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Chapter 8: The Gathering on the Supernatural Mountain
Location: Nymph Time: 6:09 PM
"Yang Yang~~ Over here!"
After Yado and Leido led us past a hillside-like place for a short distance, what appeared in front of us was the others, who had already been waiting there for who knows how long.
Our destination was on top of the waterfall that we just saw. At the side was flowing water, and in the surroundings were trees and plants. The sky hasn't darkened yet, but looking up, you could see a large piece of the sky. Sure enough, it really gave off a sense of gazing at the moon on a supernatural mountain. It really is…a supernatural mountain…
I suddenly felt that the most exaggerated things I've ever done in my life should have all been accumulated in these short few semesters.
Miao Miao waved at me from far away. Standing beside her was Ryan, Chifuyu, the five-colored rooster head and the others, and some of them had already started stacking the charcoal. Unexpectedly, I actually saw the class rep, Olivia, and the teacher appearing among the group.
Why would the teacher be here?
"I asked all the people whom Yang Yang and we know, and a lot of people came." The convener was Miao Miao, and she gave the above answer.
"Oh." I looked at the big group of people. Even Randall appeared here, and he was even comfortably sitting beneath a tree with his butler serving him wine beside him; what's with that!
This should be a barbecue gathering where everyone works together, right!? Get down from that chair right now!
"Thank you for providing the location this time." Gasai nodded slightly at Yado and Leido, and the other side also returned the salutation.
I took a rough look around, and almost everyone I know was there.
To be honest, in fact, the people I know are still limited to those few. Senior and Miao Miao, those guys go without saying, plus senior Randall, Nile, class rep, the assistant, Geng and the teacher. Adding it up, the lineup was quite huge. Just by looking in front of me, there was already more than ten people.
"We still have something to do. We'll join in a bit later. You guys have fun." Leido smiled, and after greeting the others one by one, he winked at me, before being dragged away by Yado. Looks like they really are busy.
Just when I withdrew my gaze and wanted to go over to help, someone suddenly patted me from behind. I turned around, and saw an unexpected face.
"Hi, long time no see, Yang Yang." Bai Ling Ran, who disappeared without a trace after the competition, appeared before us. Then he turned toward Senior and bowed, "Thank you for your kindness this time."
Senior asked him to come?
Red eyes glanced at me. Senior simply returned the salutation without saying anything.
"Someone from Seven Hills Academy?" Miao Miao bounced over, very curious as she circled Ran, "Yang Yang, you really have a wide range of people you know. Seven Hills Academy's students are rarely willing to come out for gatherings."
Ran was still smiling, and didn't give off a feeling of being offended at all.
"Uh…It's alright." How would I know whether they like to come out for gatherings or not? But at least the one I know has already come out.
"We will attend a friend's gathering." Ran gave a very polite and nice conclusion that wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings, "And, this gathering seems very interesting."
It’s not just interesting, as long as this group of people is together, you’ll soon know what is truly called “interesting.”
I was too embarrassed to say it clearly to Ran who’s here for the first time. Because the way this group of people conduct their gatherings is a “?”, and I’ve already experienced it so many times that I almost feel numb to it.
“Hey hey, don’t be lazy you guys; hurry up and come over to help!” The teacher, who was currently slacking off, shouted at us who were chatting. Beside him, the class rep held a large pot for hot pot as she came over to us.
Wait a minute, is that really the pot used for hot pot? Why is it that I seemed to have seen a cauldron that a witch uses to make potions appear!?
We're really eating hot pot later, right?
Why do you want to use this kind of pot to cook it!
"Miao Miao is going to prepare the hot pot ingredients with Olivia and Geng. The boys have to prepare the stoves oh." Miao Miao pulled me and very seriously said, completely disregarding the pot that shouldn't be the kind used to cook hot pot, "And there's also a rule tonight: during the barbecue gathering, you can't use any spell-based techniques."
You don't need to worry. Even if you say that we can use them, I still wouldn't use them.
Speaking of which, are you guys doing some sort of ethical compliance out of boredom again? Why can't we use spell-based techniques? If the time comes when you guys use the forest to the point where it catches fire or something blows up, what are we going to do!?
"Miao Miao, hurry up and come over to help." Holding a big bunch of black unknown objects, Geng shouted out. There was a slight distance between us, but if my eyes doesn't have cramps or if ghosts aren't covering my eyes, then I shouldn't be mistaken.
