16, Conclusion and Motsunabe (Resolution Chapter)
(Author’s note: Update ⅘)
Let’s go back in time a little.
I gather a lot of the necessary ingredients from the storehouse, and carried it into the kitchen.
80% of it was entrusted to Gann-san. Me? I have no strength….
“And, what are you planning with this.
With this mountain of ingredients, how do you plan to use it all up?”
While Gann-san is carrying the ingredients, he asks me.
“That’s true. I had thought about this”
I was gathering up all the pots, which I could be called pots.
“I said this earlier as well but, first we must weaken the power of the two factions.
Carelessly expanding their conflicting power, in the end, can only be poisonous to that territory or country.”
At any rate, it’s due to both factions both wanting authority and running wild.
If we just leave them be, they would both indiscriminately covet each other’s a.s.sets, and that land will end up drying up.
“Due to that, both of them need to spit out all the items they have stocked up.
As a form of charity to the citizens.”
“Will something like that go well?”
“If Gann-san has doubts about it then, perhaps it might not go well”
Since I don’t understand things like political trickery and schemes.
“But, the best I can do is just cook.
Using the momentum of spitting out all the stored up ingredients, and donating it to the citizens”
“If this was gold, silver or jewels then I couldn’t have done anything.
However, it’s fortunate that the kind of a.s.sets h.o.a.rded away were ingredients”
Given that I have no aesthetic sense, it’s not like I could judge the jewels.
“But, where there are ingredients, that’s where my battlefield lies.
It’s my fight from here on”
Yes, if the stage is cooking then, that is where I fight.
Turning the ingredients in front of me into weapons, to fight straight on with the people eating is my role.
“Besides, if this much was h.o.a.rded up, the people in the castle town would also be hungry right?
Let’s make them happier by eat something delicious, like Paa~, with the things around here”
So, what should I do?”
“Then…. please wash this”
I quickly handed the pig entrails to him.
The moment he saw that, Gann-san was very surprised.
How surprised? He literally jumped.
“Isn’t, isn’t this organs! What about the meat!”
“Eh? We’ll use the meat as well but, we’ll also use the organs. Where I was from, it’s called entrails though.”
“Are you stupid! Things like organs just stink!
Think this through!”
“That’s why if you don’t wash it…. Ah, once you’ve washed it, please remove all of the moisture properly. The reason the organs smell is because of the moisture collected inside the organs.”
“Eh, gu, da, d.a.m.n it…. alright….”
Carrying the pots with a mountain full of entrails, Gann-san reluctantly started washing.
Although it’s troubling that he’s surprised by entrails…. I mean, in a certain country, they actually eat dogs, even scorpions and geckos….. They had medicinal effects though…..
Now then, I’ll leave him to his business over there. First, I have to make the stock.
The concept this time is, a piquant Motsunabe.
Using the spicy red choy, I’m thinking of making a lot of stimulating hot pots.
The number of pots we collected as well might be considered idiotic. I’ll be roughly using over a hundred huge, enormous pots.
The cabbage, bean sprouts and chives have been secured as well.
Given that this time I’ve prepared a subst.i.tute for bok choy, red choy, it should be reasonably delicious.
Truth be told, I want an Asian flavoured stock base like miso or gochujang but, since there isn’t any here I’ll make do with something else. There’s no soy sauce either. I wonder if it’ll work with fish sauce? Just in case, but I’ll use spring onions to get rid of the smell just like last time….
Preparing the ingredients, there is something I have to make beforehand.
There is a huge difference whether this is in it or not.
If possible I want to make it in a western style but, I shift to j.a.panese style since I can’t find any celery.
Pre-cooking a whole bird. I pour a large amount of water into the pot, heat it, and then put it in.
It’s boiling well. I take it out once the colour changed, this time cutting it up. It’s OK once it’s been split into three.
Taking those and slightly cooking those with the leftovers. Cooking it fragrantly, giving it colour, replace the water in the pot, then add the bird, scallions and alcohol and boil them together
Remove the sc.u.m when it comes out, and keep repeating.
“Oiiii….. I washed them….”
“Ahh, thank you. Are you tired?”
“It’s my first time, washing organs….”
Then, please put all of these vegetables into the pot”
“Hah!? Did you prepare all these vegetables all by yourself!?”
“I’ve been making large portions for quite some time now after all, in our mercenary corp.
You get used to this much”
We made food for close to a thousand soldier-san’s, with just five people.
It’s not strange for my preparation skills to have gotten better.
“….And, it’s about time huh”
After boiling it for close to an hour, I filter it with a clean cloth, this time I add in kelp and boil it for a short while.
With this the j.a.panese Style Chicken Broth is complete.
“Gann-san, have you finished?”
“Ahh, I’ve tossed the vegetables in, even though the pot looks like this”
“Please be careful about the amount of red choy.
Since I don’t know how spicy it is, it’ll be bad if we put in too much”
Gann-san, I can hear you you know, grumbling and muttering “I didn’t hear about this…. is this alright”.
I took a glimpse but, uh, there’s a lot.
There’s too much red choy so it’s completely red.
“Gann-san, excuse me for a bit”
I take one of the red choy, holding one of the ends in my mouth.
“Un…. It’s not too spicy. Sweet spicy? I guess”
It feels like the sweetness of a boiled bok choy and the slight spiciness of a capsic.u.m.
If it’s like this then it wouldn’t matter even if he puts in a lot.
“The problem is the colour change but….”
As an experiment, I put it in a pot which had been boiled and left alone, and heated it up.
“….There’s quite a lot….”
It’s completely red.
The colour changes more than I had imagined. This is… even if there isn’t much of a hot taste, the visuals appear to have wound up coming out bad….
“Excuse me, Gann-san. Please slightly decrease the amount of red choy”
“Is the spiciness alright I wonder?”
“The problem is the colour. The colours changed more than I thought.”
“Who cares about something like colour?”
Ohhh, is that how you speak about cooking?
