|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3398 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1458 words|
「Queen of Hearts is a magnificent fruit cultivated from this, together with the sweat and tears of farmers!」
Mira took out the nameless fruit from her Item Box, proudly showing it off.
That was the fruit’s primordial form, which was far harder to eat compared to a Queen of Hearts. But that sour fruit had been turned into one of the Four Great Fruits now. Mira felt like simply tweaking its taste a little would not be enough to reach that status.
「Oh really? They must’ve been really patient to improve on this fruit’s taste.」
Martel looked slightly surprised seeing that nameless fruit. She was actually impressed hearing what those farmers had accomplished. Mira was completely unrelated to them, but she still took pride in that. But then the Spirit King delivered some unexpected news.
「I remember that fruit, Martel created it as a punishment for a dare, and it’s awfully sour. They must’ve been really talented farmers to breed good fruit from that.」
The Spirit King grimaced and frowned, recalling the strong acidity and excessive sweetness of the fruit. He had actually eaten that fruit before, and as punishment from a dare no less.
「Really? I don’t think it was nearly as bad as you say. The Dawn Spirits thanked me, saying it was perfect to keep them awake.」
The Spirit King kept repeating that it was horrible, but Martel actually looked proud of her creation. She was the kind of person who was happy with anything as long as it was useful to someone.
The Spirit King and Martel kept talking about that while Mira had a really confusing feeling, hearing such an unexpected revelation.
The fruit that gave birth to the Queen of Hearts, one of the Four Great Fruits, had been created as a punishment for a dare. Mira really did not know how to feel knowing that.
But the fact remained that it had become one of the Four Great Fruits. Mira stashed away the history of the fruit’s creation deep inside her heart, and instead tried to imagine the taste of the Queen of Hearts, which she had not yet tried.
A vine sprouted in front of Mira again.
「How about this then?」
As Martel spoke, a fruit grew on the end of the vine and plopped onto the table. As Mira picked it up, Martel watched with a suggestive smile. Externally it looked the same, but it was clear she had changed something about it.
「Well, let me give it a try.」
Nothing would happen if all Mira did was imagine it, so she reached out for the fruit, looking forward to just how that sour taste had transformed. Just one bite was enough to change Mira into the shocked expression Martel had wanted.
「Ohh… what an incredible and sweet flavor!」
The pulp was soft like jelly, which caused an explosion of fragrant sweetness and acidity that filled Mira’s mouth.
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The flavor was so perfect no other fruit could get close to matching it. Even the Four Great Fruits felt mediocre by comparison. It was the fruit that reigned supreme above all others. Mira was certain of all that, and thanked her fate that allowed her to have a chance at trying it.
「It seems it was to your liking.」
Mira silently ate the fruit, making sure to enjoy every bite to its fullest. Martel watched that with a smile, and next to her the Spirit King looked at the fruit in Mira’s hands with a bit of envy. He was curious how the fruit he had once eaten as punishment for a dare had been reborn.
「I was thoroughly shocked. I admit defeat.」
Those were Mira’s words when she finished eating.
That was the power of Originator Spirits, Martel could create masterpieces in a matter of seconds. Even if a farmer took decades, or even centuries carefully breeding fruits, it was unlikely they would match that taste. Mira had never eaten a Queen of Hearts, but she doubted it was anywhere close what she had just eaten. That was the stark realization she got after eating the red fruit.
Martel and the Spirit King smiled, having successfully surprised Mira as they had set out to do. Mira reached out for her All Seasons au Lait to refresh her palate. But then the Spirit King said, 「That’s barely scratching the surface though.」
「What… did you say?」
Mira was already impressed with Martel’s abilities, so she was shocked when the Spirit King said that. Just what could her true power be if this was only a small fraction of it? Mira started to think, Martel had already produced the highest quality fruit, and improved a sour one far beyond its limits. Was there really anything above that?
「That drink, it has milk and fruits from each season, right? And a bit of honey I guess.」
Mira was drinking All Seasons au Lait. It was made from a selection of fruits from all seasons, carefully blended with milk, and with a touch of honey. Mira had not even mentioned its name, but Martel had already noticed that much, and after getting closer she could smell and list every single fruit used.
(I see, if it’s made with fruits she can separate all the scents no matter how mixed they are. I think I heard good chefs can do that too though. That’s not enough to surprise me!)
Mira had admitted defeat, but that was for the first battle. The Spirit King had prompted a second battle, and Mira would not let them win again. 「Are you full yet?」 asked Martel.
「No, I can take a lot more!」
All of Martel’s fruits had been incredibly tasty. Mira did not care about winning or losing if it meant she could stuff her cheeks with more of them, so she gave an immediate reply. Barely a second passed when she recalled how she did not want to be surprised, merely for her pride’s sake, and prepared herself mentally.
Yet another vine grew in front of Mira, producing a single fruit. This one was white and had an elliptical shape.
「Eat up then.」
Martel said with a smile, which was taken as a challenge by Mira, so she acted as calmly as she could as she plucked the fruit.
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「How can this be?! This flavor..!」
The flavor of various seasonal fruits quickly filled Mira’s mouth. Mellow, refreshing, and slightly acidic flavors were there. They all stood out from each other, but combined nicely at the same time. They were all flavors from the fruits used to make All Seasons au Lait, strawberry, cherry, peach, and apple. But that was not all. It also had the creaminess of milk, and the sweetness of honey.
That white fruit had the flavor of All Seasons au Lait.
「You look surprised again. But there you have it, Martel’s true power.」
「Was it to your liking?」
The Spirit King looked satisfied with the result, while Martel awaited Mira’s response with high expectations. That the fruit tasted like All Seasons au Lait was not too surprising, but Mira was shocked by how clearly every flavor stood out from each other.
「So even this is possible… No, I guess it makes sense for an Originator Spirit.」
Just thinking about the potential Martel’s power had made Mira shudder.
There was no fruit that got anywhere close to the taste of All Seasons au Lait. This white fruit had been created from scratch by Martel, right in front of Mira’s eyes. That alone was an impressive feat.
That power had been used for something as trivial as surprising Mira, which had been accomplished. Now the Spirit King, who even Originator Spirits obeyed, finally returned to Mira’s initial question about the difference between Originator Spirits and Primitive Spirits, his voice filled with pride.
Martel was the Originator Spirit of plants. All plant, tree, and flower Primitive Spirits stood below her.
Those Primitive Spirits, as their name suggested, could freely control various parts of nature. But that only extended to the plants that already existed in the world. The Pure White Peach had showcased the power to bring out the full potential of a fruit, while the red fruit had been based off another. Both of those powers also existed within Primitive Spirits, and was part of their particular abilities.
But the power to create a completely new fruit was something specific to an Originator Spirit like Martel. That was the only but decisive difference between Primitive Spirits and Originator Spirits.
「So it truly was a completely new species. That’s an incredible power.」