I could relate to the MC so much in the latter part of this chapter, it felt like whatever he was doing he was doing it in real time as I was translating. *cries* Anyways, chapter debt cleared (minus the Halloween chapter debt, I’ll get to that eventually)~! But still, usually I would be halfway done the next chapter by now, but clearly I’m not yet right now, so the entire schedule could be pushed back a day or two. I’ll still do my best, so wish me luck if you want more chapters. Enjoy~
“Yoshi! Well then, let’s get started!”
When I raised my voice while in front of the Giba’s massive body, Ai-Fa who was leaning against the wall while cross-legged grumpily said “do as you please”.
Probably, she’s not in a bad mood, but rather just tired.
I too, am pretty exhausted.
First, just bringing this Giba from the riverside all the way back home was a huge job, but after that, in order to achieve the original purpose of pico leaf and firewood collection, we had to make a u-turn straight to the riverside.
This time there were no accidents, but by the time that we finished all the work, the Sun had already passed the middle of the sky.
In other words, from early morning until noon, with a death fight against a giant Madarama snake in between, we worked hard.
And, because she was planning on hunting Giba in the afternoon, there was no particularly urgent work, so since that was the case, I decided to start preparing the Giba at once.
Ai-Fa kindled a fire for the Kamado at my request, and after finishing her task she sat down, nibbling on a piece of dried meat without knowing what else to do.
Glancing sideways, I grabbed the small knife that I had borrowed from Ai-Fa.
Because the bleeding and removal of internal organs has been completed, the next step is of course, “skinning”.
Because there was a broken door board lying around in the storage room, I decided to use it as a workbench.
I couldn’t find any kind of desks so I had to work on the ground, well that’s just the way it is.
I pulled the Giba’s body so that it laid on its back, set up the prepared wood on its right and left, and fixed its position.
First, I’ll start with the hind legs.
Make a round cut in the ankle where the tough hoof is attached. Insert the blade from inside the leg to the belly.
And, put the blade between the skin and meat, then smoothly peel it off.
U一n, it’s so fatty.
All between the skin and meat. The thickness is about 1.5 centimeters?
It’s very good news for an ingredient. But the difficulty of the work will increase accordingly. For animals with less fat like deer, the meat and skin separate from each other very easily.
Well, it’s all for a delicious meal.
So that I don’t cut the fur, and so that as much fat as possible remains on the meat, I tilted the blade sideways, and slowly pulled off the skin.
Eventually, the flesh of both legs were exposed.
From the sticky fur that was turned over, limbs wrapped in pure white fat soared up. It was a pretty surreal sight.
By that time, the small knife had almost become a namakura.1
The blade, was covered in sticky fat.
So, I dipped the blade into the water that was boiling with a gurugura in the metal pot, melting the fat.
This, is the reason why you can’t do skinning work in the wilderness.
I wish I could move the kamado. The room was already filled with the smell of blood and flesh.
Anyway, I used the piece of cloth given to me by Ai-Fa to wipe the small knife, and resumed work.
With the same process, the forelegs were skinned.
It’s easy to say, but by now about an hour has already passed. (T/N: Hey same as me)
However the work is still only in the beginning stages. When the four limbs are done, finally it’s the torso.
The belly is cracked open, so the opening is the starting point.
The point, is with the limbs. I inserted the blade between the skin and meat, and pulled off the skin while cutting.
However, the torso is not an ordinary area, and as the work progressed, it became more and more difficult to pull off the skin. Slipping on the fat, I didn’t have a strong enough grip.
When this happens, you make a hole on the edge of the skin, and hook your finger there.
Because the fur is so thick, it won’t tear even if you pull with all your strength.
If a tear is torn, then make another hole in another place.
Frequently removing fat from the blade, I just earnestly skinned it off.
By the time that the right half of the Giba’s body was bare, I had become sweaty too.
It felt like, around 2 and a half hours. The light that shined in from the window, was still bright.
“Fuu. I guess I’ll take a small break”
I placed the knife on the Giba’s pillow2, and slumped onto the sheet.
And then, I looked back at Ai-Fa for the first time in a while一一
As expected, Ai-Fa was still puzzled.
I’m healed, by that expression with rounded eyes like those of a small child’s.
Maybe it’s because the thorny look is the default, but it’s a pretty nice gap.
“……You’re fingers are pretty dextrous, Asuta”
“Aah. Well only when it comes to cooking”
“And also, you’re pretty serious about this”
“Aah. Well only when it comes to cooking”
“Even if you don’t follow such a troublesome procedure, you can eat by boiling the Giba meat. Why with such unnecessary work, are you able to be so serious?”
To be offended here, I’m not going to be so narrow-minded.
That’s why, I answered mildly with “I just like to eat and feed people delicious food”.
