Part 6: Osaka’s Auntie Meets Kyoto Lady
Chapter 26: A Very Kyoto-ish Young Miss
The next day, Haruna and Natalia made their way towards the Yakomai mansion.
The Yakomai Nobles were one of the three powerful families within the Imperial Capital. This particular family produced a lot of imperial officials and ministers for several generations. In fact, the current head of the Imperial Court was a Yakomai.
As expected, the residential mansions of these powerful families were huge estates. The architectural were set up to imitate a castle stronghold. First, you must cross a double moat over two drawbridges before even reaching the mansion walls. It kind of reminded Haruna of the daimyo palace gardens back in Japan.
The two of them informed the guards of their identity and showed the invitation letter to prove that they had been invited as guests. They were immediately welcomed in and were led through the mansion grounds into one of the buildings deep within the courtyard.
Actually, even if they haven’t shown their letter, the guards would have known who Haruna was from her distinctive clothes, not to mention the badge on her chest proclaiming her as a Platinum Level Knight. Aside from being incredibly rare, a Platinum Level Knight’s social status would not lose to a blue-blooded aristocrat.
In fact, for this visit, Haruna had not actually worn her animal print shirt. What she had on was knight-ish outfit typical of this world and approved by Natalia. In short, her appearance now has a very summer-ish, coquettish, pretty girl knight feel to it.
“This place is quite big, na. Oh, but it’s not quite as big as the Osaka Castle.”
“Please refrain from making unnecessary remarks like that.”
Right now, the newly restored Osaka Castle has an actual elevator in its tower. Aside from this modern addition, the rest of the castle has been properly restored according to the Edo Shogunate style.
When they entered the audience chamber, the person they encounter was a powerful looking man in his 40s. The man who greeted them in very polite language somehow managed to sound warm and welcoming whilst maintaining great dignity. Clearly, this was the Head of the Yakomai Clan.
“Miss Haruna, your name has been heard even within the Imperial Courts. An incredibly powerful Platinum Level Knight without peer, either in the past or present.”
“Maa, well, that’s kind of…”
Haruna scratched the back of her head bashfully.
Natalia elbowed her sharply, “You, there’s no need for you to show such humility like that…” she was doing her best to get her mistress to act with dignity.
“No, no, that’s a good attitude for an Adventurer to have. We are of the Chivalric Order who serves the Royal Family, nothing at all like the Holy Knights who serves the Temple.”
The Yakomai Head smiled significantly for a moment, clearly trying to convey some kind of deep meaning there. When there was no response, he recovered himself smoothly and continued. “Ah yes, my daughter has expressed a great desire to meet your goodself.”
Natalia took it as cue to hand over the letter of invitation. The Head of the Family accepted the letter and said graciously. “We are most glad to receive Miss Haruna here. Please, do come this way.”
They followed the clan head towards the inner part of the room, where a 15-year-old girl popped out to meet them.
“Ah~, you’re finally here, ya na. Happy greetings, na~. Aa~, how many years has it been since I’ve last tasted Okonomiyaki? I’ve been wishing and wishing for it so much, yo. Do you know that shop just in front of Kawaramachi station?”
The girl’s way of speaking startled Haruna.
“C-could it be… a transmigrator from Kyoto….!?”
Haruna stared seriously at the girl’s face.
Beautiful long black hair and dreamy black eyes that was quintessential of the old style Japanese aristocratic beauty. The hair was put up in an elaborated bun and stuffed full of hair ornaments: pins, combs, and dangly bits that sparkled and jingled as she moved. She was the very picture of a pampered daughter of an aristocratic family.
However, her way of greeting ‘You’re finally here, ya na’  was exactly like the way Kyoto-ites would speak.
“Kyoto? Apologies, but I don’t know this place, but, the world is very wide, naa. I suppose it’s one of those less well-known places?”
“My daughter has always spoken thus since she was a child, our family have gotten used to it.” said the clan head.
“Could be… you’re from Kyoto in your past life, and have somehow retained some memories…?”
“Stop! What’s- what’s with all this weird talk again…” Natalia was aggrieved.
“This one is a daughter from the Yakomai main family, the name is Karen. Well then, Haruna-han , would you be so kind as to begin your preparations for the making of this Okonomiyaki, na?” the girl who introduced herself as Karen said with an elegant smile.
No matter how one looked at it, she was clearly a daughter of a great family.
“Aah, just leave it to this Haruna. Well now, let me borrow the kitchen.”
“Since you’re from Osaka, the appropriate response should be ‘Sure~, but please give it back later, ya~’?”
This is actually true.
This is absolutely, 100%, true!
For example, if you say ‘May I borrow your toilet, please’, the standard response would be ‘Give it back later, ya~’.
Furthermore, whenever an Osakan received change from a shop, say 300 yen worth of change, the storekeeper would say, ‘Here’s your 3 million yen change’. They like to add 10,000 to ever 100 yen of change, making a cool million. The logic behind this weird practice is to make the customer feel like ‘Wow! I received a lot of money in exchange!’.
“A-anyway, please make a good Okonomiyaki, ya!”
Haruna and Natalia were lead to the kitchen where they proceeded to prepare the Okonomiyaki.
Haruna was the main chef, of course, with Natalia acting as the sous chef. Her job was to make the tenkasu , set up the iron plate for grilling as well as other small prep work.
“Hey, what was that all about with the young miss earlier?”
“She’s the type of person I have the most difficulty dealing with… The type of people I disliked most, wa…”
“Please don’t say this in front of her… she’s the daughter of one of the most important families…”
“Well, I’m just going to make some backup plans. I’d hate to lose out to those Kyoto fellows after all, wa.”
“I’ve already said this a few times, but just what the heck is this ki-yo-to thing?!”
Haruna was even more serious than usual when she made today’s Okonomiyaki.
Once the Japanese style sauce was slathered on, a wonderful smell permeated the air. Natalia had the task of taste testing the Okonomiyaki.
“Un! Today’s batch is incredibly delicious! The tenkasu gave it a good crunchy texture, the pork is clearly the good kind and the cheese! The way it melts and holds everything together is simply sublime!”
“That’s well and true, but, our enemy this time is a Kyoto gal, na…”
Finally, they carried the trays of Okonomiyaki into the dining room. Karen was there, waiting for them in anticipation.
“Hoo, bring it here quickly, naa. Just what kind of food will it be?”
The rest of the clan heads’ immediate family were also there to taste this much anticipated Okonomiyaki as well.
Forks and knives were raised, and Karen cut a delicate piece off and took a dainty bite. The rest of the family too lifted their little piece of Okonomiyaki to their lips and everyone nearly simultaneously closed their teeth over their forks.
Haruna and Natalia stood very straight as they waited for everyone’s reaction.
“Ooh, this is good!” the clan head’s response was very positive.
“This is completely different from pies, what a fun dish!” the clan lady praised as she tasted the sauce.
Naturally, the flavour was good. If the taste had been lacking, it would not have gotten so many good reviews or gathered so many fans.
Now then, let’s see what Karen thinks of it.
[Gumihou: I can’t believe we encountered an actual Karen here, yan!]
 the exact phrase is ‘kite kure hattan yana’ very different from the standard Tokyo ‘kite kuretan ka’  han – not a typo. Kyoto-ites tend to use ‘-han’ instead of ‘-san’  Tenkasu – tempura chips
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