The wind swayed the leaves in the surroundings and created a lush sound at the same time.
A good and nostalgic memory resurfaces in my mind.
A terrible memory also surfaced at the same time.
It is a strange feeling that offsets each other.
No, apparently the painful memories are the ones that remain the stronger, so if I had to choose which, I would say it leaves more of a bad aftertaste than a good one.
Today, we were with a pretty big amount of company at a certain place in Asora.
The ones accompanying me are Tomoe, Mio, and Shiki; there’s also Orcs and Arkes, making it several tens of people.
Being in the face of such a unique scene, I take a deep breath. Even when counting that it is morning, a cold air enters my body.
“It is quite the splendid thing, isn’t it. It has appeal.” (Tomoe)
“Is there ingredients in a place like this?” (Mio)
“Fumu… I think I have seen something similar to that in Lorel and Aion, but I feel like it was a lot thinner than this. The feeling of the leaves is similar, but I remember it not being this thick.” (Shiki)
The Orcs were restless, but my three followers were also showing interest as they look around.
That Shiki is saying he has seen something similar.
When he says the leaves are similar but it is not a tree, does he mean bamboo grass? If I remember correctly, it can also be considered as himetake.
Maybe in this world, they are called bamboo shoots as well.
That’s right, we are currently at a bamboo thicket.
More precisely speaking, a bamboo grove we are planning on making a bamboo thicket.
This part is pretty important.
I have gone to this kind of place a number of times when I was in Japan. It was apparently a place that didn’t lose to the one at Sagano in Kyoto.
But this is something the people there told me.
……In the first place, I have not been to that Sagano place, so I wouldn’t be able to tell.
Since we were going to a bamboo grove, I honestly asked my Sensei, who brought me there, what we would be doing at that place.
When I asked, Sensei made an ‘ah’ face.
Right after, my shoulders were firmly grabbed and, when I turned around, I saw a middle-aged man making a scary face.
It might be because of these kind of experiences that I was slowly able to tell the scary smiles and the non-scary smiles when interacting with Sensei.
And so, he told me that the place was a bamboo thicket. That it was by no means a bamboo grove. That it was a bamboo thicket he placed his all in growing.
He was deluding himself. That was no thicket.
…..The bow training that was supposed to be done in a flat bamboo thicket, was now changed into a training at a bamboo grove with slanted surfaces like those of slopes.
It was hell.
Rather than the tastiness of the bamboo shoots, the part of my whole body being in pain remained more vividly in my mind.
Well, that has nothing to do with what’s happening now though.
It simply reminded me of this.
Today, we came to this place that grew at quite the high speed to begin managing it.
They grow fast, so they seem to have gotten even more special in Asora.
Mio seems to only be interested in the bamboo shoots though.
“But this is a troublesome wideness. There’s already the point that the bamboos are growing fast, so…first, we have to stop them from expanding even more.” (Makoto)
“They are tall, strong, and numerous. Can’t we use them for something?” (Tomoe)
“The inside is hollow depending on the area. You can shave it or knit it to make it into daily goods.” (Makoto)
“That’s interesting. Let’s cut a number of them and bring them back.” (Tomoe)
I also speak about the bamboo shoots.
“The thing that Mio is currently poking is a bamboo shoot that can serve as an ingredient.” (Makoto)
“Ah, no, it wasn’t as if… I just thought it had a strange shape and… Eh? This is an ingredient? It is called bamboo shoot?” (Mio)
“It may look like that, but it is quite the all-purpose good, you know. Let’s dig those out too and taste test them with everyone later.” (Makoto)
I tell Mio the identity of the thing that was covered in a deep light brown skin she was poking with her folded fan.
“Okay! Well then, let’s divide and confirm the size of the bamboo thicket first. Arke, can I ask that of you guys? The Highland Orcs can get rid of the trees that are not bamboos and might end up getting in the way.” (Makoto)
“Then, I will be investigating this plant first. Waka-sama, do you know something of it?” (Shiki)
“Shiki, the bamboo shoots spread underground. Also, there’s genders, and the female is stronger, so when managing them, you can thin out the male ones…apparently. I honestly only have superficial knowledge of it, so I don’t know any of the detailed stuff. I did get taught about a variety of ways to eat bamboo shoots though.” (Makoto)
“Underground type huh. In that case, it might be useful in a variety of things. Currently, there’s problematic sides to it, but in terms of depth…oh? It is pretty shallow. I see.” (Shiki)
Shiki began to analyze the bamboo itself.
Shiki had completely become an agricultural person in Asora. He can even do research. The type you would want at least one in every household.
I can’t tell the difference between a male and female, and in the past, I dug the bamboo shoots out without caring about those kind of things.
