Saturday, December 16, 2017

Cooking with Wild Game Volume 3 Chapter 5

The Lutim Banquet (Second Half)
Translator: Skythewood


The sun slowly set into the west.

In less than two hours, darkness would engulf this world.

When the sun touched the western edge of the forest, the bride and groom would reach the Wu clan village, and the banquet would begin.

Right now, they were visiting every house of their relatives, and accepting their blessings.

After gifting their blessings to the newlyweds, the kins would also head to the Wu clan village.

Almost thirty of their relatives had already gathered in the plaza.
Children under the age of five didn’t have the right to participate in the banquet, and these poor toddlers would be gathered inside a branch house, and the women would take turns to look after them.

Of the men gathered in the plaza, I could only see elderly men and youths younger than thirteen.

Even on a day like this, the hunters still needed to venture into the forest.

To avoid any misfortune, the hunters wouldn’t push themselves, and return early. Aside from the Lutim house and Min house, the men from the other five houses were completing their obligations as hunters.

If they could present tusks and horns they hunted on that very day, it would be the greatest blessing.

That’s how selfless, pure, and brave the denizens of Forest's Edge were.

「Alright—— we are all set.」

After completing about 70% of the preparation, I wiped away the sweat from my brow.

The poitan had been grilled.

The three vegetables had been fried.

The stew and meat soup were done.

The fruit wine sauce for the hamburg steak had been poured back into the empty fruit wine bottles.

Only the meat needed to be grilled.

Piles of the hamburg steak and a portion of the steak filled the stove room of the Wu main house.

There were six stoves in the Wu main house, and to differentiate between strong and weak fire, only three pairs could be used at the same time.

As the pots were big, five hamburg steaks could be grilled at the same time.

It was almost time.

「Well then, time to start grilling.」

On my word, everyone put the hamburg steak into the pot. The stove room was filled with the appetizing aroma of fats and meat being cooked.

Grilling the hamburg steak was the most difficult to master, so Leina Wu, Mia Lei Wu and I took on this task.

The women in the main house all headed to the branch houses to grill the steaks there.

The branch family women without any assigned tasks stayed in the Wu main house to carry the iron pots.

The mother and sister of the youth Shin Wu stood beside me with a Krilee stick in hand.

「Okay, please proceed.」

The two of them used the Krilee stick to shift the iron pot to the stove with the weak fire.

After the red juice ooze out from the surface of the meat, I had to flip it over and return the pot back to the stove with the strong fire. I will then pour in fruit wine and cover it with a lid.

The fragrance filled the entire stove room before I covered the lid.

Mia Lei Wu was using the stoves behind me, and Leina Wu was using the stoves outdoor, everything was proceeding smoothly.

「…Asuta, I’m honoured to be of help.」

At this moment, someone said to me quietly.

It was Shin Wu’s elder sister—— Shela Wu.

In Forest's Edge, this girl was really slender and had a frail air about her. She should be slightly older than me.

「After my father Ryada lost his ability to hunt, my younger brother who is just sixteen had to take on the mantle of house head, and our family felt gloomy about our future… But after tasting the dish you taught us, we were filled with happiness, and want to stay strong and live on. We’re very grateful to you.」

「No, you are too kind. Your knifework is excellent, and is as good as Leina Wu.」

I opened the lid to check on the hamburg steak, and smiled at her:

「You have to keep making delicious meal and bring happiness to your family. That’s something only you two can do… It’s almost time to shift back to the weak fire stove.」


The mother and daughter worked together again to move the iron pot.

After it was done, we finished the first batch.

「Asuta, you are an incredible person. My brother once said that you looked as ferocious as a hunter when you tend to the hearth.」

「That’s flattering me too much, I’m not that great.」

「No, it’s true. You can control the flame at will, and turn the tough and smelly kiba meat into a delicious meal… You are just like a magician from the eastern kingdom.」

「That’s the job of a chef. There’s no need to send out magicians, there are plenty of chefs better than me in the city… alright, it’s done.」

Fake rubber tree leaves were placed on the working platform, and I placed the hamburg steak onto it.
After that, I used the wooden spatula to clear away the stains, and put the pot back onto the strong fire stove. After throwing down some fats, I put in five more meat patties. While I was doing that, Ai Fa placed another layer of fake rubber tree leaves on top of the hamburg steak, flat stones were placed on either side of the plank for support, and another board was placed on top.

We kept piling up the completed food this way.

「Ah, Ai Fa, what trees does these leaves come from? I use them often, but I don’t know what the tree is actually called..」

「Fate rudder tree.」


「These are leaves from the fate rudder tree.」

Ah, I see.

I will just call them fake rubber tree leaves then… I smiled wryly.

These leaves were bigger than two of my palms put together, didn’t have any weird smell and had a smooth surface. Whenever there was a need to grill large amount of meat, this was an indispensable tool.

The guests would bring their own plates and skewers, so I used the thin planks as a tray, and the fake rubber tree leaves as plates. For the women, both making the thin planks and foraging hundreds of fake rubber tree leaves were a tedious workload.

But all of their expressions were cheerful.

How surprised and happy would their family and kins be when they saw all these dishes? Their faces were bright with anticipation, and even though the head chef was me, these were made together by everyone.

It would be great if this dish could deepen the bonds between the whole family.

I hope everyone could enjoy this happiness.

And I hope that Kaslan Lutim and Ema Min would have a great wedding.

「Asuta! We have finished grilling the hamburg steak here! I will start grilling the steaks now!」

「Okay, please go ahead!」

「I’m back!! Asuta, things are going smoothly in the other houses too!」

「Thank you, Rimee Wu. It’s about time to heat up the vegetable stew, can you help me tell that to everyone?」

「Got it!」

The work was progressing smoothly.

After that, I heard there was an accident when shifting the pot, and five steaks were ruined. But the women from the branch family immediately came over to cut more meat, sprinkle salt and pico leaves on them, then left in a hurry.

「Oh no! This time, Vena-nee spilled the pot of aria soup!」

「What!? Is anyone hurt!?」

「No! But Vena-nee is about to cry! Or rather, she is already crying!」

「No need to cry! Everything except for the vegetable stew can be salvaged! This is a long banquet, tell her not to panic and take it slow, and make another pot in the usual way…! Ah, does anyone in that house know how to cook the soup?」

「I don’t know! But if there isn’t, Rimee can help!」

「Okay! I’m counting on you!」

I was already prepared for such sudden incidents.

