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Servants, Food, & Me

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Road Trip Day: X

There are so many things to see and do in the world! I mean, I knew that before we went on vacation; traveling with Senpai to the singularities showed me that much. You can’t go to Rome, Egypt, or cross the entire United States without realizing that. But most of our journey was spent fighting monsters and servants; we’re so busy saving the world we didn’t really get time to explore.

 

Well, I did explore little, but you can't tell Senpai that. Not that you can, you're just a digital log entry…I'll just have to make sure Senpai doesn't see this myself. They can't know I gave anything less than 100% to helping them out, no matter how interesting the winding roads were.  

 

Now that we aren’t in a hurry, I’ve just realized how big the world is. Normally we’re running from place to place (or being catapulted from place to place, I really hope we don’t do that again) and with a Servant’s speed, it didn’t take that long to cross entire countries. The cars we’re using now are slower; Da Vinci said she wanted a leisurely trip. Every time I look out the window, the scenery is so different—I never knew there could be so many different kinds of cities or even trees. Every time I blink, I miss something.

 

Last night, Da Vinci pulled out a map and put pins on all the places we’ve gone to. Amazingly, that’s just a tiny fraction of the world! One day, I would like to see every city on that map. With Senpai, of course. I wonder if they like travelling? Ishtar happened to be floating by and she declared we needed to eat out more often. I think Romani was trying to save money by having Emiya cook. When I told her that, she snorted and said we had royalty and gods with us, so money wasn’t an issue. (I don’t think that’s true.) She also said that no matter how good a cook Emiya was, we needed to try new things. Later, I’ll tell Emiya that a goddess complimented his cooking. I’m sure that’ll make him happy!

 

Funnily enough, Hokusai poked her head in and agreed with Ishtar. She pulled out these little sculptures she’d made (I guess she’s not only a painter) and placed them on the board at the places she wanted to visit. Apparently, Paris is a great place to eat. And to pick up women, but I’m sure Senpai won’t do that.

 

Probably.

 

Well, even if Senpai did, they have their hands full with all of us. I’m not sure it was a great idea to go on vacation with every servant, but Senpai didn’t want to leave anyone behind. They’re really admirable but I’m worried about their health. It must be exhausting keeping us all around. I’ll have to make sure to keep an eye out for them. Maybe one day I can pay them back, impress them like they’ve impressed me.

 

The little figurines Hokusai made are really cute! There’s one for the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower, and the Pyramids. Shuten put down one that was shaped like a wine glass on Italy and said we had to go there. Italy is filled with many, many vineyards and “we can’t miss even one delectable ambrosia,” as she put it. Excited, Da Vinci started booking some tours, but Romani quickly vetoed the whole thing. I think he regretted saying anything immediately, since all four servants glared at him.

 

Now that I’m remembering it, I might have to protect him. Shuten is an assassin, after all.

 

When we started talking about food, it was funny how red Ishtar got after all of her suggestions. Apparently, she really wanted to eat burgers. The second she said that, she looked at everyone like she was waiting to be insulted, saying that she knew a goddess shouldn’t eat such poor food. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it myself.

 

Shuten said she wanted to have some Baijiu. Romani started to point out that it was alcohol too but the second she looked at him, he shut up…

 

I am definitely checking up on him when I’m done writing. Maybe Senpai and I can sleep with him tonight, just to make sure nothing happens.

 

“Obviously, I’ll have pasta,” Da Vinci said, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to find a way to go to those vineyards. Houksai said she was fine eating anywhere there were beautiful people so she wanted to go to a runway in Milan to eat. Maybe we’ll get to see a fashion show too, that would be really interesting!

 

It’s funny, but Archer is such a good cook, I sometimes forget that even he can’t cook everything. Even with Tamano Cat and some of the other servants pitching in to help, there are a lot of dishes we don’t get at Chaldea. I think I want to try eating some of the curries in India; we don’t really get spicy food that often. Hopefully, my tongue won’t burn too much.

 

I wonder what Senpai wants to eat?

 

-Mash

 

 

Road Trip Day: X

Remember that map I talked about before? Well, we got to fulfill Ishtar’s dreams first! America’s huge, far bigger than any of the other countries we’ve been to. I should have expected that when we criss-crossed the country before, for that singularity, but there’s something still very impressive about it. Every place here looks so different from one another and somehow they all fit in one country! And the roads are so long, somehow we can go for hours without seeing a major city.

