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Chapter 95: The Scenery We Saw That Day
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
“My dear Mr. Nelson,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard that Grisea Village is let at last?”
Mr. Nelson replied that he had not.
“But it is,” returned she; “for Ms. Valetta has just been here, and she told me all about it.”
Mr. Nelson made no answer.
“Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently.
“You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.”
This was invitation enough.
“Why, my dear, you must know, Ms. Valetta says that Grisea is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of Japan; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that he agreed with Mr. Valin immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.”
“What is his name?”
“Is he married or single?”
“Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!”
“How so? How can it affect them?”
“My dear Mr. Nelson,” replied his wife, “how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.”
“Is that his design in settling here?”
“Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.”
“I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Kazura may like you the best of the party.”
“My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown-up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty.”
“In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of.”
“But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Kazura when he comes into the neighbourhood.”
“It is more than I engage for, I assure you.”
“But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir Havel and Sir Nibel are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general, you know, they visit no newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not.”
“You are over-scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mr. Kazura will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good word for my little Lieze.”
“I desire you will do no such thing. Lieze is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Marie. But you are always giving her the preference.”
“They have none of them much to recommend them,” replied he; “they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lieze has something more of quickness than other girl.”
“Mr. Nelson, how can you abuse your own daughter in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.”
“You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least.”
“Ah, you do not know what I suffer.”
“But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood.”
“It will be no use to us, if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them.”
“Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all.”
Mr. Nelson was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.
Mr. Nelson was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Kazura. He had always intended to visit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid she had no knowledge of it. It was then disclosed in the following manner. Observing his second daughter employed in trimming a hat, he suddenly addressed her with:
“I hope Mr. Kazura will like it, Lieze.”
“We are not in a way to know what Mr. Kazura likes,” said Zirconia resentfully, “since we are not to visit.”
“But you forget, okaa-sama,” said Lieze, “that we shall meet him at the assemblies, and that Ms. Valetta promised to introduce him.”
“I do not believe Ms. Valetta will do any such thing. She has a thing for Mr. Kazura of her own. She is a selfish, hypocritical woman, and I have no opinion of her.”
“No more have I,” said Mr. Nelson; “and I am glad to find that you do not depend on her serving you.”
Mrs. Zirconia deigned not to make any reply, but, unable to contain herself, began scolding one of her daughters.
“Don't keep coughing so, Eira, for Heaven's sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.”
“Eira has no discretion in her coughs,” said Nelson; “she times them ill.”
“I do not cough for my own amusement,” replied Eira fretfully. “When is your next ball to be, Lieze?”
“Aye, so it is,” cried Zirconia, “and Ms. Valetta does not come back till the day before; so it will be impossible for her to introduce him, for she will not know him herself.”
“Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and introduce Mr. Kazura to her.”
“Impossible, Mr. Nelson, impossible, when I am not acquainted with him myself; how can you be so teasing?”
“I honour your circumspection. A fortnight's acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else will; and after all, Ms. Valetta and her nieces must stand their chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness, if you decline the office, I will take it on myself.”
The girls stared at their father. Mrs. Zirconia said only, “Nonsense, nonsense!”
“What can be the meaning of that emphatic exclamation?” cried he. “Do you consider the forms of introduction, and the stress that is laid on them, as nonsense? I cannot quite agree with you there. What say you, Mary? For you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts.”
Mary wished to say something sensible, but knew not how.
“While Mary is adjusting her ideas,” he continued, “let us return to Mr. Kazura.”
“I am sick of Mr. Kazura,” cried his wife.
“I am sorry to hear that; but why did not you tell me that before? If I had known as much this morning I certainly would not have called on him. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance now.”
The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Zirconia perhaps surpassing the rest; though, when the first tumult of joy was over, she began to declare that it was what she had expected all the while.
It was the morning of the fourth day after planting the herbs.
In the garden of the village chief’s residence, Kazura, who was wearing the same plain clothes as the other villagers, was folding his arms and pondering while examining the pots where peppermint and lemongrass were planted.
It was because his prediction about their growth was considerably different from what the results had shown.
By the way, the clothes that Kazura was wearing now were something that Valetta had finished sewing yesterday. Since the size was a perfect fit, it felt wonderful.
「Hmm, I thought it would end when they suddenly grew even more... Maybe this means that there’s no change on the fertilizer’s effect?」(Kazura)
The two types of herbs in front of Kazura, compared from the time when he bought them were indeed a little bit bigger, however the rate of growth wasn’t that different from if they’d been raised in Japan.
