TNZKMA 36

 36

Who was that big brother? Why does he know so much about Ceremonies? I go home with hazy feelings.

Even if what that big brother said is true, I think I cannot tell Saine about it. Because it’s like being scammed. The Ceremony was performed even though it was expected to fail, it spectacularly failed and I came out, and Saine’s money was taken despite all that.

I definitely can’t tell him that, can I?

 

Hmm, As I was being distressed about it, Saine came home. I was startled as he was earlier than usual and he opened the door so suddenly. I was shocked that I accidentally threw the pumpkin in my hands.

 

[We, welcome back……]

[What are you panicking about?]

 

Saine’s black eyes stare at me.

I’m familiar with it yet I’m not used to it. It feels as if Saine’s eyes can see through everything when he looks at me so I always end up talking about things that I don’t have to tell him.

 

[Uhm, you see, I went to the square today.]

 

Ahh, it’s the most important thing that I can’t tell him. I hurriedly closed my mouth but got reproached by Saine.

 

[The square? You mean the central square?]

[No no! I didn’t go that far. I only went to the Eastern square.]

 

Saine’s eyebrows knit closer and closer.

 

[Did you go alone?]

[That’s right.]

 

Okay, Saine nodded with glazed eyes. 

Scary…… Did I just step on another landmine?

 

[Don’t go out alone too much.]

 

Saine takes a seat after heaving a sigh.

 

Could it be that he’s worried about me? The grannies don’t go out alone. Their Husband or children keep them company even in the Reincarnators Association. There are times when the grannies walk together in a group, but apparently, they can never go out alone. It’s forbidden by all husbands anywhere.

I wonder if Saine is also saying that? But I’m a man. Besides, I’ve gone to the Reincarnators Association, Men’s Club, and the market alone until now so, it’s too late for that now, I thought and laughed,

 

[It’s okay. Besides, I’m a man.]

[As if there’s anyone who’ll look at you and think that you’re a man.]

 

Being told that unhappily, I pout in anger.

I may not have a good physique and appear childish, but I’m still a man, okay?

 

[Fetching water every day, I have gotten stronger, too.]

 

Look, when I bent my arm and showed him my developed biceps, Saine also did the same pose and flexed his biceps. (TN: That’s cute, ehehe)

It, it’s huge.

 

[Ugh…… Bu, but it’s okay. No one will assault another man.]

 

When I ‘Wahaha’ed in laughter, he sighed again.

 

[Why did you go to the square? There’s nothing there.]

[Yeah, there was none. You see, I was wondering if there are any stores there I went to take a look.]

[Stores? Is there something you want?]

[I wanted some sugar. I thought that you’ll get tired of having only salt and pepper as seasonings.]

[If it’s sugar, we have it here.]

[……Where?]

 

I’ve never seen even the Northeastern market selling sugar. Thinking that there are no such things as sweets since it’s a world with only men, I gave up. But the recipe I learned today contains sugar and realized that to not be the case. Sugar, where do they sell it?

Saine leaves his seat and goes out to the garden. And then he stood in front of a tree.

 

[This is sugar.]

He hits the tree trunk without batting an eyelid.

[Huh? This?]

Saine tore a leaf and brought it to my mouth. I cautiously bit it when he told me to try it and the sweet sap spreads inside my mouth.

[You can simply chop it up to use it.]

 

So the thing that I’ve been looking for has always been in front of me.

I looked up at the tree.

 

 

Putting off the recipe with the sugar tomorrow, I’m going to make the pumpkin soup. I knead the wheat flour with water, turn it into dumplings, and drop them into the soup.

 

[So, you only looked at the square and then came back?]

 

Saine spoke to me while drinking alcohol in the back. Recently, I think he has been talking to me often. At first, I thought he was generally taciturn and would only respond through his nose but our conversations increased as he got used to me.

 

[There’s a fountain, right? I took a look at it.]

 

White dumplings were floating here and there as I stirred the soup. Alright, it’s getting cooked. I added some salt after tasting it a little.

 

[There was nothing special right?]

[Yeah. There was only a fountain there but…… oh, that’s right. An incredibly handsome brother was swimming there.]

 

He was completely soaked, though. Recalling that appearance, I ‘ahaha’ed in laughter. In the end, what was that big brother doing?

