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Chapter 52: That Time When I Rescued A Dog
I decided to hold a morning meeting after we had breakfast. The reason for that was because I needed to assign roles to the 50 people who were gathered in front of me.
There were twenty-five men, twenty women, and five children.
「Uhmー, if there’s anyone among you who has experience hunting or any other similar occupation please raise your hand」
After I said that, three men raised their hands. I don’t know whether or not that’s a lot but it’s nice there are some.
「Well then, I’ll have you guys form a hunting party. Each one of you will be a party leader with two subordinates. You can conduct a test to select people who are good with the bow after this. Next will be fishermen. Does anybody here know how to fish or knows how to catch them by diving into the sea?」
This time, two people raised their hands.
「Both of you get one subordinate each so please select them after this as well. There are still some small boats by the sides of the houses left so please feel free to use them. Now, is there anyone here who can differentiate medicinal plants from wild herbs as well as edible plants and mushrooms?」
I didn’t think there would be any but contrary to my expectations, one woman raised her hand.
「You’ll also get subordinates as well. Please select two other women to help you and a strong man to act as your escort. As for the rest, you’ll be in charge of cultivating the land by the forest close to your houses as well as collecting firewood and other miscellaneous tasks. Now then, as for the children…」
They looked a bit surprised and their bodies were shaking. You guys remember that I gave you candy yesterday, right?
「Can I know which one is the biggest onii-san or onee-san among all of you?」
One girl timidly raised her hand.
「I see. So you’re the oldest Onee-san. Because of that, you will be in charge of looking after the other kids and making sure they don’t do anything dangerous okay? This is a really important role you know? You can play but don’t go into the forest okay? You can also swim on the beach but only in the shallow part. You can do that, right?」
I squatted so that I would meet eyes with the girl as I said that and she bobbed her head up and down in agreement.
「Alright, good girl」
She’s probably around 6 to 7 years old if I had to guess. I should give her some basic lessons later.
「Now then, please group yourselves according to the roles we set earlier. I will now be handing you your tools」
Hmmー, I wonder if six bows will be enough. Well, I guess I’ll just give bows to the two of the most skilled in each group while giving the necessary materials for the remaining one to make his own. Is it possible to use a bear’s stiff tendon as a bowstring I wonder? Is it bad if it’s too stiff or would it be better if it’s more rigid? I’m not really sure so I’ll just leave it to the experts.
「I only have 6 bows so the leaders will get one and the other two will just have to share the other one until you manage to make another. You can use animal tendons and sinew for the bowstring right? If so then you can use just that」
I nonchalantly tried to lead them into making it themselves.1
「Uhm, does that mean you’re giving these weapons to us?」
「If you guys don’t catch any prey, these 50 people will starve and die you know? I can’t just use my funds every time to buy you guys wheat flour right? Also, if you manage to catch a lot and make it into dried meat, if possible, I want you guys to trade or use it for bartering」
They look unsatisfied for some reason. Isn’t that a good thing? I’m even giving you guys your necessary weapons.
「Also, if you manage to find animals that can be domesticated, please report it to me. Discuss it with everyone if it’s possible to capture it alive」
After saying that, I handed the bows and arrows to them.
「Next will be the fishing group. Here are your lances and fish hooks. I made it from the antlers of the deer that I caught yesterday. You guys will have to wait for a bit for the string since I’m trying to get my hands on some as quickly as possible. However, if you guys can also use the sinews and tendons of the bear and deer that I caught yesterday then feel free to use them」
「Now for the herb collecting group. Would a knife and shovel be enough? Or would a Nata be preferable?」
「We don’t need a Nata you know?」
「I understand. Also, please feel free to use the basket that’s in your houses」
「Because of my relationship with the owner of the general store in my village, I was able to buy 10 axes, 10 natas, and 10 saws. I will give these to the rest of you who will be in charge of reclaiming the land near the forest 」
「First of all, you guys should take care not to get injured. You are no longer slaves so don’t skimp out on your meals to the point where it’s hindering your capacity to work. Don’t force yourself, take a break if you’re not feeling well. As for the hunting group, prioritize you and your party’s safety. It would be better if you just escape when you encounter a bear. For the fishing group, don’t go too far. If possible, I just want you guys to fish within the bay. The herb gathering group should not go too deep into the forest. It should be obvious since I was able to encounter the bear that I hunted yesterday but you might get attacked by wild animals there. The rest of you should stay vigilant to what’s happening around you. The remaining men will also be acting as the guards. If something happens, I want you guys to make sure you protect the women and children. Now then, here are the short swords and bucklers you’ll need to do that」
「Ahー, that’s right. You might be alone with three women inside the forest but don’t make the mistake of laying your hands on them okay? If you do, I might just personally turn you into a woman as well……remember that」
I was politely speaking with them until now but I gave him a piece of ominous advice so he held his nether regions as he replied.
