Chapter 3-13 : Herb Field Ⅰ
When I got home, I saw a newly built enclosure next to my house.
「Hm? What is that for…?」(Sarasa)
Because I wanted to see Lorea-chan as soon as possible, I asked Andre-san and the others to go to Erin-san’s house to report to her, so I went home alone.
Unlike me, they will be rewarded with money so I think it’s better if they see Erin-san directly.
「Speaking of rewards… Could it be… This enclosure was built to make an herb field for me?」(Sarasa)
Erin-san promised to give me an herb field with people who will take care of it as my reward.
The enclosure looked very nice, and the fences used to make it were a bit taller than me and looked very sturdy. When I peeked through the gap between the fences, I saw three men were cultivating the ground.
When I heard someone calling me from behind, I looked back and saw Lorea-chan approaching me.
「Un! I’m home!」(Sarasa)
「I’m glad you came back safely without any problem, but… Where are the others?」(Lorea)
「They went to Erin-san’s place. By the way, do you know what is this?」(Sarasa)
「It’s your field. Erin-san said this is your reward.」(Lorea)
「I knew it… But… Why did they make the fences so high?」(Sarasa)
People in this village usually built fences around their fields to protect the fields from animals, but normally fences are not very high and are made of wood.
However, the fences on this field looked as sturdy as the fences surrounding the village that were built after the Hellfire Grizzly attack.
「Other than protecting the field from wild animals, I think these high fences were built to protect the field from humans… You know, some Collectors may come to steal your herbs.」(Lorea)
While explaining, Lorea-chan folded her arms and nodded.
「Hmm… Is that so…? No, no. In the first place, why would you steal herbs from the field next to an alchemist’s house? Unless you’re crazy, you would never do that.」(Sarasa)
「The Collectors who are currently staying in this village are mostly good people, but you know, there were some cases where Collectors stole the villagers’ crops back in the old days when this village was crowded with Collectors.」(Lorea)
Did those thieves even think about the risk of stealing in a small village like this?
「Yeah. In the end, those thieves were beaten to a pulp by the villagers and the other Collectors.」(Lorea)
「Ah, just as I though…」(Sarasa)
The fields in this village are small, so it’s hard to steal without anyone spotting you. Moreover, because the population is small, people can easily find thieves by asking around.
「It doesn’t happen very often nowadays, but since your house is at the edge of the village, thieves can just escape to South Strugg right after stealing your herbs. With that in mind, they built high fences for you.」(Lorea)
「I see. I really appreciate it.」(Sarasa)
Now that I think about it, it will be bad if someone steals my herbs, especially the rare and the precious ones.
Perhaps I should consider installing some kind of crime prevention artifacts just in case.
「I think Erin-san will come later to explain the details…. Michael-sanー can you come here for a momentー?」(Lorea)
When Lorea-chan called out one of the three men who were working in the field, the three of them turned around and approached us.
Aa, I thought they were all men, but one of them is a woman. I couldn’t tell because she was wearing pants and a big straw hat that was blocking her face.
「Sarasa-san, this is Michael-san and his wife, Izu-san, and this is Michael-san’s older brother, Gatt-san.」(Lorea)
Gatt-san is a farmer. He has a muscular physique and tanned skin.
Before Lorea-chan began to cook for me every day, sometimes I bought vegetables from his field.
On the other hand, his younger brother, Michael-san, has a slender physique. He doesn’t look like a farmer at all.
Unlike most women in this village who have somewhat muscular bodies, Izu-san has a slender physique just like her husband.
「I’ve seen Gatt-san before, but this is the first time I’ve seen Michael-san and Izu-san. Anyway, I’m Sarasa, nice to meet you.」(Sarasa)
This village is not very large, so I thought I had met all the people who live here.
「Nice to meet you. I returned to this village with my wife recently, so we had never met before.」(Michael)
「Ah, I see. So… Are you… N, Never mind…」(Sarasa)
Normally, the reason for a man to leave a small village like this. Just like Gretz-san, he probably didn’t want to take over his family business and decided to go to a big town to search for a better job.
I wonder why he came back to this village with his wife…
I’m curious but I feel like I shouldn’t ask him about that…
However, Lorea-chan, who was looking at my curious face, suddenly started explaining to me without asking Michael-san for permission.
