Closed [Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Aladari helps Orin transport food across the city

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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[Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 12th, 2017, 3:36 am

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62nd of Summer, 517AV


Kyole really enjoyed jokes. Orin did not. So Orin did his best to avoid the Akalak’s butcher shop as much as possible. It wasn’t that Orin didn’t like butchery. In fact, it was an art that the chef felt he would be thrilled to know more about. But every time Orin entered into Kyole’s Butcher shop, he ran the risk of running afoul of one of the butcher’s many pranks. No one had the heart to tell the jovial Akalak that a lot of them were unwelcome, as the dark-skinned giant took such genuine and mainly harmless pleasure in them, that even if the victims of them didn’t find them funny, they did not mind all that much. Still, Orin kept well aware from the butcher, attempting to arrange weekly deliveries whenever possible, or, if that wasn’t feasible, sending anyone else to pick up the order. His stress levels were high, and his nerves were shot, and he didn’t know if he could take being pranked without reacting negatively.

Unfortunately, this journey was absolutely necessary. The Almond Blossom was hosting an event tonight, which they did extremely rarely and only for their oldest and most prestigious customers. Even Orin didn’t know who was invited, only that the best effort was required by all of them. In addition, the party had requested a specific menu, which The Almond Blossom did not have all the ingredients for. Since Orin hadn’t been looped into the conversation as to who was hosting the event or what it was for, he couldn’t beg Dolmar or Korana to make the trek, as they were busy working on finalizes the details for tonight. Since none of the regular staff were needed – it was a small intimate event, supposedly – they’d been dismissed for the day. Which is how Orin had been saddled with this particular task.

It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy the walk, or that he wouldn’t mind running an errand to any other location in the city. It was that this season had been a particularly rough one on Orin’s emotions. He felt alternatively like every single feeling he had was jerked up to extremely high levels, followed by periods of time where he felt nothing at all. There were even days when he was seeing things, and people, from his past. He’d been forced to come to the conclusion that he was being haunted because the alternative was that he’d gone quite mad. So he clung to the belief that some outside force was attempting to destroy his fragile mental state, since imagining otherwise would lead Orin down a very dark path.

So, Orin enjoyed the sunshine while he could, although it was a bit hot for his taste, and the air itself felt heavy, as if was trying to press every last drop of sweat out of the shop. In the meantime, he would pray that Kyole would for once be in a normal, serious, non-joking mood. “Priskil preserve me,” he practically chanted, even though the goddess definitely didn’t listen to pleas as minor as these. Still, the thought of her cleared some of the fog that Orin felt these days whenever his emotions weren’t at a fever pitch.

It was a long walk, and one Orin was already dreading on the way back, carrying the meat that he’d have to pick up. He couldn’t ask Kyole to leave the shop unattended, so Orin would just have to find a way to juggle the many packages he was no doubt about to receive. If he’d been planning ahead, Orin would’ve brought something to carry them with, but for once his propensity to think about food related matters in advance had failed him. He had been so thrown by having to go to Kyole’s that he hadn’t been thinking of much else. That was a dumb mistake, Orin thought ruefully.

Finally, Orin reached the butcher shop and paused with his fingers on the handle. He took a deep breath to prepare himself for what was about to happen. Easing the door open incredibly slowly, Orin waited until it was fully open and he could see most of the shop. It looked empty, but that had fooled Orin in the past. Luckily, nothing had been rigged over and on the door, so that was one hurdle Orin wouldn’t have to overcome.

It was odd, though, that Kyole wasn’t here at the front desk. Usually the Akalak liked to watch the results of the pranks. Maybe he’s working in the backroom? It was a reasonable guess, but Orin still couldn’t bring himself to step into the shop. Instead, calling into the empty room as loud as he could, Orin asked, “Hello? Kyole?” He paused for a chime, expecting a response. When nothing came back, Orin grew slightly more agitated. “Kyole, you in there? Is anybody in there?” Feeling a growing frustration, Orin wondered if this might be the joke, that Kyole would pretend not to be here. Of course, it would be a poorly received joke, and not a very effective way to make money, either, by scaring away customers.

