Hokuou Kizoku to Moukinzuma no Yukiguni Karigurashi — 10

Chapter 10: The Couple’s First Work Together
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife

By the time I arrived home, the sun already set that it already felt like night, but the time was still afternoon.

I brought the dog back in to the hut, and left the tools to Teoporon who happened to be passing by.

I then took the rabbit from Sieg’s hand and placed it in a dry bowl. Then I gathered some snow using the leather bag, and placed that on the rabbit’s belly.

The rabbit is then left for about three days in this state, after which we finally butcher it.

“You are not removing the blood?”
“Yeah. In winter, rabbit blood tastes good.”

In this season, rabbit blood smell especially nice. Since we cook using it, we do not necessarily drain the blood. However, if it’s left without removing the blood, gas builds up inside so we use snow to keep it at a suitable temperature for the first stage of preserving.

Since Sieg said that she will go in the house, I finally could go to the storeroom.

Inside the hut, there are unbutchered animals stored. I need to butcher the rabbit I hunted the day before yesterday today. On that day, I had hunted five animals.

Soon, the days when the sun does not rise will come. Since it’s dangerous to hunt in the dark, we have to hunt as much as possible to make more preserved food and earn more money, so things will get much busier from here on.

The hunt today was not too good, but sometimes there are days where the hunt fails altogether so I did not mind it too much.

When I came back out, Sieg was still waiting for me. She said that she can’t go into someplace warm on her own. She’s really chivalrous.

Upon entering my house, Ruruporon serves food as if she had been waiting for us.

There was quite an amount for lunch as well.
Braised and spiced rabbit meat on top of mashed potatoes. Served in a deep wooden plate, meatballs in berry sauce. Bread is black barley bread as always. Maybe because it was toasted this time, the slices were thicker than usual. Baked to a beautiful brown shade, the mushroom soup pie was something that provided bliss when one bites into the crunchy crust and thick cream. Baked in cheese, the white fish melted delightfully in the mouth.

Sieg highly praised the food, that it was tastier than her country’s.
Since my house’s food was the only source of pride, a grin formed on my face.

Though they’re made from expensive ingredients acquired from merchants, I decided that I will not spare money to make tasty meals.

“What will we do in the afternoon?”
“I’m thinking of butchering the rabbit I hunted three days ago.”

Since it felt bad to teach her how to butcher when she just came yesterday, I told her that she can do anything she wants.

“Then, I’d like to see you butcher.”
“Ah, is that how it works?”
“Free time does not sit well with me. If there’s something else that need to be done, you can tell me.”
“No no, nothing else.”

Miruporon takes care of chopping the firewood, grooming the animals and cleaning, and Teoporon takes care of the tools and the storerooms. Since the kitchen is Ruruporon’s sanctuary, even I, the master of the house can’t enter.
Even if she asked for other work, there really isn’t any work that she could do.

In the end, she accompanied me.

After digesting the food, we went out.
I took out a rabbit that had been fermenting for three days in the storeroom to the butchery.

“Today, I’ll be butchering the rabbit I caught the day before yesterday.”
“Okay.”

I thought it might have been nauseating for her to see me butchering a four-legged animal so suddenly, but since there was no other suitable animal, I decided to it sincerely to respect her wish.

On the wall, there are almost a hundred knives. Most of them are from my grandfather’s collection. Since Teoporon cleans them regularly, they all glint brightly.

“This one maybe~”

I picked out a small knife.

It’s enough to use just a knife to butcher a rabbit. I took a familiar knife from the wall hook and put it on the worktable.

When I turned around to face Sieg, I saw her remaining composed.

Though the room is kept clean, the smell of blood does not go away quickly. On top of that, Teoporon had just taken care of a big one yesterday so the smell lingered.
When I asked her if she would be fine, she nodded and replied that she will be fine.

Since I had finished the final checks, I decided to start processing the rabbit.

