The Coffee Shop in a Different World Station - Chapter 8.3
Proofreader: Lady Black~
Takumi brought the freshly baked Chicken Doria carefully onto the table. In the meantime, Nyan-chi was sharing the salad and soup with Serio and Emma.
”The soup over here is hot too!”
“Thank you, Nyan-chi. You’ve been telling me all these delicious stories for a while now that I’m already starving.”
Emma and Nyan-chi seemed to hit it off quite well as they were laughing and chatting together. Serio watched them with a smile and turned to Takumi again. He said a few words of thanks.
”Thank you so much, Takumi-san and Nyan-chi-san, for all your help.”
“Don’t mind it. Please eat it while it’s still hot. It will warm you up.”
“That’s right! But be careful not to get greedy and eat in a hurry, you might get burned!”
At Nyan-chi’s words, the table burst warm laughter. With that, the four of them gave thanks in their own words for the blessings of the heavens and the earth. With that, the day’s warm supper began.
Emma was the first to bring the bacon and repolyo soup to her mouth. The repolyo must have been cooked for a long time. It was tender enough to crush with the tip of her tongue. The flavor of the bacon was fully integrated into the soup. It also had a characteristic spiciness and flavor added as a secret ingredient.
“Takumi-san, this soup is very tasty. Could this possibly have jengibre in it?”
“Yes, I’ve added a little bit of grated jengibre root. Perhaps you weren’t very good at it?”
“No, no, I love it. But I was surprised that I’d never tried jengibre with a soup like this before.”
“The soup was made for lunch, so I thought I’d add a little flavor to it. I’m glad you liked it. Thank you.”
Takumi used jengibre for another reason. Jengibre — called “ginger” in Takumi’s former world — has a warming effect on the body and promotes perspiration. Takumi had added this spice as a secret ingredient to warm them up after they had been completely chilled by the rain.
“Achchi! … yeah, it’s really good too! I didn’t know there was this way to eat Arroz!”
[TLNote: Arroz, he meant the rice.]
“It’s called Doria! It’s full of cheese and it’s delicious!”
Serio and Nyan-chi are huffing and puffing their way through the Doria. They scoop out a spoonful of it with a spoon, and the cross-section reveals a tomato-red tinted Arroz, tangled in the fully heated and melted cheese.
As you put the steamy Arroz in your mouth, the flavor of the slightly spicy tomato sauce overlaid on the flavor of the Arroz. It absorbed the richness of the oil and the flavor of the mild cheese enveloped them. With the heat, the flavor and richness flooded their mouth. Their urge to eat each spoonful was unstoppable.
“The soup is also very good, Serio-san. It’s good to have it before it gets cold.”
“Oh, you should try the Doria too, Emma. The Arroz makes a very flavorful dish. Just be careful, it’s really hot, be careful.”
Serio and Emma were enjoying a warm supper, recommending the food to each other. After a pause, they were completely full. All that’s left was a clean, empty plate in front of them.
“That was really good. Thank you for the feast.”
“The food was amazing. No, it’s really good. Thank you very much.”
“You’re welcome. Would you like a cup of coffee after dinner?”
“Nyan-chi will get it! I’ll be there in a minute!”
Before Serio and Emma could respond, Nyan-chi got out of his chair with a bang and went to make coffee. Takumi couldn’t help but give them a wry smile. Both Serio and Emma returned the smile in good humor.
“I was very surprised by all the creative dishes today. How could they come up with these ideas?”
“No, I just learned it from where I used to work. Incidentally, today’s dish is also the first dish I served to a ‘customer’. It took me three years to be told it was OK to serve it to a customer.”
“What, three years…?”
Serio couldn’t help but roll his eyes and returned the words to Takumi. Takumi nodded at Serio’s words and continued talking.
“Of course, I was allowed to do the preparation and serving before then. This was the first time I was allowed to make everything by myself from scratch. My part-time job when I was a student… Although I went to this restaurant to help out, at the time, it was difficult for me to be entrusted with cooking. There were times when I sulked a bit.”
Serio and Emma looked at each other without thinking.
