Chapter 5 – Agriculture and Livestock



Reclaiming a new plot of land.
It’s easy to say, but surely it is a job that requires a strenuous effort.

First you have to cut the trees, then pull out the grass, and surely there are a lot of roots buried in the hard soil to which we would have to unearth.
And like this a new field would be born.

But what a field needs is not just vegetation. The most important is water.
Which means that we will have to bring water from some river.
Well, I do not want to do something so problematic so in some way or another we will look for a land near a river.

Maybe my way of thinking is amateur, but I think we will be able to achieve something within our limitations and within a year or so.
Rather, we will be in trouble if not.

Nor is it that I have put aside hunting, but providing food for over thirty people is surely hard.
On the other hand, cultivating is only difficult.

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There is need to do both.

Going to the main point, we must choose where to start to cultivate the new land.
I have no idea about what kind of land would be perfect for cultivating. But something I should do no matter what, is to ask the Griffon if I am allowed to cut the trees of this forest.
If I am not allowed, I should start looking for another forest.

 「It’s like this, what do you think?」
 「There is no problem. The territory of this one, is in the deepest part of the forest. As long as you do not damage that part, you can do whatever you want, either set fire to the trees or cut them」
Unexpectedly, it was easy to get permission. What a disappointment.
 「Truly humans like to plow the earth. I’m unable to do something so troublesome. Ah, that reminds me…」
 「What?」
 「If I’m correct, thirty years ago, humans created a village inside this forest. But as a result of a popular plague, they left the place. And those fellows said it was because of this one curse. That was completely annoying」
The Griffon began to complain.
For me, the most important thing is not the reason why the village was abandoned.

 「If you were aware of that kind of place, say so in the first place! Where can I find it?」
 「Umu… Since it was a long time ago, I’m not sure. Besides, I have no interest whatsoever in it. For now, go up. You will know when you see it from the sky But if you don’t find it, you will give up」
It showed me its back when it said that.
But, to get on…
I will die if I fall.

 「Make it fast」
 「I fully understood」
Rather, I have no idea when it will change its mind. Moreover, from this depends the lives of thirty people. I have no other choice but to get on.

I start to climb the Griffon’s back. Now that I have accepted my fate, I can understand how big it is.
The moment it thinks I’m tasty, it could swallow me whole in one bite…

 「Let’s go!」
 「Hiee」
A strange sound came from my mouth.
The area around my abdomen was floating.
To tell the truth, I am bad with roller coasters…

This Griffon fellow, without worrying about me, it keep going up more and more.

I suddenly looked down.
 「Uwaaaaa!!!」
 「Oi, be quiet. Don’t strangle my neck!」
I accidentally started to strongly strangle the Griffon.
It’s really frightening to fly without any kind of rope…
The sound of my teeth squeaking as if it were natural resonates.

 「…What will you do if my bladder gets loose?」
 「I will throw you」

As we continue our interactions, the Griffon stops immediately.

 「If I am not mistaken, it was around this place… Found it! Rejoice」
I shyly look down.
As expected, my organs are floating.

But being frightened paid off.
Certainly, in that place there are few unnatural trees, in addition to some ruins that appeared to be houses.

 「Get off」
 「Wai- Too fast. This is too fast!!!」
I screamed even louder.

_______

 「Fumu. As expected, the forest swallowed a part of the village… Then, wouldn’t it be better to start from scratch?」
 「You’re right」
The piece of land in the village was even quite better than what I had initially thought.
There is a river passing through the center of the village and it seems easy to draw fresh water from there.
Although most of the dwellings were falling to pieces, I was able to find some that could be reused with a repair.

And as was to be expected, even though the fields were covered with grasses, it was something that could be easily fixed if they were dug up. At least it’s easier than starting to build them from scratch.

The fundamental problem is that whether or not we can cultivate with the strength of children. But even so, I think it’s possible.
If we use for example the system called Ritsuryo, then we can begin to distribute land to children over six years If my memory doesn’t fail me, in a certain book, it said that it had to have an area of twenty are.
If I’m not mistaken, a koku (The amount of rice that an adult man eats in a year) was a one-tenth hectare (Ten are, front and back).

If a six-year-old child from ancient Japan can plow 20 ares of land, we should be able to do it too.

Well, it might have been the parents who did it…
But even so, at least one third had to have been cultivated by the child itself. Surely the parents did not fully cultivate the part of their children, right?

And here we have even something that ancient farmers did not have, iron farming tools.
Moreover, later I could procure a cattle or a horse, and let them plow the fields.

Everything will probably be all right.

And if everything I’ve done does not bear fruit, I can always ask for help from the Griffon. Surely for it, something like plowing the field is something simple.

