I decided to help the two who were going to participate in some sort of food stall competition of the Batoma Company. Before being brought to their office, I went around checking the rice that’s coming to Tsige.
Some would be thin and long grains, others would be gigantic like a dango, there’s also some who are selling sham rice that’s clearly more like quinoa even though they are advertising it as rice; it was quite the chaotic market situation to the point that it made me wanna laugh.
I bought a number of the Asora breed that’s similar to the japonica rice <short brown grains> while accompanying Orosha, and arrived at the base of the Silly Company.
Hmm, it looks like they at least have the minimum required cooking equipment.
But if it is to develop something new, it is honestly unreliable.
They said there’s a good amount of food stalls, so they probably were thinking about steal—imitating and arranging the menus they think are good.
It is too cramped to begin from zero, and there’s not enough tools, but this cooking facility feels like the kind of place to somehow make-do even with all that.
“I didn’t know there was that much variety in rice-ssu.” (Orosha)
“There were even some who were selling things that were not rice despite being advertised as such.” (Makoto)
“About that, it is about whether you can judge it as so, I suppose. If it were a local specialty it would be one thing, but rice is a grain that was rarely seen and has only shown up recently.” (Orosha)
It could be that they got their hands on something similar since it seemed like it would sell, or got them believing the lies of someone else saying it is rice.
That does sound plausible.
Thinking about the standing of the people who bring stuff to Tsige, most don’t have leeway in their cargo.
If there’s space, they would jam something there too.
It is natural for them to put things that they themselves have knowledge of, but there’s times when it just can’t go that way.
…Rice is still being treated as a low priority cargo, so of course the state of it would be chaotic.
I think it would slowly get better if they were to have a proper talk with Lorel and procure rice from them, so I guess I should put my expectations there.
In the first place, leaving aside the fake ones, the ones that are a different kind have different cooking methods, and if they were to know that, the story would be different too.
For example; chinese fried rice, nasi goreng, fried rice. Quite a lot of variety.
For that part, I will have to look forward to the curiosity and desire to make new things of cooks.
Tsige doesn’t have a large scale library like Rotsgard, so the way to spread knowledge is restrictive too.
“Knowledge… If there were a library in Tsige too, it could make a difference…” (Makoto)
“It is a facility that gathers many books in one place like in Rotsgard.” (Makoto)
“Gathered books… I see, that’s interesting-ssu ne.” (Orosha)
“Well, can’t rely on something we don’t have. Now then, I will instruct you on the way to prepare rice.” (Makoto)
“Please do-ssu, Rai…ma-san!” (Orosha)
If I remember correctly, I was called Rama-san.
No, it was originally Raimagostock? Eh? Rama…mago…yeah, let’s just stop.
I will cook the four types I bought with the japanese process.
Judging from the state of the facility, I can’t do all 4, so I will do two at a time.
First will be the sweet corn that has the shape of rice.
The second one is like a japanese chestnut.
The third one is like fragrant wood.
Seriously?! This is sandalwood!
The scent is way too strong and it seems to be slightly sweet, but it didn’t really stay in my mind.
The fourth one was slightly soft, but it was rice without any traits.
As someone who has gotten used to eating rice, this rice that has almost no taste is…the one that resembles rice the most as of now, but I don’t know…
“The last one was the one that resembled it the most, but…I feel like there was no scent or taste.” (Orosha)
Looks like Orosha’s taste buds were mostly the same as mine.
The onigiri in Mio’s store cannot be made with this rice at all.
If I remember correctly, there’s a way to eat old rice, but…nope, can’t remember it.
In the first place, I don’t know if it lost flavor because it is old, or it tasted like this from the very beginning.
Maybe if we sprinkle salt and fill it in, we might be able to make something that resembles the onigiri?
“Yeah, the last one can narrowly be used in onigiri.” (Makoto)
“Wonder where Mio-san from the Kuzunoha Company gets her rice. At the very least, we now know that it isn’t going around in the market.” (Orosha)
The place of Mio does get rice pretty stably in Tsige.
Orosha must be thinking that there’s some place where she can stably get rice.
If he were to search, there would be eateries in Tsige that would use rice, but our place is the one that stands out the most.
Must be the place they say they get it.
I say that, but there’s currently no company that’s stably trading with Lorel directly.
I heard from Rembrandt-san that it was just after several business discussions that they are finally on the stage where they are beginning to move.
It is something pretty recent.
His way of saying ‘not yet’ felt like he was suggesting something there, so that must mean they are moving on the surface.
But it is still in the ‘not yet’ phase.
“It must be that place-ssu ka ne. It seems like the Kuzunoha Company-san is often using the Golden Highway and getting a massive amount of cargo, so does that mean there’s rice there as well?” (Orosha)
Right, there was that.
Several wagons with giant cargos that stand out.
The inside would normally be completely empty or have fake bottoms. There hasn’t been a single time when those things have had any actual cargo.
“Aah, it is nothing. First let’s keep these four. There’s the option of resolving yourself and going to the place of Mio…-san to ask about the rice.” (Makoto)
“That’s super straight. Will it work?” (Orosha)
“If you want to sell them at the stations, you two won’t be competing that much, so there might be a chance.” (Makoto)
“As you can see, we are a company in name only, so we would go bankrupt if they were to demand money for the rights to use the rice.” (Orosha)
“Hahaha, leaving aside the jokes…” (Makoto)
“In the world of merchants, information is gold. If you were to bring one or two things of something, they might unexpectedly take an interest and listen to you.” (Makoto)
I don’t remember hearing about that unbelievable rice from Mio, and if I were to put in a word for him, I think they will at least give him some advice.
