We stayed behind in the port town after seeing off the brave, who didn’t want to be one, and his companion, who wanted to run away. We gotta stock up!
Given that everyone showed interest in eating the octopus, we made a stage show out of it! We let one of its big tentacles thaw outside, chopped it up and put it on skewers.
Even the folks, who had previously drawn back after expressing their disbelief in us wanting to eat the Darking Octopus, started to become all fidgety after smelling the fragrant aroma.
With Sword not being a picky eater to begin with (I mean he’s eating monster meat that’s a lot grosser and even drinks worm medicine), he was waiting for the grilling to finish while holding an ale.
“Here, it’s done.”
“Yay! Thank you. …Man, it really smells awesome!”
“Yeah. If we dry it for a bit, the flavor will become even more prominent, but eating it fresh like this is great too, I think.” I tried a skewer myself as well, “Uh-huh! Uh-huuh, mmmh! Good stuff!”
Ooh, the nostalgic taste of octopus! I applied soy sauce to one part, and salt as well as herbs to another part, and roasted both.
“Sword, which do you prefer?”
What a great guy for saying so. I mean it wakes your desire to feed people who call everything you make delicious! I feel like making lots of tasty stuff for him!
…No, as a cook, okay? Don’t raise any weird flags. Even if Sword were to be a cute girl, I’d feel just the same, got it?
The people watched from a distance at first, but then started to gradually come closer.
“……If you pay for it, I’ll give you some as well, you know? However, it’s one skewer per person, including the ale as well.”
They rushed in while rejoicing loudly.
“Calm down and form a line!!”
Even if we sell some here and Sword eats plenty, we still got plenty of the octopus left. After all, the octopus tentacles are ridiculously huge!
The skewers are selling like mad, but…to be honest, since the bit of profit from this doesn’t matter to us, we don’t really need the money. Even so, giving them away for free would be unwise. I hate charity since I believe that everything has its value. Even if it’s not money, paying with intangible values like providing information, singing songs, or telling stories is just as fine. What matters here is to pay for what it’s worth. That’s the belief of myself in this world. By the way, since my otherworld self freely received and gave away stuff, she didn’t hold that kind of belief.
Sword helped me while drinking and eating on the side.
“Oh! It’s got quite the chewy texture!”
“Amazing! What a complex flavor!”
“It’s overflowing with delicious juices!”
Everyone bit into it timidly at first, but soon started to enjoy it normally. And then they apparently reached the decision to go get the frozen octopus. After finishing their skewers, droves of people headed for the port.
Saying you won’t eat something because it looks grotesque is really weird. After all, people eat a lot more disgusting stuff in this world, don’t they? Look, monster meat looks fairly gross during its processing.
Next up is seaweed! I’m a huge seaweed lover, probably. At least my otherworld self used to be. That’s why I want to get my hands on seaweed by all means.
“Hmm, if only the port town was a little bit closer to our base… It takes several days with our legs, but since we have our adventurer job, it’d be hard to come here every time to buy stuff.”
“Sure, it’s tasty, but is there any need to fuss over fish? You can live on without it as well, can’t you?”
I shook my head violently, “Mr. Amato also said that it’s 『nostalgic』, didn’t he? Mr. Amato’s and my roots lay in seafood. The other world was surrounded by oceans. Anyway, we had a lot more fish than meat! And there was an abundance of seaweed! If Mr. Amato safely reached our base, he might be able to reproduce seafood dishes as long as he’s got the ingredients. If possible, I’d love to secure a supply route for seafood. …Having said that, it can’t be helped. For the present, we’re going to buy up everything and deep freeze it. I’ll freeze it so deeply with the ice spell I learned from the ice dragon that it’ll be preserved for eternity.”
“Won’t the defrostin’ be a damn chore then!? Your magic can’t be canceled, right?” Sword worried.
――Hmm, he might have a point there~
After we stocked up huge quantities in Keyha, we zoomed along the coastline on Bronko.
“Mmh, I’m deeply moved!”
The coastline with the sea reflecting the sunset’s sky was extremely beautiful.
“Well, just don’t try too hard, okay? …My otherworld self was someone with lacking emotions, and she looked enviously at other people who got excited over small stuff, just as you suspect me to do. That’s why I can understand your feelings.”
Sword looked back over his shoulder, “…Is that so?”
“My current self becomes emotional over the littlest things. But, I’m well aware that other people don’t react like that. So, you don’t need to be impressed by force. It’s actually normal not to be. Rather, I’m the odd one out for getting excited over the most trivial things.”
Sword turned his face back to the front, and stepped on the accelerator.
“…You ain’t the odd one out. Your correct, your totally right here. I feel extremely happy ’bout this scenery, ’bout racin’ on Bronko like this together with you. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this scenery. Now and here I feel like I’ve finally become normal by bein’ deeply moved. …I feel happy that I can sympathize with you who’s emotionally moved by this scenery.”
I bumped my head against Sword’s back.
The sunset sky is incredibly beautiful and I want to ride on Bronko forever. I want to watch the evening sun sink beneath the horizon. I’d like Sword to hold the same feelings as I do. That’s my selfishness, and Sword doesn’t need to go along with it. But, I’ll be extremely happy if I can get him to feel the same.
“…You see, since I got you to feel like sharing my emotions, I’ll also try to share your emotions.”
Sword immediately responded to me.
“You can easily do, if you make delicious food or build fun toys for me. Like now.”
“I think that it’s truly great for you to have picked me up. I was extremely sad when you pushed me away thereafter. But, when I heard that you did it for my sake, it made me happy. I…feel super happy that you’re calling me your partner.”
Sword accelerated even further.
“Silly girl! I think so as well! You idiot!” He yelled, probably believing that I couldn’t hear him over the wind’s howling.
But, the Ryokus and I could hear him by shutting out the wind noise.
“Mr. Sword, do you feel the same about us?”
“You’re always doting on Bronko～”
When the Ryokus suddenly started to talk like that, I unintentionally burst into laughter.
(Extra: The later conversation of the two while blasting along the coastline)
――Since I suddenly recalled it, I added one more thing.
“Ah, Sword. While we’re at it, you don’t shout 『Idiot, idiot』 towards the sea. You use “You damned foo~~~~~ol!”, you know?” 1
Sword remained silent. And then he told me in a low, rumbling voice, “…….What does that mean?”
Somehow his voice as he’s hurling that simple question at me is scary.
“A 『stupid』 『man』, I’d say?”
“That makes it even less comprehensible. Why would I need to shout 『Stupid man~~~~!』 towards the sea?”
“It’s manners! Those are the words you shout towards the sea. Period. In addition, playing tag along the coastline, I guess. That’s something lovers, though. They chase each other while laughing and giggling.”
“…You lil’ trickster, I’ll remember this for when Amato safely reaches our base, gotcha? I’ll question him ’bout all of this later!”
Whaa-! Sword has stopped believing in what I tell him.