While we were busy with various matters, the Wu main house grilled all the meat.

After that, we filled the pot with water, and piled as much food on top of the pot as possible. It didn’t have much effect, but it could keep the food warm.

「Okay, things are fine here. I will check on all the other houses.」

「Got it. Well then, Leina Wu and the other girls can go change. We will keep watch over here.」

After Mama Mia Lei Wu said that, Leina Wu, Shela Wu and the other young girls answered:「Yes.」 and left the stove room.

When this mother noticed my puzzled expression, she smiled gently:

「It’s a banquet after all. For the unwed girls, this is a chance for them to stand out. Many people got engaged during such an event.」

「I see… So that’s how it is.」

In that case, I better not go near Vena Wu or Leina Wu unless it was work related.

Only one unwed woman remained in the stove room. When I looked at Ai Fa, she stood majestically with a scary expression, then glared at me and said:「I’m from the Fa house.」

I didn’t really get it, but Ai Fa didn’t seem to need to dress up.

I felt relieved and a bit of pity at the same time, a complicated feeling.

「Well then, let’s go. If there are any problems, we will come back here immediately.」

Ai Fa and I walked out of the stove room together.

The sun was going to touch the western forest soon, so time was short.

「Alright then, the job is now half done.」

I glanced at the plaza where more people had gathered, then walked to the branch houses to the side.

「Half? Isn't most of the food done?」

「After finishing cooking, we still need to serve the food to the customers. Our job is only done when the bride taste the last steak and hamburg steak.」

The situation in the branch houses was fine.

Some houses were filled with fried vegetables, others had piles of grilled poitan, while another had tons of steak. Some of these houses were heating up the vegetable stew that was moved over there.

When we reached the last house, we saw Rimee Wu working hard to scoop up the foam in the soup by herself.

「Rimee Wu, thank you for your hard work. I see, this is the culprit that made Vena-nee cry.」

The stove beside Rimee Wu was wet, with aria and pieces of meat scattered all over.

「Where did everyone go?」

「They all went to change, all of them haven’t married yet.」

「Then, what about you? Don’t you need to change?」

「Yes, I will change after this soup is done.」

I see. I definitely have to see Rimee Wu all dressed up.

「I will switch with you. The bride’s group should be reaching the Wu village soon, so you should hurry up and change. Ah, can you go help Mama Mia Lei after you have changed?」

「Got it! Thank you…! Hmm, Ai Fa, don’t you need to change?」

「I’m from the Fa house. I’m not a kin of the Lutim house that is hosting this wedding, I shouldn’t dress for the occasion.」

「I see… I wanted to see you in banquet attire though. See you later then!」

Rimee Wu charged out of the stove room in a flash.

The moment she stepped out, Shin Wu stepped in. That’s right, this was Shin Wu’s home.

「Yo, you are back, Shin Wu. Good to see that you have returned safely.」

「Yes… How are things on your side?」

「No problem, your mother and sister are working hard.」

I wasn’t paying lip service.

The two of them were very dependable, which was why I asked them to help make hamburg steak in the main house instead of staying home. Not just carrying the pots, they were also a great help in making mincemeat and meat patties.

Also—— I really like this quiet, cold and clumsy youth. Whenever he bickered with Ludo Wu who was his complete opposite in personality, my soul felt at ease.

Shin Wu stared at his Ai Fa with his eyes that were a bit narrow.

「… So you are Ai Fa from the Fa house.」

Speaking of which, this was the first time the two of them met.

「I’m the head of this house, Shin Wu. Sorry for being so sudden, but there is something I would like to ask you.」

Huh? I alternated my gaze between the two of them.

They were both expressionless, and I couldn’t garner any intel with my naked eye.

However, just seeing the two of them standing still quietly filled me with unease.

「Ai Fa, you——」, when Shin Wu was about to continue speaking——

「Shin, you are back?」

Shela Wu’s voice could be heard.


She stopped when she stepped into the stove room

「So you are here too. Ai Fa and Asuta, welcome to my humble abode.」

We didn’t separate with Shela Wu for long, and she had already changed into the so-called banquet attire.
Uwah… I was a little surprised.

Shela Wu looked frail, and her appearance wouldn’t leave a strong impression. But she looked really graceful and delicate, completely different from her usual self.

Her hair was dark brown like her brother. She didn’t tie it up, and let it flow gently onto her back.

She wore a few flowers and berries on her hair, and had a translucent veil on.

The orange sunlight shone onto the veil, and it glittered like gems. So such a fabric existed in this world too! I was dumbstruck.

She probably changed the pieces of cloth covering her breasts and waist too, I didn’t remember too clearly. The swirly patterns of them seemed more intrinsic, and the colours more vibrant.

A purple translucent cloth was also tied around her waist, which draped to her ankle. Aside from the krilee fruit to repel bugs, she also wore accessories made from a colourful assortment of wood and metal on her neck, wrists and ankles ——Shela Wu had become mesmerizing.

「Ah, is this the new pot of soup? If it is fine with you, please let me take over the stove.」

「Is that fine? I will leave it to you then… Be careful not to burn your clothes.」

「Yes, I understand.」

Her smiling face looked so gentle and charming.

When I turned towards Shin Wu, that youth shook his head calmly and said:

「My apologies, you are in the middle of work right? I will find you again after your work is done.」

「I see, then I will make a move first.」

Ai Fa left the stove room unhesitantly. I had no choice but to nod at the other two and follow her.

「Hey, do you know why Shin Wu want to ask you?」

「I don’t know.」

Ai Fa answered icily.

「He’s a man from the Wu branch house right? I don’t know what he wants to talk to me about.」

「That’s true.」

Never mind, Shin Wu wasn’t a bad guy, he wouldn’t plan anything nefarious. Even though there was doubts in my mind, I still needed to do my job.

When we walked into the plaza——

Cheers erupted the very next moment.

The bride and groom were here.

A group of thirty slowly moved towards the plaza. They were the families of the Lutim and Min house.

An elderly man stood at the very front.

He was probably the elder of the Lutim house. His was bald, and a long white beard flowed down his chest. I guess he must be very old, but his back was straight, strides were steady and he was wearing the clothes of a hunter.

Two children stood on either side of him.

One boy and one girl, both of them were younger than Rimee Wu.

They might be young, but the boy was already in hunter’s attire, puffing out his chest and lifting his head up proudly.

