So far within these five years, all I have managed to contribute to the village of Bakkudo is the creation of the threshing tool used to more efficiently thresh the crops. Even so, considering that the efficiency of threshing improved by leaps and bounds, it has certainly become a great contribution, however, considering that the words I made up using my great-grandfather was “Continue to go around the territory with your father and try to search for methods in order to develop the domain, until you are able to start training in the sword” it probably wasn’t a sufficient amount of progress.
It’s not like I didn’t have any plans for development, but I could not really execute sophisticated plans very easily. Especially because Myun is here, I don’t really want to rush things. Well the threshing machine I invented is like a huge comb with inverted rakes, it is a pretty standard invention that allows you to more efficiently thresh the crops in bigger amounts, but at the same time it isn’t something a commoner could say “Oh that’s a pretty good idea you got there, but if it’s to that extent I could have thought of it”. Even if I invented an extraordinary tool using my memory of the modern era, I may be treated as an anomaly where people would start to think “I have no idea where this kid gets his ideas from, I think he’s dangerous” and for safety purposes, I would prefer it if I could avoid that kind of possibility. (Japanese Threshing Machine Explanation Image)
The direction this world seems to prefer is not something which looks extravagant, but more of something which is simple and effective to use. If this theory is true then as expected the best answer would be to use domesticated animals to farm. If I am able to introduce domesticated animals as a way to cultivate the land, it will not only make it significantly easier, because it will be possible to perform deeper ploughing of the land, it will increase the amount of produce available. Right now, the norm within Bakkudo village is to harvest crops twice a year, this is because we are using human hands to plough the soil and only the outer surface can be cultivated as a result, this leads to the soil being harder than normal and because the atmosphere is not optimal, there is insufficient nitrogen and the root of the crops doesn’t extend easily. (TL: This novel is making me research farming terms hehe, The nitrogen cycle is a cycle in which atmospheric nitrogen is converted into different organic compounds, it is one of the most crucial natural processes to sustain living organisms, in this cycle bacteria in the soil process atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, and this is what plants need in order to grow)
Although creating something like a farm tractor is going overboard, if it is one’s where the tool is pushed by animals, it can definitely be done, and from what I heard, this has already been done in some places. In any case, rather than creating a tractor and using a machine, it is much better and plausible to use domesticated animals as the form of dynamic force. As long as I can clear the financial barriers, I will be able to introduce domestic animals to the village, at the very least I will be able to introduce the animals to the eight samurai families and this will considerably increase the efficiency and improvement of cultivating the land.
At any rate, if I needed to develop the plough invention from scratch that would be easy, or if some form of invention involving the plough and animals were already made within Marquis Webudosu’s territory then I could also just purchase it. Another thing is if I purchase an already completely plough invention with the animal, I may need to adjust certain things to improve the efficiency. Lastly, as long as I could acquire the oxen and horses to pull the plough, I could make huge innovations which will help to develop the village.
Moreover there also an issue that needs to be resolved in regards to feeding the domesticated animals with the pasture. But if I implement the three seasonal system of rotating crops based on the season there is a potential to increase the amount of crops we can yield and therefore, as a substitute for the grass, I can plant clovers to feed the animals instead. My household has three horses, and considering I have 300 hectares of agricultural land to cultivate, even if I started to plant clovers in 1/3 of the land, it would already be sufficient to feed these horses as it would be impossible for them to eat it all up. I will probably need to survey if there is already farmers within Marquis Webudosu’s territory that have already introduced the three seasonal crop rotation method. When I think of the level of civilisation in this world, I think it is probably at this kind of level. In any case, whilst I may need to do substantial research about farming such as the optimal season in which to plant certain seeds, and or grow certain crops, if I succeed in the implementation of this system, it is likely to have a drastic positive impact on development of the land.
