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Chapter 2 – “The Evil God Army Strategist Appears. Here Comes My Zifang!”
In the early afternoon, a biseinen(beautiful young man) appeared before me.
“Good afternoon to you. I am the Chief of General Staff at the Evil God Army, Dryas Bo Malferand. It is my humble pleasure and honour to finally come face to face with you, Tilea-sama.”
With that, the biseinen elf bowed low to me.
“Aahh, so you’re the strategist that Timu mentioned. I wondered what you might be like. I came up with a lot of ideas, but you actually were an elf, weren’t you.”
“Tilea-sama, I may look like an elf, but I am a proper demon.”
“Aahh, so that’s how it is.”
I’m shocked. To think that even the elven race had chuunibyou patients. Aah, but could it be that he was ostracised because of it and they expelled him from the village, or could it be that he left on his own? Elves have this image of being exclusive isolationists who don’t get along well with humans. But to think that one would actually come here to play with humans…
He must have found it really hard to stay in his village. He can’t have fit in. I have to be kind to him instead.
“Well, everybody has their own circumstances. Let’s get along, okay?”
“Yes, Tilea-sama. I live for your sake, and I die for your sake.”
“Mn? Aren’t you part of Timu’s Praetorian Guard?”
“Camilla-sama gave birth to me, but in the end, the reason for my existence is to serve you, Tilea-sama.”
Oh ho? Is that the setting this time? For my sake, huh~
Well, it certainly doesn’t feel bad, but…
I stared right at his hot guy face.
And guess what! He stared right back with a refreshing, hot guy smile!
Geh-, what’s with this refreshing look! Honestly, this is why hot guys are… It can’t be that he thinks he can capture me?
Just to let you know, I’m a guy so you’re out of the question. Honestly, riajuu should just explo――whoawhoa, whoa, Tilea, why are you dragging out these grudges from your old life? Dryas-kun is a poor kid who was driven out of his village. Not only that, he’s been good to Timu and the others. He’s a friend. You have to treat him well.
“Ehh~ Well, yeah, let’s definitely get along. By the way, I heard from Timu that you’re a wise general type, but is that true?”
“Indeed. As a Staff Officer, I have been provided with knowledge of all things in creation.”
Dryas-kun spoke in his silky hot guy voice.
In the end, he’s just a chuunibyou. Empirically speaking, there’s a huge possibility that he’s an idiot…
But well, it’s pretty much a rule that elves are knowledgeable. Let’s test him a little.
“You’re quite confident. Then, let’s have you answer a little quiz.”
“As you wish, Tilea-sama.”
“First question, dun dundun dun♪ The red and delicious fruit, the bomigranide. What period is it most ripe and delicious?”
Heh. This something you wouldn’t know unless you’re a cook. Impossible for laymen to answer. If you really know everything, then let’s hear the answer.
“The First Month in Primebarela. If you go further down south, then perhaps the Third Month in Inverno would be fine too.”
Oi, oi, that’s a perfect answer. The crapper cooks might not even know! We might have picked up a real treasure…
“Second question then, dudun dun♪ The barcret that blooms in midsummer can be used as an ingredient. However, which parts of it?”
“The secondary leaves, I do believe. However, if you isolate it from the air, and then boil it together with joyoh fluid at 90 degrees or over, the poison is mostly removed from the leaves, and all of them can then be eaten. But well, poison doesn’t mean much to us demons…”
“C-, Correct. Or rather, you could remove the poison like that? I never knew.”
“Yes. Not only that, but you can also boil it together with onicus leaves. However, this method may affect the taste, and thus I do not recommend it.”
H-, He’s capable.
I’m not sure even if a first-rate chef could give such perfect answers…
Mumu, I can’t lose. Now that it’s come to this, let’s go with even harder questions.
“Then the third question…”
After that, I brought up any possible cooking questions I could think of. And Dryas promptly and accurately answered every one of them. Not only that, occasionally he even gave answers that covered a cook’s blind spots, so I really had to take my hat off to him.
Haha, what’s with this professor, this walking encyclopaedia? I’m starting to think of him as a cook already. Hmm~ I want to ask questions in other fields too, but I have no clue on anything outside of cooking.
