I was worried about Tsubakibaru’s ominous hunch, but we managed to keep walking with no issues.
– We made it.
This is the cave to get to the other side.
The forest is divided into two sections by a large mountain.
There’s a path to traverse the mountain by climbing it, but we decided to go through the cave.
Although apparently, this path is so hard to cross that even the Grandmaster went through it only once out of curiosity.
It’s almost an unexplored area.
I wonder what kind of resources, or creatures, live there.
– Huff… Huuffff… We… Made it… Finally, I can rest…
We had to take a break along the way so that I could regain my strength.
We didn’t make it before sunset, but at least we made it.
I’m at my limit.
I can’t take another step.
– Takaya, what are you doing We are not yet done with our schedule.
I’m going to gather resources.
You’re in charge of setting up the camp.
You are not allowed to rest until you’re done.
Tsubakibaru sighs, disgusted by my lack of stamina.
It’s amazing how we both walked the same path but she’s not even sweating.
She’s probably used to walking around for hours every single day.
I, on the other hand, have never walked this much my entire life.
My joints were screaming, but I decided to start the camping preparations.
I was in charge of setting up a fire and cooking the food.
– Let’s see… We have water that we gathered along the way, so we’re good on that front.
I’ll leave the food to Tsubakibaru, and I guess we can throw in a few other ingredients.
In the forest from the side of the palace, there are pretty much no medicinal herbs.
But, there are plenty of edible plants and fruits to use as seasoning.
Cooking is in a way a processing task, so I can do it to an extent.
It’s also why I was on cooking duty in the palace.
– Let’s see… We can use this… and maybe this mushroom…
I’m not entirely familiar with my skills, but due to the experience I gathered with my previous group, I’m able to at least identify whether something is poisonous or not just with my naked eye.
This might be what Feria described as a “Skill command”.
I’m unconsciously using “Examination” to determine if an ingredient is dangerous.
I gathered a few ingredients not too far away from the camp.
By the way, I’m only taking the necessary for today’s meal.
If I took entire plants it would take too long for them to grow back.
I’ve learned the importance of moderation.
I must be a descendant from an actual butler.
– Today’s food will be spicy.
Red sage, yellow marigold petals, some pepper…
After quickly making a fire with flint, I pulverized the ingredients with the mortar.
Using seasonings, depending on the ingredients, can have positive effects on the body.
The most important one is the recovery from physical and mental fatigue.
I feel like, in this world, such recovery is greatly accelerated compared to my original world.
It’s weird, but that’s just how this world is.
– Ahh, that smells good.
Is that garlic
Tsubakibaru came back as I was frying some ingredients in the iron pan I brought.
We still have a lot of training to get through, so I want to get my energy back as much as possible.
What’s for dinner
Tsubakibaru threw a small hare in front of me.
As small as it is, it should be enough for both of us.
I carefully cut up the body of the magical beast and mixed it with the rest of the food.
Fried hare with vegetables and mushroom soup.
The fire here is stronger than the one in the palace kitchen, so it didn’t take long for the food to be ready.
The tasty smell was filling our nostrils.
The grumbling inside our bellies was synchronized.
Come to think of it, neither of us has eaten anything since we left.
– *Cough* It would be a waste to let this cool off.
Shall we start eating
As soon as I took the first bite-
From the previously silent woods came a frail howl.
At a quick glance, I also saw a shadow moving towards us.
Silver fur, golden left eye, covered in mud and dirt, an animal the size of a large dog was looking at us.
It looked like a wolf, but without the wolf pack behind it.
– Do you think it got separated from the rest Maybe it just followed the food smell.
I was about to ask Tsubakibaru what to do with it, but when I turned to face her, I noticed she was shaking.
– Takaya, forget the luggage and run away.
Sprint towards the palace as fast as your legs can move.
I’ll gain some time.
The older apprentice, with her eyes wide open in fear, unsheathed her sword to protect me.