After getting permission from Ergys-san, Flora and I went back to my house with tools such as hoes and sickles.
「It looks like there’s no problem here」
Flora muttered as she touched the soil around the house.
Apparently, the soil here is plenty good enough to grow vegetables and crops in.
My house doesn’t have trees growing around it like Toack’s house does but the sun exposure here is good. There’s grass and a few weeds growing here instead but it won’t be a problem if we just pull them out.
Flora nodded with satisfaction and stood up after she ascertained the level of sunlight exposure, the feel of the soil, and the water drainage of the area.
「Let’s start off by planting vegetables that can be grown and harvested easily first」
「So in other words, like the radish from before? 」
「Yes, exactly. But on top of that, there are some other vegetables I’d recommend for starters such as carrots, string beans, and a type of leaf vegetable named shail」
Although they don’t grow as fast as a radish, those crops also don’t take long until they can be harvested, and it seems like they don’t require that much care either.
It would be perfect for me since I’m a beginner and I’ll be able to grasp the overall flow of the crop-growing process in a short time.
I think that being able to quickly see the results of growing my own crops would be the most wonderful thing.
I don’t feel like I want to suddenly grow something that takes a long period of time and requires fine care. I hear that produce and vegetables are often attacked by insects and pests or they will often die due to the temperature, humidity, and soil.
「Since there is no problem with the soil here, let’s go with those four types of crops I mentioned just now」
「Sure, let’s do that please, sensei」
Flora chuckled when I lowered my head and said that.
「Yup, let’s have some fun growing vegetables and enjoy the harvest」
Since we decided right away on what we’re going to plant, we will start cultivating the soil of the area by first clearing out the weeds.
I put on a pair of gloves and started to cut the tall weeds with a sickle that I had borrowed from Flora.
I placed the blade at the bottom of the weeds and pulled. Then, after a clear sound made from the plant fiber being cut, the smell of greenery drifted in the air.
It was a nostalgic smell. When I used to do quests in the forests and followed trails of beasts, this smell was often in the air when I chopped down the tall grass and branches that were in the way with a sword or knife. Speaking of which, many of those paths had gotten bigger thanks to all the adventurers passing through them so many times.
Also, back when I was a child and could not afford the money to buy weapons, I’ve used something like this sickle against a monster before. But I don’t really want to recall ’cause those times were full of the smell of blood.
I continued to work my hands silently as I chased those thoughts out of my head.
If the plant fibers of the weeds were thin, it was easily cut. But for the ones that were thicker, it took me an extra cut to get rid of it.
When I caught a glimpse of Flora by accident, I saw her mowing down the weeds easily with her sickle while she was cutely humming a song.
Even though she was cutting weeds that had the same thickness as the ones I was cutting… Hm, was there some kind of trick to this?
I took a look at her hand movements and I noticed that she seems to be using her entire arm. She was using her whole arm instead of just her hand… Ah, crap, my sickle is tangled in the weeds.
I want to cut this with the mithril sword that I cut the dragon with. If I can do that, this whole fields of weeds would disappear with a single swing. No no, what am I going to do after if I did something like that?
It’s fine to do it with a normal sickle like this, not a problem.
I stopped thinking about it and observed Flora again. It turns out to my surprise that she was cutting the weeds at the roots and not the stem.
…Hm, so I should be sliding the tip of my blade to the root on a curve, and pull the weed diagonally up?
After I tried imitating her, the weeds were cut without the need to put much strength into it.
There was also no heavy feeling of the blade getting caught in the plant fibers either. This seems to be the way to mow the weeds down one after another.
I cut down all the weeds in front of me as I enjoyed this smooth sensation of cutting with a sickle.
「Aldo-san, you’re good at using a sickle」
「Is that so? 」
「You got used to using one during hunting or in your adventurer days, right? 」
Nope, I have absoutely never used one. At most I’ve only cut the obstructive branches and weeds with a sword or something. There’s no need to use a sickle to cut down the weeds by their roots to open up a path.
「Well, something like that」
I would look so lame if I just told her that I was copying what she was doing while I peeked at her, so I gave her a vague answer.
But actually, to become an adventurer, you have to know a bit about all the edged tools, so I wasn’t really lying since I knew how to use one from having taken a little look at a sample before.
「So what did you do in your adventurer days? Was it monster subjugation, after all? 」
Did she want to chat while working because we were too quiet? Flora asked me without stopping her hands.
