Well, at this point the only two ways I’m going to get out of this chapter debt hell is if there’s a super short chapter or Christmas. (Prays to author-sama for a short chapter). Enjoy the chapter~
Changes: Potato/onion -> Pseudo potato/onion
When I woke up, the surroundings had become pitch black.
Ai-Fa who was cooking a fire in the kamado, glanced at me and gave me a sharp look.
“Finally you’re awake. If you still didn’t wake up then I was thinking of splashing some water over you”
“That’s an awful thing to say. ……Around how many hours have I been asleep?”
Ai-Fa silently turned her head, and threw some fresh firewood into the kamado.
Maybe in the forest, there’s no habit of dividing time on a human scale. Get up when the Sun rises, and when the Sun sets prepare to sleep. In the natural world, this might be an absolute unwritten rule.
“I threw the Giba’s remains into the valley, and washed the doorboard properly. ……My stomach is empty, me”
“Roger. Then this time, it’s my turn to work”
Isn’t it a pretty good division of labour, I thought while feeling happy, as I headed to the pantry.
6 pseudo onions.
4 pseudo potatoes.
And then, a leaf that looked like that of a rubber tree’s, as well as one Giba hindlimb.
Of course, the Giba meat wasn’t from the original stockpile, but rather one that I processed earlier.
Originally I had to clean up the old meat first. I wanted to as early as possible let Ai-Fa experience the joy of eating and the splendor of cooking, so I begged her to let me do so.
“Now. This number of vegetables is the quota right?”
I don’t know if she understood the meaning of [quota]. Ai-Fa simply replied “if you only eat meat you’ll die”.
Of course, humans are living creatures that can’t live in good health without a well-balanced nutritional intake.
However, I haven’t yet been able to analyse how to process these vegetables.
(Oh well. I can only do what I can do right now)
I, washed the large wooden board that served as the pot’s lid with water, and let the Giba meat sit on it.
And then一一I grabbed the santoku knife from “Sakaki-ya”.
The soul of my old man, the santoku knife from “Sakaki-ya”.
Gripping the ebony handle, when it was pulled out of its simple white sheath, the steel blade was revealed.
The blade is 21 centimeters long.
It should have been used for more than 20 years, yet the sharpened blade had absolutely no distortions.
On it the two characters of “Sakaki-ya” were engraved.
(Old man. I’m going to use it)
On the Giba meat, I gently pressed the blade.
Into the meat that was much harder than aged pork, the santoku knife’s blade一一smoothly sneaked in without resistance.
While being uplifted by its sharpness, but keeping a calm hand, I first cut the meat from the bone.
Although the surface was covered with white fat, the inside was full of lean thigh meat.
You can avoid hitting the bone with the blade, if you cut it out roughly with plenty of space, now you slice it as thinly as possible.
Even if you call it hard meat, it’s still raw meat. Because it can’t be sliced too thinly, with my skill 7, 8 millimeters is the limit, but it’s probably a reasonable thickness for such a thing.
After slicing about 500 grams, the remaining chunks, were returned to the storeroom. After that if I scrape off the remaining part on the femur, it should be enough for a dinner for two people.
“That’s right. I didn’t hear the point.1 Hey, Ai-Fa. Are there any other ingredients or seasonings in this house?”
Ai-Fa who was quietly observing my behavior, raised her face quizzically.
“As long as you’re eating Giba, aria, and poitan, there are no worries about getting sick”
“Un. But you, are letting off many other smells too no? I don’t know if it’s a flower, or a fruit, or a herb, but you’re still using something right?”
I said, as Ai-Fa’s face somehow became more reddish.
“Asuta. I’ve been thinking of saying it since yesterday but. However I smell, and saying those funny words, stop”
“That’s fine, I don’t mind. It’s a compliment that you smell good”
“……even so I wouldn’t be able to stand being eaten!”
While placing her hand on the left side of her neck, Ai-Fa stood up with vigor.
I wonder if that bite mark hasn’t disappeared yet. I’m becoming a little embarrassed too.
