Chapter 69 – The village of salt
Well then, just what should I do about this?
Whatever the circumstances are, Fran is the daughter of the tribal chief.
Taking her along while remaining silent might just turn into a diplomatic issue.
A precious horse isn’t something that can be normally substituted as a working force.
There was no way for Eiji to lose his trust from Dylan and suspend their business.
– Fran, please wake up.
– Unyaa? Oh, good morning Eiji.
– Good morning. I might be rushing you, but I need to ask. Just why is Fran on this board?
– Yan and Yun are scared of boats. As long as Fran is with them, they will calm down, so Fran boarded on the boat and became sleepy.
– I see.
Her words were clearly understandable. Indeed, it wouldn’t be strange for horses to become scared of boats when they had never boarded one before.
What’s more, Eiji could understand her feeling of wanting to stay by their side.
He wondered how Fran fell asleep after that; nevertheless, it was Eiji and Fernando’s fault for not checking everything before departing.
– Please wait here for a moment.
– Fran, is thirsty.
– I’ve got some water. Please drink this and wait here for a while.
– Understood, Fran will wait.
Fran’s throat was probably thirsty from waking up as she drank the water deliciously while making sounds of gulping.
It also seemed that she didn’t intend to go against Eiji’s words by wandering around aimlessly.
Having no problem with being obedient was the most important thing.
Returning back to the bow, Eiji and Fernando faced each other.
– What should we do, Fernando-san? Fran says that the boat departed while she was asleep.
– How about we sail reversely back?
– If possible, I want us to advance as much as possible, still…
– Hey hey, aren’t you in an awful hurry?
– When I thought that this trip would end soon, I somehow felt the urge of returning home. *sigh* I wonder if Tanya-san is doing fine.
– Again you’re starting with that, even though I was thinking that you had calmed down.
Say what you want. A man’s heart which loves his wife won’t be affected in the slightest by such words.
Not paying attention to Fernando’s blatant sigh, Eiji was thinking about the way to solve this problem without having to sail reversely back.
– Rather than that, how about we drop her off in the nearby village and have her return back on land?
– Fumu, even if she walks back from the neighboring village, it will take her at least a day, right? Certainly, that distance would be a considerable problem.
– It’s probably so.
– Still, there’s another problem.
– We don’t know about anything about the village we are heading towards. Til now, we have been able to recognize the villages which we have visited mainly thanks to us approaching near the riverbank from where they were noticeable. Perhaps, the last village won’t be visible.
Damn, even though I thought it was a good idea after going through all the troubles.
No, there must be still a way. It’s still too early to give up.
Rather than worrying about the location of the village they have never seen before, it would be much quicker for them to ask Fran.
Eiji once again returned to Fran.
For her, the horses were probably more important than Eiji and Fernando themselves.
Gently Brushing the necks of Yan and Yun, which were tied to the stern, Fran adjusted their lies of hair with a brush,
Even though her face should be that of a girl, she looked gently like a caring mother.
– What’s the matter, Eiji?
– Ah, Fran. We are right now going downstream from Auman toward the village that has a dock, but, I wonder if there’s such a village near the riverside on the way?
– Near the riverside?….Fran often used to ride on horses far away, so there ought to be one, but mostly it would be near the village of Marina?
– Won’t you go there?
– Is it a village near the coastline?
– That’s right. Fran and Gyusu would often run til Marina.
Providing she rides on a giant horse like him, there probably wouldn’t be any problem of them being attacked by wolves.
Imagining the appearance of the small Fran riding on Gyusu to a far place made Eiji smile unintentionally.
– Speaking of which, Fran, do you often go away from your village?
– Yes. To begin with, was it due to Fran spending lots of time together with Gyusu and the rest? Whenever Fran stays at home, her head goes ‘arrrgh!’, like this, so she can’t endure and runs a lot.
– For such a thing to…
Was it perhaps related to the environment where Fran was raised by the horses at her young age?
It seemed that Fran didn’t mind, but despite her being content with living together with humans, it was probably a difficult place for her at the same time.
