Part 5: Osaka’s Auntie Battle a Giant

Chapter 20: A Giant Attack!

Very soon, a speciality udon restaurant appeared in the Old Saxon town. The first store was called the [Naniwa Store][1]. The local people in this country could interpret it however they like.

Since udon can’t be served as a takeaway, proper tables and chairs as well as dishes and cutleries were provided for. The use of forks in prepared meals also started to spread among the people thanks to this recipe.

Since the main ingredient for udon was flour, the cost could be kept down. This reflected on the price as well. Naturally, with the low price and delicious flavour, it went without saying that the local people were quite happy to embrace this new recipe.

To increase the nutritional aspect of the udon, the management (Haruna) decided to include a large amount of vegetables for each portion. She did this by serving a salad topping over the udon noodles. The final sauce recipe was something similar to salad dressing which went very well with the plain tasting udon noodles.

It wasn’t long before udon shops started to pop up all over the place as well, bringing up the number of shops under Haruna’s management to 37.

By now, Haruna was seen the King of the Food Industry in this other world.

====

One day, as Haruna was speaking to Natalia about setting up a new branch store at their office.

“I wonder, should we set up a store in this town, naa. Since it’s so far away from here, I’m worried that we’ll accidentally spread some weird Okonomiyaki. That would be too troublesome…”

“You sure have a lot of shops in the immediate are now. So, the next logical place to set up shop would be at the Imperial Kingdom.”

Natalia have grown to be a splendid business partner for Haruna.

She had gained a lot of management skills, becoming someone whom Haruna could depend on as the backbone of the company. While it was good for their staff to learn to be independent and adept to their environment, too much independence would eventually lead to trouble. The thing they want to avoid most was the spread of fake Okonomiyaki and Udon.

To that end, Natalia whose brother was rescued by Haruna from prison would be unlikely to betray her. As such, she could be depended upon as Haruna’s very important right hand person.

Haruna intended to push Osaka’s goods as much as possible while maintaining a global standard.

Thus was Haruna’s principle, there were no other Osakan people in this world, therefore, she will be the one, the evangelist to spread the culture of Osaka.

“On the other hand, I do think that it’s fine to leave things as they are, even if you don’t do anything differently for the next ten years, you’ll probably be able to open an Okonomiyaki branch in every town.”

“No, that’s not the issue. I have something else in mind other than just existing towns.”

“Such as?”

“Have you noticed, aside from [Haru-chan] at level 13, there were no other dungeon shops at all?”

That’s right, Haruna intend to open stores selling Restorative Items and food in every dungeon in this world.

“If we could have a [Haru-chan] like store in every dungeon, we would be able to reduce the number of people who gets injured or died. This is something that I really want to make into reality.”

Natalia was a little surprised by Haruna’s clear eyed explanation.

“It doesn’t look like you’re joking…”

This was Haruna’s secret mission.

Thus, from the depths of this thin delicate looking body, profound words emerged.

“One way or another, people have to live. In my last life I lived like nothing matters, I had no money, few possessions, but I did my best to laugh everyday and live life to the fullest as an auntie of Osaka. However, when I died it’s all over. So, no matter how much money one has, no matter how important, once death happens, it’s all gone.”

“Life is like a blooming flower, is that what you’re trying to say?”

“I guess.”

Haruna nodded with a small smile.

Actually, while Haruna was still in Osaka, she encountered plenty of such old uncles and aunties who would laugh and joke with each other, seeming to have fun for no good reason. Clear examples of people who somehow survive and be happy against all odds.

Thanks in part to vending machines selling 20 or 30 yen items, as well as super cheap supermarkets, even the really poor could live a fairly good life.

“Now and then you’ll see old man shuffling around in tank tops so worn out that you can see their nipples, wearing unmatched slippers as they ride around the loop line [2]. When these old guys gave their chipped tooth smiles, you can’t be sure that you’re actually looking at an old guy or an old gal living their life as best they could. Only, once they die, that’s the end. That’s why staying alive is the first most important thing.”

That’s why it’s imperative to equip every dungeon with a shop–

“Whether it’s Umeda, Shinjyuku, Nagoya, or Sapporo, every single one of these underground buildings are different in their own way. So, I’d guess that the other world dungeons would be unique in terms of geographical features, monster types, and so forth. So our workers would face different dangers with every dungeon, therefore we’ll need to properly investigate each and every dungeon before setting up shop.”

