254 – Useful Glowing Object
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“So, you picked it up after all?”
“It’s because it so looked pitiful when it flickered weakly once we tried to leave it alone……”
I turned away from Elma who was glaring at me with a reproachful gaze. The direction I turned toward was where Mimi and the mechanic sisters were gathered in order to check out the mysterious glowing object, which was now pierced inside the grounds of the camp.
“It’s such a peculiar object. I wonder how it glows?”
“Un. We really can’t get an accurate read with only the equipment we have on hand, Sis. Its makeup is similar to wood according to the scans, but are there actually any trees that are shaped like this?”
“At least, it’s totally different from the trees around us. We still can’t determine anything after all the scans we did.”
Whisker and Mimi were scanning the thing using their tablet terminals, but the truth about it was still shrouded in mystery. By the way, Whisker seems to be using a scanning app that was specialized for analyzing the structural materials of starships while Mimi was using the edible plant scanning app she downloaded. Are you actually planning to eat that thing, Mimi? You better drop that idea. You’d ruin your stomach you know.
“Can this thing really understand our words?”
“Yes. It shined in response to Hiro-sama’s words.”
“Is it an intelligent lifeform of some sort? Does that mean intelligent lifeforms other than the elves exist on this planet? Do you know anything about this, Elma-san?”
“Eh? Was there really such a thing?”
After Whisker’s sudden question, Elma cocked her head as she mulled over the matter. Yosh. Her attention was successfully diverted. Now’s my chance.
“Let’s set aside that mysterious object for the time being. We had a nice harvest guys. See, there’s a lot, right?”
After saying so, I opened my backpack and showed everyone the contents.
“Wow. That really is a lot.”
“Waa, can we really eat all of these?”
“According to Mimi’s scan app, all of them are edible.”
After we pulled out the mysterious object from the ground, we were able to find and harvest edible stuff one after another for some reason.
“First, there’s this. This is a kokiri fruit. It’s has a bit of a grassy smell, but it’s juicy and tastes pretty fine. We’ve already sampled one, and it wasn’t bad at all.”
“Hmm, and what about this?”
“It’s an edible mushroom called a mokoridake. Apparently, it’s delicious when grilled.”
“Ah, I think I’ve tried this one before.”
“Me too. It was a bit sour though. It seems to be called a millberry.”
Yep, the things we found in addition to the kokiri were edible mushrooms and berries. The mokoridake looked like your typical edible mushroom with a thick white stalk and a brown cap. It seems to be pretty tasty when sliced in two and grilled.
The millberry was a dark-purplish-colored berry that resembled a raspberry instead of the strawberries regularly seen in Japanese supermarkets. I suppose you can describe its size as a little smaller than a ping-pong ball. We gathered a lot of these berries as well.
“But grilling mushrooms ain’t really appealing in our situation. We don’t have any seasonings after all. They’re probably gonna taste stale without those……”
“Oh, about that. We can actually produce salt through the molecular composition device.”
It seems that it was possible for the device to produce salt by breaking down and recomposing soil, stones, and wood. Well, it’s said that soil contains a lot of sodium, so I guess it wasn’t that farfetched after all.
“Uh, since we can apparently get salt, I suppose we can cook up some pretty tasty grilled mushrooms after all. The remaining concern is water……”
As if in response to my muttering, the mysterious object began to shine again.
“Uwah, it’s shinin’ like crazy.”
“Ah, it’s fine. It’s probably not something dangerous.”
I soothed the panicking Tina and pulled out the mysterious object from the ground.
When completely pulled out, its total length was about 1.2 meters. Both of its ends were sharply pointed with three spiral grooves running across its entire body. However, these spiral depressions oddly fitted the hands perfectly, making the object pretty easy to hold. Its weight balance was also quite good, and if you threw the thing, it would probably fly pretty far.
“So, where is it? Here? Or here?”
As I pointed one tip of the object around, the light it was emitting eventually flickered faster in a certain direction.
“Don’t tell me it’s pointing to a direction where we’d find water?”
