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Fushi no Kami: Rebuilding Civilization Starts With a Village

Chapter 24

Ash Bottom (24)

Translated by X-treme
Edited by X-treme


 

Ash Bottom (24)

 

The Spring Festival has passed, and most of the villagers have reverted to being earnest farmers, spending their time in the fields. The few exceptions, the hunters and beekeepers, seem to be spending their time together in the forest. I am one of the few exceptions, and I am busy experimenting in the fields that I inherited from Miss Tanya. This time, I’m experimenting with companion plants.

A companion plant is a plant that benefits from being planted near or with a crop. In a simple example, if you plant a companion plant in your field that has an ingredient that pests do not like, the insects will not be able to get to your precious crop. One of the flowers that grows near the field has such an effect, according to a botanical catalog. I wondered why it was not being used since it was in such an easy to notice location.

This flower is treated as a “guardian deity of the field. There is a legend that the monkey god, the god of wisdom, casted a spell on the flowers to protect the fields. In other words, they know that the flowers have a positive effect on the fields. However, we have not been able to utilize them more effectively because we have stopped thinking that it is enough if they are blooming near the fields.

This seems to be a case where the knowledge of an ancient civilization has been transformed into a “guardian deity of the fields” and has remained as a tradition. Perhaps there are various kinds of knowledge from such ancient civilizations in the anecdotes of gods. From now on, let’s not think of myths and legends as imaginary, but pay attention to see if there is any knowledge hidden in them.

In this life, the labyrinth of knowledge is quite formidable. No, even in my previous life, researchers must have been exploring like this every day. I only walked through the already-traversed levels with a map, which is why I feel this life is tougher. While compiling my report to Priest Folke, I planted the flowers in a different arrangement in each plot.

“Mr. Ash, is this okay?”

“Yeah, it’s fine. It’s perfect.”

Next to me, Miss Maika, who had come to help me, was working up a sweat. She was very helpful as she carefully tweaked the soil as I had written on the paper. It is a problem in rural areas that many people are not able to do even this level of work.

“Thank you for helping me.”

“It’s the least I can do! You helped me when I was sick.”

Miss Maika smiled enthusiastically and nodded vigorously.

“Besides, my mom says I should help you with whatever you do, Ash.”

“I see. You’ve been a great help to me.”

“I’m sure you’ve done more for me than I’ve done for you.”

“No, not at all. I’m just doing what I want to do and I can’t do it all by myself. I’m the one who is being helped.”

I know that it is in the best interest of the entire village. But at the end of the day, I am doing what I want to do, and in the end, it is my selfishness. I must never forget that. I’m working hard and I’ve achieved a lot.

I am appreciated but fundamentally, my actions are for my personal dream, and the people who are helping me are helping themselves, since their interests are aligned with mine. Therefore, I should be grateful.

If I don’t, I will be selfishly conceited, selfishly stumbling, and selfishly failing. As I told Mrs. Eureka one day, I don’t intend to be a saint. I just think that acting like a saint is the most efficient way to go. As I was planting the flowers and re-evaluating my words and actions, the girl next to me, Miss Maika, stopped her hand and looked at me.

“Miss Maika?”

“Oh, no, no, no! I just thought that……was amazing…….”

With somewhat moist eyes, Miss Maika compliments me. I wonder if some dust has gotten in her eyes.

“I’ll do my best to be as good as you, Mr. Ash!”

“I’m honored that you set me as a goal, and I’ll do my best to be worthy.”

Inspired by the ambitious Miss Maika, I smiled back. It’s nice to be in a friendly competition with her. As the two of us were chatting and tinkering in the dirt, a high-pitched metallic sound echoed through the village. Miss Maika’s expression quickly changed.

“It’s……now.”

“That’s the emergency bell.”

It was the sound of the village bell, which was set up to signal emergencies. The bells are set up to warn of attacks by wild animals and bandits in the forest, as well as fires. Some children always try to ring the bell as a prank, but it is so important that if you ring it even once, you will be scolded to never go near it again.

When the villagers noticed the bell, one by one, they ran out of their houses and fields and hurried towards the temple church. This is because they are supposed to gather there first when the bell rings. Along the way, the villagers meet each other and pass on information about why the bell rang.

“I hope it’s not some kind of bandit this time. Now that the village chief is gone, bandits are a bad thing.”

“No, it looks like a bear.”

“A bear. That’s a lot better than bandits…….Did anyone get attacked?”

“It’s all right. I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s had a bad experience.”

The villagers seemed relieved that the situation was lighter than expected. However, they were not optimistic. It wasn’t the worst, but it was still a bad situation.

“Are we dealing with a bear?…….Mayka, please go to the church first. I’m going to stop by at home.”

“What? I’ll come with you then!”

“Rather, please go to the church first and tell them that I will stop by at home to get ready before I come. If they think I’m missing, you see, the funeral will be arranged without my knowledge, just like last year when I went missing.”

It was a joke I made in an attempt to reassure her, but it seemed to have the opposite effect, making Miss Maika look like she was about to cry.

“Oh, no, I’m just kidding. But I have a spear and a bow for hunting and poison in my house. I think I’d better prepare them and go to church.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Van and Mr. Jekyll had just entered the forest the other day. Even if they were lucky and caught their prey right away, they wouldn’t be back until the day after tomorrow. This meant that I was the only one in the village who had the skills and tools to hunt.

“Don’t worry. I’m Mr. Van’s number one disciple. He taught me how to handle a bear.”

“That may be true, but…”

“Miss Maika, please stay with the others and inform them not to make any noise. If you don’t excite the bears more than necessary, they’ll just scavenge the food in the warehouse and leave. It’s an important task.”

In fact, the villagers know what they are doing, as they must have experienced bears and boars in their village several times. The fact that they kept their voices relatively low on the way to the church was proof of that.

My comment was just a ploy to convince Miss Maika. If I were alone, I could handle an encounter with a bear, or if I couldn’t, I could just leave it at that. But I don’t want to involve the only daughter of the village chief’s family in it. I pushed Miss Maika’s shoulders, who still seemed to want to follow me, and used a strong tone of voice to prevent her from doing so.

“Very well, it is your duty to inform everyone at the church, Miss Maika. Please do so.”

“Uh, yeah…….Mr. Ash will be there soon, right?”

“Yes, of course. I have to protect you from the bear.”

I tried to reassure her again, this time choosing a squeaky line instead of a joke. It seemed to have an effect, and Miss Maika turned bright red and listened to me. My inner thoughts were so goofy and embarrassed that I almost got goosebumps, but from a woman’s point of view, it seemed to be quite pleasing. Well, I guess it depends on the person you are talking to, but in that respect, I seemed to be on the right track. I was a little happy.

“Okay, I’m off.”

“Come back soon, and be careful!”

I responded with a wave of my hand instead of an acknowledgement as I ran off.


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