Episode 12: Livestock Husbandry.
The Wild Ox was successfully captured, and afterwards they returned to the village.
“Those are Wild Oxen. You’ve caught something quite amazing, Yamato-dono.”
“Today, we caught two, a male and a female. I’ll go search for more tomorrow, with a little luck, I might catch more.”
The old people in the village gathered and were staring in awe at the two Wild Oxen we captured and brought back from the forest.
Compared to normal livestock cattle, the Wild Oxen were huge and dangerous animals. Apparently, there had never been anyone who captured one alive before.
“Yamato-dono. What do you plan to do with them now that you’ve captured them? ”
“First, feed them and tame them. After that, I’ll have them pull some farm equipment, and use them to help you with the cultivation.”
“Farm equipment… you say? “
After hearing his proposal, the old men simply tilted their head in confusion.
Speaking of cattle, in this world, they were usually just kept for livestock. They collected their milk, and killed one or two for a festival once a year.
“But how will the Wild Oxen help with the farming…”
“I’m sure he has knowledge we cannot even imagine. As expected of Yamato-dono…”
The old people were surprised at his reply, but they also felt troubled. They had no idea of how to use cattle as a labor force.
As for the detailed method of tilling the land, he decided to explain it to them after the oxen were successfully tamed.
“So with that said, Gaton, can I ask you to craft the metal fixtures explained in this blueprint? Taking into consideration the physique of the Wild Oxen, of course.”
“Hmph, nothing but difficult requests from you ever since we met.”
After giving some simple instructions, he passed over a roughly drawn design to Gaton.
Things were sure to improve after the farming equipment was finished. The work performed by the adults, like tilling the soil and uprooting the tree stomps would become easier.
“Ohh, now that you say it, it feels that’s the case. Leaving that aside, this is an agricultural tool called plow, it is pulled by cattle.”
He briefly explained to Gaton.
When this equipment was completed, by using the Oxen to pull it, it will become an important labor force in Urd village, where nothing but children and old people remain.
In particular, Wild Oxen apparently had double the strength of his previous world cattle, so they were sure to become a reliable asset in the future.
This reminded him of an illustration of the history of the agricultural machinery development throughout the ages on Earth, which he used as a base for his rough blueprint. If Gaton was the one making it, he was sure he would be able to understand its purpose and make it easier to use.
“But you should prioritize the production of the crossbow. Craft this other thing after you’ve completed those.”
“Hmph, it feels like I’ve become your slave. Even so, those are some huge Wild Oxen you’ve caught, I can’t believe they are so quiet and serene after being caught.”
Gaton said while surprised, as he was measuring the captured Wild Oxen.
Earlier this morning, he felt really surprised by the prototype crossbows. So watching Gaton being surprised for once, made Yamato feel even.
“They became like that after using some ‘magic’.”
“Magic… you say? “
Tilting his head in confusion, he repeated this word unknown to him.
“Blacksmith-jii-san! Yamato-niichan was really amazing! He approached the Wild Ox and then with a『Bzzzz！ 』It immediately became docile, like a different animal! “
The leader of the children, Guts, began to explain today events while doing a lot of exaggerated hand gestures.
“You’re making less and less sense, brat. And I doubt you’ll tell me even if I ask you, right kid? ”
“Yeah, that’s a personal trade secret of mine.”
Yamato replied with a vague answer after Gaton turned towards him and asked a question.
It would be easy to explain the principle behind this. But he believed it would be difficult to understand for the inhabitants of this different world, the tool I used to make the Wild Oxen docile.
An electric baton… but just in case, let’s not reveal it.
What he had used was an electric baton to make the Wild Oxen unable to move.
After getting close, he delivered an intense electric shock to its back, near the spinal cord, and that was all it took to make it unable to run.
After all, animals with thin fur are weak to electricity…
He had this electric baton as a countermeasure in case he encountered wild animals while exploring the mountains in Japan, and had used it a few times. So, when he encountered a Wild Ox, he wanted to try a little experiment.
By the way, this electric baton is not something you could buy at the outdoor equipment stores.
It was one of the self-defense weapons that he had personally ordered, and he had it concealed in his backpack every time he went climbing.
A legitimate product with a “small twist”, its power…
“So, can I leave the care and future breeding of the Wild Oxen to you, Village Chief? ”
“Yeah, we’re used to taking care of livestock. I’ll keep them in an empty barn.”
So it was decided that the older people will also be entrusted with taking care of the recently caught livestock.
They have bred livestock in this village since long ago. After the harvest of the paddy fields settled down, Yamato planned on making the children learn the caring and breeding methods too.
Ever since he first came here, no domesticated animals could be seen anywhere in the village. Along with the adults and the stockpiled grains, the Lord also took away the pigs and chickens as well.
“If I find either chickens, pigs, goats or sheep in the forest, I’ll also try and capture them.”
“Oh, that would help us a lot, Yamato-dono.”
The Village chief told him that wild livestock also lived in the interior of the forest. But so far, nobody had been able to enter due to the dangerous beasts.
But now, after setting up a crossbow squad with the children, Yamato and the children could venture a bit further into the forest, little by little. He wanted to increase the range of their actions and collect the riches the forest had to offer.
Cows and goats are good for milk and making dairy products. Chickens for their eggs. Sheep for their wool and after breeding pigs, we can enjoy their tasty meat.
In the history of Earth, the relatively calm animals were bred and kept as livestock. And aside from killing them and eating them, various other valuable things could be gained from them.
Urd Village was located in a closed basin, a landscape surrounded by mountains and forests.
With the bandits running rampant on the road to the town, getting goods and trading has been pretty much impossible so far.
With that being the case, the need to be self-sufficient had to be fulfilled as soon as possible.
In order to do that, the Inahon and the making of paddy fields, along with the livestock breeding were necessary steps.
The Big Rabbits and the Wild Boars they first encountered were too violent to be kept as livestock. So those would continued to be hunt for their meat and fur.
But the quiet and calm beasts could be captured and kept for breeding. And in order for this plan of self-sufficiency to succeed, the wild beasts need to be hunted and have their meat preserved.
“Hey, kids. After the usual, we’ll also learn craftmanship while helping the village chief and the others.”
Giving new instructions to the children after coming back from the forest, they finished tidying up.
The elderly people had a hard time doing hard labor, with their weakened bodies.
However, their traditions, knowledge and methods were this village’s treasures and couldn’t be replaced. So, Yamato intended to keep the children active and learn them so they could inherit them.
“Okay, Yamato-niichan! ”
“Alright, everyone, let’s see who finishes first! ”
“Ah, hey, wait for me.”
The children started to move to the next job as if they tried to compete.
If it involves their way of life, they really became obedient. Perhaps they knew that everything they learn and experience will become a tool that will help them live a better life, or it might just be their instinct.
Just like a cotton absorbs water, they too absorbed all the knowledge and techniques they were taught.
Well then, seems like I can’t be left behind…
Recently, he also started to learn some of the skills from the old people.
For him, who came from Japan, he felt grateful for their teachings, they who have survived in this harsh environment, surrounded by mountains.
The people of Urd, the village of Urd…
While getting lost in his thoughts, he stared deeply at the state of this peaceful village.
It would be good if every day was just like this.
――――So he started to live in this village, in Urd Village. And since the day he first came, a month quickly went by.