Translator: Haruchin Editor: Marky
I tapped the stone wall with a hammer, and the other side also tapped in reply.
I then kicked the center of the after confirming that it was good to go.
The wall slipped with a thud, and the man on the other side shouted.
「Whoa, you did a great job clearing this out. 」
「 I did my best grinding it yesterday, after all. 」
I already finished doing the boring job of scraping the mortar yesterday. I have the strength, and the tools are made out of the monitor lizard’s horn, so it felt like scraping honeycomb toffee.
Even if people don’t often pass here, the work is still pretty exposed and visible from the road. I wanted to finish this as soon as possible, so Retze was helping me.
I drove several wedges on the wall earlier while using the marks I left on the wall as a guide, then we took turns repeatedly pounding the stone to break it. If we simply smash a wedge and drive it deep, the wall will just break in a weird way, so we had to be cautious and do it slowly, bit by bit.
「 Please. 」
I hand a piece of broken stone to Retze, and he skillfully slathers mortar on it before sticking it back to the wall.
The edges were rough after taking out that portion of the wall since the stones had been piled up alternately when they built it. I smashed the stones, while Retze put them back to the wall after checking them against the boards to make sure they’re straight. We now have a rectangular hole in the wall, one round bigger than a door.
「Help me support this for a bit. 」
Retze held the wooden frame for the door up while I filled the gap between the frame and the rectangular hole with mortar. All I have to do now is wait for it to dry and harden, fix the door hardware to the frame and stone, then attach the door and it’s done.
「 It’s amazing how you and Ash got single houses. Consider renting out your rooms? 」
Folks who come to the city usually rent attic rooms or some narrow room on the third floor. Those rooms were usually so tiny that they can only be used for sleeping in, while the wells and other facilities are shared. They rely on the food stalls to get their meals.
We wash our hands by the well by drawing water in turns and pouring on each other. Doing this the first and second time might be fun, but it’s really troublesome if you had to do this every time you’re gonna take a bath and whatnot.
「I’m making medicine. I want to avoid sharing the well. 」
If there are people living here, I probably can’t help but lend a hand and take care of them. I want to be free, but this personality of mine is getting in the way.
「 If I’m going to buy a house, it’ll be a three-floor shop, and I’ll rent out the attic and the third floor. 」
「 What do you plan to do with the shop? 」
I lit the fireplace and boiled some water. Can’t leave the kitchen with the gaping hole there, obviously, so I can only bear with it until the door is fixed. Retze is also in the kitchen. Well, it’s more accurate to say that he took a chair and put it in the corridor near the entrance of the kitchen.
「That’s up to my wife. 」
Retze said while drinking wine.
「 You’re married? 」
「 Nah, don’t even have a partner yet. Oh, this wine’s delish. 」
Most of the folks in this world marry only after they get their own house. That’s because they simply can’t afford to raise children without a house if the adults can’t stand on their own yet. Never mind money since they can still do something about it; food will be the problem, frankly speaking.
And so, wealthy folks marry early, while the capital men usually marry in their 30’s to 40’s. The girls become brides when they turn 15-22 years old. As for peasants, it’s fortunate if they can even marry in their entire life. Life’s really tough here.
Although what I’m going to say doesn’t apply to the serf’s peasants who already gave up on getting hitched, when it comes to marriage, most of the folks prioritize laying the groundwork for a stable life over falling in love.
On the other hand, if you have a house then you can choose a wife to your heart’s content. Lots of men choose to marry young brides, hence the gap in marriageable age.
Actually, women also have a wider range of choices if they have a job, and if they don’t mind getting married later in life then they can also buy a house first, then they’re free to choose whoever they want to marry.
It’s just that they have to give birth while they’re still strong enough. They’re literally risking their lives, given that the medical system here isn’t reliable.
Being a girl is so hard~ is what I thought. Ah, I just imagined something weird. I’d hate it if they do something like「Aztec’s method for the relief of labor pains 」.
The water is boiling now so I put the pasta into the pot and add some salt. While the pasta is cooking, I saute the garlic and chili in olive oil; wait until the aroma becomes stronger before adding the anchovies and smashing it while sauteing. Add olive slices, bottled tomato sauce, dry oregano. Toss the pasta, add salt to taste and it’s all done.
「Your dishes are still as tasty as ever. What’s this sour taste? 」
「 Tomato, caper, and olive, I guess? 」
There’s no table so we can only eat while forgoing manners as we hold our plates. I’m still standing.
「 Dunno what that tomato thing is, but it’s perfectly spicy and sour. 」
…. So they don’t have tomatoes here, huh. I totally forgot about that. And here I was, thinking of bluffing it with ‘it’s not fresh, I used the preserved ones!’. That’s not even the problem, it’s more like an existential question.
「Retze, stop eating things you don’t know without even checking it. 」
「 You’re the one who made it, Jean, so there shouldn’t be any problem. 」
His lighthearted reply made me a bit happy.
「 Is there anything else bothering you, Jean? Aside from holding that door up. 」
He shot a glance at the door leaning on the wall — it’s for the back entrance — while asking me.
「Me? I’m thinking that those Gold ranks and their cronies are a nuisance. That’s it, I guess? 」
「 If you don’t want to join a party, then it’ll be a pain in the neck if they find out you can see the spirits. 」
Why do you know that I can see them?
「 All the folks that Chris doesn’t call by name can see them spirits, even though he himself doesn’t realize it, nor do the people around him, for that matter. 」
Retze shrugged his shoulders with a smile when I stared at him.
「Don’t be annoyed, just ask Chris to call you by name. His appearance and behavior might be like that, but he’s a good guy, you know. 」
「 Yeah, I understand that he’s kinda nice, but… 」
I also know that he voluntarily gets involved with the nobles, and that’s because Dean doesn’t like those aristocrats, so Chris switches places with him.
He’s just a tad too noisy, so I tend to avoid him for a bit.
「I’ll watch out for the Gold bunch. Well, rely on other people from time to time, okay. Thanks for the meal. 」
After that, he helped me install the door and that’s the end of it. He accepted the payment saying it’s because it’s the first time, but he told me that next time, he wouldn’t need any compensation if the work is just within the city.
The door I chose was a thick, sturdy one made of oak, with decorations like black, decorative, iron hinges and stuff. I also planned to install iron grills, but I guess this is already enough.
Still, it just hit me that I’m just a kid compared to Retze. There’s a lot of things that I don’t know, much less realize.
T/N: Aztec women yanked the balls of their husbands hard every time they have a contraction during labor. This is so they can share the childbirth experience. Oof.. Want to learn more? Here you go: https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/what-sympathy-pregnancy-looks-like-in-other-cultures/ 😀