89: Relaxing village days


It was dusk by the time we returned to Keika village.
We dismounted to the north of the village, so the barrier wouldn't be broken, and I spoke to the elves.
"You've probably already seen it from above, but the large forest is about one day away when following this road. Tilt had said, that he got lost inside it, but he was probably guided since he's an elf."

"Understood, Keika-sama" "Thank you very much"
"Please let me know if something happens. Well, I think it should be alright though."
""Yes!""
The elves replied with tense looks on their faces.
And even though it was already dusk, they headed north.
The mission of protecting the World Tree was assigned to them.


I looked at the dragon.
"Thank you for making the round-trip."
"Don't worry about it... but, I've got one question..."
"What is it?"
"Since you're a god, can't you fly in the sky by yourself?"

I earnestly nodded.
"Of course I can fly. Even faster than you."
"Then why did you ride on me?"
She barked as if she was showing her fangs.


I scratched my head. My black hair swayed.
"Even though I can fly... the consumption of magic power is enormous and it's tough over a longer time. It depletes about 10000 in ten minutes."
"Heh."
"My spells simply aren't optimized for this world, so it can't be helped. I also can't get the permission of the Wind God since he's sealed. And without making use of the jet streams I have to fly with the gentle breeze. I have to use what's available."

"I see, so it's something like that"
"That's why it really helped that you let me ride you. --Well then, please work hard on your dungeon."
"Yeah. I'll come again before long."
The dragon took off and flew home.


I sigh.
"That tired me off. I'll take a bath right when I'm back-- ah, it's not done yet!"
"Keika, are you tired?"
"I ran, fought, flew, I had to make rain, it was one surprise after another. I'm mentally tired."
"Then, shall I carry you?"
"Please stop that, that would mentally tire me even more."
"Understood."
Lapisia's young face looked like she was full of energy.

"You look like you're full of energy."
"Yup~! I had you all to myself! I'm happy."
She shyly "*ehehe*"-ed and her cheeks blushed when she took my hand. It's a small and soft hand.
My mood lightened up from the gentle warmth.

"Ah, that's right. I wouldn't even have been able to do half of it if it weren't for you, Lapisia. Thank you."
"Yup!"
We held hands while we returned to the residence.
Probably because she was happy, Lapisia was skipping the whole time.


The beastfolks were on the premises of the residence.
They were treated to bread and soup from a big pot by Clarissa and Minya.
Mahal noticed me and approached while his two bushy tails were swinging around.
"Keika-sama, thank you very much for taking us in."
"You still don't have a place to live yet. Should we build you some huts to the norther of the residence?"
"Yes, that would be great. What will be our work later?"

"Beastfolks are strong, right? Please let the men follow Melvius's orders to construct the buildings. The women and children will work on the fields."
"Understood. We'll work with all our might."
Mahal was humbly replying.


I took Lapisia and entered the mansion.
Lapisia rushed to the dining room. She's lively.
I lie down on the bed after I entered my room.

"*Sigh~*. I'm tired. The World Tree tired me out. For a moment I thought that I wouldn't be able to return to the heavens. Even so, a bath... I should have mounted the dragon and get into her hot spring... hm? A hot spring?"
Since pipes exist, can't I just dig up a hot spring near the village and draw the water to this house?
Or if I'd make a public bath I could invite even more people to the village.
"Should I look into it tomorrow? ... No, it's no good. This is a farming village after all."

Hot spring water contains lots of minerals and there are many acidic and alkaline components as well. If it contained a huge quantity of salt or sulfur, and the water would flow into the irrigation water, the fields might become infertile.
I wouldn't know the ingredients until the water is dug up and examined.
"Maybe I should make canals for maintenance and drainage. Should I also make underground sewers?"


While I was thinking about that, there was a knocking sound.
Next, there was a dignified and cool voice.
"Keika-sama, may I enter?"
"It's open, Celica"
"Excuse me"
Celica's blond hair is swaying while she comes in.

She comes to the bed and sits down.
"You look tired, Keika-sama"
"A little. Various things have happened--"
I told Celica about today.


Her blue eyes showed amazement. She was so surprised that she put her hand to her mouth.
"Oh! Such things have happened! I'm really glad that World Tree-sama is alive."
"That's right. The world has almost ended-- and it's probably also thanks to the World Tree, that I've met you..."
"So it was like that. ...I'm grateful that I met you, Keika-sama."
Celica smiled and grabbed my hand.

It felt unsatisfactory, so I pulled her closer to me.
Since the stoppled onto me, I hugged her tightly. Her big breasts, that are pressing against me, are squeezed.
"As expected, you let me calm down the most after all."
"*Au*...Ke-Keika-sama"
I recovered by stroking Celica until dinner was served.

