004. Lunch In Town

I arrived at the town just as the third bell rang (near noon), and decided to have lunch with the peddler at a restaurant because the Village Chief gave him more money for his labor.

The Village Chief is one of the few adults who is considerate to Luca. He once admonished the head of the Neighborhood Watch. Alas, there was no way he would go so far as to antagonize the latter over a single child. He must have been relieved that Luca was left in Wolf's care. The Village Chief is not a bad guy and had supported Luca secretly all this time.

As I was having a hard time imagining the dishes on the wooden menu hanging on the wall, the peddler gave me some recommendations. I ordered the fried chicken with sour sauce set meal.

From the moment I entered the restaurant, the delicious smells kept tickling my nostril. I wonder what kind of food is coming.

Luca has only ever eaten his mother's home-cooked food or food from the cabin. The only other thing was black bread that could be preserved, but not softer than a rock.

Luca then notcied the sparkling plates and beautifully arranged dishes being brought to the tables around him, but since he can't peek into other people's tables, he could only wait for the food to arrive at his own table.

The peddler saw Luca's excited state and desperately held himself not to laugh. Otherwise, Luca would not forgive him. 

"Sorry for the wait, here's you order."

Luca's and the peddler's meals were brought in at the same time. A platter of main dishes, salad and soup, and some white bread baked to a light brown color. Compared to the usual black bread or rock bread, the white bread could be called a luxury.

"Shall we have some then?"

"Yes, let's eat!"

I wondered how this was cooked. The whole chicken was wrapped in something crunchy, and it was covered with a liquid that made it candy-like and shiny. It is topped with a sticky white sauce with chopped bits of egg. Luca lifted a piece with a fork and bit into it with the white sauce.


The chicken, whose flavor was locked in the batter that left a good texture, overflowed with plenty of juices as soon as it was chewed. The strongly acidic candy-colored sauce that had soaked into the batter blended with the light chicken, giving Luca's taste buds a sense of satisfaction. The sauce and the egg create a harmony that does not interfere with the already established taste of the chicken. The chicken, the candy-sauce and the egg sauce were dancing hand in hand. Such was the illusion Luca had.

"The bread is soft...."


Luca half-believingly picked up the white bread and was surprised by its elasticity. He began to poke it, even though the peddler uncle is looking at him.


It was shocking. No, it was a tragedy. Because at this moment, Luca was convinced that what he had thought was bread before was a rock.

If this is bread, then that was definitely a rock. It had to be.

With trembling fingers, Luca tore a piece of white bread. The "rocks" he had eaten before could not be shredded with his fingertips. This is proof that that bread was a rock. 

Luca threw a piece of white bread into his mouth, which had a different density from that of the "rock." One chew. Two. Three...

The fragrant smell of the rising aroma of wheat and the fragrant breath trapped in the countless air bubbles. That's right. This bread is breathing.

Alas, beauty is fleeting, as the white bread soon "melted" in Luca's mouth.

White bread is beauty itself.

Luca knew despair. Perhaps for the second bite, he will bite the white bread with tears of ecstasy at its ephemerality. In the fragrant air of the moment, he found the beauty of eternity.


Author's Note:

*Luca was eating a chicken nanban-like dish. I am glad I was able to give him something delicious to eat.

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