Chapter 24 – The Development Project
The discussion concerning the onward development of the village didn’t take place at the table inside the tribal chief’s house, like it would usually, but in the open space under the clear sky.
The heads of the village gathered around the single sheet of woodblock pasted together.
A rough map, which was drawn using charcoal, was seen on this big woodblock.
In the center of the village, there was a double circled house representing the tribal chief’s house.
South of it, houses in the form of dots were placed bit by bit, including the house of Eiji and Tanya.
In front of the village, there was an expanding forest and the path which lead to the Tal village far off from the Siena.
Collaborative field lands, which used new farming methods, stretched along the east side. In front of them was the flowing river, and beside it, the blacksmith’s workshop.
To the west, the stretching mountain, rich in iron ore and clay, could be seen. Whereas in the northern part, there was an area used for wood lumbering together with the public cemetery.
Despite calling it a village, each building was separated far apart, not to mention the households near the suburbs, where fellow families hardly saw each other.
Everyone’s faces gathered, focusing and questioning Eiji about the development hereafter.
Well then, where should I start working from? – he wondered.
Eiji, who retrieved his lost memories, didn’t know in detail, but, he would hit upon many ideas, which seemed to be effective and profitable.
However, just saying “let’s begin” won’t yield result the next day.
Because of that, it was necessary to arrange preparations, make use of the effort, build up a plan, and wait for the outcome.
Eiji couldn’t anticipate exactly how long it would take; therefore, he had set up a criterion as the condition of the development.
Eiji named it as the effect of compound interest in the development.
He didn’t care whether the effects of the development would pile up little by little in amount.
In exchange, it would open possibilities of yielding results one after another within a short period of time.
Like that, wouldn’t that make life become more pleasant, allow more place for free time, and increase the speed of the development?
Perhaps a big development would generate great profits; nevertheless, during that time, the size of the labor force would reduce and the life would become financially stringent.
In the first place, it was a poor lifestyle, where one wouldn’t know what kind of tomorrow awaits.
Once the weather turned worse, it would lower the amount of produced crops, becoming enough of a reason to make one suffer from famine.
Eiji knew that such big development in the lifestyle would be the same betting all-in in a disadvantageous gamble.
The development, which was now in effect, consisted of three elements, i.e.: land reclamation, reformation of farming methods, as well as replacement of bronze tools with the iron-made ones.
– Well then, provided that we continue the reclamation of the land this way, how about the rest?
– I think turning the soap into a standard good for trading purpose will be a good idea, so I should become able to make it regularly.
– It would be nice if we could increase the number of goods for exchange, wouldn’t it?
– I need people in order to produce more lumber.
Hearing Bona’s question, it was natural for Jane to put forward her suggestion.
Because only Eiji and Pietro knew about the method of producing the soap, the exchange ratio was high.
Furthermore, considering that it only requires replenishing the stock of livestock’s fat, it made the cost unusually cheap.
A great amount of the soap was regularly requested as a trading good by the villages which specialized in cloth production, not only for hygiene purpose, but also as a detergent for their production.
And the even greater reason, it was significant in reducing the number of lice and fleas. Eiji completely agreed on that matter.
Eiji thought that even telling the method of their making would be fine, but Jane, Mike, and Fernando were against that idea.
They justified it by saying that he was too friendly in giving away profits by simply telling other people.
The one who mentioned needing more people was Philip.
It was said that the amount of consumption was raised due to Eiji’s smithing works. Because of that, Philip, who was in charge of supplying the whole village with lumber, had it tough.
Therefore, it was decided that children, who currently had no specified job, would be deployed to help.
– Eiji, you probably still have lots of ideas, don’t you? Was it a horseshoe that you mentioned?
– It’s an item which you attach to a horse’s hoof.
Eiji explained the construction of the horseshoe.
However, Eiji, who regained a rough knowledge regarding iron-made products, could understand the trouble of completing it.
Back in pre-war days, when horses were commonly used, there were many blacksmiths who specialized in making horseshoes.
It was a kind of a delicate job, enough for covering their life necessities. Of course, it was still far better than doing nothing, nevertheless, due to their half-hearted skills, it was not possible to draw out the full potential of the horses.
– Are you thinking about anything else?
– I was thinking about a cattle shed…. This would gather and house all those privately owned livestock from the other families.
– Is there a sense in gathering them in one place?
-There is. Right now, we are living under the same roof with the wild boars while raising them. Everyone does so as well, right?
