Hiroto prepared to help and cooked according to Mutsu’s instructions. He at times felt that it was a little hard, but he didn’t complain.
“Then you make them round using the two spoons and add it into the pot.”
“Huh? That seems hard.”
Mutsu paid no attention when Hiroto grumbled as she washed the dishes and dried them off with tea towels they’d bought on the way.
“Add the bouillon cubes after you’ve finished putting these in, and cover the pot with a lid.”
“How many cubes?”
Mutsu carried the plates and chopsticks to the living room, lined them up on the table, and went back to the kitchen to heat the frying pan and deep fried the tofu into it.
“Turn them over as you roast them.”
Hiroto’s protest was too late, as Mutsu had already left the kitchen. He resignedly tried to make the meatballs round before dropping them into the pot, paying attention to the frying pan at the same time.
“Why does it have to be me…”
At around the same time as the stew started to look ready to be served, the kitsune returned. Sousuke had also finished cleaning and went over to sit in the living room.
Mutsu added dried bonito pieces, chopped ginger and a little soy sauce into the deep-fried tofu, before she made a rolled omelet in the blink of an eye.
When she put the food onto the table, the kitsune wagged their tails in delight.
The last thing to be put onto the table was the stew, and Mutsu removed the lid from the pot as she put it down.
“Isn’t it a bit too white?”
“It’s soymilk stew. It’s tasty, I promise.”
“Is Sousuke-dono one of the peculiar people just like Mutsu is?”
“Stop being rude! Just try it!”
After the stew was served onto their plates, Sousuke and Hiroto started to eat. After observing them, the kitsune also gradually started to cautiously try the food.
“Woow, this is good!”
“That’s because Mucchan is great at cooking.”
Sousuke and Hiroto enthusiastically ate their food.
“What do you think about taking a look around after this? Are there any suspicious places around?”
Mutsu blew on a piece of napa cabbage to cool it down as she got to the main point.
“It’s in the mountains, but quite far in.”
“Did you check it?”
The kitsune stuffed their mouths full of rolled omelet with spring onion filling and shook their heads simultaneously.
As she served food into the bowl of a kitsune who had wanted seconds, Mutsu asked:
“Do people live in the mountains?”
“Hmm, there are about two places where people live around there.”
After she took the opportunity to also fill Hiroto and Sousuke’s bowls, Mutsu quietly sat down while holding an egg.
“I wonder if more people will disappear…”
“It’s possible. But because these creepy things kept happening, there’s only a few people who walked about. Not to mention that the fields were empty too.”
“That’s true. I wonder if something will appear if I go out.”
“That’s not happening!”
Sousuke was surprisingly loud, his deep voice consequently startled Mutsu and Hiroto. Sousuke was usually gentle, but now his voice sounded frightening.
“It’s too dangerous.”
“What should we do then? I didn’t feel anything when I came during the day. If it acts at night, we also have to act accordingly.”
“People are disappearing during the daytime too. We’ll guide you around the mountains tomorrow. Humans can’t see in the dark, and just as Sousuke-dono said, we can’t let you do anything dangerous. Much less when we don’t even know anything about it.”
After she listened to the opinions of the kitsune, Mutsu simply nodded.