Whether my work was an unnecessary effort, I want you to judge after eating, I thought.
“Yoshi! Work resumed!”
During this break, I was reminded of one thing.
Before starting on the left half of the body, there was something that I should do.
On the neck, various organs were attached.
Eyes, mouth, nose, and so on.
Hence, it’s quite difficult to pull off the skin.
Therefore, it’s wise to cut only the neck in advance, and to treat it as a different thing.
That’s why, I started cutting the neck.
The skull is cracked, its face exposing its brutal death, and while keeping “I’ll make it delicious” in mind, I stabbed the small knife under the lower jaw.
Has the rigor mortis already started, I felt that the response was harder than when I drained the blood.
Moreover, while cutting it open, a fair amount of blood seeped out.
This is also unavoidable. Bleeding doesn’t mean that all the blood will be drained out, not to mention, I’m an amateur. Relying on my memory from 3 years ago to do this scary work, just as an apprentice chef.
With the experience of dismantling wild boar only once. The only tool used being a hunting knife. Crawling on the ground without a decent workbench, struggling to decapitate a corpse, as a 17 year old apprentice chef.
It doesn’t have to be Ai-Fa, no one might be able to stifle their laughter.
But for me, it was fun.
While covered in my sweat and animal blood, I could feel alive.
If I make such a statement though, I might be misunderstood as having a bizarre hobby. To those psychos that dismantle animals not to eat, but rather for fun, eat shit.
I, love cooking.
From as long as I can remember I grew up watching my old man’s back, and by the time I entered elementary school, I was already helping around in the shop.
It may not have been a path that I chose of my own volition, but rather a life of running on the rails prepared for me. Even so, I wasn’t discontent.
My old man always said, “try to find something more interesting than cooking on your own”.
If you still can’t find anything, I’ll have no choice but to let you take over the store, he would say while laughing.
My dad sending me to high school, I think one of the reasons was probably because of that consideration.
But I, just cooked everyday.
If cooking is this interesting, why do I have to look for something else? That necessity, I couldn’t find it in myself.
Someday, I’ll make a dish that’ll make my old man moan, and, that was all I could think about.
I, love to cook.
“Fuu. As expected, it’s tough”
When the head was half severed, I got a glass of water from the water bottle. It’s not cold, but rather normal room temperature water, but I was sweating so much that it tasted terribly delicious.
Now, let’s get back at it.
The back of the small knife, probably to cut off the horns and tusks, has a serrated blade, so I cut through the neck bone with it.
Thinking for a moment, I decided to skin the head only where it was necessary, and only cut off the meat of the neck area and cheek.
There may have been other parts that could be eaten, but that’s about the limit of my arms. The tongue and such are tempting though. Hunter-san, seems to have taught me well.
After that I started skinning the left half of the body, and finishing that I laid the Giba’s body on its side, and then I skinned off the remaining fur on its back.
The skinning is now complete.
There were a few holes here and there, but I was able to pull off all the fur from the neck down in one piece.
Because it was 150 centimeters long and in the 70 kilograms class, when I spread it out, it was quite a sight to see.
The main body, because it was completely covered in fat, everything was a pure white mass of meat.
Head missing, a huge chunk of meat.
It was hard to tell what kind of animal it was anymore.
This one here too, is a masterpiece.
However, I don’t have time to linger on the afterglow.
Finally the last part.
With the skinning complete, the last process is “dismantling”.
Laying the naked Giba’s giant body down on its back once again, I first inserted the blade inside the hip joint.
Cutting the border between the hind legs and the groin, once it was cut to the right point, I twisted the joint in the opposite direction.
There was a dull sound, then from the pelvis the tip of the femur came loose.
The smooth and bare bones, were beautifully white.
Cutting the rest of the tendons and muscles, I pulled it in the opposite direction again, and beriberi the meat began to peel off.
Inserting the blade along it, I removed the right hind limb.
This is a big one. It must weigh nearly 10 kilograms as one piece.
When I finished the right one, next was the left.
When I finished the left one, next were the forelimbs.
The forelimbs, because the joints aren’t connected like the pelvis, if you cut the surface membrane it comes off immediately.
Now, it’s the climax.
I no longer had any sense of the time, but I felt that the sunlight was starting to get yellowish.
Since the start of the work around 4, 5 hours have probably passed.
“……ah, that’s right. Ai-Fa, where’s the saw?”
When I looked back at Ai-Fa for the first time in a while again, unfortunately, she wasn’t looking puzzled.
Or rather, the moment I looked back I was surprised that she was glaring at me, I couldn’t even check what expression she had.
“What, were you sleeping? Sorry, I woke you up”
“I’m not sleeping! How can I sleep when it’s so bright!”
