Chapter 57 Part 2: That time when I went back to the village for a bit
In the afternoon, I went to visit the onee-san managing the pond and fish farm area and told her that I’m going to buy 10 sets of fish and aquatic plants. I told her that I’d pick them up morning the next day and also asked for some tips on how to raise fish. I asked if the poultry’s bathing area should be downstream or if I could just place the fish breeding area right next to it. If it’s freshwater fish then we could probably successfully raise them there. I guess their numbers will probably increase as time passes.
I’m thinking of not buying livestock for now. I might be able to manage to bring it along if it’s just some pigs or sheep. It would be impossible for cows though unless it’s just a calf. Do I not have a choice other than using a ship to transport them?
As I was thinking about that while walking, the dog-eared old man from the unpopular old man group approached me. I’ve known them for quite a while now but still don’t know any of their names.
「Huh? Old man’s just fine right? We’re all pretty close after all!」 He laughed as he said that while striking my shoulders when I asked.
「Yo, Caam, how’s it been?」
「There are still a heap of things we have to do that I feel like my head’s about to explode from it all. We still haven’t secured a stable supply of food and most of the ships that pass there every three days still don’t stop for us. There was one that visited us the other day though」
「I see. By the way, can I ask you something? Won’t you take us along to the island with you?」
「Eh? There’s nothing there you know? And besides, we’re still in rough times」
「That’s exactly why. We still haven’t been able to repay you after all. We just returned the potion. If we go there, you won’t have to worry on your own and you’ll have someone you can rely on」
He tapped my shoulder as he said that.
「The humans there aren’t prejudiced so it’s fine as long as you don’t get into a fight with them. You’ve fought against humans before right? Are you guys going to be alright with that?」
「Ha? Don’t worry about it. It’s fine as long as they don’t point their fangs towards us」
「Hmmーー. I understand. I’ll come by here tomorrow morning to pick up some fish so let’s just meet up at our house」
「Got it. So, what should we bring?」
「Some supplies and your weapons I guess. You’d probably want to bring weapon maintenance tools as well since there’s nobody there to maintain them for you」
「Okay, I’ll let the other two know about it」
「See you guys tomorrow」
After saying that, he left.
I was thinking of transporting all of the goods in one go tomorrow, but there was a change of plans. Should I just transport the fish and poultry first? Hmmー, I’m not really sure how well that would work. Well, I’ll guess we’ll just have to manage somehow.
It’ll probably be fine if have one of the old men stand behind me while the other two are on the side. In front will be the barrel with the fish and on top of that will be the cages for the poultry while I’ll purchase a sling bag to hold the seeds. At least, that’s how I imagine it will work. The old men aren’t that tall as well so it’ll probably be fine. They’re still slightly taller than me though.
Before going back home, I decided to inspect the charcoal-making huts. There, I listened to the stories of the workers and learned how they acquired the skills to operate the charcoal kilns.
「Then, all you need to do is to trust in your intuition and experience. You’ll get the hang of it after two or three times」
After that, I passed by my parents’ house in order to give them a brief report on my situation. I told them that although we’re still having a rough time, it’s still more or less going according to plan.
「I’ll try to come home as much as I can but please continue looking after my wives and children」
Before leaving I bowed as I said that, then I went home to have dinner.
「Hey, papa. Can I sleep together with you today?」
「Ah! Me too」
「That’s alright, however, father still has to meet his friends first before he goes to sleep. Are you okay with that?」
「Alright, good children」
As I patted the children’s heads, Latte came over and started rubbing her head against my upper arm. Seeing that, Suzuran also approached me asked for head pats so I also patted her head.
「Otou-san and Okaa-san get along really well~」「Ah, Mama’s jealous!」
It’s kinda embarrassing to be flirting in front of the children but I guess that’s better than them seeing us not getting along.
「Sorry but I should go to the bar soon. It’s alright, I won’t be drinking」
After saying that, I gently pulled the two of them off my arms and left for the bar.
「Oi oi, stop that」
I took a seat as I said that and asked for some fruit juice. After I did that, Speck started sniffing me and started scowling while saying.
「A beast’s smell…」
I hope he’s not actually jealous.
「Ahー, a wolf that became close to me over there is currently at our house」
「Heeー. Wolf, huh? You don’t see much of them over here, do you?」
「That’s right. They certainly are rare」
「Hmmー, so it’s a wolf. I don’t really like those guys since they’re really prideful」
Although Speck doesn’t seem to be his usual self, we still drank like usual. I think his dislike of them probably stems from the fact that they’re polar opposites, since he doesn’t have a speck(heh) of pride at all, kinda like a Labrador or a Golden Retriever. Or rather, he perfectly fits the mold of an idiot character.
