65. Ginji the nine-tailed fox said the owner of Tenjinya hires Ayakashi who all have their own job respectively with executive like titles. Master Ogre God. The Young Master Nine Tails Fox. Front Desk Spider. The First Hostess. Young Snow Woman Hostess. Front desk manager. Kitchen Daruma. Old Kappa and the bath care takers. Itachi that manage the gardens and Tanuki that take care of slippers. It’s possible there could be other executive positions but these are the only ones I’ve heard of.
66. I bothered them, in spite of this I still had to get a job. “I don’t want a human girl like you working here.” I had talked to O-Ryo, a snow woman with light blue hair that was cut into a short bob. O-Ryo could be described as a glossy beauty with a glamorous body. However there is a sense that her chest could be missing something. She is the top hostess, making her the young-hostess. The three faceless sisters and the young-hostess had lead me to a room of some sort. O-Ryo looks at her self in a large mirror as she applies some makeup. She stares at me through the mirror, finally she breathes in and takes a big breath out. “Anyway, a poor and smelly human girl like you is a bride candidate for the Master? I can’t believe your looks could satisfy him very much.”
“What?” O-Ryo-san had remarked coolly. I don’t care about satisfying that Ogre, not at all. O-Ryo continued to apply powder to her cheeks.
67. “Let me tell you something, the Master would not want you, Shiro’s granddaughter in a high position. Anyway, I don’t think he’d want a dull figured, unattractive person like you to be his wife. I will not forgive you for acting so impertinent here. Being taken in so generously by the Master and trampling his kindness.”
“What? I was brought here without my consent.” This was a pure abduction. That much was clear. However O-Ryo-san’s reaction was like everyone else’s.
“That can’t be helped, after all Shiro-san had a large debt to this inn. It’s a relatives duty to take on that debt, is it not?”
“But why is it that Shiro-san seemed to leave it to a poor person like you. Shiro-san was a wonderful person but seemed caught up in a few affairs. Anyway, I will stay devoted to the Master.” Whilst she continues to dye her cheeks O-Ryo-san suddenly goes into work mode. I could see her blue eyes shine through the reflection of the mirror as she stared into the vanity. “Good thing about being a hostess here is that you must always look pretty or else you’ll get complaints. So you’ll be getting complaints from customers. If a complaint comes in, you have to go apologise. Since you are such an ugly human girl you wouldn’t want to go apologise or else you may end up somewhere unexpected.”
68. The things she said, are so horrible, they made me tremble almost fearfully. I was driven out of the room into the cool corridor. There were lots of Ayakashi in the hall way all staring at me as they start whispering to each other, rumours I’m sure. Bad ones probably. Everyone here must be an enemy. The surrounding gazes sting, I felt awkward, I was afraid. No matter where I go everyone hated me. However, the three faceless sisters approached me. “Are you alright?”
“Hey, am I really such an ugly woman?” I said with anger hinting at my voice as I inquired about such a vivacious thing.
“No no! The granddaughter of Shiro-san is absolutely beautiful!” Said the smallest sister in a panic.
“It’s true! O-Ryo is just a little irritated as she thinks of herself as the Master’s mistress.”
“Now Plum.” Bamboo whacks her little sister across the head.
“Eh? She’s the Master’s Mistress?”
“Oh Aoi-san, O-Ryo says such things without permission, in any case it’s false. I don’t like it when she says those things very much, but do you?”
69. “No, I don’t mind at all.” I said in a serious tone but the three sisters still continue to panic. The Eldest daughter of the three coughs, then continues. “But Aoi. You are very beautiful, but since you’re from the Apparent Realm there’s a looming sense of incapability.”
“The Apparent Realm?”
I had picked at my thin light blue dress that I was wearing. Although it was ruined yesterday from when I was wearing it, this morning it was placed at the bottom of my room completely dry and clean. Well, having such a floaty dress isn’t of much use anymore. But, this type of dress was the number one trend during spring. I’d like to say I was quite fashionable and cheery at University, but in the world of Ayakashi such a cheerful trend is non-existent and useless.
Next, I had peered into the bathhouses. Tenjinya in the north eastern land of Hiduyo is built on a famous hot spring resort named Onikomi Onsen. Because of that the bathhouses are divided into indoor and outside baths, the springs flowed luxuriously.
70. The hot springs here are supposed to be effective for skin and scars. The men’s baths were managed by the old kappa’s whilst the women’s were taken care of by the wet girls. Ladies are forbidden to work in the men’s bathrooms. I wanted to become one of the bath care takers, so I decided to ask quietly if I could work here. Shizuna had long black hair, she rolled up her kimono with her long slender arms as he continued to polish the floors. The atmosphere in the bathhouse felt as if it was raining. Long black hair covered her face, so it was impossible to read her expression. I could hardly even see her eyes through the gaps of her hair, although she seems very cute. As I approached I could feel my skin going paler and paler. “Hello?” I said with shivering cold sweats.
“Oh, it’s you. I’m sorry I’m sorry but I have been told from the First Hostess not to hire you.”
“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.” Scared of waiting for my words she apologizes quickly.
71. The mop she was holding in her hands seemed very shaky. It seems as if I’m not fortunate enough to be able to work here either, I nod and decide to leave. I step out beyond the door frames of the bathroom and into the corridor. “What do I do now?” I asked the three sisters waiting in the hallways. The three sisters said they were already aware of what Shizuna’s answer was.
“Shizuna is a very hard working person and quite a gentle girl, but what she did was cowardly.”
“Yes, but since the bath house is under the control of the First Hostess, her order is final and absolute.”
“It is said that the First hostess in particular is keeping a close eye on the Master’s fiancé as her position could be at stake.” I give a long sigh after hearing Bamboo’s words. I thought that the Young Hostess was bad but it seems the First Hostess is probably the real threat. I wonder to what extent she’ll take such a thing.
