Chapter 55 – Mediation
Dante picked a fight.
It seemed that his opponent sustained a heavy injury: broken bones.
Seeing Pietro, who rushed into the workshop with a panicking face, Eiji made a gloomy expression.
Pietro was probably running while trying to convey the message as fast as possible.
His breath ran out, and his shoulders rose up and down hectically.
Thoughts like, ‘Could it be?’ and ‘So it happened?’ welled up inside Eiji’s chest simultaneously.
After the welcome banquet, he was prepared for the situation to turn violent.
But, no matter how you would look at it, it was still too fast for that.
Was this too, due to Eiji’s inexperience of being unable to control his disciples?
Not yet being fully acquainted with them, Eiji couldn’t hold that sort of responsibility.
It was an awful misfortune.
While thinking about that, Eiji interrupted his work.
Whatever the circumstances may be, Dante was still his pupil, who had received permission to become Eiji’s apprentice.
Eiji felt a strong sense of responsibility for leaving Dante alone.
Quickly stirring the charcoal and extinguishing the fire, Eiji sealed the furnace with an iron cover so as not to let any air enter in.
A fire that comes from charcoal can unexpectedly continue to smolder at any time.
Well, I guess it should be fine. – he thought.
In this workshop crafted by Fernando, only the vicinity near the fireplace was made solely from stone.
Because of that, the probability of causing a fire was low. Still, one cannot let their guard down.
The fire chips might float in the air unthinkably far away and become the cause of an accidental fire.
At any rate, it was a blacksmith’s workshop, heaps of charcoal and other fuels are a common thing.
Actually, there had been countless of instances where a workshop would be burned down as a result of an accidental fire.
For that reason, there were a range of fire prevention measures considered.
Such as building the place from stone, or using roofing with tile instead of straw and shingle.
– Well then, what’s the cause? Don’t tell me that Dante hit the person because he was hot-tempered or anything like that.
– As for that, we don’t know the detail.
– Why is so?
– Dante won’t talk, and the person that was hit is unconscious, so the circumstances are still not clear.
– Just who was hit?
– It’s Augusto-su.
– Augusto, he was certainly… a farmer?
– Yes-su. He is a bigoted fellow who lives in the furthest northern part of the village. An uncouth person that does nothing but grumble and complain, and engages himself in gambling and drinking.
– Ah, I thought so. He was here once before.
Being told about him, Eiji immediately recalled.
Before, there was a man that came to request mending for his chipped scythe.
Based on Eiji’s memory, at that time, Augusto was already giving off the feeling of reeking with alcohol.
However, it was quite right of him to make an order for the repair.
Eiji was impressed at how well Augusto could grasp his own habit when he requested to adjust the scythe’s angle to be a bit more acute, or that he wouldn’t mind the handle being shorter.
It didn’t seem like he was socializing with other people, but his conduct as a farmer was right.
He was one of the people that could predict the intention and act accordingly to Eiji’s guidance.
Augusto isn’t supposed to be someone that just drinks, still, should one say he was rather pessimistic? His expression would probably be close to that of a person in abandonment.
Because he was usually busy, he wouldn’t talk much, but were he to interact more, it would be much better for him. – Is what Eiji thought.
To think that Augosto would be hit and have his bones broken in addition to losing consciousness.
It may be that he said something clumsily while being drunk.
– Whatever it is, shall we hasten our pace?
After checking the furnace and locking the louver door with a lock and bolt, they ran to the actual scene.
People gathered around a single man who was lying on a path between the fields.
Inside the crowd, there were Philip and Bernard.
– Hey, Eiji. This way.
Once he reached the place, he was breathing deeply.
Eiji’s body should have become firmer after he had become accustomed to living in this village; nevertheless, in terms of physical strength he was still a weak type.
Whereas, Pietro, whose breath was just lightly bouncing, didn’t seem to be tired at all.
This too was the result of people living in a countryside having more strength than those in a city, still….
As soon Eiji adjusted his breath, he greeted Bernando and Giorgio.
