Just put this here
Translated by Madotsuki
Edited by Crash
Interlude 2 Tonkotsu the Great
The ramen shop ‘Tonkotsu the Great’ located at the corner part of the castle town (Originally, it was an area that could contain various kinds of automatic stalls operated by NPCs. The maximum number of buildings was up to 50, but now the scale was obviously expanded. Currently the number exceeded 2000, including ‘Tonkotsu the Great’) in the Scarlet Jade castle, was a hidden well-established store for those who know about it.
In the front of the narrow store where there was only counter stool, there always a long line of customers waiting. The tonkotsu soup had a unique strong smell that filled up the store until it spilled outside, making the customers who visit it raise their expectations unconsciously.
With the store having so much activity, one would think they should have moved into a bigger building, but the owner of this shop, the Orc King, is stubbornly determined to make a day’s portion of ramen by himself with his own hand. Therefore the capacity of this shop became limited, but with the taste of his ramen, the people would never disagree.
On a certain day, a small customer is sitting on the counter opposite to the stockpot, impatiently ordering a tonkotsu ramen. The shopkeeper heard the customer’s voice by chance, and he felt that he had heard that voice somewhere before, which puzzled him.
Looking at the customer’s appearance, they had a height of 140cm, the physique of a common hobbit or elf, wore a black robe that covered everything from their head till to their feet, and they had a devil mask on to hide their face. (Residents dressing suspiciously like this is a dime a dozen for this country, the Imperial Crimson) The customer physique is unknown, but judging from their voice they’re probably a girl or a kid and possibly both.
He believes it’s the first time he has seen this customer, but somehow he has a hunch that he met her somewhere.
This felt like nothing but a human bone getting caught in his throat, he can’t stop trying to remember who it is. Even so, this is the job he got used to, so he quickly finished the dish and placed it before the customer in front of his eyes who was across the counter.
“―Here you go, a normal serving of tonkotsu ramen, sorry for the wait.”
“Uwooh, amazing! Is this the normal serving!?”
She saw before her eyes a ramen bowl the size of a washbowl (Although for the shopkeeper who was nearly 4m in height, it just looked like a small dish). On the opposite side of the surprised customer, the shopkeeper casually starts a conversation while wiping his hand with his apron.
“Is this the first time Missy has come to this shop? If that’s the case, the smaller half portion would suit you.”
Without hesitation, the shopkeeper bent his large body toward the customer. No matter how it looks, his face is that of a brutal warthog, which should have made the small customer fall off on the top of the stool, but the stool itself is very large (Because usually it was used for customers 2-3 meters big). Somehow she fixes her mood and posture, and then nodded repeatedly.
“―Y-yes. I heard from someone there was a delicious tonkotsu ramen store around here, so I asked them to tell me about it. I was immediately knew which one it was after I saw the lines in front of your store.”
It appears it was right to call her a ‘miss’. She grips the chopsticks while saying “itadakimaasu”, harboring a good will to eat. The shopkeeper grinned broadly.
“Hou, that fellow is lucky. This shop is located in the back streets of this town, the guy who knew it was just regular customer or part of the authorities.”
“Is that so? Still, I am gonna try to eat as much of this as I can. *slurp*.. !? Amazing! This is so delicious! It’s my first time eating a tonkotsu ramen this delicious!!”
Her eating a mouthful and giving such high praise, the shopkeeper can’t help but smile intensively even more.
“I told ya! The soup here is special, nothing out there like it.”
As the shopkeeper said that full of pride, he noticed there wasn’t a glass of water placed in front of the small customer. He openly changes and angrily shouts at his high orc assistant.
“You idiot! Aren’t you supposed to bring out the water for customer!? You’re so freaking slow, you’ll be going into the soup next!!”
At that moment, the little girl who was currently gulping down the soup with her spoon coughed violently.
“Do-don’t tell me…this soup is…”
“Hmm? -Oh, that can’t be true of course. About my assistant going into the soup, I meant more like they had to manage the soup.”
“Is-is that so. That was so surprising.”
Sighs in relief and sips the soup again into her mouth.
“…Well, in the first place with my magical power I could summon limitless ordinary orc for the ingredients anyway.”
For the second time, the little girl coughed violently.
“Well, even though I said that, it doesn’t mean I put the orcs into my soup! So rest assured. I used them normally to harvest horned boar for their bones and body.”
