Rebirth Online World

Creating, Telling, Sharing Dreams

My Annoying Aura Follows Me Into Another World

Chapter 023 - The Miracle Chef


"That looks pretty good on you.."

"Au, re-really?"

Anna-chan is blushing cutely while twirling around with the dress she's trying on..

"Un, we'll take this one too, please.."

I say to the smiling employee..

We are now shopping for clothes and everyday necessities inside a clothing shop we found while travelling through the business district, the shop was called, "Gemini City Tailoring" which was a pretty simple name, of course..

But it had a variety of selections from underwear to coats for winter, they even do custom-order clothes..

We've been buying everything we saw that we liked like there was no tomorrow..

I think that's why the shop employee-san is in a good mood..

"Hey, how about me, do I look cool like niichan?"

I felt a tug on the back of my coat and turn to see a blond-haired boy with green eyes wearing a black leather coat that seemed to be many sizes bigger than him, it does look amusing but I know he's trying to look like me..

I didn't even choose to look this way, you know?

It's just that they had cool effects, that's the only reason I'm wearing them..

I'm not living my middle-school days again, that's for sure..

Anyway, what Lute-kun is trying to do is so cute, I might faint..

And it made me think for a bit and question how can such a cute child be involved in a war..

But I felt that asking about it now, would be an invasion of privacy, so I restrain myself till he comes and tells me himself together with his sister..

"Haha, you do look like me, but I suggest finding clothes that fit you would be best.."

I pat his head and ruffle his hair a bit while talking..

"Ah, understood niichan!"

After he said that, he ran towards the displays..

Such a cute kid..

Hmm? How did I get these kids to talk to me?

Well, it's quite a long story actually..

What happened was..

I lead the way towards the business district and the two followed behind me..

I had decided to go buy clothes first, not thinking about anything else..

Since I thought, they wouldn't like staying in those rag-clothes for a long period of time..

After a while, I noticed that I was walking too fast, since the two were lagging behind, so I waited for them..

They noticed after a while, and they tried to move faster to catch up..

But when they did, they were out of breath and that was when I heard it..

Pretty loudly in fact..

*Gurururururururururu* 

*Gurururururururururu*

Both stomachs released a howl of hunger and I clearly heard it..

In fact, I think the whole city heard it..

Well, I decided to stop with the jokes and ask them about it..

{"Are you by any chance, hungry?"}

I also noticed that by the time I said this, the sun was already high up in the sky..

Anna-chan didn't say anything but her stomach gave me all the answers I needed..

While Lute-kun slightly nodded his head nervously..

{"Then, let's get something to eat, follow me.."}

Yosh, since this is the perfect time for lunch anyway, let's eat first!

I decided inwardly and held both of their hands and walked slowly until..

We came across a certain restaurant, which I think was called, "Gemini Star Cuisine"

A pristine name like that definitely had good food, or so I thought while entering the establishment..

When we opened the door, we were greeted by the scene of shouting and angry men and women..

The various men and women were dressed in a formal suit and bow-tie and gowns and dresses..

While they seemed to be pretty wealthy, they weren't keeping a noble-like appearance now..

Since they were shouting at a tall man with slick brown hair and a mustache..

He seemed troubled, more so that even sweat gathered at the back of his neck..

Which I caught sight of with my enhanced eyesight for no particular reason..

There were people in white clothes and aprons repeatedly bowing to the wealthy men and women behind him..

While the tall man was trying to appease the angry crowd..

So, since I might as well, I walk up to the tall man and ask him what was with the situation..