72. I decided to go into the garden. There is a wide garden around Tenjinya’s main hall, it’s rather large. After spring a lot of cherry blossom trees fill the garden, the petals that had fallen onto a path where you could take a walk. There are so many flowers blooming. Koi fish swam elegantly in the pond below, swimming swiftly into the stream and across the bridge. For a small moment a strong gust of wind blew up my dress. The path was no longer filled with cherry blossoms like it was a while ago.
“What just happened?”
“The gardens are patrolled by the kaminari they almost never show up during the day as they’re as fast as wind. They clean up the gardens as well. In the evenings they watch the inn and the garden, they start their work immediately.” It sounds amazing, almost ninja like.
“Is it impossible to talk to them?”
“It’s impossible for me not to talk to you!”
“Ha ha ha.” I looked around the garden looking for a Kaminari, but the garden is still lonely, I cannot even find one. But when I think about it, a job like this would require considerable fighting power. A power that I do not have and would be reckless to pursue, besides, they didn’t need any power from someone like me.
73. It’s depressing, the only place where I could possibly work is the front desk, which is already occupied by that spider. Just thinking about his stupid face annoyed me, in fact, he had annoyed me since I first met him. He hated me as much I hated him. Of course, he would not let me work at the reception! “Is working in the kitchen really that difficult?”
“Oh no! Let’s not go to the kitchens, ladies are forbidden from working in there. Besides, the head Daruma is already a magnificent cook, but his dishes are very old and traditional. Customers who complain about the taste and style of his cooking at Tenjinya normally aren’t allowed to stay at this Inn ever again however.”
“Eh? So he’s protecting his traditions? How chivalrous.” My Grandpa has taken me to many inns and I only know a few that continued to stick to traditions with such a resolute attitude. However, it’s not a bad thing so to say. Pine seemed to think it was quite sad.
“Okamiya cuisine is one of the highlights at Tenjinya, but when a dishes taste does not change for hundreds of years it seems to become boring and awkward to continue to eat it.”
74. “Yes yes, different dishes are always coming in and out of this world. So when Tenjinya’s dishes remain unchanged and still taste the same people start to acquire a bad sense for the food. There have always been customers that don’t enjoy the food however.”
“Plum!” Bamboo shoves her sister.
“Since we don’t have mouths, I don’t think it was necessary to say such things Plum, nor did you have to push her Bamboo.” The three sisters who have no faces at all and no expressions, I’m starting to see their personalities. “I haven’t eaten that type of cuisine before! So, I’d be interested in trying it.” All of a sudden, I’ve become interested in cooking here at Tenjinya and in their cuisine.
“If you became the Master’s bride you would be able to eat any food that you want!” Pine casually mentions me becoming the Master’s bride. That reminds me, these three girls are indeed hostesses under the Master. “I adamantly refuse.” I raised my shoulders in disagreement.
The three sisters gathered in a circle and complained, “Wow.”
“Well if that’s the case, the only place for you is probably the front desk.” The Tsuchigomo which is one of the front desk managers is named Akatsuki, so one of the three sisters tells me of course. When I said I wanted to work, I didn’t imagine it’d be this hard.
“Akatsuki would absolutely never let Aoi-san work there.”
“I understand that somehow but, I just want to find work, somehow.”
“Aoi-san, what a surprise!”
75. That shady looking front desk manager. “Oi!” I raise my shoulders and turn around to look at the owner of that angry voice. I see a haori crest with a circle drawn representing heaven on it and a coat with an expensive appearance. Along with a figure of a very tall man. That red-bean coloured hair is somewhat amazing as it gradually gets redder and redder. It seemed like he had a bad complexion on his face. For some reason I could tell that this was indeed the face of that spider, I was convinced that it was. “What are you doing here human? The customers will be here soon and you’ll only get in the way you idiotic girl.”
“Do not try and address me by my name! Do not speak to me.” Before I even had the chance to call out his name, he started to yell. There were many Ayakashi at the reception area, the Tanuki are already taking care of the slippers whilst the room hostesses are also there. They all watch on at the sight of the Tsuchigomo yelling at me. Among them was the young hostess who gently pokes her tongue out at me. I thought she was frustrating, but as I stand here I face the Tsuchigomo in front of me with all my might. “It seems that the Master is letting you return Shiro’s debt by working, however you’re merely a human girl. Tenjinya has no benefits in employing a filthy girl like you!”
76. “Well, I won’t know if I don’t try will I?!” Despite that Tsuchigomo trying to pressure me, I responded with anger in my voice. “What are you on about? No one here is willing to accept you! There’s already proof of that! Give up and just leave this place. Your face really reminds me of Shiro’s, cocky and annoying. I hate it.”
“Well then, I think you should be complaining about that face that you were born with!”
“Ehh? Shout your mouth! You dare stand in front of me and speak like that. I will eat you to your bones Granddaughter of Shiro.” I was standing still trying to keep my nice composure but my anger was threatening to pour down like rain to some extent. I have myself to blame for holding back, but I’m afraid that if I let out these emotions they’ll be smothered into fine particles of dust, taken away by the wind. “Oh Akatsuki could you please stop. Aoi-san is the Master’s fiancé after all.”
“Fine, I won’t eat her.” Pine, Bamboo and Plum immediately stand in a straight line but the Spider remains his ground. “What is that awful and annoying sound?”
77. The sound could be heard resonating throughout the Inn, multiple employees gathered. Eventually the Tsuchigomo said, “Be patient.” As he stretched out into the form of the spider as the air remained tense. Long legs surrounded me. For some reason my body seemed to get stronger. Cold sweat dripped down my face. “Welcome.” But the air seemed to remain pleasant for the Ayakashi as they had started to form a cheery line. Thanks to that the spider seemed to release the tenseness of the situation as it’s spine stretched out and he went back to normal. He hurried over back to the reception desk finally leaving me alone. “Hello, you’re the first customers of the day, so I’ll be checking you in. I’m serving as the Front Desk Manager for you. I’m Akatsuki of the Tsuchigomo, if there is a problem please feel free to ask me about it! Well, here is your room key, please enjoy.” It was if he was almost a different person as he shines a bright smile at the first customers of the day as he offered his assistance. The first customers of the day were a cat like old couple who had been idly walking around. I continue to watch the spider work as he acts like an entirely different person.
