first voice agreed happily.

"Fuahahahaha"

"Fuahahahahahahaha"

"Fuahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha"

Hearing maniacal laughter from the realm of the Gods is never a good sign, take it from me.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Ch 119 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 119 -- Having a Little Confidence in His Disassembly Skills


We went down to the Guild's warehouse which was basically the same as the others I had been in, only much larger. Doran was the biggest city I'd visited in this country and it was a Dungeon City as well so it wasn't surprising that the Guild's monster disassembly area was larger too.

"So then, please take it out and put it here." Elland-san slapped the top of a large workbench in one corner of the warehouse. "After hearing from Rodolpho you had subjugated an Earth Dragon we immediately prepared all the facilities and equipment necessary for its disassembly and we were just waiting for your arrival. We will not waste a drop of blood as I'll personally disassemble it with the utmost care." Elland-san smiled self-deprecatingly. "I have a little confidence in my skills in that regard."

Wait, the Guild Master is going to disassemble the Earth Dragon with his own hands? He boasted he has a 'little confidence' of his abilities as a dismantler?

"Are you intending to dismantle it yourself, Elland-san?" I asked hesitantly. It didn't seem like the sort of thing a Guild Master should do. Disassembly was a craftsman's role, he had a Guild to run, surely that would take up all his time-

"Naturally! I'd never consider giving such a wonderful job to anyone else! Disassembling an Earth Dragon, who else but me could I allow to do it?"

Oh, it's like that is it? Rodolpho-san had said that Elland-san had a thing about Dragons but I didn't think it went quite as far as this, that he would usurp the task of disassembling a Dragon from the regular warehouse staff. Was the chance to do this sort of work really such a wonderful thing for him?

"The last time a Dragon was suppressed in this country was 238 years ago." Elland-san mused, a faraway expression in his eyes. "Back then I wanted to join the subjugation party but for various reasons I couldn't go with them. Afterwards I asked to assist with the dismantling, I asked again and again, but I couldn't get permission." He shrugged. "At that time I was a B ranked Adventurer. I worked hard and eventually rose to S rank but there were never any more Dragon suppressions. Age caught up with me, even long-lived Elves grow old so I retired and joined the Guild's staff. I always hoped that someday another Dragon would be suppressed and I'd be able to dismantle it at least. I've been Guild Master here for 32 years, waiting, hoping, and now..."

Ah, Elland-san? You're telling me things about yourself I didn't really want to know. Rodolpho-san said you weren't a bad person as such but well, what you just said sounds just a bit, ummm, crazy? I decided to interrupt him before he went any further so I took the Earth Dragon from my Item Box and put it on the workbench.

"Here it is Elland-san." I staggered back as the Guild Master pushed brusquely past me.

"Oh, Oooooooooooooooooooooh !!!" Please calm down, Elland-san, I thought as I watched him stare lovingly at the not-very-pretty corpse of the Dragon laid out on the bench before him.

"Th- this is an Earth Dragon!" Well, yes, that's what Fer said it was. "Oh, oh, becoming the Guild Master here in Doran was the best decision I ever made! The Dragon of my dreams, now within my reach... and the pleasure of disassembling it to come... It's a dream come true." His words scared me a little. 'Single-minded', that's the word Rodolpho-san used to describe his old Adventurer colleague back in Claire. I was tending towards 'demented' or 'hysterical' myself now having some first-hand experience of Elland-san.

At a loss for words, I requested disassembly of the Earth Dragon. "Oh, and can we get all the materials back afterwards?" Elland-san's reaction to seeing the Dragon made me suspect he might, ahem, pilfer some choice parts if he was doing the disassembly himself.

"Well it's a pity." Elland-san recovered enough to think about what I had asked and the Guild Master of Doran came to the fore again. "In truth the Guild doesn't have the budget to buy in all the materials from this Dragon anyway. It's a real shame." He looked at me perceptively and smiled.

"You were thinking I might steal some of the materials during disassembly?" He laughed. "Don't worry about that. If something like that were to happen and it became known the reputation of the Adventurers Guild would plummet. Not just that, I'd be sold into slavery or even executed in an unpleasant manner, and I value my life quite a lot." He shrugged. "Now that Mukouda-san is here in Doran it's entirely possible another Dragon will require disassembly soon. It would be a shame to lose that future opportunity by any foolish actions now."

Is that so? It sounded like he was more worried about being caught than anything. I settled for that but Elland-san continued.

"No, wait. Even if we can't buy in all of the Earth Dragon, maybe some parts..." he thought for a moment. "If you agree maybe we can buy some of the Dragon's materials from you?" He really wanted a complete Dragon but he'd settle for some bits of one. If he agreed to pay us for some parts we didn't want or need then maybe he'd stay honest when temptation struck later as he disassembled the monster.

