Chapter 169 – We brought the food!
“Alright, now we just have to wait for it to boil.”
There were several campfires set up in the clearing.
They looked like square boxes that had the top part removed.
The boxes were filled with branches from the World Tree and coal, and then pots were placed on top.
After that, Rienna and I used water magic to fill them up, and then lit them with fire magic.
Then we just had to wait for the water to boil.
“Yes! First, we must make a stock from the fish bones and leaves of the World Tree! Then we can let the seafood stew in it.”
“I’m getting hungry just hearing about it…”
Alyssa muttered with a slack jaw.
However, her face suddenly lit up as if she just thought of something.
“That’s it… Miss Rienna. You said that there might not be enough if it’s just fish, yes?”
“Yes. That’s why we decided on a soup. However, soup will not be enough to fill their stomachs.”
As Rienna said, soup would not be as filling as grilled fish. Though, it did warm the body and would make enough to feed a lot of people.
Alyssa turned to Rienna.
“In that case… Why not put mushrooms inside?”
“That’s a very good idea! It’s an ingredient people are used to eating, and will make the soup so much more delicious!”
“Then let’s put it in! I was just thinking about how I wanted to show you the magical mushrooms.”
So saying, Alyssa headed to what looked like a storage house that faced the clearing.
After a while, she returned carrying a wooden box.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. This is the staple food of our country, the magical mushroom.”
Alyssa said as she opened the lid of the wooden box.
“Woah, they’re huge.”
The box was filled with white mushrooms that were the size of a wine bottle. From the side, they looked a little like umbrellas, which were tools used in foreign lands to keep the rain off of you. Both the cap and the stem were very thick and looked like they would be very filling.
“They are mushrooms that were selectively bred to grow both underground and indoors. And so they just need water, air and magic energy to grow.”
Alyssa nodded at me.
“Aye. Normal mushrooms do not require sunlight. However, they would usually still need soil and other plants, wouldn’t they?”
Now that I thought about it, Taran had been growing mushrooms when I first met her.
And the place had plenty of fertilizer.
I wasn’t sure if the Sun Stones were also encouraging growth, but mushrooms would grow even without sunlight.
However, they still needed soil and water.
In other words, these magical mushrooms were able to grow without soil.
Which meant they could grow in Sheorl’s caves.
“Do you have to supply them with magic energy?”
“No, you don’t have to. It just makes them grow faster. In Arancia, elders who have weak legs or backs will give them magic energy as part of their morning chores.”
“I see. This is quite an amazing ingredient. Are there other types?”
“Yes, a few others. Some are good for healing while others can be used as firewood.”
“That’s very impressive. Perhaps we can grow them in the Sheorl caves as well.”
“We’ll share our mushroom beds, of course. But we better put these in the soup first. All of you, bring out the mushrooms from the storage house!”
Alyssa shouted, and the people of the city started to bring out the mushrooms.
Rienna and I used wind magic to cut them into bite sizes and then we threw them into the pot.
“It’s starting to smell really good…”
“We haven’t had mushrooms in so long… Yes, it’s ready now.”
Rienna said, and then Alyssa and the others cheered.
Perhaps they had been lured by the smell, but a great crowd had gathered around the pots.
“Alright, we’ll be distributing it now! Everyone! Please form a line!”
Alyssa said, and the people of the city began to form lines in front of the pots.
Those who received their servings of soup wasted no time in drinking it.
“Oh, this is delicious! Is this fish? What an unusual texture.”
“No, that’s a clam. I remember eating it over twenty years ago. The taste of salt reminds me of the sea.”
“And this smell from the herbs is wonderful. It goes well with the mushrooms. I feel all my tiredness seeping away.”
Everyone enjoyed their soup one after another.
It was a soup made of leaves from the World Tree, Sheorl’s fish, and Arancia’s mushrooms.
So it was a mixture of rare flavours and also something close to them.
And the people of Arancia took to it immediately.
Other pots were moved to the different places in the city, and we could hear people cheering from far away.
Rienna and I couldn’t help but join hands in celebration.
“They are all so happy.”
“Yes! It was definitely worth the effort of making it!”
People were happy because of something that we made.
And watching it made us happy as well. Even Shiel and the other slimes were hopping around and sharing in the joy.
On the other hand, I saw that the Cave Spiders were looking at the mushrooms with interest. Perhaps they wanted to eat some as well.
“Now that I think about it, Taran and the Cave Spiders ate mushrooms as their main food… Speaking of Taran…”
Tarana and Fule had not returned.
And neither Asthon or Haines had made a report.
I had assumed that if we made this soup, the smell of it would lure Mappa. And the hungry blacksmith would return to us… However, he had yet to appear.
Rienna nodded with a worried expression.
“Mister Mappa… And Fule. They still haven’t returned.”
“We are right by the tower, so we should know if someone comes through…huh?”
As we talked, someone came running towards us just like a dog.
“Master Heal! It’s a disaster! Brother Mappa!”
Haines’s voice echoed.