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The commotion to defeat the goblins five days ago was uneventful when it was over, and peaceful days had returned once again.
I heard that Mel and Sharon made a fuss about my absence the morning after the subjugation, but other than that, nothing had happened.
As for the status of my recent reform plans, they are all generally going well.
The traveling classroom where Liddy teaches is going well, and Nicholas tells me that Liddy is well received by the kids. He also told me that children and adults over the age of ten, who are not the target audience, are beginning to show interest.
As for distilling, Scott, the head distiller, is suddenly very enthusiastic after naming the young distilled spirit “Scotch” after three months of aging.
The reason for naming it Scotch was also to have him become attached to the liquor, like the one in charge, and also to not be pulled out by merchants and aristocrats with deep pockets. I think it’s a nice trick, and if the spirits sell explosively, it’s highly likely that Scott will be targeted. This is a stepping stone to prevent it from happening.
The distillation of Marl, which is made by distilling wine dregs, has also been completed, and there are about ten barrels of Scotch and Marl aging in the warehouse.
Fruit wine is also being made in jars, and nearly 20 jars of fruit wine are being made.
Soap is also being made and accepted at the squires’ houses without any problems. Using the manufacturing method discovered by Nicholas and Kate, Hector Marlon’s family and Guy Jakes’ family are also making it and verifying that there is no problem with their quality. So far, there have been no problems, and it seems that the current manufacturing method is good enough for the product to be sold.
As for the toilet and organic fertilizers, they are experimenting with livestock manure – horse and cow – mixed with wheat straw and leaf compost from the forest, and with human excrement mixed in.
The materials obtained until the fall are turning to compost, but we are still waiting for the results as the cold weather becomes stronger.
As for the heavy-duty wheeled plow, which was not ready for work this year, we already asked Craig, the woodworker, and Bertram, the blacksmith, to manufacture it. A prototype should be ready come springtime.
So far, everything is going well.
I now have plans to produce dried pasta during the winter and take on beekeeping and sugar manufacturing in the spring.
With my own training, I am at level three in Sword Arts and level three in Magic with Wind Attribute being the most proficient.
As for magic, Liddy says that it is more efficient to master one attribute before dabbling in the others, so I am currently concentrating on training in my Wind Attribute, which is also Liddy’s forte.
With the wind attribute, it was difficult to imagine how to control gas, and I was also wondering how to relate it to attack magic. Incidentally, Liddy often uses the blade of wind [Wind Blade] and the gavel of air [Air Hammer].
[Wind Blade] is like a transparent boomerang flying through the air, easily cutting off a tree branch about 5 cm thick. The [Air Hammer] is a spell that feels like you are using compressed air to bludgeon the target. She said it can be powerful enough to blow away a heavily armored cavalryman and his horse if you put all your magic power into it.
I still have only 91 MP of magic power, and neither of them is very powerful. Now, I am just trying to raise the level of my Wind Attribute by chanting the [Wind Blade].
Incidentally, the power of my [Wind Blade] has a range of about 30 meters and a speed of about 30 meters per second = 100 kph. It can cut off a tree branch of about 1 cm in diameter from a distance of 10 meters.
Although its slow speed is a bottleneck, if it strikes a vital point such as the carotid artery, it has enough power to injure and kill. I think for a four-year-old boy with this level of fighting capability, it is already beyond good.
Unfortunately, my control is not as good. Even with a target 10 meters away, there is a 20 cm margin of error. Liddy says that image is important, but perhaps because it is shaped like a boomerang, it lacks accuracy.
It is so frustrating that I have been developing new magic without telling Liddy. The image is that of a swallow with vacuum blade wings.
Although its speed is inferior to that of [Wind Blade], it can move freely, so the accuracy is much better. Above all, it looks beautiful as it flies. It is fun to watch the transparent swallows flying freely, but I can only practice it for a few seconds because of the large amount of magic power they use.
Casting a spell saves magic power, but it requires a name to activate the magic. I’m trying to think of a name for it right now, but I can’t think of a good one. I’m not good at thinking of cool names.
As I recall from the magic, Sharon’s training is progressing well. In November, she was able to manipulate magic power, to the surprise of Liddy, who is teaching her.
However, unless we can check her magic capacity [MP] like I can, she has only been practicing magic manipulation repeatedly because it is dangerous for a child who is only four years old to use magic.
Liddy told me that at the beginning of the coming year, Sharon will start training to be able to use simple magic, Sharon has the attributes of fire and wind.
According to her, Sharon is a genius and will be fine on her own by the time she is 15 years old, even without going to a magic academy.
It has been snowing since this morning.
Even when it snows, my grandfather’s training goes on as usual.
Unless there is a storm, he will train even if it rains, so snow is no reason to stop.
Incidentally, the reason why they do not train during storms is to prepare for emergencies. According to my grandfather, “The enemy will attack in rain, snow, or storm. Naturally, we should train accordingly…”
Outside, it is still covered in darkness, and the snow glistening and shimmering from the lighted magical tools makes for a fantastic scene.
As usual, we exchange morning greetings and begin to swing.
As I am swinging, two lights come swinging up from the bottom of the hill.
They are the lights carried by the siblings, Sim and Mel, and the other siblings, Dan and Sharon.
Seriously, they too always come to train, rain or snow. I suppose there is a reason why the children of the squire’s family cannot afford not to do this while the members of the Lockhart family, who are the masters, are doing it, but when I see the still young children climbing up the hill with red cheeks in the biting cold wind, I am just amazed at them.
The cheerful voice of Mel’s greeting echoes and the voices of the other children overlap.
Grandfather and I return the greeting without stopping.
It’s the same old, same old routine.
For me, it is an irreplaceable daily routine.
Today, December 30th, is New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year 306.
