Living My New Café Life With My PTRD-41
Waking up, I massaged my stiff shoulders as I glanced at the small figure besides me. We ended up talking through quite late into the night and I was just a little bit sleepy still, but I needed to hurry and get ready for the day. I glanced over at the wooden slab that the owner called a bed and saw it already empty. I felt a little guilty about that, but it couldn’t be helped.
I got up and very quietly did some stretching to get my body ready for the morning. It wasn’t as if I had to stretch, but stretching helped reduce fatigue and soreness. With having to sleep on my PTRD-41, I imagined that without regular stretching, I’d end up in a lot of pain. It wasn’t exactly comfortable to sleep on, after all.
With my light exercise done for the morning, I slung my PTRD-41 onto my back. Without it, I couldn’t do much at all. I was thankful that my clothes were blessed to not vaporize when I used them, but I wasn’t about to test just how far that blessing went—if they disappeared, I’d have no clothes left.
I considered putting Alice on the bed, but I had no idea what sort of havoc that may cause. A lot of things were possible there and I wasn’t about to risk it. Instead, I left quietly as to not disturb her rest and went downstairs. The owner was checking the stock of meat, so I walked over.
“Is that enough meat?”
“Hmmm... Hard to tell. If possible, I’d like to have double this amount, but even with our muscles, rabbits are hard to hunt. You never know how large the herd is and pick a fight with the wrong herd, next thing you know, you have a wall of teeth rushing you. This limits the number of people that have enough muscles to hunt.”
“But it sounds like this wasn’t an issue before, did something change?”
“Some monkeys started a war with us, declaring something about liberating their ancestors. We had to send some muscles to the war front.”
I mulled over the information a little. It seemed that monkeys were evolved from humans? That was a bit different, but I suppose that is just what it meant to be in a different world. I couldn’t rely on my preconceptions. If monkeys evolved from humans though, I wonder if this world even had octopi and squids. Regardless, I decided to offer to help with the meat situation.
“If it helps, I could go hunting for some rabbits.”
“Huh? You want to hunt some rabbits? Are you mad? You’d definitely die. Do you know how many pets die each year trying to gift their owners with fresh meat? I’m thankful that you brought some meat, but I can’t allow you to die.”
“Look, I already killed a herd. The meat I gave you was from that herd”, I spoke confidently, then muttered my next words, “And after that experience, I don’t think I have any qualms killing a few herds.”
“You don’t have to lie. No matter how sturdy you might be, there is no way you managed to hunt an entire herd. You have no muscles.”
“You don’t have to believe me, I’ll just come back in a bit with some meat.”
The keep shook his head, “I can’t let you go in good conscience. If you try, I’ll break your legs. Bones can heal, lives can’t be recovered. It might not be right to take a stray by force, but I will if I must.”
This guy was seriously misunderstanding something. My body wasn’t just sturdy. It was absurdly so. I didn’t exactly want to try pushing it, but I figured that gathering some meat was fine. It was something I’ve done before. “It will be fine. I’ll be back soon.”
I turned to the door and began to walk out when I felt a hand grasp my shoulder, squeezing tightly. Really, I appreciated his kindness, but this was taking things a bit too far. I gripped his hand and peeled it off my shoulder before giving him the coldest stare I could.
“This can’t be! How can you be overpowering me without muscles?”
“I told you, right? I’ve been cursed by the goddess. It seems you’ve misunderstood just what that means. Anyone that can survive that isn’t normal. Some of the others may have been content with living out their lives as a pet, but I have a goal. I appreciate your kindness, but it is unnecessary. I’ll be back soon.”
I let go of his hand and walked out the door. Yes, I had a goal. To become the best café waitress in the world. I would need to build up some travel funds, but I wanted to be unparalleled. I prided myself in being able to provide the guests what they needed and I truly enjoyed watching over our guests.