Finally, Orin was fed up enough to simply start shouting. “Oy. Kyole. It’s me, Orin Fenix, from the Almond Blossom.” Figuring that the butcher would need additional incentive, the chef added, “We’ve got an order we’d like you to fill but I’m more than happy to take it elsewhere. Besides, I’ve been here before and I’m not going to fall for it this time around, so whatever it is, you better just set it off because I am not going set foot in this shop until I know it’s safe and been approved as I see fit.” Maybe that was a little much but it was worth it if Orin didn’t get pranked.
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Last edited by Orin Fenix on July 13th, 2017, 2:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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[Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 12th, 2017, 8:29 pm

Dear Gods, how long can one day be?

Aladari was attending what was only her first week of work at the butcher shop, and already, she felt it wearing on her soul. It wasn't that the work itself was bad; she worked only with Kyole, and so had almost free-reign around the shop. She was given plenty of time and material for hands-on learning, and was enjoying the work she did.

The problems layed with the environment. It was hot. The Vantha had been reduced to wearing a turban and scarf wherever she went for protection, and though it had seemingly helped her anonymity, Morwen's gnosis kept her more than warm enough underneath the clothing. Not to mention the fact that the Summer had become near sweltering in mere days.

Today was especially warm, as she had to put plenty of strength behind her work, and easily worked up a sweat. She was hacking away at a hunk of meat with a new instrument Kyole had shown her. He had called it a cleaver. "Greatest weapon you'll ever use to cook." He told her. Certainly, she could see why he considered it a weapon. The tall blade was incredibly sharp, and had holes near the top which she could only assume were for maximum velocity while swinging it.

Aladari swung the cleaver down again, severing a long piece of cow meat into two pieces. Heaving one on top of each other, she then eyed them up and swung again for four pieces. However, the cleaver must not have had enough power, as it didn't make it all the way through the second piece. Aladari cursed heavily, yanking out the cleaver and letting it fall to the counter with a clang. She wiped her forehead with her bare arm, smearing sweat and blood from the meat all across her face.

"Hey Al!" Chirped Kyole from directly behind her.

Aladari started, flinging her hands in the air.
"Petch, Kyole!" She yelled, whipping around.

"Ah, shyke!" He laughed, clapping a heavy hand on her shoulder. "What'd you do, eat it raw?"

Aladari sighed, trying again to wipe her face.

"Here," He stopped her. "Let's go out back and get you some water."

-------

After a less than refreshing splash of warm water, most of the blood had been cleaned from Aladari's face, and instead stained the dark apron Kyloe had given her to work in.

As she busied herself with drying her face and hands, Kyole sauntered about checking on his hanging meats. A few of them which were skinned he dusted with salt. The unskinned he shook blood from the necks, or slashed a new hole in the neck, then left to sit awhile longer. They hadn't been in the room more than a couple of ticks before they heard an agitated voice yelling through the building.

"Oy. Kyole. It's me, Orin Fenix, from the Almond Blossom."

Kyole turned to look towards the counter and frowned. "Orin? He was nice enough last time he was here...I hope I didn't upset him." The Akalak pulled a sad face, as if he didn't understand what he had done. Aladari wasn't fooled. Kyole had to have known exactly what he had done, and she was sure it had been less than tasteful. The frown marring such a handsome face did pull at her heartstrings just a little, though, so she quickly offered a solution.

"Don't worry about it. I'll take the order."

"Aww, thanks Al. You're the best." He flashed her a smile before moving back into the shadows of the shop.

She didn't trust him there by any means, so she willingly made herself scarce. Approaching the front counter, Aladari half-smiled politely at the customer. She pulled out the pen and paper from underneath the counter and set it out before addressing him.

"Orin, was it? Aladari. Kyole is, uh, busy right now, but I can write the order down for you."
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[Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 13th, 2017, 1:54 am

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Orin blinked. Emerging from the back of the shop was a woman. Wait a tick...I’ve seen this one before. This time, Kyole had disguised himself as a human, as far as Orin could tell, but the first time Orin had ever visited, the butcher had dressed as a female Akalak, leaving Orin severely confused, as the chef hadn’t known Kyole reputation until after the prank. After that, it had been a different joke every time, so Orin was surprised that Kyole was recycling old material, especially old material that had already been seen by the customer. Still as time passed, Orin began to doubt more and more that it actually was Kyole. For one thing, the skin was too realistic for paint or cosmetics, unless an expert had done them. For another, the height difference was too great, and while Orin could think of ways to make one look taller, the chef couldn’t think of too many ways to get shorter.

