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Chapter 43: Reconciliation strategy

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After listening to my story, everyone has that ...... indescribable look on their faces.

 

Not a single word is uttered, just silence.

 

What leaked out was a little bit of laughter, and some people made bitter expressions.

 

In the midst of it all, a White Dragon is moving its neck and tail, looking at its surroundings.

 

"Wha, What's that? That reaction......."

 

"Whi, White Dragon-dono!"

 

Clavis-san bravely speaks up.

 

"Is that why you are angry with my son Luciel?"

 

"What? What's wrong with that?"

 

"Mukiii!" 

 

White Dragon scowls and glares at Clavis-san.

 

But as expected of the head of a duke's family, he continues to speak calmly without irritating the dragon. White Dragon only snorts fiercely.

 

"With all due respect, it was an unforeseen accident. I think it would be unfair to blame my son, Luciel."

 

" " "Mm-hmm." " "

Most of the people nodded their heads.

 

The only one who disagrees is the one in question.

 

"No! I can't accept it! Because that was the steak that made me make a big decision to cut off my tail. That's ----."

 

"So, how about cutting your tail off again? That way, right away..."

 

"Hey Hero!!"

 

White Dragon leaned closer to Karim.

 

"I'll tell you one thing. Even though it's a tail, it's still a part of me. That's why ----."

 

"Ye, yes....."

 

"It hurts like hell."

 

White Dragon speaks seriously.

 

"Uh, yeah..... Well, well, I guess so."

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"Luciel-kun. Is White Dragon always been like this?"

 

Fletty-san whispered softly in my ear.

 

"Yes. We haven't seen each other since then."

 

"You mean, you guys have been fighting for 170 years?"

 

Although I said 170 years, White Dragons are very long-lived creatures that are said to live for 10,000 years.

 

For humans, 170 years is a very long time. But from their point of view, it only feels like yesterday or the day before yesterday.

 

"But from my point of view, I think that fight was over a long time ago."

 

"What? What do you mean?"

 

I blinked my eyelids.

 

"Let me handle this."

 

"Oh, okay......"

 

After saying that, Fletty-san stepped forward in front of White Dragon.

 

"What is it, knight?"

 

White Dragon looks at him and snorts.

 

"We talked just now, but Luciel-kun would like to serve White Dragon another dish as an apology."

 

"Eh? I'm----."

 

"Yes. Stop there......."

 

Karim-san gently shuts my mouth.

 

"Fletty seems to have an idea. Let's watch over them for a moment, shall we?"

 

He whispered in my ear. I nodded silently.

 

Meanwhile, the conversation between Fletty-san and White Dragon continues.

 

"Hm, hmm. I won't forgive him even if he baits me with food."

 

"I see. I'm sorry to hear that. Then, let us eat alone."

 

"Haah! What are you talking about?"

 

"Is there a problem? Actually, we are starving. If we don't put something in our stomachs, we're going to collapse soon."

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According to Fletty-san, after eating their portable meals on the mountainside, they haven't had anything but water.

 

"After hearing the story about you and Luciel-kun, I've been craving to eat a steak. Luciel-kun. Is there any steak that's as good as, if not better than, the dragon steak?"

 

He turned around and asked me.

 

Fletty-san-san winked lightly to signal me.

 

I still don't know what Fletty-san's intentions are, but I will follow his lead for now.

 

"The ingredients I have with me are limited. Can I use monster meat?"

 

"Sure, I don't mind."

 

Then I have something special.

 

Something as good as or even better than dragon steak is inside my magic bag.

 

What I take out of the bag is a block of steak.

 

However ----.

 

"This is..."

"Well..."

"Oyaoya."

"Oioi, Luciel-kun, this meat is..."

 

No wonder everyone is surprised.

 

The meat I hold up in front of them is grayish, and its color doesn't look like meat.

 

Instead, it is clearly moldy.

 

"That meat, by any chance ----?"

