Chapter 35 – The Beginning of the Animal Shed Construction.
Outside, the snow piled up with the cold weather. The men, who were drenched with sweat, exhaled white breath while exerting themselves in an engineering work.
The ground covered with snow was even firmer than the one during summer.
The men now dug up the soil not by using hoes but with pickaxes.
One of them was digging holes, whereas, the other gathered the excavated soil into the wheelbarrow, and yet another person transported the lumps of earth and sand.
– Hey, you’re slow! Thomas, don’t slack and give them properly the instructions.
Fernando, who wouldn’t lose that easygoing attitude of his, threw out severe rebukes while continuing the demarcation of the planned construction area.
He was properly dealing with the work and didn’t seem to the same problematic person who caused the reversi incident the other day.
Eiji, Mike, and Bona were staring at the situation from a distance.
Even if you look from far away, you can understand what kind of building was under construction.
It had a shape of a rectangle and was 6 meters wide in the north-south direction and 30 some-odd meters long in east-west direction.
Bona was in charge of the whole project.
Holding a cane in one hand, she directed her sharp eyes toward the working villagers.
– Today we are going to distribute lots of wheat bread.
– Oh, seriously?! Ain’t you too generous, Grandma?
– They’re doing a group work for the sake of the village, so I have to reward them a little bit. You too, If you want your share, you better work!
– Ah, no. I’ve been busy with processing the hunted rabbits. It’s a pity that I can’t eat some of the bread.
– You really are all talk and no action.
– I too, am doing what I ought to do.
– I know about that. I’m just telling that you’re going too far with your mouth.
It seemed that Mike was weak against women.
He would lose an argument against Bona. What’s more, even now he couldn’t talk back to her reprimand. Despite saying so, there was no way for him to fall in public esteem.
His hunting skills were superior, and when it was important, he would have enough guts to take the initiative and get going.
– Speaking of which, why is it necessary to build this animal shed?
– About that, I explained during the previous meeting, didn’t I?
– No you see, I thought it would be fine to leave things to you, so I neither paid attention nor listened at that time. Sorry.
– This fool is…!
– Awwie, please don’t hit me with that cane!
No, as expected, will that person really be fine? – Eiji wondered.
Did he notice the cold look from Eiji? Mike apologized while scratching his head in embarrassment.
Despite them trying to deal with Mike sincerely, they breathed a blatant sigh.
– …..Please brace yourself, because we need Fero  to move around as well.
– This time it will be fine.
– I’ll take your word for it’ works better.
– Leave it to me, the only hunter in Siena.
– Please, won’t you explain to this fool, so that he understands?
There was probably not much of relationship between a hunter and urban planning.
Suppressing his urge of wanting to retort, Eiji explained to Mike about the reason behind building an animal shed.
– Well then, shall I give you some questions regarding the present condition?
– Easy, leave it to me.
– Mike-san, can you grasp how many eggs one chicken in this village can produce in a single year?
– Yes, if I consider the ones which I’m raising at my household, it will be around 20 eggs.
– That’s right. What’s more you remembered well, didn’t you?
– That’s because we eat eggs as well, so even I ought to remember.
Ahem – Mike puffed his chest out with pride.
No, it’s nothing particular to boast about. – Eiji thought.
A domesticated chicken is an unusually excellent animal.
It doesn’t fear humans and can eats bugs together with grass, so leaving it would be fine.
Furthermore, it cannot fly far like a normal bird.
And once it becomes night, it will obediently return to its shed, so it’s easy to control.
– I’ve checked and it seems that every household has roughly 5 chickens. 1 of which is a rooster and the rest, hens.
– You’ve checked it well.
– Had I not investigate it beforehand, I wouldn’t have been able to suggest the plan. Not to mention, the number of roosters is scarce, isn’t it?
– Well, you can only make a rooster that can’t produce eggs into meat. For mating, only one will be enough.
– And then, the number of eggs which a single household can get yearly is around 80. Because several of them might hatch, if there are 6 households, a single person can eat about 16 per year, right?
Of course it varied depending on each household’s structure.
