Chapter 224: A Fight During Meal
The number of dishes brought to their table was quite large, but the girls’ appetite was also, in Loren’s eyes, not half bad.
At first, Loren had thought that Gula would be the only one who would be able to handle all these dishes, but reality differed from his anticipation quite a lot.
“Hmm, meat really goes very well with wine. The richness of the seasoning makes the alcohol taste even better.”
Leila gobbled up the thinly sliced, slightly salty meat at such a speed that one wondered if she was chewing properly. The thin slices of meat were grilled to a golden brown on the outside but still slightly pink on the inside; the sight of Leila inhaling the meat then chasing them down with glasses of alcohol was something one would never expect from her.
Next to her, Laure was stabbing her fork into the steaming pile of meat dumplings and bringing one after another to her mouth. Her hand never seemed to stop moving, and Loren felt like he was watching an act of engineering as the pile of dumplings steadily decreased in height.
Klaus was watching such a scene with a troubled smile on his face. Ange, who was sitting next to him, leaned on Klaus and emptied glasses after glasses of sparkling wine while reaching for the grilled meat skewers in front of her. Her face was red, probably due to drunkenness. She would stuff a skewer into her mouth, pull it out and place the empty stick on the table in one go. By the time she bit into the meat in her mouth, she had already reached for the next skewer. She consumed them at a rapid pace, creating a mountain of empty skewers on the table.
As Loren turned his gaze around, a sight that surpassed all these jumped into his eyes.
It was from Gula, of course.
The other girls kept only what they liked in front of them and passed the rest to other members. Of course, those dishes had to end up somewhere, and apparently, they were Gula’s share.
The food that no one had touched was brought to Gula’s mouth without a single pause, and even after an amount large enough to make one wonder where they could all go had disappeared, her appetite remained unabated.
“Loren, how are you paying for her food?”
Klaus asked, and Loren wondered what to say.
The truth was, Gula was a being that ate even things that were not food. She was an Evil God that used her power to devour things, even demons and humans. In other words, gave her suitable things at suitable time and she would eat them up. Loren didn’t think Klaus would understand this though.
Lapis, who was quietly and slowly cutting the steak into small pieces and even meticulously separating the lean meat from the fat, spoke on behalf of Loren, who was thinking how to answer.
“She’s usually a bit more reserved, but this time she seems to feel some sort of obligation to finish off the uneaten dishes.”
“Really? But at that rate, she might as well finish a whole bull.”
Loren thought that it would be a piece of cake for Gula to finish off two or three bulls, let alone one, but of course he would not be foolish enough to mention it.
Lapis, while trying to keep as much of Gula’s meal out of Klaus’ sight as possible, turned away and answered in a nonchalant manner.
“No way. That’s no longer a human act.”
“But I ordered a whole roasted pig as a joke earlier, and she was eating it all by herself.”
Loren quickly glanced at the table. There was a platter on which something quite big had been placed, but as a matter of course, the object that should have been on it was no longer there.
“Maybe you saw it wrong? I’m sure she shared the food with Leila and others.”
It might be a smaller amount of meat than a whole bull, but devouring a whole pig was by no means something a human could do by themself. Loren could eat a fair amount if he wanted to, but if asked to finish off a whole pig by himself, he would reject the idea even before trying.
“And I also ordered several plates of T-bone steaks.”
“I’m having some of it, though?”
The dish was apparently among the steaks that Lapis was working so hard on. She had cut the meat dishes into neat bite-sized pieces so no one could tell which pieces of meat were form the T-bone steaks, but some of the bones, the remnants of the dish, were indeed left on the plate.
“Ah no, it’s fine that you all are eating… I’m sorry if I’m mistaken, but that Gula girl, I think she’s bringing the whole bone to her mouth and chewing it right off.”
A T-bone steak was a steak made from the loin of a cow, with the bone attached to it. Of course, it would be strange if the attached bone didn’t remain after eating it.
Ordinary cow bones were probably quite tough, but if the bones were from a cow with a name like ‘Assault Bull’, they should be even tougher. But there was no sign of bones left on the plates piled up around the Gula, which made one wonder where the bones, which should have been the remains of the dish, had gone.
“She must have thrown them into the trash beforehand.”
“Assault Bull are not the type of cows with edible bones, aren’t they?”
“If there were such cows, they would already be extinct.”
Lapis responded to Klaus’s question in a matter-of-fact manner. She spoke with so much confidence and calmness that even though Klaus wasn’t fully satisfied with her answer, he still had to concede.
However, Loren’s eyes did not miss the slight tremor in Lapis’ hand as she was cutting the steak right next to him. In other words, Lapis was well aware of how unreasonable this explanation was, but she had no other excuse to use.
Loren also felt troubled, but he had no way to warn Gula, and he could not ask her to spit out the bones she had eaten. He silently stared at her.
