Name Change: Kurowaal -> Croire
There’s a reason why Renya didn’t choose the garden as place to test the rice cooker.
This is because Frau usually keeps telling Renya, Shion and the others over and over that there’s a total fire ban in the garden.
As for the reason, Frau didn’t feel like telling them as it was a secret related to her housework, but since she appealed it quite frantically and very seriously, it was recognised between Renya’s party as a rule they should adhere to.
Renya wonders whether there’s something explosive buried in a place he doesn’t know about, but there’s no one except Frau that knows that his prediction isn’t necessarily that far off the mark.
Because of that Renya tried to use the kitchen as experiment site, however one can’t say that a regular kitchen table fits overly much for using a rice cooker.
However, there was something just fitting installed in the kitchen of Renya’s home.
If one takes a look at it, it appears to be a simple stone cylinder.
At first Renya asked “What the heck is this?” and he didn’t understand why it was installed in the kitchen, but after examining it in various ways, he understood that it was apparently a tsubokama* called a tandoor* in his previous world. (T/N: Tsubokama or 壺釜 is an iron jar, tandoor or タンドール is some kind of stone cylinder where you burn fire inside, kind of like a closed up fire place, google for pictures using the kanji)
Once he tried to ask Frau, he was told that it was usually used for grilling stuff like meat by hanging it over it.
Won’t it cook well once I place a stick above this and hang the rice cooker on it? was what Renya thought.
“Umm…” (Liaris) Owned by Infinite Novel Translations
First I have to examine the cooked rice before cooking rice.
If I mix small grained rice and broken rice, it will end up causing irregularities in the cooking.
Since it will take far too much time to thoroughly check everything no matter how you look at it, I will cut it short and create a reliable delicacy of the cooked rice’s flavour without trying to thoroughly check it beforehand.
“Renya… -san?” (Liaris)
What’s very important for the cooking of rice is the quality and quantity of water.
Around 60% to 70% of the cooked rice contains water.
In other words, it’s no exaggeration to say that water controls the taste of the cooked rice.
It’s wrong to put too much effort into washing the rice.
It will cause cracks to the precious rice.
‘One has to replace the water several times with a feeling of quickly removing the dirt from the surface.
There are certainly arguments questioning whether it’s fine to shake it up and down after putting it in the cooker, but Renya didn’t fuss over washing the rice with his hands.
After finishing that, it’s necessary for the water to be properly absorbed by the rice.
If one cooks it just like that, the core will remain and it won’t become delicious after cooking.
“Umm? Renya-san, hey, listen to me?” (Liaris)
“Leave him alone for a while ~no. Probably he is doing something very important right now ~no.” (Frau)
Everything related to water in Renya’s home uses water that was made with magic.
The principle was simple for Renya, but this water won’t have any impurities due to simply being made with magic.
It could be considered to be close to the item called pure water in my previous world, but one could say this was suitable water to cook rice.
Since it has no flavour and peculiarities, it won’t hinder the rice’s taste.
Once the work of letting the rice absorb the water is finished, the work will change to putting that rice into the rice cooker.
“I, I came to consult with Renya-san, but…” (Liaris)
“If- you disturb- the current- Renya-san, he- won’t be- able to- listen to you, even- if you- talk to- him.” (Croire)
“Uwaah!? An elf is talking in the human language!?” (Liaris)
“You should be more surprised about an elf being here before that ~no.” (Frau)
“Huh? Ah, now that you mention it… why an elf!? Why’s an elf here!?” (Liaris)
Putting the rice, which had completely absorbed the water, into the rice cooker, he fills in water yet again.
Although the commonly proper rate is supposed to be 1 rice to 1,2 water, Renya lowers the amount of water a bit as he’s fond of slightly hard rice, if pushed to say.
Once he closed the lit, he ignited the fire. Copyright by Infinite Novel Translations
Since it’s originally difficult to remove the soot sticking to the exterior of the rice cooker if it’s held directly of the fire, there’s the easy measure of coating it thinly with mud or such before igniting the fire, but since even the fire is something induced by magic in Renya’s home, there won’t be any soot.
That’s why he adjusts it while putting it directly over the flame as it is.
“Various things happened ~no. Here, some tea ~nano.” (Frau)
“Ah, thanks. … Black tea, is it? You are using a good one.” (Liaris)
“Later I will bring green tea. Master told me that green tea is absolutely necessary when eating cooked rice ~no.” (Frau)
“Eh? Before I realized I became a food sampler…?” (Liaris)
“You- should- go with- the flow. You might- give- Renya- -san a bad- mood- if you- refuse- untactfully. Ah- I’m- called- Croire. Please- treat me- well.” (Croire)
“How very courteous. I’m called Liaris. I’m working as teacher at the adventurer school of Kukrika.” (Liaris)
There was even a song about the condition of the fire going something like “The fire begins to burn weakly while going poof poof”* in my previous world, but if you change it into numbers, it’s 5 minutes on low fire, 5 minutes on a medium flame, 5 minutes on a strong flame, 10 minutes with a low flame and lastly steaming it for 10 minutes. The total cooking takes 35 minutes. (T/N: “The fire burns weakly while going poof poof, don’t remove the lid even if a baby cries” is a phrase used to put the fire’s condition in order while cooking rice in a hearth. It was an oral tradition handed down during the time when rice cookers hadn’t spread yet. There are various versions of it too.)