If it’s Tanya and Eiji, each of them can eat 58 eggs.
Eiji forecasted that each of them could eat 1 per weekend; nevertheless, since there were many family households, eggs were considered as highly valuable products.
Eiji also thought that increasing the number of chickens raised will yield good results.
Still, if a food shortage occurs due to a bad weather, the chicken will be digested before the increase can even take place.
During the festival of abundant harvest, lots of eggs were used; however, that many would only amount for a single day in a year.
– This is how it presently looks. By the way, the talk now was just a speculation. Do you know that depending on the type of chicken, there are ones which can lay a lot of eggs, but also ones that will only lay some?
– Oh, if some clever guy tries to steal eggs, the chicken will notice that.
A chicken has a strange nature.
Once it enters its egg-laying period, it can produce at a pace of one per day and continue until it accumulates 5 of them.
Perhaps, it can be due to them being only able to count till 5.
Saying that, an owner of chickens will secretly try to steal one, making the chicken, which hasn’t noticed, lay an egg again while thinking that there are only 4.
After that, it’s a matter of time whether it will notice its eggs being stolen or not.
If there are chickens that will notice and stop laying after 2-3 thefts, there will be as well those that can continue to lay more than 30.
In other words, even if you steal one egg when there are more than 6, the chicken won’t lay any new eggs.
As expected, it could be due to it being unable to count above 5.
– That’s what I mean. Let’s make it so that there are only chickens which can lay lots of eggs.
– Uh, I don’t understand the meaning behind your words.
What Eiji thought was to crossbreed chickens that can lay lots of eggs as much as possible and raise the ones which can be fecund.
For that to happen, it’s better to separate and control chickens so as to pursue the desirable change much easier.
– If we do so, this is raising the chickens in a shed, will the number of eggs produced till now become double as many?
– It won’t yield immediate results, but…
– Somehow it feels like a talk pulled from a dream, doesn’t it? Is it really possible to force a fecund chicken to produce even more eggs?
– I wonder if there were people back in my country that would eat at least one egg per day.
For people here, it felt as though they couldn’t comprehend what he said, just like Eiji the law of genes from Mendel’s laws.
Hearing Eiji’s words, Mike was left open-mouthed.
Probably he wouldn’t imagine that to be possible as he shook his head from disbelief.
– That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
– Currently, it’s still difficult, but I want this plan to become real sooner or later.
– Oh, me too, I want this to happen.
– A place where nobody will starve, isn’t it wonderful?
– If you can achieve that, I shall revere you as a god.
– Please stop that.
– No, for there to be no one to starve, that’s my dearest wish. This much alone is incredible.
Eiji didn’t particularly consider that as amazing.
He wanted to object; nevertheless, he was forced to gulp down his words.
It just happened to be that the environment, in which Eiji grew-up, was more advanced He’s being praised for having knowledge outside of his craft, knowledge which is not his own findings. Eiji felt guilty no matter what he would try to do.
Were he to be praised as a blacksmith, he would accept that genuinely, however…
Eiji thought that there was a need to convey his knowledge, even if it was just a little bit.
He didn’t know how much use his knowledge would become, however, passing down what he knows and the items he creates will probably lead to this village’s development.
– Despite saying so, we still have to feed the chickens?
– For the beginning, we will let the chickens run free at each noon.
– At that rate, won’t the the chickens mixed with each other, making it difficult for us to discern?
– We will surround them with a fence so as not to let that happen.
– Is it really going to prevent that from happening?
– Now that it has come to this, we have to carry out the plan thoroughly. Otherwise, there will be no meaning in building the shed.
– Haa…. I wish it would be much more comfortable.
Good grief – once Mike shrugged with his shoulders, the cane was swung at him again.
– Speaking of which, Eiji, thanks for the explanation. Please treat me well from now on.
– No, thanks to that, I had you remember this time. I think it might be hard from now on so…
– Well, I wonder if it won’t be too much for him. This guy is an idiot after all.
– Don’t speak of people as idiots!
– Then at least remember the talks during the meetings, will you?
– Gu… got it.
Eiji and Bona’s laughing voice reverberated through the surrounding.