 

Anyways, when we stopped for lunch today, we got burgers. Emiya wrinkled his nose when we entered, but he didn’t say anything. I think he’s feeling a little jealous these days since he hasn’t had to cook much. When we get back, I’ll make sure to ask him for food.

 

The restaurant was a big place, with plenty of booths to sit in, but no place is big enough to fit all of us in it. Artoria practically dashed to the counter and immediately ordered every burger on the menu. Senpai looked at the queue of sabers and said that we should take turns, so the place wasn’t entirely overwhelmed. Considering how much Camelot’s King eats, in all of her forms, I thought Senpai’s plan was doomed to fail from the start. Don’t tell Senpai that, though. They’re trying their best to make sure we all have an equally fun vacation.

 

Despite Senpai’s suggestion, Mordred joined the queue of Artorias, looking really happy that she could eat with her fathers. I wonder what she thinks about having so many dads, it must be complicated.

 

Ozymandias and Cleopatra weren’t really interested in eating commoner’s fare, as they put it. They opted instead to dine with Gil and Iskander and they had a picnic outside. I think they missed out, personally, but I can see why they didn’t want to come. Can you imagine Gil eating a burger, ketchup dripping down his hands, mustard on his lips? He’d destroy the restaurant and us in it.

 

Nitocris looked really nervous when the other pharaohs asked her to join them. She said yes but kept playing with her hands and looking away at us. There was something really frantic about the way she did that. Thinking it was a secret message, I winked and gave her a thumbs up. It must have been the wrong thing because she looked really depressed after that. Luckily, Senpai was much better at reading minds because they asked Nitocris to join us. Even then, Nitocris hesitated until Ozymandias clapped her on the back, pushing her forward. He asked her to tell him what commoners ate these days. Wouldn’t it be better if he just joined us then?

 

Still, he, Cleopatra, and Nitocris look really close. Hopefully I’ll be that close with Senpai too one day.

 

Sheba joined us as well. I wonder why, she didn’t seem like the type to like such places. By the time we got in, the staff looked exhausted. Ishtar was worried but luckily they still had food left. Did they know that they fed royalty and gods today?

 

There were so many burgers on the menu, I didn’t know what to pick. Nitocris kept muttering under her breath how she had to pick the most dignified burger. How do you decide what a ‘dignified burger’ is? Ishtar didn’t have any issues; she ordered three different ones with extra fries and double patties. When we looked at her, she huffed and said she wanted to try multiple ones and “I’m a goddess, I can eat whatever I want to! Stop judging me!”

 

I wasn’t judging her!

 

Senpai picked a simple burger and I copied them. That way, we could compare later.

 

The servers kept staring Sheba the whole time. Actually, everyone kept staring at her. Sometimes they’d look at Ishtar and Nitocris but then they’d go back to her. I wonder what part was stranger: her clothing or her ears? I’ve gotten used to it by now, but I keep forgetting it’s not normal everywhere else.

 

The burgers they gave us were huge! I could barely fit my hands around them and ketchup and pickles kept falling out of the bun. It was a messy, messy meal. By the end of it, Senpai’s hands were covered in ketchup and pickle juice and there was a stain on her shirt. Oddly enough, Sheba didn’t have any issues. While I kept having small nibbles, she ate the whole thing in big, quick bites. I guess she was really hungry.

 

Oh, Senpai’s calling me! We have to do laundry today so our clothes don’t stain.

 

-Mash

 

 

Road Trip Day: X

 

Karna and Arjuna were at it again today. Well, ‘at it’ makes it sound like they always fight, which isn’t exactly the case. They’re old friends (kinda, at least I don’t think they’re rivals anymore) and they often are on the opposite sides of things. Actually, putting it like that really makes it sound like all they do is fight. But they don’t argue like, say, Nero and Elizabeth.

 

No one fights like those two.

 

Karna came out of nowhere and asked Senpai if he could take them out for lunch. With all that Senpai’s done for him, he wanted to show a little gratitude and give something back. He’s so considerate! Of course, Senpai being Senpai, they said that it wasn’t needed (they’re so kind!), but Karna insisted. As we headed out, Arjuna appeared and asked if he could treat me! I think he didn’t want to be one-upped by Karna but I haven’t really done anything to get any thanks. When I said that, he shook his head and said that I helped out a lot. That without me, Senpai might not have made it as far as they did.

 

I’d never thought about it like that. While I’m sure Senpai would have figure something out, I’m glad to think I was of some use.

