45. Katariona Learns How to Make Rice Paddies
Notes to know about hotpot: Hotpot is basically when you’re given this ‘broth’ or soup and a plate of raw ingredients. You get to make it yourself where you cook thin slices of meat and other various ingredients according to your whims. After you cook your stuff in the hot pot, you take it out and put it into your bowl. So, when I refer to potstickers, I’m talking about the finished, cooked hot pot stuff.
The God of Time delivered the pot I made for everyone at noon. Now, I’m taking a break, poking the ingredients in the pot with a rice ball in one hand.
Flare-sama said, “It’s delicious!” while alternating between the potstickers and the rice balls. Her cheeks puffed up like a squirrel. She seems pretty satisfied with the food.
“I never thought that I’d get to see you again since you transformed into a human being.”
For some reason, Kikuno-sama accompanied me to my trial. She showed me how to make paddy fields in the greenhouse.
“Yes. I didn’t think I’d come back to visit this country after transforming into a human being.”
After having finally been reunited after a long time, Flare-sama and Kikuno-sama spoke with gusto as flowers bloomed around them.
When I looked over to see Leon next to me, I saw that he was still in his little beast form today, munching on rice balls and a plate of potstickers.
Making up my mind, I took a deep breath, calming myself down. Then, I spoke to Leon.
“Hey, Leon. Can a god who has transformed into a human being utilize their power as a god?”
Leon looked at me happily as if a light switch had been flipped, as his eyes narrowed while his tail shook. He looks happy, wearing a gentle expression. He moved onto my lap without blaming me for not speaking to him before.
“No. Normally, a god’s memories aren’t available until after they have ended their human life. So, they shouldn’t be able to use their powers.”
I enjoyed Leon’s fur for the first time in a while. It seems that Marie has been taking good care of Leon, as he was as fluffy as ever.
“This is because of the gods that are enshrined in my birth family, the Kujo Kasumi family.”
Kikuno-sama, who had been talking with Flare-sama till now, joined the conversation between Leon and me.
“What do you mean?”
Kikuno-sama began to tell us about her birthplace in Hinoshima. The Kujo Kasumi family is said to be an assistant to the Toujuuin family, the country’s lord, and a priest for the festival that celebrates fertility.
Ever since she could remember, Kikuno-sama had been in charge of making the offerings to the shrine where the gods were enshrined.
One morning, when she went to the shrine as usual to make an offering, the shrine opened, and a small old man came out and stared at Kikuno-sama. “Oh, you’re the god of another country?” he said. The little old man was the Fertility God whom the Kujo Kasumi family worshipped.
When she was asked by the Fertility God, her memories and powers as a god were restored.
The Fertility God is said to be from the same lineage of the Earth God in the Kingdom of Findalia.
As a result of this connection, the Fertility God advised the young Kikuno-sama.
“It’ll be awkward if you were to be found out by the other gods, so spend your time as a human being.”
“It was a secret pleasure of mine to share a drink with him from time to time. The Hinoshima sacred wine that is offered is delicious.”
It seems that gods everywhere like to drink alcohol.
“You started since you were a kid?”
“In Hinoshima, you are considered an adult at twelve years old, so there wasn’t a problem.”
With a smile as amicable as ever, Kikuno-sama affirmed that she had been drinking since she was a child. Let’s not ask how much she drank. If you look at the drinking habits of the gods of this country, I can almost imagine it.
“Rice paddies are very difficult to grow. I didn’t even know that rice was planted from seedlings.”
Paddy fields are first plowed and then the water is poured. After the soil is leveled again, the field will be left alone until the soil settles. For the rice seedlings, a nursery is made. In the nursery, rice seeds are planted and when the seedlings have grown, they are replanted into the paddy fields.
“The staple food in this country is mainly bread. So, why did Yurie decided to grow rice?”
I can’t say that it was because I wanted to restore the castle ruins for the trials Leon gave me but was rejected.
“Right, you see……”
I started stammering when Flare-sama whispered something to Kikuno-sama.
Kikuno-sama nodded as she finally got the point, exclaiming, “Oh!”
“I see. Leon is a scoundrel, isn’t he?”
“That’s right! He’s a jerk!”
Apparently, Flare-sama, who knows the whole story, has explained the entire thing to Kikuno-sama.
“What!? You guys are ganging up on me to insult me!”
Leon protested, standing on his two hind legs.
“Speaking of which, once in a while, Leon can be very mean.”
“Are you also saying I’m a scoundrel, Rio?”
While walking on two legs, his limps are jiggling and fluttering around. As long as he didn’t speak, he would look like a cute cat.
“Well now, it’s just a little more till we’re done. The sun sets early, so let’s finish up early and head home.”
“What’d I do wrong?” Leon muttered as the three women returned to work, leaving Leon behind full of questions.
After returning to the lord’s mansion after having completed my trial of making rice paddies, I noticed that there was a lot of noise and bustling in the house. The servants were scurrying around in a hurry.
“What’s going on?”
I wondered as I headed for the reception room. Today was the day we were supposed to have our debriefing sessions about our trials. Once a week, those of us who are undergoing the trials set by the gods have the opportunity to discuss our results from the trials.
When I entered the reception room where everyone had gathered, I found my family, Chris, and Tojurou-san, who had already returned from their trials, sitting on the sofa, wearing a mysterious expression.
“I’m back. What’s wrong, guys?”
“Rio, we’ve got trouble! I’ve been told that my brother is coming to visit us a week from now!”
As soon as she saw me, some shocking words popped out of Chris’s mouth. What!?!?
TL: Hope you guys enjoyed the chapter~!