Drumming the fingers of his right hand on the hit of his dagger resting on right hip – one of two he took everywhere, Orin considered this conundrum. However, it wasn’t until the figure before him actually spoke in a clearly feminine voice, that Orin was willing to admit that this was not indeed, Kyole. Instead, it was an actual woman.

Orin blinked, having to reframe his whole understanding of the situation. Obviously, Kyole had hired an assistant or an apprentice of some kind. Orin was almost jealous, for a moment, although jealous was the wrong word. Still, Orin had wanted to learn more about butchery and while obviously the chef couldn’t work at the shop full time, it still stung a bit that Kyole picked someone else to impart wisdom to. Of course, this woman knew nothing about that, and Orin didn’t hold it against her.

Taking a moment, Orin considered this Aladari who was standing before him. Now that he was looking more closely, Orin didn’t know how he’d ever thought that this tiny woman could have been Kyole. She had warm, almost glowing skin, and dark hair with odd looking highlights, and although her frame was slight, Orin could see strength in her upper body. She was wearing a dark apron over her clothes, and while she looked slightly wilted from the heat, Orin could tell that she was beautiful.

At that point, Orin realized that he’d been staring for an awkwardly long time and just standing there, saying nothing. “I, ah, sorry. I was expecting Kyole, and honestly I’ve never seen anyone else in here. Sorry.” Realizing that it was rude to stay outside, but still fearing to enter, Orin peeked around the corners and didn’t see any nasty surprises waiting. Entering into the shop proper, Orin smiled tentatively at Aladari. “I’m sorry about, well, the standing out there and the caution but well, if you work here I’ll bet you know how Kyole can get.” Pitching his voice low so the Akalak couldn’t hear – because, unless Orin could see the butcher, the chef was still convinced a prank was coming – Orin asked in a whisper, “It’s safe to come in, right?”

More loudly, Orin responded to Aladari’s original comment. “Hi Aladari, nice to meet you. I’m Orin Fenix, one of the chefs at The Almond Blossom.” Orin held out his hand for her to shake. If she didn’t know what The Almond Blossom was, she couldn’t have been in Riverfall very long. “So that means, if you stick around, there’s a chance you’ll be seeing quite a bit of me.” Orin was getting a bit flustered. He’d messed up on first encounter, and beautiful people in general made him incredibly nervous for a whole host of reasons.
“So, right, the order. I should give you the order now.” Taking out the note that Dolmar had handed to Orin, the human squinted at the Akalak’s crabby handwriting in Common. “I’m going to go with ten venison steaks and ten beef steaks. At least, I think that’s a ten.” Sharing a wry grin with Aladari, Orin observed, “My co-worker doesn’t write a lot down and I think I now know why.” Folding up the note and putting it back in his pocket, Orin realized that he should give them alternate instruction, in case they were out of something. “If that’s not going to work, let me know if you have any pork or lamb. I’m sure we can adapt it if necessary.” Of course, seeing as Orin was kept out of the loop,

There was one other part to the instructions and Orin almost forgot it. Luckily, though, he wasn’t so out of it that he couldn’t remember a rather simple list. “Your choicest cuts, please.” Realizing that he might have to observe the quality, Orin decided that he should see if he could tag along. “Actually, if you don’t mind, I’d like to observe? I’ll stay out of the way, I promise!” Holding his breath, Orin awaited Aladari’s reponse.
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[Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 25th, 2017, 5:44 am

Aladari was hesitant to tell Orin the shop was safe to enter, as she had never really felt entirely safe there herself, but she had nothing else to say. She invited him in with a half-smile and a shrug.

Despite his awkward build and even more awkward tendencies, Aladari could tell that their customer knew what he was doing. He boasted of his position of The Almond Blossom- a prestigious restaurant in Riverfall for those with coin- and his order was clear and confident. As he spoke, Aladari hurried to write down the instructions.