 

[Handsome, brother?]

When his low voice reverberated in my head and I looked back, Saine was standing right behind me.

[Uwaah! You scared me. What’s up? The food still needs some time.]

 

Saine is intently staring down at me.

Although Saine has black eyes like me, I think Saine’s black color has a darker shade. It’s completely black. Maybe it’s because of that that when he becomes expressionless and stares at me quietly, it’s extremely terrifying.

 

Is he so hungry that he resorts to silent coercion? Even though it’s not yet done, I put some soup in a small dish and nervously held it out to Saine.

Without taking his eyes off me, Saine silently drinks the soup.

Just then, the look on his eyes changed. A small star was born amidst the complete darkness. His eyes sure are honest. Uh-huh, I understand. It’s delicious, right? That.

When it comes to cooking stew, it’s truly best to ask those who live in the Northern Countries. This recipe is from the former Russian, Granny Tanya.

When I asked for parts that they don’t use on a market stall that sells a lot of chicken meat, I was given chicken bones. The people in this world eat meat but they throw the bones away. The grannies were also laughing, saying that it would have been delicious if made into a soup.

A soup that’s made from a lot of chicken bones is naturally delicious. Granny’s recipe wasn’t pumpkin but it was so easy that I cooked it with pumpkin. But, I’m glad. Pumpkins are tasty, you know?

 

Saine turns his eyes away from me and to the pot.

[Sorry. Please wait just a bit longer. I’m still cooking the dumplings.]

 

Pumpkin soup isn’t enough to fill the stomach so I tried adding wheat flour dumplings. This is Granny Haru’s idea. Apparently, it’s called dumpling soup. We’re having this soup and bread today.

 

 

[…… What happened to that man?]

 

I was in the middle of relishing in the deliciousness of the dumpling and soup that I missed what Saine said.

While heartily eating, Hm? pitch-black eyes are staring at me intently.

 

[Huh? Ah, sorry. Uh, what was it again?]

[…… The handsome, brother.]

 

Somehow, I feel that the word ‘handsome’ was being emphasized. Is Saine also interested in building connections with other people?

 

[The brother was in the fountain. He looked like he was looking for something so I asked him if I could help, but it seemed to be an unnecessary concern.]

[Is that all?]

[That’s all.]

 

I consciously pretend to be calm. I find Saine to be pretty discerning. His black eyes are especially unshakable. Being stared at intensely by these, my mouth would speak by itself.

I look down and desperately eat, pretending to immerse myself in the soup’s delicious taste. Saine’s gaze is relentlessly stabbing at my lowered head, but I don’t raise my face. Or rather, I can’t raise it. Though Saine looked at me for a while, he continued eating his meal quietly.

 

Only the sound of tableware clanking can be heard as we eat in silence. The soup which has increased due to the dumplings was filling. I ate in one breath and calmed down.

 

Since I know that I can get chicken bones, I plan to make soup again. Is it because this world only has men, the stalls here have a lot of food. Like grilled meat stalls, fried meat stalls, things like that. There aren’t a lot of soup dishes, there are no noodles.

But I’ve made a few calculations. Bone soup can be made and there’s flour. I can probably make it as an Asian, udon. The stock is apparently actually made with dried sardines, but I’ve never seen it sold in the market. According to the grandpa next door, Fish rarely circulates around the East-east Section so the chicken bones are the substitute.

The Grannies in the Reincarnators’ Association live with the taste of their previous lives. Some even try to obsessively recreate the food they’ve eaten in their previous life. They search for the same things, if it doesn’t exist then they’ll look for things that can be used as substitutes.

And as someone who has received those Grannies’ teachings, I’ll also look for substitutes if I can’t find the ingredients. I’ll go with the chicken bones if there are no dried sardines.

Being concealed inside the house. the only place to go is the Reincarnations Association. Their husbands stick to them when the grannies go to the market. And they must quickly finish buying things. They said that their husbands would get angry if they talk to other men so they can’t even talk to the stall vendors. That’s why no one was able to get their hands on chicken bones which are ingredients for soup even though it’s right before them.

The grannies will probably want it so before I go to the Reincarnators Association tomorrow, let’s stop by the market and bring them some chicken bones.

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