Winter has come.
It was so sudden that we weren’t prepared for it.
One day it started snowing, and then it quickly escalated into a violent snowstorm.
When dawn came, I was greeted by a silver world.
“Thank goodness we harvested all that we could in advance!”
Our MVPs are none other than our new elven friends.
“I already told you that winter’s coming soon, why are you planting again?!” angrily said Aileron, so we harvested all of our crops.
The four seasons in this world don’t have a definite schedule, so winter really caught us by surprise.
It was only natural that I, an outsider, didn’t notice the onset of winter, but neither did the self-conscious monsters nor mermaids who have been living here for a year, so we almost lost most of our crops to snow.
If that really happened, it would be the end for us.
After calculating our harvests, we made sure that we have more than enough to get us through this harsh season without starving.
We harvested time and again, after all.
Even with the hyper fertilizer, we could only harvest once every few months, or once every few days if we’re careless.
Of course, we’d lose track of time.
It was the elves’ innate affiliation with nature that helped us estimate the arrival of winter.
Were they not here, just thinking about the catastrophe that would have been upon us makes me break into a cold sweat.
Besides, this world doesn’t have a clear indicator of its seasons changing, just variations in air temperature and nothing else.
Looking back on it now, it felt pretty hot during summer.
The only thing I find appealing about winter is the white snow that comes with the chilly cold.
“Brr…It’s so cold!!!”
We weren’t prepared for winter, so this cold is a matter of life or death.
Everyone’s shivering under the fluffy futons they wrapped themselves in.
“I don’t see Veil anywhere. Where did she go?”
“She went back to her dungeon because it’s warmer there.”
That little cheat!
Anyway, we made a charcoal burner according to the elves’ instructions, and that’s what’s been keeping us warm for the time being.
As for a more genuine countermeasure against this cold, we first need to get through this one, then start planning for the next.
“Ah… It’s so cold.”
“It sure is.”
Platy and Garra Rufa are huddling up to me from both sides.
I know skin-on-skin is an effective measure against the cold, but this is starting to make me think of other ideas!
That’s when Aileron entered the room.
“Lord Saint, we’ve added more charco-”
Aileron snaps upon seeing me squeezed in between Platy and Garra Rufa.
She throws the charcoal at me with all her might.
“I’m working hard here, yet you have the balls to stay in your room and flirt with others?! At least let me join in on the fun!!!”
“Uh, what exactly are you mad about again?”
It’s not like we were fooling around.
Garra Rufa happened to come to discuss the sake brewery’s future plans while Platy and I were talking about how to beat the cold. In the end, we all huddled up next to one another.
There’s no other meaning behind it… right, guys?
“Anyway, how’s our charcoal rations going?”
“Everyone has received it. We all made our own brazier, so everything went smoothly.”
Their craftsmanship is their strong point, after all.
By the way, I made my own steel brazier with some leftover mana metal.
I actually wanted to use it to make some chinaware, but I gave up on the idea because I didn’t have the time to bake it, and we needed them in numbers, pronto.
The orcs and goblins made their braziers from wood, but as expected, it doesn’t fare well with fire.
“Just make sure you’re careful with handling the fire. I’ll worry about protecting myself against the cold later.”
“Faster, please. We’ll continue to make charcoal to stabilize our supplies and mass-produce ceramic braziers that are easy to use.”
“I beg of you, you don’t have to worry about its design, I just really need them.”
“The design matters, you know?”
Let’s leave it to our elven artisans.
Other than that, the only heating devices I can think of are a sunken hearth or a fireplace.
Since we have a Japanese-style house, having a sunken hearth would fit in with the interior just fine. A fireplace, on the other hand, would be more trouble since we need to pile up bricks and build a chimney for it.
“I don’t think you have to take things that seriously.”
“Everyone’s enjoying winter.”
When I went outside, sure enough, there were people in large numbers enjoying the cold weather.
Several goblins and elves were amusing themselves with a snowball fight as snowballs kept flying in the air.
“Yeah, it was a direct hit!”
“Smash and crumble!”
Even though they’re just having a snowball fight, their shouts imply otherwise…
I know I was the one who introduced this winter game to them, but I never expected it to become this big of a competition!
“Everyone interpreted the rules in their own way and thought up of different techniques.”
Snowball Fight Technique #1: Double snowballs. You throw the snowballs along the same trajectory, with one snowball following closely behind the other to take their opponents by surprise.
“You only have to dodge the snowballs in this kind of game, right?”
“So, it doesn’t make much sense to put a snowball on the exact same trajectory you dodged once since they’re flying all over the place anyway.”
Snowball Fight Technique #2: Deadly Cannon Snowball. Your attack power drastically increases just by putting a stone inside it!
“…Isn’t that foul play?”
“That’s why it’s a legendary technique that was banned right after it was invented.”
Snowball Fight Technique #3: Deadly Human Snowball. You hurl yourself toward your enemy, becoming one with the snowballs.
However, to label the orcs and the other races as humans is nothing short of tactless.
“Isn’t that just you running up to your opponent, snowball in hand, and attacking them close-range?”
“But it won’t be as effective as it sounds in theory since you’ll get hit with a concentrated attack as you get closer to them…”
Well, going through trial and error is what makes the game most enjoyable.
I mean, just look at them; they’re having the time of their lives while experimenting with all sorts of things.
“True. If they’re having this much fun playing, I guess we don’t need a fireplace anymore.”
They’ll be back to feeling cold as hell once they’re done, though.
Orkubo called for me beneath the twilight.
Where have you been?
“We made a boat!”
“A what now?!”
They point at it.
It’s about the size of a rowing boat.
“We thought it would be a great change of pace to go to sea and catch some fish when this snow is preventing the crops from bearing fruit! We made this of our own volition.”
Huh? You want to go to the middle of the seas to fish in that boat?!
Seize the thought! You’ll be done for if the boat overturns!
“It will be all right! Finding work is proof of competence. I guarantee that we’ll come home with a big haul!”
And so, they set off with their self-made rowing boat from the seashore.
“Can you even fish during winter?”
“Depends on the species.”
But then, Orkubo’s boat immediately crumbled upon setting off.
When I saw the boat sink and the orcs were thrown out of it, I started to panic.
Alas, it was for nothing as I saw our tenacious mutated orcs rise and swim back to the shore, soaking wet.
Despite everything, everyone seems to be enjoying winter.
If he’s afraid of that boat capsizing, then they need to make another boat and link them side to side by a pair of long poles, creating a catamaran. If not enough, make that a trimaran. Simple.