「Ahー, I also still haven’t ascertained that the water around here is safe to drink so make sure you don’t drink any yet. It might be troublesome but just drink the water that I provided for the meantime. I’ll be heading to the forest after this to search for anything useful as well as food and water source. You need to make sure you guys take proper breaks. Make sure you take afternoon breaks as well. I think I’ll be back by evening but please just go ahead and eat dinner without me if I’m late. That’s all」
After saying that, all of them moved to do their respective duties.
「Ahー, I almost forgot. The women of the reclamation group, please take turns in making everybody’s meals every day. We currently only have wheat flour and meat from yesterday but if we’re lucky, we might get fish and edible plants this afternoon. Also, you won’t have a supervisor here so feel free to take it easy」
Laughter resounded due to my last remark but that’s better than having a tense mood in the air.
「Catch a lot okay?」
One guy said that to another as he hit his back. They seem to be close. Well, it’s all good as long as they don’t go back to being scared like yesterday.
First thing I did was visit the well that’s located at the construction site of the Demon Lord’s castle.
I tied a cup to a string and dropped it inside of the well to scoop out water to examine the water quality. Un, it’s dirty. I wasn’t really sure if it would clear up as I keep flushing it or I should go in and clean it up so I guess I’ll just do both. I’ll also build a small shed around it so that trash won’t go inside.
I should check for poison now I guess. I don’t really want to to be honest.
I took off my shirt, folded it several times, then placed it on top of another cup as a makeshift filter.
『Hmmー, the water is still muddy but I guess it can’t be helped.』
While I was thinking that, I took a little sip and held it in my mouth. I didn’t experience any abnormalities in my mouth so I guess that’s good. While hoping that it isn’t just a slow acting poison, I formed the water inside the well into a water ball to forcibly empty it out. After that, I decided to move forward towards the direction of the mountain at the center of the island.
After walking for about thirty minutes, I was able to confirm the existence of wetlands and watering holes on this island. I’m not really sure if water has welled up or flowed into such places but this one is pretty shallow so it has turned pretty much into a marsh due to the mud and fallen leaves.
We can turn it into a pretty small artificial lake if we clean it up a bit and I guess we’ll be able to make it go through the housing area if we connect it to the sea. I’ll try searching the perimeter a bit more for a stream or something but if I don’t find any, I should come up with a plan to clean this place up.
I started walking around the marshes and I managed to find a streamlet where water was flowing out bit by bit.
Hmmー, it’s not that much, is it? Will it dry up if we don’t get rain for a while? I guess it would be better if we made it so that a fixed amount of water would get stored and would just flow out once it exceeds that. We need to have a clear plan.
Well, I shouldn’t really be getting ahead of myself. I should just keep that in mind. For the time being, I should create a small, shallow pond that’s close to the houses for agricultural use.
Also, I haven’t seen any fish swimming in these waters at all. It would be great if we manage to get our hands on some freshwater fish since we could trade them but it can’t be helped if there aren’t any. It would be fine if I just buy some every time I go home I guess.
But still, I wonder if you could even find any freshwater fish in a port city. If there are then it’s probably not that popular.
I wonder how much further to the center of the island. It takes around five days to do get across the other side of the island so if I walk for 10 hours a day at 3 kph, I could cover 150 kilometers. Dividing that number with by pi, the island’s diameter should be approximately 48 kilometers. If that’s the case then it’s 24 kilometers to the center. I’m not really sure how high the elevation is there but if I had to guess, it’s probably 1000 meters above sea level at least.
I wonder how wide the foot of that mountain is. It sure is problematic that I can only estimate these kinds of stuff. It’s going to be tough walking on unpaved forest paths for 20 kilometers. Well, I still haven’t managed to settle down yet so I should stop thinking about reaching the center of the island for now. I don’t want to get lost after all.
Since the Demon Lord’s castle was going to be built in this area, there might a quarry here. I’ll try looking for it for a bit. If there isn’t one nearby, I will laugh at my predecessor for being such a huge idiot. I decided to look around the open area for the time being.
After walking through an animal trail I found for a while, I found an area where the soil was protruding which led to a 5-meter cliff with the stone exposed. Un, it’s still untouched, isn’t it? I can’t even… No wait, this area is just 10 minutes away from the supposed site so the quarry might be located at another place that’s closer. I’ll try searching for it a bit more.