“Where I’m from, there were indeed shops where the dishes were completely red and spicy to draw in customers but…. Well, it’s popular due to its spicy appearance, and its amazing taste.
This is a hot pot dish which everyone can eat after all. So if it looks bad, they might not eat it”
“Is that so?”
“I’ll ask but, do you want to eat a dish that’s completely red?
So red that even the ingredients, the broth, even the rim of the bot is red. I would want to decline.”
“…. That’s true”
“I’ll be teaching you from now on so, please remember this ok”
“Well, this time sort out the offal, and let’s add it to the pot”
Because if we don’t hurry, it’s easy for the various organs to go bad.
In addition it had been placed in its entirety in that sort of place.
“Please add some here”
“Oh…. can we really eat it? Hearts and lungs and….”
“You’ll understand if you eat it”
This person, don’t be so reluctant….
By the way this time, thinking of its condition, I’ve pre-processed the organ meat.
Putting it in boiling water then cooling it with water.
It’s like the Chinese Style of boiled pork, Plain Boiled Pork.
Using boiling water to kill the bacteria. Killing it thoroughly.
Then, putting the meat, organs and vegetables in the pot, I add the chicken broth and fish sauce, and simmer.
Once it’s simmered, sprinkle chives around and it’s finished.
The red choy brought out more colour than I had thought. It’s really red.
I sample it timidly.
Un, it’s not that bad.
The stink of the fish sauce is held down to a certain degree, and the spiciness of the red choy is just right.
I see, so the taste becomes like this.
As a test, I pick up a red choy and try it, I see, the spiciness of the faded red choys is light, and has a sweetness like that of bok choy.
Perhaps, the spiciness was in the colour itself, so do doesn’t that mean after boiling it, and making it lose colour, it’s no different from bok choy?
It doesn’t feel like its losing flavour at all.
This is similar to Kimchi Motsunabe, ne.
“Gann-san, try some please. Together with the offal”
“Eh? No, just the vegetables”
“Well well, don’t be shy!”
Suddenly, I forcefully stuffed an entire organ meat into Gann-san’s mouth.
….It’s good. What’s this called? I had thought that there would be an organ stink but there isn’t.
The spiciness is just right and the soup, dissolved with the flavours of the vegetables and bird is irresistible.
The offal was good too. It has a peculiar texture, and has a deliciousness unlike that of meat.
It’s rubbery and firm.
This is good”
“Right? You can’t make fun of the internal organs either, right?”
“Ahh. So much so I wonder that it’s strange why I haven’t eaten this earlier.”
“It goes bad easy, and normally you wouldn’t think to eat it right”
After all, Intestines go bad easy.
It’ll go bad in one or two weeks.
Everyone as well, I recommend you eat it early before it goes bad or cook it thoroughly.
“Is it alright to eat a bit more?”
“No. Let’s finish everything”
I won’t allow you to eat it all for sampling.
While I was keeping an eye out so that Gann-san isn’t stealing food, I continue working.
Since I’ve got the hang of the combination of the chicken broth and red choy, the work progresses quickly.
However, because the chicken broth turned out better than I had thought, it seems like my freedom of cooking will also expand from now on.
『Rather than the freedom of cooking, freedom of Hamburg!』
Hah! Did I hear that correctly!?
“Gann-san, did you say something?”
“Er, it wasn’t you who said it? Something about Hambagu or something”
It wasn’t my imagination?!
As a result I advanced through work quickly, albeit slightly nervous.
A hundred large pots of Motsunabe is finished.
Wow, I really can do it when I put my mind to it.
“My arms…. my feet…. my back, they hurt….!!”
Although that’s what Gann-san thought next to me.
“If you’re this disheartened then, you won’t be able to be a chef.
Originally you’d have to start from the preparations of the ingredients.”
“Cooking is tough”
“But it’s interesting”
I grinned nihilistically.
It was a critical hit.
Despite becoming a little down, I completed the finishing touches.
Putting on the pot lid, it was the discussion concerning to which areas we should place these.
It was then.
I could hear a racket from far away.
“? What’s that?”
“This is…. unless!”
Gann-san’s complexion changed, rushing out into the corridors.
And then, he returned after a little while, to tell me with a pale face.
“Terrible! Ganglabe and the others came to attack!”
“What do you mean? Has Ganglabe-san and everyone come?”
“Ahh, actually I heard that Gingus-sama was calling for Ganglabe and the commanders.”
“Ahh, I didn’t hear the reason. Sudden, without giving a reason, he sent them a letter. I also heard after it had happened but, I never would’ve thought we’ll be attacked instead!”
No, somehow on the contrary it’s as expected.
It seems like something Ganglabe-san would do.
“And, the people in the castle are defending?”
“Ahh. However not even one person has died. Why? Why are they advancing without killing anyone?”
Gann-san was pondering but, I understood somewhat.
Perhaps, aren’t they taking me into consideration?
To be honest, while I was in the mercenary corp, I haven’t seen a dead body.
I understood that Ganglabe-san was trying his best so that I wouldn’t have to see a dead body.
Well, even I’ve seen a corpse when I attended my relative’s funeral.
But I’ve never seen a murdered corpse which had just died. It’s natural though.
Thinking that if he shows me a corpse, I’ll become afraid.
“Gann-san. Can you predict where Ganglabe-san is heading?”
“Probably Gingus-sama’s place. Right now Ekress-sama should be there too.
What are you planning?”
“Let’s end this mess.
If they know that I’m alright then they won’t have any reason to fight”
Since I don’t have even a single wound, nope.
“Will it work out somehow if you go?”
“It’ll have to somehow.
I have to do something before that Gingus-sama makes Ganglabe-san angry.”
I place a lid on the last pot and faced Gann-san.
“Let’s go. Please guide me”
Since you seem determined. I think it’s useless to even stop you.
Except, do not leave my side. Since I don’t know what might happen”
We rush out into the corridor, and started to run towards Gingus-sama’s office.
Along the way, there were injured people everywhere….
