T/N: What’s meant with entertainment here is a business reception a company organizes for its important customers, suppliers or partners.
Yellowfin goby (haze) are fish inhabiting brackish waters and Neiwan in East Asia, and a species of goby classified as Perciformes goby. In addition it inhabits China, Australia and America. In Japan it can be found south of Hokkaido. Haze, kajika, guzu, dekihaze, hinehaze, ketahaze, kamagotsu, gozu, kusohaze; it’s called in various ways, depending on the region and its size.
It’s a fish which is a good target for simple fishing. Goby (haze) fishing exists since the Edo period as amusement for the common people.
Even as food it’s popular. It’s eaten by using it in various dishes such as tempura, fried fish, sashimi, as ingredient for soup, boiled in soy sauce and as sweetened boiled fish.
It’s known as the best ingredient for Tokyo-styled tempura. In a certain high-class tempura restaurant in Shitamachi, haze tempura won’t be served unless you order a full course costing more than 8.000 yen.
In some regions such as Sendai, dried-and-grilled haze is something indispensable for the dashi of the traditional zouni. (T/N: dashi is Japanese soup stock made out of fish and kelp…zouni is a typical New Year dish, it’s a soup containing rice cake and various vegetables.)
If you ask why I’m explaining all this in such a detail…
“Earl Baumeister, this is the spot where they appear in numbers and proper sizes. During the time time right after the first dawn breaks, it’s so many that they bite at every cast. It’s the private fishing spot of the Earl Mizuho Country, err, Duke Mizuho family.”
Just when my life finally calmed down after returning to my territory, we received an invitation to an entertainment trip from High Earl Mizuho, err, Duke Mizuho.
The location was the mouth of a river connected to the ocean, where the Earl Mizuho Country, err, Mizuho Dukedom obtained permission to fish from the Duke Philip household.
There’s a high density of fish such as sweetfish, eels, catfish, red mullets, goby, garden eels and whitings visible in the water. Only the family of the Mizuho household, retainers, who were recognized by the Mizuho family head, and their families are allowed to catch fish with casting nets, fishing-rods and other methods, and enjoy cooking what they caught.
In addition it seems to be used as location for receiving and entertaining important guests by the Mizuho household.
“In summer it’s dekihaze. In the current season you can fish big haze before they swim into the ocean.”
For the Mizuho people, goby (haze) fishing was a popular pastime, which all of them, from the feudal lord to the commoners, enjoyed.
As expected of a ethnic group that resembled the Japanese, they have quite the refined hobbies.
“The Extreme Limit Steel, and that porcelain with its distinctive, shining whiteness. We have repeatedly made our craftsmen research them many times over, but they don’t reach that level of perfection. I’d like you to sell the production methods to us by all means.” (Mizuho)
We were received by Duke Mizuho for that reason.
It’s combined with the reason of bringing congratulatory gifts for Duke Mizuho, who increased his territory and went up in noble rank.
“You are stating your wish quite openly, aren’t you?” (Wendelin)
“It can’t be that you haven’t noticed that, Earl Baumeister. Also, since the time of the civil war was quite difficult, it likewise serves as an occasion to simply take a breather.” (Mizuho)
Given that it was such a strenuous war, even Duke Mizuho probably wanted to relax a bit.
It’s the same for me as well.
After all I had my vacation decreased by being forced to develop a special product for some reason.
“Please, have a drink while leisurely letting the line dangle.” (Mizuho)
“Oh, thank you very much for the treat.” (Wendelin)
I had Duke Mizuho pour me some sake.
Next to the place, where you can often fish haze if you use simple fishing rods, located on the bank of the river’s mouth, a genuinely Mizuho-styled house has been erected. Furthermore you can fish haze through an indoor window without having to worry about the cold of winter.
The caught haze are immediately prepared as sashimi, fried fish, tempura, haze boiled in soy sauce and soup by the employed cooks of the Mizuho household, and served alongside sake.
Even the sake is a haze sake that had grilled-and-dried haze put into warmed sake. It turned into an arrangement where you not only enjoyed its deliciousness, but also indulged in a certain elegance.
For me, a former Japanese, it’s a very pleasant reception.
“I caught one! I caught one! Ooh! Is this a new record?”
Even in this world, reeling rods exist.
They are also available in the Kingdom, but the ones made in the Mizuho Dukedom resemble those of modern Japan and are easy to use.
Since they are a race that likes fish, they are enthusiastic about researching devices that allow them to fish properly. Things such as balance scales and hooks were fairly similar to the ones in Japan.
“The string is thin and sturdy, too.” (Wendelin)
I was able to catch a haze exceeding a length of 20 cm, but even though the fishing line is superfine, there seems to be no need to worry about it snapping.
“It’s been manufactured out of a special thread of a spider called Big Madara Spider, which lives in monster domains. Even professional fishers treat it as priceless treasure.” (Mizuho)
“It looks like there also demand for it in the Kingdom.”
“There have already been inquiries by Kingdom nobles. A true grace of the peace treaty.” (Mizuho)
The Duke Mizuho household was listed as nobility of the Empire, but in the end it’s no pure Empire nobility.
Peter is trying to somehow produce a sense of unity, but it seems the Kingdom’s government and its nobility are showing movements to try forming connections with the independent Duke Mizuho household.
Though, as for the Kingdom’s government, it was me who proposed to do so to his Majesty.
“Our Mizuho household yielding a profit due to trade blossoming is a matter of great joy, but Earl Baumeister, unexpectedly you are quite the schemer.” (Mizuho)
“Am I?” (Wendelin)
“The Helmut Kingdom didn’t dispatch soldiers to take advantage of the Empire’s civil war, but economically you might say that it has started its invasion.” (Mizuho)
The current Empire is suffering from the damages to its productivity and circulation of goods and money due to the civil war.
The Kingdom is taking advantage of that, or rather it has reached the point where the Kingdom’s products are gradually imported.
However, that’s something you might expect from merchants.
Being sensitive to opportunities to make quickly a lot of money, they don’t even mind crossing the border if it’s for the sake of business.
“Well, since we have a trade surplus, it’s going smoothly for us, I dare say. I think it’s difficult for the central government, though.” (Mizuho)
They seem to be desperate to strengthen the government system, but it looks like small-scaled rebellions have popped up immediately.
