Afterstory 1 – A Wild Melon Appeared!

Afterstory 1 – A Wild Melon Appeared!

Raw link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2211cx/194/ (2017/07/27)

Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (2020/11/05)

Editor 1: Hand of Vecna (2020/11/08)

Editor 2: Keii (2020/11/14)

Translation link: https://twomorefreethoughts.wordpress.com/awlba-c192/ 

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Tp: … I have no idea what I’m translating this chapter…

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(Author note)

This chapter is nothing but a dumb story following the conclusion of the main story.

Please empty your head before you read this.

(Author note end)

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(TLN: From my memory, generally, when a Japanese person talks about a melon, they’re referring to a honeydew melon and not a rockmelon/cantaloupe.)

 

It was a great shock to Karkinos

The discovery of a great unknown. A bolt of lightning out of the blue.

That bolt of lightning which ran through his heart might have been a passionate inspiration, but it could have also been an intense fear.

Whichever it was, the one thing he was sure of was that it was a flash of insight that Karkinos had never once thought of before.

Karkinos was holding onto a book that Ruphas had given him.

It was a cooking book, which listed dishes that were not of his world. For Karkinos, it was essentially a sacred scripture.

Ruphas, who would routinely go and have fun in the “other” world, had brought the book home to him as a souvenir. Notwithstanding that the one in his hand was the twelfth cooking book which he had received, Karkinos had yet to become disinterested, but instead, he continued to feel wonder and excitement.

But had anything ever been as impactful as what he was currently feeling?

– Prosciutto e Melone.[1]

That was the reason behind Karkinos’s petrification.

An entire page of the book showed a very refined picture that depicted a dish where a layer of pink meat was placed on top of a green fruit that had a refreshing shine. For Karkinos, the sight of it alone was dangerous.

It had an overwhelming sense of existence.

A thin slice of meat that was placed on top of another world’s fruit, which was called a melon, was blowing Karkinos’s imagination through the roof.

Fruit and meat… it was a seemingly common but was actually an uncommon combination.

One might have served a fruit as a follow-up to a meat dish, such as in the case of a dessert.

But a dish where a vegetable was wrapped in meat… or alternatively, a dish where meat was wrapped around by a vegetable could seldom be found.

But to eat a sweet fruit together with salted meat at the same time was very strange, indeed.

Thus, Karkinos pondered. What would it taste like if he poured fruit juice over salted meat and tried eating it?

No, it wasn’t as if such a combination had never existed before.

For example, he knew that when it came to a certain deep-fried food that he had recently learnt, it went quite well with lemon juice.

But that was because lemons were sour. That was why they worked well together. It emphasised the meat’s flavour.

 

Or perhaps, this fruit called a melon is sour just like how lemons are?

 

… He couldn’t understand. After all, there was no such thing as a fruit known as a melon on Midgard.

At the very least, it was not something that Karkinos, who was known as the Cooking King, could recall ever seeing before.

As such, Karkinos promptly tried asking Ruphas.

 

“A melon? Hmm, yeah, now that you mention it, I don’t think I’ve seen them in this world. If I recall correctly, it needs to be grown in a greenhouse… it’s hard to grow, and even over in the other world, it’s classified as somewhat of a high-class fruit. Because Midgard was generally in strife due to war, I suppose that none of the countries had enough leisure to be growing fruit like that.”

 

Ruphas conjectured that the reason why Midgard did not have a fruit called a melon was no one had enough leisure to grow it.

In general, melons were a difficult fruit to cultivate.

A greenhouse was necessary to grow one. All in all, because the associated labor and overhead costs were ridiculously high, even in the “other” world, melons were expensive. Absurdly expensive.

Even a box containing five or so non-premium ordinary melons cost approximately 4000 to 5000 yen.[2]

If it was something like a muskmelon, a single one could cost over 5000 yen. In fact, the cost of a muskmelon with a lot of netting could even exceed 20 000 yen.

Worse yet, the only difference between those two was literally just the number of netting, and there was no difference in their tastes. Truly, such a distinction only existed because people had the luxury to spare. The difference between their costs could even be described as a taste of a nobility.

It felt more high class if it had more netting. Therefore, people would pay four times the price even though there was no difference in taste.

If such a business was running in Midgard, the more expensive one would never sell.

Perhaps, an expensive muskmelon was the result of leisure.

It would not have been wrong to call it a symbol of peace and prosperity. It was amazing. What a noble fruit it was.

But, honestly, who really cared about the number of mesh? If people were going to buy it, they should buy the one that has less netting.

