Chapter 115 – Harvest Season Begins
It was three days since Vallimie went back to her forest.
The regional taxmen had yet to arrive.
I went back to guarding Mulg as usual. Femm and Moofy slept beside me.
「ryaa ryaa」「ruff ruff」
Shiggy and the wolf pups were running around and playing.
Shiggy was growing quickly. I didn’t feel bad about it…actually, I was happy.
Just then, Vi-Vi came up from the field.
Shiggy saw her coming toward us, and the whole group surrounded her as she walked.
「Don’t jump up on me! I’ll stomp you!」
「ryaa ryaa」「wuff wuff wuff」
Vi-Vi had a hard time walking, but they weren’t afraid of her. I thought it was great they loved her so much.
As she walked carefully, she approached me.
Now that Shiggy noticed Femm on the ground, it turned its attention to Femm.
As Femm glared at Shiggy, I asked Vi-Vi,
「Vi-Vi, how’s the field?」
「Good. We can harvest tomorrow.」
「Then let’s do that and ask Millet to help.」
While I was guarding, Vi-Vi would be pulling weeds or moving soil or adding fertilizer.
That’s why I was thankful that everyday she was working hard.
「Vi-Vi, thanks so much.」
「Eheh, don’t mention it.」
She would care for the cows and also the crops. A lot of work.
It almost seemed that she did far more work than I did by just guarding.
Now we were able to harvest the potatoes. There were probably other crops to be harvested too.
As a villager, I had to help as well.
「I’ll go and check out the field.」
「Then I’ll go with you, Al.」
I walked away from my post with Vi-Vi, Moofy, and Femm following.
Since one role of a guard was to patrol, it wasn’t a big deal.
Shiggy and the pups scampered along. They both walked along slowly.
There were more people than usual in the fields. They must be getting ready for harvest.
As Vi-Vi said, harvest time was approaching.
Then Femm asked,
『This is farming?』
「I guess. Hey, are they farming?」
I really never saw them at it before so I guess I couldn’t say.
Vi-Vi smiled at me and said,
「It sure is. It looks like they’ve done pretty well for the poor soil.」
「Well, then good.」
I noticed the chief walking up to me.
「Al, Vi-Vi, thanks for keeping an eye out.」
「Thanks, chief. How are the fields.」
「Better than most years.」
「Probably because of Femm and the wolves hunting down the mice.」
Femm and the pups barked happily and wagged their tails.
「When harvest is over, we’ll have Vi-Vi create growth circles around the fields. Then you can have even more harvest.」
「I can’t wait to see that!」
The chief said as he looked at Vi-Vi in expectation.
But Vi-Vi returned a look of consternation.
「But…it might take a year or so for there to be an effect…」
「Will it be worse than this year?」
「You don’t have to worry about that. After three years, the effect will be complete. But no effect for a year…I don’t want you to expect too much.」
The chief looked at her seriously.
「If that’s the case, then let’s keep it secret from the villagers.」
「I think that’s best. We don’t want them disappointed.」
Vi-Vi’s growth circle included a magical stone extraction into magic crystal effect as well.
There were other effects, but that was the main one.
「Chief, she’s already built a circle that also turns magical stones into crystals.」
「Oh, what type are they?」
I explained what it all meant, and the chief looked very interested.
「Hmmm…even though those magic stones cause nothing but trouble for the farmers, they become very profitable suddenly when changed to crystals. Strange…」
「There’s already some crystals created from the ring around the potato field.」
「They’re magical crystals from the village land. We can use them as a village asset.」
「Well, I’d be very happy to consider that, but…」
The chief looked at us seriously, and said,
「No, the one that produced them is Vi-Vi…it shall be yours.」
「Well, we got them from the village land so we can’t just take them. Plus, tax time is coming.」
So, after a bit of conversation, we came to the solution.
「How about half goes to you, Vi-Vi and Al, and the other half goes into the village’s assets?」
「No problem with us.」
「Is it really okay? It certainly would help the village.」
「It’s fine, just add it to your tax payment.」
「I actually feel like I’m getting too much with half, Al.」
Vi-Vi said, but we settled it at half.
With that complete, the chief looked quite relieved.
「I told you already, but it’s a big help. We’re always right on edge with our tax payment.」
Then the chief looked over at Moofy.
「With Moofy’s meat, the crops, and the magic crystals together, it looks like we’ll make it to the winter with an actual profit.」
He thanked us over and over and then left.
While we were talking this over, Shiggy and the pups were running around the fields. They looked very happy.
Suddenly, Shiggy and the pups cried out in a loud voice.
Surprised, I looked over at them.
Shiggy had a mouse in its beak. The mouse was alive, and it was flailing.
Shiggy proudly brought the mouse over to me.
It was Shiggy’s first prey. Shiggy flapped its wings proudly.
「Oh, wow! Shiggy and pups, good job!」
Femm also complimented them all.
I patted Shiggy’s head, with the mouse still in it’s mouth. But now I wondered what to do.
「Femm, what am I supposed to do now?」
『It brought it to you, so it’s asking for permission to eat it.』
「Is that so?」
I said to both Shiggy and the pups.
「Good job. Go ahead and eat it.」
Shiggy went to eat the thing, but it scurried off.
「ryaa ryaa!」「wuff wuff!」
They chased it down as fast as they could.
『Happens all the time to the young ones. They learn to finish they prey off first this way.』
After a while, they caught it again. This time, with the pups, they killed it first, then went to eat it.
「Can the pups eat that thing?」
『What do you mean?』
「I mean, don’t you get a cut of it?」
『You told them to eat it, so they did.』
Seems like since I was the master of their king and had given the okay…they ate it.
The customs of these wolves were a bit complex but straightforward. A top-down society.
Vi-Vi watched Shiggy eat while whispering,
「Shiggy’s first prey…I guess this is a day for celebration.」
「Sure, maybe we should get Millet to fix something.」
It was this autumn day when Shiggy took another big step.
And then, my knee started hurting like usual.