“Viscount Betel has apparently started a rebellion together with nobles that were demoted and their retainers. He was dissatisfied over his territory being reduced. The rebellion was rounded up in a mere week and his head was put on a pike, though.” (Mizuho)
Gilbert, who became the highest general of the Imperial Army, subjugated the rebels by sending his combat forces right away.
Given that he’s a capable soldier, you could call it a natural outcome, as Viscount Betel was no military genius either.
“That means it will take time until the Empire settles down.” (Mizuho)
“Peter sure has it tough.” (Wendelin)
“I invited him as well since you were going to come, but he turned it down as he appears to be busy. He used words such as 『disappointing, regret』.” (Mizuho)
Likewise, Alfons, who’s busy as new Duke Philip, didn’t come to this reception as things are too hectic for him at the moment.
“I guess Therese-dono hasn’t come either.” (Mizuho)
“She is refraining from doing so.” (Wendelin)
She’s no member of the Duke Philip household anymore, thus she harbors no intention to be politically active in the Empire.
To immediately return into the Empire – even if it’s only for fun – despite having left because she announced her intention to society isn’t very smart, she told me.
“I’m told that there would be many Empire nobles, who would likely intrude upon you, Duke Mizuho, wanting to turn up at this location, if she had attended. It seems that she doesn’t want to cause you any troubles.” (Wendelin)
“There’s that as well. Therese-dono seems to be in good health in the Baumeister Earldom. It might be the best like that.” (Mizuho)
Since it can’t be helped that it’s only very political topics, or rather, because it will be problematic to get involved too deeply, I decided to focus on fishing.
“Erw, did you catch anything?” (Wendelin)
“Quite a few with a reasonable size. This fried haze is great.” (Erwin)
Erw had them make fried haze out of the ones he caught himself, and seems to be very satisfied with that.
“Ah, bait, right? These guys are slippery. Once in a while they also bite.” (Erwin)
Haruka seems to be bad with the bait, living eunicids.
She apologetically asked Erw to help her, and had him attach the bait to the hook.
“So even you have things that you dislike, Haruka-san.” (Erwin)
I have been bad with this slimy things since my childhood…” (Haruka)
“Certainly, there are probably people who are bad with those.” (Erwin)
Erw hooks the bait for Haruka who’s bad with live bait, and both of them fish happily together.
The sight of that was the very definition of a riajuu couple.
Still not having completely shed my loner attribute, jealousy gnaws at my heart…
You are throwing my heart out of order!
“Erw-san, I was able to catch one.” (Haruka)
“This is quite a big one. Let’s have them turn it into tempura right away.” (Erwin)
Haruka hands the haze to a female caretaker, and a man, who really emits the aura of being a professional cook, cuts and trims the fish with flawless movements, coats and then deep-fries it.
After intently watching the saucepan for a short while, he pulls out the fried tempura without any hesitation in his movements and then swiftly drains the oil.
I can’t take my eyes off his skilled techniques.
And then the haze tempura is set on a plate and presented in front of the two.
“Erw-san, do you eat this with dipping sauce or salt?” (Haruka)
“It’s the beginning, so let’s go with salt.” (Erwin)
“Understood. Here, please open your mouth.” (Haruka)
“A—-an. Oh, delicious. Being fed by you makes it even more tasty, Haruka-san.” (Erwin)
“That’s not true.” (Haruka)
“No, no, I’m telling you; that’s how it is.” (Erwin)
Being praised by Erw, Haruka’s face becomes red.
Honestly, just watching it, makes me want to scream 『Aaaaaaahhh!』.
Or rather, don’t you guys harbor any respect or esteem towards the tempura artisan who possesses those highly proficient techniques?
I consider that to be weird.
In no way does it mean that I’m feeling jealous or something like that.
“That’s youth for you. Sometimes I also had my wife do that for me in my early days.” (Mizuho)
“Is that so?” (Wendelin)
If I’m honest, I haven’t experienced anything like that before getting married and surely not in my previous life.
Rather, no matter how young he might have been, I don’t think that it suits Duke Mizuho.
Since it would be rude to say that out loud, I don’t mention it, though.
“If only Takeomi-san was here for such occasions…” (Wendelin)
If that younger-sister-loving siscon samurai was here, he would prevent the indiscreet acts of those two. Even though he would condemn them, he wasn’t present today for some reason.
“If it’s Takeomi, he’s absent today due to receiving harsh criticism by the lot of the Fujibayashi family.”
“What did he do?” (Wendelin)
“He’s a nuisance to a peaceful relationship with the Earl Baumeister household and the Duke Mizuho household.”
The Fujibayashi household had its hereditary stipend go up quite a bit due to the successful accomplishment of guarding us and the distinguished war services in the civil war by Haruka and Takeomi-san. Although it’s at the lower end, they did join the group of high-ranking retainers.
“As there’s also the marriage between Erwin and Haruka among those achievements, it’s probably only natural for him to get scolded, if the next family head himself is an obstacle to the marriage.”
It looks he was reprimanded by his father, the current family head, his grandfather, the retired, previous family head, and almost all other family members.
“I hear he was rebuked with 『Even though they have such a great relationship, what’s the idea with you acting as nuisance there!?』, but I think everyone says that.”
Therefore he was forced to stay away from this time’s fishing trip which he originally should be able to join as he has now become a higher-ranked retainer.
“(Tsk! What an useless older brother. Even so, with Erw’s social standing…)” (Wendelin)
The jealousy dwelling in my heart is gradually growing bigger.
I remember my past and end up thinking, 『Riajuu and their likes should just explode and die』.
Moreover, there’s also their blasphemy towards the tempura artisan.
Right, this is truly the most important.
I will say it once more; this is definitely no jealousy.
“Dear, I have also learned how to make tempura, and actually tried to make some.” (Elise)
Did she perceive the spreading of darkness in my heart? Elise brought her own tempura over after having placed it on a plate.
As expected of my wife.
I had my heart wrapped up in the same kind of darkness as Duke Nürnberg, but she removed what as about to become the reason for purging a loyal retainer.