Even though there are plenty of edible fruits growing wildly on this island, there’s not a single one of them in this area.
While I was thinking that, I looked up and noticed that it’s almost noon. I guess I’ll pass by a different area to look around for a bit before going back.
I found another wetland on my way back and discovered a small red nut-like fruit that’s as big as a thumbnail. I tried eating it and it tasted bittersweet.
Is this a cranberry? I wonder if these were actually found in wetlands back in my previous life? Well, I shouldn’t really mind the minor details. I guess should bring some back with me and tell the herb gathering group of this location.
Also, I still need to confirm if there actually is a quarry closer to the planned site for the Demon Lord’s castle. It’s probably inconvenient to have it located 10 minutes away after all.
Once I got back, I decided to do a thorough search of the construction site. I found a hidden narrow pathway so I tried to see where it leads to. This time, I discovered a 50 meter stone cliff which was taller than the one earlier. There were even rusted tools left here. I was right to hold back my judgmental laugh earlier. In order to make use of this area, I’ll make a few more houses and have the others live here. That plan will have to wait for a bit though.
While I was thinking that, I heard a sound.
「*pant* *pant* *pant* *pant*」
Is that a dog?
I tried getting a closer look and saw two dogs surrounding one that had large amounts of blood flowing from the side of its ribs. I wonder if it was done in by a wild boar.
Dogs have been human kind’s companions since ancient times so I can’t just ignore it now that I’ve seen it. There’s also the fact that I’m a dog person.
When I tried getting closer, the other two started wrinkling their snout and showing their teeth to threaten me. Do they not want me to approach their friend?
They all look like Siberian Huskies with grey hair on their entire bodies. Do Siberian Huskies even exist in the wild?
「I’m not scary you know~」
I don’t think they’ll understand my words but I try to talk to them anyway. As I got closer, the scarier they made their faces look. I wonder what I should do. I’m worried about the injured one but I can’t do anything when they’re like this. Moreover, maybe it’s because it’s starting to weaken but the bloodstained dog doesn’t seem like it can actually see me.
It’ll be bad if I don’t hurry, won’t it?
For the meantime, I just sat there and started weighing my options. How should I deal with this I wonder? Do I just force it or should I wait for their wariness to fade? There’s no point in hesitating now. It’ll probably die if I continue dawdling around like this.
I decided to cover my entire body with mana and intimidate them. They didn’t run away but they tucked their tails and showed me their bellies while avoiding my gaze. Ahー, sorry. That’s the pose of submission right? Well, I hope you guys forgive me because I’m doing this to save your friend.
I approached the injured dog and put away the raw meat that I think its comrades put by its mouth. I’m not really sure what the reason is for that behavior but its comrades probably thought it would feel better after eating meat. Thinking about how his comrades felt makes me tear up a bit.
Now that they’re letting me help them, I made sure that there was no one around then used my recover magic to make the bleeding stop. It looks like the pain has started to decrease so I began washing off the blood with warm water.
After finishing the treatment, it struggled to get up at first then it started running around and snuggling against me.
「Good boy, good boy」
I squatted down and rubbed its head while saying that.
「Your hair is kinda prickly, isn’t itー? How cute」
Seeing their friend active again cause the other two to approach us while wagging their tails. It looked like they also wanted their head rubbed so I readily complied. These guys sure are cute. After playing with them for a bit, they would follow me whenever I tried to leave.
「It looks like they got attached to me」
Well, I guess I should start heading back. It would probably for them to wait until dinner to eat but I guess it’s fine if I let them eat a little something to fill their stomach until then right?
「Do you guys want to come as well? Alright, let’s go」
After saying that, I went back together with the dogs to our temporary base.
As I got closer, I heard the sound of axes hitting trees and the earth trembling from them falling. Oh, how capable. Will they be able to start digging out the roots tomorrow?
「Good work. Are you tired? You feeling alright?」
「Ohー, Maou-sama. I’m fine but two men collapsed and are now resting inside of their respective houses」
「I see. They probably pushed themselves hard all of a sudden」
「The two of them were weak from the start so there’s no helping it」
「Please tell everyone not to force themselves during their work」
「Got it. By the way, aren’t those wolves behind you?」
「Where? Aren’t these dogs?」
Someone else shouted that while running away.
「……it seems like they are indeed wolves」
「I-is that so? Please be careful」
Why are you being polite all of a sudden? That’ll make me sad you know?
「I see. So guys are actually wolves. I’m sorry for calling you dogs okay?」
They whimpered as they snuggled against my feet. Well, I guess that means it’s fine.
