Dream Life Chapter 7.2: “Inspection”


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 The next day, I was so nervous all morning.


 The excitement of exploring the village with my father, of seeing a new world, was boiling within me.


 As I rode my father’s horse with him, I was a little intimidated by my elevation from atop the horse.



(It’s higher than I thought it would be. There’s nowhere to hold on to…) (Zack)



 It is several times higher than my normal line of sight, and I almost cling to the saddle every time I am rocked on the horse’s back.


 My father chuckled and look at me asking, “Are you scared?”



“I’m scared. I was on the back of a wagon when I left the mansion before, and I’ve never ridden a horse before.” (Zack)



 I forgot that Nicholas was watching me and spoke in an infantile way to a more serious manner.


 Nicholas’ smile seems to freeze, but I ignore it and cling to the saddle.



 After the descent from the mansion, we pass through the gates that surround the hill.


 The gate was not a big one, but a rather thick wooden plank door that could easily be broken by a wild animal, even a large one such as a boar or a bear.



 There are five hills in the village of Rathmore.


 “Castle Hill”, where the mansion is located. Starting from the north is surrounded by “North Hill”, “East Hill” and “West Hill”, and finally the southernmost is “South Hill”.


 The road that runs through the village is a dirt road that has been leveled, and it winds its way through the hills.


 The villagers’ houses are all one-story houses with white plaster walls and thatched slate roofs, and there are several to ten houses clustered together along the road.


 As I could see from the houses, the hills were plowed with a patchwork of fields, sheep and cows were in the green pastures, and pigs were behind the houses.



 My first impression was that it was dirtier than I expected.



(It’s a pretty landscape from a distance, but up close it’s pretty dirty. It hasn’t rained for the past four days, but the roads are muddy. And there’s livestock manure mixed in with the mud…) (Zack)



 Then, as we went around the hills one by one, I looked at the fields and the villagers.


 As we pass, the farmers take off their hats and bow their heads to us.



(Is it because my father is the lord? In a manner of speaking, he must be really respected.)



 From what I could see of them, they were plowing the fields with hoes and plows but did not appear to be using horses or cattle.


 I asked so that Nicholas could hear me, “They don’t use horses or cattle?”



“There are hardly any horses in the mansion. The cows are only here to be milked, so we don’t let them work in the fields.” (Nicholas)



 The serious Nicholas answered me, a four-year-old boy, with a dignified manner.



(The use of farm horses should have been around a long time ago, right? We could just use bulls too…) (Zack)



 I ask my father to drop me off and we go to see the field.


 A stout farmer in his thirties is surprised at my appearance. He rushes over to see if something is wrong.


 My father smiles and raises his hand, which immediately brings a look of relief, but he may still be anxious, “May I help you?” He asked with a concerned look on his face.



 I asked my father to show me the farming tools and he showed me the hoe.


 The hoe was similar in shape to those seen in Japan, and the digging part was made of iron.



(In a manner of speaking, are they using iron farming tools? I guess the idea that the use of iron tools would dramatically increase agricultural production has been rejected….) (Zack)



 I feign disinterest in the farm tools and pick up a handful of soil.



(It’s a little dry. It’s the end of May and it’s not wheat, so they’re probably planting beans or potatoes, but shouldn’t the soil be a little darker? I’m not sure if my agricultural knowledge is accurate, but it sounds like they should put some fertilizer in the ground…) (Zack)



 I made my voice as cute as I could and said, “What are you doing now?” I ask.


 The farmer looked at my father with a slightly troubled look on his face and then began to explain slowly so that even a child could understand.



“We are plowing now to sow the beans later. It hasn’t rained yet, so we’re going to sow them before then…” (Farmer)



 With that, he showed me the bean seeds.


 The beans were larger than soybeans and seemed to be sown directly. Apparently, they cannot be sown when it rains, so they are taking advantage of the sunny weather we have had for the past few days.



 I thanked him and gestured to father that we should leave the place. My father says, “We’ll get out of your way,” and leave.



 After we finished looking at the fields, we arrived at the center of the four hills, i.e., the center of the village of Rathmore.


 The center of the village was lined with nearly twenty houses, among which were two wooden but two-story buildings. One of the houses had a small sign attached to it.


 The sign read “Black Pond’s Black Rough Pavilion,” which my father explained was the only tavern in the village.



(Is the liquor made in this village? If so, I have something to try…) (Zack)



 The other two-story house is said to be the house where the face of this village, the representative of the villagers, lives, and also serves as a meeting place.



(Is this the downtown of the village? It’s a small village, so it might be like this, but the ground is muddy here too…) (Zack)



 I again ask my father to show me to Gordon’s house, who is the face of the community.


 The sudden appearance of the lord surprised Gordon’s wife, who, bowing her head, scurried to the field where her husband was.


 A few minutes later, a stout, out-of-breath man of about 40 years old rushes into the house.



“Well, my lord, what brings you here so suddenly today?” (Gordon)


“I’m sorry. My son came with me today to inspect the village. I thought I’d show his face to you first. Well, I’m really grateful.” (Matt)



 The father apologized for his trouble, but Gordon seemed to be a little pleased to hear that the Lord himself had come to show his son to him.



“No, I would be honored to introduce myself to your son. But first, please make yourself at home.” (Gordon)



 Gordon ordered his wife to get refreshments, but Father smiled and refused by saying, “Please don’t trouble yourself.”



“I want you to show us around this area for a bit. So please go back to work without worrying yourself.” (Matt)



 Gordon looks a little confused but is convinced that he is just a father accompanying his son’s selfishness.



 We left Gordon’s house and went around to the back.


 There is a well in the back of the house, and beyond the well is a field.


 Around the well, housewives were chatting and washing dishes, but one middle-aged woman noticed my father, the lord, and began to bow her head hurriedly.



(As one would expect in a village of about 500 people, the lord’s face must be easily recognizable. And since Grandfather and Father are both commoners and friendly, to begin with, I guess they don’t deal with him that formally… But then again, I don’t see any children?) (Zack)



 I was concerned that I hadn’t seen any children, especially children my age or anyone younger, so I decided to ask my father.



“I don’t see any kids like me, where are they?” (Zack)



 Father didn’t seem to know either, and asked one of the women, “Are the kids working?”



“No, we care for the little ones in rotation. They should be at Jethro’s today.” (Woman)



 Apparently, there is a system for taking care of children in the community, and it too is done on a rotating basis.



(I see. That’s surprisingly reasonable. If it works out well, we might be able to set up something like a kindergarten.) (Zack) [T/N: Zack said actually said Terakoya “寺子屋” or a temple school during the Edo period. They are private schools run by learned people like Samurai, Buddhist priests, and well-off commoners. They teach reading and writing but more important skills that they can use in the future and not just knowledge.]



 We left the place and headed for the dwarven blacksmith.

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