Chapter 23: That time when I was exempted from mandatory attendance
It’s been three months since the end of the year festival.
To pass the time, I’ve been diligently making glass beads. Wooden sculptures? Never heard of her……1
When the snow stopped falling, sensei announced that school would be reopening so the next day, I passed by Suzuran’s house on the way to school like usual in order to wake her up. After all of our lessons ended, just as we were about to go home, I was called out by sensei.
「Caam-kun doesn’t really need to come to school anymore since you’re already capable enough when it comes to the fundamentals. Because of that, starting tomorrow, it has been decided that you will be exempted from the mandatory attendance at school. That is the conclusion that we have come up with after consulting it with the other teachers」
When I heard that,
was the only reply I could come up with.
It seems like my graduation will still be held together with everybody else, or at least that’s what we were told. Rather, are they doing this so that they can tell me to work for the village?
Suzuran who was next to me also heard the news and said,
「Still come to wake up tomorrow」
Did she get used to it, I wonder? She doesn’t usually let her emotions show on her face but she’s letting out a slightly troubled look.
「Okay, I understand. Rather than the meeting place, is it okay if I just immediately go to your place?」
It’s probably better if I ask Ichii-san and Ricoris-san about this.
「……even if that might be the case, I’ll still come over and wake her up」
I told them about it as I was drinking the tea I received.
「Araーsorry for all the trouble. If that’s the case then why don’t you just move in together?」
*Bffftt! Cough cough cough.*
Tea was forcefully spit out.
「No, that’s alright. My house isn’t that far away from here」
This goes without saying but both Ichii-san and I were the ones who did the spit take back there.
「Ahー is that so? The two of you would probably be fine if you live together in those newly opened rent houses, right? Since Caam-kun is diligent and good at cooking. You’ll also have to find work since you no longer have to go to school. I’m thrilled that I’ll get to see the face of my grandchild earlier like this」
「Please spare me already from your jokes. And it’s not that I don’t have to go, I’m just exempted from the mandatory attendance. I’m more or less still enrolled. Also, I’ve only been living for eight years and, as expected, I still don’t have a stable source of income so for us to be living together……」
Well, I’m already 38 years old inside though. I don’t know how long it takes from conception to delivery in this world but in the worst case, I’ll already have a child before I even graduate. Please spare me from that.
「Araー those things don’t really matter. Right, dear?」
He was letting out a bit of cold sweat while averting his gaze.
「When we were about your age, we were already living together」
Oh yeah, it does seem like they eloped since Ricoris-san looks like she’s from a well-off family. I’ve never seen Suzuran’s grandparents and the only members of the Kishin2tribe I’ve seen are her family.
「I’ll settle for travelling back and forth to wake her up every morning so let’s not change anything for now」
I bowed my head as I requested that.
「Oh, that’s too bad」
It seems like she truly was disappointed.
At that moment, Suzuran came back from the chicken coop after she fini
shed feeding the chickens. She immediately sat next to me and drank her tea like it was the most natural thing to do. Thanks to that, I got to experience the feeling of a man adopted into his bride’s family. I’m okay with it since I’m already used to it but Ichii-san who was seated in front of us had a really scary look. I just drank my tea to gloss it over. He didn’t say anything about it so I’m sure that Ricoris-san was giving him a discreet warning.
He was scowling at me as he drank his tea. Then, Suzuran suddenly said,
「Caam, want to raise ducks so, need your help」
I looked at her parents and they gave me a nod so it seems like they’ve already discussed this. So you already gave her permission…
「Sure. I don’t really mind but, how many are you planning to raise?」
She became quiet for about ten seconds then,
「If pairs then, 10 sets?」
This time, Ichii-san was the only one who spit out his tea.
「Ahー isn’t that a bit too much? Look, even Ichii-san’s surprised. Couldn’t you decrease it a bit? How about four, for example?」
「Would be difficult to increase if only a few since it seems like not like chickens that lays lots of eggs. Better if plenty from the beginning. If it gets little warmer, egg laying season will start that’s why a single bird would start laying about 10 eggs. If that’s the case then won’t be able to eat much for the first year so want to determine the number that will raise ahead of time」
She always becomes talkative whenever it comes to meat but this is the first time I’ve heard her talk like this.