『I wonder if I still have some meat left. Ahー, here they are.』
Seeing me hold some meat, they all jumped at me with their front paws on my chest trying to reach it.
「Wait, wait, wait. I’m going to give it to you now so just give me a sec」
I guess it was unreasonable to expect them to be trained. I wonder if it’s already too late.
After I gave them the meat, they started wolfing it down.2 These guys eat quite a lot. I kinda want a dog bowl for them now. I guess I’ll just make one. If I can’t make something similar to the ones from my previous life then one from wood is fine.
As I was thinking that, guys from the hunting and fishing group came back bringing with them their spoils.
「Iyaー, the area was pretty much untouched so we managed to bring back a lot」
「We also got a quite a big haul you know」
「That’s good. Now, as long as you have some wheat flour you won’t have any more problems when it comes to your meals. The question now is if the cargo ship notices this island and comes here to dock. I guess we could prepare some kind of beacon tomorrow morning and have someone assigned to be on the look out」
「Maou-sama……are those wolves?」
「It seems so. I helped them thinking that they were just dogs with rare colored fur but they got attached to me. Sorry for calling you dogs again.」
I rubbed their heads as I said that.
「Can wolves even get attached I wonder?」
「How would I know」
You guys…… We can hear you, you know?
「Ahー, doggies! Can we pet them?」
The kids came over and started making a fuss.
After giving me some kind of reply, they went towards the children and sat down as they let themselves be pet. How clever~.
「I wonder if it’s fine to touch them as well. Well, just don’t do it too hard okay? Also, if they start getting mad, get away from them immediately. Do you understand?」
「Yes~. Waa, how soft~」
「Good boy, good boy」
Un, they’re really patient, aren’t they? If we train them, they could be used in animal therapy or serve as hunting partners I guess. I still have to confirm if there have been wolves domesticated by humans but we might be able to make it work if we raised them from the time they were born. Well, I guess I’ll just think about them at that time. They’re shaking their tails as they get rattled by the kids so I guess it’s fine.
「We’re back. Ara, are those wolves?」
「It seems so. They got attached to me after I helped them. Also, I just wanted to ask but is this safe to eat? I’ve already tried eating some but…」
As I said that, I handed over the cranberry-like fruit I found.
She hummed while she inspected the fruit. Then, she put it inside of her mouth and rolled it around to ascertain the taste.
「It seems to be fine. The bittersweet taste is nice. Please let me know where you found it later so we can pick some ourselves」
「Got it. Let’s also try to see if we can plant some nearby」
While we were having that conversation, the children were jostling the wolves around as they pet them. They look like they have already given up so I guess I should be stopping them soon.
「Hey children~. It looks like the doggie wants you to stop soon so do you think you can do that for them~?」
「Good, good. I want to give these two doggies names. Do you think you can come up with some ideas for me?」
「Then, you should discuss it among yourselves and just let me know if you’ve decided on something. As for this one, I’ll give it a name myself」
The wolf that I’ll be naming is the injured one I saved. Well, it’s the one who has gotten attached to me the most after all. As expected, naming it Speck would be bad and naming it Dogmeat would leave a bad taste.
Ponta? Josephine? No no no no, wait. That would also be quite bad in a different way. One of those is the name of my friend’s dog after all.
Ahー, how about the name『Wulf』like that one infamous person named the puppy of his dog.5 Un, it’s decided. Wait, isn’t that just wolf in German? That person isn’t really creative in a way, is he? Incidentally, I’m also the same.
「Onii-san has already decided you know~」
「What is it~?」
Well, they’re still kids so I guess it can’t be helped.
「That’s right. That’s why you guys should talk a lot and give them names that everyone likes okay?」
「Now, you can discuss it over there okay?」
After saying that, the two wolves ran together with the children. It’s cute how innocent they are.
A while after that, we gathered in the same area where we held the meeting this morning.
「Uhmー. I took a look around the surroundings for a bit and after walking along a side path from the houses you are using right now, I found an open area where the previous Demon Lord was going to build his castle. Once we manage to settle things over here, I was thinking that we should build buildings that could be used as workshops in that area. There are wetlands a bit past the castle construction area as well. There was even something that looked like a marsh with water flowing to it so if we fix it up a bit, we may be able to make the water reach this area. I still haven’t drunk any water from there so I’m not really sure if it’s clean but I thought that if it’s really necessary, we can just boil the water before drinking it.
