Chapter 60 – The Tribal Chief of Mostori, Pierro (first part)
Departing from Tal Village, Eiji and Fernando boarded onto the boat once more.
The boat advanced lightly.
The sail, which received a considerable amount of wind, swelled out and continued to progress forward vigorously.
Unlike the short cruise from Siena to Tal, today’s was a long one.
On their way to Mostori, they passed by 3 villages.
It was due to a piece of advice given by Girolamo saying that these villages were plain and unattractive for trade.
Judging from Girolamo’s perspective, the fact that he could just tell them to trade with the nearby villages meant that he prioritized Eiji’s interest.
It was a conversation for which Eiji was thankful.
Even though there was a need to popularize iron tools, it didn’t mean they had to negotiate directly with all the villages.
Creating gaps while promoting will probably result in rumors being more effective just like an expanding ripple on the water.
The view from the boat was monotonous.
Despite it giving Eiji a fresh experience at first due to him not being familiar, as expected, one would grow tired of watching the same scenery for many long hours.
Gazing absentmindedly in the advancing direction, Eiji changed the direction of motion from time to time.
They departed in the early morning, however, it was already the time for the sun to move west.
Based on Girolamo’s information, they were probably going to reach Mostori village soon.
Fernando, who stood on the bow, seemed to spot something.
– Oh! Eiji-kun, Look. Isn’t that the village of Mostori?
– You can’t see from this distance? Looks like your eyes are slightly bad. You’ll understand once we draw closer, from the city’s splendid rows of houses.
What Fernando pointed out in front was still small, blurry, and impossible for Eiji to guess.
Indeed, the eyesight of people on this island is way too excellent.
Eiji made a wry smile.
There are many blacksmiths who damaged their eyes due to staring directly at the flames.
Luckily, Eiji’s eyes weren’t genetically weak, however, since he began to work as the blacksmith, his eyesight fell a bit.
Still, even without that, the people in Siena had clearly superior eyesight.
Of all people, Mike, who was a hunter, had undoubtedly excelling eyesight during the day and in the dark. Eiji was surprised at how accurately Mike could guess who was coming despite the target looking like a grain of rice from the distance.
After a while, Eiji could grasp what Fernando said.
– This is, aren’t all of them made from bricks?
– Yeah…. To think that this was possible, just how many people and skills did Mostori need, I wonder?
– Certainly, there’s quite a difference depending on each village.
– I too, have only gone to Tal village at most, so honestly speaking, I’m amazed.
In front of their eyes, rows of brick-made houses were lined up.
What’s more, besides the usual bungalows, there were 2-story houses as well.
The bricks that were radiating with the light from the evening sun had a much more reddish hue than usual. Their appearance was beautiful and majestic.
Indeed, they are lovely. – Thought Eiji.
The European building structures which Eiji knew were basically made from bricks.
Still, there were lots of wooden buildings in Siena.
Eiji’s workshop and the tribal chief’s house are rare exceptions that were built using stones, however, some parts of them were still using mud walls. Even Eiji’s home had the holes strengthened with clay at first.
The majority of houses in Tal had mud walls, and the reason for that was because they had no carpenters with outstanding skills like Fernando.
If so, how many of excellent carpenters does Mostori have?
Even from a distant view, he could perceive the detailed texture from the wonderful brick walls.
The houses were lined up in equal intervals, and they didn’t appear to have the smallest disorder.
Fernando caught his breath while staring at the stores and houses with a dumbfounded face, as if forgetting about everything else.
Was he looking back on his own works?
He seemed to receive quite the shock.
His clenched fist was slightly trembling.
Seeing that, Eiji averted his eyes.
– For the time being, should we try dock the boat and pay a visit?
-……..That’s right. I still can’t believe the view in front of my eyes.
– Same here.
After stopping the boat, Eiji moved toward Mostori together with Fernando.
Passing through the sand on the riverside, they walked onto the meadow.
Except for a single part between the riverside and Mostori, there were no constructed walkways.
The places outside the way were overgrown with high grass, which made it hard to pass.
Once they went along the riverbank, a small road was seen as their walking slowly became easier.
And then, an unbelievable scenery displayed itself in front of them.
– Eeh…? Fernando-san, this road is paved with flagstone.
– Incredible. How large of a labor force do they need to make such a thing?
– You didn’t know of this?
– I didn’t. Somehow after seeing this, it makes me afraid to meet with the people here. Won’t I become a laughing stock?
– No, it will be probably fine.
– I wonder about that. I might be laughed at for being old fashioned in building streets and houses.
Fernando’s face turned a bit pale.
It was clear that he felt nervous after witnessing this sight.
As for Eiji, as far as he knew about the life in modern Japan, there were certainly places everywhere that fell behind in technology.
Nevertheless, after seeing lots of discrepancy between each village despite living on the same island, Eiji felt somewhat confused.
Why is there such a disparity in technology? I want to ask more details regarding that. – he thought.
A much more solid feeling was received in their feet from the flagstone road when compared to a soil-made one.
The path had trenches for horse carriages, and it was furnished with a drainage channel. One could presume that quite a high level of technology is present.
If there’s something like this, then even during rainy days, wheels won’t get stuck.