As for the current condition of the seedlings that he had bought from Home Center, the Lemongrasses that didn’t receive the fertilizer displayed a normal growth, while the Peppermints that receive the fertilizer in their pot also had similar rate of growth.
Also, from the seeds that he and Valetta had planted together, only the Basils that germinated in large quantity, while the rest of the seeds, only two or three Arugula had germinated.
The seed that was planted in the ground and the seed that was planted in the pot had the same germination result. The days needed for the germination was similar to the information that was written on the paper that he received in the shop.
When Kazura was grumbling as he examining the herbs, Valetta turned up from the entrance of the residence.
「It’s different from the corps in the village, the herbs didn’t get big immediately........ Ah, the arugula has germinated.」 (Valetta)
Valetta discovered small sprouts that weren’t there yesterday. She was immediately squatting down and touching the small leaves with her finger while smiling.
Kazura couldn’t verify his first prediction that the plants will have sudden growth, as for now the plants seemed to have normal growth, so he decided to wait and see what will happen for a little longer.
On the spot where they planted the seed, there were several wooden board signs with the name of the seeds written in katakana.
Although it was only written by Valetta using permanent marker, it was skillfully done.
「Hmm... Although I had expected that it would grow a bit faster. Well, even if they grow at normal speed, that’s still good.」(Kazura)
「It’s fine even if they grow normally. Let’s raise them with great care.」(Valetta)
Valetta smiled towards Kazura. After she once more tenderly brushed the arugula leaves, she then stood up.
「Since breakfast’s already been prepared, let’s go back inside to eat. Since after when we eat we will assemble the waterwheel, let’s do our best!」 (Valetta)
Valetta clenched her fist in front of her chest to make a psyched gesture as she spoke. [i] Kazura’s cheek naturally became softer and smiled.
Although it was regrettable that the herbs didn’t achieve rapid growth, the vegetables that were planted in the village’s fields continuously grew with amazing vigor.
Since that day, the potatoes size kept growing bigger, and the vegetables, that despite being planted less than 2 weeks ago, had already grown to such size that it wouldn’t be strange if they started to appear on the villagers’ dinner table in few more days.
The villagers were so filled with vitality that it was hard to believe that this village was almost wiped out by the famine less than 4 weeks ago. Everyone was working diligently tending on the fields or making the waterwheel merrily and with joy.
Compared to this, the matter of the herbs not achieving rapid growth was something trivial. Furthermore, since he originally brought the herb seedlings to this world to investigate the feature of the change on the fertilizer he had brought from Japan, he didn’t have any intention to put the herbs into mass production.
Although he had some self-interest if the herb showed tremendous growth, but if assessing it from investigation point of view, he’d properly achieved his purpose.
「That’s true. Even if it could turn a bit it will be good... I’m looking forward to it, but also so anxious...」(Kazura)
「If it can’t make a turn then we just need to review it. We can comfort ourselves by making hibiscus tea with a lot of honey.」(Valetta)
「Hmm, that looks attractive.... eh, isn’t it only something that Valetta-san want to drink!」(Kazura)
Even since they returned from Isteria, in observing the herbs or weeding the fields, in making waterwheel parts or studying after dinner, Kazura was always acting together with Valetta from morning to evening, and the atmosphere between them had become even better than before.
The previous shyness in Valetta’s attitude towards Kazura, was currently nowhere to be seen. It can even be said that the frequency of a natural smile in her face had been increasing for the last several days.
Her previous concern in the matter of water and food shortage in the village that she had been hopeless for, had been completely resolved. Not to mention, she was able to realize her hope to study that she previously couldn’t do, although it was very different from this world’s manner.
With her reason for concern gone and her wish fulfilled, for Valetta, her current daily life could be said to have become extremely fulfilling.
「Everyone in the village was amazingly careful in making the parts, so it will be able to turn. Besides, it’s something that Kazura-san designed so it will surely be alright!」(Valetta)
Because it was the first time he designed a waterwheel, no matter how many “it will be alright”s he heard there still some anxiety left behind, but it’s no use to think meaningless like this.
For now, he decided to think optimistically about finishing the installation of the assembled waterwheel, and if turn well then he could just remake some of the parts some way or another.
「Yes, you’re right, it’s a blueprint that I and Valetta-san reviewed together, so surely it’ll be alright.」(Kazura)
「Yes, what you’re saying is true, but I’m worried.....」(Valetta)
「It will be alright, don’t you agree?」(Kazura)
And just like this, Valetta was cleverly sharing a portion of Kazura’s responsibility, while both of them returned to the residence to have their breakfast.
