Chapter 167 – Similar Black Bellied Tendencies
Translated by Gumihou at kitchennovel dot com
Luna looked away, it was rude to stare when someone was eating after all. She focused her attention on the [Beancurd] in front of her instead, she picked up her spoon with great anticipation. When she dipped her spoon into the curd, it was like cutting into water, there was only the slightest hint of resistance. Each cube of [Beancurd] wobbled gently at the tiniest touch. It was covered with a brilliant red-orange sauce, topped with a bit of chopped pickles and dried shrimp.
“How pretty,” Luna’s eyes sparkled, even the dried shrimp looked fresh and alive when drenched with the brilliant sauce. It looked almost like it had been recently fished from the sea. The crisp smell of chopped pickles was so appetizing that she started to drool.
“Teacher Luna, [Savoury Beancurd] is really delicious, you know.” Amy smiled over Little Ugly Duckling’s head.
“En.” Luna nodded, raising a spoonful of the wobbly cubes up, she put her hand in front of her mouth before closing her lips over the spoonful of [Beancurds].
Her eyes brightened.
The tender [Beancurd] cubes melted without her having to chew, melting into some kind of delicious soup that blended very well with the sauce. The savoury chewiness of the dried shrimp and crisp pickles gave it an extra dimension in terms of texture. The smell of the shrimp tingled her senses, submerging her into an ocean filled with sea creatures bursting with life.
Just what kind of feeling is this? Thought Luna. Her body felt almost weightless, she was floating on a cloud of sensation, playing like a little child on a beach, laughing and chasing after the rolling waves. Her cheeks felt like it was about to melt along with the [Beancurds], the sensation was just too overwhelming.
“[Gulu]…” with her eyes closed, Luna swallowed, and sighed with happiness.
This flavour reminded her of her youth, though she worked with children everyday, their artless smiles and cheerful innocence sometimes caused her to reflect on herself wistfully. When was the last time she had smiled like that?
“Those ex-classmates of mine, I wonder how they are? It’s been three years since we all graduated, I think everyone should all be back home for this year’s Peace Remembrance Day.” Luna opened her eyes, and helped herself to another spoonful, this time not bothering to cover her mouth. She ate slowly, sunk deep in her memories, a gentle smile played about her lips.
Sally gave Luna a look, before focussing on her own [Beancurd], the sweet and tender cube melted in her mouth, but unlike the crisp sharpness of crushed ice, the sweet syrup blended more smoothly with the warm [Beancurd]. The sweet taste was richer than actual honey and her cheeks nearly melted along with the [Beancurd].
The syrup was as fragrant as honey, but somehow even sweeter, the boss must have added sugar into the syrup. However, sweet as it was, the syrup maintained the refreshing flavour of honey, nothing like the sickeningly sweet dessert that humans sometimes served.
There was a Hundred Flower Valley in the Windstorm Forest where the climate was always warm, resulting in blooming flowers all year round. Millions of bees danced among the flowers, and honey made from the flowers of the Hundred Flower Valley was sweeter and more fragrant than regular honey.
In fact, it was the princess who taught her how to collect honey from the hives. When she was a child, she loved following the princess around. In her eyes, the princess was someone all knowing, beautiful, powerful and someone who showed her and other little elf children how to collect honey from hives. Sometimes, they would even sneak into the elder’s garden to steal spiritual fruits.
The princess was later sent on a mission to Lot City. Before she left she told them she planned to leave her mark on the famous Magic Tower, not that any of them believe her. In then end, when the princess returned, she was immediately locked away by the Queen for half a month. Apparently, she was being punished for signing her name on the Magic Tower.
Instead of condemning her, this magnificent feat of recklessness won the admiration of many, especially the younger generation. Even the long life elves aspire to enter Nolan Continent’s legendary Magic Tower, to think that the princess actually dared to scribble her name on it for posterity.
A few years after that incident, the princess ran off with a couple of dozen dragon coins, leaving only a letter to explain that she intended to see the world, and was gone for a full decade. Occasionally they would receive letters from from all over the continent. The first postcard came from the orc’s Twilight Forest, next she was at Demon Island, a few months after that she was seen at Dragon Islands eating dragon beard noodles. The princess essentially became the idol of the younger generation elves, all aspired to be like her.
Sally also worshipped this elf princess, she was terribly envious of her ability to live such a free and proud life.
The Queen had put a stop to all that travelling three years ago. After being dragged back, the princess was shut up in the cave with the Holy Tree, and was never allowed out.
No one knew what had happened. Aside from her maid, Felice, the princess refused to see anyone, it was like she had turned into a completely different person.
In the past, she often shut herself in the cave with the Holy Tree. Being the only elf accepted by the tree, she spent more time with the tree than her blood family.
It had been a long time since Sally laid eyes on the princess. The reason Sally had ran away from home was to avoid a forced marriage. As to why she had only brought less then two dozen dragon coins, leaving all her precious jewellery which could be easily exchanged for countless amount of gold coins, was to emulate the proud and adventurous princess she so admired.
Unfortunately, it looked like she had overestimated her own ability. She had only reached this Chaos City and was immediately defeated by gourmet food. Surely the princess would have been able to pass this test with her usual easy grace?
“Could they have actually added Hundred Flower Honey to this syrup? It sure tasted familiar.” Sally shook her head, as though trying to dislodge the errant thought. She licked her spoon, and frowned as she tried to parse the flavour within.
It definitely has notes of flavour that was very similar to the Hundred Flower Honey, however, she was also very sure that no human could extract honey in that closely guarded valley. Aside from her, there were very few elves who would lower themselves to do something they considered as a menial task. The idea that someone would actually collect honey to sell was preposterous.
“It’s also possible that he had gotten his hands on something similar to Hundred Flower Honey somewhere else. The boss is the attentive type, his ingredients choices was also really unique. It’s entirely possible that he managed to create this flavour via some unique cooking technique.” Sally scooped another spoonful of [Beancurd] into her mouth and tried to examine the flavour objectively. The sweet and beautiful flavour enveloped her in a bubble of happiness. Ever since she had ran away from home, this was the happiest moment in her life, the other happiest moment was that first time she ate [Yang Zhou Fried Rice].
As expected, delicious food was the most straightforward path to happiness.
“Pretty Elf Sister, do you like the [Sweet Beancurd]?” Amy chirped, her eyes curved into happy sickles.
Sally looked up at her voice, and was taken aback by Amy’s winsome smile. She suddenly realised why Amy had seemed so familiar, that winsome smile, that poisonous tongue, it was the very same impression she had gotten when she was very young. Princess Irina had smiled the same way, and that awful habit of nicknaming people, she would never forget it!
Sally herself had been given the nickname of Snot Bug.
Hey, I am a wonderously beautiful elf, you know!
[Gumihou: Poor Sally.]
 The direct translation is simply ‘Slug’, but since the characters made up the meanings ‘Snot’+ ‘Bug’, I thought it sounded even more awful this way.