To be honest, after that day, Frillite and I never saw each other again.
That’s because the very next day, I ditched the Imperial Capital.
Some may say—such a caring beauty cares about you, just gratefully accepted it you bastard, but to such a person, I want to say this.
Then you come and take my place.
I don’t want to do these so called hero things again.
First of all, it wasn’t really enjoyable, and secondly, there’s nothing there for me after having to go through that much hardship, right?
Well, if I did put my whole mind to it, and if I did defeat the Demon King, then I can eat and lived well with just that achievement…
‘But where’s the joy in living in a place like this?’
There’s no computer.
There’s no smartphone.
—And… no coke.
The only thing that makes it better than Earth is that the average appearance of the people here is much higher.
Even the face of the protagonist I am possessing right now is a face I could have never seen through out my life if I was back on Earth.
‘And I thought it’s hard to look good with red hair.’
If I could return back to Earth while retaining this face, I would easily be able to make a living as an idol, so much that I cacan eat and live well for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, I can’t.
Welp, that’s a shame.
“Well, let’s get going.”
I got up from bed.
Since leaving the Imperial Capital, I have been on a food tour to other cities.
With the little tiny hope that even in this world, there will be atleast one delicious thing somewhere out there.
But today, it will be the last day.
If what I eat today doesn’t taste good, I’m seriously just going to kill myself, truly.
Once my soul escapes this body, maybe Leah will be able to do something about it.
She does has that kind of ability.
I wandered the streets while whistling.
Although not as much as the capital of the Empire, since it’s still inside the Empire, the streets are particularly clean and the security is good.
If only the food was also delicious, it would be really great.
‘The skewers over there look too soggy, and the tavern over there had a very strong fishy smell.
That house fruit had caterpillars, uh.
Umm, for real?’
As I was walking around the streets looking for restaurants, a shabby shop located in the corner of the street caught my eye.
‘What, was there such a store here?’
I’ve been to this area quite a few number of times, but I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this store.
The smell of delicious food!
I smiled and entered the shabby store.
The inside of the store was shabby matching to its exterior.
But that didn’t mean it was dirty.
Rather, the tables and chairs were so clean that it was difficult to spot a speck of dust.
That means the owner has sincerity.
The smell of the food grew stronger.
However, the owner of the store who should have been present to take the order was nowhere to be seen.
Didn’t he hear the opening of the door?
Is anybody here?”
-Ah yes, yes! Wait a minute!
The answer came right away, looks like she didn’t hear when I opened the door.
With a loud thud, a girl appeared from the inside.
A girl who was neither pretty nor ugly, with long pink hair.
“…In any case, are you the owner of this store?”
“Ah, it’s me?”
“Oh, I see.”
Without any hesitation, I turned my back to get going.
I earlier thought it was a restaurant owned by a veteran chef with decades of experience, but it was just a shop run by a kid with no money.
I had expectations, but looks like I got excited for nothing.
“H, Hey, wait!”
The girl grabbed my pants as I was almost about to leave.
“It’s been a long while since I had a guest… I can’t let you run off like this!”
“Whether he wants to eat or leave, that’s the customer’s choice, not the store owner’s, right?”
“T, That’s right, but… but… we have good food! If our food doesn’t taste good… you can leave without paying!”
“You aren’t planning on reporting me to guards in that way, mh?”
“Hey, I never even thought of something like that!”
The eyes of the pink-haired girl contained that, the shine of a craftsman.
Seriously, it’s not like I’m losing something, right?
It would be cold to reject like that, so I finally sat down on the table.
I’ll take your word.
Bring me the most delicious thing here.”
The girl smiled and entered the store.
Well, let’s see what this little girl will be making.
I felt shocked to the core seeing what that little girl had brought with her.
“Fufu, this is the thing.
It’s not just any ordinary skewer… Ahh…! Hey, wait, wait! I’m not done explaining…!”
Is the explanation even important now?
It doesn’t matter whether this is the food I thought it was or not.
I took a large bite out of the skewer covered in red sauce.
Then, a slightly spicy yet sweet taste taunted my tongue.
I ate up all the skewers quickly, then looked at the black liquid in the glass.
The black water fizzling with bubbles reminded me of something…
‘Please… let my guess be correct…’
I swallowed my saliva, lifted the glass of ale, and drank the black water.
Dock! Dock! Dock! Dock!
A weak tingling sensation lingered down the throat.
It was a little weak, but it was exactly what I thought of!
“How is it? Tasty? H, Hey, brother..? Why, why are you crying?!”
The girl panicked, but I couldn’t stop crying.
Although it was a little weak… the carbonation was present.
It was as if I had found a small source of light in the abyssal darkness.
“With this… I can live…”
Like this, I decided to live in this world.