Nevertheless, with this, Eiji came across one more response.
Assuming her parents don’t mind Fran staying away from home, won’t it be fine to continue advancing like this?
If one was to ask whether or not it was a good decision, they would possibly disagree.
As one would expect, it’s probably best to send her back without wasting any time.
– Fran, what do you intend to do from now on? If you wish, you can take Yan or Yun and ride back home? If it’s the distance to Auman, it should only take 10 minutes by sailing upstream with the boat.
– Fran will go to Marina! Fishes over there are delicious!
– Still, you haven’t informed your parents about your going out, right? Won’t Dylan-san get angry for that?
– Uh…..I-It’s fine.
– I always go out without telling anyone,, so most likely.
– Is that so? But you see, it’s better to tell them properly from the next time. Even if Gyusu is by your side, your parents are surely worried about you.
Seeing how Fran lightly grumbled, Eiji felt like this girl was brought up straightforwardly.
Once it’s decided, things will advance quickly.
The remaining thing left would be to advance with the boat.
– Fernando-san, we sail full speed.
– Got it!
Receiving the wind mixed with the smell of tides, the boat continued to run downstream.
Eiji breathed in the air with his whole chest.
He could sense salt air in the wind.
Ah, it has been long since I could feel this atmosphere.
– What do you mean, by it has been long?
– Did I unintentionally spoke out my mind…..? Before, I used to live near the sea.
– Heh? Certainly, Eiji-kun, didn’t you say that you used to live near the foot of a mountain
– I lived in amazingly steep place with hills stretching from the sea. Once you climbed a bit, you would reach the mountain base.
– What was that? Indeed, a changeable place. Still, is this the smell of the sea?
– Fernando-san, is this the first time for you to be at sea?
– Yes. To think that I’d would be able to gaze at the sea…. You can’t tell what is going to happen in your life.
As the river slowly zigzagged, it gradually spread and continued to lose its power.
They were most likely going to reach the sea soon. Eiji naturally understood that from the steadily increasing salt air.
– Is this where Fran usually arrives at?
– Yeah. Fran comes here together with Gyusu. Everyone would let us eat, so there are only good guys.
– Could it be, they would treat you?
– Hm? As a repayment for Gyusu’s work.
– Was that so? In that case, fine.
Because Fran possessed childish traits, Eiji didn’t know whether or not she would cause trouble by being from now on in care of Marina.
I probably have to keep my eye on her. – He thought.
Leaving aside Eiji, who was worried like that, it seemed that Fran was actually content as she stared at the boat enjoyably for the first time, headed to the bow to check the front direction, and moved toward the stern to take care of Yun and Yan.
– H-Huge! What is this?!
– This is the sea.
– Ahaha, Fer looks so shocked!
– Both of you, don’t make fun of me just because you have seen it before,
– I don’t, but Eiji looks a bit suspicious.
As one would expect, seeing the reaction of Fernando, who made a big fuss over witnessing the sea, probably made Eiji deeply moved.
The smell of the tides, which stir one’s nostrils; the sound of the waves; and the sun that gives a crispy stimulus, this place was rich with lots of variety, which didn’t make it seem like the same island Eiji knew.
The sea was big and spacious.
It was the same regardless of country and place.
Such a natural thing made his heart feel at ease.
There were actually things that remained unchanged.
– Ooh! Eiji-kun, look, the riverside is paved.
– It’s as you say. As one would expect from villages near a seashore. Shall we dock?
– Yun, Yan, we will be soon able to land! isn’t it nice?
Eiji looked around the surrounding.
Was it because there were lots of people fishing individually? There were lots of boats as well.
With this boat, it looks like we can only sail til the coastal waters. I wonder how would a voyage outside the sea turn out.
While thinking so, Eiji dropped down the anchors and moored using the ropes.
– Well then, shall we, go and see the last village?
The erected buildings, too, seemed to be filled with exotic mood.
While disembarking the cargo, Eiji waited for the arrival of villagers.