“Sorry for having kept you waiting, Earl Baumeister. And, just as I expected, you are here as well…Mrs. Wilma!”
“I have heard that today they’re going to serve extra-large servings, going beyond the usual large portions. I wouldn’t act myself if I didn’t participate in this.”
“Indeed…I can see where you are coming from.”
“It’s a precious outing with Wendelin-san, and yet I feel like I’m totally wrong here…”
“Katharina-sama, the same applies to us as well.”
“Really? Dominique-neesan, this is what you’d normally call market research though.”
Our master is a great man who’s very obsessive when it comes to delicious food. Recently his work to develop the territory has increased manifold after he got scolded by Roderich-sama for focusing too much on his pet noodle-dish production, but even that is nothing that would stop our master from continuing.
He’s working harder than anyone in the territory, even adapting to the repeated increases of his assignments by Roderich-sama. For him to take the initiative to work on many things is just what you’d expect from our master. I’m sure he’s doing all of it in consideration of our lives here.
Finally, after quite a while, our master was allowed to take a day off, and thus it was decided for us to visit the noodle area he’d created himself in the capital the other day.
Our travel party consisted of Doushi-sama, who doesn’t resemble Elise-sama at all despite being her uncle…though I kept this to myself since it’d earn me Dominique-neesan’s fist if I voiced it out…Wilma-sama, the number one glutton in the Earl Baumeister, Katharina-sama for some reason…though it’d be pitiful for her if I mentioned that her presence has been rather negligible as of late, so I kept it to myself…and Dominique-neesan as well as me for some kind of reason. In short, a very weird lineup.
What’s master planning by forming such a group?
“Ohh! Don’t tell me, Master is…!”
Does master lust after me, who’s become Erwin-sama’s fiancée just recently, and Dominique-neesan who’s a married woman with child?
“Ouch, that huuurts…”
Dominique-neesan, I haven’t even said anything yet, have I…?
“It’s so obvious what is going on in that bird brain of yours. Us being allowed to accompany Master is because he wants us to give an objective assessment of the new noodle dishes.”
“Wouldn’t his wives be just as fine then?”
“He said that their assessment might be too lenient since they often tried new food together with him.”
I see…so that’s why Katharina-sama is with us today.
“Ouch, that huuurts…”
Even though I haven’t even opened my mouth… I’d really, really love for her to stop reading my mind and hit my head.
“Lea-san, you sure have it hard…”
See! Now Katharina-sama is mistaking you for a violent brute, Dominique-neesan!
“It is my duty to properly discipline unruly subordinates.”
“Is that so…?”
Dominique-neesan, even if you phrase it like that, isn’t it obvious from Katharina-sama’s expression that she doesn’t understand a thing of what you’ve said!?
Dominique-neesan clears her throat, and asks, “Master, about today’s objective…”
Yep, she’s clearly covering up her own blunder, isn’t she…?
“The area, where I have gathered many noodle restaurants, has been a big success. It looks like a new restaurant is going to be opened among them. Rosa-san has asked us to show up because they’re going to run a food sampling event for all those concerned with the restaurant.”
Speaking of Rosa-san, she’s Betty-san’s sister-in-law, right? Betty-san is going to become master’s wife in due time, so master readily accepted the request of his future sister-in-law.
“Master, is it going to be a new noodle dish?”
“It seems to be a noodle dish with huge portions, and since it’s not like I’d get any proper impressions from Wilma and Doushi, I’ll have you, Dominique, and Katharina sample the food as well.”
Certainly, if you take Wilma-sama and Doushi-sama’s 『insufficient』 at word, it might ultimately result in something outrageous.
“Because of that, I’d like you two, Dominique and Lea, to be frank about your impressions. Just saying it’s 『delicious』 won’t serve as much of a reference.”
“Wendelin-san, are the portions going to be big?”
“That’s what I’ve heard.”
“So they’re going to be big, huh…? That’s fine, but…”
Katharina-sama has started to diet after giving birth, but I think today’s outing might bring all the effects from that to naught. On the other hand, she didn’t want to lose the chance to eat out with her husband.
She’s definitely praiseworthy, that Katharina-sama.
“Earl Baumeister, where is that restaurant?”
It sounds like Doushi-sama wants to eat the new noodle dish as soon as possible.