78. “Akatsuki is very hard working as the front desk manager, the Master has the most confidence in him more than anyone. It seems like he loves working at Tenjinya more than anything else.”
“Wow, his resentment of Shiro-sama and distrust of humans beings seems to be very strong.”
“This place is thriving now.” The three sisters sighed as they held their cheeks. It felt as if I was lost in this Inn during the time I was just idly watching that Spider work. “Oi, human.” A small demon who was probably as tall as my waist was standing by my side. He handed me my bag which was in the room I had stayed in yesterday. That room was originally a luxury suite, the three sisters informed me that I was most likely not considered a guest anymore and thus it was no longer my room. It seems that they had to resume their usual jobs, they lowered their heads towards me as they left. Of course the Inn has already opened for business so the Ayakashi employees will be busy. Right now I don’t have time to think about work. I wonder where I could possibly stay in this Inn? I walk over to an unpopular place in the main building.
79. The path was long straight and dark, being on the other side from the front. I came over here to escape but many of the rooms down here are ones Tenjinya are not in using, it’s like a connected passage. What’s creepy is the amount of white arrows that have been decorated all over the wall. I don’t know where these arrows will take me, but I unconsciously decided to follow them. I feel so miserable, I never thought that I’d be so hated here and that I would not be needed. Whether I’m competent enough to work or not, it’s painful being turned down after trying so hard. I can already see that Ogre’s hateful eyes as he smiles triumphantly. It was impossible to return the debt. That Ogre’s eyes. I remember he eventually said that I would become an Ogre’s bride if the debt did not disappear. Now that I think about it, if I had married the Ogre with no debt involved it would have been a nice story possibly. As I thought about such a weak idea I continued to wander down the dark corridor feeling depressed. At the end of the corridor was a sliding door with light leaking out of a dimly lit gap, all the white arrows seemed to point to this. I opened the door without having any difficulties.
80. The scent of blooming flowers were coming from behind the sliding door. “Wow, a courtyard.” The courtyard seems very quiet, a wooden corridor with a roof over the top continues through it and into the gardens. This all seems very interesting. Eventually I pass over the bridge and on to the stone bedding. A stone path then continued. I was able to admire the entirety of the courtyard whilst I walked through. Pine trees, blue autumn leaves, gravel rocks all arranged with precision. I felt at peace in this area. It is an atmospheric courtyard, but it’s also very quiet too, but not scary quiet. “A Willow tree?” As I continued to walk down the path I could see a large weeping willow tree that stood idle in the open space. The swaying branches instil a sense of silence and makes it feel as if time itself has stopped. The branches movements were reminiscent of that of a ghost’s, but that type of atmosphere seemed perfect for an Inn. At the bottom of the willow tree stood a building, the roof reminded me of a private home. It was small, but still splendid none of the less. It was different from the style of the main building, but it felt somewhat lonely. The atmosphere in this place felt very nostalgic. I thought that perhaps it could be a shop, but there was no sign to indicate that. However, there was a single door open.
81. As I peered in, no one was in sight and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I thought it might have been a store room, but it seems as if that’s not the case, there’s a counter top like the one you would see at a bar. “Well, this is alright. Everything inside the Inn is really fancy and everyone hates me. Finding a job seems to become more of an obstacle by the second, I guess I’ll stay here for a while.” I placed down my luggage in the far corner then sat down at the counter, I immediately become hungry. Yesterday I had only had a late-night snack and I have not eaten anything today. I wish there was some sort of store around here, there’s nothing to eat here. Even if there was one however I have no money. I’m so hungry, and when I become aware of the fact, it makes me shudder. Hunger is a terrible, terrible pain for me. “Huh, Aoi-san? I didn’t know you were here.” Suddenly a voice caught my attention from the counter. It was a young man with silver hair and a refreshing appearance. He wore a haori coat that made it seem like he worked at this place. “Who are you?” I asked.
82. “Who is it? Well, it’s me! Ginji.”
“Ehh? Really?” Ginji is the nine tailed fox that brought a late snack to my room last night. If you look closely you can see fox ears and a tail. He had a gentle look with a smile on his face, the appearance of an Ayakashi. Ginji-san smiled and clapped his hands together. “Oh, that’s right. You told me that appearance of a child and woman were just two of your forms.”
“Yes, this is my normal form.” Ginji-san seemed surprised to see the interesting state I was in.
“Where is this exactly?”
“Well, this place is in quite a remote location so it’s hard to find.”
“Ah I see, well this is the only place I could go, I have nowhere else.” I rested my elbow on the counter. Ginji-san wiggles his fox ears quickly as he tries to think of something to say.
“Hey, what is this place?”
“Ha, ha, well, I guess you could say it’s like an Ogre being inside a demon?”
“Here? Ogre in the demon?” When I had inquired Ginji-san about the matter, he responded in such a strange way. It seems he may have been troubled by it.
83. “Well it once was a tea house that had a very good reputation for Ayakashi who enjoyed the taste. But, the one who was running the tea house eventually left this inn and it was closed.”
“Well, there’s a tea room.”
“Yes, but after the tea house it was a brisk struggle and no matter what was put here it always failed. I made it into a souvenirs shop and into a gaming hall but none of them succeeded. Even if I try my best to take care of this place, it always fails. I was told I was an inviting looking fox, but as you can see it’s very lonesome.”
“Being an inviting looking fox is a good thing!”
“As it’s in such a place, customers have trouble finding it and employees come across it by accident.” Ginji-san who looked extremely sad placed the basket he was holding on to a table.
“When I had started this month, up until a few days ago this with a small restaurant, but the cook who I had employed from the outside injured his arm. So I was looking for an alternative chef. Again, a lot of people think this place is no good. So it’s set to be demolished next month.”
