Chapter 33 – Proposition
Rodan had come home late. He was just in time for dinner, so the entire family ate together. He had just said the same line that he said early October, last year.
“I got called by the mayor.”
Last year, he was called with Gerda, and was instructed to add commoners to the Boar hunts. As a result, the hunt went south, and Rodan was mortally wounded.
Upon hearing this, Theresia’s face changed radically. It was a mixture of worry, anger, and fear.
“W-What did you say!?”
Rodan hadn’t said anything wrong, but still, she interrogated him.
Rodan froze with a bowl of soup in his hand, spoon midair. It seemed like he had trouble finding the right words. There was a pregnant pause.
After a good amount of time had passed, he spoke.
“They asked me to double the amount of Boar meat that we deliver starting two years from now, so 20 Boars. So, they want more commoners and serfs to participate in the hunts.”
“Wha!? Eh!? That’s!! Just like last y-year!!!”
Her worst fear had come true. She was too upset to speak properly. Because of what happened last year. Theresia’s shouting made Müla cry.
In a hurry, Theresia started tending to Müla.
“Dad, we have to put Mash and Müla to bed, so why don’t we continue the story later?”
” “Eh?” “
Allen’s behavior surprised Rodan and Theresia. He was the opposite of Theresia, who was upset and screaming. Allen spoke calmly, and brought his spoon to his mouth, like nothing had happened.
They finished cleaning up the dishes and put Mash and Müla to bed. Mash was tired from playing knights during the day, so he fell asleep without a sound. Allen pulled the covers over him.
Allen left the nursery and returned to the living room. Rodan and Theresia were both looking down. The hot water in their wooden cups had become lukewarm. Theresia was holding her cup with both of her hands. The water was rippling.
“So, Dad, can I hear the rest of the story?”
With that, Rodan started talking about what happened with the mayor today. He said that Gerda was also there.
As he said earlier, they were asked to double their hunting output in two years. They were catching 10 a year right now, from October to December, and the mayor wanted them to catch 20.
Rodan continued, saying that it wasn’t a request from the mayor, but from the lord.
For years now, the lord had been asking for more Great Boar meat. He spoke to the mayor, and the mayor passed it on to Rodan and Gerda.
Rodan had told the mayor that it would be difficult. There were barely any new recruits, and that the 20 serfs who went hunting were always the same people. He said that they weren’t turning down new recruits anymore, like they had done with the commoners last year. Even serfs had their own families to think about. A piece of Boar meat wasn’t worth a life, and their families were against them going.
“So you turned him down again, right?”
Rodan had said no every year. So there was no reason to change his mind.
“The lord said that if we couldn’t hunt 15 Boars this year, he’d start recruiting serfs from the other parts of his territory.”
It seemed like the lord really wanted more Boar meat. He was planning to add more hunters even if it meant recruiting serfs from other parts of his territory. That was his plan.
Apparently, there were a lot of serfs in the territory that wanted to join the hunts.
“Eh? So they want to add more serfs to our village?”
“Yeah, there’d be more serfs in the village. So there’d be less land per person, and they might take land from the serfs who don’t hunt.”
Serfs didn’t have the right to own land. All it took was a single word from the lord and, even if they’ve been working on the land for generations, it would be taken away. That’s what the mayor said.
When the mayor said this, Rodan’s vision went black. Allen was beginning to understand why Rodan looked so gloomy this entire time.
He was asked the same thing every year. Still, he didn’t budge. But then, the lord sent his messenger to tell the mayor that, if they couldn’t increase their output, he would be forced to act.
“Gerda and I have been talking about going hunting more. We’re going to get everyone together tomorrow to talk about it.”
They were thinking of increasing their hunting frequency. They currently had one hunt every 10 days. Doing this, the overall output would increase. He was going to talk to the hunters about hunting more often starting next month.
“But even if you do that, if they keep increasing the requirements every year, you’ll still need more serfs.”
Allen, who had been listening the entire time, interjected.
(Forcing them to hunt more often might cause more people to quit.)
There was a reason they only hunted once every 10 days. It was for work-life balance. Hunting more often meant more meat, but also more danger.
“Huh!? Ah, right…. That’s right…”
Rodan was surprised because Allen spoke so matter-of-factly, but he was right. That’s exactly what Rodan was worried about.
“To meet the demand, you’ll eventually have to add more people to the hunt.”
“Yeah, that’s right. But last year, we made the mistake of adding more people. I don’t even know if there are any people who want to join anymore. And even if there were, they’d have a hard time hunting.”
Rodan replied to Allen’s comments seriously.
After Rodan was seriously injured, Allen took care of the fields and Mash. He caught more than 10 Albaherons, trying desperately to provide for his family. Rodan treated Allen as more than just his eldest son. Also…
“I have the wisdom given to me by the Creator, Elmere.”
(Ah, I didn’t think I’d be bringing up the setting that I told them about a while back. Well, if it makes me more credible…)
Rodan’s eyes widened in surprise. Allen had said that he had received trials from god that even 100 people couldn’t manage. He had also told Rodan and Theresia that he was given wisdom and strength from the God of Creation to overcome those trials.
“Can you let me take care of it? I think I can do something about it.”
Allen declared that, with the wisdom granted to him by God, he was going to solve this problem.
It was the morning the next day. Three people were in Rodan’s house: Rodan, Allen, and Gerda. Allen said he wanted to continue last night’s conversation with Gerda.
The discussion couldn’t continue without Gerda’s cooperation and approval, because both Rodan and Gerda led the Boar hunts.
“Allen, is it true that we can safely add more hunters?”
It seemed like Gerda didn’t trust him as much as Rodan did. They were talking about an idea from someone who had never even been on a hunt – a suggestion from a six-year-old.
“I won’t say it’s completely safe.”
(There are no absolutes on a hunt.)
He recently began speaking to Gerda in the same tone he used for his parents. He was told not to be overly polite to him.
” “What!?” “
Rodan and Gerda both had looks that said “I knew it was too good to be true”.
“However, I think we can make it much safer. There’s no way we can expect newcomers to play important roles, like being part of the wall.”
(A low level noob would only make a wall as soft as tofu.)
When Allen was Kenichi, he spent a lot of time hunting, leveling his characters – more than 10,000 hours. He had done solo hunting, pair hunting, and mobile hunting, where he chased after the prey. He’d been through many types of hunts. Each time, he had to change the methodology to match the situation and to maximize EXP gain.
Boar hunting was simple. They brought the Boar to the hunting location, where it would be trapped by a wall of people, and then killed. Allen recognized this technique as lure hunting, or bait hunting.
Naturally, he also had experience hunting with noobs. He had accumulated countless experiences on how to train newbies.
“Oh? There’s a better way?”
“Of course. I’ll teach everyone when…”
“When I join you on the next hunt.”
Allen announced that he would be joining the Boar hunt. Allen taught them a safer way to hunt, even when including the newcomers.
Thanks for reading! 🙂