“First we rend around the calcaneal tendons……”

I carved both parts and grab the hind legs while sticking the knife in preparation for skinning.. From there on, I slid the knife in the thigh and continue to the buttocks. Once I reach the buttocks, I carefully started removing the skin.

“Here you have to be careful to not touch the testicles.”

If one ends up touching the testicles, the smell will permeate the meat, ruining it.

After that, I boldly remove the skin using strength and technique. The navel has barely any meat, so I have to take care not to ruin the blade. Finally, the skin is easily removed by pulling the skin while holding on to the waist.

“……Well, this is it.”
“Looks easy, but it must be actually be hard.”
“Hmm, I wonder. I think it depends on how dextrous one is.”

Butchering animals is a skill I learned when I was young. When I was shown how they processed birds, I was so shocked that it haunted me in my dreams. It’s a bitter memory.

“As for the skin, I have to let it boil in herb water, but that’s for later.”

Skinning is the most important part. Pelts are important for daily lives, so failure is not acceptable.

After I retrieved the pelt, I continued on to gutting.
I disembowel the naked rabbit, taking care to not slash the urethra. The blood doesn’t get washed away easily so cleaning doesn’t matter. I took out the internal organs and sorted them out.
Then I knifed many different parts to cut off the head.
Once I cut off the two forelegs and the two hind legs from the body, the butchering is over.

“Once we ferment this for one more week, we can then eat.”
“That is quite long.”
“Yeah.”

As she watched me butcher three rabbits, Sieg said that she wanted to try butchering the last one, so we carefully took care of the last one together.

Realising that our first work together was butchering, I regretted that I should have done something more monumental.

◇◇◇

Nighttime.
I slowly dipped into the bath Miruporon prepared.

Eating and bathing might have been the only joy in life.

But now it’s different.
I couldn’t wait to talk with Sieg.
I had been eating alone until now. It’s strange that food tastes better when there’s someone to share it with.

After I finished bathing, I had dinner, then Sieg would invite me over for games. Of course I accepted, since I did not have anything more to do.

On the living room table was the product we bought at the toy shop.

The game was to be played with black and white pieces on a square-shaped board.
The players take turns placing the black and white pieces on the board, surrounding the opponent’s colour and ultimately the person with more of their colour wins.
{TN: Reversi (or Othello)}

I played many times with Sieg, but I couldn’t win even once.

“One more time!”

I started off casually, but I soon started getting serious. Even then, I couldn’t win.

“……I lost again.”
“Well, there’s the difference in the playing time.”

The game is from Sieg’s country. Since she played it from a young age, she knows all the tactics too.

Since Sieg started yawning, I decided to stop here for today.

“……I’ll win tomorrow.”
“Challenge accepted.”

Sieg did not let up even in games.



Raw link

Translator:
I wonder where the author learned these facts.

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16 thoughts on “Hokuou Kizoku to Moukinzuma no Yukiguni Karigurashi — 10

  1. Thanks for the chapter!😀

    “The players take turns placing the black and white pieces on the board, surrounding the opponent’s colour and ultimately the person with more of their colour wins.” You’re probably right about this being reversi, but this could also be a description of Go. …Though it obviously couldn’t come from Sieg’s country, so never mind.😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. it is surprisingly easy to find how to gut rabbit you know. There’s a video in youtube with details … which I won’t find it for you or watch it again. ever

    not sure about it but there’re some part of Japan still hunt for wild game. maybe that or somewhere else on internet.

    Like

  3. “Realising that our first work together was butchering, I regretted that I should have done something more monumental.”

    Sentences like that one make this novel stand out for me. I love the humor, I just do.

    Like

  4. Friends,
    Hunting Knives, Utility Knives and Tactical Knives may last long enough to become heirlooms. Butchering Knives are consumable items. Skinning and boning requires a very sharp blade and the knife is steadily eroded away by the constant regrinding and sharpening. If you spend some time around a family run slaughterhouse you will see quite a few Ex-Butcher Knives with blades only marginally wider than an Ice Pick left here or there to be handy to cut string, wrapping or what have you.
    …..RVM45

    Like

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