Chapter 007: On the hunt

Translator: Denryuu

And so, the million dollar question still remained:

How could I increase the population of my fiefdom?

I had no idea whatsoever. Perhaps if I had been educated, I thought, then things might be different. Unfortunately, I had never received a day’s education. At least I knew a little when it came to farming and fighting…

Other lords must have managed it somehow, right?

「You’ve been muttering to yourself a lot」, said Aruna, casting an accusatory glance at me. 「Why are you such a gloomy person?」

「Sorry, but I’m really in a tight spot here. I have to find more people by hook or by crook, but I have no clue how to do that!」

「People, people… with what you will support them in your present state? You have one yurt, and only enough food for one person! Do you realise that? Even if you found people, they’d either starve or die of illness!」

「Ah!」, I exclaimed. 「Won’t they… receive supplies from you, the monsterfolk, too?」

「Hogwash! What makes you think we’d do that?」

「I-I see, that’s a no-go then. Sorry. Forget that, okay? Housing and food is more important than finding more people… but I don’t think bartering Meia wool will get me far…」

I continued racking my brain for ideas. My basic necessities were covered by Mohr’s kindness, but how would I ensure that for my people? People, housing, food… my thoughts had only become more muddled now that I had more things to take into consideration. It soon became clear that I would not arrive at an answer.

Though it was my duty as a lord to find one…

I thought and thought some more until my brain literally started heating up. Is this what they call ‘teething fever’, I wondered. Steam will come out of my head at any moment now… I’m going to boil my brain at this rate.

「Haa…」, sighed Aruna. 「If I was given a choice, there’s no way I’d want to be a serf under an idiot like you.」

She tossed a powder-filled leather bag, about the size of her hand, over to me.

「…Take this, idiot lord. It contains matabi powder.」

「What’s this ‘matabi’ thing?」

「A type of grass which gives off an aroma that attracts wild beasts. Sprinkle it in the air, and wild beasts will pick up the scent and approach you.」

「Huh. To think that grass like that exists. What happens after the beasts come closer?」

「How about you use your head a little, idiot lord?」, scolded Aruna. 「If you kill a beast, it becomes food! Aside from its meat, its hide and horns, if any, have their purposes as well. The stuff you don’t use can be exchanged for a yurt at the village. If you’re gonna stand there, then you might as well act like a man and hunt an animal down — it’ll lay the groundwork for amassing the people you need.」

「Ohhh」, I exclaimed. 「That’s a great idea! I’m good at hunting, because I don’t have to use my head! Let’s do it, then! Wait… can I leave the maintenance of the yurt to you? The Meias that are on the way, too.」

「That’s fine. As your caretaker, I’ll handle that stuff. I wasn’t gonna let you handle the delicate Meias anyway. Also, a word of caution… go somewhere far before using the matabi powder. The last thing we need is to have wild beasts on the warpath here. Find a spot downwind to use it, and make sure you can’t see this place at all before doing so.」

I nodded at Aruna and indicated that I understood. With my battleaxe slung over my shoulder, I dashed off, letting the wind guide me. As I ran across the grassland thoughtlessly, I felt my brain cool as if it had been placed in an icy bath. Isn’t physical activity amazing, I thought. I might even find a way or two to get people while on the hunt!

Before long, I was a good distance away from Aruna and the yurt. Double-checking that they were nowhere in sight, I loosened the knot on the bag of matabi powder. I opened it to see that the powder was a shade of brown. It had a unique scent, one that I would not have expected to belong to something made from grass.

So I sprinkle this around, and beasts will come, I thought.

How much do I sprinkle, though?

Aruna had mentioned nothing about the appropriate quantity, so I just decided to use it all. The idea of sprinkling it at my feet didn’t feel very elegant, so I chose to throw it high into the air so that the wind would carry its scent to places miles away.

With that, I opened the bag as wide as it allowed me to, waited for a strong gust of wind, then flung the powder out with all my might. As I had expected, the powder danced in the air and began its journey downwind.

A little bit of powder, accompanied by the bag itself, landed on my head, but I didn’t make much of it. Now I just had to sit and wait for the beasts to arrive, after which I would make quick work of them. Simple.

Hmm… how many hides do I need for a yurt, I thought. No way one would suffice… maybe five? Nah… ten sounded just right. In that case, I would need a hundred beasts to meet my starting goal of ten yurts. There was no way I could get that many creatures at once, of course, so it would take me a few days at least. But hunting wasn’t a problem for me anyway.

The more yurts I can get, the merrier.

It was as these thoughts ran through my head that I heard a stampeding noise downwind. The matabi powder must have worked, for something black was making its way towards me.

Gripping my battleaxe with both hands, I readied myself for battle. The noise made by the creature was deafening, so I thought I had attracted something massive. When it came closer, however, I realised that it was a horde (which explained the ruckus).

I wondered how many creatures there were. Not ten, not twenty — they were too loud for that. Way more. Way, way, way more.

That’s a lot.

With two large horns on their heads and black hides, the creatures reminded me of bulls. The horde stretched as far as the eye could see.

So that’s the power of matabi powder, I thought. Frightening.

Just thinking of the number of yurts I could bargain for made my blood boil with excitement. Heck, I might already meet my goal from this horde alone.

I whirled my battleaxe in the air.

The horde charged right in my direction, getting closer and closer…

And then, the battle began.


  1. Gochisousama Deshita

  2. Grazzi għall-isforz kollu tiegħek mal-kontenut. Żomm ix-xogħol it-tajjeb.

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