AN: This is my first fanfiction. I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in the story. Kaiketsu Zorori belongs to Yutaka Hara.
It was a beautiful spring day in the Japanese countryside. Birds were singing, the sun was shining, and flowers were in full bloom, their sweet aromas wafting into the air for all to enjoy. A trickster fox and his two boar disciples were walking down a dirt road, their mood a stark contrast to the world around them.
"Zorori-Sensei, we haven't come across a town in ages," said Noshishi, the younger of the two boar brothers, sadness plainly visible on his face.
Ishishi, with the same expression on his face as his brother (which isn't hard to do since they're twins) replied, "And no town means no pranks to play."
Zorori glanced away from Ishishi and stared at the road ahead of them. The path seemed to go on for several kilometers. Its end could not be seen as it stretched to the horizon, to the mountains domain. Zorori stopped walking.
"Yeah, but complaining won't do anything. I'm sure at the end of this road is a great city with a magnificent castle for me to claim!"
Zorori pointed his finger to the horizon, his eyes taking on a look of determination. His sudden change in attitude also affected Ishishi and Noshishi. Excitement and wonder came upon them as they stared at their Sensei.
"You really think so, Zorori-Sensei?"
"Of course, Noshi, and I'm sure there's a super cute princess waiting for me too 3!"
"I hope we get there soon, we're running low on supplies."
As if to confirm Ishishi's statement, his stomach made a loud growling noise. Zorori's and Noshishi's quickly followed suit. They all sighed in unison. They had run out of food last night. With no breakfast and now no lunch, their stomachs were very upset. Zorori once again scanned the area but it was no use. There was no sign of civilization anywhere.
Suddenly, a delicious smell drifted by Zorori's nose. It twitched with eagerness at the possibility of what the smell could be. He leaned forward trying to find its source.
"Sensei, what's wrong?"
"Do you smell something?"
Ignoring his two pupils' questions, Zorori started walking forward following the smell. The two brothers looked at each other before silently following their teacher.
The smell leads them of the path and towards the forest. Light poured in from holes in the leaf canopy. Foliage of all types where growing in abundance, showcasing the beauty of spring. Ishishi and Noshishi picked up on the sent and sped up their pace. They zigzagged between the trees, the smell getting stronger and stronger the deeper into the woods they went. There was no doubt what the smell was: food. Delectable, mouth-watering, hunger satisfying food!
"It smells like some kind of stew," said Ishishi, his mouth already starting to water. At this point they were practically running towards the aroma. The forest had thinned out and a meadow could be seen. In that meadow was a campsite. A pot of nikujaga stood cooking over a roaring campfire. A green tent was off to the side near a makeshift table.
Zorori and the twins made their way to the campsite and stood entranced by the nikujaga. Drool dripped out the side of their mouths as their eyes longingly stared at the appetizing feast before them.
"I-it smells so good"
Noshishi was on the verge of tears. His stomach was growling non-stop and it took all his willpower not to eat the nikujaga straight from the pot.
"Is it okay for us to just take it?" asked Ishishi, although he didn't really care if it was okay or not. He was hungry and he wanted food!
"Well, I'm sure they won't mind if a couple of hungry travelers have their fill"
Finally taking his eyes of the cooking pot, he searched the campsite for some bowls. He found them on the makeshift table along with some spoons. Picking three of each up, he turned back to the cooking pot. The twins hadn't taken their eyes of the pot, they hadn't even blinked! Zorori handed each of them a bowl and spoon, the action snapping them out of the trance the nikujaga had over them. The fox grabbed the top of the pot and pull the lid off. The culinary smell hit them full force, their mouths watering anew.
"Uhh, where's the ladle?"
"Here it is!"
Ishishi pointed to the ladles location. It was hung on the bar that was suspending the pot. Grabbing it quickly, Zorori plunged it into the nikujaga and began filling his bowl.
"Hey, Zorori-Sensei! Don't forget about us!
Noshishi's eyes were wide and sad as he held his bowl out to be filled. Zorori instantly felt guilty for filling his bowl first.
"I haven't forgotten about you two; I just wanted to make sure the nikujaga was ready"
He filled their bowls, put the ladle back in its place, and put the lid back on the pot. The three of them took a seat on the ground and raised their spoons to the air and shouted, "Itadakimasu!" and began devouring the meal in front of them.
"Ugh, I think I ate too much."
Zorori, Ishishi, and Noshishi were lying on the ground, bellies full and bulging. The pot of nikujaga was cast off to some random part of the campsite, empty and licked clean.
"I can't move a muscle"
Zorori listened to the twins talking back and forth as he stared at the sky. Random cloud formations passed overhead, a soft breeze ruffling trough Zorori's fur. Now that he was well fed, some things were going through his mind. His molest-o-meter had sent him a warning signal ever since they stumbled upon the campsite. There were several people in the world that want nothing more than to hug him or glomp him or kiss him, or in the case of one wolf, become his lover. The thought sent a shiver down his spine and spiked his fur. But was it a shiver of disgust or enjoyment? He didn't want to think about it. It was probably a false alarm anyway.
Turning his attention back to his disciples, he found them fast asleep. Smiling at their sleeping forms, he decided to catch some Z's himself.
The sounds of a crackling fire caused Zorori to stir from his sleep. He pulled the blanket closer to his body trying hard not to wake up. Wait, where did this blanket come from?! Zorori instantly woke up, sitting in an upright position. It was now mid afternoon. The two boars were still asleep, a blanket also placed over them. He stared down at his own blanket, examining it in great detail. It was made of fine silk and had the letter G as a pattern. The G's were golden in color and contrasted nicely with the blankets deep red color. Zorori's molest-o-meter went on high alert. G for… No, it couldn't be, what would he be doing out here?
Standing up and stretching, Zorori lets out a small yawn. He runs a paw trough his head fur and reaches down for his hat only to find it missing. In its place is a large book with the title Medical Herbs and their Uses. Zorori felt himself go cold. The book title was in English. There was only one person he knew that read English. He took a quick look around but no one else was there. Good, we still have time to escape. Just then his eyes fell upon the table. His hat was sitting atop of it, right next to another familiar hat. Zorori's molest-o-meter went crazy.
"Good to see you're up"
Zorori turned around in record time only to come face to face with his rival. The blond haired wolf was smirking at him. His blue eyes locked on Zorori. Said fox backed up until he bumped into the table.
1. According to Wikipedia, nikujaga or nikujyaga (肉じゃが) is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy, sometimes with ito konnyaku and vegetables.
2. It is a common home-cooked winter dish, served with a bowl of white rice and miso soup. It is also sometimes seen in izakayas. Nikujaga is considered comfort food, and many Japanese claim they crave it if they don't eat it for a long period of time.