Magi Craft Meister 477
14 Family Trip Arc
14-28 The Techres House
Jin and the others were quickly invited inside.
They were led into a magnificent hall. There were many maids and servants, and a middle-aged man with pure white hair was standing at the other side of a large table.
“Welcome, everyone. I’m the head of this household. My name is Eckert Techres.”
He seemed to have the low-profile of like a merchant instead of the pride that rich people tend to have. His hair was completely white, and his eyes were brown. He had a solid physical build.
“I recognize Miss Vivian, but I see we have a lot of new faces.”
“My name is Jin.”
Jin and the others introduced themselves. After Reinhardt and Berthie finished their introductions, Eckert invited them to take a seat. Reiko, Edgar, and the other attendants remained standing behind them.
They all took a seat at the table, which was made of solid dark wood. Immediately the maid brought everyone something to drink. It was cold Kaffi.
“What do you think? This is some of our prized cold Kaffi.”
Eckert seemed to be a bit boastful about it, but since Jin and the others were aware of the existence of refrigerators, they weren’t as deeply impressed as he would have liked. Still, that didn’t change the fact that the cold Kaffi was delicious.
Eckert quickly noticed their lack of surprise, which made him look a little disappointed.
“Hmm, so cold drinks are not unusual to you, huh? Ah, but I should have expected that.”
Eckert upfrontly conceded defeat.
“Yeah, do you know about a thing called refrigerator?”
That quickly caught Eckert’s interest.
“A refrigerator? What’s that?”
“As the name implies, a refrigerator is a Magic Tool built as a cabinet that keeps things cold inside of it. It was created in Blue Land, in the Egelia Kingdom.”
“Really! …Hmph, I’ve only reached as far as Fantole Town there, I should have done an extra effort and gone to Blue Land as well!“
Eckert seemed to be tremendously vexed. But he immediately got back on his feet.
“Ah, excuse me. Of course you would know of such exotic things. This is something to be happy about! Do you happen to know about other unusual Magic Tools or other devices?”
He had started to sound like an actual merchant trying to do business.
“Ah, so you’ve gone to the Egelia Kingdom by ship?”
Reinhardt was the one to speak up this time.
“That’s right. It’s far more convenient than using the highway.”
So far, there were no restrictions on maritime traffic. This is because the Celuroa Kingdom was originally an inland country.
The Korin region, where Coupu was located, which once was known as the Korin Kingdom, was considered as nothing more than a pivot point by the Celuroa Kingdom.
For that reason, the regulations on maritime traffic were still a bit rough around the edges, which in turn made it possible for the area’s maritime trade to flourish.
“Have you ever been to Potlock, in the Elias Kingdom?”
“Potlock? No, I’ve heard about it, but I’ve never been there myself.”
“Ah, that’s a shame. An excellent shipbuilder called Marcia lives there.”
Earlier this year, Marcia had teamed up with Jin in a golem boat competition in Potlock.
Reinhardt and Elsa had teamed up and participated as well. Jin and Marcia won the competition, with Reinhardt and Elsa taking as runner ups.
From that moment on, Jin, Marcia, Reinhardt, and Elsa became friends.
That’s why Reinhardt, using his skills as a diplomat, casually mentioned Marcia as a recommendation.
“Ohoho, I see…”
Eckert seemed to be in a good mood. It looked like he was seeing an opportunity for good business within his reach.
After that, Jin and the others went on having an unreserved conversation about various things Mr. Techres.
“Oh, it’s nearly time for lunch. Let me get it prepared for you.”
As Eckert clapped his hands, his maids skillfully arranged plates for everyone on the table. After they were done, an attendant brought along a huge pot.
“Well, you might have already known about cold drinks, but what about this?”
A brown soup was served on their plates. It didn’t have any garnish.
But Jin remembered that scent very well.
“Oh? So you know about it, Mr. Jin? This is an ingredient I got from a certain contact the other day. He called it ‘Bin Pei’, but you just called it ‘Miso’. I think your name for it rolls easier on the tongue.”
Eckert was surprised. But Jin could only think of one thing.
“Can I try it?”
“Of course. Please try it to your heart’s content, everyone.”
