Final Chapter: The Snow Country Hunting Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
Final Volume — [Story of the People who Live with Nature]
This summer, we are holding a long-waited event.
Turning one soon, our son has been growing very well, now being able crawl a little and voice out somewhat. I can’t afford to miss any moment of his growth.
In the midst of that enjoyable life, a surprising letter arrived.
It appears that father will be returning home near the day of Arno’s birthday.
I think he came rather recently, but maybe he got homesick (?) or something. I’m not sure.
I remember feeling uneasy living with him, but I’ll have to compromise.
Sieg and I consoled each other that we’ll do our best.
Recently, we’ve been returning to normal life.
‘The Crimson Eagle’ is run with Aina and Emmerich at the core with mother and Sieg helping out. We’ll be hiring more people soon.
The beekeeping’s a slow process. I don’t have the amount to sell stuff yet.
Well, I’m thinking of working on it steadily.
Today, I went out to the forest to pick berries with Sieg after a long time. As for Arno, father was looking after him, right after he returned home. I felt somewhat uneasy, but mother was home too so I think it should be fine.
For Sieg, it was a berry picking trip after a long time, and her second summer in the remote land.
Today, since we’re having Arno’s birthday, we’ll have to put in more effort into our into picking berries for baking cake.
We reached the place full of berries located deep in the lush greenery.
While talking with Sieg, I hand-picked the berries.
When I looked at the watch out of thought of hunger, it was time for lunch.
“Sieg, let’s have lunch.”
“It’s already time for that?”
I had the packed lunch mother and Sieg made, and moved to a open meadow.
“Come to think of it, was it around this area where we saw the white flowers?”
“Ah, yeah yeah. Want to go see them?”
A frail flower that blooms only in summer, ‘the star of the forest’.
It seems that she remembered the flower we saw together in our first year of marriage.
We worked our way through the bushes to reach a field of flowers full of starflowers.
“They look splendid.”
Elegant white flowers were in full bloom. They were prettiest I ever saw.
We sat down on the grass and had lunch while enjoying the flowery view.
The packed lunch consisted of ham sandwich and berry juice.
The ham was made from the combined effort of Sieg and me.
The procedure was simple.
Herbs, spices, salt and the like are used to season the meat. Then that meat is wrapped in clean cloth and tied at the left and right like candy. Above that, it’s tied with some string for storage.
It is then left for about a week, and boiled for about two hours.
The cloth is then removed from the boiled pork meat, and it is completed by draining the water and smoking the meat.
I learned this from father-in-law, and it is amazingly delicious.
Raw ham takes a while so I didn’t try it yet, but I want to try making some if I have some time.
I still can’t forget the taste of the three-year-old ham I had then.
Even after having our meal, Sieg and I kept looking at the flowers.
“These flowers, mother likes them too.”
“I see. Then, shall we take some back?”
“That might be nice.”
I stood up and reached a hand out to Sieg, pulling her up.
I slipped, and the moment I pulled her up I fell backwards.
Worst of all, I ended up dragging her with me.
I hugged her tightly so that she won’t get hurt.
The flowerbed acted as a cushion, so it didn’t hurt that much.
“Sieg, I’m sorry, are you alright!?”
Apologetically, I stiffened up after falling down.
When I was about to get up, I noticed something strange with Sieg.
She was shaking her shoulders for some reason.
I thought she was hurt, but it was just her laughing.
When I asked what was so funny, it seems like the two of us falling together was funny.
“S-Sorry, I’ll get up now.”
“Wait, a little more like this.”
I’m surrounded in summer flowers, and there’s Sieg in my arms. What a splendid situation.
Thinking that, I relaxed for a while.
“Aren’t I heavy?”
“Not at all.”
“Then that’s fine.”
Staying silent for a while, I enjoyed the air of the forest, the scent of the flowers and the chirping of the birds.
Of course, I fully enjoyed hugging Sieg as well.
“When I first came here——“
“Ritz, didn’t you lie down on the ground?”
It seems like Sieg was curious about why I was rolling around in the forest floor.
“Now I know. If I am like this, I feel as if I can sense all the glistening of the forest.”
“Ah, yes. That might be true!”
If I am lying on the grass like this, I can feel the whole forest.
It seems like I’ve been unconsciously enjoying the summer forest.
Sieg and I, the two of us enjoyed the lush nature, then left after picking some starflowers.
Before going into the village, I greeted the soldiers on duty at the fort window.
“Welcome back, your lordship.”
It was Captain Artonen’s shift today.
“Today’s the young master’s birthday.”
“Nice. This is something everyone from the fort prepared.”
“My, thank you!”
Believe it or not, the fort soldiers had prepared a birthday present for Arno.
It seems like it’s a picture book. I thanked them with Sieg.
“Your lordship, it seems it will start getting busier.”
“Right. Let’s work hard.”
When I held my hand out to Captain Artonen, he firmly shook my hand.
With the present for Arno at my side, I headed back home.
As ever, the village ladies were busy.
I decided to visit the shop on my way back. I spoke to the shop lady.
