s’ ecology was like that.
“Well, as if that would happen.”
She didn’t find a better solution even after thinking a lot of difficult things.
The conclusion Shizuko came up with was to leave the farm to the villagers and take Wittmann to the mountain.

Let’s target the fawns – though Shizuko said that, they couldn’t be met so easily.
At any rate, the opponent was a wild game so they were very alert.
The deer would run as soon as they noticed her smell even if she luckily came upon one from upwind.
Shizuko didn’t have the hunter’s skill to shoot from downwind without being noticed by her prey.
So, was there any reason for Shizuko to climb the mountain?

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“So, maybe this area is the feeding ground?”

The reason was to find the deer’s feeding ground.
The mountain wasn’t overgrown enough to all be feeding grounds for the deer.
Places with abundant weeds beneath the trees to feed on were scattered around the mountain.
If that was the case, the deer were very likely to come to those places at meal times.
“I can set up the rope this time.
Wittmann, please stand still for a bit.”
Shizuko unraveled the ropes wrapped around her belly as she crouched down near Wittmann.
The rope hadn’t been used to constrain or strangle a wolf nor it would be used to tie Wittmann.
The knot could be easily untied and the rope could be separated into four coils eventually.
She tied one end to a tree which was sturdy and thick enough and tied the other side to another nearby tree.
“Well, it is better than nothing.
It is a rope soaked in the smell of their natural enemy.”
Shizuko muttered this with a sense full of accomplishment after she finished tying the rope.

She set up the scent of the deer’s natural enemies, or the wolf’s, on the feeding ground.
The deer feared the smell and would avoid the feeding ground.
However, Shizuko thought it wouldn’t have that much of an effect.
“They will definitely come to the feeding ground if they know that there are no wolves there.”

The deer would come to the feeding ground if they figured out it was only the smell of a wolf, and none were actually there.
It was a gimmick to buy some time and somewhat meaningless.
“Well then, I shall go back.”

She couldn’t help but worry about the things from before.
Shizuko said it loudly as if to clear some unnecessary thoughts from her head.

The work outside nearly stopped due to the downpour during the rainy season.
To put it simply, the villagers including Shizuko had a day off from having nothing to do.
There were various tasks that could be done, but Shizuko boldly decided that it was fine to slack off.
In a word, she wanted to laze around.
However, Shizuko’s lazy time abruptly ended in the afternoon.
“I’m sorry for the sudden visit.”

The reason for this was because Mori Yoshinari came looking for Shizuko’s house in the afternoon.
Shizuko was drinking tea from the chameleon plant[3] while eating some dried venison.
Perhaps her appearance was rude if you thought about it, but Mori Yoshinari didn’t particularly mind it.
“Ah, no… I have shown you something unsightly.”

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Shizuko, who blushed from embarrassment, coughed to gloss over the awkward situation.
“Anyway, what is your business today?”

“Umu.
First of all, this is regarding the hot spring made by Shizuko-dono.”

“Yes? Um… What about the hot spring?”

“The Lord is really pleased with it.
There is a plan to greatly remodel the hot spring.
Therefore, I would like to Shizuko-dono lead the project.”
Shizuko almost spat out the chameleon tea from her mouth without thinking when she heard that.
But she endured and swallowed it back somehow.
Still, some of it was still in her throat and she almost choked.
“*cough cough*… What do you plan to do in the remodel?”

“The Lord is, of course, thinking about using it as a kind of prize.
Although he said so, he won’t say that it is a suggestion from Shizuko-dono.
The point is I want you to particularly separate the hot spring used for the reward and the hot spring used for Shizuko-dono’s everyday use.”
“Yes… that is fine if that’s the case.
But the detailed remodeling will take time.
And you’ll have to split the hot spring into four parts.”
“We wish Shizuko-dono take over the lead in that aspect too.
Of course, my Lord said that there will be suitable reward for Shizuko-dono when you have completed building it”
Even if Mori Yoshinari said so, Shizuko only had one choice.
However, it wouldn’t be an easy task even if she took the request.
There would have to be an increase in the amount of hot spring water anyhow.
The hot spring she had right now simply removed the impurities in the hot water through a simple filter at the water source.
The filtered hot water would be carried to the bath through a wooden pipe.
In order for the hot water to stay warm, there would have to be some method to retain heat at the spot where the hot water poured out.
Shizuko took account of that.
Well, there wasn’t a method to confirm if that would be possible.
“I understand.
Consider it done.”

“Is that so? Much appreciated.”

Mori Yoshinari slightly lowered his head while saying so. As humble a person as ever, Shizuko thought.

“These are only sample materials, but I managed to collect the rest.”

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“Ah, is that so? I’m grateful for that.”

“But what are you going to do with such things?”

“Well, for various reasons… I can’t say it for now but we should see the results in at least three years.”

“I understand.
However, I want to ask you a question.
Is that for the Lord’s sake?”

Shizuko nodded at that question without hesitation.
If it succeeded, besides just Nobunaga Oda, it was desired by all countrymen.
Moreover, it was a thing which was thought not to be available in Japan.
(It is trivial information in the modern era but it’s secret information in this era.
I can’t say it easily.
Only 30 kilograms can be made from the requested material but… it should be enough.)
“I understand.
If that is true then I will believe in Shizuko-dono.”

“Thank you very much.”

Shizuko lowered her head deeply at Mori Yoshinari’s words.

Footnotes :

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