This is Yukkuri demasu!
Last chapter for this year.
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 66: Together with Zill-san
After they walked for several minutes more, Kazura’s group arrived at the big river that flowed north from Isteria.
The river was about 20 meters wide, but due to the low water level, some parts of the riverbed were exposed to air.
「This is quite a big river…… The place where it is possible to install waterwheel in this place will be……」(Kazura)
Kazura climbed a nearby big rock, before surveying the riverside to find a suitable location to install the waterwheel.
The river mostly flowed in a straight line and far away he could see several branches that flowed to the fields and Isteria City.
If they want to install the waterwheel, then just like in Grisea Village they need to make waterwheel channel alongside the river.
「Perhaps we can try that place. Let’s issue an instruction to dig the ground and make a waterwheel channel.」(Kazura)
After he found a dried up hollowed water channel near the river, Kazura jumped down from the rock.
The water channel was connected to the river, but due to the low water level no water flowed in it.
If they dug this water channel more deeper, then it might be changed into a mill race.
「This water channel, please dig it until it reached the river water level. Dig it about…… this wide.」(Kazura)
Kazura picked up a nearby lying stone and made a tracing mark on the ground.
The soon to be made channel’s width was about the same with the mill race created at Grisea Village.
「Also, please dig a hole for the waterwheel’s supports. Please tell the people with free hands to assemble the waterwheel and the wooden aqueduct that will receive the drawn water.」(Kazura)
Kazura gave out his instruction and Zirconia immediately distribute the workload at the nearby servants.
The servants rushed toward the carriage and took out hoes with a bronze blade or flat shovel-like tools before start working simultaneously.
「Then let’s begin assembling the waterwheel. I will instruct the procedure so please memorize it while working. After this one is finished we still need to assemble several more waterwheels.」(Kazura)
「You people also need to help with assembling the waterwheel. The rest make the wooden aqueduct.」(Zirconia)
Since most of the servants at the time were digging the mill race, the 10 or so guards were also assigned to work.
Though it was somewhat feel overstaffed, it might be better than having just a few.
「Kazura-san, will the assembled waterwheels going to be installed entirely in this fields?」(Zirconia)
「No, it’s not like we need to install every waterwheel. If there are enough waterwheels to send water to the fields then we will install the remaining waterwheel at other places. At the same time, we could also do improvement with the waterwheel.」(Kazura)
「Improvement…… with the waterwheel?」(Zirconia)
What did he mean by that, was the confused expression that Zirconia made as she looked at Kazura who made a rather confident face.
「Well, waterwheel isn’t only a tool to draw up water. If we do some modification on it, it could also provide moving power to various tools.」(Kazura)
「Umm…… What kind of tools that you mean?」(Zirconia)
「To give an example, the movement of the waterwheel movement could be coupled to create a self-moving milling machines. Without using any human power, I believe the work efficiency so far would be increased by many fold.」(Kazura)
Kazura cite an example of mechanism using waterwheel power and Zirconia made an expression as if she was out of touch with the reality.
She had thought that the waterwheel was only a tool to draw water, so even when she was suddenly informed that there are other way to use waterwheel, she won’t get excited if she didn’t see the real thing.
「If we had succeeded in restoring the grain producing area according to the methods I had instructed, then the production output of the crops in the fields would have a sharp increase. However, it will also increase the time needed for the post-harvest processing.」(Kazura)
If it goes smoothly, after several month they would be able to harvest a large amount of crops as the effect of the fertilizer that they had scattered over the fields just now.
Most of the current planted crops had already withered, but the next planted crops was expected to have a substantial harvest.
So on the next crops harvesting……. it will certainly increase the workload like threshing and milling the grain so it can be used in the bread making.
If they somehow able to process this more efficiently, coupled with the increase in crops output, it might decrease the price of the food in the market.
Then, the citizen’s life would surely be quite easier.
「I still am not that acquainted with the farming practiced in this country, so I wish you to tell me about it. What kind of grain do you use for bread and how it is threshed and milled?」(Kazura)
「For bread we use bread wheat. To threshing it we put a bundle of wheat ears over several traversing poles, then we beat it with a rod. For porridge and Rata or other animal fodder we use Rata wheat, we threshed it by heating the bundle of ears over a fire. For milling we use quern stones for both of them.」(Zirconia)
It seems that the threshing methods in this world were still quite primitive.
Kazura could remember that he had heard about threshing grains by hitting it using rods in the history class when he was still a child in elementary and middle school, but it was the first time he had ever heard about threshing by heating it over a fire.
「Heating it over a fire? …… I never seen it so I don’t really understand, but won’t the Rata wheat will get burned?」(Kazura)
「After it is heated over a fire, it would immediately be dropped to the ground and the fire will be stamped out, so the seed wouldn’t get burned. Would you like to see it next time? It is quite interesting.」(Zirconia)
Perhaps she was remembering the farm work scene, Zirconia explained while smiling in nostalgia.
