If you were to poke the earth with an ice pick, it would crack just right. ............ This is exactly what I mean. ...... Oh, by the way, today is the 16th of December. I'm sure ...... someone won't disappear. ...... No, they won't. No, no, no.
'Why is there suddenly so much snow on the ground after yesterday's heat wave?
'It's early this year, isn't it,snow?
'...... Is it like this every year?'
The waking bell hasn't rung yet.
It was 3:30 in the morning.
I was so cold that I woke up and ran into Jeannette in the hallway.
To my surprise, she was unusually dressed in her nightgown.
'We can't do laundry when it snows,' she said.
She smiled troubledly and looked down at the snow piled up in the courtyard from the upstairs landing.
Her breath is white, and her muscles contract in the blowing wind.
'I'm a bit of a sleepyhead this time of year.
'No, you're up early enough.
It's not even four o'clock yet.
'Why such a heavy snowfall the day after a very hot day?
The snow in the courtyard is definitely more than a meter high.
Even if Magda jumps off the landing again, I won't have to worry this time.
'Isn't it natural for it to snow when the heat wave lasts more than five days?
It's not natural.
Why do you have such an innocent look on your face like, 'What's so funny? Why do you have such an innocent look on your face?
What, are you trying to say that you're on the rebound?It was so hot, and now it's going to be so cold?Who's in charge of the weather here?The Spirit God?I'll kick your ass.
'In this city, there are five days to a week of extremely hot days around this time of year. And when the temperature rises above forty-two degrees, it snows the next day.
'Did everyone agree to play in the river? ......'
'Yes. The heat wave lasts for at least five days, and this year has been especially hot, so we had a feeling that yesterday would be the last day.
So, it seems that everyone was excited about it.
...... Tell me about it, too!
'I'm sorry. I didn't know that Mr. Yashiro didn't know. ...... That's right. It's the first time you've been to this city this year,......, and I'd forgotten about it.
You'll be able to get a lot more than just a pair of shoes.
What's that cute little thing? I'm going to push you down, okay?
'...... I have a feeling that Yashiro and I have been together ...... for a long time like this,......' he said.
'Can I push you down?
I'm not sure what to do.
Well, ...... no?
I felt like he was proposing to me. ......
No, even I will learn.
'How long will this snow last?
'About ten days this year.
'If we get a few meters of snow, will it be warm and sunny the next day?'
'Uh-huh, ...... won't change that quickly, will it?
No, this change from yesterday to today!Why are you pretending it didn't happen?
How many degrees is the temperature difference?
Habit is a scary thing!
'Every year, the hot season starts when the leaves of the hilar are ready to be harvested. It varies a little, but it's always around the same time. On the other hand, there is a specific date when the heavy snowfall season ends.
As Ginette said earlier, if the temperature exceeds 42 degrees Celsius during the heat wave, the next day it switches to the heavy snowfall period.
The earlier the temperature rises in the hot season, the longer the heavy snow season will be, and conversely, if the temperature does not rise in the hot season, the shorter the heavy snow season will be.
This year, the heavy snow season came relatively early, so the period of snow cover will be long. This situation will continue for ten days. ...... Ten days?
Today is the 16th, so the end of the heavy snow season is the 25th. Christmas.
...... But we don't have Christmas culture here, and if we don't have Christianity, we can't even explain what day it is.
Well, maybe we can have some chicken and cake.
'So you've been buying a lot of food.'
'Yes, sir. This time of year, a lot of guilds take a break from work.
''A lot of guilds'' means that there are some stupid guilds that work in such heavy snow.
'Aa...... that............ we'll be open for business too, you know?I'm sure there will be few customers.
'Well, the wumaros will come. Definitely.
'I don't know. But it looks like you're coming.'
It's been a long time since we've had such a relaxed conversation in the morning.
But now it finally makes sense.
It wasn't just the heat that had kept the guests away from the sunlit pavilion until yesterday.
This heavy snowfall is really unbelievable.
All the trains in Japan have been stopped and all the major companies have been ordered to stay home.
Convenience stores and the like may be working, but ......
'Oh, so that's what you meant. ......'
'That's what Assunto said.'
