A note from zaifyr

Its been a little while since I did a shout out but I got one for you that I think most of you will enjoy.

Casual Heroing (apparently its a rewrite but I have not read the old one). I read all of the available chapters in early release and I had a good time laughing along. It got me several times. The premise isn't quite as absurd as this one but it's pretty close. An NYC Italian baker gets Isekai'd but he doesn't really want to be a hero, he just wants to bake.

Anyways give it a shot, you'll probably like it!

After finishing off the earth demon, I happily trundled toward the library. I tried to collect as much loose dirt and debris as I could along the way, but I couldn't get everything. This whole area would need a real deep clean. I turned the door handle and pushed but felt more resistance than expected. Huh. That was strange. It didn't seem to be locked, so I pushed harder. Finally, the door groaned inward in protest. I saw Beatrice standing across the room, staring in my direction. When she saw me, though, the tension left her shoulders. She smiled and gave me a small wave. I returned it as I retracted my arm. As I entered, I noticed a bookshelf propped up against the door. No wonder why it was so hard to open. Who would have thought that I had gotten so strong?

Anyway, I rolled over to Beatrice to see if she was all right. I ran my advanced sensors over her but didn't find anything unusual. Judging by her appearance, she escaped the situation without any damage sustained. This was a relief. But it also made it two times in a row that she was out of my sight and made it back without any damage. If she had kept this up, I might change my mind about her competence. It might even be time to accelerate her training.

She seemed to have similar ideas. She gave me a slight bow and asked, "Master, can we make a trip to the kitchen and then some of the storerooms? I would like to get some ingredients to make something to work against these earth demons."

I thought about this. Was Beatrice really ready to take on one of those? No, she definitely wasn't. I could barely do it myself, and that was only because they were quite clumsy. But maybe she could help? If she distracted one, I could stay closer to it for longer. Plus, brooms are great for cleaning up dirt. So if she had other tools, maybe some cleaning agents that she could make with her glass containers, perhaps things would go all right.

I suppose there was nothing wrong with an excursion to the kitchens. Humans needed to eat anyway. So we'd have to do that eventually. And while we were out, we might as well get her whatever she needed to prepare. So I gave an affirmative beep of agreement. However, I waited to head out. I was pretty sure that Beatrice needed to rest at this point. She hadn't done so since the bottom of the catacombs. And the walk was just full of excitement. After that much, she would probably be low on battery.

I had her return to her usual spot with her pillow and blanket. I prepared her for sleep mode before I settled down to keep watch.


When Beatrice finished charging, we quickly got ready to go. The path was clear on the way to the kitchens. That was lucky since I could see Beatrice was moving a bit slower than normal. She seemed to be rubbing her eyes a lot and making a strange sound every once in a while. It was somewhere between a sigh and a strange honk, something I wasn't used to humans making. Perhaps she wasn't up to date with her usual maintenance. Maybe that's why she wanted to go to the kitchen, to fix herself up. But if that didn't work, I was going to get concerned.

So I was glad that we made it to the kitchen undisturbed. However, when we got there, things were different from what we had left them. The kitchen had a set of pushable double doors. This made it so that I didn't need to use my grabby arm to enter. However, it apparently also meant that the large demons could get through. There was little left intact. The counters and cupboards were smashed, dented utensils and bowls littered the ground, and even the pantry was in shambles. Beatrice examined the water barrel and found it shattered, wood fragments littering the floor. There was still a small puddle in the cracked bottom of the barrel, from which she drank greedily. However, it was clear we would not be getting what she wanted from here.

I watched as Beatrice spent some time digging through the ruins. I wanted to begin cleaning everything up. However, I wasn't sure what was valuable and what wasn't to her, so I left her to sort through some of it. Soon, I would need to clear the rubble and repair all the damage done. I would repair what I could, but I didn't know how to make cabinets. Perhaps Beatrice could teach me using one of her books?

It only took a couple minutes for her to pick out a few things from the wreckage. She came back to sit beside me, frowning. "There isn't much that I can use from here. This is going to be an issue. There may be some food in other store rooms, but I'm not sure where those are or if those supplies are even still good. Also, I think most of the stuff ready for consumption was kept here. I could try to prepare food myself, given ingredients, but…." She waved an arm towards the disaster area in front of us.

That didn't sound good. I knew humans consumed food like how I consume dust. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't do that. Hopefully, we could find a solution soon. Still, the kitchen was one of many reasons we had come. She also wanted other things. I gave her an encouraging beep; we would figure things out. As she followed, I turned around and began to roll back to the hallway.

