Rome wasn’t built in a day
This isn’t a country, but still, building a waterway won’t be built in a day either.
「 Let’s leave it at that for today 」
We dug a hole from the river to the planned arable land and filled it with bamboo tubes.
After burying the bamboo tubes, we cover them with soil to make them invisible from the ground.
It’s a bit of pain to do that work with less than ten people.
「 This is moving faster than expected 」
「 I thought so too 」
「 I guess it’s different when you have manpower 」
Eri, Mana, and Karin are impressed with the state of progress.
Seems like the progress was satisfying to them since they’ve been struggling with a smaller group compared to before.
They smile as they look at the waterway in the middle of the road.
「 At this rate, we’ll finish this by tomorrow or the next 」
The planned arable land is in front of the cliff, where our sea cave hideout is located.
It’s a flat grassland and the soil is well-nourished, and it’s easy to cultivate.
If we fertilize it, it’ll become superb soil.
「 Growing grains is hard work 」
Sofia said while sweating.
I sent her to the logging group for the convenience of attaching her to Amane, but it seems that it was too harsh.
I look down at her short skirt and I could see her sweat dripping from her thighs.
「 We have other things to do once the waterway is complete. We’re just getting started 」
「 「 「 Hiiiii!! 」 」 」
They all screamed.
It’s really hard to start farming.
The results are worth the effort, so we have to work hard now.
We decided to grow vegetables before grain.
We could start a field from the start and go in full swing, but I want to check how it goes first.
I sow and grow seeds for the vegetable garden in earthenware planters.
This work is post-dinner.
「 You must be tired from working on the waterway, sorry 」
「 I’ve always been interested in vegetable gardening so this is no problem 」
I planned on doing it alone, but Eri helped me out with the work.
It’s already dark, and the two of us are working near the plot we’re planting it on.
We’re gathering soil for the planters.
The rest of us are washing dishes, folding laundry, and heating up the bath.
Yoshi Okada and Amane are training how to set a fire under Karin’s instructions.
「 Is this enough soil? 」
Eri shows me her planter.
I nodded, saying “yep, that’s enough”
「 Next is to level the soil 」
「 Level? 」
「 I mean giving it fertilizer 」
I took out a small earthenware container.
Inside is a lot of gray powder, almost white.
「 Is that? 」
「 Roasted shells, smashed into pieces 」
「 So it can be used for something other than soap 」
「 It has a wide range of uses, that includes fertilizer and building material 」
Ever since I first came to this world, I’ve been making this powder in my spare time.
We pick up shells from the beach, roast them to sterilize them, and then crush them until they turn to powder.
We have a large stockpile of this powder, and Tanaka made most of them.
「 I heard from Tanaka 」
I talk while working.
Eri looked at me asking “Heard what?”
「 That you like me, that’s why you rejected him 」
「 Huh? Tanaka-kun said that? I had him promise not to say that 」
「 I know that it didn’t mean much but still, I’m surprised 」
「 ………… 」
Eri didn’t say anything.
After staring at me for a while, she continued to work.
「 If you dumped him because of me, then you could’ve told me. It would be better if it’s actual love, but it’s not. And since I didn’t know what went on, I tried to comfort Tanaka and ended up upsetting him 」
I haven’t had any talk with Tanaka other than work ever since that talk on the beach.
We’ve always had that kind of relationship, but recently, it’s getting cold.
「 Have you not thought that it actually means something? 」
「 Huh? 」
Eri said after finishing her work.
She holds the planter in both hands and looked straight into my eyes.
「 Have you not thought that I didn’t say that to reject him, but it’s actually because I’m in love with Hokage-kun? 」
「 That’s not going to happen 」
「 Why? Am I not worthy for you? 」
「 It’s the opposite. I’m the one who’s not suited.
Eri’s cute, great at cooking, and she’s a good listener, just as Tanaka said. She’s so high spec that there are at least three superlatives.
On the other hand, I just love survival. I’m just a dull and shady character, and my appearance is in that unclear territory where they say that you’re gentle handsome. I’m unlike the Sumeragi siblings who are called handsome boys. I’m not rich, and I don’t have great grades either. I’m not a good match no matter how you look at it 」
Hearing it from myself feels sad, but it’s the truth.
Those who suit Eri are like the Sumeragi siblings who had the intellect and looks.
「 That’s not true. Hokage-kun’s dignified, and you’re cool. Also, you’re a reliable leader all this time. Isn’t it normal for women to fall for that kind of person? 」
I snorted laughingly.
「 I’m glad that you say that but I wonder about that? Are you saying that you didn’t tell Tanaka that out to save face, but that you actually like me? Romantically 」
Eri’s answer is obvious.
「 I don’t think so 」
I’m sure that’s going to be her answer.
Or so I thought.
「 I do 」
But, the reality was different.
I couldn’t speak in surprise.
「 Hahaha, t-there you go joking again. 」
「 I’m not joking. I’m serious, I like Hokage-kun 」
「 Wait, really? 」
Eri puts down the planter to the ground and moved towards me.
She took the planter from my hand and put it down too.
Then, she pushed me down and straddled me.
「 What about you Hokage-kun? 」
「 What about me? 」
「 I told you my feelings. I love Hokage-kun romantically. I wasn’t using you as an excuse to Tanaka-kun. How will you respond to that Hokage-kun? This girl who’s beyond your reach, the flower at the peak, has confessed to you 」
「 Err, uhm 」
I unconsciously turned away from Eri’s gaze.
My head is in chaos that I don’t know what to say.
「 I… 」
I’m trying to sort out my thoughts.
「 I’m glad that you feel that way, but, I don’t see you that- 」
Before I could finish my sentence, Eri said “See?”
「 Hokage-kun doesn’t view me as a romantic interest. It’s the same with other women. You don’t see anyone as special. I know. I’ve been watching you all the time so I know. That’s why I didn’t tell you. I know that you will not accept it even when I tell you my feelings 」
Eri’s eyes are getting wet.
It looks that way, but I don’t know what’s real.
「 Besides, having love in this environment is out of the question right? Whether the relationship goes well or ends in a breakup, either way, it’s going to become a nuisance to others 」
「 Yeah, you’re right 」
「 That’s why I don’t mind a physical relationship for now 」
Eri rubbed her right hand on my chest and moved her other to her back.
Her left hand went down to my crotch.
「 We’re allies who help each other survive on the island, partners who help each other out when we feel horny. Isn’t that good enough? 」
「 Y-Yeah. I’m glad to hear you say that. 」
「 I’ll be coming for you when we’re back in Japan. I’ll make myself even more attractive, drag you to dates, and then, I’ll formally confess my feelings again 」
Eri stood up and then stretched her arms to me.
I grabbed her hand and stood up.
「 Let’s go back, Hokage-kun 」
「 Right… 」
We took our planters and walked back to the hideout.
Eri said something on the way back but I don’t remember the contents.
(Wait, Eri’s really into me?)
(It’s stupid not to reply to this cute girl’s confession you know?)
My head repeated the same lines over and over.