'Assunto said, 'In two weeks, we'll have ice.
...... Yeah. We'll get it. It's too late, though.
'If we can make the ice last until next year's heat wave, we'll ...... make a fortune in shaved ice .......'
'That's really impossible, isn't it?
'No, if we build an ice house, ............ how will we make it?
Can you dig a hole and spread straw on it?Do we need a cave or something?
I don't know.If I'd known this was going to happen, I'd have checked out places where we could make an ice house beforehand!
'As well as ice, right?
Mmm!' said Jeannette, rolling up her arms.
'We have some work to do before breakfast, Yashiro-san!
'What about ......?
Ginette stares at me with a somewhat enthusiastic look in her eyes.
What is it?What are you going to do?
'First, let's get you dressed. You'll catch a cold in this outfit.'
'Well, ......, you'll always be in your pajamas.'
'Could you please go and wake up Magda?
'............ I've got a bad feeling about this. ......'
'He didn't seem to like the heat, and ...... maybe he's strong in the cold.'
You're an idiot.
The one who dreads hot weather is the one who doesn't like ............ cold weather and won't come out of the futon.
'Then I'll go change my clothes too.
I'm going to go wake Magda up.
Maybe he'll be excited to see the snow. I don't think so, but... ......
'Magda, Jeannette wants you to wake up.
He knocks on the door, urging her to get up.
............ No answer. He's asleep.
Well, that's to be expected. He never wakes up when he's supposed to.
'Let's go in.
I've been given permission by Magda herself to enter her room unannounced.
However, I have no intention to invade her privacy, or to search her underwear, or even to attack her in her sleep.
In short, she is saying, "I am not sure I can wake up, so I want you to come in and wake me up.
Also, if you are too scared to sleep, you can hide in your bed. I've never done that .......
When I entered the room, Magda was not there.
There was no way ............ I approached the bed and raked my hands through the straw.
'...... You're easy to understand, you know.'
'............Summer......Summer......... ...bury me.'
'I never thought I'd see the day when you'd ask me to do that. You never know what will happen in life.
It must have gotten so cold that it burrowed into the straw. A small animal.
'They're doing something, they're working.
'...... hunting guilds are closed during heavy snowfall. ......'
'That's too bad. The Sunken Pavilion is open all year round.'
I remember that the t-shirt I made before said it was open all year round.
I guess it's a lie if it's closed. I'll be careful.
'What is it?
'............ warm, human skin.'
'...... You know what you're saying?'
I'll teach you some dry rubbing.
It's surprisingly foolproof. If you rub your skin with a dry towel, you will feel a little less cold. It's a hell of a way to get there, though. ...... Naked top and all. ............
'Good luck getting up, I'll give you some coffee jelly.'
I know, right?
That's how I used to wake up yesterday.
Oh, yeah, Ginette bought red beans. ...... Did she also buy sticky rice?
Then I'll make zenzai...... or even oshiruko. I'm sure they'll like it better.
You'll have to put mochi in place of the white balls, though.
I dragged Magda out of bed and told her to get dressed. ...... I think I'm going to fall asleep. ...... But I can't make her change her clothes. ......... I'm sure you'll be fine.
'Look, don't fall asleep, okay?
'...... That's what Percy taught me yesterday. That's what Percy taught me yesterday.
'In his case, yes, but not now. Now get dressed.'
'...... aye aye.'
Magda, half-asleep, starts to wander off.
I also went back to my room and changed into my outer clothes.
I had fallen asleep yesterday because of the fatigue I felt after swimming, and my clothes had been thrown away in a mess.
It was the opposite of the simplicity of Magda's room, a man's messy room.
If you can't go out, why don't you take this opportunity to clean up?It's the end of the year.
After getting dressed, I walked out into the hallway and found Jeannette waiting for me, all ready to go.
'Yes, Mr. Yashiro. And Magda-san.
Jeannette smiles and hands me and Magda a shovel.
Jeannette is holding an old shovel that has seen better days.
'Shoveling snow, sir. We can't go to the kitchen like this. We'll clear the courtyard of snow in the morning and then clean up the front of the store and the yard after we get back from church.'