After eating breakfast, Kazura and Valetta participated in the production of assembling waterwheel parts together with the other 10 villagers. With the pullcart had been fully loaded with parts for waterwheel no. 2, they arrived at the river where they had previously installed the waterwheel from Japan.
The waterwheel that was installed in top of wooden board reinforced waterway was even now continually turning and diligently sent water to the aqueducts that flowed towards Grisea village.
Under the midsummer sun that was shining incessantly, the floating water mist was twinkling as the waterwheel was vigorously turning. Seeing that sight, someone among the villagers let out their honest impression.
「Then, we will assemble the waterwheel. Everyone, I hope for your cooperation in this feat.」(Kazura)
Kazura called out the villagers who were gazing at the waterwheel transporting the water. The villagers then immediately unloaded the parts from the pullcart and start assembling the parts while surrounding it.
Several days ago, when they were assembling the waterwheel from Japan, they were assembling the parts following the instruction sheet, but today they were assembling the parts for the waterwheel that Kazura and villagers had made themselves.
Probably since the villagers had some understanding as they had made the parts, they knew which part fit with which part, so it looked like their work had a splendid start.
「Then, Valetta-san and I will begin the preparations to replace the previous waterwheel.」(Kazura)
「Yes, I will stop the water in the waterway.」(Valetta)
From the pullcart Valetta took out a 10 cm thick bulky wooden board and went to the waterway upstream entrance. Then she inserted the wooden board on the waterway entrance to block off the water flow from the river.
The waterwheel that had turning vigorously gradually stopped moving as water ceased to push its blade.
While Valetta was stopping the waterway, from the pullcart Kazura took out two sheets of towels labeled「Shino Finework Company」[ii]. After confirming that the water had completely stopped, he turned the waterwheel and dumped all the pumped water in the wooden basin.
「Since the sunlight is strong, even if we wipe it lightly, it’ll get dry quickly.」(Valetta)
Kazura gave a towel to Valetta, who’d returned from stopping the waterway. Then she spoke while gently patting the waterwheel that was dripping with water.
「That’s true. But, let’s leave the waterwheel exposed to the sun for a little longer. If our hand slip while we’re detaching it due to the moisture, it could be dangerous.」(Kazura)
To detaching the currently installed waterwheel, it only needed the cooperation from several people, but if their hand slipped because of the river water, it could cause a dangerous situation like being crushed under the waterwheel.
Because of that it’s important that the waterwheel be dried. If they left it in the sun’s scorching heat it might need about 30 minutes to dry it.
Though it was prolonged dry weather that had completely tormented the village until now, for this occasion it was a reliable ally.
While they were wiping dry the waterwheel of water on the opposite side, Valetta noticed the letters on the towel in her hand and then she stopped moving. She spread the towel open while she asked Kazura.
「Kazura-san, the letters 『shino finework company』that are written in his cloth, is it some kind of shop in Kazura-san’s country?」(Valetta)
「Aah, that’s the name of the company that my father runs.」 (Kazura)
Kazura answered while wiping the waterwheel, but Valetta was taken aback and changed her gaze from the letter on the towel back to Kazura.
「...... Kazura-san’s father?」
「Yes, that’s right. But, although it’s called a company it’s only a small workshop that’s only operated by my father and mother.」
Kazura who was asked by Valetta also stopped working and with his finger he pointed at the word 『Shino』 that was embroided on the towel that Valetta held.
「This 『Shino』 is my family name. That’s reminds me, even since I came to this place I’ve only introduced myself with my given name....... Is something wrong?」(Kazura)
Kazura was confused about Valetta who was looking at him with bewildered expression.
「No....... ano, Kazura-san, you......」(Valetta)
“How good it was in you, my dear Mr. Nelson! But I knew I should persuade you at last. I was sure you loved your girls too well to neglect such an acquaintance. Well, how pleased I am! and it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning and never said a word about it till now.”
“Now, Eira, you may cough as much as you choose,” said Mr. Nelson; and, as he spoke, he left the room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife.
“What an excellent father you have, girls!” said she, when the door was shut. “I do not know how you will ever make him amends for his kindness; or me, either, for that matter. At our time of life it is not so pleasant, I can tell you, to be making new acquaintances every day; but for your sakes, we would do anything. Marie, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mr. Kazura will dance with you at the next ball.”
“Oh!” said Marie stoutly, “I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I'm the tallest.”
