Mr. Shax, the demon merchant, persistently tried to negotiate the marketing of sewing machines, an exclusive contract with the elves, and a commercial expansion into the Mermaid Kingdom. Alas, all of them broke down.
To end things on a good note, we treated him to dinner and served him our farm’s cuisine, which he also praised highly…
“Please allow us to sell your dishes as well as the meat and vegetables you use as ingredients!”
But Prince Arowana, sitting next to me, says, “What will happen to my share of crops then?” immediately ending negotiations there.
And it’s not only Prince Arowana. Even the Demon King brings home a surplus of crops with him every time he drops by.
As expected, Mr. Shax dared not interfere in areas occupied by royalty, so he backed down with regret on his face.
After all that had happened and establishing that he would continue to be our business agent, he returned to the Demon Kingdom.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we’re going back to do some pure cultivation, and today’s theme is to develop a new food menu.
The more varieties of food we have, the richer our lives will be.
The dish I’m going to attempt to make today is something that I’ve wanted to make all this time.
With the progression of our cultivation, I now have all the ingredients I need and am ready to take on the challenge.
The dish I’m aiming for is…
If you’re Japanese, natto must be an indispensable part of your morning meals!
Any objections are acknowledged!
Anyway, I’ll try to introduce natto to this world.
I’m going to ask the mermaid Garra Rufa, the only person in this world who understands bacteria, to be my assistant.
“I’m counting on you!”
But before we proceed with making natto, we first need to build a special hut.
It will be under the supervision of the mermaid team, just like the two brewery houses.
At first, I tried to make it at the brewery since it’s also a type of fermented food, but when Puffer—who is now the supervisor there—saw the sample, she retorted, “Don’t! If you put this under the same roof, it will affect all the other fermented foods!”
That’s why we decided to provide a separate building for it.
It’s comparatively smaller than the other two breweries, but it still excited the orcs since they haven’t done any construction in a while.
The result was one fine natto hut with stucco-reinforced walls, providing an airtight room with heat insulation.
“So, this is where we’ll be making natto? Wow!”
Time to prepare the necessary ingredients and materials—soybeans and straw.
That’s it, simple to the bone.
Straw is abundantly available as a byproduct of last year’s rice cultivation and is a highly versatile material.
Using this straw, naturally, our goal is to make authentic straw natto!
We immediately start preparing the straw to put the natto in.
First, I sorted and arranged them according to their thickness and length to form the tube-like shape I saw on TV back then…
But since I don’t know the correct way to do it, you could say I’m grasping at straws here through trial and error.
“Hm… Is it like this? Or do I tie it here?”
As I struggled with the straw, Garra Rufa, who also tried her hand at straw work, raised her hand.
“Lord Saint, Lord Saint, Lord Saint! Please look at this!!!”
What? Did she finish before me even though she has never seen the real thing?!
The thing she made herself using the straw is…
“Yes! My doll made out of straw is done!!!”
Garra Rufa headed in a different direction because she didn’t have a set image in mind.
She made an object in the shape of a human using straw.
In other words, a straw effigy.
“What do you think? Isn’t my straw doll adorable?”
By the way, Garra Rufa is locally known as the “Witch of the Plague.”
A witch and a straw doll made by her.
Not feeling anything ominous from that is impossible.
“I-It’s well made, but it’s not what we’re making today, so put it away, okay?”
“Yessir! I’ll keep this straw doll in my room.”
After finishing the straw bundle, it’s time to make the actual natto.
First, I touch the raw materials—soybeans, and straw with my hands.
“Spring forth and flourish, o’ natto bacteria!”
The Hand of Supremacy is a gift I have that draws out the maximum potential of anything I touch.
Just as a seed that has not been sown can sprout from my touch, it should also be possible to generate natto bacteria by touching the straw and soybeans.
In fact, we also have sake and other fermented foods by generating a starter culture this way.
“All right, casting done.”
Next, I prepared the fire, steamed the straw, and put the soybeans into a pot to boil.
The bacteria that produce natto is scientifically called Bacillus subtilis, and it is said to be resistant to high heat, or so I heard on TV.
So, once the rest of the bad bacteria die after one sterilization, only Bacillus subtilis remains to be fermented.
Then, I put the soybeans in the straw bundle and left it at the right temperature overnight.
“And here’s our product after leaving it overnight.”
Our natto is here!
It was all gooey and stretchy when I took it out of the bundle!
There’s no doubt this is a success!!!
“Yay! This is also the power of bacteria, right! Oh, they’re always so wonderful!!!” says Garra Rufa delightedly.
I immediately went to show the natto to the others to share our joy.
Then they’re reactions when they saw it was…
“Gross! What in tarnation is that?!”
“Are you sure that’s not rotten? Cause it sure looks like it is to me!”
“That’s poison! I’ll die if I eat that!!!”
“Bark, bark, bark! Grrrrrrr!!!”
It was a flop.
Everyone was put off by the sticky texture of natto and wouldn’t even go near it, much less eat it.
“No, it’s okay, guys! This is the comfort food of my native place, and in my world, there’s not a single person who doesn’t like it!”
I added a bit of exaggeration to it.
“It’s also good for your health! They say people who eat it regularly never get sick and can live up to a hundred years old!!!”
Now I’m just blatantly exaggerating.
I’m just that desperate for everyone to eat it.
The hundred-year-old part aside, it is true that it’s good for your health.
Because they are rich in vitamins and minerals, they are excellent for preventing various diseases, including colds, food poisoning, constipation, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and such.
It also suppresses gum disease and has a whitening effect because it prevents cell aging.
I know I’m starting to sound like a host of a dubious health show, but please just give it a try! Think as if you’ve been deceived by me!
“…I’ll do it!” volunteers Orkubo, my loyal retainer.
“It is my duty as a retainer to eat what My Lord recommends, be it poison or not. I, Orkubo, will serve as the forerunner!”
“Hold it right there!” says Gobukichi, the head of the goblin team and rival of the orc team’s leader.
“I can’t afford to fall behind in loyalty to My Lord! I, Gobukichi, will have the honor of tasting this poison!”
“Okay, here you go.”
Shortly after Gobukichi’s bold statement, he decided to eat the natto.
“DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!”
“Stop rushing me! …Darn it, we’re going to the grave altogether! Here I go!!!”
Gobukichi reluctantly puts the natto in his mouth.
What happened next was…
He starts emitting a golden aura from head to toe!
“Holy moly! My lower back pain from daily farm work vanished at once! All my other discomforts are gone as well, and my body feels perfectly healthyyy!!!”
“Clearly, those aren’t the only effects it had on you!”
The aura surrounding Gobukichi is so blinding!!!
To conclude, natto is healthy.