I run into some trouble finding ingredients for a time. It’s quite slow to inspect each stall individually for something you have never seen before. Thankfully many of the merchants were kind and pointed me in the correct direction. Though I felt that some treated me as some kind of lost child. Given our budget, I could only afford a very select amount of ingredients, unfortunately. The Geralt root, salt, and water were all cheap enough, but purification powder was incredibly expensive.
I suppose that must have been why so many of the vendors grimaced when I mentioned the recipe. It seems like the supply has run a bit short in the time since that was written. Nevertheless, I managed to get enough to experiment with, as well as a mortar and pestle. I thought for sure it would be the most expensive thing I had to buy, but it was surprisingly cheap. I went to several alchemy stands and they were practically giving them away. Perhaps because there were other more complicated tools that sold for much higher.
In the initial recipe, Purification powder was “to taste” wasn’t it? Since that’s the case let’s try our first batch without any.
I begin by grinding down the Geralt root into a fine powder with the mortar and pestle I purchased earlier.
I expected it to turn into a paste, but it just seemed to crumble as I ground it down. Is this dried? Or is that just how the root is naturally?
I take out a gold plated bowl from my inventory that I took from the castle, making sure nobody sees me do so. I had planned to sell it, but it looked cheap in comparison to some of the other stuff we took and I enjoy the look of it. Though perhaps I should be more financially minded considering how little money we have left…
I mix together the water, salt, and Geralt root together in the bowl. As the ingredients mix together the Geralt root powder begins to become more viscous and slowly becomes a single mass of goop. It resembles bread dough. It still doesn’t look very appetizing though, so I decided to knead it and see if I can separate it into small balls like the book instructed.
A failure, huh? I suppose I should stick to the recipe more strictly. More importantly, my hatred for the flavor text of this world is slowly building.
I don’t really have any real gauge for the quality level though… who knows what it measures? Taste, recipe, rareness, additional effects? There are all kinds of things that it could be accounting for. Even if I make something with a higher level, without knowing what’s bad about this I won’t really be able to progress. I guess… I should eat one.
I’ve not had bad tasting food for all long as I can remember, I don’t feel like I’m prepared for it at all. Regardless I pinch my nose and throw one into my mouth, chewing as quickly as I can.
I can help but let out a sound in my surprise. They actually taste good. Not quite as good as the stuff I made with the princess, but better than most things I’ve been fed.
How can this be 5% quality? Does that mean that even my potential for cooking is ridiculous? Maybe I should aim to be a legendary cook… if I can’t get humans to trust me, then I will just make food so irresistible that they can’t stand to get rid of me.
I notice a few people give me odd looks as they pass and notice me laughing to myself, but I pay them little mind. What’s the point in a sense of humor if you can’t laugh at your own jokes?
Changing gears back to the snacks I begin to grind up more Geral root. After I finish I begrudgingly pull out the purification powder.
It feels plain wrong to use this stuff for cooking. It’s like seasoning a meal with pure money. Honestly, its smell and look doesn’t give me the impression that it will taste much better either. Still, it would forever haunt me if a delicious snack eluded me because I was too much of a miser.
I mix the ingredients as I did before, this time adding in a few pinches of purification powder. As the book said it would, the mixture turns pink, and its texture becomes more solid than before. It holds its shape so well that balling it up almost seems unnecessary. One could simply pluck a portion of it from the mass and eat it easily enough. I suppose they did so to prevent people from eating too much since it’s supposed to be so filling.
20%? That means it’s 4x tastier than the one before it right? Doesn’t this also have additional effects? It looks like I’m really going to need to stock up on these in the future. On that note, I wonder if there are healing potions and the like as well? It seems more cost effective to simply learn restorative magic, but if I can learn to craft those as well perhaps I can sell them.
“Bottoms up!” I say excitedly as I toss the ball into my mouth
“URGH! Ptew! That’s disgusting!” I yell out spitting the horrid snack out of my mouth
I down half of the water I bought attempting to get the taste out of my mouth before I think to chew on another Geralt ball.
How precisely is that meant to be good?! It somehow felt slimy and crunchy at the same time, with an incredibly bitter taste that instantly spread across my entire tongue! Rancid!
“Oi! Mano! I’m glad I found y-” Kiel calls out as he runs up to me from around a nearby corner
Without much more than a second thought I shoved one directly into his mouth.
I’m genuinely upset that my tasty treat turned out to be such a horrid creation. I regret not having a taste tester nearby in the first place. I’m certainly not going to be the only one to suffer just because of some old cook’s horrible recipe.
“Mm! This is great Mano! Where did you buy these?!” He says with a delighted expression
“…I made them. They don’t taste… odd to you or anything?” I ask as I stare at him in disbelief
Surely he wouldn’t down one of those things just to spite me right? I could hardly keep my lunch down just putting one in my mouth.
“You did?! So you can cook after all! Wait… were you trying to poison the Yuusha with that stuff before?” He asks uncomfortably after praising the snack ardently
“No! Your tongue is just messed up!” I let out angrily
I had forgotten how much they insulted my cooking before. Is it really possible that things taste differently to us though? Maybe the Maou has the taste of a monster rather than a human… Only one way to find out. I still have another guinea pig, I wouldn’t mind suffering a bit.
“Oh! Before I forget, that old guy is looking for you. Says he wants you to get back to training. Did you skip or something?” Kiel ask as he eats another
Isn’t one of those supposed to be the equivalent of a meal? Is Kiel another big eater?
“Thanks for telling me, I was going to head there after this anyways… Here. You can have the rest if you share some with Kera.” I say handing Kiel the gold bowl full of the foul pink snack
“Really?! Sweet! I’ll share with everyone!” He says with a smile taking it from me
“No!… Only Kera. I want to know how she reacts in detail later.” I explain
Aside from the fact that I don’t care to make anyone else possibly suffer, everyone else is undeniably not human. Unfortunately, they have a higher chance of it tasting horribly than she does.