Hokuou Kizoku to Moukinzuma no Yukiguni Karigurashi — 108

Chapter 108: Ritzhard’s New Challenge!
Volume 3 — The Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife’s Village, Grand Renovation Plan!?

Author:
This takes place after the family returned to the village after Arno was born at Sieg’s place.


Today, mother was working hard from the morning again.
She made breakfast with Ruruporon, sang lullabies to Arno while making jam, processed the fish Sieg caught into dried food and returned to work after lunch.

After I started living with mother, I unexpectedly could not handle the free time I had. Even when I offered help, she told me to rest. I pointed out that she was overworking, but mother said that it was normal.
When I asked Sieg to say something to mother, she made a troubled expression.
According to her, mother and I are very alike.
I’m not fluffy and buoyant like mother! When I said that, Sieg turned her gaze and stared elsewhere.
When I listened what she wanted to say, she pointed out that both mother and I are hard workers who do not realise it ourselves, apparently.

N~n, hard worker, eh?

Well, that’s all fine, since she now had some leisure in our lives.
I thought of starting new, so I pulled out something that bothered me for a few years from the study, which are father’s research papers.

On the cover, ‘Beekeeping in the Snow Country’ was written.
Beekeeping is raising bees for honey and wax. According to father’s research, the land here is the northernmost point of the habitat of bees.
In the village, honey is thought of something that is imported from outside.
There are quite a few beehives in the forest, but people don’t bother them since trying fight bees only hurt them.
There probably are many villagers that have never had honey. It’s very tasty, how unfortunate.
Personally, I like honey very much.
Pouring honey after placing butter to melt over fresh warm bread or cake, placing plenty of honey inside crispy scones, even adding honey to warm milk is great. The soft sweetness is unbearable.
Even so, most of the times I had honey was at grandfather’s place.
Sometimes, I get beehives from Teoporon, but just how is he collecting them? It’s a mystery.
I’m thankful that he’s offering me precious honey, but I didn’t how to process beehives so there were quite a few times I ended up wasting the honey and wax inside.
When I return home after being able to have honey anytime at grandfather’s place, I sometimes missed the luxurious life at the foreign country.
With the money needed for buying honey, many other things can be bought. On that line of thought, it felt wasteful to buy honey from visiting merchants.

So when I discovered in the study that father had written something about beekeeping I felt happy.
However, when I read it, there were many bothersome processes which I did not have the leisure for so I had them tucked away.

Years passed. I met Sieg and married her and had children. Mother came back too, so now I had some leisure time in my life.
Now might be the time to challenge beekeeping.

Father’s paper had information on beekeeping with words and pictures together. It was very easy to understand.

To collect honey, a hive has to be set in the forest in early spring, and then wax scent and sugar water has to be placed inside to lure the bees. If they feel that the place is better than their hives, they move in.
The honey collecting is done after the snow melts in spring.
Unexpectedly, the honey can be collected until autumn. In winter, they do other things to survive the winter. Surprisingly, bees can survive the winter.

I started spending time on learning the art of beekeeping, organising the budget spendings. I checked how many beehives there were in the forest and made blueprints, proceeding smoothly with my plans.
For starters, I reported it to my family.

“—— And so, I’m planning on beekeeping.”

I reported the new challenge I took up with the references I prepared, but Sieg and mother did not look that please.
They were worried about the stings the bees.

“Ritchan, it will be bad if you got stung by a bee~”
“Don’t worry. Bees are creatures that don’t attack first.

Bees are very docile, gentlemanly, or should I say sincere insects.
They won’t attack as long as I don’t move too much.
Bees only get aggressive when something happens to their home or if they’re being forced to do something.
Honeybees are docile and craven, so if one approaches in a benign manner they won’t attack. As long as I am cautious, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
When I explained earnestly, Sieg and mother accepted it in the end.
From the next day, I set about making the hives.

◇◇◇

Beekeeping begins in early spring.
It’s autumn now, so the plan has to be suspended for a bit.

Meanwhile, I decided to try some other business.
Even so, I did not have any inspirations. My head was blank, so I decided to consult Sieg.

“Hey, Sieg, I have something I want to talk about.”
“What is it?”

I explained to her about the new business.
I told her that I wanted to open a store that can be run during the depressing polar nights.

“I thought that it would be a nice idea.”

After thinking hard, I thought up a café where people can play games, but it was somewhat strange.

It’s not just the villagers that get depresses, but also the soldiers in the fort.
During the polar nights (kaamos) everything is dyed dark, that even people’s hearts seem to be dyed in black.

“Sieg, what did you do for leisure in the military?”
“Let’s see……”

She said that soldiers did not have that much leisure as they had strict discipline.
She just went out on strolls to the park on holidays, or played tennis with her nephew Claus.

“I heard that sports are good to refresh oneselves.”

But still, playing sports in the snow-filled polar nights is a bit hard.

“Other than that, I visited pubs once a month.”
“!”

Pub! That’s it!
A store that has simple dishes and alcohol might be good for make people happy.

“Pub! That might work!”
“But wasn’t it hard to purchase food during the polar nights?”
“Ah!”

That’s true.

During the polar nights, we spend the time quietly on preserved food.
We have our lives, so it will be hard to open stores.

For the fund, I was thinking of using the gold bars I received from grandfather.
However, even if I had money, merchants don’t visit during the polar nights.

“I thought that opening a pub would be a good idea~”
“……”

While I was hanging my head in disappointment, Sieg raised her voice in exclamation.
When I wondered what it was, she told me that there’s something good.

“Ritz, try canned food.”
“Canned food?”

Canned food is processed food stored in airtight metal cans which are then sterilised for long-term storage.
When she was training in the mountains, she explained that canned food was used for rations.

“Hehh, there’s something like that~”

In Sieg’s country, there are also ones for civilian ones.
We had left everything regarding meals to the cooks, so I did not have the opportunity to visit the markets for that.

“Come to think of it, I never saw them here.”
“Right.”

Here, merchants don’t sell canned foods.
Someone once brought them, but they did not sell well as the villagers had their pride in making preserved food.

“Canned food is not something I actively seek out, but it might become very tasty after some work.”
“I see!”

Canned food.
Will it be the product that will save the village?

First, I decided to consult a merchant and see if I could buy them.


Author:
7th October {Chapter originally released on 30th September} — I was corrected by many people that only Japanese bees are very mild-mannered to people, while European bees are not. Furthermore, I have fixed a part of the chapter.



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