「Ohh! Another one! 」
「Woah! How many is that now? 」
「Damn, I only got three! 」
The stream’s current flowed gently downstream. Several fish could be seen swimming around through the clear surface of the water, possibly because there are moss-covered rocks or some water plants that they like.
Thanks to that, they often took the bait on our fishing hooks.
Although Toack had grasped the spot where the fish gathered, I still think it was lucky for us to encounter that many of them.
I can’t miss this chance to catch lots since it’s going to be my dinner and I also have to get some for Ergys-san as well.
「Ohhh, it’s an Ayu! [i]」
When I took a look at the fish that took the bait, it was an ayu.
This fish is very delicious if you grill it with salt. It’s a fish that I’ve eaten many times and frankly, I can say that his white-meat type of fish tastes the best when salt-grilled. It’s my favourite kind of fresh-water fish.
When I thought of the taste of that in my mind, saliva overflowed in my mouth.
I pulled the fishing rod back to me and put the ayu into a bucket with water.
「So that means the school of fish over there are all ayus. Let’s try that spot 」
I put some bait on the hook again and swung it down at a place slightly further away from the previous spot.
Then, the hook sunk into the water with a splash and approached the school of ayu that were going with the flow of the current.
I took it easy and waited for prey as I moved my fishing rod to make it look like the bait was alive.
The calming sound of water flowing relaxed my body. When I took a deep breath, I could smell the moss, grass, water and all the various scents of nature.
Being able to land catches when fishing is the real joy of fishing, but I think that it’s also enjoyable when you relax and try leaving yourself to nature and get a taste of something like nature’s unity.
I closed my eyes as I started to become one with nature. But, just when I was getting fully immersed in it, I was woken up by movements coming from my fishing rod.
The shaking of the rod meant that a fish had bit on the bait. But, the fishing rod that was in my hand still felt light.
Not yet. It isn’t time to pull up yet.
I waited with that judgement, and stayed ready to pull it in one go.
In that moment, I put strength into my hands and pulled.
I pulled as I felt the rod getting heavier from the fish biting on the hook. Water was splashing everywhere on the surface from the fish.
「Already?! That fast?! 」
I kept pulling the rod closer to me to not let the fish escape as I listened to Toack’s surprised voice. Was it a coincidence? The fish turned its head towards the rocks’ direction and tried to escape at the same time. However, I kept pulling and did not let go.
Then, when the movement of the fish became dull, I pulled it up with one go.
What came out from the surface of the water was an ayu with the same greenish grey color like the ones before.
「Ohhh! That thing’s huge! 」
It was far bigger than the common 15 cm size, but smaller than 20 cm.
However, for an ayu, it would be considered a fairly large one that would be quite filling.
I slowly brought the ayu that was hanging in the air to my hand. It would suck if it escaped right now.
While I was a bit afraid of the ayu that was squirming about, I still somehow managed to put it in the bucket.
I felt a sense of accomplishment from catching something big.
I compared it with the ayus that I caught earlier, and it definitely was bigger, after all.
Today, I’ve called Flora out all of a sudden and even these fishing rods were Ergys-san’s.
So, let’s share this one with Ergys-san’s family.
「Toack! How’s it going over there? 」
「I can’t catch shit after the third one! 」
When I asked Toack, who was on the other side, he replied in a cranky voice.
「Isn’t that because of your grumpy face? 」
「What does that have anything to do with it? 」
Surely the fish were able to sense his aura and were avoiding him ’cause of it.
Toack swung the fishing rod in the stream again as he knitted his brows.
Maybe the bait was eaten by a fish or simply floated away, so he pulled his rod back and put more bait on it.
I caught two more ayu in the meantime.
Somehow I started to feel bad that I was the only one doing well. However, I won’t hold back because competition for the most catches is one of the fun parts about fishing too.
「How’s it going? Did you guys catch a lot? 」
Just when I was applying new fishing bait onto the hook, Flora and Aisha approached with their hair waving in the wind.
Their long red and blonde hair was very beautiful.
「Well? How’s it going?」
Flora came next to me and asked, as she held her hair down.
Her blouse was no longer see-through since it had dried. It’s too bad but I’ll keep this feeling to myself.
「I’ve caught quite a bit. Got nine already」
「Nine in such a short time? That’s amazing! And, this one here is huge… 」
Flora said with an innocent smile as she looked into the bucket.
If you praise me so much it’s going to make me want to try harder.
Did I also feel something like this when the pretty guild receptionist praised me back then?
I didn’t care at that time, but if Flora was the pretty guild receptionist, maybe I would have gladly jumped into trouble because of it. The adventurer’s guild was quite a place for show offs.
「… I know how he’s doing over there from just looking at his face」
Aisha laughed as she pointed at Toack.
Toack must have understood what Aisha was doing and knitted his eyebrows harder. His fishing rod was not shaking from a fish taking the bite, but from his anger.
However, thanks to the shaking from such anger, a fish had taken the bait.
「Ohhh! Here it comes! 」
His grumpy look changed in an instant, and he pulled his rod with a lively look.
It looks like it finally has come through for him.
「Looks like a fish has taken the bait over on Toack’s side」
「…Maybe he got some shoes or a piece of wood? 」
「Looks like a fish to me」
It would be too sad if it was a piece of wood.
Toack kept pulling tenaciously as the fish raged on the water’s surface.
I couldn’t see well from this far away, but for a moment I caught a glimpse of a large white-colored body. That is quite a big catch. How Toack is struggling to control his rod was also proof of that.
It’s even bigger than the ayu that I caught.
Toack slowly pulled it toward himself with a serious look on his face.
We watched as the water rippled….And then,
Toack swiftly raised his fishing pole. The fish emerged from the surface of the water and floated in the air.
It was a white-colored fish with long body called the Sillago Japonica[ii].
It’s a fish that squirms around like a snake with its slimy looking body. It’s very meaty and delicious when fried.
「Ohh! You did it, Toack! 」
「EHehe, thank you! 」
When Flora and I praised him with admiration, Toack replied as he laughed shyly.
Then, he carefully removed the fish that he caught from the hook and put it into his bucket.
When Aisha saw Toack doing that, words slipped out of her mouth.
「… The fish didn’t slip out of your hand and jump back into the river in the end. How boring」
「… You’re definitely not going to make that happen, got it?! 」
[ii] japanese whiting