Sharing With The Neighbors
On the day after I finished my first hunt with Loren-san and Kyle.
I wanted to hunt today as well, but unfortunately their bodies needed rest today, so we can’t go.
My basic hunting abilities have been acknowledged, but my knowledge of the mountains here was still not sufficient since I was not familiar with them yet. Therefore, I’ve decided that I should not hunt alone for the time being.
Even if I have some skills, it’s very important to factor in the natural environment. Since I don’t want to end up helpless in front of monsters, it’s very important to have a complete understanding of the environment in the hunting grounds.
It was the same thing back in my adventurer days. We had to go back and forth to scout out the areas to collect information before heading off to the monster hunting quests and the quests to collect expensive materials.
There were also desperate times of crisis where we had to head to the quest locations without any time to scout ahead, but since I’m just a villager now, there’s no need to take such risks.
We will go hunting tomorrow in the mountains as three people again, so today I think I’ll bring some meat to Toack’s house.
With that said, I headed to his house with the meat after I finished breakfast at my house.
I crossed the bridge over the stream and walked on the grass until his home came into my sight.
Even for being neighbours, we really live close to each other.
As I tossed a fruit that I found growing around his home into my mouth, the sour taste spread inside my mouth and it was refreshing. Eating goji berries in the morning had made all my sleepiness fly away.
「Since I’m going to eat with him anyways, maybe I should pick some more of these out」
I picked out some more goji berries, then I knocked on his door.
「Oii, Toack. I brought some meat over」
「Ohh! Aldo? You can come inside 」
Shortly after hearing Toack’s reply, I entered his home without hesitation.
That was not a greeting from Toack that I heard as I entered. Instead, it was Aisha, who was dressed in her work clothes.
「Oh, morning. Why are you here, Aisha? 」
「…The workbench broke down」
Being asked from someone she did not expect, Aisha lifted up the workbench and showed me the front leg that was broken.
It was a wooden workbench that I could tell from first glance was made by Toack based on its edges and shape. On top of that, it seems like it’s quite past its useful life as most of the wood was blackened deeply, with the broken leg being the most eroded part.
「Oh, so you came here to get a new workbench」
「Yup, that’s how it is. Araa, you got some goji berries. Let me eat some too, please」
Aisha asked for the berries in my hand, and then she threw them in her mouth after I handed her some.
「Nnn~ this sourness is nice」
I thought this type of taste would not be liked by ladies, but strangely, Aisha likes it.
「Oi, Aldo, give me some too」
I tossed Toack some berries since he wanted some too, just as I expected. Then, he caught them nicely and ate them.
「Even so, I could have gotten hurt really badly from using this piece of inferior product」
Aisha said as she turned around to face Toack, who was deeper inside the house. On her butt, there was some brown dirt attached. From that, I understood it was because she tried sitting on the broken workbench.
The reason why her words were sharper than usual was probably because of that.
「Nono, you have been using this for three years now, right? It’s only natural for it to break down」
「… When I first bought this, you told me that this can be used for five years」
Aisha was still not backing off. Is she doing this because her ass was in pain from that, or is she trying to negotiate a discount for her next purchase?
It’s amazing that she could remember the words from three years ago.
Toack then sighed and replied:
「You have been leaving the workbench outdoors ’cause it’s too much of a hassle to clean up after work, right? Leaving it in the rain makes it corrode faster, so it would break down sooner than I said, you know? 」
Oh, that’s no good. It’s Aisha’s loss. Toack had precisely explained why the useful life of his product did not match what he said, and it was because of Aisha’s management of the item.
「And so there won’t be any discounts, but go to the warehouse with a trolley and get something that suits you」
Even when Aisha glared at him as she clicked her tongue in annoyance, Toack brushed it off lightly and sent her away in order to avoid trouble.
She walked to the warehouse as if the place was her own while looking somewhat displeased still.