“Huhu, how is Dryas, Oneesama? He is my greatest creation. I would be very happy if you found him suitable, but…”
Ooh, Timu came along with perfect timing. I’ll have Timu ask him questions about magic.
“Timu, Dryas is great. He’s just like a wise general.”
“It brings me great joy to hear that you are pleased, Oneesama.”
“Dryas-kun has been amazing. I’ve been asking him all these cooking questions, and he got every one of them right. Could it be that he’s a cook?”
“Oneesama, Dryas is a perfect strategist, versed not only in cooking, but all things in creation.”
“I-, I see. Then, Timu, you ask him something too. Like a hard question about magic, okay?”
“When I created Dryas as my kin, I included all of my knowledge. He can perfectly answer any question I could ask.”
“Hmmm. If you’re that confident, then just ask him something.”
“I understand, Oneesama.”
Timu turned to Dryas-kun.
“Dryas. The aveross uses the first key of darkness magic. Tell me how to construct it. However, you are not to use dipuletion or anshuichon.”
“Milady. First, you invoke the darkness in the favatar. Thereafter, you offer the the schutel-babineh waves. When you do, the heat of the jao’fvai must be――”
Yep… I have noooo idea what you’re talking about. But I get the feeling that what they’re talking about is definitely difficult stuff. Timu really is a genius at magic. She sounded incredibly familiar with the content, like a lecturer at the Academy. And Dryas was answering each question smoothly.
As expected of an elf. He’s showing me the knowledge that the guardians of the forest have. Yeah. Rather than a cook, he really is like a walking encyclopaedia. You could even call him the Prince of Miscellaneous Knowledge.
“You two, sorry for butting in while you seem to be hitting the climax, but stop!”
“Timu, Dryas-kun’s answers were correct, weren’t they.”
“Yes. One hundred, no, one hundred and twenty marks. He answered with regards to the next step I would take. I was truly satisfied by his responses.”
“I see. You’re good, Dryas-kun. I’ll acknowledge you. From now on, please take care of us as my Zifang.”
“Oneesama, what is this ‘ji-fahng’?
“Aah, well, in my old life there was this really amazing strategist by the name of Zifang.”
“So that is how it was. It is the acme of honour that you think me as such. I, Dryas, shall give my all to support you in your conquest.”
“I-, I see. Well, try your best.”
Aahh, just like I thought, he really is a chuunibyou. Even though he was born with such a good head…
Aahhh! It’s such a waste!
I was filled with prayers for him to be quickly cured of that disease.
After that, we got Dryas-kun settled in, like getting him to meet with the other members of the Evil God Army, or guiding him around the secret base.
Hm, it’s already this late. I sure am hungry. Should I make something? Yeah, I’ll make something, and we can have a welcoming party for Dryas-kun too.
“You guys must be hungry. I’ll go make some food.”
“W-, We could never have you do such a thing. I will order a subordinate,” said Or.
Oi, if it’s not me, the cook, then who else can prepare food? Aren’t you just a bunch of chuunibyou!
“Or, will that be alright? Can any of you cook? I’m a little anxious, but…”
“O-, Of course. Please leave it to us.”
Or flew out of the room. Will this really be okay? I can’t imagine that these guys could cook a decent meal.
But well~ Since they’re so fired up, maybe I shouldn’t pour cold water over them. They just gained a new friend. It’s not strange to think that they want to do something for him.
Can’t be helped. Guess I’ll give them some face.
I waited for them to finish making dinner.
After a while…
“We have kept you waiting.”
They brought in a feast.
Mn, smells good. Not bad!
They made sure to have an appetiser, some soup, and a main.
Now then, what’s the meat dish for today?
Ohh~? It’s roasted whole beacock! These are some good ingredients. From what I can see, they’re all pretty good.
Yep, yep, every one of these dishes is first class.
Yep, yep, ye-!? H-, Hang on a minute. They’re too first class!
The ingredients for the meat, the seafood, the soup; they’re all super high class.
Or, just how much money did you spend――wha-, oi, oi, you’re kidding, right! This is balott, you know. To so casually use something that you can only get every ten, no, a hundred years from each one is…
The dishes were made from such high class ingredients that it was almost a waste to eat it all. But they were already cooked, so there was nothing to do except eat. In a daze, I brought some food to my mouth.