The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon he would return Mr. Nelson's visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner.
Not all that Mrs. Zirconia, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject, was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr. Kazura. They attacked him in various ways—with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all, and they were at last obliged to accept the second-hand intelligence of their neighbour, Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable. Sir Havel had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremely agreeable, and, to crown the whole, he meant to be at the next assembly with a large party. Nothing could be more delightful! To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Kazura's heart were entertained.
“If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Grisea,” said Mrs. Zirconia to her husband, “and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for.”
In a few days Mr. Kazura returned Mr. Nelson's visit, and sat about ten minutes with him in his library. He had entertained hopes of being admitted to a sight of the young ladies, of whose beauty he had heard much; but he saw only the father. The ladies were somewhat more fortunate, for they had the advantage of ascertaining from an upper window that he wore a blue coat, and rode a black horse.
An invitation to dinner was soon afterwards dispatched; and already had Mrs. Zirconia planned the courses that were to do credit to her housekeeping, when an answer arrived which deferred it all. Mr. Kazura was obliged to be in town the following day, and, consequently, unable to accept the honour of their invitation, etc. Mrs. Zirconia was quite disconcerted. She could not imagine what business he could have in town so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire; and she began to fear that he might be always flying about from one place to another, and never settled at Grisea as he ought to be. Lady Lucas quieted her fears a little by starting the idea of his being gone to London only to get a large party for the ball; and a report soon followed that Mr. Kazura was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a number of ladies, but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing, that instead of twelve he brought only six with him from London—his five sisters and a cousin. And when the party entered the assembly room it consisted of only five altogether—Mr. Kazura, his parent, and Mr. Kazura.
Mr. Kazura was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His parents were fine person, with an air of decided fashion. His father, Mr. Shinji, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Souma soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Kazura, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud; to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Elfrieden could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.
Mr. Kazura had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Grisea. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Souma danced only once with Kazura’s Mother and once with Kazura himself, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walking about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Zirconia, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters.
Lieze had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time, Mr. Souma had been standing near enough for her to hear a conversation between him and Mr. Kazura, who came from the dance for a few minutes, to press his friend to join it.
“Come, Souma,” said he, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”
“I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with.”
“I would not be so fastidious as you are,” cried Mr. Kazura, “for a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty.”
“You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,” said Mr. Souma, looking at the eldest Miss Nelson.
“Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.”
“Which do you mean?” and turning round he looked for a moment at Lieze, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.”
Mr. Kazura followed his advice. Mr. Souma walked off; and Lieze remained with no very cordial feelings toward him. She told the story, however, with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.
The evening altogether passed off pleasantly to the whole family. Mrs. Zirconia had seen her eldest daughter much admired by the Grisea party. Mr. Kazura had danced with her twice, and she had been distinguished by his sisters. Mutsumi was as much gratified by this as Zirconia could be, though in a quieter way. Lieze felt Jane's pleasure. Shinji had heard herself mentioned to Miss Kazura as the most accomplished girl in the neighbourhood. They returned, therefore, in good spirits to Gunma, the village where they lived, and of which they were the principal inhabitants. They found Mr. Nelson still up. With a book he was regardless of time; and on the present occasion he had a good deal of curiosity as to the event of an evening which had raised such splendid expectations. He had rather hoped that his wife's views on the stranger would be disappointed; but he soon found out that he had a different story to hear.
“Oh! my dear Mr. Nelson,” as she entered the room, “we have had a most delightful evening, a most excellent ball. I wish you had been there. Jane was so admired, nothing could be like it. Everybody said how well she looked; and Mr. Kazura thought her quite beautiful, and danced with her twice! Only think of that, my dear; he actually danced with her twice! and she was the only creature in the room that he asked a second time. First of all, he asked Miss Lucas. I was so vexed to see him stand up with her! But, however, he did not admire her at all; indeed, nobody can, you know; and he seemed quite struck with Jane as she was going down the dance. So he inquired who she was, and got introduced, and asked her for the two next. Then the two third he danced with Miss King, and the two fourth with Maria Lucas, and the two fifth with Jane again, and the two sixth with Lieze, and the Boulanger—”
“If he had had any compassion for me,” cried her husband impatiently, “he would not have danced half so much! For God's sake, say no more of his partners. Oh that he had sprained his ankle in the first dance!”
“Oh! my dear, I am quite delighted with him. He is so excessively handsome! And his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw anything more elegant than their dresses. I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Shino's gown—”
Here she was interrupted again. Mr. Nelson protested against any description of finery. She was therefore obliged to seek another branch of the subject, and related, with much bitterness of spirit and some exaggeration, the shocking rudeness of Mr. Souma.
