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Chapter 111 – Dear Tenma, Look at Those Birds Flying Freely in the Sky VIII
As the two men saw the dishes that were taken out of the basket, both of them raised their voices in admiration.
Lars gazed at the thick omelet.
“It’s a very beautiful color. It’s my first time seeing such a dish. Is this a foreign dish?”
As Sophie pretended not to know since it was supposed to be made by her maid, she looked at the three dishes served in the dining hall that Luca brought to her on the tray.
There was a black loaf of bread, mashed gururu that looked similar to mashed potatoes, and vegetable soup.
First of all, Sophie tore the bread and put it into her mouth. The bread gave a hard sensation and the sourness remained in her mouth even after swallowing it.
This sourness, perhaps it is rye? I guess they baked it dry so it could last for days.
She then ate mashed gururu. She felt salt was the only seasoning used, but despite that, the gururu still tasted quite bitter.
…Did they make sure to peel the bud and skin properly for this?
Gururu didn’t only look similar in appearance to potatoes, but it also had similar toxic components on its buds and skin like potatoes. If the cook didn’t make sure to peel them off beforehand, it would be possible to cause food poisoning.
Finally, she drank the soup. Then she commented,
“Good medicine tastes bitter…”
She couldn’t find any taste besides sourness and bitterness. Even so, Sophie kept eating in silence.
Japan in her previous life was a nation with a bountiful amount of food, but it also had the mentality to not waste a single grain of food. Tasuku had lived with such a mentality. That mentality still lived on in Sophie.
While it was a mistake to compare the food preservation methods to those in her previous life to begin with, it wasn’t like the food within the Orlando Kingdom always tasted this bad.
However, the dishes served in “The King’s Sword” seemed to also follow the law of the student cafeterias in her previous life: to not emphasize the taste.
As Sophie chewed her food, she remembered the words of her seniors at work whenever they ate curry there.
[“The dishes in the dormitory during my period as a student just tasted terrible. Have you eaten curry that tasted terrible? The curry served there just tasted terrible. Can you believe that the kind of dish that most people could cook just by following a recipe could have a terrible taste? Even I can cook curry that tastes much better than that! I couldn’t help but make such a retort every time I ate it.”]
I wonder which would be more delicious, the food I’m eating at the moment or the curry my senior had talked about?
Sophie involuntarily escaped from reality.
“Are you okay?”
As they got worried about Sophie who was eating in silence, Luca and Lars called out to her.
As Sophie recommended the dishes she brought to them while replying, the two thanked her as Luca took some cake salé and Lars took a piece of the thick omelet.
The cake salé used a lot of cheese to bring out the rich taste as well as a lot of vegetables and mushrooms, so it was filled with nutrition. While it tasted better when eaten warm, Sophie added more seasoning to it so it would still taste delicious even when served cold.
Luca smiled euphorically as he ate the dish and said it was delicious. As for Lars, he gradually stiffened as he chewed his food.
As Sophie got worried by the thought the dish didn’t fit his palate, Lars took some of the cake salé next and then the meat-stuffed bell pepper.
“This texture, freshness, flavor… and this seasoning…”
Just like how Sophie scrutinized the dishes of the dining hall earlier, Lars also seemed to be investigating the unknown food that went beyond his sense of taste and knowledge.
“How many spices were combined to produce this taste…?”
As Lars muttered, he noticed what he just said and looked at Sophie.
“I-I’m sorry. It’s very delicious! I couldn’t help but have such a thought as I ate them!”
Lars hurriedly apologized since he thought he behaved rudely.
“No, I’m glad you find it delicious.”
“It tastes wonderfully luxurious! I couldn’t smell the odor of meat, just the sweetness of the gravy that spread in my mouth. Moreover, this sauce didn’t just taste sweet as it had a deep taste that fuses complex spices.”
As she heard Lars’ detailed impression about the meat-stuffed bell pepper, Sophie recalled the last time she got a good impression besides the simple “delicious” was when Al praised her stir-fried vegetables.
“This yellow dish is also amazing. How many eggs were used to produce this kind of thick and beautiful rectangle shape? It has a soft texture and the faint fishy taste that spreads inside my mouth with each bite… it sure feels mysterious. It’s my first time eating such a dish, but it tastes very delicious.”
As Lars scrutinized every dish and gave his impression of each of them, Sophie was impressed.
Although Lars looked down on himself as mediocre compared to his father, his behavior brilliantly befitted that of a gold star.
“Are these really dishes made by a maid?”
There was no way Sophie could admit she made those dishes herself.
“I find it surprising that they are actually made by a maid instead of a chef. I’d like to hear about what spices were used to make this if I have the opportunity.”
“I’ll make sure to relay your wonderful compliments.”
After Sophie made such a reply to steer away from the topic, they continued their meal in silence for a while.
However, as Lars swallowed the thick omelet he was chewing, he looked at the food he was eating and the food Sophie was eating alternatively and his expression gradually distorted.
“Uhm… Is it really okay for me to eat this? If the things we’re eating are what Sophie-sama usually eats, wouldn’t you find the dishes you’re eating to be quite unpalatable?”
“Luca also said the same thing yesterday, but since I’m the one who requested it, you can continue your meal without worrying about it. It’s just, since the academy could afford to spend that much for the library, I think they could have spent more money on the meals as well.”
“The annual budget for it should be enough though, so I guess it’s about the skill of the chefs instead?”
At the phrase “the budget should be enough,” Sophie’s hand which held the spoon stopped and she frowned.
“Yes. The annual budget for it is around this amount.”
Maybe Lars hesitated to speak of it, so he wrote the number with his finger.
As Sophie saw the number, she dropped the spoon in her hand.
She couldn’t help but raise her voice in surprise.
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