Not one of them is dead but, amongst all the people who were finished with just a light wound, there were also people whose wounds have turned out to be quite severe.
It was a scene that let me understand just how angry everyone was.
Even without killing, without inflicting severe wounds, it’s clear that they are making them receive punishment.
It’s a little scary.
“Shuri, this isn’t your fault”
That’s when Gann-san said as he runs in front of me.
Without turning his face, without losing his breath.
“All of this is our just desserts.
The punishment for being greedy. It’s not something you should bother yourself with”
“Is that so…”
Even if you say that….
“Ahh, d.a.m.n! Shuri, let’s go a different route!”
After thinking deeply for a bit, Gann-san stopped.
Looking in front of me, there was something amazing.
It was the corridor but, it was blocked with a twisted path.
Literally, 『Twisted』, desu. It was as if the entire room was twisted with a screw, the remnants of overwhelming destruction.
Couldn’t this be art instead?
Most likely, so that the pursuers can’t follow them, they blocked the path!”
“Going so far, is this normal?”
“No! This is, for present magic and magic engineering is a super difficult technique, it’s not something that’ll make its debut in this sort of place!
This is just how angry they are!”
“Am I, popular?”
“Stop saying stupid s.h.i.t and let’s go a different route!”
“A different route?”
“It’s a detour!
Let’s temporarily go back and go to the Feudal Lord’s office, and then go up the emergency stairs in front of that!
s.h.i.t, it truly is a detour!”
“Please wait a moment”
There was a word I couldn’t ignore.
“Speaking of which, what are the chief va.s.sals and Feudal Lord doing?”
“Ah? Well probably hiding in a room something?
Taking refuge or something”
“You said that Ganglabe-san and everyone was called by Gingus-sama right?”
“Ahh, that’s right but….”
“Why did he call them?”
“Well, to hear about your scandal”
Here, Gann-san stopped.
“Yes, rather than the timing being unnatural, it could be said that he can only call them here.
Soon Princess Tebis will come from Newbyst. Once Tebis has come, there might be a sanction due to trade reconsiderations. Using the fact that you were arrested unfairly.
Before that, did he plan to capture the commanders and hand you to Newbyst?”
“Is there any meaning to that?”
“Almost none. All the other side demands is 『Your person』 after all. Even if we are preventing the 『Trade reconsiderations』 ahead of time, there’s no meaning if the other side does not make use of that card.
Rather, if we were to suddenly to use that card then, 『With the degree that you have harmed a chef on friendly terms with Newbyst, you are taking political action?』 and make them angry instead. They can end up using『Insult』as the excuse to sanction us.
That sort of thing, there’s no way the Feudal Lord would”
Once again, Gann-san made a face like he had realised something, and changed into an expression of anger.
“I see, he’s being confined!
If a feudal lord’s son, regardless of if he’s the father, confines the feudal lord then, he can’t escape the death penalty!
He took the worst possible action!”
“Worst, is it?”
“Yes, he can’t escape death and by doing this, the citizens might misunderstand it for a coup d’état, and the inside of the territory will be in chaos!
What to do….! Would it be better to release the Feudal Lord and the other’s first? Or is it better to stop Ganglabe?”
Since I finally understand the flow of the conversation, I gave a suggestion.
“With the path you taught me before, I can go the rest by intuition.
Gann-san, please go release the Feudal Lord and them.
If it’s now, you can still make it right? “
“Are you stupid? There’s no way I can let you go by yourself”
“But, I am the only one who can stop Ganglabe-san.
The only one who can release the Feudal Lord is Gann-san.
It’s the same as cooking. Splitting work.”
“Let’s stop it, Gann-san”
I say as I turn back to the path that I came.
“Alright? This stupid fight”
I say nihilistically once again.
Understood. I’ll accompany you until we reach the Feudal Lord’s room.
After that is a straight path. Don’t get lost”
Woot, nihility success!
Woops, this isn’t the time to play around.
Even I can read the mood.
Hurriedly turning back and running down the path that we had come from, suddenly there was someone in the corner of the corridor.
A person hugging his knees to become smaller.
Despite being a large man, he appears small.
“Gann-san. That, who is it?”
“Ha? Wait, isn’t it Adora!”
Gann-san stops with his emergency brakes, and rushed over to the person named Adora.
“Oi, are you alright Adora!?”
“Hn? …. Ahh, Gann, huh. It’s been a while. I’m alright.”
“As if you’re alright! What exactly happened. Were you a.s.saulted by Ganglabe and the others?!”
“Ahh, that’s right….”
Adora-san says in a small voice unbefitting of his frame.
“At first, I thought it was easy….
We tried to arrest them when they first arrived in front of the castle, then our comrades collapsed rapidly….. I don’t get it, I don’t understand what magic was used at all….
At the entrance, with overwhelming archery abilities, the twenty odd soldiers were all made powerless under just one person…..
When I heard that from my contact, I ambushed them here as the final fortress….
Which is why I’m like this now…..”
“What do you mean. You don’t have any injuries right”
Suddenly Adora-san shouted.
And then, held both shoulders and was shaking.
Unable to focus his eyes, horribly frightened.
“That is a monster…..! Defending against my attack, with two fingers, my one attack with all my strength couldn’t even cut a swordsman’s arm…. I won’t forget those eyes….! Those eyes looking as if I was less than a bug….. That’s not human….
Wh-what is it I wonder.
This face which looks as if he saw some unidentified monster.
“Gann-san. Who is this?”
“Ahh. One of my few acquaintances, Adora.
He is famous as the best soldier in this castle.
There is practically no person in this castle that can win against him”
“Someone like that, why is he like this?”
“Well your…. it’s the act of Ganglabe and the others”
Adora-san said seeming depressed.
“The one I fought was, the man called Cougar….”
“Acha~…..” (TL: “Uh oh” reminds me of sket dance)
Your luck is just too bad.
That person, has chopped boulders with his sword before.
“Isn’t this amazing!” he’ll also say as he smashes armours with his fists.