When Valetta was going to say it, but Kazura suddenly turned his head back and noticed that the villagers had finished with assembling the parts near the pullcart, and so she leaked out a small sigh in relief.
「Hm? What’s with me?」 (Kazura)
Kazura asked Valetta back, but she only made a small troubled smile and answered.
「Etto , let’s continue the talk later at evening..... Leaving that aside I just realized, but this waterwheel axle is made from metal, while the new waterwheel had the axle and bearing was made from made from wood, will it be alright?」(Valetta)
She changed the topic.
Although Kazura was curious about what Valetta wanted to say, it wasn’t really necessary for him to stubbornly pursue her for it.
Since the topic had been changed, once again they were wiping the waterwheel as Kazura started to answer Valetta’s question.
「Aah, I think it will be fine. The number of parts is a bit smaller than the waterwheel made from Japan, not to mention the amount of pumped water isn’t huge anyway, so the axle won’t receive too much of a burden. If we keep using it, it might get worn down, though, so we might need to buy copper or bronze from Isteria.」(Kazura)
While he thought that it might not happen, if the axle of waterwheel no. 2 really got worn out, then it might be necessary to detach it temporarily and remake the axle.
Thought it would be troublesome, they could once again go to Isteria to purchase copper or bronze, and manufacture the axle or bearing in the village.
Either way, because he expected the axle won’t became useless so soon, there would be no problem for it to turn by the time Nelson’s subordinate Isaac arrived.
When the necessity arose, the axle could be made from whatever kind of wood, or the axle could be exchanged with the one from waterwheel no. 1 or they could just leave the waterwheel aside.
「Bronze.... Could the village smelt that and make an axle from it?」(Kazura)
「It’ll be good if they are able to, but it might be faster to request it from the blacksmith in Isteria..... Alright, I wonder if it’s adequately dry like this?」(Valetta)
They had wiped off a large amount of water, Kazura looked at the waterwheel and took a short rest.
After this, they would assemble the waterwheel no.2 while the currently installed waterwheel would be demounted, for that change it was necessary to dug out the wheel-bearing pillars.
Though it was very hard labor, since the villagers had been physically strengthened by the food that Kazura brought, they seemed to carry out the task easily.
「Do we also need to help with assembling the waterwheel?」(Kazura)
「Yes..... However, it seemed that they’ve already finished the assembling.」(Valetta)
Hearing Valetta’s answer, Kazura looked towards the villagers, they already finished assembling the waterwheel.
As expected, since they had made the parts themselves, they could quickly assemble it.
「What? It’s true. Then, let’s take a break until the waterwheel get dry.」(Kazura)
「Yes, you’re right.」(Valetta)
Even if the new waterwheel had been assembled, the old waterwheel needed some time for it to get dry.
Since there was no need to install it in hurry, they decided to take a break for a moment.
After the villagers – who had just finished assembling the new waterwheel – took a break for 30 minutes and drank the water from the river, they would detach the old waterwheel.
Kazura wanted to join in detaching the waterwheel, but the villagers replied,
「If it just detaching it, we can do it ourselves. Kazura-sama can take a rest.」(Villager)
Together with several villagers who weren’t participating and Valetta, Kazura watched the villagers performed the task without a problem.
Thanks to the scorching sun the waterwheel had become sufficiently dry, so they were able to safely remove the waterwheel from its bearing without their hands slipping.
They then dug up the bearing that was fixed to the ground, because of their physical strength the villagers were able to finish the task quickly, and they replaced it with a new bearing made from wood.
In the same way as the waterwheel from Japan, because the pumped water was constantly flowing through the bearing, they could completely cool the heat generated from friction.
「Well then, let’s install the new waterwheel.」(Villager)
The villagers who declined Kazura participation raised their voice as they lifted up the assembled waterwheel that had been laid down in the ground.
「Finally the waterwheel that we have put together will turn...... I’ll go and remove the board that blockade the waterway.」(Valetta)
「Thank you very much..... I wonder if it will turn properly....」 (Kazura)
While Kazura was anxious about the technicality, they had finished installing the waterwheel no. 2. After this they only needed to make the river water flow in the waterway.
When Valetta had confirmed that the waterwheel had been installed,
「I will now remove the board」(Valetta)
She declared to everyone and removed the wooden board that blocked the waterway from the river.
