Chapter 31 – The Song of Migrants
The remaining beef would be wholly roasted according to the customs.
Unlike boars and pigs, it was much more troublesome for beef to roast completely.
Among the men, those who were confident with their own physical strength skewered the beef using stakes, hung it up, and began to roast it directly on the fire.
It was a large cattle.
Despite cutting off the roasted outside part of the beef, it will probably take lots of time until the fire fully cooks it.
Once the offering to the goddess was made, people proceeded with its consumption responsibly.
At that time, one would notice how spirituality and reality combined with each other in a reasonable way.
Before the beef would be done, villagers were served beforehand with hamburgers containing minced beef and pork.
Shouts of joy were heard from the direction of those who were served.
– This is delicious!
– So t-tender! This is the first time for me to taste a tender meat like this.
– This smell and taste comes from beef and pork, you see. What’s more the ratio of both kinds of meat is 7 to 3. By severing muscle fibers, the stiffness of the beef would reduce, and by using it with the ground bread powder, it would give a fluffy feeling. Also, mixing in the pork will allow you to draw out the taste coming from the fat. As for the beef smell, you deal with it using milk, eggs, and all sorts of herbs. Then you put a thick slice of cheese to add to the taste and combine it together with pickles. Summing up all this balance of taste… you will receive this deliciousness.
Having part of the people filled with wild enthusiasm, the hamburger was favorably received.
Eiji didn’t consider it would be denied; nevertheless, seeing in practice how glad the people became made him sigh with relief.
There were also opinions praising a tougher meat for having more consistency that made it taste better.
Besides that, it is also said that there is the advantage of thoroughly biting while eating the food, as it made the stomach easier to become content.
Everyone’s jaws were robust.
Even the baked bread had a much different consistency.
In comparison with Eiji, everyone’s jaws were much stronger.
The reason for such an opinion is because the people who had hamburgers would switch to the roasted meat from the offering without any dissatisfaction.
Eiji was pleased seeing elderly, who had particularly weak teeth, enjoy the hamburger.
– In other words, does it mean that the strength of my jaw is comparable with those of elderly in this village…?
Eiji had the feeling of suddenly becoming old.
Has the atmosphere of the festival reached me? – he wondered.
Eiji, who drank the served alcohol and ate the distributed bread with honey, didn’t deny that.
He was aware that within this half of a year he had been tasting the most luxurious foods and becoming tipsy as for this village’s standard.
However, it was enjoyable.
Kindling the fire, which wasn’t inferior to the chill of the night, and drinking alcohol under the starry sky – this made his heart open.
Next to him, Tanya, who finished her work, joined him in eating rather belatedly.
Her face was blushing from alcohol.
– It’s rare for Tanya to be drinking alcohol, isn’t in?
– Do you dislike women that drink…?
– No, I just thought it was strange, since you don’t usually drink.
– That’s a relief, because it’s quite embarrassing once I get drunk.
– While we are at it, now ain’t you…
– Feeling a little bit drunk?
– By the way, what with that alcohol bottle behind you?
– It’s inside my stomach?
Why did it take form of a question?
Her pupils that usually looked intellectual, were now damp.
Her expression became soft and her movements turned completely sluggish.
The way how she deeply breathed while touching her lips with her hand was amorous, to the extent of becoming fascinated with her.
Was it tiresome for her to sit straightly? Tanya leant against Eiji.
Feeling her shoulder, he could tell her body temperature was warm.
It was probably due to the whole place being warm and the heated atmosphere generated by the people.
Once Tanya put the hamburger into her mouth, her face became filled with surprise.
Ara, it’s delicious – murmuring that, she turned silent for a moment.
Her eyes, which looked at Eiji, became serious without showing any sign of being drunk.
-…This, it’s the dish suggested by Eiji, isn’t it?
– That’s hamburger, you see. But it wasn’t me who invented that.
– I didn’t know you could make such a delicious meal.
– No, that’s why, it wasn’t…
– However, by telling other people, it’s proof you can make it as well?
– That is, well…
I give up – he thought.
Eiji scratched his head while trying to hide his confusion.
It seemed that the talk would eventually lead to making it.
It wasn’t something he couldn’t make as long as he tried, but, it would mean extending Eiji’s duty with domestic choirs, despite him already being in charge of his works.
If possible, I want to entrust Tanya with the housework – thought Eiji.
– I have a request but…
– I want Eiji-san to tell me about the dishes you know.
– Even If I’m told so, it’s not like I know in detail.
Despite feeling relief because he won’t have to cook, there was yet another problem, which caused him a headache.
There wass no white rice, no miso, nor any soy. Also, there were no tomatoes, which meant that preparing Italian cuisine is out of question.
Just how many things can I cook? – he wondered.
Because he didn’t know how it would work in practice, he had no confidence.
