Hokuou Kizoku to Moukinzuma no Yukiguni Karigurashi — 125

Day One of Remote Land Life!
Interlude — Aina and Emmerich’s Snow Country Hunting Life

Morning. Today, yet again, I woke up from Rossa-san’s vigorous kneading.
While meowing, she was demanding me to prepare food.

Aina-chan who should have been sleeping next to me was no longer there.
I felt disappointed that I couldn’t see her sleeping face as I got up.
Rossa who was vulnerable to the cold snuggled up where I was sleeping. While watching that, I slowly changed my clothes.
I stoked the fire with a poker and then left the bedroom. Rossa also followed.
I headed to the bathroom, drew some water and washed my face. I also brushed my teeth
The water was very cold and sent a jolt through my body. So this is natural water from the remote land……

At the meowing attack of Rossa-san, I apologised and asked her to wait a little more.

Already, the light was lit in the living room fireplace.
I put some of Aina-chan’s handmade preserved food from the shelf in a plate. I was still on my way, but she poked her face out from under my arm and started eating already.
I set the food down and left so as to not disturb her.

From the kitchen, the nice scent of breakfast was flowing out.
I peeked in, wondering if I could help, but I was disallowed from coming in.

On the table, a basket of bread was placed in the centre, then soup, grilled bacon and jam was placed.

It was a blissful morning scenery.

“Ah, today, Ritz-oniicha- I mean…… the lord will be coming.”
“H-Hehh~”

So Aina-chan calls Ritz-kun ‘oniichan’.
Imagining the two snow fairies playing together, a warm and fuzzy feeling filled me.

More importantly, it seems that Ritz-kun will be telling me many things.
There were things I wanted to ask as well, so I felt thankful.
I think we arranged it yesterday when I was registering as a villager.

Since he’s busy from the afternoon, he told me that he will be coming at the second bell of the morning.
Meanwhile, Aina-chan said that she will be sharing soup with her family, so I followed.
When I chopped some firewood, mother-in-law was happy.

Even so, it feels like the atmosphere of the village changed quite a bit.
Before, it felt rather diffident, but now the villagers were interacting more.
I think that it would be nice if we could get to know others at that rate.

Then, after a brief moment, it was time for Ritz-kun to come.

He brought a simple gift along with two chickens.

“Sorry. For coming to a newlyweds’ home right after moving in.”

Not at all, I shook my head.
Since a stranger came, Rossa stared at Ritz-kun warily.

“Ah, so this is the rumoured Rossa? Hehh, she’s cute.”

Because he praised Rossa, Aina-chan looked happy.
Indeed, the snow fairy sibling heals people just from their appearance.

When Ritz-kun called her name and beckoned her over, Rossa slowly approached even as she had her guard up.
When she reached him, he hugged her up.
Surprisingly, Rossa was behaving well in Ritz-kun’s arms.

I-Indeed, he’s Ritz-kun, who tamed that wild crimson eagle.
The cat that was not friendly to anyone else but Aina-chan, Rossa-san fell in a moment.

Anyhow, we moved on to the main reason for coming.
Ritz-kun told me about living in the remote region.

“First, the toughest thing is without a doubt, winter.”

In this country, there’s a period called ‘polar nights (kaamos)’ where the sun does not rise.
During that period, hunting can’t be done since it’s dangerous, and it’s dark outside so it seems that we’ll be spending most of the time in our home.

In spring, reindeers are milked, wild herbs are picked, and syrup from tree sap is gathered.
From this period, hunting is prohibited.
In summer, people pick berries, fish, or gather mushrooms.
In autumn, the prohibition on hunting is lifted and people start making preserved foods for the polar nights.

Ritz-kun was saying that in a casual manner, but doing all that was a great feat.

“Emmerich, you don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll teach you everything.”

He said that it’s not all that hard.

Ritz-kun, somehow, you’re very reliable……!!

I bowed down deeply and asked him to take care of me.

“Ah, then, moving on the main point,”
“?”