======

I left the mansion to the east the next day after I had finished my breakfast.
I was accompanied by the female beastfolks and guided by the farming instructor Gordon.
A farming instructor is a farmer, who can teach, which earth is suitable for what crops and how they're best grown.
Since the Daphnes Kingdom is an agricultural country, he was the most expensive one among the conditional slaves.

I stood in front of the wasteland and spoke.
"I've got this bag of soba, which I want to sow and harvest. You don't have to think about the time. Soba is better suited to be grown in wasteland, right?"
Gordon answers.
"Let's see. It would grow too fast in the fertile soil to the west and south of the village and would just collapse under its own weight and wither. Around here should be okay."
"So it's like that. Then, can you please sow this bag of soba?"
"Can we burn off the field?"
"Ah, sure. Just say what should be done."
Strictly speaking, the permission of the mayor would be needed if someone wanted to burn off a field. Well, I can just get the permission later.
And even if the fire should spread, I can immediately extinguish it since I'm a god of water and wind.


After Gordon had specified the size and I had burned the weeds, the beastfolks began to cultivate the field.
They made ridges and planted the seeds at suitable intervals.

Once they were done, I brought Lapisia over.
"Can you let this grow? I want it to grow by about a month."
It'll have to be at least that much because I want to harvest it before the snow.

However, Lapisia had a difficult expression of her face when she touched the soil.
"Many seeds are still sleeping. Can we give them maybe three more days?"
"Is that so. Then I'll leave it to you."
"Yes! --Can I go play?"
"Sure, have fun!"
"Hooray!"
Lapisia rushed towards the village.

"Well then, Gordon. I'll leave the field to you."
"I'll thoroughly look over it."


In addition, I restored the barrier and looked at the progress of the buildings.
I was also looking into a drainage just in case I'd find a hot spring.

======

Three days later, the soba was sprouting.

I asked Lapisia to let it grow.
"Hmmm~, *ha!*"
Her hands, that she had put on the field, were glowing yellow, and the soba grew at once.
The plants were as high as a person's chest and some flowers have bloomed as well.
Since the weeds have also grown, they looked like a green carpet.

"Soba is pretty high, isn't it?"
"More than this, and the ground would weaken, so it's no good. Also, they'd be damaged by rain and wind."
"Oh, is that so? Thank you."
Lapisia was happily squinting when I stroked her head.
She slightly twisted her body and looked a little embarrassed.

The eyes of the farming instructor Gordon, who stood next to us, were filled with amazement.
"Fo-For such a magic to exist..."
"Well, a hero party should be able to do at least that much."
"It's amazing! As expected of a hero!"
Although I gave a halfhearted response, I received overwhelming admiration.

"I'll leave the rest in your care."
"Yes, Hero-sama-- Everyone, remove all the weeds! After that, thin out this area!"
He instructed them to remove all the weeds, that had grown together with the soba, and to thin out the areas where the soba was growing too dense.
They seem to eat the thinned out soba leafs.


Lapisia speaks.
"Is there anything else to do?"
"Hmm--, lets' see.. *ah*, can you pave the roads with stone?"
The roads in the previously saved Roni Village were paved with stone, which looked quite fashionable.
There's also the advantage that horses and carts can more easily transport goods.

Lapisia clutched her fist in confidence.
"If it's stone, I can do it!"
"Very well, I'll leave it to you. Make it as even as possible."
"Yes!"
Lapisia jumped to the road and put her hands on the ground with a *petan*.
She moaned with "*mumumu*" and her hands glowed yellow.


Well, I had expected that she can do this.
"It's magnificently paved."
The road to the village is about 1.5 or two meters wide.
It was gray, hard stone.
Since the lowest level of the terrain was used as reference, several parts of the road were still covered with soil.
It'll be washed away with the next rain.
The pavement continued to the forest in the east and to the fields in the west.

"Is this fine?"
Lapisia tilted her head. Her twin tails are gently flowing.
"It's awesome. As expected you you. I'll ask to make your favorite things for today's dinner."
"Really!? Hooraay!"
Because Lapisia hugged me, I stroked her head while saying "*well done, well done*".
I thought that I should praise her a lot more, since she has done lots of benefiting things for all the the villagers.


Next I let her also pave the way to the shrine on the residence's premises in the same way and then let her go playing. By the way, there was no gravel.

I leisurely stroll around the village while the autumn sunlight is pouring down.
The village was in a building rush.
Following the inn, the houses for the beastfolks were made.
The bath and a store to sell the talismans have also been completed.

And the number of people who wanted to move to the village was also increasing.
Some of the people had lost their fields to demons while others didn't have enough to eat and came to ask for employment.
I seems that the rumor has spread quite wide, that Keika Village is protected by a hero.
Since the harvest and drying would follow the field work and since there is a building rush, the more people there are, the better.

