Episode 55: Beginning of Spring of the second year.
Spring had finally come to Urd Village.
For Yamato, this was his second spring since coming to this world.
“It’s spring at last, Yamato-sama.”
“Yeah. The long-awaited spring.”
“Yes. It was a tough winter this year too.”
Together with the village chief granddaughter, Liscia, Yamato was looking around the village now that winter finally left.
Like Liscia already said, the winter this time was also severe.
There weren’t many snowfalls, but the temperature was below freezing every day.
And during such a harsh winter, the villagers gathered in the largest house that had the best thermal insulation, spending their time together in front of the burning fireplace.
“The stockpiles decreased considerably this past winter.”
“Yes. The stocks of meat and vegetables barely lasted until the last day.”
Liscia, who was in charge of managing the inventory of the food storehouse in the village, glanced at a memo while she made that report.
According to the report, the stocks of food other than grains were lower than expected.
Incidentally, the meat obtained from livestock or through hunting was salted or smoked, and the vegetables cultivated were pickled so they could be preserved in storage before the winter arrived.
This was knowledge of a world without refrigerators, gained due to the need to keep fresh products from rotting.
“The children are growing. Let’s increase the amount a little in the future.”
Urd was a village with only children and old people.
Therefore, it was better to increase the amount of preserved food stockpiled in the future, since children were in their growing period.
Even though they are not adults yet, they are valuable workers in this village.
It was necessary for them to eat plenty, thinking about their future.
“By the way, there seem to be a lot of finished crafts.”
“The children have learned more, so their speed and quality are also better than last year.”
During winter, the farm work was halted, and the hunting in the forest was little, so the villagers mostly worked indoors, making their local crafts.
Leather goods, textiles and porcelain, these were specialties the people of Urd made and stored during winter.
And the children inherited these techniques as their tradition, learning them from their elders.
Their once clunky crafts at the start of winter, have improved into fine products by the time the season ended.
“I was informed that the Urd shop in Orn is ready to open.”
“So, it’s finally starting, Yamato-sama.”
When the snow finishes melting and travel can be performed, these crafts will be carried to the trade city of Orn and be sold as commodities there.
The high-quality craft of Urd were popular among the city residents.
Last autumn, when Yamato went to meet with Lacq, he was told that the shop preparation was finished.
“Speaking of which… it’s a relief to see that no buildings have collapsed this year due to the snow, Yamato-sama.”
There were no damaged housed during this winter… that was something they confirmed as they checked the fields and waterways, planning for the future work to be done.
“For the degree of cold, there was quite little snowfall in Urd.”
“That reminds me, about the story you told me when a considerably heavy snowfall fell in your hometown, Yamato-sama…”
“Yeah. There were also years when the first floor was buried in snow, so we have to enter the house using the second floor.”
“Did so much snow fell!? Unbelievable…”
Urd village was located in the basin of a mountainous area, but since its humidity was low, it received less snowfall.
Currently there was no damage due to the weight of the snow, which was a relief.
In comparison, Japan had a high humidity, so the amount of snow was significantly higher.
That was especially true for the northern part of the country, where Yamato lived. And the story about having an entrance door in the second floor was not a joke.
The cold winter in the Village of Urd was, in contrast, somewhat gentle to Yamato.
“Well, isn’t it young Liscia and Yamato-dono? Are you touring the village? ”
As they patrolled the village, the old woman in charge of the livestock hut called out to them.
She was the woman that, since last year, was responsible for taking care of the livestock.
The caring for the livestock proceeded centering around the Han clan children, who were familiar with domesticated animals from a young age.
“How are the animals doing?”
“Good. Their numbers have steadily increased.”
Guided by the old woman, they entered the hut.
The cute squeal of the newborn piglets echoed in the room.
“Over eighty in total? It has increased during the winter.”
“Yes, it’s all thanks to the fodder taught to us by “Sage-dono”.”
The old woman skillfully handled the pigs while she explained their current condition.
The breeding efficiency increased many times than usual after adopting the reforms proposed by Yamato.
(The livestock reforms, huh?… I guess it was worthwhile.)
Before he came to the village, many of the pigs were slaughtered before winter arrived.
The purpose of this was to keep the livestock from starving to death because of the lack of food during winter, and the slaughtered livestock was smoked or salted for winter.
However, the number of livestock couldn’t increase past a certain maximum point, making the supply of meat unstable.
Therefore, last year Yamato recommended the cultivation of winter root vegetables that he found deep in the forest, turning those into fodder to be used during winter.
As a result, the number of livestock in the village was steadily increasing.
“Recently, I’ve been making dairy products with the Han clan children. Would you taste them next time?”
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. If I catch another wild one in the forest, I’ll bring it to you.”
“Good. I’ll be expecting you then, Sage-dono.”
Leaving the livestock hut while being seen off by the old woman, they headed towards their next destination.
“The method of raising livestock taught by you, Yamato-sama, is amazing… This is my first time seeing so many pigs in the early spring in the village.”
Such sight deeply impressed Liscia.
She, who had grown up as the granddaughter of the village chief, never experienced seeing that many lively little pigs this early in the spring.
“If it goes well, we can sell them in the city of Orn.”
“You were thinking that far ahead… truly, Yamato-sama.”
Although Liscia was impressed, Yamato felt the credit should be given to the incredible fertility of the pigs.
Their pregnancy period was only four months, way shorter than a person, and if nothing went wrong, each female pig would birth around 30 pigs per year.
Moreover, those piglets could also become pregnant in a couple years, making them one of the best domesticated animals.
Truly the best livestock to raise for meat.
“Well, how about we go see the newly completed building. Liscia-san?”
While doing the usual early spring patrolling, they headed towards the new facility in the village, built from a design made by Yamato.
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