「Monster subjugation, delivering items, cleaning the streets, escorting people and many other things」
「Being an adventurer did give me the image of someone who kills monsters… but wow, even delivering items and cleaning the streets…? 」
Flora replied in a surprised voice.
It’s no surprise that she’s shocked since there is no branch office of the adventurer’s guild nor any big cities around Nordende. The adventurers who occasionally showed up here from a call to exterminate monsters would all have an image of being strong people who hunted monsters and acted as escorts for important people.
However, adventurers would really do anything though. Being in a kingdom filled with many people means that there would be all kinds of jobs for them to do.
「What kind of monsters have you taken down before, Aldo-san? 」
「Uh, a dra- I mean a dregl, goblins, red bears, and I often took care of monsters that attacked villages」
Phew. I almost said a dragon. Nah, she probably wouldn’t even believe me if I told her that and said I didn’t want people to know about it. She might even think that I’m crazy.
By the way, a dregl is a monster with long nails that resembles a badger. Crops often suffer from them because they are omnivorous monsters that would eat anything.
「… Red bears」
「Hm? What’s wrong? 」
I heard Flora mumbling something, but I couldn’t make out what she said.
「No, never mind! That’s amazing. I’d just flee in horror if I saw a monster」
Flora waved her hands at me as she said never mind and then she went back to working on the weeds while she continued talking.
We have cleared out the weeds for an area about 10 meters long and wide. What’s left of the area now are some remaining roots and the brown colored soil. It’s said that the weeds we pulled out can be used as livestock feed, so we have gathered them in one spot and we’ll be carrying them out later.
Since all the obstructing weeds are gone now, the next step is to bring out the hoes.
「If you make the ridges run east and west, the crops will receive a longer period of sunlight during the day. So, plow in horizontal lines」
Ah, it’s because making the ridges in the direction the sun moves at will let the crops receive sunlight for a longer period of time.
I switched my sickle to a hoe and stood at the spot Flora told me to.
By using the weight of the hoe, I gouged the tip of it into the soil. The feeling of it going in the soil with a swish was a pleasant one. But since I don’t know the best way to use a hoe, I will try to plow without swinging it up too high.
I started by removing the bigger pebbles and the remaining roots in the soil and progressed little by little.
Raise the hoe, and swing it down. *Zak* *zak*, the sound of Flora and I plowing the soil can be heard. It’s a simple movement, but when you keep doing this for a while, you’d understand that it’s hard work.
Since the temperature was still rising as we approached summer, we gradually started to sweat.
This uses quite a bit of muscle. You’ll run out of gas in no time if you waste your stamina, especially in the summer due to the summer heat.
I was worrying about Flora, who was a bit weak physically, but she was working ahead of me with a rhythm in her movements.
She wasn’t wasting any of her stamina because she knows her own body well.
While her slender body shook as she plowed, she looked to be quite at home.
I didn’t want to lose to her, but since I’m aware that I can’t beat an experienced opponent in a race, I will do it slowly and carefully. First, let’s do what I can.
With that in mind, I pulled out the hoe that was stabbed into the soil. The soil that was stuck to the bottom of the hoe was pattering down. Then, I took a step forward and slammed the hoe back down.
I knew how much power I needed to put in as I swung it down and removed the pebbles and roots. Following my intuition, I shook off the soil that was attached to the hoe and lifted the soil.
As I repeated that process, I seemed to have arrived at the edge of the field before realizing it. The soil was dug up nicely for the rows that I was put in charge of.
The field without any weeds or grass is starting to look like a farm.
I looked at this impressive change that surprised even me.
「Thanks for your hard work, Aldo-san」
I started to get thirsty after looking for a while. And at that moment, Flora handed me a canteen of water as if she read my mind.
The timing surprised me, but Flora probably went to prepare this since she finished ahead of me. I appreciate that.
The cold water was very delicious since my throat was dry and I had sweat a lot.
「No, it’s nothing」
I thanked her after I wet my throat. She replied with a happy smile.
I guess she was also sweating quite a bit, since her silky, blonde hair was sticking to her skin.
「The last part towards the end was done nicely. Since that was the case, it looks like you didn’t waste your strength and get tired out」
「It’s thanks to your good teachings, sensei」
We laughed together as we had this kind of conversation.
I could not have talked in such a familiar way with Flora like this when I first came here. This probably means that she had forgiven me for what happened. That thought makes me kind of happy.
Laughing like this together… perhaps living a life with the support of a sweet girl next to me like this wouldn’t be such a bad idea…