Gula noticed him looking and stopped stuffing food into her mouth with a happy expression. She choked lightly, beat her chest, and with tears in her eyes, poured the content of a glass nearby, which could either be alcohol or water, down her throat.
“That aside, Klaus, we’ve ordered a lot more after your initial order. Is your wallet in good shape?”
“I’m not sure cash will be enough this time, given the number of people we have.”
Klaus took out a small bag from his pocket. It seemed to contain some gems. Klaus had brought gold coins, but he had also brought some small gems. Light and valuable gems were a great temporary replacement if one had to carry a large amount of cash, albeit they would be exchanged at a somewhat reduced price.
“Can’t you deposit and withdraw cash through the Adventurers’ Guild?”
Loren thought such a huge continent-spanning organization would be able to provide such a service, but Klaus laughed and shook his head.
“It’s not too bad if transactions are in the same country, but it’s difficult if they’re in different countries. And it’s impossible in a country of a different race.”
Loren was about to return to his meal when he suddenly noticed a figure standing behind Klaus and raised his eyes. Klaus also noticed someone standing behind him and looked back over his shoulder.
“Looks like things are going quite well for you. We’d like a share of it too.”
Standing there were four men. Each of them had a well-trained body, and their leather armors made it clear at first glance that they were not ordinary citizens. Their faces looked like those of ordinary people with cat ears on top of their heads, indicating that they were not of the primitive tribe but of an ordinary beastman tribe.
Loren was somewhat misguidedly impressed that even among the beastmen, there were those who would try to pick a quarrel and extort a few coins when seeing someone well-off.
“I’m sorry, but I have a lot of things I have to pay for, and I don’t have any spare to give you.”
Klaus replied with a smile, but Loren’s eyes did not miss the way his gaze quickly darted to the faces and chests of the four men behind him. It was to confirm that they were male, and since Klaus showed no interest in the beastmen behind him after he had done so, Loren concluded that they were surely all male.
“Come on, don’t be so cold about it. In the company of all these beautiful girls, can you really say that you can’t spare us any?”
One of the men lightly smacked Klaus’ head with his hand as he sat down.
The other girls were so engrossed in eating that they did not seem to notice Klaus’s situation. Loren turned to watch as he was not the one the beastmen picked on, and Lapis nonchalantly cut another steak while turning her gaze toward Klaus.
“My money is for those beautiful girls.”
Klaus replied with an easygoing smile while glancing at Loren. Loren wondered if it was a request for him to intervene, but since it was not a verbal one, he pretended that he didn’t see anything. He picked up a slice of steak from Lapis’ plate and tossed it into his mouth. Lapis shot him a reproachful glance, and Loren watched with interest to see how Klaus would handl the situation while soothing her. At the same time, he was also assessing how far the beastmen would go to harass the guests of a place like this.
“I don’t care about your trouble. I’m just asking for a part of what you’ve got in your pocket.”
Once Klaus realized that someone was behind him, he had put the bag on the table back in his pocket. However, it seemed that it was already too late, and he had already attracted the attention of a group of people with an unfavorable character.
“It can’t be helped then… Loren, are you going to help me?”
“I’m your guest, ain’t I?”
Being addressed, Loren replied curtly.
Perhaps anticipating this reaction, Klaus stood up from his chair, scratching his head as if he had no choice, and turned his body in the direction of the four people who had been picking a quarrel with him.
The four beastmen flinched in surprise for a moment as Klaus suddenly stood up. But then they immediately remembered that only Klaus had stood up while there were four of them, and they closed the distance between them with a smirk.
“Shall we go outside? We’ll bother my companions and the restaurant here.”
“Only you? Won’t that big one over there help?”
One of the beastmen looked at Loren and said as if to provoke him, but he quickly turned away when Loren glanced at him. Between the slender Klaus and the mercenary-ish Loren, it was a simple choice who would be easier to deal with. It seemed that they did not want to have anything to do with the one they did not choose to pick a fight with, and they did not really want Loren to come out even though they tried to provoke him.
“It can’t be helped… If I lose, please take care of the rest.”
Smiling and waving, Klaus walked out of the store with the beastmen in tow. Watching them, Lapis secretly asked Loren.
“Is it all right?”
“It is. If it’s not, I’ll do something about it.”
Having said that, Klaus was a skilled adventurer who had became an iron rank adventurer before Loren. He was not someone who would be defeated by a gang of thugs, soldiers, or adventurers. If the beastmen were powerful enough to defeat Klaus, there was no way they would be extorting tourists in broad daylight, so Loren thought there would be no problem. He tried to reach for another piece of steak that Lapis had cut, but this time he was hit a little harder on the back of the hand by Lapis, who was expecting his action, and he hurriedly withdrew his hand.