19 – Red Crab Island’s Longtaro Family
The milk produced by the dairy farm was a rare luxury good of Flower Town. Originally, the dairy farm’s milk was used to produce powdered milk, which was then given as taxes to the Count of Coral Island once every three months.
After Liszt arrived, milk was sent to the castle every day.
There was a total of ten cows.
Among them, three were young, just short of two years of age, and still had not started producing milk; two were old, and already incapable of producing milk; one was male, and could not produce milk; the remaining four were mature, and could produce milk, producing some everyday. I was unknown whether it was because the breed was too lacking or the feed was not too good, but the production of milk was very low.
“Bigflower is at her peak milk production period and can give milk three times a day, for a total of 20 liters; Littleflower is at her low milk production period, and can only give 4 liters a day; Bigblack is at her low milk production period, and can give 5 liters a day; Bigyellow is currently at her milk resting period.” The old manager was not too old, but he was already hunched and looked quite old.
Liszt approached a cow. The cow was very docile, slowly eating the grass.
“Do you have to keep raising the cows that are incapable of producing milk?”
“Garlan is needed to impregnate the females. Milkflower, Milkblack, and Milkyellow are still small, and can only get pregnant and start producing milk next year. Oldflower and Oldblack are old; we have already sent a report to Sir Lord that they could be slaughtered for their meat at any time.” The old manager said respectfully.
Milkflower, Milkblack, and Milkyellow were the names of the not yet mature cows.
Littleflower and Littleblack were the names of the cows that had just matured.
Bigflower, Bigblack, and Bigyellow were the names of cows in their prime.
Oldflower and Oldblack were the names of the old cows.
Garlin was the name of the male.
Liszt recalled the butler Carter mentioning a while ago that the dairy farm had two old cows that could be slaughtered for their meet. Rearing cows that were incapable of producing milk was equivalent to wasting food. Ordinarily, they would be immediately butchered. It was extremely heartless. The cows, which had been producing milk their whole lives, had still to contribute their flesh at old age.
For the time being, there were no large banquets to be held in the castle and there was still enough meat. Therefore, the two old cows continued to be raised on the dairy farm.
“Is the farm’s current pasture enough to feed the cows?”
“It is enough. Sir Lord, we only have ten cows, yet there is 150 mu of grassland.”
“Old manager, how many mu of grassland do you think should be enough for the ten cows to graze on?”
“Sir Lord, a cow needs 10 mu of grassland to graze on. However, we often take our cows to go graze on the wilderness outside. Therefore, 8 mu of grassland should be enough for a cow to graze on.”
“With 8 mu for one cow; meaning that the ten cows would require 80 mu. Then, Teacher Gort, first substitute 70 mu of the two-leaf clover for the alfalfa.”
“On it, leave it to me.” Gort patted his chest.
During the census, Liszt’s swift and resolute attitude gave rise to a sense of crisis inside Gort, and his work attitude had finally become a lot more upright. He had already figured out that Liszt was not a pompous and hedonistic but rather a down-to-earth aristocrat. If Gort wanted to gain authority, he would have to change his ways.
Inspecting the peanut sprite worm.
Two days passed in a flash; the third day was a rainy one.
It was still deep into the spring, with summer yet to come. Rain was as precious as oil. Each settlement’s agricultural production was busily progressing. The seeds of alfalfa had already been sown. A maize field had also been drawn out in the wilderness, ready to be cleared and cultivated. The thorns woods still had not been outlined; it was necessary to wait for Marcus’ return, before going to search the Thorns Ridge.
The fourth day.
After having lunch in the castle, the butler Carter hurried into the study: “My Lord, Teacher Marcus is back, he is waiting for your summon outside the castle.”
“Please go invite him posthaste.”
“Sir Baron, Marcus has come to pay his respects!” The travel-worn Marcus had brought two mid-ranked qi secret manuals, to receive which Liszt was looking forward to.
One was the [Fire Surge Fluctuations] secret manual, with which Liszt was already familiar, the other one was the [Fierydragon Drill] secret manual from the Tulip Castle.
After receiving the two secret manuals, Liszt asked: “Teacher Marcus, what about the the Count’s and the Baroness’ replies to my letters?”
“Here are the replies from Sir Count and Madam Baroness as well as 10 Naldas from selling the Flyingdust Dog’s fur.”
“Teacher Marcus, please sit down. I will read the letters first.”
He had first opened the letter from the Count of Coral Island. There were not many symbols written on the thick bast paper; therefore, the content was also few. In his reply to Liszt, Leewilliam Tulip stated that he would shortly send people over to accomplish the assimilation of the Black Tulip as well as to discuss the selling of the Black Tulips.
He also agreed to purchasing a batch of supplies, which Liszt was running short of, as a down payment for the transaction.
The other letter was from the Baroness of Falcon Town, Lvera. She was congratulating him on discovering a new type of tulips. She would send her people over along with the Count’s, and use supplies to exchange for the opportunity of assimilation.
The replies were of official and cordial nature.
Without much affection. After the passing away of Liszt's mother, the Count’s first wife, with the lack of motherly love, the affection between the three siblings gradually waned. The affection the Count had for Liszt had waned even more after his hopes for him had turned into disappointment.
“But it is better this way. This wain affection is more to my liking. Instead, it would be unbearable being showered with affection.” After reading the letters, Liszt felt slightly emotional.
Putting down the letter.
Liszt said gently: “Teacher Marcus, it was hard on you. Have you come bearing any news from your trip?”
“Coral Island is as calm as ever. The grand duchy also is not involved in any wars. However, there is something, But I do not know whether it is newsworthy or not. It is regarding the family of Sir Baron’s mother.”
“My mother’s family?”
Liszt had almost forgotten that his mother had also been born an aristocrat. He inquired: “Did something happen at the Longtaro Castle?”
“The Longtaro Castle’s master, the Marquis of Red Crab Island, had resigned from his post of commander of the court fleet because of an illness and had returned to Red Crab Island. Sir Count is preparing to send people over for a visit. When the envoy comes to assimilate the Black Tulip, this matter should discussed with Sir Baron.”
“Perhaps.” After searching through his predecessor’s memories, Liszt recalled the memories regarding Longtaro Castle.
Sapphire Grand Duchy was an archipelagic state. Its islands, which were of various sizes, were enfeoffed to many aristocrats. One of the large islands, the Red Crab Island, belonged to the Longtaro Family. Its lord, the Marquis of Red Crab Island, Merlin Longtaro, was a hereditary peer marquis of the grand duchy as well as Liszt’s grandfather.
The Longtaro Family’s family name came from the long taro greater sprite in their possession.
The castle they resided in, the Longtaro Castle, was by far bigger and more luxurious than the Tulip Castle, it was a splendorous and majestic palace towering into the sky.
Marquis Merlin had one son and two daughters. The son, and the eldest of the three, was named Messil, followed by the daughter named Melinda, and finally the daughter named Melissa.
Melissa Longtaro was Liszt’s mother.
When Leewilliam Tulip was still a viscount, Marquis Merlin had seen how extraordinary he was and had married his youngest daughter – who in turn had given birth to Levis, Lvera, and Liszt – into the Tulip Family. To this day, Liszt had gone to the Longtaro Castle every year to congratulate his grandfather on his birthday.
However, ever since Leewilliam had remarried, the Tulip and the Longtaro Families had gradually become estranged.
In any case, Marquis Merlin was Liszt's grandfather.
And since the grandfather had fallen ill, the younger generation had to come visit.