Megami Buchigire - Chapter 57
Chapter 57: The Horror of Seeing a Large Number of Insects Clinging to a Screen Door
This farm work that may even lead some to wax poetic about autumn is actually something that requires a large number of hands to do. As a result, many agricultural schools actually give their students a break during this time of the year.
After harvesting, the rice plants are bundled together and then slapped against wooden frames (called inagi) before being placed on large sheets and left to dry. However, recently the use of machines has become so common that there are many who have never before seen the sight of rice being left to dry in the sun.
More like, the rice is already thrown into a machine before being bundled up, so even the sight of rice plants in bundles has become rare to see.
But the sight of a grandpa riding a combine has a mysterious sense of seasonal taste in its own right, strangely enough.1
“Ahh, my hip hurts…..”
And there is a certain young man who is stretching while pounding his waist after the completion of the abovementioned rice harvesting.
It is the agricultural boy Saros-kun from the village of Fit within the Republic of Keros. He has grown a bit taller since we saw him last. It is a secret that he is slightly happy about the fact that he can now look down at Asuka-san by a little bit.
Autumn, and thus the time for harvesting, has finally come the village of Fit and the Japanese rice growing there. But because there is still drying to be done after the harvesting, the true harvesting of the rice is actually still a ways off.
In this otherworld, there are naturally no drying machines nor even combines, so of course the harvesting of the rice plants was done entirely by hand.
The waists of Saros-kun as well as all the grandpas and grandmas of the village have taken a great amount of damage. But humans are surprisingly resilient and adaptive to it’s alright.
“What is this, moaning at something of merely this level? Isn’t it a bit too early to be complaining about waist pain, brat?”
“Who’s a brat you chibi.”
Sukunabikona-sama laughs through his nose at the sight, and Saros-kun retorts almost as a muscle reflex by now.
They get along great as always.
“Hmm, wait, why is it only you here? Where’s Asuka?”
“She went to make preparations for burning the fields. If it’s not done soon, it’ll turn into a colony of plant hoppers.”
This field burning that could be said to be as equally evocative of autumn as rice plant harvesting serves the double function of burning up things like leftover straw as well as pest extermination.
In other words, if it’s not done, it’ll lead to an outbreak of harmful insects like stink bugs and plant hoppers.
Incidentally, plant hoppers are bugs around 5mm big that normally suck juices out of rice plants but may sometimes accidentally suck humans and in the process leave the human saliva that itches like mad.
The window! The window!2
“But still, it sure is a mysterious sight. Back during summer it was all green far as the eye can see, but now the dried ground and stalks are all golden brown in color.”
“This is also a part of the turning of the seasons. Agriculture is a form of manmade nature. Do not ever forget that no matter how far humans go, nature (the gods) will always be there together.”
“I know that even without needing you to tell me that.”
To live alongside nature.
The Japanese are deeply acquainted with this concept that can even be said to be the precursor to animalism, but actually the gods of this world, the Greek gods, are also said to have their beginnings in animalism.
Because of that, Saros-kun is surprisingly understanding of what Sukunabikona-sama is trying to say. Perhaps it is only a matter of course for someone who’s been around agriculture his whole life.
“…… So, there’s something that I’ve been wanting to ask you when Asuka is not around.”
“What is it? It sure is rare for you to take such an admirable attitude towards me.”
“You’re a god from where Asuka is from, right?”
“Leaving aside for now your impertinent attitude despite your understanding of such, what of it?”
“Do you guys, um, like the gods of this side, t-… take humans as your brides?”
What on earth are you saying.
That look on Sukunabikona-sama’s face almost immediately changes into a smirk when realization dawns on him, causing Saros-kun to jump with a start and then slowly inch backwards.
“Heeeh. So that’s what it’s about~ You’d wanna know, wouldn’t you~ After seeing the girl you like getting along well with another guy~”
“Sh-, shut up! So how is it!?”
“There are some of us who do, but I for one have no such intention. In the first place, Asuka properly treats me like a god. There’s no possibility of our relationship developing towards that direction.”
“I-, is that so.”
Saros-kun breathes a sigh of relief at Sukunabikona-sama’s words. Sukunabikona-sama himself is still smirking this whole time.
If this was his partner Ookuninushi-sama, then he might have felt like playing matchmaker. But this situation right here, he intends on just looking on as an entertained bystander.
“Speaking of which, Asuka has begun mentioning you every once in a while in her conversations.”
“Wh-, what did she say about me?”
Saros-kun’s eyes are absolutely shining with stars upon hearing that he’s being mentioned. He may be simple, but well, that’s adolescence for you.
——Saros-kun? Lately he’s been staring at my breasts and legs a whole lot. It’s so obvious, so I kind of feel like it’d be better to tell him, right? But he’s a boy, so I also kind of feel like it probably can’t be helped……
“… Is what she said.”
What is merely stealing glances for a guy is considered staring for a girl. Seeing Saros-kun crumpling to the ground from the painful realization of this fact makes Sukunabikona-sama’s rice taste delicious today too.3
Incidentally, it’s a secret that Sukunabikona-sama was internally quite flustered when asked “how do boys in a place as rural as this deal with… that?”
Girls can get surprisingly even more nasty than boys when it comes to talking about that sort of stuff, so just be careful.
“Ah, Sukunabikona-sama…… and Saros-kun? Why are you crouched on the ground?”
“DON’T LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!!! WHERE IS A HOLEEEE?!?!?!?!”
“Ehhh? What’s the matter, Saros-kun?!”
Saros-kun dashes off while screaming like a certain mad demon, which causes Asuka-san to chase after him in a hurry.
Naturally, Asuka-san with Athena-sama’s blessing easily catches up to and captures Saros-kun, after which he is subjected to a certain kind of humiliation play.
Today, too, this otherworld is at peace.
“Rice harvesting, huh. That sure brings back memories…… of Susanoo destroying my fields.”
“Why did you recall specifically that bad memory with pinpoint accuracy?”
At the same time, in Takamagahara.
Amaterasu-sama is looking off with distant eyes while recalling one of the deeds of Susanoo-sama from his rampage in the past, while Tsukuyomi-sama looks at her speechlessly.
It’s a secret that he is thinking her annoying because he can’t tell where the trigger for her traumas is.
“Please cheer up, Amaterasu-sama. Today we have rice with salmon and fried tofu on top, they should taste delicious.”
“Rice… with fried tofu even?!”
“Yes it’s there. There is also plenty for seconds.”
“Thank you, Toyo-chan!”
As always, Amaterasu-sama is being trained with food by Toyoukehime-sama, while Tsukuyomi-sama looks on with suspicious eyes.
“Is there anything the matter, Tsukuyomi-sama? Could it be that you do not like rice?”
“No such thing. I love rice.”
However, the instant Toyoukehima-sama asks after him in worry, Tsukuyomi-sama replies in an upright and gentlemanly manner.
Today, too, Takamagahara is at peace.
1 For those who are interested, here is a detailed article about rice farming in Japan.
2 “The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!” This is an excerpt from the very end of the novel Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft, now commonly used as an expression of fear and terror. This is also a reference to this chapter’s chapter title.
3Meshi uma (メシウマ) is the abbreviation of “rice tastes taste when going with someone else’s misfortune (他人の不幸でメシがうまい)”. It pretty much is an expression of schadenfreude. Naturally this phrase originated from 2Chan. (Japanese source)