The girl was dressed like Shela Wu, a translucent veil covered her head, and a brilliant smile on her face.

Their smalls hands carried a basket decorated with flowers and berries, a large number of white kiba tusks and horns were piled on it. These were probably the blessings for the newlyweds gifted by their kins. The men who had yet to offer their blessings walked to them quietly. After greeting the elder leading the group, they placed their tusks and horns into the basket.

Surrounded by an entourage of men in hunters wear and women covered in sheer fabric—— the stars of today entered the plaza.

Kaslan Lutim and Ema Min.

Naturally, Kaslan Lutim wore a hunter’s attire.

The only difference was the kiba fur cape that was wrapped around his muscular body.

That was definitely a kiba fur cape—— Because the kiba head was still attached to the cape.

The kiba head was placed on Kaslan Lutim’s broad right shoulder, as if it was biting him. The tusks and horns on the head protrude out prominently, giving the impression of it being alive.

The cape covered the right side of his body. As the left side of his body was bare, his large and small blades hung openly on his waist.

They were probably custom made for a wedding. Sheaths of the blades were covered in leather, marked with a brand and decorated with brightly coloured stones.

He wore a simple grass crown on his head of brown hair, but that was enough to make the heir to the Lutim house look braver and stronger than usual.

The bride walked quietly beside him, her head covered by a veil that glittered like gems.

However, the bride’s veil was different from Shela Wu and the other women. It had two or three layers and a crown was placed on it. Like in case of the groom, the crown was woven from grass.

The veil covered her face, even though the glitter obscured her expression, it was still clear that the bride was smiling blissfully.

The translucent fabric draped down from her shoulders and waist, covering her brown skin in a gentle layer of light.

The clothing around her chest and waist had a colourful swirling pattern, and the accessories on her neck and limbs were bright and eye-catching—— The glow of the stones on her body was more special and beautiful than anyone else.

The cheers blessing the couple kept going on, shaking the very air in the plaza. After that, a laugh that covered all the cheers.

It was the father of the groom, Dan Lutim.

The burly bald man led a posse of men and was laughing for unknown reasons.

I didn’t know why he was laughing—— but he must be feeling really glad.

He must be filled with happiness and glee.

His son had grown to be an outstanding man, and married such a beautiful wife. That must make him extremely happy.

His beer belly wobbled, and the fats on his face also shook.

The children who saw that burst out laughing.

When Dan Lutim saw those children, he laughed out loud again.

It was some distance away so I couldn’t see clearly, but there seemed to be tears in his big round eyes.

「Asuta.」 Someone tugged my arm gently after calling me.

I turned my head and found Ai Fa staring at me quietly.

I nodded and clenched my fist.

「It’s finally time for the second half.」

The banquet —— was about to begin


「Please bring the vegetable stew to the plaza! It’s hot, so take it slow, no need to rush!」

What awaited me was chaos.

The Wu clan erected a stage in front of their main house, and after the bride and groom were ushered up, Dan Lutim gave an opening speech. But we didn’t have time to listen to him. The moment the speech ends, we had to start serving out the dishes, so the guests could start dining.

The first thing on the menu was vegetable stew.

Ten makeshift stoves were erected around the plaza in a circular shape. We shifted the four pots as far apart as possible and started a weak fire.

After that, we brought over six pots filled with water and set them on the remaining stoves. These were used to keep the food warm. We started a medium fire in the stove, placed the board that acted as a table on top of it, and then put the steaks and fried vegetables there. For the steaks, I chose to serve the thigh meat and Chuck flap that wouldn’t start any controversy.

The women from the Wu clan stood guard beside every stove, and I asked them to distribute the food. I felt sorry about it, but they had to take turns to eat their dinner. From what I could observe, none of the women showed any unhappiness about this.

The women in charge of the steaks had piles of poitan in their hands. Whenever someone came over to take the meat, they would give them a poitan and tell them:「This is poitan.」

The ladies handling the vegetable stew would pour the soup for the guests, and tell them:「There’s only one bowl for each person.」

People would grill and cook large amount of food in the usual banquets, and everyone was free to take as much as they like. Was my way of doing things too stingy?

However, I didn’t think that just grilling and cooking meat without stench was enough. I hope to bring even greater joy to everyone, that the delicious food could make them forget their troubles for the moment.
My job was to move between the houses and relay instructions. Towards the end, I lost track of where each of the women was. Even Ai Fa who was by my side was gone after Grandma Ditto Min called for her.

「Well then, the banquet will now officially begin——!」

Dan Lutim’s deafening voice came from the stage.

「Offering our blessings to Kaslan Lutim from the Lutim house, and Ema Min from the Min house!」

「Offering them our blessings!」

After the hundred odd kin said these words at the same time, the ceremonial fire was started in the wood piled in the center of the plaza.

Torches were also placed on the stands erected around the stage, which drove away the darkness.

Illuminated by the bright orange light, the people picked up their cutlery and skewers.

「Drink wine and feast on the meat! The women from the Wu clan worked very hard to prepare for this day, let us offer them our blessings!」

As Dan Lutim had been shouting all this time, his voice had turned hoarse.

Spurred by his shouts, the people grabbed fruit wine bottles—— and picked up meat on the fake rubber tree leaves.

Their strong white teeth tore the meat apart.

They drank the vegetable soup in their plates.

And hesitantly put the grilled poitan into their mouth.

I had no way to check what kind of faces the guests were making—— I could only rush around between each of the houses.

「Next will be the spare ribs in this house! Are you ready?」

「No problem. The meat we served in the beginning got gobbled in no time.」

The mother in this branch house said with a laugh, but I still couldn’t remember her name.

「We should set off now. The girls taking the first shift want to taste the vegetable stew too, and are getting impatient.」

This mother’s arms were bigger than mine. Each plank had seven plates worth of spare ribs, and she could carry three planks at one go.

「I’m going to relief their shift—— Hey, this vegetable stew is amazing.」

「Oh, you already tried it?」

「It would be a tragedy if I didn’t. I rushed back here after finishing the stew. The other girls will be back soon, so you should eat something too alright?」

「It’s fine, I will eat them. I will be counting on you then.」


The mother went off.

After that, a roar came from outside:

「It’s here, this is the spare ribs of the kiba! Those who are brave enough, come take a bite!」

It was the right decision for me to work behind the scene for the entire banquet. Even if an outsider like me appeared before everyone, it wouldn’t make the food taste any better.

