86. Beach Time!
We went back to the adventurer’s guild and grabbed the money they owed us. All in all, it totalled up to 120k Golde, which I would say was a pretty worthwhile amount. All we needed to do now was find ourselves a place to stay, and we’d pretty much be free to go do whatever else we wanted.
But despite our efforts, we weren’t able to find any sort of lodging whatsoever. Crap, what do we do now?
Fran was already three stages past being just bored of looking around.
『We haven’t got a place to stay yet.』
「Can stay at the guild. I want to go to the beach.」
Oh god damn it! Not you too Urushi!
Eh, I guess it can’t really be helped. We’ll give up trying to find a place for now and go spend some time playing by the seaside.
『Alright, alright, I get it. Let’s head over to the marketplace so we can buy ingredients and whatnot.』
Screw it, if we’re going to just mess around, we might as well enjoy ourselves as much as possible.
The most important part of having a good time was to first get everything you needed set up. Knowing that, we first headed straight to the marketplace. Dharz’ had a port, so I had the sneaking suspicion that here, we might’ve be able to get our hands on stuff we’d have a lot of trouble getting elsewhere.
It turned out that I was spot on. The market was stocked full of the ocean’s bounty. The first thing to catch my eye was an odd, bright blue salt. It looked like the type of stuff you’d buy if you really wanted to splurge; it was listed at ten times the price of even the finest white salt.
Apparently, said blue salt was one of the city’s specialities. You couldn’t get it from anywhere other the rank G dungeon that sat right outside the city’s boundaries.
Fran immediately perked up upon catching wind of the word “dungeon,” but quickly lost interest as she was told more about it.
The dungeon was relatively small. All in all, it consisted of but a single floor. You could make it all the way to the dungeon core in about thirty minutes and the only notable thing you could get was blue salt. The magic beasts that inhabited it were not only weak, but also few and far inbetween. Even I quickly grew bored of hearing about it, so Fran losing interest was practically a given.
I mean, it did sound like a pretty fun experience, at least at first. I mean, you would have to have the ability to both breathe and fight underwater in order to even get to it. That, however, was where all my interest waned, as the dungeon itself was just a regular, above water cave. You could even buy the only valuable thing the dungeon produced on the market, so… yeah. No thanks.
『It’s a fish type magic beast. They call them Pyragenia, and apparently they taste pretty damn good.』
『Pretty sure it’s just a crab claw, albeit a really big one.』
『Do you want one, Urushi?』
We quickly went around the marketplace and bought whatever caught our eyes before finally heading to the beach.
It’s still early spring, and it’s kind of cold, so there aren’t any other people around. We’ve basically got the whole thing to ourselves.
Fran took off her shoes and cloak and made a beeline straight for the sea the moment we arrived. Urushi quickly followed suit and immediately jumped in after her.
The water temperature was pretty much about as low as you’d expect it to be given the time of year, but Urushi’s got fur, so he should be fine despite the temperature. As for Fran… well, I guess she’ll be okay if she uses magic to warm herself up.
『Hey, calm down you two. You guys are going to-』
Just as I was about to warn them, both Urushi and Fran opened their mouths only to have their gaping maws filled to the brim with seawater. And as you’d expect, both immediately spat it back out with frowns plastered across their faces.
The two were then swallowed by an incoming wave and thrown back onto the beach. Their sopping wet bodies were left sprawled all over the sand; the sea had treated them exactly as it would a pair of corpses.
Fran was a person whose stats far surpassed what was commonly thought of as the human limit. Urushi was a Darkness Wolf, a magical beast with incredible power. Yet, both were reduced to mere puppets by Mother Nature’s hands.
『The sea’s full of nothing but saltwater, so you’re not exactly going to have a good time if you let it get in your mouth.』
Both Fran and Urushi were really looking forward to the whole beach thing, but the sudden series of unfortunate events seemed to have completely killed all their enthusiasm.
「And it feel gross.」
『What do you mean?』
「Feet being swallowed.」
Ah, right. When the waves wash over your feet, you kind of get pulled towards the sea together with the sand you’re standing on. Neither Fran nor Urushi seemed really enjoy the sensation. They felt quite the opposite, in fact.
『Are you guys not feeling up for it anymore then?』
The two trudged their way back over to me as water continued to drip from their sogging wet bodies. I could almost swear that they were about as gloomy as they’d be at a funeral.
『Why don’t we eat so you guys can get all cheered up?』
『I didn’t actually make anything else yet, so sure, why not?』
『Here’s something for you too, Urushi.』
I brought a giant hunk of meat out of my dimensional storage for the latter of the two to enjoy..
