Episode 9: A familiar enemy in the forest
Today they were also entering the forest.
They’ve been doing this several times ever since the first day.
“Yamato-niichan, look! Today we harvested more Inahon than we did yesterday!”
The Inahon harvesting at the natural paddy fields near the forest was also progressing smoothly.
Being similar to rice, Inahon was a precious grain, rich in carbohydrates. With most of their food taken away by the Lord, this became a valuable resource for Urd village, which was suffering to obtain enough food to eat.
“Looks like the harvesting has become twice as efficient comparing it to the first day. You guys really did great in giving your best.”
“Oh, there’s also twice as much as that time already loaded in the hand cart. That’s good.”
“I see, it’s great, isn’t it? We are awesome!”
“Me too! I worked really hard!”
Seeing them completing the harvesting for the day, he went ahead and praised the hard-working children. However, this was not empty flattery, he knew they really were trying hard.
He understood it since he had experienced it before and knew harvesting rice really was an exhausting job. Bending your back for long periods of time, working in the paddy fields while your feet were covered in dirt and mud.
Grabbing a bundle of stems and then cutting them with a sickle. Collecting them, then placing them on the hand cart, then returning and repeating the same task over and over again. This was not a job requiring strength or special skills, it was simply a game of perseverance and endurance.
“Good, at this pace, the Inahon harvesting will be completely finished in just a few more days.”
“I’m sure we’ll finish it tomorrow, Yamato-niichan! ”
“No need to hurry. But remember to keep the cart and tools clean. I’ll go take a look over there.”
After finishing giving instructions to the inahon harvesting group, he then headed towards the beast hunting group.
“You seem more used now to dismantling the Big Rabbits.”
“Liscia-neechan’s way of teaching is very easy to follow! ”
“Oh, but Yamato-niichan’s way is easy too.”
These children were also progressing smoothly.
He, together with Liscia, had been accompanying them in the Big Rabbit hunting for these past few days. Unlike the Inahon harvesting group, these children were risking their lives, since their opponents were wild beasts.
He was together with them in order to protect them, and he planned on keep doing it at least until the mass production of the crossbows was done and everyone was accustomed to use them.
“Tomorrow we will switch the harvesting and hunting teams. So that everyone is able to properly do both jobs.”
“Ehh, but I wanted to stay in the hunting group…”
“I’m not sure if I can allow that. You need to be able to do both jobs. That reminds me, there were some interesting-looking insects in the paddy fields.”
“Oh, insects! Ok, I guess I’ll try my best harvesting the Inahon tomorrow!”
Slowly, he was getting used to dealing with small children, even if just a little.
He remembered what Liscia told him and, while using their interests as bait, he managed to make them properly work. Some children were attracted by the insects, while others preferred to collect beautiful pebbles or flowers.
“Yamato-sama, isn’t it bad to start learning another job since they are already trying to become hunters? “
Recently, Liscia has been taken over the leading role with the hunting group. While wearing a troubled face, she came over to ask him. She was the only proper hunter, a precious existence in Urd village, where the rest of the population was comprised of only children and old people.
And adding to that, by being the granddaughter of the village chief, she had a certain degree of education. Therefore, she obviously wondered about this “shifts system”, deeming it inefficient.
“It certainly is more efficient to have them to focus on mastering one job. But I want them to grow evenly. Taking into consideration the future.”
“I see… As expected of Yamato-sama! “
After thinking for a moment, she was convinced by that explanation.
Certainly, there were some problems, like their body’s size or their character’s compatibility with the job.
Agriculture was more suited for those who worked diligently, and hunting for those more fearless to the unknown.
『Adults’ decisions crush children’s possibilities. Therefore, allow me to let you challenge everything, Yamato.』
Those were the words he once heard from his parents when he was young, and he decided to use that very same practice here in Urd.
While being young, one should not care about gender nor age, and should challenge everything that lies in front. While doing this, an unexpected talent could bloom, so he though following the arbitrary decisions of the adults was useless.
Thanks to that, I was forced to join them in exploring unknown jungles and sacred mountains, I really thought I was going to die back then…
He always suspected his self-proclaimed adventurer parents had a few screws loose. And he smiled bitterly while remembering those old times.
