I used four days to learn as much about monsters and countermeasures against them as I could, cramming it in, and Earl Terejia posted notices within the domain about countermeasures to put into practice against the fire moths.
Due to the report that it’s now their active period, once it becomes autumn, with the dry season, the fire moths will become even more of a fire hazard. This summer, their numbers are about average, but last winter an unusual thing had occurred. Usually the fire moths disappear during the winter, but it seems that last winter they remained active and still attacked people’s villages.
“Mrs. Marshan, there’s no mistake that salt water is the most effective thing at exterminating the fire moths?”
“I would like to see this for myself. Please tell Bellway that I would like to have three fire moths captured for me.”
Fire moths, just like regular moths and butterflies, have scales that repel water. And what’s more, fire moths seem to be quite water resistant, so only using water would be useless.
However, fire moths seem to be quite weak against salt. I don’t understand the exact reason, but I vaguely remember learning in science class during my previous life something about certain insects being weak to salt.
Upon receiving my request, Mrs. Marshan left the room immediately. Normally, I’d be requesting Kamil, but he’s not here right now, and for now, even outside of lessons, Mrs. Marshan has taken over his duties. And what’s more, she would always follow me everywhere. It was necessary for a domain lord to always have someone by them to carry out their orders, is what Mrs. Marshan was teaching me, and I’m very grateful that Mrs. Marshan is more open-minded and accepting of different ways of thinking.
To think it would be salt. In Arxia, salt is the cheapest among all seasonings, although it’s still fairly expensive among daily necessities. I intend to see if I can find something to substitute for it. For now, I’ll just think on countermeasures against the fire moths with salt water as the main weapon.
Then, since we know that salt water can defeat the fire moths, we can have salt prepared to help defend the villages.
It isn’t that rare for fire moths to cause fires, but since the trees native to here usually have high moisture content, the main thing to be concerned about are each village’s stockpiles of dried firewood.
As for the forests in my domain, rather than using the soldiers on duty at the area under direct control, I’d prefer if it would be possible for the citizens in my domain to guard them instead. Right now, I’d prefer to avoid adding to the citizens’ sense of fear by sending soldiers.
Fire moths are mainly active during the daytime. Even if it’s their active period, it’s highly unlikely for fire moths to be flying about at night. In my domain, since the moon is usually hidden by the Amon Nor Mountains, it’s quite dark at night. It seems that fire moths don’t have night vision, so they can’t fly around without any moonlight.
However, since the villagers don’t have lights, night comes early for them. They end their day and go to sleep when the sun goes down. It’ll be necessary to organize patrols around the villages each day until it becomes completely dark at midnight, and find volunteers for that.
……Organizing the villagers to protect their own villages, it feels almost like a vigilante corps. In this case, it might be for the best if I seriously try and establish a vigilante patrol.
There’s also the situation with the neighboring country to the east, taking into consideration that Kaldia might be invaded by enemies, this might be a good chance to teach the people some basics of self-defense now. I’d like to make an organization with the villagers that would improve our cooperation and communication.
I finished a basic plan for setting up a vigilante group system, and left my room for the lord’s office. When I knocked and entered, Earl Terejia who was working busily just like usual looked at me with a surprised face.
“……It couldn’t be, but are you already done with your work?”
“No, I apologize. I’m here to see you because I would like to discuss the domain’s military regulations and information on the soldiers.”
The domain’s military regulations, at hearing this the earl raised his eyebrow. I told him about my plan for setting up a vigilante organization, as he listened with a dubious look on his face, and he pulled some pieces of wood out of his drawer for some reason.
“It’s a rough draft for a self-defense organization. I never would have expected that you could come up with something like this yourself as well.”
The earl seemed a little apologetic, and I nodded. This was the first time that I had come up with a plan for the domain entirely on my own. Taking into consideration my age and lack of experience, it’s no surprise that the earl also prepared something like this.