– Even if it’s just a bit, I want to reproduce the taste which Eiji-san used to savor. You won’t complain about my cooking whenever you eat, but wouldn’t it be better to match it with your preferences?
Indeed, he eats every day.
Rather than thinking it was natural for there to be this few dishes due to this period’s limited techniques, even if it was a just little, matching the taste to one’s palate would add more colors to their life from now on.
Toward Eiji, who was calmly considering, Tanya had an expression filled with suspense while waiting.
– Well, because I will tell you the methods of making, I’ll entrust you with cooking.
– T-thank you.
– But, considering the number of food materials we have now, it will be harsh.
– However much time it takes, I will master it someday. That’s why, please wait patiently.
Eiji was happy about that gentle side of his wife, who wished for him to have a delicious meal, even if it was just a little bit better.
Considering the materials they had in stock, it would probably be western cuisine.
As expected, Eiji wanted to build a cattle barn as well and arrange the right environment for increasing the livestock population.
– But, let’s do it starting from tomorrow.
– That’s because we are going to eat and drink properly today, isn’t it?
– As for drinking, we should be rather moderate.
Seeing her exceptional smiling face, which she didn’t try to hide, Eiji felt attracted without realizing it.
In front of the open space, around 10 people gathered.
Other villagers, who were facing them, welcomed the group with claps and whistles.
I wonder what will be showcased – thought Eiji.
Tanya leant her wine cup while pointing out.
– Ah, they’re about to sing.
– The one who is going to sing… that’s Jane, right?
– Jane-san is extremely skillful in singing.
– That’s because her voice usually comes from her core, isn’t it? I’m always surprised whenever she calls me.
Was it due to her physical appearance that she could perhaps generate a voice similar to an opera singer?
While holding a rude impression about her physical build, Eiji waited for the song to begin.
There were 5 people holding musical instruments and 5 others standing in front to sing, with Jane standing the closest.
Finally, the prelude began.
End-blown flutes, drums, and instruments similar to guitars started to play a melody.
It was a song of migrants. A song of those leaving their familiar homeland, separating from parents and friends, and departing to new lands.
A song of those passing through mountains, forests, and waters, in order to seek out a suitable living place.
A song which told about falling into illness, about dropping out due to injuries, but also about not throwing away one’s hope.
I wonder why.
I wonder, why does it feel this sorrowful?
Once he noticed, the feeling of loneliness gushed out from inside his chest. He couldn’t suppress this feeling.
Without giving out a voice, Eiji——— cried silently.
Not trying to sob, he hid his breathing.
Alone——–so as not to be noticed, nor kill the atmosphere of the festival.
It seemed that nobody in this village could understand the meaning behind this song.
Being different from their ancestors who had to leave their homeland, they were born in this village and grew.
It was painful.
That’s because Eiji was alone, being left out.
And at the same time, it was pleasant.
No one had to bear the same sorrow.
I wonder how father is doing – Eiji thought.
He wondered how people there would judge him in this case.
Would they consider him dead? Missing?
He didn’t have many people meeting him and showing courtesy, still, there was someone like that.
I wonder if his condition will worsen due to him worrying.
Eiji could easily imagine his father getting depressed.
He was the sort of person who wouldn’t be able to make most dishes by himself.
Won’t he lose the weight?
Will he be able to continue smithing?
Inside Eiji’s head there were different people, including his friends from his place and people that took care of him, but most of all, he was concerned about his father.
If they can’t find his whereabouts, it will be the same as an eternal parting and considering him as dead.
I want to meet him.
I want to meet him.
A single word was fine, Eiji wanted to tell him about his safety. He truly wished for that.
He wanted to tell his father how he avoided one problem after another that caused him lots of trouble, about him wedding a wife, and also about him polishing his skills as a blacksmith every day.
The song continued.
His view was obstructed with tears; nevertheless, the song would reach his ears.
Suddenly, his head was embraced.
Once he noticed, he was laid down on a lap.
A gentle warmness was transmitted to him.
What came into his view was the sky full of stars and his wife’s smiling face.
– Do you feel lonely?
– I can’t make it possible for Eiji to meet the people you want, but…
As soon her words halted, his head was stroked.
– I’m here for you. I won’t go anywhere, so rest assured.
– This situation, it feels like the opposite from before, isn’t it?
– I’m serious. However lonely you are, crying is forbidden.
– Sorry, but let me remain like this for a while.
Tanya’s voice too, was in tears.
There was a person that would shed tears and feel the pain just like him.
For that, Eiji was grateful.
The loneliness, that scared him and made his heart empty, reduced in size little by little. He could feel that.
Numerous stars expanded on the sky.
Is one of them the Earth? – he wondered.
Or perhaps, this is the same planet, but a different period?
He knew that he couldn’t tell his father, nevertheless…
Father, I’m doing fine, so please, also be fi—
Once he noticed, the song ended with the surroundings being wrapped by thunder-like applause.