「That’s why the women in this village are dangerous. They have an insane memory that can recall words from years ago, and when something’s a bit off, they try to get a discount」
「Maa, how should I put it. Women are no joke no matter where… 」
The housewives who lived in the shopping districts of the capital and female adventurers all had crazy bargaining power. They can talk about this and that and lower the prices like magic.
「Even though I was partly at fault there, Aisha is the only person who can niggle at someone with a straight face… 」
Toack said as he put his fingers on his temple.
I’ve heard that men are said to be creatures who like to forget things when it’s convenient to, but I think that women who pretend that they don’t remember when they do is not good either.
「Well, I don’t really care about something like this. You went hunting yesterday and got some meat, right? 」
He changed from looking like he had a headache to a happy look.
Being able to eat fresh meat can make even someone like Toack happy.
Normally it’s difficult to tell how he’s feeling behind his poker face, but this time his emotions were really showing on his face.
「Ah, that’s right. Thanks for taking care of me as well, Toack. So, here’s some meat for you as my thanks」
When I passed him the meat that was wrapped in leaves, Toack quickly unwrapped the meat.
As he moved the green leaves aside, a lump of red meat could be seen.
「Ohh! It’s a nice red color!! This would be delicious if I grill it with a little salt and pepper」
Listening to the mouthwatering words of Toack, I nodded in agreement without thinking.
The venison dishes that Flora and Fiona-san made yesterday were the best.
Above all, the grilled meat was the best I’ve had in half my lifetime. Venison would get all dried up if it was grilled for too long.
「You can also stir fry it with some vegetables and sweet sauce. Even deep frying it, or stew it with tomatoes」
「Oi, that sounds good」
「…Since it’s meat, it would go really well with wine」
When I was talking to Toack about ways to cook the venison, Aisha, who came back unnoticed, made a suggestion as she stared at the meat.
「What is it? Have you already chosen a new workbench? 」
Toack asked in surprise.
「Just make one that’s around the same height as the last one. Besides that, do you have a share of that meat for me, too? You still haven’t repaid me for acting as your guide and helping you with Flora」
「I was planning on giving some to you as well, though? Remember? I told you to come by just the other day, and I’ll give you your share at that time 」
「Oh. Then, let’s eat the venison for lunch at Aldo’s place」
From the sudden suggestion of Aisha, Toack let out a dumbfounded voice.
「Even if I let my family cook it, it’s not as delicious as when you and Flora make it」
That’s a feeling that I know well. Flora and Toack are both really good at cooking.
It’s just, I feel like I’m leaving everything to them while being too unreserved.
「…Oi, Aldo. Is what Aisha saying okay? Don’t you have to go hunting today? 」
「No, today’s a day off so there’s no problem with me. What about you two? 」
「Well, I’m in a profession where it’s easy to make time. My apologies for making you wait for your bed though」
Perhaps he was feeling a strong sense of responsibility from a client’s order, so he apologized to me.
「There’s no problem since you lent me a sofa. It’s not a big deal if it’s a little late. I borrowed some fishing tools from Ergys-san yesterday, so how about we go fishing like we said? 」
「That sounds good. We can have a luxurious course of venison at noon and river fishes at night」
It doesn’t sound bad to eat like that with everyone. Just from thinking about it brings me joy.
「What about you, Aisha? 」
I thought there won’t be a problem with her since she was the one who brought it up, but I will ask just in case.
「There’s no problem, I’ll just push my job to my little sister. She will be happy and willing if she was going to come home to some of Toack and Flora’s cooking」
「You’re going to use your little sister like that? 」
「It’s fine, it’s my special privilege as an older sister since I’m always working. After that, we’ll get Flora to join us」
I’m a little curious as to what type of person Aisha’s little sister is. Perhaps, she would be the same open-hearted type of girl as Aisha, or a seriously shy type of girl who is her complete opposite.
Brother and sisters are either really similar in personalities or the complete opposite.
「….Hey, you’re going to tell that famously shy girl Flora to come? Even with me here? 」
「It’s going to be okay. I have Aldo here. I don’t know if she’ll talk to you, though」