“Hee, you have really deep-fried them very nicely.” (Wendelin)
“Tempura is difficult.” (Elise)
Certainly, if you try to perfect tempura, it’s difficult.
From the processing of the ingredients, to the making of the coating and finally to the way of deep-frying; if you don’t pay meticulous attention to all of them, it won’t work.
“Identifying the change in the oil’s sizzling in the middle of deep-frying is hard.” (Elise)
“That’s quite the high level you’ve going there…” (Wendelin)
Even though she has deep-fried tempura for the first time, Elise is talking about professional-cook-like things.
It added another episode to her perfect superwoman legend.
“It looks like it will take time and proper training to learn how to drain the oil. Well then, let me have a bite at once.”
I eat the tempura made by Elise before it gets cold.
Inside it’s hot and flaky as it’s been deep-fried lightly.
I ended up giving my impressions like in a certain gourmet manga, but honestly, it’s very tasty.
After all, I’m convinced that one should eat tempura with salt first.
“Delicious. As expected of you, Elise.” (Wendelin)
“Great. With this we can make it at all times in the Baumeister Earldom.” (Elise)
Looking at Elise smiling sweetly while saying that, I was confident in my victory.
“Wend, what are you making a face as if you are elated by success for while eating tempura?” (Erwin)
Erw looked curious, but you should thank Elise. Even though you might have been purged by the future me due to your riajuu nature, that flag was broken thanks to her.
“Ah, don’t worry about it. By the way, what about Ina and the others?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, they have deep-fried tempura together with me.” (Elise)
Ahead of where Elise was looking, Ina and Luise were deep-frying huge amounts of tempura for some reason.
“If we have deep-fry only this many, we won’t reach Elise’s level, but I did improve.” (Ina)
“I was able to receive a passing mark from artisan-san.” (Luise)
“Say, why are you two frying tempura so eagerly?” (Wendelin)
I approach Ina and Luise, who are immersed in deep-frying so much tempura that it makes me wonder whether they are going to open a restaurant, and try asking them.
“It’s not enough at all.”
“Deep-frying, deep-frying, it’s endless.”
The reason for them going at it so earnestly were Doushi and Wilma.
Two black holes exist in a certain area. Over there all kind of food and beverage ends up vanishing in no time.
“In my opinion this fish called haze is very delicious, but if you could catch one with a length of at least one meter, it would be even more wonderful.” (Armstrong)
“Really, the more I eat the hungrier I get.” (Wilma)
“No…such big haze doesn’t exist…”
At the very least it’s impossible for yellowfin goby (mahaze). After all they are already big if they exceed 20 centimeters.
“Then there’s no other choice but to go for numbers!” (Armstrong)
“I will fish because I want to eat more.” (Wilma)
Doushi and Wilma were disappointed about there being no huge haze, but since both have positive characters, they immediately switched their thinking towards it being alright as long as they catch a great amount of them.
Both hand the haze they catch to Ina and Luise, and then wolf them down after they were processed into tempura.
Sometimes they immersed themselves in fishing with Doushi drinking haze sake and Wilma consuming sweetened boiled haze, haze boiled in soy sauce and tea.
Be that as it may, they sure eat a lot…
“I caught one.” (Wilma)
“Wilma, you’re quite skilled.”
As expected of a girl who has turned hunting and fishing into her hobby and occupation. She’s fishing haze at the level of a Meijin. 1 And the caught haze were immediately cooked and landed in her stomach.
“Won’t the haze in this area go extinct at this rate?” (Erwin)
“There are no others who fish here, so it should be alright, I think…”
Doushi and Wilma are eating haze with a speed that makes Erw worried that the fish around here might go extinct.
However, this estuary is the exclusive fishing spot of the Duke Mizuho household.
The fish probably won’t go extinct that easily.
“I caught one, but it’s a fish I have never seen before…”
“Ah, a whiting. If you make tempura out of it, it will be delicious as well.”
A young female caretaker taught Wilma about the type of fish.
The point is that she was able to catch a whiting, which she didn’t intend to catch, because this is an estuary.
These fish were also popular as ingredient for tempura in the Edo period.
They don’t live at the Kingdom’s coasts and can only be caught in the Empire’s north.
I have never seen them in the Kingdom.
“Wend-sama, sample it.” (Wilma)
“This is great, too.” (Wendelin)
Since Wilma is taciturn, she won’t tell me to open my mouth for mouth-feeding, but she lets me eat the whiting tempura.
Given that this fish is also a tempura ingredient with great taste and a white-fleshed fish for sashimi and sushi, it was delicious, as expected.
“I want to eat one, too.” (Armstrong)
Having watched us, Doushi selfishly, like a child, says that he wants to eat a whiting as well.
“It’s a fish outside what we are luring, so you can’t catch it so easily.”
“Unununu—! The most important thing while fishing is the strong wish of wanting to catch something!” (Armstrong)
Doushi says something that seems to contain some truth, but as it was only his gluttony speaking, I can’t hear it as anything but him simply wanting to eat a whiting.
However, Doushi seems to not be very skilled at fishing. Putting the small bait on the small hook is difficult for him, and in the end he ends up losing to Wilma in the process.
“The way to gain points is to match the timing when they appear on the surface…Doushi, you suck.” (Wilma)
“I’m bad with prey that I can’t see…” (Armstrong)
Thanks to that Doushi didn’t even catch a fifth of what Wilma caught.
“Now, pull! I’m sure! This is a big one!” (Armstrong)
The rod in Doushi’s hands bends drastically. Once he quickly wound in the reel, the catch was pulled up.
However, the it wasn’t a haze.
“I guess that’s because it’s the mouth of a river?”
On Doushi’s fishing-rod, the blowfish had started to puff up.
“Umm, this fish is called 『River Blowfish』…”
A woman, who takes care of us, says apologetically to Doushi.
“It can be eaten, right? I ate blowfish before.” (Armstrong)
“It’s a different kind… You can often catch them in estuaries, but the parts that can be eaten are full of poison.”
“How regrettable…” (Armstrong)
Understanding that he won’t be able to eat the blowfish, Doushi feels awfully down.
———– End of Part 1 ———–
“I caught one.” (Wilma)
“That’s fast.” (Armstrong)
Even while Doushi is preoccupied with such things, Wilma steadily piles up catches.
