Published at 30th of July 2016 07:22:01 PM
Chapter 52
Chapter 52 The Mystery of the Mansion and the Stack of Compost

                               When he was lifting the tatami with one of his hand, Kazura let out a surprised tone as he was staring dumbfounded by the unexpected sight of an iron plate .  Why is there something like this under the tatami?This mansion supposed to be an antique building that had been handed down from generation to generation in Shino Family . So there shouldn’t be anything like iron plates on the floor of an antique building .  After staring at the iron plate for few second, Kazura put the tatami in his hand at the corner of the room and began peeling the rest of the tatami .  「Wha-……」(Kazura) After he had lifted all the tatami, Kazura could only groan at the sight in front of him . The floor of the room was completely covered by iron plates . Every 50 cm at a point that can be considered as the plates’ side there were traces of arc welding . Furthermore, if he watched it closely, the iron plates surface had an anti-skid striped pattern . [1]                                                       It was obvious that these iron plates were installed by someone long after this house first constructed .  Kazura silently took out his cellphone from his trouser pocket and made a call for someone he thought as the most suspicious .   The next morning . Valin, who returned to the residence at some point, had prepared the breakfast and Kazura was currently eating it together with Valin and Valetta . However, the seating position was different from the usual and there was no table conversation . The only sounds available in the living room was sounds of food chewing and the clatters of the wooden utensils .  This extremely complicated atmosphere dominated the living room .
 「(……What is this extremely awkward situation?)」(K) While sipping the piping hot soup made from canned beans and vegetables from the village, Kazura sent a glance towards Valetta . Just like last night, Valetta still had the same depressed expression and feebly brought the food to her mouth .  Suddenly Kazura felt Valin’s gaze and turned towards him, Valin send a glance as if asking 「What happened?」I also want to know about this, was something that Kazura had in his mind .  Last night, Kazura kept stayed at Valetta’s side until she calmed down and hug her tightly to comfort her . Of course, he didn’t feel embarrassed at all . Since that action was something that came into his mind when he thought what he can do for Valetta who has suddenly become strange . However, after some time passed, Valetta suddenly said, 「I’m sorry」without having contact with Kazura’s eyes, she separated herself and went to her room . Thus, he arrived at the current situation .  After the breakfast under such complicated mood finished, Valin asked Valetta to do the cleaning, and under the pretext of meeting with the villagers, he went outside while taking Kazura along with him .  「Kazura-san, Valetta’s behavior is really strange . 」(Va) When Valin arranged so that Kazura and Valetta were alone last night, he was under an impression that Kazura could do something about her . However, he never expected that Valetta’s behavior became even stranger . Last night, when he heard Valetta’s crying from beyond the door, he was optimistic that she would say all the things that she had saved up and threw them all at Kazura . Despite this, her state of affair become deteriorated . He honestly didn’t know what was going on .  「Yes, but I also didn’t know anything at all . During the time when I’m not in the village, was there any change at Valetta-san?」(K) 「Something is it?…… There is……」(Va)

 When Kazura asked, Valin though back at Valetta’s situation during the last several days . If something came to his mind, it was…… 「After parting with Kazura-san in Isteria, Valetta became depressed all the time . I thought that she would cheer up a bit after she met Kazura-san again, so…」(Va) 「O, oh」(K) Valin had given an unanticipated information, that made Kazura replied with a troubled reaction . If she felt depressed after parting with him, then that means it was hard for her to be separated from him . Because the one who said this information was none other than the father of the person in question, it was quite a queer conversation .  「Also, when the bandits attacked the residence, Valetta was pushed down by one of the bandits . Fortunately, the bandit was defeated before he could do something, but……」(Va) 「Eh!?」(K) Although Kazura felt somewhat happy at Valin’s previous information, he was surprised at what Valin had said just now . If she was pushed down by a bandit, then that means she was going to be raped . In most cases, it wouldn’t be strange if she got a trauma .  So that means . Last night, when Kazura hugged Valetta to calm her down, there was a high possibility that he had stepped on a big landmine . Instead of calming her like he had intended, it might have opened her wound . Thinking along this line, then he could somehow understand Valetta’s behavior from last night until this morning .  「……Valin-san」(K) 「Yes?」(Va) 