Earl Terejia’s draft had the same idea as my plan, using conscription into the domain’s army to establish a new organization. Apart from that, he also had methods for cooperation between the new forces and the domain’s army, as well as setting up methods for faster communication in the villages, which I was still thinking about.
“……Then, we’ll try to make this a reality.”
“Once you’re finished with these, bring them over to me. Also, please submit your countermeasures against the fire moths then as well.”
Earl Terejia handed me military regulations and military service records, including of those that had already retired from the domain’s army, and I left the office just as Bellway arrived with a small cage containing three fire moths.
“Eliza-sama. I was just about to go find you. I’ve brought three fire moths.”
“Ahh, thanks for your trouble. I’m sorry, but please bring that to the garden for me. Also, could you please prepare half a cup of salt water for me, as well as two cups of regular water. Lastly, please call the gardener Boriswaf for me.”
I feel like I’ve crossed a point of no return and done something bad. I turned around to look at Bellway’s back as he was leaving, and I got a feeling like I was getting more efficient at using people. Before, Earl Terejia was the one giving orders to everyone in the mansion, but I’m going to have to get used to this from now as well.
I returned to my room at the same time as Mrs. Marshan, and I looked at her arms which were filled with information documents and sighed. Since this was an urgent matter, I didn’t have to say anything.
I placed the documents on top of my desk, and began drafting my plan against the fire moths. Supplying the salt water, and noting the locations where fire moths have been sighted.
If there’s no other methods that can be as effective as salt water against fire moths, we’ll have to supply the salt water. That’s because the villagers don’t have enough salt of their own. What’s more, we might not have enough salt water to go around for everyone. I wonder if I can use poisonous herbs that won’t be enough to kill a human, and mix them into water and have it be effective on fire moths.
While Bellway came to see me while I was writing, he stopped me when I rose my head and spoke to Mrs. Marshan instead. I see, he’s telling her that he’s done with the preparations I requested.
When I finished writing for the time being, Mrs. Marshan probably noticed it and spoke up at that moment.
“Bellway reported that he’s finished preparing the items in the garden you requested.”
“I understand. Let’s go.”
When Mrs. Marshan and I arrived at the garden, Bellway and the gardener Boriswaf were waiting for us. Under the earl’s instruction, Bellway will be remaining here to watch over what I do here.
I told him directly that I intended to experiment on the fire moths to see what could kill them, and I left the more detailed explanation up to Mrs. Marshan. Boriswaf is here to help me carry out the experiment in my place. That’s because it wouldn’t be considered appropriate for me or Mrs. Marshan to be pouring salt water on fire moths and killing them.
“First, I’d like to see for myself the fire moth’s reaction to salt water. Boriswaf.”
At my request, Boriswaf let one fire moth out with a practiced hand. I can see the fire moth quite clearly, and it’s at a close distance for my first time as well, this will make for an excellent observation. A fire moth is about as big as a swallowtail butterfly from my previous life, and its wings were a pale vermillion. With the lighting, it almost looks golden. It really looks like the golden light of fireflies at night, I wonder if that has to do with the pale lighting of the moon as well.
Boriswaf held on to its wings, and dripped a little bit of salt water onto them. As a gardener, he would be experienced in getting rid of insects, so as expected he’s good at handling a fire moth.
The salt water changed the wing’s color from pale vermillion to dark brown, and the fire moth was fluttering frantically. It was clear to see that it was in pain. I don’t know the biology of moths and butterflies too well, but even their wings were probably able to feel pain.
“Alright, let it free.”
I wanted to see if the fire moth would be able to fly with damaged wings, so I ordered Boriswaf to let it go. Although the fire moth was set free, and kept trying to flap its wings, it seems that it wasn’t able to fly.
When I look closer, there are tiny holes in the wings. It’s because of the salt water.
“Butterflies and moths won’t be able to fly if even small holes are drilled into their wings.”
I nodded at Boriswaf’s information. This means that I don’t have to completely cover it in salt water, and now I should see if I can find something to replace salt water, or be even be more efficient.