Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill

Spoiler Alert!

You don’t believe this.

Even though it’s been about a week now, you still don’t believe this!

***

You were just an ordinary 27-year old salaryman in Tokyo. You read web novels in what little spare time you have, but you never expected to go to another world yourself!

In a ritual meant to summon three heroes, you were accidentally summoned along with three high school students, two girls and a boy.

When the summoners analyzed the four of you, you all had the Item Box and Appraisal skills that all otherworlders have.

The students were found to have a multitude of skills such as holy sword, holy magic, fire magic and so on. Talk about OP!

Your only unique skill was Online Supermarket!

What’s up with that?!

The four of you were brought before the king, who gave a speech about how his kingdom, Reijseger, was in trouble and that only the summoned heroes could save it.

What was more interesting to you was that the king was a fat, old man wearing jewels that cost far, far more than you’d earn in a year!

The princess sitting on the king’s left wore an awfully luxurious, expensive-looking dress.

If Reijseger really was in trouble, could its royal family really afford to live in such luxury?

You then asked for some money and permission to leave. After all, since you weren’t a hero, it’s unlikely that you could count on their hospitality!

The next day, you quickly left the capital to reach the neighboring kingdom of Feenen.

At the next town, you hired a band of adventurers as bodyguards for your journey.

You’ve been cooking meals for them since then.

***

Thinking about all this makes you hungry. Today’s meal is stir-fried pork, made from a giant red boar the adventurers hunted early today.

Well, time to eat!

Hmm?

You look up at the adventurers. Their faces are rigid with fright and shock.

They seem to be looking at something…

…behind you?

Its jaws open…

“HUMANS, LET ME…EAT WITH YOU.”

Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill (とんでもスキルで異世界放浪メシ, Tondemo sukiru de i sekai hōrō meshi) is a light novel series and manga written by Ren Eguchi (江口 連, Eguchi Ren).

On a seemingly typical day, the Tokyo salaryman Tsuyoshi Mukoda is whisked away to another world along with three Japanese high school students. Not only does he learn that his summoning was a mistake, but also that his only unique skill is Online Supermarket. Mukoda and the students are then taken to the king of the Reijseger Kingdom, who explains that his country is currently fighting a losing war with the neighboring Demon Kingdom and they, the summoned heroes, are his people’s last hope. Noticing the king’s generous waistline, the royal family’s expensive-looking jewelry and the throne room’s opulence, Mukoda suspects that the Reijseger Kingdom has less-than-altruistic motives. Deciding to take his chances, the salaryman requests a small amount of money and leaves the castle.

At an inn, Mukoda tries out his Online Supermarket skill and learns that it works like a website from which he can purchase and instantly acquire food and other everyday items from modern-day Japan, from salt, rice, beer and ready-made foods to shampoo, portable stoves (powered by magic) and sleeping bags. After making preparations, he departs for a neighboring country. Along the way, he hires a group of adventurers as bodyguards and prepares their meals using items from the Online Supermarket. One night, they are approached by giant wolf who demands to eat with them! The shocked adventurers tell Mukoda that the wolf is a Fenrir, a powerful, legendary beast and that it would be wise to do as he says. At the end of the meal, the Fenrir learns that Mukoda was the cook and demands to make a familiar’s contract with him. Mukoda reluctantly does so and gives the Fenrir the name Fel.

A merchant’s wife experiences the joys of modern-day shampoo and soap, leaving her wanting more to sell to her friends

Mukoda soon joins the Merchants’ Guild to legally work as a trader and the Adventurers’ Guild to sell the remains of monsters killed by Fel. Although reluctant to fight, he often finds himself dragged by the battle-hungry Fel on dangerous, monster-killing quests. During his adventures, Mukoda befriends a few other creatures and makes familiar contracts with them as well. He also quickly earns a fortune by selling the spoils of his familiars’ hunts and several items from the Supermarket. Mukoda cooks delicious meals for his familiars every day as his part of their contract with him and later regularly sends offerings to some of the world’s deities, who have grown to crave the Supermarket’s unusual snacks and drinks! The former salaryman would rather live a peaceful life, but that’s obviously not going to happen anytime soon.

Left to right: Fel, Mukoda, Sui. It turns out that even a wolf is sensitive about sounding old!

