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Chapter 97 – Fried rice is fine too!

 

A day passed, and it was morning now.

Although it looked like it was pretty hot outside judging by the sight outside the window, Frontiers felt as comfortable as usual.

And talking about Frontiers, there are the hunger and thirst status that one needs to be wary of, as we get a debuff if let the hunger or thirst bars fill up.

Back when those statuses were released, most people were eating and drinking simply to avoid the debuff. I was the same back then.

However, as the skill levels of the cooks has risen, and more types of food have been researched, we ended up having more and more delicious food available to eat at our leisure.

Of course, since it’s a game, the food isn’t nutritious at all, but it also means that we can eat as much as we want without getting full. We can simply enjoy the lovely taste to our hearts’ content.

But recently, more benefits other than taking care of hunger and thirst started appearing.

Namely, meal bonuses.

They’re the equivalent of equipment Options, but for food. It’s hard to aim for specific meal bonuses, but you get better bonuses if you use better ingredients and have a higher skill levels, tools and facilities.

Right now, any food with a meal bonus seems to be quite popular.

Also, since most researched food was made to be delicious, the dishes with meal bonuses are quite tasty too.

Well, there are also some strange meals, but let’s not worry about that.

In any case, we do have a crafter specialized in sweets in Works, Lulu. And of course, since she is a top crafter, she can definitely make sweets with meal bonuses.

However, it seems like most of the bonuses found so far are only beneficial in combat, so they’re pointless for crafters like us.

But recently, people have shared information on the forums that confirmed the existence of meal bonuses for crafters, even if not many of them were found yet.

Of course, food is not limited to sweets… And the food in front of me isn’t a sweet, but is instead a standard meal.

Moreover, it has not only a meal bonus, but a crafting-related meal bonus.

“Is this it?” Mukaida asked.

“Yes. It seems like you’ll be able to see the bonus being applied to you while you process materials.” Lolita replied.

“It became a hot topic on the forums lately.” I commented.

“There are bonuses for material processing and bonuses for completing process.” Mii said.

“But you can’t have them all active together!” Muu completed his sentence.

“Bonus for material processing… Would be nice…” Lulu muttered.

“Processing material is very important for us.” I nodded.

“So, does this person want to join? I don’t mind it.” Mukaida commented.

Yes, a new person may finally join our crafter-only clan, Works.

Many people tried applying for it already, but Lolita rejected all of them so far.

The reason for it is simple. It would be harmful to us, as the top craft-focused Pioneers, to have those people join us.

There was a high chance that they wanted to join just to try getting high-ranked intermediate materials either for resale or for making equipment themselves.

People gave plenty of reasons to why they wanted to join, but none have passed Lolita’s examination so far.

That said, the method to join Works is very simple. One just needs to pass Lolita’s examination, then all of the clan members need to agree to the new person joining.

But well, simple doesn’t mean easy, as nobody that applied has been able to join even after a whole month of receiving applications.

Some people on the forums even said that we were a clan of relatives that didn’t allow outsiders to join, but… That was obvious nonsense, as we do have a recruitment thread on the forums and a recruitment announcement on the Guild. We wouldn’t bother with doing that if we didn’t want new people to join.

And now, a player Pioneer has finally passed Lolita’s examination.

She usually looks at three things for applicants. Their personality, their motive for joining, and the quality of their craft.

The fact that she is talking to us about this person means that all three categories have been cleared.

Especially the last one, for a dish with crafting-related meal bonus is right in front of us at this exact moment.

In other words, the person who wants to join is a cook, just like Lulu.

However, differently from her, who specializes in sweets, this new person seems to work primarily with actual meals.

“Then, let’s eat it. It won’t taste good if it gets cold.” Lolita said.

“Thank you for the meal.” We all said in unison.

This… The outside is crispy, but the inside is juicy and easy to eat. The sauce included also matches wonderfully with the crispy wings.

Yes! This is the wonderful gyoza with wings! It’s split into bite-sized parts, and they’re all incredibly tasty.

“Delicious!” Lolita exclaimed.

“This would go well with beer.” Mukaida said.

“Barley tea!” Mii said.

“Yes, tea!” Muu agreed.

“Hot!” They exclaimed in unison.

“I want some rice to go with it.” Lolita muttered.

