After two days, Hanna had become completely accustomed to 『Mint』, and was now able to gallop with the limiter released.
Speaking of Jin, because it would be too hard to make one Golem for each house, he created 5 communal Horse Golems. At that time, there wasn’t enough materials from mining, but thanks to Jin’s exclusive Horse Golem 『Koma』, he finished it all in a day needless to say.
「Jin, this horse is great」
「It’s good that we don’t have to feed them 」
「Wow, more than that, their strength is really powerful. Also rather than a normal horse, there are 5 of these」
In any case, the reputation of the Horse Golems was good. By the way, their names are 『Ein』『Zwei』『Drei』『Quatre』『Cinq』. 1, 2 and 3 in German. And 4 and 5 in French.
Jin’s naming sense seemed to be particular about 3 characters… let’s not say anymore about it. ⚑
＊ ＊ ＊
Rock and the others came back. In a week of mountain hunting, they literally brought back a mountain of game. Of course, Gen was carrying it.
「Welcome back, Dear.」
「Welcome back Tou-chan」
「You guys, welcome back. Did you get hurt?」
「Ou, I’m back. Mario, did you grow a little taller?」
「You’re a fool Dear, he wouldn’t change in just a week」
For the first time in a week, the families happily welcomed them back. And they then left the luggage, immediately going to the hot springs to wash away sweat and dirt.
That night they had a large feast of meat. People gathered to Rock’s house and he told them his stories. Of course Jin was also invited.
「Jeez, we sure caught a lot. After going down to the bottom of the valley and waiting, a herd of mountain deer came. It was pretty simple to shoot them. The difficult part was skinning the leather and removing the organs」
「Didn’t any dangerous beasts come out?」
「Aa. Only once, a forest bear had come, but it went back after filling itself from eating some mackerel」
Although grilled meat with a bit of salt was a simple thing, the meat was still exceptional after one week had passed.
「If there’s this much dried meat, it’s plenty enough to last one winter」
「Wouldn’t smoking it be good too?」
When Jin suggested that,
「Smoking? What is that?」
he was asked back.
「Smoking is where you burn wood chips, and then use the smoke from it to dry the meat」
「Hou, is that also a method from Jin’s hometown?」
「You could say that」
「Isn’t it fine? We have plenty of meat, so let’s try that smoking」
So they immediately tried it out the next day. Using the Kueri Tree they cut down from the forest of trees. He had heard that when Spring comes, this tree turns into a white flower blooming tree, 「Is this tree like a sakura tree?」 Jin had thought and decided to test it with this tree.
It turned out well.
Originally the method of smoking wasn’t to difficult in itself. Because the concept was just burning wood for smoke rather than a flame, then using the heat and smoke to dry the meat.
Having rubbed the smoked meat in salt, they ate the meat right there.
「This is delicious. It makes me want to drink some alcohol」
「You drank plenty yesterday, so no you don’t!」
Such an argument was exchanged and most of the meat was smoked.
In the crowd, Rock was only one with a glum look. Having noticed it, Jin approached Rock and called out to him.
「Rock-san, what are you brooding about?」
「Jin huh? I had a bad feeling for how much mountain deer we caught, I was thinking about that」
「So, did you think of anything?」
「Aa. I thought of several things」
Thereupon Jin gave him some advice.
「At these times, if you let someone hear it, then there’ll be more ideas to settle it」
「I see. Then, can I have you listen?」
There Yang who went together mountain hunting came over, Rock began speaking to the two.
「I was thinking about the reason for why those guys were on the verge of moving, first, a problem with food」
「That’s true, if there’s nothing left to eat then they’ll move to search for some」
「Second, when they’re being pursued by an enemy. That would be a pack of Rock Wolf」
「Certainly, they would run away from their natural enemy」
Jin also agreed with the reason.
「Third. For a herd of mountain deer, in the case the herd grows too big, a young deer would make another herd, and they would separate to live」
「However, from all of this time’s game, there was no young deer」
Yang presented a problem with this idea.
「Aa, that’s right. That may happen sometimes by chance, however the most likely one would probably be being pursued by an enemy」
「Is the possibility for food low?」
Jin asked Rock who nodded,
「Aa. From the feeling of what we saw, snow hasn’t appeared in the remote mountains where the mountain deer are yet, and the greenery has yet to change from the usual. I wouldn’t think it’s a shortage of food」
「Which would mean…」
It would mean that something, some beast were pursuing them.
Then, Rock leaned forward,
「We can somehow manage mountain deer, but a Rock Wolf is troublesome. They’re nocturnal and their attacks in packs are difficult」
「Have any Rock Wolves attacked the village before?」
tried to ask. And Rock shook his head,
「No, I haven’t heard of it since I was born. However, it happened once in my grandfather’s time」
Folding his arms, Jin pondered. Rock,
「Therefore, because I can’t decide what to do, I was thinking about talking to everyone to come up with something」
「Aniki, then shouldn’t we send out a scout to see?」
「Scouting huh? That would be right. This time we will need to go much farther back and see. Yang, you say some good things once a year」
「Chie, that doesn’t sound like a compliment」
「Well then, we should tell the village chief about this」
Jin said, and Rock nodded,
「Well let’s do that」
That night, a discussion was held at the village chief’s home, they were deciding who to send from the village for reconnaissance. For preparing a countermeasure of the dangers, Jin placed his opinion in.
Of course, the plan included the Horse Golems Jin made.
It was decided both Rock and Yang would use the Horse Golem for scouting. Departure was in 2 days. In that time, the two would get used to maneuvering the Horse Golem.
And the next day, the two practised.
Using the accelerator too much, the Horse Golem reared up and shook him off.
He was thrown forward after suddenly stopping from a gallop.
But though they were covered in wounds, they were both able to master maneuvering a Horse Golem in a day.
「Well then, I’ll be going」
「Dear, a-a-absolutely don’t act recklessly!」
「Tou-chan, be careful」
The atmosphere was more tense than the last mountain hunt, the two 『Scouts』 rode the Horse Golems 『Ein』 and 『Zwei』, and headed off to the mountain.