 「What can I say, thank you. If everything had gone on like this, I would have started to cultivate a field from the beginning!」
 「But this does not mean that this one cultivated the place」
 「Is not thanks to you that these people left the place?」

There seems to be every kind of Griffon. If it had not existed, nothing would have started. Anyway, he was the one who came to me, telling me to take care of a job, so you could say that it should be natural for it to cooperate.

 「By the way, may I ask something?」
 「What?」
 「A famine has occurred, right? Do you know what could have caused it?」

That’s something I always asked myself.
The only thing I could understand by the words of Tetra-chan is that a famine occurred, but even so, there are different causes for a famine.

Crop disease, pest damage caused by a locusts and the like, damaged dealt directly by storms or a bad harvest due to the climate.

If we do not know the reason before we start, we will repeat the same failures.

It would be slightly insensitive to ask the children, so I tried asking the Griffon.

 「From the children’s conversation, it’s probably a crop disease」
 「What kind of crop disease?」
 「All of them」
 「What!?」

A deadly disease that contains all the diseases? What’s up with that? Is not that completely invincible?

 「Stop, when you say all of them, you mean that, right? From wheat to the fruit, all kind of crops?」
 「It seems like it was like that」

What the hell with that?
It would be understandable if the same disease affected the same kin as wheat and barley, but is it really possible for wheat and grapes and the like to contract the same disease?

It’s something like the disease a human can get from a fish?

 「This one tried thinking about the problem. Want to hear?」
 「Please」
 「This one thinks it’s a curse」

It was a waste of time asking…

 「What? Why that face. Curses are real」
 「What is the evidence?」
 「A conversation of this one with his master」
If you tell me that, I have no choice but to shut up.
It would not be unusual for one or two curses to exist, if there are blessings and reincarnation in a different world.
But who put the curse?

 「If I am not mistaken, don’t you all come from a race that loves to kill each other? Is it not strange that a flock plans to weaken another flock?」
 「We~ll, If you say it that way, it’s just the truth」

There would be nothing happier for a country if this one could weaken the national power of an enemy country only with a curse and from afar. If such a thing existed, it would be very convenient.

 「This would have to be a long distance curse. Surely there are talented practitioners」
 「Are you sure you have time to be admiring this? If they do it again, would it not be useless to cultivate if at the end of the day it will be reduced to nothing?」
 「Hm? It’s probably okay. Since humans are cowards. I don’t think they would dare to curse the territory of this one and the territory near the forest. Also a curse is not something that can be thrown consecutively」

Is that kind of thing…?
This fellow is more aware of the situation of this world than I.
If he says that everything is fine, I have to believe him. Maybe.

 「So, do we start bringing the children to this place?」 
 「Umu. It would be better to start tomorrow. The sun will set if we start now」

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The Griffon said while watching the sun.
Currently, the sun is leaning slightly above our heads.
Is it like 2 o’clock in the afternoon?

We are too far south of the cave.
It would be different for an adult, but here they are all little children. The day was ending.
We may get to the spot in an instant on the back of the Griffon, but surely it dislike doing such heavy work.
And surely the children would not dare to do it.

 「Then, get on my back」
 「Uu… I have to climb up no matter what…?」

I went home as I was complaining.

_________

 「Thus, this is our new home」
 「Ooo!」
The children shouted with joy.

 「So, leader. What are we doing first?」
Ron-kun said.
 「Leader?」
 「I-It’s not like I recognized someone like you completely. Only a little. For your information, I only recognized you a little!」
 「Ron-kun… Be more honest with yourself」
Ron-kun and Soyon-chan started fighting in front of me.

This is weird. I have achieved nothing so far. I just exchanged a couple of bronze and iron swords, you know?
While I was thinking that, Tetra-chan came to whisper in my ear.

 「Before you came, this group was always all worn out. Whenever anyone raised their voices to give their opinion, this was crushed by the dissenting opinion, but even those who opposed didn’t have any alternative plan. So every time one of the children cried or throwed a tantrum, Ron and Roswald, the two of them started to fight. And thanks to it, we have been able to endure all this time」
 「If your situation improved with my arrival, then it shows how bad you all were before」

I made a bitter smile. In fact, I think what I have done can be done by anyone.
But that anyone is considering an adult as standard. Something a child can’t do.
For me, the idea of bartering swords it is something normal, but surely for Ron and the others it is an extravagant idea.

 「You are overestimating me, I tell you. That we are in this ghost town is thanks to the Griffon」
I muttered.

 「So, what are we going to cultivate?」
Roswald came to ask me while glaring at me. Why is that this child so oppressive…?
Did the children behave in this way?

 「I think we should do a crop rotation system」
 「System? Is that delicious?」
No, it’s probably not delicious.

 「Simply put, we will rotate in order during a four-year cycle, starting with barley (Sowing in spring) → Clover → Wheat(Autumn sowing) → Turnip」
As the children told me, we are already in the season to grow wheat, so we don’t have other choice but to wait for the next year.

