376-374 Seeking hair

 Continuing the story at the sheep farm.

'No hair!'?

 They walk wherever they want and eat as much as they want.
 It's a truly idyllic scene, though.

Without wool, they can't get yarn, and without it they can't make sweaters and belly rolls!
So what's woolen?

 Even Bati, a professional clothing maker, doesn't know about the existence of yarn, so it must be a completely out of this world concept.
 The most important thing is that the sheep is like this....

 Sheepskin is the raw material for paper.

 In a world where that is the dominant value, the sheep may have run out of wool with each passing generation in their quest for parchment.
 Because if you're going to process skins, the hairs that grow out of them are just a hindrance.
 Parchment with hair on it must have been very uncomfortable to write on.

 Those who produce parchment may have tried to keep the sheep from growing hair in order to make the process more efficient.
 Even if they didn't know anything about breeding, they may have at least tried to find a breed that was empirically superior to their own.
 After hundreds of years of this process, the hairless sheep became the standard.
 Or rather, the only sheep that were available were the hairless ones.

 Or rather, the only sheep that could be used for parchment production were the hairless ones.

But what to do?

 I sighed as I looked at the woolless sheep on the farm.

 Sweaters and woolen pants are just what Batty needs, but there's nothing I can do about it if the sheep don't grow hair.
 But there's nothing I can do about it if the sheep that are supposed to be the source of these things don't grow hair.

 But since this story started, I've been in the mood for a nuked sweater this winter, and I don't know what to do.

'I'll find another monster in the dungeon that grows some kind of woolly thing...?

 I'm going to break my bones again.
 As my mind was reeling at the thought....

 In the vast meadow of the ranch, I saw something moving that wasn't a sheep.

"........Is that a person?

 No, because we are in a demon country, the demon race.
 However, they look like farmers in their dull clothes and straw hats.

 You can see that the demon race is no different from the human race at all.

"Um, excuse me.

 I called out to him for some reason.
 An elderly man who seems to work at the ranch noticed and came over.

"It's rare to come to such a remote place. What do you want to do in my ranch?

He was a rancher, not just a 'worker'.
 He continued his story with dignity.

'No, I'm just a visitor. I just want to see how many healthy sheep there are.

 I did not have a clear purpose in mind when I spoke to him.
 It's a good idea to be able to have a good time with them.

There are people who love things........who love things like this. Well, if it's okay with you, you can look around as much as you like.
Thank you.
They're going to close soon anyway. If you want to see it, it's not too late.

 I was surprised to be told something unpickable all of a sudden.

Close it? You mean you're going to quit the ranch? Not a temporary break?
Yeah, I'm officially out of business. It's no longer profitable. There's no profit in raising sheep any more.

 Then the rancher laughed sadly.
 It was a dry laugh that came out after giving up on everything.

''Oh no...? Then the sheep here are...?
''The ones with good bloodlines can be taken in by other farms.............................but the ones that aren't will be discarded. Old sheep have a bad smell and are not even edible...

 What a shameful thing to hear...!
 I know it's a tough business, but it's something...!

No, isn't that funny?

 Batty, who was listening from the side, interrupted.

''Isn't this supposed to be the Demon King's Army's holding farm? All the sheep we raise are processed into parchment and delivered to the Demon King's Army. There's no way they're going to be left unsold! You'll never need paper for office politics!

 Indeed, Batty is right.
 Imagine if I could get by without paper in the office I was in in my former world, and I can see that it would never happen.

'No...! There's that, girl. The Demon King's Army told me that they don't want any more sheep that we make for them.
You're not suggesting...?
I heard they found a replacement. It's much nicer and stronger than the paper made from the skins of our own sheep, and we can make a lot more...

 Did you know that high quality paper is now made in the Devil's Land?

The Pandemonium Society, of all places. They said that the Pandemonium Chamber of Commerce created this amazing paper. I'm sure you'll be able to find a way to make the most out of it. I've heard that the capital's paper guild is also very weak...
It's a tough story...

 I agreed with Batty's muttering to himself.
 Even if technological advances are indispensable, no one's life should be threatened by the friction.

 We should also take good care of those who are affected by the paradigm shift.
 It was the Pandemonium Chamber of Commerce that developed the new paper.
 I'm acquainted with Mr. Shaks, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce there.

 Can I say something about.........?

''Saint-sama.......how could this be.......?

 I wonder if Batty has noticed, and he gives me a worried look.

 Our farm.
 We also make paper.

 I'm going to have to say that I'm not going to be able to get my hands on any of them.

 I thought it would be better to have it as a notepad, but it didn't have as much use as I thought it would, so I decided not to do it.
 When Shax-san from the Pandemonium Chamber of Commerce found it, his eyes changed color........

''Don't stop making it! If you don't want it, sell it to us! I'll pay you whatever you want!''

 I had no reason to refuse, so I sold it to him.

I don't have any use for my money, so it's not good for us to have it.

 And so on.
 After that, our farm continued to make paper just to get Shaks to take it back to us........
 Lately, I've been using it for notebooks used by foreign students...?

"Batty........is this.......? This new paper that's coming out of the woodwork...?
There's a 9 or 10 in 10 chance it's from us.

 That's almost 100% accurate!

 We're the ones trying to ruin this ranch.
 How dare you show your face to us, huh?

Well, we're under the protection of the Demon Lord, so we won't be led astray all of a sudden. I'm going to take some time to reduce the size of the farm and look for another job. Well, at my age it's hard to find a different job, so I'm thinking of raising some other kind of livestock...
The fact that we had to raise only sheep is now our revenge. It's not the same as raising cows or goats or sheep, and it's depressing to have to find a buyer. If we don't do that, we'll just end up eating all the food we can get.

 All I could do was laugh dryly.
 This guy! We are the source of the disaster that has befallen this man!

 A sense of urgency to do something about it arises.
 I don't have the nerve to turn a blind eye to the problems that I'm responsible for!
 I don't have hair on my heart!
 The sheep of this world don't have hair!

'Yeah, yeah! Hey, rancher, can I touch your sheep?
What do you want me to do with them? Weird customer, huh?

 It's a rare sight to see, and the rancher is getting more and more suspicious of my odd behavior.
 But I guess he's abandoned the bowl because there's no more to go.
 That feeling helped, and he readily agreed to my impertinent request.

 Soon after, he catches one of the sheep wandering aimlessly through the meadow and pulls it to him, grabbing it by the scruff of the neck.
 As you would expect of a livestock farmer in his day job, he has no hesitation in his handling of his livestock.

 It was really smooth and bare skinned when I saw it up close.
 Once again, the hairless mammals give me a strange impression when I see them up close and personal.

"Here, touch it all you want.
'Thank you! 

 She just came out of nowhere and head-butted me.
 Is she a vicious sheep?

Don't worry, it's going to be all right. It'll only be a short while before you get it over with.......

 The second shot is painful, but I manage to touch the sheep with both hands.

 It's been a long time since I've had a chance to do this.
 It's a good thing that you're able to have a good time.

 The gifts from God dwell in my hands, and I can draw out more than enough of the potential of anything I touch.
 If that power can also work on the sheep....
 Even the sheep that no longer grow the wool that is so beneficial to people by nature....


 It was as if I could hear the onomatopoeic sound of "mokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokok.
 My familiar fuzzy wool.