“However, there aren’t many left anymore. Even though I wanted to bring some grilled-and-dried haze back home with me…” (Wilma)
No matter how many she catches, since Wilma eats up everything, the possibility of her bringing back haze is low.
“Umm, I think it will be fine as long as we return while buying some on the way home.” (Wendelin)
“As expected of you, Wend-sama. That’s a wonderful solution.” (Wilma)
Is that such an amazing opinion that it has to be praised?
I feel like everyone could have come up with that…
“Now then, Katharina is…” (Wendelin)
Once I lastly looked for Katharina, she was challenging fishing with a serious expression alongside Philine.
Bringing Philine along this time was the idea of Margrave Breithilde’s wife. Because she became my fiancée, it’s for the sake of making it known inside and outside the country that we are on such good terms that she accompanies me at such times.
『Earl Baumeister…if you make a move on Philine…』 (Amadeus)
『I won’t!』 (Wendelin)
『Then it’s fine, but…how nice, being able to go on a trip with Philine…』 (Amadeus)
Right before our departure, I heard Margrave Breithilde’s envious voice through the MHCD, but there’s no way that I’m going to make a move on a 10 years old child.
Since he’s no adventurer or magician, I felt sympathy for him not being able to freely go on a trip with his daughter, though.
As a matter of fact, her coming with us has another objective: she also acts as Margrave Breithilde’s representative.
Due to my intermediation, she brought congratulatory gifts for Duke Mizuho with the meaning of getting along with each other by trading from now on and such.
Philine, who handed him those, competed with Katharina at fishing, befitting of a child at her age.
“In order to easily sense the fine bites, I deployed a 『Magic Barrier』 to avoid the surrounding of the line being hit by the outside wind.” (Katharina)
“Uwaaah, as expected of you, Katharina-sama.” (Philine)
“With this it’s set in stone that I will be able to catch the most.” (Katharina)
Even though they are fishing haze as game, only Katharina is doing it so seriously that the others are drawing back from her.
Just Philine, who is with her, admired Katharina’s magic.
Because it’s plain magic, it’s very difficult to confirm it with the naked eye, but in the eyes of Philine, who can’t use magic, it seems to be amazing.
“I don’t understand why you’re so obsessed with winning.” (Wendelin)
“Wendelin-san, doing it seriously is the reason why playing is fun.” (Katharina)
Katharina brazenly spit out a seemingly fair argument, but even so, the world of competition wasn’t that easy-going.
Actually Katharina obviously isn’t good at fishing.
There are many magicians who are quick at catching fish with magic.
“Umm…I can’t fish as well as I expected, but…” (Katharina)
It looks like there’s not much of a difference with the amount of what I caught.
If it’s like this, Wilma is overwhelmingly better at fishing.
“…If I catch some big game, it will be my overwhelming victory.” (Katharina)
While saying that, Katharina shows the biggest haze among the ones she caught to me.
“Earl Baumeister-sama, the haze caught by Katharina-sama are big.” (Philine)
Certainly, as Philine says, the biggest one is around 27 centimeters long.
It was a big catch one won’t be able to fish that often.
“It’s my win with this big catch.” (Katharina)
Katharina threw out her chest in the belief of having won, but her doing as she pleased came to an end soon afterwards.
“Wilma-jou, that’s a really big one!”
“I think it will be filling if it’s made into tempura.” (Wilma)
When Wilma pulled in a monster haze with a size close to 30 cm, many people gathered around her.
Katharina’s three minutes of fame were so short that they even paled in comparison to Akechi Mitsuhide.
“Wilma apparently caught fish since her earliest childhood days…”
I heard that she secured her food expenses by fishing at rivers since she couldn’t go hunting when she was small.
She quickly assembles a fishing-rod and her skill is at the level of a Meijin. It goes so far that she has been approved by the caretakers of the Mizuho household who are accompanying us.
“How amazing, Wilma-sama.”
“I caught one that was a little smaller 30 years ago, but even then I was envied by the former lord.”
The elder caretakers, who teach fishing and take care of the guests, admired the size of the haze caught by Wilma.
As they also fish haze as hobby, they appear to be genuinely jealous of Wilma.
After measuring the length of the caught haze with a ruler, they are getting very excited.
“Even if it’s this big, it’s not like it’s clear whether several of them are caught in a year.” (Wendelin)
Since it will be troublesome if Katharina gets angry here, I follow up for her..
It’s not like Katharina is particularly reserved towards Wilma, but once it come to a match, she loses sight of everything else.
“Then I will catch an even bigger haze tomorrow morning right after dawn! Yes, with the resolve to reel in the boss of the haze in this river!” (Katharina)
“Is there actually something like a haze boss in this river?” (Wendelin)
I have never heard anything about that.
“Wendelin-san, isn’t there always one in monster domains? I’m sure, there must be one hidden in this river as well!” (Katharina)
“(As if something like that exists…)” (Wendelin)
It’s not like this is some fishing manga…this is a normal river, not a monster domain.
I was simply astonished by Katharina’s words.
“Dark, cold, there’s no sign of the sun rising yet.” (Wendelin)
And then, early morning of the next day, right after the first sign of dawn.
Since it’s winter, the sun shows no signs of rising yet.
During such a time, me, Doushi, Katharina, Wilma and Philine came to the mouth of the river, slightly away from the guest house where we had lodged.
“Earl Baumeister-sama, this is the spot.”
“Here, huh…?” (Wendelin)
Last night I thought, 『As if there’s something like a haze boss！』, but being told by an old man, who usually manages the river, that it actually does exist, I quickly decided to join the boss fishing.
Why, you ask? That’s because it would be amusing if there was a fishing manga-like development.
“Haze die in one to two years, however there’s a rumor that the boss haze has been alive for several tens or even several hundreds of years. Even my grandfather is saying that he happened to see it.”
His family is the one that usually takes care of this river, the exclusive fishing spot of the Duke Mizuho household.
I hear they are patrolling the river everyday as countermeasure against poachers, but he says that he has seen a huge haze with a size of around two meters swimming in the riverbed a few times.
“Two meters is amazing.”
Even though haze die once they lay their eggs, it’s an individual that has survived and grown by not laying eggs, huh?