 

Senpai and I were dragged to a diner, and Jinako tagged along because she thought it looked fun. The diner was very old. Or at least, it seemed really old. It looked like something from an old movie, where boys in gelled hair and leather jackets ask out girls in pretty pink dresses. You might be wondering how I know about that—Senpai and I have been watching movies lately! They wanted to share their favourites with me, especially after they found out I didn’t really watch that many movies before now. Actually, I haven’t read that many books either. Maybe I can ask Senpai for their favourite books too.

 

The one we watched recently was filled with dancing, singing teenagers. I spent most of lunch hoping Senpai would ask me dance, but they didn’t understand my hints. I’ll try again next time.

 

The diner had a checkered floor and our shoes clicked as we made our way to a booth. There was a really warm atmosphere to the place, cozy-like, and I wanted to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate. Arjuna ordered an ice cream sundae; it came in a long glass and looked like a flower. It was very pretty. And tasty—Arjuna almost gulped it all down. Only when his head hurt did he stop. I think that was his first brain freeze.

 

The item on the menu that caught my eye was a chicken and waffle sandwich. They use waffles instead of bread! It was weird; waffles are for breakfast! You have them with syrup! But I was having them with fried chicken and it would have been weird to add syrup to that. Still, it didn’t taste that bad. I think I might try it again.

 

Karna wasn’t going to order anything but Senpai forced him too. He always looks so surprised when we worry over him; I’ll have to remind him more often how important he is! As considerate as ever, Karna ended up ordering a platter with chili and sandwiches and shared it with Jinako.

 

While we ate, old music played. There was a machine in the diner called a ‘jukebox’. If you put a coin in it, it’ll play a song. It had a limited selection of music and most of the songs were old hits. Apparently, this was how people used to listen to music, before they had cellphones. Senpai said the music was very nostalgic. I didn’t understand how, but I was glad Senpai liked it!

 

When the bill came, Arjuna and Karna kept tugging back and forth on it. Both of them insisted that they should be the one to pay, that it was their treat. In the end, Senpai grabbed the bill and said it was their treat now. Karna argued that we shouldn’t waste a dime on someone like him, but that only made Senpai mad. They growled that if Karna every said anything like that again, he was going to help Emiya in the kitchens for a month.

 

Considering how much the Artorias eat, I wouldn’t wish that one anyone.

 

I’m going to watch another movie with Senpai tonight. I wonder what they’ll pick this time.

 

-Mash

 

 

Road Trip Day: X

 

Hokusai must have been very happy today, as we are in Paris! I didn’t see her all day so I think she was out drawing people. Or picking up women. I hope it’s not the latter. Da Vinci told her earlier that if she wanted to paint a beautiful person, then she should just draw her. Hokusai said she didn’t want to draw anyone that old.

 

It was a horrific fight. If Hokusai brings back anyone, they’ll be in danger.

 

There were so many things to see here! There was the Eiffel Tower--we climbed the stairs since the elevator was so long. Senpai looked exhausted after that and I offered to carry them on my back. Unfortunately, they declined. The view from there was nice, especially as we got higher and higher. Jeanne D’Arc offered to translate for us since all of the tourist information was written in French. She was like a knight in shining armour. I’ll have to study that when we get home.

 

After that, we went to the Louvre since it was nearby. Did you know there was a glass pyramid there? It’s a lot smaller than the real ones but it is completely see-through. Inside it there’s an escalator that takes you down to buy tickets and enter the museum. It’s kinda like being in a spy movie, with secret entrances and hidden rooms!

 

None of the pharaohs looked impressed by the pyramid. Actually, Nitocris was really excited at first, declaring that Egypt had successfully conquered Paris. Ozymandias stepped in then, crossing his arms and sneering at the pyramid. Apparently it was too small to be considered anything worth while, a terrible imitation of a pyramid. Cleopatra declared it wasn’t cute enough. I didn’t know pyramids could be cute.

 

That’s when Marie Antoinette stepped in. Unable to take it anymore, she announced that we were going to see France in all her glory. Starting with brunch, of course. As the queen of the country, it was her duty to show us all of the beauty of Paris, from food to the arts. Or so she said—I don’t think they were really insulting France, but she was so enthusiastic about it that I didn’t want to stop her.

