Chapter 37 – The Disturbance of A Fierce Battle
The next day after the meeting, Both Eiji and Pietro arrived at the workshop in order to make spear heads, even if it was just one.
Eiji decided not to make weapons for killing humans.
However, if it is to protect themselves against beasts, then it’s a different story.
After that, he would come up with a way to prevent his tools from being used for fighting each other.
– Once the riot settles down, it should be fine to remodel them into something else.
– Master, did you say something?
– No, because we have no time today, I will use the water-powered hammer. Pietro, first concentrate on shaving and sharpening the tool’s design.
Reshaping the tools will result in a decrease of iron; nevertheless, in order to compromise one’s own belief with the reality, there was no other option for Eiji.
He concentrated his feelings on making the tool.
A big spear head probably wasn’t necessary.
As long as it’s hard enough to pierce through a wolf’s skin and has the right sharpness, it would be better to make it light.
There were no soldiers that would normally practice in this village.
Therefore, the villagers might run out of breath if the blade is heavy and hard to operate.
Even if they had little experience, they probably had enough skills not to become a hindrance, however, it didn’t seem like they could manage several beasts at the same time.
Furthermore, it takes time to make something huge.
Eiji deemed that it would be better to focus on producing numerous and high quality weapons.
From that moment, Eiji’s job sped up.
In any case, the water-powered hammer was now processing to folding-back.
Hitting with a pressure that would be impossible with mere human’s strength, the hammer stretched the iron steadily.
The speed was many times faster than the pace Pietro had when swing the big hammer.
Folding back, sticking together, stretching, and then folding back again.
Like that, it will create many layers, making a mild steel.
The hammer will create steel in the same manner and plate it with a another steel.
The work, in which one would normally produce 1 or 2 items using hands, could yield as many as 5 items thanks to the water-powered hammer.
The spear head, which was around 20 cm, was supposed to be used in short spears.
So as to make sure that the blade won’t chip, it was made additionally thick and had its angle increased.
All of the spears had the same size and shape. It was a workmanship in which one wouldn’t doubt whether they were made by a machine or not.
Still, there was one spear with an exceptionally long blade tip.
Eiji planned to have this one wielded by someone who could boast of his strength.
– Master too will go out for the hunt, right?
– Yeah. I don’t know how much of use will I become, but…
– Please pay attention so as not to get injured. I… still need to have Master teach me.
– I’ll be taking action by prioritizing my safety first, since I don’t have much confidence.
Back in his school years, Eiji wouldn’t be weak at sports, such as track-and-field running or ball games; nonetheless, he couldn’t lump that together with a life-threatening activity.
Therefore, he didn’t plan to force himself at all.
Accepting Pietro’s consideration, Eiji promised to return safe and sound.
It was evening.
The sky in the western direction was dyed red and the weather gradually turned cold.
The whole area surrounding the tribal chief’s house became a gathering spot.
– What are these things?
– They’re used to protect your lower legs and arms. If you go just like that and get bitten, their fangs will pierce through your bones. If that were to happen, you’ll lose heat and depart from this world.
What Eiji received from Mike’s were leg and arm protectors.
Both of them were made from thick cattle skin and adjusted with a leather strap.
After he tried to hit it, a hard sound of tapping together with the skin’s sensation returned.
Could this be…?
– Was it the tanning method which applies the tannin that you told us? It succeeded. The hardness feels nice, doesn’t it? Hehe.
– You managed to succeed with only that much information?
– Yeah, still, it was bothersome, you see. There was a problem, as we could only soak the outer part of the skin once we submerged it inside the thick liquid. That’s why I guessed that we need to increase the normal density so as to reach the state of having it soaked completely. You got it?
– That’s incredible.
Eiji was completely in admiration for Mike, who rubbed his chin as if being proud.
Despite Eiji claiming that he had told ‘only that much information’, what he really conveyed was that there’s a method called tanning, and that it requires lots of tree barks together with grass in order to apply the method.
To think that Mike discovered and establish a completely new technique from that almost single piece of information.
– What? Your eyes are glittering. It feels gross.
– You are quite a genius, ain’t you?
– Oh?! This is the first time in my life that I was flattered.
– Actually forget it, you were mishearing.
– Don’t say things like that!
Not being a scholar-like genius, a laborer can be some sort of a genius as well.
And rather than just a mere meaning from the word, Eiji could respect Mike in the context of being a creator.
– Well, that’s fine. I’ll properly engrave those words of yours in my head.
– You’re too bashful. You really have never been praised, haven’t you?
– Shut up. Think about how many heartbreaking moments I have gone through, like when I was still a young boy and told of having hunting skills, but having no brai-
– I’m done putting on the protective gear.
– Listen to me, will you?! At least hear what people want to say! Let me see… ain’t they coming undone? Tie them properly; otherwise they will loosen up during the hours of walking.
As Mike helped with adjustments, the preparations were done.
Looking around, everyone was wearing the same leg and arm protectors, which gave an impression of them being quite heavily guarded.
Now that they were about to move toward the scene of fighting, the atmosphere was filled with enthusiasm and excitement.
Everyone was nervous and exchanged lots of conversations. They would repeat drinking water and going for a pee.
I too, feel like this. – Eiji thought.
However much he prioritized his safety, his heart wouldn’t settle down.
His lips became dry and his heart beat was noisier than usual.
It seemed that Mike was composed, as expected of him.
Once Mike noticed any other person that was still unprepared, he would draw near and advise them.
– Alright, it seems that everyone is done with their preparations. We will soon depart.
– Yeah (everyone)
At Mike’s command, everyone nodded and departed out from the tribal chief’s house.
The vicinity was dim and the evening sun was about to sink.
