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Chapter 039 – Hunty and Maou’s Cooking 4 [B]
Leonhart was rubbing between his eyebrows with his fingers as he muttered with a suspicious expression.
“Is it possible that the thing she ate wasn’t made by Ssulal…?”
“I think, no, it definitely has to be the case. There’s no way she could be fine after eating my dis— I feel depressed saying it myself…”
“…Aah, yeah. I understand, so calm down. …Hunty seems to be fine, so … what did she eat just now…?”
While Ssulal moped around, Leonhart brought up another question.
However, it was easily resolved. Carol looked at Hunty’s hand, and Carol began to speculate the answer for the earlier question of “What did you just eat.”
“…Looking at the wrapping paper in Hunty’s hand — it should be a snack!”
“…Yeah, it’s chocolate. There was a single piece of chocolate left on the table … ah-, sorry about eating that.”
“No, that’s fine…”
Hunty apologized as she honestly admitted to them what she did. However, nobody minded that she snacked while they were gone. The problem was—
There was someone who reacted to Hunty’s words.
It was Ssulal. Because of this, Hunty suddenly became very worried.
“Wha, what… there’s nothing, though…?”
Ssulal looked away when she was stared at. Leonhart immediately knew she was lying about something. If there really was nothing to be worried about, she shouldn’t have that awkward expression on her face.
Leonhart fearfully asked to confirm.
“…Oi… don’t tell me…”
Ssulal looked away, and as if surrendering,
“…Err… that… I made it yesterday…”
I made it. Such words brought despair to Leonhart as he buried his face in his hands. However, Hunty, who looked at them was,
“Uhm, I’m truly sorry. I didn’t think it was that important …”
Apologizing once again. It seemed she was completely misunderstanding the situation. If anyone was supposed to apologize, it should be Ssulal or Leonhardt, for accidentally letting her eat poison.
…Huh, but she is…?
Leonhart seriously studied Hunty. Although she looked sorry for what she did, she still looked the same as before.
As he scrutinized her, a question arose in his mind.
…Why is she still fine despite eating Ssulal’s dishes…?!
For some unknown reason, Ssulal’s dishes were deadly dishes. The appearance was normal, but nobody knew what might happen upon consumption. At the very least, it would cause shock throughout the consumer’s body. Sometimes it wasn’t too bad, and the victim would merely experience their pupils dilating, or get knocked unconscious. Other times, it was very dangerous; the soul could leave the body, or one’s breath would be stopped.
Because even Carol, who was an apostle, and therefore stronger than most demons, almost died after consuming it, Ssulal’s dishes were forbidden to be served to anyone who was less than a majin. Leonhart was also often forced into accompanying her cooking practice and ended up experiencing hell.1
As he recalled the bitter experience, Ssulal called out anxiously. Since Hunty also glanced at him nervously and watched, it seemed she also had a similar concern.
“…Ssulal, do you have more of that chocolate?”
“There’s still some… eh, you want to eat it?”
She sounded happy for some reason. What are you so happy about? Was how Leonhart was about to retort before he stopped and reminded himself to focus on the bigger issue. He responded while sighing,
“…Just in case, I have to confirm it. Maybe it really became alright now.”
“! — I’ll bring it right away!”
Ssulal’s face shone brightly for a moment, as if she found hope, but quickly returned to a serious expression as if to brace herself. Then she ran to get what he asked for.
“…What’s going on here?”
“I wonder about that as well… anyway, I’ll make the tea for the time being.”
Hunty and Carol, the pair of apostles, were looking at Leonhart in wonder. The final condition was still unknown for Hunty, but Carol ended up in a ridiculous state because of Ssulal’s food. Fortunately, perhaps as a side effect of Ssulal’s dishes, Carol’s memories of that disaster were cleanly wiped out, so she didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation and cheerily began to make the tea.
…But that helped. I’ll drink some tea to calm down—
“—I brought it!”
Ssulal had already returned.
“………That was quick.”
“Because it’s important! Here, take it!”
Ssulal excitedly presented the chocolate to Leonhart. Leonhardt reluctantly took it and studied it closely.
…I wanted some time to prepare myself though…
Its appearance was exactly that of a normal chocolate. It was a shiny, smooth piece of chocolate with a faint sweet scent.
However, in no way was that reassuring to Leonhart, because there was never a problem with the dishes’ appearance or cooking process. The problem would be the strange stimulus and the symptom it produced upon being eaten. The taste was not a concern, either.
However, there was a reason why he felt calmer this time. If Hunty could eat it without problem, then it might be no problem for him to consume it as well: such was his hope.
Galtia, the only person who loved Ssulal’s cooking, originally had strong resistance against poison as a mushi user. Now that he was a majin, his abilities were strengthened, so he couldn’t be used as a reference. But Hunty, who didn’t have such special abilities, was different. Perhaps this time would truly be okay.
Ssulal was staring restlessly at him. For Ssulal, it was be her dearest wish for her cooking to improve. She must be swallowing her own saliva in anticipation at the thought it might come true.
—Okay, let’s do it.
A bite-sized chocolate entered Leonhart’s mouth. He carefully checked the flavor with his tongue, delicately chewed it into tiny pieces, and tentatively swallowed it all, then waited nervously. And then,
“Ho-how is it?”
“…It has the proper taste as chocolate…and I still feel normal…”
“Seriously?! I did it—!!”
Ssulal was overjoyed and threw her hands in the air in celebration.
“? … I don’t understand what happened, but congratulations!”
“Uwaahn! Thank you!”
“E, eeeh…?! Seriously, what’s happening…?”