– We do.
– I wonder if would be similar to my house, where I have someone raise the livestock.
– Tribal chief’s house would be an exception, wouldn’t it? By gathering cattle and horses into one place and assigning specialized people to raise them, every household would earn lots of time. Again, it will make collecting horse and cattle dung easier, as well as creating compost. On top of that, you will get more space, which you can use to arrange your house, and not just that, it will help prevent us, who are living together with livestock, from falling into sickness. I see it like this.
– Why do you say it will help prevent us from getting sick?
Eiji explained, not only to Jane but the rest of members.
Because the people, whom he had to deal with, had no knowledge about microorganism and germs, it was hard for Eiji to explain in detail about hygiene, therefore, he couldn’t get them to understand.
In the end, he managed to convince them by using beings, such as gods and evil as an example, which was the easiest way to have them believe.
The reason why Eiji wished for a cattle shed was due to his intention of maintaining a hygienic life, as well as him wanting to prevent them from falling into any illness, even if it was just a little.
Furthermore, if the land reclamation progresses, the amount of fodder will increase, which will result in raising more cattle and horses, boosting the livestock productivity at the same time. If you repeat the same process of land reclamation again, you could expect the virtuous circle to continue.
Eiji thought about conducting this experiment on a small scale first. Even if it were to fail, the effects could be reversed.
– It seems that Eiji can understand things that are not comprehensible for me; however, I guess I understand what his intentions are. The only thing remaining for you to do would be to precisely list out the detail of the talk, such as how you plan to build the shed in practice, as well as place where it should be build and the methods, which you are going to apply.
– I think, as for chickens, it should be fine to enclose them inside of a fence, outside the house.
– There shouldn’t be anyone considering the walking distance to be troublesome in collecting eggs.
– Later, I believe it will be necessary to construct a small cabin in the watermill near my workshop, so as to use the watermill for powder grinding. After that, we should probably replace every house’s roof with tiles, instead of the straw-thatched one currently in use.
– And this tile is?
– It’s a board-shaped item made from the burned earth. Once we pile them up, they can protect us from the rains. Because tiles don’t rot, there’s no need to spent time drying them, like in case of straw-thatched roofing.
– Wouldn’t that increase the burden for the carpenter?! Recently, I’ve become able to use Thomas, but it’s not much, so it doesn’t seem like we can do that as well, you see.
Once Eiji finished explaining the role of tiles, Fernando raised his voice in panic.
From his face, you could tell he didn’t have much spare time.
Nevertheless, Eiji shook his head while denying him.
– Indeed carpenters have it tough with the amount of jobs, but the farmers are too troubled with the land reclamation now.
– In addition to Eiji, who’s in charge of supervising and smithing, everyone is busy. It’s not just you. (Bona’s accent)
– Even If I’m told so, together with Thomas we have only 2 pair of hands. It’s only natural to not be able to do the impossible.
– Well, wouldn’t it be nice to find some people that are free during winter?
– That’s it! Mike, you said something rare coming from you.
– Certainly, our blockhead can come up with good ideas, which doesn’t suit him at all.
– Hey, were you praising me or slandering me, which one was it?!
– I wonder.
As Jane and Fernando were evasive with their answers, Mike began to press them with his questions.
Eiji watched it attentively as a smile appeared on his face.
– Because my suggestion was the best, I want you to praise me more naturally.
– Yeah yeah, that was great.
– Even the tribal chief!?
Eiji knew it.
Mike would desperately hunt wild beasts in order to preserve the livestock, even if it was just a little.
Not only that, he also gets along with the other farmers and makes sure that the communication is exacted[continued?], as well as helping the management go smoothly.
At time of crisis, he would stand in front and bear the blunt of any criticism and dissatisfaction.
Because everyone knows it, he was standing where he was.
Eiji thought about trying to rely on him.
If he were to rely on everyone who has gathered in this place, he should be able to overcome whatever the hurdle it is.
For that reason, Eiji was resolute in properly observing and managing the people in this village.
For instance, were he to observe the way in which Philip conducts his work, he should definitely be able to assist Philip by making tools and coming up with a plan.
In front of things one ought to do, there was no anxiety for Eiji.
Translator and reference notes:
: The japanese word ‘ushi’ can be generally used to describe any cattle related animals. Because of that, I sometimes used cows, and sometimes oxen, which was wrong by me. Sorry for that.