10 Beef Steaks. She knew "Beef". That was cow meat, just like the kind she had been working with earlier. But with the other order, she hesitated. The unfamiliar word ran through her head as she tried to find the letters for the sounds. Finally, she gave it her best shot and moved on. 10 Venesin Steaks. Or Pork. Or Lamb.

"Okay. We should have enough, 'cept maybe the...Ven-e-sin. I cain check with Kyole though. He'd know. I ain't know the prices for choice cuts either, so I'm thinkin' we're gonna have to talk to 'im anyways."

Any interactions with Kyole were becoming dreaded, but eventually they always came around to being necessary. Her only hope this time was that she may be safer with someone else around. And, so long as he was offering to stay, she would not refuse his help.

"Aye. However long you could stick aroun', that's the more time I's not alone wit' Kyole. Does 'e scare you a lil' bit too?" She asked partially in humor, but also partially of genuine curiosity. The Akalaks scared her in general, with their height, muscle mass, and sheer numbers in the city combined, but Kyole was certainly exceptional. It was a reputation he had earned and prized. Her first day at the shop, he had handed her the cleaver and pretended she had cut off his finger. Her heart had nearly completely stopped with the guilt, and she had had more than one nightmare on the topic since.

"Come on," She offered, opening up the way for him to pass behind the counter. "Safety in the numbers."

"Kyole? I got the order."
She announced as they moved between the rows of hanging meats. "I needs your 'elp though. Kyole?" Nervously, she turned back to Orin. "I guess 'e went out again? Or mayb-"

It was at that moment that, off to her left, one of the cow's hanging heads turned upward from its hook. Its dead eyes were unblinking as it stared directly at her and began to moo softly. Aladari threw Orin a look with pinkly embarrassment. She rolled her eyes. Another joke.

"Kyole. We know it's you. I know Ghosts ain't gonna play aroun' like that."

The cow continued mooing softly, undeterred by her accusation. Its head swiveled, as if looking around for something. It looked back and forth once, then twice, then settled looking straight forward at the visitors. Once more it opened its mouth, but then suddenly the head yanked itself toward the ground, its neck ripping down to its collarbone. Aladari jumped in her skin, taking a leap back when the cow's head hit the floor rolling.

From behind the cow, Kyole's feet could be seen hitting the floor. He stepped in front, a huge grin on his face. He knelt to pick up the head at her feet. "Sorry, folks. Had to finish draining that one." He straightened himself up, holding the head at one side of his waist. "What can I do for you Orin, my boy?"

Aladari brushed imaginary dust from her shoulders. Even though her skin held chills, she continued. "We need Ven-ne-sin, Kyole. Where ya keep it?"

"Sure, sure, right this way!" He nearly shouted, "Back around this corner, here is where we keep the more valuable meats like the venison. I assume you want the fine cuts, Orin? Nothing but the best for a friend."

With a grand wave, Kyole showed them into a small side room which held no hanging meats, but rather slabs set out on counters ready to be prepped, packaged, and sent away. "If you want smaller cuts, I'm sure my girl here can show you. She's gotten pretty handy already." The Akalak clapped Aladari on the back. "I'll leave you to it. Give me the order, Al, and I'll add it up while you work." After retrieving the list she had written, Kyole sauntered away to the front counter, allowing Aladari to finally take a breath of relief.

"Okay." She said, mostly to herself. "Okay. We're going to need a cleaver, and maybe a steak knife for the finer cuts."

Aladari hurried from one side to the other, gathering her materials. Holding up one of the rags used to wipe the counters, Aladari nodded to Orin. "How much you know 'bout butcherin', Orin?"
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[Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 25th, 2017, 12:55 pm

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Orin was pleased to hear that they appeared to have everything here. It had been a lean summer and while Riverfall seemed to be fairing well enough, there had been shortages. Orin didn't want to think about the future, Winter in particular. Given the events of past Winter, Orin hoped that the gods and goddesses would solve whatever disagreements they might have had, otherwise it would be very bad. The Akalaks in particular needed a lot of food every day to keep their enormous frames and very physical way of life, and Orin couldn’t imagine they would react well to rationing, which is where they might be heading if Winter didn’t arrive again. Priskil preserve us. His prayer was more fervent than usual, as Orin was aware, as probably few in the city were, of the terrible implications of a disruption in the weather and the seasons. He’d grown up in Mithryn, after all, and droughts and floods killed productivity in the fields, and now that he was a chef, he had his informants of sorts in the various supplies around the city. Luckily, the fishing had been unaffected, and if they had to eat seafood more often than they were used to, they could manage it. Unfortunately, Orin didn’t know if that was a sustainable solution. Still, besides keeping an eye on the situation and encouraging his friends and co-workers to stock up more than they usually might in the Fall, there was nothing he could do.