The second part of our trip could have gone more smoothly. As we crossed the castle's entryway landing, we saw another dirty mess maker rounding the corner. We both froze. It didn't. It immediately charged at us when our gazes met. Beatrice looked at me, but I didn't have an answer. She brandished her broom and took a combat stance as if to receive the charge. That was a horrible idea. She was much smaller and lighter than even one of the demon's fists, so I quickly darted forward to intercept.

I shined my sanitation lamp directly in the face of the demon. That seemed to get its attention, probably because its head started to dissolve. Then I darted to the side, retreating down the entryway hallway. Sure enough, as soon as it reached the corner, it turned to chase after me. That left Beatrice able to go forward. She seemed to realize what I was doing and ran. I started the now familiar dance that I was getting better at. Weaving around the fists of the demon and in between its legs, I quickly siphoned off a large portion of its mass. But as soon as I ended up behind the thing, I followed Beatrice. I saw she had made it pretty far down the hallway. She looked back at me and slowed as though to stop, but I let out an encouraging beep for her to continue. I would distract this one, leading it while following Beatrice so that I could help her out if needed.

I did just that. I continued dodging the blows and siphoning off mass from the demon, all the while keeping Beatrice in sight. Luckily our destination was pretty close to the corner. As I saw her slip into a side doorway, I focused on whittling away this demon's stature. Already it was 30% smaller. And now, not having to lead it in a certain direction or at a given pace, I focused on staying as close to it as I could. Really once I got used to their movement pattern, fighting them wasn't too hard. No more challenging than getting out a really tough wine stain.

That is to say, it wasn't impossible for me anymore. If I had fought these when I first arrived, I would have been spare parts scattered all along the floor. Now, however, I could handle such a challenge in just over 5 minutes.

Reality came knocking just as I felt a bit of pride in my accomplishments. Further down the hallway, near Beatrice's side room, another earth demon appeared. That was bad. I may have gotten too cocky there. I was still a couple minutes away from finishing off this demon. Luckily, it didn't seem to realize the danger it was in like the last one had, as it was still pounding at me. I also didn't risk getting close enough that it could try to belly-flop on me this time. But with a second one? Now I was going to have to get creative.

I switched to focusing my sanitation lamp on the second demon whenever I had the chance. I twirled desperately around my two foes. Luckily, Beatrice was still inside the room, so I didn't have to worry about her. While I moved, my processor worked overtime trying to figure out a way out of the situation. Unfortunately, I was only getting null values.


Bee ducked inside the lesser store room. It hadn't changed much since she had last been here. Still, she moved in a hurry. She grabbed a few of the bags by the door and found the barrels she needed. She needed a decent amount of crushed ice peppers for the ice potion. She wasn't sure why they were called that. Her mom had been a fan of cooking those savory dishes, but they hadn't ever felt cold on her tongue. That might make more sense if their names had been related to alchemy uses.

When she had finished stuffing those into a bag, she moved on to the following few things on her list. Nothing too abnormal. Ground wheat harvested on the summer solstice and fireflies collected on the equinox were probably the weirdest things here. Otherwise, it was simple things like various types of salts or ground-up herbs that could easily be scooped. She was careful to ensure she got more than she needed for everything. Only after she checked that she had everything on her list did she allow herself to be concerned about the food situation.

It was good that she still had alchemy supplies but running out of food was not good. Sure she'd mentioned to Void that there might have been other stores. But she didn't know where they were and if they were in any better condition. Besides, that was usually unprocessed food. Meat that was still curing or rice or flour. Things that she might not be able to cook without a functional kitchen.

Bee started considering alternatives. Water shouldn't be an issue. She'd have to go out and get it from the well, but that was doable enough. There were also gardens that might be producing sometime soon, so she would have to check on that, and there were animals. But she didn't know how to care for animals, milk a cow, or anything like that. She could maybe get eggs, but she still had to cook them. All of this was assuming that the animals and garden were in better shape, of course.

Either way, she wouldn't have food for a bit. Finally, she found some jerky and a couple of apples, which would only last her a day or two. Food was becoming an issue in general. She was tired of always running out and worrying about her next meal. It would be good to solve this on a more permanent basis.

While the food was an issue that would need a solution, it wasn't her most prominent issue. Her master was protecting her from demons, but she wasn't sure how long the fight would last. She poked her head out to see what was happening, then quickly shut the door again. It seemed that her master was whittling down the first demon they had come across, but it looked like Void might soon be in a bit more trouble. A second demon had come in from the other direction. And this one did not appear to be nearly as small.

Could she really just sit here and watch? Void didn't seem to be having much trouble. But seeing how long it took to finish just one…maybe it needed her help? It didn't seem like this was her master's limit. Perhaps it was just waiting for her help? Well, her uncertainty didn't really matter too much. Bee had decided to act. But, first, she just needed a plan.


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About the author


Bio: After reading pretty much everything I could I figured I would try making some of the stories that I wanted to read.

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