And then, another two days had passed.
The muffler whose yarns I untied and knitted again turned out to be a 50 cm long muffler, perhaps since I wasn’t too impatient that I managed to knit to this extent.1
But on the other hand, there was no sudden change in the knitting number, nor there was any tightly packed yarn, and if one were to say that it was just a portion of a muffler, then I guess that was how it felt like.2 It was great, I really had tried my best, huh?
“Y-yosh. I wonder if this turned out to be better than before?”
“As expected of Seiren-sama! You improved so quickly.”
“Look, it will be clear once you try to touch it. It’s gotten much fluffier than the previous one.”
Minoa-san smiled happily. I put the knitting needles on top of my lap before I tried to touch the muffler’s edge as Alica-san lifted it up.
“Ah, it’s true. Putting too much power isn’t good, huh-?”
“Yeah, it’s important to adjust the amount of power we use, depending on what we’re doing.”
“That feels heavier when Minoa-san said that, right-?”
“…Since I’ve had troubles because of it…”
Ah, yeah. Sorry, it seemed that I just brought up such a delicate topic.
My personality as Shikino Seiren remained in this kind of strange habit, huh?3 I wonder if I would be fine for becoming a bride while I was still like this? Taiga-san might forgive me while laughing it off, but as for Saya-san…
“Well, I think that Taiga-sama favors someone just like Seiren-sama the way you are.”
“That’s right. I might be glad because Seiren-sama’s partner is Taiga-sama, then.”
“Then, everything should be fine, right?”
I wonder if this is what they mean by, “there is a suitable spouse for everyone”? Aah, really…
Now then, after I put the muffler-like knitting inside a basket and while I was pondering if I should just go to sleep soon, a knocking sound resounded. Almost at the same time as it resounded, I heard Yuzuruha-san’s voice.
“Seiren-sama, I’m sorry for disturbing you this late at night.”
“Ah, yes! It’s fine, please come in.”
If Yuzuruha-san came all the way here at this late, then it could only mean he had something important to tell me. When I remembered our last talk of how Tou-san was injured and that he might come home late, I thought that perhaps this time’s matter had something to do with it?
Yuzuruha-san who entered the room was… eh, he seemed to be happy for some reason. Eeeh?
“Master is going to return soon. Someone had given a preliminary announcement.”
“Eh? Ah, yes…”
Tou-san is coming back soon.
I stood up from the sofa in a hurry. If he’s coming home, then I have to go out to meet him. When I was about to leave the room in a hurry, “Seiren-sama!” Alica-san’s voice stopped me.
“You can’t go with your night-clothes alone, at least please put on a gown!”
Oou, as expected, it’s not good to become such a negligee. Or rather, sorry for surprising Yuzuruha-san, too.
Kaa-san who was wearing the same gown as me, and also Saryuu were all gathered in the entrance hall. After all, everyone was quite worried about Tou-san. Good grief.
Before long, the large door at the entrance hall was opened, and I saw the figure of my father, wearing the same outfit as when he departed. Behind him, Jigen-san was there. When he saw my face, he put his thumbs up while winking. Gramps, please think about your age! But since he was so casual and cool, it was fine, though.
That’s right, since Kasai Jigen was with Tou-san, everything was definitely all right. Ah, really, really thank goodness.
“Ooh, there, there, there’s no need to be in such a hurry. It would be bad if you fall down, especially Seiren.”
Looking at us who rushed over to him in a hurry, Tou-san smiled normally as usual. Aah yup, certainly, if I were to fall down, it seemed that I might end up taking Saryuu and the others down with me. Nah, that might not be the main concern, though.4
“Besides, you are in your night-clothes, huh? My bad, I wanted to return home even if it was slightly earlier, in order to inform everyone that I was all right.”
“No problem. Uhm, we’re fine with it, yes.”
“Tou-sama, too, are you all right?”
Aah well, this is a world where internet or video call doesn’t exist after all. The best way to announce that he was all right, it was none other than to show his face directly.
When I heard Saryuu’s question as if he wanted to make sure of something, I recalled something.
“…Eh, I heard that you were injured?”
