Chapter 35: Bear ※Drop-Shipped
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
A white bear’s head was poking out. I couldn’t see Teoporon himself.
The first floor is built higher than usual. The snow might block the way out, so stairs are built first.
Same for the windows, they’re built higher so that they won’t be smashed by the heavy snow.
When I opened the window, Teoporon was there.
Because of the house’s structure, it seemed that he did not see inside.
When I asked him what it was, Teoporon pointed to the ground.
A real one this time.
He hunted a bear.
“Sieg, look at that.”
It’s been a long time since I saw a caught bear. A brown bear tied to a sleigh. It looks like a young adult bear.
I jumped out from the window, but a tingling pain shot up my foot. To Sieg who was looking out the window, I crossed my hands over my head while crouching to show her that it was dangerous to jump out from the window.
Sieg went around and came out from the front door.
“Are you okay.”
“Yup, I’m fine.”
After checking my health, our eyes focused on the brown lump.
The bear in the front yard was incredible.
“Teoporon, what’s this?”
“A present for the great king.”
As usual, I couldn’t understand him. I laughed it off.
Sieg too shook her head.
“I was mistaken. I thought that she was a warrior. I heard from my wife. Warrior Sieglinde, no, queen of the great king should I say……”
Teoporon was declaring something with great vigour today. As Sieg and I nodded, he continued.
“I wanted to hunt a white bear, but I could only find a brown one. However, this one is good. You can see that from the fur. Now, please accept this!”
Teoporon pointed to the bear, then to us. That meant that he’s giving it to me.
I pointed to the bear then to myself. ‘You’re giving it to me?’ it meant. Teoporon nodded.
“W, wa~. I’m happy!”
Teoporon hunted the bear as a gift.
He pounded his chest and bowed.
“Ah, wait, wait!”
I stopped Teoporon who was about to go with his white bear fur.
“Sorry, but help us with processing it! I can’t do it with just the two of us!”
A bear is as big as an average adult male. SInce it would take a long time to butcher this I asked for his help.
Since the bear was to big to move to the hut, we did it at the front yard.
“Iyaa, I didn’t imagine that he’d give a bear.”
“You look happy.”
“I wanted to let Sieg try some.”
“Is it really that tasty?”
It’s been five years since I had bear meat. That meat was from the white bear Teoporon was wearing.
“Plus it’s a young female.”
This is the second best season for bear meat.
Having just awoken from hibernation, the famished bears go on a binge. Thus, their meat thickens and their fat becomes tasty.
By the way, the tastiest season is in autumn just before it goes to hibernate. Here, nature’s abundant blessings make the bear meat even better.
I knew that Sieg was looking at me strangely, but this excitement did not go away.
“By the way, you don’t hunt bears?”
“We don’t. Never.”
Bear hunting is dangerous so no one in the village dares to…… except for Teoporon.
Safety first. Thinking about the taste and quality comes after that.
As for the bigger animals like deers and boars, our ancestors learned how to deal with them through trial and error.
However, for bears, no matter how many centuries passed, they are still very threatening so we don’t hunt them for their meat.
Fundamentally, our life is focused on surviving as much as possible in this harsh environment.
Therefore, we don’t risk our lives for hunting.
The bear that was caught had barely any scratches.
It appeared that the bear died by a spear through its heart. Teoporon is still very reckless.
Its throat was already slit open, so I think he drained the blood already.
I brought out knives.
First, we had to skin it.
Before the fur is bathed in medicinal water, we can’t touch it with our bare hands. Because there are bugs and things like that.
I put on leather gloves and started skinning it.
Bear fur is warm, and merchants buy it at high prices. Since the value falls if it’s damaged with a knife, I did the skinning carefully.
We cleanly skinned it off from the bottom to the head, and carefully collected the oil from the fur too.
Then, we removed the subcutaneous fat.
I heard that if it’s carefully processed in hot water many times, panacea is made.
Bear oil is said to be good for abrasions, burns, and for boils from bug bites. I never used it before, so I don’t know if it’s true though.
Now that we trimmed off the fat, we then disembowelled it by slashing it open from the chest to the belly.
Bear organs are used for medicine, so these are also traded at high prices. To not spoil it, I put it in a sack full of ice.
Then we butchered it up by its parts. Since the bones are hard, we carved the meat off fully.
Some time later, the butchering was finished.
The bear, now reduced to chunks of meat, is then matured for a month. It’s big, so it takes longer.
Bear meat is mostly fat. The meat is red, but it turns black after maturing it. The meat doesn’t become that soft though. Depending on how it’s cooked, it can become hard like rubber.
If it’s cooked well after maturing, it’s top grade. The fat becomes soft from the heat, and it melts on one’s tongue.
He even helped with moving the meat.
I’m looking forward to eating the meat a month later.
Though I’m already spent from butchering the bear this morning, this was just the beginning of work today. I have to work.
Around noon, the two of us were drooping.
“……Oh no. My energy is spent from butchering the bear this morning.”
I had an elbow on the table as I had my head resting on the table. Sieg too looked exhausted. She was staring vacantly at a spot on the table.
“Let’s do something we can do indoors in the afternoon.”
One can really feel the limits of one’s stamina in spring.
The bear is a formidable enemy, indeed.
A few days passed since grandfather returned home and we had that battle with the bear.
We still worked from morning to evening.
Then, a letter arrived. It was from grandfather.
His recent events were written on it, and he also wrote that he wanted to see auroras sometime soon. Finally, it said, ‘I’ll give you a marriage present, so write down what you want.’
However, I didn’t have a specific wish so I replied, ‘I don’t need anything as long as grandfather is healthy.’
A reply arrived soon.
‘That wasn’t what I wanted to hear!’ I received a reply full of his rage.
And it also said that he’ll just give me a huge bear statue and a part of the vast marquess’s land. Both are troubling gifts.
But then I remembered that there was something I wanted to get.
When I wrote that down, it soon arrived.
What I wanted as my marriage present was a cushioned chair.
The furniture sold in this village are all made from wood, so there are no soft furnitures.
I thought that I wanted a soft chair like the one I saw in the marquess’s mansion.
I installed the long chair where there were two single chairs.
That place is the best place to take a nap.
“Why a chair?”
“To get a lap pillow.”
Sieg glanced over here and then sat on the chair.
She looked at me again and tapped her lap.
“I’ll say this beforehand. My thighs don’t feel that good. I train, so my muscles are hard.”
“Is that so? Well, I won’t know unless I try it out.”
I decided to lie down on her lap before she could change her mind.
Sieg said that it will be uncomfortable, but her thighs were not too soft nor too hard, but just perfect.
Sieglinde-san, thank you very much. These are really good thighs.