“Is that so? I guess something must be wrong then.”
“Yes, but there are still left over ingredients in the freezer that I have to clean up.”
84. “There’s refrigerators in this world?”
“Would you like to see it?” Ginji-san beckoned me behind the counter. There was a wooden refrigerator. It seems that the shape was copied from the other world and was arranged into something new. Looking into the refrigerator there was a space covered in thin ice and film.
“This ice is regularly purchased from a Snow Woman in town from a long established ice shop.”
“Ayakashi are quite qualified.”
“Yes, most Ayakashi here make use of their abilities and go into a business of some sort. This is different from ordinary ice, the water the Snow Woman uses is able to adjust its temperature, so it doesn’t easily melt.”
“Ehhh? That sounds funny.” The fridge is properly divided into a freezer and refrigerator, the coldness of the ice seems to vary. It felt very smooth. It was really cool to know there was a functional refrigerator here, however I was concerned about the ingredients inside. There were unusual looking Chinese cabbages and radishes along with burdock eggs and some mushrooms. There were also two pieces of meat in the freezer.
“What is this meat? At a glance it looks like chicken and pork.”
“It is chicken and pork. Mainstream meat is available even here in the Hidden Realm, although, I can’t serve it to customers anymore, but I don’t want to throw it out. I was thinking I should unfreeze it and cook it for my lunch.”
85. “Ahahaha, I see, that sounds very important.” I looked at the contents of the basket Ginji-san had set down. Carrot, potatoes that haven’t been peeled yet, eggplants, onion and more.
“What shall we do with this?”
“Well, I was going to take it to the main kitchen but the head chef is quite particular about food and ingredients so they may be discarded since they aren’t seasonal products at the moment.”
“That sounds terrible.”
“Yeah but it’s better than eating it all alone by myself, because that isn’t very meaningful. Besides, the only thing I can make is inari sushi.” I looked into the basket of vegetables then back at Ginji-san.
“Hmm. That sushi from yesterday, did you make that Ginji-san?”
“Yes, but I’m afraid it probably wasn’t that delicious.”
“Nonsense! In fact they were some of my favourites, they were truly something. They had a modest sweetness, they weren’t miserable or horrible at all! For me they were simply irresistible.” I was almost buzzy thinking about the deliciousness of the inari sushi from last night. Ginji-san seemed very surprised from my praise, although it may have come off as a bit intense
86. I sneakily try and change the topic. “Well, the inari sushi here is the same, food from the Apparent Realm is pretty similar to food from this world.”
“Ah, I see. Well I guess each others cultures pass us by without noticing. Many dishes have been brought over from the Apparent Realm. That’s where inari sushi is from.”
“I didn’t know that.” Among all the dishes I have ever casually eaten they have all been from the Apparent Realm, but now I wonder. Have any dishes from the Hidden Realm been brought to the Apparent Realm? “Ah, that’s right, Ginji-san, have you had lunch yet?”
“No, not yet.”
“If it’s okay, I’d let to use this kitchen if you’d let me. Of course I’ll clean up afterwards but I want to make you something in order to thank you for the inari sushi yesterday.”
“Eh, of course. You don’t have to though, are you sure?”
“Don’t be silly, of course I’m sure. I can cook and you look blown away from tiredness. Oh and if I do cook, do you think I could have just a little bit?” A ringing sound emerged from my stomach.
“Don’t worry that’s natural!” Ginji-san said in a hurry.
87. “Ginji-san, what type of food would you like to eat?”
“What type of food I want to eat?”
“Anything is ok as long as you have the seasonings and ingredients in this world.” When I look around the kitchen there seems to be a few seasonings such as soy, liquor, mirin, salt and sugar. There was also brown rice and miso. “Hm, then I’d like to eat Omurice.” (Omelette rice)
“Omurice?” What an unexpected order. Ginji-san a grown adult wants omurice.
“I have heard that there is a food in the Apparent Realm called omurice that resembles inari sushi!”
“………” I frown my face in defeat, I can only give in. I wonder if omurice is similar to sushi? No, maybe seasoned rice perhaps, although the idea of wrapping is kind of similar. “Omurice is a dish that normally children like to order.”
“Oh, then I will be a child!” Ginji-san disappears into a cloud of smoke and emerges as the figure of a small boy.
88. There was a very young boy with silver hair and a lovely smile. I start to prepare for the omurice. He shakes his ears and tails; this adorableness is my weakness. “Well, I know there’s rice but I’m not sure if there’s anything to cook it in. It may take time, but the meat also has to be defrosted.”
“Ah, in this world our pots are spirit baskets, so the rice will cook in 5 minutes.”
“it’s like the pressure cooker of this world.” I only have an electric pressure cooker back home, it feels a little embarrassing. “It’s like a pot that uses spiritual energy, it’s slightly different from the pressure cooker from the Apparent Realm but it has the same effect none the less. Besides, this pot has been in the Hidden Realm since Ancient times and is mostly unique to elders.” Ginji-san then pointed to a round disk surrounded by cooking utensils in the kitchen. “Please put the frozen meat on this disk.”
89. Pork, chicken and flock meat. They were all frozen as hard as rocks, when I put it on the disk Ginji-san called out, “Thaw!” The frozen meat was then enveloped in a purple flame wrapping around it, thawing in a few seconds. “Well, that thawed quickly, almost like a microwave.”
“Apart from the thawing of frozen meat, frozen foods can also be cooked from the wild fire in this disk. This instrument was confiscated from a mage and it has multiple functions. Thawing and heating, if you were to issue it an order it would listen.”
“Woah, the Hidden Realm is so strange, it’s different from the things in the Apparent Realm.” I’m extremely impressed with the cooking utensils that are unique to the Hidden Realm and their kitchen circumstances. Even though I thought of my own cooking technology to be superior, these seem to be just as good. I wash my hands so I can start cooking. “Ginji-san, this is clean right?”
“Yes, if an employee has used it beforehand chances are I would have washed it. There are also some kimono’s here for employees.”
