Prologue Part 2




Translator: Reflet
Editor: Weasalopes

「Caterpillar caterpillar~」

「I got mahself some gaudy fruit!」

「I pulled out some herbs with suspicious coloring.」

 It was the third day since entering the forest. The Japanese people had thoroughly adjusted to life there. Despite having not yet gone to the river mentioned by Teres, no one seemed to really care.

 Furthermore, they all had the skill Wanderlust, which when combined with their knowledge of the forest enabled them to travel a staggering 50 kilometers per day on foot. If they were to walk straight north for ten days, that was the kind of speed that could get them near the southern edge of Spirit Spire Mountain.

「Wow, I’m impressed that you all thought about eating this.」

「But Bro, yer doin’ the same thing.」

「Yeah, but I’m not exactly used to this. I just gave in is all.」

 Tatsuya replied with a strained face as he looked at the odd-looking food ingredient. Although it certainly didn’t look that way, the ingredients they were gathering happened to be safe as well as tasty. The majority of oddly-colored foodstuff were that way so as to ward off potential predators- their way of evolving, apparently.

 Among them were types that were harmless to humans but extremely poisonous to the herbivorous creatures and insects in these parts, so it was easy to tell that even a parallel universe like this one had its version of the struggle for existence.

「But you know, when I look at all these ingredients, it really reminds me that we’re in another world.」

「Ya just now realized this? Man, I thought ya would’ve picked up on it all the times ya ate them wyverns.」

「Well sure, you have a point, but…At least that was clearly some giant lizard, whereas the stuff around here just screams poison. Get what I mean?」

「I do get what yer tryin’ ta say, but……」

 Hiroshi returned a wry smile as he brought out water with magic, extracting the lye from the oddly-colored herbs. If there were the same foods that had been in the game, then it was reasonable to expect to encounter more things like this.

 If there were one refined ingredient in particular that struck him as remarkable, it would have to be the smack-dabbingly delicious hedoro or kohltaar, which both looked as if they would do a number on your body if you swallowed them but were in actuality so tasty that you actually wondered if there were anything superior in this world. They happened to contain a substance on their own that could extinguish any disease status condition, but they were also ingredients for a seriously phenomenal restorative item known as Soma of the Gods, so there was rarely an opportunity to eat these on their own.

「Hey, I got a snake!」

 As they were jabbering on about various things while preparing dinner, Makoto dragged in a snake whose length was practically equal to her height. It wasn’t especially large around the torso, but it was probably enough to net them five suppers and five breakfasts.

「Ooo, that’s a darn good meal if I ever saw one!」

「Kabayaki kabayaki!」

「Gotta make some sauce.」

 It was the kind of snake associated with parasites, so they had to cook it thoroughly. That was precisely why Haruna was carefully disassembling it.

「I gotcha a fire goin’.」


 When it came to kabayaki, rather than cooking it on a steel plate, it was better to directly expose it to the flame over a net. At least, that was Hiroshi’s insistence, as he had already started a fire in the earthen charcoal brazier, so there wasn’t any use arguing with him. Actually, no one bothered to comment on anything he did by this point.

「Meanwhile, I’mma roast the caterpillar with this here steel plate.」

「And boil the herbs?」

「Yeah, or otherwise we could stew them together with the fruit.」

 The three of them talked as they steadily progressed with cooking. This time around, the two eldest members of the group weren’t able to tag along with the conversation, as they did not cook.

「Man, this scent is intoxicating……」

「Yeah, kabayaki is one of those things that tastes great as a donburi……」

 As soon as Makoto spoke, the people working on the meal stopped momentarily.

「What now? Cook the rice?」

「I only ate it once with Elle after the hot springs on my way back from guard duty, so there ain’t nothin’ wrong with havin’ it this once.」

「Donburi…that kinda sounds good right now……」

 Once the idea of donburi got into her head, there was no going back. Haruna quickly thrust the roasted kabayaki into the food supply shed before immediately starting on the rice. Hiroshi began roasting the remaining kabayaki for her to thrust that into storage as well. Meanwhile, alongside the herb/fruit stew, Mio took out her prized wheat bran and wakame to make red miso soup.