He’s way too superhuman that I back away from him, he is.
“Excuse me, Adora-san?”
“….Who are you”
It seems If I say something thing ‘I’m from Ganglabe’s Mercenary Corp, desu’ here, it’ll get complicated.
“I’m an acquaintance of Gann-san.
About Cougar-san, he is an acquaintance or something….”
“Just leave me alone….”
Ah, this is bad.
His heart’s been fractured.
“Adora-san, is fighting the only thing you can do?”
“Like I said, Adora-san, don’t you have something you can do other than fighting?”
“In that case, won’t you come with me?”
Next to me, Gann-san was super-duper surprised, I continue.
“I was just looking for someone who can do some muscle work.
Once this mess has ended, why don’t you quit being a guard and be a cook with me?”
“Why do I have to do a poor man’s job like as a cook”
“Then, will you continue to be a soldier?
Can you continue fighting?”
It’s probably impossible right…
Adora-san too, shook his head lightly.
“The battlefield, isn’t just a world of swords, bows and magic you know.
Cooking is war as well”
“Yes. The one who makes and the one who eats. These two battle without honour nor humanity.
If they say it’s good, then the one made it wins, if they say it’s bad then the one who eats it wins. (TL: Really?… )
Making a meal where you can’t even find sc.r.a.ps, one where your appet.i.te is satisfied, making the one who eats consent. This is the battle of chefs.
I found this battle to be my raison d’etre.”
Nevertheless, the base of the fun comes from the joy of the one who eat it though.
“How about it? If the current battlefield doesn’t match yourself, try searching for a different battlefield”
“Everything in this world is a fight with something. Each and every person is different, whether that fight is something you seek from outside or seek from inside yourself.
I sought an internal fight.
The tension of cooking, the impatience, the concentration… those are so tough that it’s beyond your imagination.
It’s because it’s a dish that you’ll be giving someone to eat. You don’t want them to ever say that it tastes bad.
The technique and courage I earned doing that are my treasure even now.
Nowadays it has become a 『Weapon』 for the sake of my comrades”
Actually, when it was decided I was to cook at my company’s drinking party for the first time, I’ve always been bracing myself to not want to fail.
Mobilising all the cooking knowledge and technique I had acc.u.mulated, I made it desperately.
The result, everyone was delighted.
However, I couldn’t accept it.
If that broth was thicker, if that meat was more refreshing.
When I noticed, I continued finding flaws that only I could find.
That is, my internal fight.
As a result, even now I can make it well and I also improved.
“Adora-san. If you wish for a different external battle then.
If you feel like it, it’ll be nice if you will fight alongside me.
I don’t mind if you don’t answer right away.
Since we are in a rush too.
Let’s go, Gann-san.”
We ran again.
However, I think I want to reflect on that conversation just now.
What am I showing off, what external, what internal!
I ended up saying those words because that was a speech I read in a manga but, now that I’m recalling it, it’s just my dark history!! (TL: things you don’t want to remember)
Returning all the way to the entrance, it has already become pandemonium there.
The people who were injured from an arrow were receiving medical treatment, and there were a lot of people who are groaning from the treatment’s pain.
“Shuri, don’t think about it”
Yes, I can’t think about it.
If I empathise too much, I think I’ll vomit.
“Also…. Shuri. I stop here”
Before I had realised, Gann-san came to a standstill.
“Go straight from here, up the stairs, take a left, and the room at the end of the corridor is Gingus-sama’s office.
Please. Other than you, I have no one else to rely on.
The fact they had stopped even Adora means that there is no one in this castle which can rival Ganglabe and the others.
No one, but you”
Seeing Gann-san lowering his head, I nodded.
“I understand. I’ll stop them”
“Ah, also. After you save the Feudal Lord, please bring him along”
“They have to talk, don’t you agree. Father and son”
Being confined because of a quarrel, that’s sad don’t you think?
“That’s why I leave it to you”
“….I don’t guarantee it”
“Even if you only put in the effort”
“Then, I’m going”
Down the corridor, up the stairs, earnestly doing nothing but following the given route.
Fortunately I didn’t pa.s.s by anyone, I also didn’t meet encounter any dangerous eyes.
What I thought along the way was, what I should say when I meet them.
What is something good that someone like me, who is irrelevant to the disputes of n.o.bles, should say?
The number of fights I’ve been in, was only an amount that I could count on one hand when I was a child.
I got along well with my friends, my relationship with my parents wasn’t bad either.
If you put that another way, it meant I ran away from fights.
Maybe I’ve never had someone who I seriously wanted to fight as an enemy.
But, nevertheless I.
If I want to reach a conclusion to this fight.
I think I’ll have to do it.
Those words, they weren’t even things I would think of.
Things like sayings from manga and anime I saw.
I noticed that they were very flimsy in front of reality.
Those words have meaning because the characters inside that story are in that setting.
Even if I say it, there’s no meaning.
But even then I have something I want to say.
I will say it.
“I made it….!”
It was when I finally struggled to the front of that room, and put my hands on the door k.n.o.b.
I could hear a voice from inside.
“It seems what I want to say is, ‘Return Shuri’.
We’ve complained about this and that up to here but, that’s all we want.
We don’t want your apologies etc.
But, if you are to apologize, pay that apology with something that has form.
That is, territory, gold or whatever.”
This is! The voice Ganglabe-san uses when he’s evil!
“After all, we had become criminals, been confined, and had our comrade arrested.
If you are to apologize then do it with something appropriat-”
Oh noes, the conversation changed into a threat!
“There’s no neeeeee~d for that!!”
Since I was in a rush, the door ended up opening much earlier than I had thought and I tripped.
However, I showed my figure to everyone as I tumble with a forward roll.
“This is the end of the fight!”
Somehow it seems my entrance ended up being something similar to a third rate hero. Dark history – number two. However, the impact it had on everyone seemed to have been amazing as everyone was looking over here and stiffening up. Are? Could this be a success?
“Long time no see, Ganglabe-san”
Ganglabe-san is trembling or something?