「Sorry for being late! We will bring out the rest!」

Several unfamiliar girls in beautiful attire rushed into the stove room.

「All the steak that was served in the beginning got gobbled up, there is just a little bit of vegetable stew left!」

「Alright, the soup will be next. Thank you everyone.」

Shin Wu house and their neighbour was responsible for the soup.

After rushing into Shin Wu’s house, I found Shela Wu tending to the hearth alone.

「Hmm? You’re alone? Your mother should be here too right?」

「She went to try out the vegetable stew, I already tried it earlier.」

Shela Wu had a frail smile on her face.

「This vegetable stew tastes really good… I’m about to cry from happiness.」

「I see. Please let me cook this for you when you hold your wedding.」

When she heard that, Shela Wu’s face was covered in sorrow, and she shook her head.

「I’m born with a weak body, although I’m of marriageable age, I still didn’t marry. A woman who can’t even carry a water flask by herself will just be a problem in the house.」

「That’s not true! Even if you can’t move a water flask, you can still carry an iron pot. You can tend to the hearth if you possess that much arm strength.」

I was a little flustered at the moment and even winked at Shela Wu.

「On top of that, your culinary skill is outstanding, you will definitely be a bride that excels in cooking. When the men will understand the merit of delicious food, they won’t be able to stop laying their eyes on you.」

「Not at all…」

Shela Wu was blushing.

At this moment, her mother came back.

「The vegetable stew is almost gone. Shela, it’s time for us to go.」


The steady mother and frail daughter carried the iron pot together with a Krilee stick.

After they left, I walked to the house next door.

The rest of the soup should be placed there.

After entering the stove room, I realized someone had already moved the three pots of soup. The stove was put out and there was only an iron pot with stew stains placed on it. And—— a girl was standing alone in the vast stove room.

It was Vena Wu.


She widened her sexy eyes that were drooping a little.

Vena Wu was in banquet attire too.

She wore a translucent veil, and her waist was covered with the same sheer fabric—— Even in usual times, her hair and limbs were decorated more extravagantly than other women, and there were even more accessories now.

Her chestnut coloured hair she would tie around her right shoulder was let down, making her even sexier.

However, I couldn’t fall for her beauty trap today.

「So the soup here had been moved to the plaza. Alright then, I need to attend to other work.」

I turned to leave.


Vena Wu’s yell echoed behind me.

This was the first time I heard her yelling so loudly. In the face of such an abnormal situation, I couldn’t help stopping and turning to look at her.

Vena Wu slouched her shoulders like a child, then said with her head low:

「Asuta… Are you angry…?」

「Hmm? Why should I be angry?」

「I… spilled the aria soup…」

「Ah, it’s about that. It’s fine, the new pot of soup was done in time. It’s just a small matter, I’m glad you aren’t hurt.」

「… You aren’t angry…」

She looked up at me in the eyes.

As I couldn’t tell when she was playing around or being serious, I really didn’t know how to get along with her.

「I’m not angry… Instead of such trivial matters, you should enjoy this banquet. You are in charge of distributing the vegetable stew, right? In that case, you don’t have any other work for the time being?」

「I hate banquets… A lot of men will propose to me…」

You could accept one!

I wanted to say that, but I felt that it would make things more complicated, so I held my peace.

「Alright then, I’m going now.」


She raised her voice again.

Vena Wu hugged herself with her arms and squirmed her body.

「Erm… I want to leave this house… But I don’t hate my family…」


What was she saying?

It was almost time for me to go to the next place.

「I actually love my family more than anyone else… I love everyone in my family… And I hope they can be happy…」

「What are you talking about?」

「I don’t want to hate my family…」

What Vena Wu did next surprised me again.

She knelt down while hugging herself, then looked up at me as if she was pleading:

「It’s fine if it is Ai Fa… I can hate Ai Fa… But if you get together with Ai Fa I will try to seduce you and destroy everything…」

「What the hell are you talking about!」

「I don’t want to hate Leina.」

Vena Wu said to me clearly for the first time.

「Please don’t get together with Leina… I don’t want to hate my family…」

I was completely confused.

I could tell from Leina Wu’s attitude that she has feelings for me. But even if we moved to the stage of marriage, the other Wu clan members wouldn’t permit it.

Vena Wu looked sullen, utterly different from her usual self.

After troubling over it for a moment, I ran to Vena Wu and placed my hands on her soft shoulders.

「It’s fine. I don’t know what you are worried about, but you won’t ever face such a crazy future.」

Luckily, I could say this sincerity without hiding how I felt.

Vena Wu looked up at me with teary eyes.

「I won’t marry Leina Wu. So you don’t need to hate her —— I can promise you that.」

I held Vena Wu’s shoulders firmly and nodded forcefully. I already did my best to console her.

「… Sorry for interrupting your work…」

「Not at all, please proceed with the ending part as planned… I’m going off now.」

To escape from Vena Wu’s gaze, I charged out of the stove room.

My heart was filled with guilt which made me flustered.

I didn’t have time to console Vena Wu as I had to hurry to the next spot.

Was the guilt that I was feeling part of the job description?

In that case, I could only bear with it.
As I was thinking about that, I had already ran around the outside of the plaza.

The sun had already set without me realizing it, and the surroundings were illuminated only by the orange flames.

From some distance away, the people were just black shadows to me.

I couldn’t see their expression at all.

However, they were emitting a large amount of heat.

The plaza was filled with the heat and life of the denizens of Forest's Edge —— it could even rival the raging ceremonial flame.

What a beautiful world.

A world full of life and energy.

I kept running, as if this amazing life force was pushing my back.

My next destination was the Wu main house that was far away.

The bride and groom sat quietly on the stage opposite the Wu clan main house. Dan Lutim stood beneath the stage with spare ribs in both hands, laughing out loudly.

Of all the dark figure in the dim lighting, he was the only person I wouldn’t get wrong.

「You don’t want to eat? If not, then I will eat it all!」

Please give everyone who wants spare ribs a chance to try them—— I prayed as I jogged to the stove room.

The next dish was finally hamburg steak.

「Ah, I finally see you, Asuta!」

There were about ten women in the stove room.

These were the rear guards who had already enjoyed the banquet, and would start working now.

Rimee Wu was one of them too. She stood at the entrance with ribs in both hands.

