The next day, Mana and I had to take a rest to play it safe.
We’re healthy enough that there are no signs of colds, but we’re being extremely cautious.
Even if we’re taking a break, we’re not just lying down on the bed.
We’re focusing on easy jobs that don’t consume energy.
We have plenty of work to be done in the hideout so we don’t have to worry about it.
And so the day has passed and the next holiday arrived.
September Seven, Sunday.
It’s been 52 days since we come to another world.
「 Guys, I want to eat rice 」
Arisa said while eating breakfast.
Our dinners have become extravagant that greed starts to show off.
「 Thinking about it, we can go for rice now, can’t we? 」
「 Yeah, it should be good 」
We’re growing rice on the paddy field above the hideout.
The seed rice used to make the paddy field is collected from the upland rice field nearby.
Hence, if we want to eat rice now, we can just harvest in that land.
「 Then, why are we not going for it? 」
「 The quality of the rice isn’t that great. It would be nice if we had more rain, but it had been sunny recently. Furthermore, the natural upland rice isn’t tended to with weeds or sprayed with fertilizer. It’s definitely going to be bad rice if we harvest those 」
「 You don’t want your first rice here to be bad, right? You want to be impressed with how good it is, right? 」
Rice is deeply rooted in our culture.
Even those who prefer to eat bread for breakfast will eat rice at least once a day.
Since people are picky about rice, I don’t want to compromise as much as possible.
Because if we use natural dry land rice, then we’ll regret it.
「 True! But still, I miss eating rice 」
「 Yeah, we’ve got everything, but rice 」
We were eating wild vegetables and mushrooms about two months ago.
It’s unbelievable when told, but our place has been improved.
For example, what we’re currently eating is an omelet.
It’s carefully rolled on a thin layer of olive oil.
Furthermore, we’re eating it with salt extracted from the sea.
The taste is undisputable, it can compete against Japanese egg rolls.
「 I think we need more seasoning than rice. I want to expand on flavors
Eri says as she drinks the homemade miso soup.
Rolled eggs and Miso Soup, yet Arisa wants rice.
「 Seasoning… If it’s black pepper, then we can make them 」
「 Really?! 」
Eri’s eyes sparkled.
「 Black pepper? 」
「 Yes. We do have pepper plants here 」
「 Want! 」
Mana laughs, saying “She takes the bait right away”
「 Eri-dono’s a sucker for cooking after all 」
Tanaka sends his gaze to Shiori.
Seeing that, Shiori returned a polite smile to Tanaka.
Tanaka got happy just from that.
「 Kaichou, I’m a virgin but I’ll say it, I don’t think it’s possible 」
Kageyama warns Tanaka before he goes wild.
「 Kageyama’s going to lose his virginity before Tanaka does 」
Karen said and the hideout got filled with laughter.
After our meal, everyone went to do their work.
Mana, the monkey army, Sofia, and Amane went together somewhere.
Muscle Takahashi begins his weight training and Yoshiokada’s working on the blueprint.
The Asakura sisters took Kageyama out to get materials for handicrafts.
「 Shiori’s coming too? Tanaka and I are going to do some maintenance on the fishing rods then go fishing 」
「 Is it okay? 」
「 Of course. I’m worried that Tanaka might attack me if we’re alone 」
「 I won’t do that! If I do, I would lose 」
「 Hahaha, true! 」
Arisa, Tanaka, and Shiori went to the river.
「 Ah, I’ll go with you. I want to get some river fishes 」
Karen follows after Arisa.
「 Well then, we should harvest some peppers 」
「 Yeah 」
Eri and I remained.
We took some of the pepper and process them.
But, we checked on the field first.
「 It’s finally here 」
「 Ooh! It’s germinating 」
The field is starting to sprout.
The timing was good, appearance good, and cultivating it seems to do well.
While at it, we checked and fed the ducks on the neighboring field.
「 Hey, Hokage-kun, why do you place the feed in the same place? 」
She continued before I could reply.
「 Can you not put it in other places? You’re always placing it there, right? 」
Yes, there’s a fixed point where I feed the ducks.
It’s not just me, but every other member who feeds them does the same.
It’s always one of the four corners of the paddy field, feeding at other corners is not allowed.
Of course, I have a reason for that.
「 If you feed them on the same spot, it’s easier to collect them. If someone’s in this place, the ducks come right away, don’t they? 」
「 True 」
「 We have to do this or it will be a game of tag when we have to collect them. It’s inefficient and more importantly, it could damage the crops 」
「 I see. So you need to think at that level from the beginning 」
「 That’s agriculture 」
「 That’s cool, as usual, 」
After we’re done feeding the ducks, we’re finally harvesting pepper.
「 Oh right. 」
But before that.
「 I almost forgot to teach Eri something 」
「 Huh, what is it? Is it cooking-related? 」
Eri’s eyes are sparkling.
I smiled and nodded.
「 I thought of teaching you about Japanese pickled vegetables 」
「 Pickled?! 」
「 We can make it right away and we’ll do the pepper later 」
「 Okay! 」
We went back to the hideout to make pickles.
「 We pickle them in seawater 」
「 Seawater pickling? Isn’t it the same when we preserve wild boar meat? 」
「 Yes, like that. Eri was the initiator of that, right? 」
In the early days of our hideout activities, we used to preserve raw meat by soaking them in seawater.
Now that we have more people, we can eat them all in a day, and best of all, we have a fridge.
Well, I call it a fridge but it’s just a cold space we discovered at the back of the hideout.
「 Radish, cabbage, and carrots are delicious when pickled in seawater 」
This time, we used carrots.
We cut the washed and peeled carrots to sticks.
Then, we placed it in lacquerware filled with seawater and spread kombu on top.
「 Then, cover that with a stone and leave it for a while 」
「 Huh?! Is that all? 」
「 Simple, right? It lasts longer than normal, and you get a wider range of flavors 」
「 Why did you not teach me this earlier? 」
Eri puffs her cheeks and beats me with light taps.
Her long black hair swayed with her movement and a sweet scent tickled my nostrils.
「 Well, that’s how it’s made so do it when you have free time. If you soak the extra vegetables in seawater and store them, they might come in handy once the rice is finished 」
「 Roger! 」
After teaching her how to seawater pickle, we headed to our long-awaited pepper harvesting.