 

We ate at a restaurant where we could see the Louvre. There, we got an amazing spread of cheese, croissants, puffed pastries, and other French treats. For just a little while, I could see what it was like to be queen. Did Marie eat this every day, I wonder? What did the pharaohs have? When we go to Egypt, I’ll ask them to take Marie and us out.

 

I liked the tarts the best. They were soft, fruity, and with a little hint of sugar sprinkled on top. If only we could have one every day for breakfast. Senpai’s a messy eater, so a light coating of sugar ended up on their nose. Sadly, they wouldn’t let me wipe it off. Nitocris kept playing with the crossiants—she put one on one of her Medjeds, saying that they now had a French hairstyle. The pastry was really flaky (and buttery!), I hope the Medjeds can wash themselves.

 

Cleopatra looked the happiest to be there, even happier than Nitocris, which I didn’t think was possible. She kept trying different treats, taking a bite out of everything she saw. If she didn’t like it, she slipped it under the table for a Medjed to take. Senpai said that that was what it was like to have a pet dog. I’ll try that with Fou next time.

 

Out of all of them, Ozymandias was the least interested in the food. Despite Marie’s best attempts, he preferred to drink wine instead. At 11 am, I think it was too early to drink (though Shuten probably would be on his side). He kept swirling his glass, looking out the window at the pyramid. In the end, he declared that while the pyramid was still substandard, the wine was not. That there was some value to France, after all.

 

Marie didn’t seem to like that at all. I think she wanted him to like the food too. After this, she’s going to take us out to more places like her former palace! If it’s anything like the Louvre, it’ll be huge. My feet are still sore from walking through the giant museum. They had everything in there; I didn’t see even a fraction of all the paintings and sculptures they have. I’m not sure if I can take a second palace that big.

 

-Mash

 

 

Road Trip Day: X

 

While we spent most of our trip inside proper hotels (Romani says it’s because it’s a vacation and we deserve the best, but sometimes I look at Da Vinci and I’m not sure that’s the real reason), today we went camping. It’s really dark right now and I’m writing this in front of a slowly dying campfire. I feel like I’m a pioneer, only without the quill ink and paper scroll. We’ve been in cities so much and something’s always happening at home, so I kind of forgot what it’s like when it’s quiet. Like it used to be, back when it was just me, Romani, and Da Vinci. There aren’t too many servants awake right now and while I feel like I’m in the middle of a tent city, it also feels like I’m the only person in the world right now.

 

It’s kind of hard to describe why. The fire’s crackling softly and I can hear all sorts of wild animals in the distance. Hooting owls, chattering raccoons, the rustle of squirrels running through the trees. If I look up, the stars spread endlessly above me. I could stare at them for hours. They make me feel small.

 

I might have spent too much time with Murasaki; I’m starting to sound like a poet!

 

Bunyan was very happy that we’re camping. Forests like this one are her home and she wanted to sharpen her blade on some nearby trees. Senpai stopped her, saying that they couldn’t do that in a national park. Romani looked very relieved when she agreed; I think he wanted to stop her too.

 

We had breakfast for dinner tonight. It was so strange! Instead of our usual meal, we had pancakes. There was something funny about eating pancakes in the middle of the night, before I sleep instead of when I wake up. This time, since we weren’t near any restaurants, Emiya volunteered to cook our pancakes. He might have missed running the kitchen, though he really should take the time for a break too.

 

Abigail was very happy to have pancakes. She and Shuten sat down next to Bunyan, who was making her own pancakes. Apparently Emiya’s pancakes weren’t light and fluffy enough for her. I didn’t think Shuten would be that interested in pancakes, but she eagerly took one of Bunyan’s. Then she poured a bottle of sake on it.

 

I have had pancakes before. You’re supposed to use syrup on it, not alcohol! Does it even taste good that way? Well, Shuten thought so at least. She sighed happily with each bite. With her plate (that was more like a bowl), she practically drowned the pancake in alcohol. Abigail watched her the entire time and when she got her second pancake, she asked if she could also have some. Shuten was feeling really generous, so she started to pour it on Abigail’s and Bunyan’s.

 

I wonder if Shuten just wanted someone to drink with, especially since we didn’t go to a vineyard? I won’t tell Romani about this. She wanted to give me some sake too, but Senpai happened to be nearby and stopped her before she could. Now I’m curious to know what that tastes like.

