What should I do from now on? What do I need to know? How should I live…?
While all my attention was focused on the stew of thoughts in my head, Ville suddenly raised his head. Hm? He looked to be resolute about something, but did something happen?
"…Hey, Rin. You mentioned before that you'll look for work, but what kind of job are you thinking about?"
"Huh? Um… Hmm… Let me think about that."
Being directly asked this, I realized and my mind stopped working. I want to work… but what can I do?
…My main line of work was in acupuncture and moxibustion. I don't know if those occupational tools exist here nor do I know how I could open my own business to do it. I had some skill as a masseuse, but I still don't know the procedure necessary to open my own business. Nowadays, caregiving is mostly done within the family. People don't want to rely on others for that kind of stuff…
Maybe I could use Survival Skill to harvest and sell edible stuff. …Oh, but if I do that, I'll need to find some kind of broker to handle the business transactions. And more importantly, I'll need some way to protect myself in case I encounter some dangerous animal!!!
…Huh? Could it be…that I'm at a dead end…?
"…Based on your reaction, I'm guessing you don't have any idea, right?" Ville asked.
"Y-yeah… I know there's some jobs I can do, but I don't know how to get started with them…"
"I see… In that case… if you okay with it…d-do you want to join my…our party as our meal prepper and simple porter?"
"A meal prepper and porter? Wait, by meal prepper, do you mean I will be your chef?"
I was silent as I began thinking. Ville saw me and peered into my face.
When he said "party", this popped right into my mind. It’s just as I thought! When it comes to adventurers, they form parties! Do they go dungeon diving too?! Do they split up their group to the front and back? Rush into the fray? Provide cover for the comrades?! I kind of want to personally see the essential way to make a living in a fantasy world…
"We're not looking for anything extravagant that a chef could make. You can make whatever you like however you like, Rin…"
"But you'll be getting the kind of food I just made for you before. Anyone could do that. It doesn't have to be me?"
"…Well…about that… For some reason, whenever anyone in my party tries to make some food, everything ends up in a catastrophe. Not a single of us is capable of cooking…"
I reflexively tilted my head thinking about the job of a meal prepper when Ville misunderstood my gesture. He quickly turned away. …Huh? …What? …Huh?! Wait, was he serious…? Was their cooking that catastrophic?!
"Returning to camp after exhausting ourselves dungeon diving, fighting monsters, and searching for treasure… to only find waiting for you burnt meat that's still raw and soup that is either too salty that it stings the tongue or too thin that you're practically drinking water!!!"
"Hold on a sec. What are you saying…? Oh, but I think I get what you're trying to say…"
Burnt meat that's raw… That seems like a contradiction… The person probably used too strong of a fire, burning the outside while the inside was still full of blood… Was that some kind of new way to cook rare meat? As for the soup being too thick or too thin… An "all-or-nothing" style… Either they over-boiled it or they added too much water.
Hmm, but was cooking that difficult…? As long as you follow a recipe, you should be able to create something decent at the very least, right???
"That fish…the one we ate yesterday, had the perfect grill and adequate seasoning!"
"And this morning's porridge was neither burnt on the bottom nor undercooked that the grains were still hard!"
"What kind of porridge have you been eating?! Did you actually eat it?! Someone actually made porridge like that?! That is indeed a catastrophe!!!"
"Exactly. Every time we go out for a request, it's a catastrophe! Don’t worry. We'll pay you, and when we're not out on a request, you're free to spend your time however you like! So, please! Please save my party!!!"
I finally noticed how terribly grim Ville's face looked this up close. He probably recalled those past disasters and the fervor to recruit someone exploded in him… He grabbed both of my shoulders. I thought he would rock me back and forth with how zealous the air coming off of him was.
Um… Okay. I got it. I'm a foodie so I understand the despair that comes from having to eat unpalatable food. And if I was faced with food as catastrophic as he described… I would probably also go crazy…
But I don't think I'll be as… extreme, like crying out about all the misery of the world… Besides, there was surely plenty of adventurers out there who could cook. It didn't have to be me, right…?
"…Rin, your face says, 'It doesn't have to be me', but those kind—the type who can cook—have already been contracted to other parties… That's why it's a blessing that I could meet you who's technically available to be hired!"
"Urgh… You read my mind… And people can be exclusively contracted like that?"
"Anyways, it's not a bad deal for you, right? Instead of barely scraping by while you search for a job you want to do, why not make money as you help us? You should give yourself some more time to think about the kind of field you want to enter, right?"
"…Well, when you put it that way… There's a big difference between making money and not…"
"Besides, if you're looking for a job, wouldn't it be better to be in a workplace where I, someone who knows your circumstances, is present instead of somewhere where you have to start interpersonal relationship from nothing? I can provide support and work as an intermediary between you and the rest of the party."
"Ooh… I would appreciate the support."
"Naturally, I can't guarantee a completely secure journey, but our party is made up of pretty skilled people. We also have a female member, so you should feel safe with her."
"…True, being in a workplace with only men is a bit too much for me…"
Um… How can I put it…? It feels like I'm talking to a very enthusiastic salesman…
But this really doesn't seem like a bad deal for me… If I were to say, "I came from another world and have a special skill!!! But I have no idea how this world works!!!", I doubt anything good would happen to me… In this world where you can only rely on yourself, this helping hand offered by Ville was very much appreciated. Taking into account that I wasn't currently in any situation where I could procure living expenses, I don't think it would be a good idea to decline this offer…
"…But this is actually just a formality."
…As I was intently listening to Ville's explanation, the unexpected word of “formality” popped up. You wouldn't normally assume this word to appear during a sales pitch. I reflexively raised my head and saw up close Ville's shy and embarrassed smile.
"I personally just want to be of some kind of help and repay your kindness for saving me after I collapsed from hunger."
"What's with that voice? You're caught up in your own dilemma, but you'd still save a stranger like me. Is it not natural for me to help you after you helped me? Rin, I like you enough that I'd hate to see you have to go through so much trouble. If I can do something for you, I want to do it."
"W-w-wait… Y-you don't have to do that much for me!!! On the contrary, it’s too much for me!!!"
I accidentally let out a strange voice being immersed by the handsomeness of this man, but it wasn’t my fault! …Anyone would blush if a handsome man with a slightly intense expression faced you and confessed that he like you!!! I can understand him wanting to repay me for a meal and lodging, but this was too much. I'm melting from his voice!!!
"At the very least, I want to know more about you before I introduce you to the rest of my comrades. So… Let's chat and get to know each other better.”
…The ogre looked at me with his blood-red eyes, and his fierce smile indicated that he wasn't going to let me go. That momentary skipped heartbeat was the first blunder of Takanashi Rin's life!
Got it? First and only blunder!!!