Translator: Kenar, Kaelpie Editor: Yuzuhaa TLC: Kaelpie, Yomigaeru TLC: N/A
Ping~ Pong~ Pang~ Pong~*Sound of the Town Chime*
『── (rain sound), (thunder sound)─…… an announcement from Heike Town’s Office, Environmental Improvement Division. Today, the rainfall is predicted to exceed 70mm per 3 hours at 09.00 P.M. Each district’s designated person, please perform their rain patrol.』
「In that case, I’ll check the rice paddies for a bit.」
Right now the time happens to be past nine o’clock in the evening. Thunder dances in the night sky. This town has a speaker in each house for in-town radiocast purposes. The broadcast just now was coming from those speakers. First of all, let me tell you about the bad sides of living in the countryside.
I, Seta Rinichirou (16 years old), am not really fond of living in the countryside.
If you were to ask me why, it’s because I’m just an average second-year high school student in Japan. Said second-year high school students usually hate living in the countryside. A short trip is one thing, but living here is generally hated. That is because young people are attracted to the city.
The name of this town is Heike Town.
It’s a small town in the mountains at the eastern end of the Gifu prefecture, near the prefectural border with Nagano and Aichi. In short, this means it was treated as a frontier town by all three prefectures and to be fair, it is one.
The total population is only 873 people. That’s comparable to the number of students in an urban elementary school. The area size is a small 41.67 square kilometers(16.09 square miles) and there are very few places where humans can grow crops since it’s a mostly mountainous forest area with a river.
Unsurprisingly though, that’s why it was enveloped by beautiful nature. There are golf courses in the mountains, leaving clipping like traces in the forest where only cedar trees grow. A big river flows through the middle of the town, but two small factories are built alongside it, puffing out white smoke from their chimneys 24/7.
This is the sight of a true countryside. Not all countryside’s nature is especially beautiful.
There are people that constantly say: “The air is so clean in the countryside.” But that’s a downright lie. The rice paddies are muddy and the fields reek of manure used as fertilizer. The cities are only filled with exhaust gas from moving cars. While here, the mountains scatter a massive amount of cedar pollen, causing a hellish suffering for allergic people that continues all year round.
That smell can’t be forgotten. In this area, the toilet water heads to a cistern which purifies it and lets it flow into the otherwise beautiful river. However, unlike what you may think, it doesn’t smell much better than the city’s public toilets. The toilets built in the old days were well made, yet newly built houses are an exception. For some reason, the microbes that removed the stench in the cistern didn’t multiply so only the new buildings smelled. That’s it for the rural toilet trivia.
But at the moment, I didn’t dislike the countryside because of the scenery or the smell.
It’s because I have to go inspect a rice paddy in a thunderstorm.
In the city “I will go check on the rice paddy for a bit” would be a death flag gag, but it’s different for rural people. When there’s heavy rain it’s an important duty for whoever is in charge that month, to make rounds around the field, making sure that the irrigation canal doesn’t overflow. Since our family isn’t farmers; I’m doing the rounds for the neighbors’ rice paddies, but that doesn’t mean I can skip it. There’s a danger of becoming ostracized by the town. There aren’t any fancy shops or fun locations, but the neighborhood could become troublesome. That’s the countryside in a nutshell.
That’s why I hate the countryside. Viva la city. …Huuuuu I feel refreshed. I continued to bad mouth the countryside from its environmental problems to its toilet circumstances for a while. I think it was a quality rant if I do say so myself. Anyhow, it’s a stormy night in this rural area.
In a raincoat and rubber boots, with a flashlight in hand, I was walking down the road──
── *Something sparkling*
and something reflected the light from my flashlight. It flashed twice in total.
One was silver. The other one golden.
(Aren’t those… people?)
The silver glint was [a person who wore a silver armor].
The golden glint was [a person with golden hair].
There are two people, fallen down and unconscious, in the footpath between the paddies
A beautiful woman and a beautiful girl.
- Kaelpie: This is weird for me cuz I actually moved from a metropolis to a backwater town. ↩
- Kaelpie: The closest metropolis near my town is 44 square km and it’s one of the largest cities in my country… ↩