"Yes, that's OK." I said. "So what parts do you want? We want to keep all the meat but the rest of the materials we can negotiate for." I had to keep all the meat otherwise Fer would get angry. He was certain that Dragon meat was the tastiest meat ever. I was intrigued, I had tasted Orc General, Bloody Horn Bull and even Wyvern meat since I had arrived in this world. Could Dragon really be so much better than those high-quality meats?

"We definitely want the blood," Elland-san mused, "and the fangs too. I'd like to buy the innards but... Hummm, we can't afford everything so I'll have to choose. The meat is too expensive for sure so of course I'll return that to you. Please let me think about this a little more, Mukouda-san."

"That's fine." I agreed. "Once we come back after the dismantling is done we can decide together what parts the Guild wants to buy from us. We want all the meat since Fer says is's really delicious and he'd get mad at me if we didn't keep it."

"...Earth Dragon meat is delicious? You've eaten Dragon meat before?" Elland-san exclaimed.

"Well, yeah, I've been told by Fer that it tastes really good." As I said that Elland-san rushed round from the other side of the workbench and grasped my hand.

"Please, I beg you, please let me eat Dragon meat. I will pay, I will pay you anything you ask, every coin I possess, I'll sell everything I have, please let me eat some of that meat." he begged, tears in his eyes as I tried unsuccessfully to disengage my hand from his strong grip. E- Elland-san, are you really so desperate to eat Dragon you would sell everything you own? Please don't say that.

"Well, yes, I understand, please calm down." I pleaded.

Misunderstanding what I had said Elland-san said "Thank you very much, thank you very much" over and over again. I finally extracted my hand from his grip and shook it to restore the circulation. He had said he was an S rank Adventurer before he retired, I could well believe that.

"Ha, Dragon meat..." Elland-san said ecstatically, his hand stroking the Earth Dragon on the workbench beside him. When he started rubbing his cheek against its scaly skin I had to look away. This Elf-san is truly terrifying, Rodolpho-san. Your warning was not enough.

Fer, who had been pretending to be asleep as usual looked up at the tall Elf figure bussing the Earth Dragon and asked "Is that guy all right?" I didn't know what to tell him. Dora-chan added "Are all the people in this city like him?" I tried to assure them that Elland-san was a special case but I don't think I was very convincing.

"So, how long will it take you to disassemble it?" I asked, hoping he'd stop doing what he was doing. Elland-san stood upright again, blinking as his Guild Master persona took over again. He left one hand resting on the Dragon's skin though, I noticed.

"Well, let me think, umm, I want to be very careful and be sure I investigate every part thoroughly so I'd want 3 days to finish it properly." The way he said "investigate every part thoroughly" worried me somewhat. Anyway, it would be three days, apparently.

"Then I'll come back in three days. Oh, that's right, are there any subjugation requests for us to undertake in this city?"

"Ah, no. We're fine here. Remember this is a Dungeon City so we have plenty of Adventurers around." High-ranking Adventurers would tend to congregate around a dungeon so the local area's needs in that respect would be well-catered for.

Elland-san's eyes strayed back to the Earth Dragon on the workbench and I decided it was time to go find an inn to stay at for the duration of our visit to Doran. When I asked the distracted Guild master about lodgings he immediately offered to put us all up at his own home but I declined as politely as I could. It had been nerve-wracking enough just being with him for a few hours, a whole day or longer... brrr. He was actually a nice guy as long as he wasn't thinking about Dragons which was most of the time so I said we'd find a suitable inn that had accommodations for contracted monsters.

Elland-san recommended the "Labyrinth City Inn" where guests could stay with contracted monsters and told me that as a thank-you for bringing the Dragon to Doran's Guild for dismantling they'd cover our accommodation fee. He gave directions to the inn and when prompted by Fer I asked for the location of the dungeon entrance too. It seemed that Fer wanted to go there tomorrow and I was too tired to argue so I listened carefully to Elland-san's instructions before we said good-bye and left the Guild building.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Ch 118 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 118 - Magical Energy and Flower Nectar?


"First of all, where did you encounter this Pixie Dragon?" Elland-san launched straight into asking about his favourite subject, Dragons.

"Dora-chan? I met Dora-chan near the forest of Ishtam." I said. Elland-san raised an eyebrow.

"Wh- why is the Pixie Dragon named Dora-chan?" he asked, looking confused.

"Eh well, because it appears you have to give your contracted monster a name to seal the contract." I didn't really understand why I had to do this to make a contract. Fer had told me that if the monster has submitted then the contract is formed when it's given a name and after that you are able to communicate with it telepathically. I don't understand that bit either but it seems to work so I won't worry about it.

"Even a Pixie Dragon is a real Dragon so why call it Dora-chan? If I were you, I would have given it a more dignified name, don't you think?" Elland-san looked up at the ceiling of his office, deep in thought. "Dora-chan is, well, not really, ummm, I wonder what I can say, it's not really up to me..." Elland-san muttered but I could hear what he was thinking. Dora-chan, it's a cute name, isn't it? What's wrong with it? Did everyone except me think it was a bad choice? Elland-san shook his head for some reason then returned his gaze to me.

