Chapter 05: To Greet My Wife
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
The first thing I did upon returning was cleaning up the room mother was using so that Sieg can use it.
Because my mother has a small frame, I thought Sieg won’t be able to use mother’s clothes so I moved them to another room.
Though she couldn’t live a luxurious life because she married such a poor count, I at least prepared all the necessary furniture.
I bought from the village carpenter a desk, a chair, a dressing table and a bed, all painted red. Because I felt uneasy from the bright red room, I laid a white on top of the desk and put white rabbit fur on the chair. I did likewise for the other furniture, balancing it out with white things.
On the floor, I spread a carpet weaved from a foreign country. It was a product that had fine circles weaved in on a grey base.
After I finished preparing the room by changing the curtains, I started preparing the clothes.
For the coat using reindeer fur, I took the one I had at home and commissioned it to the tailor. For the shoes I made them myself using white reindeer fur. I prepared three pairs for now.
I usually wear traditional clothes made with toughened cloth by fulling wool.
With cloth dyed vivid blue as the base, I sewed red cloth and yellow cloth on to embroider various patterns around the sleeves, chest, waist and the hem. Around the chest, I lined it with fluff material and fastened it with silver clips, creating an article to ward off the cold.
Women wear long skirts, and men wore hip-length ones, fastening it with a belt.
One thing that was similar for both men and women was that we wore hide trousers underneath.
I hesitated about the length for Sieg, but I decided on an intermediate length in between men’s and women’s length.
While I was preparing for her, her letters arrived quite a few times.
She wrote unexpected well. I received polite letters on her recent state about once a week.
When I sent her finished shoes and clothes, I received approving letters in response, that I carelessly ended up putting more energy into preparing.
Then two months passed in a blink.
It was finally time for Sieg to arrive in my country. I decided to go meet her with one servant.
It takes about two days to get here by boat. I have to go meet her at the only ice-free port in the country.
It takes a little longer than five hours to the port with reindeer sleighs. Since the reindeer needs to rest a day, we started moving from the day before.
When it was almost time for the boat to arrive, there were many people. I too waited with my servant while pointing towards the faraway boat.
Soon, the boat arrived and passengers who just finished the long trip disembarked.
The pier was overflowing with people within seconds, but I soon found her.
The woman wearing a mantle covering her from her shoulder to her hips saw us and waved her hand in reply.
Because of her muffler and the fluffy hat, I couldn’t see her face clearly. However, seeing her approach me gallantly, I heaved a sigh of relief.
I offered her words of encouragement for the two days trip, and sincerely welcomed and thanked her.
Then I introduced her to my servant.
“A member of the martial race family I mentioned before. Her name’s Miruporon Ponu Rango.”
(TN: I’ll just go with rōmaji spelling here. Post any suggestions you have. Raw: ミルポロン・ポヌ・ランゴ)
Sieg looked up at the servant that was taller than her.
Her light brown skin and her lustrous black hair seemed to be their racial trait, since the whole family had the same colours. Her face was chiseled like a brave lion and she had strong hands and feet, seemingly having an affinity for gaining muscle.
Miruporon was the smallest in the family, but still she was a head and a half taller than me or Sieg.
Her arms and legs were well-muscled from chopping wood everyday, and her sharp eyes were ever alert.
“She’s sixteen years old and her hobby is caring for the reindeers, I suppose?”
Because she cares for them wholeheartedly, our reindeers’ coats shine. I could even boast them as the most beautiful reindeers in the village.
Miruporon was taller than me and Sieg. She might grow even more since she’s still growing.
I somewhat realise that I might have been able to see Sieg as a woman because I was surrounded by such a tall family.
“Miruporon, this is Sieglinde.”
Instead of naming herself, she pounded her chest with her fist.
This is the gesture they use most. The meanings are consent, reply and gratitude.
“She’s my wife.”
I hold up my index finger and point at Sieg. Starting with the thumbs, it means father, mother, child.
“Meronmeron, madau? (Great king, mother?)”
“No, not madau (mother)……”
We couldn’t communicate clearly again.
I only know that Meronmeron refers to me.
I gave up on conveying the relation between Sieg and me, and started explaining the schedule from here on.
“I know you’re tired from the long trip, but we’ll be leaving here soon.”
“Ah, I don’t particularly mind.”
Sieg said that she was okay even if we left right away.
As to why I am in such a hurry, it takes five hours, and if we go in the evening the ferocious cold will attack us. I explain that I want to finish moving by the evening.
I show her the route with a map while telling her about the rest schedule, and leave the port.
At the outskirts of the city, I pick up the reindeer that I had entrusted to a hut with a fee. They seemed to have had plenty of rest and were quite energetic.
“So this is a reindeer?”
“First time seeing them?”
“Yeah. Amazing. Very big and neat.”
Throughout the world, white reindeers are rare, and they don’t live anywhere else. Seeing the reindeer having white fur to the last strand, Sieg’s eyes glinted.
“If anything happens while on the sleigh, blow on this and the reindeer will stop.”
I gave her a small wooden whistle. I told her to have it on her mouth in case of emergencies.
“Also, there’s a bell on the railing, so if you lost the whistle ring that.”
The sleigh is made up of a single-seater driver’s section and a two-seater luggage compartment. The whistle and bell are to contact each in case of various unexpected situations like the link coming loose or falling off the sleigh.
I loaded Sieg’s luggage on the two-seater compartment fastened them tightly. Then I ordered Miruporon to get on.
“Sieg, you should sit in front of her. Then you probably won’t even fall off.”
Miruporon spread her legs apart and beckoned Sieg to sit. Sieg too saw that and sat in between her legs.
After checking one last time, I ordered the reindeer to move.
Kicking the ground, the reindeer advanced through the snow-covered fields at will.
The scenery was pure white.
The roadside trees grew shorter as we proceeded to the plains.
After an hour of travelling, we stopped the sleigh for a rest.
In front of us was one of the cabins that could be found throughout this region. They provide resting spots for merchants.
After checking up on Sieg, I led the reindeer to the hay-filled hut.
I also thanked Miruporon for protecting Sieg daringly, and spoke out to rest at the cabin.
“Excuse me mister, I would like meals for three people.”
Without saying a word, the man from the cabin disappeared into the back of the room.
Since the people of this country are very wary and shy of strangers, that kind of response is normal. Talking about things like that, we sat down on the chairs in front of the fireplace.
“Riding a sleigh was quite surprising, right?”
“No, it was quite fun.”
In Sieg’s country, the mainstream vehicles are roofed carriages. When I asked if she were okay out of worry for riding in an exposed vehicle, I got back a positive reply.
After we chatted a while, the meal came. Of course, it was mister’s handmade meal, but paid.
I pay up and them start digging in.
In front of us, there was a modest meal of reindeer soup, black barley bread and some cheese.
Because our body tries to heat themselves in this cold weather, we use a lot of energy.
If we don’t replenish ourselves we’ll tire ourselves out quickly.
Reindeer soup is quite endearing.
Seeing Sieg sip the soup, I ask just in case.
“Is it okay? Can you eat it?”
But Sieg said that it was tasty.
It was a moment where I felt relieved that I picked such a dependable wife.