– Good day. It seems that Dante has caused trouble this time. Saying that, what’s Augusto-san’s condition? And where’s Dante?
– Yeah, Augusto has his nose broken. He was about to go back, but is it because he’s afraid? He would shout terribly whenever we tried to help him. And then, a while ago, he lost consciousness again.
Bernando laughed as he waved the cotton swab ostentatiously. It became black from being smeared with blood. Thrusting the swab in Augusto’s nostrils, he lifted it up from the inside.
Just imagining being done like that made Eiji twitch his face.
If anyone was to have their broken nasal bones adjusted without any anesthesia, they probably would moan in pain. – is what he thought.
It wouldn’t be strange at all if you were to lose consciousness due to the pain.
However, considering this was a village where medicine hasn’t developed, this method of adjusting didn’t seem to be exaggerated.
Because hemp was cultivated, there existed hemp seeds that comprised the materials for anesthesia.
The water mixed with the smashed hemp seeds would be drunk to obtain the effect, but it was only reserved for shrine maidens and those who had severe pain.
It is said that shrine maiden would drink it so as to establish a connection with a god.
They probably knew, even without providing scientific explanation, that drinking the mixture wouldn’t have a good effect on their body, hence, the rare use of it.
The blood from Augosto’s face was neatly wiped off.
It seems that recovery will take time.
After a while, Augusto regained his consciousness.
Once he rose up, he looked around absentmindedly and realized his condition.
– Hey, don’t touch your nose, or I’ll have to repeat the same treatment.
Augusto trembled while trying to cover his face, but after that, he lowered down hands.
It was probably very painful.
– Speaking of which, Augusto. Just why did you end up in a fight?
– That’s well….*cough*. Give me something to drink.
The blood probably went into his throat.
Once Augusto, who made a dry cough, received the leather bag filled with water, he first rinsed out his mouth, and then drank the water while making a gulping sound.
He noticed Eiji.
Anger was showing through Augusto’s expression momentarily, but following that, he covered his face as if getting depressed.
– Augusto-san, I realize Dante did something rude this time, but could I have you tell me how it happened in order?
– I was drunk due to my usual bad habit. My head was aching, and I wasn’t feeling well.
– At that time, I saw Dante approaching while humming. Unlike me, who was troubled with a headache, I thought that he was in quite a good mood. And then, I remembered about the taxes. About the wheat crops that we had desperately raised being taken away by Nazioni. Our cattle’s feces were also taken. The walls in my house are damaged with holes, and it feels awful whenever it’s leaking from the roof. On the other hand, Nazioni contents himself with meat every day, has pretty concubines, and wring out our commission. Because of that I told him: ‘Your father is one greedy bastard. You’re all low assholes who don’t give a damn about us having a hard time and only think about your own full stomach.’
– That is, I guess it would be natural to be hit after saying that?
– You, weren’t you the one at fault?
– Yeah, I got it. Dante was calm from the beginning, and I was the one to provoke him while saying those things. I should have told him more awful things. That’s why, he isn’t to be blamed.
– Why did you say something like that?
– I was drunk. I wouldn’t be able to say that with a clear head.
It sounded like an excuse.
Dante probably couldn’t make up his mind.
If it was something told directly to him, he should’ve been able to explain the reason why he hit.
As far as Eiji knew, Dante wasn’t the type of guy who would hold his tongue whenever he badmouthed somebody.
Eiji wanted to get angry.
Dante was at least a person that had been doing his job enthusiastically.
Had everything been peaceful, he should’ve become familiar with other villagers little by little.
However, this time’s incident will certainly leave a trail. Considering it that way, Eiji felt his heart aching.
– Even so, what you said are his father’s problems, not Dante’s.
– Guess you’re right. Sorry, my bad.
– I’m going to make Dante apologize properly later for what he did. As soon as the details of the incident spread, please resolutely admit your own mistake and don’t turn Dante into a rascal.
– Got it. I shall do so.
– And then….
– From now, I won’t be able to give you any of my distilled alcohol.
– W-What did you say?!
