41 Increase the number of employees. Episode 5

 Two days have passed since the test started.

 I can't write about all the interviews with 3,000 people, so I'll pick out some of them and introduce them to you.

--In the case of Lapo, the cook of souls

'It's been a while. I remember your name, but it's just a test.
 Can you tell us your exam number, introduce yourself, and tell us why you want to work at the inn?
'Yes! Exam #105: "Gautea Rapo". I am a chef. The reason for me to work here is because I was so impressed with the food I had once had for lunch that I wanted to make this dish. I once applied to become an apprentice, but I couldn't fulfill my request at that time, so I wanted to make this a good opportunity.

 I am Laporteau, a wandering chef. I used to be the executive chef at the Imperial Grand Hotel Duerkran, the largest inn in the Empire.
 To tell you the truth, I am embarrassed to say that it was through espionage that I came to know about this hotel.

 As I mentioned earlier, I was the executive chef of the largest ryokan in the Empire, so I was confident in my cooking skills. I was proud of my culinary skills, and I was very frank and openly dismissive of other people's cooking.
 When I heard that an inn in the capital of Auckland was offering a 'heavenly meal', I couldn't stay for long. "A dish from heaven," he said, "is a pain in the ass for you to call it a dish from heaven instead of mine! I think I said something like that.

 But gradually the customers started to say that my cooking was not good enough. They said my food was not good enough. "Do you have any rice? I have also been told that. I found out that all the guests who were told that were guests who had eaten the "Heavenly Cuisine".
 For this reason, I dispatched my subordinate to investigate the inn. Then, my subordinate who went to investigate came back with a clear understanding of the inn. He was told that the landlady was very beautiful and the food was delicious. At that time, I dismissed the cowardly subordinate right away and sent a new subordinate to her. After that, every time I sent a subordinate, he came back as a coward every time I sent him, so I finally decided to sneak in.
 The other party was a skilled chef who had made my subordinates who were eating my food weak. I was determined to find out their failures, or rather, I was determined to find out if I was the executive chef.

 .... It was a complete defeat. That's all I can say. A simple but richly flavored soup (miso soup), cooked white grains (rice), raw fish cut into strips (sashimi), a silky sauce to dip the fish in (soy sauce), a tangy green spice to accompany the sauce (wasabi), and a baked and shaped egg (dashimaki egg). It was supposed to be just a simple meal, but the impact it had on me was immeasurable. It shattered my pride as a chef, a dish unlike any other on this continent, of any tribe or tribal system.

 I came back again and again, trying to steal a taste of it, but finally gave up as the taste got deeper and deeper with each visit. 

 Soon after that, I decided to quit as executive chef and apprentice myself to her.

 The result was as I told you earlier. I was never taken seriously. Perhaps it was a warning to me that I had been arrogant, but when the landlady treated me like this, I felt like I understood the feelings of all the chefs I had dealt with. I expressed my gratitude to the landlady even though she refused me, and I spent all my accumulated wealth on a trip around the world.

 I made up my mind to find the roots of the landlady's taste.

 Well, in the end, I couldn't find it, but....

 While I was traveling around the world, I heard a rumor about a guild in a city I visited.


"There's an opening at the Goddess Inn! Yahhhh~ Finally, my luck is coming my way!
How come you're so lucky? I don't get it.
Hey, hey, Maru, you don't know anything about the inn?
I don't know. I don't know. They're all the same.
"Don't be stupid! What do you mean by a goddess' house? It's run by a very beautiful owner, with great service, great food, and a very cheap price, and you have a very, very beautiful owner who is also a very, very beautiful woman!
'It's tempting that the rates are so low. I mean, Kaku, you just said 'beautiful landlady' twice.

 I was astonished at the exchange. I didn't think that the inn was looking for employees! That's ridiculous! Needless to say, I felt like this, but maybe it was about a different inn, and I listened carefully to that party with my ears wide open so that I wouldn't be exposed from the edge of the guild.

'I told you twice because it's important! Anyway, it's a great inn, but it's really impregnable. It's rumored that many men have tried to get a hold of it, but it's a place where all of them have made a splash, and it's said that anyone who sees the landlady's smiling face and doesn't respond will die of excessive happiness! I heard that even the king is attacked and rejected every day!
'Well, well, I can sort of see how awesome the inn is. But there's no reason for your luck to turn on you, is there? Doesn't Tri feel the same way?
'Well, Kaku's an idiot, and maybe he thought his luck was up in some weird way. Where's Cross?
Well that inn was definitely awesome.
'Huh? Does Cross know about this?

