432-430 A relaxing izakaya

 My name is Sabbath.
 I consider myself the best drinker in all of Devil's Land.

 He has drunk all the alcohol in the world, and he knows what it tastes like.
 I'm proud of that, and that's why I can't stop drinking when I hear about a new brew.

 That's why he can't sit still when he hears that a new brew is on the market.
 Wherever it's on the market, you have to be the first to rush out and have a drink.

 It was the same at that time.

 An exposition was held in the Magic City for the first time in years, and there was a lot of publicity.
 It was written on a flyer that a pavilion called the 'Sake Pavilion' was being held in the exposition.

 The blood of drinkers was boiling.

 No matter how small the event, if you're involved with alcohol, you have to go and see what you can drink.
 That's what new brew hunters do!

 So, on the first day of the expo, I got into the expo hall by carriage.
 Without looking aside, I visited the sake pavilion.

 The first thing that surprised me was the fact that the brewery was not run by a human being.
 It was Bacchus, the God of Wine.
 That's the god we drinkers worship, isn't it?

 It's amazing that the booze god himself is hosting this event.
 The drinks served exceeded our expectations because of the fact that Bacchus was serving them.

 First of all, the wine I was used to drinking was so good that I thought to myself, "This isn't what I'm used to drinking! The wine was rich, deep and delicious.
 The wine was rich, deep and full of flavor.
 Compared to this, the wine I usually drink, which is distributed by the guild of liquor stores, is too thin and crude.

 What a great wine!
 I was impressed that this is the kind of sake that the sake god himself made, and yet, while I was still excited, new surprises hit me one after another.

 Beer, whiskey.
 Beer. Whiskey.
 Japanese whiskey.

 This time, it was a new kind of sake that I had never seen before. And all at once.
 Each one was as good as the first one served, and each one had its own unique characteristics.

 The beer was sizzling and foamy in the mouth.
 The whiskey had a throat-burning liquor strength and the smell of smoke in the air.
 The Nihonsh is so clear you'd think it was water, but it has a strong liquor flavor. It was clear as water, but the flavour of the liquor was strong and smooth.

 None of them had ever been drunk before, and they tasted better than any liquor I'd ever had before.
 I am the best drinker in the land of evil, this me.

 I had no choice but to drink them all up, and I drank them all down, one after the other.
 To my horror, the event, which is part of the exposition, is said to be giving away all the alcohol for free.
 This super-duper tasty sake, that is.

 Is there such a miracle!
 If so, we must drink it all up!

 They drank at a raging pace. They drank beer, grape, whiskey, and nihonshu, and then beer again.

 That would have been a bad idea.
 I ended up throwing up.

 By the time I realized it, I was completely drunk.
 What a surprise that I, the biggest drinker in the land of evil, had misjudged the pace of my drinking.

 I guess I shouldn't have drunk so many different kinds of alcohol at once.
 There were others who had messed up like me, and in the worst case, there was even a person who had lost consciousness and was being carried away.
 Anyway, the situation was terrible.

 It was just as expected.
 The next day, the "Sake House" was closed.

 I was stunned when I went to the fair with a hangover in my head.
 I repeatedly pleaded for the reopening of the sake pavilion, but in the end the exposition was closed without being accepted.
It also meant that they refused to revive the sake pavilion.

 Oh, what a fool I was.
 I made the mistake of a young man who had just started drinking, getting drunk and not being able to assess his own limits.

 It was not fair to call himself the best drinker in the Devil's Land.
 It was all my fault that the sake was too good to be true!

 I drank every day in disappointment.
 One night, long after those days had passed, there was a night.

    * * * *


 Was there ever a bar in that place?
 The entertainment district of the Magic City.
 In a lonely corner on the outskirts of the city, I found a signboard that I had never seen before.

It said "Oden Bakkasu".

 What is that?

 It's a bit of a mystery, but using the name of some kind of sake god in the name of the restaurant is a bold fellow.

 It's also true that you want to check out the first time you visit a bar, even if it's not the first time.
 I went inside anyway.

"...Come in.

 The restaurant was awfully small.
 The table was stretched out horizontally between the kitchen and the seats.

