Earl Terejia has approved of my plan to deal with the fire moths. Wooden pipes containing salt water would be issued, and a civil militia would be set up.
Since there wasn’t enough salt water for everyone, we also distributed wooden pipes with poisons that would work on the fire moths. We also made sure to add sand into the salt water to make sure that the villagers wouldn’t try and use the salt water for their personal use. There was also the fact that we discovered fine grains would solidify the moth scales during the experiment in the garden. However, we weren’t able to find something that would replicate the effect of salt dissolving the wings and causing holes in them.
Since there were more fire moths than could be taken care of by people, I used the idea of pesticides from my previous life, and instructed the villagers to spray salt water around the fields and near the entrances to the forests, so that the fire moths wouldn’t go near the crops. I also made sure to inform the villagers not to spray salt water on the crops themselves, as that would ruin them. Although I don’t remember the details, I do seem to vaguely remember that spraying salt on fields isn’t good for the crops.
“I’ve received my first task from the earl! Starting today, you’re going to be learning the spear from me, Elida-dono!”
“It’s Eliza, Claudia-dono.”
I had just finished the plans on dealing with the fire moths, and was working on documents regarding transporting the necessary goods to the villages, when I was ambushed by Claudia, and I was forced to stop working. Well, these documents have to be completed by the day after tomorrow, even though this is something that the earl asked me to do, I don’t absolutely have to finish them today. After all, refusals never get through to Claudia. Since it’s useless, I’ve learned not to waste my energy struggling.
“Ahh, my apologies. Then, Eliza-dono, let’s go to the training grounds!”
Claudia grabbed my wrist, and started dragging me around while humming.
“The training grounds? For the soldiers?”
“I have a different training ground from the soldiers. Since there’s a wide empty space behind the house, I use that.”
Normally Claudia would forcibly use the soldiers’ training grounds and play there, but I don’t go there. After my three months of training concluded, I haven’t been back to the barracks or their training grounds. That’s because I’ve had to either show up in front of the citizens of my domain, or accompany nobles lately. With my own soldiers’ negative feelings towards me, I had to placate them, and get them used to me. I should have cultivated my relationship with the soldiers more, but after leaving the barracks, but considering my position, I haven’t been able to go back to the barracks.
“……I see. I wanted to show you the growth of that child entrusted to me.”
Even Claudia knew at least some common sense as a noble, and she nodded meekly. She doesn’t completely lack common sense, now I know she’s not completely unmanageable. As a house guest that’s entering my domain’s army, we’ve allowed her to freely go in and out of the barracks and use the training grounds there as she liked.
“Yes, Gunther said he’s finally beginning the food gathering for himself this afternoon.”
At the same time that Claudia joined the army, Ratoka was placed as a soldier in training at the barracks, and he’s now going through the exact same basic training that I did. That is, getting beaten up all morning by Gunther, polishing tools and cleaning with the other soldiers in training until noon, and doing an endless amount of marching training after lunch. After that, he would have to forage for his own dinner by himself.
“I’ve never hunted before until I came here, but it’s really so fun! The food I catch myself tastes amazingly delicious.”
Claudia seems to be getting excited over some memories about hunting. I felt a sense of danger, so I gently tried to pry Claudia’s hand off my wrist. She didn’t budge.
“When I first went up against large beasts with my spear, I realized for the first time that this was indeed different from practice! In order to outmaneuver and defeat enemies with hostile intentions, I must train my intuition!!”
As she shouted and rose her fist to the sky in a display of her determination, Claudia seemed to be sparkling. Probably without realizing it, her other hand was also raising mine to the sky and she was using all her strength to grip me with.
It hurts. Someone, please save me.
“Since that’s been decided, Eliza-dono, let’s immediately go do some special training behind the mansion!”
I don’t know if it’s in answer to my wish, but Rashiok who was taking a walk nearby, approached Claudia and gently nudged her back with his front foot.
“Noo, it’s an enemy attack!!”
She performed a splendid high roundhouse kick, and I could even hear the sound it made in the air. Although Rashiok was able to duck it, if it had been anyone else from the mansion they probably would have taken a direct hit. Well, since nobody was behind Rashiok, luckily that kick didn’t blow anyone’s head away.
“……Oh, Rashiok! I’m so sorry!!”
Claudia hurriedly began apologizing to Rashiok, and was breathing hard, and Rashiok met my eyes as if to say, really? This took Claudia about five minutes or so.
Finally, with Rashiok coming along as well, the spear training behind the mansion began.
Claudia had regained her composure on our way here, and with a very calm expression, she began teaching me the advantages and features of the spear.
“Although the sword is basically the main weapon for nobles, in actual battles nobles use spears more often. Do you know why?”
“Since the sword is required for ceremonies and rituals, nobles are taught ceremonial swordsmanship. However, in actual battles, the spear has longer reach, and being a two-handed weapon, the spear is more advantageous than the sword.”
“Yep, that’s it. Now that chain mail is the main type of armor, swords are rather useless. You have to pierce through it. For that, the spear is more suited to the task due to its shape. Of course, the difference in reach is critical in actual combat as well. When attacking from horseback, swords can be blocked even by helmets.”
I felt strange at seeing Claudia actually being serious, and nodded. It seems that there’s going to be a very high possibility of me actually being in battle in the future. Since I’ll be riding, I want longer reach.
“First, you’ll have to remember the feeling of manipulating a rod-shaped weapon. Gunther’s spear practice probably only focused on thrusting the spear.”
For infantry with no knowledge of martial arts, they would only receive training on standing in formation and thrusting the spears for basic training. However, since I’m a commander, Claudia said that I need to truly master the spear and be able to use it for self-defense.
I nodded at Claudia again. Since this has to do with improving my odds of survival, I’m going to take this seriously and learn the best I can.
“Then, start with your form.”
Although I gave a spirited reply, three hours later I was regretting it slightly.
When Claudia said to start with my form, she didn’t mean to start with the basic training that Gunther had me do before. The proper form was completely different from what I had been doing up until now, and that one word before training started was the only word I was able to get in, I was almost mentally exhausted to the point of being unable to speak.
With three hours of practice swinging, my training concluded for today.
……I had been slightly excited to learn martial arts seriously for the first time today, but my inner child was fully exhausted, crushed, and thrown away somewhere.
End of Act 1, Part 2