'It's not like you can shovel the snow and it'll be reset ...... the next morning, is it?'
This is a world of extreme weather. It's possible that we'll be hit with a meter of snow night after night.
But my fears were easily dismissed.
'In the heavy snow season, it will fall heavily on the first day and then continue to fall only sporadically. But it will continue to pile up little by little, so you will have to shovel the snow several times.
At any rate, it's not reset every morning.
...... On the other hand, it's hard to refuse. You can't say, 'If it rains every day, it's useless to do it.
d*mn, it looks like you can't escape shoveling snow no matter what you do.
'Well, let's do it quickly!
'Good luck with .......'
'You do it too.'
'...... I expect a reward.'
'Oh, you better. I'll feed you good food.'
I kicked the snow off the roofless stairs with my feet and walked down to the courtyard.
............ It's so piled up that it makes me sigh.
I guess only elementary school students can be happy with this. ......
'......'You can use the 'red shiny thing' for a moment.
'Don't do it. Even food is limited. You should avoid anything that makes you hungry.'
'...... Hmm, you have a point.
We can't afford to waste food shoveling snow.
Let's just make sure we have access to the kitchen and pantry.
'Speaking of which, where are the chickens?
The chickens are kept in the courtyard of the Sunlit Pavilion.
Since Nepheli's eggs became available, they've been treated as pets.
'We keep them in an indoor shed and shelter them in the dining room.
'It looks cold in the ...... cafeteria.'
'Yes, it is. We'll have to get a fire going soon, I'm afraid.
There's no fireplace in the sunlit pavilion.
How are you going to keep warm?
'We have a small wood stove. It's an old one from my grandfather's time, but it's warm.
'Oh, ...... I've seen that before. It's the one that's been gathering dust in the back of the storeroom.
'It's only used this time of year.
It was a small iron stove, about 40cm high and wide and 60cm deep. It had a small window, so I guessed it was used to heat wood by throwing it in.
'Well, let's hurry. We can hit the stove when we're done, right?'
'Yes, we can. You can put a pot on top, so you can make hot soup.
I'll make hot soup while keeping warm. I like that. That's my kind of lean cooking.
Pork miso soup or sweet sake would be nice.
We shovel the snow and throw it away. We should be able to make a path with enough room for one person to walk.
'But this work is hard on my arms and back. ......'
I shouldn't have been so excited yesterday and swam so hard.
My muscles are sore and it's hard to lift my arms.
'Just keep moving, you'll warm up eventually.
'......If you're in Magda's class, this level of exercise is not even enough. ......'
I don't know whether it's great or inconvenient to be a superhuman.
But Magda's coldness is a bit abnormal. His body is shivering and his lips are pale.
'You can go back to your room if you want.
'The ...... room is cold, too.'
'But it's better than outside. ......'
'......Yashiro. Human skin.'
'I'm going to get lost in here, aren't I?
I've got to finish shoveling the snow and get the stove going. ......
'But, Mr. Yashiro. It takes a lot of time to set up a chimney and ...... to use a stove, right?'
'Are you serious?'
'I'm sorry, ...... I should have done it yesterday, but ...... I'm very sleepy. ......'
It was almost impossible for Jeannette, who had never swum before, to resist the drowsiness.
But what the hell.
I really need to warm her up with human skin.
I can't even boil a bath in this snow. .................. snow?
I crawled up the meter of snow that I hadn't finished shoveling yet and forcibly rolled into the kitchen.
The chickens were cold in the kitchen.
You'll have to wait a bit longer.
'I think there's a ............ around here.
I didn't expect to be on the scene so soon.
'Now all we need is a ...... Magda-sized one that we can make quickly. ............ Okay!
I whip my aching muscles into shape and vow to give it one more go.
I borrowed some usable charcoal from the kitchen and headed back into the snowy courtyard.
'Yashiro-san, what the hell are you doing ......?
'Jeannette, I'm sorry, but you'll have to build a fire for this one.
I handed Ginette something I'd picked up in the kitchen.
'I think it's ...... a seven-ring, right?
'Oh. Magda, hold on a minute. I'll make you a warm room right now.
