Outaishihi ni Nante Naritakunai!! 411

She and the Fourth Day 3

“… It’s an octopus.”

Eight arms with suckers. A round head and the characteristic body. It was unmistakably an octopus. It was already dead, but I got a little excited seeing an octopus for the first time since reincarnating.

“Come to think of it… I’ve never seen an octopus in Wilhelm.”

I didn’t notice, but even though there had been fish dishes, I had never been served an octopus.
I wonder if they’re often caught in Irvine. Be that as it may, they seem to be called ‘devils’, so I can’t imagine people eating them.
In my previous world, there was a time when octopuses were called ‘devils’ in Europe due to religion. This here had nothing to do with religion, but things may be similar no matter what world.

“… Gal. Isn’t it creepy?”

While I was staring at the octopus, the man nervously asked. I nodded to him.

“After all, this is an octopus. It isn’t really a scary creature or a devil.”
“It’s not a devil?”
“Yeah, on the contrary, it’s very delicious.”
“You eat this disgusting creature?”

The man stared at me with incredulous eyes. Before I knew, people gathered around us, perhaps out of curiosity.

“… Did I just hear her say she eats these devils?”
“No way… They aren’t edible.”

There was nothing but negative opinions. It was natural since they were all convinced that octopuses were devils, but as a person who knew they’re delicious, I wanted to object.
But, it’s true their appearance is grotesque. If I didn’t know octopuses are delicious, there’s a decent chance I’d also find them disgusting. But in short, everybody needs to be taught that they’re delicious.

“That’s right.”

I thought up a good thing.
I smiled with satisfaction and asked the man who caught the octopus.

“… Hey. Mister fisherman. Could you give me this octopus… no, this devil? I’ll pay.”

Hearing my proposal, the man opened his eyes in shock.

“Haa? This devil? Don’t say something absurd. I’ll return this devil to the ocean. I don’t want to be cursed!”
“You won’t get cursed… No. I think if I buy it, I’ll be the one cursed. I don’t think it will have any impact on you. Hey, you’d return it to the ocean anyway, right?”
“… If you insist.”

The man was reluctant but still handed me the octopus. By the way, I tried to pay, but I was refused.
He didn’t want to do something as terrible as selling a devil, so he stubbornly didn’t accept money.
When I gave up, Abel, who for some reason came with us, said, “Then, I’ll take it instead!” and reached out his hand. I slapped it away with all my strength.

“Lidi, what will you do?”

As I obtained the octopus and made a pleased face, Freed asked me in confusion.
I guess he held back from meddling until now because he knew I was thinking of something, but as expected, he seemed worried.
While gazing at the octopus in a good mood, I said.

“Nn? Of course, I’ll eat it. After all, I finally obtained an octopus. I know. Everyone is here, so let’s do it here. Hmm, first of all, I’ll need to prepare it. Abel, lend me the towel for a while.”
“Eh, fine…”

Abel brought the towel that he had been lying on all the time. I sat on it and began preparations. Everybody was afraid of the devil, but curious about what I’d do, they watched at distance and didn’t leave.

“It’s alright. I know how to prepare an octopus. Er, first of all…”

I turned the octopus’s head inside out and removed the internal organs. Some people screamed, “Eek,” at the grotesque sight, but I didn’t care. If I don’t do this, I won’t be able to eat it.

“Er, next I want fresh water and salt.”
“I have them. I use them when preparing fish on the boat.”

The fisherman who had given me the octopus brought a barrel with fresh water that had been loaded on the boat. I thoroughly removed slime. I rubbed salt into the octopus and washed it with water again.
I confirmed the sliminess was gone and asked the gathered people.

“Hey, does anyone have a pot? I want to boil it.”

I thought it was possible because people were barbecuing, and a woman raised her hand.

“… Is a large pot fine?”
“It is. Could you lend it to me?”
“… Here you go.”

Although disbelief that I was boiling a devil was written on her face, her interest must’ve won, and she lent me a pot.
While at it, I borrowed fire and boiled the octopus. I succeeded in boiling the octopus without issues, took it out, and nodded.
Yup, it was boiled well.

“… Er, I’d be saved if you could also lend me a knife.”

I asked the woman who had lent me the pot and fire. She lent me a kitchen knife and a cutting board with a complicated face. I placed the cutting board on the tower and sliced the boiled octopus.
With this, octopus sashimi was complete.
I praised myself that it turned out quite well and tried to taste it, but I was stopped by Freed.

“Sure enough, that’s a little… What if it’s poisonous?”
“Yup, Princess, you can’t. I’ll poison-taste it for you. I’m trained and resistant against poison.”
“… Got it.”

I nodded to Cain’s proposal.
The commemorable octopus sashimi. I’d love to eat it first, but Freed and Cain’s worries were reasonable. Octopus sashimi is absolutely delicious, and I was confident it wouldn’t upset the stomach, so I handed over a slice of sashimi to Cain for poison-tasting.
Cain gingerly put the slice in his mouth, and after he chewed a few times and swallowed, his eyes widened.

“… Delish.”

It was a new taste, so I thought opinions would be divided, but fortunately Cain seemed to like this taste.

“It’s elastic. How to say it… It’s a new taste. But, it’s incredibly delicious.”
“Cain, is it poisonous?”

Freed asked in a sharp voice, and Cain shook his head.