{"Ah, you see, were in a bit of a bind here, our chefs suddenly got afflicted with the disease that has been recently surrounding the city, "Red Slime Disease", do you know of it?"}

{"Ah, no, since I just came into this town yesterday.."}

{"Is that so, well anyway, due to the disease, our chefs got taken to the church to get healed but since there was still no record of someone getting healed from "Red Slime Disease", we decided to put in a request at the guild even though it's futile and close the restaurant for the time being, but our regular customers said, they won't have any of it, and started to complain about it saying irresponsible things like, "Do something about it!" or "Where am I going to eat now?" and things such as that.."}

{"Ah, so you didn't hire a new chef in the meantime?"}

{"Yes, well, our chefs were the best in town with their cooking skill at an intermediate level, so there weren't any applicants who fit the job description..(sigh)"}

Normally, I would have got out of there and looked for another place to eat..

But, I saw something in the tall man's eyes that seemed like my Master's..

That determination to not settle for mediocre food, and to only serve the best meals to others..

For it will be insulting to them, to the customers, and for their pride..

So I decided to remedy the situation..

"Um, I might not be of much help, but can I try cooking something for them for now?"

The tall man's atmosphere suddenly changed..

From a troubled middle-aged man into someone who is a professional in what they do..

He looked at me and took my hands and stared at them with bloodshot eyes..

Scary..

{"Fumu, these hands seem to have experience in the kitchen.."}

You can tell?

{"You can tell?"}

Oops, my thoughts were so spontaneous, it slipped out..

{"Of course, let me introduce myself, I am the owner of this restaurant, Jim Paxon.."}

{"Ah, Orion, Orion Fullbringer, nice to meet you.."}

{"Well then, Orion-san, if you want to help, I need to know to what extent, you can cook a dish.."}

He's all fired up..

I can sense his aura getting hotter..

Oh, this? it's called [Aura Sense], it's a skill that allows me to somehow sense the other party's emotions through aura..

Huh.. The entire restaurant seemed to have become silent..

I look around and see all eyes on me and the tall man, Jim-san..

Is it that big of a deal, what he said?

{"Ah, sure, how are you going to judge me?"}

{*Chuckle* Judge, no, I will be your opponent!"}

Eh?

{"Meaning?"}

{"Ah, I was once a gourmet chef back in my heyday, I made various delicate foods of different ingredients but with smaller portions with the utmost care and got recognized for it, but since it became a drawback to cook in my ways, I decided to just watch over the restaurant by hiring capable chefs to cook more efficiently.."}

A life story, where is this going, exactly?

{"And so, I would like to compete against you in a "Cooking Match" to see if you are fit to even step into the kitchen in this place, because if you're just an amateur that wants to experience cooking, you can leave right now, since we don't need your pity, but if you really are confident, you better have the skills to prove it!"}

He points his finger in my face with burning vigor..

The men and women start to gather around and..

*Gasp*

They start to be in awe in front of Jim-san's spirit..

Well, it did fire me up a little, since I wanted to know how my skill compares with other competition..

{"I accept your challenge!"}

I said while opening my right palm and stretching it in front of him in a "talk to the hand" pose and simultaneously covered my eye-patch..

Ah, why did I do this?

Is this an automatic setting of the equipment?

Or was I just that excited to compete with Jim-san..

I don't know, but for now, I look at the elf children behind me and they seemed to forget their hunger for a bit and started to look here with wide eyes..

Children do seem to love conflict no matter which world it is..

After I said my reluctant acceptance, a bell rang..

{"Here it is, one of "Gemini Star Restaurant's Cooking Showdown"!!!"}

*OOOOOOHHHHHHH*

A woman wearing white clothes and an apron with flaxen colored hair starts announcing to the crowd in a loud voice..

And the peanut gallery responds in kind with heated expressions..

And wasn't it a "Cooking Match"? 

When did it turn into a showdown?

I sigh in my head and turn to the tall man and find that various kitchen utensils had been prepared while I was drifting off into my thoughts..

There were pans, ladles, pots, charcoal, [Fire Stones], and various ingredients mixed in..

{"Now, everything has been prepared! Let's start the showdown!"}

The woman informs the crowd and they are all caught up in the pace..

Those angry voices from earlier seemed like a lie now..

I take my place at one side with a table and all the things needed prepared for me..

And Jim-san stands at the opposite one..