For this reason, there was no way I could ignore the café keep’s plight. It would be one thing if it had been another café, but so long as I intended to work there, I intended to provide the very best service. Our guests would receive only the best service we had to offer and nothing less. If that meant dealing with a few rabbits, so be it. I had a bit of a grudge anyway.
Asking around to figure out the best place to find rabbits, I made my way to the western gate. I had entered from the southern gate, so it wasn’t that hard to find. The guard at the gate seemed a little surprised to see me, but otherwise let me through without an issue, even warning me about the rabbit herds and where they were concentrated.
Of course, I thanked the guard for the helpful tip. I doubt he realized I would be going straight towards those areas, but it was helpful all the same. I found a nice meadow and looked around for a tree or something I could climb. Finding one, I made my way to it and climbed it before any bunnies spotted me.
I sat down and carefully used the branches for support as I looked for a rabbit. I spotted a group almost immediately and unslung my PTRD-41, taking aim. A loud crack shot through the air and the force snapped a few branches I had been using, causing me to lose my balance until I was hanging upside down on a larger branch.
Fortunately, I managed to hook my leg on that larger branch and kept myself from falling completely. Unfortunately, I must have hit one of the rabbits as I could see a mass of fur stampeding towards me. Ah, what a pain this was going to be. I fired a few shots at the growing mountain of gnashing teeth, but eventually, the branch snapped from the repeated shocks and I ended up falling into that mountain of teeth.
It hurt. A lot. Angry from the constant pain of being bitten, I decided to start swinging and before I knew it, I had spent the early morning bopping rabbits in the head. The entire area near the tree was painted with red splotches and twitching fur. I needed to collect the meat quickly, so I hurriedly moved along and threw everything into my inventory. Once I finished, there was no way I would make it back to town in time, so I looked for a bush or something similar.
Finding such a bush, I quickly ran over to use it as cover while I picked some flowers. The bush... vaporized. Right, the curse. How exactly was the stupid, vindictive goddess expecting me to... don’t tell me...
Needless to say, it worked. If you can’t figure out what worked, don’t worry about it. It is no big deal. I ended up returning to the city. The guard, recognizing me, let me through pretty easily, although he did raise an eyebrow at me as I approached. I made my way back to the café, where the keep rushed up to me and checked me all over, asking if I was okay. I waved him off and started setting out the rabbit meat.
“Is this enough for today?”
“More importantly, are you okay?”
“Of course. I told you already, my body is sturdy. If I can survive sky diving without a parachute, I’m pretty sure a few rabbits aren’t going to kill me”, I responded fairly coolly considering the trauma of being dropped from an absurd height, then muttered, “Although, I suppose if there are enough of them, they could suffocate me.”
“No matter how sturdy you are, you are just a stray! Just how much were you bitten?”
“I mean, I was bitten a lot, but it is fine. More importantly, we have to prepare—”
“It can’t be fine! Look at all the blood! We need to get you bandaged up right away!”
“Hmm?” I looked down at myself and on a more careful look, I saw some red liquid dripping down onto the floor. Well, I suppose that bashing in the heads of rabbits over and over as they swarm you would result in quite an amount of blood spraying onto you. Of course, I thought that the keep’s reaction was a bit overblown given that my uniform was still in relatively pristine condition. Nothing a bath... I couldn’t use a bath. How exactly would I clean myself...
“Is there a room I can borrow with some water to wash myself and my clothes? I think that all of this blood is from the rabbits, not me.”
“Certainly, I’ll get a room ready right away.”
Well, he certainly flew off like a flash. I continued to ready the meat while I waited for the keep to return. It was monotonous work, but I did enjoy seeing the rounds cover the counter. I continued until I heard the keep calling. Going through the kitchen made me worry a little about sanitation, but I figured that I could clean it up later. I ended up in the back of the café where a little bathroom had been prepared with water, fresh clothes, towels, and a huge pile of bandage, splints, and other first aid items.
Yeah, that was definitely a bit much. Still, I shooed the keep out of the room after he insisted on helping me bathe and get me bandaged up. I quickly grabbed some water for my ammunition box and also put the blood on me in the box as well. I wondered just how big this box was...
