Today, Ema invited Fuuki and me on a mushroom-picking expedition.
Ema often eats mushroom-based meals before setting out on her adventures. For some reason, this seems to prevent her from becoming the focus of our opponents, even when she's blasting away with Holy and Flash.
"With the boost to MND, roast mushrooms are perfect for white mages," Fuuki noted.
"Who cares about that? I just love that I can get in on the action without having to worry about drawing unwanted attention."
Although Ema wasn't aware of it, increased MND made it easier for enfeebling spells such as Slow and Paralyze to take effect.
I had assumed that we'd be going to fight the funguar in either Jugner Forest or the Crawlers' Nest for the great mushroom drops. To my surprise, Ema knew of a place in Elshimo where we could harvest mushrooms without a single battle. All we needed was to bring some sickles. After a brief stop at a general store in Windurst, we set off on our trip.
I had been to Kazham many times to visit friends, so I knew my way around town. The problem was navigating through the sprawling wilderness of the Yuhtunga Jungle once we stepped outside. Before plunging into the lush undergrowth, we decided to check with the weather linkshell. Today and tomorrow would be sunny with occasional squalls.
According to Ema, the mushrooms of Yuhtunga Jungle only sprouted in times of rain. The lack of precipitation during the dry season was unsuitable for mushroom picking, so it was best to wait for the wetter weather after October.
Even with our search limited to Yuhtunga, I couldn't begin to guess where we should begin!
With Ema in the lead, we dove into the maze of jungle paths, guiding our chocobos around gigantic trees and weaving through dangling vines. Ema led us to an underground path that ended in a wall crisscrossed with thick roots. We dismounted by the small pools of water at the tunnel's end.
"Mushrooms pop up in places like this every time it rains," Ema exclaimed.
Fuuki was already testing his fishing rod in one of the small pools.
"Can you catch fish here?"
"I don'taru know, I've never tried. But the water here is surprisingly clear."
As we peered into the waters, the heavens above opened in a sudden downpour.
Our Tarutaru companion had discovered a rare specimen indeed.
King truffles were highly sought after and sold for a fortune on the auction house! I had never made a dish with this particular mushroom before, but I was sure the guild had several recipes…
We continued picking mushrooms until the last of the rain fell, and then met back at Kazham. A quick count revealed that our little expedition had been quite successful. We returned to Windurst and I made straight for the Culinarians' Guild to learn some new recipes.
Royal omelettes, hedgehog pies, sea bass croute, brain stew…
"Brain stew! That sounds like mage food to me! I want to try that, Aly!"
"This recipe uses yellow globes--those are poisonous, you know. And besides, it's a traditional Goblin dish…"
Brain stew certainly didn't sound very appetizing to me.
But since I had all the ingredients on hand, I decided to whip up a batch. Voila!
It actually smelled quite nice, though the resemblance to actual brains didn't exactly have my tummy rumbling.
Fuuki dug right in.
"Wow! This is a huge boostaru to INT and MND! My body feels kind of light, as well!"
Brain stew seemed to be the perfect meal for black mages.
Next, I'll have to prepare something mushroomy for Ema…