Almost everyone retorted so to Coch-san.
“Huh? No, it’ll definitely be delicious, I tell you!”
“The matter of taste aside, its appearance is just no good…”
It looked like a hornworm, after all.
Even if it turned out to be delicious, the fact of the matter was that it just didn’t look appealing.
“Hmm? Humans don’t eat grubs? Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen anyone eat one ever since I moved to the village.”
“Wait, are you saying that elves do?”
“Whenever we’re in the forest, yeah. They taste good cooked, but they’re fine raw as well. When you bite on them, you can feel the crispiness of their husks, plus the delicious milk-like liquid that oozes out of them.”
Simply picturing what she said made me feel more disgusted.
That being said, it wasn’t so surprising. I had memories of insect-eating being a little widespread in my previous life. In some cultures, it was even eaten as any normal food would be.
Moreover, grubs were probably one of the easier insects to eat.
“I also eat it often whenever I’m training.”
“You too, Gori-chan?”
“Insects provide a lot of protein and so little fat, so they’re great for building muscles ♡ of course, even if you’re not trying to build muscles, they’re great for your diet.”
That comment earned the interest of the people interested in muscle-building and keeping their figure, especially the women.
“If Gori-chan says so, it must be true!”
“I wanna eat some then!”
“The food in the village is so good, I’ve actually earned some weight, you know.”
Perhaps sensing that there was a change of heart among the villagers, Coch-san addressed something.
“You really don’t have to worry about its appearance. It’s so large, we really can’t cook it whole.”
Certainly, cooking something this big without cutting it up was impossible.
“Then, I guess I don’t mind eating it…”
“If it turns out to be delicious, I definitely want to give it a try.”
“Coch-san’s going to cook it, so of course it’ll be delicious.”
Wait a minute, is the group who don’t want to eat the worm now in the minority…?
“I’d like to try it too!”
“Even Selen…I for one absolutely don’t want to eat it…”
Even if I didn’t see the worm alive and whole, I still probably couldn’t bring myself to eat food made of it.
“*(…I’ll just secretly mix the worm into the food served to the chief. Fufufu… )*”
“…? Coch-san? What’s the matter? Sorry, but you looked like you were scheming something truly evil just now, you know.”
“Mhm? No, please, you know I won’t do such a thing.”
What could it have been about…whatever it is, I feel like I should refrain from eating food made by Coch-san for a good while.
Wanting to cook the worm as soon as possible, Coch-san returned to the village.
Meanwhile, the rest of us resumed our journey through the desert.
“Where could the oasis be though?”
From the top of the observation tower that was built in the flying park, Selen searched for an oasis.
We figured if people lived here, it would be in one of the few oases that dotted the desert.
“There are monsters over there. Looks like venomous snakes.”
“They’re probably Basilisks. Basilisks, like you said, Selen-dono, have deadly venom on their fangs.”
“What about those large crabs over there?”
“Those aren’t crabs, but rather scorpions. Desert Scorpions, to be specific. They catch their prey with their pincers and then finish it off by injecting deadly venom through the stingers in their tail. Their bodies are quite tough too. A bothersome monster to deal with, in other words.”
“There are so many venomous monsters here, aren’t there?”
At that moment, Selen looked my way.
“Wait, who was that? That strange laugh?”
“Huh? No one was laughing though.”
Everyone looked around, but we found nothing, leaving us confused as to what she was talking about.
“Come on, stop kidding around. Can you really not hear that?”
Despite being dubious, we quieted down and listened more intently.
We didn’t know what it exactly was, but it indeed sounded like a vulgar laugh.
“You hear it now?”
“Yeah! Still, none of us are laughing…”
Philia-san once again offered her knowledge.
“It’s probably that monster, the Evil Hyena. It’s known for its call that sounds much like wicked laughter. Once they find their prey, they don’t immediately attack it. At least, not directly. No, they’re sly and cautious in that they would hound the prey throughout the harsh desert and wait until it becomes weak. It is said that a traveler who constantly hears their laughter day and night is bound to go mad.”
“Wait, I found them. It looks like they’re chasing something.”
Selen noticed something and pointed at it.
Upon looking where she pointed, we saw a group of people.