“Umm…according to the map, it should be around here.”
With the help of the map which master had received in advance, we arrived in front of the restaurant in question. In the past it had been a small restaurant, but then got closed after the owner died all of a sudden. I hear that his son, a former adventurer, came into play at that point, succeeding the restaurant.
The reason for his opening to fall behind the others lay in the time it took to develop a proper menu. Maybe it was master’s influence that caused the son to come up with a decent menu and being unwilling to simply take over his father’s business just like that?
“A former adventurer, huh? That is a common occurrence.”
“Is that so, Doushi-sama?”
I guess that’s yet another flag in one’s second life.
“Yep, it is often called a 『Business Rule of Adventurers』!”
“That’s not always meant in a positive way, is it?”
“Thinking they have some leeway because they got the money, they recklessly start a business, just to go bankrupt in little to no time!”
Okay, just as I thought, it’s a bad idea to start a job you’re not used to without considering all the consequences and future implications. When failing, they lose all the money they saved up during their adventurer time.
“But, 『Business Rule of Adventurers』 also has another, hidden meaning!”
“A hidden meaning, you say?”
“Indeed. Some people in this world have too much time on their hands. They investigated the success rate in starting new businesses for adventurers and everyone else.”
“And they weren’t all that different or something like that?”
“You are very correct there, Ms. Lea!”
It might be easy to have the prejudice that adventurers are going to fail in a business because it’s outside their field of expertise. But in reality, many people fail at businesses, regardless of whether they’ve been adventurers before or not.
“Some people will succeed at anything they do, others will fail at everything they touch!”
Whoaa, Doushi-sama is very blunt. Even master has drawn back from his plain, blatant comment!
“You’re too outspoken.”
Really, it’s just as Katharina-sama says.
“I am just praying that today’s restaurant is not the same!”
Just when I start thinking that Doushi-sama surely runs his mouth as he pleases despite being about to sample the food, a waitress…wait, that’s a waitress?”
“Earl Baumeister-samaaa! Over hereee!”
I was startled there for a moment, but since it looks like it’s master’s acquaintance, it’s no problem.
Candy-san has been waving a hand just like a maiden.
“Lea, who is this person?”
“Ah, I suppose you don’t know him yet, Dominique-neesan. He’s called Candy-san.”
Since I’ve frequently visited Akira’s stores on errands for Dominique-neesan, I’ve befriended Candy-san who’s been working there for a while after the opening. At first I was surprised by his appearance, but once I tried to talk to him, I realized that he was a very nice person and a maiden.
“It’s been a long time, Candy-san.”
“Oh my, it looks like you’re doing just fine, Lea-chan.”
“I’m a friend of Candy-san. Or rather, the same can be said about Elise-sama too.”
It’s because Dominique-neesan is so damn serious. She’ll probably need some time until she’ll grow accustomed to a person like Candy-san.
“Lea, you’re quite amazing.”
“Eh? Am I?”
I mean, Candy-san is fun to talk to because he knows so much about clothes and sweets.
“Oh, I see that Elise-chan hasn’t come today. How regrettable.”
“Elise-sama is trying to take care of Friedrich-sama by herself as much as possible.”
“Well, she is his mother, so it does make sense. Is the person next to you, your superior, Lea-chan?”
“Yes. She’s also Elise-sama’s childhood friend.”
“Oh, nice to meet you.”
Dominique-neesan, you don’t need to be so wary of him…
“But I see that Ron-chan is with you as well. I’m happy since you have been neglecting to contact me lately.”
“Candy-san, you were acquainted with Doushi-sama?”
“In the past we adventured together in the same party.”
“Wow. You sure have a wide range of personal connections.”
“Oh my, thanks for the nice compliment, Lea-chan.”
Candy-san must be fairly talented to have adventured together with the Royal Head Wizard. And yet he’s also a professional when it comes to cooking and sewing…
“Have you been invited today as well, Candy-dono?”
“I suppose you could call it like that. The owner of this restaurant is someone I taught various things towards the end of my adventurer career. I’m helping him out a bit for today because of that relationship.”
“So he was your junior, eh? You’re so kind, Candy-san.”
“Aww, I got another nice compliment from Lea-chan~”
Helping a junior on his first steps in his new life after retiring as adventurer is something only few would do. As expected of my friend, Candy-san.