“Really? I wonder if you could lend it to me.”
“Well of course, everything here is going to be destroyed or thrown out anyway.” Ginji-san who was sitting on a table stool in the form of a little boy jumped off and went into a back room. After a minute I heard him call out. “Aoi-san! Come over here.”
90. I went into the back room, which seemed like it was a rest room for employees. Ginji-san had taken out a rough looking kimono with a matcha colour and a white sash. “Are you sure this is alright?”
“Yes, thank you. That dress is a little too cheery and foreign for around here according to the Young Hostess.”
“Oh, well I guess O-Ryo-san is right.” What Ginji-san said was a little mean. Ginji-san exited the room after handing me the kimono. Luckily I knew how to put one on, after all my Grandfather had taught me how to many times. I guess Grandfather knew from the start I would end up in such a situation… Remembering such a thing saddens me. After I finished putting on the kimono I wanted to tie up my hair so it wouldn’t get in the way while I was cooking. I think it can be disturbing to have it out while cooking. Even if it’s only a cord, I need something to put my hair up with. In that moment I remembered that there was a black band in my university bag, I went out to the counter with the kimono on. “Wow, Aoi-san that yatsuri kimono is just right for you.”
“Thank you, but I can’t start cooking yet because my hair is in the way… Ah, I wonder if that band is in my university bag after all?”
91. I picked up my bag and opened it, whilst looking for the black band something had fallen out. “A hair ornament?” It had a camellia bud on it. In order to give the ogre food who I now know is the Master, I handed him a bento. When I got the bento box back, it was placed on top like a thank you item. “Hmm, isn’t that crimson crystal?”
“It’s an extremely rare and expensive crystal which is able to move. Would you like me to tie your hair up with it?”
“Ginji-san, you know how to tie hair?”
“Yes, since one of my forms is a woman, I’ve practiced and studied womanly gestures.” Ginji-san then changed from the appearance of a little boy, into a woman. He stands behind me taking a comb from his belt and gently brushes with kind hands. He has a really feminine smell. Ginji-san is a little confusing, at first I thought he wanted omurice like a little boy, and now he wants to tie my hair like a woman. “Here you go, the hair ornament suits you well.”
92. When I looked at my figure in the hand held mirror I tilted it to see the bud of the camellia on the side. I wonder if it matched me or not. Now. Together with Ginji-san I was able to understand some of the similarities and differences between the Hidden Realm and Apparent Realm. I had added rice and water into the spirit basket, covering it then putting it over the fire. A cooking stove that uses spirit fire is just as efficient as one that uses electricity. I made sure the remaining ingredients were ready then prepared the seasoning. “Now, I don’t think there’s any ketchup here, I wonder if there is any tomatoes?” Although all the seasonings for Japanese style dishes seemed to be here, he didn’t have any ketchup. I thought about the flavours of the soy sauce, perhaps soy sauce and kyushu would closely resemble the flavour more than soy sauce and kanto? A soy sauce containing sugar and licorice. “Hm if that’s so I think I’ll do a Japanese style omurice with sweet soy sauce instead of ketchup. Even without it, you still wrap it in eggs, so it’s still omurice.” Perhaps I’m a little doubtful of if he’ll really enjoy my cooking or not. I hit my hand on the table briefly and give out a brief groan while looking at all the ingredients. Whenever I’m angry, the things that matter most to me when I’m cooking is making sure nothing is wasted. “Hey, Ginji-san I’ll still make you omurice but there’s so many ingredients here. So I wonder if it’d be ok for me to also make other dishes?”
93. “Eh? Are you willing to go that far? Of course, I’m grateful, however, there are lots of ingredients left and it’d be a waste to throw them out.”
“How about we use them to make a side dish and keep them for a while? I really feel like cooking right now. How about chicken’s meat? It seems like we can make something delicious using this soy sauce here.”
“I see. It looks good. I like it as well.” Ginji-san who’s sitting at the counter shakes his tails once.
“There’s pork loin too. We can make boiled pork and radish. Oh besides, we have miso too. So we
can make fried miso eggplant.”
“Wow that’s nice.”
“Well, I just queued the things I liked and wanted to eat. This is a side dish I always make.”
“Oh by the way, the Master likes fried miso eggplant as well.” As expected, Ginji-san brings up the topic of the Master. “Eh, is that so? That’s an unexpectedly common dish for someone like the Master to enjoy.”
“Well, it’s true that only high-class dishes are served at Tenjin-ya. But sometimes it’s unavoidable not to want to eat ordinary foods. However, our chef doesn’t make such dishes so by the Master’s request we sometimes go to the cafeteria wearing common people’s clothes.”
“Well, that’s surprising, I did think of him as an ogre who enjoys playing around.”
94. “There is no such thing. The Master himself is a serious person. However, this is also my favourite dish. I wonder about what an ogre’s favourite food could be. Well it doesn’t matter either way. Let’s continue our work. If we carve some mushrooms and carrots, rice would be cooked by then. We should turn off the fire underneath the kettle and put it aside for a while. Next, we’ll peel the onions, potatoes, carrots and etc, then make scalloped potatoes and cut the chicken into bite sized ones.”
“Aoi-san do you dislike the Master?”
I was suddenly asked by Ginji-san who was sitting at the counter. He seemed anxious.
“Hey, that person is reluctantly trying to marry me without knowing anything about me. Turning a
human girl into a bride, not to mention he’s used the bento (lunch) made with love to bring me to
the hidden realm.”
All of a sudden Thinking about that ogre and remembering that time makes me angry. ‘It’s delicious,
Aoi ‘he staggered a bit, while eating a mouthful of food in a posture that indicated how hungry
he was at the time. Remembering that I was actually happy at the time, makes me laugh
95.So I shook my head to get rid of the thought and opened the lid of the pot -which contained spirit
power- with emergency. The cooked rice smells really good.
The steamed rice cooked plainly and looks glossy , made an unexpectedly admiring voice leak
Even this rice seems delicious enough only with garlic and saliva.