“Shuri!! You were alright!” (Ganglabe)
“You were alright,su? Shuri!” (Teg)
“Hambu-….Shuri, I’m glad you’re alright” (Riru)
“Geez, you made us worry you fool!” (Cougar)
Ganglabe-san comes and hits my shoulder.
Ahrius-san says ‘I’m glad’ emotionally.
Teg-san hits my back.
Riru-san drools for some reason.
Cougar-san was grinding against my head.
Ahh, that’s why I thought of so many things such as, I sure am loved by everyone naa, or, I sure made you worry naa.
“Ow ow, I’m fine, I’m alright.
It hurts. Riru-san, you’re drooling”
“Oops, excuse me. *Slurp*”
While Riru-san was wiping away her drool, I broke free from Cougar-san’s bindings.
I saw Ekress-san, and the person next to her.
“Umm, Is it, Gingus-sama?”
Gingus-sama was looking more exhausted than I had thought.
His silver hair, darker than Ekress-sama’s was cut evenly, a pretty boy with fox like eyes.
And a thin macho. d.a.m.n it.
“h.e.l.lo nice to meet you. I’m Shuri Azuma.
Can I speak with you?”
“What? I don’t think there’s anything to say right. It’s conversation which ends when Ore-sama dies.”
“I heard it by accident outside. Your form of apology and such.
“What did you say!!”
At my one word, Gingus-sama was enraged.
“Like I said, trying to die as a form of apology is idiotic.
Receiving territory and compensation money etc.
For now I was alright so, shouldn’t we end this already?”
“Don’t f.u.c.k around! This is a political problem!
Coming out here all of the sudden, what do you understand, how can you say you can end anything!”
“No, the victim, me, is saying ‘let’s end it’. So isn’t that good enough?”
“Even if you say end it, it’s no longer a problem which can end!
It’s either I die or, you guys obediently abide!”
“Then, is that alright?
I heard the story. Such as Ekress-sama being a girl or, that it was devised by Gingus-sama or, that Ganglabe-san snapped etc.
To actually want to die based on that, isn’t that the worst way to run away from reality”
“For a problem which can end with the head of someone from the Feudal Lord’s clan, don’t put it together with words like running away from reality!
A question of who’s to blame, won’t end if the person involved doesn’t take responsibility, and accept punishment!”
“This is why the moment you chose to die, you are running away from your responsibilities”
Although in a lot of the folk tales, there was seppuku and such.
I think of that. There is no meaning to responsibility.
The punishment as the death penalty with regards to its crime. Compared to that, if the pain of the victims and their families can be healed even slightly then, it might be possible.(TL: 罪に対しての罰としての死刑。アレに関しては被害者や遺族の傷が
僅かでも癒やされるならアリなのかもしれません。)However, because of that there are also people who can’t be healed.
Since the things they lost can’t be returned. Or, maybe for the sake of cut-off feelings.
However it’s different this time.
I am alive. Not dead.
And I, the person himself does not request for the punishment called death.
That’s only natural. Because even though I was tossed in a jail, thanks to Gann-san it wasn’t that painful.
Which is why I, don’t want Gingus-sama to die for me.
I don’t desire vast amounts of compensation money or land.
I was able to meet everyone safely. That in itself is good enough.
It can’t be helped even if I’m said to be naive, right. In this warring period, this world of rivalling warlord, it seems that sort of thinking is fatal, right.
However, that is me.
Azuma Shuri is that kind of person.
“If you want to take responsibility, please live.
Please continue apologizing.
Even if you won’t be forgiven, even if you’ll be yelled at.
What you can do for the other person is.
Continue to apologize.
And then decades later, for the words of 『Forgiveness』from the other person.
Continue waiting for it, without requesting it.
Isn’t that a way you take responsibility?”
“Such a thing, a stupid method-”
“Yes, I’m sure it’s stupid.
However, you have been deprived of your right as an heir for the Feudal Lord’s clan right.
The only people who can agree to that method of taking responsibility are only the people of the castle.
Moreover we cannot consent to a single thing.
Which is why, you cannot only tell us 『You’re Sorry』.
Thus please take an action other than money”
Even when j.a.panese politicians or CEOs or companies break the regulations.
I think that there are many videos of them lowering their heads during press conferences.
As for me, I can’t really find myself to agree to end it with just apologies and fines.
If he is seriously sorry that is.
Saying that no matter what happens it’ll be alright.
It’s because he always think that.
“That is, the 『Apology』 I request”
“….With that method, there’s no way you people can agree”
“No, I also think that it’s better to do that”
Suddenly, I heard a different voice.
Looking towards the door, there stood the Feudal Lord and Gann-san.
“Ahh, I’ve done the rescue.
As you said, I’ve brought him here”
Since Gann-san gave me a thumbs up, I too returned it.
The Feudal Lord steps inside the room and, going pa.s.s my side and stands in front of Gingus-sama.
And then, a magnificent sound rings, thud.
The Feudal Lord dropped a fist onto Gingus-sama’s head.
“You, just how much are you going to cause trouble for the people around you, till you are satisfied!
Not just me, but even involving the mercenary corps and another country!
Because of your thoughtlessness, this territory is in a dangerous situation! Do you understand!”
Gingus-sama, without even rubbing at his head which was. .h.i.t, looks down and apologized.
“”How do you plan to repay the debt! Say it!”
“Yes…. the punishment due for me”
“This isn’t a problem which will somehow work out with just your punishment!
Stripping away your right of heir is obvious! The right of heir will belong to only Ekress!
The punishment to you is, you’ll be sent to an unimportant post, and your right of unifying the army shall be stripped!
The apology to Newbyst will end with Gann’s death penalty!
Ekress, you too! Prepare for punishment for not stopping your little brother running wildly while being his elder brother!”
“Ok~, let’s stop here”
Since the conversation is somehow heading towards a ridiculous direction, I’m stopping this.
“Feudal Lord. Please wait a minute”
Apologies. Our family’s shame shall be dealt within our….”