"Since you encountered Dora-chan near the forest of Ishtam, does that mean there's a Pixie Dragon habitat nearby?"

"Well,  I only came across Dora-chan." I explained. I had no idea what a Pixie Dragon's habitat would be like. Elland-san sighed and scored something off in the papers on the table before him.

"Then, what kind of things do Pixie Dragons usually eat?" he went on.

"What sort of things? We all eat the same things I cook." I stopped there, not wanting to say anything that might give away The Secret but I make it and we all eat it. Sure, Fer isn't fond of veggies and Sui doesn't like green tea but meat, kaarage, curry, stew, you name it they'll gobble it down and demand "Seconds!" right after.

"Huh?" Elland-san seemed confused (again).

"Yep, Fer, Sui, Dora-chan and I all eat the same thing." I indicated Fer who was lying by the chair pretending to be asleep as usual then I took Sui out of her bag and held her out for inspection. I nodded at Dora-chan who was sitting on the couch next to me, wings neatly folded and explained that everyone ate the same food. Elland-san's eyes narrowed.

"So it's true, Mukouda-san has a Fenrir and Slime as contracted monsters as well as the Pixie Dragon." Elland-san sighed. "But a Fenrir, a Slime and a Pixie Dragon can't eat the same things, Mukouda-san. Please don't joke about such things."

 Hey, I wasn't joking! Why do you think I was making stuff up?

"A Fenrir is carnivorous," Elland-san explained deprecatingly, "And a Slime can digest pretty much anything but I know for a fact the staple food of the Pixie Dragon is magical energy and flower nectar." He held up his hands. "It's obviously impossible for those to be the same thing, isn't it? Ha ha ha!"

Huh? A Pixie Dragon's staple diet is supposed to be magical energy and nectar from flowers? Dora-chan usually eats meat. Well, he loves meat and eats it quite readily.

"I have never heard such an idea before." Dora-chan said telepathically, shaking his head.

"Where did you get the idea that Pixie Dragons only ate magical energy and flower nectar?" I asked, intrigued.

"From a book in the Royal Library of a certain country far from here." Elland-san went on. "That country has studied Dragons thoroughly because Dragon materials form one of the components of Elixir." His eyes took on a faraway look. "Since that book about Dragons and Elixir was a national secret I had to surreptitiously make my way into the restricted archives of that Royal Library just to be able to read it." So you broke in, Elland-san? Just how crazy are you about Dragons? It seemed Rodolpho-san was well aware just how obsessed Elland-san was on this subject.

But that was interesting to hear, that Dragons supply at least one of the materials to create Elixir. Fer had told me that healing mushrooms were certainly one of the other materials of Elixir. Could it be I actually had most or even all of the components of Elixir in my Item Box? I wondered what other materials if any might be needed. Elland-san was an Elf and had been around for a long time so he might know. I'd maybe ask him later.

"I don't know why such a book said that, but it's wrong about a Pixie Dragon's staple food being magical power and flower nectar... Dora-chan?"

"Oh. We Pixie Dragons will basically eat anything. Of course I prefer meat myself." So Dora-chan was omnivorous and whatever I cooked for myself, Fer and Sui he'd eat with gusto.

"As Dora-chan just said, a Pixie Dragon seems to eat basically anything but he himself prefers meat," I repeated to Elland-san.

"... Wait a moment please, Dora-chan told you this? How?" Elland-san shouted.

"Well, I just talk to Dora-chan with my thoughts and he replies the same way, telepathically."

Bang! Elland-san slapped his hands on the table and leaned forward.

"Mukouda-san, you can speak with Dragons telepathically?" he shouted. Wah, your face is too close, Guild Master-san. It's a handsome face, a beautiful face even but I'm a man and you're a man so please, not so close.

"Hey hey Elland-san, please calm down, no, I can not talk to Dragons. It's because Dora-chan submitted to a contract with me I can talk with him telepathically just the same way I can talk with Fer and Sui." Elland-san sat back, a stunned expression on his face as he absorbed what I had just told him. After a few moments he blinked.

"I've never heard of anyone being able to talk to a monster after they made a submission contract with them before." He paused. "It's not that I don't believe you, Mukouda-san but..." Elland-san was obviously doubtful of my ability to talk to Fer, Sui and especially Dora-chan.

"...Really? Is it not normal to be able to speak telepathically with a monster after making a submission contract?"

"I don't think so." Elland-san said after a few moments thought. "I've lived a long time, even for an Elf but I've never heard of that ability before."

Eh, really? Fer told me that monsters who agreed to a submission contract can communicate by telepathy so I thought that it was the standard thing to happen.

"Fer, what's going on?"

"Ummm, I've got no idea." Fer thought for a long moment, obviously rifling through his own memories. He had lived for a thousand years, even longer than Elland-san had been alive but he had spent hardly any time around humans and other races like Elves so what he took to be the truth about submission contracts between humans and monsters might not match Elland-san's knowledge. "My own experience has been that those monsters who make a submission contract with a human can share thoughts with their other contracted monsters. I don't know how it works any other way."