The story is gradually getting exciting.
“But, if it’s a haze with a length of two meters, yesterday’s fishing-rods won’t cut it, will they?”
“Expecting that, I prepared new ones.” (Wilma)
As expected of the woman with the alias 『Fishergirl Wilma』(T/N: A reference to the fishing manga mentioned at the end of the chapter), who doesn’t make any compromises when it comes to fishing.
It seems she asked the elderly caretakers yesterday and prepared the necessary fishing-rods.
“However, why is Wilma the one doing the preparations? The one who talked about catching the boss was Katharina, no?” (Wendelin)
“Until now I have only used magic to catch fish. Accordingly I asked Wilma, who’s my rival.” (Katharina)
It’s not what you say, but how you say it, or rather, Katharina is amazing to be able to insist on calling a super-veteran a rival as super-beginner.
“In other words, Katharina-jou. you’re aiming for beginner’s luck? In that case I have a chance as well!” (Armstrong)
“Doushi-sama, I want to catch a big game, too.” (Philine)
Doushi and Philine pick up rods and declare that they will participate in the boss fishing.
This time Elise, Ina, Luise, Haruka and Erw won’t participate.
『If you catch something, we will prepare it for breakfast.』(Elise)
Elise and the others will prepare breakfast since they wake up a little later.
The menu depends on what we catch.
“It’s a tough fishing-rod, Wilma-sama.” (Philine)
“If it’s not at least this sturdy, it won’t hold out if you catch the boss.” (Wilma)
A tough rod similar to a seashore rod, a huge reel, a fishing line that was given a special treatment after putting together six threads of the Big Madara Spider, a heavy sinker, a large hook; if it’s this, there’s likely no worry that a somewhat big game will be able to escape.
“What’s the bait?” (Wendelin)
Big earthworms that look like small snakes were inside the bucket held out by Wilma.
“If they aren’t at least this big, big game won’t bite.” (Wilma)
“It was correct to not bring Haruka along.”
With her not being able to stomach normal eunicids, she might have fainted, if she saw such monster earthworms.
And Erw nursing her…such riajuu spectacle is unnecessary for the romance of a boss fishing.
“After attaching the bait to the hook so that it’s hidden, you toss the line towards the target point.” (Wilma)
Wilma, who affixed a huge earthworm to the hook, lightly swings the tough rod and drops the line at the target point.
With her apparently being able to cast it to the place she had aimed for, she is most definitely a sexy fishing girl.
“After waiting for the bait to sink down there, you loosen the fishing line and wait for a bite.” (Wilma)
“Luring is not necessary?”
“No, the big earthworm will struggle in the water.” (Wilma)
I see. They are such monster earthworms after all. They will surely struggle and attract the fish’ interest.
“And then you drink amazake 2 while waiting.” (Wilma)
“Wilma-sama, the amazake is delicious.” (Philine)
“This is also one of the pleasures of fishing during cold seasons.” (Wilma)
I feel like the last part isn’t really necessary, but since it’s an early winter morning, it’s cold right now.
The elderly caretakers heated up some amazake and distributed it to everyone.
Warm and sweet amazake is the best against hunger.
“I guess we will also start then.”
Following Wilma’s example, we also toss our lines after attaching bait to the hooks.
“(There are no women here who are going to say 『Kyaa—earthworms are scary!』…)”
“Wendelin-san, did you say something?” (Katharina)
“No, nothing.” (Wendelin)
If there were, they might have gotten angry, but there’s not a single one here, or rather, the only one who would say something like that is Erw’s fiancée who would likewise get a bit fuzzy at that time. Even Katharina attaches a big earthworm to the hook with a calm expression.
The women in this world are strong-willed.
“Throwing the line to the targeted place is hard.” (Wendelin)
I can’t quite toss the line to the place I had planned as I’m not used to a big rod, but even if it’s slightly off, it will probably work out one way or the other.
“As the last one I will toss the line to the perfect spot! Alley-hop!” (Armstrong)
Despite saying something along those lines, Doushi ends up launching the line all the way to the opposite river bank.
That’s his usual monstrous strength for you.
Since this is fishing, it’s meaningless if you don’t toss the hook into water at the very least, though.
“I’m worried, the line might have snapped.” (Wilma)
“You are less skilled than I am…” (Katharina)
We looked at him with cold eyes, but there was one exception among us.
“Doushi-sama, you are really amazingly strong.” (Philine)
“Right? You do understand it, Philine.” (Armstrong)
For some reason only Philine was overjoyed with her eyes sparkling.
As even Doushi doesn’t seem to be all that unhappy with being praised, these two fit together smoothly like parent and child, despite not being connected by blood.
“Next I will throw it while toning down my strength a bit.” (Armstrong)
Fortunately the line didn’t get caught in a tree’s branch or something like that. Doushi reeled it back in, trying to collect the hook.
As he’s in the process of doing that, Doushi is suddenly attacked by a very strong pulling.
“I caught something!” (Armstrong)
“Wow, Doushi-sama.” (Philine)
Philine is also delighted by Doushi’s fast bite, but something’s odd.
There’s no way that a fish is caught by a hook that slides along the ground.
“That’s obviously not a fish, don’t you think?” (Katharina)
“Naturally, since it’s not in the water.” (Wendelin)
“We should see what got caught by reeling it in!” (Armstrong)
It seems to be a tremendous pull, but if it comes to Doushi’s power, it’s no particular problem.
It continues being reeled in without stopping while causing scraping sounds. Finally we could see the prey.
“A wild boar?”
What got caught was a slightly smallish boar.
“Why a wild boar though?”
“These big earthworms are the favorite dish of the boars around here.”
The elderly caretaker explained.
“This area, where the big earthworms live, is also the hunting ground of boars. Wild boars often dig up the ground, looking for earthworms.”
Hunters, who come here, look for places where these worms dwell. At times when the hunt doesn’t turn out well, they catch those earthworms and go to sell them to fishing shops.
“Even at times when they don’t manage to hunt a boar, these will at least help them to some pocket money.”
While we are having such a conversation, the boar is dragged from the opposite bank into the river by Doushi. It’s gradually getting pulled in our direction.
