Chapter 43 – The Watermill (first part)
Morning. As soon as Eiji woke up, Tanya’s appearance was nowhere to be seen.
Eiji placed his hand on his left shoulder.
Unlike before, Eiji felt somewhat chilly when waking up all by himself.
Just where did she go?
Eiji looked around the room.
Next to the bed, there was a big chest where they would store precious things.
In the corner of the room, stacks of wheat alongside the senbakoki were piling up. They were part of Tanya’s work.
Not being able to spot her, Eiji once again couldn’t sense anything.
A single wall in the room separated part of the house for the purpose of making a livestock cabin.
Looking at that direction as well, there was a cattle staring at the wall and swinging with its tail.
Puhi puhi – As soon as the boar piglet, Button, caught the sight of Eiji, it drew closer to him while making a sound with its nose.
Since Button was quite clever, they let him run free, as the little boar would return back.
Did the piglet want to have its food? Or perhaps he just wanted to come into contact with him?
Eiji brushed the piglet’s head gently.
So as to prevent fleas and mite from appearing, Tanya would always use a fine comb to brush her hair. Because of that, her hair became surprisingly soft and sensitive.
– Don’t you know where Tanya-san is?
– Well, it’s not like you will know.
– Puhi! Puhi!
– What’s the matter?
After Button had shaken his head sideways, he pointed his nose toward the entrance.
Eiji had the feeling as if the boar piglet wanted to tell him that Tanya was there.
No, it shouldn’t be possible. There was no way for for the piglet to understand my words.
Despite thinking so, Eiji felt like he couldn’t ignore that fact and went outside.
For some reason the little boar seemed to be serious.
Button tagged him along.
The first thing for the women to do in the morning was gathering some firewood and scooping water.
Scooping water into a bucket and preparing a meal were both a woman’s job.
During this time, the men would socialize with each in their backyard fields.
The piglet boar walked in front. Button moved while sniffing with his nose, changing the direction every time he made a ‘puhi’ sound.
What appeared in front of them was Mike’s house.
– You really think that she’s there?
– Puhi! Puhi Puhi!
Well, I’ve go nothing to lose. – he thought.
A boar’s nose was unusually sensitive.
Eiji remembered stories where a pig would be used to search for truffles.
Not only were Eiji and Mike next-door neighbors but their houses were also connected by a straight line path.
Right next to it, there was a path of thickly growing with grass where only signs of humans treading on it were seen.
In comparison to Eiji’s house, Mike’s was a little bit bigger and older.
Its wooden walls had more gaps sticking out than in Eiji’s house which had been repaired, and probably required repapering.
– Good morning, it’s Eiji. I apologize for intruding in the early morning.
Knocking on the door, Eiji waited for areply.
For the villagers it was considered normal to enter without permission, but Eiji, who had been brought up under different customs, couldn’t do so.
Even visiting in the early morning made him feel somewhat guilty.
As soon as the door opened with a creaking sound, Mike’s sleepy face stuck out.
His eyes didn’t seem to be fully awake.
– …Oh, is it Eiji-san? Tanya-chan came here a while ago.
– Good morning, So Tanya-san was here?
– Yeah, she arrived even before the sun rose and has been discussing with Jane since then. Fuah, so sleepy.
– I’m sorry for that.
– Oh, it’s fine. I wonder what they have been discussing about.
As usually, Mike was easy-going toward Tanya.
He probably thought of her as his sister.
Recently, Mike came to accept Eiji as her husband, still, is he always that unfriendly toward men whom he has never seen before?
Enter – Once Eiji was urged, he passed through the door.
The smell of wild animals and wood floated in the air.
Probably, they had been continuously tanning leather.
Inside the house, Jane and Tanya were talking to each other.
Listening diligently to Jane’s words, Tanya nodded frequently.
After Jane had noticed Eiji’s appearance, she poked lightly at Tanya’s direction.
– Hey, didn’t I tell you? Cheer up.
