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After Story: Fake Saint Goes to Japan (2)
As I was strolling around the city, the nostalgic hustle and bustle of the city served as my BGM.
What I was searching for right now was a store that would cause my radar to ping.
I did say that I wanted to eat Japanese food for the first time in a while, but I didn’t really have any particular dish in mind.
Rather, there were too many candidates, and if I thought about it too much, I would just end up trapped in a mental quagmire.
So I decided to just walk around on my own and enter the place that would make me instinctively think, “This is it.”
Hey you, don’t say things like I’m pretending to be the Kodoku no Gourmet1.
I wouldn’t do something weird like looking up and saying, “I’m … hungry…!” like he did.
Looking at it again though, I realized that I lived in a relatively happy world in my past life.
There were well-maintained roads and plenty of resources. I only needed to walk a little bit to find shops that offered different kinds of food here and there.
Although Fiori had gotten better recently, the situation was still quite abnormal, and had actually been quite similar to how it had been during the end of the century until just a few years ago.
Even so… The people around me were looking at me a little too much, weren’t they? They were practically staring at me.
For the time being, I was wearing a one piece based on modern world Japan, so I doubted that it would give an “Other world” like feeling. However… well, perhaps having long, blonde hair made it clear that I wasn’t Japanese so I naturally stood out.
Also, even though it was weird to say it myself, my appearance was quite unrealistic.
Well, I didn’t really care about the gazes of the people around me. I just wanted to eat right now.
The first store that caught my eye was a katsudon restaurant. There was a poster in front of the store with a picture of a katsudon with egg on it. “THIS is katsudon!” was boldly written across it.
Uhn… not this. Having a katsudon for a first meal would be a little too heavy for me.
Also, unlike my past life-self, I doubted my current self would be able to finish the katsudon completely.
During my past life as a healthy Fudou Niito, I could eat large portions of katsudon with croquettes as my side dish. Additionally, I could go for two rounds of ramen, though I wondered if I could even finish half a bowl of ramen now…
Next was the convenience store. Anyway, there were many things to try there, and the convenience store evolved day by day so much that it could even threaten a specialty store.
For now, let’s put this on hold. I would return here if I still couldn’t find something I wanted after walking around.
A little further ahead was a yakiniku restaurant! Having yakiniku alone was the best luxury for common people. I was also happy that there was a soft cream bar available there… but I didn’t want it right now.
And after turning past the next corner… I found a French toast specialty store.
French toast… Wasn’t this a good one?!
Thinking about it, I never made French toast even once on the other side.
To put it simply, French toast was a simple dessert that was made by dipping a slice of bread into a mixture of egg, milk, and sugar, then baking it on a frying pan. It sounded simple, but if you tried to do it seriously, you would realize that there were many techniques were needed., Also, perhaps the most important issue was that the difficulty to make it on the other side was quite high.
After all, there was no ready-made bread there, and it was quite troublesome to make it myself.
The reason French toast was considered a simple dessert was because ready-made bread, which served as the base of the dish, was sold everywhere in this luxurious environment.
I wanted to pull out the tongue of the person who first declared French toast a simple dessert, but basically, French toast was not simple at all. Rather, manually trying to make fluffy bread at the same level of modern ready-made bread wasn’t simple at all.
The one who called this dish as simple was like a Russian pro wrestler who only ever made curry using commercially available curry roux, but then said stuff like “Curry is a simple dish that even beginners could cook,” while stretching out his arms to clutch at his poor victim.2
Huh, now that I thought about it, it really was a troublesome dish if I needed to make every ingredient from scratch, wasn’t it?! By the way, I did have plans to reproduce curry on the other side, only to give up out of frustration! Not only were there too many spices needed for it, those things were freaking expensive on the other side too!
In the first place, I didn’t even know the whole list of spices necessary for it.
Well, let’s put curry aside for now. I was talking about French toast earlier.
Alright, I have decided to eat French toast this time.
Therefore, I entered the shop.
“…We, welcome to our store! Please take any seat you’d like!”
The store employees froze for a few seconds when they saw me, then hurriedly served the customers.
Oh, was it your first time having an otherworlder customer? Just relax.
It seemed I could sit at any vacant seat, so I got a corner seat by the window and sat there while perusing the menu.