“…Doushi-sama, is something the matter?”
Somehow Doushi-sama is acting quite meek today. Master and his wives are watching his behavior with a tinge of amusement twinkling in their eyes. Maybe he’s nervous because he’s dealing with someone who’s taken care of him in the past.
“Candy-san, you sure are caring.”
“The new owner of this place had actually planned to continue being an adventurer for a little longer. But, his father passed away all of a sudden. As it’d be difficult for his mother to run the restaurant by herself, he transformed it into a restaurant that would serve new dishes. He was quite good at cooking to begin with as the cook of his party, so he should be able to draw even more guests to this area, you know?”
He’s rooting for the second life of his junior. Yep, Candy-san is a kind man after all.
“Aye, Earl Baumeister-sama and everyone else!” 1
Apparently having noticed the commotion outside, the former adventurer and now owner of the restaurant comes out of his store, but he completely fit my image of him. He’s smaller than Doushi-sama, but taller than Candy-san.
No wonder for someone who’s been an adventurer. He’s got that aura.
“Aye! I’m called Dattmann!”
And the way he talks is very adventurey, too! Apparently not wanting to shame his senior, Candy-san, he greets us very politely.
“So, what kind of noodle dish are you serving?”
“I think it’d be better to test it for yourself.”
Being urged on by Candy-san, we enter the restaurant with master in the lead.
Two male employees with a body build close to that of the owner greet us with voices that would probably make any old person’s heart stop. Startled by them, Katharina-sama clings to master, and Dominique-neesan to me.
“Lea, are you okay with that?”
Given that the employees are so high-spirited, my expectations for the food to be delicious only go up.
“They’re quite energetic.”
“Just like me, they’re former adventurers! After trainin’ ’em over here, I want ’em to open up branch restaurants under the same label in the future!”
As you can tell from his body, Dattmann-san belongs to the strength-focused kind of people, and he seems to be good at taking care of his juniors. I heard that adventurers with a focus on physical prowess unexpectedly rarely fail at their second life after retiring. Though there seem to also exist cases where such people get jobs requiring heavy physical work, or if they’re unlucky, become mafia members.
Dattmann-san has them learn how to make the new noodle dishes as he apparently wants to help them walk on their own two feet in their second life. I think Candy-san is helping him out because he agrees with Dattmann-san’s way of thinking.
“Not everyone can make a living from sewing like I do. That’s why a restaurant.”
“It’s no bad idea.”
Master appears to agree with Candy-san.
“Lea, you understand me well.”
I mean, I’m Erwin-sama’s fiancée, so I often hear about master’s thoughts and notions from him. Erwin-sama says that he’s hard to understand, but I am a maid!
“I’m a maid as well, though…”
That’s because you’re so damn serious about everything, Dominique-neesan. I’m sure!
“The question is the taste of the noodle dishes.”
“Oh my, you’re quite strict, Wilma-chan.”
As always, Wilma-sama has a sharp tongue, or rather, she probably believes that it won’t make much sense if no customers come because the taste sucks, no matter how noble and magnificent the restaurant owner’s conduct might be.
“I think that it’ll be alright. That’s why, don’t hold back anything and freely tell us your opinion.”
“I will do so…”
“Ron-chan, you’re truly obedient today, aren’t you? In the past you drained the entire stock of a bar together with several adventurer friends and beat up more than a hundred folks by yourself, didn’t you? I had to apologize together with you…”
“No…that is a matter of the past…”
Doushi-sama has been quite rowdy in his youth as well, hasn’t he? And Candy-san knows the Doushi-sama of that time well since he had to clean up after him. I guess it’s only natural for Doushi-sama to act meek towards Candy-san.
“Anyway, about the new noodle dishes…”
Seemingly dreading the idea that more of his past misdeeds could be dragged out into the light in front of us, Doushi-sama shifts the topic towards the new noodle dishes.
“Look, you know about the 『Ramen』 Earl Baumeister-sama invented? We improved on that.”
“You mean the noodle dish with broth?”
“Yes. I’m also good at cooking, so I gave some pointers here and there.”
When I look towards the kitchen that’s located deeper in the restaurant, a huge cylindrical container is being heated by fire. The soup’s flavor seems to come from boar and monster bones. Its rich fragrance tells me that it’s been cooked well.