It was a tremendous result even for Siena that used wheelbarrows.
Perhaps, it wasn’t possible to introduce this straight away, but Eiji wanted to pave the paths in Siena with flagstones.
As Eiji walked along the road while feeling admiration, Fernando suddenly halted.
There was a brick-made house next to them.
Staring fixedly at its wall, Fernando didn’t move, as if being glued.
– What’s the matter?
– No, this building, it’s construction method is subtly different from what I know.
– How is that?
– Yeah. I usually change the way I arrange stones depending on the steps .If the bottom steps are short, the upper steps will become long. However, this building uses the same steps to alternate the length, allowing them to use long and short bricks in turns.
– Which method is better?
– ……Well, til now, I’ve followed the methods of our great pioneers. I’ve wanted to try different methods at least once, but…..
Drawing close the house, Fernando touched the bricks repeatedly.
Hm – putting his effort into that, groaning, and gazing at the whole building from various angles, Fernando completely devoted himself to his observations.
But, for Eiji, who was looking from the side, even if he understood Fernando’s feelings, he couldn’t appreciate them.
That’s because he wondered when Fernando was going to finish.
Just the thought of being seen like this made him embarrassed.
– Shouldn’t we look for the tribal chief’s house?
– Hm, that would probably be the one over there. As noticeable as it can be, it’s the largest 2-story house here. What’s more, there’s a storehouse used for carriages next to it.
– I see.
– So, won’t you let me inspect this for a little bit longer?
– No no, in that case, let’s talk with the tribal chief and see the interior of his house.
– I guess, it would be so. You’ve said something agreeable just now.
Having a cheerful attitude, he consented to Eiji’s idea.
It appears that Fernando loses his composure whenever it’s about drinking alcohol or getting in touch with new construction technology.
This needed more special attention from now on.
At Fernando, who went in a running manner as if wanting to see the house as fast as possible, Eiji made a wry smile while moving toward what apparently was the house of the tribal chief.
The person that came out to greet them was a handsome man with blond hair; big, blue eyes; and a distinctive bridge on his nose.
Even Fernando, who was a handsome man, competed for first place in Siena; nevertheless, in front of this tribal chief, he was just a shadow.
Not to mention, his neat clothes probably took a part in giving that impression of his.
The man’s surprisingly luxurious cotton shirt, hemp-made vest, and hemp-made trousers made him look composed.
Exchanging a firm handshake with Fernando and Eiji, the man bore his shining white teeth as he introduced himself.
– Oh my, so you came from a distant place. I am the grandchild of the great tribal chief of Mostori and my glorious grandfather, Pierro, the son of the great Pierro, and again, the person that is this village current tribal chief, Pierro.
– I am the blacksmith of Siena, Eiji.
– It’s Fernando. I’m in charge Siena’s trade and carpentry. We are sincerely grateful for having you welcome us even though we are the sudden visitors this time. There are no words to describe our gratitude for your kindness. I apologize for this rush, but is it fine for us to leave at least our luggage here?
– Yes, I don’t mind. By the way, the name Pierro is simply the result of my succession to it. It might be puzzling for you, so please forgive me. The name was decided by the consensus of everyone in this village so as not to forget about the great deeds of my grandfather and father. If it suits you, you can call me Pierro the third instead.
Pierro explained, while moving his body in a wriggling manner. His look was of unusual beauty, however, his conduct was somewhat girlish.
The two of them were guided outside the house.
– Actually, unlike other villages, this village has a guest house specially prepared for visitors. You might be troubled as it may not be as convenient as you wish, but I believe the security here is exceptional, and that it’s reasonably comfortable. I hope for you to enjoy your time here in peace.
The place to which Pierro guided them was a house next to his. It was a bit smaller than the tribal chief’s house. Still, it was a considerably spacious 2-story building.
On the ground floor, in the right corner, there was a storehouse for carriages, whereas on its left side, the entrance.
– Well then, I’d like for you to leave your luggage there and have a rest. I’ll prepare a welcome banquet for you.
After Pierro had left the room, Fernando and Eiji took a short rest.
They were already too surprised to breath out a sigh.
– Looks like, this is used for guests.
– Unlike ours, this one is way different, right?….Haha, I can only laugh.
Placing his luggage inside the chest, Eiji looked around the room.
The inside of the room was clean and spacious.
It was probably bright during the daytime since the room had a big louver door installed.
Also, there was a candle stand filled with oil to the brim, making it possible for them to stay awake till the late at night.
And again, the bed wasn’t a floor-type bed, but the one made from a wooden framework.
To their surprise, on top of the bed, there was a cotton mattress laid.
Having already spent around 1 year here, Eiji too, had become a bit more familiar with the evaluation of things in this world.
Considering it in that way, how much of a luxury it is to have cotton used for a mattress?
Just pondering about that made his head dizzy.
To think that this many things are intended for visitors who don’t come her every day.
– Eiji-kun, I’m honestly scared.
– So am I.
Being already in a state of total astonishment, the two of them recalled the feeling anxiety.
Translator and reference notes:
: As Ace suggested, the steps are probably the laying order. The steps are alternated so that no two bricks line up on either side. Thus eliminating the potential weak areas and strengthening the infrastructure as a whole.