Implementing something of this scale will require a much larger sum of money compared to just inventing the threshing tool, but as they say, extreme measures will yield extreme results. Even if I wanted to bring this proposition forward, after all it’s about me trying to develop the territory so it isn’t really something that I can get scolded for. Right now I am confident to say that my business acumen and knowledge is better than your average shopkeepers and even royalty. My biggest weakness is the fact that I don’t have any capital money, though this can’t really be helped. Up until now, I have hardly ever used cash, and I have never even been sent out on an errand to go by myself to say purchase goods from Shiemi-obaasan. Should I just come out straightforward and bring this idea with my father?
「Father, I have an idea in regards to the farming in the territory. Could you please listen to my story?」
「Hm? Alright, what is it?」
During Lunch time at around mid-day… I thought it would be a good idea to talk after we had eaten a nice lunch and our bellies had been satisfied. After inviting Hegard to the main office room, I began to speak about my idea.
「Although we are working in the fields, the system we have in place right now is to manually use the hoe and the spade to cultivate the fields, right? However, if we were to continue using this method of manual labour, the men would need to exert a tremendous amount of strength to dig deeper in order to cultivate crops more efficiently」
「Well, I suppose that’s true, but what of it?」
I grabbed a drawing board like object and used an agalmatolite to draw an image in order to better explain my idea. (TL: you can think of agalmatolite as a sort of chalk that he’s using to write stuff) This works by using Minor Magic:Cantrip in order to “Polish” the chalk like stone so that it can be used to write on note pads or blackboards etc, and it is a truly priceless item in this day and age. It is also possible to wipe it off like chalk so it’s also really convenient.
「If we can utilize oxen’s and horses in Webudosu’s territory, then we will be able to solve this particular problem. Rather than using a person to plough the fields using an animal will yield at least twice the result, not only will it increase the depth but it will also increase the speed. With the additional time gained as a result, we can use it to further develop the land」
「I think that you’ve mentioned this in the past, and I believe I’ve made myself clear at that time, but domestic animals aren’t going to come to us free of charge. If we have the animals, we will also need the pasture to feed them. And this kind of cost is not something that we can afford to maintain」
Hegard answered as if he understood the entirety of my idea and its disadvantages.
「Today, I’ve also thought of a method in order to maintain the domestic animals with sufficient food. If I am not mistaken, right now, Bakkudo village harvests their crops twice a year, one part will plant things like: wheat, rye, beans etc and it will alternate as the farmers grow two or more crops in one field, is this correct?」
As I said this, I continued to draw on the blackboard depicting the various states of our current farming system.
「My plan is to improve our current system. For example, if we move the wheat to this plot of land. Then we move beans to this plot of land. We can grow pasture in this plot of land, and by splitting it into three this 1/3 plot of pasture will be more than sufficient to feed the animals even giving us excess food」
「The first plot of land will grow: wheat, the second plot of land will grow beans. After harvesting the beans, we can immediately plant pasture on top of it. And after the land properly cultivates the pasture, the moment we harvest it, we can replace it with wheat. On the third plot of land because animals will be eating pasture, we will have plenty of animal excrement to use as fertilizer for the crops, and this will ensure the land grows fertile」
「Yes, I believe that in order to facilitate this process of farming, I will include animals to perform the labour. If we do use the animals, the amount of time we need to work will drastically reduce and as a result we can expand and create even bigger plot of lands」
When Hegard erases the words from the blackboard he approached me with a look of admiration on his face.
「You’ve thought this out really well. Although the process may be a little different from what you mentioned, I believe that I have a method in which the results will be approximately the same. However……」
「Whilst it will be possible to purchase more horses. If I wanted to purchase the horses, I would obviously need money. About 8 years ago, in order to keep the Debasu Kingdom in check for their border transgressions we had to send an army to depart to the outskirts of our border. And it is likely, that this kind of event will occur again sometime soon. For that purpose, right, now we cannot afford to spend a huge sum of money. If we were to implement your plan, it would likely take many years before we will yield the profits from purchasing the horses」
Darn it! I completely forgot to include war in the equation. In this world, skirmishes occur quite often between the different kingdoms. Whilst there was rarely any events which required an all-out war between the kingdoms, small skirmishes apparently occurred on a yearly basis. Every time this happened, someone who was in a position of above an earl, within their territory will be required to dispatch a small army. Whilst Marquis Webudosu has a small scale army, if it was lacking in any way, the backup troops would come from the lesser nobles. Whilst it wasn’t really a rotation system, Marquis Webudosu would to a certain extent sequentially pick from the lords under him to participate in the war.
