Chapter 3-17 : Cultivation Lesson
It’s been a week since Michael-san and Izu-san started working in the herb field, and now that the field is ready for planting, it’s time to teach them how to grow herbs.
「I bought several kinds of herb seeds, but for the beginning, I’ll give you two kinds. This one can grow as long as the environment is good, and you don’t need to take care of it very often, but this one needs to be treated well or it won’t grow properly. The good thing is that both of these herbs can be sold at quite a high price.」(Sarasa)
Michael-san and his wife, Izu-san, were listening to me seriously.
One thing I notice about Izu-san is that her skin got darker than the first time I met her. It proves that she has been doing her best cultivating the field in the past week.
「Sarasa-san, this one is easy to grow, right? But why do you say we can sell both of them at a high price? Aren’t the herbs that are easy to grow cheap?」(Izu)
「Izu-san, good question. Not all the herbs that are easy to grow are cheap. Most of them are. However, the one I have here is very rare. You won’t be able to find this kind of herb anywhere in the forest because animals and insects will eat them as soon as they grow. Fortunately, we have sturdy fences surrounding this field so we don’t need to worry about animals.」(Sarasa)
Actually, I got these seeds from Master. They are quite rare, so I’m really grateful to her.
「I see. So we only have to deal with insects, then.」(Izu)
In terms of environment, I don’t think we have a problem here. All we have to do is keep an eye on the field from time to time to make sure there’s no pest around.
「Then, why don’t we only use this one? It’s easy to grow and can be sold at a high price, right? We can ignore the other one that needs to be treated well.」(Michael)
When Michael-san asked that curiously, Izu-san glared at him.
「Michael! This is Sarasa-san’s field and we’re here to take care of it, so stop complaining!」(Izu)
「I’m not complaining though… N-Never mind. I’m sorry.」(Michael)
Being scolded by Izu-san, Michael-san bowed to me and apologized.
「No, no. Don’t worry about it.」(Sarasa)
This field is indeed mine but for some reason, I don’t feel like I own it. Perhaps it’s because I was thinking that there was nothing else Erin-san could offer.
I couldn’t refuse her request but I couldn’t work for free either after all… Maintaining relationships in the neighborhood is difficult no matter where you live…
「Actually, I’m not recommending growing just one type of herbs at the same time. There are two reasons why. Firstly, there’s a symptom when you grow one type of herb in large quantities in one field, some of them may not grow properly, or even if they grow, their medical effectiveness will be poor.」(Sarasa)
Unlike vegetables or fruits, what people seek from herbs is their medical efficacy. If herbs don’t have any medical effect, then they have no value at all.
Honestly, I don’t know why that kind of symptom sometimes occurs. Herbs that grow in the wild can naturally grow well in colonies, but not with herbs that grow in the fields cultivated by humans.
Regarding herb cultivation, there are still many things that I don’t understand.
「Secondly, if you only grow one type of herb, you won’t be able to make money if you fail at growing them. Therefore, it’s better if you grow more than one type of herb just in case.」(Sarasa)
I make money mostly from my store, so I won’t be troubled even if the harvest fails, but Michael-san and Izu-san’s lives depend on the income from this field.
「I see… Thank you for your concern, Sarasa-san. We receive a salary from Erin-san until autumn but from there on we have to make our own money. Seems like we have to do our best so as not to starve in the winter. Hahahaha!」(Michael)
「It’s not a laughing matter! Our future depends on this field, you know!」(Izu)
While saying that, Izu-san swelled her cheeks and slapped Michael-san’s back.
「Aww! …I know. You don’t have to hit me… By the way, Sarasa-san, about the other herbs, I mean the ones that need to be treated well. Do you know how hard it is to grow them? I don’t know much about agriculture, so…」(Michael)
「Well, it’s quite hard, I think. You need to water them often, you need to provide shade from the sun, you need special fertilizer, and many other things. All you need is your diligence instead of technique, meaning as long as you work hard to grow them, the harvest won’t fail…. Probably.」(Sarasa)
I nodded to Michael-san who looked a little anxious.
「Well, it’s also a battle against nature after all. The fate of this field depends on the weather.」(Sarasa)
For example, if there’s a sudden storm one day, there won’t be much we can do to save the field.
「Ughh… For me it sounds like, “The fate of our lives depends on the weather”… But anyway, I’ll do as best as I can. I may not have much experience and skills but I have confidence when it comes to diligence!」(Michael)
Michael-san put his hands on his waist and puffed his chest as he said that as if he was proud of himself.
Seeing his attitude, Izu-san put her palm on her forehead and shook her head.
「That’s not how you brag about yourself… Excuse him, Sarasa-san. He’s a little stupid but when it comes to work, he will do anything he is told.」(Izu)
「Hey, “stupid” is too much.」(Michael)
「Ahaha… But I think being able to do anything you’re told is a talent. You should be proud of it. Anyway, let’s plant the herbs that are easy to grow first.」(Sarasa)
I don’t know what kind of job Michael-san had in South Strugg, but as long as he doesn’t slack off, I’m happy as the person hiring him.
I carefully explained as I demonstrated how to plant the seeds while hoping that Michael-san and Izu-san could grasp what I was teaching.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Phew… Finally I can start processing the Lava Lizard materials.」(Sarasa)
Other than teaching Michael-san and Izu-san, I was also busy completing the Floating Tents and a mini refrigerator that some Collectors ordered a while ago.
After a few days, I finally completed all the orders and could move on to my next task which is processing the Lava Lizard materials I got from the volcano.
Actually, I got quite a lot of Floating Tent orders but thanks to Lorea-chan and some aunties in the village who helped make leather tents, I was able to complete them sooner.
I was running out of money after paying Collectors for the materials they brought while I was gone, but now I have some money after completing the Floating Tent orders.
However, in order to make more money, I have to sell some new items. Therefore, I’m now processing Lava Lizard materials to make something new.
「The best material you can get from Lava Lizards is definitely their skin. It’s resistant to fire and heat.」(Sarasa)
I currently have four Lava Lizard skins.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to get this kind of material from Collectors in the future, so I’m quite happy that I have some of them now.
This skin can withstand boiling water and high-temperature steam but if I process it properly, it can even stand Lava Lizards’ fire breath. However, I need a lot of flame-based materials to do it.
I have Flame Stones we got from the volcano, but that’s not what I need to process Lava Lizard skin.
Looks like I have no choice but to buy some flame-based materials from Master or Leonora-san…
「Hahh… I just got some money but it seems like I have to spend it again…」(Sarasa)
Well, I’ll be able to make some money again if I succeed in processing this Lava Lizard skin.
What if I fail, you ask?
That will be bad for sure, but I won’t fail! ….Probably.
「Anyway, first, I should process this skin so it won’t decay easily.」(Sarasa)
I can just process the four Lava Lizard skins at once, but because I’m afraid of damaging them, I decided to do it one by one.
First, I wash the skin until clean and put it into the alchemy pot. Then I added one Talboo Root, a spoonful of Branda Ash and three drops of Persie extract.
Sometimes, you can damage the material if you add the wrong amount of ingredients, so I’m doing it very carefully so as not to make a mistake.