Translator: Haruchin Editor: Marky
The twigs I pruned during winter had dried up, so I lit a campfire using those while working on the fields. There are sweet potatoes on standby; I’ll chuck them in when the blazing fire dies down into glowing embers.
The fields are also in great condition. The pea flowers are blooming. I have pod peas — you eat the shells while they’re young then enjoy green peas when they’re more mature. There are a few snap peas, and I also grow some red peas for making mitsumame, a tasty delicacy made with mixed beans, agar cubes, and bits of fruit with syrup.
The peas are both from the pantry and locally sourced. The local ones grow bushier and their growth is amazing. The ones from the pantry have more flowers, and the vitality is superb.
Peas are self-pollinating so they don’t really need flowers from the other plants, but since the pea spirits seem very interested in fluttering among the flowers, I just let them be. I don’t have the patience to cut the stamens one by one and do artificial pollination; that’s way too meticulous a job for me…!
The spirits that appear here in the field have peculiarities that make it easy to associate them with a particular plant. We have one wearing cabbage-looking trousers, another wearing a dress that resembles a pea flower…and a round-bodied spirit pretending to wear an italian parsley leaf, since it doesn’t have legs — maybe that’s its entire body, I guess.
Human prayers and fears are usually used as magical energy by the spirits, and those with humanoid figures or resemble familiar menace — think about wolves and dragons — tend to gain power more easily. Those who are strong enough to become deities usually have that appearance, but the tiny spirits come in all kinds of shapes, so it’s quite chaotic.
Also, the vegetables from the pantry don’t produce spirits, probably because they’re created by the deities’ power in the first place. Apparently, their powers could undergo differentiation if there’s a strong attachment to something, but I’m fine with anything as long as I can happily enjoy my food so I probably won’t have the chance to see that.
Maybe it’s just me, but the veggies inhabited by spirits seem darker in color. There are fresh, vivid green plants with leaves that stretch beautifully to their tips.
Eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, spring onions, chili peppers… I grew a few veggies that can be planted during the beginning of spring, and even harvested some shallots, cabbage, rape blossoms, onions — all is well, all is well.
Riche sniffed the onions that I dug up.
「Riche, dogs get sick when they eat onions, so — 」
「Riche is not a dog. 」
He did say that Riche is his master before, but…I guess you still love Riche until now, right? He probably has his own thoughts about this puppy appearance, though.
「Oh goodness me, what great vegetables you have here. 」
Pal also appeared abruptly and is now circling the center of the field while looking at the vegetables, which then seem to bounce with life in her wake.
Ish is also there, watering the plants. Thanks for coming right away!
Even though I see glimpses of spirits every now and then, my field has never been this surreal as it is now. It has become completely fantasy-like the moment those two appeared. The strawberries that weren’t supposed to have fruits yet suddenly bloomed with white flowers, and just when I thought that was it, red fruits started popping out, all puffed up.
Riche played with the soft dirt that was dug out when harvesting the onions. Ludere just stood there — what is he doing? Eh, maybe he’s just like a retainer obediently waiting at the side?
I stopped my work midway to prepare the salad — tossed some shallots, white wine vinegar dressing, lettuce, thinned baby leaves. Grilled onions, and then strawberries for dessert.
Some of the strawberries here lost their bumpy face, and the shape has become similar to the ones in Japan. Let’s leave some to ripen and get the seeds. Next year, I’ll do my best to have more strawberries that are more like the ones I’m familiar with!
「Have some salad, please. It is in the trial phase so I didn’t make too much.」
They won’t taste it unless they’re obsessed or interested in it, after all.
I served the wine, bread and salt that has been proven to be okay for them, and plated a bit of salad and a piece of strawberry each.
Thank goodness, Pal and Ish look like they can taste the salad and the strawberry. Alright, vegetable dishes are no longer banned (it seems)!
— Ludure seems to have tasted the onion….
The sewage construction work on the house at 『Ash Fox’s Back 』had ended. And so, I decided to fix the walls, floor and roof for the meantime.
「Yeah, I know that I’m the one who offered to help you for free if it’s within the city, but… 」
Retze grumbled while smearing plaster on the wall that had been replaced with the stones that I shaved off and broken.
「Hahaha! I’m already tired of grinding away on my own. 」
It’s the second house, after all.
Retze skillfully and beautifully plastered the wall while muttering.
「Sorry for troubling you. 」
「We apologize, Retze-sama 」
I dumped the role of landlady to Ash, or maybe it’s more accurate to say ‘to Butler’. It’ll take way too much time to drop by the Commerce Guild every single time, and that’s a hassle. If it’s Butler, he will definitely screen all the people who’ll enter, for Ash’s sake.
For the compensation, I’m giving them a tenth of the rental fee, and the right to use it as a secret path in case of emergency, just in case Ash’s brother still hasn’t given up wanting her dead after usurping their House.
It’s unsure whether he hired a group of people to ‘do the job’ across countries, but Ash had been frequently targeted by several groups back when she was still in her home country. Butler apparently stopped them back when they were there, and they haven’t been targeted once ever since they left their kingdom.
「Don’t worry, I’m going to pay you properly based on the market price. It’s heavy labor, after all. 」
Never mind walls, plastering the ceiling is already quite hard.
「Retze-sama, would you like to live here? Considering its facilities, I do believe this is an unprecedented bargain. 」
Butler’s number one invitation target is Retze. As expected, Butler.
「Retze’s going to buy a house and search for his bride, it seems? 」
「 Oh my, that’s great. 」
「 No, I’m not in a hurry for a bride, though… 」
Retze’s averting his eyes, letting it wander around.
「 So once you bought a house, it’s time to find a wife, huh…… 」
Ash, that’s a huge misunderstanding, okay.
T/N: Mitsumame – Japanese dessert made of small cubes of jelly, black sugar syrup, red peas, and assorted fruits, usually eaten in summer.
ctto: Yamada Akira