Any lords who were called to battle by the Marquis would then need to create an armed force and use lesser nobles to dispatch an army. In Bakkudo village, I hear that there are around 10 lesser nobles under my father’s command. Because you are normally called at an interval of several years, it is a popular thing to save money for military expenses when you are not called out.
What should I do? It’s not like I didn’t have a trick up my sleeve to use, but if possible I wanted to save this hidden-play until it was necessary to use. Nevertheless, it was true that we needed money right this instant. Additionally, if I used my secret cards here, to a certain extent it will be a good learning experience for me. Whilst I still need to remain in this Bakkudo village, there is still plenty of things I can get accustomed to. Well I suppose it will be fine to use it then.
「Money is the issue isn’t it……? I understand. Please wait a moment」
Is it finally time for me to use my trump card? Well I will be forced to use it sooner or later, so I think that it will be a good chance to use it here. I left it in the storage room, and whilst going to retrieve it, I was thinking about certain things. Will this be considered something that is way above and beyond the current technology? No, it’s already been discovered, although I am the one who discovered it, I used legitimate means to find it, and so it should be fine right? After persuading myself like this, I obtained the thing and returned to Hegard.
「What? What is that ?」
I placed one white and one black object on top of the desk.
And I proceeded to pick up the white object.
「This is a condensation of the sap that is released from a certain tree growing in the southwest woods of Bakkudo village. I give the name of this object “rubber”」
That’s right, before I started my sword training, I had to travel around the vicinity of Bakkudo village with Hegard, and this is when I discovered rubber. The moment I found this tree, I was so happy that I jumped with joy. Naturally when I found it I had a nonchalant air as I muffled down my excitement, but within my own mind, I was truly jumping for joy, like an excited kid unfit for my real age. When you gather the sap from this tree and let it harden, it will become this kind of white rubber like material.
「Fumu, it feels kind of flexible and it’s quite soft. Oh? Ohh, if I pull on it, it can expand? This object, has elasticity and it even expands and contracts, this is a very interesting thing. However, even with such a thing, what on earth do you plan to do with it?」
「Father, next please take a look at this」
I handed him the black rubber this time around.
「Mu, this object is quite hard. It is clearly very different form the white one. Whilst it seems to retain a little bit of elasticity, it doesn’t expand and contract as well as the white one…… Al, is this what you call rubber?」
「Yes, that’s right. The black one is a combination of boiling the sap from the tree with a stone like material from the mountain in the north to harden it」
Even in modern times, rubber is a very important strategic material that can be used for a multitude of purposes. Even whilst I was in the Japanese Defense Academy, this fact was driven into me all the time. Gathering the sap from a rubber tree when you combine it with sulphur, and boil them together, it will be able to maintain a bit of its elasticity whilst also being hardened. As long as you didn’t need to mass produce this, then we don’t need any special technology to create it. As long as you had a usual frying pan, the sap from the rubber tree and some sulphur, then technically, even a child could make this object. Although the amount which is mixed together needs to be adjusted, it’s a really simple process of just adding more to the mix.
I lifted up the black rubber and brought special attention to it.
「I believe that as of now, only Bakkudo village is capable of creating this particular type of rubber. Father, would you be able to see what kind of usage this rubber will have for us?」
Even if I say so myself, I was talking in a really haughty manner.
Not only that, Hegard didn’t really have a preconception of rubber before I introduced it to him right now.
Although I felt completely disgusted at the need to manipulate my own father with my knowledge in these types of matters, the only one who is able to decide whether the village will manufacture this product is Hegard. I needed to create a good impression of the product.
And so I piled up even more convincing words….