My second winter is right around the corner.
We had a swell time last winter being unprepared and all, but we’ve learned our lesson and are ready this year!
Our elves have been making and storing charcoal since the beginning of last winter and Batemy has been sewing thick clothes for us.
Pochi and the other wolves have also shed their coats into thicker ones.
Of course, I can’t let myself be outdone!
As the owner of this farm, I’ve decided to make my own preparations for winter—a heater!!!
But kerosene doesn’t exist in this world, so I’ll have to find an alternative fuel source.
That’s when I came up with…
We can burn firewood and use the heat to warm the room!
We’ll spend a warm winter with the power of this firewood heater!
That’s why I’ll be making one now.
We need to keep the fire burning inside while it transfers heat to the outside to function as a proper heater.
The material we’ll be using is, of course, mana metal.
Strangely enough, mana metal softens at a relatively low temperature, but once I finish processing it and wait for it to harden, it attains a melting point that far exceeds that of steel and never burns or melts.
The thermal conductivity is also ideal, making it the perfect material for heaters.
“Hm, I wonder about that…”
“Oh, what’s the matter, Bacchus?”
“I think the dwarves would weep if they saw this. Still, this place really has an abundant supply of mana metal!”
Bacchus walks past after leaving behind suggestive words.
“Oh, our sake brewery is also making a lot of strong spirits to fight the cold!”
“Sure, please do.”
Looks like we’ll also be able to drink whiskey and brandy aside from shochu soon.
Now, back to the main topic and concentrate on building the heater.
First, I need to think about making the chimney.
It’s absolutely necessary so the smoke has an outlet.
And it’s not enough to just build any chimney.
The smoke and the air around the fire both carry heat through the chimney, so the chimney itself also gets a certain amount of heat.
If I connect that chimney to every room around the house, all rooms will receive radiated heat.
But in doing so, we also have to increase the heat output of the heater.
Of course, there are some problems such as unequal heat distribution with the area near the heater hotter than the rest, but we can research that in the future.
“Proper ventilation is also important to make the heater work, so I need to make it in a way that’s easy for air to enter…”
The elves suddenly joined me in making the heater.
“It’s good to have a pile of firewood next to the heater so you can easily add more.”
“Let’s make a basket for storing the firewood!”
“Wouldn’t it be fun to boil water and cook on the heater?”
“It is extremely hot to the touch. Let’s build a fence around it so the little ones won’t accidentally touch it.”
They keep proposing good ideas.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see the fire inside?”
“Poel, can you make a glass cover for the heater?”
“Leave it to me! I can make a super heat-resistant glass that won’t melt even in magma!”
Poel, leader of the glasswork team, is highly motivated.
After a lot of trial and error, she made the real thing.
“But don’t you think it’s amazing that Lord Saint can easily process mana metal which is much harder than steel?”
“It’s not me who’s amazing, it’s this holy sword.”
Adamantine silk that even dragon fangs cannot penetrate is easy to pierce and sew together because the needle used is made of mana metal.
And the Wicked-Holy Sword Dreischwartz can easily cut through that mana metal and process it into such tools.
“No wonder it’s called a holy sword!”
“The ultimate sword given by the god of the underworld!”
“We’ve witnessed its awesomeness first hand!”
I can’t tell you how many times the holy sword has helped us on the farm!
I’m extremely lucky to have come across this sword!
“Thank you, holy sword!!!”
After all that messing around, we finally did it!
A heater made entirely of mana metal!
The chimney goes to several rooms in the house, so more rooms can be heated.
We can put pots and pans on it since its top is flat.
We can also boil water, cook food, or even bake mochi.
“Our farm is now fully prepared for winter! Come at us whenever you feel like it, General Winter!”
“Hold on, Lord Saint!!!” cries out Aileron.
What’s wrong? You seem to be in a rush.
“This heater is missing something crucial!”
What do you mean?
The heater that I put my heart and soul into building and perfecting is missing something?!
It’s a heater that uses firewood!
No machine can work without fuel.
A firewood heater without its firewood is like a mage without magic.
“O-Okay, let’s go into the forest now to collect firewood!”
But will we be able to collect enough before winter?
Don’t we need to let it dry for a certain period of time after chopping them into pieces?
“You’re so absentminded, Lord Saint! But don’t worry!”
“We elves have already collected the firewood!!!”
There’s a huge pile of firewood piled behind the house!
They collected all of this?!
“Oak, evergreen oak, zelkova! We’ve prepared all sorts of wood! One of the best things about open-air fire is that you can enjoy different kinds of flames with different kinds of wood!!!”
As expected of our elven forest-dwellers!
“It should be enough to last us all winter! Use it to your heart’s content, Lord Saint!”
“Aileron, you guys…”
You’re such well-prepared elves!
Moved by emotion and solidarity, Aileron and I hug each other tightly.
“Don’t you always keep firewood for the kiln, boss? That’s the same pile, isn’t it?”
“Shh! Shut it!”
I felt the bond between me and the elves deepen as we built the heater.
“Haa… I’m home!”
After the bond between me and the elves skyrocketed, Platy returned.
“Where did they come from?”
After Platy, Orkbo, Gobukichi, and the rest came buzzing in.
It suddenly became noisy.
Were you all out?
Where have you been?
“What’s wrong with you, Dear, hugging Aileron like that? Are you going to make her your concubine now?”
No, I’m not!
And stop making it sound like I have concubines other than Aileron!
“What about you, Platy? Where did you go with the orcs and goblins?”
Thinking about it now, there’s no way the orcs didn’t want to help in building the heater.
Maybe since they were away is why I didn’t sense their presence.
“Isn’t it obvious? We’re getting ready for winter.”
“We were caught by surprise last year, so we have to be prepared this year.”
As expected of my wife, she was thinking the same thing.
I’m sure she’ll be very surprised when she sees this!
Behold, our heater!
“So, we dug out a lot.”
“Hm? Of what?”
Orkubo pushes a cart filled with jet-black rocks.
Is that coal?!
The coal used to power steam trains and steamboats?!
“W-Where did you get that?”
“Sensei remodeled his cave dungeon and made it possible to mine coal! So, I asked Orkubo and the others to help me dig them today!”
Carts of coal arrived one after the other, and it looked like there was more than enough to last us all winter.
The more we looked at it, the sootier our faces became.
…Coal has better thermal efficiency than firewood and charcoal, right?
Otherwise, the Industrial Revolution never would’ve happened.
“The orcs even made a coal heater! Now we won’t freeze this winter anymore!!!”
Looks like we’ll be spending a really warm winter this year.
A desolate autumn breeze blew relentlessly across me and the elves.
Side note, thankfully, the mana metal used for the firewood heater was sturdy, so it worked fine with coal, which generates more heat.
I thought the firewood would go to waste, but Aileron’s pottery group just kept using them for their kiln.