We successfully defeated three Great Boars right in front of the Lord. The Lord was convinced that it was possible for us to defeat 20 of them. His anxiety seemed to have vanished.
We carried the defeated Great Boar back to the village with the 20 knights who had accompanied us.
We made it back to the village before 3:00 p.m., but the villagers were saying that it would take until the sun went down.
In the meantime, Rodan, Gerda, and Allen were called to the village mayor’s house.
Rodan was really happy about this. He was not worried about himself. Rodan would not be deprived of his land. He was sure of at least that much. What he was worried about was that his fellow serfs could not go Boar hunting. Would they have their lands decreased?
When he entered the village mayor’s house, we were told that the Lord was already waiting for us in the hall.
”No need to take a bath.”
We were told that we do not have to clear our linen rags, stained with sweat and Boar blood. We were told to go to the hall immediately.
The village mayor was waiting for us at the door. The four of us entered the hall, led by the mayor.
The table was already cleared and the Lord was sitting on a chair at the far end. Sitting beside him was his daughter, Cecile. At both ends of the hall, the butler, the Knight Commander, and the Vice-Commander were standing.
They are kneeling in a horizontal line near the center of the hall.
When they were kneeling, the Lord opened his mouth.
“First of all Mr. Mayor, the development of the village has been truly magnificent. It has been fifteen years since the ordinance to develop the village was issued. While many villages have failed to develop, you have done an excellent job of developing this village in a great way. I am truly grateful.”
“Thank you very much, sir.” The mayor replied.
He repeated what he had said at last night’s dinner. The kneeling mayor bowed even more deeply.
“And now, Rodan, Gerda.”
“I have witnessed the Boar hunt. It was a wonderful hunt that I cannot describe in words. As your Lord, I would like to express my gratitude. Thank you, you guys are true leaders.”
The Lord expresses his deep gratitude to the serfs. His eyes were as intense as ever, but his voice was very soft.
Rodan and Gerda bowed their heads responding to the Lord’s compliments.
“With so many heroes in this village, I have done nothing. For your effort and dedication I must give you a reward.”
(Oh, here comes the reward! Please make my family a commoner.)
Allen looked down and waited for his reward.
“Rodan, and Gerda. You, and your wife and children, are upgraded to commoners. Become commoners and fulfill your duty.”
“That is very kind of you. Thank you sir!”
Rodan and Gerda bowed their heads once more and thanked him.
(Now I can go hunting outside the village anytime I want. Yay!)
I can’t stop myself from dreaming about hunting magical beasts outside the village. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling.
After that, he said that not only Gerda and Rodan, but also the farmer who had been hunting Boar for more than ten years, his wife and children would be made commoners, and if an unmarried person married the participant, his wife would also be made commoners. It’s a reward for all.
“Will you become a commoner or remain a serf? The mayor of the village must be sure. A commoner has his own responsibilities.”
Unlike the serfs, the commoners were subject to a per capita tax. The more wives and children they have, the more per capita tax they would have to pay every year. He wanted us to choose whether we wanted to live as a commoner or a serf.
“Now I will be able to fulfill my duties as a Lord.”
It was the duty of the Lord who ruled the villlage to achieve the goal of 20 boars, which was the Royal Order. He said he could now return to the capital in peace.
He gave us a reward. As the exchange in the hall was about to end the butler opened his mouth.
“What is it? Sebas.” said the Lord, questioning the butler who had interjected him at the end of the exchange of rewards.
“My Lord, there is one word left from His Majesty the King, regarding how the Boar hunt began.”
“Hmm? Oh! That’s right. Sebas, I’m sorry.”
(Hmm? Has the Boar hunt begun?)
As the butler closes his eyes and makes a slight bowing gesture, he looks at me as if he knows what’s going on.
The Lord speaks again.
“I’m sorry, but this is not so much of a Royal order as it is a question that His Majesty the King has asked me. Rodan. No, Rodan the Boar-hunter.”
Rodan looked at the Lord wondering what he was talking about.
“Actually, His Majesty the King had asked me why you chose to hunt boars.”
“The territorial settlement ordinance was issued throughout the Kingdom. As other Nobles with territory struggled to make ends meet, not only was this settlement village well established, but they also began to hunt Boars and deliver meat. The King praised me as a wonderful example in the court of the Kingdom.”
He was asked by the King how it began so that other Lords could learn from it. At that time, he didn’t know how it began, so he couldn’t answer. The King told him to check it out before he came to the capital.
“Why did you start Boar hunting?”
Then Rodan’s face became red. Rodan’s face reddened, and he didn’t say a word. There was silence in the hall.
“Hmm? What’s the matter?”
Gerda spoke up.
“I don’t think Rodan can tell us the beginning of the Boar hunt. May I?”
(The beginning of the Boar hunt? That reminds me of a sleepover we had many years ago. They talked about it but I didn’t get to hear it after all.)
Rodan’s face became even redder. But he doesn’t seem to talk. The Lord says he didn’t mind hearing the story, so Gerda started talking.
“It was the beginning of spring when we first set foot in this new village with 100 other serfs. I think it was 13 years ago.”
“Of course, you have to start a village in the middle of nowhere. It takes a lot of time to form one. In the winter, the area was covered with snow, making it difficult to cultivate. It is best to start in the spring, when the snow has melted, so that you can spend the most time cultivating.”
“The area to be cultivated by one is assigned by the Lord’s messenger. It was next to the forest for us. It was about a two-day walk from the village where we used to live. It was on the side of a forest, but it was not a flat plain. Trees grew sparsely, so we were working on cutting down the trees and removing the tree roots.”
Gerda continued in a respectful tone. Rodan listened with his eyes closed. He seemed somewhat uncomfortable listening.
“By the time we were frantically removing the trees, it was autumn.”
“We were serfs who had come from a different place who had previously not left their villages. We had to save wheat and potatoes for the winter but it was destroyed by the Boars.”
“It was our first autumn. I didn’t know that in the fall, the Great Boars would come to these woods in huge numbers. We had set up a fence in preparation for the beasts. However, Gerda told us that the fence was easily broken down by a giant creature that weighed over a ton, and nearly half of the food we needed to survive the winter was eaten.” Rodan spoke.