They followed the dwarf girl, and to their surprise, the field was not as jungle-like as they had expected. There was a clear path to walk under the flowers. But the space was a little low for Maki.
She kept saying, and was likely hitting her head against something. After a while, they came out into a large clearing. A lot of other dwarves were gathered here and relaxing. In the center, there was a large pot with something sweet inside, and a large grill had also been prepared.
“Hey! I got new workers!”
The girl shouted.
“Good job! Oh, are they human children?”
The resting dwarves gathered around them.
“They were traveling with the soldiers as cooks. But now they’re unemployed because they were paid by the day. And so I asked them to help us.”
She wasn’t wrong. Her explanation was technically correct. Still, Maki and Chiharu weren’t quite satisfied with it.
“Will the soldiers hire you again when they return?”
“Yes. But we’re not sure when that will be.”
“Hmm. The next five to six days are very important for us. It would be great if you could help.”
“That’s fine. Just pick the flowers and toss them into the baskets.”
“Then we should be able to manage.”
“Good! It’s a deal then! Bring it over here!”
He meant the large pot of soup. The purple soup smelled like sweet potatoes.
The two of them accepted their cups with hesitation.
“Oh, you don’t know about sweet potato soup?”
They were asked. They only knew about potato soup.
“Well, try it.”
When they put their spoons inside of the soup, they found small and flat dumplings. Then they blew on them and bit into them. The dumplings were soft but chewy and went well with the sweet soup.
It was a hot day in early summer, but they drank all of the hot, sweet soup while blowing on it. Ahh, it was so good.
“We have this in the morning. In the evening, we’ll eat some steamed buns.”
“We’ll do the job!”
“We’ll do the job!”
“Do you want more soup?”
And so they both had a second cup of soup.
“I’m Stilla. What’s your name? Oh, Kenneth? Ryan? Now, I will teach you how to gather the flowers.”
Apparently, the dwarf girl’s name was Stilla. And so Maki and Chiharu shouldered the baskets and followed her into the fields.
“They were such pretty human children. It will be very bad if the mayor sees them.”
“Perhaps we should hide them in the fields during the day.”
“Indeed. And then they will be able to help us more.”
Maki and Chiharu had no idea of this conversation that took place behind them.
So, what was lavender gathering? Apparently, you just needed to grab the flowers and pull downward, and they would come off. And then you just tossed them in the basket behind you. Toss. Toss. Toss. Toss. But the flowers were quite big, and so the baskets became full quite quickly. When that happened, you returned to the clearing and someone would take the flowers to a storage shed to be dried. And you returned to picking.
Lavender flowers blossomed from the bottom to the top, in that order. So you could go to the field every day and there would still be flowers.
“What were you two doing?”
Grudo asked as they returned tired that day. He sounded a little exasperated.
“But you know, these things give you a real sense of accomplishment.”
“Yes, yes. The basket slowly getting heavier. Oh, and watching the wagon get full of flowers from your basket.”
“Yeah. It’s nice to sweat like this.”
Maki and Chiharu said.
“I know what we should do on days like these.”
“Grudo, do you mind?”
“Well, I have to agree.”
“We’ll drink ale tonight!”
Maki and Chiharu always seemed much more relaxed when they were with Grudo. Maki and Chiharu had concentrated on their work without even realizing that Edwy and Aeris had not contacted them. Grudo had rested at the inn and their guard had been forced to help watch the pot with the dwarves.
Still, there was someone who noticed Maki and Chiharu.
“Hey, look at them.”
“They seem like the right age.”
There were Adventurers who were staring at Maki and Chiharu as they returned from the field.
“A good job to finish with.”
“We can’t make any money now that the soldiers are in the dungeon.”
“Let’s do it then.”
“We’ll stop at the inn and watch them first.”