{"Now, let me introduce to you, our judges for today!"}

She points toward a long white table in front with three people sitting on three luxurious chairs..

{"Our first judge, is one of our very own servers, and the restaurant idol, Marielle-chan!"}

*OOOOOOHHHHHHH*

The screams of admiration fill the room..

But mostly from men..

The person called Marielle-chan is a woman with silky blonde hair, skin white as snow, and pretty features..

I can see why they call her an idol..

She waves to the crowd, and the cheers get even louder..

But still, mostly from the men..

{"Introducing our second judge, a noble from the house of Novalis, Earl Pricei Novalis!"}

*Kyaaaaaaaaaa*

A shrill scream of admiration comes from the women this time..

In regards to the handsome earl with curly brown hair with a handsome face..

I'm not jealous.. I'm not jealous..

{"And our final judge, our mystery customer, Gourmet Mask-sama!"}

What...

A masked stranger addressed with sama?

I mean, how does she even eat with that mask on?

Ah, I can't even read this person..

{"The judges will rate your dish in a score form starting from 0 to 10.."}

Ah, it's like this..

{"Furthermore, it is not decided by the total number of points, but whoever has a higher score for each judge!"}

Eh, the level just got more difficult?

{"Now that the rules are said, let's begin!"}

She signals without further warning and Jim-san starts preparing his ingredients..

Ah, so troublesome, she just said begin out of nowhere..

Well, let's let it go and start cooking..

Now, what do I make out of these ingredients..

Hmm? Ah, that's it!

I decide my dish after a moment, and start preparing..

First, I mold the wheat and flour with different spices and cut them into long thin strips after it sets..

Then, I make a broth made with meat base, garlic, pepper, vegetables, and other spices..

I take the meat and season it heavily with some of the salt I brought with me..

I cut it into strip-pieces and cover them with breading I made out of flour and other ingredients..

After I was done, I light the flame with the [Fire Stone] and simmer the soup broth placing a lid on it..

While the water was boiling, I took out the pans and spread sesame oil around the inside of the pans..

I wait for the soup to boil and when it did, I place the "noodles" inside the broth to let it cook..

After I hear the sizzle of the oil being heated up, I placed the breaded meat on the pans one by one carefully..

While letting it cook, I chop up some vegetables and onions to bring flavor onto the meat while frying...

I spread it around the pan so the meat can absorb its nutrients and umami juices..

Plus, it made the meat lighter and softer..

After I heard the pot's sound signalling that it was done cooking, I took out three ceramic bowls for soup and pour the broth into them and at the same time, place the noodles at the center..

When it was done, I put the cooked meat slices over the noodles and made it stand upright slightly leaning on each other, resulting in a clean presentation of only the top part of the meat showing outside the broth..

When that was done, I placed various toppings from vegetables and spices to make it look complete...

And after about 10-20 minutes, I finished..

I wipe the sweat off my forehead and saw that everyone was looking at me..

Even Jim-san who I think finished earlier than me..

They all have a strange look on their faces..

I wondered what was wrong and was about to speak up when..

{"Okay! Now that both competitors are finished, please present your dishes to the judges!"}

Everyone seemed to have snapped out of it..

And they started to cheer and await the judging portion of the ending competition..

{"Ah, I'll go first, if you don't mind"}

He looks towards me for permission..

{"Sure, go ahead, but there's no need to ask you know? You did finish earlier after all.."}

{".."}

I was met with silence as he walked towards the table with a tray of plates..

I wonder what's wrong with him..

The judges look at the plates in front of them and each showed a different reaction..

{"This looks delicious!"}

Marielle-chan said with a smile on her face with a tone of expectation..

{"This, is this what I think it is?"}

The Earl beckons toward Jim-san and asks..

{"Ah, yes, it is my signature dish, Gourmet Herb Boar Meat.."}

Wow, he used his signature dish against me?

Now, I'm starting to get nervous..

