Today’s weather is sunny with a few faint clouds.
We were having our usual breakfast when I noticed something.
「 Hey, there’s no more beacon 」
Arisa followed and said “You’re right”
「 It’s out there all the time without rest 」
There’s no more smoke coming out from the northeast of the Shinomiya cave.
The Sumeragi brother’s place has a smoke beacon from morning until evening.
Perhaps they burned it in shifts without break.
But now, it’s completely silent.
「 They finally gave up on rescue 」
Just as expected, one week after moving changed their mind.
If that’s the case, it’s only a matter of time before Byakuya splits up.
「 Are we going to be okay not escaping to the hideout? 」
Mana asks worriedly.
The other girls have the same dark expression.
「 There’s no need to rush but we need to hasten the pace just in case. For now, we’re going to the hideout to check the place. While at it, I’m stopping by the river to collect the shrimps we trapped 」
We finished our breakfast quickly and prepared to move.
We arrived at the river.
This trap is going swimmingly today too, it caught a lot of shrimps.
There are various species but the most common is the freshwater prawn.
The ones where their clipper part is long.
「 It’s offending that instead of fishing them you’re using a trap but shrimps sure are delicious 」
Arisa’s cheeks loosened after seeing lots of shrimps on the bucket earthenware.
We had shrimps for dinner yesterday and everyone’s impressed by the taste.
Just giving it a light process, lightly grill it, then sprinkle some salt and it’s perfect already.
Deep-fried without batter is a standard but we have no oil.
「 While at it, let’s capture some freshwater crabs too 」
「 Freshwater crabs? I only know red king crabs 」
Arisa says while staring at the river.
「 There’s not a single crab here! 」
「 No, there is. Look at your feet 」
I point at one freshwater crab.
「 Yo! What’s with this guy, he’s too small! 」
「 That’s what a freshwater crab is 」
「 The crabs in my head are bigger 」
「 Freshwater ones are like this 」
The crabs in Arisa’s imagination are those big ones in the sea.
Freshwater crabs have the size where you can pick them up with two fingers.
I see a lot of freshwater crabs around so why not pick them up.
「 The shrimps and crabs are sharing the same pot, this is amazing 」
Arisa looked at the bucket she’s carrying and smiled.
I showed a wry smile on that “sharing the same pot” line, Karin corrected her
「 I think you meant coexist? Not sharing the same pot 」
「 That too, yes 」
「 No, that’s the only way to say it 」
I retorted, Arisa laughed out loudly.
「 We’re done gathering shrimps, why don’t we go to the hideout? 」
I returned the trap to the river once again.
The great thing about this trap is that we can use it again and again.
You just anchor it so it doesn’t get set adrift and you’ll be able to secure easy food.
I pray that we get a good haul tomorrow and we moved again.
「 It’s the sea!!!!! 」
Arisa shouts as she sees the sea again.
「 This isn’t even your first time seeing the sea from this world, you’re too loud 」
「 Well yeah, but doesn’t this excite you? 」
「 Truthfully, it’s our first time here 」
Meiko said. Hinako nodded happily.
「 Oh, a shell 」
Mana found a shell as she walks across the shore.
It’s her duty to collect shells so she did it out of habit.
She trots around the shells and gathers them.
Mana tosses the shells she collected in the bucket she’s holding.
That bucket is for storing calcium carbonate stuff.
In other words, it’s crushed shells.
After collecting those shells, we’ll roast and smash them later.
「 It’s over there. That’s our hideout 」
The marine erosion cave hideout we have has a big scope so you can see it from the shore.
「 Hideout? This is just a cliff! 」
Arisa says after seeing the hideout from the sandy beach.
「 That’s what’s charming about it 」
I also thought that it’s just a cliff when I saw it while Mana’s giving me a handjob.
I only noticed that it has a huge hole when I was harvesting seaweed.
I only noticed that it’s a cave when my eyesight is on the sea level.
「 You’ll get it soon enough 」
We walk to the outer wall cliff of the hideout and then head to the entrance facing the sea.
The rock path fits one adult extending down the side of the outer wall, your feet won’t get wet.
「 See? 」
I say as we arrived at the entrance of our hideout.
「 Woooooow! This is amazing 」
「 This is spacious. Just how much bigger is this compared to the Shinomiya cave? 」
Eri puts her right hand on her forehead horizontally and looked at the back of the hideout.
The hideout doesn’t have many dents so it’s easy to walk around.
That point is great since we are moving with our indoor slippers.
Hallway slippers have thin soles so it would be hard to walk on bumpy roads.
「 The only seawater is the one in front, right? 」
I replied “Yeah,” with a smile.
「 Many sea caves have the seawater going all the way back. But this one isn’t. There’s only a small amount at the entrance and our foothold is at a higher spot than the water level. Therefore, we won’t have to worry about the high tide, and we can use this as an anchorage when we head to the other islands someday 」
The girls all speak “ah” in unison.
I already told the Asakura sisters about the other islands too.
After being stiff for a while, Mana speaks as the representative.
「 You remember the other islands 」
I nodded, saying “of course”
「 Our end goal is to return to Japan after all 」
「 You haven’t given up it seems 」
「 I haven’t found a path to it though 」
Personally, I don’t really care if I can’t return to Japan.
Our daily life here is nice, and I’m more than satisfied.
However, girls are different. They want to return to Japan.
That’s why I’ll respect that hope as their leader.
「 I already gave up on the idea of returning to Japan 」
Mana muttered. The girls said, “me too.”
「 We don’t even know if we can return home once we hopped to the other island, and dangerous animals and people are likely waiting for us over there. We will have to get ready for departure but that’ll happen eventually. Even if we can’t find a way back to Japan, I won’t give up on staying alive 」
「 Thanks, Hokage 」
Mana puts down the bucket on the floor and bumps my chest with her fist.
「 I knew it, it was the right choice to stay with you 」