The snow is a meter deep. You don't have to pile up the snow, you can just dig a hole in the side and it'll look like that.
A warm room in the snow.
Yes, a "kamakura"!
But we'll have to pound it a little to harden it.
We don't think too much about it, but we just make a simple maze with speed first.
In the meantime, Magda managed to keep warm by biting on the seven rings.
If you put a shichirin in a kamakura, it will be even warmer.
It should last at least as long as I'm shoveling snow.
'I'll help you.
With Ginette's help, a small hole was completed in the side of the house where Magda could fit in.
It's called the Snow Hotel Kamakura-tei.
'Come on, Magda. Come on in.
'...... in the snow ......?'
'Come on. Think you've been tricked.'
'............ got it.'
Cautiously, Magda entered the make-shift hut. She bends down and steps inside, her tail wagging.
Right?And when you put the seventh ring in, it's ......'
I put the seven-ring inside the simple kamakura.
The red color of the burning charcoal illuminates the walls of the kamakura.
'............ This is a good one.
'It's true. It's warm just to be near it.
'When we're done shoveling, we might as well build something more substantial.
'It's an open terrace!
An open terrace in a cafeteria with a kamakura?Are kamakura open in the first place?
'Well, something like that.'
I'm a little tired from trying so hard, so I'll just answer appropriately.
If Jeannette perceived it that way, then there was nothing wrong with it.
Suddenly, Loretta came running out of the kitchen.
Did she just come out in the snow?It's not even four o'clock yet.
'Miss Loretta. Are you all right, in the snow like this? It would have been fine if Loretta-san had taken the day off. ......'
'I don't want that!Even if it's raining or snowing, we don't take a day off.As long as there's work, I'll work!
By the way, there was a time when this guy couldn't work even if he wanted to.
When it comes to work, he's serious and works hard. It's just that it's hard to see from the outside.
'I brought my three brothers with me, so I'll leave the snow shoveling to you!
'Leave it to me!
'The handyman of the snow shoveling world!
This is a reliable helper.
This is a great help. It'll be much faster than me doing it all by myself.
'Did you come all this way while shoveling snow, Loretta?
'No, sir. I wanted to get there fast, so I zipped along on the snow.'
'Snow, get out of my way!I have to go to church after this!
'As expected, this distance is a bit hard to walk. ......'
Well, I don't know. .................. Hmm?
'We can't use the usual carts with all this snow, can we?'
'Yes, sir. The wheels would get buried in the snow.'
'...... Then how are we going to carry the food?
'In that case, here you go!
Ginette took out three backpacks from under the stairs, wondering when she had prepared them.
'It's very hard, but you have to be patient for ten days.
It's modern children who can't endure those ten days.
A bell rings in the distance.
The wake-up call.
'Well, I'm going to go do some prep work.
'...... Magda will be here a while longer.'
'Oh, Magda!What's that?It's looking good!Please let me in too!
'...... I can't, my hole is too small.'
'My brother will dilate it!
'I'll expand it!
'It's too small.
'Foreign object in!
No, no, no.
They're all accepting this impossible snow as normal.
They're giving up because they have no choice.
Why don't they fight it?
Why don't you think about facing this snow?
I don't want to.
I don't want to spend ten days on the road to the church and back, with a backpack full of heavy food and my feet stuck in the snow. ............
Gently touch the snow.
The snow is as soft as you would find at a ski resort. ...... So it won't slip or sink. ............
'Yeah . I can handle it in two hours!
There's also bamboo. It's the one I used for drift noodles.
I'm going to use it to conquer ...... this snow!
'''Did any of you work at Umaro's place?
All of them.
Then they might have some skills drilled into them.
''Okay, you guys, give me a hand!
''......What, that's what you think of me?''
''Oh, ...... yesterday, I taught my brothers how excited my brother was when he saw the swimsuit.''
'It looks like there was a lot of malicious distortion going on, huh?
'No, not at all!It's just the way it is!
'If that's why you're reacting like this, then I'm even more sad!
And, it doesn't matter!
'My brothers!I'm going to make two things now.''
''A sledge and a boot!
Let's put our knowledge of snow country to good use in a world buried in snow!