Hokuou Kizoku To Moukinzuma No Yukiguni Karigurashi - Chapter 44
Chapter 44: Sieglinde's Activity Diary
Volume 1 The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
The white nights where the sun does not set ended, and the season was changing from summer to autumn.
The leaves were shedding from their green shade and dyeing into shades of bright red and yellow, and the breeze that brushed the skin felt chilly.
It was still morning in which the lights of the sky did not yet show itself.
It had become a part of my daily schedule to patrol around the dormitory when I was in the military.
That habit did not go away in these lands so I always ended up waking up early.
Also, I continued to take the morning strolls. At first, I was going out to melt into the village, but now I am going out from the anticipation of socialising with the villagers.
I took out a dress that had a fragrance of flowers from the drawer.
It was now cold, so I brought out one that had thicker fabric. I put that on and headed to the toilet. I brushed my teeth, washed my face and combed my hair before heading out.
When I came outside, a cool breeze told me that winter was approaching.
The lush green shade of this country was beautiful, but rather than that warm scenery I preferred the ear-chilling white world.
Just by thinking of that season approaching again, I felt my throb, unable to act my age.
I passed through the forest in front of the count's mansion and arrived at the village of red brick houses.
I quickly found my first villager.
’’Oh my, Sieglinde-sama, good morning.’’
There was a young lady around twenty drawing water from the well.
’’Are you alright?’’
She was bearing a new life. It's become quite big, that it looks tough to do any housework.
’’It's pretty big now.’’
’’Yes. Should be soon~ so or my mother-in-law said.’’
I picked up the buckets for the pregnant lady.
The villager here are all hard workers. I can only be surprised that they can move around without rest even in this state.
’’Is there anything else you need?’’
’’No, it's alright. Thank you.’’
’’I see...... I will hope for a healthy child.’’
When I said that, she patted her belly with a happy face.
When we returned to her house, her husband ran out with a panicked expression. It seems that she went off to work without telling him.
I bowed to our neighbour and waved my hand to show that it was okay before I left.
After that, I went around various places and returned home after an hour.
In the front yard, the head of the Rango family was training with a spear. When our eyes met, he threw me a stick that was lying beside him.
We both held up a stick as we stared at each other. The morning bell was the signal for the start of the fight.
My opponent lashed his weapon out from its position in the waist like a sharp stab towards a prey. Since it was dangerous to receive that blow directly I put all my effort into avoiding it.
I twisted my body and raised my stick from its position at my waist, then I aimed for the back of his hand but before I could reach it my swing was parried.
The stick was merely struck hard, but it was flung away from my hand.
A refreshing defeat yet again.
I have yet to beat the white bear warrior.
To pay my respect, I pounded my chest as they did.
After I went inside I wiped my body from the medicinal bath the lady of Rango family had prepared and waited until it was time for breakfast in the living room.
Newspapers aren't delivered here. However, now that I was self-sufficient, I did have much care for the events of the world.
A while later, Ritzhard woke up.
When I greeted him as well, he looked happy and kissed my cheeks. This apparently was the morning greeting of couples. I was doing this everyday, but I still wasn't used to it so I ended up darting my eyes about.
Today, we went to the forest to pick up fallen leaves.
It's not to enjoy the autumn foliage, but to collect leaves for fertiliser.
Every house has responsibility for it, and every adult has to collect three sacks of leaves.
’’Well, that place is full of leaves so it won't take long.’’
While saying that, he took a bite off his bread with a sleepy face.
He seemed to be weak in the mornings, and is not fully awake until he has his coffee after breakfast. He is talking well, but his expression suggests that he will fall asleep quickly.
An hour after breakfast, we prepared many tools and armed ourselves since there was no telling what might happen in the forest.
’’Nice weather today~’’
Ritzhard was still easygoing. That was his good point too.
Unlike me, who has a sharp and rough tone, Ritzhrd has a long and soft tone. We are polar opposites, but I recently realised that we were in a relationship that complemented each other.
I was much happier than I had first expected.
The relaxing life here fit me well.
The day we met, he said that we might not be able to have children, but that didn't matter.
Well, it wasn't because of that peaceful couple I met in the morning, but I thought that it was all fine as long as we continued to spend our life in peace.
While I was thinking that, something different from usual happened.
’’ Wha!? This is......’’
In the forest, a birch tree had its barks torn up horrendously.
Other trees were carved out with knives.
Once a bark is taken off a birch tree, it does not regenerate. So barks are collected from winter to spring from the firewood.
Ritzhard proceed further in silently.
In a clearing, there were traces of someone lighting a fire and a mountain of skinned rabbit carcasses.
There was one that was roasted too. Maybe they were trying to eat it. A hunted animal gets rigor mortis, so it wouldn't be tasty though.
Then, Ritzhard said something with a trembling voice.
There are poachers in this forest.
He buried the rabbits in a hole and left the clearing.
Ritzhard strode quickly ahead in silence. He did even not look back to see if I was following him well as he usually did.
He headed to the forest. He went to the captain, Hermann Artonen and told the captain of the things he saw in the forest.
’’Hah, such a thing happened.’’
’’It's the first time this happened after I became a lord, so I was surprised too.’’