Why do those black unknown objects have many eyes that can even move? Can those really be eaten!?
Just what are your standards for choosing ingredients?
"Yang Yang, you have to look forward to our cooking." After Miao Miao threw these words that made one feel very terrified, she ran over to senior Geng in small steps.
That said, I am not looking forward to it at all.
"Chu, go and help the others." Senior, who obviously had something to say to Gasai, pushed me without warning.
"Oh." I nodded, and turned to look at the boys group that was currently stacking the charcoal.
Chifuyu was fulfilling his boring declaration; he was actually fancily stacking the charcoal! And Ryan was even beside him, putting the charcoal into suitable shapes based on his words.
He's crazy. I sincerely feel so.
"Yang~~Help me get some more charcoal over here." Not far away, the five-colored rooster head, who was similarly stacking charcoal for his fire, waved at me. Unlike the others who worked in small groups, he was all by himself, and looked quite desolate, giving off a feeling that was just like an old grandpa hiding in a corner of the kitchen eating.
"Charcoal?" I turned my head, and saw a heap of charcoal that was almost as high as a single-storied house piled up at the other side.
May i ask just how much you guys are planning to eat tonight? What's with that heap of charcoal?
I suddenly had an illusion of us barbecuing for three days and nights.
"Yang Yang, let's go get the charcoal." Beside me, Ran's actions and adaptability were a lot faster than me, as he pulled my hand and headed toward that charcoal mountain. Next to that charcoal mountain were several small buckets, and the insides were all black. They're clearly used for filling up with charcoal.
I looked at this charcoal mountain in front of me, and kept feeling that if I don't scoop it out properly, it'd just collapse…Just who was the one that piled the charcoal up like this? Normally when you go buy them in the supermarket or mall, aren't they all nicely separated into packs? It can't be that these damn things are from someone's family industry again?
Ran smoothly picked up a bucket, and as he casually scooped with an extreme open-mindedness, the bucket was immediately filled up with charcoal, "These should be enough. Let's go." He continued to drag me again, toward the five-colored rooster head.
The five-colored rooster head, who had already stacked half of his charcoal, waved at us, and then he took Ran's bucket, "Hehe, the fire that I'm setting will be the biggest! Just wait and see!"
"Isn't it fine as long as we can barbecue on it?" I took the gloves that he handed out and put them on, helping to take out the charcoal.
"Hmph hmph, of course, the bigger the fire the better it'd be. That way, it won't leave any corpses or evidence after burning!" The five-colored rooster head used a very proud tone to teach us this.
…We're supposed to be barbecuing and not getting rid of corpses, right?
"Eh? Is that true?" Ran actually believed him!
"Of course not!" I immediately stopped his mind from taking note of this.
You're kidding me; if Ran goes back and tells his school something like the bigger the fire, the better it'd be, so as to not leave any trace of the corpses, Seven Hills Academy's students are definitely going to think that our school is full of madman. Although this is the truth…I don't want to be generalized with them!
Glancing slightly at the other group, over at Chifuyu's side, they were already stacking their second one, and Ryan was currently watching over the condition of the first fire. Looks like the fancy arrangement might have its own benefits. They were able to easily light it up, turning the charcoal red-hot in an instant.
At the other side, Nile had also stacked one. The teacher stacked one by himself too, and was currently drinking red wine with Randall now that he's free. There was also a very ordinary grill near them, but no one was beside it. I guess it's probably Gasai's.
"When you guys finish starting the fires, remember to put all the grills together. Otherwise, if they're too spread out, it'd be very troublesome to run back and forth from them."
Olivia, who was passing by, told every small group this, and even we were no exception.
I looked toward the girls group. They had already piled up their firewood and the witch's cauldron, and right now, I don't know what they put in it, but the entire pot was bubbling very evilly.
I started to have doubts; can these things really be eaten?
After ten minutes or so had passed, the fires in each group's grill had all been lit up. Then the teacher, who had been leisurely killing time with Randall, finally came over to put all the grills together in the same place. Seeing seven or eight barbecue grills blazing together at the same time, to be honest, in some ways, it's quite spectacular.
"The vegetables are also ready." Miao Miao and the others, who were washing the vegetables at the nearby river, came back carrying baskets of unknown ingredients. At some point, a long stone table appeared at the side, and the ingredients were all piled up on it.