「Heehee, I’m mimicking Dan Lutim.」

「No no. Never mind that old man, if you also eat so much, there won’t be enough for everyone. Actually, everyone is supposed to eat just one.」

「That’s why I picked the smaller ones…! Is that no good too?」

Rimee Wu’s dejected face was just like a puppy. I patted her head and said:

「You are really cute, so it’s fine. Your clothes are nice too.」

「Really? I’m so happy!」

The little girls’ banquet attire were just like the adults. Rimee Wu wore a glittering veil, and had all sorts of accessories and bangles on her. She was definitely the cutest one here. The large red flowers on both of her temples were exceptionally prominent. This accessory suited the red-headed Rimee Wu very well.

「Oh right, have you seen Ai Fa? I didn’t see her around right after the banquet started.」

「Ai Fa? Grandma Ditto Min, you called for her right?」

「I only told her that the grand elder was looking for her. I didn’t see her after that either.」

Grandma Ditto Min was also part of the hamburg steak team.

My lieutenant, and also the only other guerilla member, just where was Ai Fa hiding?

「Erm, If you are looking for the female hunter from the Fa house, I saw her carrying out the steaks just now.」

Donda Wu’s second brother’s daughter in law said.

「I see, thank you.」

It would be fine if she was acting on her own initiative without my instructions.

I also realized that running around by myself was the most efficient way.

「Looks like it is time for hamburg steak to go. That means everyone ate half of the dishes… Are things progressing too quickly?」

「Your dishes are delicious, so everyone finished it in no time.」

「Ara, I think most of it was eaten by the head of the Lutim house.」

The older ladies chatted cheerfully.

I wanted to laugh along with them, but unfortunately, I couldn’t.

「After the hamburg steak goes out, everyone will just have one more steak each. Maybe we will need to cook more meat?」

「It’s possible, it seems that this much food isn’t enough. Both the men and the women are eating heartily and fighting over the meat.」

Was this the so called finding joy in work?

If there really wasn’t enough food, we had already made preparation for additional grilled meat. But we didn’t have more vegetables or poitan, and the most we could manage was more aria and tino.

「I understand. Please move the hamburg steak out, I will start cutting the meat. I will slice them thin so it could be grilled with just strong fire.」

「Alright, we are off then.」

Grandma Ditto Min gave the word quietly, and everyone carried out about 120 hamburg steak and many bottles filled with fruit wine sauces.

「Ah, Rimee Wu, when you are free, can you check on Vena Wu? She should be in the stove room of the house with three pots of soup.」

「Vena-nee…? Ah, Vena-nee always drinks by herself during banquets. Got it! Rimee Wu will help you bring out the hamburg steak first!」

「Thank you, I will be counting on you then.」

After the rear guard brought the hamburg steak out, the stove room immediately turned spacious.

Only the steak that will be served last was left behind.

In order to keep the steaks warm, I shifted them to the stove and closed the lid, then scooped up some water with the ladle to drink.

I felt exhausted.

And incredibly hyped.

I was a bit worried about Vena Wu, but other than that—— everything was proceeding smoothly.

I didn’t know what kind of faces the guests would make when they dined, but I knew there was nothing to worry about just by looking at the women’s faces.

There weren’t any major accidents.

I just need to work hard for a bit more, and my job would be done.

I stretched my back, and walked to the food store to bring out the additional meat.

I wonder if Ludo Wu and Shin Wu enjoyed this banquet. I hope Ai Fa tried the vegetable stew.

I picked up the candle stand at the entrance, and entered the food store.

The meat storage should be further in.

We used the vegetable storage space to store the cooked food for the time being, and pushed all the shelves to the wall.

Almost all the vegetables were gone from the shelves.

Only the back up vegetables in case of any mishap during cooking was there, along with the ingredients not used in the dishes today.

I heard the Wu clan and Lutim house would split the cost.

Would this deepen the bonds between the two families? Or would it deepen any gulfs? I didn’t understand the personality of Donda Wu and Jiza Wu too well yet, so I had no way of knowing.

However —— I just needed to finish my work.

I walked into the meat storage as I pondered.

The next instant——

The opened door was shut with a bang.


I turned around, and a petite and soft thing pounced on my chest.

Despite being small and soft, it had plenty of strength.

I fell back onto the floor just like that.

The silver lining was that the candle stand didn’t topple when I fell.

The light of the candle—— illuminated the complicated expression of Leina Wu.


「L-Leina Wu? What happened?」

Leina Wu in banquet wear was on top of me.

She sticked close to my chest and looked at me with gloomy eyes.


Her petite and sexy lips squeezed out a raspy voice.

「Asuta, I have something to ask you…」


「Please become a Wu clan member.」

Her blue eyes that were right before me had a serious glean as she stared at me.

「Please leave the Fa house and be a Wu clan member… Please become a part of our family.」

「W-Why are you saying this all of a sudden? There’s no way Donda Wu and Jiza Wu will permit that.」

「I will convince father and Jiza-nii—— If I discuss this with them properly, they will understand.」

I didn’t think so at all.

Or rather, I didn’t want to do that.

「Why are you saying this so suddenly? Leina Wu, I don’t understand what you are thinking at all.」

「I want to be with you! I want you to be our kin! When a house loses its strength, they will usually join another house. The denizens of Forest's Edge has always relied on each other to survive.」

Leina Wu grabbed the chest of my t-shirt tightly.

「Father has definitely acknowledged your strength. Once the clan head makes his decision Jiza-nii can’t go against it. After that, I will spend my time to convince him!」

「That’s impossible. I won’t leave Ai Fa and become a Wu clan member… How can I do that?」

Just what kind of face was I showing now?

Leina Wu burrowed her brows painfully.

「I already told Ai Fa how I felt. It’s fine even if it isn’t Darum-nii, there are plenty of unwed men in the branch family. If she lay down her sword and resolve herself to marry…  Ai Fa has a charming character, even Papa Donda wanted her to marry into the main house. Normally, no one would propose marriage to a house without kin like the Fa house…」

「But Ai Fa turned you down right?」

She actually said that to Ai Fa during the banquet.

As the door was closed, the noise from the banquet seemed so distant.

After that—— a sorrow-like emotion filled my chest.

「… Even so, I still want to be with you.」

Leina Wu buried her face in my chest.

「Ai Fa is strong, incredibly strong. She wouldn’t waver on this. However… Ai Fa can live by herself, that’s how strong she is.」

「You are right.」

Ai Fa had lived by herself for the past two years.

If she didn’t meet me, she definitely would continue her life in solitude.


We met.