The flowing river water pushed the blade of the newly installed waterwheel no.2 and it slowly started to turn.
「Oh, it’s turning, it’s turning. The turning speed is irregular, though......」(Kazura)
The water wheel began to turn. Seeing this, the villagers clapped hands or bumped shoulders with each other to show their joy, meanwhile Kazura was checking the waterwheel from the side with serious expression.
Valetta returned to Kazura’s side with a board in her hand.
「Kazura-san, how is it?」(Valetta)
「Hmm..... Yes, I think this is fine.」(Kazura)
Hearing Kazura’s reply, Valetta showed a smile of relief on her face and gazed at the aqueduct that flowed from the turning waterwheel to Grisea village.
Compared to the old installed waterwheel, the amount of water that was pumped was only about half, however waterwheel no. 2 still properly sent river water to the village.
「Then, since we’ve finished replacing the waterwheel safely, let’s dismantle he old waterwheel now and then return to the village.」(Kazura)
「Kazura-sama, can’t we just take the old waterwheel back to the village just as it is?」(Villager)
Hearing Kazura’s words, one of the villagers that stood beside the detached waterwheel made a suggestion.
「Although it would be better if we transport it as is, but I think it would be too heavy to carry it to the village, right?」(Kazura)
Even though the separate waterwheel parts were not that heavy by themselves, as a complete set the weight was about 400 kg.
Though it would be possible for them to transport it somehow if they took turns in carrying it, since the waterwheel lacked places for good grip, it would be a difficult task.
「It will be alright, I think that we can carry it in turns, right guys?」(Villager)
「Yea! We can just carry it just as it is!」 (Villager)
As the villagers spoke that, 6 people were holding the waterwheel that was lying on the ground – 2 people in the front, 2 in the back, and 2 on the side. They then started to walk at a steady pace towards the village.
The two people on the side were only there to support the balance, so it ws only 4 people that were actually lifting the waterwheel up.
The remaining villagers were also walking behind the group carrying the waterwheel.
「Eee..... Surely each person needs to lift about 100 kg, but how can everyone still do it effortlessly.....」 (Kazura)
「Kazura-san, let’s us also go back to the village.」 (Valetta)
Kazura was standing still in shock, overwhelmed by this unexpected event that had unfolded before him, but then he heard Valetta’s call and turned to her and looked at the lovely smiling Valetta with his back drenched from sweat.
「A, ano, is something wrong?」(Valetta)
Valetta, who was intensely stared at by Kazura, became flushed red in embarrassment. Kazura also became flustered and immediately dismissed his wild delusion of 『Valetta one-handedly crushing an apple』. Both of them start walking, following the villagers to the village.
During that evening.
After finishing with dinner, as always Kazura and Valetta sat side by side in front of the burning hearth and began their study lesson.
Today’s lesson subject was about the human body’s functions, they read the reference book and learned about human body’s anatomy and physiology.
Even though Kazura was a layman in this field, he still also studied it together with Valetta, but because it was obvious that Valetta was learning it swiftly, he felt slightly overwhelmed by her.
As of now, the lesson subject that was being taught to Valetta changed every day, it was a study method where they learn little by little each day.
From the 「classroom subjects」 like mathematics or physics to things like expert tea making or food preservation methods, Kazura taught various lessons from reference books or firsthand materials and Valetta keenly absorbed everything, just like a dry sponge, absolutely every little bit of the lessons she had received were crammed into her head.
Not only she diligently takes notes, but it was also written in Japanese characters, as if she had already mastered the language.
Both of them were reading the reference book, when Kazura listened to Valetta who read aloud the subject of 『If blood vessel is a river, then the red blood cells are the boats』 while he was frantically took a note, he remembered about that noon when Valetta had looked like she’d wanted to talk about something. After waiting until Valetta finished reading the reference book, Kazura asked her.
「Valetta-san, about this noon......」(Kazura)
「Kazura-san, plasma protein is.... ah, yes, what is it?」(Valetta)
Valetta who wanted to ask Kazura about the meaning of a word she’d never seen before switched her concentration from studying to listening to Kazura’s question.
「I remembered that this noon Valetta-san wanted to ask me something, I’m curious about what you wanted to ask......」(Kazura)
At that question, Valetta’s face immediately showed a perplexed expression. She made some resolution in her mind and then looked at Kazura seriously.
Seeing Valetta’s serious expression, Kazura was wondering what kind of topic she wanted to broach and so he readied himself.
「Kazura-san, you-...... you a-...... you are a human, right?」(Valetta)
What a pushy guy.