He didn’t want to share any of this with Aladari, as it wasn’t something he was comfortable discussing with a stranger. Instead, the chef fixed his typical smile on his face, which most people couldn’t tell didn’t reach his eyes. “That’s good to hear. And by all means, let’s go talk to Kyole. If you don’t have the venison that’s fine, I don’t think it’s something that’s really necessary.” Orin could think of a dozen alternative to venison dishes that substituted in another dish without most people being any the wiser. Still, the idea of talking to Kyole wasn’t exactly appealing to the chef. It was why he’d been hovering outside for so long, after all.

At least Aladari seemed to share the chef’s opinion of the butcher. “I don’t know if I would say he scares me.” It was more a dread for the inevitable pranks that Kyole just had to throw. “It’s more of a dread, y’know?” Still, Orin didn’t know how long Aladari had been here – she hadn’t been around on the chef’s last visit, so he couldn’t imagine it had been all that long. Orin could well remember the early adjustment period when he’d first come to the city, and everyone had towered over him and looked at him askance simply for being a human. Most of the people he saw on a regular basis knew him well enough that it wasn’t really a problem anymore but maybe Aladari was going through something similar. “But I know what you mean about Akalaks being big, tall, and sort of looming over ya even though they don’t mean to.” He should probably reassure Aladari, though. “Don’t worry too much. You’re a woman, and they’d never do anything to hurt a woman. They probably just think they’re being protective. If you tell them to back off, they will.” It was an odd form of honor to them, at least among the free women, and Orin didn’t see a bracelet around Aladari’s wrist.

Aladari opened up the counter and gestured for him to follow her into the back room. Orin obliged, albeit with a great deal of trepidation. Not agreeing all the way with Aladari’s assessment that they’d be safe if they were together, Orin quipped, “I think you mean more targets.” He was interested to see her reaction to a normal non-prank humor instead of Kyole’s off-brand kind. Working here would certainly dampen Orin’s ability to laugh and hopefully it hadn’t done that to Aladari. “So I take it if you’ve been here long enough to get a taste of Kyole, metaphorically speaking?” The phrasing came out more awkwardly than he’d intended it too. “I mean, his humor!” The other option was always possible but Orin had a hard time picturing the two of them together and so he pushed the idea firmly out of his mind.

The back room appeared empty, and Orin frowned. According to Aladari, the Akalak should’ve been here, and Orin disliked it when he didn’t have eyes on Kyole. It felt like an attack was incoming, and the area in between his shoulder blades itched. Seeing Aladari roll her eyes at something over his shoulder and hearing a mooing sound, Orin turned so that he could watch the spectacle. He stood there in dead silence, not laughing at this rather lame attempt at a joke. Of course, that was never all it was with Kyole, and the cow suddenly split, and Orin retreated, shocked, his hand going for his dagger without his mind’s conscious intervention.

Realizing it was just Kyole and hoping no one had seen his extreme reaction and put his blade away. Taking care to avoid the cow’s head on the floor – which was a waste, in Orin’s opinion – the chef rejoined the butcher and his assistant. “Aladari’s got the order.” That had been more scary than funny, and Orin didn’t need more fear in his life. This season had already been full of ups and downs of the emotional variety, and Orin felt constantly braced for the next assault. Aladari, answered the question anyway, and Kyole sent them both to a room off the side of the building, before going off to write up the bill.

