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Chapter 66 – A New Hobby

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Author: Eltria Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Robinxen

The first frying pans I crafted using alchemy turned out to be a great success, to put it bluntly.

When stir-frying vegetables, it evaporated the excess moisture, leaving them with a crisp texture while ensuring thorough cooking inside. And when grilling meat, it resulted in a crispy surface and juicy interior. Its performance was somewhat as expected, but I didn’t anticipate that it would enhance the taste of the ingredients so vividly when applied in cooking.

Both my mother and Alfe were delighted with the frying pans I made, enjoying cooking with them every day. Regarding my mother, she was so engrossed in it that unless I specifically asked, I didn’t get a chance to use it myself.

During the days of Glass, my curiosity was everything, but now, it was strange how bringing joy to someone else through my craft brought me even more joy in alchemy.

Just to be sure, I asked Mrs. Judy through Alfe about her experience, and she suggested that having a lid would expand the range of dishes we could prepare, so I decided to make one. This time, I chose a base combining glass and fire magic stones, increasing its strength to withstand the high heat of the frying pan.

“Wow! Your Asparagus-wrapped smoked meat is incredibly delicious!”

During lunch break, Alfe, who had exchanged our now-traditional lunchboxes, expressed exaggerated reactions with every bite. It was my little secret that I found it endearing when she got excited like this, reminiscent of the times when she used to flutter her feet with joy over tasty food.

“How did you make this?”
“…Well, I just cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces, wrapped them in thin slices of smoked meat, and then steamed them.”
“Ah! Steamed! I see!”

Alfe blinked rapidly in response to my answer.

“I also made smoked meat rolls with carrots, but they turned out a bit tough…”
“I think that’s fine too, with a good texture. …But maybe if you slice them a bit thinner, the heat will penetrate each piece more evenly.”

Alfe started to squirm as I answered while eating the smoked meat rolls with carrots from the exchanged lunchbox.

“…I like them that big…”

I didn’t understand the intention behind her words, but perhaps she wanted to emphasize the satisfying bite and chew. As I pondered this, I pierced the second one with my fork and noticed that the cross-section formed a heart shape.

“Oh, I see. You want to add a pattern. In that case, steaming would be the way to go.”

As I voiced my opinion, Alfe leaned forward instinctively. It seemed she was quite fond of cooking, given how attentively she was listening.

“Should I add water?”
“No need. Since the moisture evaporates quickly, just covering it with a lid should suffice. After preheating it thoroughly at first, you can cook it gently over low heat, just like with these asparagus.”
“Got it! I’ll try it tomorrow!”

So, tomorrow too… Maybe we’ll be having the same side dish for a while? It wasn’t like I’d get tired of eating the same thing, but I wondered what I should put in mine. Maybe Alfe would be happy if I mimicked her and included these smoked meat rolls with carrots? In that case, to make it heart-shaped and to utilize the carrots efficiently, I should make a carrot salad. Last time, I followed the recipe and found the vinegar too sour, so adding honey to mellow out the acidity would be good.

What started as helping my mother with cooking had gradually become my hobby, influenced by making the frying pan and the lunchbox exchanges. It was satisfying to see both my parents and Alfe pleased, and I was happy to indirectly apply my alchemical knowledge. Perhaps making my own pot would be a good next step.

“…Thanks for the meal.”

Lost in thought, I realized Alfe had finished her lunchbox first. As Alfe had grown a bit taller since entering middle school, her appetite seemed to be increasing. While I had always been a light eater, maybe Alfe’s bento should be a bit more substantial.

“Leafa, take your time eating, okay?”
“…Aren’t you bored?”
“I’m happy to see you enjoying the lunchbox I made.”

Alfe said with a smile, her eyes sparkling. The sunlight shining through the window illuminated her, revealing her Pure Eye behind the contact lens.

As the seasons changed, the heat of this summer was gradually coming to an end.

“It’s about time we return to the courtyard. It seems nice out there.”
“But in winter, we’ll feel cold there instead.”

As soon as summer arrived, Alfe and I gave up our usual spot by the fountain in the courtyard for lunch and started eating in classrooms with air conditioning.

“It’s okay in winter. I won’t feel cold if I stick to you. But it’s still just the two of us, so isn’t it fine here?”

Due to many students preferring to eat in the cafeteria, the classroom is empty, leaving only Alfe and me.

“…Yeah, that’s true. It’s just the two of us.”

Alfe seemed particularly delighted when I mentioned being alone together, repeating it as if savoring the idea. Since the classroom was surprisingly empty and comfortable, I’d prefer to keep our lunch spot here to save the hassle of moving.

Just to be sure, I decided to emphasize the fact that we were alone when Alfe brought up this topic again. And I would just hope that no other students start bringing their lunch here.


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