Hoon, although it was all French toast, there were still many kinds of them.
French Toast with fluffy whipped cream, the finest fermented butter, cream, and honey?
A brulee type French toast that luxuriously used three types of cheese?
There was also a type that had cream on top of it, and there was even one with ice cream. Anyway, there were many kinds of toppings.
There was a crispy, fluffy, and creamy French toast bagel that was served on a skillet? Eh, was this still French toast? It wasn’t a pancake?
Amazing… I was getting hungry just from reading the descriptions and looking at the pictures.
Well then, what should I do? If it was my past life-self, then I might have been able to somehow eat all of them at once, but it was impossible for the current me.
Perhaps just eating one from this menu would be enough to make me full.
…Okay! Let’s pick a simple one which gave the typical image of “THIS is the French toast.”
I pushed the button on the table, and an employee-san came to me in less than ten seconds.
“Ah, excuse me. Uhm… I want to order the honey French toast and a coffee.”
No good, I accidentally used Fiori language just now.
Since this was Japan, I ought to speak Japanese properly.
From the kitchen, I could hear “That surprised me”, “I don’t understand English”, and “Speak Lint’s language 3 here.”
Sorry employee-san. The words I spoke just now weren’t even English words.
After waiting for a few minutes, a French toast exuding a sweet scent was brought to my table.
It had a yellow dough that was soaked with eggy custard, and a caramelized golden brown color on the top.
White powdered sugar had been sifted over it, giving the honey a luxurious color. The size of the toast itself wasn’t that large, but since there were three pieces of it, it increased the amount by quite a bit.
Beside it were topping options of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. They gave the customer the choice of whether to eat it as it was or to put it on the toast before eating it.
Well then, let’s try the first one without adding anything on it.
The surface of the freshly baked French toast was quite crispy, but the inside had the original fluffiness of the bread and clear sweetness that oozed out with a similar consistency of a runny yolk, as if it had been gently cooked along with the bread.
The scent and taste of honey were well mixed in there; although both of them were sweet, the combination of the two didn’t hinder the taste but complemented each other instead.
Honey French toast… It was as delicious as its name suggested.
Not only was its melting content delicious, the crispiness of the surface was also superb.
Also, despite it supposedly having a strong sweetness, the taste quickly left my tongue, so it didn’t feel awkward at all. Instead, it made me feel like it wasn’t enough and I wanted to eat more of it.
I think I could eat an infinite amount of this kind of French toast.
The next thing to try was adding the cream as a topping… there.
This type of food, where you added whipped cream on top, made me feel somewhat luxurious.
It often made me strangely happy when I added whipped cream on top of pudding or pancake.
As for the taste… Hou, I see, I see. The cream was less assertive than I expected.
It felt as if it was gently wrapping around the taste of the French toast.
However, even if the taste was gentle, it was still a triple combo of sweetness. My mouth was filled with sweetness.
This straight right4 of sweetness was irresistible. It felt like a heavyweight class punch.
I drank some coffee after that to reset the taste inside my mouth.
If I was just drinking coffee on its own, I would’ve preferred to put milk and sugar on it, but since I was currently eating sweet food with it, I opted to drink it black.
Because the bitterness was a bit too strong, it made me want to eat something sweet. If I got tired of the sweetness, then the coffee would heal me.
The last one was the vanilla ice cream.
If I were to put it on as it was, the ice cream would get in the way and I would end up eating it normally, so I scooped it with a spoon and ate the spooned portion as it was.
As for the taste, well, it was just a normal vanilla ice cream. However, it was a taste I hadn’t experienced during the seventeen years since I had reincarnated as Elrise, so the simple taste was enough to make me happy.
Next, I put a small portion of spooned ice cream on the toast, then cut the toast into bite-sized pieces before eating them together.
A mysterious sensation ran through my mouth, as if the toast with its lingering warmth and the cold ice cream were countering each other; it felt amazing.
The melted ice cream was mixed with the French toast and, unlike the taste of whipped cream which covered the sweetness earlier, even as the taste of the contended with each other, they mixed into one before I noticed it.
And this taste also matched well with the coffee.
Just like how a set of coffee jelly and vanilla ice matched, the combo of vanilla ice cream and coffee couldn’t go wrong.