If there are people saying one should measure it precisely there’s also people who go with observation while watching the rice’s state, but if pushed to say, Renya’s view inclined to the latter.
People, who said that, are those who change the requirements largely depending on things like the circumstances in the surroundings.
Renya concludes that he should adjust it ad hoc while watching the situation after referencing to the numbers.
“Liaris. What’s your business with master today ~nano?” (Frau)
“Just a bit… I want to consult about Az-kun.” (Liaris)
“Az- -san?” (Croire)
“He is master’s friend, a school teacher and Liaris’ lover ~nano.” (Frau)
“Eh!? No, well, that is… that’s right though.” (Liaris)
“Love- consultation- with Renya- -san? You can’t- say- he is- suitable for- that- though, I think?” (Croire)
“She plainly said something cruel, but Frau agrees with her opinion ~nano.” (Frau)
Once taken off the fire, the steaming work starts.
There are people who teach that one should cook the rice with steam by turning the rice cooker upside down, but since the water vapour won’t have any path to escape if you actually turn it upside down, it’s not recommended to turn it over as the rice will become soggy.
The correct way of steaming is to place it besides the fire while leaving it as is.
The operation of turning over the rice cooker is originally for the sake of removing the stuck soot with leaves and grass at the bottom while the inside of the rice cooker is still hot. Before realizing that became associated with the steaming. That’s the knowledge residing in Renya’s head.
In other words, it’s an unnecessary task for Renya who uses magic fire that leaves no soot. One might even say that it’s a pointless action that will only lower the taste of the cooked rice.
“Although it’s just by the way, but fellows, who are scared of failing, cook it boldly with a strong flame from the beginning. It will be cooked with an average quality if one waits for around 15 minutes with it cooking on a low flame once it whistles and spills over.” (Renya)
“To whom are you explaining ~no, master?” (Frau)
“Well, I wonder who?” (Renya)
Opening the lid once the steaming finished will combine the water vapour with the rice to make the rice fluffy.
It’s a measure to cook delicious rice as the extra moisture will escape with this.
“Since it’s an experiment this time, let’s try eating it as is for the time being, shall we?” (Renya)
The cooked rice is served into the four small bowls prepared by Frau.
After telling them to eat it with a spoon as there are no chopsticks, Renya tries a mouthful himself.
His impression after having tried it is: the taste is passable, the sweetness is weak and the aroma is light.
Even so, Renya’s mouth slackens unintentionally as the result has a proper quality to be allowed to be called a rice meal. Reading it somewhere else but at Infinite Novel Translations means you are supporting thieves!
“It’s nice and warm ~nano.” (Frau)
“It’s a cooking method I haven’t seen yet, but it’s delicious, this.” (Liaris)
“It’s- great- as it has- no core- and is- soft. Renya-san- you are- quite- skilled.” (Croire)
While listening to the individual impressions of all three, he once again scoops up the remaining rice after wetting his hand with water once and slowly grasps the hot rice while enduring.
Originally it’s correct to grasp the onigiri gently as it contains air, but Renya moulded the onigiri while putting strength into it, though only a bit.
Spreading out a wire mesh net on top of the tandoor at this point, he places the onigiri, he just held, on it and carefully grills it while coating it with the soy sauce, he received from the elves, with a brush.
The aromatic smell of burning soy sauce begins to spread in the kitchen and, just as expected, the looks of the three gather on Renya’s hands.
“Renya-san, it’s a very shameless talk for a food sampler, but is there a share for the amount of people of that?” (Liaris)
“Don’t worry as I will of course shape four of those. This time it’s a prototype, but I will make many of those next time, if they are popular. Although I say that, since there’s a limit of cooking with the rice cooker, it might be necessary to prepare a suitable iron pot. As I will contact you at the time I make them, come together with Az to eat with us.” (Renya)
“Eh, ah… yes.” (Liaris)
It was just a bit, but a shadow fell on Liaris’s face.
Coating the onigiri with soy sauce while flipping it over so as to not burn it too much, Renya asks,
“Did you tell me what you wanted from me? I heard it’s about Az, but what exactly?” (Renya)
“Yes. … I considered bringing up such talk as rude, but…” (Liaris)
Liaris looked like it was hard to talk about it, however Renya waved his hand in a manner of opening it with a flapping.
“Don’t mind it. Even if it’s a story completely not worth considering, I will first listen to it.” (Renya)
Just like Az wants to have a favourable relationship with Renya, Renya himself thought that he wants to keep a good relation with Az as well.
That Az’s lover came visiting as she has something to talk about.
I wonder what kind of silly story it is, Renya believes that it won’t do if he doesn’t listen to it at least.
“Renya-san, do you know of Az-kun’s full name?” (Liaris)
What was it? He wavers for an instant.
Renya recalled having heard it quite some time ago, but he can’t remember it right away.
