It’s the beginning of September. Next month, Allen will turn seven years old.
In this hot, sunny weather, Allen is in the yard of Kurena’s house.
“I’m your next opponent, Allen.”, says Dogora.
“Come on, let’s go Dogora.”
Dogora addressed Allen. He grabbed a wooden club rather than a sword and attacked Allen.
“Damn it, why can’t I hit you?”
“I’ve told you many times, you have to predict my movements.”
“I know, I know!”
We’re playing knights. In the early part of December last year, I got into a fight with Dogora. I won the fight easily and told him that I would come back in two days.
Two days later, I came there to buy some groceries and found a very excited Dogora waiting for me. Perhaps the round stick of the scrap wood was too hard to hold for him, and now his weapon had been upgraded.
Naturally, with his high status and skill level in swordsmanship, Allen was easily able to win. Two days later, at the same time of day, when he went to the commercial district. Dogora was again waiting for him. Allen won again.
This went on for almost a month, until the end of December.
We also had enough firewood and salt in stock, because I came to the market every two days.
When I told him that I wouldn’t be coming to the store like this from January, he said, “You’re a bit of a jerk!” to me. Perhaps he wanted someone to play with him.
Later, I talked to Kurena. I told her that there was one person who wanted to play knight with her. I called Dogora and asked her if he could join her in playing knights. She agreed immediately.
I informed Dogora that from that day on, we would be playing at Kurena’s house.
The reason why we didn’t choose my house as the playing location was because Kurena’s house was much closer to the residential area. I tried to find a place where we could all gather as close as possible. After that, Dogora would come to Kurena’s house every day.
“Taa! Knight Permous ! That’s it?” someone said to Kurena.
Out of sight I saw Kurena and Peromus, the son of the village mayor, playing knights together. Peromus and Dogora were friends. It was their friendship that had placed Dogora at the same table as the knight captain at the banquet.
Peromus was quite unwilling to play the knight, as he was going to be a merchant in the future. He felt that Dogora was forcing him to come along with him.
Still, he comes with Dogora once every two or three days. The village mayor also wanted his son to play with Kurena. After all, he’s playing knight with Kurena, a Master Swordsman who plans to serve the royal family in the future. This sends him a strong message to go and play nicely. There seems to be no escape.
There is another person who is also participating in this knight game.
Mash, who just turned three years old last December is going to play with us. He was finally allowed to go outside the garden with me. He has been following me almost every day since we changed the place to play knight to Kurena’s house.
That’s why there are five of us here: Me, Kurena, Mash, Dogora, and Peromus.
“Mash, I’m ready.”
“Yes! Yes, yes, yes!”
Mash’s weapon is quite long. It’s not a sword. It resembles a spear. At first, I made a normal wooden sword for Mash. But the wooden sword was about 30 centimeters long and didn’t fit Mash’s body. That’s why I made him another wooden weapon.
Mash says, “I want to play in the garden!”. This is an example that he wants to be like his brother.
“I want the same weapon that my brother has”.
The sword I had was twice the length of the sword I had made for Mash.
Mash got really stubborn and he used my wooden sword. Then his movement was different. But it wasn’t that big of a difference. It could have been an error on my part, or just my imagination, playing knight with a three-year-old. But I didn’t miss the difference in his movement.
Mash’s weapon, a spear, was the right weapon for him.
“Hey, Good job, Mash.”
He poked and punched with sharp movements.
(I’m looking forward to the judgement ceremony in two years when Mash will be five years old. I’m sure it will determine what talents are most appropriate for Mash.)
“Oh, what the hell. Is it over already?” said Dogora while playing with Kurena.
Peromus then asked Dogora to return home.
The 15:00 bell rings. Dogora and Peromus always leave at the sound of this bell. They always came to play at the sound of the 12 o’clock bell, so it was a three-hour game of knights.
“See you later, Allen and Kurena,” they said to us.
After they leave, we play a little more knight games, and then I and Mash go home too. The first time we came back from Kurena’s house, Mash was so exhausted that he begged me to carry him on by back on our way home. Recently, he seemed to be able to walk home by himself. I am happy to see my little brother grow up.
“Welcome home, Allen and Mash.”
Theresia replied from the living room. She was preparing dinner. She has my baby sister on her back, who was born back in February. I start to help her prepare dinner.
Theresia had successfully given birth to a baby girl, her third child. And she seems to love her a lot.
The couple has an agreement that if they have a boy, Rodan will name him, and if they have a girl, Theresia will name her. When the baby girl was born, Theresia was finally able to name her child.
She named her Muras.
She named her after an herb called Mullerse flower, which had saved Rodan’s life. She had decided to name the baby Muras if she had a girl. Muras was named on the day she was born.
I think Theresia has a better sense of names. Allen and Mash are named after magical beasts.
Albaheron flies north in the fall, but I had never heard of the magical beast that Mash was named after.
Rodan had told me about this beast too when we had gone shopping.
He said that one of the main reasons why salt and fruits were not coming to the village was because of the trouble caused by a magical beast called Madergarsh.
The Mardergarsh is said to be a lone creature that does not have a territory or a fixed nest and always keeps moving. Its physical appearance seems to be that of a giant wolf. It is said to be about twice the size of the Great Boar, but Rodan had never seen one before.
The Mardergarsh most of the time appears on the main roads connecting towns and villages and stays there, blocking the way. When this happens, merchants and travelers are obliged to not travel to neighboring villages and towns.
Madergarsh, is a B-rank magical beast. It is not an easy beast to defeat.
Sometimes they stay for more than a month, and the supplies stop. People then request for the dispatch of knights to defeat it.
Although it is not seen in this village, there was a story that when Rodan was born in a neighboring village he remembered the request very well. He told me that the dispatched knights were not able to defeat the beast because it had gone away before they had arrived.
It seems to be a very troublesome magical beast. When I heard about it, I thought it was not the type of magical beast that would be loved very much.
As I watched Mash laying around in the living room, I hoped that he would grow up to be loved by everyone, unlike Madergarsh.
Rodan is back to full health. He returned to do farming in the spring. He has resumed fetching water in the mornings and works all day on the farm.
I have also been farming since early spring, learning from Rodan. However, when I tried to work in the fields for a day, Gerda told me that children should play outside for some reason. I still remember the pain in my shoulders when he grabbed me out of the fields.
In the mornings, I was busy doing chores and working in the fields, and from noon, I would be playing knights at Kurena’s house.
We all then gather around the fire pit for dinner. Muras has just started eating baby food little by little. She eats while she drools. Mash was also hungry after a good workout. He was eating a steamed potato.
“You’re late today, aren’t you?”
Theresia spoke to Rodan.
He came home a little late. Because he returned late, Theresia was worried about him. This is one of the reasons why Rodan tries to avoid coming home too late.
“Yeah, I was called in by the village mayor.”
With a puzzled look on his face, he explained that he had been called by the village mayor.