Fifth Year. Apparently her people express their emotions through gestures.
The lord said that he doesn’t understand them very much.
To be with foreigners that one can’t communicate with. I was awed.
I sometimes met her in the forest. When she didn’t have anything, I gave her small animals such as rabbits.
I’m not really doing it for her. It’s just that butchering small animals is a pain.
I recently learned that the action of opening her eyes thinly while loosening the mouth was a smile.
What, so she can smile.
◇ ◆ ◇
The unpopular lord married and the village was slowly changing.
I didn’t see the rumoured wife yet. Apparently, she goes out hunting with the lord, but I didn’t have the opportunity to see her yet.
More importantly, the young women of the village are captivated by a red-haired foreign man that came recently.
Believe it or not, the women gather at the store to talk with the guy.
When I happened to pass by the store and took a peek inside, I witnessed something strange.
I was surprised at the range of the women gathered here. From three-year-olds to women in their fifties.
The woman in her fifties was my mother…… Wait, what are you doing there, I wanted to ask.
I saw the rumoured handsome man, but he wasn’t all that great.
His hips were slender like a woman’s and he didn’t have much muscles. As if such a man can support a family.
They’re all just doting on him because he’s a city person. His looks weren’t bad.
Fortunately, she wasn’t among the women.
Since there aren’t any other women with black hair and black eyes I could tell at one glance.
After I learned that, I didn’t care anymore about this gathering.
I headed out to hunt afterwards.
At night, father asked mother where she had been since noon.
Mother replied with a smile that she was at the gift store to see the handsome person.
So she has no plans to hide it.
Father had a complicated expression on, but he did not scold her.
Since it was him that proposed to my mother, who was a foreigner, while prostrating himself, the hierarchy was clear from a long time ago.
Every time I watch my parents, I end up wondering why.
◇ ◆ ◇
The next day.
When I exited the house to go out hunting, she was walking outside.
Since she had a large basket, she must have been shopping.
As I approached to talk to her, someone else talked to her before me.
That person was the red-haired man I saw the day before at the gift store.
He took the basket she had and started walking by her side.
My face became hot in an instant.
That turned into rage when I could not see the two of them anymore.
Despicable actions. Despicable even in traditional clothes.
Normally it reaches down to the waist, but the red-haired man had one that reached his knee. Wearing traditional clothing yet not following tradition, how shallow.
I felt frustrated about other things as well.
She normally looks uninterested in men.
Even when I carry her stuff she merely tilts her head.
Because she was relying on a stranger, I was needlessly infuriated.
That day, my head was so clouded that I couldn’t catch a single rabbit.
When I returned empty-handed, I came across her at the fort.
Why is it that I meet her on the day I did not want to meet her at all?
I passed by without trying to get her into my field of vision.
After that, I was frustrated for a few days.
When I went out hunting, I saw that red-haired man with another woman, so I spoke up, thinking that it would be a good opportunity to talk to him.
“Oi!” It was fine up to the point of speaking out with vigour, but I was shocked from hearing the reply.
The voice of the red-haried man was high-pitched for a man.
It was low-pitched for a woman, but it was not a man’s voice.
Just in case, I checked the sex. ……A woman after all.
Furthermore, the redhead was the lord’s wife. So that’s why she was so friendly with that person.
Now that the misunderstanding was cleared up, I didn’t care anymore.
I thought of apologising, but all I did was ignore her so I thought that it would be fine.
Sixth year. The village is still peace itself.
A big change would be that I got close to the soldiers at the fort.
When I talked to them, they were pretty interesting.
The restaurant at the fort sometimes had food from the city so I sometimes went there as well.
It was about her.
They talked about how one person has a unique appearance but is not bad.
Moreover they said that she had a nice figure.
She did not wear the traditional clothes of the village.
She wore exotic clothes.
In winter, she wears coats so she’s no different from the rest of the villages, but the difference is clear in summer.
The village women don’t reveal their skin, but as for her, what should I say, it’s quite open.
Her chests can be clearly seen, and her belly is exposed. Her skirt only reaches her knees, revealing her legs.
Not even city women dress like that, apparently.
However, the soldiers said that they’re afraid to court her because her father is scary.
Indeed, I can sympathise.
Furthermore, we can’t even communicate, so it’s not someone one might want to court with a complacent attitude.
The topic gradually changed. Although it didn’t change that the topic was about women.
Apparently, a woman who was rather popular among the soldiers were taken away by a foreigner.
When I asked who it was, I found out that it was the granddaughter of grandfather Bergholm.
The name was Aina, I believe?
The soldiers were disappointed, but she’s a woman with a strong personality. I don’t want to marry such a woman.
Men in their marriageable age were all thirsting for women.
They wanted to marry quickly.
I had no idea about marrying.
In my house, my older brother had married so it wasn’t that noisy.
Households with only one child are being fussy.
It was a problem that did not matter for me.
Seventh year. Recently, that person was socialising with a woman.
The other person is the granddaughter of grandfather Bergholm that recently came back from foreign lands.
She came after a year and half of living together with a man, who came here with her.
I could see the two of them looking pleased quite often.
I then realised that I had not seen her with other women.
I wonder if she is also becoming like a woman.
Well, it’s not related to me though.
Eighth year. Father started urging me to marry since I was turning 19.
He told me to go find a wife at the port while selling fish since marrying with village women will make it hard to have children.
It’s not a joke, he said, but I ignored father’s orders.
While I was coming back from gathering mushrooms for my mother, I came across her.
There were occasions where I was surprised by her, there were times that I told her that she’s a giant woman or she’s walking around to hook men. I did some harsh things to her.
Though I didn’t feel like doing that now, not at all.
Probably, it was because she was wearing the traditional clothes of this village.
She looked much cuter than usual.
I regret saying such harsh things to her.
Also, I decided that I’ll stop talking to her after today.
I only say harsh things when I meet her.
Not honest at all.
She did not have any reaction. She only stared at the ground without moving.
I couldn’t bear the silence, so I grabbed her shoulder and asked if she was listening.
After looking into her eyes, I thought some things.
Why don’t I have the endurance and the learning ability?
Seeing me like that, she raised her voice.
It was a loud voice so I ended up flinching.
Rather, that was the first time I heard her voice.
It was quite cute, mismatched to her appearance…… Wait, that wasn’t the problem.
While I was wondering why I got so surprised, she told me that I grew taller in the language of this country.
Indeed, I grew taller than her some time ago.
When I was young, I was hung up on overtaking her height, but recently I did not care too much about it so I forgot about it.
More importantly, when did she learn to speak……
I wonder if she learned from the woman she always hung out with, granddaughter Bergholm?
Which means that she can now understand the harsh words from before.
Beads of sweat formed on my brows.
I backed away to quickly get away from here.
However, she spoke out to me clumsily with the words she just learned.
You’re asking why I keep talking to you!? That’s obvious!!
I had a clear answer in my head, but I couldn’t say it out loud.
I adequately evaded the question and ran way.
From the day after that, she actively started striking up conversation with me, enjoying the exchange.
I never thought that our positions would be reversed.
Today also began by correcting her wrong words.
She was so talkative that there was no end to the retorts I had to make.