「Ai Fa is a hunter. She chose to hunt kiba and wither away in the forest instead of nurturing the next generation, In that case—— there’s no meaning for her to take in a man like you right? The Fa house’s bloodline will end with Ai Fa, why don’t you become a Wu clan member——」

「Leina Wu.」

I held her soft shoulders.

「Thank you for your kind thoughts. I’m grateful to you for worrying about my future… But I can’t do it.」

Leina Wu raised her head in surprise.

I looked at the tears welling up in her blue eyes and continued:

「I have no intention of leaving the Fa house. Even if Ai Fa can live alone, I can’t do without her—— I’m sorry.」

「…But why? Even the stubborn men from the branch family acknowledge your strength now. If I have time to convince Jiza-nii, the entire Wu clan will…」

「I also like everyone in the Wu clan. But I still want to be with Ai Fa.」

I pushed Leina Wu’s body away as gently as I could, and propped myself up.

Leina Wu’s body back away heavily onto my knees, her tears finally fell.

「I’m sorry… And thank you.」

Leina Wu stood up crying.

A strong gleam appeared in her teary eyes, and she looked straight at me.

「… I won’t give up.」

She rushed out of the door after saying that.

The rowdy sound of the banquet crept in through the opened door once again.

I pushed my incredibly heavy body and stood up.

For Leina Wu, is this the right path to take?

She wanted to accept someone with dubious origins like me into her home, and to live together with her.

If the one who picked me up in the beginning was Leina Wu, instead of Ai Fa—— I would have been so blissed and happy. But the one I met first was Ai Fa.

I couldn’t imagine living my life apart from Ai Fa.

I hit my temple hard a few times, then walked into the meat storage.

And then—— I stopped again.

A woman’s scream came from the other side.

Was it Leina Wu?

No, several women were screaming at the same time.

Had there been an accident?

Could it be —— After serving the steaks and hamburg steak that looked alien to them, had the men finally lost their temper and started rampaging?

I didn’t think about it any further and dashed out of the food store.

I passed the houses around the stage and ran into the plaza.

The plaza was in an uproar.

The joyous chatter earlier was like a dream—— negative emotions filled the tensed plaza.

Everyone was looking in the direction opposite the stage.

It was the entrance to the plaza.

Did the Lei house or some other big houses leave the plaza in a rage?

I avoided the crowd standing in the plaza as much as possible, and rushed to the side of the ceremonial fire in the center of the plaza.

The next moment—— an unbelievable sight appeared before my eyes.

W-What’s going on here…?

My mind couldn’t process what I was seeing.

Just what happened to cause such a mess? I couldn’t imagine at all.

The stove nearest to the entrance had collapsed.

The hamburg steaks and fried vegetable on them was scattered all over the ground.

And then——

A dead kiba had crashed into the ruined stove.

It was a massive kiba and was around a hundred kilograms.

But it seemed to be rather old, its fur had lost its luster and one of its horns was broken.

Several wooden spears had pierced its massive body.

Huge amount of blood stained its dark brown hide, which gave off a terrible stench.

As the stove fire wasn’t completely out yet, the fur on the kiba’s head was scorched crisp black.

The feral kiba, blood and scorched fur—— the plaza was filled with these stenches, as if someone had tarnished this night of blessings with malicious intentions.

Did the kiba crashed into the stove, and was hunted down by these men?

The kiba might have a ferocious nature, but they were timid, and would only attack if they encounter humans in close quarters. Normally, they would flee at the sight of a human.

It was unlikely for it to barge into a plaza with over a hundred people, and ram into a stove which had a fire burning prominently

I was confused, but I realized that my line of thought wasn’t wrong.

Because there was a flat piece of board beneath the carcass of the kiba.

On the board was handles made from vines.

That was a towing board used to transport iron pots and water flasks.

The kiba didn’t die here, someone carried the carcass here and hurled it at the stove.

Someone did so with malicious intent——

「What’s the matter? This is a joyous occasion, so why is everyone so quiet?」

A nefarious voice of a man rang out.

This shrill noise was made by a young man.

It sounded familiar—— the deep tone and slurred voice.

I slowly lifted my vision.

On the other side of the dark fumes—— were three men.

One of them was a tall and burly young man.

He shaved his dark brown hair really short, and had blue eyes. Aside from being tall, he had no other prominent features.

There was another young man who was slightly shorter.

He might have a smaller stature, but his body was filled with muscles, had a bland face, and his expression was like a stone lion. He had messy hair, eyes that had the glint of a wild dog, and had dark brown hair like the other man.

As for the last person—— His body was as big as Donda Wu and Dan Lutim, and was like a meat balloon.

Given his height of almost two meters, just how heavy was he? I wouldn’t be surprised if he weighs 200 kg. His face, arms, belly and legs were bloated. With how round his body was, he might be able to move quicker by rolling instead of walking.

His hairline had receded greatly, and he only had black curly hair beside his ears.

This made him looked old—— but his round face looked rather childish, so he seemed a little disgusting.

This was the first time I met this meaty balloon-like man, but I remember the other two man.

One of them was the heir to the Tsun clan I met one month earlier, Diga Tsun.

The other was the second son of the Tsun clan I had a run in with seven days ago, Doddo Tsun.

There’s no mistake, there were from the Tsun clan that rules Forest's Edge.

「… Where’s the house heads? Where are Dan of the Lutim house and Donda of the Wu clan hiding? The Tsun main house is here to offer our congratulations, and the house heads aren’t even going to greet us? Huh?」

Diga Tsun shrill voice echoed in the plaza along with a stench.

These fellows—— was probably drunk and making trouble.

That eldest son and second son were both holding fruit wine bottles.

「Are you unhappy with the blessings we are offering? We brought such a huge kiba, this is an impeccable gift, right? It has three tusks and horns on it, ehh? These are the blessings from the Tsun clan’s main house eldest son Diga Tsun, second son Doddo Tsun and youngest son Mida Tsun for house Lutim, so accept it gratefully!」

Youngest son—— Did he just say youngest son?

Then that meat balloon was the youngest. Even the oldest Diga Tsun looked younger than twenty.

No—— That wasn’t important.

I clenched my fist and observed the people around me.

The women were nervous.

The men—— were furious.

All the men showed their hunter's eyes, and took the stance of one. If anything happened, they would draw the sabres on their waists.

That was a natural reaction.

After all, the men from the Tsun clan were tarnishing their kin’s banquet.