I mean, it does look appetizing, with the black lines on the steak with the spicy aroma of herbs fill the nostrils, and the overall plating of the dish looks very professional, as you'd expect from someone who owns a restaurant..

{"Ah, I see! Well then, this is a pleasant surprise, I'm glad I came today!"}

The Earl says in a tone filled with gratitude with a bit of drool escaping his lips..

But he noticed it and wiped it off skillfully without anyone to see him..

Well, anyone except me..

{"...."}

The "Masked Stranger" nods approvingly and is preparing her fork just waiting to stab into the meat..

{"Please, enjoy"}

Jim-san said in a courteous manner..

After those words were spoken, they took their knives and forks and ate their first bite..

They had a satisfied look on their faces and broke into a grin..

They ate some more till there was none left on the plate..

And that masked person, suddenly her food disappeared from the plate!

I didn't sense anything at all!

How did he/she eat it in such a short amount of time?

Oops, now's not the time for that..

They seem to be inputting their scores on a piece of paper..

{"Well then, judges, what do you have to say!"}

Mariele-chan raises her scoreboard and said..

{"It was delicious, as I would expect from owner!"}

She raised a perfect 10..

While the earl was..

{"It satisfied my tastebuds and my appetite, nothing less than perfect for this dish!"}

The same score of 10..

"..."

The masked person didn't say anything and raised her scoreboard, written on it was..

The number nine..

{"Oh, Gourmet Mask-sama rated the dish a 9! So close, but still a wonderful score, as expected from owner-san!"}

They all seem to call Jim-san, owner, well it's understandable..

But how high must the masked stranger's standards be to give a nine in contrast with the other judges..

Well, I guess it's my turn now..

I carry the three bowls on a tray and walk towards the table..

I place each bowl in front of them and wait..

{""So, what is this supposed to be?"" "..."}

Both judges ask in unison while the third judge just stared at it..

Well, I guess it's a good time as any..

{"Well, let me introduce you, to a dish from my hometown!"}

They wait in anticipation in response to my confident words..

While I open the covered bowls and release the hot air from within..

{"My Improvised Tonkotsu Ramen!"}

I introduce the dish while steam seeps through out into the open air from the bowl..

{"I've never seen this strange dish before.."}

{"Neither have I.."}

{"........"}

The masked one nods once..

{"Well, just try it for now, and when you eat it, use the utensils to bring both the soup with noodles and the meat and vegetables into your mouth together, since it will bring a complete flavor to your mouth.."}

They reacted strangely to my words just now..

{"Together? Well, the soup does smell really good.."}

{"Indeed, it is a very peculiar aroma.."}

{"...."}

It is normally supposed to be eaten with chopsticks but since it is not spread throughout this world, I'll refrain from saying it, since I would cause a huge uproar if the information got out..

{"Well then, please dig in!"}

I say excitedly to the judges and they start to pick up their utensils and bring the food to their mouth..

And I couldn't see it clearly, but the food disappeared when it almost came in contact with the mask..

How peculiar..

After a few moments, it got really quiet all of a sudden..

When I look towards the judges and their faces looked stiff as it had been hit by a lightning bolt..

Except the masked one, which I couldn't tell the expression of..

Was it that bad? I thought to myself..

But the next moment, they started moving again..

Shoveling the noodles, soup, vegetables, and meat into their mouths like they were starving..

In a minute, the three bowls were licked clean..

And after, the judges stood up and carried their bowls with them..

And said in front of me..

{""Can I have seconds?"" "...."}

They seemed to be forcing me with their eyes..

So I poured another helping onto each of them..

And I noticed some of the peanut gallery were drooling and gulping..

Well, it's fine, I'm glad to know that they liked it..

{"Sure, here you go!"}

I said with a smile and then they turned back to their table and sat down and ate once more..

After a few minutes, they gave their verdict..

{"This flavor, so delicious, I can't get enough of it.."}

Marielle-chan says while holding up a 10 with a heart sign on it..