Once I looked properly, a big hook was stuck in its mouth.
Since the prey is what it is, I wondered whether the hook would come off, but apparently it won’t fall out as it’s stuck deeper than I expected.
The boar, which was pulled up next to Doushi, was silenced with one of his punches.
The pitiable boar was immediately hung on a nearby tree to drain its blood.
“I was the first to catch something.” (Armstrong)
“Doushi-sama, you are amazing.” (Philine)
“It’s quite obviously not a result from fishing. The original target is the huge haze…”
Causing the miracle of catching a boar after coming to fish is doubtlessly something that only Doushi can pull off.
Katharina, Wilma and I seem to share the same opinion, but for some reason only Philine praised Doushi.
“Finally, a bite!” (Katharina)
Immediately after restarting the fishing, Katharina obtained the first catch in the truest meaning.
“Though I don’t think that it’s the huge haze…”
Even Katharina struggled for a while to reel it in, but what she pulled up was a fish resembling a sea bass…no, no matter how you look at it, it is a sea bass.
“It’s a 『Shiro』 with a great size.”
The elderly caretaker scoops up the 80 cm long sea bass with a fishing net.
In this world its official name is shiro and not sea bass.
“I guess it’s name is shiro as it’s a white-fleshed fish that can be prepared in any way such as sashimi, boiled fish, grilled fish or deep-fried fish.” (T/N: shiro in Japanese means “white”, and the written language used in that world is Japanese)
“I learned something new.” (Wendelin)
After being told some trivia by the elderly caretaker, we continue fishing.
Meanwhile the old man dismantles the boar, drains the blood from the shiro caught by Katharina after pickling it, and removes the intestines and gills with skilled hand movements.
“Oh! I caught something!” (Wendelin)
“Earl Baumeister-sama, I have a bite, too.” (Philine)
“I also caught one.” (Armstrong)
Since it’s the time right after dawn breaking, there are many bites.
All of them were big shiro, but since we can fish only big game, it’s surprisingly fun.
If we catch so many, it will probably be more than sufficient as souvenir for Elise and the others.
“This is a big catch.”
Wilma catches shiro exceeding one meter in succession. It was proof of her high skill.
Because they are big, the fish’ pulling is also powerful, but Wilma with her superhuman strength uses the power of the fishing line, overcoming all of them.
“With such a big haul, it was really worthwhile to have guided you here.”
The caretaker reveals a relieved face while pickling the caught fish.
He was probably told in advance by Duke Mizuho that we are important guests.
“The monster haze isn’t biting, but well, I guess it can’t be helped.”
Precisely because its wariness is high, it hasn’t been caught so far.
It’s likely a fish one can’t catch so easily in two days.
“I think the monster haze is the boss exactly because it stays in this river.” (Katharina)
Even though she was the one who first talked about wanting to catch it, Katharina was satisfied with catching big shiro.
I don’t really know whether she’s a poor loser or finally understood, but she’s saying something that local residents, who live near the place where the master of a lake depicted in fishing manga dwells, would say.
“We were able to catch plenty. Let’s grill these with salt for breakfast.”
“That sounds delicious, doesn’t it Doushi-sama?” (Philine)
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.” (Armstrong)
This side is probably satisfied from catching big fish as well.
Doushi obediently winds up the line and begins to prepare for heading back.
Philine started to clean up the fishing utensils together with Doushi.
“Well, let’s stop soon then.” (Wendelin)
———– End of Part 2 ———–
At the time when even Wilma started to withdraw the line by reeling it in, there’s a bite at Katharina’s rod, who’s the only one that continued fishing, but it doesn’t seem to be that much of a big catch.
“It’s a shiro with a size of around 30 cm.” (Katharina)
As there isn’t much resistance, Katharina reeled it in and easily pulled the fish up to the water surface.
“At this size we should rather call it 『shiroko 3』.”
Same as with sea bass, the way of calling it changes depending on the degree of growth.
However, it’s not separated into many classifications like sea bass.
It looks like only a shiro with a size of less than 30 cm is called shiroko.
“If it has only this much of a size, I will release it.” (Katharina)
While the fish’ mouth appeared atop the water surface, Katharina leisurely reeled it in.
At the time when everyone thought that pulling it up once, removing the hook and freeing it was all that’s left, a huge shadow abruptly appeared from underwater and completely swallowed the small shiroko caught by Katharina.
“Earl Baumeister-sama, it was eaten by a very huge fish.” (Philine)
“Wow, Katharina, who’s usually not blessed by luck, caused a miracle.” (Wilma)
Philine is is overjoyed whereas Wilma casually says something cruel.
The big fish swallows the small one in an instant and swims down towards the river’s bottom.
Luckily the hook, which got stuck in the shiroko, attaches itself to the big fish. Katharina was assaulted by a pulling that looked as if she might be pulled into the river.
“Wendelin-san! I did it!” (Katharina)
“Although it’s a coincidence, you did well!” (Wendelin)
As it was trying to eat the small fish in the middle of catching it, she caught the huge haze, the big winner.
It means only for today Katharina’s luck pulled ahead.
“Do your best in pulling it in.” (Wendelin)
“Eh? You’re not going to help?” (Katharina)
“Huh? What’s the point if you don’t catch it by yourself?” (Wendelin)
To brag that she caught it herself, Katharina has to finish it herself, otherwise it will be meaningless.
Besides, Katharina possesses magic. She should be plentifully capable of catching it herself.
“You have 『Body Strengthening』, don’t you?” (Wendelin)
“I’m strong at wind-based spells, so I haven’t learned any spells except for those boosting my mobility.” (Katharina)
“Though I don’t think your attribute has anything to do with this…” (Wendelin)
Fire is power, wind is speed, and so on. 『Body Strengthening』 is not related to any attributes.
However, Katharina simply couldn’t learn it.
Well, since there are many situations where she uses the strategy of firing spells from the rear, there’s no need for her to use 『Body Strengthening』 like Doushi.
“Wendelin-san, if you don’t hurry, I will be pulled into the river…” (Katharina)
“What amazing power.” (Wendelin)
Although it’s just the likes of a haze, it seems to have a lot of power once it exceeds two meters in total length.