Ritzhard was calmly laying out the details, but he was vehemently enraged.
It's no surprise that he is infuriated. They were living quietly with the gifts of the forest, but a complete stranger came and stole them away.
’’I see. We'll go out on a patrol at night.’’
’’Take me along.’’
’’Please leave it to us first.’’
Ritzhard reluctantly accepted Captain Artonen's words.
After three days, they tracked down their traces, but failed to capture the actual people.
Captain Artonen wrote down the culprits' whereabouts on the map.
’’At this rate, the next time they'll be appearing here.’’
He pointed to the middle area of the forest. The culprits were probably moving in small numbers, moving stealthily.
’’I'll be going today.’’
’’It's a full moon today. So I won't take lanterns and ambush them in the dark.’’
Calling themselves 'the people of the forest (Salonen)' they see much better in the dark. In addition, it's a full moon today. He said that the bright moonlight shone upon the forest blindingly.
’’I understand. However, can you please take about two people?’’
Ritzhard nodded and accepted Captain Artonen's proposal.
After returning home, many unsettling tools were laid out on the living room table.
Daggers, a gun, a club and ropes.
He was going over each of them carefully.
’’What is it?’’
He was making a scary expression, but when I talked to him he returned to the usual Ritzhard.
While suppressing the pain I had in my chest, I told him something.
’’Please take me with you tonight.’’
I did think that he would say that, so I ended up letting a sigh.
However, I persisted this time.
’’I was a soldier. I can help.’’
’’No. Sieglinde, stay still at home.’’
Earnest and passionate eyes stared straight into me.
When I saw those eyes, I couldn't help but be at a loss for words.
’’I know that you are able to handle yourself as a soldier, but I don't want you to be put in danger.’’
’’You are my one and only wife.’’
He's probably the only one in the world. The only one who treats me as a woman.
However, I also thought the same.
’’I, too, don't want to be like before.’’
Some time ago, he came back with a bruise on his face. That day, he went to the fortress because there was a new person coming. It was clear that something happened there, but Ritzhard just said that he fell over and did not say anything more.
I couldn't bear seeing him get injured at someplace where I was not with him. So even though I was going against his wished I resolved to go with him.
I told him what I was thinking.
’’If you are in any harmed, I want to be beside you at that moment.’’
I am not thinking of fighting for him. However, I wanted to share the pleasures and pains of life with him.
In the end, Ritzhard let me come along.
Whatever he says, he ultimately grants my wish. That's why I kept at it tenaciously.
We proceeded under the moonlight with Ritzhard at the head.
He said that the full moon would shine brightly, but it was still very dark.
I tightly clenched the gun I had on my shoulder. It's impossible to shoot accurately in this darkness.
I felt that beads of sweat formed on my brows, so I wiped them off but I did not feel refreshed at all.
I took up the gun on many battlefields, yet I had this tension. I questioned myself as to why I was so nervous, but no answers came.
In front of me, Ritzhard walked on without hesitation.
About three hours later, we arrived at the entrance of the middle area of the forest.
We bent down and walked cautiously, checking for any sounds.
A while later, Ritzhard stopped the with a hand signal. The soldiers that were following behind him went prone and waited for their next order.
Far away, voices could be heard, and a faint light could be seen.
Ritzhard held up his fingers to indicate how many there were.
There were two people.
As Captain Artonen said, they were moving in small numbers.
I could tell that the poachers were approaching.
In the darkness, they chatted, ’’This place is a treasure trove,’’ in a loud voice.
As the tension built up, Ritzhard quietly laid the strapped gun on his shoulders down on the ground.
I wasn't sure what he was planning, but we were keeping quite so I did not have the leisure to ask.
We did not know the enemy's equipment yet, so couldn't move rashly. The moment I was thinking that, a little further away, something white came out of the bushes.
The surprised poachers raised their voices.
’’Can't be, the legendary, white bear!?’’
While the enemies were in confusion, Ritzhard picked up a stone from the ground, juggled it in his hand, then threw it with all his might at their lantern.
The thrown stone shattered the lantern's glass and put out the light.
To the poachers who were driven into further confusion, Ritzhard threw another stone. After confirming a scream, he rushed out on his own.
I could only hear sounds of something hitting something and the cries of the poachers.
Since we could not see properly in the dark, we did not dare to move.
A few minutes later, Ritzhard shouted that we can now have some light, so one soldier lit up his lantern.
When we approached, we saw the poachers tied up and writhing on the ground.
Ritzhard arrested the criminals who were ruining the forest in the darkness.
In addition, the bear they saw was Teoporon.
He happened to be out hunting when the poachers saw him.
Like so, the case was closed.
At Ritzhard's unexpected exploits, the soldiers were surprised.
’’The lord, he could do it if he tried.’’
’’I wonder why he normally acts like he wouldn't even kill a bug.’’
I didn't think that Ritzhard would do that himself, so I was surprised too.
’’His lordship probably knows how to control his strength.’’
If he did know, I wish he would have used it to protect himself.
However, I changed my mind today.
That Ritzhard was not a fluffy fairy living in a pretty world, but a yeti living in a harsh environment.
I sincerely hoped that this village will continue to be peaceful without him having to raise his hand.
This was the only time I saw him angry in my life.