「Then, would it be fine if we just start by buying three or four? If it gets to the point where the number being raised is not enough, we’ll just purchase the ducks that are being raised in the village’s shared pond. We can also discuss if we’re going to buy water birds from the fish farm at that time」
She started making a serious expression that I haven’t seen from her before. After about 30 seconds, she then replied.
She really thought about it, huh.
With the approval of Ichii-san, we discussed the approximate location and the size of the pond that will be made. Once we had decided on those, I drew lines on the specified area and drove in sticks on the corners. I would be building this whenever I’m free.
He told me,
「I’m going to prepare the materials so I’ll leave the rest of it to you」
That felt a bit like a father saying ‘Please make a dog house for my daughter’.
My affinity with wood isn’t that good though… Is that alright?
During dinner yesterday, I passed on to my parents what I was told at school.
『I’m not really sure what you should do so you should go and ask the village chief yourself. You’re different from me since your smart that’s why you’ll probably be asked to be some helper for the village so work hard with that』
『That’s right. That would be safer as wellー』
So I’ll only have to do what I’m told. Well, I guess that’s how it is. According to that conversation, it seems like the people from the village already have expectations of me. Well, it’ll probably work out one way or another.
As always, I went to Suzuran’s place to wake her up.
I wanted to go to school as usual but I had to find the village chief first since I don’t know where that person usually is.
I went to the village square and yelled,
But he didn’t come. He would usually appear behind me or from my blind spots.
Well, it’s fine if he’s not here since I can settle that matter with Suzuran’s ducks.
Even though it was more or less still morning, I didn’t skip out on my greetings.
「Well then, I’m going to start with work, okay?ー」
I said that to Ricoris-san and she replied,
「I’ll leave it to you」
After greeting Ricoris-san, I first hammered in stakes on the designated corners. I then laid my shovel on the ground to measure the approximate distance to the center. When I found the center point, I also hammered in a stake there.
Using the magic for making the fields, I mixed up the soil to let the water flow in making sure that the clay particles would sink to the bottom. Doing that would make it so that the water wouldn’t permeate into the ground.
I somehow managed to draw in water from the canal and succeeded in making the simple pond. Water would still need to be replenished from time to time so I also added a drainage barrier. The pond for water birds was surprisingly dirty so I made that to avoid letting the filthy water flow back into the clean canal. Later, I’m going to try and find animals that maintain the clean water quality from the village’s fish breeding area. Like crayfish and pond snails for example.
Using the other chicken coop nearby as a reference, I also made a ducks house and laid down straw on it. Since I’ve already done that, I arbitrarily decided to make beds as well. The things I added onto it started piling up that I ended up making it a bit larger than the other one.
As the sound of hammering continued to resounded in the area,
「You called out to me earlier?」
a voice suddenly came from my back. Because of that, instead of hitting the nail, the hammer hit the wood causing it to be dented. Damn you, village chief!
He sure comes at unexpected moments as usual. Since he doesn’t have any presence, I wonder if this person has 【Concealment】or some other spy related skill? I couldn’t hear his footsteps either. Well, I probably wouldn’t have been able to hear his footsteps either way since I was hammering something earlier.
「Er, starting today, I’ll be exempted from mandatory attendance at school so I’m going to have at least a year of spare time. Because of that, I was going to ask what I should do for the village」
「Umu, you’re originally a student so I haven’t been thinking about that. I’ll come up with something so just do what you have been usually doing for now. We’ll probably have you stand as a lookout or participate on the patrols. You’ll also have to participate in meetings to some extent. After those jobs, all that’s left is to join in with the adults for subjugation requests or hunting. Consider what you want to do from those I’ve mentioned」
「I understand. I’ll come up with my answer」
After I said that, he didn’t do anything particularly strange and just normally walked toward the center of the village. While wondering how he does those elusive actions of his, I kept on watching him until he was gone from my sight but I didn’t see any odd occurrence. He’s a really mysterious old man.
