The Other World Dining Hall - LightNovelOnl.com
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Pumpkin Financier On Saturday morning, Aletta, who was working hard as usual, stiffened reflexively seeing what appeared from behind the silver door in the kitchen. (Zo, zombie!?) Appearing from the silver door was a zombie pushing a push cart.
The ashen skin was stained pale yellow and its red stained teeth were exposed. The zombie slowly came into the kitchen. [Vuaa~] It slowly moved towards Aletta while moaning. (Wh, why… why is there a zombie!?) Seeing that occasion, Aletta desperately thought while being confused. Zombies were well-known as they were common in rural areas. A monster that moved with temporary life granted by the power of darkness to the dead humans that were not buried properly, a monster that administered death. It hated living beings without exception and attacked people to kill and eat them, it was not a rare existence in places that used to be battlefields and places that were regarded as difficult points of travel. Aletta herself was chased by a zombie when she travelled from her hometown to the Kingdom and sometimes had to ran to a nearby village for shelter. That’s why it was unavoidable that Aletta screamed. [Wha, what’s going on!?] The owner who was cleaning up “yesterday’s mess” at the dining room heard her scream and ran to the kitchen. Then he saw the situation of Aletta sitting on the floor with pale face and the appearance of the zombie that frightened her, he grasped the general circumstances. […Oi, take that off for the time being.] […A.] Hearing the owner’s words, the zombie’s arms that had healthy colour peeled of his mask. […E? Manager-san?] She murmured seeing the familiar face which seemed to be sorry appearing from under the mask. [Well, I don’t think that she would react like that. I’ve been told before that “it looks disgusting and we’re going to use a different costume”.] The manager said his excuse while feeling sorry. [Costume? Etto…] [Aa, it’s Halloween now, it’s rather complicated and I don’t really know the reason why, but it’s a festival where people wear costumes of monsters and witches. So our shopping street has been doing this as entertainment as of late.] The owner explained the customs to Aletta of why he did such thing. [I, is that so… so it’s a monster costume.] Even if Aletta asked, the owner also didn’t understand the reason well but she understood why the manager was in the form of a monster for the time being. [Maa, I didn’t think that it would surprise you so much. Aletta-chan… ah, that’s right. That’s not the main subject.] After clarifying his mistake, he helped Aletta to stand up and took something from the cart. […E? This is?] [Aa, I’m making pumpkin financiers for the Halloween fair at this moment.] A transparent bag decorated with orange coloured ribbon. Inside, she could see an otherworld confection packed inside smaller bags. [Here, Aletta is a regular that always buys the cookie cans. I would occasionally give some presents for the regulars, and to keep their long patronage. So please accept it. There’s no need to pay.] He said such while storing other confections in the cool fridge or the normal shelves of the kitchen. […Yes, thank you very much.] To those words, Aletta decided to obediently receive the treat, held it close to her chest and bowed her head. And next afternoon. [So, this, you want me to try this confection called pumpkin financier?] [Yes, it was a thank you gift for Shia-sama buying the cookies.] As her older sister went for a long trip and Aletta remained alone, Shia came to retrieve her cookies and was shocked seeing the mysterious confection. (Really, I don’t know how I should remain silent.) She wryly smiled at the honest though foolish housekeeper in front of her. However, it was probably because of her stupidly honest personality that her sister left Aletta with the management of the house. [Maa, if that’s the case, I’m sure it’s delicious since it’s made by the sweets shop that sells the cookies.] She took it and told Aletta so. It had been a year since she started to buy the cookies through Aletta, but they were still as delicious as ever. Although when her noble and merchant friends came to visit occasionally along with a daughter of a high-profile adventurer that was reputed as the best, she was asked about the cookies not just once or twice. And according to Aletta’s stories, the shop sold more than cookies and various customers went there to eat those. She thought that this confection was one of those sweets. [I understand. Please wait for a moment. Since Shia-sama usually drinks tea, I have boiled the water.] In response to that, Aletta stood up, went to the kitchen and came back with the tools. It was a flower tea with sweet scent and refreshing acidity that was poured from the white tea pot imported from the Sea Country. It had a pleasant aroma but the cost was too high for a commoner unlike “Shia-sama”, Aletta served it in a cheap wooden cup skillfully. [Well then, shall we eat it together, Aletta?] She poured tea into one of the two cups and added white sugar to the tea. [Yes! Let’s eat.] She had expected that she would say so. Aletta who had prepared two cups poured the same tea into her own cup and added sugar as well. [Well then, let’s eat.] Shia said so and reached for the bag, and the tea ceremony began. Confectionary in a transparent bag. It was wrapped in a smaller transparent bag. (This bag is a mystery. I don’t know what it’s made of and there’s no hole even though there’s knot in the weaving.) Inside the slippery bag were not cookies. Even this bag alone, a magician who loved strange things would like to buy it. Coming out from inside were confections in the shape of a box. They were apparently called pumpkin financiers. (Etto, this is baked goods… right?) It was much softer and confusing than the cookies, and when she pinched it between her fingertips, she could see that it’s a bit different from other sweets that she knew. It was decorated with pale green seeds, and beneath the brown baked surface, the content was pale reddish yellow in colour. When she smelled it, it did not have strong scent. (Surely it’s delicious.) Her mouth watered and Shia took a bite… she confirmed that it was as delicious as she expected and her face loosened. The confection was slightly crunchy on the surface, but overall it was much softer than the cookie. It crumbled in her mouth as if it was melting. The first thing she tasted was the flavor of oil with strong sweetness… it was the flavor of butter. This confection called financier seemed to be made with lots of butter. From the financier that was made with moderate amount of sugar, she could taste the sweetness that seeped out with the fragrant smell of savoury baked butter. (This sweetness, it’s not much but… it’s delicious.) Perhaps it was the taste of the ingredient used in the confection. Unlike the sweetness of fruits, she could feel sweetness different from sugar. It’s like a vegetable flavor, but it also had a different sweetness and entertained Shia. And while eating it, the green seeds provided crunchy texture. It had a taste of salt that lasted only for a while. The salty flavor surprised her tongue but it’s not uncomfortable as it allowed her to fully enjoy the sweetness. On the contrary, she could feel that the sweetness was elevated and felt like she could eat as much as she wanted. [Ano… how does it taste, Shia-sama?] After Aletta called her, Shia noticed she had been drawn in by the taste and had fallen silent when she enjoyed the taste, and Shia instinctively swallowed the financier in her mouth. In a hurry, she drank the tea and smiled at Aletta. [It’s very tasty of course. Indeed, the pattisier that made this sweet is a genius… please eat it, there’s no need to restrain yourself.] Unlike usual, her older sister with glutton disposition was not here. Usually, her tea ceremonies were a matter of everyday things to her friends formed by their parents’ relationship, but it was not bad to occasionally enjoy it with such a friend. She reached for a second pumpkin financier in front of her while feeling satisfied to see the smiling Aletta.