Episode 14: Liscia and Yamato
The work finally finished in the afternoon, and the sunset dyed Urd Village with its colors.
“I’m sure the meeting place with Liscia-san was ahead from here…”
As promised, he went to meet with Liscia, the village chief granddaughter. She said she had something important to tell him, and wanted him to meet her after the sun had set.
“That observation deck, right?…”
The meeting place was one of those so called observation decks, it was in a hill a little walk away from the village.
“Liscia-san, sorry to keep you waiting.”
“I-I also, just got here.”
Although she said that, one could notice the grass under her feet heavily walked upon. Most likely, she came here way earlier and was walking back and forth while waiting for Yamato.
“By the way, what was it that you wanted to talk about? “
Liscia said she had something to tell him.
Her face at that moment was resolute and serious, but right now her face was tinted red and one could easily tell she was very nervous. It was probably something really important to her.
Since Yamato was not good at beating around the bush, he went and asked her upfront.
“The truth is… I wanted to express my gratitude to Yamato-sama…”
“‘Your gratitude’, you say?”
“Yes… with regards to everything you have done so far…”
Liscia thanked him with a grateful tone.
She started talking about the time, a month ago, when he saved her while she was being attacked by Big Rabbits.
About the Big Rabbit meat he shared with the hungry children of the village.
Also about the discovered new grain, the fruit of the Inahon plant, which solved the food shortage in the village.
About the implementation of his personal crossbow, and how he had taught the villagers to be self-dependent.
And how by introducing revolutionary farming and livestock methods, he had given hope to the villagers, a hope to keep on living.
“We’ve received countless gifts from Yamato-sama… really, thank you very much.”
“Don’t worry about it. I did what I did because I wanted to.”
“It’s bad to act humble, Yamato-sama.”
“Sorry, it’s just, this is how I am.”
“Hehehe… I know.”
Those last words she said were spoken in a teasing tone.
Spending a month together, Liscia somewhat had already grasped Yamato’s personality.
“Now that I think about it, winter will arrive soon.”
“Yes… the ‘Spirit of Winter’ might descend to the village from that big mountain range.”
Liscia had already told him that Urd Village experienced all four seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Right now, after having finished the Inahon collection, was late autumn. Soon, a thin layer of white snow will cover this basin. Due to humidity problems, less snow fell now, but the severe cold still lasted for about three months.
Incidentally, the ‘Spirit of Winter’ was similar to a metaphor for Yamato. At least, he believed there was no way such fantasy-like creature could really exist.
“We have to take measures against the cold soon. Like repairing the damaged houses, getting firewood ready and also proper clothing.”
“Yes, it seems we will be busy tomorrow too, Yamato-sama.”
All the food was taken away by the Lord. But, fortunately or unfortunately, all the buildings and the firewood stockpile weren’t touched at all.
The current reduced population was comprised of only children and old people.
To survive the tough winter, they needed to limit the number of living spaces, and move to a more communal life style. That in order to improve the fuel efficiency and safety.
“The firewood stocks are fine, right? ”
“Yes, I already confirmed the stockpiled amount.”
They could safely go through the winter with the current amount of firewood in the village. But next year, they would need to cut down some trees in the forest and stockpile more for next winter.
“The rest would be the fur clothing…”
“No problem with that either. All thanks to Yamato-sama’s Big Rabbit hunting.”
“Oh, I see.”
Although the people of Urd preferred to wear colorful cloths, like their traditional costumes, for winter they also wore furs on top.
There was a good enough stock of beast furs, but just in case they needed to continue hunting and increase the numbers for the winter months.
“Since Urd’s leather products are high quality, are they popular? ”
“Yeah, in the large towns they are usually traded at high prices.”
In Liscia’s words, the demand of leather products from this village was quite high. So Yamato thought this would be a way to secure a trading currency from the city in the future.
In anticipation of this, the fur already dismantled from hunting was being cleaned and tanned and was prepared so it could be ready to be used at any time.
The leatherworking skills of the old villagers were really excellent. During winter, he had planned to let the children learn leatherworking, so that the tradition could be passed down.
“At least it seems that we’ll manage regarding food during winter.”
“Yes. All thanks to Yamato-sama.”
The food distribution was being planned taking into consideration the health of the villagers.
The Inahon was a variety of rice, which made it rich in carbohydrates. And the protein would come from the wild beasts’ meat, like the Big Rabbit.
The Inahon grain stockpile was likely to last until next year’s fall.
They needed to hunt a little more before the winter arrived and hunting became more difficult, and process it into dried meat, which could be preserved for longer. But since those preparations were almost done, there seemed to be nothing to worry about.