However it’s now omurice. (omelette rice) Mix the rice using a wooden spoon so that the rice goes up and down and served the amount that you want in the bowl (duhhhhhh ;/ ) Next, we’ll heat the oil with a flat iron pan like a frying pan. ( too much cooking, not enough Odanna and Ginji) And we’ll stir-fry carved chicken, mushrooms and white leeks with salt and pepper (sighs) In addition, we’ll fry the rice whilst stirring it and adding salt, pepper and sweet soy sauce. Once it smells good, take it out and place it on a flat plate at the right timing. Next, we’re going to season the eggs with soup and put them in a heated pan ( ew ) Bake all the ingredients while stirring wrap the fried rice in eggs and shape the omelette rice. Taking a step from the counter Ginji-San says ‘ooo’ while his eyes are shining like a little boy. Well, he is a little boy to begin with. “Actually, I eat it with a sauce of tomatoes called ketchup (tysm for the information) but it does not seem to be in here in the hidden world. This is a Japanese style omurice.”
96.I placed the soft, fluffy and yellow omurice on a flat plate. I thought to myself if we look at this carefully it does resemble inari sushi. Just like Japanese hamburgers, I placed grated daikon and carved oba on top. By doing this , we can also see the broth made out of egg . ( ;| ) It’s a bit unusual and wicked (um, what? ) to use the egg in order to make an omelette , but it looks so fluffy and seems delicious. Also, the yellow colour is beautiful. Fried rice with pepper and soy sauce, along with good smell of fluffy egg makes me hungry. I put the food in front of Ginji-San, his eyes were wide open. “Yum! let’s dig in. I’m grateful for this food.”
“Here you go, I have another work to attend to.”
Even though I said that, I attentively took look sat Ginji-san who was looking at the omurice gently, omurice is a combination really worth looking at. He’s using chopsticks to eat the omurice while breaking down the daikon I was surprised by the fluffy texture, Ginji-san too looked like he’s trying this new texture by slowly taking it to his mouth and tasting it at first, but gradually he started eating it. Seeing him eat the food in his boyish figure while smiling and moving his tails, made me kind of happy. I let go of the though thinking it was not appropriate. I put a bottle of sauce next to the omurice obeying Ginji-san ‘s previous request.
97. “It’s delicious! Well this is a surprise, the seasoning is unexpectedly good! “
“I’m glad that is suits your taste, you know, my grandpa also liked omurice very much, how can I say this , it’s beautiful right ? “
“That’s right. It’s really good It doesn’t cost much and seems to be found in main shops if I’m right? “
“Oh it isn’t so. Well, that’s what I’ve heard “
Ginji-san started eating silently again. Me on the other hand, since my stomach was full, I had started to make meat and potatoes with high speed in secret. It contains chicken meat and potatoes. In this case I only seasoned it with sugar, kerosene and sake. ( h a i ?? =___= ) Sauté chicken, add sauce and let it cook for a little more, and I’ll just throw chopped onions, carrots and potatoes and heat it for a while. Simple ingredients and seasoning. It’s a short time specification, but my favourite recipe. “Ah, it’s done already “The good smell of potatoes made me smile. Well make sure that the element is on first and let it boil. Just because he was a small dealer in a driftwood, the equipment is good. With premium equipment everything turns out to be delicious. Let’s say that we’re done with the cooking. I serve the food for two plates alongside with tea bowls.
98. I gathered the remaining radish to serve them in a bowl. “Well then, let me cook as well. ”By his request I sat next to Ginji-san. Ginji-san prepared the teas and placed them next to the tea pot. (Is this counted as cooking?=__= ) “Time to eat! “
“That’s nice, I also want to eat ~ “ I wonder if the chicken and potatoes go well with the omurice ( AS IF IT WOULD ) “Aoi-san please take your time and eat as you please . I will also help myself “
“Is that so? “
“You must be hungry, so please start eating. “Inspired by Ginji-san’s words, I started eating the rice I was really looking forward to . It’s rich and has a sweet taste. It’s a bit different from cooking with a rice cooker. The fragrant is nicer.
It is a deliciousness that makes you feel inspired like drawing out the taste of rice from a deep place. ( I admire how Aoi goes deep with the description of tastes -since I’m really foody myself ^__^ )
“Amazing” My eyes were shining while I was holding another bowl of rice. I originally though that the rice alone was enough to make me full. But I also want to eat meat and potatoes. Thinking of that, my chopsticks started moving again. Seriously, it’s just chicken, potatoes and rice ! (Ok we get it Aoi , why do we have to re-read ingredients 10000 times .)
99. Bite sized chicken with sweet soy sauce and rice. Every so often I would roast the potato and dress it in crisp ponzu sauce and daikon. I have small bites of it. Ahh, it’s really delicious! Regardless of the skill that went into this dish, I was getting more hungrier and hungrier. I ate the delicious white rice, meat and potatoes filling up my stomach. In that moment I felt a bit of happiness. I also served Ginji-san a bowl of meat and potato. I also had some of the omurice, this time I had changed the recipe and not used the normal white rice. Even though Ginji-san is in the figure of a little boy, he eats a lot. It makes me somewhat glad. “Aoi-san, even though you are a human you season your food to the taste of an Ayakashi, it’s very sweet and thin.”
“Yeah, from what I can understand Grandpa had similar tastes to Ayakashi since he was always going back and forth between two worlds.” From what Ginji-san said it seems for Ayakashi their favourite tastes are sweet and thin but has a nice flavour at the same time. Individual tastes that all combine into one. It was my Grandfather’s favourite too, because I was always cooking for him it seems that it ended up being linked to making delicious meals for Ayakashi. Suddenly, the taste of the soy sauce I had licked brought back memories.
100. “Ah by the way, this sweet Kyushu soy sauce is similar to the likes of the one my Grandpa would use.”
“Yes, it seems the sweet soy sauce of this world is close to the one from the Apparent Realm.”
“Woah, that’s interesting.”