– There’s no way for me to have spare alcohol for people who pick a fight. It’s natural to prioritize those who can enjoy drinking, right?
– *gulp*……that’s right. I too, will reflect on my actions and give up on alcohol for a while.
At Eiji’s words, Augusto seemed to receive a shock; nevertheless, he declared his abstinence from alcohol once he hung his head down.
Giving up on alcohol may be a hard thing to do, but for Augusto, who went through some bone fractures, it might be possible to reflect on his behavior a little bit.
What’s more, leaving aside the alcohol, Augusto was quite a capable person.
Therefore, Eiji wished for his splendid revival.
– Master, I’m sorry.
– You say that you’re sorry, but…
– I’m sorry.
– Show your face.
It was a rare and laudable attitude from him.
Dante, who covered his face as if feeling awkward, bent his huge body and stuck out his head like he was told.
Clenching his fist, Eiji dropped it from above on Dante’s head.
*whack* – a dull sound reverberated.
This guy, has a tough head….!
It was a rock-hard head that would make one’s punched hand feel sore.
Just how many bones does he have packed?
Dante, who was supposed to be hit, didn’t appear to be in great pain, as he gently brushed his head.
– …..You know, it hurts.
– I guess Augusto, who had his nose broken, felt more pain than that.
– You’re right.
– Dante, a laborer’s hands aren’t supposed to harm anyone, but to make certain people are happy.
– You’ve said that before as well.
– That’s how a laborer ought to live. If you can’t do so, then I have nothing to tell you. For your sake, it would be better to find another job.
– I want you to contemplate on that this evening and reply to me by tomorrow. Whatever your answer is, I won’t care.
Saying what he had to say, Eiji placed his hand on Dante’s shoulder.
It looked like as though Dante himself was lost in his thoughts while being unable to utter anything.
Whatever his reason for coming in this village was, there is no happiness in being forced to do something that doesn’t go well.
In that case, rather than doing so, focusing on improving one’s relationship with people will yield a far greater result.
Dante isn’t supposed to be a bad person.
Still, his living manner, which is tactless, can only bring misunderstandings.
Eiji believed that way.
The next morning, as soon as Eiji moved to his backyard’s field, Dante was there waiting.
Did he wake up before the sun had risen?
Dante might have reconsidered it earnestly.
His eyes were resolute.
– You know…
– Hm, what?
– I’ve decided to do smithing
– Is that so? Well then, fine.
– Just like that?!
Assuming he made a decision after a lots of consideration and preparedness, was there any reason to refuse?
– I probably told you yesterday that whatever your answer was, I wouldn’t care.
– Did you rethink it?
– Yeah, I did.
– Then, it’s fine if you continue. I’ll root for you.
– I-Is that so? …..P-Please treat me well.
Dante, who would always act important, became bashful at that time, having an expression of an embarrassed boy.
And then, he lowered his head.
The fact that he bowed with his head meant that he had accepted himself as no longer being the boss of everyone.
And at the same time, meant that he had recognized himself as the apprentice.
Without being influenced by his surroundings, this was his own resolution.
Dante had finally made a step forward.
Eiji gazed at him with a stern face.
Seeing Eiji’s face, Dante tightened his expression.
– With that, you’re the blacksmith apprentice of Siena, Dante!
– Starting with that, I’ll give you the first command.
– Bring it on!
At Dante who hit his chest, Eiji said.
– First, you will sincerely apologize to Augusto-san.
– You ought to hold the responsibility for your deeds. Later, there will be more labor waiting for you as a form of punishment. Aren’t you glad? You will be able to display your power proudly.
– I-I’ll do it! Damn!
When committing mischief, one will receive a punishment.
Despite saying the complaint, a sign of cheerfulness appeared on Dante’s face.
Translator and reference notes:
: Dante is from city, but it was mentioned that his family’s main forte is strength.
: I’m not sure whether or not Bernardo was referred as Bernard in previous chapters, but judging from the author’s interest in Italian culture, it should be Bernardo, I guess. Sorry for that.
: Not sure if this part is correct.
: He is probably implying that he should have suffered more.