 After the most time consuming process of cooking the rice was over, all of the food was stocked and ready to be devoured by starving beasts who were waiting to pounce at any minute. It was quite the spectacle.

「Is it about ready?」

 As they couldn’t cook the rice in the conventional rice cooker, the one doing the cooking had to determine whether it was finished or not. With that being said, Haruna had already maxed out her cooking skill, so it was safe to say there were no oversights. The minute she lifted the lid of the earthenware pot, there was an aroma that would likely arouse the appetite of the vast majority of Japanese people, alongside the emergence of white, erect, freshly-cooked rice.

「I can’t endure this any longer!」

「Haruna, quickly!」

「Okidokie. Wait just a minute.」

 Haruna quickly piled on enough rice for everyone onto the donburi, and before you knew it, everything was set out and ready. She was followed by Hiroshi, who set the snake kabayaki on the rice, and then Mio poured plenty of sauce over that as well. It didn’t even take a minute for all the trays to be filled.

「More precisely, it’s a donburi special, I’d say……」

「The places where we eat, the ingredients used, I’m sure there are a lot of strange things to comment on, but who even cares about the particulars……」

 Tatsuya and Makoto stared at their trays with impressed faces, chopsticks in hand. There were a variety of bizarre things on their plates, such as caterpillars instead of pickles, richly colored stewed vegetable leaves, etc. Some might even point out that donburi specials have nothing to do with small bowl stews, instead containing mini udon or mini soba.

 Still, as they were in an alternate world, eating red miso soup with donburi wasn’t anything in comparison to that.


「The sauce is fantastic……」

「I personally think that the kabayaki was well done, but what do you all think?」

「Heck yeah, the kabayaki is great. Different from eel or conger, but this is tasty in and of itself.」

 As often is for the taste of reptile, the snake that was prepared this time tasted close to what chicken was like. So you might be tempted to envision chicken instead of eel for kabayaki, but kabayaki is after all kabayaki. Nothing would ever change the fact that putting it on rice and eating it made for a great meal.

「Wow, caterpillars make a darn skippy palate cleanser, y’all.」

「This type is a bit crunchy.」

 Hiroshi and Mio commented on the overall balance as they ate the crunchy caterpillar like it was a pickled daikon radish. The next moment, the donburi, stew, and miso soup was all eaten up.

「That was delicious.」

 All of them practically finished eating at the same time, and they all exclaimed the same thing.

「But you know, it feels kinda strange.」

「Yeah, cause ya can’t usually get no donburi if ya camp out in places like these.」

 Hiroshi made a mercilessly sarcastic comment.

「Okay, so we just ate a staggering amount of rice. Any idea as to how we’ll replenish stock?」

「Yeah, this season’s not well-suited for it. Guess we gotta wait another half year!」

 Tatsuya had no choice but to agree with Hiroshi’s statement. Quite honestly, this was the time of year in which rice planting had not yet begun. Cherry blossoms would be blooming in Japan about now. Unless you somehow cheated in some special way, you definitely could not get your hands on new rice at this time.

「Haven’t even eaten half of our supply, so don’t worry about it just yet.」

「You say that, but…I get the feeling that we eat quite a bit every time we cook some, and since it’s not easy to get our hands on it too often, I kinda do feel concerned, y’know?」

「Tatsu, you’re the type of person who keeps elixirs on hand but never uses them.」

「Well excuse me!」

 Tatsuya made a sullen face as he responded to Mio’s interjection. Then again, it was true that it was a typical Japanese thing to preserve food in case of not being able to replenish stock later on due to scarcity or pricing.

「Well, I’m sure that we can figure out a way to extend the time we eat rice until we git some more.」

「If you say so……」

 Tatsuya was quite the worrywart. He was okay with eating things right away if they didn’t have any to start out with, but whenever it was difficult to get any in the first place, he was always on the defensive.

「Well anyhoo, there ain’t no point in fiercely protectin’ some grains o’rice, so I say we just chow down whenever we feel like it.」

「……Yeah, I know what you’re saying, it’s just…」

「Yeah, I do think it’s a bit rash to just eat whenever…」

 Hiroshi and the older members of the team simply couldn’t see eye to eye. They didn’t know, however, that if they were to have the newbies at the workshop prepare some more rice, there was some new information that could blow away all of their worries.




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