Aina-chan and I both tilted our head.
What could the main point be……?

“I’m running a pub of sorts where people can enjoy drinks.”

Ritz-kun, even though you’re busy already, working even more.
I was further surprised upon hearing why he started the store.
Believe it or not, he’s trying to make a place where the villagers can socialise so that they can spend the polar nights happily.
Only Ritz-kun can think this up because he had tough times when he was spending the polar nights alone.

“Iyaa, the beginning was nice. But it unexpectedly went too well……”

So, he was asking Aina-chan and me to help out.

“So that’s what you meant by request.”
“Right. Ah, but if you don’t want to, you’re free to refuse.”

He told me that I could reply later.
Then, it seems that there will be a welcoming party at Ritz-kun’s house.
I gladly accepted the invitation.

“Now, I’ll be going to gather nectar from birch, but what will Emmerich do?”
“I’ll go!”

Aina-chan said that she can do many things in the house.
Since I am unable to anything, it was thankful that I could have a taste.
I gladly decided to tag along.

After properly saying, “I’ll be off,” to Aina-chan and Rossa, I left..

◇◇◇

With knifes, guns and dogs, we headed into the forest.
When there are dogs, wild animals become more cautious, that they are not easily encountered.
Come to think of it, there were quite a bit of dogs at Aina-chan’s place. I realised that they were essential for life.
Apparently, there are dogs for hunting and dogs for pulling sleds.

“As for the dogs~ I think you can get some if you ask around the village.”

He also told me that I can get some from merchants.

“If there are any problems, you can always ask me.”
“Ah, thank you.”

Well, it feels like I’ve only been saying, “Ritz-kun’s amazing,” ever since I came here.
He really did have the gentleness and magnanimity that made Sieglinde fall for him.

As for helping out with the store, I will have to properly talk about it with Aina-chan, but I’d like to help him as much as possible.

As we chatted, we arrived at a place lush with birch trees.
Since getting birch nectar wasn’t that hard, I’ll be able to do it as well.

After returning home, I had lunch and then I decided to discuss with Aina-chan about helping out with Ritz-kun’s store.

“What do you think?”

When I tried to hear Aina-chan’s opinion first, she told me that it was up to.
My mind was made up already from a long time ago.

“I want to help Ritzhard-kun.”
“Me too.”

Both of us wanted to repay Ritz-kun and Sieglinde for their kindness.
The talk was over at a refreshing pace.

Afterwards, we made cookies to give them as gifts.
We used moulds made in the shape of cats, bought from the city.

They were very happy about the gift we made.

Here, I met Ritz-kun’s mum for the first time.

“Aina-chan~, and Ritchan and Linde-chan’s friend~ I heard that you were coming, so I had been looking forward to it~”

Mm. The atmosphere, the speech, they were all like Ritz-kun.
No, Ritz-kun takes after his mum.
It seems that his dad had returned to our country to present research. I’m sorry.

And their son, Arno-kun, had grown a lot in the short time that we did not see him.
It feels like he’s resembling Sieglinde a lot now…….
Looks like he will grow into a manly person.

Ritz-kun’s mum headed to the kitchen to prepare the meals.
Sieglinde wanted to help too, but apparently there was another lady so she said that it was alright.

Before the meals were served, we fully enjoyed Arno-kun’s cuteness.

Aina-chan looked joyful as she held Arno-kun in her arms.
She sometimes did babysitting, so she said that she was used to holding babies.

The figure of Aina-chan holding a child in her chest is great. It feels like that image will be in a church painting.

While holding Arno-kun, Aina-chan said something with a blissful expression.

“I wonder when the Spirit will bring us children?”

——…………Nn? The Spirit, bringing, children?

Aina-chan, what do you mean by that?
I thought I heard wrong, so I asked just in case.

I had some berry juice to calm myself.

“Don’t you know? Children are brought by the Spirit, you see?”

That moment, the atmosphere froze up.

I ended up spewing out the berry juice in a burst.



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