Before I knew it, the French toast had already disappeared into my stomach, and all that left was the cream topping.
As expected, I couldn’t really eat the cream as it was… but it felt a little wasteful to just leave it.
…Alright, in that case.
“Excuse me. I’d like to order another cup of coffee.”
I ordered another cup of coffee.
Then I didn’t put sugar and milk into the coffee that arrived on my table, but I put the remaining cream there instead.
It was a little ill-mannered, but just tolerate me for a bit.
This ill-mannered way of eating was strangely delicious.
I didn’t completely dissolve the cream in the coffee. I just stirred it with a spoon about two or three times, savoring the greatness of both the coffee and the cream.
…Uhm, not bad.
As expected, coffee and cream go well together.
Ah~ I ate well. Hey, this was a good store.
Ah, I wonder if take out was possible here. I would like to bring it back as a souvenir for Leila and Alfrea and watch their reactions.
…Eh? I couldn’t? There was no take out?
…It couldn’t be helped. I would just buy the ingredients and make it myself on the other side…
Anyway, as for the bread served here, I doubted it was the cheap kind that they sold in convenience stores.
I wondered if there was a full-fledged bakery nearby? If not, I had no choice but to make do with the thick sliced bread from a convenience store.
The other ingredient would be eggs (I guess the egg served here was also a good quality one), milk… no, it should be a fluffy whipped cream instead. Oh well, I would just buy both of them.
I could buy honey from a local store. As for the vanilla ice cream… I think I could just keep it frozen using my magic and bring it back with me.
Let’s go to a convenience store for the time being. I could find most of the ingredients there.
“Ah, excuse me. Can I ask for a bit of your time? We are currently investigating the general success rate of questions to be put on the show known as “Reversal Quiz Runner.” If it won’t be too much trouble, may we ask for…”
Since I got called out as I was walking, I turned around.
There was a middle-aged man with a mic and a cameraman.
“Reversal Quiz Runner” was a quiz show that challenged entertainers and idols, where the quizzes were arranged as obstacles that were part of an obstacle race; it was designed so that they couldn’t proceed unless they answered correctly.
Moreover, if they happen to answer wrongly on a simple question that anyone could understand, that would be considered an instant OUT and they would be immediately dropped into a pit, and it would end up being quite the interesting spectacle.
It’s just, there were some idiots who kept missing simple questions every so often, so there was some suspicion as to whether they were actually making those mistakes on purpose.
It seemed they were investigating what the average rate of knowledge on the correct answer was, and if the rate was 95%, then it would be considered “a simple question that anyone could answer.”
I see, so this was how they surveyed for the percentage of correct answers. This was the first time I’ve ever gotten pulled for an interview while walking around the town.
And then the very person who called out to me froze for some reason.
The cameraman also froze up as well, and then the people around began to look at me.
What was this? It was rude to stop right after calling a person out.
“…E, excuz… excuse me.”
Hey, he just bit his tongue. Was he really alright?
He didn’t look professional. Perhaps he was a newcomer assistant director or something. Thank you for doing your work.
“Err, we’d like to ask for your cooperation in investigating the percentage for the correct answer for the quiz on the show…”
“Yes, I don’t mind.”
“Thank you very much. Well then… Which of these two dogs are genetically closer to a wolf?”
As he said that, the newcomer AD (temp) presented me with a photo of Shiba inu and a Siberian husky.
Ah, I knew about this.
If we judged it solely by appearance, the Siberian husky looked closer to a wolf, but in fact, the Shiba inu was actually the dog which was genetically closer to the wolf.
There was nothing wolf-like in its appearance since the owner was pulling at its cheeks in the picture5, but genetically, the Shiba inu was more wolf-like.
Rather, the interviewers were actually eager to trick the people based on the photo they were presenting.
The Siberian husky in the picture looked crisp and cool, yet the shiba inu in the picture was getting its cheeks pulled by its owner.
“I think it’s the Shiba Inu.”
So I gave them the correct answer, then after the interview ended, I signed the appearance agreement which I didn’t really understand too much before heading to the convenience store.
And as I bought the ingredients for the French toast, I suddenly realized.
Ah, no good… I forgot to ask them to hide my face and voice…
Oh well. It isn’t like I live in Japan anyway.
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