“I ate Gyoza again for the first time in a long while!” I exclaimed.

Everyone seems to be quite happy with it, me included.

Or rather, I was very happy to eat Gyoza again. My actual diet is completely controlled, so I can’t eat what I like.

There are just too many restrictions to what I can eat, so it’s hard to have an opportunity to eat this kind of thing.

I’ve been eating like this for a long while, so I had lost the interest in food for the most part, but… In the end, delicious food is just the delicious.

Even if it’s more fun to draw Magical Formations over cooking to me.

“I agree with them joining!” I exclaimed.

“Agreed!” Mukaida said.

“Strong agree!” Both twins said together.

“I agree too…” Lulu muttered.

“Yeah, you’ve already approved their personality, right? Then I think there should be no problems.” I commented.

“That’s the rule.” Mukaida said.

“Then, it’s unanimous.” Lolita concluded.

On a side note, Lolita already shared the details of her examination with us in advance, so I know what kind of person this crafter is.

I definitely wasn’t charmed by the gyoza or anything.

******

“It’s a pleasure to meet you all. I’m Kuuruu.” The new member said.

The seventh member of Works was a cook that couldn’t be described as anything other than a Chinese-style cook.

Like, no matter how I look at him, he is a cook. He was carrying a wok, a spatula and a ladle on his back.

Then, on his right hand he had a large Chinese kitchen knife, and on the left hand there was a leek for some reason.

No matter how I look at it…

“P-pleased to meet you…” I managed to say.

“I’m glad I made such a large impression on you.” He told me.

“A Chinese… Now what is…?” Lulu also seemed to be flabbergasted.

“Meat bun!” Mii exclaimed.

“Steamed Bun!” Muu exclaimed.

“Meat man!” They exclaimed together.

“No, no, I’m just a normal Japanese person who played along for a bit. Best regards.” Kuuruu said.

“The surprise was a success! We did it!” Lolita exclaimed.

Everyone was stunned by Kuuruu’s appearance, but it was apparently a surprise prepared by Lolita… That is quite the surprise alright.

Frontiers is an online game, so there are naturally people who like roleplaying inside it.

Equipment in particular can be made with a wide variety of different appearances, so one can play quite a bit with it.

Moreover, differently from combat-focused Pioneers, crafters like us don’t have any use for equipment, so we have a lot of freedom in deciding our appearance.

I have always been using the Salopette Skirt and the Bucket Helm for one.

In any case, we now have a new companion. A very interesting person who can cook delicious food, like that gyoza with wings.

He helped me become a bit more interested in food than I was before… Though well, only on the eating side. I’m too busy with my current crafts to worry about cooking.

Not to mention that cooking requires a lot of research on the ingredients, which is not something I want to do.

“Oh, right. Kuuruu is planning on opening a store soon.” Lolita told us.

“I’ll be opening the Kuuruu Chinese Restaurant near the South Gate soon, so I hope you can all come eat there!” Kuuruu complemented.

“Guess I’ll have to go then.” I said.

“Will there be curry?” Mii asked.

“What about ramen?” Muu asked.

“Fried rice is fine too!” They said in unison.

“I want to eat some tofu…” Lulu muttered.

“Some well-cooked meat would be nice.” Lolita said.

“There are plenty of meals that are still on research stage, but I’m confident in making at least twenty dishes already.” Kuuruu told us.

“That’s more than the NPC stores.” Lolita seemed happy about it.

There aren’t many places other than stalls where players sell food so far. Stores in particular can be counted with a single hand.

In the end, the main reason to eat things without meal bonuses is just to recover hunger and thirst, so there is no need for a store usually.

Of course, delicious food is still worthwhile though.

Still, there are NPC stores as well, so a restaurant isn’t something that made much sense until now. It was essentially something one would make only for the sake of their hobby.

However, Kuuruu’s food does have meal bonuses, so that might be an important highlight for his restaurant.

How long the effect lasts depends on the meal, but it should last for at least six hours at the minimum, so it’s okay to go hunting after eating slowly.

Especially because you can only keep the effect of the last meal with bonus that you ate, so quickly eating many different meals that have bonuses on them isn’t particularly useful.

So, I have no doubt that his restaurant will thrive.

I wanna go there to eat together with everyone later!

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