Actually, I wanted us to dig a well here but we probably won’t get any fresh water since we’re close to the sea so I wanted to discuss that alternative with you guys. After I finish exploring the surrounding area, I’ll be able to help out with the reclamation so please endure it for now. And finally, I want to talk about seasonings. I think we’ll be able to make salt with what we currently have so why don’t we start with something simple like that first. That’s all from me」
「I guess I’ll go next then…… Since we have found wild boars, after we finish with the reclamation of the forest, I think we should make a fence or some kind of pit to put them in so that we can breed them」
「I also have a similar suggestion. The fishes near this island aren’t wary of getting caught yet so I wanted to suggest that we capture as much as we can alive and keep them in some kind of tank」
「Can I also say something? We found some potatoes growing in the wild that were probably abandoned by the previous residents so we were thinking of growing them together with the wheat so that we’ll have plenty to harvest. Honestly, I don’t think there would be any point in farming them if we don’t get plenty of bags so I’d like you to take that into consideration as well.」
「Hmmー. Wild boars are pretty violent so they would probably just destroy the fence so a pit would be better. It’s going to be a bit unsanitary but we’ll just have to make the boar endure it until it becomes docile. As for where to keep the fish, I guess digging a hole by the water’s edge until the sea water comes in then putting something there so that they won’t be able to escape would be fine. Now for the potatoes, I think it would be best to get some so that we can also trade them but I might need to dig into my personal funds in order to procure them. I wanted for us to try and manage with only what’s on the island but I guess we won’t be able to do anything without laying in the groundwork. I guess I’ll just go ahead and purchase them. Because of that, please make sure that you guys prepare a slightly wider field to plant wheat and potatoes」
「What about the doggies~?」
「Ahー, right. Uhー, while I was in the middle of exploring I managed to save an injured wolf so they got attached to me. They seem to be clever and obey when I told them not to bite but they probably would if you make them mad by hitting them with a stick or riding on them so just keep that in mind. I was thinking of just letting them run free as they patrol the territory every day. For their meals, I want them to eat together with us so that they’ll also get attached with everyone. I also want to rely on their good noses so we’ll have them help stand watch at night. I’m going to name one and just leave the other two’s names to the children. I don’t know if they’ve already decided but please listen to them if they ask for your advice」
I looked towards the children after that.
「I’ve already told everyone about the doggies so if there’s anything troubling you, don’t be afraid to ask for help from me or any of the adults. Also, they might bite you if you do anything to anger them so be careful okay?」
「Well then, let’s eat」
That day, I was able to eat fish for the first time in my whole life living in this world. I started craving for white rice and soy sauce seeing the butterflied horse mackerel that was in front of me. I guess I should just buy some at a later date.
Around noon when the women were preparing for lunch
「Hey, Maou-sama doesn’t really seem like a Demon Lord, does he?」
「So I’m not the only one who thinks that. I agree」
「It seems like he’s active with everyone’s welfare in mind. He bought these iron plates with his own money and brought them here with his transfer magic, right?」
「He could have bought a bit more though」
「I’ve heard that there are limits to that magic you know? That’s why we were brought here using that gate like thing」
「Well, at least we’re being given meals and not getting whipped」
「He’s nice to the children as well. Not even the men here will look at the children in the eyes as they gently warn them. And besides, even in my village, I haven’t heard anyone say not to force it if you’re feeling unwell you know?」
「I wonder why he’s treating us like this」
「Want to ask the person himself?」
「I’m afraid to ask」
「He’ll probably give us an answer you know?」
「Shall we ask him then?」
「Eh? Our workforce would decrease and would bring trouble to everyone else if you force yourself and get sick or injured after all. There’s also the fact that I won’t let myself get pressured doing something I don’t want to do. And isn’t being nice to children just normal? I think it’s wrong to hit children no matter how tired or having a hard time you are. I wouldn’t want my own son and daughter to experience that after all. Well, if someone does try then I’ll hunt them down and show them a Demon Lord’s wrath」
「Or so he says……」
「Isn’t he a lot more capable than the men or even the nobles back home then? It’s a waste that he’s not human」
「That’s rightー. He managed to become a Demon Lord so he must be strong, right? I wonder if he’ll take me as a concubine」
「Stop that. He even has two kids so I’m sure he gets along well with his wife」
「However, now we know that he’s not only nice. He said he’ll hunt anyone who tries to harm his children right? Doesn’t that mean that he’s vengeful then?」
「He’s really kind if you take that part away right?」
「Yeah. I’d like to have a husband like that. I don’t think there’s anyone like Maou-sama on this island though」
「You should just find a compromise you know?」
「Well anyway, didn’t Maou-sama come back with three wolves that he manage to tame? I wonder what’s up with that」
「He said they got attached to him, right? Really, I wonder what he’s thinking. I don’t understand that Maou-sama at all」
For the time being, the women were able to understand why they were being treated kindly.