Even if these despicable people hailed from the chief clan, the proud hunters would not permit them to barge into the banquet in such a way.

But none of them moved.

The sound of the men gritted their teeth so hard that the very sound of that could be heard. They clenched their fist so hard that blood almost burst out as their fury rages quietly.

I heard that —— If someone went up against the chief Tsun clan openly, it would lead to a civil war that would tear Forest's Edge apart, and the denizens might lose their lives.

Was that why no one protested against this?

Were Donda Wu and Dan Lutim fuming in a corner of the plaza too?

But I couldn’t stay silent.

Since I wasn’t from the Wu clan or Lutim house, I felt I was qualified to engage them.

I went around the kiba’s carcass, through the fumes and faced off against those men.

The next moment, fiery fires started to burn in the eyes in two of the three men.

But their eyes were still murky.

「What do you people want!?」

I lashed out at them.

Their eyes turned more ferocious.

「I didn’t hear that there will be any other guests! I’m only supposed to provide a meal for the Wu main house, and the hundred-odd kin of the Lutim house. I never heard about any last minute additions!」

「Outside… You foreigner leeching off the Fa house!」

Diga Tsun took a step forward.

He had a saber tied around his waist, but we were far enough away that he couldn’t reach me even if he pounced my way—— or that was what I  thought.

「Members of the Wu clan! Members of the Lutim house! What’s going on here, you will host this outsider for your banquet, but not invite the Tsun clan!? Eighty years ago, the Min house was also a kin house of the Tsun clan—— If you invite outsiders, then the Tsun clan has the right to send their blessings too!」

「Please discuss this with the Wu clan and Lutim house heads! I’m tending to the hearth for this banquet in exchange for the payment made by the Lutim house! I won’t allow anyone to disrupt my work!」

I tried to pass the initiative to Dan Lutim and the others.

Since these despicable people were at fault, I will rebuke them with proper logic, then the situation would be to our advantage. That was what I planned in my mind! But I couldn’t help speaking my mind, turning the rage in my heart into words and forcing them out of my mouth.

I pointed at the pitiful carcass of the kiba.

「Clean up the carcass of the kiba right now! We will talk after you are done! Can you enjoy kiba meat while staring at the carcass of a kiba? Can you drink kiba soup heartily while smelling the stench of the kiba’s blood? I won’t accept this for a banquet I’m in charge of! Get that kiba out of here right now!」

「You brat——!」

「After that, if you receive permission from the head of the Lutim house, I will serve you food. However, I can’t remake the food that you have ruined! If you disrupt my work any further, I will ask for remuneration from the Tsun clan!」

Diga Tsun’s entire body shook.

Doddo Tsun who was standing beside him—— draw his blade.

The women scream rippled through the crowd.

「Retard! How can you draw your saber in a banquet!」

A steel and icy voice cut off the screams of the women.

The strength in this voice overwhelmed that of the retarded sons of the Tsun clan and me, filled with pride and rage——

Ai Fa’s voice echoed through the entire plaza.

「My family member Asuta and I attended this banquet because of a trade we made with the eldest son of house Lutim, Kaslan Lutim! Outsiders don’t have the rights to criticize this! I will let the head of the Lutim house deal with you—— but I won’t permit you to draw your blade against a member of the Fa house!」

Ai Fa walked forth from a dark corner with strong strides.

She raised her head and puffed her chest with determination, and glared at the intruders with fiery eyes—— while dressed in elegant banquet attire.


Ai Fa——

Her blonde locks fell slowly to her waist.

She wore a veil that shimmered like gems on her head, with flowers and berries adorned on her hair.

Accessories made from berries and metal were placed on her neck, arms and ankles, a thin piece of purple sheer fabric swayed on her hips.

She was in banquet attire like the other women.

Even though she was dressed just like them —— Ai Fa was more glamourous and beautiful than anyone else. At least that was how she appears in my eyes.

The only difference she had with the other women was the sheathed blade in her hands, and the stern expression of a brave hunter on her face.

「Ai Fa… I haven’t seen you for a long time…?」

Diga Tsun held back his younger brother who had drawn his blade, then turned towards Ai Fa.

「What happened, you are dressed like a woman… You’re finally considering marriage…?」

Diga Tsun’s murky eyes had the gleam of unhappiness. A despicable smile appeared on his relaxed face.

When I saw his face that harboured ill intentions—— I almost lost my cool in rage and wanted to pounce on him.

Do not —— look at Ai Fa with those murky eyes!

Not only did this man insulted my work, he also plans to tarnish someone important to me?

Ai Fa was unusually calm in the face of these hateful gazes, completely unlike me.

「Hmmp. It would make the other attendees unpleasant if an unwed woman didn’t put on banquet wear. After hearing this advice, I had to put on this veil. Eldest son of the Tsun clan, after I threw you into the icy river two years ago, you should know very well that I don’t need a husband.」

「Why you…!」

「No need for talk, keep your blade! Barging into a banquet without any invitation, disrupting the peace and attempting to commit harm. Are these actions a member of the chief clan should be doing? Since you are from the chief clan, then you should act as a model for the denizens of Forest's Edge!」

Diga Tsun and Doddo Tsun glared at Ai Fa with agitated emotions.

The meaty balloon-like youngest brother was standing beside them, but his gaze lies elsewhere. He then said with his strange voice out of the blue:

「Hey, something smell nice… Mida is hungry...」

His voice was as high pitched as a toddler.

Normally, the larger a body was, the deeper the voice would be. But was he so fat that his voice box was being squeezed?

His existence seems to represent how far the Tsun clan had fallen.

「Shut up! You mentally challenged kid!」

The youngest brother turned silent unhappily after his brother yelled at him.

This might be a good chance, so I probed the three of them for a reaction:

「Since you insist that you are here to gift your blessings for this wedding, then sheath your blade and take care of this kiba. If you receive permission from the head of the Lutim house, I will prepare food for you —」

「Who will allow that!?」— the one who answered wasn’t from the Tsun clan.

A man emitting killing intent approached from behind me.

I turned back, and behind me were—— Dan Lutim and Donda Wu.

Dan Lutim was still holding a large spare rib in his hand, and veins were bulging out from his bald head.

Donda Wu had a fruit wine bottle in hand, his feral face had a faint smile.

Both of their eyes were burning with fire.

The two heads let out more blood-thirst than anyone else present.

「You brats… you dare desecrate my son’s wedding!?」

Never mind Donda Wu, this was the first time I have seen that uncle from house Lutim being so furious.