In front of the house, there was a single big wheelbarrow, inside of which, wooden boards and large amounts of stones were gathered.
– These things, what do you plan to do with them?
– They’re part of our secret plan for countermeasures against the wolves.
– You mean these wooden boards? How do you plan to use them?
– For an intellectual play, which I came up with. Don’t fret and wait for the right time.
– Mike-san’s intellect? I can sense something bad coming from that.
– Have more faith in me, will you?!
Having Mike leaning forward in front of him, Eiji calmed him down using his hands.
– He does. It could be that Eiji-san believes Mike-san to the extent of being fond of you.
– Eh? What’s the meaning of that? Could it be that you were fond of me?
– I believe you. Well then, everyone, let’s prepare to depart.
– Wai-Hey, answer me! Your attitude turned worse all of a sudden.
– You’re getting nervous. Don’t worry; there should be as little anxiety as there is in your conjugal relationship.
Eiji formed a line together with the other members.
Had he been no longer fond of Mike, he would have probably been long gone.
The relationship between these two was extremely favorable.
However, one could say that Eiji had little expectations for Mike’s intellect.
Inside the women’s camp, there were a few that went out to see off the men.
They were the ones in charge of preparing a meal for their men once they return.
Those women, who primarily had no children and would be safe by just fastening doors and gathering, came to this place. One of them was Tanya.
– Tanya-san, you too please take care.
– I’ll be together with the others. Eiji-san too, it will be bad if you get injured.
– I’ll be fine. Still, I’m worried, so please give me a small kiss as a prayer for my safety.
– Ehh? But isn’t everyone watching?
– It’s for my safe return.
– T-that’s embarrassing…!
Tanya quickly kissed him.
As soon as Eiji felt a bit of a soft sensation on his lips, Tanya distanced herself.
Eiji felt somehow lonely, but, with all the people’s eyes fixed upon them, she managed to muster her courage.
One couldn’t say it was extravagant.
Hearing the voices of cheering men, Tanya cast her eyes down while having a red face.
Similarly, other married couples kissed.
Because those who had children can’t see their partners, they could only stare at that scene.
Hmph, go die. – Eiji had the feeling he could hear such voices.
Facing toward the departing men, Tanya waved her hand as long as she could.
Perhaps she was waving till their silhouette disappeared.
Tanya lost her previous husband because of war.
Indeed, Eiji could easily imagine Tanya becoming stressed from him being sent out for hunting.
Holding spears, shields, and torchlights, they advanced while changing their shifts in pushing the wheelbarrow from time to time.
The troops consisted of 3 vertical lines with Eiji being inside.
Mike was leading in front, whereas, Philip was supporting the back.
The hunting dog, Gero, was walking next to Mike.
It was probably trying to detect the wolves using its sharp sense of smell.
It would halt from time to time while changing their route a little.
The sound of clattering wheels echoed noisily.
At first, they were walking along the path from the village, but they soon strayed from it and moved toward the grazing land, on which sheep and goats would be raised.
Their footsteps gradually became unsteady and their view turned darker, making it impossible for them to look far.
– So you appeared, Fernando-san.
– Well then. Those guys have good noses, so I wonder how well it will proceed despite saying that we will use a sheep as decoy.
– If we do it recklessly, they might notice our ambush and try to assault us from different spots.
– Well, from what we’ve learned about their behavior, the wolves should probably act that way, still….
– That’s worrisome, isn’t it?
– It’s worrisome indeed….
Making eye contact, the two of them nodded. Right now, it seemed as though they both could mutually understand each other.
Haa – Once Eiji sighed, he looked over the lines of troops again.
Originally, they planned to enclose 3 sheep inside the fence surrounding the grazing land and move the other sheep to a different fenced-in area.
The strategy was to lure the wolves inside and close the fence so as not to let them run away, at the same time, striking them completely from the circumference.
Was it due to the bad visibility and the considerably long distance they had walked? Everyone began to feel exhausted.
The villagers run their sight from right to left and continued to brace themselves so as to be able to response in case the wolves assault them from the darkness.
The wolves are strong.
They tend to fight in groups while being deeply cautious.
On the other hand, humans are weak and get easily injured.
Even if the plan succeeds, risking one’s life to surround the wolves is probably something a lunatic would do with a dying wish.
If that happens, they will certainly suffer damage.
And then, for people to gain a victory, sustaining an injury is out of question.
Were they to injure themselves even a little, there would be a fear of falling and dying from an illness.
The only way to avoid sacrifices was to win one-sidedly. However, that was a difficult task.
Suddenly, Gero stopped.
He growled toward the darkness, which was in the direction of leeward.
The darkness was deep, making it impossible for them to see through its interior.
Nevertheless, if one was told of something hiding there, then there would probably be something.
Straining their ears, it seemed as though a sound of a breathing wolf could be heard.
….Haa, haa, haa.
It was heard.
The men stopped moving for a moment.
Without any slight action, everyone’s consciousness was glued toward one direction.
However, the sound of a rough breathing didn’t come from just a single direction; they could be heard from everywhere.
….Haa! Haa! Haa!
Fernando prepared his shield while making a stern face.
The men who stood outside put up their torchlights so as to push out the darkness.
The dim silhouettes of wolves appeared from the darkness.
– Could this be….
– Yea, it seems that we are encircled.
Even if they were to succeed their plan by surrounding the wolves, they probably would still sustain injuries.
Then, what will happen once it’s them being trapped inside—?
– This is the worst. There will be dead people.
Translator and reference notes:
: talking to himself
: He refers to Mike’s and Jane’s relationship suggesting they are on good terms, though I must admit it’s a weird reference.
: In the original text it the author used the same word twice (hagane – steel), but written differently.
: Downwind from them.