Chapter 250: Reliable Leader
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou and Onionpi
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
 We decided to take a break and sleep in the safe room before continuing our journey the next day.  The next morning, I treated the people from the [Ark] to breakfast.
It was kind of hard not to since they were all looking at me expectantly, especially Feodora-san.  Have you ever been stared at expectantly by a beautiful woman before? It’s rather difficult to deny a woman when she stares at you with those shiny eyes… Ahem.
Anyway, breakfast for today is the donburi. To be more precise, the Minced Meat Donburi, topped with plenty of stir-fried minced meat, shredded cabbage and, hmm, let’s go with raw egg yolks to make it a little more luxurious.  I got out few wooden bowls and padded the bottom with rice, covered it with lots of minced meat and made a ring of shredded cabbage over the brown meat. Then, I expertly cracked an egg, scooped out the intact yolk and plopped it right in the middle of the shredded cabbage ring. Fufufu, the green and brown rings with a bright yellow centre looks really attractive.  It did not take long to assemble the food.  Naturally, my familiars get much bigger portions with three egg yolks in the centre.  “Alright, time to eat!”
Fer, Sui and Dora-chan sucked the egg yolks up first before digging into the meat and rice. This is… not exactly the correct way of eating, but it works I guess.
Yosh, time to dig in~
“Ahem, excuse me, Mukouda-san,” Elland-san interrupted me. “But, how do we eat this?” “Oh? Oh! Sorry, sorry, this is a rather unique delicacy in my home town, hahaha,” I had completely forgotten about my guests! My fantasy world guests who had never seen rice before! Didn’t I specifically buy black bread to avoid being seen as strange? To think I outed myself by serving them strange Other World Japonica rice!!  Keep calm, keep calm, unique delicacies could be found in unexpected places. So, I’m not busted yet.  I hope.  Let’s just brazen it through.
“So,” I said loudly. “This is how you eat it. First, break the yolk with the spoon and mix it into the minced meat. Then you eat it with the rice, like this,” I demonstrated the move and stuffed my mouth full. Please don’t ask me about the rice.
Most of the [Ark’s] attention was focussed on Elland-san and Feodora-san. Demonstrating the ‘To know if something’s delicious, ask an elf’ attitude.  A drop of sweat rolled down my back, I’m fairly sure of my cooking, but the rice! Are they going to ask me about where I get these ‘grains’? While I was busy trying to come up with a plausible story, Feodora-san and Elland-san solemnly mixed their egg yolk and meat before lifting a bit of the egg yolk infused meat for a sniff.
Suddenly, their eyes widened and they dug their spoons deeper into the rice bowl, scooped up rice, meat and shredded cabbages together and stuffed their cheeks.  Aside from the voracious ‘paku paku’ sounds of eating, nothing was heard from these two elves.
As for the men of the [Ark], they slowly switched their gazes from the gobbling elves to their bowls.  My spoon trembled. The men broke the yolks and mixed them with the minced meat.  Here it comes.  They stuffed their mouths with rice and meat in one go and chewed with their eyes closed.  I’m having trouble swallowing now. Water, where’s the water…  “Mukouda-san,” said Gaudino-san.  “Here!” I squeaked, coughed and said in a more normal tone. “Ahem, yes?”
“I never thought of eating eggs raw before, but this is… really delicious…”
… breathe, I need to breathe! “Haa, hahaha, i-is that so? Hahaha…”
“Mmm, I always believed that raw eggs would spoil one’s stomach. Well, it might still spoil the stomach, but it’s unexpectedly delicious,” said Siegwald-san as he chewed his mouthful thoughtfully.
“A- ah, that is, the eggs must be very fresh! I certainly don’t recommend eating raw eggs from an unknown source. Overall, it’s better to cook them for safety’s sake, but I happen to come across some very fresh eggs and thought I’d make this special hometown delicacy…” Stop talking! I should stop talking.   Luckily, Fer happened to come and nudge me with his bowl, “Seconds”  “Excuse me, I need to feed my familiars!” 
“It’s my first time eating raw eggs too, but I must say it’s pretty delicious. The combination of the yolk and the minced meat created a kind of mellow taste that’s almost like a sauce that goes really well with this grain.” I stiffened. However, there was no follow up. Everyone was more shocked by the raw egg. Why are you guys like this? Never mind, I don’t care, I’m eternally grateful. May the gods and goddesses preserve my mental health.
I was more than happy to refill Elland-san’s empty bowl. As for Feodora-san, ah, you don’t have to look at me furtively like that, I’ll gladly fill your bowl too. 
