A city of the Rondéville Kingdom, Lunéville.
When this city was born anew as a grand inn town, the branch gained a new constructed annex in anticipation for even more customers. The branch’s functions put in place were to specialize in cuisine and information exchange.
When all was said and done, it was a diner. On the second floor of that annex, there was a certain gathering.
“So then, has everyone drawn their lots?”
Everyone, who were each grasping a piece of paper, nodded while looking on with very tense expressions.
The elf girl who worked as the branch’s staff, Ilya, removed the cloth covering a display board behind her.
As for what was posted on the display board, it was a rough sketch of the entire town with many figures on it. Various characters were written next to the figures, none of them were the same as another.
With their eyes looking at the display board as though to eat it, everyone looked this way and that as they searched for their numbers.
“… Booyah! The yakisoba’s mine!!” 
After he threw his hands up to the skies as though in great delight, voices trailed after him.
“Omelette franks!? Yay!” 
“Goldfish scooping…? Whyyy…” 
“O-okonomiyaki… I wonder if I can make them well?” 
“I will now be handing you your manuals, so please line up over here.”
Watching everyone move over in succession, Frank, who had approached Ilya by himself as though relieved, let out a sigh.
“It looks like it somehow worked out, doesn’t it.”
“… You won’t go together with me after all?”
Even though she was receiving the gaze of Frank, who was the head of the guild association’s Lunéville branch, Ilya shook her head. As this was his second proposal, even though he already understood how she would respond, Frank couldn’t hide his disappointment. Ilya smiled at him.
“Even if I went, I don’t think anything would change, you know?”
“Well, even though you could say that…”
Frank was somehow unable to articulate himself.
As for the topic the two people were talking about, it concerned a notification sent to the branch manager the other day.
The notification’s contents were: [As headquarters is holding a general meeting, all general managers as well as branch managers are to appear in the guild association’s headquarters.]
Although Frank had been to meetings at headquarters several times, this was the first time that the meeting’s purpose hadn’t been clearly described.
Therefore, he had proposed for clever and quick-witted Ilya to accompany him, but she curtly declined.
The headquarter’s general meetings concerned practically all branch managers and since it was given the authority to make decisions, it was at the point where there was no choice but to go. As long as the conversation’s topic didn’t escalate too much, it was common to end without saying even a single word.
However, his intuition seemed to tell him it would turn into something troublesome, with Ilya’s intuition telling her something similar as well. However—
(I don’t want to get involved in anything troublesome.)
That was her main motive as for why she refused to go along.
“Just in case, if the topic looks as though it’s going badly, please escape without overworking yourself alright?”
“Don’t say something so uneasy…”
Towards Frank who was smiling wryly with his head drooped down, Ilya gave him a smile that overflowed with spontaneity.
He’d probably realized that she was jesting.
Becoming more aware of his mood lightening, Frank let go of his wry smile as the mood calmed.
“… May I butt in?”
Timidly, even though she was smirking, Cynthia spoke to them.
However, Ilya responded calmly. Cynthia was taken aback with her response being done so easily, while Frank was standing to the side averting his line of sight, unable to say anything because of his embarrassment.
“… Ahem. Ummm, there’s a quick question from the people that have received their manuals. What kind of cooking utensils should they use?”
“Understood. I’ll explain.”
Accompanied by Cynthia, Ilya went to the crowd of people.
Left behind, Frank turned his gaze to the bulletin board. The first thing to attract his attention was the words ‘Construction Completion Festival’ written out in large letters.
Since the all of the construction had been completed, they decided to host a festival in commemoration of it.
It would be for a period of two days, the goal was for people coming from other towns to come and stay the night after the first day to try out the inns at special costs.
When one thinks about festivals, the first thing to come to mind are the stalls.
For the residents of Lunéville, even though they’d experienced things like harvest festivals, it was only to the scale of being done in the central plaza.
