“Fuu… It’s cold out today too.” [Ryouma]
There’s one week left till the new year.
The winter has gotten really harsh in these parts of the Jamil Duchy, and it’s been snowing nonstop recently. Because of that I’ve been having to leave for town while it’s still dark out.
Thankfully I can use long-distance teleportation with the stone slimes for markers.
As I thought that to myself, I made my way through the snowy path with my hand-made snow boots. The snow was piled up high enough to reach a child’s waist.
Before long, the familiar city gate of Gimuru appeared. Two guards stood by the two sides of the gate, and when they noticed me, they waved at me.
“Good morning!” [Ryouma]
“Good morning!” [Guard 1]
“It’s cold today too, huh!” [Guard 2]
My gait was slow because of the snow, so I greeted them as I walked. Eventually, I reached the gate.
“I see you’re both hard at work today too.” [Ryouma]
“It’s been tough everyday.” [Guard 1]
“The snow and cold are really annoying.” [Guard 2]
We chatted a little while they confirmed my identification.
“Good, you can enter now. By the way, will you be doing that?? again? We’ll help with the preparations.” [Guard 1]
“Thank you. I appreciate it.” [Ryouma]
“Ha ha, the one being helped here is us.” [Guard 2]
“Besides, if we help out, we’ll be able to warm ourselves for a while.” [Guard 1]
They seemed to be joking, but warming themselves was probably their real purpose.
Either way they’re helping me, so I’m grateful.
Immediately, I took out the necessary tools from my Dimension Home.
“Well, it is cold everyday. Even some of my aqua slimes evolved into ‘Ice slimes’ because of the cold.” [Ryouma]
“Aqua Slimes? Those are slimes that have water for their bodies, right? I don’t know much about them, but don’t their bodies just freeze over because of the cold?” [Guard 1]
“Everyone says that, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.” [Ryouma]
In a previous examination I performed, I found that the aqua slimes were resilient to temperature changes, but some of them liked the cold, while others did not. And the ones that liked the cold all loved ice mana. Moreover, despite being in the same environment, it was only the slimes that loved ice mana that evolved into ice slimes, so I don’t think it’s as simple as their bodies freezing.
“Oh, speaking of ice, can you provide more of those non-slip shoes that you donated before?” [Guard 1]
“Huh? Didn’t I leave the Morgan Company in charge of those?” [Ryouma]
“Well, apparently, word of that rubber stuff being really good for keeping people from slipping got out from us guards, and now, they say they sell out as soon as inventory drops.” [Guard 1]
“Most of the accidents these days are caused by “snow” or the ice or slush it makes. Some of the adventurers seem to be using special equipment meant for trips to those snowy mountains, but commoners don’t have access to those.” [Guard 2]
So this must be what they call an ’emergency demand’.
Until now, the weather around these parts has always been on the warmer side. To the residents of this town, this year’s cold wave is abnormal. So it wasn’t possible for them to have prepared for this much snow. And the stores too couldn’t possibly have stored items that normally wouldn’t sell. Even if they did have some, there surely wouldn’t be many.
As for me, I just happened to know about it in advance from the gods by coincidence, so I could leak the information to various places and have them prepare. The Morgan Company in particular reacted the fastest. He might’ve gotten information from elsewhere too, but the moment I told Serge-san of the possibility of a cold wave, he immediately mobilized his people.
Thanks to that the development of the anti-cold-wave winter goods, such as the non-slip boots, and their mass production through the new workshops and workforce, as well as their sale through the various stores have all been going swimmingly well.
In fact, the ‘small boat’ in front of me right now is one of those.
I made a boat based off the one I rode back in Fatma Territory. I put a stove on the back of it like the ones you’d use for barbecue and camping, then I put an apparatus on top that’s basically a stockpot with metal pipes coiled around it. To describe it briefly, it was basically a pop pop boat.
I’m not talking about the old boats that used a hot bulb engine, but rather those old boat toys also used in science experiments.
I put a filter slime in the two metal pipes extending behind the boat, while inside the stove, I laid out an Ash Slime, and placed some charcoal on top. Lastly, I placed an aqua slime inside the pot and enough water to fill the pipes. That concludes my preparations.