{"I can never forget this taste for the rest of my life.."}

The Earl exaggerates while holding up a 10 written in gigantic letters..

{".......*Thumbs up*........"}

And finally, Gourmet Mask-sama presents a thumbs up to me simultaneously holding up a 10 scoreboard..

{"A-amazing!, a perfect score for a perfect win, the winner for this time's Cooking Showdown is.. Orion-san!"

*OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH*

Cheers of admiration fill the restaurant..

I had a grin plastered on my face at that moment..

Then someone patted my shoulder..

When I turned around, it was actually Jim-san..

{"I underestimated you, I never thought there was a different kind of way in cooking a dish, It seems I still have a lot to learn about the food business, you win, Orion-san, no, Chef Orion Fullbringer"}

Jim-san slightly bows to me and called me a chef..

I put on a wry smile in response and said.. 

{"Thanks, Jim-san.."}

He smiles at me and said..

{"Well then, I guess it's time for lunch, huh? Will you do us the honor of cooking your dish for the customers?"}

{"I don't see why not, but could I also cook for my companions, they still haven't eaten yet.."}

{"Sure, those children can eat for free, don't worry about it.."}

{"Okay, let's do this then!"}

{"Right!"}

I started cooking soon after, I served the aristocratic-looking customers and they were delighted when they tasted the noodles and meat mixed together in a broth while giving praises to me and some asking for the recipe for them to give to their personal cooks, and a few tried to recruit me into their house as a cook but naturally, I refused..

When both Anna-chan and Lute-kun tasted my dish, they thought it was the best dish they had ever eaten and started to eat more and more until each had at least five bowls..

The gluttonous elves thanked me for the first time and started to open up to me while helping with kitchen work..

I was happy since I knew if you want someone to open up to you, you have to sate their stomach first..

At the end of the work shift, I was dead tired because more and more people came in droves and ordered my dish since it became popular and they started to call me incomprehensible things like, "Miracle Chef!" but I didn't have enough time to talk back and get rid of their wild delusions..

When we were done, it was at the time of late afternoon, the owner, Jim-san thanked us for the good work and offered to pay us, but I declined since I was in no need of money as of now..

But he persisted so I negotiated with him, that I can get to drop by and use the kitchen once and a while and eat for free..

He had a face saying "Is that it?" but he soundly agreed to my proposition..

When we left, we headed to the business district with full stomachs and tired faces..

We talked on the way there and I found out information about them like..

How Anna-chan is 11 and Lute-kun is 9 years of age..

They seemed to have made grim faces whenever I hinted at their family so I reluctantly kept my mouth shut about it..

And when we made it to the clothing shop, they made a questioning glance but..

Their faces automatically lit up when they tried on new clothes..

Which brings us back to the present..

Anyway, while I was reminiscing, both Anna and Lute have finished picking out their underwear and clothes so I paid for them, in total, 1 gold coin, so we carried what we could back to the inn and told the shop employee to deliver it to that address for one silver coin, she happily agreed and said it would be delivered by tomorrow..

So I lead the way passing through various food stalls where we stopped a bit to buy meat-skewers which tasted good by the way, and walked all the way to the giant inn where I stayed at..

The two seemed wide-eyed at the size, same as the first time I came here, well, even until now..

We enter and I pay for food and room expenses to the receptionist for them to add another bed into the large room..

They said they would be fine sleeping on the floor, but I wouldn't allow it..

I payed 5 silver coins for the total cost and took the room key and went up to my room..

We entered and let the staff move a bed from somewhere into the room and placed it right next to mine..

We thanked them and I gave them a large copper coin each which delighted the staff and I closed the door behind us..

"You both can sleep there, good night!"

"Un, thanks.."

"Thank you niichan! Let's sleep, Ann-neechan, I'm really tired.."

"Ah, sure.."

I doze off while listening to the two's soft voices which are trying to be considerate in not waking me up..

How nice, having siblings..

I dreamt about Kate-neesan that night but I didn't remember it when I woke up the next day..