Kazura had seen Zirconia’s smile several times before, but this was the first time he saw Zirconia smiling honestly like this.
「I see, I would like to…… Um, do Zirconia-san familiar with the farm work?」(Kazura)
「Yes, since I was originally a peasant, I had helped in the fields and harvest every year. But since I married Nelson when I was 16, I didn’t do it anymore.」(Zirconia)
Zirconia had said an unexpected thing that made Kazura surprised inside.
He had thought that Zirconia has surely came from nobility, but the truth was different.
Even though her social position was a peasant, she married a Nelson who was a high ranked noble that governed a province. Just what kind of story underlined this situation.
「(S-so she is a peasant. I am quite curious about the details of her marriage…. Come to think of it, just how old is she?)」(Kazura)
Judging from her outer appearance, Zirconia looked quite young.
It was just his intuition, but Kazura thought that there were no large age gap between him and her.
「Then, Zirconia had helped in the farm work before…… But, when many years has passed you may become out of touch for it.」(Kazura)
「That’s true…… it has been 10 years since I haven’t perform any farm work. Right now, I might not do it well. Perhaps I should test it next time……」(Zirconia)
「(So that means, she is 26? Don’t this mean that she is only 1 year older than me. This makes her my peer, right? …… Huh?)」(Kazura)
Using a splendid way of talking, he had succeeded in inferring Zirconia’s age.
However, after he heard this, there was one question popped out in Kazura’s mind.
The relationship between Lieze and Zirconia.
「(…… How old is Lieze-san then?)」(Kazura)
From her outer appearance, Lieze looked like a teen, but that means Zirconia would have to beget Lieze when she was just 11 years old.
Based on the age when she married Nelson, this would be impossible.
「(Perhaps Zirconia is Nelson’s second wife…… But, now might not be the time to be thinking about this.)」(Kazura)
Kazura realized how his thought had been greatly derailed from what he had talked about in the beginning and so he immediately correct his mind’s course.
「……Then, let’s not only made milling machine but also threshing machine. At any rate, we need to decrease the food price, since the common people will end up suffering.」(Kazura)
「Yes. Though I don’t know what kind of thing it is or have the least imagination of it, I am grateful for your offer. Since I will prepare any needed materials or personnel, please don’t hesitate to inform me if you need to.」(Zirconia)
Perhaps since her feeling had been more loosened since the talk about the farm work, Zirconia’s ambience felt somehow softer than the usual.
Until then, perhaps because Zirconia was steeling herself for the works of restoring the grain fields, her ambiance felt a bit tense.
For Kazura, he wanted to be working in the situation just like the laid-back atmosphere in Grisea Village as much as possible, so he felt relieved when the usual atmosphere returned.
This was something that Kazura learned back in his working days, but no matter how busy a situation will be, as long as the atmosphere of the place is excellent, then one way or another, it will succeed.
Zirconia was also had a similar situation with Kazura. She was working nonstop until late at night every day, so she had been exhausted both physically and mentally, and her mind didn’t get any rest.
Although just like Isaac and Havel, she would be invigorated if she received Lipo-D, but even if it against her will, she might need to have a proper rest.
「Umm…… Kazura-sama. Zirconia-sama. If you don’t mind, would you please instruct the assembling procedure……」(Soldier)
Kazura remembered the matter of the water wheel when he heard the soldier’s voice and then began to issue instruction towards the soldier in hurry.
Then about 2 hours had passed.
The servants somehow had finished in changing the existing water channel into a mill race and digging the hole for the waterwheel support.
In front of this channel were the completed the waterwheel and the aqueduct and right now everyone were trying to install the waterwheel into its place.
「Don’t put it with too much power since it will damage the axle, place it gently…… Ah, that place has slipped out. Put it a bit this way please.」(Kazura)
Kazura was prowling around and give instruction to the servants who were lifting the waterwheel up, and then they gently place the waterwheel on its support.
With the waterwheel in place, to check whether or not it had been placed properly on its support without slipping, the waterwheel was turned around by hand as a test.
「Alright. Then, next step is to place the aqueduct that will receive the water.」(Kazura)
Just like what Kazura had instructed, the servants installed the assembled wooden aqueduct beside the waterwheel.
After finished with placing the aqueduct, Kazura instructed the servants to move away from the waterwheel and with a hoe in his hand, he headed towards the head race where the mill race meet with the river.
「Let the water flow~」(Kazura)
With a loud voice, Kazura cleared the soil between the river and the mill race.
With the soil cleared away, the water vigorously flowed in the mill race.