“Well, there was such a time where sugar trade was thriving in Dejima, Nagasaki. So in Kyushu a place that was full of sand soon began to serve delicious sweet food. So it seems that merchants from this world would constantly disguise themselves as human beings so they could go to the Apparent Realm for trade. Sugar was a seasoning that sweet toothed Ayakashi loved to eat and cook with. In Kyushu so many merchants were coming and going that eventually sweet soy sauce found it’s way into the world.”
“Really? Don’t you think that’s cool?
“In those days it was still free to come and go in between this world and the Apparent Realm. Back then I even got to see the Southern-barbarians who were rumoured to be in Nagasaki.”
“Eh?” I guess Ginji-san was alive back then… I know that Ayakashi have long life spans but in the era where the trade at Dejima was occurring, well, it’s a story from hundreds of years ago. I’m sure Ginji-san was a young Ayakashi back then.
101. “Ah my stomach, I was wondering if you’d want miso soup as well? I’d have to prepare it but I wouldn’t want you going hungry somehow.” When one’s stomach is satisfied, sounds stop coming out. I was concerned there wasn’t enough food on the counter since at home it would not have been a filling meal. “No, it was very delicious. Thank you very much, I’d heard that you were a good cook but now I’m absolutely convinced.”
“If you’d like please feel free to use the ingredients and this kitchen as you see fit, so make anything. If there’s something you need I can get it from the main kitchen. I’m sure the Chief Chef won’t notice.”
“Fufu, it’s alright I’ll try making something out of the ingredients here.”
“Would you like me to bring some to the Master?”
“No, I’d rather eat it all by myself.”
“But the Master would be really pleased!” Ginji-san who almost looks pregnant from all the food begins to drink some tea. I glance at him from the side. “Ginji-san you mention the Master a lot, right?”
“Well of course, we all care for the Master.”
102. I also take a drink of the tea. For the Ayakashi here, what type of person is the Master to them all? This tea is very delicious and fluffy, of course it would be good at a luxurious inn like this though. “Now, what else should we make?” As I thought about the left overs I began thinking of a side dish in my head, I was really good at it. But even I can recognise that I’ve been neglecting some important things. “That’s right, no matter how many dishes I make, without a place to sleep it’s all hopeless really. I still don’t have a job.” I began to tremble. If I don’t manage to find a job what will happen to me? The Ogre-god said if I were to run away he would eat me, but what will he do if I remain unemployed? “Oh is that so? Well if that’s the case you can sleep in the back room here. The previous employee was sleeping in there before the store opened so there’s a set of futons.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, of course.” Ginji-san’s smile is so lovely but there’s something I’ve been wondering about.
“Hey, Ginji-san, why are you so nice to me? All the Ayakashi here hate me, but everything you’ve done has been so kind.”
103. Last night he was very kind to me, he snuck into my room with sushi. Gave me some ingredients and praised my cooking. Ginji-san spilled his cup a little bit after hearing my words. “I guess that’s correct.” He returns into the figure of a young man. “Well I feel like I’ve known you since you were a child.”
“Eh?” I wonder if I had met Ginji-san somewhere else, I don’t remember. “Oh do you mean my grandpa told you about me?”
“Uh, uh. Yes! Yes, it must have been in that type of situation.” He puts a sleeve over his mouth and laughs into it, his eyes are looking all around the room frantically. “If you are hungry, you can always come here.” Those are very happy words to me.
“Ginji-san you’re my saviour! Is doing all of this really okay?” I say strongly try to assert my emotions.
“Well, I am the Young Master.” Ginji-san said quickly. He waved his hands in front of his chest.
104. “Such a thing as kindness in a world full of Ayakashi may be true after all.”
“After all?” Ginji-san’s fox ear’s twitch slightly.
“Yes, a long time ago there was a kind Ayakashi who helped me. Ginji-san you remind me of that Ayakashi.”
“If you ever need anything Ginji-san please tell me and I’d gladly do it!” Feelings of gratefulness towards Ginji-san are starting to overflow. He raises his eyebrow. “Anything?” He says in a questioning tone. “Well then, will you cook for me again?”
“That’s… Well Ginji-san if you want something to eat just tell me and I’d make it!”
“I see…” He had a small smile on his face at that moment.
After that, Ginji-san left for his work.
105. I decided to clean the kitchen and make a side dish. In time I make the back room into a bedroom of some sort. In addition to that wiped down the counter in preparation for any customers that might walk in. I saw a cupboard full of china, there were many fine pieces of pottery inside. I felt as if this restaurant could really have a fighting chance. On top of this I also discovered many utensils that seemed unique to the Hidden Realm, there was even something similar to a mixer from the Apparent Realm. The interior of this place soon looks very beautiful, I then go out to clean the garden. “This place isn’t scary, calm down.” I look up into the sky and realise that it is the evening, when I look up at the big beautiful purple sky I can see multiple ships with lanterns hanging from them. The lanterns sway up and down. I can hear festival music in the distant. The warm light starts to leak out into the evening, it’s a calm atmosphere, one that reminds me of a private home. Hopefully this place will eventually be noticed. “Well, thanks to Ginji-san we have food, shelter and clothing. Tomorrow I’ll work hard as well.” He was helping this place that seemed to be forgotten. It seems like it’s really hard for Ginji-san to stop trying. Anyway, I think I should check on my pork and radish, I also want to return to the main building afterwards. An explosion like sound could be heard emitting from the main building, it was surprising. “Eh, eh? What was that?”
106. I was curious about the explosion like noise and headed towards the main building. Crossing the dark corridor from the back door, I turned towards the front, some kind of flyer being carried by the wind crossed my face. It seemed like it was promoting a Cherry Blossom festival at, ‘Onikomi.’ I opened the door and saw the sight before me. At the reception the Tsuchigomo with the red hair was standing at the front dealing with a guy with a big nose and black wings. He was throwing around liquor bottles at Daruma and making a tantrum, although I wasn’t sure if he was exaggerating or not. “Please stop Master Tengu! You too Daruma!” Akatsuki of the Tsuchigomo tried to calm down the fighting by easing the need for bloodshed, but his voice doesn’t reach them because there is so many people. Why was there even fighting in the first place, was the question. Flocks of Ayakashi and low-level employees are watching over it. “Hey, who are those people?” A small girl looked at me from the other side, she had a raccoon like appearance, I started talking to her for a brief moment.
