Chapter 222

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Mountain Plants
We had a great harvest yesterday.
We discovered new ingredients in the morning——of course, we went to a store and bought it.
We went to the temple where I got the magic potions I was looking for. Additionally, I even got the magical papers I wanted to get my hands on for so long——they arrived in the evening in large quantity.
I felt so excited I wanted to share my feelings with others, and decided to go collect the herbs that are unique to these mines as I promised.

“Today, we are going to collect herbs around the mountain!”
“”Ohh~””

If we find herbs, Andy-san’s staff from the Adventurer’s Guild will be surely happy… well, that’s my own belief, though.

(Yay~ going out?)
(Niisama, what are you planning on doing today?)
(Seeing the mountains?)
(A stroll?)
(It’s surely herb gathering!)

As we passed through the northern gate and advanced on the path leading towards the mountain climb, there were almost no signs of other people.
Joule and Feat who knew that we were currently staying in town and not on a journey came out in their small forms, but returned to their original sizes once they saw there was no one else around.

“Mile is correct!”
(I did it!)
“The kind doesn’t matter, but we are collecting herbs from around here. Are you guys going to help us?”
(Of course!)

Not only Mile, the other children also acknowledged the herb gathering and we quickly proceeded to the mountain.

(Niisama, do you want herbs that grow only in the mountains? Is there something you are looking for in particular?)
“Let’s see~ I believe that flame grass and tengu grass definitely grow here, so I would like those. Also, I think we may be able to find moon poem and charming flower if we are lucky enough~”

Flame grass and tengu grass are quite common within the mines, while moon poems and charming flowers are “a bit rare” kind of flowers.

(Oh my, it will be easier to look for those knowing that~)
(Yep, I know these too!)
“Allen knows too~”
“Elena knows~”
(I know as well.)
(Ehh~ I dunno~)
(I am good too!)

It seems that only Vector doesn’t know the herbs by their name.

“Vector, how about you guard the surroundings and take care of the monsters then?”
(I am better with that! Got it!)

I thought Vector might be feeling left out by being the only one with a different job, but he seemed pleased instead.
Rather than paying attention, Vector definitely likes moving his body more.
Well… there seemed to be some (Allen, Elena, Joule) who seemed to be slightly envious, but they don’t dislike searching for herbs, so they did not voice any complaints.

“Anyhow, let’s look for herbs while climbing the mountain from here.”
“”(((((Yess~)))))””

Without delay, we began climbing the mountain while looking for herbs.

“”Ah!””

As soon as we started walking, Allen and Elena seemingly found something as they broke into a run.

“There is.”
“Tengu here~”

They have already found tengu grass, huh~ it’s as usual, but they sure are quick~

(Niisama, there’s flame grass over there~)
(I have also found flame grass~)
(Aniue, there were some strong mushrooms too, but it’s fine to ignore those, right?)
(I have found a moon poem!)

“I have found this and I have found that” voices raised and before long, three kinds of herbs and edible mushrooms were gathered around me.

“You are all really amazing at this.”
(Right! Praise me, praise me!)

As I admired, Joule rubbed his body against me.

(Oh my, Joule, that’s not fair~)
“Allen too~”
“Elena too~”

Everyone gathered around me. They really cute kids.
Anyhow, after patting them in order, we resumed the gathering.

(Allen, Elena, look at this. There are amusing plants growing here!)
“”It’s round and round~””
“Those are… fiddleheads?”

What Joule found was something that looked exactly like the edible fiddleheads.

“”Fiddleheads?””
“Err, its name is… yep, it’s fiddlehead fern.”

It seems it was called fiddlehead fern in this world too.

(Oniichan, is this edible?)
“It is… I have not eaten much of it, though.”

I like stuff like fuki (butterbur) and takenoko (bamboo shoots), but I have not eaten much of zenmai (a type of fern top, more prized than kogomi or warabi), warabi (bracken shoots), kogomi (fernbrakes of kusasotetsu), fukinotou (flower shoots of butterbur), and udo (Japanese spikenard).

(Takumi is talking about Sansai. Sansai (山菜) is a Japanese word literally meaning “mountain vegetables”, originally referring to vegetables that grew naturally, were foraged in the wild, and not grown and harvested from fields. However, in modern times, the distinction is somewhat blurred, as some sansai such as warabi have been successfully cultivated. For example, some of the fern shoots such as bracken (Fiddlehead) and zenmai shipped to market are farm-grown. – from Wikipedia)

(Then, I’m going to pick more, so make it the next time.)
“Sure, go ahead.”

When I gave my consent, Joule, Allen, Elena, and Mile went to gather more fiddleheads.
However, rice seasoned and cooked with various ingredients is better than just boiling something. In that case, just fiddleheads won’t be enough.

“Mixing it with mushrooms and bamboo shoots would we the best, I really want them~”
(Bamboo shoots (takenoko = bamboo child)? Niisama, you mean that bamboo (take = bamboo)? The long green-colored thingies, right?)
“Eh? There are bamboos here?”
(Yes, there are. But those are really tough, are they really edible?)
“It’s before they become bamboos. They are not that tough when they just came out on the surface.”
(Is that so, I didn’t know~ Ahh, that’s why they are called bamboo children, huh.)

Feat was delighted by the new knowledge.

(Bamboo forests are pretty much everywhere. There might be one around here too, I will go look for it if you’d like.)
“Really?”
(Of course. You will be happy if I find it, after all.)
(Feat, I will go too!)
(Good, let’s look for it separately.)

Feat and Bolt flew into the sky, looking for a bamboo thicket.

“”We are back~””
(Oniichan, we picked up lots, you know? Huh? Where’s Feat and Bolt?)

Allen, Elena, Mile and Joule returned with plenty of fiddleheads.

“I said that wanted some bamboo shoots——bamboo children, so they went to look for bamboo.”
(Bamboo children? What are you going to use that for?)
“Bamboo shoots are delicious.”
“”Delish!””
(Heeh~ that thing can be eaten? We have to find it then!)

Hearing that it’s delicious, Allen, Elena, and Joule understood why Feat and Bolt left in search of it.

(Then, we will continue after Feat and Bolt return. Shall we look for more herbs in the meantime?)
“Indeed, let’s do that. Huh? That reminds me, Vector has been quiet since a while ago. Where is he?”
“Vector is.”
“Over there~”

I thought I didn’t hear Vector’s voice for a while now. He was apparently a little further away.

(It looks like he hunted Rocksnake again.)
“Again?”
(Yeah, “again”. Look, Oniichan, over there.)
“Eh!?”

Looking where Joule was pointing at, I was shocked.

(He has been running all over the place since a while ago, bringing back Rocksnakes.)
“… When did he manage to do that?”

There was a pile of Rocksnakes so big I was at a loss for words.

“Well, as long as he’s not injured.”

It looks like there was no danger here, so I decided to let Vector do as he likes. Allen, Elena, Joule, Mile, and I decided to resume looking for herbs until Feat and Bolt return.

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