Hokuou Kizoku to Moukinzuma no Yukiguni Karigurashi — 43

Chapter 43: Various Changes
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife

Now that the house was full of drying mushrooms, we started picking berries again. There are kinds that only ripen during this season, so they have to be picked before the season is over.

Sieg and I walked through the forest in search of berries.

“Found it!”

What I found was a light green, semi-transparent berry.

“Are these berries too?”
“Right. Gooseberries. A cousin of the currants.”

What was it, I heard that ‘goose’ means ‘goose’ in a foreign language {TN: This language……}, and the berries named so because the sauce made out of these berries went well with goose dishes.
The gooseberries are bigger and sweeter, so they’re tasty even when boiled. The leaves have medicinal properties, that they’re used for treating wounds.

“The branches have thorns, so be careful.”
“Alright.”

Most of the berry trees are shrubs. So yet again, we collected the berries in an uncomfortable position.

We then found yellow berries.

“Uwa, there are lots——!”

In front of us, there were berries glistening like gems from the sunlight.

“Ritz, these are?”
“Raspberries.”
“Hehh.”
“The ones growing in these parts are mostly yellow ones. The red, purple or black ones are rarer.”

The representative of the sweet and sour berries, the raspberry. They cost a pretty penny in the market, and the berries are big too. It almost feels as if I am suffering losses if I find ones growing in the wild.

“Come to think of it, when the shop lady first saw these yellow raspberries she was surprised that they weren’t red.”
“It’s the first time seeing yellow berries for me too.”
“I see~”

It seems that yellow raspberries are rare for foreigners.

After filling the baskets with berries, we returned home.

After lunch, Sieg and I acted separately.
I first headed to an empty house at the outskirts of the village.

Hidden from the other houses, this house was built for my father’s research. However, it ultimately became unused because carrying everything over from the count’s mansion was such a hassle. So, it was being called a waste of money.

I promised to lend a house to Emmerich, so I came over to take a look.

When I unlocked the door and entered, I could only smell dust. Inside, there were a table, chairs, bookshelves and a bed, everything necessary for daily life. They were all wooden furnitures, so they should be able to used after cleaning them.

With the cleaning tools I brought, I cleaned a bit and came out. Since it would take a whole day to properly clean the house so I decided to take some time.

Next I headed to Aina.
She was always in a shady alley, where she was hidden from sight.

“Aina!”
“!”

When I spoke out to Aina, who was sewing, she flinched from surprise even though I was up close.
It seemed that she was so focused that she did notice her surroundings.

“W-What!”
“No, I was just wondering if your mother and grandmother are feeling better.”
“Mum’s better now. Thanks to your medicine…… maybe.”
“I see. That’s a relief.”

Aina’s mother had sprained her back. So I bought some medicine for backaches at the port and brought them over. I also brought over a nourishing herbal infusion for her grandmother, but she did not drink it.

“Still, grandma can stand now. She’s better than before.”
“I see.”
“The money for the medicine, wait a bit.”
“It’s fine. I did the same for everyone else.”
“I don’t like being indebted.”
“You’re pretty stubborn.”

Aina was sewing while talking.

“Hey, why were you sewing here?”
“It’s not anything you need to know.”
“Isn’t it hard here?”
“……”

Truth be told, her work was being hindered by a gentle breeze that kept blowing.

“Is it a secret?”
“……”
“Hey, Aina.”
“No!”

As she shouted that, she dropped the cloth in her hand. I picked it up and discovered something.

“Th-This is.”
“Give it back!”

On the handkerchief, the name ‘Emmerich David’ was embroidered on.
She couldn’t possibly embroider a foreigner’s name in her house.

Aina blushed deep red and opened and closed her mouth.
Pretending to have not seen that, I proposed something.

“Right!”
“?”

I handed her the key to Emmerich’s house.

“What’s this?”
“The key to Emmerich’s house.”
“!”
“It’s still a little dirty inside, but it’s usable after cleaning.”
“What do you mean?”
“You can use the house until Emmerich comes.”
“!”

I thought it was a perfect place for Aina who was furtively reading letters or embroidering outside, so I lent the place to her temporarily.

“You know the house with the red roof at the outskirts of the village?”

Aina nodded. It seemed that father’s research house was famous amongst kids as a haunted house.

“Be careful to not be found out by your grandfather.”
“Okay.”
“But it might be better to tell your mother. About Emmerich, too.”
“……”

Her mother who married into the Bergholm family was not really xenophobic. Just in case, I thought it would be better to let her know. Though I might be meddling, I advised her to do so.

