“Al—! Let’s go have snacks!”
As always, Eleanora-neesan entered my room without knocking.
“Eh—? Ask Bartholo to make some.”
“No. I feel like having fruits today.”
Is she a queen or what!?
“Then, berries from the forest behind the house?”
“No. We’re going to the forest where Al made a weird stone house.”
“That’s the forest near the plain. Also, it’s not weird.”
The forest behind the house is very close and safe. There are no large animals, and I didn’t get even a glimpse of monsters. There are only small animals like rabbits or weasels. There are only small berries or something like strawberries, but since they can be picked safely villagers sometimes head there too.
In contrast, the inner parts of the forest near the plain has boars, large snakes and wolf monsters.
Accordingly, there are delicious mushrooms, fruits with lots of juice, and great amounts of blueberries.
I wonder if animals gather where there is tasty food, after all.
“It’s okay if we don’t go in deep.”
“Okay, then let’s go!”
Well, if there’s Eleanora-neesan with me, I’ll be safe.
I told Nord-tousan and Elna-kaasan just in case. He said that it’s safe since he slew a monster called Wind Wolf or something.
Protecting the people from bandits or monsters is the duty of the lord. Most of the times, knights, adventurers, mercenaries or the militia is employed to take care of it. As for us, we’re hiring and training militia and have them patrol the forest regularly.
Thanks to the strongest lord, Nord-tousan supervising the militia himself, it’s quite strong I hear.
It seems that there are people patrolling today too, so it’s a relief.
We headed to the forest with a cloth and a basket for holding the gathered food. Of course it’s me who’s carrying the basket.
We plod on near the base I made.
“Ah, Megu fruits.”
I looked at where Eleanora-neesan pointed towards.
“Look, near the tree roots there, can’t you see?”
I narrowed my eyes, but I can’t see them at all. Megu fruits are red when ripe, right? They stand out, you know? But I can’t see them at all. By the way, my eyesight isn’t bad. Both eyes are around 1.5.
Anyhow, we are going to pick some, so we headed towards the tree Eleanora-neesan pointed at.
Eh? We’re still going? You didn’t mean twenty metres?
“It is there.”
To tell the result, it really was there. But it was around fifty metres from where she discovered it.
And then there were just small grains on the tree root.
Megu plants look similar to barley, and like barley there are any small red fruits attached.
I don’t know if the whole thing could be seen, but it’s amazing how she managed to see these red grains, just a small part of the whole. What race is she from? Isn’t her eyesight better than 2.0 or something?
I gently picked the small grains off the root so that they won’t be harmed.
There were a lot more, so I gathered while considering the amount. Throwing away from not being to eat everything’s no good. Gathering everything’s also not good. That is the rule of the mountain.
When I picked enough Megu fruits, Eleanora-neesan brought something.
It was something black and fluttering, stretching. It was reflecting light, making it shine. It was quite bewitching. When I touched it was slightly prickly.
I never saw this before. Wild green? Mushroom?
“This is a black ghost point (黒鬼岳), you know? It’s quite rare, but it’s quite crunchy and tasty, you know?”
“Really? Well, it’s okay if it’s tasty.”
I put that in the basket too.
Afterwards, Eleanora-neesan found more and put them in the basket. They were little pieces, but they were all things I never saw before.
Are these really edible?
We then set out for more. This time we’re looking for a specific fruit. It feels like we’re going in deeper than before.
By the way, the objective is a fruit called Libra. It’s something like an apricot-coloured peach that gets easily scarred from touching. The fruits are up high so it’s hard to pick them.
A bite of that has juice flowing out, and the taste is like mixed fruit juice. Though, a rotten one tastes a bit like puke so you have to be careful.
It’s a rare fruit that’s not seen often.
Eleanora-neesan said, “Tell me if you find a fork beetle or a spoon beetle,” and strolled about.
I don’t know the actual name, but since I’ve been calling the ones near my base that, she started calling them that too.
The villagers should know.
Eh—? Beetles like those are camouflaged with the tree, so they’re not found easily—.
I was a little tired, so I sat down, leaning against a nearby tree.
“Ah—, I’m tired.”
I sighed while looking up.
“Ah…… it’s a fork beetle.”
There’s no mistaking it. It’s the same kind as the one living near the base. But isn’t it too hard? I’ll bleed if I get stabbed by the fork, you know?
No, don’t panick, Alfried. The ferocious one is the spoon. Female. Woman. Yes, all the time, humans, mantises, and these beetles too, the brutal and tough ones are the women.
Men are comrades. So this one’s not scary either. Even if it has a something surpassing a fork, like a trident, it’s not scary.
“Eleanora-neesan— There’s a fork beetle.”
“Really? Then the libra fruits are there.”
“These fork beetles can be found on the trees with Libra fruits. When I followed a fork beetle when I was bored, I found Libra fruits.
“Heh—, I see—”
When I looked up, though there was only a bit, there were Libra fruits.
Even so, Eleanora-neesan, to chase them, how brave of her.
“Then, Al, go get them!”
“Eh? Me? Not neesan?”
“There’s no way I can get something that high up.”
“Eh? But if it’s Eleanora-neesan, you can climb up like a monkey…..”
“I’ll hit you if you say anything more.”
“Okay, I’ll go get them.”
“That’s why I brought you!”
Eleanora-neesan puffed out her chest as if it was the most natural thing.
Dammit, using her little brother.
I wonder if older sisters shove around little brothers in any world.
Especially between primary school and middle school, older sisters are strong. If you ask why, it’s because girls grow faster during that period. The body of the older sisters grow faster during that time, so rebelling won’t help. And then when we become high schoolers, we little brothers, learn from the past. No matter what, creatures called women are unreasonable. Even after the balance of strength is reversed after growing, having learned the reality, we cannot defy them. Because we know it’s futile. Thus, we can never win.
By the older sisters and the world, we (little brothers) get broken.
At least, if men grew faster……
While holding in the frustration, I headed to the spot right below the libra fruits. Then I activated earth magic to lift myself up.
“I got one—”
“That’s my Al—! Be careful!”
Just now, she was worried only about the libra fruits, right?
I slowly lowered the ground back to normal.
Then, I repeated the process three times and picked more libra fruits.
“This is the last— The leaves are in the way—?”
I pushed aside the twigs and leaves. Then, there lied,
“Hah! A spoon beetle!”
a female one.
Dangerous, this one’s ferocious! Eleanora-neesan——
Was already fleeing with the basket.
The spoon beetle buzzed her wings annoyedly.
In a blink, quickly, immediately, ah, I said it three times. I twisted and snapped the libra fruit from the branch and stored it using space magic.
I rapidly returned the dirt elevator to normal, returned to the ground and started dashing!
The buzzing wing sounds coming from behind were scary.
It felt like, “What did you do to our nest of love!”
After running for about a few dozen metres, I realised something.
——I can just teleport away——
Really now. I panicked too much.
Calm now, I slowed down and teleported to the base of ‘My Home’.
I didn’t get done in this time. I grew up.