Translator: Haruchin Editor: Marky
We are headed to the west opposite the forest. Ash and I ride side by side with the sun behind our backs, the clopping sounds resounding as we canter. Butler was a little farther behind us. It’s a relief that the weather is great.
I gave Ruta free rein while we galloped, so I’m enjoying the scenery. Fields of wheat and beans spread, and there are sheep and goats here and there. We pass by some trees growing here from time to time. Only the bare minimum number of trees were probably left for getting firewood.
The gently sloping hills stretched on, and the mountain ridges that were visible on the horizon divided the land and sky.
「Let’s race up to that point, then let’s have a rest. 」
「Yeah, it’s nearly lunch so that’ll be great. 」
Ash pointed to the sparsely growing trees on top of the hill.
The way Ash handled the reins is amazing — I think. I don’t have the skills to control a horse, so dunno, but the way she rides the horse is breathtaking. She’s fast enough that her long, tied hair flows through the wind.
It’s so different from me, the guy who just left everything to Ruta! Well, this is easier compared to that time with Deer, so no complaints about that.
I alighted from Ruta and thanked him first for his hard work. It’s also thanks to Ruta that I can ride side to side with Ash’s horse.
We put our bags down first, then pour some water from the canteen into the bucket for the horses. I checked Ruta’s hooves first just in case something caught in his hooves while he’s busy drinking water. I wet the towel and wiped her sweat before brushing him lightly.
「Please take care of me as well when we return. 」
And you’re free to do whatever you please now.
He softly snorted before heading to the spot where delicious-looking — probably — grass grows.
Ash and Butler tied their horses to a nearby tree and are still brushing them. It hit me for a moment that it’ll probably be a better idea to tie Ruta too, but I just brush that idea off the next second.
Not sure why he’s taken to me, but he does come to me when I call him. He’s quite notorious for tearing off the tethers and kicking her stall fence if things don’t go well.
I spread the picnic blanket on the ground where it seems comfortable to sit on before opening the basket. Butler is preparing a fire for boiling water.
I removed the leaves that I placed to prevent the goodies inside from drying out, and sandwiches and some side dishes came into view.
「Jean’s handmade dishes are really pretty. 」
Ack, Ash’s face is too close when she peers into the basket.
「Here. Have as much as you want. 」
We have the ever popular cutlet sandwiches, and egg sandwiches. I spread anchovy butter on hard bread and stuffed it with lots of eggs and some kind of cheese that’s kinda similar to Camembert cheese. The baguettes are stuffed with roast beef, onions and watercress.
Ash’s first pick is an egg sandwich.
「Noth too. 」
「Thank you, please allow me to take you up on your offer. 」
He took a roast beef sandwich.
「I brought some spicy white wine, but there’s also beer here in case you like that. 」
I modeled this beer from the ones available here.
We’re drinking this in lieu of water, so I toned the alcohol content down. I used barley instead of wheat mixed with raspberries.
Mixing pine needles, bread crumbs, sage, lavender, chamomile, laurel, wax myrtle and whale stones seemed to be the popular way to go, but I don’t really have the courage to do that for various reasons, so I went with the safe choice of using raspberries, instead.
「Yes, yes. 」
Ah, will it be considered drunk driving if we drink before riding a horse?
I also chose an egg sandwich. The saltiness of the anchovy butter on the bread went well with the little honey I added as a secret twist to the taste. The mayonnaise and eggs are fluffy, and the cheese is creamy. Maybe it might have been better if I sprinkled ground black pepper for a more mature taste?
It will go well with the refreshing white wine — is what I feel. I bought the white wine in Nalluadhid. One more year to go and I can have a taste of the wine collection in my cellar. I’ll be a full fledged adult (by Japanese standards) by then.
「This is also tasty. Is it shrimp? So fragrant. 」
「Indeed, this one, too. We might have a bit of trouble getting rid of the oil, but we can try these fried foods in our home, too. 」
He’s talking about the fried chicken, the fried onion rings that are still crispy even when they went cold, and the river shrimp that have been grounded with shells on then wrapped in the spring roll wrappings and fried until crispy.
In lieu of salads, we have corn flour tortillas rolled with chicken, onions, cheese combo, or with carrot rapé, shredded cabbage and ham.
The onions are sliced and salted, but the rest are made to be a ‘raw food challenge’ to Ash and Butler. They seem to eat dandelion shoots raw, so I guess they’ll be accepting of these, too.
「I properly made them using ingredients found in the city, just so you know. 」
Ah, excluding anchovies, that is. I did check to make sure the onions, wheat and the other stuff are being sold here, but the ingredients themselves are all from my house.
Actually, I also wanted to make meat-wrapped onigiri and use the tomatoes as food coloring, but
I held back from using a lot of different ingredients, you know. Oh well, maybe I should just wait and see first, including rice? It’ll be hard if I served something they won’t eat as a main dish, right?
There’s something similar to paella near Nalluadhid, but I never saw it on this side of the continent that was beyond the mountains.
「I think Jean should just make whatever you want. 」
Ash suddenly said with a scary face. I can somehow see dark clouds hovering behind her, and the effect is a bit… She’s gripping the skewer of fried food tightly.
「I’m still lacking in power, but I’ll definitely gain enough to protect you from a lot of things so that you can make whatever you want to. 」
Noth quietly muttered.
Ash, that declaration of yours is way too manly. Also, I got a lot of things going on that’s making me like this, alright? I think I’m pretty strong. Probably, though. I’m strong, right? Ugh, I’m not so sure now!
T/N: Jean and Ash ~
Thanks for the treat.
Yup. Jean house husband and Ash sword wife.