A certain group advanced through a snow-covered path.
“Is there really a village ahead…?”
“I’m not sure, but I don’t think those merchants were lying to us…”
“With this snow though, it might not matter either way. We might freeze to death before arriving…”
Having heard of the rumors about the village in the wasteland, these people left their village.
However, because the place that was mentioned—which was the northernmost place in northernmost region of the Albert territory—was heavily covered in snow, even moving took quite an effort.
“O-oi, what’s that? Is that a…road?”
“It is! And look over there!”
They had discovered a road that stretched in this snow-covered land.
And by looking where the road led, they saw magnificent, gigantic castle walls.
“The rumors were true…”
As though the fatigue from their long journey was suddenly gone, they sprinted forward, with a spring in each step. Their feet now felt so light, even the heavy snow couldn’t keep them from reaching the road.
“…wait, there’s not a trace of snow on this long road…?”
◇ ◇ ◇
The winter in the wasteland was so cold.
Probably because of the mountains nearby, snow fell quite frequently. So much so that the wasteland was covered in snow before winter was truly here.
And when the snow piled up, it was hard to remove it.
Naturally, that made travel to and from here difficult. At that rate we were going, merchants and immigrants would likely have stopped coming to our village for the rest of the winter.
So, I thought I should periodically remove the snow.
What I did was use Facility Customization to make one side of the road rise up considerably more, almost like a wall. In other words, I made it form an “L” shape.
If there was a considerable amount of snow on the road, I would use facility customization again to shift the protruding portion to the other side, dragging the snow with it. It would definitely be dangerous if people were on the road, so I always make sure to use Intruder Detection first.
Aside from the initial cost to make the road to be shaped like this, it didn’t cost me any points to clear the snow. Not to mention, the effort it saves me.
Thanks to this solution, merchants were still coming to the village despite it being the dead of winter.
“My, this village is really so, very, super comfortable. Even if doesn’t give me coin, I’d still come here.”
“I know what you mean. They have great food, warm beds, always-open public baths. It’s almost like I’m taking a vacation, hahaha!”
“You know what, why don’t we make this our base of operations?”
“Oh! That’s a great idea!”
I could be wrong, but it felt like they were staying in the village for longer periods of time lately. Not that I had any problems with that, of course.
Immigrants were also still coming to the village.
In fact, I was just about to greet the ones who just arrived.
“Before I forget, how are the repairs going, Philia-san?”
“Ahh, yes, they’re going well. Thanks to the underground path you built, we’ve been slowly but surely doing the repairs. If all goes well, it should be complete by spring time.”
In other words, the elves would be back to their hamlet in the forest when spring arrives.
“Thinking that you guys will leave soon actually makes me feel a bit lonely.”
◇ ◇ ◇
“It’s just as we heard. This village is like paradise.”
“Yeah. It’s the middle of winter, yet there’s plenty of food. We can use as much hot water as we want. And then, there’s this large bath.”
Two men were talking while in the spacious bath of the public bath house.
They have moved to the village just recently, so they were still getting surprised by how much better their lives were in the village.
“I must say, those apartment buildings are something else. I was worried about living somewhere really in cold in the winter, but it’s not cold here at all. Back in our old shack, we had to wrap ourselves in straw just to sleep, and that’s in autumn.”
“Have you heard that the village chief built those apartment buildings in an instant?”
“The environment here in the village is truly superb!”
The two men were startled.
It was because they suddenly heard a third voice.
The voice belonged to an elf. This being the bath house, the elf was of course naked.
By looking at the elf’s nether region, the two men found out that it was a male elf.
Sure, one could simply assume that it was a male elf because this was the men’s bath, but without checking their private part, it was so hard to be sure whether an elf was male or female.
“Ahm, is it true that elves used to live in the forest?”
“Yes. However, we were recently attacked by a horde of orcs. It was thanks to this village’s help that we escaped a gruesome fate. It might not look it, but this village has great war potential. It’s much safer here than in any city.”
“Ohh, that reassuring. I was actually a bit worried when I heard this village was close to a den of monsters.”
The two men were perplexed at first, but they quickly became conversational with the friendly elf.
“When your home gets fixed, does that mean you’ll leave and go back to the forest?”
“No, no, no. No way. Now that I know of this pleasant village, there’s just no way I’ll go back to that simple and dangerous place.”
After hearing the elf’s rant, the two men looked at each other.
While they’ve realized that the elf before them was a bit unconventional, he was still part of a supposedly noble race. The two men worried if it was alright for the elf to talk like that about his own hamlet.
“Ahahaha, don’t worry, it’s not a problem. The others may not say it, but we all think it. Well, I don’t know what they’ll do, but I for one am not going back. Even if I’m the only elf to not go back, I’ll still stay.”