Katharina is about to be pulled into the river. The fishing line keeps unwinding from the reel.
I quickly cast 『Body Strengthening』 on myself and take the fishing-rod from Katharina.
“If you really exists, I will have you allow me to catch you, boss of this river!” (Wendelin)
However, my fishing skills are quite outlandish as amateur.
Using my magic-enforced power, I simply reel in the line forcibly.
Even so, with the hook having seemingly stuck in a good place, I succeeded in pulling up the catch without it being able to escape.
A haze, which exceeds two meters and is unattainable all over the world, leave alone in Japan, actually existed.
“It’s somewhat really gross…”
“That’s true…” (Katharina)
Although we caught the big catch at long last, I’m somehow not overly moved by it.
In stories it often happens that the characters finally manage to catch the big one after preserving for many days, but is it because we ended up catching it on the first day, or is it because it has a very frightening face once you look at the caught prey?
No, even a normal mahaze is unexpectedly scary with its jagged mouth, if you look properly at it.
If something like that exceeds 2 meters, it’s only natural for it to be scary, I guess…
“It looks like it’s gonna hurt if you’re bitten by that.”
The opponent is a fish that completely swallows down another fish with a length close to 30 cm.
Its jagged teeth are sharp, too. Just as Wilma says, if you’re bitten by it, it might result in a serious injury.
“Doushi-sama, this haze is cute, isn’t it?” (Philine)
However, only Philine has an aesthetic sense that’s slightly off. She stares at the haze, which has risen to the river bank, while looking happy. As expected, she’s not Doushi’s favorite for nothing.
I think she likes strange things in various meanings.
“What should we do about this one?”
“Hmm? We’re not going to eat it?” (Armstrong)
No one answered Doushi’s question.
“No, actually I just wanted to catch it, but…I don’t want to eat it?” (Katharina)
“Won’t preparing it as dish be a major hassle?”
If it’s shiro, it’s fine as long as you fillet them…aah, how about filleting this huge haze, too?
I feel like that can be done, but for some reason I don’t really feel like eating it.
As expected, is its appearance the problem?
“I think it will be tasty if you turn it into fried fish or tempura.” (Armstrong)
“It looks like it sure will be difficult to cook.”
Katharina, Wilma and I agree with the elderly caretaker’s opinion.
“It will be fine as long as you fillet it.” (Armstrong)
“It lacks elegance for that.” (Wilma)
Right, haze is delicious if you prepare it as tempura after removing the head, slicing it down its back and removing the backbones.
If you fillet it, you won’t know what kind of fish it was after making it into tempura.
Wilma is a glutton, but in reality she is a person that puts high value on such things.
That’s the reason why she suits me as wife.
“Since the head and the bones seem to be hard, fried fish is next to impossible.”
“Deep-frying it in one go seems complicated…”
It probably won’t be as simple to obtain a special-made pot that allows us to deep-fry such a huge haze in one go.
Even if I asked Duke Mizuho, it’s more than obvious that it would be an order-made production.
Even if we managed to cook it somehow, I’m against eating it as it looks like I will bite into bones.
“If it’s white flesh, we have plenty of shiro for filleting.”
We have caught more than 20 shiro with five people. All of them have an average size of 80 cm.
For a while we should have no troubles making grilled fish with salt, boiled fish or fried fish.
That’s why there was no need to unreasonably eat this huge haze.
“Wendelin-san, at first I thought that it’s eerie, but now that I have looked at it properly, it has a face that’s unexpectedly charming.” (Katharina)
“Now that you’re saying it, you’re right.” (Wendelin)
Its eyes are perfect circles. Even though it’s laying on the river bank after being pulled up, it’s looking this way without moving. Its appearance might even be somewhat cute.
We might be gradually getting corrupted by Philine.
“Earl Baumeister-sama, this fish-san has lived in this river for many years, right?” (Philine)
“If it’s this big, it should have lived for a fairly long time.”
There’s absolutely no way that it has grown this big in one year. This place is not a monster domain after all.
“It should have watched over this river for many years as its boss!” (Armstrong)
“Earl Baumeister-sama, Doushi-sama, let’s set it free.” (Philine)
“Earl Baumeister, I also agree with Philine’s opinion.” (Armstrong)
Although he usually is all for slaughtering, Doushi advocated to let the huge haze go for a change.
For me to be allowed to witness this destroyer show mercy, Philine might actually be a really terrifying girl.
“We managed to confirm its existence. The shiro are more than enough as dish for breakfast.” (Wilma)
“Wendelin-san, it’s not bad to sometimes let fish go.” (Katharina)
“You’re right. I guess we will set it free.” (Wendelin)
Being urged on by Wilma and Katharina, it was decided that the lucky, huge haze will be freed.
Has it understood our conversation?
Even at the time of removing the hook, the haze doesn’t resist at all. Being carried by Doushi, it was returned to the river.
“Doushi-sama, look.” (Philine)
Once the haze is set free, another huge haze, which is one size bigger than the one we caught, shows up as if greeting the liberated haze.
“There were two of them!?”
“More than sixty years have passed since I started to manage this river, but even I didn’t know that there were two huge haze.”
The elderly caretaker was also astonished.
“Wendelin-san, those haze are a married couple, aren’t they?” (Katharina)
It’s not unthinkable that they might actually be parent and child, but to me it only looked the bigger haze came looking for his wife out of worry.
The haze on Earth don’t show such behavior, but no matter what you think about it, I could only consider that assumption to be correct.
“Haze, stay on good terms from now on.” (Philine)
“Please watch over the future of this river.” (Katharina)
Philine and Katharina call out to the two haze, who are heading to the deeper parts of the river, amidst a beautiful sunrise as backdrop.
While seeing off the two haze that are swimming while obviously nestling close together, we put an end to the morning’s fishing.
I pray that those huge haze can live forever in this river.
“Eh? You caught a huge haze, but let it go? You know, somehow…”
Even though it’s an especially emotional story, Erw had an expression making it obvious that he considers all of it to be a lie, once we told him the events after returning to the guest house.
“No, I’m telling you, we really caught it! Just as in the rumors, it was longer than two meters!”
