Holding hands with Mel, we
headed to Dan and Sharon’s house.
Their house is about 20 meters
from the Marlon’s house, with the same trees growing around the house.
(If you look closely, you can see
walnut-like shells falling. Could this be a tree that produces edible fruit?)
After passing through a small
forest, we came to a field planted with leafy vegetables, and sheep were
grazing in the meadow beyond.
(Dan and Sharon are about the
same age as me. Their father is Guy, and their mother is Claire? I have the
impression that Guy owns a bow, too. Is he like an English longbowman? I think
Claire has a strong image like my mother. Is she some kind of nanny or
nursemaid? …But I thought they were squires serving the Lockhart family. …or
were they hunters or farmers or something? There are a lot of things I don’t
At Sharon’s house, just like at
Mel’s, I immediately opened the door and said, “Dan! Sharon! Let’s
play!” I shouted.
I am so embarrassed that my
face gets really hot, but I keep up the act desperately so as not to look
A boy about my age with blond
hair like a slightly lighter ear of wheat emerges from inside and quickly
“Good morning, Master
A little confused by Dan’s
energetic voice, I said, “Good morning, Dan!” I return the greeting.
Behind him, a quiet-looking
girl, Sharon, also comes up to him.
Sharon was a beautiful
doll-like girl with silvery blond hair and pale blue eyes.
When I said, “Good
morning, Sharon,” she greeted me with a slightly shy expression.
Her mother, Claire, came up
Claire was in her early
twenties, about the same age as my mother, Tanya, a slender, blonde-haired
After greeting me with a
smile, she gently asks, “What are you going to do today?” It seems
that she is the caretaker of the four of us and that she was watching over us yesterday
“Maybe we should go for a
walk today.” (Zack)
Claire tilted her head at my
words, “A walk?”, she asked.
(Was I wrong? Call me
childish, but I’ve never raised a child, and I’ve had very little contact with
small children. Remember what Zack likes… horses or… no, I’ve been told to
stay away from horses…) (Zack)
Perhaps thinking my silence
was not clear enough for me to grasp the meaning of the question, Claire asked,
“Where are you going for your walk?”
(Well, she asked me where I
was going… I just want to see the area near the mansion. …How should I
“Hmm. I’m going to look
at the sheep and just around the mansion.” (Zack)
She said, “Don’t go too
far.” Then she laughed and warned us, “Don’t get too close to the sheep,
they are dangerous.
(She seems like a kind person.
She seems like a mother to the four of us…) (Zack)
I nod broadly and take
(Even though she’s a kid, I’d
rather hold a girl’s hand than a boy’s. Now, let’s use the “Reference”…) (Zack)
I used my Reference skill on
Sharon and got “Sharon Jakes, three years old, human, female”.
(We’re of the same age? Dan
seems to be a little bit older though, so he’s probably about four years old. I
wonder if this neighborhood is surprisingly populated with kids this close in
I have a lot of questions in
my head, but I push them to the corner of my mind and run out of the Jakes’
house with Sharon and Mel trailing behind me.
Dan was smiling and running closely
Once outside, we stopped
running and walked west toward a pasture-like meadow.
As I walked, I slowly looked
At the bottom of the hill
where the compound is located, there is a two- or three-meter-high fence made
of wood that surrounds the house. In addition to the wall, there was also a
watchtower made of logs.
(This whole hill may have
served as a fort rather than a mansion. The fact that it is surrounded by a
wall means that there are enemies outside, right? I don’t see any guards in
sight for that…) (Zack)
Then I take a good look at the
(At a cursory glance, the hill
itself has a diameter of two or three hundred meters, and at 300 meters, the
length of the wall should be about one kilometer. If we wanted to defend this fort,
we would need at least several hundred soldiers. And yet, there is not a soul
to be seen, not even at the watchtower. I have no idea what kind of situation we
Mel’s and Sharon’s houses are
on the south side of the compound. And from there, several houses were visible
closer to the residential area.
(They’re not barracks or
anything, just regular houses. Even though they’re small, they also have fields.
They’ve fenced off the entire hill. …to protect their livestock from wild
animals, I guess.) (Zack)
With this in mind, we
proceeded through the pasture.
Fluffy-haired sheep are
grazing here and there, but they are used to us and completely ignore us.
Dan was about to mess with the
sheep, but I ignored him and walked on through the pasture. As we approached
the western slope, I slowly turned my gaze and looked out at the landscape to
A river flowed at the end of
the hill, and the waterwheel in the shed was slowly turning.
Further ahead was a dark green
forest, and in the distance was a series of mountains that looked black.
(You could see a series of
hills and fields to the south. Far beyond that, in the distance, I could see a
mountain range. To the west, a river flowing, and beyond that, a deep forest…
what about to the north and east? From memory, it looks like there are forests
to the north and east. Apparently, our compound is the northernmost point of
this territory, and the village extends to the south.) (Zack)
After walking about a hundred
meters through the meadow, Dan called out to me from behind.