Because this festival’s main purpose was to debut the brand new inns’ construction completions, its scale had inevitably increased greatly, so it was expected that the atmosphere would feel a little shabby if there weren’t many booths set up.
Their problem was that they didn’t have enough stalls for a festival of this scale.
As for what was suggested as the solution, the branch would serve various kinds of dishes.
The privilege of serving the branch’s cooking as street vendors.
The lottery from a moment before was to decide the cuisines, as well as to explain things to everyone. That was the scene that had developed thus far.
“Weeell, I thought you’d refuse at first, Branch Manager-sama.”
Likely because he’d finished receiving his explanation, a man spoke complacently as he grinned towards Frank.
“We don’t particularly hide our recipes after all. They aren’t something that significant.”
“Again with the modesty! Gahaha!”
Towards the man who laughed cheerfully, Frank smiled wryly.
It was true that they didn’t hide their recipes, in fact the recipe book was being sold by the commerce guild.
As for who brought the information of their recipes to the commerce guild, it wasn’t Ilya who had designed and edited foods from her previous life’s world cuisine, but a fellow staff member who worked at the same branch named Clarice. Although she had received instruction while taking rudimentary lessons directly from Ilya, there weren’t any differences in the recipes themselves.
Even so, it hadn’t been that popular because when one considered the purchase of the cooking equipment required and all of the ingredients, it became something fairly expensive.
Adding on to that, because the flavor would change depending on who cooked it even with the same recipe, there wasn’t anyone that could make it the same as the cooking done by the Lunéville branch (particularly things made by Ilya).
For those reasons, Ilya permitted opening the recipes to the public, disregarding the potential disadvantages that came with revealing them.
“Well then, that’s all for today. We will practice the dishes another day. As it will be scheduled depending on the kind of cooking that will be done, please check the schedule posted on the bulletin board.”
With Ilya’s saying that the general explanations were complete, the stall lottery successfully came to a close.
“Next is us, huh?”
The staff members in the surroundings looked towards Ria who had said that while sorting documents.
“How about we return to the main building?”
Everyone returned a nod to Frank’s statement, those that had finished tidying up made their way out of the annex.
However, not everyone who returned had scattered. Cynthia and Ria walked back to the branch while matching each other’s paces.
“Come to think of it, what kind of stall are we doing?”
Ria, who had handed out the manuals, she… probably knew the contents of the stall assigned to the branch’s staff members with what was left over.
“I don’t know either you know? There weren’t any manuals left over.”
Surely, the branch couldn’t not open a shop.
As Cynthia had expected to get free food under the pretense of sampling, or maybe some free sweets, she was attacked by a feeling of despair.
“Nn? What’s wrong?”
Cynthia had ran over to Ilya, who was walking with Frank ahead of them. Ilya looked back towards her.
“What shop will the branch be doing!?”
“Hmm… I haven’t actually decided yet.”
Ilya and them, who had reached the branch at last while having such a conversation, didn’t take the front entrance as it had a large amount of people walking in and out of it, instead entering the branch from the service door meant for staff members. Then, everyone other than Frank continued into the office.
“Ah, welcome back.”
Those two in charge of office work, Claude and Desiree, welcomed them back. As Ilya and them sat on the sofa in the office, Claude held out a box.
Cynthia and Ria looked at with questioning gazes as they inclined their necks. Ilya, who’d accepted the box, put her hand into the hole of the top part. When she’d taken her hand back out, she was grasping on to a small ball.
There was nothing written on the ball, Ilya turned the box’s hole to the two who were growing increasingly bewildered.
“Take one? … Ah, there’s a one on it.”
“A two for me.”
“Then, Ria will look after the store on the first day, and Cynthia on the second day. Please?”
The two girls stopped in silence for a moment as they registered Ilya’s casual request. Then—
“” Eeeh!? “”
When they understood what she meant, they let out baffled voices that resembled shrieks.
The following night.