All that’s left now is…
“I’ll leave this to you.” [Ryouma]
“Alright.” [Guard 1]
While they put up a yellow flag with red letters on it that read, ‘road cleaning and snow clearing in progress’, I asked the aqua slime that was starting to get hot inside the pot if it was ready, and it took on an eager posture in response. When I looked beyond the gate and saw that there were no people in the vicinity, I knew that it was time.
“Let’s go.” [Ryouma]
I sent mana along with an image of movement to the slime that had assimilated with the water, and in the next moment, the contents of the pot surged, swirled, and floated out of the water bottle to form a sphere on the road in front of the gate.
The water, no, the sphere of hot water gently approached the ground and touched the snow.
As the sphere collapsed, the hot water spread like a wave, melting the snow.
The melted snow became water and merged with the hot water and the aqua slime, increasing the volume of the water.
Through the increase in water volume and the utilization of magic, movement was induced. Caught in the flow, the snow on the road melted.
As the volume increased even more, more and more snow was absorbed.
This has been my daily morning schedule these past few days – clearing snow through water slime magic.
As for any concerns surrounding the water freezing over again, which would only serve to make the ground slippier and even more dangerous, that is indeed an issue that occurs when water is left behind in sufficiently cold weather, an impossible problem back in my previous life, but this world has magic. With the help of the assimilated slime and slime magic, super precise control should be possible! Even the water that scattered can be recovered without leaving even a drop! In other words, it’s possible to prevent the water from freezing up again!!
…While I was having a little sales talk to myself, the aqua slime had gotten much bigger from gathering the water around it. Now, it looked like a hemisphere the size of a small hill, and it looked just like a giant slime. Yes, that much water should be fine.
“Well then, I think it’s about time I go.” [Ryouma]
As I called out to the two people behind me, who were warming themselves with the fire, I jumped up the small boat beside them. They knew what would be happening, so they promptly distanced themselves despite the forlorn look they gave the fire.
The giant water sphere covered the entire ship, and the aqua slime also entered the pot through the metal pipe and the filter slime inside, while the water that couldn’t enter anymore allowed the boat to float.
With that all the preparations were complete.
“I’ll be going now!” [Ryouma]
As the guards saw me off, I steered the ship into town.
With water slime magic, it was possible to clear the snow and clean the road at the same time.
This was one of the answers I arrived to after pondering the issue of efficiency for a long time.
…Well, even if I didn’t clear the snow, the government office or the adventurers guild would send someone to do it, but we’re in an emergency situation, and everyone is starving for more hands, and I have lots of mana to spare, and the gods seem to enjoy watching me use slime magic too, so I volunteered.
Besides, leisurely going around town early in the morning in a ship covered in water isn’t all that bad.
With it still being dark out, few people would go out at this time, but I still passed by some people. These were those who had a job that needed them this early or those who had to leave at this hour to make it for work because of the snow. Regardless, I’ve acquainted myself with more people since I started clearing the snow.
At first, some of them were dumbfounded when the saw me, others thought they were hallucinating and panicked, but nowadays, everyone’s used to my water boat, and even people whose names I don’t know would wave at me and call out to me when they saw me.
“Hey! Wizard boy! Come here for a bit, will you!?” [Female Stall Owner]
The person who called out to me was the owner of a stall that I frequently saw.
She seemed to be calling for me, so I manipulated the water to bring the boat to her.
“Good morning. How can I help you?” [Ryouma]
“If you don’t mind, take this with you. Don’t worry about the money.” [Female Stall Owner]
“Woah, it’s warm. Thank you so much!” [Ryouma]
The woman gave me a warm soup full of sausages and vegetables complete with a wooden bowl and spoon.
“And don’t forget this. You do your best now, alright?” [Female Stall Owner]
“…Thank you very much. I’m going!” [Ryouma]
Before parting, she warmly encouraged me and gave me a loaf of hard bread.
In response, I thanked her and floated back up again to clear the snow.
“Fuu… Hafu! Ho!”
As I took a spoonful of the soup, heat and umami unfolded inside my mouth, and upon drinking it, warmth spread from the center of my body.
Ever since I started clearing the snow, people would give me stuff like this and encourage me from time to time.
Beneath the yet sunless sky that grew brighter by the moment, I relished the taste of the soup, swayed by the boat, as a path through this yet silver world opened.
Although this job can’t make me even a dime, it can fill up my soul.
Sometimes, work like this isn’t so bad.