The needle on Kazura’s wristwatch is pointing to 1 o’clock when the emergency feeding finally ended, and the villagers were divided into those who were helping with the cleanup and those who were helping sort through the rice and salt.
While the villagers were working in relative peace, Kazura put forward a proposal to the village chief and Valletta.
“A rain prayer?”
“Yes, I was thinking of making an aque… a course where water can flow from the river, but while we’re doing that the fields won’t be getting any water. We can pick up water from the river with buckets but the fields are too large for that. So, I thought about trying to make it rain.”
Valletta and the village chief showed a slightly disturbed expression at Kazura’s proposal.
“Um, we’ve raised offerings and prayed for rain to Suipsior-sama but Suipsior-sama did not see it fit to send us rain. Um… would it still be alright despite this?” «TN: Suipushiooru»
“Eh? I don’t mind at all? It’s an old method but I know of a way to pray for rain.”
Kazura took Valletta’s “Will it be alright” to mean “Even if we do it right nothing may come of it, is it still alright though?”.
In reality, this explanation and Valletta’s actual thoughts are as different as heaven and earth.
“Is that so…… If so then I’m sorry but please do. Is there anything we can do to help?”
“Yeah, the method I know of requires a large amount of firewood or anything that burns. I’ll need at least 2-3 houses’ worth of wood, can you prepare it?”
Valletta and the chief thought a little while hearing Kazura’s request, then they looked at each other and nodded.
“A while ago there were some houses that became abandoned. If we tear down those I think we could probably get enough wood.”
“Is that so……… I see. I’ll request help to tear down the houses from the villagers, as well.”
By ‘house that became abandoned’, she probably meant a house where the owners all died in the last war or the current famine.
He felt like he couldn’t bring himself to tear the house down, but this is for the village as well.
“Is there any place where we can light a fire and not have the sparks flying about hitting the surroundings?”
“If it’s something like that then please use my field in the middle of the village. It hasn’t gotten any maintenance lately and the crops are all already spoiled, so it won’t matter if you make a fire there.”
With this, everything is settled and they set out to do a real rain prayer.
Of course, it’s not a simple prayer to the gods, Kazura has a scientific basis for it.
Dust would ride up on the updraft created by the burning material, destabilizing the atmosphere and causing rain to fall.
This is the basis behind incidents where rain would fall after a big fire.
Kazura heard stories where during the Second World War, the same thing happens on fronts where the Japanese Army was stationed and rain fell, so he thought it could also happen here.
There were a few light clouds in the sky, not a hopeless situation where the sky is a clear blue, so Kazura thought the possibility is there.
Four hours afterwards.
All the villagers tore down the empty house together,
There were no trees or buildings around the house, so they didn’t have to worry about anything catching a spark and getting set aflame.
“Well then, lets do the rain prayer now. Though it’s really just lighting a fire and waiting for the rain to come down, so if a just few people would stand watch the others can go back home.”
As he said that, Kazura took out a lighter from his pocket and lit a piece of straw.
There was a small commotion when he lit up the straw but somehow murmurs like “As expected from Kazura-sama” were heard.
He thought, why are they adding -sama to my name, but for now he pretended to not have heard it.
Once it was lit, the straw and the wood immediately combusted, burning up like a giant fireball.
The surrounding people withdrew a field’s worth of distance because of the strength of the fire and sat down wherever they pleased, watching the fire.
Kazura drew back from the fire and sat down at a decent spot.
“……… I irresponsibly said I would make the rain come, but I wonder if it really would? It’s not like this would definitely make it rain even though there were stories of it bringing rain.”
It’s already too late, but Kazura was starting to regret that he said “I’ll bring you rain” so full of confidence.
He was probably getting a little full of himself after having come to this world, seeing the astounding effect of the Lipo-D, and seeing the happy faces of the villagers after the emergency feeding.
It looks like he was going to embarrass himself if he didn’t realize.
…… It might already be too late.
Behind Kazura, who was sweating profusely, came Valetta’s voice.
“Can I sit next to you?”
“Please, be my guest,” Kazura answered Valletta’s inquiry.
“Thank you very much.”
Valletta thanked Kazura and sat down next to him, silently watching the crackling, rising flames.