– No buts.
Jane smiled with a grin.
Just what did she tell Tanya?
As soon as Tanya stood up, she moved in front of his eyes.
Was she embarrassed? Her eyes wandered without settling down.
Tanya poked her fingertips together as her cheeks blushed. She couldn’t bring herself to say after many attempts.
Having a raised voiced directed at him, Eiji became surprised.
Just what on earth happened?
– You see, that’s, please listen to me calmly.
– Ah, yes. I’m fine; rather it should be Tanya-san to calm down.
– You’re right. You see, actually, I am…..
– It seems that I’m pregnant.
– So it was that? I’m glad that you’re safe.
Is that so? Is that so? So, while I was worrying about her falling into any illness she was just pregnant? – he thought.
Since she hadn’t been eating a lot recently, Eiji thought about whether or not she was on a diet or something.
– Yes….When I talked to Jane-san, there was no doubt about that.
– Is that, so? Is your body fine?
– Right now I’m fine. Sometimes, I feel unwell, but…
– Don’t force yourself. Later, please talk to me if there’s anything bothering you. That’s right; I have to make the disinfectant alcohol and distilled water. What’s more, I’ve got to sterilize the room by boiling, and make it clean. I’ve got to separate the livestock hut and clean the feces, and the baby’s first bath! I need to make a bucket for the baby’s first bath. There’s so many to do–!
– Eiji-san, there’s still plenty of time till its birth, so please calm down.
– T-that’s right. No, I’ll become the father. Should we give it a name, I wonder?
He didn’t seem to be calmed down at all.
Despite them deciding to have a child, the fact that Eiji became the father didn’t reach him until he actually learned of that.
No, even now it probably still hadn’t reached him.
Still, inside his heart, there was something hot gushing out.
Tanya looked even lovelier than usual.
I’ll protect her at all cost, no matter what obstacles await us – he thought.
Even if it was to make their life just a little bit easier, they couldn’t neglect the development of the village.
And then, they probably had to focus on improving their relationship with the landlords.
Providing they are continuously exploited like this, a war will break out sooner or later due to their dissatisfaction.
However, more importantly…
– Tanya-san, thank you. Let’s do our best and give the birth to a healthy child.
– Yes, I’ll do my best!
– Erm, since it’s my house, won’t you go back and do that in your home?
Eiji embraced Tanya vigorously, and then gently.
With their love for each other welling up, they exchanged a kiss.
Having a dejected face, Mike murmured a complaint discretely.
Later, Eiji would have Tanya abstain from doing works that required physical strength as much as possible. He decided to have her stay at home and do the chores.
This was a time period where even doing field-related works could not be avoided by pregnant women.
Eiji couldn’t completely prevent her from doing physical labor; nevertheless, he wanted to use the utmost of his consideration.
Luckily, threshing was a job where one could do it in a sitting position.
As for water scooping, Eiji thought of improving the wheelbarrow so as to make the transportation easier.
On the other hand, he intended to let Tanya continue cooking as much as she could, otherwise, his job wouldn’t advance as well.
Right now, Eiji arrived at the riverbank together with Fernando, Thomas, Philip, and the women who had free time.
Since the construction of the watermill was decided, it was the first day of carrying out the plan.
Today, it was about making a preview and explanation.
The river was 5m in width and some 70cm deep.
The stream wasn’t particularly fast, and the water was unusually clear, to the extent of being able to see the bottom of the river without any obstruction.
The sound of the river echoed without any pause.
Eiji thrusted his hand through the river’s surface.
It was considerably cool.
The chill will probably become a hindrance once they start their works.
Near the riverbank, big stones were scattered all over the place. In order to carry out the plan, first, they had to get rid of them.
Picking up a single stone, Eiji threw it properly into the river.
Plop – the stone sunk together with a low sound.
As he moved further, he threw another one the same distance.
The stones were heavy, but not impossible to be lifted.
