Alright, my apologies for any confusion, but I’m pretty sure I have finally figured it out. There is the women only area where Lily Garden is, and there is the men’s only area where the casino and men’s bath is. Cross Town is the area between the two where all these new shops are opening up. Since the author gets specific in the weirdest places and then vague in others, I wish they had a visual map that would just make this all so much easier.
“The drawing inside the store looks something like this.”
“More customers might come nya.”
“If it’s too wide, it might delay the food being delivered.”
“That’s troublesome nya.”
“By the way, where were you planning on selling the pudding?”
“The dango were delicious too.”
“Because dango are Wisdom’s specialty, it would be a problem if they were to suddenly be sold in Warren.”
“So where will we sell the pudding?”
“For the time being, grilled fish is best nya.”
“I wonder if we should brand the pork buns¹ with our flag?”
“Dango are no good?”
“What about the pudding?”
“Sweet and salty pork buns would sell well.”
When these girls start talking about food, their usual personalities fly off somewhere, and it is difficult for anyone to get a word in. What’s more, because nobody is really listening to what other people have to say, the conversation ends up getting more and more derailed.
“Right now we are talking about the food shop Katie’s friend will be opening, everyone understands that right?”
“I am aware.”
“But the dango is regrettable.”
“What about the pork buns?”
“I just want to know where the pudding will be sold.”
“Steamed chicken would also be delicious, and thinking about it is making me hungry nya.”
Ellis gave up.
She realized now it was stupid of her to try and get everyone together to do this. She should have had Claire here to talk about construction and then one or two others to bounce ideas off of.
While the four’s arguments over food-talk continued to blossom, Ellis sat behind all of them scrubbing Pi-tan down until the other girls tuckered themselves out.
The return trip from Wisdom to Marsfield went smoothly.
After arriving safely, the girls found an inn to stay for the night, and Ellis’s group walked to the Marsfield castle on foot.
“Ah, so you’ve returned safely then?”
The Duke showed as much dignity as ever upon welcoming them back, but there was one thing different from his usual greeting.
There was no Mirei standing next to him.
Since it was rude to touch upon the same topic twice, Ellis pretended to not notice Mirei’s absence and made a detailed report about what had happened in Wisdom.
“Hmm, so even Alphonse wasn’t sure about the magic used in Warren?”
“They had ideas, but he and the principal both thought they might be able to pull up some new information if they looked over records from the first Demon/God war.”
“I see. Then I’ll give them some time and see what can be dug up.”
And then Duke Marsfield turned the talks towards Claire.
“And were you allowed to meet with Ares and Izerina?”
“Yes, and they even taught me some new magic.”
“Well that is good, but I must admit I am surprised to not see them with you. Are they not returning to Warren?”
“No, they said they would remain in Wisdom and help research what had happened in Warren. Father said he would definitely report back as soon as he found something!”
The Duke narrowed his eyes slightly and watched Claire closely. Most likely, he probably saw Claire as part of his problem since he was never able to talk the king out of his extreme methods of holding the magician’s captive.
“By the way, we met with the Brave Party in Wisdom too.” Ellis decided to report this as well just in case.
The Duke’s response was one of obvious displeasure.
“Does something worry you?”
“Ah, they are, they have made some achievements. Even though it took months for them to discover where the Demon Lord’s castle was.”
It could be called a collected response, but then the Duke muttered under his breath a little louder than he probably intended and with a lot more spite in his voice than before.
“We’ve already invested over a billion ril into them, but they’ve still only done this much. What in the world are they using it all for?”
Hearing this Ellis started to squirm a little where she stood. Over 100 million of that was funds she had tricked them out of, but that was a secret she didn’t feel like revealing.
“What does your Lordship think about the Hero?”
“The Hero and the thief aside, I am of the opinion that the other three should just be disposed of right now.”
The Duke’s response was immediate, and after voicing it, he gave the girls a small wink to signal that they should keep that part a secret.
With that being said, it is almost impressive how the stupidity of the idiot trio had resonated even in Marsfield like this.
Although Ellis couldn’t help but wonder if this was somehow a trap that Duke Marsfield was placing for them. Nevertheless, a smile spread out across her face.
Noticing it, Reeve leaned over and whispered in Ellis’s ear.
“Mistress, are you up to something again?”
“I won’t do it here.”
“Then why are we still here?”
Ellis looked back towards Reeve’s face and the two shared an evil smile as if they were both two pranksters waiting for the eraser to fall before returning to where they originally stood.
Ellis was always very lively whenever she was planning some mischief for the Hero or the Demon Lord.
But Reeve didn’t dislike that figure. So she decided to remain silent and just enjoy the beauty of Ellis’s smile.
After leaving the Duke’s castle, next on the girls’ list was Mati’s house.
“Mati, nyare you there?”
“Ah, Katie, welcome. Everyone please come inside nya.”
The five girls were ushered into Mati’s house, and after taking a seat, they were finally allowed to learn what had ultimately happened after the assassination incident.