Because the cooks of the Baumeister mansion have been recently cooking this kind of soup often upon master’s order, I’ve got a nose for it now.
“Dattmann-chan has decent skills, you know? He’s often been in charge of cooking back when I taught him the basics.”
“I see. Nothing less of the son of a cook.”
“In the past he rebelled against his father, yelling that he’d never become a cook, and then became an adventurer, he told me. But, once his father passed away, he ended up becoming a cook anyway.”
“I’ve got lots o’ help from Candy-san, and I also liked my job as an adventurer, but in the end I noticed that I like cookin’ the most of all! Dad’s not around anymore, but if this restaurant succeeds, it should bring him some joy up in heaven!”
“That’s a truly touching story.”
Taking over the restaurant as successor for his late father, huh? Apparently sympathizing with the parts overlapping with her own situation, Katharina-sama becomes deeply moved by herself.
“But, it all depends on the taste. And then the substantiality.”
“Wilma-san, please don’t say something so cold-hearted all of a sudden. I’m sure it’s going to be a wonderful noodle dish. I’m going to eat up all of it. Definitely.”
Having heard a touching background story, Katharina-sama declares that she’d eat up all of the food samples. But, is she really going to be alright with promising something so easily?
The fact of Wilma-sama and Doushi-sama being here with us gives me a slightly bad feeling about all of this.
“Katharina, is that going to be okay with your diet?”
“It’ll be fine if I skip dinner.”
“Well, if you insist so much…”
————— End of Part 2 —————
“Thanks for waitin’!”
After a while the high-spirited owner and his employees placed the new noodle dish in front of us with a bam.
“This is…I guess you could say as expected…”
“Katharina, are you going to be alright?”
So she says, but her face has clearly cramped up. But that’s only understandable as noodle bowls the size of a wash basin have been put down in front of our noses.
“This is…one serving?”
“Looks like it, Dominique-neesan.”
With even us having been invited to the food sampling, she’s probably groping for a way on how to react to this extra large portion as representative of a normal woman.
“It looks delicious.”
“True. This might work.”
It feels like this dish has cleared the first trial for Wilma-sama and Doushi-sama.
The noodles inside the bowl are very thick. The water ratio has been raised so that they wouldn’t become stale.
“Lea, just when did you obtain that knowledge…?”
“Candy-san taught me.”
When the Fujibayashi store in Baulburg held a soba-making fair, Candy-san taught me after having learned it himself in the blink of an eye. As it can also be applied to fresh pasta, Erwin-sama likes it very much as well, my homemade fresh pasta.
“Leaving aside your way of talking, you definitely are quick to pick up new skills.”
I mean, I’m a maid after all.
“This dish has quite a quantity…”
At a glance, I’d say that an amount of three adult noodle portions has been used for one portion here. The bowl has also been filled to the brim with broth. Inside you can also see boiled veggies and bulky, roasted pork filet piled up into something akin to a mountain.
“Ooohh! That looks wonderful!”
It sounds like master is pleased with the dish. Does he like this kind of dish because he’s a guy?
“Please add as much chopped garlic as you like! It won’t be any problem even if you put in plenty o’ it!”
“Dominique-neesan, this restaurant is truly generous.”
Isn’t it lovely to be allowed to put in as much garlic as you want?
“If the portion becomes any bigger by adding some more to it… I think it’ll be a challenge to eat up everything, even without adding anything else.”
“Isn’t that okay since we’re here to sample the food?”
“No, leaving behind the food bestowed upon you by God is a sacrilege, that’s why…”
As soon as she says so, Dominique-neesan begins to wolf down the dish.
That’s Elise-sama’s childhood friend for you. She’s trying so damn seriously to protect the church teachings.
“Nowadays, there’s only a few people who entertain the idea of never leaving anything behind…wai-! All of you are so fast!”
Not only Dominique-neesan, but everyone else has started to eat the noodle dishes with an extreme fervor. Just when I wondered just what was going on with everyone…the change began from master.
“Master, that is?”
“If you shift the location of the vegetables that have been soaked in the broth yet with the soaked noodles like this, the noodles won’t grow any staler as you slurp the broth.”
“Ooohh! Master, you are a genius!”
I swiftly imitated master, switching the position of veggies and noodles around. This should work well since the noodles won’t grow stale like this…though it’s not like it’s that simple either…
Or rather, this is definitely delicious, but even though I keep eating and eating, it’s not becoming less!
