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Till The Dirt [Houren]

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#1Houren Vanadis 

on Sun 19 Mar - 21:06

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Cabbage season was over.

This was something that had absolutely no bearing whatsoever on Houren's life. Even if he could never eat cabbages again for the rest of his life, he would not be that badly affected, at the very least, not as affected as Farmer Jim who would probably be out of a living. The Fairy Tail mage didn't want to think about what the farmer would do if he couldn't grow cabbages anymore, if cabbages just disappeared in this world, or if there was nothing for him to do between cabbage seasons. Fortunately, there was something he could do, he could till the fields in preparation for the next year's crop, but according to the hand written request that he had sent out, his tractor had been broken. As it would turn out, he was a skilled mechanic as well as a talented farmer, and fixing up ''that hunk of junk tractor'' was easy but would take at least the whole day, which was something that he absolutely could not afford. His tilling needed to be done on schedule, he said, and he couldn't very well multitask fixing a tractor and tilling, could he?

He was certainly getting on in the years, so it was better for him to focus all his attention on fixing the tractor and hiring somebody younger and stronger to till the fields for him. He was more than happy to hire Houren who had already proven his competency and taste for cabbages in a previous job, and the Fairy Tail mage had nothing planned for today either, so why not make a bit of money on the side? It wasn't as though he found the Farmer Jim unpleasant, perhaps a bit annoying and single minded, yes, with nothing to contribute to society or conversations other than cabbages, but he was a well meaning old man. Certainly, he was nice enough to be around and was a kindly man to boot. Also, although he had been skeptical about it, Farmer Jim's cabbage soup really was something special, and assuming the price wasn't extreme for a starting dish, he'd even pay for it at a restaurant.

"Back when I was a younger man, my daddy used to use the tractor and I'd use this bad boy," Farmer Jim handed an old tilling hoe to Houren. It was undoubtedly old, but strangely enough, wasn't falling apart at all, nor was it rusty. It seemed like, for all his talk, Farmer Jim actually kept his tools in a very good condition. "I know she's old, but she's served me well for years. Ive aged worse than she has, and I'm afraid I can't till the land using her like I used to do. She needs a younger man, you know?" he said, to which Houren replied with a polite nod. The farmer wasn't done with just that though as he continued. "But you're a mage, aren't you? If you feel like your magic will come in handy better than my tools then..." he trailed off, but Houren quickly interjected in support of the contrary.

"I'm a fire mage, Jim, so I don't think my magic will come in handy here. I'll accept your tilling hoe graciously, and try to do you proud," it wasn't something that Houren said often, but he imagined that this was the kind of thing the old man would have wanted to hear from his son, the one that left for Era to become a Rune Knight. It was a noble profession, to be sure, but couldn't he at least make a trip back home sometimes? What was the point of saving people if you had to sacrifice the ones that are close to you? There was more to being a Rune Knight than just this. It wasn't as though Houren had any right to lecture the boy though, even if it was only in his mind, since he actually killed his father with a sword a few years back. But that was because he thought his father was some horrible beast, if he had known the truth, he would have embraced him like he should have when he was younger. But perhaps it was simply a case of Houren not knowing the full story. He could see why a boy, who had ambitions to become a Rune Knight, would resent a father who wanted him to become a cabbage farmer. Those worlds were completely different in every, single way.

... .... ....

He continued to till the field, working the hoe to the best of his ability. Farmer Jim was certainly correct when he said that this was a splendid tool. Although it must have been over four decades old, when you considered Farmer Jim's age, it could easily have been older if Jim was not the first owner of it. Tilling was simple, not easy, but simple and very, very tiring. It was not an impossible job though, and by the end of the day, fortunately before the sun had begun to set, Houren had finished his tilling for the day. Farmer Jim walked over, said something about how his tractor maintenance would take a bit longer, and began to inspect the field, soaking in the result of Houren's handiwork. "I was a bit faster when I was younger, but this is good too. Of course, both you and I can't compare to that machine over there, heh,'' he nodded towards his tractor and smirked. "Still, I can't complain. This is good work, so good that I can't believe this is the first time you've ever tilled a field. Was your father a farmer?" he asked, and Houren knew he had to take care not to offend this guy.

"He wasn't, but I wish he was. He would have made a good farmer," the reply seemed to satisfy Jim who simply paid Houren the money and said he would be calling again if he needed help in the future. Houren smiled and shrugged; that arrangement was fine with him, it seemed.

1007/1000

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