 

White Dragon is still in the courtyard, showing no signs of returning to his lair. He opens his mouth.

Apparently, he has figured out what meat this is.

 

"This is the meat of a monster called Mountain Oaks."

 

" " "Mo, Mountain Oaks!" " "

 

Shouts echoed.

 

Clavis-san puts his hand to his chin and stares at the meat.

 

"Speaking of Mountain Oaks, aren't they the top-ranked monsters according to the Monster Ecology Research Institute?"

 

"I hear they are as big as mountains, just like their name."

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"Just curious, but did you kill it?"

 

Fletty-san pulls the edges of her mouth back and laughs.

 

"Yes, but that was 50 years ago."

 

"Fi, Fifty years!!"

 

"This? You mean this meat is 50 years old?"

 

Lilith's eyes widened in disbelief.

 

"Is this 50 years old meat edible?"

 

"No. To begin with, Mountain Oaks' bodies are mostly hard rocks. They're too stiff to eat, aren't they?"

 

"Then, someone please touch this meat."

 

When I urge them to touch the meat, Fletty-san steps forward on behalf of the others.

 

He gently presses his fingertips into the meat, which is moldy on the surface.

 

"----!!"

 

Perhaps he sensed something; Fletty-san quickly withdrew his finger.

 

After looking at his finger, he checks the meat.

 

His expression says he couldn't believe it.

 

"It's soft ....... And elastic. It's meat, normal meat."

 

"What?!"

 

Clavis-san also touches the meat.

 

"It's definitely the elasticity of meat. And it's like high-end ---- andas beef."

 

"Luciel-kun, what is this?"

 

"Certainly, Mountain Oaks meat is not something you can eat normally. It is hard as a rock. But if you let it rest for a long time, it becomes tender like this."

 

"I see. So it's aged meat."

 

Clavis-san puffs out a breath.

 

Aged meat is meat that has been kept at low temperatures for a certain period so that the texture and flavor of the meat changes.

 

It is a technique that has been around for 300 years and has been on the Tristan family's table from time to time.

 

I remember the head chef telling me about it, and that's why he used it to age this Mountain Oaks meat.

 

"Aged meat is something that changes the texture of meat drastically, but I never imagined that meat that is hard as a rock would become tender after fifty years."

 

"But how did you keep it at such a low temperature?"

 

"Karim is right. I hear that the humidity is also very important."

 

He is the duke's family heir, so he seems to know a lot.

 

"Inside the magic bag, the temperature is always kept at a low level to prevent the medicinal herbs from rotting. I wrap the bark of a tree called Sugaki around the meat to maintain a certain humidity level....."

 

"Oh, Sugaki? That's the kind of wood used for building materials. Certainly, it can keep the humidity constant for a long period of time."

 

It was White Dragon who spoke just now.

 

It seems that he has been listening to my explanation.

 

When he noticed me and everyone else looking at him, he hurriedly looked away.

 

"Hm, hmm. That's no big deal."

 

He turns his head away.

 

I begin to understand Fletty-san's strategy.

 

"Eh, excuse me...... Luciel. Do you eat this moldy part too?"

 

Lilith pointed at the meat with an anxious look on her face.

 

As expected, one might be reluctant to eat moldy meat.

 

"Don't worry, Lilith. I'll cut off all the moldy parts and eat the meat inside."

 

However, this mold is responsible for tenderizing Mountain Oaks' tough meat. It is a mold that appears only on the outer skin of mountain oaks, and it is pretty rare.

 

But I was also surprised that monster meat could become tender after being dried for a long period like aged meat.

 

"I was surprised when I first saw it, but now I'm starting to look forward to it."

 

"After all, it's been 50 years. I wonder how deep the flavor has accumulated."

 

Clavis-san unconsciously licks his lips.

 

The more one knows about the taste of aged meat, the more one will look forward to this Mountain Oaks meat.

 

"Then, I'll cut it up and grill it right away."

 

The operation to reconcile White Dragon and I has begun.

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