– Ugh, so heavyyyy!
– Hey, Eiji. Don’t force yourself. Because you normally lack power, you will just kill your back
– Didn’t I tell you that I would help?
– On the contrary, you will become a burden. Nuoooh 
We are short of people, so how about you help us.
Being told to help in the animal shed construction, Eiji was now driving a huge pillar into its foundation.
The pillar that was raised inside the shed was big enough to be carried completely under arms by 2 adults.
Eiji didn’t expect this size of a pillar to be needed; however, in the end, it was Fernando doing the layout.
If he meddles, or if the pillar collapses, the work won’t meet its aim. Thinking so, he put all his effort into this laborious work.
Eiji was much tougher than he was originally, still, his body hadn’t undergone any physical labor besides smithing.
Therefore, it can’t be helped to say that he lacked a bit in power when trying to drive in the huge pillar.
To think that Philip would cut and carry off this unprocessed lumber every day.
While having that thought, Eiji felt respect for that uncommunicative lumberjack.
As expected, forcing oneself to do manual labor for a long time would be seen as a hindrance by those muscular farmers around him, who decided to replace Eiji.
Just where did the chilly weather vanish to? – While wiping his sweat and loosening the fatigue from his arms, Fernando approached.
– Hey Eiji-kun, are you able to use the saw?
– I can generally use all the tools I make. Of course, I’m no match against a pro, still…
– If so, then come assist me.
– Got it.
The place he was led to was Fernando’s carpentry.
Inside the workplace, there was lumber with black ink marking for a straight cutting scattered around the place.
One could make 10-12 from that number.
In order to build a single building, was this much lumber required?
Being unaware of that fact until now, Eiji was surprised at this fresh experience.
– First, I’d like you to cut accordingly to that black ink lines on the lumber. Because everyone is still unfamiliar with the saw, the work won’t progress at this rate.
– In the first place, I made it to match Fernando’s skills.
– Is that so?
– I made it thinly so that it’s easier to cut. That being the case, the number of people that can use this saw is limited. That’s why, from the very beginning, it isn’t meant to be something operated by an inexperienced person.
– It really feels like I can do my works smoothly.
– That’s because you can use this saw that you think that way.
– I’m not referring to me.
– You probably make tools while considering each user’s special traits. By this I meant to say that I can do my works smoothly.
What Fernando said wasn’t necessarily limited to only the saw.
Even a single hoe was made thin and light so as to allow the people dig soil more proficiently.
That way it would lessen the impact transmitted back to one’s hands, and with the hoe being light, it would let its user work long hours without getting tired.
Thanks to that, gathering valuable materials would take less time, making it beneficial for both the user and the recipient.
– Well, because I’m the only one usually using the saw, there should be no problem?
– I see. However, cutting this wood that thinly, do you intend to make a plank from that?
– Yeah, we need them for making walls.
The blueprint, which Fernando showed, had an unusually extravagant way of managing the space.
It was a large-scale construction for the future anticipation.
The inside was built with unusually big cages, each for a single bird, so that it will let them move around freely.
The cages were furnished with numerous doors to the outside in order to make it possible for half pasture of the chickens during the day.
Eiji looked forward to its completion.
– Well then, with that I’ll entrust you with the task.
– Leave it to me.
There were also those blacksmiths who would make patterns by themself.
Eiji’s family didn’t consist of that type of blacksmith; nevertheless, making small adjustments was their forte.
They would be able to use saws and planes dexterously.
Eiji placed and fixed his leg on the lumber while carefully sawing along the lines.
Once he will hit firmly to obtain the initial angle, the later direction of the saw will progress at his own convenience.
Moving the saw, his expression was radiating with a joy similar to that of children.
Translator and reference notes:
: I’ve decided to use ‘animal shed’ instead of cattle shed, which is more accurate. I made a mistake by blindly following what the dictionary suggested. Sorry for that.
: It’s how the tribal chief refers to Fernando by his nickname.
: I know it sound weird, but this is how the author choose to make comparisons.
: Imagine it as a sound you make when desperately trying to force yourself.