Alone with Aladari and Orin hoped relatively safe, as Kyole rarely pulled more than one prank on a customer, the chef forced himself to relax. Aladari bustled around gathering the various tools of her trade. Surprisingly she asked him about his knowledge of butchering. “Not nearly enough, considering the amount of time I’ve spent in kitchens and around food. How about you? You an expert in the trade?” Hopefully she was, as apprentices varied widely in skill. “If you’re willing to show me some tips, though, I’d be eternally grateful.” While the chef couldn’t feasibly butcher his own meats, it would be useful knowledge to have.
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[Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Postby Aladari Coolwater on August 2nd, 2017, 4:17 am

Orin's dry humor was a much welcome change to Kyole's slaps-in-the-face, and she smiled in relief.

"His humor is...yeah, I am too familiar wit' it." Aladari shook her head at the memory of his pranks so far. "Good thing, I don' have to work wit' him too much. Most times we do learning in the early mornin', an' then by this time of day I git to try thin's out for myself. But, I ain't been doin' this too long. So we's probably gotta have Kyole look over the stuff before we send it out. I think I know what I'm doin' 'ere. I know 'ow to do the loins."

It had been the lesson only yesterday, and the information was fresh in her mind, as was the horrifying sound of a bone saw severing ribs. Suppressing a chill, Aladari gestured to Orin so that he would come join her at the counter.

"I's mostly familiar wit' fish a'fore this. Was my trade for a long time, but I needed somethin' new these days. Thought stayin' in food would be my best bet."

Aladari sorted through the cuts of meat available as she chatted, searching through folds of meat which had a sloppily-written label beneath the shelf declaring them "beef". Picking a long, 'V'-shaped slab she easily identified as the loin, she slapped it up on the counter. At this point, she was already decently immune to the small amounts of blood that still splattered from the aged meat as she had seen much worse, though the messiness of it still frustrated her.

"So, one of the finer cuts is the loin." She started, smoothing out the meat flat on the counter. With the back of her hand, she brushed a dusting of salt off onto the counter.

"The loin comes from the behind of the ribs, but not all the way to the tail. It's the..." She patted where her hips connected to her stomach in absence of a proper anatomical term. In her head, she made a note to ask Kyole about a book on the anatomy of a cow before she went home.

"Tha' part. Firs' we gotta get all this extra fat off. I's good for flavor while waiting for butcherin', but is too much for eating." Indeed, the meat came with a thick layer of fat- nearly an inch thick- covering its surface on one side. Aladari peeled it away fearlessly. There were no mistakes to be made here. "We cain keep tha' for makin' oil an' stuff later. You wanna toss it in that there?" Aladari pointed a finger at a nearby bucket Kyole had left. The water inside was a brine, keeping all the fat relatively sanitary until it was collected at the end of the day.

"Now all we gotta do is cut off the tiny parts on the side, like 'ere." She prodded a skimpy strip dangling off the right side with her butcher's knife before swinging down and severing it. At first she had never taken enough off and left tough gristle on the meat. This time, eager to avoid any impurities in the meat, she took off a good chunk. Although it looked wasteful, she knew it wouldn't be so. Kyole used every last piece for something, and cutting this one too close was better than risking a bad sale to a good customer. They would just have to give them more pieces to make up the weight.

"You wanna try tha' one up to 'ere?" She asked, pulling out another select slab. He had said he wanted to learn, but she would understand if he didn't want to try. It could be dangerous with such a sharp knife if you didn't know what you were doing. "Af'er this we gotta start doin' the slices. You jus' want strips- err, chops? Or you wanna 'ave little steaks?"

The spine was still in the meat, and it was still interspersed with hunks of fat, but the removal method of those would depend on the cuts the Almond Blossom's cook required, and she really didn't want to assume. He might even want a combination of loins and ribs, so she was hesitant to continue cutting until she knew exactly what he needed.
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[Kyole's Butcher Shop] Same Day Delivery (Aladari)

Postby Orin Fenix on August 5th, 2017, 10:12 pm

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Orin smiled at Aladari despite his misgivings after her admission that she didn’t actually know exactly what she was doing. Of course, neither did he when it came to butchering, so perhaps he shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Besides, jokester that he was, Kyole wouldn’t allow an inferior product to leave his shop and if the apprentice messed up in some way, shape, or form, the Akalak would no doubt either fix it or provide a replacement of some kind, so the chef wasn’t all that worried. Still, it would be better if Aladari simply did it right the first time, as the scene could get quite unpleasant if she messed up somehow. It was Orin’s place to say anything but he would refrain from distracting her while she was making the actual cuts.

