A few days have passed since the ceremony. Since the weather was good, the construction work went smoothly, and the foundation was completed. Finally, today is the day of the Topping Out ceremony.
First, under guidance from the great leader Catlie, we worked on completing the basic framework of the inn. This work was completed with the help of various craftsman. Together with Loy and Nicky, we helped with the physical labor, and went around to see where we were needed. We managed to build the roof in time before noon.
「Ooh……It really feels like we’ve done a lot……」
When the frame was completed with beams and pillars, it looked more like a building. I’m happy knowing the work is progressing steadily.
「The main event is still waiting for you in afternoon! 」
「Say, Catlie-oneechan. What’s topping out? 」
It’s natural for the young Ravi to have never heard of the phrase.
「Come to think of it, I also don’t really understand what it refers to either. 」
「Fufu―. If so, then allow me to explain! In simple terms, if the Ground Breaking Ceremony is the ritual, then Topping Out is to celebrate that we put up the frame without any problems! 」
Catlie said so, explaining in easy to understand terms as usual.
「Without the need to call the priest, the one conducting it will be the construction leader. 」
「Oh. Then that means the spotlight is on Catlie today huh. 」
「No, that’s…… a woman cannot go up on the roof……」
Catlie said so, while looking a little ashamed. There’s no reason for Catlie to feel embarrassing as a woman. I looked at Eihab’s direction, and he nodded back firmly.
「Catlie-chan. I will say it again. Your gender doesn’t matter. This is your project. 」
With an expression that asked if it’s fine, Catlie looked back at me.
「The leader here is you right? 」
Catlie’s eyes became wet, before shouting 「Yes! 」 energetically.
Standing on the roof is dangerous, so Ravi and Diana will be waiting for us on the ground. Also, there will be a surprise for them later. But there’s still a little time before that.
We still have to raise and fix the ridgepole in place. By the way, the ridgepole refers to the beam used at the highest position of the roof.
After successfully overcoming that step, the construction leader will arrange the offerings on the altar prepared on the roof. Then starting from the owner, everyone takes turns offering their prayers to the spirits. Then it’s cheers for everyone.
「The next is finally, the most exciting part of the ceremony! 」
Even the children can take part.
To celebrate, the craftsman throws money or confectionaries from the roof.
Everyone, even the neighbors nearby who heard the commotion, gathered together excitedly. It seems like it’s going to be a grand celebration.
「I heard Eihab’s inn is coming back? 」
「Then everyone must celebrate! 」
Conversations between familiar faces could be heard along the lines of those. Everyone had an excited expression. It made me realize anew how much Eihab’s inn was loved by the community.
「Then everyone, please hold onto this! 」
We who climbed up to the roof, Catlie handed over boxes that had various confectionaries in them.
「Candies and cookies, please just toss them towards the people below! 」
「Scattering them will be fine? 」
「Yes! With the feeling of spreading happiness to the people! 」
We nodded and took up position of our owns on the roof.
「Mu, Ravi! 」
As I looked below while holding the box, behind the gathered crowd was Ravi. Meeting eyes with me, she smiled and waved her hands.
Alright, wait for it Ravi!
The person that I want to spread my happiness to, of course it’s that child.
「Then let’s go―! 」
Catlie’s voice became the signal to start. I tossed candies to the direction of Ravi. Of course, I exercise extra precise control while tossing so that it wouldn’t hit Ravi.
Alright now, Ravi! It’s at your feet, feet!
Just as my aim, the candies dropped near Ravi’s feet. But Ravi seemed to be panicking quite a lot, as she wasn’t able to pick them up properly. But still, at the times that she did manage to, her face would bloom. And while holding them in her hands she would look towards me.
Hmm, is that so. She’s happy right? Because I wanted to let her be happy, I only tossed them around Ravi.
「Oi Douglas, you’re only throwing them around Ravi-chan! 」
「Hahaha, like I care. Hey Ravi, have so more! 」
「Goodness. You might be known as the hero by the people, but whenever it’s related to your daughter, you’re just an idiot parent. 」
「Rather than being called a Hero, I like the sound of an idiot parent more. 」
While lightly bantering, we continued scattering the confectionaries.
Finally, when the box is empty, the celebration is finished too.
「Well, it’s been a really nice day. 」
「I’m sure it will be a great inn. It’s exciting. 」
While saying so and shaking hands with Eihab, the unrelated people began going home. I’m glad that the people who came seemed to have fun. Ravi unfolded the sweets that she caught in her skirt, and showed me.
「Daddy, I got so many. 」
「That’s great Ravi. But eating that much at once will give you a stomachache, so eat them slowly. 」
Everyone had a satisfied face. Spreading happiness with the local people, and building a closer relationship between the owner and the craftsmen. I felt like I understood the true intentions behind this event.
While lost in thought, I felt the humid wind blow tickle my nose. Raising my face as if prompted, I saw the clouds were developing in the western skies.
「The rain will fall shortly huh. 」
「Eh? Is that true! 」
「Catlie-chan, Douglas’s weather forecast had never been wrong. Aren’t we glad we did it a day early? 」
Everyone happily agreed. To think that a shocking event would happen the next day. It wasn’t anything anyone could’ve expected.