Winter has passed, and spring has arrived. But before we start celebrating the arrival of spring, I’d like to highlight a little more about winter.
Let’s take a look back at how our farm residents enjoyed theirs.
Starting with the earth spirits.
Originally, they are intangible beings that blend into the soil and assist in the functioning of nature, but on our farm, they materialize and help us with chores.
“The season for all creation to stop gwowing!”
“We, too, will sleep quietly!”
Changing seasons significantly impact the earth spirits, especially during winter, when all living beings cease their activities. It’s the season when they’re least active.
They go back to the earth until spring comes.
In other words, they hibernate.
“See you soon, Master!”
“Let’s meet again in the spring!”
“Evewy winter comes to an end!”
They bid their goodbyes and went back to the earth.
At times like this, I realize that although the earth spirits may look like little girls, they’re still nonhuman.
Let’s take a moment to review them.
They look like little girls, are plenty in number, love butter (and anything sweet with butter in it), can materialize with Hades’ blessings, and help us with housework.
Their main job is cleaning and keeping our buildings tidy and free from even a single pest.
But we have to clean the house ourselves during the winter when they’re asleep. This isn’t a problem, since we have no farmwork around this time.
Winter is a season for sleeping and storing up life force for all life to bloom in the upcoming spring.
I am sure the earth spirits will also show us their magnificent forms then.
With this in mind, I decided to spend the winter in my own way.
And then, spring came.
It was a mere recollection of an event, so time flew in a flash.
The snow melts, the stinging sensation in the air vanishes, and warmth returns—just the right conditions for the earth spirits to awaken.
“Spring is here.”
“It’s time to wake up.”
The earth spirits crawl out of the earth one after another.
However, there’s a definite difference between their appearance now and before they started hibernating.
“They multiplied…” I mutter.
That’s right, they multiplied in many ways than one.
The earth spirits, who used to be little girls in appearance, have grown up.
They’ve grown taller, and their body builds, chest, and hips have become more prominent.
They’ve grown into alluring ladies who are nothing like the little girls they once were!
“Is this the effect of your hibernation?!”
As a result of staying asleep and accumulating life force, the little girls have matured!
“Everyone, let’s do our regular wake-up routine.”
“If we don’t, we can’t do anything else.”
“Here we go… One, two…”
The alluring earth spirits are enveloped in light!
After I gradually regain my vision from the dazzling light, the earth spirits…
“Are back to normaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!”
They’re back in their adorable forms.
“We acquire too much energy during the winter that we grow fat!”
“That’s why we release the excess energy and tune it accordingly!”
“Just like dieting and casting off! We leave all the excess stuff to tomorrow, along with memories!”
Says the tiny earth spirits one after the other.
As it turns out, the alluring earth spirits’ forms are a rare sight that could only be seen for a short time after winter.
We rewind time once more to the peak winter cold.
For Angel, the second princess of the Mermaid Kingdom, and her friends, seeing a snowy landscape is something new.
“The ground is white, Princess!”
The five girls, Angel, Discus, Veiltail, Heckelii, and Batrachus, who call themselves The Legitimate Five Holy Witches, are now entirely accustomed to life on the farm.
They no longer get spooked by dragon Veil or Sensei the Lifeless King.
However, they are surprised to see this snowy landscape.
“Wow!!! Is this what they call snow?”
“Brr! Princess! It’s cold to the touch!”
“I’m going to catch the ones falling from the sky! Ah, so cold!”
They frolic in the snow like children.
Well, their age is still under that category, so I guess it counts…
“Pfft, they really are children, all excited about their first snowfall,” says Platy (this was before we found out she’s pregnant).
“She can’t be called a merlady if she’s making a fuss over a mere snowfall!”
But in reality, even Platy looked up and opened her mouth wide during her first snowfall last year…
“I’m going to teach you how to enjoy the snow with grace as your leader and as a full-fledged merlady!”
The mood in the air is that of their sister showdown again.
“What are you going to teach me, Sis? And you’re actually trying to help your enemy…”
“You can’t call yourself my enemy until you’re more skilled!”
Platy is strict with her sister as usual.
“I’m going to teach you how to play with snow. You can only do this when the snow is falling heavily, as it is now.”
“A seasonal game?!”
“You grab a handful of snow and form it into a ball. Then you throw it at your opponent.”
That’s the snowball fight that I taught to everyone last winter.
She’s also doing something childish by immediately teaching what she learned from others…
“Its name is…”
Its name is…
The slaughter part is wrong.
I can’t overlook this as a bystander, so I call out to Platy.
“That’s not it, Platy. It’s a snowball fight, not slaughter.”
Why are you naming it something much more ominous?
“Dear… But aren’t battles also called wars? And war can only happen between people of the same level.”
“You can’t have a war between people who are overwhelmingly different in level. Otherwise, it’s a one-sided slaughter. The strong will trample the weak, you see?”
The way Platy looks at her sister is exactly the way she would look down on the weak.
Angel also notices this and snaps in response.
“Grr! You’re going to pay for looking down on me, Sis! Fine, let’s do this snow slaughter! Of course, I’m the one who’s going to slaughter you!!!”
“Bring it on! I’m going to show you again that no younger sister is better than her elder!”
Angel’s friends join her to surround Platy in a five-on-one battle, but it still ends up as a one-sided slaughter with Angel’s team being trampled down.
It would’ve been a pity for them if it had ended like this, so they added Aileron and Gobukichi as helpers to make both sides equal in power and enjoy the snowball fight together.