That's right. As Fer said, both Fer and Sui can talk to Dora-chan as well as me. I'd not run into anyone else who had contracted monsters before so I thought this was the way all submission contracts worked. Was I wrong?

"I'm trying to understand this but...," Elland-san concentrated for a moment, "Mukouda-san, you have submission contracts with these three monsters. That means you forced them to submit to you, doesn't it?"

 Uh, what? Please don't make jokes like that. How could a salary-man like me force a Fenrir and a Dragon or even a new-born baby Slime to submit? I lost at arm-wrestling to my office-lady kouhai when we were out drinking one night after work, how could I...

"I've got no idea how legendary monsters like Fenrir or Dragons could be forced to submit. I'd like to see someone try to subdue a Fenrir or a Dragon by force." From a long distance away, of course. Safety first.

"Although Carerina's Guild Master and Rodolfo didn't get any details from you about how the Fenrir became a contracted monster, they told me that you subdued him with some kind of special secret method, Mukouda-san." Elland-san looked at me penetratingly with the eye of an experienced Guild Master used to evaluating the combat abilities of Adventurers. "Both of them and now myself would agree it's unlikely you used direct force or fought them to the point they would submit to you. That leaves the possibility that you employed some powerful technique or sophisticated method to make monsters submit that is unknown to the Guild." He shrugged. "Rodolfo thought for some reason that food was involved and mentioned that you might have mixed a special poison in their meals..."

Hey, why did Fer and Dora-chan suddenly look at me like that? I don't use poison, I've got no idea how to make them or anything of that sort, I told them telepathically but the suspicious looks didn't go away.

"Well, this is fascinating." Elland-san said, making more notes on the papers before him. "It appears the standard submission contract I know of and Mukouda-san's version of a submission contract are very different." He went on to explain that a normal submission contract involved putting a monster under control by force and making it yield to their will. It was basically the same as a slave contract imposed on humans, a monster who submitted had to follow the instructions of its owner implicitly. The job class of someone who forces submission contracts on monsters is Tamer. The higher the level the Tamer has due to experience and practice the stronger the monsters they can successfully Tame and they get a bonus boost as well from the levels of the monsters they already have under their control.

 However it's necessary to Tame a certain level of monsters to qualify as a Tamer to start with and there are few people who can form a submission contract with monsters even at the lowest possible level. This means the Tamer job is very rare especially since many beginners who try to become a Tamer fail on their first attempt. Elland-san didn't have to explain to me just what the penalty for "failing to Tame a strong monster" would be.

A Tamer? I tried to imagine myself as a Tamer trying to force Fer into forming a submission contract against his will and shuddered. Hey, my occupation is still listed on my Status as "other-world-guy who got caught". I'm not a Tamer, not really. Even attempting to force Sui-chan as she is today to be my contracted monster would not end well for me. I remembered the Giant Centipede she one-hitted in the Forest of Ishtam, or the Wyverns she shot down in the grasslands near Carerina or... then again I couldn't imagine being able to Tame even a level-1 monster to start with.

"From what you've told me, Mukouda-san, your relationship with your contracted monsters and how you obtained them is unique. I've been informed about the Royal decree preventing any interference in your affairs so I can't demand you reveal to me how you achieved those contracts..." Elland-san sighed and sat back. "Your contracted monsters are a Pixie Dragon and a Fenrir and a Slime which, from what I've been told, is almost unbelievably powerful. These are monsters which would not usually submit to a Tamer no matter how competent and capable they may be."

I had learned that Fer, Sui and Dora-chan weren't bound to me by ordinary submission contracts as defined by the Guild. That was useful to know but it didn't really help me understand just how our contracts actually worked. The telepathy thing was special, for example.

"I understand that Mukouda-san's submission contract is different from the ordinary one and I'd really like to know more about the differences," Elland-san went on, his face lighting up, "but what I'd really like to know is how to form my own submission contract of the same type with a Dragon."

Are you trying to make a contract with a Dragon? You really are crazy about Dragons, aren't you? What could I say?

"No, I can't explain to you how it's done and even if..." I ran out of words and ideas and just asked Fer and the others for their opinions telepathically.

"What he wants can't be done." Fer said abruptly. "To begin with I'd never accept a submission contract with him since there's nothing he could offer me."

"Yeah. This guy can't cook the way you do, I'm sure of it." Dora-chan added. "You're the only one anywhere in this world that could make the food I like so much."

Dora-chan, I'm glad that you praised me, but I'm not actually a real cook, I just make dinner like I do at home.

"Yup, couldn't agree more." Fer added. "Long-lived species like us aren't easy to please but delicious food is one of the things that we really like." So food is important enough to you to make a contract with me?