He gives her a look that asked if she was all right.
“Aah, well, sorry. You right, there’s no way a tonkotsu ramen could use something other than the pork belly and bones, right?
While the girl nodded in agreement, the shop assistant brought her the water and she proceed to drink it making her calm down, then she resumed her meal again.
“That’s obvious, jeez. The kinds of ingredients would be the same in all shops. In short it was the chief hand, the skill.”
“Yes-yes. I understand.”
“Among my competitors, they strangely believe the secret of the deliciousness of my ramen is due to the flavor of the orc king. In short, they thought I was bathing in the water that I use for the soup, I don’t know what the hell are they even say―”
“I said there’s no way! You’re really a person who can’t calm down huh, from here try not to live like that. Hiyuki-sama has revived so there will be battles awaiting us after this.”
“…Re-really? Are you absolutely sure about that?”
“Of course I am. Anywhere Hiyuki-sama went there was always a battle with tons of flesh and blood ―Hmm? By any chance, have you still not met her?”
“Ah! Yes, I never directly met her, maybe…”
“Ha! No wonder. Even now, I still remember it.. long ago I was the king of a mountain and ruled over an uncool forest. On that day, I was completely beaten by Hiyuki-sama and had to swear my submission to her.”
“Aah. Come to think of it, were you the field boss in Wyss forest?”
“Oh, you knew? After that I wandered around every part of the world with Hiyuki-sama, battling with the warriors of various places. This fist of mine was never dry of blood from combat.
“Uhhhh, I guess you reap what you sow… still, why are did you become a tonkotsu ramen shopkeeper? With the kind strength you had originally as a field boss, you could become something like one of the 13 Demon Generals couldn’t you?
“Demon general? ―Hah! Such thing is just a title to show off. If that’s the case, picking up the tonkotsu soup scum is far better if I have the free time for it. Besides, with strength of my caliber, this neighborhood shopping district could be scattered about. I alone am enough to fight against 4 of the Demon Generals, right?”
“Sc-scatter this town…alone against 4… Tha-that’s right, you were a field boss after all. However, I wonder why everyone eagerly raises their level to 99…”
“Of course, everyone decides to do it for the sake of Hiyuki-sama! Missy too has to work hard to be helpful for Hiyuki-sama!”
“―Ye-yeah, I think…I will work hard to try protect the safety of Hiyuki-sama!”
“That’s the spirit!”
While having the conversation the bowl had emptied before they knew it.
“Thanks for the food. I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat all that, but it was delicious and I was able have it go down smoothly. How much do I pay for it?”
“Ou, tonkotsu ramen normal portion is 8 big copper coins.”
“One…two…then, exactly 8 big copper coin. I am leaving it here.”
“Thank you very much! ―Come again, missy!”
“Yes. I will do so. Well then, see you again Gaijin. (Victory Song of Battle)”
The girl gave her parting and left the store.
The shopkeeper began to ignore things about her, but her last words made his whole body numb.
‘Gaijin’.. even regular customers and employees don’t know about that.
The precious thing which that person gave to him, everything that he takes pride in.
Something he closed off so that no one would able to call him that except for that person, but in the same voice from that day, in the same tone from that day, his ears heard it.
“…Do-don’t tell me…”
While searching for her retreating figure that already vanished into the crowd, Gaijin solidified like a statue.
“Master! One order coming!”
Gaijin suddenly came back to his senses by the voice from his assistant. He grips the copper coins left over on the table like they were a treasured item.
“Ou, I hear ya.”
After Gaijin made a big single nod, he boiled the noodles and stirred the soup in a good mood that he hadn’t always had before.
By the way, the time period of this story was when Hiyuki was returning from Joey’s room. Right afterwards she wanted tonkotsu ramen so much, she warped into the castle and went into a ramen shop wearing a mask and then came back again. (Earlier, it wasn’t possible to use warp magic outside the castle since the destination was unknown, so by marking a specified spot in the world the warp can be done)
Then about the orc king, he was an intermediate level unique field boss.
The event occurred by receiving a quest. The orc king always accompanied by his followers, furthermore at certain time intervals he re-summoned his followers making him a quite a bit of trouble.
When the orc king became a pet, he could only summon 3 followers at a time, but in this world obviously things like that aren’t valid anymore.
Tonkotsu Ramen, a ramen which made from pork bone (for the soup) and meat