If we think about the season, then we will have to start cultivating turnip.

 「Why do something so annoying?」
 「Don’t you know that if we use the same field for a long time, the quality of the crops will worsen? In addition, clover has the effect of giving vitality to the field. Using this system we will be able to cultivate during the four seasons」

Even I’m not very informed.
Since I only learned the basics of history and geography, it is possible that in details I am inferior to the children.
And for farming, it was only to the extent of helping in the kitchen garden of the orphanage.

Roswald-kun tilts his head again in confusion. Showing an expression of not having understood at all. Nor am I confident to explain it in detail, so I have no choice but to let them experience it.

 「S-so, will we grow something else?」
 「It can be grapes or olives. Only if it is possible to do it here」
I answer Gram-kun’s question.

When I put together all the parts of the children’s story, I discover that the climate of this territory belongs Mediterranean climate.

But to be frank, I do not think the Norfolk four-course system has much affinity with this place. But fortunately, this village is in a good location near a river.

The most compatible are the grapes and olives. But it will take time for grapes and olives to grow, so I am in doubt whether we will be able to satisfy the appetite of thirty people or not.
By the way, a slope with good drainage is necessary to cultivate grapes and olives. But the floor of this village is flat.
There is no need to do things that can not be done on flat ground, so I will cultivate them another day in the future.

 「Now that we have decided the plan to follow…」
The children’s eyes were directed at me simultaneously.

 「First of all, how about we repair the house?」
I said as I pointed to the crumbling house.


The true sixth chapter – Livestock

What is important in this Norfolk Four Course System are the livestock.
The advantage of Norfolk Four Course System is that you can raise the livestock during winter.

Moreover, it is not enough to only use the clover to revitalize the earth. By freeing the animals in the field where the clover grows, you can use the excrement as fertilizer. That is the main point of this system.

 「That’s why I want to buy livestock」
That’s what I said in front of the children.
The children looked like they were pondering. Surely they do not even understand half of it.

 「But you know, isn’t it difficult to exchange animals after they passed though a famine?」
 「We will exchange with the king Rosyth of the east. They don’t have ironware right? If we give them ten, they would give us at least one cattle or two at most」
It would become easy to plow the field if we had a cattle.
If we want to break the deadlock with the strength of a child, what we need at least is a cattle.

 「Will they exchange their precious food?」
 「If I were their leader, I would trade iron ware for a cattle. Since presenting the iron ware would free me from tax」
The number of people that a cattle or two can feed is limited.
Those who started the war using their ironware to steal food are those with a full stomach. So there must be many who oppose them.

 「However, there is only one problem」
 「What is?」
 「I don’t know how to handle cattle」 
The children slipped down.

___________

 「Um… I, I know more or less how to handle them. Since my parents raised livestock」
 「Wow, then I leave it to you」
Since possessing animals is expensive, the reason for letting a child learn to raise them is a complete mystery to me but surely they had their reasons. I can’t inquire so much.
 「I need someone else, someone who wants to come」
 「Then, I will go」
Ron-kun announced his candidacy.
As I imagined. Ron-kun and Soyon-chan always form a set.

 「Then, let’s go. Tetra-chan!」
 「Why I have to…」
 「Tetra-chan knows a lot, right? You have to come just in case they try to deceive us」

By the way, it seems that these two people, Ron-kun and Soyon-chan come from the same village where we exchanged the ironware for the farming tools. They didn’t come that time since it would be awkward.
And on the contrary, the village where we are headed now is Roswald-kun’s birthplace.

Of the only person I do not know is Tetra-chan.
Since the person in question does not wish to say so. The only thing I know is that she is well informed.

 「Right… Then, it’s only a cattle?」
 「Honestly, just one cattle is enough. But to compensate for some of the cattle’s work, we’ll buy a goat」
Though the goat’s meat and milk tastes bad, it’s possible to survive even with plain food. If it were possible I would like to get a male-female set.

 「How many iron swords will we take?」
 「To be sure we will take fifteen. I think it’s enough with this amount」
Ten are enough to trade, but just in case. And not to say that it takes time to make the trip.

 「Then, let’s go」
When I say so, she laughed listlessly. Do you hate it that much?

____________

 「So, will you exchange with us?」
 「U~mu, it’s just that here the food is scarce…」
The village chief hesitates. And with all reason.
I keep smiling.

 「Would not you want to be tax free in exchange for presenting a few iron swords to the country? I think that the important people of this country are desperate for weapons made of iron, you don’t think the same?」
Since King Rosyth does not possess the technology to produce iron.
That is why the country trade with the countries of the north, to obtain iron. Iron is an indispensable resource, either for war or for agriculture. And of course, in order not to let King Rosyth’s country become a strong nation, these countries imposed unreasonable limits.
They also have the possibility of trading food with countries that are in the middle of a war.