In this world, there are 30 days in a month and 360 days in a year, so December only lasts until the 30th day of the month.
And the beginning of the year falls on the winter solstice.
On the day before the winter solstice, which falls on New Year’s Eve, people thank the gods for a prosperous year and pray to the gods for a peaceful new year. This area is just like my old world.
Training is held even if it rains or snows, but there are no village patrol training on New Year’s Eve today and New Year’s Day tomorrow.
Liddy’s traveling classroom is also closed today, and once the morning drill is over, it should be a relaxing time.
Once training is over, everyone heads to the dining hall, but the house is lit by the glow of the magical tools of light.
The mansion has no glass windows; all the windows are wooden. In the cold, snowy weather, all the windows are closed for the sake of better heating efficiency. For this reason, during the winter months, even if the weather is fine, the house is dependent on the illumination of the magical tools of light even during the daytime.
The magical tools of light are relatively inexpensive and long-lasting. It is an eco-friendly lighting fixture that uses very little magic power.
Even I, a child, can light one easily. Once I measured the MP of the lamps I used, and even the ones that lasted for about two hours were only taking about 10 to 15 points. I heard that ordinary children can light four or five of them.
After having breakfast under the light of the faintly lit magical tools, everyone spent New Year’s Eve in their own way.
I was playing snowball fights with Mel and the others, and after that, I was studying magic with Liddy.
Then, in the evening.
More sumptuous meals than usual lined the dining table.
Pigs and cows that have been slaughtered for the New Year’s holiday are roasted in the fireplace and beautifully arranged.
A thick stew-like soup and winter vegetables were dug out from under the snow.
And sweet pastries, like large pound cakes, are placed on the table.
The adults have silver glasses, which are rarely used, filled with wine, “scotch”, or watered-down fruit wine. My brother and I had glasses filled with lightly watered-down fruit wine.
Walt, Molly, and Tricia, who are servants of the house, are seated at the table with us during times like these occasions.
Everyone was seated quietly, and the only sound in the dining room was the crackling of the wood burning in the fireplace.
When everyone’s glasses are filled, the supper begins with my grandfather’s words.
“This year Enos and Jean were united. And we have a new addition to our family, Lydia. Next year we will have a new family. Hopefully it is soon with Enos too.” (Govan)
My grandfather smiles at my father and mother, Walt and Molly. Then he glances at me.
“I’ve tried a lot of new things this year… I haven’t seen any results yet, but I’m sure next year will bring better results. Let us pray to the gods thanking them for a successful year and hoping that next year will be even better.” (Govan)
My grandfather lifts the glass, saying, “Praise the gods. Cheers.”
Everyone raises the glass in the same way, saying ” Praise the gods.”
And so the meal begins quietly, but it soon turns into the usual lively dining experience.
My brother in particular is eager to hear about the goblin extermination, and my grandfather’s words become more passionate as the more intoxicated he gets from the alcohol.
I talk with Liddy, and my mother, Molly, and Tricia talk about their unborn child.
Peaceful moments pass.
In a few hours, it will be the fateful year of 307.
Thinking about it always makes me anxious. But whenever I look anxious, Liddy always takes my hand and says,
“Don’t worry. I’ll be here.” (Liddy)
I nod at her words and smile, “Yeah, I know.”
(I’ve been through a lot this year, but most of all, I met Liddy. It sounds cliché, but I met the woman of my dreams. I wonder what will happen next year…will I have another “fateful” meeting?) (Zack)
I was having a good time until later than usual. I was thinking that this is the same as in the original world, and I wanted to cherish the time I had.
The year 307 of the Tria calendar dawned.
As expected, there is no morning training, but I still wake up at the usual time.
(Has it finally become the fateful year? …no, let’s not think about it anymore. Because thinking about it won’t change anything…) (Zack)
I tossed and turned in bed for a bit, but I couldn’t go back to sleep and eventually got up.
It was still dark outside, but I heard the sound of Walt pumping water into the jar, so I took my wooden sword and went out to the garden as usual.
The snow from yesterday had stopped falling and the sky was clear and cloudless.
After a few minutes of warming up, the sky gradually turned from a deep navy blue to a brilliant blue.
I exhaled white breath and stared at the gradually dawning eastern sky.
(The sunrise. It’s been decades since I’ve seen the sunrise… It was the first time since I was a child that my family and I did Hatsumode [T/N: First Shinto/Buddhist shrine visit]. It’s been about forty years…) (Zack)
Above the Aquila Mountains, the eastern sky turned reddish.
The ridges of the mountains, which had been made up white with snow, turned orange.
Then, the dark orange sun slowly rises from the jagged ridges, illuminating the roofs of the houses, which have turned white with snow.
The trees in the woods cast long shadows as the slowly rising sun’s rays illuminate the hills.
I unconsciously closed my eyes and bow my head lightly.
I had never felt this way before, but I guess such sights naturally inspire a sense of awe. Is it because I’m originally Japanese?) (Zack)
“I knew you were there!” (Liddy)
Liddy called out to me. She was holding her arms tightly against the cold and seemed to be shivering a little.
I spoke in Japanese, “Happy New Year.” [T/N: Akemashite omedetou]
“What? Was that the language of your old world?” (Liddy)
She looked at me with a curious expression.
“Yes, it is. I guess it’s a way of saying thank you for the beginning of the new year. Well, it’s the first greeting of the new year.” (Zack)
Shivering in the cold, she asks me, “Hey, teach me the phrase.”
I taught her the phrase one syllable at a time.
“A-ke-ma-shi-te o-me-de-to-u. Is that right?” (Liddy)
I nodded my head and replied, “Yes, it’s right. Happy New Year.” Then she mouthed it again
I took her cold hand and walked into the mansion.
Turning around, I saw a field of snow tinted with the orange glow of dawn.
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