It is not like there would be a critical hit like the time with the butcher.
Honestly speaking, for the matter of the rice search, I can’t think of anything aside from secretly circulating the one of Asora.
For the rice cooking device, it will take a bit of time, but I will try talking with the eldwas.
If Asora were to be at the forefront…it would be the Hagma Special that allows you to get fluffy rice in just 30 minutes of putting it in.
It is so good that even people in the modern era would want it.
Mio says that when using that tool, it will always come at a 98, and never comes out as a full score, so it is no good.
Even with that, Mio still properly uses that tool for the store, so she is the type that can separate feelings and efficiency properly.
“Orosha! It was perfect on my side! Wait, hm? A customer? …?!”
“Ah, no, I am about to leave, so…your onigiri food stall…I will root for you that it will be successful. Farewell…” (Makoto)
“Ah, you are leaving already-ssu ka? Thanks for your help, Rama-san!” (Orosha)
“I will come back in around…3 days.” (Makoto)
“Got it-ssu.” (Orosha)
Leaving aside Orosha, his Big Bro most likely knows my face or my name, or both.
There’s no doubt the Big Bro is the one with the street smarts after all.
Also, I found something slightly interesting while on my way here.
That was most likely a youkyu <small bow toy>.
Also I think there was a ball bow which I don’t really know much about.
Let’s play a bit before going back.
“Welcome back, Bro Ets.” (Orosha)
“Oi oi oi oi oi!” (Ets)
“Aah…about Rama-san, right?” (Orosha)
“No matter how you look at him, that was Raidou!” (Ets)
“Well, you see, it is because Bro Ets said something that denied the good parts of rice completely in a loud voice as you left that he spoke to me.” (Orosha)
“He introduced himself with some weird name like Ramakoma-something, and I played along with it. He told me that he would cooperate with us.” (Orosha)
“He instructed me on how to cook rice and how to choose it-ssu. Well, it seems like there wasn’t one that clicked within these though.” (Orosha)
Orosha said this while throwing in the sweet corn and chestnut tasting rice into his mouth.
That attitude of his was aloof, and contrasted Bro Ets -actual name Essen- who was panicking about Raidou.
“…Does it taste good?” (Essen)
Essen seemed to be doubting it from the bottom of his heart.
“It is pretty good-ssu yo. It must have to do with the cooking method as well, but that person’s eye for this is really good-ssu.” (Orosha)
“It is that Raidou of the Kuzunoha Company, you know! Of course he is an unbelievably talented person!” (Essen)
“He felt a bit different from a super talented person though.” (Orosha)
“What scheme brought him to get close to us?! Isn’t this the biggest trouble the Resily Company has had?! Batoma-san hates Raidou to death, you know?!” (Essen)
“No, Bro Ets. That’s old info-ssu yo. It seems like the Boss Batoma has been meeting the Rembrandt Company’s representative and left to stay someplace else. There’s rumors that something must have happened postwar.” (Orosha)
“…Seriously? Now that I think about it, I have only been thinking about the project recently, so I haven’t spoken to anyone aside from people related to that.” (Essen)
“Also…his daughter Ates…” (Orosha)
“Ooh, my angel!” (Essen)
The tension of Essen that was going up and down raised his hands up the moment he heard the name of Ates.
“…Please leave that for later-ssu. Anyways, I have heard that Ates-san has also been coming and going to the Kuzunoha Company.” (Orosha)
“Could it be that that guy…is using his money to… Unforgivable!” (Essen)
“Bro Ets, please keep a bit of sanity here-ssu. It is because of that that I think their relationship isn’t as bad postwar-ssu yo.” (Orosha)
“Orosha, you really are more the thinker type. Then, that means that we are not in a rock and a hard place at present, right?” (Essen)
“We have no choice but to move with that line of thought in mind-ssu. It felt like we might be able to obtain the cooperation of Mio-san. I will try showing up at the store one more time tomorrow-ssu. Rama-san did say that it might be good to be straight.” (Orosha)
“…I don’t understand. Why did Raidou go as far as using a fake name to cooperate with us? We are practically trash in the eyes of them, you know?” (Essen)
“It is scary that this isn’t just self-deprecation but the actual truth. I feel the same-ssu. At any rate, Bro Ets, have you obtained the container for the onigiri?” (Orosha)
“You could say that!! I had an encounter of sorts, you see! It was an instant decision! I also paid for it!” (Essen)
“…I have understood right at this moment that we cannot retreat anymore. And so, is that craftsman free?” (Orosha)
Even if he has spoken to a craftsman, depending on the guild or company they are affiliated to, they could retract it at a decisive moment.
The fear of Orosha was natural.
“Of course, I didn’t miss anything!” (Essen)
“What was their name?” (Orosha)
“Carol. It seems like she just recently came back from her travels. She is a woodworker, but she apparently has been acting as an adventurer with her little sister every now and then. She doesn’t compare to my angel, but I thought she was a pretty nice woman.” (Essen)
“Carol… It is true that her name doesn’t show up within the people that are problematic. As expected of Bro Ets, the maestro of good encounters-ssu!” (Orosha)
“Alright! I don’t understand, but I can tell in my pores that the flow has changed, Orosha! Let’s spread the name of Resily!” (Essen)
Essen and Orosha do a toast with water.
They simply didn’t want to waste gold so chose to do so with water, but if Raidou had seen that, he would have had a wry smile.
That’s because a toast with water is a show of resolve for separation in his eyes.
While those slight black clouds hung on them, a certain small company that would be sent flying if blown on them was going for an all-in gamble.