Release that Witch - Chapter 646: Hotpot
When the two were about to leave, Ashes, who walked behind Princess Tilly, suddenly stopped and turned around to say, “Your Majesty, I owe you an apology.”
This was the first time that Ashes had used polite words when talking to Roland. “Well. As for those episodes happening in the palace, I’m very…” Roland explained to Ashes.
Ashes shook her head and said, “We all know that he isn’t you. He can neither lead us to defeat the church nor offer enough freedom and trust to us witches. I didn’t believe this until you defeated the church and I’m very sorry for that.” She paused and continued, “Each witch will remember what you’ve done, and you’re more qualified to be Lady Tilly’s brother than him.”
If Ashes said such words, these would also be Tilly’s thoughts. They did not believe that he was Prince Roland. Roland did not know whether to laugh or cry. Was this some kind of recognition?
Staring at his smiling sister behind Ashes, he abruptly realized something.
The Extraordinary covered her chest with the right hand and slightly bent. Her black ponytail hung down upon her shoulders and her golden eyes were like the shining stars in the evening.
“Envoy Ashes salutes you, Your Majesty.”
Three days later, the farewell dinner which Andrea had long waited for finally arrived.
What she had awaited was not the farewell but the new delicious food His Majesty promised.
Since the last farewell, she had always remembered that there had been more delicious food than just ice cream. So Andrea had expected to taste it this time. But the battle against the church was of great significance and so she was reluctant to suggest it. But now, she could have a taste.
The dinner was not held in the castle but in the expanded castle backyard.
Through a long corridor formed by olives and entering the center of the backyard, Andrea smelled a thick scent before seeing any food. “Was it crystal fish from the Everwinter’s glacier? Or was it flavored egg from the Wolfheart’s cliff? Or was it the rainbow trout from the Fjords that’s known for its delicious taste. No, no, no! I haven’t smelled anything that bears a scent so tempting before. No matter how rare the material is, it can’t make such delicious food.”
“I’m suddenly hungry.” Shavi shouted.
“Have you always led such a life in the western region?” Molly licked her lips and said, “What an enviable life!”
Breeze embraced Lotus and Evelyn together and then explained to Molly. “I haven’t had many chances to enjoy it. It’s them you should envy.”
Candle explained. “This kind of dinner isn’t held every day and the dessert is only served every three days.”
“Only served every three days…” Molly held her forehead and said, “Why do I feel like you’re showing off.”
“No, I’m not.”
Ashes took a glimpse of Andrea, though she could not control her saliva either, she said, “Hey, don’t drool out.”
If it was at an ordinary time, Andrea would have sneered back, but now her attention was completely drawn to round stumps at the side of the backyard.
They appeared to grow out of the ground at the first sight. The tree trunk was so thick and sturdy that as many as seven or eight people could encircle it. The hot air coming out its inside made it look like something was burning.
When she walked closer, she found that the tree trunk had been hollowed out. A huge iron pot was erected on top of the stumps and the thick scent was coming out from it was soup.
In addition, there were various different foods on the short table beside the trunk. They were various but common at the dining table. What made her more confused was that the food was raw.
This was the first time that Andrea had seen such a kind of dinner. There were no attendants, no white cloth, no music and no crowds of people. Each one sat around the stumps in a circle. It looked like that they had to do it by themselves.
What Andrea thought was true. After all of the witches arrived, Roland clapped his hands to indicate that the dinner had begun. He explained to all of the witches, “This is a hotpot dinner. It’s very easy to eat, simply put all the food you like into the pot and enjoy it when it’s cooked.”
Fall was the best season to enjoy hotpots. As a very popular cooking method, it was quite easy to make a hotpot. Even the simplest vegetables could take delicious. The most important thing was that hotpots were very down-to-earth. Eaters would gather together to enjoy fine food from the same pot. Therefore, they were much easier to promote relationships among people than traditional banquets. As a farewell dinner, hotpots could reduce people’s sadness and depression.
A hotpot’s essence lay in its soup stock. In this age, cooking methods were largely monotonous. Usually, one ingredient had only one taste and people had to pay more attention to the quality of materials themselves. Roland had ordered chefs to mix various ingredients that had distinguished flavors and put them in a pot before to cook them. They included whole chickens, porcine bones, bird beak Mushrooms, seafood, spice and so on. So the soup stock was very rich in taste, a taste that could not be made by only cooking one or two raw materials.
It was Leaf who made the hotpot table that had a style of nature. She had cast the power of Heart of Forest to make the plants grow quickly. At her will, they had become what Roland had asked for without any extra transformations. They were covered inside with a thermal insulation coating. Even if the spirit lamps were lit, they would not set the tables on fire. Instead, the temperature of the inner walls would spread gradually over to the entire stumps. If they put their hands on a tabletop, they would feel a lukewarm heat.
As Andrea put some cooked meat into her mouth, she could not help but hum because of the strong and rich flavor.
As tens of delicious food materials assailed her tongue and the hot soup flowed down her throat into her stomach, Andrea could not stop eating, though this feeling was totally different from ice cream bread.
According to the table manner of the nobles, they should not take new food until they had finished the food upon their plates. However, they could not keep that manner with the hotpots created by His Majesty, otherwise, they would have nothing left after finishing their food.
The other witches on the table were no longer elegant. In other words, a hotpot had nothing to do with elegance. There were even several plates of delicious food in front of Lady Tilly. Even Ashes had picked up food several times from the plates in front of her.
Ashes imitated Andrea’s tone and said, “‘The essence of food lies in its original flavor. Without seasoning, the boiled soup can be closer to the original flavor.’ Who has said these words? In my memories, someone considered salt and spices a barbaric way of cooking and said that real nobles will never use them to cook, but today, what I’ve seen is different from what she said.”
If it was before, Andrea might argue with her. But now, she had realized what was the most important thing.
It was more important to enjoy the hotpot than play words with Ashes.
She lightly glimpsed at Ashes. Without hesitation, she pushed Ashes’ spoon away and scooped a piece of floating meat into her bowl.
This time, Andrea ate contently.