「So, how was it? What’s that island like?」
「We’re currently staying at the slave residences near the shore a short distance away from the planned site of the previous Demon Lord’s castle. For now, we’re concentrating our efforts on reclaiming part of the forest area to use as fields. There are ships that pass by the island once every three days but only one came ashore so far. Riding on that ship was a merchant and we exchanged our meat and sugar for their wheat, potatoes and some of their beddings. There are other finer details but that’s pretty much what happened recently」
「What about the humans?」
「They were slaves but I released them. After that, I let them clean themselves, gave them proper meals, and treated them nicely, so I don’t think they have any complaints yet. I made them take a break from work today after all」
「Hmmー, I see. Nothing good comes from abusing slaves after all」
「The previous Demon Lord completely abused his slaves. Because of that, just as he was starting to build his castle, he got subjugated by the hero. This is just what I’ve heard from the humans but apparently, the slaves were overworked and were hardly given meals. Even the slaves that were handed to me looked like they had already given up on life so I think all of them probably experience repression from someone powerful. I was able to put back the life in their eyes after giving them a warm meal though」
「……Is that so? There sure are a lot of cruel guys out there in the world, not just from the humans, but from the demonkin as well」
「That’s right. It’s not just pleasant things that happen out there after all」
「Un…… Even we’re not exempt from that so we should be careful」
「Well, that’s why I try my best not to say things that would scare the humans there and act in a way that would make them feel like I’m one of their companions. Thanks to that, I was able to narrowly escape death」
「Oi oi, you’re just going to make us curious about what happened if you say that. Come on, spill out the beans」
I told them what happened when I was on that merchant’s ship while leaving out the finer details. I told them about how the mercenaries gave a knife to the humans while I was tied to a chair and gave them the option to either save or kill me.
「Hmmー, well, that’s the kind of thing that you would expect to happen to Caam though」
「It a kind of situation that makes you say, “It’s Caam after all”」
「Well, at that point I realized that it was a good thing I treated them kindly」
「「「Well, it’s Caam after all!」」」
What a splendid harmonization.
After that, we started talking about our children.
「Ohー, she’s really lively you know?」
「Mir frequently tells me that our child is exactly like me」
「Mine also looks like me but it feels like she has a different way of thinking from me」
「Well, it can’t be helped that they look like us. What’s important is that we’re able to raise them happy and healthy」
Who would have thought that I would build such an inseparable relationship with these guys?
After that, I started feeling like I wanted to have a drink so, in order to avoid that, I told them that I’m going home early. It’s too bad, but I guess it can’t be helped.
「I have a few words to say to that wolf」
Before we split up, Speck approached me and said that in a serious tone and followed me home.
「I’m back~」「Good evening」
「Welcome back. Speck? What’s the matter? 」
「I’m here for the wolf」
「Is that so? Don’t fight okay?」
「Uncle, good evening」「Good evening~」
「Hey~, good evening. Thanks for always playing with Reika you guys~」
After that, he went to where Wulf was, squatted down, and stared at his eyes.
「Alright, let me know your feelings」
After he said that, Wulf started barking like he was talking to him.
「Awoo Awoo」「Wau Wau」
「I got it. Thanks for telling me」
「Caam, as thanks for helping him, this fellow says he will follow you forever. Also, he says thanks for healing him even though you were being threatened since he would have died if you didn’t」
It’s kinda amazing how they can understand each other.
「I see. Thanks for letting me know Wulf’s feelings」
「No no, I just did it since I was curious. Well then, good luck! Thanks for having me~」
「I prepared some tea for Speck-kun thoughー」
「Ah, I’ll take a sip of it then……」
After finishing his tea, he left so I decided to take a bath together with the children. While we were there, they pestered me to tell a story so I told them a few stories from my childhood.
Once we were in bed after our bath, they asked me for another story so I told them about how I made my base in the forest. They were really interested in the practice I did they and pestered me to tell them about it so I gave in and told him about it but left out the thing about me drinking poison.
「Next time, teach me how to throw a knife okay?」(Lily)
「As for me, I think I like magic more」(Miel)
「Yes, yes. You’ll go to school once you turn 5 so let’s just do that then, okay? Now let’s go to sleep so that we can get up tomorrow」
After saying that, just like the river character(川), I slept while I was in between my two children. The center part was the long one though.