“Welcome…… Rather, if it isn’t the lord.”
Seeing the two of us, she commented, “You get along well as always.” “Thanks to you,” I ended up grinning.
While I had my cheek loose, we started talking about the wooden bears.
I came to reality in a snap.
“I’ll report in three days.”
“I’ll leave it to you.”
At the shop, I bought ingredients for making cake.
Next door, ‘The Crimson Eagle’ was on its regular holiday today.
From outside, I could see Aina and Emmerich, so I went in.
“These too, are delicious. Very much.”
“Like I said, that’s not—— ah, my lord.”
On the table, there were large amounts of snacks. It seems like the two of them were having a tasting session.
Aina told me I came at a good time.
“This person, he just says everything tastes good! There’s no meaning to the tasting!”
“B-But, Aina-chan’s food is all delicious,”
“That’s not helping!”
Looks like Aina’s food all tastes good for Emmerich.
I felt pleased at seeing the two of them.
“So, my lord, you try some too—— actually, it’s Arno’s birthday today, right?”
“Right. Then, try asking the lady next door.”
“Sorry about that.”
“No, it’s alright.”
Aina and Emmerich offered words of celebration. It seems like there are snacks for celebrating prepared.
Even as I made stops, I managed to return home. At the front yard, people were preparing for the birthday party.
There were quilts laid out, with cushions for everyone.
Today, I invited the Rango family and Luca.
Luca and Miruporon were hauling a large fish on a wide dish.
“Uwa, what an amazing fish. Where’d you get this?”
When I asked about the big fish, Miruporon happily explained.
“Father, and Luca, caught it.”
“Rather than catch, it was more like grabbing it by force.”
It seems like Luca went fishing with Teoporon. I wonder when they became friendly.
Good gracious, to get along with all the family, what a good child Luca is, I thought.
“Ritz, let’s make the cake now.”
It was soon time for the birthday party.
I went behind the house and started making cake at the outdoors kitchen with Sieg.
First, I got some eggs from the coop.
While Sieg measured the ingredients, I whisked the egg whites so that they would foam.
For soft cake, proper whipping is very important.
Since it was cake for Arno, I put in only a little sugar. Instead, I put in a lot of sweet berries.
Flour and melted butter was mixed and poured into a mould, after which it was baked.
The cake came out well.
When we returned to the place of the birthday party, there was plenty of food on top the quilts.
It looks like Ruruporon outdid herself. There was a feast.
“Ritchan, did you get the cake?”
“Yup, nicely done!”
I was told to place it in the centre.
Arno looked happy as he sat on the lap of the lovely bear man (Teoporon).
Everything was prepared.
Everyone sat down and Ruruporon handed out drinks.
First, I greeted everyone that gathered.
“Okay~ today, the sunlight is nice, and I thank you for gathering for my son Arno’s first birthday.”
Since there are the white nights in summer, the sun won’t set.
I told everyone to enjoy it without worrying about the time.
After giving a toast, I lifted the kuksa holding berry juice.
Using freshly picked berries, the juice was sweet and sour and very tasty.
Today’s guest of honour, Arno was eating well maybe because he got hungry.
Ruruporon helped him eat with a smile.
Some food fell onto Teoporon’s legs, but he did not look troubled at all. He would just watch Arno, his cheeks loosening at rare moments.
Miruporon tried to feed Luca cheese, but he refused with his face all red and flushed. Well, he is at that age after all.
Mother was cooking something else. Sieg helped too.
Even at a time like, father was diligently writing something.
In the middle, he was scolded by mother eat a bit.
A little later, I went to pick Arno up.
I thanked Teoporon and Ruruporon, then started walking while holding his hand.
Arno could start waddling now. The appearance is too cute!
I returned to my seat and sat him on my lap.
Thinking that the cake should have cooled by now, I made a small slice for him.
“I see~, so it’s tasty~”
Mummy and daddy made it together~. When I told him that, Arno smiled sweetly. He’s just so cute.
It seems like he liked the cake, since he finished eating on piece very quickly.
Since he was now full, he started nodding off.
Watching that was never tiring.
“Ritz, what’s wrong?”
It appears that I’ve been moved while watching Arno.
I realised that my eyes had grown teary.
“What is it?”
“Later, I have something to say to everyone.”
I wanted to give her my thanks. Also, that I could continue to be in her care.
“Please continue taking care of me. My wife.”
Then, Sieg returned something too.
“I’m still inexperienced, but please take care of me too. ……My husband.”
The two of us looked at each other and smiled.
Today, the white night sun would not set, and the dishes filled with the blessings of the forest was delicious. Arno was in my arms, while Sieg was next to him.
What a wonderful birthday party, I thought.
It’s been three years since I married Sieg.
The surroundings changed greatly.
The busy days continued, but I can work hard as long as I have my family.
I couldn’t help but think that.
——Hunting, gathering and eating. That’s all there is, but these are lovely days.
Our life would continue on.
The Snow Country Hunting Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife — And they lived happily ever after.