 

Even without sake, the pancakes were delicious. They were so soft and fluffy, they almost melted on my tongue with the sweet, sugary maple syrup. I ended up getting thirds. After that, we made smores. They’re made by combining chocolate, marshmallows, and crackers. When they’re made right, they just melt into each other. Senpai and Bunyan were good at that. I’m not. I kept burning the marshmallows or they’d melt off my stick and hit the ground. We’re camping for a few more days, hopefully I’ll get it right next time. As kind as ever, Senpai gave me some of their smores.

 

It was the sweetest dessert I’ve ever had.

 

Oh, I heard a coyote! I think I’ll stop writing here today, I want to spend a little time just sitting here, listening.

 

-Mash

 

 

Road Trip Day: X

 

After all the food we ate, I want to try to make something for everyone. Nothing big, I’m not good enough at cooking for that yet. It’s just that…well, we went to so many places and tried so many different foods…I guess you can say I’m feeling inspired! Our vacation isn’t over yet, so I can’t cook at Chaladea’s big kitchen, but maybe I can make a tiny meal for Romani, Da Vinci, and Senpai.

 

We’re in Singapore. When I told him what I was doing, Astolfo said he wanted to tag along. Apparently he likes to visit different markets and sample food. That way, he can have a little bit of everything. While Astolfo is usually very cheerful, his voice was quieter and sadder when he said that. One of his friends didn’t get to see much of the world, so he wants to experience it for him. Maybe he’s keeping a diary too, filling it up with stories and pictures like I am. I hope one day he can share it with his friend. It’d be nice if they could travel together.

 

Sometimes I’ve seen him and Jeanne talking together. They don’t like exactly sad, but they aren’t happy either. Maybe they both miss the same friend. Next time, I’ll ask her to join us—it’d be great if they could make some happy memories too.

 

Singapore is a small country, more like a giant city than a country really. It’s so easy to travel here even without Da Vinci’s help—the public transit takes you everywhere. The ground is really clean too, I haven’t seen a place like that since we went to Kyoto. There was a sign on the subway that said we couldn’t take any durians on it. I made sure not to use that.

 

The hardest part of today was choosing what market to visit. There are several different cultures here, so there are many unique markets. There’s an Indian market, with the scent of spices wafting through the hair. There’s a Chinese market, filled with brightly coloured stalls and small pop up shops. There’s a Malaysian market and, well, there’s just a lot of places to buy food here! Even when you go to the mall, there were markets in the basement to buy food. We went through one that had narrow corridors and dozens of small shops trying to sell snacks to us. It was hard to walk, not just because of the space, but also because I didn’t know where to look. Luckily, Astolfo was used to this, so he led me from shop to shop, asking for samples. I don’t think I could have done that on my own; I would have felt guilty for not buying anything after.

 

It’s impossible to list everything we ate, but I’ll try! There were dumplings: fried, boiled, stuffed with pork, beef, shrimp, covered in sauce or covered in nothing. We had a chili crab, which was a bit hot. There was a famous chicken curry from a small shop that apparently had a Michelin star! It was kind of funny, I was going to a world-famous restaurant but I didn’t have to dress fancy. The line for that one was long. We had Kaya jam on toast—I don’t think I’m fond of it, but it was something different.

 

Astolfo actually had a list of signature dishes he wanted us to try. He must have done a lot of research before we left for this trip. I think I might have eaten too much; even now, hours later, I’m full. I don’t need dinner tonight.

 

The nice thing was that a lot of food could be eaten while we walked. Astolfo grinned at me when I ate grilled eel, and said it was nice to travel with others for once. He called it a date—I would have dressed up nicer if I’d known! He’s far prettier than me. Everyone kept turning to stare at him when we passed by. I’m sure even Senpai would have looked at him if they were here.

 

Emiya had given us a list of things to buy while we were out. Mangos, apples, a selection of crabs—I think he’s going to try to make a dish from Singapore. Some of the items on the list were new to me, I wonder what they taste like. While I expected to see many new sights when we travelled, I didn’t think about all the new sounds, tastes, and smells I’d experience too. This journey has been a lesson in just how vast the world is, and just how much of it I didn’t know anything about. How much I still don’t know now, even after all that we’ve done.

 

It’s nice. There’s still so much to do. I don’t think I can ever get bored.

 

Anyways, while I can’t eat dinner, this doesn’t mean Senpai, Da Vinci, or Romani will be skipping it! It’s almost dinner time and I need to start cooking. To be honest, it’s kind of intimidating to eat all the delicious food here and then try to make something. Maybe I can ask Emiya for some tips.

 

-Mash