 There was no doubt about it. The inn they're talking about must be the 'Dragon Emperor's Yadurigi'. That inn is finally hiring employees? I have to get that information somehow.

'You know Cross and I, right? "You know Cross and I, we went there once before you guys got together for a party. And I made a good impression on the landlady then.
'Are you nuts? Oh, you're an idiot.... I've forgotten all about that long ago, even that landlady.
Yeah. That was a little over a year ago now, right? I'm sure you've forgotten about that one, right?
I'm sure the landlady will remember.
'Yes, yes! Cross is right, man! Didn't I tell you how great the proprietress was? One of those things is memory!!!! I've heard he remembers the names and faces of all the guests he's stayed with so far and everything.
No, no, no, that's not going to happen...
'There's that! And then maybe three months later? I happened to see the landlady in town, so I called her out. Well, I had a secret motive, so it wasn't a very high compliment. Then the landlady told me

'What? Kaku, it's been a while. How have you been? I see that Mr. Cross can't stay today. I'm looking forward to the day when you can come back to our inn?

 What did they say to me? As expected, all I could say at that time was "Ah.......yes, you me!
I'm about the same way.
And Cross?
Nuh-uh? That's pretty believable.
'Huh? You don't trust me, do you? Hey, Cross?
.... not at all. ....You're the leader, aren't you?
'Right! That's right!!!!
So? How is that going to lead to you getting lucky, Kaku (idiot)?
Yes. Tell me about it. Kaku.

 Can you get the information out to me soon? The leader (idiot).

"I feel like I'm being outrageous, but.... But I'm the leader, so I don't mind.
All right, boys! Such an impregnable inn, recruiting employees, and moreover, the inn which the landlady was running by herself. The answer to this question can be derived from this.... Yes! Tri-kun!
"Well do I have to answer that? (Mendoza~) I don't mind, though. Maybe it's called 'finding a mate', right?
'Yes! World~! Bish!
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's the only way to go! Because this is an inn that's never had to hire employees before! It's gonna happen fast! It's the only way! ...in a hurry! I'm not sure why my luck is coming my way! Yes, sir! Maru-kun!
→That means you're going to get an incredibly beautiful wife! That's it? It may seem too convenient and delusional, but...
'Yes! World! And that's why my luck is coming my way, it's simple!
...super difficult.
Really? Wasn't that so f*cking easy? That said, our next destination is 'King's Landing, Clancran'. It's a bit of a long journey, but there's still time. Let's each of you get your equipment in order, then........dismissed!

 The leader leaves the guild with great enthusiasm. I wasn't able to get any detailed information from them. Well, if we hire them as guards, the road to the capital will be safer. Shall I also go ask them for an escort after I gather a few more details from the guild?

Can I get a cross? That idiot is trying to have a relationship with another woman!
I don't care if it's OK. It'll come back to me eventually.
Well, there is no other girl that that idiot can get along with other than you and probably won't be able to pass the test, so it's fine....... If you're okay with it, I won't say anything.

 Oops, Cross-san was a woman, wasn't she? I gathered unexpected information in such a place.


 After all that back and forth, we've finally come to this! I must take this one!

 The landlady and I exchanged a few times, and the last question she asked me was, "What does a customer mean to you? This is a bit hard to answer, isn't it? This is a bit hard to answer, isn't it? The landlady's words, which are displayed prominently at the inn, may suggest that the answer is 'the customer is God', but the phrase 'customer for me' may mean something.

For me, a customer is someone to whom I must always deliver the best food. "For me, a customer is someone who should always be treated with the best food, no matter what kind of person they are, as long as they have paid for my food. That is the customer for me.

 What has changed in my travels around the world is my attitude towards these customers? I used to think, 'I'm doing this by feeding my customers'. I don't know what this question means, but if it's true, my tour of the world was not in vain.

Yes, thank you very much. The results will be in two days, so until then, please rest easy.
'Thank you. Excuse me!

 With that, I left the room. I'm not looking forward to the announcement of the results.