In fact, there's only a dozen or so of us and not a hundred…
"Ah, I brought my own stuff too." All of a sudden, the five-colored rooster head magically took out a big cloth bag out of thin air, and the inside was filled till it was bulging. He poured out all the things inside the bag on the table.
After several "dong dong dong" sounds, green objects were rolling around on the whole table.
I rubbed my eyes. The guavas on the table were still there. Are they really guavas?
Turns out this world's guavas look the same as the guavas in our world…
"Why are you taking out the after-meal fruits now?" Chifuyu narrowed his eyes as he looked at the guavas that had rolled all over the table, and said this in a cold tone.
It could be that in fact, Chifuyu hates eating guavas, since he was looking at the innocent guavas on the table with a very hostile gaze, as if he would ??? the things at any time.
"Who said these are after-meal fruits?" The five-colored rooster head rolled his eyes at him, and then smoothly picked up a guava that looked like it should be very normal, "This is today's barbecue's, main, character, of course."
"Aih, move it, move it. We have to start the barbecue or else we won't be able to finish barbecuing."
After everyone heard the answer, they suddenly dispersed in a second.
"Hey! You group of rude people! You actually dared to look down on guavas!* Get back here now!" The five-colored rooster head issued an angry roar for the guavas' injustice.
[T/N: He's actually referring to himself as this uncle 本大爷 here but it's kind of hard to include that…]
…What I kind of want to ask is, can something like guavas be barbecued?
"Yang Yang, what do you want to eat?" Ran, who had gone to get a plate of raw kebabs at some point, squatted down in front of one of the grills, and very curiously put the whole plate of kebabs on top of it—
"Stop!" Miao Miao let out an anguished wail as she rushed to rescue the kebabs, "This is a barbecue not a stir-fry!"
"Is there a difference?" Ran looked at her with a very pure and innocent expression.
"Of course it's different; you use a turner for stir-fry but not for barbecue; otherwise, do you want to fry it with your hand!" Miao Miao angrily defended that plate of meat against injustice.
…I can only say that maybe the stir-fry I know is different from theirs.
Just as that side was in the middle of teaching and rescuing due to the issue of stir-fry, a fragrant smell had already started to drift out from beside us, "Yang Yang, this can be eaten now." Ryan suddenly popped up next to me, and almost made me jump up in fright. He was holding a glass plate full of very beautifully barbecued kebabs, "There's still more at Chifuyu's side."
Looking after two grills by himself, Chifuyu barbecued a pile of things at a very godly speed.
From starting the grills up to now, it hasn't even been a minute yet, right?
I started to doubt whether the things were cooked. You guys aren't human and wouldn't die if you eat this, but I'm a human, and I feel that if I ate the wrong thing, I'll die…
"Don't worry, these are already cooked." Ryan took a kebab and ate it for me to see. Then he stuffed the whole plate of kebabs into my hands.
I looked at the plate in my hands. Not only are the things on it beautiful and neat, they feel like high-quality cuisine cooked by some very fancy expert chef.
Chifuyu, you would make a good mother…no, I mean a good father.
Tearfully thinking this, I suddenly felt extremely moved by this beautiful plate of barbecue that couldn't be any more normal.
"Ryan! Where did you put your rice balls?" Already finished with the second batch of meat slices from the grills, Chifuyu directly issued a question, and Ryan immediately ran over.
That other side was still teaching about the stir-fry issue. I looked around for a while. Senior was sitting by the stone table, and senior Gasai was at another barbecue grill. Then in order to not become an obstruction, I went over to Senior first, not daring to disturb the people who were currently busy, "Senior, do you guys want to eat some?"
Red eyes looked over, "Oh, thank you."
It was only now that I noticed that Senior's table had two plates of barbecued…black unknown objects.
"Relax, eating this won't kill you. The outer layer around it is sauce." As a member of the leisurely-waiting-to-eat clan, Senior took out a wooden fork and knocked it against the black object. That entire black thing immediately broke apart, and instantly released the legendary golden pillar of light that is a must in cooking animes, "Chu, don't randomly get brain cramps!"
Being splashed with cold water, the golden light in my mind was instantly extinguished.
After the black thing broke apart, I saw that it was also a barbecued food, the kind like meat dumplings or vegetables. When the black outer layer broke, even the sauce flowed out. Then the black unknown thing that had broken apart simply dissolved in the sauce like this, completely becoming two different things.
I smelled a very very fragrant aroma.