One way or another, I was quickly finished. I checked myself for any injuries just in case, but it seemed that my body really was sturdier than it looked since I found not even a scratch on my body. Given what I read in the note, I suspected that my body was impervious to heat, extreme pressure, and long drops. I might even be able to survive suffocation for a while, but I definitely didn’t want to test that.
How ironic if by dying, I ended up with a body that would have prevented me from dying in the first place. Well, it was a pity I couldn’t actually take a bath, but with this, there was no issue about cleanliness. I just needed to remember to clean myself up before returning to town. Just in case, I poured a little bit of water onto one of the towels, then left the bathroom.
The keep kept pestering me about my injuries until I showed him that my skin had not even a scratch. Certainly, I felt a bit embarrassed showing my skin like that, but it was better than the constant badgering I received. He seemed both devastated and relieved at the same time.
More importantly, I worked on setting up the tables, threw all the dust and dirt and grime into my ammo box to clean up, and tried brewing a few different coffee beans with my weapon. It was quite loud, so I ended up going outside to heat up my PTRD-41. It worked out, but I decided to test something.
I put some coffee beans into a bullet and took out a normal bullet. After removing the dangerous parts, I handed the shell to the keep and had him bend and flatten and stretch out the shell. Muscles really were quite useful for things like that. Now I had a sort of bowl. I placed the coffee bullet into that bowl and removed the dangerous parts from that, then asked the keep to pour in some water.
I carefully poured gunpowder into the bowl and had the keep light it. The experiment? Succeeded. Sort of. I definitely managed to make coffee, but it felt like instant coffee and simply gave off the wrong feel. I’d need to adjust things until it worked.
That give me an idea though and I started to work on emptying out several cartridges. The breakfast period went by fairly slowly, but I eagerly served our customers. They were somewhat surprised as I poured coffee from a bullet into an empty shell, but they seemed quite amused.
And for anyone concerned, I had purposefully made these ones ‘duds’, so there was no gunpowder in them. It took me a few tries to get it right, but I realized that even if I had infinite ammo, considering that I could make bullets of all sorts of things, there was no reason why I couldn’t make them with the substance instead of gunpowder. I definitely messed up a bunch of perfectly good food, but I managed to reach an acceptable level.
That went well and once breakfast hours ended, I went to practicing some more. I wanted to reach a level where I could draw cute art in the coffee despite how small the cases were, so I kept working at it until noontime arrived. We had a few more people show up, apparently due to the novelty of drinking out of metal cups.
Lunch went well as well. I had a few rather unique orders for some types of coffee I’ve never heard of—likely local specialties—but as the keep was the one making the coffee anyway, I only needed to observe what he did for each of these orders.
After lunch was more practice. The only way I’d get better was practice. There was no magic spell that would suddenly make me skilled at doing something, only consistently trying, making mistakes, correcting my mistakes, and repeating what I did correctly. With that, I’d train my body to naturally do the right thing.
Dinner ended up being quite busy. As a matter of fact, we were so busy that there was an actual line out the door. Definitely not a cozy café feel at all to be so packed, but it seems the guests didn’t mind. The guests were simply surprised as I poured their coffees with accuracy, letting their coffee reach just a perfect temperature with my controlled pouring.
Okay, I lied a little. I messed up a lot and some ended up a little too cool and some a bit too hot, but I’d get better as I practiced more. If I was a little more skilled, I could even pour the coffee just right as according to their meals, but for now, my first step was to get the coffee just right by itself.
There were a lot of faces, so I couldn’t remember every single guest perfectly, but I did manage to remember a few. Given some time, I’d be able to remember their orders and have their orders ready ahead of time. I looked forward to the happy smiles of guests knowing that they were remembered.
After dinner, I cleaned myself up. While I considered going and finding an inn, the keep instead had me stay with Alice again. Once again, we talked deep into the night. Such peaceful days.