“That’s right. Take this with you. It’s the asparagus I harvested this morning. I think these are the last ones this year.”
“Ohh! Thank you!”
Haruki’s eyes shone at the sight of the thick asparagus stalks that were put into his hands.
They were thicker than his thumbs.
Asparagus were subterranean stems that came out of the ground.
As they had long lives, you could harvest asparagus for several years.
If you didn’t harvest them in the summer, they would spread out their limbs and store nutrients.
Like this, the roots and stems would grow thicker each year.
The asparagus that was sold in supermarkets were usually two or three years old.
But it took at least five years to grow the really thick ones.
“How old are these?”
“I planted them last year.”
“Surprising, isn’t it? The truth is, I used the monster meat that you brought for compost. And it turned out to have pretty good results.”
Monster meat wasn’t exactly the secret to a long and healthy life, but it was said that it could ease tiredness.
However, there was no evidence about what substances had what effect.
Still, the rumors spread. And now it was as common as the knowledge that ‘eating snapping turtles was good for your stamina.’
That being said, most people would have thought that using such delicious meat for that purpose was a little wasteful.
…Haruki was impressed.
“Do you have any more of that compost?”
“Aye, I do. You want some?”
“Yes. If you wouldn’t mind sharing it?”
“Not at all. Wait here for a minute.”
Mister Kitora returned to his house, and then came back with a bulging sack.
As he got closer, Haruki could smell the scent of the compost wafting in the air.
“The smell will go away if you let me ferment it a little while longer. What will you do?”
“No, it’s fine like this. Thank you.”
“Bah, it’s nothing. I’ll make some better compost later. And when I do, you can help yourself to some of it.”
Haruki thanked him and was about to leave.
“Ahh, that’s right. You should take this, too.”
“…What is it?”
Mister Kitora gave him a small stone that was rather pretty.
It was white and translucent.
It looked like a crystal, but didn’t have the same joints or milkiness.
Overall, it had pale color.
It was likely what they called a magic stone.
They were occasionally found in the bodies of monsters.
That being said, their use was still unknown.
Nothing would happen if you destroyed them. There was no outpouring of magic or explosion. You couldn’t make a magic sword by putting them into a weapon.
“It came out of the meat that you brought. I don’t know what it’s used for, but surely you could use it, since you’re an Adventurer?”
“…Yes. Thank you very much.”
He didn’t have a clue.
However, Haruki accepted the magic stone gratefully and left Mister Kitora’s house.
He looked at the fields as he returned home.
That’s when he saw that Karen was standing in front of his house.
“What is it, Karen? Did you forget something?”
“It will happen today. We will eat wolf meat together!”
Haruki was taken aback by Karen’s threatening attitude.
To be sure, she had been inviting Haruki to do this for two days in a row. But Haruki had continued to reject her.
For a while, Haruki had been thinking about doing something for Karen to show his appreciation.
But he also had to think about Rhea.
And now, he had received some asparagus from Mister Kitora.
Well, in that case, he would use his skills to prepare a grand feast today.
“Got it. Let’s go inside then.”
He cut the Silver Wolf meat into 2 cm blocks and then crushed them with the backside of his knife.
After seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, he took out some frozen bread and started carving it.
Then he cracked an egg, sprinkled flour on the meat and dipped them in the egg. Then he covered them in the bread crumbs.
A pot of oil was then heated.
Canola was often grown in K Town.
You could get oil from it and it could also be used for fertilizer. And it was quite easy to grow.
A very useful plant.
Once the canola oil was hot enough, he gently put the wolf meat into it.
The sounds of it sizzling in the oil were music to his ears as the meat began to cook.
In the meantime, Haruki cut the asparagus and put them into a pot.
He lightly sprinkled some salt and pepper onto them and then he was finished.
When he brought the food to the table, Karen’s eyes widened with delight.
“Are these fried wolf cutlets?”
“Yeah. Sorry that we don’t have any sauce. You can have this plum salt instead.”
Karen looked surprised as Haruki offered her a small pot.
“I put umeboshi in this during the spring. And when I dried out the plum vinegar that came out, I got this salt.”
“…You really can do anything, Karaboshi.”
“Well, it’s because of the internet.”
What used to be ‘grandmother’s wisdom,’ could now be easily searched for online.
After the stampedes started happening, many major servers were shut down, which resulted in massive amounts of knowledge disappearing from the internet. But there was still plenty of information there that related to everyday life.
“What is this?”
“It’s asparagus soup.”
Haruki hadn’t thought this would be particularly unusual, but Karen raised her voice in surprise.
“You can turn asparagus into soup? I thought it is usually grilled or fried.”
“Uh, is that right? Well, this is normal in the place that asparagus is originally from.”
“Well, just try it,” he said. And so Karen hesitantly took a sip.