Ch 116 -- After All, We Prefer Meat
"I'm seeing more and more signs of people around." Fer said at a lunch break, four days after we left the city of Claire. "We'll maybe get to Doran tomorrow afternoon."
"Tomorrow, really? That's sooner than I expected." I looked at the map I had been given by Rodolpho-san, the head of the Adventurer's Guild in Claire, tracing the route between that city and our destination, the Dungeon City of Doran. Had we really covered so much distance in only four days?
"Yes. I've been running faster than usual." Fer said complacently. So he's in a hurry to get to Doran, a city with a Dungeon? I wonder why. Not.
"Doran at last?" Dora-chan commented. "It's a pretty big city from what you've told me, I'm looking forward to seeing it."
"I'm looking forward to the dungeon-" Cute battle-maniac Sui-chan chimed in, saying out loud what I suspected the other two were really thinking.
But, a dungeon... is it really a good idea to rush headlong towards a place where monsters abound? I sighed. Because Fer, Sui and Dora-chan were all looking forward to going into the dungeon in Doran I'd have no choice but to accompany them. I'd need to be prepared though, safety first after all. I decided I'd need some more of Sui's Deluxe High-grade Potion in case I got injured. I had Healing Mushrooms in store but Sui's Deluxe High-grade Potion seemed to work better so I'd get her to make more of that for me. Hmmm, maybe it would be a good idea to make a variety of potions, the basic, intermediate and regular high-grade types too just in case.
"Sui? Can you do something for me?"
* * * * *
"This looks like a good place to stop for today." Fer said as he came to a halt. The sun was going down but it wasn't really dark yet.
"Why?" I asked. "Will we get to Doran tomorrow if we stop now?"
"Yeah, easy. Earlier I figured we'd make it some time tomorrow afternoon but I've been going faster than I expected for some reason and even if we stop now we'll get there before noon."
I could guess the "reason" Fer was hurrying towards Doran but had he really cut so much time off the trip? I wondered just how fast Fer could go if he didn't have me on his back. Anyway if he said we'd be at Doran tomorrow then that was probably right.
"I'm hungry. Flying so fast like this all day long makes me hungry." Dora-chan said as he collapsed onto the ground beside Fer. I thought he had eaten his fill for breakfast, and lunch too come to think of it. Was he really hungry?
"That's right. If you move so fast like this you burn through a lot of food." Fer firmly agreed. I suspected he was just over-eating but then again we had been travelling very fast. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt on that since I was simply freeloading on his back.
"Sui also got hungry -"
Sui-chan... Sui was also eating a lot but she had missed breakfast and lunch today, asleep in her bag.
"Food." Fer declared.
"Food, like the big guy said." Dora-chan agreed.
"Dinner-" Sui said.
Huh, they are strong monsters but what about their fuel economy? Keeping them fed was a real challenge, I thought to myself as I got ready to start cooking. I thought for a bit on what the menu would be today and I decided use up the rest of the Venom Tarantula legs I had in my Item Box. They tasted OK but everyone, including myself, preferred monster meat like Orc, Bloody Horn Bull and Wyvern meat. Best to get them out of the way, I decided so I'd cook them and serve them up today, treating them like leftovers. I thought about various ideas on how to present them and came up with the idea of making "crab-meat" omelettes with "crab-meat" salad and fried rice as side dishes. Fer might complain about the salad but vegetables are good for your body and eating raw vegetables occasionally doesn't hurt, really.
First of all I had to purchase stuff from the Net Super. The salad vegetables were lettuce and cucumber with canned corn and a sesame oil dressing. I'd top the fried rice with omelettes made from eggs and green onions with some seasoning, oyster shoyu I think. I'd use the sauce from a tube I'd used before, just buying it from the Net Super was easier than making it myself. I bought more eggs than I'd need for the omelettes since I'd use some for the fried rice as well as some red bean paste for flavouring the omelettes.
I like fried rice with lots of ingredients so today's serving would have shiitake and enoki mushrooms, boiled bamboo shoots and as a finale canned green peas for colouring. I laid out all the ingredients and checked, Yosh! Ready to start.
First I boiled up all the Venom Tarantula legs with lots of salt then used scissors to cut the softened shell and take out the insides. I started off making the salad using the meat I removed.
I cut the lettuce to an appropriate size and sliced the cucumber thinly. I put them in a big bowl with the corn, plenty of Venom Tarantula leg meat and added sesame oil as a dressing before tossing it. I put some on each serving dish before tucking them away in my Item Box for the time being to keep everything fresh.
Next up was to cook the fried rice and finally the omelettes. I boiled the bamboo shoots and shredded them, trimmed and sliced the shiitake mushrooms and trimmed and split the enoki too. I oiled a frying pan and quickly stir-fried the mushrooms and then added the bamboo shoots with salt and pepper.
I put water, chicken stock, sake, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce and boiled it, finally adding dissolved potato starch to thicken it. After that I added the stir-fried ingredients and lots of well-shredded Venom Tarantula meat, this would be the main ingredient of the omelettes later.
Next was the fried rice. I beat some eggs and added finely-chopped green onions before frying lots of rice in a big pan, very hot, then I added the eggs and mixed them in with the cooking rice as quickly as I could. I sprinkled in more finely-shredded Venom Tarantula meat and stirred in oyster sauce seasoning until it was cooked thoroughly. I put it in a dish with bean paste and that was it ready. Now for the omelettes which were simply a mixture of beaten eggs and the prepared Venom Tarantula meat cooked in a frying pan and lightly salted.
I put fried rice in each serving dish, topped each one with an omelette and sprinkled green peas and bean paste on the fried rice to complete it before retrieving all the salads I had made previously.
"It's ready." I called. I put out dishes of food before Fer, Sui and Dora-chan who were lined up expectantly.
"Hoy, it's not meat today?" Fer said. "And that green stuff? I don't want vegetables." He looked disgusted.
"I cooked Venom Tarantula today," I explained.
"I was okay with just eating meat..." Fer complained under his breath but just loud enough for me to hear of course. Okay okay, I know what you prefer by now but this should be delicious anyway, even the salad since it's got Venom Tarantula in it too.
"From tomorrow it's going to be meat again. I've used up all the Venom Tarantula with this meal."
"Nu, is that so? Well, good." Saying that Fer started digging in, munch munch. I joined him, eating my own portion. Fer was big on meat but it wouldn't stop him eating what I cooked and he could console himself that it was only for today.
"Gulp gulp... Well this is okay I suppose but I prefer meat like the big guy." Dora-chan too?
"Aruji, it's delicious-" Sui-chan said. "But I guess Sui likes meat more-" Y- you too, Sui? Guh, that means it's going to be meat and nothing else from here on out. I knew these freeloaders liked meat but I didn't think they were quite as all-out carnivorous as this.
Despite all of them saying that they preferred meat Dora-chan finished off the food I put before him including the salad and as usual Fer and Sui demanded "Seconds!" so I supposed what I had cooked was OK. I liked meat myself but just sometimes but for these three it seems to be an essential part of mealtimes.
I have plenty of meat in my Item Box for now but I'd have to keep a close eye on the inventory if I'm going to be responsible for feeding three gluttonous carnivores from now on.