The fresh sea breeze almost seemed to embrace us as we ate a meal under a clear, blue sky.
It seemed that Fran had never experienced anything quite like this, and so, her mood gradually recovered. That said, I wasn’t about to let her go with nothing but a bad impression of what I considered a wonderful waterfront playground. I mean, she had still yet to enjoy all that the beach had to offer. Spending a day by the beachside meant so much more than just messing around in the ocean.
The first activity I had her try was one of mankind’s most fundamental seaside pastimes.
After scouting around the beach for a bit, I found what was effectively the ideal fishing spot. I was going to make sure Fran enjoyed her beach visit, and this was pretty much the perfect opportunity, so I quickly led her over after she finished eating.
The area was a bit rocky, but that wasn’t really much of a problem. In fact, the change of terrain made it all the better as far fishing spots went.
Fran had fished in lakes and rivers before, but this would be her first time fishing for anything that lived in saltwater.
I made a doppleganger and passed it a fishing rod as well. You know, now that I think about it, the last time I fished was before I reincarnated. It’s been a while, so I really wanted to give the old skillset a polish.
「Target, big fish.」
『Yeah, let’s do our best.』
An hour passed.
「Woof woof woofety woof!」
『Alright! Pull it in!』
I was pretty worried that we weren’t going to catch anything. If that happened, then Fran might’ve seriously ended up disassociating the word “beach: from any sort of positive connotation whatsoever. And that, in my mind at least, was be equivalent to a sort of tragedy.
『Wow, it’s pretty big.』
The fish was undoubtedly a big catch. Though its features were a bit grotesque, it measured in at a flopping 80 centimeters in length.
As for me… yeah, I didn’t really catch anything. But who cares! All that matters is that Fran enjoyed herself! My pride doesn’t hurt in the least. Ahahaha….haha..ha…
『Why don’t we eat this thing right here and now?』
I quickly crafted an oven with magic, lit it aflame, and got ready to cook our catch.
『How about playing in the sand while it cooks?』
「Playing in the sand?」
『Yeah, give it a shot.』
「By… hitting the sand?」
『Well, I guess you couuuuld have a sandball figh- wait no! That’s not how you play in the sand! You’re supposed to build sandcastles and dig giant holes and stuff.』
「Understood… Will try it. Urushi, let’s go.」
『Don’t go too far!』
Wait, what should I even be making? I guess sashimi’s the most obvious thing that comes to mind, I’d really hate to just limit it to just that. I guess I’ll also grill some of it. Fish soup sounds like a pretty good idea too.
I gave the fish a quick once over before actually preparing it. It didn’t look like it was poisoned, nor did it seem like any sort of magic beast. Its meat was a beautiful shade of white, and it had all the delicious fishy oils that you’d normally expect out of well.. fish.
Yeah, I’m definitely going for sashimi. The grilled fish is definitely in too, especially since I can season it with the blue salt we bought earlier. I could even taste test it by making myself a doppelganger.
I decided to grab the crab and clams we bought off the market earlier and use them in the fish soup. Naturally, the combination of a Japanese person and fish soup implied the use of Miso. This world’s Miso was a bit sweeter than the Miso we had back home, but that wasn’t really much of an issue at all. I had more than enough soup stock available too, so operation soup was a success.
『Alright, that’s done.』
I finished cooking after about half an hour, so I decided to go grab Fran and Urushi.
My voice leaked out in an obviously stupefied tone. Welp, I guess this is my fault. I really shouldn’t have concentrated so much on cooking.
Fran had built a massive western styled castle in the time I spent making food. All in all, it was five whole meters in height.
It looked like she had used earth magic to excavate the area around her masterpiece, and wind magic to form its shape. I mean, I know I told her to make a castle, but this, this was far out of the scope of what I was expecting. You couldn’t even really call it a mere sandcastle anymore. It was more like a sculpture, a piece of art, and an elaborate one at that.
In fact, it was so fancy that I almost wanted to call her out for having gone overboard. The only conclusion I could come to was that Fran was fairly artistically talented, and, as her guardian, I felt the urge to encourage and foster said talent.
It looked like the sand she’d used to make said castle was supplied by Urushi, as he had dug a huge hole nearby. He evidently went overboard too, as said hole was something on the scale of a crater.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that Urushi was in fact still continuing to dig. He was digging and digging and digging his heart out with everything he had. Oh yeah, that’s right. Digging is something dogs like doing.
「Pant pant pant pant」
Yup, he looked like he was having a tonne of fun.
So what exactly was I supposed to do about this whole overly fancy castle situation?
I honestly hadn’t the slightest clue.