 It was the first time I'd ever seen it, but I understood that this is how the owner serves the food he's made.

What can I get for you?

 The owner asks, so anyway....


 I replied.
 First and foremost, drink the booze.
 Judge how good this restaurant is by what kind of liquor it serves. That's what you do as the best drinker in the Demon Kingdom!

You shouldn't do that, sir.

 But the owner refused.

It's not good for you to drink on an empty stomach. Liquor is only a friend of food. Drinking is just a friend of food.

 Who the hell do you think you are, telling a client what to do? I was frustrated, but it soon hit me.
 That's right.
 I hadn't eaten anything at the expo, just poured the booze down my throat, and that was how I'd gotten drunk.

 Now it sounds like an appropriate reflection on my former failure.
 'You've got one taken.

'The proprietor's right. Something to eat..., I would say, but what do you deal in here?

 The sign said 'Oden', but the word 'Oden' was too obscure.

I apologize for my cheekiness, but this is a free gift. Please try it.

 A plate presented to me across the table.
 Inside the plate, which is quite deep, is a rather large ingredient filled with translucent soup.

Is this some kind of soup? The garnish is awfully big for a guy like you?
Oden is a dish that is ordered in units of its ingredients. What we just served to our customers are radishes, eggs, and ganmodoki.

 I'm not sure, but I'm going to try something that looks like a translucent root vegetable.
 Is it a member of the turnip........?
 How well it resembles and is translucent is how it looks, though.

 When you eat it, you can see that the broth is well absorbed.
 The taste of the root vegetables themselves was mixed in with the taste of the soup and was very gentle.

 The boiled egg also soaked up the flavor of the soup in its own way.
 But what kind of bird's egg is this? Do you feel full of energy just by eating it?

The Yoshamo eggs are high in energy and retain their strength even when boiled. If you're happy with them, it's worth the effort to catch them.

 Well, anyway but that last one is even more curious, isn't it?

 What is this ... what?
 What is this 'cancer pseudo' thing?

Ganmokudoki is made by kneading crushed tofu with a variety of chopped vegetables and frying them in oil.

 It turns out that there are some things that can't be explained to me.

 Eimamayo, I put it in my mouth, and it was delicious.
 It was even more soaked up by the soup than the radish I had earlier, and it tasted gentle.


 Well, I get it.
 The heart of this "Oden" is the soup.
 The taste of the soup soaks into the various ingredients and makes them taste much gentler than they should.

 A large square pot visible over the table was filled with radishes, eggs, cancerous mushrooms, and a variety of other ingredients that were soaked in the soup.

 Inside the soup, the cause of tenderness.

 ........I see.
 This is what I overlooked in that exposition.

 The gentleness of the oden soup soothes the inside of me, which had been ravaged by the constant pouring of alcohol.

 If I hadn't had the oden, I wouldn't have gotten so badly drunk.
 I hadn't even considered the toll that drinking sake would take on my body.

Well, I think it's time for me to serve you some sake, too.
''Ah, no...?''

 I'm not even in the mood for a drink today.
 As I was about to say that, the cup was placed in front of me.

 The cup is so clear that it could be mistaken for water, but it does have a rich aroma.


 We met at the exposition's "Sake Pavilion"!
 I thought I'd never be able to drink again after it was closed...?


 The wretchedness of a drunkard who just thought he'd had enough for today, but drinks when he's served.
 Mmm! That's the taste!

 It's better than the one I had at the expo!
 My belly, soothed by Oden, was revived with the vitality to take in the nihonsh without regret!

 The rustic taste of the oden and the quirky freshness of the nihonshu complement each other.

 ........that's right.
 This is how sake was originally meant to be enjoyed.

'I hope you enjoyed it. You know what sake tastes like?
'Ah, yes! That's it!

 This owner can do it!
 Who would have thought that he would have calculated so well to complete a menu that maximizes the taste of the sake?

 Who the hell is this guy...? Ah!

 I looked at him closely and finally realized it.
 I didn't notice him at first because his clothes were completely different, but I saw his face once at an exposition, and I'll never forget it.

 You are not.....
 Bacchus, the God of Drinking!