“Probably. We already used it when we were out gathering food after all.”
“Eeh? ……Seriously? Ain’t that kinda creepy?”
“It does feel a bit creepy, doesn’t it? Well, this thing’s probably making itself useful so we won’t throw it away.”
“Is it really an intelligent creature of some kind?”
Whisker frowned in bewilderment as she eyed the mysterious object. As she continued to observe what was going on, Elma wrinkled her brows as if desperately trying to recall something.
“You got something for us, Elma?”
“Un…… Not really, no. I only spent a short time here when I was little, so my memory’s quite fuzzy.”
“It can’t be helped then. I only have fuzzy memories of my grandma too.”
Mimi nodded as if convinced for some reason. Well, since Elma, who was older than me by more than a dozen years, was trying to remember her time as a young kid, it was probably more than thirty years ago. If that’s the case, then it might be unavoidable that she doesn’t remember much from back then.
“Anyway, it’s likely that we can find water in the direction this guy is pointing toward, so I’ll go and take a quick look.”
“I’ll come with you. Mimi, we’ll leave the camp to you.”
“Yes! I’ll make sure to protect Tina-chan and Whisker-chan.”
Mimi patted her laser gun which was holstered on her hip and replied excitedly. She might be all gung-ho about it, but since we can’t be sure if you can really deal with this planet’s wildlife with just a laser gun, I suppose we’ll just have to turn back if the water source ends up being too far away from the camp.
I walked ahead while clutching the glowing mysterious object in my left hand and hacking away at the surrounding foliage with the sword in my right hand. I also didn’t forget to place marks on the trees so we can more easily find our way back.
And what appeared before Elma and me was–
“It might be a spring or a pond, but in any case, it’s certainly a water source.”
It wasn’t that big, but we still found something which looked like a pond. The water seemed to be quite clear, and you could clearly see the sand at the bottom of the water dance about from time to time. It looks like this was the water source the mysterious object was referring to. The water that springs from the bottom splits into several streams which flowed out of it.
“It looks clear enough to drink as is.”
“Don’t even think about it. No matter how pristine-looking the water is, drinking it without boiling it first is too dangerous.”
After saying so, I took out a container built out of the black polycarbonate-like material used to build our shelter from my backpack. It was made by Tina and the others while I and Mimi were out procuring food.
“Let’s fill this up with water and go back. The danger should be greatly reduced after thoroughly boiling it.”
“Would it be better if we distilled it?”
“It would be nice if we can do that, but can we actually make a serviceable distiller?”
“Can’t we make one using that molecular composition device? We can just use the metal parts of the crashed train cars to make it.”
“I see? Well, anyway, let’s bring some water back first. There should be a water quality tester in the survival kit as well, so we can use that to check if the water’s potable.”
I filled the black water tank and stashed it inside my backpack afterward.
“That should do it. But I wonder what this thing really is anyway?”
I raised the mysterious glowing object up and cocked my head– Huh?
“Did this thing actually suck up some water? It kinda feels like it’s heavier.”
“Really? Well, it does resemble wood, so I guess it’s not that strange that it can actually suck water…… No, we’ve been here only for a short while so it couldn’t have sucked up that much to get heavier. It’s becoming more and more mysterious.”
“It’s weird, but I admit it’s pretty convenient.”
Even if it did get heavier, it wasn’t that much. I should still have no problem carrying it around.
“This water’s heavy too. We better go back now.”
“Yeah. I’m worried about leaving everything to Mimi alone.”
“That’s for sure.”
After repeated training sessions, Mimi was now able to shoot a laser gun normally, but she still wasn’t that skilled with it, and her personality wasn’t that aggressive. I’m worried if she can deal with things just in case a wild animal does attack the camp.
And so, I and Elma walked back to camp with me hauling a fully filled water tank and the mysterious object which was now strangely heavier.
Well, all this effort might come to nothing if a rescue team does arrive to fetch us tonight though. That’s fine too, I guess. This was merely insurance just in case no rescue comes for the time being. Yeah, let’s just chalk it up to that.