expectations were easily betrayed.

“No, that’s not it… the Lord has ordered you to also participate.”

 

 

In late April, all villages began raising seedlings under Shizuko’s jurisdiction.
However, Shizuko herself didn’t join them.
If she continued to take the lead, the transfer of agricultural technology wouldn’t be perfect.
So, what she was doing now was making a manual for farmwork.
While everyone learns from her firsthand, for now, it won’t always be the case for the peasants in each village.
In some cases, it may be transmitted like a telephone game, so in order to avoid that, it is essential to create a manual for farmwork.
However, there were cons to creating such a manual; their tech could easily be disseminated to other countries.
Therefore, Shizuko decided to leave the timing of when to use the finished manual to Nobunaga.
When she had written about a third of that manual, a letter was delivered to her.

“This… what should I do…”

After reading the letter, Shizuko held her head and fell to the desk.

“I’ll leave the decision to you, but I think you need to be careful about your reply.”

Aya who stood beside her seemed unconcerned, but she subtly mixed her words with scolding.
It was no mystery why she gave such a reply to Shizuko’s musing.

“But…I never thought he would really send a letter.”

The sender of that letter was Honda Heihachiro Tadakatsu.
Moreover, he signed it as the chief of a direct retainer of the daimyo of Mikawa province.
The contents can be summarized as follows.

‘Dear ma’am, how are you? I apologize for the inconvenience I caused the other day.
Also, I cannot thank you enough for sharing plenty of Iburizuke(smoked daikon pickles).
Therefore, I would like you to enjoy the taste of Mikawa as an apology and thanks.
I’m sure you would like it.
I’ll be waiting for good words from you.

PS: What were those yellow things in those rice balls/onigiris?’

Simply put, it was a meal invitation.
In modern terms, this was a love letter, and the contents were a date invitation.
From how he wrote the text, she can see that he was inviting her from pure kindness without any ulterior motive.
That’s why it was hard for her to refuse him.
To begin with, she could destroy his honor if she refused.
And was highly undesirable.
But it will also be a problem to accept the invitation easily.
First of all, the roads are not well maintained, so traveling carries a high risk.
Furthermore, since it will be in Mikawa, not Owari, it will be unclear how their public order is.

“…Ah, what to do…”

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Hell awaits if she accepts, but it also opens its door if she rejects.
She was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“Aya-chan, what did the lord think about this letter?”

And so she threw it to Nobunaga to decide.
Then she can give a reply that won’t hurt Tadakatsu’s honor.
But as she thought so, her expectation quickly crumbles.

“I don’t think this has reached milord’s ears yet.”

“Is that so…then I’d ask for his judgment.
Though, he will probably tell me to refuse…”

“You’re right.
If it’s Shizuko-sama, you probably won’t come back once you leave for Mikawa.”

“…Hey, Aya-chan.
You are serving me, right? Aren’t you stricter lately?

Pardon my rudeness, but it’s also a servant’s job to point out her master’s carelessness.”

Although it was meant to be a form of criticism for Aya, it fell on deaf ears.
However, she decided to think positively, as it was preferable to Aya’s earlier attitude,

“Oh well.
That’s right, how’s the construction of the temple?”

“The construction of the complex, including the temple, was almost completed earlier than planned.
Somehow Okabe-sama was really enthusiastic about it.
However, because he will participate in the construction of Mino castle, the construction will be temporarily halted.”

“Well, that can’t be helped.
What about the annex I asked for?”

“It’s about 60 percent completed.
However, some of your instructions were unclear, so please verify those as soon as possible.”

“Copy that.
Well then, agriculture review… First, has the wood ash been distributed to each village?”

“It has been scattered on all fields in each village.
The compost has also been scattered.
Tilling and leveling of the fields have also been done, and so the soil preparation has been completed.”

“Oh, you guys managed to do it that far by yourself.
I don’t have any tester so I can’t measure the soil’s acidity, so I don’t really have a choice but to rely on intuition… What about the seedlings?”

“It left an excellent impression on Yoichi-sama.
We can do it efficiently since I guess we’re already used to it.
However, the peasants from the villages that were made this year were still awkward with their hands.”

“Of course they are, they aren’t used to it.
Well, I think they will be better next year, so it’s nothing to worry about.”

“There was also no visible problem with egg picking.
Agricultural matters are proceeding smoothly.”

As Aya has reported, Shizuko’s transfer of technology started smoothly without any noticeable problem because she has removed parts that seemed to be a problem in advance.
She can’t let down her guard yet, but she thought it was okay to leave it to Yoichi and the others for the time being.

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“What about the experimental hishio1 made in Misomachi?”

“There were a few hiccups, but there was no big problem because the manufacturing methods are similar.”

“Hishio…the name will probably become shoyu later, but it’s an important seasoning.
Next, how about Asamachi?”

“Because of the sch…shuliten decorticator machine you made, the production output is several times higher than ever before.”

“It’s ‘Schlichten’.
That reminds me, our village that is in charge of silk thread production has the water-powered automatic reeling machine running.
How are they going?”

Slightly embarrassed after fumbling with her words, Aya clears her throat to change the atmosphere before continuing.

“The production output is even higher there.
However, it seems that unevenness could appear on the thread when the machine is operated for a long period.
We have to take a break for half koku every two koku.
However, the lord was pleased because it was possible to mass-produce high-quality silk thread.”

After pulling out the end of the threads from the cocoon, some of the silk threads are twisted together to achieve the desired thickness.
Then, after converging it to a single thread, it will wound up into a frame called a reel.
This process was on top of being very time-consuming and also labor-intensive.
Therefore, Shizuko had Kinzo build an automatic reeling machine powered by a water wheel.
While the Schlichten was made by using an existing blueprint, the reeling machine was Shizuko’s original design.
That being said, it was not something she designed in the sengoku era, but when she was still in the modern era.
Moreover, the reason why she designed it was when she saw a manual reeling machine and thought ‘can I automate it?’; a very engineer-like reason.
In the end, she completed a decent automation device that produces silk threads in a decent amount of time, which made her proud of herself.
That means even now she made use of her experience at that time.

“We have hemp, silk, now I’m starting to want some cotton too.”

“Kotton?”

“Yup.
Well, if I have the opportunity for it.
It should have been introduced to the neighboring Mikawa province, but they haven’t seen any value in it yet, so I think it’ll be easy to get it by barter.”

‘Haven’t seen any value in it… yet? She spoke of it like it will be a fact in the future…’ “How about getting it through a merchant? “

Shizuko shook her head at Aya’s suggestion.

“I don’t need the article itself.
I need an environment where I can produce cotton.
That is, I need to get seeds.”

“Is that so? Also, there is no big problem with Hamitusmachi and Kinokomachi.
They are going well.”

“I see, I see, so they’re doing well.
But well, if you have any problems, please report them one by one.”

“As you wish.”

“…Well then, I… need to think about what to do with this letter.”

Shizuko waved the letter in her hand, and while her tone was cheerful, her expression was not.

ShimizuA: Soy sauce paste, a kind of by-product from miso fermentation

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