Looking back on it now, Takumi thought that those three years were a great opportunity to learn the basics. At the time, he never imagined that he would be able to run a shop like this. But Takumi also thought that he was able to manage the shop because of the experience he had back then.
“I understand that it takes time to learn the basics. But even so, if you don’t trust them with anything, you won’t be able to move on, will you?”
Emma swallowed her words for Takumi. Takumi also gave Emma a gentle admonition, looking a little more serious.
“Hmmm, it’s hard to say that in general. But if you are going to achieve or master something, I think it’s important to be patient. Repeat what you learn from each and everything you are doing now. I’m sorry to be so pompous, but I’m still learning, too.”
“No, it’s very sobering. But why are you telling me this?”
Takumi revealed the hints to the simple question Serio posed.
“Excuse me. Serio-san, Emma-san. I knew both of you. Emma’s father is a shoemaker, and Serio-san is Emma’s father’s apprentice, right?”
“What? How did you know that?”
They both exclaimed in surprise at the same time.
“I had visited the shop before to get a new pair of shoes. I had seen you at that time. The two of you were planning to elope, weren’t you?”
“And there’s no point in trying to stop us. It’s our decision!”
Emma’s tone turned stern unexpectedly. Serio hurriedly calmed her down, trying to lay it down.
“Did you know all along? Or, Master… did Emma’s father already tell you about it?”
“No-no-no. But if you come rushing in just before you leave, dripping wet with your luggage, I can only assume that there’s some reason for your departure. By looking at the two of you, I think we’ll be able to figure out what the answer is. I’m still a deputy stationmaster, after all.”
“I see. So, you intend to leave us stranded here and send us home?”
Serio’s words also turned stern in time but he no longer had the time to pay attention to them.
”That’s not true. If you’re leaving first thing tomorrow, I will prepare another ticket for you. But…”
“I just wanted to share a little of my experience with you. Before I leave my parents and hometown, my old man. While I’m being nosy, can I continue with one more thing?”
“My teacher told me that when the number of days, weeks, months, or years rolls around, you want to change things up.”
It seemed that Serio got the idea. Takumi sensed Serio’s condition. He continued to speak.
“I was taught that we need to be careful not to make changes too easily at a time like this. It can easily destroy what we’ve worked so hard to build. On the other hand, it can be a chance for a change in direction. Therefore, it’s important to think things through when deciding to make a change.”
The two people listened to Takumi’s words with an enlightened look on their faces.
“In that sense, this stormy weather today may be a blessing for the two of you. At the very least, we were able to have time to think about it thoroughly for one night. Well, Nyan-chi is back.”
Nyan-chi was brewing coffee in the kitchen. She returned with a metal tray with four cups in his hand.
“I can smell you were talking about something difficult. I don’t care about that, just enjoy the coffee after dinner! Right, I also brought cookies as a free gift. It’s a gift for both of you.”
Nyan-chi’s words eased up the tension in the atmosphere. Serio and Emma looked at each other and nodded with a smile. They both thanked Nyan-chi with a smile and accepted their coffee and cookies. Before long, the rain outside had begun to drizzle, and the wind had gradually seized.
◇ ◇ ◇
“We apologize for the inconvenience to those who were scheduled to board the train yesterday. It is expected to be running as scheduled today. Now, we’d like to start the first train. Please go to the ticket gate. If you are boarding the train, please come to the boarding gate.”
The next day was a clear and sunny day. Takumi, who had been informed via telegraph that the train was ready for normal operation, arrived at the station as the “deputy stationmaster”. He proceeded to the ticket gate, talking to each of the passengers one by one. Serio and Emma watched from afar for a while, but eventually, they bowed to Takumi and headed out of the station building.
The road they had driven through yesterday’s rain had left puddles of water in places. It was not exactly easy to walk on. To be honest, they weren’t comfortable at all with the thought of the “huge thunderstorm” that awaited them at the end of the road. But still, they walked hand in hand. They stayed on the road and learned from what they have now for the future that they spent the night talking about.
Serio and Emma, hand in hand, one step at a time, walked into the house.
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