"Chu, there's still more over here. You guys can take your time to eat." Smilingly bringing the third plate of black unknown objects over to us, senior Gasai said.
I was dumbfounded as I looked at the black unknown objects and its barbecue clump form after being broken apart. Right now, there's only one thought in my mind—turns out what the Yukino and Yakushiji Clans are best at is barbecue?
This is really too godly!
"Dear student, thanks." Before I even recovered my senses, my hands felt lighter, and beside me, the bald teacher directly took the entire plate of barbecue away very easily, "Go and barbecue some more." The standard attitude of the strong bullying the weak.
I watched him take the barbecue over to Randall to serve as snacks.
You're a teacher, right!?
"You're not going to barbecue?" Senior glanced at me with a smile that wasn't quite a smile, and then he handed me a transparent cup. Inside was a transparent carbonated drink, "Soda. I heard it was Chifuyu and the others who ran over to your original world and bought them."
I was very touched as I took the only normal drink, "I'm afraid that I'd break the grill." Because my hands are the invincible ill-fated hands* in history, it'd be better if I don't randomly touch anything.
[T/N: 扫把手 I think it's something like bringing misfortune or disaster]
"Oh." Senior didn't say much. After poking a meat dumpling and giving it to me, he poked into another one and chewed it. Then his companion in front called out, and he handed the empty plate over to him. Everything was just so natural.
I followed his action and looked over. Crouching down as he barbecued beside Gasai was Randall's werewolf butler, Nile. Something very magical appeared on his grill net. If I'm not mistaken, that seems to be a super thick high-quality steak with several accompanying side dishes.
Isn't that a bit too high-class!?
"Xiao Ting's meat is here~~~~!" The little black snake MeiMei, whom I didn't see before and now suddenly popped out, ran over here from somewhere far away, bringing a very imposing shout with her.
Everyone raised their head to look, and then their expressions changed—
"Xiao Ting! Stop!" Gasai's shout was a step too late. The little black snake MeiMei was carrying some sort of green animal that was twice as big as her body as she rushed over at a hundred meters per hour. Moreover, that animal was actually alive! It was still struggling frantically.
When she came closer, I was finally able to clearly see what it was.
"Hey! This friend! Please hurry up and put me down!" The captured kappa raised his head and struggled plus shouted.
"A live, big piece of meat that can move!" Xiao Ting's eyes emitted a terrifying laser flash. Her target was the barbecue grill.
In that instant, a tragedy occurred.
The little black snake MeiMei suddenly stopped right in front of the grill, and then she directly threw the kappa in her hands on the grill.
Tonight's first victim has appeared.
Senior suddenly appeared before the grill, and the glow of the fire illuminated his beautiful white face.
For a moment, I seemed to have seen an image of some ultimate demon king or ghost king of the underworld being reborn in flames.
Ignoring that the other side was the victim, the demon king above the flames kicked that kappa whose shell got burned and turned it into a distant star.
I suddenly felt that being a kappa was very tragic. Not only would your human rights be completely disdained, you'd also be used as a human ball, no, I mean as a kappa ball to be kicked away…Although it seems to be almost the same case for me too.
"Xiao Ting's meat…" The little black snake MeiMei watched as the kappa disappeared into the distance. Because she didn't dare to do anything to Senior, she could only mournfully stand there and pay homage to her live meat that flew away.
"If it's meat, aren't there a lot on the table?" I glanced at the stone table that already had several more plates of kebabs added to it, and then told this to the little black snake MeiMei who was currently standing in silent tribute.
"Those aren't alive nor can they run." However, the little black snake MeiMei still walked over to the table, jumped onto a chair, and opened her big mouth, swallowing more than half of the barbecue on the table one plate at a time.
That said, why would that kappa run into the Water Clan's holy land?
A tour guide really is a wondrous thing.
"Come come come! Ladies and gentlemen, check this out!" Due to his guavas being snubbed, the five-colored rooster head flashily appeared in the front. One of his hands was even holding the bag of guavas, and for some reason, his other hand had a mysterious folding fan that he used to knock on the table, exactly like some old man selling promotional products, "I'll tell you the latest eating style: the most popular char-grilled guava nowadays has a deliciousness that mortals can't understand. Once it's roasted, its outer appearance is crispy and sweet, and its interior is soft and smooth. Accompanied by sauce, it's guaranteed to become this year's biggest selling snack!"
