|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library|
“…Is this the normal yield for corn? Not that it’s particularly bad or anything.”
Ms. Christy looked confused as she measured the thickness and the weight of the corn in her hand, and when she peeled the skin and sullenly checked the cob, she looked at Eren for confirmation.
“Y-, yes. That is our average, if not slightly better.”
Seeing Eren nodding nervously under her pressure as if trying to gauge her, Ms. Christy looked at my face with an… inexplicable expression.
“Jill. The corn you boiled for us this morning looked very different from this one. Was that from a different species?” She then offered me a corn that was twice as thinner than the one I had grown, with the kernels scarcely in places, and it looked much tougher than the ones I had grown. Right then, a pumpkin fell to the ground, making a dry hard sound like it was a rock.
“No, I used the same seedlings. However, I treated the soil differently, with the application of fertilization and such, so perhaps that’s what made the difference…”
My answer was met with the look of “the hell are you talking about?” from the professional farmers around me. Ms. Christy and Eren, however, responded with their eyes lit up. Although, compared to Eren who purely admired what I said, Ms. Christy looked at me like a researcher looking at an interesting guinea pig.
“Jill… what kind of magic did you use?”
Afterward, I was interviewed by the village leaders about my tried-and-true soil improvement methods —humus and fermented compost, and the need for chicken manure and fertilizer.
Personally, since this was all knowledge based on the memory of my ‘previous life,’ and I thought that making a leap in the culture of a civilization so casually could be a bad idea, I wanted to bid my time and approach carefully. However, Ms. Christy, in a very accustomed, sharp-tongued tone, as if she was a chess player approaching a chess puzzle, started to pick apart every little thing that I had in my argument and even argued back with logical structures so solid I couldn’t say anything back —and now I felt very sorry for the students of the school she was teaching in. Hence, we were to discuss the problems of the current agriculture practices and the improvements to be made.
“As I mentioned before, plants are living beings too, and thus they need to be fed enough lest they will grow thin. I understand that creating new idle lands annually and waiting for the soil to naturally replenish the lost nutrients is our current practice, but is this not too roundabout and a waste of land? A solution to this problem is to fertilize the farmland, which will not only make better use of the land but also double the yield.”
Once I was done, the looks they exchanged with each other were incredulous… if not straight-up dubious. Well, that’d be the normal reaction. It’s Eren who’s a little too frank for grinning so widely and nodding her head without questioning anything I said.
“And the corn and pumpkins we’ve had this morning are the results of that, yes?” Ms. Christy was more curious than skeptical since she had tasted the yield firsthand. She retreated to her thoughts for a while, before she directed a knife-sharp glance at Chief Aroldo. “Village Chief Aroldo. I cannot make this a formal request, not until I assume my position next year, but I would like to ask you to use an idle plot to cultivate crops using this ‘fertilizer’ technology and call it a trial basis. Would that be okay with you? Of course, the necessary expenses will be coming from myself.”
“That can be done, but…” The village chief glanced at my face.
“Of course, Jill, my sister-disciple, will cooperate fully.” She emphasized the ‘sister-disciple.’ I have no right to refuse it, it seems.
“Yes, my dear elder sister Christy. I will do as you say.”
Hearing my not-at-all heartfelt consent, Ms. Christy nodded in self-satisfaction. “With this project and how nearby the teleporter is, I will need to maintain close contact between my workplace, the mansion that will be built in the town of Consul, and this village. —Right. Perhaps hiring someone from this village at my mansion might be a good idea if there is a good candidate for it.”
Ms. Christy concluded with a topic that could be used for small talk as she looked around the assembled group. In response, the villagers had their tensions relaxed, judging that the meeting was about to end… except Eren who leaned forward and looked excited.
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“Um, Lady Baroness! Does that mean I can be a Lady Attend… err, to be a live-in domestic service?! Ah, I can read and write!”
“Eeeh, what’s wrong, Eren?!”
“What are you saying, Eren?! Even if we’re not well-off, we’re not that desperate to send you off to do domestic service!”
Ignoring my and her father’s astonishment, Eren approached Ms. Christy. The baroness furrowed her brow for a slight moment before quickly regaining her composure. She looked at Eren’s serious face with amusement, and even flashed that dark grin very reminiscent of a certain other witch, even if both of them would rather die than accept how similar they were.
“How intriguing. I cannot make you a lady attendant out of the gate, but you can start by being a tweeny. If I see potential in you, I will discuss it with my steward and make you a lady attendant. Well, if I find you slacking, then I’ll kick you out right away.”
“I understand! I will work with all my heart and soul!”
Ignoring the dumbfounded faces around her, Eren took a deep bow and treated it as if everything had been set in stone.
“Well, the construction of the mansion in Consul won’t officially start until next spring. If you haven’t changed your mind by then, pack your things and come to me. Oh, right, I’ll also write your introduction letter.”
While Ms. Christy’s shoulders were shaking from entertainment, Eren answered with a clear and spirited “Yes!” before she ran up to me with a smile of a thousand suns.
“Did you hear that, Jill!? I’m going to work under the baroness starting next year! This is a step towards my dream to be a lady attendant!”
The girl then grabbed both of my hands and shook them up and down with buzzing vigor.
“This is the first time I heard this. You want to be a lady attendant, Eren?”
“I do! I will surely become a splendid lady attendant. Just wait for me, Jill!”
Wait for what? Before I could ask her that, though, Eren’s family came over and they started a family meeting, so I left with the question still hanging.
Incidentally, from the words that happened to enter my ears, Chief Aroldo seemed to be very opposed to the idea of selling off his daughter, but his wife was surprisingly enthusiastic and supportive. Well, given her vigor and personality, Eren’s future career path had almost been decided at this rate.
“……” As for me, I can’t help but feel a little bit envious and saddened that my best friend had chosen a path for herself, independent, and separated from me…
“Now then, it’s time we head back. Oh lord. We yielded a lot today.”
The only one in a good mood, Ms. Christy, then urged me and Maya to leave our seats.
With a sigh, I left the metaphorical nest of bees that was the village chief’s family matters and headed to the Tenebrae Nemus where Regina and Bartholomew were waiting for us.
Tweeny is a maid that works in both the living quarter and the kitchen.
Speaking of agriculture, you can’t just put fertilizer in the soil and be done, you need to manage the crops appropriately. Also, it takes a lot of time and effort to fully restore the nutrients in the soil, an example of which is to plant different types of crops each year, a crop rotation, but for now I resort to touch on the simple basics.
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Taxes? In my power fantasy gender bender Japanese webnovel?