Luca’s Pleasant Picnic
Requested Chapter. Luca’s point of view. Around two years after marriage.
Today, mother-in-law said that the whole family should go out on a picnic to the mountain.
I had thought that we would spending the morning slowly since the whole family was on holiday, but yet again father-in-law was at my bedside, inviting me to a hunt.
……Like I said, from summer to early autumn, hunting is prohibited.
Even though I said that, father-in-law did not understand.
However, it seemed like he does know that hunting is prohibited in this period.
So, we are going out to the forest for ‘bear hunting’ which is allowed all year round. Jokes aside, we focus our efforts on gathering mushrooms in the morning.
Father-in-law hunts at least one bear a week. Not only that, he also catches large amounts of fish every day. In addition, he catches them diving. I recall him complaining even though we caught a lot because he did not catch a big one.
However, it was still too much for us, so we had to share remainders to our neighbours.
While I was collecting mushrooms with dew on them, father-in-law brought back a beehive.
The honeybees were nowhere to be seen. The way how he has a large beehive resembles a bear.
……Rather, what is he fighting so early in the morning.
Mother-in-law who was coming out to greet us was pleased at our harvest.
“My, bee honey, happy.”
As ever, mother-in-law’s language skills are not great. Well, she’s much better than father-in-law who rarely speaks.
However, I learned that it’s rather easy to tell what father-in-law is thinking.
After seeing mother-in-law’s reaction, the corner of his lips curled up ever so slightly.
Strangers won’t notice the change in his expression. I also didn’t know in the beginning.
However, as I spent every day with him, I became able to read the emotions through his expressions.
Well, there’s are still things that I can’t read from my wife’s father though.
“Luca, welcome back.”
Miruporon, who was having breakfast, peeked out.
She stuck to me so early in the morning so I pushed her away. I wonder if she’s not embarrassed even with her parents nearby.
“Mum and dad are always close though?”
“Come to think of it, you are right!”
Father-in-law and mother-in-law are very chummy.
They’re not flirting with each other, but they are always together when inside the house.
When there are others around, I can’t seem to calm down, that I take actions like the previous one. In addition to that, I didn’t want to do that while it was still bright outside.
“Okay. I’ll endure until nighttime.”
Miruporon said that with downcast eyes.
Why does she have to be so cute from the morning?
I looked at my father-in-law’s rough face to calm down.
Breakfast is fried bread and bear soup.
It was not the cuisine of this region but cuisine of their homeland.
Fried bread is flat like a dish. The outside is crispy, while the inside is chewy. It has just enough savoury flavour, and it went well with meat.
The bear soup was red. It had tomato in it, but that was not all.
The soup has a spice called ‘chili’ which has a strong spicy flavour.
The first time I had it, I was very surprised. It was so spicy that I had tears coming out.
However, the taste grows on one.
Mother-in-law brought chili from overseas. She plants them in summer and harvests them in early autumn.
Because they receive too much sunlight during the white nights, they are much spicier than the usual variants.
Incredible, white nights.
The fried bread went well with the spicy soup. The bear meat inside was amazingly soft and delicious.
When I had almost finished eating, there was a lot of sweat on my forehead. Miruporon wiped them away as if it was natural to do so.
After resting my stomach a little, I prepared to go out.
Because I had sweated, I changed my clothes.
While I was struggling to tie my hair, Miruporon came over with a comb while saying that she wanted to do it.
“You, braid it properly.”
“But, fluffy, braids are, definitely cuter!”
“What are you saying, are you stupid!”
I told her that she can’t, but in the end my braids were looser than usual.
Moreover, the bangs that I usually brushed back had been arbitrarily lowered, with a decoration to tie them.
“Look, it’s pretty after all!”
Since I had to please my family sometimes, I endured it today.
Miruporon was wearing the high exposure foreign clothes with a Sámi women’s shawl and a silver brooch on the chest.
Also, she had a feather of a different colour than usual.
Father-in-law and mother-in-law seemed to be ready as well. Father-in-law was half-naked and crossing his arms. As for mother-in-law, she was dressed in the same way as Miruporon, wearing a shawl over her traditional clothing.
Seeing me all dressed up, mother-in-law’s eyes gleamed.
“Luca! Cute, cute, you look good. How nice.”
What do you mean cute cute!? Even father-in-law’s smiling subtly as well!
“Oi, don’t you need to make father-in-law cute as well?”
“Dad, mum made him cute already.”
I was planning on giving him the same look, but it seems that father-in-law was made cute already.
I checked, but it was the usual flawless, half-naked father-in-law.
……These people, aren’t they mistaking the meaning of cute?
Both the parents and the child were staring at me, so I said that we should get going soon.
I had thought that a picnic was something people did to take relaxing strolls while enjoying nature.
“……You’re walking too fast! Are we training or what!?”
With father-in-law at the lead, we started climbing a mountain.
Moreover, they left me behind.
They had unbelievable leg strength. I followed them while getting drenched in sweat.
The mountain peak.
“Why did we come to mountain!! Usually, picnics are just, going to the lakeside or the riverside, those kinds of places!”
I shouted as I flung down a stick I found on the way up.
My voice echoed back here so I felt even emptier.
They were not tired at all. Just what sort of body structure do they have?
Miruporon talked to me happily.
“Mountaintop, scenery, pretty.”
“Ha!? I can only see forests, forests, forests, forests, lakes and more forests!”
“Village, also see.”
I was out of breath after talking with Miruporon, so I collapsed on the spot.
“Luca, meal, lunch.”
She tugged my arm, so I decided to head to the spot where father-in-law and mother-in-law were sitting.
As for lunch, mother-in-law prepared it with great vigour from the morning.
Four lunchboxes were laid on the quilt.
“Luca, eat lots.”
Mother-in-law served food onto the plate.
Lunch was bear meat and fried vegetables wrapped in a baked bread of cornstarch in water, bear meat skewers, braised beans and bear meat, bear meatballs. A splendid meal of bear meat.
However, having cooked for the count for many years, mother-in-law’s cooking was great.
My body was tired, but the food kept going in well.
After that, I spent time staring at empty space. I wonder if father-in-law went somewhere to relieve himself. I couldn’t see him for a while now.
Even so, he’s taking some time.
From the unexpected turn of event, even Miruporon and mother-in-law were surprised.
Father-in-law came back while hauling a bear.
Apparently, he strangled it to death because it attacked while he was relieving himself.
I shouted that, but indeed, father-in-law was had a bear on his back.
Rather, is he planning to descend the mountain with a bear on his back? I couldn’t ask because I was frightened.
Father-in-law easily descended the mountain while bearing a bear. Afterwards, he even had enough energy left to butcher the bear.
I followed him to the slaughterhouse to help him, but when I sat down for a short break, I couldn’t stand up again. I ended up staring at father-in-law with a vacant expression as he worked.
Above was how the Rango family spent the holiday.
Rather, the body didn’t rest at all! I ended up retorting that.