“No. Or rather, it’s really delicious.”
“Isn’t it!? Hey, Cain said it was fine, so I can eat it, right!?”
“… Not yet. It’s not that I don’t believe Cain, but just in case, I’ll eat it next.”
“I’m also fine with poison.”
“… Uuu.”

My worrywart husband didn’t allow me. It would be worse if something happened to Freed than to me, but he stubbornly didn’t yield. When I reluctantly fed Freed octopus, he also looked surprised.

“… Unbelievable. That grotesque-looking thing is so delicious.”
“Isn’t it! It’s not poisonous, right?”

If I recall correctly, poisonous octopuses had incredibly flashy colors. Of course, I understand this world is different, and I don’t intend to trust my knowledge too much.
That’s why I accepted their poison-tasting proposal.
After ascertaining the taste, Freed nodded.

“Yeah. Certainly, it’s not poisonous.”
“Right? Let me eat next!”

It was unforgivable that I couldn’t eat it despite being the one who suggested it. When I tearfully appealed, Freed finally allowed it, now convinced it was safe.
I joyously ate octopus.
The taste was just like what I remembered from my past life, so I got so nostalgic that I teared up.

“Nostalgic… It’s an octopus…! Delicious…”
“Oi, can I eat it too?”
“M-Me too!”

While I was moved, the fisherman and the woman who had lent me the pot raised their voices.

“Of course, feel free!”

It was quite a good development, and to begin with, I’d prepared it here with that intention, so I willingly presented them the cutting board with sashimi on it.
They fearfully took a slice of sashimi each and ate it. As expected, both of them were so surprised their eyes went round.

“… The devil is tasty.”
“Seriously. It’s delicious…. despite being a devil.”
“That’s why I said it’s not a devil but an octopus. Everyone, you can come eat if you want. It’s better to share delicious things, so everybody interested, feel free.”

With just us saying it was delicious, the mood of the people who had watched with somewhat disgusted eyes clearly changed.
Especially, the two people who ate it at first saying it was delicious were a trigger. Everyone around seemed unable to suppress their interest and reached out their hands to eat.

“Yes, line up. There isn’t a lot, so please only take a slice each.”

I distributed octopus to the surprisingly numerous interested people. In the end I only ate one slice, but I wanted to teach the taste of octopus to as many people as possible, so that was fine.
Among those who ate octopus some found it delicious and some didn’t like it much, but the reception seemed generally favorable.

“For those devils to be so delicious…”
“So they were edible…”

Everyone was surprised, but the fisherman who had caught the octopus received the biggest shock. He still seemed surprised and was shaking his head all this time.
Looking at his face somehow made me want to surprise him even more.

―― Yup, that’s right.

I came up with a good idea and told the fisherman.

“Say, can you provide a lot more of these devils? Or it is a rare creature that’s hard to catch?”
“No, I know the place where lots of devils live, so if I go there, I can catch any amount…”
“I see, I’m glad!”

I clapped my hands. I grinned and told the fisherman.

“Could you catch a lot of those devils around this time the day after tomorrow? We’ll meet here. Of course, since it’s a request, I’ll pay.”
“I don’t mind, but… what the hell are you planning?”

Because he was a person who had shouted devil at an octopus, I thought he’d be unwilling, but perhaps being able to eat something delicious changed him. He accepted my request to catch octopuses more easily than I’d expected. Relieved by that, I said.

“The day after tomorrow, I’ll serve everyone a dish made of octopus here. Everyone, if you’re interested, please come. If you want, you can invite your friends and acquaintances.”

One octopus isn’t much. If I obtain more octopuses and make a delicious dish with them, I’ll be able to spread the deliciousness of octopus to everybody who misunderstands them as devils.
Fundamentally, I want to popularize food to everyone no matter where, so being in Irvine changes nothing. Hearing my words, everyone looked surprised, but before long their expressions turned expectant.

“… The sashimi was delicious.”
“I wonder what dish it will be. I’m looking forward to it a little.”
“The day after tomorrow, huh. I have time, so I wonder if I should invite my friends.”

Apparently, the pleasant mood fueled everyone’s expectations.
As I smiled with satisfaction, Freed asked me.

“Lidi, why the day after tomorrow? I don’t want to stop what you’re doing, but I wish you’d tell me if there’s a reason.”
“Nn? The day after tomorrow is simply because I need to obtain other ingredients and I may have a problem obtaining the utensils. Because their shape is special, I have to get them made from scratch.”

What I’m trying to make is ‘takoyaki’.
I can make a lot, so I’m sure everyone will be pleased. Moreover, it’s not hard to gather the ingredients. However, the problem is that I don’t have takoyaki pans.
In this word, iron is processed using magic, so as long as I prepare materials and specify the shape, I can have them made right away, but first I need to prepare iron plates.
It was already afternoon today, so I judged I’d at least need tomorrow to procure the ingredients and have the utensils made.
Freed seemed convinced by my explanation, but at the same time he showed an exasperated face.

“Lidi, you’re still Lidi even after coming to Irvine.”
“What do you mean?”
“No, I just thought that my Lidi is amazing. I never imagined you’d introduce an original recipe even in a foreign country.”
“Errr… it just happened?”

I didn’t want the delicious octopus to be hatefully called devil.
From the perspective of octopuses, it might be better if they aren’t eaten, but knowing the taste of octopus, I couldn’t allow that.
Anyway, I have to obtain the utensil and ingredients tomorrow.

“Somehow, it’s become fun.”

I designed tomorrow’s schedule in my head and grinned.
By the way, Abel disappeared before we knew it.

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