"That's right - delicious food is very important~" Sui-chan chimed in. "I'm happy to be able to eat delicious meals~"

Sui-chan too... I knew you guys were attracted by my cooking and became my contracted monsters that way but I didn't really understand just how it worked for you. This gave me an idea how to deal with Elland-san who was getting more and more impatient as I communed telepathically with the Gluttonous Trio.

"Ha... Um, maybe you can cook, Elland-san?" I asked.

"Oh, cooking? Because I am always eat at restaurants, I do not cook, but..." his eyes lit up. "Are you saying that cooking is necessary for you to make your submission contract, Mukouda-san?"

"No, it's not actually necessary," I lied, "but my contracted monsters are gourmets and demand I make them delicious meals as part of the contract."

"Well, if that's the case, I will learn to cook! If I become able to cook, even I can make a monster contract with a Dragon!" Elland-san's excitement increased even further.

"No, it's not as simple as that but ..." I was at a loss to go on.

Fer interrupted me. "This isn't going anywhere. Let's eat something and maybe you'll stop rambling while your mouth is full of food."

"The big guy said it right. You're getting hungry like us. Let's have some food."

"Sui's also hungry-"

Ah that's right, I should distract Elland-san. If he's anything like the other people in this world the food I cook will do it.

"Excuse me, Elland-san, but everyone is hungry." I announced. "Can you let us eat here in your office? Please join us, we have plenty." Elland-san blinked at my odd request but nodded.

"Well, by all means. I'm intrigued and will happily steal a bite or two. Food that contracted monsters desire should be interesting to sample." Elland-san looked eager to eat some of my cooking.

"Ah Elland-san, are you OK with meat?" The Elves in stories and games in my world are strict vegetarians after all.

"Yes, meat is my favourite food." Oh, the Elves in this world seem to think eating meat is OK. That simplified things, I just made gyuudon beef bowls with ready-to-eat ingredients from my Item Box. I filled dishes for Fer and the others with warm rice, topped them with plenty of cooked shredded meat and finished off with a soft-boiled egg broken in the middle. The Gluttonous Trio dug in with a will as usual.

Watching with interest the way Dora-chan was eating his beef bowl, Elland-san said with a note of wonder in his voice, "I was totally wrong about the staple food of Pixie Dragons being magical energy and the nectar from flowers." Yeah, Dora-chan really loves meat doesn't he?

I made another beef bowl like the others and handed it to Elland-san.

"You should eat the egg in the middle with a spoon." I suggested.

"Yes, well..."

Elland-san broke the soft-boiled egg as I recommended and lifted the beef bowl to his mouth. As he tentatively took a bite I saw his eyes widen in surprise then he started to briskly devour the contents of the bowl. It appeared he liked the taste. I started in on my own beef bowl.

"Hey you, seconds here."

"Seconds-"

Fer and Sui chorused their demands for more beef bowl just as I took my own first bite. As usual.

"Ummm, could I have a second helping...?" Elland-san, not you too? I sighed and put my own bowl down to deal with the Three Gluttons. Dora-chan seemed full up with his first bowl but I had another freeloader on my hands now. I worried for a moment if I'd end up being forced to make a contract with the Elf-san now I'd fed him but shook my head. Nope. Not going to happen.

In the end 'seconds' became 'thirds' for the three freeloaders although I managed an extra bowl of gyuudon for myself while they were still eating. Success!

When the meal ended, Fer looked towards Elland-san and spoke. "Well, you've seen how it works first-hand now. No high-ranking monster will make a contract like ours with you if you can't provide food as good or better than what we've just eaten, and every day too."

"Ku... I have lived a long time and eaten countless wonderful meals but what I just ate now was the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. It is impossible for me..." Elland-san sat staring at the empty bowls on the table before him, dejected and lost for words. So the most wonderful thing he's ever eaten is a gyuudon beef bowl, the sort of cheap meal you could buy in a Japanese salaryman restaurant for five hundred yen (including sales tax)?

...oh, seasonings. I have the Net Super so I can cook with all the seasonings and condiments I'd normally use when I was in Japan, but in this world salt was about the only thing used to flavour food. There's pepper too but that was expensive and only enjoyed by rich people and nobility. No wonder what I cook is more flavourful than anything anyone in this world can make. Soy sauce, mirin, dashi and many other ingredients, they're all new to this world and I'm the only one that can obtain them.

"Ah well, cheer up please." I said. Elland-san looked up and nodded, his eyes brightening.

"That's right, I still have something else to ask of you, Mukouda-san!" Elland-san leant forward eagerly again. "I was told about 'that' by Carerina's Guild Master. Please give me 'that'."

That? What's that?

"That, the Earth Dragon!" Ah, that reminded me, I'd forgotten all about it. Haa, when will I be able to get out of here?

Monday, 24 December 2018

Ch 117 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi


Ch 117 -- The Guild Master Is An Imposing Elf


By noon the next day the Dungeon City of Doran had finally come into view.

"As they said back in Claire, it's a really large city." I muttered, taking in the sight of its impressive walls.