It was true that both Mirei and Anna had been arrested.
Unfortunately, they were both released soon afterwards and sent back to their parents’ homes. Well, for them both to become the brides of Duke Marsfield would mean their families had a suitable standing, so them receiving a severe punishment could have meant problems in the future. There was also the fact that the Duke was an overly caring man. No matter what they had done, disposing of the women he loved would have been an extraordinarily difficult thing for him to do.
The situation with the Thieves’ Guild guild master wasn’t much better. The guild master had resigned as he was instructed. It seemed though that there was nobody suitable to replace him, so he was kept on to make sure the guild continued to run without issue. As things stood, he was still the guild master in all but name.
Ellis was convinced that this was just how the world of adults worked. It was an awful truth for those who had died and their grieving families, but the Duke had to think about the welfare of the city and the country as a whole.
“By the way, when was Mati moving to Warren nya?”
“Katie, I don’t nyo² what steamed cooking is.”
Right, that’s should actually have been expected.
“If so, then how about preparing a steamed dish now for dinner?”
Before anyone had said anything towards Frau’s suggestion, Claire had already pulled out some portable steamers and was getting things prepared.
“That’s right, actually having you cook and eat some would probably be for the best.”
“In that case let’s all go pick out some food together nya.”
So that afternoon was spent with the six of them going to the market. Since this was a spur of the moment decision and they didn’t have too much time to spare, they picked up some already carved white fish, chicken, assorted meats, and a mix of vegetables and mushrooms. After they had enough for a meal, the girls headed back towards Mati’s house and got things started.
For some reason Claire had returned earlier than everyone else, and when the others walked in, they saw her pouring a mixture of milk, sugar, and eggs into cups and steaming them before anything else was prepared.
“It won’t taste good if we don’t give it time to cool.”
Claire was sticking to her pudding until the very end.
Katie took charge of the white fish, Frau the chicken, and Ellis made sure the various meats bought off hunters were all good to go. Reeve stuck to what she knew which was doing the dishes when all the cooking was done.
When the preparations were done, Frau moved to the carriage to work on some sauce for each dish on her own.
Claire followed after her carrying the finished products of her steamed pudding. She looked positively giddy as she carried the cups over to be chilled with the cooling stones.
“Now, it’s time to steam it!”
At Frau’s signal, each of the dishes were put into their own steamer, and in moments the air became rife with an assortment of delicious smells.
“Mati, you should invite Labra too nya.”
Mati had been brought into a trance when all the wonderful smells coming from the steamers hit her nose, but Katie’s suggestion brought her back to reality. Not wanting to be gone too long though, she raced out of her house at top speed and returned almost dragging Labra behind her.
And then everything was finished.
Steamed white fish fillets with a side of vegetables and mushroom bean paste.
Steamed chicken wrapped in leafy green vegetables and a sweet sauce.
Steamed meat slices combined with a sweet bean sauce.
Garnished with some sugar-less crepes made of mushrooms cut into long, thin strips.
Dessert was Claire’s special pudding. She had also whipped up some special caramel as a topping.
“Alright let’s dig in!”
With Ellis’s voice as the catalyst, everyone started devouring whatever they liked on the spread out table.
“Mati, eat lots nya.”
Mati was taken in by the vast assortment of food before her and had a late start in eating.
Labra had heard about what was done to produce everything before her and was amazed at how easy it had all been to prepare.
“So good nya.”
“Mati, are you going to open a shop and sell this nya? Are you good at cooking nya?”
“It’s good, but why doesn’t Katie open a store herself nya?”
“I am busy playing with Ellis nya.”
“But, I don’t have any money to open a store nya.”
That was Ellis’s cue.
“Mati, if you’re motivated, I could finance you and help build the store and buy everything you would need to get started.”
“I would lend you some money. You would pay me back with the money you make from the store.”
“It’s okay nya. I will give you the shop as a present, so give me 10% of your sales nya.”
Ah, Katie was being flashy with her money. Well, Ellis didn’t mind. This was Katie’s friend after all, so it was natural that she would want to help her out. It was a shame that Mati wouldn’t owe her any favors, but Ellis decided to withdraw her business offer.
“Alright, I’ll do my best nya!”
But Labra had been listening in on this talk as well, and when things looked like they were coming to an end, she cried out,
“Can I come too?”
“Of course nya! It would be impossible for one person to run a store alone!”
Flashy Katie struck again. Ellis was starting to wonder if she had rubbed off on Katie too much, and her pet cat was starting to become a playgirl.
Nonetheless, it was decided that a heavy steam restaurant would be opened in Cross Town.
“By the way, who’s going to sell the pudding?”
Claire refused to let some things die.
1. I originally translated this as just Chinese food. It turns out ‘chukaman’ is a specific Chinese dish which the Japanese refer to as ‘nikuman’. We just call them pork buns in English.
2. On the one hand, curse cat-speak. On the other hand, imagining it in English is kinda fun.