「……You pick up a rare egg and you go straight to talking about food? That can’t be right……」
「Makoto-san, this ain’t no fairy tale, and we can’t just not eat high quality protein like this.」
「Mako, give it up.」
Makoto complained in a low voice, to which Hiroshi and Mio poured further salt on the wound. Not only did the other students say crude things; no one had taken her side, and that broke her.
「Then, let’s take it to the kitchen and smash it.」
「Lime wants to do the smashing！」
「Well, Lime-chan did find it, so I don’t see why not.」
In response to Haruna, who was by this point super intent on cooking, Lime pleaded. Generously nodding at her, Haruna carried the egg into the kitchen. Figuring they might as well follow, Hiroshi and Mio went along with her. Teres and the other two also tagged along for whatever reason.
「Am I really that weird……？」
「Not really for a Japanese person, no.」
Watching Teres and the others go into the kitchen, Makoto was crestfallen at having her opinion and sensibility completely disregarded, and Tatsuya inwardly sighed as he comforted her.
「With a size like this, it would be difficult to break it the normal way, right？」
「Yuuup. I think we gotta do it with a hammer or it won’t work.」
Lightly hitting the surface to check the hardness, Hiroshi and Haruna came to that conclusion. Mimicking them, Lime was tapping the surface.
「Then we gotta get a cookin’ hammer.」
「We might even need a chisel, y’know.」
Picking up tools that didn’t seem to have much relation with cooking, Hiroshi and Haruna made preparations like bowls for dividing the yellow from the white. They were truly excited for this, in more ways than one.
Maybe you wouldn’t know what to think if you heard for the first time that cooking hammers were a thing, but you could use them to break salt crusts and to split or crush hard-shelled ingredients, or perhaps they might be necessary to hammer nails into sea eel eyes; honestly a lot of options. It was a little more questionable that these hammers weren’t directly involved in the cooking process, but they still more than counted as cooking utensils.
「Hard, very hard～」
「This seems quite firm」
As Hiroshi and Haruna were taking out the cooking utensils, Lime and Mio attempted to mimic the two of them by tapping all over the egg. Drawn in by this, Fum, Teres, and Nora also began touching the egg to see what it felt like.
「It might actually be hard enough to use as armor.」
「Can you really smash this with only a hammer？」
While agreeing with Nora, Teres asked a question out of curiosity. Everyone was truly immersed in this egg.
「Kay, gonna smash it now～」
Lime, who was still touching the egg all over, heard Hiroshi’s proclamation and stepped back. Seeing her retreat, Haruna put her hands on the egg to stabilize it. Hiroshi pushed a very specific-use tool called the Cooking Chisel into the egg. Everyone had touched it all over, and yet no one had even recognized the pulse that had begun to run through the egg.
「Lime, swing down as hard as ya can.」
Obeying Hiroshi, Lime swung the hammer down as hard as she could. At that very moment, Aearis jumped into the kitchen.
「You must not break that egg！！」
Lime barely managed to stop the hammer in time when she heard Aearis’s scream.
「Don’t break it～、don’t break it～」
「Don’t eat it～」
「It’s gonna be born～、gonna be born～」
The octogals who had teleported in with Aearis also asked Lime to stop. Upon further glance, one of the octogals had taken a position right where the hammer was about to strike, blocking the area of impact.
「It seems like we made it in time……」
Aearis breathed a sigh of relief at their making it barely in time. Getting an odd feeling about this after observing her mannerisms, Hiroshi looked into her eyes and realized:
「Are ya Alfemina-sama？」
「Yes. This was an emergency, so I borrowed Aearis’s body.」
Alfemina nodded casually at Hiroshi’s question. She borrowed Aearis’s body an awful lot for someone who was supposedly busy, and for trivial matters, but this time seemed to be no joke.
「So what kinda egg’s this？」
「It’s a divine beast egg.」
Hiroshi asked, and Alfemina casually said something dangerous. Hiroshi and the others were fine with that answer though. It made sense why the goddess had come over so frantically.
「So what kind of creature is supposed to hatch？」
「We won’t know until it does.」
The goddess responded to Haruna’s question in a roundabout way. Seriously, was she actually concerned about this or not?
「Goddess~ How come we can’t eat it？」
「Because divine beasts are one of the support systems for this world.」
「What happens if they’re gone？」
「Various conundrums, to put it plainly.」
Lime asked, and Alfemina made a vague response. Clearly it was pretty hard to describe.
「But it’s getting close to the time. I apologize for not being able to explain more……」
Leaving them with that note, Alfemina left Aearis’s body. No joke, the goddess literally just gave no concrete explanations and then left.
「So ya know what’s goin’ on Elle？」
「All I can really say is that it’s difficult for me to tell you……」
Aearis had no choice but to respond in an apologetic tone. As neither her nor the goddess were able to go into any further detail, this really must not be something that you could put into words.
「Anyhoo, looks like we confirmed we gotta hatch the egg now.」
「Yeah, looks to be so. Pudding will come later then.」
Hiroshi reluctantly concluded, while Haruna and Mio seemed to be disappointed from the bottom of their hearts. They were so eager to have pudding, so it must be difficult to have to put it off like that. The other members were also extremely let-down by this, as they too had been excited.
「Boss Man, are there any other rare eggs and such？」
「One second mate……」
Teres asked on behalf of the other craftsmen, who just couldn’t bear to give up, and Hiroshi responded, checking storage. As it was unexpectedly hard to obtain eggs, it was improbable that there were any eggs lying around unknown.
「There ain’t no rare ones, but there is a rare milk. Haruna-san, do ya think we can make puddin’ maybe？」
「We have to try first, but sure, sounds good.」
Haruna accepted Hiroshi’s suggestion with a slightly out-of-breath voice. This rare milk that Hiroshi mentioned was milk from one of the monsters they encountered while passing through Midas Federation, called moldres. Aside from its half bull half tiger appearance and its rugged-sounding name, the moldres was actually quite an intelligent, docile monster who would occasionally give you some of its milk as long as you were kind to it.
Now, of course when it came to battle, it had high fighting prowess to run contrary to its appearance, able to possibly even charge at and gnaw on adrasiazauruses to take them down in a truly fierce way. Also, the moldres was almost an herbivore but not quite, still counting as an omnivore, so after defeating an adrasiazaurus, the moldres ate its remains with gusto.
Moldres milk was rich, yet had no gamey taste, with a refreshing but with a strong, sweet aftertaste; truly delectable. You could always drink it by itself, but this gourmet product also tasted great in stews or as cheese. Though it had a gentle property, this was still not the kind of monster you could just tame, so of course this exquisite product was not high in circulation.
「Sensei, Haru, one question.」
「We use milk from things that aren’t cows, so is it even correct to call it cow milk pudding？」
Hiroshi and Haruna just realized this, judging by their expressions when Mio asked that simple question. While there were some similarities to cows in moldreses, they were clearly something other than cow. Calling such a pudding cow milk based would most certainly be ingredient falsifying, even if it were far higher than cow milk in quality.
「But what if we just call it milk puddin’? Wouldn’t that be pretty on-point?」
「That’s right. The name doesn’t say which kind of milk, so that can’t be mistaken.」