"Umu." Fer agreed, slowing down at last. "Anyway, it looks like it will take us some time to get in." Following Fer's gaze I could make out a long row of people standing in front of the gate on this side of the city.

"Ah, you're right, there are lots of people waiting to enter." A big city like this there were bound to be lots of visitors, Adventurers and merchants and the like. It couldn't be helped, we'd have to queue up and wait our turn to get in.

"Wouldn't it be faster to just fly over the wall?" Dora-chan suggested. "Well, Fer could easily jump over carrying you and Sui." I looked up at the high walls, the very very high walls surrounding the city and shook my head. Nope. No jumping, not that high.

"No, no, we'd be caught by the city guards doing that and I am not in a hurry anyway so let's wait here together."

"Nuu, it's annoying but it can't be helped." Fer muttered. He was obviously impatient to get into Doran's dungeon.

"Let's join the end of the queue over there." I pointed and Fer set off again. As Fer got closer I heard a voice shouting "A monster's coming! A Great Wolf?" and people who looked like Adventurers started brandishing heir weapons. More cries, "A baby Dragon too! Look out!" as they caught sight of Dora-chan flying along beside us. Some people dressed like mages held up their staffs and started murmuring enchantments. This was getting bad.

"It's okay folks, both of these guys are my contracted monsters!" I shouted loudly so everyone could hear me. Fer and Dora-chan stopped, obviously not threatening the people nearby and this convinced them that they had submitted to me. The Adventurers put down their weapons and the mages lowered their staffs... but it was clear they were still suspicious and wary. After all Fer was, at least, a giant Wolf-type monster and Dora-chan, although small was obviously a Dragon even if they thought he was a baby. If they were worried about a Dragon this small I wondered just how troublesome a fully-grown Dragon could be. Fer, who seemed invincible to me, had said a few times that some older Dragons could give him what he called "a decent fight".

We joined the end of the queue waiting to get into Doran and stood quietly. There wasn't really anything I could say to the people staring at us so I just kept my mouth shut. The uncomfortable silence lasted only for a short time though as I soon heard a voice calling my name. What?

"Mukouda-saaaan!" Someone was running towards us while loudly shouting my name. Who was it? It was a man, by the pitch of the voice but I didn't know anyone in Doran, this was my first visit ever...

"Mukouda, I've been waiting for you to come for sooo long now~" The voice grew louder. Who was he?

I said "Who is Mukouda?" with a puzzled expression on my face because everyone was watching me. I wished whoever it was wouldn't shout my name so loudly.

"Mukouda-saaaan!" Please don't call out someone's name like that! I'm not here!

"Ha ha, Mukouda! I knew at once it was you when I saw your contracted monsters! I've been waiting a long time to meet you!" The running man stopped in front of me, excited and gasping for breath.

......Who was this? He was handsome and well-built with long hair, obviously in the prime of life. As I studied him closely I noticed his long ears tapered to a point. Was he an Elf? I'd never seen an Elf before...

"I was so excited when I heard the story from Rodolpho that I couldn't sleep at night. So this is the Pixie Dragon!" he exclaimed, getting even more excited as he stared fixedly at Dora-chan who buzzed around behind my back, trying to conceal himself as if he was terrified of being seen by the man. This Elf, he was handsome and obviously vigorous but there was a faint whiff of, well, a pervert about him.

"Mukouda-san!" The Elf suddenly grasped my shoulders with both hands. Hey, what are you doing?

"I am truly astounded!" he declared. Oh, is that so? Great, you're astounded, now let go of my shoulders will you? The people around me were staring even more. Please don't stare, I begged as I tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the Elf's hands from my shoulders.

"I've actually seen a Pixie Dragon, a particularly rare Dragon sub-species, with my own eyes... I'm so thankful I've lived to experience this day... I'm soooo happy... Ougggh..." The supposedly-adult Elf was blubbering like a child and still holding on to my shoulders. I tried again to disengage his hands but his grip was still too strong. Please don't cry, Elf-san. Compose youself and let go of my shoulders. Stop attracting so much attention to yourself, to us, to me. Please. Pleasepleaseplease.

"Gusu ..." the Elf finally straightened up and released his clamp-like grip on my aching shoulders. "I'm sorry I lost my composure. It's just..." he waved his hand grandiosely. "I was overcome. I beg you will forgive me."

Well, yes I'll forgive you, just stop crying, whoever you are. Maybe I should find out who he was. The Elf was still trying to peek around my back at Dora-chan who was evading his teary-eyed gaze.

"Oh, ummm, who are you?" I asked hesitantly, trying to attract his attention again. The imposing Elf blinked and focussed back on me.

"I'm terribly sorry, I was so excited by the sight of the Pixie Dragon I forgot to introduce myself." He bowed in an elegant manner before straightening up again. "I am Elland, the Guild Master of the Adventurers Guild in this city," he waved his arm back at the walls behind him," The famed Dungeon City of Doran. Pleased to make your aquaintance."

............?