It was decided that Ria and Rachelle would be looking after the store for the first day of the Construction Completion Festival, with Cynthia and Clarice on the second day. They were gathered in the branch’s kitchen.
The purpose of this gathering was to decide on the kind of dish they would serve in the stall, as well as practice it.
It’s a little late to bring it up, but Ilya remembered her previous life.
She had had a childhood friend, a girl that aimed to work as a pastry artisan.
After they’d graduated high school—even after the schools they commuted to had changed—they continued to meet up with each other and mutually complain about job hunting.
Like that, Ilya recalled a particularly bad interview the girl had complained about as she watched the scene play out in front of her.
As for the question, it concerned what kind reason they had for liking their favorite cake. The other examinees seemed to have said fastidious things like its origins or its virtues.
And then, when it was finally her turn to say something, she’d answered like this:
—For me, I love chocolate. I love it because I feel happy when I eat it!
Well, it was probably a failure as for as interview questions are concerned.
That was just the truth—
Their fingers coated in the sweetness of the melted chocolate, the four girls grinned in satisfaction as they held their fingers in their mouths.
Although from Ilya’s position she could scold them by all rights, when she saw the four girls’ enchanted expressions, she didn’t seem to be able to blame them.
“I put in the milk powder and it changed so much~”
For the chocolate that was bitter and sour because it hadn’t had any sugar or powdered milk in it, it became something like medicine.
The bitterness would be suppressed by mixing in sugar and the taste would become smoother by mixing in powdered milk, attaining an even softer sweetness.
Because it would become expensive if they used sugar in abundance, even if it was spread through the commerce guild, it would be too luxurious of an item for ordinary families.
Although they’d been making things like crepes and parfaits in the branch so far, many people didn’t actually know how they were made.
Swordplay, magic, blacksmithing, medicine…
In general, there were many technologies that were hidden. In this world that where that became the norm, many people assumed that they wouldn’t be taught even if they’d asked.
The same went with Ilya’s cooking—and consequently the branch’s cooking—there were a lot of cases where it was simply ended with, ‘It’s something special.’ Chocolate was one of those things as well.
“What will we use at the shop? Though there are crepes and parfaits, crepes are taken by other people, and each parfait is pretty expensive… surely you wouldn’t say something like we’ll serve them as beverages?”
Even though many people would loosen their purse strings for the festival, there was still a limit on what the general person could afford.
Fully aware of the peoples’ monetary circumstances, Ilya smiled and took some trays out of the refrigerator.
As for what leapt into the girls’ line of sight, it was foodstuffs such as finely sliced fruits and the like.
When the girls looked towards Ilya as though to ask what they were going to do with those, she held out fork in front of the four girls and stabbed it through the fruits. Then—
“Pierce through them like this, then soak them in the chocolate…”
Chasing the movements of that fork with their eyes, the girls stared attentively as Ilya slowly brought the chocolate-covered fruits into her mouth, unknowingly swallowing as they did so.
“You all try it as well. For which ingredients you’ll sell from these, why don’t we all decide?”
With Ilya’s suggestion, the four joyfully took their forks.
They hummed in satisfaction as they sampled from the selection… and as a result, the five chose bananas, cheese, and cookies.
They could eat the slightly sweet sensation of the cheese’s refined taste all day, and though they hesitated about the fruit-type banana, Ilya recommended that they may as well go for it anyways. As for the cookies, they were the most popular among the confections that Ilya had prepared.
With their ingredients decided, they just needed to decide on the amount to order.
The other people setting up stalls also had to order supplies; the people with connections did it themselves while those without any sent the branch a voucher.
By all rights people would have apprehensions about unsold goods and carefully examine the weather forecast to choose flavorings based on the weather and temperature, but for the girls, since they would be borrowing cooking ingredients directly from the branch, they could protect themselves against going into the red.
Therefore, they stocked a somewhat large amount of goods, however—