In case an object was excessively big, they could probably use a wooden stick as a lever to move it.
Once Eiji reconfirmed the actual site of the work, he stood up.
Eiji clapped with his hands toward the present people, who were chatting with each other, so as to bring their attention.
– Ok, I’ll now assign you to a post. Those who are called out please forward.
The women followed his instruction.
What he showed in front of them were stones in different sizes.
– Right now, at the bottom of the river, there’s a big stone which I’ve just thrown into it. We will transport and put the stones from here to there, and shape a wall. I’ll have you create an L-shaped wall, but please do it so that the water doesn’t come in. It’s fine even if you can’t block the water completely. Do it slowly and without rush in order not to hurt yourself.
The first step of the project was to build the foundation.
Eiji planned to have the women’s camp move the stones from the riverbank, and at the same time, use them to dam up the water that is responsible for driving the watermill by being received in the place installed with a water wheel.
After that, they had to dig the part of the river bottom that has become dry, and adjust the height of the spot which receives the water from the wheel.
Depending on the installation height of the water wheel, the watermill can be classified into: top-level type, middle-level type, waist-level type, and bottom-level type.
The higher the spot is, the more power the watermill can generate, thanks to the force and the mass of water it can receive.
Considering the depth of the river, waist-level type would be the most suitable one.
It was meant to be built during this work.
Later, in order to create the pedestal part of the bearing, they had to level and strengthen the ground surface.
Since the women in this village won’t bow out to the men when it comes to physical labor, they should be able to do enough of the work, providing they aren’t rushed.
After receiving their orders, the women’s camp quickly started to move.
Even during the work, they wouldn’t cease talking to each other.
But despite their idle chatting, the work was progressing favorably.
plunk plunk – the sound of stones being thrown inside of the water kept repeating.
– Hey, Eiji-kun
– What, Fernando-san?
– From now on, you plan to make many of these watermills, right?
– Yeah, I want to build at least 5 of them.
– Got it. Well then, I’ll go prepare more materials in order to make the watermills.
– Ah, about that, please wait a moment.
– Hm? What’s the matter?
– Depending on the amount of water and the stream’s speed, I need to adjust the water wheels’ size. That’s why we should not make multiple watermills at the same time.
– Then, you plan to repeat the same procedure each time?
– Because we have to create same components, like bearings and cog wheels, how about mass producing them?
Since the basic structure of the watermill is similar to the one in Eiji’s workshop, Fernando was able to grasp the concept back when he helped with building the workshop.
That watermill, however, is a bit more simplistic in terms of structure, which makes the labor efficiency less desirable; nevertheless, they still had to put a considerable amount of effort into it.
This time, reflecting on his previous experience, Fernando also showed the desire to construct an even more efficient thing than before.
– Eiji-kun, are you possibly going to produce the bearings with the iron apart from giving instructions?
– Yeah, there’s no way for me to leave everything on other people’s shoulders.
– I’m looking forward to the construction. Ah, by the way…
Seeing Fernando, whose expression became serious, Eiji tightened his face.
– I’ll definitely make better items than ever before.
– I’ve high expectations in you.
– Naturally. Who do you think I am? I’m the man who’s in charge of processing every single piece of lumber in this village? Hey, Mark, how long do you plan to help with those stones?! Your job is this way.
This village was in the middle of changing.
The barn was completed, the fields were expanded, and now, the watermills were being built.
Once the watermills are done, tasks that involves crushing hemp and wheat straw, as well as knocking the skin in tanning, will be performed thanks to the power generated from the watermills.
A part of the living necessities will probably contribute into the increase of savings. What’s more, there will be productivity power to spare that can be used for reclamation and further development.
And then, there will be more time for private affairs and making children.
Feeling that everything is going into a favorable direction, Eiji couldn’t help but sense the gushing spirit from the inside of his body.
After he left all the instructions behind, Eiji rushed over to his workplace while being filled with enthusiasm.