The Elf was Elland-san, the local Guild Master. Really? A Guild Master that was excited by the sight of Dora-chan and weeps freely? This must be the person Rodolpho-san warned, uh told me about, his old friend and party member, the one who was obsessed with Dragons. It seemed he hadn't exaggerated in his description of the Guild Master of Doran.

"Let's head straight to the Guild." Elland-san said.

"Well, but I have to wait in the queue to enter the city..." I protested.

"No, no, I do not have time to wait, Mukouda-san." Elland-san said, pushing me inexorably forward through the crowd at the gate. The Elf was an impressively strong person. "We can all enter Doran together under my Guild Master's authority." The waiting mob of Adventurers and others parted as we approached the gate, clearly recognising the Guild Master but glaring at me for getting special treatment. "It will be fine, there are so many things I want to ask you so let's get to the Guild as soon as possible." I'd be happy to wait, Elland-san, really, I thought to myself, cringing inside at the hostile eyes focussed on me but Elland-san's hand pushing on my back was unstoppable.

We entered the Dungeon City of Doran without pausing, Elland-san grandly declaring to the gatekeepers "I guarantee this person and his contracted monsters with my authority," as we passed them with no objections, simply bows of agreement from the guardians.

Elland-san, we just met a few moments ago so is it really okay for you to say "I guarantee this person and his contracted monsters with my authority" to the gatekeepers? I really hope it wouldn't cause me problems further down the line. As we passed through the imposing gate I wondered about Elland-san's declaration that "there are so many things I want to ask you". That would be about Dragons, right? You want to hear all about my incredible experiences with Dragons. Problem is, I don't know anything about Dragons...

Doran's Adventurers Guild was situated just inside the city's gate, an impressively-sized building that dominated the small square it fronted on. We quickly entered the Adventurers Guild and I was guided and pushed by Elland-san into the Guild Master's office on the second floor as Guild staff and visitors jumped out of our path.

"There you go, sit down sit down please." Elland-san gestured at a two-person couch with ball-and-claw feet, suavely elegant and more than suitable to grace the office of the Guild Master of an important Dungeon City. I gave in to the inevitable, sure there was no escape now I was in his office, and I sat down. Elland-san sat opposite me in a similar couch, preparing paper and a pen on the table between us, obviously eager to listen to what I had to tell him.

"Let's get started shall we? I've got a lot of questions for you, if you don't mind." Even if I did mind I wasn't going to avoid the questions he had for me. I glanced at the imposingly-solid door which Elland-san had shut firmly behind me and shrugged. Haa, I travelled a long way to this city since I wanted to look around and do a lot of things. If I survived the coming interrogation then my time would be my own again and I could sight-see to my heart's content.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Ch 116 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 116 -- After All, We Prefer Meat

"I'm seeing more and more signs of people around." Fer said at a lunch break, four days after we left the city of Claire. "We'll maybe get to Doran tomorrow afternoon."

"Tomorrow, really? That's sooner than I expected." I looked at the map I had been given by Rodolpho-san, the head of the Adventurer's Guild in Claire, tracing the route between that city and our destination, the Dungeon City of Doran. Had we really covered so much distance in only four days?

"Yes. I've been running faster than usual." Fer said complacently. So he's in a hurry to get to Doran, a city with a Dungeon? I wonder why. Not.

"Doran at last?" Dora-chan commented. "It's a pretty big city from what you've told me, I'm looking forward to seeing it."

"I'm looking forward to the dungeon-" Cute battle-maniac Sui-chan chimed in, saying out loud what I suspected the other two were really thinking.

But, a dungeon... is it really a good idea to rush headlong towards a place where monsters abound? I sighed. Because Fer, Sui and Dora-chan were all looking forward to going into the dungeon in Doran I'd have no choice but to accompany them. I'd need to be prepared though, safety first after all. I decided I'd need some more of Sui's Deluxe High-grade Potion in case I got injured. I had Healing Mushrooms in store but Sui's Deluxe High-grade Potion seemed to work better so I'd get her to make more of that for me. Hmmm, maybe it would be a good idea to make a variety of potions, the basic, intermediate and regular high-grade types too just in case.

"Sui? Can you do something for me?"

* * * * *

"This looks like a good place to stop for today." Fer said as he came to a halt. The sun was going down but it wasn't really dark yet.

"Why?" I asked. "Will we get to Doran tomorrow if we stop now?"

"Yeah, easy. Earlier I figured we'd make it some time tomorrow afternoon but I've been going faster than I expected for some reason and even if we stop now we'll get there before noon."

I could guess the "reason" Fer was hurrying towards Doran but had he really cut so much time off the trip? I wondered just how fast Fer could go if he didn't have me on his back. Anyway if he said we'd be at Doran tomorrow then that was probably right.

"I'm hungry. Flying so fast like this all day long makes me hungry." Dora-chan said as he collapsed onto the ground beside Fer. I thought he had eaten his fill for breakfast, and lunch too come to think of it. Was he really hungry?