Regardless of whether or not Eckert had finished saying that, Jin picked up his plate and started sipping on the soup, which was very similar to miso soup. It was definitely a violation of manners, but Jin couldn’t afford to worry about that.
“How is it?”
Elsa and Reinhardt also scooped up the soup that looked like miso soup with a spoon and brought it to their mouths.
“…It’s a little salty, isn’t it?”
“No, this is just about right.”
“Ah, no, I mean, this is such an unusual flavor…”
“Looks like this could be even tastier with a few more ingredients in.”
Everyone had given up their smoothed up impressions about it. However…
…Jin couldn’t help himself.
Reinhardt was surprised by his surprisingly upfront remark.
“…The soup stock isn’t good. It’s too salty. It’s been left to boil for way too long, and most of the aroma is gone.”
Jin’s criticism had been extra harsh because he had been yearning for some good miso soup for a long time.
“…If it’s okay with you, would you let me prepare some miso soup?”
“Oh? Yes, please. Go ahead!”
Rather than being offended by Jin’s words, Eckert nodded, seemingly looking forward to seeing what Jin would prepare. He then had one of his attendants show him to the kitchen.
“I’ll help you as well, Jin!”
The Family’s flavor expert, Berthie, hurriedly went after him. Without either saying a word, Reiko and Neon followed along as well.
“…Is this ‘Miso’?”
The miso that the head chef showed them once they got to the kitchen was quite fermented. Unlike soy sauce, miso is not heat-treated, so how well its fermentation process goes depends on how it’s stored.
“Yeah, but we can still use this.”
Jin confirmed this by dipping his finger in the miso and tasting it.
“First of all, the soup stock…”
When there are no dried bonito flakes nor kelp, one could always turn to dried sardines for the soup, but unfortunately, there were no dried sardines to be found either.
Jin searched all over the kitchen looking for a substitute, and eventually came across a candidate.
Drying was one of the many ways to preserve fish. A simple way to do so was by slicing freshly caught fish open, removing the internal organs and washing them with salt water. After that, one would simply lay them out under the sun and let them dry.
Leaving the theory that drying fish in the sun caused proteins to decompose into amino acids, increasing the fish’s flavor, Jin realized he could use these dried fish as a base for the miso soup stock.
“Now, onto the other ingredients…”
With a fish-based stock, the next ingredients would preferably be plant-based. Seagrass like wakame would have been a great choice, but eating seaweed didn’t seem to be customary in this world.
“So in that case…”
There was no tofu in this world either, so naturally, there would be no fried tofu.
Jin found a vegetable that looked like an eggplant.
“Alright, eggplant miso it is, then.”
Jin started to nimbly peel off the vegetable’s purple skin.
“Let me help you with that, Jin.”
Berthie offered to take care of peeling the eggplants while Jin dealt with the soup stock.
She then soaked the chopped up eggplant-like vegetable in a bowl of water to remove their bitterness.
In the meantime, Jin put the whole dried fish into a pot of boiling water, and after letting it boil for a while, he took out the fish and put in the eggplants Berthie had chopped up, and brought that to a boil.
He didn’t mind that the soup would get a little blackish. After boiling for about 2 minutes, he added the miso and turned off the heat just before boiling.
“If you let it boil after adding the miso, it will lose its aroma.”
Jin explained that to both Berthie and the head chef, who were looking attentively from the side.
“Alright, let’s give this one a try.”
Neon carried the pot back to the table, where the maid started serving the new soup to everyone.
The first one to try it was Elsa.
Reinhardt, Saki, Stearleana, and Vivian also took a sip and were surprised by the difference in flavor.
And the one that seemed to be the most surprised was Eckert.
“Oh, my…! To think it could be this tasty!”
“All you need to do is use a soup stock, and not let it boil after adding the miso. Just with that you’ll get a much better flavor out of it.”
Since they weren’t particularly good at taking hot food, Jin and Berthie were slowly enjoying their miso soup. This time, the soup was tasty enough for Jin to be able to actually enjoy it.
“This could be turned into a local specialty!”
Of course, Eckert couldn’t help but look at this soup with the eyes of a merchant.