His round eyes were so wide that they were almost going to pop out, his thick brows were raised up high. His loose facial muscles were cramping, white teeth could be seen through his open mouth and the thick artery on his temple was throbbing.

Compared to now, his anger towards me in the past was akin to that directed to a puppy that pissed in the wrong place. Right now, he was truly like an Arabian demon god.

Could the Tsun clan people keep their cool after seeing the fury of the Lutim house head? When I turned my gaze back to the front——

Diga Tsun stood stiffly with a pale face.

Doddo Tsun tightened his grip on his blade with trembling hands.

And Mida Tsun—— He just stood there confused.

「Who wants to accept blessings from despicable people like you! Who the hell will treat you despicable lot to a delicious meal!」

As Dan Lutim roared, he bit the ribs in his hand, and threw the leftover bones onto the ground.

Donda Wu also took a large step forward.

「Brats of the Tsun clan… You think you squits can be our opponents? If you want to taunt the Wu clan and Lutim house, then bring your clan head and all the men with you!」

His roar was like a clap of thunder.

I heard a shrill scream from Diga Tsun faintly.

「Given how old this kiba is, is its meat even edible? Who wants blessings from brats like you!」

Dan Lutim strode forth, and grabbed the kiba in the stove by its fur.

The next second, something unbelievable happened——

Dan Lutim lifted the massive kiba that weigh almost a hundred kilograms over his head with his bare hands.

This kiba might be about Dan Lutim’s weight, his brute force was incredible.

「Uwah, uwahh!!」

Diga Tsun kept backing away.

Doddo Tsun looked like he wanted to flee.

Even Mida Tsun screamed 「Wahh」.

「Get lost!」

Dan Lutim threw the entire kiba.


Diga Tsun and company grabbed their heads and scampered away.

The kiba’s body rolled pitifully on the ground. When the spears on its back snapped off, it had rolled to the entrance of the plaza.

Diga Tsun and his group had already disappeared into the night.

「A bunch of retards!」

Loud cheers drowned out Dan Lutim’s roar..

The thunderous cheers—— proved how much they detested the Tsun clan, what they thought and how they usually suppress their agitated emotions.

「Dan Lutim—— sorry for being too rash.」

I took off the towel wrapped around my head and bowed to Dan Lutim.

His demon god-like face instantly turned into a gentle smile.

「Mr Asuta, what are you saying!? I merely couldn’t move for a while because I was so mad that I couldn’t breathe! You said what I was thinking at that moment, and that was what made me regain my senses!」

Did he just said—— Mr Asuta?

When I realized it, Ai Fa was standing beside me.

She was showing her usual cold face.

But her attire was completely different.

「Those brats only came here because the alcohol got into their heads. If their actions are sanctioned by the clan head, they would have brought the men from the branch family with them.」

Donda Wu’s eyes still had remnants of rage, and he finished his bottle of fruit wine in one breath.

「Hey! Return that old kiba to the forest! The monta will wipe away the mistakes made by those brats.」

Several men nodded, and rushed to that pitiful kiba.

When he saw this scene, Dan Lutim’s brows drooped in sorrow.

「Ara, I feel bad for that kiba. If you get reincarnated into a kiba again, I will properly eat you next time!」

I couldn’t help but laugh. Dan Lutim turned to me and said:

「Mr Asuta! After venting my rage, I’m hungry now! Is the next dish ready yet?」

When his large hands were about to grab my shoulder I backed away quickly——

「Your hands! Please wash your hands! You grabbed the fur of the kiba just now! Don’t grab the ribs by your hands to eat them!」

「The ribs are all gone. Mr Asuta, are there any ribs left?」

Dan Lutim pouted his thick lips.

His face was just like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

「If there are any left, I will grill them. So please wash your hands and wait—— Alright then, I still have work to do.」

「Okay! Thanks, Mr Asuta!」

I glanced at Ai Fa.

Ai Fa nodded, turned around and said:

「I will take care of the damaged stove.」

I looked at her long blonde hair and her beautiful figured wrapped in a translucent cloth. A short while later —— I ran to the stove room.

Time passed, and the banquet finally reached its climax.

The bride and groom sat on the stage and watched the banquet this entire time. And now, guided by the elders from the Lutim house and Min house, they walked down the stage.

The elders led the two to the stove erected opposite the stage.

Jiba Wu held Vena Wu’s hand, and waited for them.

The couple knelt before Jiba Wu, the groom grabbed his right shoulder while the bride grabbed her left shoulder, and they both lowered their heads.

Herbs were burning in the stove. Jiba Wu removed the grass crown with trembling fingers from their heads, and heated them with the smoke coming out from the stove.

She then placed the groom’s crown onto the bride, and the bride’s crown onto the groom.

After the two got up slowly, Jiba Wu removed two tusks and horns from her necklace, and gifted one to each of them.

「I gift my blessings to you two… Tonight, Ema Min will become the wife of Kaslan Lutim of the Lutim house, and is bestowed with the name of Ema Min Lutim. This will deepen the bonds between the Min and Lutim House, and lead Forest's Edge to greater prosperity and strength.…」

「The forest bestows Ema Min Lutim to Kaslan Lutim.」

「The forest bestows Kaslan Lutim to Ema Min Lutim.」

All their kins erupted in cheers once more.

The women from the Wu branch house carried an iron pot through the cheering crowd, and placed it on the stove that was burning the herbs.

In the pot was a hamburg steak that was not finished yet, a piece of steak left specially for the couple.

The women added firewood quickly and brought the stove to a raging flame. Even a 「strong fire」 wasn’t enough to describe the heat right now.

After that, the women took Jiba Wu’s hands and took a step back.

Vena Wu walked to the front this time.

According to the customs, the oldest unwed woman of all the kin house will offer this meat to the bride, which represents the first piece of meat the bride would accept after changing her family name.

Vena Wu stood in front of the stove, and grabbed the fruit wine hanging on her waist.

The bottle only contained the necessary amount.

Vena Wu poured the content into the pot nimbly.

The next instance, a bright red flame erupted, and then vanished without a trace.

Uwah… the kins all cheered.

Vena Wu took a step back and pointed to the pot gracefully.

The women shifted half of the firewood to adjust the fire.

The bride and groom walked to the stove, took the skewers from the women and pry open the hamburg steak.

As I watched the bride stuff the meat into her mouth, my work was officially done.

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