If that’s the case then why is she so angry? Ai-Fa stood up with her mouth in the shape of a へ character, and then disappeared through the doorway.
Of the three, the middle room. It’s the room that should be where the bowls, wooden spoons, cooking utensils, and such were stored.
When she came out of it, Ai-Fa’s hand was holding a saw whose blade length was about 30 centimeters.
It was indistinguishable from a sword when it was fit in its leather sheath, but when it was pulled out, it was definitely a saw.
Its width was about 5 centimeters. While the thickness was about 5 millimeters. It’s a thicker blade than the saw I knew, but well there shouldn’t be any issues. The people of the forest, I’m sure they used them to build such fine houses.
“I’m going to finish this right now, so please wait for a little bit longer”
When I called out while I received it, Ai-Fa made a “fun” sound and turned away without replying.
I wonder. A woman’s heart is inexplicable.
Regardless, this is the climax.
The inner citadel (T/N: aka main part) of the dismantling process, “back splitting”.
The spine, would be split in half.
However, not horizontally, vertically.
Then the torso’s left and right would be divided into two pieces. This is called “making a carcass”.
This way, it’s easier to separate later. ……This is just a tip from hunter-san.
Which was, if it’s such a big game then using a chainsaw is okay. It can’t be helped in a place with no electricity. I’m willing to engage in any physical labour.
So with that, work began.
As expected, this final process, was physically the toughest.
I regretted that it would’ve been way easier to hang it up after all, but I kept on pushing the saw with a gorigori.
The sharpness of the blade was, well, perfect. If I had a hobby as a do-it-yourselfer, there wouldn’t be much difficulty.
However, I didn’t have such a hobby, so it was sufficiently troublesome. I had a hard time. To vertically cut the spine covered in slippery fat, it was no longer a half-hearted effort.
Occasionally melting the fat on the blade, after about 3 breaks一一it was done, I’m sure it was around 1 hour later.
The split spine was pulled out, and then the ribs too were pulled off one by one, when it felt like most of the meat around the waist was cut off, the meat and bones were separated.
Finally with this一一
“……It’s over!” is said, as I laid down in the shape of a 大 character, and then right away I got back up.
The work was done, but the post processing was not.
“Now, let’s pickle it in pico right away. Because it’s in this temperature, the precious meat will get worse and worse”
Only at the end I asked Ai-Fa to give me a hand, and we were able to safely place the chunks of meat into the pile of spices.
From the 70 kilogram class Giba, I think I was able to collect roughly more than 40 kilograms but less than 50 kilograms worth of meat. As an apprentice chef that’s not an expert in this kind of work, well isn’t this a good job?
“Ahhhhh I’m tired! I can’t lift my arms anymore!”
This time, I laid down in the shape of an 大 character.
The sunlight streaming in through the window, had completely changed to that off dusk.
From early afternoon, until dusk. If I think I spent about 5, 6 hours working, well the math works. I wonder if in this world 1 day is also 24 hours, I thought absentmindedly in a corner of my exhausted mind.
“……oi. The rest after that, what are you planning on?”
When I looked back after being called like that, Ai-Fa was standing next to the kamado.
Lying on the doorboard at her feet, was a huge fur folded in two. The left and right sides of the neck were shaved naked, and the pile of bones rattled.
“Ahh, well. It’s a shame, but I guess there’s no choice but to throw away the gara. ……Usually, what do you do with the fur? You only skin off the fur from the legs right?”
“I scrape off the attached fat, and the rest is thrown away. Because tanning the fur is a lot of work”
“So you’re going to throw it away. What a waste. In other houses the fur is processed right? Then isn’t it alright to give it to those people?”
“……if you get involved with me, you would turn the Sun clan into your enemy. A house that wants furs and such that much does not exist”
“Che. They’re hearts are small. ……ah, fat is used as fuel right? To scrape it off, how do you do it?”
While saying that and trying to get up, Ai-Fa coldly held me down saying “don’t get up”.
“It only becomes more time consuming and difficult for someone to work with already exhausted hands. You stay in bed”
“Scraping off the fat and horn and tusk collection is my job. Your job is to prepare dinner, so rest until then”
It was in a very blunt tone, but it was a terribly gracious offer.
I’ve been overworking my body since morning, I was literally losing my spirit and root.4
To tell the truth, my eyelids have been heavy since a while ago.
“You’re really kind aren’t you”, did I say it out loud or did I only mutter it in my chest, I couldn’t even clearly recognize such a thing, nearly fainting, I tumbled into the valley of sleep.
1. A dull edged blade.
2. I searched it up, and this seems to also mean beside its head.
3. I have no idea what a “gara” is, and I couldn’t find anything after searching it up either. Sorry. But, my intuition is telling me that it’s basically “the rest”, or the miscellaneous parts.
4. Basically losing steam