With that. Ai-Fa disappeared into the pantry with rough steps with a zukazuka, and eventually came back out with more strange items.
A clay bottle with a long mouth and round body, and rubber tree-like leaves wrapped into the shape of a ball.
The clay bottle seemed to have a capacity of about 1 liter, and the leaf package was the size of a human fist.
“It’s fruit wine, and salt”
To the loud voice that I let out unintentionally, Ai-Fa made an uncomfortable face.
“Salt is used to make dried meat. One copper coin worth of Giba horns is needed to exchange for this amount”
When I unwrapped it while a fanfare ringed in my head, a beautiful bluish chunk of crystal appeared.
Probably, it’s mineral salt.
The mineral salt that I knew was pink or yellow, but I had heard about the existence of blue mineral salt.
I scraped off a little with my fingernail, and when I licked that powder, a vivid taste of salt exploded in that area.
Delicious. Maybe it’s because I got sweaty during the day and let out some salt, but it’s delicious enough to die.
“Salt is valuable. Don’t waste it”
“But of course! And, this is fruit wine?”
When I pulled out the cork-like wooden plug, the smell of wine with a strong acidity came from inside it
“Give it to me” said Ai-Fa as she roughly robbed the clay bottle from my hand, gulping down a mouthful, and then thrusting it back again.
“E一to. By the way, how old is Ai-Fa?”
“17” she tossed out, then licking the edge of her mouth.
It’s wild, and sexy.
“I see. I’m 17 too. We were the same age huh. ……is this fruit wine also a valuable item?”
“I just bought what I need and exchanged for it with the remainder. I don’t take copper coins and such back to the village. ……Compared to salt and food, it’s not so valuable”
“I see. This seems to be a big win for later. ……but, none of it seems to have a connection to your scent?”
“I don’t know! Other than the poisonous insect repellent, and the herbs that are used when making dried meat, I haven’t touched anything!”
There isn’t anything to be angry about is there?
Well, for the time being, this is enough. For the arrival of [salt], I’m extremely grateful.
“Ai-Fa. Once again, can you lend me your knife?”
I received a small knife from the sour faced girl, and scraped off the remaining meat from the bones.
Now the preparations are ready.
Giba thigh meat, about 500 grams.
The pile of scraps scraped from the bone, about 400 grams.
Pseudo onions, 6.
Pseudo potatoes, 4.
The black pepper-like taste, coming from a pinch of dried pico leaves.
And then, mineral salt.
These are today’s ingredients.
First, powder mineral salt with the help of Ai-Fa, and put only one tablespoon into a boiling pot.
For today, let’s be satisfied with this. Whether it contains salt or not, will completely change how well it brings out the flavor.
The amount of hot water, same as last night, reaches about half of the pot.
I feel that a smaller amount is fine, but there’s no choice but to make a trial and error in this area.
Next, add a total of about 900 grams of Giba meat.
The red and white meat, dances with a yuruyuru.
“Ah, Ai-Fa. Don’t add firewood yet”
Ai-Fa who was trying to move in front of the kamado, looked back at me suspiciously.
“Giba meat must be carefully boiled, else it wouldn’t be very edible”
“Un. That’s why I’m planning on boiling it slowly over low heat”
Last night Ai-Fa, was cooking the fire with a gangan. Probably 20 minutes of high heat, or something like that.
And yet it was still soft enough to bite off, though the texture was basically that of rubber.
For boar, if you boil it, the longer you boil it, the softer it becomes.
Between that and farmed pigs, I think that’s the biggest difference.
“Uwa. It came out”
In a few tens of seconds after the meat was added, the scum came out splendidly.
With a wooden ladle and bowl prepared in advance, the scum and foam were removed precisely.
It might be because it was tightly covered in fat, but it seemed to be more vigorous than yesterday.
Right, now that I think about it, last night’s thigh meat was a lean mass with almost no fat.