Oh, and for reference, berries and citrus fruits were the most commonly consumed fruits in Midgard.

Having said that, the most common type of fruit in the market was no doubt the Eir fruit.

It was a type of fruit which was exclusive to Midgard and did not exist in the other world. Frankly, it was a ridiculously convenient and cheat-like fruit which grew very abundantly even in a barren wasteland and had high nutrition and liquid content.

It was not even picky about when it would grow as it grew all year round. As such, it was said that as long as a town had even a single Eir tree, it could sustain itself.

With how things were, wasn’t it just a magical beast and not a tree?

 

“So… I’m guessing you want a melon?”

“Yes. Besides, I’m also curious what it tastes like.”

“I see. I guess it’s not that hard to buy one if I go over to the other world… but since it’s this kind of occasion, it might be interesting to try growing Midgard’s very own melon.”

 

After saying that, Ruphas casually reached her right arm into a crack in the space-time continuum.

She probed around inside for a while before pulling out Alovenus from inside the X-Gate.

As this most powerful deity was busy being addicted to mobile games and passionately summoning her gacha while being a prime victim of the business scheme of the developers, she was surprised by this sudden event.

 

“Eek!? Wh, what is with you all of a sudden!?”

“I have something to ask you. I haven’t seen this kind of fruit over in this world, but have you ever brought it over?”

 

The roots for a majority of the plants and living things on Midgard were things from Earth that Alovenus had brought over before mutating them in peculiar ways.

As such, typically, regardless of what creature or fruit it was, it would usually somewhat resemble things on Earth to some degree.

In all likelihood, even the Eir fruit was sure to have been a fruit which was altered in some way.

Alovenus thought about the question a little, then a lightbulb appeared on top of her head as if she was indicating that she had just recalled something.

By the way, that was not a metaphor, but quite literally happened. She was using her godly powers for something so pointless.

 

“Ahh, if it’s melons, then they’re also somewhere in this world. But because it was so troublesome to cultivate them, no one could be bothered to grow them. So they were chucked away to some remote region, and have kind of turned into monsters by this point.”

“Turned into monsters, huh…”

“Yes. They don’t move by themselves and don’t attack others on their own accord too, so they’re quite tame magical creatures. They’re very rarely encountered by people, so they’re extremely insignificant monsters.”

 

It seemed that melons technically existed in this world as well.

Having said that, since they had turned into magical creatures of some kind, they probably couldn’t be called melons anymore.

Ruphas randomly threw Alovenus into some nearby chair and then turned to look towards Karkinos.

 

“You heard her. It’s unfortunate, but since they’ve turned into monsters, we can’t use it as an ingredient.”

“No, it’s too early to give up, Ruphas-sama. Me is thinking to go and have a look at them first.”

“You’re a curious one, aren’t you?”

“If it looks like it won’t work out after I have a look at them, then I’ll give up.”

 

*

 

“So, that’s where we come in?”

Yes. Simple battles aside, finding things like this is the specialty of adventurers after all.”

 

They were inside a forest in Midgard.

Karkinos and the adventurer group, Hawkeye, were advancing through the trees.

There were six people in total. There was the person who had made the request, Karkinos, as well as Hawkeye’s Jean and Ricardo.

Apparently, the other two members of the group, Nick and Shu, were away on another quest.

Other than those three, there was Gants, who had coincidently been with Jean at the time, and the demi-human dryad, who was familiar with the forest.

Last but not least, there was the one who was tagging along because she was interested, Alovenus.

Honestly, what a random and chaotic group it was.

 

“Or more like, the others aside, are we fine bringing that alone? You know, umm… technically, err, she’s Midgard’s deity and all that. I don’t really have a belief or anything, but do I have to worship or something?”

 

Jean spoke exasperatedly while looking at Alovenus.

Although Alovenus did not seem dignified at all, even one did not want to admit it, she was still a deity.

She was still the most powerful existence in the universe.

In response to that question, Karkinos replied quite casually.

 

“Not really. Even Ruphas-sama was saying that it’s alright to handle Alovenus-sama roughly. So feel free to act as you usually do. If anything, Ruphas-sama was saying that it’s best to not let Alovenus-sama get too cocky.”

“Is it even fine to treat the Goddess of Creation that way…?”

“Right? Aren’t they horrible?”

 

There was unlikely to be any other world where the highest-ranked deity was treated so badly.

While they were having an almost slapstick comedy-like exchange, the dryad spoke up from the side.

 

“Hey, guys. There’s a weird green thing rolling around over there, isn’t that the melon thing or whatever it’s called?”

“… Green with a net design. The characteristics match up.”