“It’s not fun just
walking around. Hey, let’s play knights.” (Dan)
We headed for the mansion,
appeasing Dan’s insistence with “…we’ll go for a little more of a walk
As we approached the mansion,
I heard shouts of “Ei! or “Hey!”
On the west side of the
compound, several men wearing leather armor were wielding swords and spears.
Among them was my grandfather,
My grandfather had a
well-trained, slender body, wore metal armor like plate armor, and wielded a
His face was deeply wrinkled
as if etched by years of hard work, but he looked younger than I had expected.
From memory, he looked old,
but if you look closely, he looks to be in his mid-forties, about the age I was
before I first came over here.
I’m three now, and my mother
is twenty-three. I don’t know how old my father was, but considering he was in
his mid-twenties, my grandfather could be in his mid-forties.
Zack’s memory is that I was
pretty scared of my grandfather, and I don’t have a very good impression of
A soldier with a spear, about
the same age as his grandfather, appears to be training a few young men.
That soldier was Walt, who had
been fetching water in the morning.
Grandfather is showing a
free-flowing sword form, while Walt is making a series of sharp thrusts into
(I have no knowledge of
martial arts, but I know that my grandfather’s Sword Arts is great. Walt’s Spear
Arts are rather plain in appearance, but it looks powerful too.)
Mixed in with the young
soldiers was a boy about the same age as my older brother Rod, wielding a
Rod and the boy are wobbling
unsteadily under the weight of the wooden sticks.
(I guess it’s no wonder he’s
about early elementary school age, but it looks like he’s having a hard time.
The other boy is… Sim? Is he Mel’s brother?) (Zack)
After watching the training
for a few minutes, we headed to the mansion’s yard – just a square of bare
Dan begged me to play knight,
but I was mentally exhausted after being forced to play with a toddler again.
(What a sad thing to have to
seriously imitate a toddler. At this moment, it seems to be much more fun to
participate in the training) (Zack)
I thought so, but I also
understood that my body was not yet ready to endure the training.
While swinging a wooden stick
around with Dan and Mel, I worked out my training plan.
(Building a body through play
is the most natural way to build a body. I should start with something like
calisthenics so that I can move my body freely. The pasture looks soft if I
choose the right spot, so I can start with basic exercises such as forward and
backward rolls, and then work up to climbing trees and rope climbing training equipment…)
Aside from Dan, Mel also seems
to be an active child, or perhaps he enjoys swinging wooden sticks around.
But Sharon, as quiet a child
as she appears to be, can’t get into the game.
I looked at her as if she was
bored and I asked, “What do you want to do, Sharon?”
She shakes her head and
mutters, “Anything is fine.”
(Memories about Sharon… leave
things as they are, or asking Claire a story would be fun…) (Zack)
“Then I’ll tell you a
I tell them the fairy tales I
know, such as Aesop’s Fables.
I tell her stories about the
North Wind and The Sun, and the Sly Fox, and so on, but my vocabulary is not
good enough in some places and I can’t keep the stories straight.
Still, Sharon seemed to enjoy
the stories and listened to them with a happy expression on her face.
Unbeknownst to me, Dan and Mel
were also listening, with interested looks on their faces.
Sharon said, ” Master
Zack, you are amazing!” and hugs me, but for some reason, Mel hugs me as
(Do these two have a soft spot
for Zack? Is that even possible at three or four years old? I have no idea.)
I continued to be pestered to
talk until it was time for lunch.
After lunch and a pleasant nap
with the four of us, we went for another walk around the compound.
During that walk, I was able
to confirm that there was a small forest on the east side of the compound, that
horses and cows were loose on the north side, and that every now and then a
villager would enter the compound and offer a greeting.
As the sun began to set and
the three of them left, I was suddenly very tired after a long day.
(I hadn’t done much physical
activity, but it’s absurdly tiring. I’m hungry, but I don’t have the energy to
eat. I now know exactly why a small child feels tired and whiny.) (Zack)
I whip my tired body into
shape, wash my hands and face at the well, and head for the dining hall.
While I was resting my weary
body in the dining hall, my grandfather and the rest of the family gathered
As in the morning, I take my
place at the table, and besides Molly, the maid, there are two young women,
about twenty years old, helping her.
One was Molly’s daughter,
Tricia, who, like Molly, always had a smile on her face. The other was Jean, a
quiet woman with beautiful dark hair and a calm demeanor.
As in the morning, the soup
was served on wooden plates, and more chunks of roasted meat were carved.
The bread was the same country
bread as in the morning, and wooden mugs were placed in front of grandfather.
That seemed to be all that was left for dinner today.
(For the time being, protein
and carbohydrates are all available. The only source of vitamins is the
vegetables in the soup… Though, I don’t think I’m going to get the
heat-sensitive vitamins… But then I don’t know much about nutrition…) (Zack)
The meal begins somehow,
without offering a prayer.
The only dishes are wooden
plates, no forks, just spoons and knives, and except for soup, the food is
basically eaten by hand.
(We need to improve our diet
and the way we eat, too. If we don’t wash our hands and grab food by hand, it’s
too unhygienic…) (Zack)
I made a mental note of what I
had felt all day and vowed to improve on it in the near future.