Sorry for my lack of knowledge.
I could still remember the bitter memory of constantly trembling from head to feet because of being exploited.
“Waka-sama, since this light brown thing is apparently an ingredient, would it be better to avoid them as we work?” (Orc)
“Prioritize the work. Even if you were to step on them or crush them, it cannot be helped. They will probably be growing one after the other, so you don’t have to mind it.” (Makoto)
“I see…” (Orc)
Probably because he didn’t want to waste food, the Orc that asked me made a complicated expression.
With how big this place is, I feel like they really will be coming in numbers, so I honestly think that there’s no need to worry about it.
In the first place, if we can’t eat it all and we don’t want them to increase in numbers, we have no choice but to crush them anyways.
“Uhm, Waka-sama? This thing called bamboo shoot, I feel a bit of a problematic characteristic to it.” (Shiki)
“Problematic, you say? Shiki, they don’t have poison, and the bad taste isn’t that hard to get rid of—” (Makoto)
I look at the place where a scream had suddenly rang.
Something that looks like a bamboo shoot had been shot…straight up…at quite the speed. It continues to rise as of now.
The orcs that were in the vicinity of it had jumped out of the way and had fallen on their butts.
…Uhm, seriously, what is happening?
“What happened?” (Makoto)
“W-Waka-sama. The ground suddenly swelled up below my feet and…” (Orc)
“Something went up…” (Orc)
That just now was truly a bamboo shoot?
What’s with that strange setup?
Something seems to be falling from where I was looking at.
It took quite a while to come down.
How high up did it fly?
There’s no doubt that what fell was a bamboo shoot.
Because of the fall, the bamboo shoot had been broken to pieces and the yellow edible part of it had been dispersed on the ground.
In other words, it did fly.
A bamboo shoot acting like fireworks?
Hm, this is a mystery.
Everyone’s movements stop at this mysterious happening.
“You said that it was below your feet, so that means you stepped on it, right? Then, does that mean it flies when stepped on? A natural landmine?” (Makoto)
“Waka-sama, it looks like they possess a trait that’s unknown to you.” (Shiki)
“Looks like it. At any rate…..Ah, that one should do. Tomoe!” (Makoto)
I find a bamboo shoot poking out and call Tomoe.
“What should I do?” (Tomoe)
“Try pushing the upper part of that one for a bit.” (Makoto)
“As you wish.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe hits the top of the bamboo shoot lightly with the handle of the katana.
As if using the action of Tomoe as a signal of sorts, its whole body trembles and flies high up the sky.
“Try with that one next. This time, try cutting it from the side.” (Makoto)
“…As you wish.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe does as told.
This time, it didn’t tremble much and simple rolled on the ground.
Even when we pushed the top, it didn’t fly.
“Looks like it is fine from the side. Do the underground types all fly when they are pushed with a certain threshold of pressure?” (Tomoe)
“W-Who knows. At any rate, everyone, if you see bamboo shoots, cut them from the side as you go! If you feel something weird at your feet, leave that place at once!” (Makoto)
I give out new orders.
I thought I wouldn’t get too tired today, but it looks like it won’t be that easy.
In the end, it looks like the cause was with the underground ones.
After my followers, the Arkes, and I had confirmed the size of the bamboo thicket, we decided that we should cut the underground ones and remove the ground to leave it as a moat for now.
When we tried to gather them all with Shiki’s magic…the bastards exploded.
The explosion wasn’t that big of a scale, but it exploded to an extent of instinctively stopping the magic.
The troublesomeness raised on a whole other level.
Well, we managed to properly hold back the explosion. And with Shiki, the Arkes, Tomoe, Mio, and obviously me as well, we made a moat as a temporary measure. In other words, everyone but the orcs helped out in it.
It was quite the job.
After that, we entered the moment Mio was waiting for. The gathering of the bamboo shoots.
Since we were somehow on guard and it was something within expectations, we also discovered that when we dig close to the areas where the bamboo shoots are, because of the shock they receive from the side, they fly out as well.
I even thought that we might as well just call the Winged-kin to catch them from above. But it pained me to put them to such useless work, so I kept it as an internal thought.
We decided on collecting them with axes and machetes at a decent depth.
As I thought, there were a lot of bamboo shoots that we simply couldn’t collect.
The management of this might be quite troublesome.
At worst, it might be better to just leave it as a bamboo grove.
We just have it not spread any further, and it would be most satisfactory if there were a race somewhere that would like to eat them.
Well, this will depend if the ways of cooking that I know of will be a hit with the other races though.
The Highland Orcs and us transported the bamboo shoots with the skin peeled off, only leaving the edible part.
Transporting it without the skin would make the weight decrease by quite a lot, so this way was better.