「Please tell me more about that incident, anything is fine . 」(K) 「Y-yes . 」(Va)  Valin was not really understood the current situation, so Kazura let out a deep sigh .  ✦✧✦ Several ten minutes later . Kazura drove his car through the mountains and arrived at the entrance of『Gunmaa Ranch Ltd . 』 that he had searched before on the internet . It was a vast ranch with pasture spread out over all direction, even though it was in the hottest season in the middle of August, there was no scorching heat or clammy humidity . Actually, it was rather cool . Since the location of the ranch has relatively high elevation and had less temperature and humidity even more than the mountains he passed until now .  There was a big billboard erected at the entrance to the ranch, it was written with 『New Experience! Ranch’s multi-storied tree house under construction‼ Scheduled to be completed in May next year . Book a place ahead of time』 in red letters, with a picture that depicted a tree house in a still pristine undeveloped land . What did this ranch intend to go for its future anyway? Kazura entered the ranch and continue walking while looking at the cows eating the grass before he noticed something like a stand for tourist . When he asked where he could buy compost at the employee at the stand, the employee contacted the ranch owner through the phone . Before long, a young man came to the stand . His age was not that different from Kazura, but it seems that he was the owner of this ranch .  「Good morning . I see on the internet that you directly sell compost, so I come to ask how much of it that you are selling . 」(Kazura) 「Compost, right? One ton is 3000 yen without shipping cost, so may I ask how much do you need?」(Manager) 「For the moment about 50 ton . It will be really helpful if you can deliver it by tomorrow, but can you do it? It was just several ten minutes by car from this place . 」(Kazura) Kazura was planning to move the compost he procured from this farm using the 3000 bags that he asked Isaac to prepare before . He calculated that one bag would be able to carry 15 kg of compost, so if he bought 50 ton then it will be more than enough . If there is any compost remaining then it can be used for the fields in Grisea Village .  Although he could transport the compost to Isteria without the bags, if some of the compost are spilled to the ground during the travel, then there is a possibility of the highway to Isteria would be abnormally overgrown by grasses . Because he was also using the bags produced in Isteria, then by a slight glance it would only look like they are transporting normal soil inside bags . By doing this, there will be no party who will steal the bags out of curiosity . Since the amount to be transported is a lot, he needs to take the best precautions .  「Fif-fifty ton . That is quite an amount, but I will make preparations to transport it as early as possible tomorrow . 」(Manager) 「Thank you very much . I will be waiting for the composts . 」(Kazura) Maybe because the ranch owner came from a farmer family who was familiar in dealing with transaction deals, the actual negotiation was settled quickly . Kazura wrote the mansion’s address in a memo and transferred the money for the compost and the shipping cost to the ranch owner . Then when he looked at the poster that was posted in the stand . The poster had the same printing like the billboard in the ranch’s entrance .  「A tree house, what an unusual thing to be constructed . 」(Kazura) 「Ah, this? This is something that recently begin to popular on the internet . Since I have a ranch in Gunma then I thought why don’t we hop into the hype . It will be good if it enters the news . 」(Manager) 「I see…… You might as well collaborating with ranches in another prefecture, it might be interesting . If there are many events then the visiting people will increase . 」(Kazura) 「Ah, you’re right . 」(Manager) Just like this, Kazura had a chat with the ranch owner about things he didn’t really understand for a bit . Afterward, he left the shop towards his next objectives .  「Maybe it will be interesting to hold a siege event from the ranch of another prefecture . 」(Manager) When he left the shop, the ranch owner began to mutter something unsettling and this words strangely remained in Kazura’s ears .