Chapter 42: Rice Cooked in Bamboo
Seeing that Cortis was silent, Bai Qingqing quickly moved away and crouched down beside the broken bamboo poles to fully cut them.
Only two-thirds of the edges of the scale were sharp. The last one-third was lined with white skin and flesh. Bai Qingqing wouldn’t easily injure her hand if she held onto the part with the skin and flesh. However, she tried her best not to touch that area as the damp remnants of flesh made her physically uncomfortable.
Bai Qingqing was weak. Hence, even though the snake scale was unusually sharp, it took her more than ten minutes to cut down two bamboo poles—one for cooking and one for drinking water.
She was about to die of thirst.
“Is there a water source? I can’t cook rice without water.” Bai Qingqing stood up holding the bamboo poles. She then turned around, only to see Cortis’ body covered with bamboo poles. There were roughly thirty or forty of them, and they were bundled up using vines on the ground.
Bai Qingqing’s mouth twitched. Not knowing whether to cry or laugh, she asked, “What are you doing?” Was he planning to open a bamboo pole restaurant?
Cortis replied, “This plant is uncommon. I’m bringing back more of them so you can slowly use them.”
Slowly use them… Those words caused Bai Qingqing to feel upset. She pursed her lips and said, “We have enough. Let’s go.”
Cortis found a water source in no time as he spent his years wandering through the jungle and naturally loved the water. Before long, the two of them started a fire by the river.
Bai Qingqing used the snake scale to make a small hole in one end of the bamboo pole, then slowly stuffed it with rice that had been washed. When it was about 70% full, she filled the pole to the brim with water. Afterward, she wrapped the entire bamboo pole in a reed leaf, then propped it up against the fire to roast it.
Before long, there was the delicate aroma of rice dumpling leaves coming from the bamboo pole. Bai Qingqing then realized that reed leaves were used to make rice dumplings.
These reeds were pretty common. She could try using them to make rice dumplings in the future. If she didn’t have glutinous rice on hand, she could just use normal rice.
Cortis idly immersed himself in the water and s.p.a.ced out as he stared at Bai Qingqing. Simply looking at her was interesting.
In the past, he was used to being alone and was okay with it. But now, he found his former life so lonely that it scared him.
He had to keep her close to him!
Bai Qingqing smelled the aroma of rice. The amount of time that had pa.s.sed was enough for the rice to cook in a rice cooker. Hence, she used sticks to pick up the bamboo pole.
“The rice is ready. Let’s eat.” Bai Qingqing was used to sharing food with others. When she looked up and saw Cortis’ face, a cold expression replaced the accomplished smile on her face.
Bai Qingqing awkwardly poked at the scalding hot bamboo pole on the ground. She couldn’t take back what she said either.
To her surprise, Cortis swam up to her. His snake-like lower body remained immersed while his human-like upper body lay on the sh.o.r.e as he looked closely at Bai Qingqing’s food.
The reed leaf wrapped around the bamboo pole was already charred. The moment Bai Qingqing poked it, it flaked off to reveal the charred bamboo pole underneath. There were even a few thin cracks at the base. It really seemed like it couldn’t be eaten.
Bai Qingqing glumly cut open the bamboo pole. It was so hot to the touch that she hissed, causing a cold and pale hand to grab her wrist.
“I’ll do it,” Cortis said as he endured the scorching heat radiating off the bamboo tube and cut it open.
The air was instantly filled with the extraordinarily fragrant aroma of rice.
“Wow! It smells good!” Bai Qingqing was so surprised that her eyes lit up. She happily squinted her eyes. “I’ve never smelled such fragrant rice before.”
This was simple husked rice, and most of the rice grains were still green. However, it was much more fragrant than the processed white rice she used to eat.
Bai Qingqing picked up a pair of clean branches she’d prepared beforehand, then poked a lump of rice and put it in her mouth. The rice was so hot that she couldn’t stop panting. With the rice in her mouth, she said in a m.u.f.fled voice, “Mmm! I haven’t eaten rice in so long. It’s so good!”
Cortis soaked his scalded hands in the water and smiled as he looked at Bai Qingqing. “I’m glad you like it.”