Ciel nosurge/Countdown Festival - Ar nosurge Short Story by Ryo Izumi

This story was originally posted on the Gust website as part of the Countdown Festival celebrating in anticipation of the release of Ciel nosurge OFFLINE and Ar nosurge PLUS.

Original story can be found here:

"Hey Delta, this place isn't doing very well is it..."

"You're saying that after you took over my restaurant, Nay?"

"Naya au Francais", a restaurant found inside Soreil, was open but showed no sign of patronage. Originally it was Delta's shop, but Nay had become the current manager.

"It was like this when you were running shop, Delta, so maybe it's just too late?"

At that point Cas, who had come along with Delta, interjects, "It's just the kind of place that has a small but dedicated following."

Hearing that desperate excuse, Delta let out a small breath and turned to face the girls. "Not really a small dedicated following, more like nobody ever comes, period."

"It's like Cas said. The lack of customers is a matter of life and death. This problem needs to be dealt with soon!" Nay then murmured to herself as she began thinking. After three laps around the counter she suddenly has a flash of inspiration.

"I know! There's no signature menu in here! If there's a strong seller then our reputation will spread further!"

"But to me, salted rice is a pretty signature dish..."

Cas shakes her head. "That's not a signature dish, that's the ONLY dish. And it isn't very good either."

"What?! Cas, don't you always eat it when you come visit?!"

"That's the only thing on the menu, how am I supposed to eat anything else?"

"It's okay Cas, calm down. While it could be said that I've increased the size of the menu, there isn't anything that would make you say, 'Oh, this is Naya au Francais'. But I just had an idea." Nay quickly scribbles out a note on a piece of paper.

"This is the next generation of this place's menu!"

The note she presents them is for a recipe. Generally speaking you could call it a mixture. Essentially a list of various special ingredients to be combined together. Things like consumer electronics, some food items, even some various kinds of military equipment. This time it barely even seems like cooking.

"I'm going to show the two of you a new world, hold on just a moment." Leaving the two of them bewildered, Nay begins following the recipe.

"It's done! I present to you the new signature dish, 'Blasting Powder Burger'!"

"Nay, are you saying that this burger is a bomb...?" Cas asks in a tone that is begging to be told she's wrong. Somehow though the Blasting Powder Burger definitely seemed like it deserved its name.

"Bomb Burger would just be a big name. The Blasting Powder Burger is different though!"

Delta nods emphatically, "Oh I get it, nice!"

"Oh Delta! As expected, you've got good instincts."

"It's called Blasting Powder because it's an explosively spicy burger, right!"

Nay sighs, ".... ah. So it's your fault this place wasn't doing well."

"Wait a minute! It's the restaurant that wasn't doing well, not me!"

Cas cuts in, "Delta it's YOUR fault the store wasn't doing well."

"Why do you have such a problem with me, Cas?!"

As the two of them launch into their usual comedy routine, Nay interrupts with a small cough to gather their attention.

"In reality, just as the name suggests, the secret ingredient is Blasting Powder!"

"Are you trying to kill someone?!"

"Just relax, just relax. What kind of store would keep something dangerous like that on-hand."

Delta and Cas glared at Nay through squinted eyes, wondering if maybe she means she isn't going to serve it here.

"The amount of blasting powder is specially adjusted. When you eat it, it should just burst and pop lightly in your mouth creating an interesting texture."

"... should?" Hearing these words from someone who clearly hasn't tested how it tastes caused Delta to break out in an uncomfortable sweat. This pattern has happened before...

"Okay Delta, give it a taste!"

"Seriously! You made it, why don't you try it Nay!"

"What are you saying? Food is for customers. If the owner eats anything it's just to check the seasoning."

"Even though I'm the real owner..."

"Oh don't worry, it's fine. Here, you can sit right here. How about you Cas, want to try a bite as well?"

"Oh I think I'll pass," Cas refuses in a weary tone.

Giving up, Delta carefully eyes the hamburger. "Nay, can I really trust you when you say this is okay...?"

"Come on, just dive in, boom!"

Boom!! At the same time that Nay spoke those words the burger explodes as Cas was setting down on the placemat. A silence settles on the room.

"Nay?" Delta and Cas's voices query in unison.

"Ahaha, okay come on, come on, just dig in, it'll make you feel better!"

"Like hell it will! It just exploded!"

"Oh don't worry, I'm sure it's fine. Probably."

Nay begins chasing Delta to try and force him to eat. Watching this unfold, Cas cuts in, "Um, I'm going to go see if I can pull in some customers."

Delta cries out, "Ah! Cas is running away! It was my turn to pull in customers today!"

"Wait you two! What about this food!" Nay tosses out a pouting look as the two of them fly out of the restaurant. Delta thought to himself that his body wouldn't hold out long enough for a new menu to be developed. It might actually be for the best if fewer people came after all.

"And it's supposed to be my restaurant too..."

It seemed like it would be long time before Naya au Francais found it's signature dish.

Ryo Izumi (和泉 亮)
Writing for Light Novels, Games, etc.

Translated by:
Nathan Buck (blackraen)