Renya, who pondered about it while listening to the sound of grilling the rice and soy sauce for a while, voices out a name, he had dragged out from the depths of his memories somehow.
“Az Hound, wasn’t it? That was his family name, wasn’t it?” (Renya)
“Yes. His family name is that Hound, but this is the family name of an Earl household in Trident Principality.” (Liaris)
The Trident Principality is a duchy and thus there’s no king.
Instead the duchy is governed by being called Archduke. The noble ranks below that are Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Baron and, continuing with the lower nobles, Knight and Lesser Knight. (T/N: The last rank would be either Semi-Knight or Associate Knight, but both sound kind of weird, so I will go with Lesser Knight)
In other words, there’s an Earl household called Hound in the Trident Principality and Az originates from there.
Since it’s a high rank if you count from the top, one might say it’s a pedigree of a high social status.
“That guy was the young master of a fine family.” (Renya)
“He seems to be pretty much the second son. It looks like it’s unnecessary for him to succeed the title though.” (Liaris)
It’s a delicate situation, Renya judges.
It looks there’s the duty for the eldest son to succeed the house as legitimate child, but the second son will be required to marry a daughter of another household to deepen the ties or to go around helping the eldest son.
Considering the situation, it should be a rare case for someone to lead a wilful life as adventurer like Az.
“It looks like half of it is him running away from home.” (Liaris)
What did she read from Renya’s expression? Liaris gives an additional explanation.
“Did it appear on my face? So, how’s that related to our talk?” (Renya)
“Actually, most recently, I was officially proposed to by Az-kun, but…” (Liaris)
What kind of face did he make when he confessed? If the person himself heard that it must have been quite the sight, he would become bright red from anger, Renya thinks.
If I perceived it beforehand, I would have gone to take a peek at all costs, he head a slightly frustrated feeling.
“That is, congratulations. Isn’t that a great story?” (Renya) Belongs to Infinite Novel Translations
Liaris’ expression doesn’t clear up with Renya’s words of blessing.
“Thanks… however, I have no family name. I’m simply Liaris… my family is of commoner birth.” (Liaris)
“Az-kun told me that he doesn’t mind. As he left his home similar to running away, he won’t care about whatever they might say this late in the game. But, concerning the commoner me associating with Az-kun… it looks like there will be various interfering from Az-kun’s family’s side.” (Liaris)
“In other words, it’s that? You will be secretly removed by Az’s home as hindrance due to Az and you going out? It’s not a difficult situation, but it looks like the settlement will be quite difficult. Pretending it to be some kind of accident, we will simply do them in with a bang after gathering them in one place…?” (Renya)
“Eh? Why are you progressing in the direction of crushing the Earl household, Renya-san…?” (Liaris)
“Is it something else?” Once Renya tilted his head to the side, the flustered Liaris shook her head left and right with a force as if her head will be torn off and fly away.
“Then, what kind of talk do you want to have with me? I don’t want to boast but except the use of force I’m really not that reliable.” (Renya)
Turning over the onigiri, he once again applies soy sauce on it.
If he applies too much of it, the taste of the soy sauce will become too strong, but Renya liked the state of it being coated fairly well.
If the affinity with soy sauce is good, I have to challenge an onigiri grilled with miso next, he considers.
“No matter what I say to Az-kun’s esteemed family, they will ask for a certain level of achievements.” (Liaris)
“That’s impossible if you continues as school teacher, is what you mean?” (Renya)
“How many years would it take…? During that time I will always feel bad for continuing to put my answer to Az-kun on hold.” (Liaris)
Ah, she hasn’t answered him yet, Renya considers he consideration of Az’ feelings just a bit pitiable.
Az will likely feel more dead than alive until he receives a proper reply since the reply was delayed just when he gathered quite the courage to actually confess.
Not receiving a proper reply of yes or no is a situation that will cause problems to pop up that will become a hindrance to his daily life.
It was easy to expect a positive reply as long as there’s no interruption by his family going by the flow of the talks and the mood.
“Therefore I came to consult with you, Renya-san.” (Liaris)
I see, certainly it was a story that I usually would likely refuse right away if it was a story unrelated to me.
However, the other party is Az and his lover.
In short, if we provide fame and achievements to Liaris by finishing some large request of the guild, it will likely become possible to ignore Az’ home even if they come butting in, that’s the story.
“Liaris, is your adventurer registration still valid?” (Renya)
“Yes, even if one becomes a school teacher, the registration itself will remain valid.” (Liaris)
While pondering well then, what shall we do, Renya picks up the grilled soy sauce onigiri from the net and tosses it to Liaris.
Liaris catches it directly with a feeling of it being reflexive.
“Ah… eh, it’s hot!? Hot~~~!? It’s hot, Renya-san!?” (Liaris)
“Eat it after it cooled down on a plate.” (Renya) Visit Infinite Novel Translations
“Renya- -san. It’s- a nice- scent. Please- give me- one- too.” (Croire)
“Master, Frau as well!” (Frau)
Croire and Frau push out their plates with a force that one might ask whether they are schoolchildren without lunches.
Let’s try discuss matters once Shion and Rona return while placing the grilled onigiri on their plates, huh? Renya decided.