In the middle of the night, a half-asleep Lily hugged my arm and started rubbing her face against it. Although they were small, her horns kept on poking me while she did that so I woke up due to the pain.
These horns are an incredibly dangerous weapon, aren’t they!? What’s more, they’re at a lower angle than Suzuran’s so it’s incredibly painful. I’ll probably get stabbed if she headbutts me. Well, I guess have no choice but to pray she doesn’t do that again.
After exchanging greetings, Latte noticed something weird with my arm.
「What happened to your arm? It’s really red」
「It got hit by Lily’s horns when she rubbed her face against it while hugging me last night」
「You experienced the same thing as well?」
「I have you know~? It must hurt a lot」
「Yeah…… I wonder if we should put some kind of cushion on her horns when we sleep together」
「It’s really sharp so I wonder if that would work~. It might be useless you know~?」
「Thought so… Well, we just have to bear with it」
「Then, I’ll go wake Miel and Lily while you wake Suzuran-chan up. You’ll probably have wake up Lily though」
When Lily was two years old, we found out that she was also bad at waking up. It’s kinda funny how she’s similar to Suzuran in that aspect as well.
「I probably won’t be back for another 10 days」
While we were having breakfast, I said that as I apologized to the kids.
「You became a Demon Lord so it can’t be helped, right~?」
「You’re working right~? I will be fine you know~?」
Hearing their replies made me thankful for my wives properly educating them.
After that, I started the preparations by putting the fish I received in a barrel, the chickens inside their cages, and preparing the container for the seeds. Then, all that was left was to wait for the old men group.
Since I had time, I started to drink some barley tea but it wasn’t long before I heard a knock on the door. Because of that, I hurriedly finished my tea, went outside, and explained to the old men how the transfer magic will work before leaving.
「Ohh! Is this that thing called a sea?」
「It’s like a really wide lake isn’t it?」
「I’ve heard about it but you won’t understand something like this just from describing it alone. This looks amazing!」
I wonder if this is how I felt the first time I saw the sea.[TL: Pun intended. Heh] The humans are starting to get noisy so I guess I should introduce them.
「I’m back. As you may have figured, these are my companions」
「Not just that, I owe this guy my life」
Well, I guess I did help out the cat-eared old man.
「I guess you could say I’m their benefactor. They’re going to be helping us out from now on so please get along with them okay?」
「「「Nice to meet you」」」
「P-please treat us well」
It was weak, but a few humans replied to them.
「Anyway, I’ve brought back chickens and ducks. I didn’t buy them for their meat though, instead, we’ll let them lay eggs in order to increase their numbers. I’m thinking that once we have a number of them, we’ll be able to get a stable supply of eggs, and eventually some meat, so if there’s anybody who can look after them, please report to me afterwards. As for this barrel, it contains fish. We’ll be raising them at the lake that I’ll make nearby. Once we have plenty of them, I’m thinking of putting some of them in the waters by the wetlands. That way, if the water has any dangerous substances, we’ll immediately know about it since these fish will float if they die. They’ll also serve as a warning sign that tells us if there are changes in the water’s quality. Please don’t eat them until we have a lot of them. Well, the main reason is to avoid getting poisoned though.
I also brought with me some corn and bean seeds. I think they’ll make it in time for the harvest if we plant them right now. Fortunately, it’s pretty warm on this island so I think the corn will grow well. Beans thrive even in barren soil so after we harvest the potatoes and wheat, we’ll plant this next and go with that kind of crop rotation. Well, we’ll also plant these right now so that we’ll get more of them though」
We can also use the chickens’ excrement as fertilizer. The ducks will also get their own pond. If we create an outflow to the sea then they could probably even get additional nutrients from the shellfish there. Even if they don’t lay eggs, we could use their feathers for arrow fletching, jackets, or even more beddings.
As for the corn we’re going to harvest, we could boil them, turn them into flour to make bread, or even use them as fodder. We could make some liquor with the corn but it seems like it’s difficult to regulate it’s alcohol levels, so I wonder if it’s the kind that has to be made in a distillation facility.
It seems like nitrogen-fixing bacteria lives on the roots of legumes, so they will help in revitalizing the soil. I’ve read that in manga and a certain famous novel after all. They were talking about clovers in that novel though.1
Anyway, it seems like they’re also really resistant to diseases. Because of that, we only have to worry about damage caused by birds and poultry. They have a high nutritional value and even grow in arid regions as well. To be honest, these beans are so strong that sprouts would probably still appear even if we just have a bean-throwing festival with children in the forest. Well, I pretty much thought about doing that when I bought them though.