During the second day of work, I finished fencing the pond by surrounding the area in planks. The planks were about waist height and there were gaps that were just enough so that the ducks won’t escape. They’re poultry so they won’t fly, right? As I was worrying about that, I went to ask the onee-san who manages the fish farm.
「If you raise them for eating, water birds won’t fly you know? Well, they can but only as far as five to ten meters I guess. These guys are heavy so they won’t be able to fly. You need to be careful when it comes to strong birds though, like those monsters that fly in the sky.」
She said that with a pleasant smile as she immediately began feed the freshwater fish with the feed she got from who knows where.
Hmm, aerial countermeasures, huh. Predatory birds won’t be a problem if I just make nets using reinforced string but when it comes to monsters…… Well, I’ll just leave it to Suzuran when that time comes.
I went to the stream near my training area in the forest to look for crayfish, pond snails and aquatic plants. Since I haven’t visited it for a while, my training area is starting to look run down.
「Sorry about this. I’ll come and do some maintenance on you later」
Was what I said as I left and immediately started my search.
I used magic to scoop out some of the water that was flowing on the stream in front of me. I then shaped it into a sphere and checked if there was anything inside.
It’s difficult trying to find things inside the stream. The water is always moving so you won’t be able to find anything from above.
「Ohー there they are」
I murmured as I caught some crayfish and pond snails. I used magic to create a water ball and stored them inside of it. I found it strange how they don’t fall outside of the water ball but I just decided not to mind it. When I went to the swamp that was a bit deeper into the forest, I found a turtle there so I just went ahead and caught it for the time being. And then, after picking suitable aquatic plants, I decided to go home.
On my way home, I asked the onee-san at the fish farm if it would be okay to put some of the crayfish, pond snails and aquatic plants there. I got her approval so I place them in the pond. I’ll put the remaining half in Suzuran’s duck pond.
Since the turtle was looking quite pitiful, I build a some sort of floating island in the middle of the pond and released it there. It immediately started to bask in the sun and thinned its eyes, with a blank face. Should I build some sort of turtle nest? Don’t really like turtles compared to other animals though… I also haven’t eaten it before so I can’t really say anything about the taste.
Half a year later, the floating island has already been occupied by the ducks and the turtle was starting to look even more pitiful so I just decided to make it a bit larger.
Once she came back from school, I reported to Suzuran.
「I’ve more or less completed it」「Thanks」
She replied as she hugged me. I’m not sure if she did that because she was being grateful towards me or if she’s just really glad that she can already start raising ducks. Ricoris-san was just grinning while looking at us but I’m really glad that Ichii-san isn’t here to see this.
After that, I gave her instructions on how to refill the pond with water from the canal once the water level starts decreasing. While I was doing that, Ichii-san came back with the ducks. From what I heard, it seems like he went out of the village to buy the ducks. Thanks for the hard work.
We immediately released the ducks on the pond and they delightfully started swimming. Then, they started dipping their faces into the water and started eating the crayfish and pond snails.
I screamed that in my mind.
And I even had put them there to improve the water quality, even if just a bit…… Both my face and my mind became blank. How do I improve the water quality of a pond with just ducks in it?
I don’t know where she heard it from but Suzuran brought feed that was made up of foliage plants and started scattering it around that area. If that was given out a bit earlier, we could have probably extended the lifespan of the pond snails even for a bit. I honestly made light of the omnivorous nature of aquatic birds…
1. Reference to Akagi from kancolle. just copied how it was translated in the wiki…
2. I made a mistake with Suzuran’s family’s race since I completely missed the ‘神(kami/shin/jin)’ kanji. Rather than just oni, they’re from the Kijin(鬼神, also read as Onigami/Kishin) tribe. Kijin/Onigami/Kishin is translated as ‘fierce god’ but it can also be ‘ogre/oni god. I’m not sure if I should use onigami or kishin…
3. Because “POND SNAILーーーー!!” would have sounded lame…