Black Iron’s Glory

Chapter 44 - Making Noodles

Making Noodles

That night, Claude, his little sister and little brother dined in the attic. Their food was quite plain, only some white bread, bacon, potatoes cooked with cow bones, deer meat, and a few baked apples. Even so, Angelina was quite happy with the meal, and Bloweyk was even more pumped. He jumped about nonstop on Claude’s bed, overjoyed. He even played hide and seek behind the pillows with Claude and Angelina.

Claude didn’t know what his parents said to the pathetic piece of crap he had beaten up. But ever since that night, Arbeit was no longer at home. HIs sister told him two days later that he had been sent to Sir Fux’s manor and would be staying there for the time being.

Another two days later, Claude started his horsemanship training in school. As the four of them already knew of the ride, they had a really easy time during the class. They only spent a week to clear the horsemanship course. That meant that in the coming three weeks, they wouldn’t have to attend the two horsemanship class sessions in the afternoon and could go back home earlier.

But there wouldn’t be much to do in returning home earlier. It would be better for them to ride more at school. After all, they had already paid for the cost for two horses, so not attending the class would be a waste of the two thales they paid to rent the horses anyway.

Claude didn’t want to go back home at all. Recently, the atmosphere in his house had been rather off, with his parents looking rather glum. Even though they didn’t express any thoughts about Claude beating up Arbeit, Claude couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty over it.

No matter what, Arbeit was still his elder brother in name. The fact that Claude didn’t tell on him to their parents first and beat him up in front of them was disrespectful to say the least to his parents. At least, that’s how Claude felt about it.

When they weren’t attending the horsemanship classes in school, Claude would be dragged by Welikro and Borkal to fish by the lake. Those two fellows were hooked on fishing lately and they could sit by the lake for the whole afternoon. Whenever they got a catch, they would jump with joy and show it off to Claude, looking more like addicts that anything.

Though Claude didn’t really like to fish, he did enjoy the quiet that came with it. However, he didn’t really really like wasting his time at the lake. Regardless, he didn’t have anywhere else to go. Eriksson was caught up with mending the fishing nets with the women at the docks. Ever since he bought that adult book from the bookstore, he loved to mingle with lots of women. Claude wasn’t the slightest bit interested in listening to the endless stream of gossip the women spread so he’d rather fish instead.

The fishing session was rather uneventful. When it was five in the evening, Claude decided that it would be best for him to go home. He found that there was a guest at his home when he returned. A youth in his early twenties was talking with his mother, with a small square shaped cardboard box placed on the table. It looked like a gift cake from Lisa’s Bakery that was situated in the south of town.

After a while, the young man politely bid farewell and left.

“Who’s he? I’ve never seen him before,” said Calude.

His mother said, “He’s Mister Thomas, our new tenant. He brought us that cake to thank us for renting a room out to him.”

A new tenant? I didn’t hear about anyone moving out.

“Oh, he rented the attic next to yours,” added his mother.

The attic beside? “What about Miss Christina?”

“Oh, that woman has already left Whitestag. Your father worked his way with the boss of the trading firm and he agreed to relocate that woman to some other city elsewhere. She’ll never have any hope of returning for the rest of her life. That way, she’ll never be able to bother Arbeit again.” It seemed that Madam Ferd hated Christina so much that she wasn’t even willing to use her name. Perhaps she was trying to push the blame of Arbeit’s mistakes on her entirely, thinking that it was that woman’s seduction that led his obedient son with a bright future astray from his path.

“That woman left early this morning. To make sure that she leaves town without stirring up any trouble, your father had to give her ten gold krons to seal her mouth shut. What a toxic and greedy woman… She’ll definitely suffer divine retribution. No god would be willing to shield such a promiscuous woman…”

That was a huge financial loss. To make sure that Christina would leave Whitestag silently, Morssen had no choice but to spend a huge sum of money, ten whole gold krons. That was equal to 50 silver thales, half a year of Morssen’s salary. But it couldn’t be helped. Morssen didn’t want the scandal between Christina and his son to spread all over Whitestag and the best option was to send her off with money. This was something he didn’t see coming.

“What are we having for dinner?” Claude hurriedly interrupted his mother’s tirade. This was the first time he had seen his mother so angry since he transmigrated to this world.

“Oh, tonight? The usual, I suppose. Your father said that he wouldn’t be coming home for dinner, and Arbeit won’t be here either, so there’s only the four of us at home.”

“Hmm, how about this, Mother, let’s eat noodles tonight. I think that the noodles I make definitely taste better than the ones they make at Big Fork,” said Claude confidently.

“You know how to make noodles?” asked his mother doubtfully.

“Of course. It’s so simple that I learned it after seeing it a time or two. Mine definitely taste much better though.”

First, he washed his hands and cleaned up the mixing bowl. Then, he poured some flour into it, added water, and three eggs before he mixed them up.

“Why did you add eggs into the mix?” Madam Ferd watched curiously with Bloweyk in her arms as Claude worked away.

“This will make the noodles taste like eggs. It’s far more delicious that way,” Claude said as he kneaded the though and gave Bloweyk’s nose a little pinch, whitening it with flour, “Get down. You’re already six and you still want Mother to carry you? Aren’t you ashamed?”

