A while later, we arrive at the cave. It seems the magic I used on the vines in front of the cave has already waned. And immediately we encounter a problem: Alfred doesn’t fit through the door — I need to widen the entrance enough for Alfred to fit. I climb down and touch the wall.
There’s no need to worry about the cold from outside seeping in. The vines that hide the entrance do a good job of isolating warmth. I should introduce Alfred to my other familiars.
«Raiden, Faryl, Felix, come here! I want to introduce you to a new friend.»
Faryl and Felix immediately come from the bedroom. A moment later Raiden flies in, too. I try to have him land on my hand with the falconry glove. He lands without any problems.
«How is the glove, Raiden?»
«This is much better than landing on master’s head.»
«This is Alfred! Alfred, meet Raiden, Faryl and Felix. Please get along!»
I hear a ringing sound — it’s another mail! I open the mail.
Subject: Next Meeting Tonight
I know this is somewhat last minute, but the next meeting is tonight. There will be more gods coming today. See you tonight.
There will be more gods tonight? I guess I need more food then! I have some boar on me. I guess I’ll make some Schnitzel then. If I had some sparkling water, I could make Tonkatsu. The only difference between Schnitzel and Tonkatsu is the fluffiness of the breading. Maybe what you have on the side counts as well…
Anyway, I have some leeway in my finances and stock-keeping so I make my breading from Panko, crushed dried bread without bread crusts to get it more fluffy. I still fry them in a pan, though. I’ll bother with deep-frying when I can get my hands on some fizzy water. This time, the Schnitzel end up more fluffy, but they’re still not anywhere as fluffy enough for me to call them Tonkatsu.
Fruit Jelly is perfect as it is now. I might be able to improve it with some vanilla sauce. Do they even consume milk in this world? If yes, can I consume it? I mean, this is a new body! So the lactose intolerance of my old body won’t affect me, will it? I don’t have any vanilla on me, so I make the Fruit Jelly like before. While waiting for the Jelly to set, I make some more fries. On second thought, I want to be able to eat it cold too, so I’ll make Croquettes instead. I can just use the extra breadcrumbs I have from making Schnitzel.
As the Jelly has finished setting, I put everything into my Infinite Storage. Time to go to bed! When my consciousness returns I’m back in the while void where I met the gods the last time.
“Good evening!” I hear Suscellu’s voice greeting me. I turn around and only see Suscellu. I wonder where the others are…
“Good evening! Am I too early?”
“No, you aren’t — I just wanted to talk with you in private before the others arrive. You see, you have been placed under my jurisdiction. So I just wanted to make sure you have everything you need. After all, there aren’t that many people exclusively in my domain.”
“Not many people? How come? Aren’t you the Deity of Nature and Wine?”
“I shouldn’t tell you about the mortal problems, but this time I might as well tell you. A few days ago, you were told about the Order of Light, weren’t you?”
“Well, in short, they didn’t only kill the followers of the Faith. They massacred followers of every other deity. They even tried killing my followers, the folk that used to grow Huffin. All of Krale was made to follow the Order. Well, not entirely… One small village of indomitable followers of Earth’s Bounty holds out against that invasive religion.”
“Earth’s Bounty? Do they have a secret potion? Like one that gives you superhuman strength?”
“Superhuman strength? No, that potion doesn’t to that. Those potions are taboo, anyway. However, if you use that secret potion after harvesting, plants will turn back to the budding stage. If used correctly, you can double the yield of certain crops. Not all plants can take advantage of that, of course. That potion is a well-kept secret of the followers of Earth’s Bounty. It could be used to ruin the harvest, too.
The only reason they haven’t been attacked yet is Krale currently valuing the high yield of crops that the village provides. Though I fear that might change sometime soon. And when that happens, we need to help, too. Oh, by the way, the followers of Earth’s Bounty both worship Clayah and me as their guardian deities. They have a special connection to us so we can intervene more freely. But if we intervene through you, there’s nothing to worry about.”
“I see. I don’t know how I’m supposed to help. But I’ll do what I can.”
“For now, just get a few more familiars,” a female voice answers instead of Suscellu. It’s Clayah. “Are you sure it’s not going to a problem with telling him so much?”
“No, it’s okay,” an unfamiliar voice answers. It’s a robed person. I can’t tell what race or gender they are. “It’s not a question of if there is a need for intervention, but when. It’s better for us if he knows about it so he can intervene for us,” They turn to me.
“How do you do? I’m Ukota. My domain is Time and Fate.”
“Pleased to meet you,” I really want to know how they look and so on… but it’s rude to ask!
“Aren’t you going to ask?”
“Huh? No, it’s rude.”
“Yes, I agree, it’s rude. The ones before you didn’t think it’s rude and blatantly asked. I hated them. I like your attitude. I’ll tell you: I don’t have a form below this robe. I just have this robe for the convenience of others.”
“Oh! Looks like I made it on time!” another voice says. It sounds like a young man. I look in the direction of the voice. It’s a Dwarf with a beard and all. I don’t care much about beards, but hisbeard has some kind of awesome vibe to it. He turns to me. “Howdy! I’m Rhygni, the deity of Cooking and Forging. Pleased to meet ya! I heard you made delicious food, so I decided to drop by.”
“Pleased to meet you.”
“Since everyone is here, let’s start!” Suscellu announces.
I take out the food from my Infinite Storage while Suscellu prepares some wine.
“This time, I have Schnitzel with Croquettes and Fruit Jelly.”
“Finally, we get to taste Schnitzel!”
“So these are Croquettes…”
“So this is the Fruit Jelly I have heard so much about…”