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65 Part 1
Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 65
Let’s Enjoy The Taste Of The Spirit Of Japan!
After finishing the harvest and returning to the ground, Haruki immediately went to Mr. Kitora’s house.
Mr. Kitora was still working out in the field, perhaps because the sun hadn’t set yet.
Haruki called out to him from behind.
“Oh, Haruki. What is it?”
Even though he was in the middle of work, Mr. Kitora quickly noticed Haruki and stood up.
With a “heave ho” he stood up straight and slapped his lower back.
Mr. Kitora had been taking care of Haruki ever since he was a child.
That’s why when Haruki -who had a low presence- calls him from behind, he always notices he’s there.
“Actually, I managed to get some rice plants–”
Mr. Kitora’s eyes widened as he heard the word “rice”, and grabbed Haruki by the shoulder.
His grip was strong enough to damage Haruki’s shoulder even through his armor.
Where was this 70-year old body hiding this strength?
Did rice drive people this mad?
Haruki walked into the warehouse, joined by a suddenly lively Mr. Kitora.
There were several machines lined up in there.
Large tractors and conveyor belts.
Large iron boxes, which could hold up to five people each, were neatly arranged there as well.
Mr. Kitora must have been wishing for getting back into the agricultural business someday.
Otherwise, there would be no explanation as to why these agricultural machinery and appliances were not completely covered with dust.
He often used to say “I’m through with agriculture”, but despite that, he’s once again growing crops as a farmer.
Having come in contact with Mr. Kitora’s real motive for safekeeping all that stuff into the warehouse, Haruki clutched at his chest.
As Haruki silently looked inside, Mr. Kitora approached with some tools he had brought from the back of the warehouse.
“Let me see those rice plants, Haruki.”
Haruki took out the rice plants as he was told.
“Hmm. It’s certainly gotten dry…”
“Yes. It was already like this when I harvested it.”
Commonly, rice is dried shortly after harvest.
But since this rice-plant was a monster, it became dry when it was defeated.
“Well then, let’s begin with the threshing process. Put the rice plants here and step on this pedal.”
He pointed to a machine with a round drum.
The name “Chiyoda” had been carefully engraved into it.
It was a very old threshing machine.
Following Mr. Kitora’s instructions, Haruki turned to Chiyoda.
Its drum had a protrusion.
Haruki inserted the rice plants in there, and worked the pedal as indicated.
The drum began to move, and the protrusion separated the rice from the stalks and husks.
It felt good.
It felt really good!
Haruki’s eyes gleamed in excitement for his first time ever threshing rice.
Chiyoda diligently separated the rice from the chaff.
The sensation of doing that by hand was really something else.
After threshing, Haruki and Mr. Kitora collected the processed rice grains that had fallen to the ground.
Then Mr. Kitura put the rice into something that looked like a small water wheel.
“What is this?”
“This is called a ‘Toumi’. It will separate the rice grains from dust and rubbish.”
While turning the device’s handle, Mr. Kitora began pouring rice over a spout it had on its top.
This action caused wind to blow into the device, which blew away dust and debris from the rice.
Then the unhulled rice that resulted was put into a wood mortar.
By rotating this mortar with his hand, he removed the rice husks.
After this was done, the rice was washed in a wire-meshed wooden frame.
By doing this, the unhulled rice became unpolished brown rice.
This entire process took two hours.
The harvested rice plants had turned into 30 kg of brown rice.
It took two hours to make brown rice.
Just to extract 30 kg of brown grains from rice plants took 2 full hours!
“This is quite a difficult task, huh?”
“If you do the threshing with a harvester machine, it would take about 10 minutes in total. But this was done by hand. Don’t you think that turning rice plants into actual rice grains is a wonderful job?”
In the olden days, farmers used to do this much work.
Although mechanization of work has certainly made work easier, it hasn’t made it any less important.
— Thank you, farmers. All of the rice we have been able to eat until recently was thanks to your efforts.
Haruki gave half of the brown rice to Mr. Kitora, and took the other half for himself.
Upon returning home, Haruki took out a household rice mill from the storage room.
He used it frequently to prepare polished rice for his meals, but he hadn’t had as many chances to use it ever since the stampede.
“… Does it still work?”
After carefully clearing off the rust, he plugged it into the outlet.
Then the rice mill started up.
“It’s been quite some time, but please give it your best shot.”
He put the brown rice in and pressed the Start button.
The device whirred softly, turning the unpolished brown rice white.
Once the device was done, all of the rice had turned white.
The beautiful pearly white of the rice grains fills Haruki’s eyes.
The smell of rice bran emerged as soon as the lid was opened.
Haruki’s eyes were instantly filled with nostalgia.
He took out the white rice and put it into a rice cooker he hadn’t used in a long time.
While he waited for the rice cooker to finish, he went on to prepare side-dish for Karen’s desired meal.
First, take out the potatoes that had been harvested in a large quantity, and peel them.
After they were boiled and soft, he mashed them and added starch powder. Then he made columns out of the mashed potatoes and put them in the fridge.
While waiting for that to cool down, he quickly went to the dungeon to get some eggplants and Kokkos, chopped them up and put them in a pot.
After bringing those to a boil, he added miso to the mix.
By that time, the potato mix was already cool, so he cut it into round slices and put them on a frypan until they were crispy.
The rice cooker beeped just as he finished preparing the side dish.
At the scheduled time, Haruki had Karen sit on a chair at his house, and brought the food on a large platter.
“Thank you for waiting. Today’s main course is chicken and eggplant boiled in miso, with crispy potato cakes.”