“Rather than family, you are also the cause”
I have to resolve myself here, and say it.
“After Ekress-sama, when Gingus-sama was born, why did you not return Ekress-sama’s treatment back to normal?”
“That is our family’s problem, Shuri-dono”
“No, since I’ve already been involved in this, it cannot be helped.
Feudal Lord. This is what I think.
Everything that has happened, isn’t it because you were superficial”
“What do you mean….?”
“It is as I say.
Forcefully making Ekress-sama to be your successor, and even though Gingus-sama was born you kept it as is, birthing friction between brothers. In addition you hid the existence of the eldest son, leaving him to do the dirty work.
Everything is born from the Feudal Lord’s thoughtless superficiality.
In addition, had you really not noticed?
That in Gingus-sama’s present, there was something included that you were bad with”
Everyone other than the Feudal Lord was surprised.
The Feudal Lord made a slight scowl.
I was just trying to lead him along but, it seems I hit the mark.
It’s strange to begin with.
To the person himself, an allergic reaction comes with a pain and anguish that other people cannot understand.
That person, continuously absorbing in a material which causes an allergic reaction is the same as committing suicide. Looking at the inflammation that occurred just by holding it in his hands, it is impossible that the person himself does not know.
That’s when I thought.
Using the one thing I didn’t know, why he did he take it out without understanding and continued to use it.
However, this is too unnatural. As long as you see that reaction, truthfully it should’ve been tough to even hold it. It’s simply impossible to continue to have a nonchalant air during the banquet.
Another thing is, he didn’t notice even though it has been peculiarly made. Since this was way too unrealistic, I had excluded it.
What came into my head finally, was the most unbelievable possibility.
He knew, and used it.
Enduring the painfulness of the allergic reaction and continue using it, there’s a possibility he used it on purpose.
When I arrived at this, I laughed it off, denying it without a thought.
However, since no other possibility came to mind, I tried to lead him on purposely but……
Somehow, it seems this is correct.
“Why did you do it? It should have been extraordinarily painful.
If you hold in in your hand, that part would definitely form a rash and itches right.
And if you drink it, the itchiness and pain would accompany you to your mouth, throat and inside your stomach.
Why did you use it?”
“Gann-san, why do you think it is?”
Gann-san was a little perplexed being suddenly brought up but, thinks a little then said.
“Let’s see… maybe because by collapsing himself, there is something which to benefit from?
Or, maybe because by collapsing himself, there is someone he wants to give a disadvantage to?
The other would be, he desires to commit suicide?”
“Feudal Lord, how about it?”
The possibilities said right now, I had also thought of them.
If it’s to benefit then, for whose sake?
Who does he want to give a disadvantage to?Being inside the jail where information was limited, I couldn’t get out an answer at all.
Now then, what is the answer I wonder?
“…..Unlike how Shuri-dono appears, you are quite wise.
I never would’ve thought that you would be able to say that much”
And then, the Feudal Lord said as if he accepted.
I could feel that from his entire body.
“The ones who I wished to provide benefits to be my children. Gann, Ekress and Gingus.
The one I wanted to give a disadvantage to was, just one person, now and even in the past.
My legal wife.”
What did he say just now?
He wanted to disadvantage his legal wife?
“Gingus. You didn’t think up of this plan by yourself right?”
“You didn’t right. You should have gained the right of heir after I had collapsed, with your military exploits.
However, my wife thought of something above that.”
“T-that’s impossible. Mother didn’t do”
“I had known”
The Feudal Lord said.
“With your ability, information leaks. Using your plan against you, my wife was making the necessary preparations from behind the scenes.
When you ordered your subordinates to try to make an iron wine gla.s.s, you had originally planned to only use a small amount of iron right?
In that wine gla.s.s, an excessive amount of iron was used.
I had taken that and used against that instead”
“W-wait a moment Father. I had not known that either.
It’s true that the Lady has deep jealousy but….”
Fu, laughed the Feudal Lord.
That is, a laugh of scorn.
“Deep jealousy? That’s not it. That person doesn’t just have deep jealousy. She is too ambitious.
When she found out Gingus has no talent for internal affiars, my wife jumped in joy. Secretly that is.
Since like this, if she places Gingus into the Feudal Lord, she could, as her guardian take authority. And then if she has Gingus’s military ability, there is a possibility to expand the territory. By doing that, the money that goes to her also increases.
That’s how she is. That person.”
Seeing the appearance of the Feudal Lord steadily changing from his scornful smile to a serious expression, I finally realised.
This person, had been enduring this whole time.
Before the allergy, the twistedness born from his family’s rift, always, he had been enduring and resisting it.
“Truthfully, I had loved Gann’s mother and my concubine from the bottom of my heart. I’ll say this so that there are no misunderstandings but, Gingus. I also love you.
However, my wife imprisoned my concubine, and banished Gann’s mother. It was too late when I had noticed.
I hated her from my heart. Why I asked, why was there a need to go that far!
Which is why, taking advantage of the situation this time, my revenge should have succeeded if it was possible to convict her”
“And where is the legal wife now?”
“Ahh, if it’s her then, it seems she took advantage of this mess, thought that the situation had gotten worse. She ran away immediately. Coupled with the fact that a messenger had come from Newbyst, she probably abandoned this territory, seeing that it has no future.”
“You were thrown away. By that woman.
Originally, I had thought to further take advantage of this mess, chase down all of the wrongdoings that woman had done and wanted to convict her but…..
Shuri-dono. Everything has gone wrong due to your actions. My wife ran away, my son, treason. The responsibility is the execution of my illegitimate child.
This situation is terribly bad”
It seems that somehow I had done something extremely not good.
“That is your excuse right, Feudal Lord”
Just as I was feeling slightly down, Ganglabe-san said.
“At that banquet, Shuri took action because he was concerned about your body.
To the people who came from outside, to say that they suddenly saw through your plan to that extent is ridiculous.
In the first place, Shuri was concerned about your body. Rather than saying your thanks, what is your intention by condemning him?”