I feel very cold…
Chifuyu, who was crouching as he barbecued in the front, looked at him with the kind of gaze as if he was looking at an idiot. Then he lowered his head and continued to barbecue his meat and rice balls.
"Don't look down on guavas!" The five-colored rooster head directly confronted him in a second. At the side, Ryan didn't even have time to stop him, when he'd already grabbed a guava and threw it right on the grill.
The guava that looked like it was probably a normal guava suddenly emitted black smoke, and then less than two seconds later…
The guava suddenly became distorted, and a mysterious human face that appeared on it issued a shrill scream.
This isn't a normal guava at all!
I immediately covered my ears. Chifuyu, who bore the brunt of it, probably had his ears ringing from the scream. He was frozen for a very long time, became dizzy, and fell back at a forty-five degrees angle and was immediately supported by Ryan.
The guava only screamed for a few seconds before it shrunk to half its size and supernaturally turned completely golden.
"Oh oh oh oh, what a beautiful color." The five-colored rooster head was very moved as he looked at the shiny guava, and used his folding fan again to knock on the table a few times, creating an unending noise, "Come on, dear folks, please donate a little space on your cute grills to put the guavas."
Almost instantly, the others, who were originally looking after their grills, simultaneously put all their food on the whole grill at once, not leaving any space to squeeze in at all. Speaking of which, how come I remember that you had your own grill just now?
I turned my head, and saw Ran crouching in front of that grill as he struggled by himself, and the moonlight even fell on his body.
"So rude, this is a highly nutritious food." Clicking his tongue, the five-colored rooster head turned back to look at that super big hotpot that was still waiting for the water to boil. Then, his eyes lit up.
"Stop, Ziray!" Senior Gasai, who's been continuously stopping people tonight, was once again too late. More than half of the bagful of guavas fell into the hot pot before his eyes.
Instantly, the hot pot became filled with echoes of terrifying screams. The whole cauldron that was originally bubbling immediately started to emit swamp-colored bubbles with a boom. A few seconds later, something suspected to be a human face appeared and down again.
I don't dare to eat the hot pot anymore.
"There's an empty grill here. You can use this one to barbecue." Senior, who clearly didn't want to be poisoned either, glanced at Nile, who just took out the high-quality steak, and said.
"Oh yeah." The five-colored rooster head happily carried the half-full bag of guavas with him as he ran over to the empty grill.
Less than a minute after Nile left to serve his master and the grill was taken over by the five-colored rooster head, strange moans and screams started to drift out from his barbecue grill, as if many ghosts with grievances had appeared in that area. The surrounding air quickly followed in becoming distorted plus dark.
No one dared to approach that area.
"Yang Yang, I finished barbecuing." Ran, who had been quietly barbecuing this whole time, bounced over here with a large plate in his hands. Piled on it were various foods, and even something like toast had magically appeared.
My good brother, yours is the most normal.
I was very moved as I took that plate of barbecue.
Ran sat down beside me, and took the cup of soda that Senior handed over, "This is my first time barbecuing. It was quite interesting." He smiled as he drank a mouthful of the soda, reaching out to take a kebab.
"Eh? Your first time?" That's right, speaking of which, Miao Miao and the others seemed to have never barbecued before. Are outdoor activities unpopular in this world?
"Nn, our school usually practice meditation, so we rarely have gatherings. It's the same at home." Ran dangled his feet, and took a bite of the meat, "So I saw them on TV before, but I never actually tried them." He licked his lips, licking off the barbecue sauce on the side.
"So that's the case." I nodded, taking the toast and putting meat in between. I only dare to choose the things that looked very normal. I didn't dare to even touch those with shapes or colors that were too strange. "We often barbecue at our side. At my previous schools, we would barbecue too, and sometimes during the Chinese New Year or a holiday, we would also barbecue; so I'm very used to it."
"That's nice." Ran blinked and smiled at me, "Then is it alright if I come look for you guys to play next time?"
I immediately nodded, "You're welcome to do so."
"Then it's been decided."
The barbecue was put on the table plate by plate, and then plate by plate, they disappeared into the little black snake MeiMei's mouth. The people who were barbecuing didn't get to eat anything instead, except for the five-colored rooster head.
"Hey! Everyone, the hot pot's ready!" Geng and Olivia, who were part of the hot pot group, announced in a loud voice.
I turned my head. That hot pot that was emitting swamp-colored bubbles just now had actually turned into a clear soup!
Just how did you guys cook this?
Can I not eat it?