I have free time until duty.
I’m done with my tent, so next I need to secure water and food.
On top of the usual equipment, I’ve also equipped myself with a leather bag and a pair of leather gloves.
“I’m off.” [Ryouma]
“Yeah. Be careful.” [Roche]
Just to be safe, I informed Roche-san first, then I walked for the woods.
One of the key points this training camp seems to want to impart to its students is the importance of preparing beforehand, considering that the difficulty of the camp greatly changes depending on whether one has studied up on the place or not… The booklet I purchased includes the things one should pay attention to when camping, from the location of the river to the different types of grasses that could be eaten.
So long as one takes the time to memorize the contents of that booklet, even someone inexperienced should be able to survive here.
As I walked along the road used by carriages, I suddenly felt someone looking at me.
When I turned to its direction, I saw a student.
He probably didn’t have any business with me and just happened to see me. When I turned to him, he bowed his head, then made his way for the grasslands. Is it for a job? Or maybe he’s looking for food like I am? I don’t know why they’re going to the grasslands, but I saw other students going the same direction from time to time.
As I prayed for their safety, I arrived at my destination.
“Now, I wonder what I’ll find first… Oh! Akakasatake.” [Ryouma] (Aka = Red, Kasa = Umbrella, Take = Mushroom)
As soon as I entered the woods, I found a mushroom that could be eaten. Just as the name implies, it’s a mushroom that looks like a red umbrella. It looks poisonous at first glance, but it’s not. It smells good and has plenty of umami. A delicious mushroom. This is a good sign. Oh!
Under the shadow of a nearby tree was an ‘Enokutake’ growing, and by its roots were some dangerous looking ‘Yarijuppon’ sticking out of the ground. They’re both mushrooms and they’re both also edible. If you stew all these together, you can come up with something really delicious.
“Come to think of it, I guess it is that time of year.” [Ryouma]
After summer comes autumn. And autumn being the season of mushrooms is also true for this country. Even back at the Forest of Gana, it was during this season that I would see a lot of mushrooms and would be able to enjoy all kinds of varieties.
Let’s gather a lot today and have a sumptuous supper. I’ll first cook the ones that I can’t keep for long, so I can dry the leftovers and take them with me on the way back. In that way, I’ll be able to entrust them to Shelma-san when I get back and have her cook them for the store.
This country has yet to grasp how to artificially cultivate mushrooms, so the only mushrooms that can be eaten are naturally growing ones foraged from the forest. Because of that how many mushrooms one can get is a question of luck. The weather can also influence how many mushrooms one can get, as well as the animals looking for food as the season turns to winter.
Even back at Japan, until the Edo Period, dried shiitake mushroom was considered a luxury. This country values it similarly. Being able to gather different types like these and eat them while they’re still fresh is one of the merits of being a hunter or an adventurer.
They’re delicious to eat, and they can also be used to make dashi (Japanese soup stock). It sure would be great if I could buy them throughout the year at my convenience, though…
“Should I start growing it myself?” [Ryouma]
There are two ways to cultivate it. One is through ‘Log Cultivation’, and the other is through ‘Sawdust Substrate Cultivation’.
Log Cultivation grows mushrooms by taking wood fragments soaked in mushroom fungus and planting them into a tree.
Sawdust Substrate Cultivation grows mushroom through a culture medium made from mixing fungal filament and a source of ingredients… Or at least, that’s how I think it goes.
I don’t know about the other specific details like the temperature or the level of humidity, but I have a rough idea of how it’s supposed to go. …I’ll give it a shot. After all, even if I don’t know the specifics, as long as I have a rough idea of what I’m supposed to do, the chance of success should be fairly high.
If it works, I’ll make a killing! But it’s not unheard of for people to invest too much in mushrooms and end up bankrupt, so I better keep things in moderation. I’ll go at it with a leisurely attitude, and only consider success as luck. But not now. Right now, I should prioritize gathering food…?
“Is it here?” [???]
“What about there?” [???]
“Nope. What about there?” [???]
“We just can’t seem to find it.” [???]
I heard the voice of children coming from the trees. It looks like they’re searching for something.
I was curious, so I stealthily approached them, and it turns out it was that group of four that argued with Berk’s group on the first day.
“Maybe it’s really at the grasslands instead?” [Adventurer 1]
“Rock Lizards are lizards that pretend to be rocks, right? But this place is full of trees and grasses. There’s nary a rock here.” [Adventurer 2]
…These kids. They fell for a trap job.
The name ‘Rock Lizard’ isn’t written in the booklet I bought.
If they bought the booklet and read it, they would’ve able to avoid falling into this trap. Maybe they were trying to save money? Anyway, I better go. If they find me, they might ask for my opinion, and then it’ll become troublesome.
I hid in the shadow of the trees and quietly left the place.