“What’s the problem for you to not believe it?” (Wendelin)
“Well, for Wilma, Wend and Doushi to let a prey, which you caught at great pains, go; I think that would be the act of a saint…” (Erwin)
While catching the fish we can eat, we let the huge haze go as it was too pitiful for that.
Erw seems to believe that there’s no way for us to do something like that.
“Apart from me interrogating you later about the part where you put me and Doushi in the same category, Philine was with us as well. Don’t you think that such act would be necessary for educating her in good taste?” (Wendelin)
“Though I think that if it’s you Wend, you would mercilessly kill it while saying 『For the sake of obtaining food, you have to kill living creatures』…” (Erwin)
Because there were some parts among the things Erwin was saying which I could agree with, my objection ends up being blunt.
“Anyway, I mean even Katharina and Philine were present. We managed to catch a huge haze.” (Wendelin)
“No, I’m not doubting that since the caretaking grandpa is saying the same as well. I’m simply not fully satisfied with it.” (Erwin)
“The one not being fully satisfied here is me!” (Wendelin)
Even though it was a deeply moving scene where we let the boss, who protected the river go after having caught it, like in a certain fishing manga; just why can’t the people of this world understand it?
Although I loved 『Fisherman Sanpei』 4 which I read after having it recommended by my father…
“Even so, it was sure a fun fishing trip.”
We managed to catch a lot of haze and shiro, received many souvenirs and were able to a huge amount of things.
Even Philine, who went on a short excursion for the first time after being engaged to me, was delighted. It was a nice entertainment trip.
Margrave Breithilde’s mental state might have been complicated, but his wife’s judgment hasn’t been wrong…while thinking about such things, I’m performing public works within the Baumeister Earldom today, but suddenly I receive a call on the MHCD.
“Heeey—-! Earl Baumeister!”
All of a sudden I hear an angry voice through the MHCD.
The owner of the voice was Minister Edgar.
“Albeit an in-law, I’m your father, Earl Baumeister! To not invite me on a fun entertainment trip, that’s unreasonable, right!?” (Edgar)
I’m shouted at by Minister Edgar, asking why I didn’t bring him along on our trip.
This scariness would make even a yakuza shake in their pants.
Even though it’s unexpected, I, who am supposed to a weak, ordinary person, was alright.
It seems I obtained a certain degree of guts thanks to having gone through actual combat.
“Eh? You have that much free time?” (Wendelin)
“It’s obvious that I would have freed my schedule if you had invited me! If I hadn’t received a souvenir from Wilma, I would have been even angrier!” (Edgar)
“Eeh! But…” (Wendelin)
I thought he wouldn’t come if I invited him as he was busy with reforming the military administrations and preparing the army after the civil war, but that might have been my blunder.
“Earl Armstrong is angry, too! Even though his younger brother had an all-you-can-eat of haze tempura, our side only got souvenirs!” (Edgar)
“Umm…next time I will definitely invite you.” (Wendelin)
“Make it as fast as possible!” (Edgar)
Once I feel relieved after the storm-like Minister Edgar terminated the call, I next receive continuous calls from Finance Minister Rückner and Cardinal Hohenheim.
“To not invite me despite us associating for quite a long while now…” (Rückner)
“I know that you are cherishing Elise, but I believe that it’s sometimes necessary to show filial piety towards grandfather-in-law, Son-in-law-dono.” (Hohenheim)
Different from Minister Edgar, who complained directly with the temperament of a sports-oriented teacher, the two liberal arts types used indirect expressions, but them blaming me for not being invited to our trip is all the same.
Be that as it may, I wonder, do older people like fishing this much?
Though they might be aiming for the sake and the delicious food at the destination.
“I will definitely invite you next time.” (Wendelin)
“I ask you to do so as early as possible, Son-in-law-dono.” (Hohenheim)
Once I feel relieved about having finished the chain of calls, this time a call from a number I see for the first time comes in.
No, I mean, even if I’m told it’s me, that didn’t tell me who it is.
“Umm, who might you be?” (Wendelin)
“Earl Baumeister, are you telling the other nobles the same thing? Certainly, it’s said that I’m not standing out compared to my father, His Majesty. For some reason I have only few friends, too. But, some time ago at the peace negotiations in the Empire, I exhibited great efforts to guarantee your rights. I had considered that you would at least invite me for your entertainment trip…”
“Your Highness the Crown Prince?” (Wendelin)
Most certainly I didn’t expect to receive a call from such a big-wig.
It’s no excuse, but even I didn’t consider the crown prince to accompany us to such as minor entertainment trip. And even before that, I doubted that the next king would carelessly go to another country, thus I didn’t call out to him.
He wouldn’t have received permission from His Majesty anyway.
It’s definitely not like I forgot about his existence.
“Indeed. Who else could it be?”
“I’m terribly sorry!” (Wendelin)
I unconsciously end up bowing my head, falling back into my habits from my previous life as salaryman.
Given that we are talking through the MHCD, it’s meaningless as he can’t see me at all, but nevertheless, old habits are sure scary.
“I will definitely invite you next time, Your Highness.” (Wendelin)
“Really? I’m waiting for it with high expectations!”
The crown prince sounded somewhat desperate.
It’s not a stance of 『At least invite me, though I won’t go as I’m too busy』, but it feels like he would really come if I invited him.
Since he has the social standing of being the crown prince, I have a hunch that he can have as many of such invites as he wants, but…
“I’m waiting for the good news! By all mean, invite me as well!”
“Of course, Your Highness.” (Wendelin)
“That’s what I wanted to hear.”
At the end the crown prince cuts the line with a voice full of satisfaction.
Apparently he was very happy hearing that I would invite him next time.
“A loner despite being royalty, huh…?” (Wendelin)
Come to think of it, even though we met several times so far, I don’t remember having ever talked with him.
I didn’t quite know what kind of person he is, but now that I know that he has the same loner trait as me, I somehow felt a little bit of affinity with him.
“His Majesty might not give his permission, but I guess I will definitely invite him next time…” (Wendelin)
Oh well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
As the invite itself is important, I suppose it won’t be treated as rude act as long as I call out to him properly.
Thinking about such things, I might still be unable to escape my previous life’s salaryman disposition.
At the same time of judging that, I ended up thinking that even nobility might not be that different from a salaryman in front of royalty.