The water flowing in the mill race strike the waterwheel’s blades and then the waterwheel slowly began to rotate little by little.
While the waterwheel rotates, the water drawing buckets began to take on water from the mill race and then moved it up before discharging it in the wooden aqueduct.
At the sight of the waterwheel vigorously drawing the water up, the servants and the guard soldiers raised their voice in wonder.
「…… I see, the water flowing in the Grisea Village’s aqueduct is drawn from the river in this manner.」(Zirconia)
Looking at the waterwheel that continuously scooping up the water, Zirconia muttered with awe in her eyes.
「Yes, Grisea Village’s waterwheel and this one are completely the same th…… Huh?」(Kazura)
Kazura, who had returned back to Zirconias side, was looking at the waterwheel while catching his breath, but he had found something and soon walked towards the waterwheel.
「Is something wrong?」(Zirconia)
「…… There is an irregularity in the rotational speed.」(Kazura)
Kazura spoke out while beckoning Zirconia to approach with his hand.
「Please look at the bucket parts. I think the timing in scooping up the water is not regular……」(Kazura)
「……Certainly, there is a delay. Is it originally should have been rotating with constant speed?」(Zirconia)
Zirconia looked for awhile at the timing of the waterwheel scooping the water that Kazura had pointed out. She then asked Kazura who was frowning while looking at the waterwheel.
Although just on the glance, the waterwheel was operating without any problem, but if someone looked at it closely then they could see that the waterwheel was obviously had an irregular rotation.
「Yes, that’s right. Because the same blueprint was used for Grisea Village’s and this one, it seems that there is an error in the parts production.」(Kazura)
「…… Please accept my deepest apologies. I will quickly investigate the cause and fix it.」(Zirconia)
「Please do so. Not only the irregular rotational speed would quickly damage the waterwheel, but it will decrease the work efficiency… Ah, but, let’s leave this waterwheel like this for now. Even if it had somewhat had an unsatisfactory efficiency, we must send some water to the fields.」(Kazura)
Kazura stopped talking and began to think about the possible cause.
The waterwheel constructed in Grisea Village was something that Kazura personally supervise and drawn up, so it was able to be finished in a perfect manner.
However, the blueprint handed over to Zirconia was the same blueprint used in Grisea Village.
It couldn’t be the fault of the blueprint, so perhaps the fault lies in parts production.
There was a high possibility that the work manufacturing precision deteriorated so that they could be mass-produced the waterwheel parts in a rush, but he felt that this was not the case.
「(By the way, I haven’t seen the hand tools this world…… If they don’t have decent tools, this might be the cause of why the parts precision is lacking.)」(Kazura)
When they perform the parts production in Grisea Village, they didn’t just use the bronze tools that had been used in the village from the start but also using a large amount of Japan-made tools that Kazura had brought with him.
However, the Isterian craftsmen, who manufacture the waterwheel parts this time, surely didn’t possess such tools.
So asking them to produce a waterwheel that was identical with the one in Grisea Village might be something that was unreasonable.
However, in any case, confirming this will be for another day.
The parched up dry fields need to be irrigated immediately or the barely surviving plants would wither for good.
Even if the waterwheel soon collapsed due to subpar parts precision, since the existing parts were enough for about 30 waterwheel, if it was broken then they could just replace it with a new one.
It would be problematic for the waterwheel to be coupled with a machine like a mill, but if it only for drawing water, for now he could just need to turn a blind eye for some of the problems.
「For the time being, please postpone the waterwheel parts manufacturing tomorrow. We will resume when we have identified the cause and perform the countermeasure for it.」(Kazura)
「I understand. So we will perform countermeasure from the early stage…… Umm, I am terribly sorry. I will take responsibility for this.」(Zirconia)
Perhaps because she felt that this was her responsibility, Zirconia made an honest dispirited expression.
「Ah, no, please don’t be daunted by this. This is all because of my unreasonable request, so this is not Zirconia-san’s responsibility.」(Kazura)
While comforting Zirconia who had become completely dejected, Kazura looked at the vast grain fields.
For the time being, he had succeeded in installing one waterwheel, but surely he still needs to install it at other locations.
It seems the time for Kazura to take a breather will be a bit longer.
That’s it folks for this year! See you next year!
 A pun of popular Japanese NHK Children Show Okaasan to Issho : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okaasan_to_Issho
 Also known as “mill race”. The channel leading to the water wheel will be called as headrace, while the channel leaving the water wheel is called tailrace.
 The harvested wheat stalk need to be transported, threshed, dried, cleaned, stored, and retransported to market, just to name a few.
 Also known as common wheat (Triticum aestivum)
 It’s a real thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4lh3fIv8N0 see at 3:09. I think Rata wheat is a hulled-wheat variant like Emmer Wheat.