"That's right. If you move so fast like this you burn through a lot of food." Fer firmly agreed. I suspected he was just over-eating but then again we had been travelling very fast. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt on that since I was simply freeloading on his back.

"Sui also got hungry -"

Sui-chan... Sui was also eating a lot but she had missed breakfast and lunch today, asleep in her bag.

"Food." Fer declared.

"Food, like the big guy said." Dora-chan agreed.

"Dinner-" Sui said.

Huh, they are strong monsters but what about their fuel economy? Keeping them fed was a real challenge, I thought to myself as I got ready to start cooking. I thought for a bit on what the menu would be today and I decided use up the rest of the Venom Tarantula legs I had in my Item Box. They tasted OK but everyone, including myself, preferred monster meat like Orc, Bloody Horn Bull and Wyvern meat.  Best to get them out of the way, I decided so I'd cook them and serve them up today, treating them like leftovers. I thought about various ideas on how to present them and came up with the idea of making "crab-meat" omelettes with "crab-meat" salad and fried rice as side dishes. Fer might complain about the salad but vegetables are good for your body and eating raw vegetables occasionally doesn't hurt, really.

First of all I had to purchase stuff from the Net Super. The salad vegetables were lettuce and cucumber with canned corn and a sesame oil dressing. I'd top the fried rice with omelettes made from eggs and green onions with some seasoning, oyster shoyu I think. I'd use the sauce from a tube I'd used before, just buying it from the Net Super was easier than making it myself. I bought more eggs than I'd need for the omelettes since I'd use some for the fried rice as well as some red bean paste for flavouring the omelettes.

I like fried rice with lots of ingredients so today's serving would have shiitake and enoki mushrooms, boiled bamboo shoots and as a finale canned green peas for colouring. I laid out all the ingredients and checked, Yosh! Ready to start.

First I boiled up all the Venom Tarantula legs with lots of salt then used scissors to cut the softened shell and take out the insides. I started off making the salad using the meat I removed.

I cut the lettuce to an appropriate size and sliced the cucumber thinly. I put them in a big bowl with the corn, plenty of Venom Tarantula leg meat and added sesame oil as a dressing before tossing it. I put some on each serving dish before tucking them away in my Item Box for the time being to keep everything fresh.

Next up was to cook the fried rice and finally the omelettes. I boiled the bamboo shoots and shredded them, trimmed and sliced the shiitake mushrooms and trimmed and split the enoki too. I oiled a frying pan and quickly stir-fried the mushrooms and then added the bamboo shoots with salt and pepper.

I put water, chicken stock, sake, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce and boiled it, finally adding dissolved potato starch to thicken it. After that I added the stir-fried ingredients and lots of well-shredded Venom Tarantula meat, this would be the main ingredient of the omelettes later.

Next was the fried rice. I beat some eggs and added finely-chopped green onions before frying lots of rice in a big pan, very hot, then I added the eggs and mixed them in with the cooking rice as quickly as I could. I sprinkled in more finely-shredded Venom Tarantula meat and stirred in oyster sauce seasoning until it was cooked thoroughly. I put it in a dish with bean paste and that was it ready. Now for the omelettes which were simply a mixture of beaten eggs and the prepared Venom Tarantula meat cooked in a frying pan and lightly salted.

I put fried rice in each serving dish, topped each one with an omelette and sprinkled green peas and bean paste on the fried rice to complete it before retrieving all the salads I had made previously.

"It's ready." I called. I put out dishes of food before Fer, Sui and Dora-chan who were lined up expectantly.

"Hoy, it's not meat today?" Fer said. "And that green stuff? I don't want vegetables." He looked disgusted.

"I cooked Venom Tarantula today," I explained.

"I was okay with just eating meat..." Fer complained under his breath but just loud enough for me to hear of course. Okay okay, I know what you prefer by now but this should be delicious anyway, even the salad since it's got Venom Tarantula in it too.

"From tomorrow it's going to be meat again. I've used up all the Venom Tarantula with this meal."

"Nu, is that so? Well, good." Saying that Fer started digging in, munch munch. I joined him, eating my own portion. Fer was big on meat but it wouldn't stop him eating what I cooked and he could console himself that it was only for today.

"Gulp gulp... Well this is okay I suppose but I prefer meat like the big guy." Dora-chan too?

"Aruji, it's delicious-" Sui-chan said. "But I guess Sui likes meat more-" Y- you too, Sui? Guh, that means it's going to be meat and nothing else from here on out. I knew these freeloaders liked meat but I didn't think they were quite as all-out carnivorous as this.

Despite all of them saying that they preferred meat Dora-chan finished off the food I put before him including the salad and as usual Fer and Sui demanded "Seconds!" so I supposed what I had cooked was OK. I liked meat myself but just sometimes but for these three it seems to be an essential part of mealtimes.

I have plenty of meat in my Item Box for now but I'd have to keep a close eye on the inventory if I'm going to be responsible for feeding three gluttonous carnivores from now on.