From her gentle expression, one can see no shred of doubt that rain would soon fall.
Giving a sidelong glance at Valletta looking like that, Kazura became increasingly regretful.
“Aww crap, I’ve made a vague promise without any proper backing, didn’t I.”
But even as he regretted it, he prayed in his heart as he watched the smoke rise into the sky, saying “Please, rain fall down, please.”
As Kazura was looking up the sky, praying from his heart, Valletta, still as she gazed into the flames, started conversing with him.
“Kazura san, why did you come to our village?”
“If you ask why……. then it’s because you happen to be near my home, I guess.”
With his head fully occupied with thinking about the rain, Kazura gave a thoughtless answer. Valletta looked towards him for a while and smiled.
“Is that so. But even though you only came to us by chance, you have saved a lot of people. I really thank you for this.”
“Eh? Ah, no no, I’m glad to be of service…. ah, damn.”
Speaking up to that point, Kazura noticed his big slip of the tongue regarding the details of him coming here.
Well truthfully, after explaining to the first people he met “I lost my way and arrived in this village”, his explanations to Valletta has been totally incoherent, so he rather felt that it was too late.
Though he did slip out that his home is nearby, his flimsy lie had been exposed to begin with, so really, it doesn’t matter anymore.
He was of course on guard because he thought he might get questions like “Nearby? Where?”, but Valletta did not question anything in particular, so he once again went back to watching the fire.
Watching Valletta from the side, Kazura felt the impulse to ask her, “Aren’t you going to ask anything?”, but since she kindly didn’t inquire about it he avoided stirring that hornet’s nest.
In return, he decided he should talk to Valletta about the result of the rain prayer.
Valletta who turned to Kazura hearing him call her, no longer had the shadow of weariness in her face, perhaps because of the Lipo-D she drank this morning or the porridge she had for lunch. Her expression looked full of vim and vigor.
Her face, lit up by the red flames, made a captivating scene as seen through Kazura’s eyes.
Charmed, Kazura spontaneously thought, “Aah, this girl’s really a beauty,” but as Valetta tilted her head in doubt, he began to speak the main issue in a fluster.
“I really should’ve said this before we began the rain prayer, but even though it’s true this method has a high chance of making rain fall, it’s by no means certain. So therefore, in case that rain really didn’t fall……. I apologize in advance.”
As Kazura apologetically said as much, Valletta showed a slightly surprised expression, but then put on a wide smile.
“As the legends would have it, Suipsior-sama is a fickle character, so it’s all right. Everyone in the village understand that much.”
“Suipsior-sama?…… umm, a water god, right?”
“That’s right. But if even Kazura-san’s petition might not work, then Suipsior-sama is a really moody one, huh.”
When Valletta said that and let out a chuckle, it was Kazura’s turn to tilt his head in doubt.
The name Suipsior came out when he was discussing the rain prayer with Valletta and the chief, it seems it was the name of a water god.
However, what does she mean by “even if Kazura-san’s petition.”
“Umm, what do you…… hm?”
As Kazura was about to ask what she meant, something lightly fell on Kazura’s cheek.
Surprised, he looked to the sky, and there were black clouds making their appearance right out of nowhere.
Then after several seconds, large drops of rain poured down as far as the eye can see.
“R, rain! It’s raining!”
“Amazing! That’s Kazura-sama!”
In the violent pouring rain like a summer evening shower, the villagers one by one extolled praises to Kazura.
In the middle of the heavy pouring rain, Kazura murmured, “It really came down………”, as he was dumbfoundedly looking up at the weeping sky.
Next to him, Valletta said, “Really, a fickle one,” as she looked up to the sky together with him.
Having personally experienced rain coming down after a conflagration, Kazura reported the situation of the residence (besides the alternate world boundary) to his father on the phone with some dramatization once he got back to Japan.
“By the way, there was a fire near the house the other day, then rain came down right afterwards. So it’s really true that rain comes down after a fire, huh.”
“Well that’s just a coincidence, isn’t it. Wasn’t there a bushfire in America and rain didn’t come for several days and made the fire even bigger. Even if it wasn’t a coincidence, it must’ve been some atmospheric instability making rain clouds form.”
Kazura’s hand involuntarily shivered so strongly it made him drop the phone.