“Ok, it is about time to return to the village! Let’s finish the rest tomorrow.”
After hearing his command, the children of the two teams started arriving in order to go back to the village.
The Inahon was carried back in a borrowed cart. After this, it was spread and left to dry in the village with the help of the old people.
Thankfully, after the village chief asked them in his stead, they actively agreed to cooperate. They also lent them whatever tools and places in the village they needed.
Obviously, the meat and Inahon grains were also divided with the elderly people who were staying in the village.
“No matter how you look at it, the amount of Big Rabbit we hunted today was quite large, Yamato-sama.”
“Oh, that’s right. We have to get ready to preserve them after we’re back at the village.”
While looking at the cart carrying the Big Rabbits, Liscia was impressed by the amount.
The tightly packed already-bled meat, along with the beasts’ internal organs was really a sight to behold. The amount of Big Rabbit meat they hunted in these past few days had more than doubled comparing it to the first day.
Twenty, that was the amount that Yamato, together with Liscia and the children, hunted down today.
“Alright, after finishing loading the cart and doing a quick roll-call to make sure everyone is present, we’ll return to the village.”
These natural paddy fields by the forest near the village were relatively safe. But one could never be careless, so whenever they had to move somewhere, they all acted together.
“Yamato-niichan, we need help! “
It happened in the evening, right as they were about to return to the village. A voice calling for help came from the very back of the line.
While hurriedly sprinting, Yamato headed towards the back of their column.
“Hey, What’s wrong!? ”
“Yamato-niichan! A huge animal came out! ”
“A huge animal you say? “
The boy pointed towards the back, where the figure of a large beast could be seen. Snorts came from its rough, flat nose, and was seemingly preparing to charge towards the row of children.
“Liscia-san, what is that? ”
“Th-that’s a Wild Boar… no way… in a place like this…”
According to her experience as a hunter, she explained that the Wild Boar was one of the type of beasts that inhabited the forest, and a quite dangerous one at that.
It usually lived a bit deeper into the forest, and it was very rare for one to appear in such a shallow place.
I guess that is this world’s version of a wild boar… nevertheless, it is quite big.
It was like a way bigger version of the wild boars he met while exploring the mountainous areas of Japan. Its appearance was remarkable similar, aside from the huge fang-like tusks that grew from its mouth.
“Everyone, stand back… I will deal with it…”
Leaving Liscia to take care of the children, he went ahead to face the Wild Boar. His priority was to prevent this massive boar from charging into the unprotected children.
By throwing some small rocks at its feet, he managed to provoke it, making it turn towards him.
“Yamato-sama, it’s dangerous! ”
Liscia and the children, who were falling back, started to let out voices of worry.
But he was not being reckless, he already had a plan. He also needed to know the extent of his ‘power’, in order to be prepared for anything that might happen in the future.
“Nii-chan, watch out! ”
Along with an ear-tearing squeal, the Wild Boar started rushing towards him. The moisty dirt beneath its hooves was send flying due to its amazing momentum.
That rushing power is also quite considerable…
A wild boar’s greatest weapon was its charge. Attacking with its sharp tusks, aided by its low center of gravity, it could reach a speed of some tens of kilometers per hour.
If he was to get hit with its full force, it would shred the flesh of his feet and break his bones. Wild boars were strong animals, and even back on Earth, repelling one was a difficult task depending on its size.
But those movements are plain! And if it’s the “current me”, you are simply slow!
As the Wild Boar charged with its incredible momentum, he waited until the last moment to avoid it.
It was in one fluid movement, like that of a bullfighter, but it presented no difficulty for Yamato, with his heightened concentration.
At the same moment he avoided it, he took the survival knife from his waist and made a clean swing.
The aim was a vital point in the Wild Boar, its throat. No matter how tough an animal could be, it couldn’t live for long if it couldn’t breathe.
“Oh! Awesome!! ”
As the knife was swung, it slit the boar’s throat, and soon after cheers came from the group.
Unable to breath, the Wild Boar continued rampaging for some more time.
But after a few minutes, it fell to the ground, dying while convulsing. I guess it was the same in this world after all, no matter how large a beast is, if it cannot breathe it will eventually die, he said in his mind.
