At the Village of the Fairies — Second Half
When I woke up in the morning, I found a vivid blue clothing placed at my bedside.
I wonder if it was something Ritzhard-kun prepared.
I was surprised that the clothing was made out of fur even though it was summer, but when I got out of bed there was a nip in the air.
I see, I thought and wore the clothes he prepared for me.
The traditional clothes I newly tried on had a base of bright blue fabric, with red embroidery like strips on the cuffs, the collars and the hems layered upon one another. It was a colourful blue and red clothing, but once I wore it did not bother me that much. It was a neat design. I then put on a belt that looked like it was made out of animal leather. The trousers were black and easy to move in.
After washing up in the bathroom, I headed to the dining room-cum-living room.
“Come on, try saying, great-grandfather.”
“Oh, doing great! Great, grand, father.”
“Great, grand, father.”
From outside the room, I could hear Lüneburg-san and Arno playing together. While I was deliberating whether or not I should interrupt their honeymoon, someone spoke to me from behind.
“Ah, morning. Ritzhard-kun.”
“Good morning! The traditional clothes look good on you. Was the size alright?”
“Ah, thank you. The dress length was perfect.”
After chatting lightly, he offered to let me enter first. I apologised to Lüneburg-san in my head as I excused myself.
“Good morning, Lüneburg-san.”
“Arno too, morning.”
Lüneburg-san was hugging Arno on his lap with a prim face as if nothing had happened.
Ritzhard-kun approached the two of them and greeted them.
First, there was a basketful of small and round loaves of bread called Pulla. Pulla means ‘sweet bread’ in the language of this country. It seems that the taste differs for every household.
The soup was made with crushed beans and milk. Arno had these with bread.
Then the main meal was a herb roast of reindeer meat. I did not expect a meat dish to be served from the morning, so I was very surprised.
However, reindeer meat had a surprisingly taste. It was not tough, and there was a different taste to it when eaten with berry sauce.
I already had reindeer stew last night, but I found that I liked this better.
Even though there were guests, Ritzhard and others went out to work. To work every day, I really thought that he was an admirable young man.
I thought that he was going to go out hunting, but he replied that hunting is prohibited during summer. It seems that the fact that animals are born in spring and grow until winter was not different from my homeland.
How should I spend the day? When I thought that, instructions of work came from my daughter.
“Father, won’t you help as well.”
“Sieg, let’s let father-in-law rest.”
“No, it does not matter.”
It seems that a festival will be held in the village for the first time.
“Hehh, a festival?”
“Yes. Apparently father planned it.”
To get tourists even out of the aurora season, all the villagers opened stalls, sometimes selling traditional goods at cheaper prices.
It did not look as though there were many customers who reserved accommodation, but it seemed that they were assuming that there would be many guests since they were advertising in the port city as well.
“So, what are you selling?”
“We’re planning on selling chicken which are spiced with herbs and roasted whole, then wrapped in a thin wrap made out of flour.”
“Hehh, sounds appetising.”
As for the other residents, they are planning on making reindeer skewer, seasonal berry tarts, or other goods that don’t take that much effort, so Ritzhard made a plan to sell something different.
I was asked to handle the cutting of the poultry.
Ritzhard-kun washed the meat and applied salt and herbs with deft movements.
The next day, it was the day of the festival. Already from the morning, the town was crowded.
The usually quiet town square was filled with energetic children. The delicious fragrance of roasting meat rode the wind.
And then, at our stall, Teoporon-san was roasting meat in a stirring manner.
Teoporon-san was roasting meat by a big fire while wearing bear fur and some distance away Lüneburg-san was watching, also wearing bear fur. Whatever they did, they were the most notable in the village.
I wondered if it would be hot to wear bear fur in front of a fire, but they had serious expressions so I could not dare ask.
I did my best to remove the two bears out of my sight, and focused on what was going on at the front of the stall.
Ritzhard-kun’s mother was deftly making flour wraps on a iron pan, while Teoporon-san’s wife and daughter cut the roasted chicken into smaller pieces then wrapped them in the finished wrap, wrapping the whole thing in paper to finish.
Their well-coordinated movements were like that of a master, but I could only be surprised since that was not their main occupation.
In addition, thanks to Ritzhard-kun’s superb reception skills, the chicken sold very well.
On a side note, my daughter is on an errand for the women’s association of the village.
She is selling jams made from berries.
As for myselft, I had been tasked with the important task of hugging and soothing Arno.
The prepared chicken got sold out already in the morning.
Ritzhard-kun declared that we had free time from the afternoon.
I wondered what I should do from here on, but Ritzhard-kun was going out to buy lunch, so I decided to accompany him.
Since we were going into a crowded place, I left Arno to Lüneburg-san.
“Ah, it’s the baker from the port.”
When we walked a little, we came across a normal bakery.
An exotic swirled bread, with lots of spices that gave off a sweet smell, called ‘Korvapuusti’ was on sale, so he bought a lot of those.
Roasted reindeer, fish skewers, potato fries, dumplings with sweet sauce, imported fruits, there were many things.
While carrying mountains of food on both arms, I returned.
When I returned, I found Sieg freed from the women’s association.
She had brought drinks and soup.
All the family gathered in one place for lunch.
“Father-in-law, are you alright?”
“The festival here is fun, I am enjoying it very much.”
“Then that’s a relief.”
It was quite strange seeing no stalls sell sausages. Also, I could not see beer. Apparently, making sweet fruit liqueur was the trend in the village.
All the food we bought were delicious.
I could understand why Sieg said that she wanted to return quickly.
An overwhelming lushness and a soft green shade covered the village.
The alcohol I had in a summer scenery different from home tasted good.
“Ritzhard. Will you be coming again in winter?”
“That was what we thought, but,”
“What is it?”
Ritzhard-kun looked at Sieg.
“I don’t think it’s certain yet though.”
“Sieg, that means!?”
She announced that she might be pregnant for the second time.
She was only drinking fruit juice when she liked alcohol, so I was wondering what might have happened.
“What a joyous day!”
Lüneburg-san looked happier than anyone, saying that Arno was going to have a little brother or a little sister.
On the second day of the festival, Lüneburg-san bought drinks for everyone in the village because he was so happy.
Since the news that Sieg was pregnant was not made public, a rumour spread of a mysterious and energetic old man going around the village, or so was detailed in the letter I received from Ritzhard-kun later, that I ended up laughing.
Finally, it was written that he had a request.
When I wondered what it might be, it was that he wanted me to name the child.
I did not expect to be naming a child, so I agonised over it for months.
In the end, I decided to gift the name of ‘Veronica’ which meant ‘bringing victory’ in a foreign language.
What if it is a boy? My wife pointed out, but for some reason I had confidence that the child this time is a girl.
A few months later, I received news that Sieg gave birth to a healthy daughter.
At the news of Veronica’s birth, all the family got excited.
Some months later, I would visit the village in summer with my two granddaughters, but that is a story for another time.
Requested Chapters finished.