Immediately from the morning of the next day, I began practising knitting together with Kaa-san in her room. To begin with, I’d practice knitting right away, so I earnestly tried to do a plain knitting using old woollen yarns.
…No, the knitting method itself was quite easy. However, it was quite difficult once you put too much power in it. I just noticed when I tried to do it.
“Seiren, you put too much power in it. If it’s like that, the yarn will be pulled and the soft texture will disappear.”
“Eh, ah, you’re right.”
After receiving Kaa-san’s pointer, I looked at the thing that was between my two hands. The yarn that was supposed to be regularly woven into the two knitting needles was pulled so tightly, that it felt like it was tightly woven instead of being knitted.
Meanwhile, in Kaa-san’s hands who should be knitting just like me—yup—it was a proper knitting. There was no mistake. I’m quite terrible, huh? Since I fully understood that I put too much power, I took several deep breathes as I tried to relax my shoulders. Nah, I had to continue knitting just like this, but it was quite hard to maintain.
“Yes, that’s it, let the tension out of your shoulders. Do it in a more relaxed manner, okay?”
“Y-yes… But, as expected, I still end up being tense…”
Well, Kaa-san was already used to it, so she was doing fine. I was getting tense at weird things, such as the thought whether my stitching was wrong or not and the like, and I ended up putting too much power into my hands. And because of that, the yarn ended up getting pulled tightly.
“Well, it’s your first time doing this, after all. I was also like that in the beginning. I got mad since I thought that the yarn would be wasted that way.”
“And so, you practiced using worn out things, huh…? As expected of Madame.”
Just precisely at this moment, Takae-san brought us some tea. Because of it, we temporarily took a break.
Whoa-, my shoulders were stiff. Let’s ask Minoa-san to give me a massage later on, so I thought as I drank the tea. Ah, it was sweet and delicious.
Kaa-san was also smiling as she drank her tea. Aah, I was supposed to experience this kind of life since several years ago. I resented you for this, Touka-san.
“After knitting several times, you will get the knack of it. After that, I will give you some of my treasured yarns.”
“Treasured? Is there such a thing?”
“It was the yarn made of the goat fur that was raised in Gadou’s farm. It’s a rare thing that doesn’t appear on the market a lot.”
Whoa, I heard a name that I hadn’t heard for quite a time. That cheese was so delicious.
Speaking of Gadou-san’s farm, I wonder if that Gonzou was doing all right? I don’t know if there’d be a conclusion to his battle with Minoa-san, but I hope he’s doing well.
After that, I resumed my knitting practice, and at last, I managed to finish a 5 cm knitting. Ah, the width was around 20 centimeters, I think.
A knock voice resounded, as Takae-san opened the door to receive the guest. Her face as she turned over here was slightly paler and she seemed to be serious.
“Madame, Master is coming.”
“Well, have him come in.”
Kaa-san stared in wonder and quickly placed her knitting on the table. ‘What is it?’ as I thought about it, I also put the object that still couldn’t be identified as a knitting on the table, similarly like my mother.
Shortly thereafter, the door was opened widely, and Tou-san entered. Eh, he’s wearing a coat? I haven’t heard anything about him going out, so I wonder what’s going on?
“Oh my, Dear?”
“Ooh, Seiren is also here? Sorry, there’s an urgent business so I have to go to the village on the north after this.”
“The village on the north? What’s happening this time?”
“There’s a forest next to the village, and it seems that the Big Red Bear has appeared.”
“Bear, is it?”
But it’s still so early in the spring? The bears over here—I’ve read a bit about them from the book—they should still be hibernating around this time.
Or rather, Tou-san said that it was the Big Red Bear, huh?
In the other world, wolves are the typical evil beings that appeared in fairy-tale books, but in this world, the typical beings are bears with reddish brown fur. There are also wolves here, but it seems that the reason being is that the bears’ damage is even more horrible.
“But shouldn’t you just leave it up to the garrison?”
“I don’t think that will do. Sorry, I’ll be going out after this.”
After the short conversation ended, Tou-san immediately went out of the room. He was really in a hurry.
Speaking of which, bears, huh? Even in the other world, there were also news of bears appearing in humans’ residences, but I had never seen it. For Tou-san, in other words, the feudal lord to lose his composure and rush off there, that means the condition over there was quite grave, right?
“Kaa-san, I only know the Big Red Bear from books, but just how big is it?”
“From what I know, they feed on wild horses. They’re supposed not to come anywhere near the humans’ residences, though.”
“Originally, they should still be hibernating, right?”
That was Kaa-san’s answer to my question, plus Takae-san’s question. For them to feed on horses, they should be quite big, huh? No, I don’t think that they’re only several times bigger than the horse.
In addition, as expected, they should still be hibernating. Even so, it still appeared in the village, wasn’t that bad, then?
“Yeah, that’s why, it’s the question at hand. If it woke up quickly from its hibernation, it was surely hungry.”
“If it’s like that, it might target the livestock, right?”
I think that’s what we will think in general in this condition. In the first place, people also keep livestock mainly for food.
However, Kaa-san’s answer determined the situation to be even more terrible. She said…
“The livestock at that area, around this time—most of them should be inside the barn down at the south. The ones walking outside—most of them would be the people.”
“Then… there’s a risk of it attacking people?”
“That’s right. That’s why the feudal lord has to go out in order to alert the people, and if possible, to kill the bear.”
I couldn’t say anything to my mother who nodded deeply.
In such kind of a situation, it can’t be helped for the feudal lord, for my father, to be going there to inspect things. If such an important person were to go out at such a dangerous place, it could be the quickest method to encourage the other people there.
…Taiga-san will also do such a thing, right? If a similar thing were to happen in the future.
Tou-san also seemed to have come to Saryuu, as when we went down to the entrance hall, my younger brother was already there.
At the waist part of Tou-san’s coat, there was a longsword, it indeed felt like he was departing to a battle. The opponent was a huge bear, so I thought that it might be better for him to wear some sort of an armor, but as expected there was no need to mention it here.
Also, there was Jigen-san’s figure next to Tou-san, as he was wearing his usual thick and dragging clothes. The staff he brought with him today was quite big, and it felt like something a magician living deep inside a forest would have.
“Then, I think I will be away from home for quite awhile. Maya, Yuzuruha, I’ll entrust the rest to you.”
“Understood. Please take care, Dear.”
“Please leave the residence to me.”
In response to Tou-san who said that, Kaa-san and Yuzuruha-san nodded or bowed their heads. After their heads were raised, Tou-san landed his eyes at Saryuu and me. His gaze was sharper and scarier than usual, so this was the face of the feudal lord, Shiiya Mondo.
“Seiren, Saryuu, don’t worry about it too much and just wait for me to return.”
“…Yes. Take care, Tou-san.”
“Please take care, Tou-sama.”
Neither I nor Saryuu could come out with any sentimental words. That’s why, we could only say that as we bowed.
When we raised our faces, Tou-san’s expression returned back to his normal expression. Oh?
“I will return home quickly. I have to see Seiren being a bride, after all.”
“Please be rest assured. This old man is there to accompany him.”
For the time being, I’d ignore Tou-san who suddenly raised such a strange flag.1
I also decided to believe in Jigen-san who interrupted that flag as he nodded while holding his staff. I mean, he had saved me many times before, too.
‘The grandpa who helped me couldn’t possibly not be able to help Tou-san,’ it was my own convenient thinking, though.
- As in, suddenly bringing up the marriage ‘flag’. ↩