Main Characters

Tsuyoshi Mukoda (向田 剛志, Mukōda Tsuyoshi), a 27-year old adventurer, trader and former salaryman. Friendly, observant, timid and a bit of a coward, he dislikes violence but gradually grows in confidence over the course of his adventures. Although Mukoda usually lets his familiars do his fighting, he is not completely helpless in a fight and can use some fire (e.g. Fireball) and earth magic (e.g. Stone Bullet, Stone Wall), enhanced by blessings given to him by deities in exchange for regular “offerings”. In addition to his Online Supermarket skill, he can also use the Item Box skill, which gives him access to an extra-dimensional space of infinite capacity that can perfectly preserve anything inside. Another notable skill he possesses is Appraisal, which allows him to instantly and accurately identify anything, including magic items. A former part-time restaurant chef, Mukoda is skilled in preparing various dishes, even when using meat from fantastical monsters. Being the only humanoid of his group, he acts as the spokesman whenever they stay at a human settlement.

Fel, a 1,014-year old Fenrir, a legendary wolf beast, and Mukoda’s first familiar. Aggressive, brusque, demanding and proud, he enjoys fighting and judges everyone by how powerful they are compared to him. Accustomed to immediate respect, Fel is often impatient for Mukoda’s cooking. Supernaturally strong and fast and capable of destroying entire countries single-handedly, Fel can kill powerful monsters such as rockbirds, black serpents and chimeras in mere seconds, with dragons among the few creatures who could give him some pause. He is also a powerful magician who can use almost any kind of magic, including wind, lightning, ice, healing and barrier magic. Fel is very knowledgeable about his world’s wilderness and monsters, but is completely ignorant and unconcerned about its civilizations. He is also immune to all diseases, toxins and other debilitating effects thanks to the blessing of his guardian, the wind goddess Ninrir.

With a gesture, Fel slices an Orthrus (two-headed dog) in half!

Sui, a young slime (3 days’ old when found) and Mukoda’s second familiar. Cheerful, curious and loyal, it can consume anything and has grown in power and intelligence as a result, eventually becoming able to speak. Sui is able to shoot bullets of acid, replicate itself and grow to an enormous size. After consuming many healing mushrooms, it is able to create healing potions with its own body. After receiving the blessing of the water goddess Rusalka, Sui gained the ability to use powerful water magic. To Fel’s delight and Mukoda’s dismay, Sui has learned to enjoy fighting. On expeditions, Sui usually resides in Mukoda’s shoulder bag.

Perfect trash disposal where nothing is wasted!

Dora, a 116-year old pixie dragon and Mukoda’s third familiar. Audacious, lively and strong-willed, he has a very casual attitude. Despite his tiny size, Dora is a keen fighter who prefers to charge into his targets like a missile, using magic to augment his body. As a result, he enjoys fighting alongside Fel.

Dora eating kebabs with Mukoda and Sui

Personal Thoughts

An interesting and important dynamic is demonstrated in this story. The main character Mukoda is neither a skilled warrior nor a powerful wizard, but he has skills that contribute to his group’s livelihood. He cooks delicious food for his familiars, provides daily necessities through his Online Supermarket and establishes friendly relations with other people for the group. Fel and Dora are powerful monsters who do the group’s fighting and hunting, allowing them to accomplish difficult quests and acquire the remains of powerful monsters for consumption and skinning. Sui is a slime who can not only fight but also produce clean water and high-grade healing potions. It can also consume trash and unwanted corpses. Each individual is capable in their own way, but they form a formidable team that prospers in and out of battle.

A natural spring in the middle of a forest, perfect for an onsen!

Inevitably, there will be things that we are good at but others aren’t. On the other hand, there are people who are good at things that we aren’t. When people with complementary skills work together, they achieve far more than they would have as individuals. This actually happens in almost every workplace. For example, in a small company that sells televisions, an engineer is responsible for product quality and maintenance, an accountant keeps track of the expenses, a marketer advertises the products to customers and a manager conducts negotiations and keeps the company working as a cohesive whole. Each of these people has unique skills and their own contributions, potentially creating a company with a reputation for customer-friendliness, quality and reliability. Whether their personalities can allow them to work together is another thing entirely!

A lot of the story’s focus is given to Mukoda’s food preparation, emphasizing how a good meal is needed not only for nourishment, but also to improve the eater’s morale and outlook on life. As Fel and the other familiars grow accustomed to Mukoda’s cooking, their friendship with him grows. It reminds me of the saying, “The way to one’s heart is through their stomach.”

Moral

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. People with complementary abilities who work together can achieve more than they could on their own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: