Chapter 20: Fish Was Unpopular Among Beastmen
Bai Qingqing held her stomach and said pitifully, “But I’m really hungry. I want to eat rice…” Suddenly recalling that Parker detested females who ate rice, she quickly corrected herself. “I mean, I want to eat meat.”
Parker’s heart softened and he replied, “Then I’ll go and hunt for some smaller prey.”
Bai Qingqing wasn’t used to troubling others. They were some distance away from the forest, and she didn’t have the heart to let Parker go all the way there to get food for her. “Is there any food nearby? There’s got to be fish in the river, right?”
“You eat fish? They taste awful!” Parker stared at Bai Qingqing with an incredulous look on his face. He then remembered something and continued, “Oh right, you’re an ape. Apes are omnivorous. I didn’t know your people liked to eat fish.”
Parker couldn’t believe it. Fish had such a fishy taste to it that he couldn’t stomach it. And there were so many small bones in the meat—how was he going to eat that? Leopards would only catch a big fish when they needed fish the bones, and they’d throw the meat into the river to feed the other fish. Only physically disabled beastmen would gnaw the fish to satisfy their hunger.
“Fish is great.” Bai Qingqing was also confused. However, she recalled that over here, they didn’t even season their meat when they roasted it and understood a bit more. “It tastes good after you put a bit of those medicinal herbs on it.”
“Okay. If you like to eat fish, I’ll go down to the river to catch fishes for you. They’re easy to catch. I’ll be right back.” Parker then took off his skirt in front of Bai Qingqing without a care in the world, transformed into a leopard, and ran out.
Bai Qingqing was now used to seeing Parker’s private parts. Her face flushed for a moment, and then she acted as if nothing had happened.
Before long, a soaked leopard came back with a large, meter-long fish between its jaws, leaving footprints in the shape of plum blossoms in its wake.
Bai Qingqing glanced at it. From its familiar expression, she knew that it was Parker. She gave him a small smile. “That was fast.”
Parker spat out the fish, which was still flopping around despite having been disemboweled. He proudly raised his head, then transformed back into a human, the moisture in the fur instantly squeezed out in the process.
“Splash—” The ground beneath Parker’s feet was cool from the water.
Bai Qingqing consciously turned her head away and looked at the straw pole at her feet.
Parker put on his skirt and started a fire under the tree at the entrance to the house. He then asked Bai Qingqing, “We ate sandalwood bark-flavored meat yesterday, so let’s eat willow bark-flavored meat today.”
“Okay.” Bai Qingqing found those logs pretty interesting. She could combine those with the cooking methods used on Earth and create even more delicious food.
Parker carried out a few branches with dense, green foliage that resembled that of Chinese parasol trees and threw them at the bonfire. The fresh wood immediately lit up the moment they came into contact with the fire as if oil had been poured on it. The blue smoke that rose from the fire had the fresh smell of willow bark.
Bai Qingqing held her breath in astonishment. So willow trees were high in lipids. She didn’t know that such a fascinating species existed in nature.
Parker was about to roast the fish when Bai Qingqing came to her senses and quickly shouted, “Wait!”
“Huh?” Parker turned back and looked at Bai Qingqing.
“You’re just going to roast the fish like that?” Bai Qingqing was shocked. “Aren’t you going to scale it? Aren’t you going to remove its gills?”
Although she hadn’t really cooked, she’d helped her mother in the kitchen many times before. Thus, she knew how to clean a fish: gut, scale, remove the gills.
Could the fish even be eaten with its scales still on? If a person bit into it, his mouth would be full of scales. And the gills—it could have a lot of sand in it, and it had a strong, fishy taste to it. No wonder people here didn’t like to eat fish.
Parker immediately replied, “The fish has to be roasted outside anyway. Isn’t it cleaner if you leave the scales on? And you’re not even eating the head, anyway. Why would you need to remove the gills? That’s troublesome.”
Bai Qingqing was speechless as his words made sense.
She wasn’t sure if she had to scale a fish before roasting it, and she was even more unsure if she could eat the fish with its scales still on. As such, she simply carried the stone basin and walked outside, then said in an authoritative voice, “Then we won’t roast the fish. We’ll boil it instead!”
“Boil?” There was confusion in Parker’s eyes.