For both wild boar and Giba, their thighs only have fat between the meat and the skin, so with Ai-Fa’s cooking where the surface is shaved off, almost all the fat disappears after the first time.
Low fat boar meat (probably Giba meat too) is not suitable for hotpots. It seems that that’s why last night’s meat had such a rubber-like texture. If that’s the case then let’s use last night’s remaining meat for yakiniku I thought, as the idea expanded while I worked hard on removing the scum.
“Now then. The problem is these guys”
Once the scum was removed, I closed the lid and left it for a while.
Settling down in a position where I could see the fire of the kamado, I compared onions and potatoes with their counterparts.
“Pseudo onion, no, was it aria? Because this looks just like an onion, it’s still whatever it was.2 The problem is, this guy一一hey, this poitan, what is it?”
“……Poitans are poitans”
Ai-Fa also leaned against the wall while sitting down, while making a sour face and rested her chin on her hand.
“2 poitans, and 3 arias. If you eat them with Giba meat sprinkled with pico leaves, then you can obtain a day’s worth of energy. That was gained from 80 years of life in the forest, it’s our wisdom”
“Fumu. ……By the way, the average life expectancy of the people of the forest, about how long is it?”
“Life expectancy? If the question is around how long we live, then it varies. Many of the people of the forest, not to sickness or old age, but rather lose their lives because they were attacked by Giba or other beasts”
Ai-Fa’s eyes, looked straight down.
Maybe, she may have remembered her father.
“But, that’s right……without hunger, and without exposing their corpse to the forest, I feel that no one would lose their life before the age of 60. The forest people’s oldest such as the Ruu clan’s Jiba Ruu, must already be over 80 years of age”
“Fumu. Compared to my world, I don’t think that that’s short lived”
While saying that, I sneaked up to Ai-Fa on all fours.
Not minding the girl’s disgusted face, I carefully inspected the area around her upper left arm.
Illuminated by the orange fire, her brown skin was shiny and glossy.
White scars ran here and there, but her skin was very smooth.
“U一mu” I said, as I stroked and confirmed it with my sense of touch.
Immediately a fist dropped onto my brain.
“Sorry sorry. Tight and soft, they’re really good quality muscles. I think it would be top notch for an athlete”
To break through the solemn air, I dared to take a mischievous action, but it seems that I went in the wrong direction. Ai-Fa’s face looked like a wildcat that its fur turned upside down and had a very dangerous looking expression.
“No, I just wanted to check the people of the forest’s health. At least, there doesn’t seem to be any major mistakes in Ai-Fa’s diet”
That means, as I thought those vegetables must be cooked exactly as the daily quota, is what I mean.
“U一n, this one’s homework! From tomorrow let’s study how to attack poitans. For today, I’ve got my hands full with Giba meat attack strategy”
Because Ai-Fa still had a disgusted look, I hurriedly retreated to the kamado.
The newly floating scum was scooped up, and the firewood was adjusted so that the flame doesn’t become too weak. For a while, this will be repeated.
“……I’m hungry. When will we get to eat?”
“Nn一? As an aim, 60 to 90 minutes……I’m planning on using about 3 to 4 times as much time as yesterday”
Ai-Fa had a very surprised expression, then sighed with a very despaired face.
“Sorry about that. I’m hungry too but. ……If it was this, after the dismantling work, maybe it would’ve been better if I had started cooking right away”
“……The one who told you to take a break was me, the one who said that preparation of the meal was up to you was also me. You don’t have to feel responsible”
While spitting out fair and clear words like such, Ai-Fa’s face looked very sad.
I wondered if she was that hungry, but it made me feel a little like laughing.
Hunger is the best seasoning.
If Ai-Fa isn’t satisfied with this, that would just mean that my skills are bad.
Whether a win or a loss. The time left until the match, was a little over 1 hour.
- It can also mean essential, but overall I’m not sure how to translate it.
- Not sure how to translate: まだどうにでもなりそうなんだよ. It should mean something like “since it still looks like an onion it’s probably the same thing”.