 

The dryad was indeed pointing at a random green thing rolling around, which resembled the one in the photograph.

Ricardo also looked at the thing, but while doing so, his face was twitching.

It was because, no matter how he looked at it, this melon-looking thing in front of his eyes… was well over 10 meters tall.[3]

 

“It definitely resembles it. Everything except for the size, that is. But… that has to be wrong, right…?”

 

I don’t want to think of that strange and gigantic thing as a fruit.

 

When Gants voiced such a thought out loud, the dryad inflated her cheeks with a hmph.

 

“No, that’s definitely it. The features all match up, don’t they?”

“Everything except for the size, yeah. As if I can accept such a big fruit!”

“It just grew up a little too much! I’ve even seen apples that were unusually big before!”

“This isn’t at the level of ‘unusually big’. It has to be something different that just merely looks like what we’re looking for.”

 

The dryad and Gants bickered with one another, but it seemed their argument was heard by the melon(?).

The melon(?) turned its head towards the two of them.

 

“I am a big melon. Have you come to harvest me, humans?”

 

It spoke.

Despite not having a mouth or vocal cords, it spoke as if it was the most natural thing to do.

Furthermore, it called itself a melon.

 

“Hey, look, it even called itself a melon. So it definitely has to be one.”

“… How could this be?”

 

It looked like the fruit in question and it even called itself a melon.

With how things were, it was fair to say that things were set in stone.

Gants sighed out loud but braced himself by telling himself that it was just part of his quest.

Passing by his side, the first one to jump in was, as expected, Jean.

But as if it was purposely timing its counterattack, the big melon started firing fruit juice and sent Jean flying back.

 

“Guwaaa!?”

“The melon’s strong!?”

 

Jean was no doubt a first-class adventurer.

In modern-day Midgard, there were not that many magical beasts which could toss him around this easily.

Gants was surprised, as he had not imagined that it would be this strong despite how ridiculous it looked. At the same time, Alovenus was checking the melon’s status.

 

“Hmm, big melon… level, 99. HP, 18 000. Hmm, it’s unexpectedly strong, isn’t it?”

“Why is a melon that strong!?”

“Well, I guess it’s because it’s a high-class fruit?”

“As if that’s a good enough reason!”

 

In response to Alovenus, who was calmly analysing the situation, Gants retorted back like a straight man. It was indeed tough being a normal and sensible person.

But Alovenus simply smiled back at him warmly and then spoke with confidence.

 

“Haha… don’t worry about it. Who do you think I am? A mere fruit like that could never even be considered an enemy to me.”

 

Alovenus then raised her hand.

As soon as she did, the whole scene around them changed, and the melon was banished into a vast outer space.

They were now surrounded by a countless number of shining stars.

Stars, numbering enough to make up a galaxy, moved according to Alovenus’s arm movement. First, they were raised up, then in the next instant, they came roaring down onto the enemy as an endless stream of shooting stars.

 

“Dawn Star!”

 

Dawn Star was the strongest Metal-attribute arcane magic that Dina had also previously used.

But because the user this time was the one and only Alovenus, the scale of the attack was different.

True, it was not Alovenus’s real body, but the Goddess was still the Goddess. As such, her power was absolute and without equal.

Each individual hit from each falling star dealt hundreds of billions of damage to the melon, and this was multiplied by the number of stars there were.

In other words, the damage dealt by that arcane magic was… 999,999,999 x (approximately) 200,000,000,000!

What could be described as a terrifyingly overkill amount of damage was dealt to the melon. However one thought about it, it was not an amount of damage that one would have had to deal against a melon.

After the attack ended, Alovenus returned the space around them back to normal.

 

“Anyways… how’s that for a problem solved?”

 

Alovenus was giving off the complacency of an absolutely strong being as she swept her hair back.

Her pose, where she had one foot placed on a platform that had shown up who knows when and how, and her proud look made it seem as if she was about to start saying, “There’s nothing to be scared of now.”

Although she was normally stupid and her current body was nothing more than an avatar, a god was still a god.

It was an indisputable fact that there was no existence that was stronger than her in the entire multiverse.

 

“… No, umm… It’s a bit of a problem if you defeat it. To begin with, me and the others came here to obtain that thing, and…”

“…”

 

But a fool was still a fool too.

Leaving the useless Goddess behind in that place, Karkinos and the rest continued with their search.

 

Honestly, because of that idiot, we have to put in double the effort.

What’s the point of overkilling a fruit that we were trying to get our hands on?

 

In the end, this was just how competent Alovenus was.