Oohh, Ganglabe-san is angry!
He’s not even being polite as he speaks.
“Then what should be done? In this situation.
The situation of the fight between the first prince’s faction and the second prince’s faction is changing because of the second prince’s faction’s failed revolt. It’s certain that the second prince’s faction, as according to the official of the first prince’s faction, has a high chance of being exterminated.” (Lord)
“I-if I hold them back” (Ekress)
“It’s impossible Ekress. The officials of the first prince’s faction, are people who are following you because they believe that it is your ability to manage internal affairs that is necessary for the territory.
In this ideal opportunity, there’s no reason not to attack” (Lord)
“It is no gentle conversation” (Cougar)
Here, Cougar-san interjected.
Leaning on the wall, folding his arms.
Ohhh, so nihilistic and cool!
“Well, it’s no longer a conversation which concerns us. Right, Ganglabe” (Cougar)
“Ahh, that’s right. That’s how it is thinking about it properly. We also finished rescuing Shuri.
Let’s go, you guys” (Ganglabe)
“Understood, Ganglabe” (Ahrius)
“Un, Roger” (Riru)
“Wa-wa-wait! Please wait a moment!” (Shuri)
Ehh, what is everyone starting to say!?
Everyone’s looking as if it’s obvious!?
“Ehh!? Are we leaving?!”
“Obviously. Our goal is Shuri, saving you.
From the conversation just now, it’s understood that this territory no longer has the combat ability to chase us. After that, the meaningless fight between the two prince’s factions and with Newbyst’s intervention, there won’t even be a trace left.” (Cougar)
“Exactly. What Cougar said is the most extreme case.
Shuri, we are a mercenary corp. A mercenary corps treats comrades important above all. But, we do not forgive enemies. It’s necessary to never give mercy to an enemy in order to live.
This time, Shuri. The moment we were able to save you, we have accomplished our goal.” (Ganglabe)
“No no, even if that was the case, to pull the stairs from them here is a little….”
(TL: はしご外す – To be lonely at the top/abandon friends/people once you are better than them)
Speaking realistically, acting as he says and leaving this territory immediately is probably the best option.
It doesn’t appear like there’s anything positive for the mercenary corp even if we stay any longer.
However, I don’t want to abandon them here.
Ekress-sama is also looking over here.
It’s written on her face, ‘Please help me’.
This person who had always endured and tried her best.
To run away here acting like I know nothing is.
That’s way too excessive, I think.
“Then, it’s fine if I can solve this problem right? Ganglabe-san”
“Ha? No, our problems are already over, Shuri.”
“No, it’s not over. We haven’t received our land”
“As if we still have it now”
“Then, if we could receive it?”
“No, I don’t want the same thing that happening at Alturia to happen again.
Between land and comrades, I’ll take comrades”
“How chivalrous….. However, this time I have an idea as well”
I faced the Feudal Lord once again, facing away from Ganglabe-san who was making a strange expression.
“Feudal Lord. What would happen if the fight from here on disappears, the fight between the first prince and the second prince’s factions?”
“What is it? Suddenly”
“Please tell me.”
At my serious manner of speaking, the Feudal Lord answered me.
“If the faction’s fight dies down then, certainly, 40% of my worries dies down.
However, the remaining 60%. The rampage of the army and Gingus’ punishment is still remaining though, what about it?”
“I have an idea”
Although I call it an idea, this is just a type of 『shifting responsibility』 though.
Telling him my idea, the Feudal Lord thought for a little bit.
“I see… Indeed, if it’s that method then, the remaining 50% will also resolve.”
“The 10%, is it the emotions?”
“Exactly. However, if its arguments based on emotions then, it’s possible to resolve it over time. Seeing Gingus and Ekress’ work from here on, there might be those whose opinions even change.”
“What about you Ganglabe-san? Will you help me?”
“….There’s no way about it”
Ganglabe-san roughly scratches at his head and laughed.
“You’ve also done quite a bold thing yourself! You idiot!”
“Ow! I said it hurts!”
Then he came and rubbed my head roughly too. It simply hurt.
“Teg! Gather up all the subordinates from the castle town!”
“Ahrius will gather all the soldiers within the castle! If they’re facing you, I don’t think the soldiers will resist either! All the more if you take Gingus.”
“Cougar, you’ll be 『Cleaning up』! The ones who are under the influence of that person, arrest every last one of them!”
“Got it. I’m a little reluctant though. Even though we can just leave this place right now”
“Riru will install the venue! Quickly alright!”
“Do that later!”
Ignoring Ganglabe-san who was giving out instructions quickly, I made advance arrangements with the Feudal Lord.
“I’ll leave the contents of the speech to you. Also, I’ll leave dealing with aftermath and the reason to you as well.”
“Alright. You’ll be doing something crazy aren’t you”
“However, it’ll be even with this right?”
“The best reprisal. Since with this, that person cannot come back”
“Then I leave it to you”
I end my conversation with the Feudal Lord, and stood in front of Ekress-sama and Gingus-sama.
“With this 90% of everything will end. We can finally end this affair.”
“You…. don’t you hate me? The one who locked you up was, Ore-sama. Why can you go so far?”
Hmm, now that he says it, that is true.
“Please let me hit you once later, I had thought but that’s not very like me. It’s because the payback given by Ganglabe-san and the others was enough.”
“Shuri-kun. I think it’s strange too. Like, why can you go so far”
“I can only cook you know? Everything else is your job. Besides….”
I looked at Gann-san.
Right now, Gann-san was giving instructions to his spy subordinates. For the sake of a certain thing that I had asked for.
“It’s because I owe a favour to Gann-san. The reason why my jail lifestyle wasn’t too painful, is thanks to Gann-san. This is the repayment for that.”
“No, even then…..”
I made a promise.
“If you don’t clean up this problem, you couldn’t leave this territory even when you want to right?”
“Like I said, aren’t you coming with me?”
