With the dried bonito flakes done, I used the rest of my spare time in winter to expand my cooking repertoire.
That’s when Orkubo came to me to ask for a favor.
And it wasn’t just him; there were other orcs with him too.
“We have a favor to ask you, My Lord.”
“What is it?”
It’s rare of them to come to me with a favor.
Although I brought them from the dungeon to streamline farmwork, they are now excellent companions who have helped us a lot.
So, I’d like to fulfill whatever request they have as much as I possibly can.
“Tell me about it.”
“All of us present were deeply impressed by what you did a few days ago!”
He starts with a strange introduction.
They’ve leveled up considerably ever since they came to the farm and have acquired quite the eloquent way of speaking.
“The bizarre yet rational mana metal boat! Your mastery of perfecting something that no one has ever imagined overwhelmed us from the bottom of our hearts. That was truly the work of a god!”
“Oh, no, it wasn’t anything like that…”
You’re giving me too much credit, dear Orkubo.
…Oh, want some zucchini?
“We are mere fledglings compared to you… We have built many houses, cellars, and waterways, but we are still no match for you… Hence, we thought up something!”
“And what’s that?”
“We want to accomplish even greater things and build something that has never been built before to hone our skills!”
Build something that’s never been built before?
“What are you going to build?”
What in the world is he talking about?
Wait, no. Our precious orcs are seriously asking me this, so I have to take them seriously, too.
“…Y-You want to build a castle?”
“Certainly, My Lord! The biggest one ever!”
The orcs are in charge of building houses where most of our residents sleep, storehouses where we keep our harvests, and various other structures on our farm.
They’re incredibly strong, after all.
Before I knew it, they had grown up to be such construction enthusiasts…
I guess they’ve come to enjoy building things.
There are many kinds of pleasure, such as debauchery and epicure, but the ultimate kind of pleasure usually isn’t one that doesn’t fall in the category.
“But wait. Where are you going to build the castle?”
Won’t it be a huge obstacle if you build it on our farm?
Also, just to make sure, we’re thinking of the same ‘castle’ here, right? The huge, imposing buildings made of stone?
How are you going to make use of something that big?
“Worry not, My Lord. The castle will not be built on the farm.”
If not here, then where?
“Madam Aileron’s group saw a plot of land perfect for a castle on their way here.”
“The elves did?”
After spending life on the run from the two kingdoms they stole from during their time as elven bandits, they ended up on our farm.
I suppose it’s not a surprise if they saw all sorts of things on their way here…
“We want to build a convincing-looking castle there!”
“Wait, you mean you’re leaving the farm? But it’ll be lonely without you guys…”
“I’ve already arranged for Lady Veil to take us there! Then, we’ll set up a waypoint so we can come back every night!”
Oh, that’s a smart plan.
“Please grant us permission, My Lord!”
“PLEASE, MY LORD!!!”
I’m worried about leaving the orcs on their own after they’ve been with us all this time, but I also can’t ignore the fact that they’re asking so earnestly…
I guess this is a good way for them to compensate for the lack of things to do in winter.
“Do what you think is best.”
“Thank you very much!!!”
Thus began the story of our orcs building a castle.
“…So this is the place you told me about!”
Curious and bored, I decided to accompany the orcs on their castle-building expedition.
We got on dragon Veil’s back and soared through the skies according to Aileron’s directions…
The trip must’ve lasted for three hours.
We arrived on a hillock with a great view on top.
Below it is a large river flowing and a magnificent flatland beyond it.
“…It would make a great field if we plowed it,” I thought to myself.
…Have I become a farmaholic?
“Leader Orkubo! This land is flat and vast! It’s perfect for a huge building!”
“And that river makes a natural moat! We can even use it as drinking water!”
“Wait, before we use the river water for drinking, we have to take into account the possibility of poison being released from upstream! Split up and investigate to find out where the water source is!”
“We’re going to use this summit as the building site of the castle. Let’s check the mountain path leading up here and discuss what kind of traps we can set up!”
They’re so enthusiastic that it’s giving me the shivers.
Come to think of it, I’ve heard that castles were originally meant to be warfare facilities to barricade and fight back when enemies invaded.
I first thought the orcs just wanted to build something huge when they said they wanted to build a castle, but I guess that’s not the case.
They’re trying to build an actual castle that can withstand sieges and go, “We’re going to hold down the castle and fight for the next ten years!”
Where did they even get such knowledge from? Is this the zeal of a construction junkie?!
“We’ve finished setting up the waypoint,” says Belena, who accompanied us for no special reason.
Now, the orcs can come and go whenever they want.
They’ve begun building a castle as their winter project.
…I visited the hilltop a month later to see how the orcs were doing.
It’s a castle on a hill.
But I’m not going to tell them that. I don’t think the people in this world would understand it anyway.
Besides, it’s not like it’s on a cliff.
…A moving castle on a hill.
Yikes, I’m starting to think of all sorts of things now.
Random thoughts aside, the castle is pretty much complete.
When I first came here, it was just a plain hill, but now there’s a magnificent castle built on top of it.
It’s a western-style stone castle.
The rampart and the side towers are so solid that I doubt they would easily break down.
“My Lord! Wouldn’t it be cool to put a catapult here that can throw stones at once?”
“We’re working on a design that will allow them to fly across the river!”
“Please look here! We can shoot arrows through this hole in the wall!”
“Enemies who try to pass through this passage will fall into a pit and be attacked from above!”
The orcs look like they’re having fun, but what kind of impregnable fortress are they trying to build?
It’s becoming more and more like a warfare facility.
Although I can still hear the sound of wooden hammers being used here and there, it’s practically ready to handle an enemy invasion if one were to happen now.
But what are they going to do with it after it’s finished?
“Leader Orkubo! My Lord! We’ve got trouble!” says one of the orcs as he rushes over to us frantically.
“I thought of exploring the surroundings during my break and found something!”
“There’s a human settlement!”