「A couple of years ago Michael-san left the village and went to South Strugg. He met with Izu-san there and they got married. However, he couldn’t find a job with a salary that was enough to support his family, so he returned to this village.」(Lorea)
After Lorea-chan said that, Michael-san looked like he was going to cry while Izu-san who was standing next to him could only smile bitterly.
Seeing his little brother’s pitiful expression, Gatt-san slapped Michael-san’s back.
「Why are you crying? What Lorea-chan said is all true! I’m happy that you found the love of your life, but why the hell did you get married when you didn’t even have a proper job!? It’s good that Erin-san had a job for you, but what would you do if she didn’t!?」(Gatt)
「Uhh… That’s… Y, You’re right… I’m grateful to Erin-san… Of course, I’m grateful to you as well, Sarasa-san. Without you, I wouldn’t have had a job.」(Michael)
「I’m glad I can be of help…」(Sarasa)
After that, Gatt-san told me about his little brother’s circumstances.
Apparently, Gatt-san went to South Strugg after he heard that Michael-san got married. He wanted to celebrate his younger brother’s marriage, but then he found that Michael-san and his wife were living in a poor condition.
Michael-san was working in the town, but his salary was barely enough to buy food and pay the house rent.
Gatt-san wanted to help them but he is just a small farmer in this village, so there wasn’t much he could do for them.
「I see… I’m sorry if I’m being rude, but Izu-san, why did you want to marry Michael-san?」(Sarasa)
「Well… This person can’t live properly without me supporting him, so…」(Izu)
When Izu-san said that with an embarrassed yet happy face, Lorea-chan and I looked at Michael-san with somewhat disgusted faces.
I’m still wondering why Izu-san wanted to marry him… Is it because of love? Is it because of the power of love!?
「He’s a good-for-nothing little brother but I can’t just leave him alone, so I asked Erin-san if she can give my brother a job, and here he is now.」(Gatt)
「Ahaha… I-I’m sorry…」(Michael)
Apparently, after Gatt-san returned from celebrating Michael-san’s marriage, he heard that Erin-san was looking for people to work in my herb field. He then hurriedly went to Erin-san’s place and asked Erin-san to let his little brother get the job.
「Hee~ Gatt-san, you’re truly a kind big brother.」(Sarasa)
「H, Huh!? It’s not like that!」(Gatt)
「I know, right? He even came to help me after he’s done taking care of his vegetable field.」(Michael)
「You, shut up!」(Gatt)
Gatt-san yelled at Michael-san but somehow I could tell that he did that just to cover up his shyness.
「Hee~ I see. You sure are working hard on a hot day like this.」(Sarasa)
「W-Well, it’s summer, so of course it’s hot. But you know what, thanks to your Cooling Hats, I feel like this year’s summer is cooler than ever! This guy would have already collapsed if he wasn’t wearing one.」(Gatt)
While saying that, Gatt-san slapped Michael-san’s back again.
「Aww… H, He’s right. This awesome hat really helps me.」(Michael)
「This hat is wonderful! I like it a lot! At first, I was surprised that people in a remote village like this have artifactsーー Aa, I-I’m sorry…」(Izu)
Realizing that she shouldn’t have said that, Izu-san covered her mouth with her hands and apologized immediately.
However, Lorea-chan and Gatt-san didn’t seem to mind it.
「Don’t worry. It’s true that this is a remote village, but it has become more prosperous since Sarasa-san came.」(Lorea)
「That’s right. We can have Cooling Hats thanks to Sarasa-chan. Both of you, you should be grateful to her.」(Gatt)
「Of course, I’m grateful to her!」(Michael)
「Umm, Sarasa-san, I heard from the other women in this village that you can make us Cooling Hats if we bring you hats as the base material.」(Izu)
「Yes, you can bring me hats of any design you want and I will turn them into Cooling Hats.」(Sarasa)
「Really? Yay, I can get a fashionable Cooling Hat!」(Izu)
The Cooling Hat Izu-san is wearing right now is the straw-hat type one. This type is commonly used by farmers in this village.
Izu-san grew up in a big town, so I can understand why she wants the one with a more fashionable design.
I’ll be happy if she can bring me good-looking hats because the variety of my products will increase.
Even though cute and fashionable Cooling Hats won’t sell in this village, I can ask Gretz-san to sell them in other towns when he comes back.