The very next day, they took the border teleport and got to Chilneven, Marlworth. It took them an hour of searching, and they found the pudding shop of Alarie Gluck. It looked deserted, and they all wondered why that was, when Alarie’s pudding was similar to Annie’s rice.
They went through the doors and got to the counter. Annie rung the bell and Alarie appeared.
“Oh, customers! Would you like some chocolate pudding? Strawberry?” Alarie sounded hopeful, and Annie felt sorry for her. For such a renowned chef to suddenly be without customers must be sad.
“Alarie, dear, I am here with a preposition made by the Ulssin Adventurer’s Guild. Harold, the guild master, would like for you to come work for us,” Alarie looked down at her hands and teared up.
“All my life, I have worked in this shop. Adventurers from all over the world came in here and ate my pudding. And now, they don’t come anymore,” Annie went to rest a hand on Alarie’s shoulder.
“And why is that, dear?” Alarie pointed at a bounty on the wall. It had a kraken on it.
“That overgrown squid came to the cape and refused to move. It is rank Legendary and now, no one dares come to Chilneven. Most of the people fled already, fearing that a tsunami might happen,” the five adventurers shared a look.
A rank legendary was no joke. They could easily be killed by it.
“Annie, we need to go home,” urged Nyle. He looked at the door with worry, but Annie just huffed.
“Not without Alarie! Alarie, you are a pudding master, just like I am a rice master. You can make food that is perfect for mana, and I can make food that is perfect for stamina. Between the two of us, we will make the perfect food for a kraken killer!”
A worried expression passed through the party.
“Annie, we are not S rank heroes. We are just B rank adventurers,” said Krisina.
“Who said you will fight?” Asked Annie. “Have you never heard of food poisoning?”
All five looked at Annie like they were seeing her for the first time. Were they hearing right? Was Annie really going to poison the kraken?
“How do we do it?” Asked Alarie, hope shining in her eyes. “If we can get rid of the kraken, then trade will return to the town.”
“If we succeed, will you come to work for us, Alarie?” Asked Annie, eyes calculating.
“For saving my beloved hometown, yes,” Annie grinned, then, she bent her head so that it was closer to Alarie’s, and she began to whisper. Mana was dangerous and, before Annie had become a chef in the Adventurer’s Guild, she had been a monster hunter.
She would whip mana overcharged food and lay traps and, once the monsters came, she will sit back and watched as they ate themselves into an early grave. The only thing she would need to do was cook food without rice. It would be highly toxic and, if she added enough mana, deadly enough to take down a kraken.
With two food ability chefs making something that was not their specialty, the food would be twice as deadly, surely. Annie and Alarie gathered all the ingredients and went to the beach.
There, over a roaring cooking pit, they made an entire roast ox. It smelled divine, but the adventurers looked at the meat with apprehension. The smell attracted the kraken, just as planned.
The kraken extended a tentacle from the water and began to tear at the meat with his many sucking tube mouths that had beaks inside. All seven looked at the beast from a safe distance.
“Do you think we cooked enough?” Asked Alarie. She was beginning to worry. If the worst they could give the kraken was indigestion, it may cause a tsunami as a result.
“Never have I encountered a beast that didn’t drop dead from my cooking when I cooked without rice,” said Annie, and they heard something like a wail. The kraken turned a deep shade of purple and began spitting out ink. There was blood mixed in with it in the water and, with a wave, the kraken fell down.
“You just killed a legendary, rank beast,” said Timothy in awe. “Teach me how to do it!”
“Oh, Timmy. You don’t have a food power. All of your food would be fine to eat. Besides, you are a proud berserker. The fray is where you belong,” Annie patted Timothy’s shoulder, and he gave a sigh.
“The kraken would have to be removed, least he poisons the water,” said Alarie, and she jumped up and down.
“Now, Alarie…” Alarie’s smile dimmed, but she nodded.
“Fair is fair. You did your end of the bargain. But, can I take my son with me? He won’t last a day without me. And, he can make health regeneration food with spinach,” Annie blinked. That health chef who had given the party problems was in Chilneven?
“Of course, you can,” said Annie. Harold would be proud of her for getting two specialty chefs back.
“Can I bring Bella too? She can cook food that heals indigestion,” Annie blinked.
“Alarie, are the people of Marlworth secret food chefs? One and all?” Alarie became thoughtful at that.
“Well, no, not really. But we have the most mana chefs among the population, I suppose. Honestly, it is a surprise you are not from Marlworth,” the gears in Annie’s mind began to turn, but, there was one issue.
Harold would like to employ all those chefs, but the adventurer’s guild was a small one. It just wouldn’t be able to do so.
“And we even have an ice mage in town,” said Alarie, and Annie got an idea.
“What if we make our own chef’s guild? And we can sell all guilds' food that serves a purpose? We can call it the Chef Trading Guild,” suggested Annie, and Alarie smiled.
“We can use my shop for the base. It has a kitchen with an expansion charm on it,” the two old women clasped hands and went to planning. The five adventurers shook their heads. They had failed their quest, but they had seen two old women defeat a kraken with a roasted ox. And that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.