『I guess our next destination is probably going to be the Blacksmiths’ Guild.』
We made sure to ask for its location before actually leaving the Adventurer’s Guild, so we knew exactly where we were going. Our destination was fairly close to the port. It seemed to be built there in order to facilitate easy access to the ore and coal that’d often get shipped in via the sea.
Though the Blacksmith’s Guild was supposed to be our next destination, we still did plan to make a stop on our way.
『Okay, let’s go find ourselves a place to buy some booze.』
「Nn. Liquor store?」
『Yeah, either that or a bar that lets you straight up buy whatever.』
Gamud told us that it’d probably be best for us to bring a gift or two after we told him of our next destination. Many of the Blacksmiths’ Guild’s members, its guildmaster included, were dwarves, which meant they would appreciate a good drink or two.
Hearing that tempted me to look for some really high quality booze, the kind that would knock their socks right off.
『Here’s to hoping we come accross a decent bar on our way over.』
『Right. I do remember The Dragon’s Table being somewhere in that direction now that you mention it.』
There seemed like there was a decent chance we’d be able to get some booze from The Dragon’s Table. The place was a restaurant, so it was sure to have some. Moreover, the owner had personally given Fran a coupon. I figured that alone would almost guarantee the staff there at least hearing us out.
And so, we decided to stop by Fermus’ store.
『Sorry, but no. The place isn’t really big enough for you, and I’m not even sure they allow pets to begin with.』
I really didn’t think we would be able to bring Urushi in with us. To that end, I figured that it’d probably be best for us to feed him stuff he likes a bit later on in order to cheer him up.
「Welcome. Would you happen to be looking for a table for one?」
「This way please.」
「Unfortunately, the owner is currently out, so we won’t be able to provide our usual selections.」
The menu the waitress handed us only had five different items listed on it. It was a sharp cut down from the 30 or so I remember seeing last time we visited.
Fermus’ apprentice was temporarily filling the former A ranker’s shoes because he was currently out of town. It seemed that the Dragon Hunter had only permitted him to create the five dishes currently listed because he didn’t believe the rest of his apprentice’s stuff was of a high enough quality to serve to his customers.
The restaurant’s renowned Dragon Bone Soup was still being sold, but apparently it was something that’d been prepared by Fermus ahead of time.
「Then want everything.」
「Huh? Did you just say everything?」
「Are you really sure you’d like everything? Our servings are quite large.」
「Not problem. Already ate before.」
「O-Okay. In that case, I’ll have everything coming right up.」
Fran handed the coupon we’d gotten from Fermus to the waitress. For some odd reason, she seemed extremely shocked; her eyes had snapped wide open.
「D-Did you maybe…」
「Got from Fermus.」
「So it really is a VIP coupon, a token indicating that we’ll have to treat you with utmost care!? I knew it!」
The waitress’ declaration caused her feelings of surprise to make their way over in my direction. I hadn’t thought of the thing Fermus had given us as anything more than just another coupon for discounts or something.
「O-O-Oh geez! What do I do!? The owner’s out. The only person here capable of making food is an idiot whose skills don’t even come close to matching the owner’s! Oh no, oh no, oh no! I can’t let the customer down, else risk the owner scolding me later on!」
She went full blown panic mode, and even started to insult Fermus’ apprentice. I kind of pitied her and as a result, didn’t really want to take advantage of her given the current situation, but I couldn’t help myself. She’d basically handed us an opportunity on a silver platter.
「Special treatment, no need.」
「There’s no way I could just treat you as I would any other customer, especially when the food we have now isn’t as good as it could be!」
「Then want alcohol. Best in store.」
「Alcohol? Consider it done! Please just give me one moment to get it!」
Though she ran off and grabbed us the booze we wanted, she seemed to have totally forgotten about the fact that we’d also ordered food. Normally, that would be something that’d totally piss a customer off, which in our case meant tattling to Fermus. That said, I decided to reserve our judgement until after she returned. There wasn’t really any reason for us to get mad so long as she brought out something of a decently high quality.
It took about five minutes for the waitress to finally make her way back over to us. She didn’t seem to be letting the fact that she was clearly out of breath bother her, as she immediately presented an expensive looking wooden box the moment she returned.
「This wine is the finest we have. It comes from a region known throughout Kranzel as one of its finest producers of alcoholic beverages. This bottle in particular has been magically preserved for about 120 years, so it’s some of the best stuff you could possibly get!」
The receptionist ended up bringing us something way beyond my expectations.
「To be honest, it isn’t something that we would normally be willing to serve our customers…」
「I borrowed one of the bottles that the owner keeps in his personal collection of rare wines.」
It sounded like taking the wine would probably anger Fermus. I was totally fine with him getting angry at the waitress, but I really didn’t want him directing his rage in our direction. Given that, we convinced the waitress to return Fermus’ prized collectable to its usual spot and have her give us the best stuff they actually had for sale.
We ended up getting five bottles of a type of booze that cost us 1k Golde a pop. The price seemed to about just right for something we were going to use as a gift for someone we’d never met before.
「Are you sure you’re fine with just that? The owner’s got a much better selection down in his wine cellar.」
「Good enough. More important, hungry.」
「Ohhhh nooo! I-I-I’m so sorry I forgot! I’ll have your food prepared immediately!」
It seemed the waitress finally realized that she’d forgotten to take Fran’s order this whole time. She ended up bending her waist forwards and bowing with all the force of a thousand prostrations before running off to the kitchen in order to report the order.
『Is it just me, or do you think we stressed her out a bit too much?』
The waitress had seemed so be panicking so hard that she even worried Fran. Admittedly, I couldn’t really think of it as a bad thing because we’d managed to get a good couple bottles of booze out of the ordeal, and for a decently cheap price at that.
Fran burned straight through everything she was given, and even ended up ordering a bit of tea so she could relax after having eaten. The chef took that as a sign and paid us a visit as Fran leisurely enjoyed her post-meal break.
「H-How was the meal?」
「Not good as Fermus.」
「I-I see… Could you point out the parts that bothered you?」
He took out a notepad and immediately started to write stuff in it. The waitress had labeled him as an idiot, but to me, he felt more like someone that was obsessed with cooking than anything else. 
I considered telling Fran to be a bit less direct, but ended up deciding otherwise because telling it to him straight was more likely to benefit him.
Fran ended up being the one giving out pointers because I myself hadn’t eaten. That said, it wasn’t like Fran’s advice was lacking in any which way. She would happily eat basically anything because that was what the time she’d spent as a slave had trained her to do, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t capable of judging how good something tasted.
The only real difference was that her scale was a bit skewed. If a normal person were to rate something on a scale from one to five, the labels they’d use would probably be: bad, kinda bad, not bad, good, and very good. Fran’s labels, on the other hand, would probably read something more along the lines of: inedible, not bad, good, very good, great.
Fran’s cooking skill was flat out maxed out, and as a result, her tastebuds were incredibly sensitive. She used this sensitivity of hers to describe the chef’s deficiencies in detail.
She spent a long time giving her critique; the sun had started to set by the time we finally left.
Good luck apprentice dude. Live strong, don’t give up!
 Joke is lost in translation. In the raw, Master specifies that he views Fermus’ apprentice as a “cooking idiot” as opposed to a normal idiot. Calling someone an X idiot normally implies that they’re rather well versed in X, and that they’re completely and utterly obsessed with it.