AR Chapter 111: The insanity races.
A couple minutes later, everyone went back downstairs and met up at the lobby. The grimes of travel have all been washed away and signs of fatigue slowly fades from their face.
They pushed open the door leading to the dining area of the inn and was shocked. There were nearly a hundred people chatting about, laughing, drinking, and eating their merry way into the night.[Turnip]: HEY! OVER HERE!
He yelled across the room while waving his flask of beer.
Everyone carefully walked over as to not disturb the merriment of the other restaurant customers. They plopped down at the table where Turnip and five other people were sitting. The table was now fully packed with twelve people.[Turnip]: Let me introduce you to my crew.
He pointed at the other men and women one by one.[Turnip]: This here is my first mate, Radish. [Radish]: How’s y’all doing?
Radish was a tall burley man. He was nearly as tall as turnip and towered over most people in the room. If he wasn’t sitting down, he would certainly be a behemoth. His pale brown hair was short to the point where one could see his scalp. His tanned bronze skin shows how often he spends his time outside under the twin suns. Radish had a wide smile on his face, a smile that one can get used to.[Turnip]: This man here, is my main deckhand, Spud. [Spud]: Pleasure to meet you all.
Spud was a rather average fellow. His height was around middle of five foot and his dark brown hair makes him look very average yet rustic. His skin was a tanned brown similar to Radish. Across his chin was a scar that seems old and faded but never the less, it makes his facial features seem more masculine. He too had a gentle smile.[Turnip]: This here is our resident chef, Scallion. [Scallion]: Hey guys.
Scallion was a woman who looked around her later twenties or early thirties. Her black hair made her facial features more profound. Her skin was pale but not to the sickly point. Her eyes were bronze colored and seem to have a gentle gaze similar to that of a mother. Her height was around the same as Spud and under her left eye was a beauty mark.[Turnip]: And the last two here are my Cannon maestros, Taro and Carrot.
Taro looked at them silently with a depressed glazed look. It seems he had drunken far too much and was trying to forget something. His lavender hair seemed to turn into purple under the dim lights of the oil lamps. On his face were soot marks and his hands had some burn scars on them.
He finally looked up at everyone and with a sigh said hello.
Carrot was beside him trying to cheer him up. Carrot was a young fellow who looks to be in his mid-teens. His youthful face shows concern for the melancholy Taro and was trying his hardest to cheer him up. He turned around to face everyone and cheerfully greeted them.[Carrot]: Hi everyone!
Crule immediately had a question to ask Turnip.[Crule]: By the sounds of it you guys have a ship. [Turnip]: Yep! But it isn’t your average ocean vessel. Rather it’s a sand ship. The best kind of vehicle to traverse the Sangrias sand sea. [Crule]: Oh ho ho, a sand ship? How does that work? [Turnip]: I will gladly show you my magnificent vessel tomorrow. Tonight, we party!
Turf was handed a large beer flask. He chugged it down and slammed it on the table with a satisfying sigh.[Turf]: Good to see you all again! [Scallion]: How was your visit to the mainland? [Turf]: It was a culture shock for sure. I know we have been taught that there were insane technologies outside of the Wild where electricity works but to see it truly for yourself is another thing all together. [Radish]: Ah, sounds amazing. I want to visit someday. [Turf]: I might be able to take you on my next trade trip! [Radish]: Hahaha, you better promise! [Turnip]: So brother-in-law. Are you participating in this year’s grand race? [Turf]: Oh shoot, I nearly forgot about that…I suppose I can but I have to ask my escorts first. [Dante]: A race you say? I never turn down a friendly competition but I need to know what this race is about? [Turf]: It’s a big race that occurs once every three years. [Turnip]: It’s a race across the Sangrias sand sea and back. It traverses along nearly half the desert. It’s a lengthy race that takes up to a week long. It’s also a dangerous race as the monsters of the Sangrias sand sea are no laughing matter. But the prize for winning entices far too many people. [Turf]: I heard this year since the games opened, participants includes those participating in the games. Thus the competition is fierce and HUGE. A few hundred people are participating. [Dante]: Sounds like a challenge I want to take on! [Crule]: What are the rules? [Turnip]: A maximum of six people a team. You’re allow your personal vehicle. The first to cross the finish line wins. The only rule is no murder allowed. Everything else is legal. [Crule]: Including sabotage? [Turnip]: Hahaha, if you were dumb enough to fall for it yes. Yes it is. [Crule]: Now that’s my kind of race. We aren’t in a hurry anyways. [Ming]: *whispers to Crule* This is for fame as well huh? [Crule]: Since participants from the games are included, yes. [Ming]: I look forward to it. [Dante]: So we all agreed. We will participate. [Turf]: Great! [Turnip]: Wonderful! Brother-in-law, you old ship is still out back. It needs a few repairs but it’s still in sailing shape. [Turf]: Thanks for taking care of it while I was gone. [Turnip]: No problem!
The two shared another flask of beer.
The night really kicked off as the food finally arrived.
The first dish was a cold vegetable. Most were chopped carrots, radishes, and turnips that has been washed in cold water, and placed in a vinaigrette. Boiled peanuts were also served as well as salted green soy beans.
When the dishes were nearly finished, the next course came. A boiled green leafy vegetable with clear onions and watercress. One can taste the chicken broth used to boil the vegetable. It had an oily yet refreshing taste.
The next dish was salted preserved fish stir fried with white cabbage. Chili peppers were added to give the dish a vibrant mix of colors. Between the brown and black, were flakes of red and white.
The two dishes were finished off rapidly.
The dish that followed was beef meatballs served with a fennel filling. It had a strong savory flavor that washed away everything else that came before it. It was also quite filling and worked well with the rice they were given.
To clear the pallet for the next few dishes, a refreshing soup made with winter melon, radish, and cilantro. Dried shrimp was included in the soup as well tying all the cleansing flavor together.
The next dish was a large boiling river carp. It was served with a soy sauce and sesame oil blend. The delicious white meat of the carp falls apart like tasted like heaven when dipped in the sauce.
For those who didn’t like fish, another dish was served. It was roasted lizard tail. It was slowly roasted over a fire light by a strong smoking wood. Cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, and many other spices was sprinkled on over the roasting process. It was prepared the same way lamb kebabs were made.
The lizard tails had the chewy consistency of ox tail but due to certain spices and the time it roasted, the meat was practically falling off the bone. It was an overpowering delicious dish that didn’t lose out to the fish.
In the end everyone was satisfied. Dessert was a large assortment of chopped up fruit. Can never have too much fruit when living in a valley near a large desert.
That night, everyone finally slept on a bed and their fatigue fully washed away. Tomorrow is a new day.