75 Part 3

But it would be a shame to let food go to waste.

Esta could take care of the beans that had fallen on the ground.

“Sure, you can have them.”

Esta shook his tail excitedly as if saying “Yay!” and happily nibbled on the fallen beans.

Haruki continued cutting down edamame monsters as soon as he found them while collecting hot stones.

If possible, Haruki wanted to store the edamame in the magic bag, just like he was doing with the hot stones.

However, if he were to put a lot of different things inside the bag, he would have a hard time taking everything out.

Although the magic bag could store a large amount of items at a time, it had the disadvantage of not allowing its user to look inside it.

When retrieving an item from it, all the user is allowed to do is stick their hand inside and feel their way into finding it.

Since the contents of the magic bag were always invisible, it was way harder to get a specific item out of it than from a regular bag.

So Haruki decided to store the hot stones in the magic bags, and hang the edamame stalks with their beans from the sides of his backpack.

Rhea would make an ugly face (?) when regular monsters were attached to the backpack.

She even seemed to not be too happy about having Esta around.

But this edamame was a monster with which she had certain attributes in common.

From her leaves, Haruki could see that she accepted sharing the backpack with the edamame with a certain hint of compassion.

At first, Haruki thought he was getting pretty close to gathering the required hundred kilograms of hot stones, even if they actually were small pebbles.

Each hot stone would weigh about a hundred grams.

Even if it were to take a full minute to gather a single one, the job should be done in about 16 hours.

So he assumed that fulfilling Akane’s request would take him a day or two.

However, even after spending an entire day gathering hot stones, he hadn’t even reached the 25 kilogram mark.

The reason for that was simple.

The hot stones were much smaller and lighter than what Haruki had anticipated.

The stones didn’t weigh more than 50 grams each.

On rare occasions he would find stones that weighed up to 200 grams. But these were very rare indeed.

So it was no wonder that Haruki could only collect 25 kilograms in a day, no matter how hard Haruki tried his best to collect as many as possible.

“That Akane… she tricked me!”

Haruki’s misunderstanding was Akane’s fault.

Since she had said that he’d find the hot stones “rolling around”, Haruki thought there would be a huge lump of them all over the place.

But with their actual size, it should have been more accurate to say that they would be “lying around”.

— You’ll be so sorry when I get back home…

Haruki directed his resentment straight at Akane, in the distant K-Town.

Before the store closed, Haruki returned to the surface in order to sell the hot stones he had collected.

He took out the stones out of the bag and placed them one after the other over the counter.

When he did that, the store clerk’s face stiffened for some reason.

(Her face also stiffened when he entered the store. Was that a habit of hers?)

“Ummm… Are these the stones that you’ve collected today?”

“Yes.”

The clerk’s face went pale after Haruki’s reply.

Was this not enough?

Haruki became anxious.

Maybe the local adventurers would normally be able to bring back a lot more than he did in a day?

It would sure be nice if her face didn’t have “Oh, this guy only brought 25 kilograms today, huh? That won’t do…” written all over her face.

Seeing the clerk’s facial expression, Haruki felt a deep-rooted fear welling up from the bottom of his heart.

Then…

“Munch, munch… Ahhh!”

Having returned to the cottage, Haruki devoted himself to enjoying a big plate of the local chicken with a side of edamame beans.

The tender beans felt chewy.

However, as soon as he chewed on them, the beans’ grains began to come loose in his mouth.

And as they came loose, he could feel the beans’ strong sweet taste.

He couldn’t stop. He wouldn’t stop.

The chicken legs had been deep-fried.

He had only put salt on them. He actually had wanted to season it with soy sauce and ginger, but there he had none, so there was nothing he could do about it.

However, they tasted amazing just with salt.

The Nakasatsunai chicken had a naturally rich flavor.

Just enhancing its natural flavor with salt was way better than using any other seasoning.

The juiciness of the meat filled his mouth with every bite.

Its fat was smooth and had no stickiness to it.

He had never had such a fatty meat that would make him want a beer to enjoy it with more than this one.

“Munch, munch… Gulp!”

Local chicken and green edamame beans were the prize for his haul today.

Although the level of the monsters was pretty low, the dungeon itself had a lot of potential.

“The Nakasatsunai dungeon is amazing!”

Haruki gave Rhea some boiled beans. Esta was given some beans straight from their pods along with some fried chicken

All in all, Haruki and the others enjoyed their best dinner ever.

— If I could ask for the one thing that would make this absolutely perfect…

Haruki couldn’t help but wish he had some beer to go along with his meal.

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