“Yamato-sama, are you hurt!? ”
“Nii-chan! You ok?! “
All the children and Liscia, who had cleared the surrounding area, started running towards him after hearing him say everything was ok now.
“I’m ok. Let’s start bleeding this Wild Boar and bring it back to the village.”
“Ok, got it! “
The children quickly obeyed those instructions. Taking some of the tools that were already piled up in the cart, they quickly began the bleeding process. Obviously, with Yamato being the only adult around, he also helped in the process.
Although it was a sudden incident, they seem to be doing ok… well, I also had fun.
It even surprised him, watching the Wild Boar’s desperate charge.
Behind that massive body and rushing speed, he couldn’t even fathom how destructive it could have been if it was to hit him. It was enough power to collapse one of the village’s ramshackle houses.
But he managed to cut its throat from its blind spot the moment it tried to hit him with its sharp tusks. I can’t imagine myself doing the same thing I just did back in japan, be it the concentration or the reaction speed and movement, he though.
I wonder if my physical ability is improving along with my senses. That would be quite welcomed…
When he was in Japan, he never believed in the power of the supernatural, or in those claiming to possess special abilities.
He believed everything had a reason, a logical explanation for the occurrences that happened, even if he didn’t know it at the time. But after coming to this different world, that idea was slowly changing.
In this unknown world, he was being blessed by this strange “power”.
In any case, being conceited is forbidden… specially in this remote village with nothing but old people and children…
“Yamato-niichan really is super strong! ”
“Yeah, he killed it in a single slash! ”
“Could he be even stronger than the Hero-King from Urd’s stories!? ”
“That might be a little… actually he might be! “
All the children were very excited.
After the boar finished bleeding, with the help of everyone, they tied a rope to it and pulled it to the cart. Carrying it was out of the question, with such a big body, and Yamato being the only adult, it was pretty much an impossible task. But regardless, everyone was giving cries of joy, since they were able to secure more valuable food today.
“This Wild Boar is big, but its movements were simple. In the future, you’ll have to defeat it by using the crossbow, so be prepared.”
“Ok, got it! ”
“I need to give my best and become strong like Yamato-niichan.”
Apparently, those words were somewhat exciting for the children. The very same children that moments ago were tired were now bullish and vigorous.
Being young made them pure, but also strong. Since they now knew the Wild Boar could be beaten by human hands, they might have confidence in the future, even while facing a huge beast like this.
“Ok, time to return to the village.”
It was evening when they finally decided to return to the village, with an unexpected extra cargo of meat from the Wild Boar.
“Ok, let’s split into the Inahon-cleaning team and the beast-dismantling team.”
They were safely back in Urd village.
After returning, the first thing to do was to begin the processing the food they gathered from the forest.
“Allow us to be of help too, Yamato-dono.”
“Thanks, that would be great.”
The elderly people, who were “house-sitting”, began to gather when they saw them returning. Despite being old, their experience was abundant, so their skills were appreciated.
Therefore, children and elderly cooperated together.
A village with nothing but children and old people, huh?…
At first glance, this looked just like a normal village.
But all the working adults were taken away by the Lord, and now only children and old people remained in Urd.
With their food and livestock also taken, the remaining stockpiles were few, and the destruction of this ethnic group was anything but certain.
I suppose they couldn’t run away, even if they wanted to…
Leaving this village was also impossible.
Because in the only road to the neighboring big town, savage bandits had settled, blocking the traffic.
If I hadn’t come a few days ago, I wonder how many more days could have they lasted?
That very first day when he came to Urd, the village was in quite a dire state regarding food. From what he heard, some people had only drunk water since they had nothing to eat.
So as he was thinking back, he came to the conclusion that the village was probably on the edge of collapse.
Coming to this different world… was I destined to come to this village? Nah, let’s not think about it…
He had no idea of what the cause of his sudden transportation was. So, he just smiled lightly in his mind as he denied believing in this was a product of fate.
To him, 『Helping the village of Urd』was not a strange act of fate, it was a choice he made out of his own free will.
“Liscia, when you have a little of time, could you please guide me to the house of that Mountain Clan Person?”
“Ok, Yamato-sama. But they are known to be stubborn, so I’m not sure if he will cooperate…”
“I’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
In this way, it was decided to pay a visit to the rumored Mountain Clan Person’s smith workshop.