 

“…”

 

After being left behind, Alovenus became petrified, still in her pose with a proud look, and felt very lonely.

 

*

 

“So, this is the final product?”

 

The following day.

After successfully obtaining another big melon, Karkinos and the others returned to the restaurant and quickly started cooking up a new recipe.

Needless to say, because it couldn’t be eaten in its original size, Karkinos properly cut the big melon up into bite-sized portions.

He then wrapped it with a strongly salted piece of raw ham, making the dish look very impactful.

 

“It doesn’t look very tasty though.”

 

Pollux looked at the Prosciutto e Melone with a bit of hesitation.

If one were to be blunt and speak honestly, the dish in front of them did not look very appealing.

While the melon looked appealing on its own, because of the ham that was placed on top of it, it felt a little ruined.

 

“Well, don’t say that yet. We can reserve the criticisms for after we actually have a taste.”

 

Ruphas stabbed one of them with a fork without any qualms and then put it into her mouth.

The first thing she noticed was the sweetness of the melon. Melon was normally plenty sweet enough, but because of the ham’s strong salty flavour, its sweetness was further heightened.

 

I see, so in this combination, the melon is the main deal, and the ham is just there to bring out its flavour.

The sweetness and saltiness unexpectedly match up quite well.

 

Pickled apples were by no means rare, and one would often hear about people sprinkling a little bit of salt on top of a watermelon.

In a way, it was the same thing. This particular combination was there so that the ham could bring out the sweet flavour of the melon.

… Digressing a little, the opposite of this combination, adding melon juice or sugar on ham before eating it, is not recommended.

 

“But this is…”

“I’ve eaten this dish a few times over in the other world, but this one feels a bit sweeter compared to how it is in the other world. If we don’t tone the sweetness down a little, then the balance feels a little off.”

 

Dina, who similarly had knowledge of the “other” world just like Ruphas, also ate the melon without any hesitation.

There was no reluctance to eat a fruit which had turned into a monster.

In the first place, if people felt reluctant about doing something like that, then they would not be able to survive in this world.

If it was something like an orc, then people would especially not feel any reluctance.

Having said that, because Dina was a half-elf, she had no urge to eat meat.

After eating one, perhaps having been fulfilled by that experience, Dina started stripping away the ham from the Prosciutto e Melone and started eating just the melons.

As expected, elves and meat did not match up too well.

 

“The inside isn’t too bad, but the outside is still better.”

 

On the other hand, Aigokeros started eating the melon’s shell instead, as if it was the most normal thing in the world to do.

In the end, a goat was still a goat.

 

In the end, the newly introduced dish, Prosciutto e Melone, owing to the rarity of the fruit known as a melon, became a popular dessert in the King Crab restaurant that Karkinos ran.

However, there was no reason other merchants and restaurants would not pay attention to this new melon thing. As a result, the melon hunt began here and there in Midgard. Unfortunately, because of the big melon’s unnatural strength, obtaining one was difficult. Due to the supply for it not being able to keep up with the demand, the price for it took a steep hike.

Ultimately, melons suffered the same fate as they did on Earth and became a high-class fruit.

 

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(Author note)

Hello everyone, it has been a while.

Well, I tried writing an after-story as an epilogue to the final chapter.

Having said that, because the main story has already concluded, it pretty much felt like I was writing a postscript to everything.

It’s essentially a bonus stage that people might see after they clear the final stage in a game.

Because of that, I was even able to include someone like Alovenus, who was the final boss in the main storyline, as a party member in this fight.

Also, I’ve been adding rough drafts of the characters which appeared in volume five of the publication to my activity timeline, so if you’re free, please take a look.

(Author note end)

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[1] Aka Melon con jamon. From the look of it, it looks like a ham on/around melon? “https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%94%9F%E3%83%8F%E3%83%A0%E3%83%A1%E3%83%AD%E3%83%B3”.

[2] Currency is kind of volatile right now, but long story short, think of 1 Japanese Yen as 1 US cent. As of 5 Nov 2020, 4000 yen = 3857 US cents = $38.57.

[3] 10m = 32.8ft.

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7 thoughts on “Afterstory 1 – A Wild Melon Appeared!

    1. …….
      please hold, your request will be processed as soon as possible, your place in the queue is 1…

      What? Also since when were melons “high-class?” In fact aren’t they easy to grow? Is this some kind of location disconnect?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not too sure personally, but I suppose the author’s trying to say it’s more expensive compared to other common fruits. Then again, the author’s Japanese and melons are actually quite expensive in Japan, so if they’re cheap at your place, it might seem weird to you.

        Like

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