“Don’t wanna, I wanna see Claude make noodles,” said the child.

“Claude, can I watch too?” said the girl as she joined the fray.

“Alright, just watch from the side. See how I make us some delicious noodles.” Claude kneaded on as he explained, “The noodles I make have to be kneaded with a little more force. That way, it will turn springier and won’t stick to the mouth when you bite it.”

I think there’s a little too much water… No matter, I’ll add some more flour. Sigh, now it’s a little too hard… More water it is.

Claude’s forehead started to sweat. He felt rather like a clumsy housewife. When he added some water one last time, his sweat was almost dripping into the mix. It was almost ready, but the constant cycle of adding water and flour made a little too much though. Even though the mixing bowl wasn’t that huge, more than half of it was filled. Fortunately, his mother and siblings didn’t notice anything was amiss.

After all that kneading, Claude pinched a small bit of the dough and gave it to his mother and sister. “Feel the texture. This is the right degree of stickiness. The noodles they make at Big Fork aren’t kneaded like that at all. Those aren’t really noodles, they’re more like pieces of flour rolled into thin strips. They don’t have any springiness at all after they’re cooked and like to stick inside your teeth.”

It was too bad that he didn’t know how to pull the noodles thin. He couldn’t only press the though until it was paper thin before cutting them into fine, long shapes.

Within another pot in the kitchen, the cow bone soup was cooking. They were going to make simmered potatoes for dinner initially, but the potatoes haven’t been added yet, so Claude decided to use the soup as stock for his noodles.

He cut the potatoes into slices and the broccoli into small chunks. There were too few vegetables in his home and they usually only had those most common vegetables that they’d simply toss into a pot to cook. He had no choice but to stir fry them with some salt and fry four more eggs before he started cooking the noodles.

He then got four large silver plates which they usually used to serve guests and placed the noodles at the center of the plates. After that, he added the potato slices and broccoli chunks around the noodles and poured some delicious soup on them before topping the whole dish off with a fried egg on top. Claude’s beef soup noodles was finally complete.

It tastes great! The little girl at her share with a smile on her face. Both her eyes squinted into small crescents and a look of bliss could be seen on her face.

The chubby little boy on the other hand ate with his hands. He wasn’t that good at using a fork, so he stuffed the noodles into his mouth before slurping the rest in.

“Wow, this really is good. You really outdid yourself there, Claude,” his mother praised. But she turned and saw the large bowl of dough remaining and asked hesitantly, “Are you going to make the rest of it into noodles? Want to leave some for me to bake into bread for tomorrow?”

“That’s fine. By all means, make some bread with it,” Claude said, delighted, “I had forgotten that there’d only be the four of us for dinner. I made a little too much for us to finish cause I kept on adding flour and water. I was wondering what we ought to do with it. Thank goodness it won’t go to waste.”

After finishing a large bowl of noodles, Claude went back up to his attic, satisfied. Noodles were one of his favorite foods in his past life. Had it not been for the noodles he tried at Big Fork, he wouldn’t have thought of trying to make some. In his previous world, all he had to do to get noodles was to buy them off the market. There wouldn’t be a need for him to make them himself at all. He didn’t really know how to make ramen either, so he had only made simple pancakes after he transmigrated.

He couldn’t recall how noodles were made as most of them on sale in the market were machine-made. He only saw it once and it seemed like they only added flour and water to a machine and noodles came out of the other end, piping hot. That was somewhat of an impossibility for him to accomplish, however.

He loved to eat noodles, sweet potato vermicelli in particular. It was made by powdering sweet potato and adding some water into the mix. After that, starch was added in through a sieve and the mixture of dough would be pressed through a holed apparatus, forming it into long, hairlike vermicelli which would then be half-cooked and dried.

However, he wasn’t sure whether the process could be used with normal flour. It might succeed, but he couldn’t experiment with it at home. He figured that he could try it out at Eriksson’s secret base when his father was away, sailing. That way, he would have enough space.

Making noodles was quite the troublesome affair. Claude had considered making different steamed buns but that would require yeast powder, something that was unavailable in this world. He recalled that making bread also needed yeast, so he made a mental note to ask his mother how she did it. If it was possible without yeast, he might be able to find a way to make steamed buns. Now, all he had to do was to find a steamer.

After losing himself in thought for quite a while, he snapped out from his food fantasies.

He was shocked to find that his father spent such a huge sum to get Christina to leave Whitestag. His father had stifled out the scandal from its very root.

Looks like Father is well-prepared to deal with matters such as these. Even though he looks like he suffered a huge loss on the surface, all he needed was for Miss Christina to leave town for a while. Even if she returns in the future and makes a huge fuss over it, it wouldn’t affect our family’s reputation one bit because nobody would believe her. Instead, they would think that she’s intentionally making things up to slander our family and is probably doing so under the instructions of someone else…

But this will only work if that fool Arbeit doesn’t cause trouble and seek out Miss Christina. Even so, Claude was confident that his father would never allow such a thing to come to pass.

The matter was already over. Claude opened his drawer and took out the magic notebook and began translating it.

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