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We stopped to take several breaks as we descended. By the time we reached the base, it was getting dark. The area here was rocky ground, and there were many boulders that looked like they had rolled down the mountain. That made me very apprehensive of camping close by.
“Shouldn’t we move out a little further before setting up camp?”
“If you think so, Asagi.”
Daniela nodded. I felt bad, as we were quite tired now. However, it was better safe than sorry, and so we moved away from that spot.
After walking for some time, the boulders became smaller and rounder. And I also heard the sound of a small river. There was a river close by. As it was not raining and there was no fear of a flood, we decided to set up camp here.
I took out the tools for creating a bonfire from the hollow bag. Once it was set up, the area was filled with a warm glow. I sighed as I was reminded of how much this calmed me down. Daniela sat down next to me, and so I leaned my head on her shoulder as we stared into the flames.
“This is nice.”
I stared at the side of her face as it was illuminated by firelight.
“I am hungry.”
I sighed at her ever unwavering tendencies and then stood up and pulled out the pot from the hollow bag. I had promised to make her something delicious, and this darkness was not enough to stop me from opening Bistro Asagi tonight. There wouldn’t be any pasta, but I would serve some soup and something roasted.
First, I gathered some water from the river and boiled it. I had found that you could always get by with some hot water in this world. While the water was boiling, I pulled out a cutting board to the side and cut the vegetables. It was large, random chunks, but big was better. And no one cared. Well, I did prefer smaller chunks sometimes.
I pushed the vegetables aside for now and took out the meat. I chopped that up too and threw it into the pot. Then I added salt and some mysterious sauce. Once it was bubbling in just the right way, I dumped the vegetables in. Then I set the lid on and let it stew.
In the meantime, Daniela had gone into the bag and was now biting on some meat skewers. Was she that hungry…? I’m working so hard over here…
“Hm? What is it?”
Yes, it was cute when she tilted her head like that… Well, I suppose this was business as usual for her. I decided to leave it alone. My fragile heart could not take any more.
As the soup was on the fire, I pulled out some more meat. These I cut into smaller pieces and put on metal skewers.
I had these made a long time ago by Chief Aragira from Fhiraldo.
He had called them estocs, but these were churrasco skewers. Well, that was harder to explain, so I didn’t mind…
And to these meat skewers, I added an original condiment I had made with a combination of herbs and spices I had bought. And then I stood them up around the fire. At the end of the day, I had done a little research on this cooking thing. This condiment would really bring out the taste. I had made it when I was really starving for something spicy, and this was sure to get us panting.
Daniela threw her finished skewer into the fire and muttered.
“We have really traveled together for quite a while now…”
“Uh…yeah. Has it been three or four months?”
“I think it has been a little longer than that?”
To be honest, our days were so eventful that it was hard to keep track.
“You know, Asagi. I told you before, but what I want, is to see the world.”
“Yeah. I want to see it too. There has to be a reason that I was brought here. And I’m so glad you’re here with me.”
I turned the skewers around to cook the other side.
“What scene do you imagine will be waiting for us at the end?”
“I don’t…know. I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure we will be there together. Looking at whatever it is.”
I imagined the moment as I stirred the contents of the pot.
“I was alone when I started this journey. But now you are here next to me. I am truly happy about that.”
“Hey now, you’re making me blush.”
“Hehe. Well, thank you for everything.”
The soup was ready now, and I filled Daniela’s bowl and handed it to her. Daniela accepted the bowl and stared at it.
“I put my heart and soul into making that. And it’s good.”
“Aye, thank you.”
I filled my own bowl and sat next to her. Daniela blew over her soup before slowly bringing it to her lips. After taking a sip, a smile blossomed on her face.
“It is delicious.”
“That’s a relief.”