“Okay.”
“Good luck.”
“Er, erm.”
“?”

Aina said, “Thank you,” with a soft voice.

She was becoming an adult too. I was moved by this child’s growth.

◇◇◇

When I returned home, Miruporon told me that I had a guest so I headed to the living room.

“Aa, hello.”
“Hello.”
“Sorry for coming so suddenly.”
“No, no.”

It was the merchant that bought off the wooden baby bears. Because the goods sold well last time, he wanted to put in more orders.

“Now then, how many do you need?”
“I’d like to request twenty-five of them.”
“H, H~m.”

The prohibition on hunting will be lifted soon. Once the hunting starts, I won’t have enough time to be carving bears.
On top of that, I didn’t even start processing the berries I picked and I needed to fish and collect herbs before autumn.

When I frowned, the merchant wrote something on a sheet of paper resolutely.

“Then, how about at this price?”
“……”

He proposed a price much higher than I expected.

Soon, the maintenance for the reindeer fences start. I was worrying over the fact that there wasn’t enough budget for that. But with this money, I can get the necessary budget.
Twenty-five until next month. If I stay up a bit it will work. So I accepted the commission.

Thus, I spent all the free time carving bears.

A few days of that later, I lacked sleep and was wobbling.
Sieg told me to take a break, but since I couldn’t abandon a commissioned work I continued anyway.

However, I reached the limit.

“No more. I can’t do it anymore.”
“That’s why I told you.”
“……Sorry.”

I slumped on the chair by the window and take care of my fatigue, but it couldn’t be helped.

“Sieg, wake me up fifteen minutes later, no, ten minutes later.”
“Alright.”

Then, Sieg sat down and beckoned me to come over.

“Are you giving me a lap pillow?”
“Yes, so go to sleep already.”

I gladly took up her offer.
I was planning to enjoy her soft thighs as I went to sleep, but as soon as I lied down I fell unconscious.

◇◇◇

I woke up from the hands that were softly caressing my head.
The warm hands were focused on caressing my head.
My fatigued body felt relieved and I did not sleepy anymore. This is Sieglinde’s power! The moment I thought that, the bell tolled.

“——U, Uwah!!”

That bell was the one in the evening, so I rose up in panic. Just in case, I checked the clock, but it was evening alright. Since I took my nap after lunch, I was sleeping for about three hours.

Because of the white nights, it was still bright outside. My sense of time was warped.

“Huh, could it be that you tried to wake me up but I didn’t wake up!?”
“No, I didn’t wake you up.”
“W-Why?”
“You were sleeping so peacefully.”
“……”

It seemed that she was caressing my head she wondered how she should wake me up. I should have pretended to be asleep a bit longer, or so I regretted.

“Why were you making those bears until you became this overworked?”
“That’s,”

I couldn’t say that it was because I lacked money. But Sieg noticed my suspicious behaviour.
Moreover, I didn’t want to hide it from her, so I honestly told everything.

——The village budget was lacking, so I was trying to earn money on the side.

Pathetic. Lacking money, how pathetic, really.
Grandfather did not lack money for the budget. But if I’m lacking something, it means that something went wrong.

I confessed that to Sieg.

“Was that so?”
“……”

After murmuring that, Sieg patted by back.

Then she gave me an advice.

“How about asking for advice from Hermann Artonen?”
“!”

Hermann Artonen is the captain that was recently assigned to the fortress here. It seemed that he did office work involving finances in the military, so she recommended that I ask for his help.

“Indeed. I should try that.”

Sieg also helped with making the bears. So somehow I was able to make twenty-five before the deadline.

Seeing that, the merchant received the goods very happily.

“Then…… you look like you’re going to busy now.”
“Indeed.”

Before I knew it, the forest was getting dyed in the colourful shades of autumn.
While I was holed up inside making bears, summer was going away.

“Erm, if it’s alright with you, please take this.”
“!”

What I gave to the merchant was a detailed instruction on how to make the wooden bear.

“A good craftsman should be able to make one from just the instructions.”
“S-Such an important thing, is it really alright?”
“Yes. I don’t think I can make more for a while.”
“Won’t it jeopardise your career as a master craftsman!?”
“No, it’s fine.”

Because I’m not a master craftsman of wooden bears……

This was the last time I attempted such a rash method of earning money.
Thanks to Hermann’s wondrous ability in finances, there was money left over in the village budget.

The thing I was having a headache over was solved, and I felt much better.



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Translator:
I don’t think I can do any more today. But I think we’ll reach the end of volume 1 by tomorrow. Good night everyone.

Oh, by the way, the next chapter is from Sieg’s point of view.

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