A week passed since I became Village Chief. The Empire hadn’t made any moves yet. They were probably searching for the perpetrator of the Supply Base attack.
With a monster that could attack a supply base and kill many soldiers like that they would want to strengthen their defenses and prepare. They had no soldiers to spare for other things.
However, it wouldn’t be too long before soldiers would come knocking.
They would need to make up for the supplies that I had stolen. They would obviously attempt to collect an additional tax to compensate.
Furthermore, there was even the magic stones that the Captain had embezzled in the first place. Making up for that deficit would be high on their list of priorities.
I had already ordered several villagers to keep watch in the direction of the Empire.
Obviously I had not only given orders to deal with the Empire, but various other orders to help us all overcome this coming winter. I had given the men crossbows to practice with and hunt in the mountains. For the women it was all cranberries and maple leaves. We were also gathering edible plants and mushrooms that can be preserved while making the meat we got into jerky.
Thanks to the crossbows our hunting results were better than previous years so we had more leeway.
I had placed special effort into the cranberries. They had many uses. Once autumn passed us by we wouldn’t be able to collect them so we were harvesting as quickly as we could.
I was working as both Chief and Doctor. I healed the people and moved around the village doing various things to help us prosper.
Today I showed the results of some of my efforts to Lucy.
「Cyril what’s this weird transparent building?」
Lucy asked in astonishment.
Today I had taken her outside the village to a place near my workshop.
「This is a glass house. The light passing through the surfaces of this building will strengthen causing it to heat up and not let the heat escape. I guess you could also say it won’t let cold air escape either, but that’s just how it’s made.」
「Cyril always makes things that are hard to understand.」
「This building will become hotter than the weather outside. As long as you understand that then it’s enough.」
This was the greenhouse I had created. As usual I had crafted it using my dwarven power.
「Then what’s that red ball thing?」
「That’s the fire magic I’m using in place of a heating system. It absorbs the surrounding fire mana and continues to burn. Even if the glass house stays warm there’s a limit to what it can do by itself. The magic spell will last until its structure destabilizes. If a first rate magician casts it then it can last a month.」
Of course I could be considered a super first class magician. Furthermore this was a spell I had cast while in dwarf form that had very high fire affinity. This spell would last for around 2 months.
Yesterday I had plowed, baked the clay frame, crafted the quartz glass into the proper shape, and deployed three fire spells inside it.
The greenhouse was 50 meters long, 8 meters wide, and 2 meters tall. It was the most manageable size and the limit of my current magical abilities.
The outside temperature was only about 10 degrees Celsius, but the inside of the greenhouse was around 20 degrees C.
Plus this glass house had a gimmick to it as well.
If you were to load it with water mana, it would create water that would be sucked into pipes and shower down on the plants.
The fire spells I had set could withstand this small amount of water.
「Cyril what will we be using this for?」
「Of course it’s to grow plants. They don’t grow when it’s cold right? Right now the interior of this glass house might be a bit cold, but eventually it’ll reach springtime temperatures and we can raise crops in here.」
「I see, then even if it’s cold then we can raise some plants. But I doubt it’ll still work once the snow falls. It’s only around 3 months till the first snowfall…are there any kinds of plants that can grow in that short of a time period?」
「I have some. I found these when I attacked the supply base. They should fit our needs.」
I said and carefully opened the box I carried here.
Inside it were potatoes. I had two boxes total amounting to about 20kg of potatoes.
The best climate for growing potatoes was between 15 and 25 degrees C. Usually it would take around three months for potatoes to grow, but since the temperature would fall soon it would cause their growth to stagnate to around half a year. In order to avoid this I created the glass house.
I hope that if this greenhouse becomes popular we can even use it to grow food during the winter.
「Cyril…isn’t the fruit of the devil?」
「That’s right. You recognized it.」
Potatoes were called the fruit of the devil in this era and were avoided. You could say that I was quite lucky to even find them at the supply base.
「Grandma said to never eat these.」
「Well, they do have poison so if you carelessly munch on them you could die.」
This was the reason they were called the devil’s fruit and were shunned.
「We can’t be growing these!」
「As long as we’re not careless then it’s a great crop.」
I said with a smile.
「The vegetable itself doesn’t have any poison. Only the sprout contains it. See this green part? This is the poison. If people don’t know and eat it accidentally they get stomach pains, diarrhea, and might die.」
This world wasn’t very literate so many people only got information through hearsay. It wasn’t easy for accurate information to disseminate. Thanks to this many people didn’t know about potatoes and prepared them incorrectly causing a decline in their health.
Compared to the information that “only the sprout is dangerous” it was easier for the rumor that “the devil’s fruit will kill you” to spread. This caused the potato to be sidelined.
「That’s no good if people don’t know they could die!」
Lucy said worriedly. I could understand her feelings, but the Elf village only had a population of around 200 people so we could effectively spread this information.
Plus there was a reason I definitely needed to raise this crop.
「Even so this devil fruit only takes 3 months to grow, has high nutritional value, and is delicious. There’s nothing else like it. We’ll have to rely on it to safely pass the winter. In all honesty we don’t have much surplus in our winter supplies and once it’s over “we’ll have trouble”. The proof is in the pudding, you’ll change your mind once you try it. Here I’ve cooked you one.」
「Do I really have to eat it?」
「I won’t say you have to…but I really want you to.」
I handed Lucy the potato I had started steaming before I went to get her. I had only seasoned it with a bit of salt.
Lucy grabbed it and stuffed it in her mouth with a small cry.
「Ah, it’s soft and flaky…the taste is mild…I might like this.」
「See? Plus we can harvest more of these than we can wheat. We should be able to harvest several times the amount, plus it’s way easier to raise and prepare than wheat. It’s a great crop.」
In this era it would take great effort to increase our wheat output by even five times. In comparison potatoes had an overwhelming advantage.