“Ah, Ema, you can leave the red part at the bottom like that, just shave it a bit. Next, place water and rice bran in the pot, and put in the bamboo shoot there. That’s right, the big ones, cut them in half. When they have been boiled, lower the fire and let it hang on the fire for a while. And then, after letting them cool down slowly, the preparations are complete.” (Makoto)
“When you do this, what happens?” (Mio)
“If you use the bamboo shoots as they are, there will be bitterness and astringency. By doing this, those strange elements that make it harder to eat will reduce. If they are young ones that have been recently dug out, I heard that you can eat them as they are, but I have not done that before.” (Makoto)
“I see. It takes effort. What kind of cooking is it used for?” (Mio)
“You can cook it with rice, make it juice, make it into steamed wrapping, you can even smear soy sauce to it and eat it just like that as if you were eating sashimi, and you can bake them. At any rate, there’s a lot of ways. We can get quite a lot, so you can go ahead and test them out. But boiling them in water is a basic that is done for all the cooking processes of this, so remember it.” (Makoto)
“Yes. Sashimi of a plant… First time I will try it. Is it different from salad? …I am looking forward to it!” (Mio)
Mio joins the preparations for the cooking with experienced moves.
I have seen bamboo shoot being baked as it is with its skin on, but I have not tried it myself.
Introducing a method I don’t know about when we are still in the stages of learning about it wouldn’t be a good move.
Researching about it on their own later is welcomed, so I pray that it will be to the taste of some race, just like in the time with the Forest Onis and the bananas.
The female Orcs are mostly the ones who do the cooking processing of field products.
When we reach the time for boiling them, I will use the waiting time to introduce them the recipes for it.
Shiki and Tomoe, who had returned to the bamboo grove, will most likely come back here, and if they don’t, I can just call them when the cooking is done.
It is going well.
I didn’t expect them to fly out.
It reminds me of the story of princess Kaguya.
There was nothing about bamboo rockets in that story, but it was a story about returning to the moon.
I don’t know where Asora is located, but there’s indeed a moon.
When the sky begins to grow dark, it shows its figure in the sky.
Today it shows itself as well.
Tsukuyomi-sama, are you doing a bit better now?
A bamboo grove and bamboo shoot cooking; in this day that reminds me heavily of my homeland, I was thinking of the God that I met when I came to this world.
The big things in the bamboo grove were left under the supervision of the Orcs.
It is not as if I pushed the job onto them, they volunteered to do so.
Since they have divided the paperwork with the winged-kin, there has been a bit more freedom in their personnel, so it is apparently no problem for them.
But Ema, who was trying to explain it to me in a calm tone, was unable to hide her true feelings.
Looks like they liked it —the bamboo shoots.
My image of Orcs was that of pigs or boars.
The Highland Orcs give a close impression to that of pigs.
I hear often that boars eat bamboo shoots. The Highland Orcs might be the same kind as them even if their appearances are different, so it wouldn’t be strange for them to share the same kind of likes.
Now that I think about it, they like chestnuts and potatoes too.
They do eat meat too, but they are people that like vegetables quite a bit.
Even with that, they have those muscles.
Just how does that work.
Hyumans might have unexpectedly bad constitution.
By the way, Asora has pigs and boars. If boars come, I can eat them, but I make sure not to eat pig.
It is because I feel kind of bad for the Orcs after all.
Well, they don’t care about reservation or anything like that and eat pig like normal, so it is normally served in the dining table.
But maybe because I don’t eat it, Tomoe, Mio, and Shiki also don’t eat much of it.
I did tell them not to be reserved about it though. They have their own preferences, so I am not forcing them to eat the things I do.
I don’t know how far they have proceeded, but the pigs are still not targets yet for the Gorgons and Winged-kin to domesticate.
I think that the pigs will in time turn back to be boars.
I asked a number of Highland Orcs, and it seems like, it is true that boars and pigs share a similar appearance to them, but they see them as a completely different race.
From what I have heard, it is similar to how humans perceive monkeys.
…If it were me, I would hesitate in eating monkeys though…
Well, it is fine if they are not against it. It is true that they taste good after all. I will also be eating them in time, so it would be fine to domesticate them in the future.
Stew, ginger fried, twice cooked, pork cutlet, breaded pork on rice, and if it is soup, it would be pork miso soup.
…Yeah, it might be better to not be stubborn about it.
Even with the recipes I know, I am already being tempted.
People like father and Rembrandt-san tell me that I should enjoy the oily food while we are young after all.
Later, after the report, I taught the recipes to Ema who asked me.
I am thinking of lifting my ban on pig meat in a near future.
Leaving aside the outside world, today’s day in Asora was quite the peaceful one.