* * *
After the meal, I asked the girl named Lina how she made these things.
Lina had a face that showed it was difficult to answer, but I was so curious that I rushed into her kitchen without Lina stopping my steps.
In the kitchen, there were not only cooking utensils, but also what appeared to be alchemy ingredients.
This little girl was not only a cook, but also an alchemist.
“Why are you, an alchemist, researching cooking in such a backward place?”
“What’s wrong about culinary research-! I’m going to get rich from this!”
I glanced around the inside of the store.
Would any visitor ever come to such a shabby place?
Previously, I almost thought that I was fooled, but I don’t think people will eat out in a place like this, atleast not for a while.
“If you want to become rich, you must first start with the interior design, right?”
“You have to fix the store.
Else, which fool would come to such a shabby place?”
Lina pointed her finger at me.
“…..Yes, I did come.
But, what about before that? How many people have come till now?”
Lina evaded my gaze dodgingly as I smirked at her.
“Not a single soul.”
“…! H, How did you know that?! Aaah! Do you think I also want to do business in a store like this?! I also have ambitions for my business, to have a better facilitated place! But what do I do if I don’t have that much money! Right now, I’m in a situation where I’m struggling with research funding alone! Because *hic* of which I’m *hic* only eating single meals a day!!”
Whether it was a tantrum or not, Lina poured out all the things I didn’t even wanted to know.
I stroked my chin while she was almost about to cry.
“So, it’s about money… So you’re saying that if you have money you can make something better than this?”
“I mean this one, the fizzling in this black water.
If you have money, can you increase that?”
“Well, I’ve never done it, but I think it’s possible.”
“Really? Then take it.”
I took out the money pouch I had from under my arm and threw it to Lina.
Receiving the pouch, Lina looked puzzled, then she slowly opened the slit and peeked inside.
“Hey, eh…?! Eeeeh?!”
Her eyes opened wide in astonishment.
“Hey, w-why are you giving me such a large amount of money…?”
“Where’s it large? It’s only 3000 gold.”
I haven’t adjusted to the price system of this world yet, but 3000 gold is not a huge amount.
Though it’s not even a small amount either.
“It’s all that I have right now.
I’ll send you more later when I have money, so for now, be satisfied with that.”
“Yes… uh…? No, wait a minute.
Why can’t I keep up with this conversation?..!”
“Don’t you need research funding? I’ll back you up.”
“W, Wow, sponsorship!”
Lina’s cheeks trembled.
“Are you really going to support me?”
However, there are conditions.”
“What, what is it..?”
“For now, let’s name—the black water becomes coke and the tingling thing will be called carbonic acid.
Make that carbonic acid stronger than it’s now.”
“Coke… Carbonic acid…!”
Lina took out her notebook and pen and started taking notes.
Wait, where did you bring that out from?
“And normally, you can research whatever you want to, but if there is anything I specifically ask for, give priority to that research.
“Why? You have any complaints?”
“Um… Thank you for your support… but interfering with the research is a bit… I’m afraid it’s absurd from an alchemist’s point of view…”
Lina spoke with a submissive attitude like a business man persuading a treasured client.
“No? Then there’s no support…”
As I reached out for the 3000 golds that was resting in her bosom, Lina quickly hid the pouch behind her back.
“But I am a culinary researcher, not an alchemist! I will accept the offer!”
I and Lina shook hands.
The deal was sealed.
* * *
This world… is worth living.
So what I need to do from now on is simple.
A spec-up to defeat the Demon King.
I recalled the contents of the notebook that Cloud had left.
Since the Goblin Road has already been subjugated, the first half of the game is finished.
The three heroines have also been passed on to other heroes, so it can be said that we are almost halfway there.
‘No, this Cloud, how did this bastard usually lived to get totally NTRed already?’
To get NTR by all the three in just the middle course, it’s was almost impossible unless he possessed some kind of talent.
However, the original Cloud did it naturally like breathing.
He can’t be that great, right?
‘…that’s not what’s important right now.’
Putting aside how stupid the original Cloud was, what matters now is how much power this body has.
If I could exactly know that, I can properly decide whether to spec-up or farm equipments.
First of all, no doubt—this body is weak.
I can tell just by feeling this body.
But I’m not sure how weak it really is.
Just as people know that ants are weak, but they don’t know how weak they are, such was the case with me.
Therefore, it is necessary to know my status.
Because it will accurately quantify the level of this body.
As I’ve played this game about 3 times, just by looking at the status, I can even range how much of an idiot the Original Cloud was.
‘If I had known this would happen, I would have asked the butler about the status when the party was disbanded.’
In fact, it is written on the back inconveniently, so how to see?
After thinking for a while, I got up and left the inn.
It was somewhere I was going to go anyways, so I guess I could just ask there.
* * *
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