The reason to set up shop differs between a surface shop and a dungeon shop.

[Haru-chan] was able to open because of Haruna’s unfair strength as a swordsman.

If a level 10 adventurer were to operate a shop in the dungeons, there was no guarantee that they would be able to protect the shop.

“I’ll have to examine the dungeon carefully before making a decision.”

“In a short while you’ll have to go on longer business trips, so I’ll need to prepare myself to manage the business on your behalf. So, please continue to teach me more things in the future.”

At Natalia’s words, Haruna suddenly grew happy.

“Aaah, what a good child you are, ya wa! The best, wa!”

“Please remove the ‘good child’ part. I- I actually look older than you…”

Haruna’s currently looked like a high school girl, which made her look 7 years younger than Natalia.

Under normal circumstances, Haruna’s bountiful energy which would not lose to a school filled with elementary students was something that spells YOUTH! in very large words. She certainly did not look like someone who was capable of running a shop, let alone managing whole chains of shops.

However, just before they were able to properly tackle the issue of putting up shops in dungeon, a new problem appeared.

The office door opened and their regular flour supplier came in.

“Oh no, oh no, Haruna-chan. I was on my way home when I heard some terrible news, the north is in danger!”

“North? You mean the Umeda area?”

For local Osakan the North consisted of the business district areas, of which Umeda stood out the most. The South part would consist of the Naniwa district.

Incidentally, the Tennouji is situated further south.

In fact, the further south one goes the air of ‘Osaka-ness’ increases. For example, Osaka’s most famous streets, Dotonbori[3] and Hozenji Yokocho[4] were just a little north of Namba, with Shinsekai[5] smacked in the middle of Namba and Tennouji, accessible via Ebisucho Station.

“I don’t know nothing about what U.me.da. Town, but, the Moutry Town up north is in great trouble. It has turned into a battle field. If I remember correctly, Haruna-chan should have a shop there, right?”

“The Ootori?”

Ootori she mentioned came from the Ootori Station in the City of Sakai, where the famous Ootori Grand Shrine[6] is located.

“No, no, it’s Moutry, not that… weird word Haruna-chan just used.”

“What?! To think that monsters would dare to attack a town!?”

“Strictly speaking it’s not a fight against monsters as we know it. What the town is facing is actually the might of the Monarchy.”

“Just what is going on?”

“Giants from the mountains came out and attacked the town!”

In this world, giants and regular people tolerated each other quite well. Since giants generally lived in remote areas away from humans there were no conflicts between the two species. Therefore it was quite strange for them to just suddenly attack a town.

“Giants!?”

Unexpectedly, Haruna suddenly stood up.

Actually, the way both of them said the word ‘Giant’ was a little different.

“If it’s Giants there’s no way I can leave it alone. They and I have a long, long line of fate together, if it had been some common carp or dragon I would have ignored it.”

Haruna was a die hard Tigers fan, her Osaka DNA immediately started to flare up the moment ‘Giant’ was mentioned. What Koshien[7] at the Hyogo Prefecture? Such trifling details are nothing?!

“Natalia, I’m going out to take care of business, wa! I’ll entrust this place to you!”

“I see, it would be bad if our branch store is damaged after all.”

“I’m going to beat down this despicable Giant!”

 

[1] Naniwa Store – It’s written in Hiragana ‘Naniwa’ which could mean ‘whatever’ or the old name for Osaka. So it’s kind of like a double pun.

[2] Loop line – is a railway operated by JR station that circlese 19 stations within the city.

[3] Dotonbori – Most famous tourist station, famed for its ridiculously gaudy signage, neon lights and delicious food. I highly recommend anyone who’s in Osaka to go there. ^_^

[4] Hozenji Yokocho – Beautifully historic, with stone flagged streets and over 60 tiny traditional restaurants and bars.

[5] Shinsekai – Literally ‘New World’ developed before the war, before it was neglected in the later years. The Tsutenkaku tower could be seen from there, as well as a giant floating puffer fish…

[6] Ootori Grand Shrine – A little more culture aside from food shops and giant gaudy signages.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%8Ctori_taisha

[7] Giants, Tigers and Koshien – if you haven’t figure it out yet they are talking about baseball. Giants and Tigers are baseball teams while Koshien is a Japanese High School Baseball Championship.

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