A shock ran through me. The more I chewed, the more the aromatic fragrances of the spices and ingredients mixed and spread through my mouth.
T-, This… With normal seasonings, you’d never get this flavour. This refined taste and richness that you’d never get even after ten, no, a hundred years of cooking.
O-, Oh my god. A-, Are these guys all idiots?
I put down what I was about to eat, and immediately put down my chopsticks.
“What’s with this food!”
“This is why I didn’t want beginners making the food! You think I can eat this?”
“U-Umm, if you have some dissatisfaction with this, I can…”
“EEI! Bring me the manag-, I mean, the person who made this!”
Or hurriedly called for the cook.
“I-, I have arrived at your summons. I am Jigma, the one in charge of the cooking.”
“Y-, You. You used gem salt in the broth for this, didn’t you.”
“T-, That was called ‘gem salt’? I simply used the salt that Ortissio-sama purchased, but…”
“O-, Oh hohh~? I-, I see. Ignorance really is terrifying. You know, gem salt is a naturally occurring salt that takes thousands of years to appear. And for you to have… From what I tasted, you must have used a lot, didn’t you.”
“Yes, I did but… Was there something wrong with that?”
“Something wrong…? You…”
“W-Was there some problem?”
It’s hopeless. I can tell that he really doesn’t have a clue. Just tonight’s meal would easily exceed the annual income of a normal family.
And also, as meals they were good, but the cooking was bad. Even though the ingredients were the absolute best, the cooking was nowhere close.
“Also, the way you used 『roasting』, 『smoking』, 『grilling』 and 『steaming』 was completely random. Do you have any experience cooking?”
“No, none at all. I am a soldier.”
O-, Oh my goodness…
These ultra-high class ingredients that any cook would die for was wasted unsparingly by a beginner…?
Or, your money sense is just horrific. As expected of a kid from a great noble’s family.
“Or, what were you thinking?”
“You mean to say…?”
“You know, since you refused me and said you were going to make the food, I thought that you would have somebody who could cook. I can’t say that he doesn’t know anything at all, but this was still sacrilege towards the ingredients, you know? It was unforgivable.”
“Tilea-sama’s anger is most justified. Why did you use such cheap ingredients!”
“You used scraps and waste to prepare a meal that Oneesama was going to eat. Ortissio, I trust you understand?”
“M-, My deepest apologies. I used the highest class ingredients I had on hand, but-”
“AND I AM TELLING YOU THAT THAT IS NEGLIGENCE! In the Demon Capital, even a dog would not eat this refuse!”
They misunderstood, and then began to happily bicker. Haha, honestly, there’s really no hope for these guys.
“DAHHHHHH! Enough! Enough, okay? I really *am going to have to do the cooking myself.”
“However… For somebody like you to do such a thing is――”
“However, schmauever! This is an order! I will be doing the cooking. I can’t leave things to beginners like you.”
I glared them into silence.
Mn, if I leave it to you lot, it’s going to turn into something insane. Speaking of which, I left the ingredient shopping for “Berum – Capital Branch” to Or as well, didn’t I.
T-, This is bad. Did that damned Or buy only crazy stuff? Huhu, for some reason I get the feeling that we’re about to go bankrupt…
Zhang Liang (c. 3rd century BC – 186 BC), courtesy name Zifang, was a strategist and statesman in the early Western Han dynasty. He is also known as one of the “Three Heroes of the early Han dynasty” (漢初三傑), along with Han Xin and Xiao He.
Xun Yu (163–212), courtesy name Wenruo, was a strategist and statesman who served as an advisor to the warlord Cao Cao in the late Eastern Han Dynasty. Xun Yu was a native of Yingchuan (穎川; present-day Xuchang, Henan), and was born in a family of government officials. Xun Yu proved to be a talented youth, and was evaluated by the scholar He Yong as “someone capable of assisting kings” (王佐之才).
In the subsequent years, warlords quickly rose in each region; Xun Yu first served Yuan Shao, whose power base was in Ji Province, but later left him and went to serve Cao Cao in 191.
Cao Cao recognized Xun Yu’s talent and he exclaimed, “Here comes my Zifang!” when Xun Yu arrived, and he appointed Xun as an army commandant.