Magi Craft Meister - Volume 8 - Chapter 36
08-36 Side Story 7: Meanwhile, in Kaina Village
April, Kaina Village was brimming with energy.
Spring was the season when hills and fields began sprouting plants, and children concentrated on nothing but playing outside.
The adults plowed the fields in preparation for planting crops.
Last autumn even the wheat that had been sown had grown a lot, and weeding the field was necessary.
“Hannah-chan, there’s a lot here~”
“There’s a lot here too~”
Hannah and Patty who was a year younger than Hannah were picking wild herbs at the riverbed of river Elume.
Angelica, cress, and mitsuba. They were herbs even children could pick. Because tere were no poisonous plants that resembled them, they could be collected without worry.
“Ah, Hannah-chan, found you~”
The one who came and spoke out was the tomboy Jessie.
This season, the girls of the village were busy picking wild herbs. The riverbed and the fields, edges of the forest, and other grassy places were visited and the herbs were picked.
After overcoming the season of winter, they fully enjoyed spring’s delights in the hills and fields, while also being able to resupply the vitamins that one was prone to lack during winters.
Without even being aware of such a thing, the knowledge of how to pick herbs in the spring was imparted from parent to child, and from child to grandchild.
The children who had picked herbs until the long spring day was coming to an end went to the hot springs to wash off their sweat before returning.
“Ahh~, it feels so nice~”
“Hanna-chan, I’ll wash your back.”
In the hot springs the children washed each other’s backs.
Just before Jin left the village, he had taught the people how to use the ritha seeds to wash their bodies and clothing.
The ritha seeds ripened in autumn and were said to become poisonous so no one had got involved with them but,
“Isn’t this washnut?”
Jin had muttered by himself, brought a large quantity of the seeds to dry in the sun, then ground them to a powder. Mixing a little bit of that with water and rubbing made foam which made dirt to come off.
“If you use it every day your skin will become rough, so it’s better to use it only when you’re very dirty.”
He had said something like that.
Until then they had used lye for washing, but as the powder made out of ritha seeds was better for getting off dirt, everyone in the village had gathered ritha seeds together.
“Granny, I’m back~”
“Welcome back, Hannah. You gathered a lot, I see.”
Grandma Martha looked at the plentiful herbs in the basket Hannah was holding and smiled.
“Let’s make a lot of things out of them this evening, shall we?”
That evening they had herb salad and boiled greens. Of course they also had bread made out of sieved wheat flour.
“Thanks to everything Hannah picked up, of course it’s delicious.”
And so the cheerful dinnertime passed.
The evening in Kaina Village passed quickly. The sun had set and most of the houses were dark so it was about time to go to bed.
For lighting they did have torches and tallow lamps, but normally using them was wasteful so nearly no houses did.
“Good night, granny.”
“Good night, Hannah.”
Even in Martha’s house the dinner was at five in the evening, and by seven o’clock they had fallen asleep.
Accordingly, everyone’s morning came early.
Everyone woke up together with the sunrise.
“Good morning, granny.”
“Good morning, Hannah.”
Everybody went to rinse their mouths and wash their faces at the common well.
Every time she operated the pump and water came out, she couldn’t help but think about Jin.
“…I hope you’re well.”
The same day, Hannah got on the golem horse Mint and went to the mountains to pick edible wild plants.
Today accompanying her was the golem Gen.
Of course Jin having returned was still a secret, so Gen acted such that Hannah or the village people didn’t notice him.
Clippety-clop, the hooves sounded as Hannah headed towards the mountains.
“Oh~, it’s Hannah-chan~”
Noticing her, the children greeted Hannah.
“Hannah-chan, I’m jealous~”
The only one who had a horse for their exclusive use was Hannah. The other five horse golems Ein, Zwei, Drei, Quatre, and Cinq were all for communal use.
If the children asked the village head who managed them they could borrow one, but Hannah having a horse of her own nonetheless made them jealous.
“Mint, the horse Onii-chan made is for me, he said.”
Hannah caressed Mint’s neck while grumbling.
Mint moved past the grassy plains and when coming to a mountain patch, continued on briskly walking without stopping.
Then after about 20 minutes of climbing she arrived at the summit of the hill. It was over twice faster than walking
Below, Kaina Village looked small. Hannah reminisced about the time when last year she had come here to pick up medicinal plants with Jin. But she couldn’t stay like that forever.
“I have to pick plants.”
Hannah got off Mint and immediately began collecting edible herbs.
Today one of the plants she came to look for was the lily bulb. It was common to pick them up during autumns when the aboveground parts had matured, but last autumn the mountain beasts had been disturbed so she wasn’t able to come pick them.
Another one was the mountain leek. It was also an edible wild plant, but it was very good nourishment. It was very effective on one’s body that had been somewhat weakened after passing through winter.
Hannah knew both plants well. The mountain leek in particular had many varieties of poisonous plants that resembled it, but as she knew how to differentiate them there was no worry of making a mistake.
It was sure that Hannah was a smart girl.
She continued gathering the plants until lunch, and stopped when her basket was full.
After tightly fastening the basket to Mint, she straddled the horse and got on her way back home.
Going downhill was even faster, and she returned in less than 15 minutes.
“Welcome back, Hannah. Good work. You’re not hurt, right?”
“Then I’ll start making lunch now, so lend me a hand.”
After taking down the basket from Min, Hannah went to the well to wash her hands.
In the afternoon, the merchant Roland’s carriage came along.
“Hey, Roland-san, we’ve been waiting.”
“Gheebeck-san, it’s been a while. It’s gotten warmer, hasn’t it?”
The last time he had come was before mid-January, and as it had then still been winter, it was completely different from now.
“So what about Jin-san?”
“Yeah, he hasn’t come back.”
Every time Roland came he had this conversation with the village head.
“Is that so… I wanted some rubber balls though.”
Apparently the rubber balls Jin had made and sold turned out to be pretty popular. However, as no one but Jin could make them there was nothing to sell even if they wanted to.
“Can’t help it if there’s none, I guess.”
As usual, food, salt, flavoring and so on was sold, and fire-attribute Magi Stones were bought.
Hannah looked at the scene from a small distance away.
And then night came once more.
It was a little windy so the windows were closed.
Come to think of it, Jin was the one who made these muscovite windows, Hannah thought.
It had been four months since Jin’s disappearance, and Hannah could still not forget about Jin.
Looking up through the window at the skies, the stars were twinkling.