They won’t be able to go outside as much during winter, but there were still many jobs that could be done.
“It feels like winter will also be a busy season, Liscia-san.”
“Yeah… but it’s going to be ok! “
Liscia answered with a strange confidence. No matter what difficulties may arrive, everyone was filled with hope.
“It feels you are really pumped up today, Liscia-san.”
“Yes! It’s because Yamato-sama is here, so I don’t have any worries or concerns. The ‘Sage’ Yamato-sama is the village’s savior.”
“That much is a little…”
“It’s bad to act humble, Yamato-sama.”
“Sorry, it’s just, this is how I am.”
“Hehehe… I know.”
Again, Liscia teased Yamato.
But as she did, a happy smile blossomed in her face. Those were her honest feelings.
“S-speaking of which… Yamato-sama…”
“What’s up, suddenly so formal? ”
“A-about the important thing I wanted to tell to you…”
So far, the conversation was just small talk. Liscia suddenly turned serious and began to speak.
“The next spring… I’ll finally become an adult.”
In Urd, one was considered an adult once they became fourteen years old.
With this, they were recognized as independent adults, and were allowed to drink alcohol and to marry. They also had the right to vote at the village meetings and the right to possess property.
“I see… so Liscia-san will become an adult soon?”
Now that I think about it, I never asked what her age was, Yamato thought.
Ever since the time when they both met in the forest, she already gave a grown-up vibe. She always felt like a proper member of the adult society.
“What does… Yamato-sama think of me…? “
Liscia asked, while staring at him with a serious look. A question seemingly coming out of nowhere, and now asked after spending this time together.
“Liscia-san is a wonderful girl.”
Those words carried no lie.
As the granddaughter of the village chief, she was intelligent and had a bright mind. She had a strong sense of responsibility and always tried her best for the villagers without cowering before the danger.
“The only times I can truly feel at ease, are when Liscia is around.”
“Making Yamato-sama feel at ease…”
There was also no lie in those words.
Despite being the granddaughter of the village chief, Liscia was also a hunter. When he first met her, she was surrounded by a herd of Big Rabbits, and gave the feeling of being defenseless.
However, her skills as a hunter were outstanding.
Soon, Gaton will finish Liscia’s personal ‘bow’ requested by Yamato. And that would make her an even more reliable presence for him.
“I will be celebrating my fourteenth birthday soon… that means… I will be able to get married…”
“I see, the people in Urd really grow fast. But in my hometown, women cannot marry unless they are sixteen.”
Japanese law stated that women couldn’t marry until after they reached the age of sixteen.
In comparison, this world’s, the age was two years earlier. Perhaps that rule was implemented because the average life expectancy was lower in this world.
“Unless they are sixteen… will Yamato-sama stay in this village for two more years? ”
“Yeah… I will be in the care of the village until it gets back on track.”
There was a lot of work to be done the coming spring.
It will still take at least a few more years until the situation in the village stabilized, and Urd became self-sufficient once again. This was, after all, a long-term plan.
“Understood! I’ll wait another two years! I’ll give my best! ”
“Yeah, let’s do our best together.”
“Yes… together… with Yamato-sama.”
Liscia’s face turned red as she blushed by repeating his words. It gave off a refreshing feeling, seeing her making that face.
Today she appeared to be very affected by her emotions, very much unlike the usual Liscia.
As he was wondering about the cause.
『Autumn weather is as fickle as a woman’s heart』
Such a proverb came to his mind. But Yamato decided to shelf those thoughts in his mind for the moment.
It was at then.
Someone’s voice was approaching while calling his name.
“Guys, I found Yamato-niichan! ”
“Ah, Liscia-neechan is also here! “
The voice belonged to one of the children, the leader-like boy.
Rushing all the way from the slope, he came to the deck. It appeared he was looking for Yamato.
“What’s wrong kids? “
He asked the children, as they were catching their breath. Wondering what had happened.
Perhaps some kind of accident? As he thought of that possibility he became wary of the surroundings.
However, these children had smug smiles on their faces. So, that was probably not the case.
“We came to pick up Yamato-niichan, since you are the leading star tonight! ”
“Yes, leading star! “
That was how they answered his question.
But he still was unsure of what they were referring to.
I haven’t heard of any event taking place tonight. As he thought that, he began to wonder the reason behind this.
“It’s ok, just come, quick Yamato-niichan! ”
“Liscia-neechan too! “
But before he could speak, he was taken away without being able to understand a thing.