“Would anyone else like seconds?”  As long as no one asks awkward questions, eat! Eat as much as you like!
“Ah, me too,”
“Same for me.”
I was more than happy to assemble these Soboro Donburi for them. As expected from Adventurers. Well, I am one too, but one bowl is good enough for me.
In fact, Feodora-san had three helpings. I had to wonder where those meat and rice went…
Naturally, my familiars ate a lot more and their bowls are much bigger. [TZ 1] So even if the number of ‘seconds’ are the same, my familiars still won the quantity challenge.
After breakfast, we all lie back with full stomachs and a satisfied sigh.
“By the way,” Gaudino-san sat up and looked solemnly at us. “I know it’s probably unreasonable for me to ask for anything more after all that you’ve done for us…”
“Eh?” I sat up seriously. “Ah, please speak your mind.”  As long as it has nothing to do with the origin of the rice… “Our party came down to the 14th floor knowing that it’s the Insect Zone. We thought we were well prepared with one vial of antidote per person. However, we did not anticipate the great number of special individual monsters…”   “We had already used up three of the four vials,” said Gideon-san seriously. “We’ve talked it over and decide to return to the surface and re-evaluate our strategy.”  “That is to say,” Gaudino-san continued, “I’d be very grateful if we could join your party up to the Boss Room. Once there, we’ll get back to the surface on our own.”
Gaudino-san and his team members were all A Rankers. How terrible must the danger be for them to ask for help like this? Well, it’s all the same for me since my familiars were the ones who sweep all the enemies away. 
“Elland-san, what do you think?”
“Well, you’re the party leader, so it’s really up to you. I mean, the rest of us hardly need to fight with you around.” “Ahahaha,” More like, with Fer and the rest around, I thought.
Members of the [Ark] looked at each other, unsure if Elland-san was joking.
“Excuse me, if your party wants to return to the surface, doesn’t it make sense to back instead of moving forward?” We’re not far from the stairs to the 13th floor after all.
“That’s what we’d normally do, but there’s a way to get to the 11th floor from the Boss Room, we don’t have to go through floors 13 and 12 if we go through the Boss Room,” said Gaudino-san.
“Oh yes, there’s that way too, but I hardly ever used it,” said Elland-san. “It’s kind of like a backdoor to the upper floors. It utilizes a magic circle that sends Adventurers to either the surface or a safer floor.”
“Oh,” I said. “So, it’s kind of like a fail-safe.”
“Yes,” said Elland-san with an enigmatic smile. “However, the magic needed to activate the magic circle is quite high, depending on the Adventurer’s level. B Rank Adventurers would need 4 magic stones worth of magic to teleport. However, an A Ranker only needs 2 magic stones worth.  I guess this must be a way to discourage beginners from simply teleporting away when the going gets tough.” 
“We plan to go to the 11th floor and slowly make our way back. It would be a waste of this dungeon trip to return to the surface right away,” said Gaudino-san.
Siegwald-san said, “I’m glad Gaudino-san is our party leader, he’s very thorough and careful, and always acts in the members’ best interest.”
“Yeah,” said Gideon-san. “It was a miscalculation this time, we were just trying to decide on the best way to get out of this place with one antidote when you guys came.”
Feodora-san said nothing, but she nodded fervently several times.
“Ahem, enough of that,” said Gaudino-san. “It only makes sense to be careful. If there’s a way to prolong one’s life, one should take it.”
“Oooh, I can totally get behind that!” I said enthusiastically.
[TZ 1: I have no idea why he felt the need to say this at this moment, but okay…] [Gumi: Lol, I can’t  the bowl statement away since Zzonkedd commented on it, but I guess it’s just to pad the chapter? Which author-san could totally do with rice, but I guess he’s too Japanese to realise that not everyone know what rice is]
 Structural Change: Combine 2 paragraphs  Structural Change: Combine 3 paragraphs  Structural Change: Combine paragraph & dialogue  Structural Change: Change passive sentence to dialogue  Delete Repetitive or Pointless Information  Additional Information for Aesthetic Purpose  Add Dialogue Tag  Creative Licence Taken  Donburi = Rice Bowl
I know everyone and their dog in Japan probably know what donburi or at least recognise what ‘rice’ is. However, since even Fer only called it ‘a grain’, I’m surprised no one said anything about it especially since they made a such huge fuss about raw eggs.
This is why Gumihou decides to include it as part of a little cultural talk thing. Especially in the wake of Uncle Roger and the colander rice incident.
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