My believers are steadily increasing.
The believers now exceeded 1500 when I looked at my hand with "Truth Sight".
It's a good trend.


A villager is passing by.
"G-Good morning, Hero-sama!"
"Yes, good morning."
"Are you the one who paved the road with stone, Hero-sama?"
"...Well, I'm certainly responsible for that I guess..."
-- The one who actually did it was Lapisia though. But it's not a lie since I didn't say that I did it personally.

"To turn the road into stone in an instant..."
"Are you complaining?"
"N-No way, it's amazing! Thank you very much!"
The villager lowered his head many times over and left.


Other people had similar reactions and had complex expressions of delight and shock on their faces.
The carrot and stick policy seems to be too effective.
Well, It'd be troublesome if'd get targeted again, so it should be fine.

The fields are growing well.
The harvest will be soon.

Since the new reservoir was now filled to a half, I stopped the inflow, thinking about the autumn rain.
If only that much water is used, I was thinking about a new industry that would create jobs.
In other words, I planned to cultivate fish. I wonder why that's not done yet.


I was walking in the sunlight that shone through the trees.
I haven't been contacted by neither Leo nor Lilille, which means that there are no immediate errands for me to do.
I thought about visiting the neighboring villages.
Even if there are only small troubles, it would be a good way to sell my name if they are resolved by the hero in person.

When I was thinking about these things, Bailey, who was responsible for the cattle approached on a horse.
This village only has few cattle, but I wanted to increase it since the land has increased.
Bailey has taken care of the horses, hence I assigned him to that post. He hasn't purchased any new cattle yet though.

Bailey came to my side and spoke.
"Keika-sama, something has arrived for you. It has been brought to the mayor's house. Please come by soon."
"What is it? I'll go at once."


The package for me was placed in the courtyard of the mayor's house.
It is a box with a height of about two meters.
"What is this... western village Kerkia... ah! Is it done?"
"What is it?"
Bailey asked in the curious voice.

I spoke while I smiled broadly.
"This is the ordered hero statue."
"Eh!? It can't be, of yourself?"
"How would the people otherwise know how I look like?"
"That's... true, but..."

I wanted to quickly set it up, so I lifted the box with a "*hyoi!*"
"I hope that the people want to see what it is and will come to the premises."
"Wow! It took three adult men to carry the box under great pains."
"It's no big deal. See you."
"Yes, understood. ...but, I still can't believe it."
I leave the shocked looking Bailey behind and returned to the mansion.


I brought it to the front shrine, which also acts as a Kagura stage, in the center of the garden.
When I opened the box, the bronze statue, that was wrapped in cushioning material, appeared.
The shape was taken with a slime that hardens in an instant when heat is applied to it. It was astonishingly accurate.
Only the mold of the face has been a little been tempered with to highlight the facial features.

--Hmm, I don't think I look that cool...
For someone born in Japan I've got quite the distinctive facial features, but it's a rather plain looking race to begin with.

Well, I decided not to mind it since beautification is a part of art.
I put the life-sized bronze statue in the center of the front shrine's floor.
I used "Clairvoyance" to align it with the room where I will install the object of worship in.
"And for the finishing touch-- 'Blue Water Seal'"
I use magic to mark the position on the floor.
That way the statue can always be put back to the correct place, since it will be moved aside during Kagura performances.


Then, with a rustling sound, Minya came with her swinging, black tail.
She seemed to have drawn water from the well.
"Keika Onii-chan, what's this?"
"It's a statue for worshiping me, maybe it's a little too glorified though..."
"Hmmm..."

Minya alternatively looked at me and the bronze statue.
Then she touched my face with her hand and spoke.
"The real one is more cool. It's mysterious."
"Is that so. Then I'm glad."

Minya looks further at the front shrine.
"Rain and sunlight will hit the statue... Should I surround it with cloth from three sides?"
"Ah--, that's right, but the sides should be sufficient. The front and back should be open while pieces of cloth can be tied to the pillars at the sides. That way the wind can pass through."
"Yup, understood."
Her pointy cat ears are moving.


"...next, I'll need an offertory box, huh."
"Offertory box?"
"Shrine visitors will say their prayers to the statue, right? At that time they'll put money in the offertory box."
"That's the first time I heard about something like that."

"Well, I guess it's not done in this country. Donations to the gods are handled by the priests. The chance that the inserted money gets stolen is high though."
"Yes yes. It'll be dangerous."
"I'll have to think about something-- Can you please stow this box away?"
"Yes. I'll put it in the storage room."

I went around the mansion toward the backyard.
When I had parted ways with Minya, she was looking at the front shrine and murmured "quickly... want to dance".