Ekress-sama was astonished. (TL: （ ゜Д゜）
“I mean, you said in the jail that you wanted to quit being successor and come.
Was that a lie?”
Eh? Why is she laughing?
“That’s true. We did make that kind of promise. I think it’s already impossible though”
“Why impossible? Ahh, is it because Ganglabe-san heard or something”
“Right. I was careless. If it wasn’t for that, I should’ve been able to go though”
“It’s not like there’s a problem even if he heard?”
“Shuri, it’s a big problem”
Ganglabe-san came and grabbed a tight hold on my head.
Are? It looks like he’s smiling but, I can feel an aura like that of a lions….?
“This person, tried to join into our comrades acting innocent. Additionally, she’s a person on the side of those who arrested Shuri but, the reason she gave is because she didn’t want her own position.
Like we can let such a person become our comrade”
AAAAAAHHHHH, the grinding caaaaameeee…..!?
“No buts. I won’t approve of her.”
“Ehh, can’t you do something about-”
“OWOWOWOW, IT’LL BREAK IT’LL BREAK. Various things will end up spouting out. From the gap, something flesh-coloured will end up leaking”
“Fufu, it’s good that you seem happy”
“Right? You should definitely come OWOWOWWOWOWOW”
“Are you still saying that you moron”
After that, with cooperation from everyone of Ganglabe-san’s subordinates, we had them move the pots in the kitchen.
“How is it the setup? Ahrius-san”
“It’s coming along smoothly Shuri. There’s no need to worry. Since the rest is Ganglabe and the Feudal Lord’s job.”
Right now, we are in the plaza of the town around the castle.
We moved all the pots, setting them up from the plaza to the connecting road.
And currently I, together with Ahrius-san am serving up the Motsunabe from the pot, distributing it to the people of the town.
“Oi, can this completely red dish be eaten?”
The townspeople have their doubts and are coming to ask.
“This is a hot pot made with red choy”
“Oh that. Indeed, if you put that into soup, the colour will move. However, it’s also rare for it to smell this good.”
“Right? Since I used a pig’s internal organs”
“O-organs!? Is this stomach!?”
They were extremely scared.
No good, if this continues they won’t eat it.
“Come now, first you donn”
Despite that I directly put it in his mouth.
While the townsperson-san was surprised, he also tried to vomit but…..
Biting it, he changed his actions slightly.
“…..This, is good. I had thought organs and such were unthinkable but….”
“It’s slightly spicy and the texture is interesting right?”
“Indeed…. even though there’s a chewy, firm texture, the flavour of the meat is there”
Townsperson-san accepts the plate from my hands as if he was s.n.a.t.c.hing it away, rapidly eating it.
“I see… this is a dish with just the right amount of spiciness of the red choy and the meaty flavour of the organs. You can enjoy the deliciousness of the cabbage as well as the bean sprouts as it soaks up the flavour. The taste of the chives is also good. Without this it seems it’ll have a heavy taste.
However I don’t understand. The base of this dish, the soup. What is this? Something made of meat and vegetables…. no, just vegetables? No, I don’t know….”
“Distributing Motsunabe~ A dish which you can enjoy with that sort of taste”
Seeing the sight of one person eating it like it’s good, it seems the other people also let down their guards.
Accepting it one by one, they were eating it like it was delicious.
“However, you did a drastic thing, didn’t you. Shuri”
Without stopping her hands, Ahrius-san was laughing while amazed.
“Exhausting and consuming the main a.s.sets of the first and second prince’s faction, their food, making a situation where they cannot continue to fight any longer.
Additionally, amongst the soldiers that we had oppressed, deciding that those who were under the influences of the legal wife were to be arrested and punished.
Because in the end, all the reason for fighting ended up being forced onto the legal wife.”
Hahaha, even I slightly thought I overdid it.
Hearing the conversation, in the end, the legal wife’s ambition and jealous heart had caused pain to the Feudal Lord.
It ended up throwing Gann-san, Ekress-sama, and Gingus-sama’s fate out of order.
And then taking advantage of the uproar, running away, abandoning her husband, child, subordinates, everything.
Even trash have their limits right.
Despite this we ended up deciding to push all the responsibility onto her at just the right time.
She’s not here and or perhaps I should say she’s the ringleader so, I thought it’s alright.
Around the time when the Feudal Lord stated his opinion.
“I see. Like this, my wife can’t return even if she wanted to.”
and accepted it happily.
Just how much did he hate her? It’s suitable, that.
Right now, on top of the plaza’s stage that Riru-san made, the Feudal Lord and Ganglabe-san were, shall I say addressing or perhaps, awarding.
Pushing the blame for the cause of this time’s scandal to the legal wife.
Gingus-sama and Ekress-sama were trying to do something about that, however because of the subordinates under her influence, they couldn’t take action.
Ganglabe-san and the others set everyone free with their full-frontal breakthrough.
Celebrating that, with the ringleader gone, deciding to treat everyone to a celebratory cooking, and blessing the new and born again territory.
We spread a made up story from the so called person involved, 「What an opportunistic story! How dare you, making up a story like that」.
And then, as a reward for resolving that incident, he is being bestowed land and a medal.
Although I say that, it seems that the Feudal Lord is thinking that they can no longer manage the land.
Well, according to the person himself.
“The castle’s elites were defeated by just five people? I have no face too, it’s probably time for me to retired as well.”
So he says.
Basically, Gingus-sama is practically being the heir of the territory, and seems to be directed under Ganglabe-san.
“Shuri-kun, shall I help over here?”
Since earlier, she has left her post and has been coming over here.
Each time, Ganglabe-san would be launching a terrifying aura over here. It’s scary.
“No, please distribute the dish at your post. It’s not finished right. Since I used a considerable amount.”
“I am not only distributing the dish, I’m handing out condiments. Since I’m a little free, I came over. It’s made nicely huh, this Sky Onion.”
Ekress-sama looked at the ma.s.ses.
Yes, when I made the Motsunabe, I took the opportunity and made condiments with sky onions.
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