And these are swords of heroes who thought they were capable of defeating the Griffon. So a good quality iron was used. If we were in peaceful times, they would already have approved the exchange with open arms.

 「Hmm… It could be a good option…」
The village chief moved his head again and again from side to side while starting to look troubled. Hey, it’s been a long time. Do it fast.
 「Of course, if it’s impossible, I can go. Since I’m planning to visit other villages」
When I pretend to get up, the village chief began to panic immediately.

 「I have decided! Let’s exchange. What do you want?」
 「I want one cattle and five goats. What do you think?」
I tried to be a little more assertive. To tell the truth, two or three goats were enough for us. Now I began to worry that whether we can raise five goats or not.
 「Five goats… It’s a bit hard… How about two?」
 「We will add two more iron, and instead, make it four goats, please」
The village chief nodded deeply. It seems that we have reached an agreement.

With this we have obtained manpower and a high nutrition milk.
I was relieved.

__________

 「Well, I think this is enough」
I started looking at the goats and the cattle entering the fence.
Since I was the one who made the fence, it was not so strong. I will have to reinforce it later.

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Since I was afraid that they would try to escape, I asked the Griffon if it could threaten them. Suggesting that if they escaped they would be eaten.
And even though this guy says it will not bully innocent animals, it was quite lively.

Well, they didn’t look particularly edible either.
But cattle and goats get their food off the ground. So, surely nobody will object.
Eh!? That all the grass that grows in the world of nature can be eaten? Well, of course. But isn’t the risk of being eaten by a carnivorous animal, such as a wolf, big? Surely, it is.

 「Was there a need to buy a goat in such a hurry? It’s just bothersome」
Tetra-chan said so.
It’s not like I do not understand your feelings. Unlike the cattle, the goat can’t be used as manpower. And not only that, we must start cultivating barley as soon as possible, but now we have the troublesome work of taking care of a goat.

But there is an urgent reason why I bought it.

 「Although goat’s milk tastes bad but is nutritious」
 「…」
Tetra-chan looks at me suspiciously.
 「Did that guy, the Griffon brought only fruits and meat? These things have almost no calcium at all! If you don’t have calcium, your bones will become fragile. I think that is fatal in this kind of world Although it was a irresponsible thing to do, I brought a goat」
 「Hmm」
 「Have you understood?」
 「Only that you are thinking about us」
Tetra-chan laughed after saying so.
That reminds me, this is the first time I see Tetra-chan’s smile.

 「Hey, what about the names?」
Ron-kun said so while petting the goat. He seems to really like it.
 「Starting from the right, goat No.1, No.2, No.3, No.4. And the cattle is cattle No.1」
 「Eh… It’s too simple! Poor animals」
Soyon-chan pouted while protesting.

 「Poor animals you say… Are you aware they are livestock? They are not a friend or family or even a pet. There may even come a time when we will eat them. If you give them a proper name, they won’t be a livestock anymore, they will become a pet. It will only be painful at the end」

If you hit a domestic animal like a dog in Japan, it would become animal abuse.
However, slaughtering pigs and cattle are not crimes.

This is common sense, but pets and livestock are different.

Since livestock are tools of man. You must not be affected by emotion.
If you give a proper name to the livestock, this will become a pet.

It may be impossible to make children take care of them without feeling affection, but at least, I want them to avoid naming them.

 「Is that so… We may eat them…?」
The children looked at the goats and cattle with sorrowful faces.
The mood ended up becoming a funeral.
But it is not like it has been decided that we are going to eat them…

 「Well, we will not eat the goat meat unless we don’t find a more appetizing meal. And the cattle is an important workforce. Let’s work hard so we don’t have to come to that」
In order to change the mood of the children, I said it out loud.
 「First of all I want to do something with the weed that grows in the place where it seems to be a field… And instead of cutting, it would be faster to let loose the animals so they can eat it. So, let’s move these guys to the field」
We guided the cattle and goats to the field.
Are the Griffon’s threats effective or is Soyon-chan’s guidance good or is it just that they wanted to start eating the grass? Either way, the cattle and goats entered the field obediently.

In the end the field was not so wide.
It can be inferred by the number of houses that this village was small, containing no more than one hundred people.
As soon as they finish eating the grass, I plan to have the field plowed right away.

Since this was a former field, the soil should be soft, even for the strength of a child.
At least we have pickaxes, but will we be able to do it…?

Nor is it like I’m expecting to harvest in only half year.
In addition, we can expect the Griffon to feed us for at least a whole year.
Impatience is taboo.



References

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6 thoughts on “Chapter 5 – Agriculture and Livestock”

  1. You know, i think footnotes is important. Especially for any reference. sometimes i just tilt my head when read some unknown term. Thankfully there is Google so i can search right away, but it’s really disturb my reading. So i will really thankful if you help it with footnotes

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