Once I looked in Dominique-neesan’s direction since my shoulder got suddenly tapped, she pointed at my bowl with half-teary eyes. In short, she’s telling me that she’d like me to turn over her veggies as well.
Certainly, even now it’s a challenge to finish this, but if the noodles become stale, it’ll become even harder for her to finish up everything. But you know, how about giving up anytime soon?
“Hmm? Would you plow it over for me as well?”
…Wait, Katharina-sama too? Does she plan to eat up everything at all costs because her noble mindset forces her to accomplish what she’s decided once?
It has occurred to me just now, but Dominique-neesan and Katharina-sama resemble each other quite a bit when it comes to diligence and stubbornness.
Be that as it may, you could say that describing the switch of noodles and veggies as 『plowing over』 fits perfectly in a sense…
By the way, Doushi-sama and Wilma-sama have been single-mindedly wolfing down their portions all the while. Given that it’s unthinkable for those two to be unable to finish their portion, no one has been worrying about their side.
“Owner, won’t your profit be too low if you serve such big portions?”
“That’s where small profits for quick returns come into play! I’ve struggled with my food during my adventurer time as well! That’s why I want my customers to eat plenty!”
The owner is a very kind person, contrary to what you’d expect from his appearance.
Because he had trouble getting enough food in the past, he wants to enable his customers to eat their fill for as cheaply as possible.
“Pheew…somehow I managed to eat all of it, but now my belly is about to burst.”
Master has splendidly finished his serving, probably also owed to him being a magician. However, it looks like he can’t eat anymore, which totally makes sense.
“It’s still nowhere near enough. Another serving please.”
Wilma-sama and Doushi-sama order a second serving, just as usual. However, that’s no surprise for any of us.
“(Am I really going to be able…to eat all of this?)”
I don’t think that’s actually necessary for her to eat all of it, but as I watch Dominique-neesan eating while praying to God every once in a while, I end up wondering whether you’ll really receive divine punishment if you don’t eat up.
As I kept eating while pondering about such things…
“Oh my, Lea-chan, you’re an unexpectedly strong eater, aren’t you?”
Without realizing it myself, I’ve finished my portion. Come to think of, whenever I go to all-you-can-eat events for cakes, I go back only after having eaten more than anyone else.
“It sure is nice to be young. I’ve joined the food sampling in this restaurant on several occasions, but because of my age, I couldn’t quite finish my own portions. Growing old has many downsides, really.”
Even Candy-san can’t finish this noodle dish, huh?
Just as I think that, Dominique-neesan taps my shoulder once more.
“What is it, Dominique-neesan?”
Even without you pulling such a sad face, it’ll be just fine to leave the rest since we’re merely sampling the food anyway…
I’m telling you, you don’t need to look at me like a beaten puppy! Even if you leave some food behind, no one is…
“God is watching.”
“I don’t really think that he’s watching, but…okay, I got it.”
I can’t believe that God has so much spare time to bother watching something like this, but…even so, I’m indebted to Dominique-neesan.
In the end I somehow succeeded in eating up the last third of the noodle dish Dominique-neesan didn’t finish herself.
“Lea, you’re incredible!”
I get praised for it by master, but even if he praises me for something like that… Right…? Then again I suppose it’s better than getting scolded…
“I can still eat more!”
“Ron-chan, many people have come to sample the food as part of our advertisement, so hold back a bit, won’t you?”
“Yes, of course…”
And then Doushi-sama got scolded by Candy-san after ordering a third bowl. But, next to him, Wilma-sama has been eating her fourth bowl without a care.
As I thought, Candy-san is kind to women.
“Katharina, don’t force yourself, okay?”
“I’m a noble. I must follow through on what I’ve promised once.”
Katharina-sama, I don’t believe you need to eat up everything.
“I’ll finish this…”
In the end, Katharina-sama succeeded in eating up everything, probably because of her stubbornness or obstinacy. However, it looks like she’s eaten too much. Unable to walk normally on the way back home, she would float across the ground for the whole trip thanks to her 『Flight』 magic.
“Katharina-sama, even without you forcing yourself so much…,” says Dominique-neesan who pushed her leftovers on me…
“Earl Baumeister-sama, are there any points requiring improvements!?”