Ssulal, who was crying in joy, was congratulated by the apostles and thanked them profusely in turn. As Leonhart watched a hopelessly confused Hunty have her hand suddenly grabbed by Ssulal, he once again confirmed the chocolate’s taste.
…But hey… seriously…
No problem occurred even as he chewed and swallowed it. Its texture was chocolate, and so was its taste. Although still somewhat unbelievable, it seemed like it really was okay for his consumption.
…But well, I’m glad for that.
As the person who always accompanied her to practice cooking, he felt the burden was removed from his shoulders. It was still just a simple chocolate, so it couldn’t be said that her overall skill had improved, but even a single dish meant a step forward. After all, none of the dishes she cooked before could even be considered edible.
The chocolate was completely consumed while he was thinking. And then,
“…Uhn, after all, it’s an ordinary choc—“
Suddenly, his consciousness reversed.
—Hm, this place is…?
When I noticed it, everything around me was a blank white space.
Everything but me was painted in white. And I stood there, alone.
—What happened to my body…?
I could feel my body, but I couldn’t perceive anything else. I was still in this white space.
Not only was I not aware who I was, I didn’t even know why I ended up here.
However, it was clear that this space was very comfortable. So much so that I wouldn’t mind if I eventually melded and became one with this space.
At that time, there was a ray of light that shone overhead. I could hear a voice calling from there.
A voice, that I couldn’t tell if it belonged to a man or woman, elderly person or child, reached my ears.
…Who the hell is that…?
I asked that voice about its identity.
I heard the answer ringing overhead.
Then, I looked up as I trembled with the answer.
I see, I understand.
I knelt upon one knee and put both of my hands together. It was a movement that came naturally.
Because, the owner of the voice was—
Suddenly, Leonhart’s consciousness returned. Then as he sat up,
“Hm, you guys…”
“You are conscious now… I’m glad…”
“I was surprised that you suddenly collapsed…”
Ssulal and Carol, who were worried out of their minds, clutched their chests and sighed in relief in unison.
“…So, what happened?”
Hunty asked, suspicious. Leonhart couldn’t immediately reply to her properly, and stuttered over his words.
“No, well… I suddenly lost my consciousness… and I seemed to have spoken to some sort of dangerous existence…”
Hunty frowned as she heard that. Leonhart understood why she didn’t accept such an explanation, however, that was all he could manage to say.
I somehow recalled confronting something that shouldn’t be allowed to be perceived — No, let’s stop it. I think I might go crazy if I really remembered it.
Rather than that, thought Leonhart as he remembered the situation from earlier, he turned to Hunty and asked a question.
“Hunty… Why did nothing happen to you after eating the chocolate?”
“Yo-you’re right… why is she fine?”
“Has everyone hated chocolate this whole time?”
Ignoring Carol’s thoughtless questions, Ssulal and Leonhart intensely focused on Hunty as they asked her. Hunty didn’t expect to suddenly be questioned like that, so she froze up a little at first. Then after thinking for a bit,
“Uhn… The taste itself was normal chocolate — Ah, no, I did taste something weird though.”
“I didn’t ask for a taste impression though… although if I were to describe the taste, I didn’t taste anything weird like you mentioned. It was delicious from start to finish.”
“Even if you say that — ah, now I think about it…”
Hunty was scratching her head. She was troubled about her answer at first, but suddenly raised her voice as if remembered something. And after that, with an awkward expression on her face, she admitted,
“…Ah-, I don’t know if it’s related, but I’m often told to have a distorted sense of taste… perhaps that’s why.”
“…You can invalidate the effect of Ssulal’s dishes with just that…?”
Leonhart made a weird expression as he heard Hunty’s suggestions, while Ssulal turned her face downward.
“Don’t concern yourselves about it… it is probably all because of my bad cooking, as usual… haah, it is no good after all.”
“…Somehow, I feel really sorry. I would like to apologize for hurting you.”
“Ah, no. You don’t need to worry about that, it’s a usual occurrence, after all…”
Ssulal let out a wry laugh as consideration for Hunty’s apology. Hunty also leaked out a dry laugh in response.
Meanwhile, Carol, who was listening into their conversation, for some reason,
“…Uhn, since I still don’t get it, should I try that chocol—“
“…A, ahahaha… it sure is peaceful.”
Hunty sighed and held her head as she thought about what might happen in the future.
—My life as Apostle wouldn’t be boring, at the very least.
Hi everyone, this is Kuroiwa. I’m going to insert some postscript here.
Well, it was this kind of story, but this chapter marked the end of SS300. Years will fly by the next chapter, so I’ll put some talk in between.
People who are aware of the original lore should be aware that a certain thing was supposed to take place during SS300, but it would happen differently in this fanfic. People who know should be aware of what I meant, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future…
The planned episodes remaining for the SS era only have a few left. Once the stories of all related people in the era appeared, and their daily life with their addition is depicted, I would put it to a “close.” Therefore, disturbing depictions and stories would increase in number (but I think the episodes in between would be quite long, so it wouldn’t happen anytime soon.)
And so, thank you for your continued support.
Thank you to the people who reported typos, it really helped.
The number of likes exceeded 2000 before I knew it, and it really makes me happy for people giving their comments. Every single one of them gave me the drive to continue.
From now on would be the later half of the SS era. The next big story will be regarding that certain person. I will try to write it as interestingly as possible, so please look forward to it.
Hello again! I hope you guys are not tired of me yet!
Well then, to be honest, I dunno whether Hunty’s distorted sense of taste is canon, or it merely a convenient excuse to make her immune to Ssulal’s cooking, but just accept it as is.
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