「With that out of the way, let’s first construct a fence so that the ducks won’t run away. While you do that, I’ll start making another pond that’s shallower but wider than the first one which will be used by the birds to drink and bathe」
Once I decided on a suitable area downstream of the water channel that’s at a distance away from the residences, I dug a concave-shaped hole and let the water flow in. While I was doing that, the others started gathering slightly thick branches and stabbed them in the ground in order to make a simple fence.
After that, they tried to release the ducks to see if they could still escape. Just like that time when I made the pond at Suzuran’s house, they all began swimming and dipping their faces in the water.2 All that’s left is to negotiate with the wolves Wulf brought along last time so that they won’t attack them.
「Let’s just put the chickens together with the ducks for now. Let’s also make sure that the area around the pond will be livable for them」
Raising them free range might be a good idea but there are a lot of components I’m a bit anxious about. I guess I should just make sure to decrease the number of those components then. It would be nice if we’re eventually able to see chickens freely grazing in the wild. I’ve heard that they’re even seen eating small snakes after all.
Next, I created another pond specifically for breeding fish. This time though, I placed the pond upstream. I also had to make a canal to let the water exit towards the sea with leaves weaved in the middle to prevent the fish from swimming away. Once their numbers increase then we’ll release some of them by the wetlands so I hope they’ll also propagate in the wild.
「Okay, like I said earlier, the water that flows to this pond comes upstream from where we’re residing. That’s why, if you see any of the fish floating here then inform someone immediately. Then, make sure that the information reaches me as soon as possible. Hmmー, I didn’t notice it, but it’s already close to lunchtime, isn’t it? It’s a bit early but let’s start preparing to make our meals」
While we were eating lunch, I noticed that the old men had already inserted themselves in the middle of the human men’s group so it seems like they got along pretty quickly.
I wonder if it would be better if I start mingling with them that way?
The old men and human men
「That’s right. I’m only here today because he saved me. Even if I dedicate my whole life, I don’t think I’ll be able to repay the kindness that he has showed me」
「Huh? So you mean to say that Maou-sama can even heal wounds?」
「I was watching everything from the sidelines you know? He slowly bent a needle, poured some strong liquor over it and the wound to clean them, then started sewing it close without hesitation. Once it was closed, he sprinkled a potion over a cloth then pressed it over the wound in order to stop the bleeding」
「I’m getting goosebumps just from listening」
「Even the doctors were shocked seeing the wound you know? I mean, it was really terrible」
「You can really feel the sense of camaraderie they had just from the story, can’t you?」
「I think Caam’s really kind. Even though he only spent a few days with us prisoners, he didn’t give up and tried his hardest in order to save me. I’m sure he’ll do the same thing if it happened to a human, right guys?」
「Yeahー, that’s for certain. I mean, when we first met, not only did he give us a warm meal, he also let us drink the liquor he brought with him. That just goes to show how kind he is」
「What’s this? He did that to you too? When the guards weren’t looking, he went to a bar and bought some soup and liquor for us to share you know? It was the first time in a while that I became speechless and started crying」
「Since we were slaves, we were really worried what the new Demon Lord would do to us but we were surprised when he suddenly treated us kindly. I even think he’s way too kind at times you know? He even let us rest yesterday after all」
「Hmmー. That kindness might turn into his weakness so I hope it won’t be used against him」3
「That’s the reason why we’re here right? That guy is pretty naive after all」
「That’s true. In order to get their trust, it looks like he didn’t resist when they tied him to a chair on that ship you know? Well, it seems like he was still able to fight back though」
「It’s Caam after all」
「I’ve heard that he made some kind black knives without chanting and surrounded himself with them all of a sudden to defend himself on the ship」
「Hou, so he can even use that kind of magic huh? I only know of him making those balls of water or stacking up dirt」
「Ah, I also heard rumors that the human knights he defeated during the war were torn to shreds you know? That was done with magic right?」
「Probably some kind of magic I guess. A shovel won’t be able to deal that kind of damage after all」
「Ohー, how scary. Let’s make sure we don’t make him angry」
「That would be the best. It’s not a good idea to make kind people angry after all」4
So far, it doesn’t seem like they have any problems getting along with the humans.