“How about preparing portions with half the amount for women and children, if you’re looking for improvements?”
“I see. I guess it’s necessary since it’s not like everyone will be able to finish the current portions, yep!”
Oh! As expected of master.
At the same time as I believed that it’s a wonderful proposal, at least three people, including me, wondered why he didn’t suggest this before we sampled the food since he had known about it from the very start.
“A-At long last, that restaurant will open in Baulburg, right?”
“Katharina, is it that much of a surprise? I think it’s only natural since his store has been flourishing.”
Some time later, the restaurant which tormented our stomachs so much, became popular in the capital, and started several similar restaurants and branch restaurants. When I wondered about it expanding so quickly, I learned that Candy-san had a part in it.
Joining up with the owner of the place where we went to sample the food, Candy-san began to help out with the opening of his noodle restaurants in a way that would make it easy for retired adventurers to run the business. He also cooperated with the owner of Fujibayashi Dried Goods, shrewdly opening a store selling Mizuho goods and side dishes next to his fashion store in the capital. I suppose you can say that’s Candy-san for you.
There are many workers using their bodies in Baulburg. The same can be said about adventurers. Hence Candy-san apparently judged that there would be plenty of demand for the owner’s filling noodle dishes over here.
Katharina-sama probably had some things she wanted to say about this matter, but Wilma-sama curtly shot her down by commenting, 『The restaurant is popular, so it’s only natural』.
“Are you that unhappy about it?”
“That is not really the case, but…I have my doubts whether it is really such a good idea to allow the residents of Baulburg to go through that tragedy…”
Since they’d usually leave the rest unfinished or buy the smaller portion suggested by master to begin with, I don’t think it’s anything she needs to worry about so much, though.
“They just need to order a small portion.”
“Question is whether that small portion is really as small as you make it. I feel like it’d be best to make sure.”
“In other words, you want to eat their noodle dish again, Katharina?”
“T-That’s not it! That noodle dish has some rather unrefined, boorish parts to it.”
“Then you simply don’t need to go there.”
“I have a duty to make sure that the people of Baulburg won’t suffer.”
Katharina-sama…even though you floated back home with your tummy hurting the other day…and even though you were teased by Luise-sama for stinking from garlic and having a bloated belly… Despite all that you cannot help but to crave for that noodle dish again…
But, it’s not like I can’t understand your feelings!
I also thought that I’d never ever want to eat it again after the first time, but…and while we’re at it, I guess the same applies to Dominique-neesan as well…
“Lea, about the noodle restaurant that opened in Baulburg; if you want to go there as well, you’re free to accompany me.”
“No need, really.”
“Ugh, you actually want to go there, don’t you?”
“It’s not that I want to go there by any means. I’ve also got the option to go there myself, so…”
“It’d be really great if humans could be honest with themselves───!”
“Dominique-neesan, stop grinding my temple───es!”
Even though she felt so pained the other day, she wants to eat the same noodle dish again, I guess. Just what kind of magic has been cast on that dish to lure so many people into eating it over and over, including Dominique-neesan… Wait, don’t tell me, master has hexed that noodle dish or some such!?!
No way, that can’t be…can it?
“Earl-sama, that noodle restaurant is insanely popular, but the quality of its customers seems to be awfully biased…”
“It’s no problem since it’s thriving. And it also looks like it’s got many regulars.”
“Sure looks like it…is the dish so delicious?”
I headed over to that noodle restaurant while accompanied by Dominique-neesan, but while surprisingly standing in line with Arterio-sama as customers, we talked about the noodle dish of this restaurant. Arterio-sama seems to be half in doubt about this restaurant, but it’s certainly questionable whether you can call its dishes something super tasty.
But, I’ll make a prediction.
Arterio-sama is going to become a regular of this restaurant as well.
I mean, even that damn serious Dominique-neesan couldn’t escape the magic charm of this noodle dish.
- The “aye” comes from “ussu!” It’s an abbreviated greeting and confirmation you’ll find in sport clubs or other such associations with clear hierarchical structures consisting of mostly men. Manly women may also use it, but it’s rather uncommon. I find it hard to localize it into English as it has no equivalent. It’s a rather “polite” term as it inherently accepts the target being a senior or someone above the speaker, but I can’t come up with a fitting English term for it.