“Yeah. There still remained some snow over there, so I slipped and fell down from the hill. That was how I ended up spraining my ankle, and that delayed my returning home. Sorry.”
“So that was it, huh-? …Haa…”
If the person speaking was Saryuu or the orphanage director, I would surely insert a comment that sounded a little bit like scolding, “So that was it?!” Haha, in short, he was doing all right even when he faced the bear, huh? Ah- really, that surprised me. Nah, I won’t voice my opinion, though.5
“Anyway, I’m glad that you’re all right. Welcome home, Dear.”
“Welcome home, Tou-san.”
“Tou-sama, welcome home.”
“Mm, I’m home.”
Tou-san smiled as he said that, then he hugged the three of us together. He slightly reeked of blood, but the blood must have belonged to the bear.
Anyway, since Tou-san was surely feeling cold, we had some tea at the dining room. This tea time also served as a rough report for us. Nah, it was my parents’ opinion that we should at least know what was going on in the territory where we lived.
I was also going to be a feudal lord’s wife soon, and Saryuu would succeed this territory in the end, so there was no harm in knowing about the condition.
“For the time being, I decided to respond by increasing the number of the guards there. They would be patrolling the village near the area where the Big Red Bear often appears.”
“Eh, will another one pop out?”
“We can’t rule out that possibility yet. In addition, there was a report from another village that the wolves who were separated from their packs were wandering around the forest.”
“Leaving the bear aside, the wolves don’t hibernate, right?”
There are also wolves here? Which means, there should also be some wild herbivores in this world, I guess. The wolves and the bears, if they don’t have anything to eat, they won’t be able to move or they might even end up dead. However, it will be troublesome if they were to attack humans. If that’s the case, it won’t be good if we don’t patrol around the area.
I wonder if everything will be settled down once we enter spring?
…Speaking of which, I smelled a blood scent from the kitchen in the back.
“Uhm, by the way, this scent…”
“Aah, it reached here, huh? It can’t be helped, then.”
Tou-san snorted before he showed a slightly bitter smile.
“It comes from the bear meat. Most of the meat were left at the village, but we received a little bit as our share. If we quickly process it, it won’t smell that much, so I’m thinking of using it as the ingredient of our main dish.”
“Haa, I see…”
So they divided the captured bear’s meat with the villagers over there, huh? I wonder if the bear meat will be there in our lineup of food around tomorrow’s dinner?
Well, I’ve also eaten deer meat before. The bear meat is also an important source of protein. The fur can be used to make heavy outfits designed to keep out the cold, so there won’t be any part left in vain. Yup.
“Seiren, have you ever eaten bear meat before?”
“Ah, no, I have never eaten it.”
As expected, I shook my head. I’ve heard that bear meat could be used in a stew or curry, but I have never eaten it before.
“Is that so? Then, this will be your first time eating it, right?”
“Haha, that seems to be the case.”
“I’ve eaten it at least once before, I think. It’s not something we can normally eat unless it’s the spoil we get from hunting.”
I see, Saryuu has eaten bear meat before, huh? I wonder how does it taste? The meat might have a certain smell, but as long as there’s pepper, I will surely try to go for it. Yup.
- In case you forgot (because I forgot…), the previous attempt resulted in a 1 meter long muffler. Perhaps it’s because Seiren’s knitting this one more diligently that it turned out into a 50 cm long muffler? I have never knitted personally, so if you have any experience in knitting, please share your experience about this to enlighten us 😊. ↩
- Just googled and the average woollen muffler should be at 60’’ or around 150 cm, so Seiren’s 50 cm muffler is definitely just ‘a portion’ of muffler. ↩
- Shikino Seiren = Seiren’s name when she was still a male, so this implied that her male-typical insensitive personality(?) remained. ↩
- Indicating that Seiren’s father’s main concern of Seiren falling might probably because her marriage is coming soon, so if something were to happen to Seiren… yeah, it might get her marriage hindered or the likes, that’s what I caught from this line. ↩
- This part might get a little bit confusing, but Seiren was thinking that the injury was caused by the bear, so he was a little bit surprised (or exasperated?) upon hearing that the injury wasn’t caused by the bear, but by her father’s clumsiness of falling from the snowy hill… ↩