So instead of voicing his doubts, Orin simply smiled. “It’s probably for the best that you’re not with him all the time. I would go quite, quite mad if I had to see all of his jokes. He’d probably test them out on me and I’m afraid I don’t have much of a sense of humor, plus, I hate surprises.” Still, it must be a relatively nice place to work, as Kyole was never malicious, just sometimes in poor taste. Especially since Aladari was a woman, Orin was sure the Akalak butcher treated her well. “Sounds good to me! And I trust ya, and Kyole, to do a great job.” After all, The Almond Blossom had a lot of influence when it came to food related businesses in the city, and if the butcher’s shop started to give Orin and his co-workers anything less than the best he couldn’t imagine Korana would react well. Moving on to a more pleasant topic, Orin looked at Aladari quizzically. “How long have you been here? The city or the shop or both, take your pick.” He’d already guessed she was a new arrival but he always liked to learn more about people he might one day be working with.

She apparently worked with fish in the past, so Orin pegged her as a fisherwoman of some kind, perhaps a sailor as well. He’d encountered quite a few here in Riverfall and before, and given that the chef had worked on a boat before himself, he had a little bit of experience with the trade. Besides, fish and seafood were incredibly common in Riverfall given the city’s proximity to both the sea and the river. Orin had learned more seafood than he had ever expected or wanted to learn how to cook in his time here, although more culinary knowledge was never bad in his mind. “Seems like a logical progression.” Orin was curious about Aladari’s decision to work in a butcher’s shop but he didn’t want to offend her. Fortunately, there was a fine middle ground here. “If you don’t mind me asking, what prompted the switch?”

At that point Aladari took one of the steaks and put it on the counter. She brushed something away, then started talking about specific cuts. This was fascinating to Orin. He knew the names of the cuts she was talking about but actually seeing where they came from was a completely different experience and he found himself drawn in to her words. As Aladari faltered, though, and patted a part of her body, Orin frowned. “Stomach? Abdomen?” He wasn’t sure if she was going for a specific word or if she didn’t know the name of it but he was trying to help her or jog her memory.

Aladari moved on and Orin listened to her explain about the extra fat. He had no idea that the chops he received in the kitchen had so much extra material on them before they came to his. “Huh. I had no idea. That’s good to know though.” She mentioned something about making oil and then pointed to a bucket. Orin peered in, taking whatever scraps Aladari offered him and throwing it in. “We try to avoid waste in the kitchen too. We cook every part of the ingredient we can, and any food scraps leftover or that someone doesn’t eat goes into a bucket which goes to get composted.” It was true and Orin thought it was an excellent idea. He had grown up in a farming community and so he appreciated compost, in theory at least.

Aladari held out one of the knives to Orin after placing another slab of meat on the counter. Orin blanched, but took it from her. “If you think it’s alright.” He held the knife confidently – knives in both the kitchen and in combat were his specialty – but he was afraid to make a mistake and get blamed. He ran through the steps. First he would have to cut off the extra fat and then he would have to cut those strips off. He cut the fat off but there was still some left over, so he chopped off another layer, and then tossed it into the bucket. “Hope that was good.” Next he sliced off the strips Aladari had indicated earlier. “How’d I do?” He was worried he’d messed up somehow but also kind of proud.

He realized that he never answered her earlier question and he frowned, considering. “I don’t know – my boss didn’t tell me, which is annoying, to tell the truth.” He thought about it for a few ticks, and then shrugged. “I’d say let’s go with the steaks. Probably what we’re looking for and it’s more versatile.” He realized that she might not know what he meant by that so he explained a little further. “Steaks can go with other dishes more easily than the chops can, at least, in my experience. Besides, people seem to feel that steaks are higher class than chops. In my opinion it’s how you cook it that matters more than what you cook, but people are weird some times.” He looked at her and offered her back the knife, in case she needed it. “You done a lot of cooking?”
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Orin Fenix
Almost Iron But Actually Master Chef
 
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Joined roleplay: January 24th, 2015, 12:06 am
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