After travelling through the mountains, we took a shortcut and hunted a deer. Sharle-san then taught me how to dismantle it, but we learned that neither of us could cook. Thus, we stood there dejectedly near the rest area where we’d spend the night.
“Anyway, let’s just head into the rest area for now. At worst, there should be something we can eat within the mining village.”
“Right. Let’s secure a place to sleep first.”
It was just delaying the inevitable. This problem wasn’t a one-off thing, and it’d be an issue until we get to Amar. I did have a solution. I stashed a lot of bento boxes I’d bought from the Marida Company in my inventory. Originally, I intended to eat them sparingly when I camped but I had to reconsider when I heard from Sharle-san that she only packed the minimum amount of food she needed.
Probably food that could last for a while, like black bead or dried meat. There was no way I could enjoy the bento by myself while she had to subsist on only dried meat. No other choice – I’ll just share the bento with her in exchange for subtracting her escort wage. When I presented my idea to her, she had no choice but to nod in agreement. I guessed she didn’t want to spend the rest of the journey eating dried meat alone.
There was no one else in the rest area. The place had an outdoor kitchen, a patio that served as a dining hall, and three huts as sleeping quarters. Even though there was no one else than us two, it would be against etiquette if we used a separate hut. So, we decided on which hut we’d use, unloaded out loads, and then I proceeded to prepare the meal outside while Sharle-san cleaned the hut.
“Schwartz! Don’t enter the hut until I tell you!”
“Does that really matter…?”
“Absolutely! You mustn’t peek or enter at all costs!”
Wouldn’t it be impolite if I still peeked after not being told to peek? Well, maybe she wants to clean herself. Sharle-san had worked up a sweat since we ran almost non-stop to the rest area. In comparison, I barely felt tired. I hadn’t even broken a sweat – I didn’t know whether to be creeped out or thankful.
But this might be a chance in a way. I really wanted to eat that sirloin tonight. And I wanted to cook and eat the meat I had dismantled myself all the more. So I moved to a spot where I wouldn’t be seen from the hut, activated the TSS, and went into the garage menu. I summoned the Continental, the best motorhome. I had never really intended to cook in this world, so I never bought any seasonings. I guess that was the case with Sharle-san, seeing as she only packed a small vial of salt with her.
Inside the shelves in the kitchen, I found all the utensils as well as several small bottles and containers. Opening all of them, there turned out to be things like sugar, salt, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, raayu, olive oil, and various other seasonings. I checked the fridge and found mayonnaise, butter, wasabi, mustard, and other sauces. Now that I thought about it, there were only seasonings here. No ingredients.
I saved the best for last, which was the wine storage that sat in the corner of the kitchen. I never opened the storage before this because I’d been too preoccupied with Ashley and Lapitirica being poisoned and needed to be transported back to the capital, or being busy with the labyrinth conquest.
Then again, there was no guarantee that the liquors inside were actually drinkable. I opened the storage and took out a bottle. I took a look at the label, the brand name turned out to be written in random letters, but on the other hand, the alcoholic content had been written normally. Regarding the characters used, there was no sign of VMB’s translation activating, so apparently, the lettering was meant to be that way and was an in-game item.
I opened the seal using the corkscrew among the kitchen utensils. A mellow aroma spread out in the kitchen. This seemed to be a wine of sorts… I poured the content into a wine glass and took a sip… Delicious. This was certainly a red wine, and judging from how delicious it was, it was probably the finest quality of wine. So, the finest motorhome actually came with the finest wine… I guess? Honestly, I’m not familiar with wine. Next time I have the chance, I should try to have Malta-san taste test it.
By the way, I brought along my position of the deer sirloin with me. I took it out of Sharle-san’s stuff before leaving the hut. I didn’t know how to cook but I recalled the cooking programs and videos I used to watch; there were some that showed how to cook meat dishes, and if that failed, I supposed the easiest of the bunch was to just sprinkle some salt and pepper over it, then bake it.
I heard that meat can become even more delicious if soaked in wine. But That’d need a lot of time. At best, I only had until Sharle-san finished wiping her body after cleaning the hut.
I started up the electric stove and heated a frying pan. Placing the deer meat on the counter, I cut the sirloin into thin slices, about a centimeter thick, with a knife. I wanted thicker slices, but seeing as I was an amateur, I was afraid that the inside would not cook properly.
The sirloin was softer than I expected. I had no trouble cutting it despite being a novice. Next, I dropped some olive oil in the pan and shook it around to led it spread evenly around the surface. Then I started cooking the meat and occasionally turning them over so I didn’t overcook one side… Thi,this is… It smelled absolutely delicious!
There wasn’t much juice coming out as the bright red meat turned a beautiful brown. I didn’t forget to lightly sprinkle some salt and pepper before turning it around and repeating. After making sure that I didn’t over cook the meat, I turned off the stove and transferred the cooked sirloin to a platter. The scent of the freshly cooked meat filled the interior of the motorhome, making my stomach churn even more. I had to make sure that it was at least edible before serving this to Sharle-san. That was a cook’s duty at a minimum.
I grabbed a slice with my chopsticks and gave it a taste… Oho- it was soft. The texture was such that it was easy to chew, and there was a waft of aroma that remained even after I swallowed the meat. Is this how venison tasted like? The amount of salt and pepper seemed to be good as well. I guessed one could even say that it was the best an amateur could achieve? No, I still didn’t know how Sharle-san would react. So, just in case, let’s check if I accidentally overcooked one or two.
“It smells like meat!”
The door to the hut swung wide open vigorously, and a refreshed Sharle-san emerged from within, immediately heading to the outdoor dining space where the dishes were lined up.
The continental was no longer around, and tonight’s dinner was spread out over a large table. The Marida Company’s bento had been transferred to plates prior. A bottle of wine and wine glasses from the continental and the roasted deer meat was present. I also prepared smaller places along with a small bottle of yakiniku sauce from within the fridge. I had to remove the wine label to prevent unnecessary scrutiny.
Not that I imagined Sharle-san could read the alphabet but I supposed it’d be more suspicious if the label was filled with unreadable characters.
“What’s this? You can do it after all!”
“I can only do simple dishes that are at least edible. Anyway, there are still some ingredients left. We can only wait until we arrive at the mining village to enjoy authentic deer sirloin dishes.”
Once Sharle-san took a seat, I placed a wine glass in front of her and filled it with wine, then poured myself some.
“Now, let’s eat before it gets cold.”
I lifted my glass slightly to exchange a toast with her before enjoying dinner.