Salt mushrooms had great strength. Their stems were thick and solid and their caps curled down likemaitake mushrooms. From a distance, the whitish salt mushrooms growing in a bunch on the meter-long rock salt looked like beautiful crystals, but getting closer, it was rather unpleasant. It was easy to tell where to cut, though, since the roots were hard and slippery. And even if you took a lot, when it rained, they would all come back to life. They were the unsung heroes of not only humans, but of all the other creatures that needed salt.
“Salt mushrooms last for a long time when they’ve been dried, so it’ll be okay if you pick a lot. But be careful with where you try to cut, since you could damage your knife if you accidentally hit the rock instead of the stem.”
“They’re bigger than the dried ones. So soft and squishy.”
“I like these mushrooms, they’re cute~”
“If you look closely, each one is cleanly separated…”
Each of us harvested salt mushrooms from the sides of the large rock salt. Fikar and I took from the top, where it was difficult for the children to reach. We used salt every day and we’ve been here many times, so Fikar and I were used to it.
“Sumire, you use these in your meals, right? How many do you use in a day?”
“Hm? A single dried mushroom has a lot of salt in it, so we cut them in half and only use one half each day. A large family would probably use a whole one each day, though.”
I replied to Lukitas, who was looking up while holding some salt mushrooms. To my answer, he nodded and began excitedly counting his mushrooms. I guess he wanted to feed his family with today’s harvest. He had an attitude, but he’s adorable like this.
As for Fikar and I, we finished our harvest and, as we were watching over the four kids, Su came from behind and thrust her face under my right hand. Su had a big head in proportion to her body, so my arm was able to rest comfortably on her head. She made some quiet “guu~” noises, staring at me with her big yellow eyes buried between her crimson scales.
It was unusual for such a big, dinosaur-like creature to be so docile, but it seemed like she enjoyed being stroked, probably because I petted her whenever I had a chance. She looked like she was saying, ”I did lots of work today, so praise me!” It was cute that she didn’t ask Fikar, who wasratherrough, to praise her.
“Su, today was a big success~. You did a great job. You’re tired, aren’t you? You worked hard.”
When I stroked her like a king of the animal kingdom, she squinted her shiny yellow eyes and let out a “gugugu~” from her throat. Her vertical pupils and her shutter-like eyelids were cute once you got used to them. I wasn’t sure if the sensation of being stroked could be felt over smooth and seamless scales, but when I put my hand on Su’s forehead, I could feel a rising warmth that felt wonderful.
And so, I climbed onto Su’s face from the front. I hugg
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