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Fushi no Kami: Rebuilding Civilization Starts With a Village

Chapter 23

Ash Bottom (23)

Translated by X-treme
Edited by X-treme


 

Ash Bottom (23)

 

And spring has arrived. It is the season when green blood begins to return to the earth that has been drained. The wheat that has survived the winter is growing taller and taller in the spring sunshine, welcoming the farmers back to the fields. Before the fields are taken care of in earnest, the Spring Festival is held.

I think of it as a festival to nourish the spirits of the people by using the food they have stockpiled for the new harvest that is expected in the spring. At the same time, it seems to be a way to avoid leaving behind stockpiles of food that have exceeded their storage limits.

This year’s festival was even bigger than usual, because even after releasing the food to nurse the sick for the winter, there was still more food in the warehouse than usual. This is probably due in part to the fact that there were no funerals held during the winter. It is customary to have a proper banquet at the funeral to comfort the deceased and the bereaved.

It was only natural that the villagers would be more excited than usual. Even the normally uptight people tend to let loose during the festival. They used the money they have accumulated from their winter jobs to buy alcohol. Of course, my father, who belongs to the category of “bad people who like to drink,” gets drunk as if he had forgotten that he had been drinking all winter – which was the case until last year.

“You did not drink much this year, did you?”

I questioned my father, who was quietly enjoying his drink, away from the noisy crowd in the village square.

“I’m not getting any younger. As a father, I need to be sensible.”

Oh, yeah. You’re a fine father, and as a son, I’m proud of you.”

“Hmm.”

My father sniffed and turned away, but his ears were red, so I guess he was embarrassed.

“I think it’s a good thing. If you drink in moderation, you’ll feel better and you’ll be able to take care of the farm more effectively.”

“Is that so? Well, I’ve been feeling a lot more awake lately.”

It seems that his health is on the upswing because he is not straining his liver. That allows him to work harder and stronger.

“I’m still not very strong, so I’m glad I can count on you.”

“Of course you can! I’m still as strong as ever!”

My father starts laughing his heart out. It’s easy to flatter him. I hope he keeps up his good work. After a moderate amount of drinking, my father returned home with my mother. They are a close couple, after all. I prefer not to return for a while, so I call out to Mr. Van and his family (unmarried) for some smoked meat.

“Oh, it’s Ash.”

“Mr. Ash? It’s a beautiful day for a festival.”

Mr. Jekyll and Miss Tanya call out to me. However, Mr. Van was the first to notice me before they did. This shows the skill of a seasoned hunter.

“Hello.”

I smile and Mr. Jekyll offers me some smoked meat that he quickly sears.

“See, I knew you’d come, so I saved it for you.”

“Thank you very much. I’ll be sure to return the favor.”

I quickly tucked into the meat on the skewer. It’s a precious protein. Protein is a good thing when you’re growing up.

“Delicious. I’m happy…….”

“You’re just a normal kid.”

Miss Tanya giggles. She and Mr. Van sitting next to her are shoulder to shoulder. It’s good that they are getting to know each other better and better, but I heard that they are not officially dating yet. Mr. Jekyll is my source of information, so I’m sure of it.

Recently, Mr. Jekyll has been asking me, “Is that what a relationship between a man and a woman is like? He wanted some advice. I can only answer that it depends on the person.

“Mr. Van, it’s almost time to go into the forest to pick wild vegetables, how is the forest doing?”

I asked as I squirmed my way through the meat, and Mr. Van tilted his head with a rather grim expression.

“It’s noisier than usual.”

I’m not sure, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s not a good thing.

“”That’s troubling…….I’m worried about the beekeeping, and the danger of working in the forest.”

“As for me, I’m not only worried about beekeeping, but also about Brother Van and Jekyll.”

Since her family works mainly in the forest, Miss Tanya also looks worried. Seeing this, Mr. Jekyll, whose face has recently become a little more mature, speaks up brightly.

“It’s all right there, sister. Right, bro?”

Ban nodded at his apprentice’s words, “Hmm.” It’s not good to keep worrying, so I will help the two hunters.

“Mr. Van is always cautious and vigilant, you know. Mr. Jekyll will be with you, so you’ll be fine.”

I am well aware of the cautiousness of the silent hunter. If he feels something is wrong, he will wait for hours to see what is going on, and if he doesn’t know what is going on, he will immediately retreat. I think he’s like a wild animal, but I may be wrong because he is dealing with wild animals.

“I believe in you, too, though, don’t I?”

I guess it’s human nature to worry about things apart from trust, I can understand Miss Tanya’s feeling of not being able to put on a cheerful face. No matter how advanced civilization becomes, charms and curses will never disappear.

“We have to take the utmost care there and make Miss Tanya feel at ease. If you need more help, please let me know. I’m not at ease with the noise in the forest, and I want to stock up on spring wildflowers.”

“Don’t let me slow you down, Ash.”

Mr. Jekyll taps me on the shoulder provocatively, but I’m still more capable of working in the forest than he is. I return it with a generous smile. Well, that’s going to be reversed in the summer or so.

I’m currently a farmer, an apprentice hunter, a pharmacologist, a researcher of ancient texts, a researcher of productivity improvement, and a……Anyway, I’ve dabbled in everything I’m interested in, so I can’t really compete with Jekyll, who is a hunter only, in terms of growth.

In particular, my father, who is rather enthusiastic, has taken over the fields of Miss Tanya’s family, who tends to stay away from the fields in order to start a beekeeping business. I’ve been told that I can do some very simple experiments there, and I’m really looking forward to it. Laughter bubbled up deep in my heart.

“It looks like we’ll be very busy again this year.”

After each member of Mr. Van’s family exchanged a glance, the quiet Mr. Van said to me.

“In moderation.”

I wonder why this family looks so anxious.


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