107.“Well you see the Tengu were hosting a party here at Tenjin-ya today to celebrate. But they started complaining about the food saying it was boring, So the Tengu got angry and tipped over a table.”
“I see, that sounds horrible.”
“Well, I guess they were all pretty drunk. But I wouldn’t have wanted to apologise and replace their food either. Pride is expensive after all. When I heard the fighting, I ran to the front and the fight was really big. It seemed like a war between Daruma and Tengu. By tomorrow I’m sure our Inn will be a pile of debris if this continues.” That’s what the Raccoon like Ayakashi said, but she’s right. This inn may be in trouble. A vase then went flying and we ducked down, “Kya.”
“What’s going on in here? Where is the Master?”
“The Young Hostess is going to get the Master, I’m sure he’ll be here soon. He’ll be able to calm this place down.”
“Are Tengu honourable Ayakashi?”
108. “Yes, that’s why we’re all trying to hold down our anger as well.” Said the raccoon girl, it must be easy for the Tsuchigomo to watch over them and also handle the situation with his spider web. “The Tengu are good customers here since they are very generous. Because of that generosity they’re valuable business partners, so it will be hard to repair our relationship with them if this continues. We’ll have to wait for the Master to get here. Although I’m not sure if even he’d be able to help the situation.”
“But the dining here is a little bad. The cuisine here does not change at all. Some customers like the taste but others have begun to grow bored of it. However the head Daruma does not listen to such complaints.” The battle of the Tengu started to pick up, as they started to throw souvenirs. As I watched the dispute that I’m not even closely related to, I notice the Master has not showed up yet. If this continues the Inn will be broken, I was starting to become seriously worried. “You rotten Daruma are dead!”
“You good for nothing Tengu, go to hell! Never come back here again.”
“You’re all brain dead!”
109. “I’ll break that long nose of yours!” The fighting between the Ayakashi continues to get louder and louder.
“Ouch.” I could hear sounds of things breaking. I was then hit in the forehead by a Temari ball thrown by Daruma. It’s the Head Daruma’s cuisine that is causing all of this to happen. The front is like a whirlwind with Daruma figures causing chaos by throwing salted plums from the simmering soup.
“Are you all right?”
“Itata, jeez those drunks!”
“Oh no, there’s blood coming from your forehead. Human beings are vulnerable to that.” It wasn’t a great or painful injury but there still seemed to be blood leaking from my forehead. The Tanuki seemed a little worried, but at that time I saw the Master come from the other side of the corridor. The young snow woman hostess on one side and on the other side there was a middle-aged woman who was doing up her hair, I’d never seen her before.
“Wow, it’s the first hostess!” The raccoon girl seemed to lose her confidence and begin to tremble as she reverted back into a normal raccoon. It seemed as if she was a mere admirer but was still afraid. I had a terrible feeling.
110. It seemed as if the Master had noticed me as he showed a slightly surprised expression. It seemed as if he noticed that I had tied my hair back. He was looking down at me with a cool look. I try to keep the blood from running down my forehead. “Well, well, how unbelievable of you to not bow your head to the Master.”
“It’s bad practice to allow such habits to grow, is it not First Hostess? Of course, it’s a human girl who would do such a thing. Never the less, what is with the blood? It is a makeup of some sort? What kind of simple girl messes up their makeup that horribly?” That’s what the First Hostess and Young Hostess said. The area is a little uncomfortable, but I try and lower my head. “You don’t have to do such a thing.” The Master stopped me from lowering my head with a cold voice. The Master seemed to be in a foul mood. Those red eyes reminded me of that trembling gaze from yesterday. The First Hostess has a smooth look on her face. “Oh Master. It’s sweet of you let an employee go undisciplined. Especially annoying human beings with debts to repay.”
“This human is not yet an employee, she is just a simple girl.”
111. The Master unleashes those colds words onto me without mercy. Even from far away I could tell he had a cold attitude, far different from when we had first met. I was shocked with regret. “You’re an eyesore Tsubaki Aoi. You have no place here, so this dispute is none of your business.”
“I was just worried about what was happening here.”
“Leave here at once. Unless you’d like to be an offering. In that case I’ll hand you over to the Tengu.” I was unable to say anything in response to the Master’s cold words, the Snow Woman however found something to say with ease. “Good. The Tengu would love to have a human girl. I’m sure they’d be so delighted that they’d forget about this entire ordeal.”
“…….” The blood on my forehead flows down and falls onto the floor.
“Girl! Do not dirty the floor with the filthy blood of human beings!” The First Hostess angrily shouted at me. My body trembled, as you would expect. The Master opened his mouth slightly as if he was going to say something to me, but eventually he said nothing and instead walked towards the fighting. Both Hostesses follow him. I feel somewhat hopeless as I felt a warm colour rising to my cheeks.
112. At first the fighting between the Daruma and Tengu was quite worrisome, but the Master seemed to resolve it. I feel now he will only grow colder and start yelling at me more. I decided to flee from this place. I probably looked hurt and bloody now that I think about it.
Woahh so here we are after like, a month and a lot. Chapter 3. Enjoy. In this chapter we don’t get much interaction between Aoi and Odanna-sama except for the scene where he’s in a foul mood. However, since the next chapter is called The Old Tengu, we’ll most likely see more of Odanna! The interaction between Aoi and Ginji was a lot more in depth here in comparison to the anime where these scenes occurred, which I believe was episode 2. On another note, did anyone else end up balling their eyes out during the final episode? Because I did, twice actually. Hopefully the rumours about season 2 airing in summer anime 2019 won’t stay a rumour.