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Cooking with Wild Game (LN) - Volume 1 - Chapter Prologue


Published at 5th of August 2017 01:00:17 PM

Chapter Prologue

Cooking with Wild Game Volume 1 Prologue & Chapter 1


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Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Deus ex-Machina, Rockgollem

When I came to, I found myself inside an unfamiliar forest.

 

I was lying with my limbs spread out amidst these unknown trees.

 

「Strange…?」

 

I propped myself up and surveyed the surrounding with giddy eyes.

 

This was a forest.

 

I was inside an unfamiliar forest.

 

No, I grew up in a prosperous city, so I didn’t have a 「forest I was familiar with」 anyway. But this place felt like the Amazon rainforest, and didn’t feel like Japan at all.

 

The trees had weird twists and turns.

 

Giant fern-like vegetation.

 

Exotic flowers that looked poisonous.

 

Bird calls I had never heard before.

 

Layers of leaf canopies blocked out the sky. I couldn’t even tell what colour the heavens was.

 

Where the hell am I?

 

Most of my body was hidden beneath the thick undergrowth. I started inspecting myself.


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I was dressed in white, with white chef uniform, apron and shoes.

 

There was a black logo on my chest, and it reads 『Shop Tsurumi』.

 

My hair was wrapped in a bandana, this was my usual attire.

 

Why was I lying here dressed like this?

 

I crossed my legs and sat down, trying to recall what happened before I lost consciousness.

 

And—— While I was shifting my body, my hand touched something.

 

It was hard and smooth, and felt like polished wood.

 

I pulled that thing out of the grass—— It was a Santoku knife in a pure white sheath.

<TL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santoku>

 

Its black handle fitted my palm well. The blade was 21 cm long.

 

I recognized the knife without needing to draw it out of its white wooden sheath. This Santoku knife was a prized product from the old knife shop in Kyoto 『Shop Sakaki』. My dad treasured this knife more than his own life.

 

The moment I laid eyes on this knife, I remember the entire incident.

 

 

I’m Tsurumi Asuta.

 

My family name’s kanji Tsu of Tsugaru, stay and see. My given name could be read as 「becoming fat tomorrow.」

 

Seventeen years old and in my second year of a public high school. 170cm tall, 58kg and not exceptionally fat. I was born in Kanto Chiba, not in Tsugaru city.

 


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My family runs a diner called 『Shop Tsurumi』. Our business wasn’t bad, or rather, it always had been good until those guys showed up last month.

 

The building besides us was set to be renovated into a composite entertainment complex, and the new owners requested us to sell the diner to him.

 

On the surface, his reason was: 「I want to build a carpark here」.

 

But his real thoughts were: 「I plan to build a food court inside the entertainment complex, and the popular diner right besides me would probably be bad for business.」.

 

We had no reason to accept his one-sided request, and rejected him firmly. But the other party wasn’t that simple, and appeared to have connections to the underworld. Rumours said that he seized control of his building from the original owners through nefarious means.

 

And so, when the building renovation started, they started harassing us.

 

The steel shutter of the shop was vandalized with the words 「Horribly Polluted」, constant phone calls with no sound, carcass of cats being dumped at the shop entrance… classic coercion methods.

 

Only one of their harassment methods kept up with modern times. They left comments on review websites, spreading rumours that 「customers visiting this diner often suffer from food poisoning」.

 

And of course, our usual patrons wasn’t fazed by such rumours and dined here as usual. But new customers and the number of university students visiting after class fell, and this reflected on our account book.

 

Surprised by how much influence such website had made me depressed.

 

Even so, my dad still said with a smile:

 

「People actually believe such garbage. It is their loss to miss out on my dish.」

 

What happened sometime later finally took his smile away.

 

It should have been just a few hours ago.

 

Dad instructed me to prepare the ingredients for the evening crowd and went out to stock up on supplies. He had an accident with a pick-up truck and was rushed to the hospital.

 

After receiving an emergency call from the hospital, I rushed there in my chef attire.

 


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My dad was still smiling on his hospital bed.

 

Although he was smiling, his legs suffered complex fractures.

 

His arm and head was wrapped in bandages which were stained with blood in a few spots. A van traveling at 80km/h collided with my dad. Even the doctor was surprised and said: 「It’s a miracle he survived.」

 

It was a hit and run. Many witnesses said the car plate had been removed, and the driver wore a knit cap and shades, concealing his face.

 

It was a carefully planned perfect crime.

 

Even so, my dad was still smiling. If they really want to kill him, they probably need a dump truck.

 

「So, when I can be discharged?」

 

When the heavily injured patient asked with a smile, the young doctor looked troubled.

 

「No, well, instead of being discharged, you need to undergo a brain scan and operations on your legs...」

 

「Alright. But when can I be discharged?」

 

「I can’t really tell at this point… Both of your legs have complex fractures, who knows how long rehabilitation alone would take...」

 

「I see. I will leave this to you then, but I need to attend to my shop. I don’t mind using a wheelchair, but please discharge me as soon as possible. If I leave my shop to this dumbass, it will close down.」

 

The dumbass my dad mentioned was me of course.

 

My dad was a man who would work to his death with his knife even if he needed a wheelchair or crutches.

 

Even I felt like laughing when I thought about that.

 

At this moment—— I received a call from my childhood friend Reina.

 

She told me 「『Shop Tsurumi』 is on fire!」

 

When I told dad about that, the smile was gone from his face for the first time.

 

「Asuta! The knife! At least save that knife from the fire!」

 

I charged out of the room, and returned with a faster speed than my journey to the hospital.

 

Dad valued that Santoku knife from 『Shop Sakaki』 more than his own life. A real chef will be able to satisfy his customers no matter what ingredients or tools he has! Although dad always says that, he will always say this about the knife purchased at the traditional knife shop 『Shop Sakaki』 in Kyoto and passed down from the previous generation: 『But, I can’t do it without this guy』.

 

Only that knife—— keep it safe.

 

Despite the harassment, truck hit and run, fracture in both legs and the terrible business, my dad’s heart didn’t waver—— But if he lose the Santoku knife from 『Shop Sakaki』, his heart would shatter.

 

That’s why I ran with all my might.

 

But when I reached the shop, it was already surrounded by dozens of people, and the fire brigade was already here to put out the fire.

 

However, 『Shop Tsurumi』 was still surrounded by flames, and the smoke rose into the autumn sky of June.

 

No matter how much more water was sprayed, the shop would definitely be burned completely.

 

That was how intense the fire was.

 

Just like a nightmare.

 

「Asuta-chan…」

 

Reina stood with a blank stare. When she saw me, she leaned on to me with a crying face.

 

I grabbed her slender shoulders and nodded—— then charged into the sea of flames.

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