Episode 19: Moving Forward with the Agricultural Reforms
The spring sun was shining warmly over Urd Village.
At that time, Yamato and Liscia decided to go see the state of the rice field on the outskirts of the village.
“The flow of water in the rice field is going smooth.”
“So this is a ‘rice field’, Yamato-sama?”
“Yeah, a field for planting the Inahon, made by the power of people… that is a rice field.”
Before their eyes was the sight of a rice field with water flowing through it.
It was squarely-shaped and several fields were evenly spaced out, just like in Japan.
A different world and traditional Japanese rice fields… truly a strange combination. But it feels kind of nostalgic…
A wishful emotion surged from deep inside his heart as he was beholding such a spectacle.
This was the place he had made plans for last autumn, and with the help of the villagers, they had it reclaimed. A scene before the water entered the fields previous to the rice planting spreaded, giving off a nostalgic feeling that was hard to be expressed with words.
“Ohh… Yamato-dono and young Liscia. What brings you this far from the village?”
“Oh, we came to check on the state of the paddy fields, and the ‘seedlings’.”
The one calling to them was one of the elderly people who were in charge of the management of the rice fields. Those villagers were mainly entrusted with the management of the water, and the growth of the Inahon seedlings.
While guiding Yamato and Liscia, they went together with to the seedling hut.
“Good… the seedlings seem to be growing up nicely.”
“Like Yamato-dono said, we’ve been paying close attention to the temperature in here.”
“I leave it in your care then, until it’s time to plant them.”
Yamato checked the conditions on the seedling shed as he gave off some instructions. It was necessary to be especially careful in regards to the temperature.
“So these are the ‘seedlings’, Yamato-sama?”
“Yeah. After they grow a bit more, we will plant them in the paddy field.”
“I believe this way is far better than trying to plant the seeds directly, like we’ve been doing with the wheat.”
“If my calculations are correct, we should have over twice the harvest of last year.”
“This is going to become twice of that harvest! …As expected of Yamato-sama.”
Liscia, who only knew of direct planting, was surprised at Yamato’s words.
Although it was common practice in his former world, seedling planting was a revolutionary method nobody used in this world.
It appears like all the work we’ve been doing by trial and error since last autumn will finally bear fruits…
Seedling planting was part of the agricultural reforms he was implementing in this village, but that was not all of them.
Among them, the plowing work done by the Wild Oxen had already produced great results.
Those were the wild cow-like animals that were caught in the forest.
Although their original temper was mild, they were a cattle that once it went wild, it could even repel a big bear.
A number of these were captured and kept in the village to work and breed. After being fed by human hands, they were working obediently so far.
I never imagined I’ll be able to secure such a work force…
After Yamato handed over a rough design, the old blacksmith Gaton produced this agricultural equipment called plow, and adapted it to be used by the Oxen. With them pulling it, the reclaim process of the damaged fields was done.
With their strength, several times of normal cattle, the soil was easily turned and mixed with a fertilizer, turning those wasted fields into these splendid paddy fields.
The impact it had on the villagers when they saw it in action could be described like 『A powerful tractor suddenly appearing in a small countryside village』.
“The way to grow the seedlings, making a fertilizer, dealing with weeds… Yamato-sama really knows everything. Truly amazing…”
“Farming was something I never disliked, that’s all.”
In light of Liscia’s respect, he tried to act a little modest. Although it was not an act, him being humble was nothing but true.
These reforms he was implementing in the village were simply natural in modern Japan. Or rather, it was only an imitation of the agricultural technology of the Edo and Meiji periods, since they were relativity close to this world’s level of civilization.
The only reason she felt amazed was because of the farming culture in this world was simply lagging behind.
No, maybe those hard-working Japanese people who invented these were really amazing. He thanked them in his mind.
After leaving the seedling shed, they continued to patrol the village.
“Ahh. Yamato-niichan-sama and Liscia-sama. Good morning.”
A girl suddenly called out to them. She was a little younger than Liscia.
“Were you recording the state of the fields?”
“Yes. As Yamato-niichan-sama instructed, I was recording it with drawings and letters.”
It was the painter girl the one who came to talk to them. She had a weaker constitution compared to the other boys and girls in the village.
However, since she helped her parents since a young age, she was pretty good at drawing pictures. So, Yamato gave her the job of secretary and instructed her to record the work done in the village since last year.
“I still have plenty of paper. Let me know when you run out.”
“Yes. As always, thank you very much, Yamato-niichan-sama.”
There were several notebooks and sketchbooks in his large backpack used for mountain climbing, which he had brought from Japan. And some of the ones he was not using, were handed over to this girl, along with a couple pens.
Coincidentally, every time she called him『Yamato-niichan-sama』he couldn’t help but to feel embarrassed.
All the other children in the village called him『Yamato-niichan！ 』but she wanted to be polite to him, so she added a -sama when she called him. She gave off the feeling of a sister.
“The paper Yamato-sama has is so white, one would doubt it was paper, right?”
Next to them, Liscia also gave her impressions. She felt impressed by the quality of the notebook that was handed to the painting girl.”
“Is such ‘white paper’ so rare? ”
“Yes, usually parchment or tree skin are used. In the past, a peddler showed us some paper, but it was rough and it had a dirty color, and its price was extremely high.”
That was explained by Liscia.
Japan was a culture of paper, and it was familiar with the historic legacy left by paper and washi. Most likely, in this medieval-like continent, the paper-making techniques weren’t developed much.
But with this, an opportunity presented itself. He had an idea.
“Should we try to make ‘paper’ in the village next time?”
“I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make paper this white, but if its washi, I think we can handle it.”
“So you can also make paper, Yamato-sama…”
Although the two girls were impressed, this wasn’t that big of a deal for him.
Yamato had experienced making the Japanese traditional paper called washi before, the reason for that being, the influence of his self-called adventurer parents.
He had already seen plants suitable for making washi in the forest, and as for the tools, they aren’t that complicated to make.
And with the abundant pure water available in Urd Village, surely high quality washi could be made.
Obviously, regarding the tools, he was going to ask Gaton and his grandchildren to help him make them.
“Uhmm… I wonder what that bustle is about.”
It was then.
The figure of someone coming from the center of the village while calling out his name could be seen.
“Yamato-boy-niichan！ So, you were here.”
“What’s wrong? Does Gaton jii-san needs me? “
The one calling out to him was a Mountain Clan young boy. He was the only one that called him『boy-niichan』.
Being one of the twin grandchildren of Gaton, he was also an apprentice blacksmith. Sometimes, Gaton had him come in his stead when he needed something.
“Yes! 『Come see the shooting test of Liscia’s new bow』, he said. I think.”
“Ok, tell him we’re going to the village square now.”
“Gotcha, I’ll go tell him then.”
And so, the Mountain Clan boy ran back to the workshop. Looking high in spirits.
“Yamato-sama… what did he mean with new bow…?”
“Oh, it’s something I asked Gaton jii-san to make for Liscia.”
“So it was just finished…”
“There’s still the final adjustments. Let’s go back to the square.”
“Yes, Yamato-sama. “
Like this, Liscia and Yamato finished their inspection and decided to return to the village square.
In order to confirm the performance of the bow designed specifically for Liscia.