At the Northern Fort V4C1

At the Northern Fort V4C1: Snowlea Mountain’s Summer

Summer had once again arrived in the Kingdom of Aridora where I live.

……how rough. Summer is so rough.

I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the brightly shining summer sun. I don’t like bugs flying everywhere. I don’t like how my paw pads get sticky with sweat.

Somehow I just hate all of it. I hate everything about summer.

As a snow spirit, I spouted all of my complaints about summer as I holed up inside our cavern den. 

Mother kept snow falling periodically in the area around Snowlea Mountain’s summit, so it was nice and cool for me here.

At the base of the mountain, I did think it was quite a bit cooler compared to summers in Japan, but for me it was a temperature that was difficult for me to bear. Although for all the knights at the Northern Fort, summer seemed to be far easier to survive in.


As I rolled inside the cavern in my fluffy fox form, Mother, in her humanoid form, called me from outside.

“Come. It is time for your training.”


I came to a complete stop as I pretended to be asleep. I knew that my restless movements from earlier had already exposed me, but I couldn’t help but feign sleep. Because I hate training.

Mother really has to hurry up and give up on trying to raise me to be strong. I wish she’d realise that her daughter was a lazy person that hates fighting, and only wants to live a life where she can sleep, eat, and play if possible. 

“Milfiria, today we will train to hide from enemies.”

Mother continued talking, assuming that I was already awake, and picked me up in her arms before bringing me outside. I stubbornly kept my eyes closed, but Mother wouldn’t fold so easily either.

“……training to hide from enemies?”

Against my better judgement, I opened my eyes and asked that out for fear of what I would be made to face now. Mother seemed to find training fun, as she grinned while explaining.

“There may not be many foreign enemies in the winter, but in the summer there are many active animals after all. Today I will teach you how to protect yourself from birds of prey.”

“Bwirds of pwey huh……”

If that’s the case, then the training might not be so bad, I thought. It was entirely possible that I’d be targeted  by animals like eagles, hawks, or owls after all.

A large eagle would be able to easily catch and fly off with a small fox cub like myself. 

In my previous life, I saw a scene where an eagle hunted a goat on tv. Even now, I remember feeling surprised thinking, “It can even fly while carrying a goat?”. 

“Milfiria, if you saw a large bird in this area, what do you think would be the best way to hide yourself?”

“Hmmm……quickly returning to the cave!”

I’ve heard that birds don’t have good night vision, so I’d hide deep within the dark depths of the cave. I responded full of confidence, but Mother told me, “You mustn’t do that”. 

“If you catch sight of a bird, the first thing you must do is not move. You must stay as still as possible on the spot.”

“But if I don’t run away, I’ll get caught.”

“If the cave is right by you, then like Milfiria said, hiding inside of it would be good. However, if there is any distance between you and the cave, then the bird will be able to catch you before you are able to escape.”

“Then, what should I do?”

I looked up at Mother and asked.

“Like I said before, you mustn’t move. Here, there aren’t any trees, nor is there a forest. All there is, is the snow covering the ground. Thus, to hide yourself from a bird, it is important to blend in and become one with the snow. With your white pelt, If you stay still on top of the snow, Milfiria, then the bird will not be able to find you. Predators specialise in finding escaping prey, so they are unexpectedly bad at finding motionless beings.”

Hmm, so it’s like that.

Mother placed me on top of the snow and started the training.

“Now, run. Then, when I clap my hands, stop and curl up.”

“Got it.”

Somehow I could imagine how silly that would look, but for the time being I began running on top of the snow.

*pant pant*, *pant pant*, *pant—

Then, Mother clapped her hands, so I curled up on the spot. I hid my forepaws and my ears, and stayed completely still.

“Can you see me?”

I asked Mother, still rolled up into a ball.

“You’re completely visible to me but—”

I’m completely visible?

“—I’m sure it would be hard to see you from the sky.”

There, Mother looked up at the sky.

“Hyllis! How is it?”

“Eh? Hyllis?”

I reflexively looked up at the sky as well. In the clear skies was a colourful bird that seemed well-suited in a southern country. That certainly was the Wind Spirit Hyllis.

Why is Hyllis here? Before I could voice my doubts, she shouted angrily from the skies.

“Why do I have to cooperate with this kind of training!”

“You’re probably free anyways.”

Mother bit back. 

“I’m free, but I don’t have the time to be doing things like this!”

Hyllis was probably summoned here by Mother for the purposes of this training. How do I say…sorry about that.

However, even as she shook with anger, she continued to properly cooperate with the training.

“But, when she doesn’t move, Milfiria really does blend in well with the snow!”

Hyllis, you’re such a good person.

Once the training ended, the three of us returned to the cave to rest. Mother returned to her vixen form and sat on our hay bed. I laid next to Mother, gnawing on an icicle I had her get for me.

Meanwhile, Hyllis was using her beak to wholeheartedly groom herself. Hyllis’ tail feathers were long, so some of the postures she had to take to do so looked a little uncomfortable.

I stopped gnawing at the icicle and asked Hyllis.

“Hyllis, you want an icicle?”

Thinking that she was probably far more tired than I was after flying in the sky the whole time, I asked that so she could rehydrate with it.


However, Hyllis took one look at the icicle and immediately rejected it before returning to her self-grooming. 

“Is that bothering you? Your tail feathers.”

“Sorta. I’ve gotta make them pretty.”

“They’re plenty pretty. They’re sparkling.”

When I praised her, Hyllis proudly ‘hehe’-ed and raised her face. 

“Thanks. Hilg also said that these tail feathers caught his eye.”

Hyllis looked happy as she said that. The Fire Spirit Hilg-papa—he was Kugalg’s papa, so that’s how I called him—was the person Hyllis held feelings for. 

Hilg-papa seemed to like my Mother and didn’t seem to view Hyllis as an adult woman, so her love was one-sided.

But lately Hyllis wasn’t getting jealous of Mother over each and every little thing, and even seemed to be enjoying her one-sided love.

“He said, ‘The way your long tail flutters around really catches the eye’.”

Hyllis was saying that happily, but Hilg-papa’s animal form was a black panther, so he might’ve meant it in the sense that it caught his eye as a feline predator. Rather than targeting her as a member of the opposite sex, it was possible he saw her as prey. Was that really okay?

Well, leaving Kugalg aside, I don’t think Hilg-papa would actually pounce on Hyllis like that. 

However, the sight of Hyllis grooming her tail feathers with the utmost effort after having been told that by Hilg-papa was admirable and cute.

(It really gives the feeling of a maiden in love.)

How nice. I also wanted to fall in love, I thought to myself as I resumed gnawing on the icicle. 

“Milfiria, if you keep eating the icicle, you’ll upset your stomach again.”

“Ah, that’s true.”

Just recently, I ate a whole icicle because it was hot and ended up with a stomach ache. I was probably the only spirit to have a belly ache because of cooling my stomach too much. On top of that, that was despite being a snow spirit who should be strong against the cold.

“Milfiria really is peculiar.”

Hyllis said that, but I refuted her words.

“Isn’t Hyllis also peculiar? It’s rare for a spirit to fall in love, right?”

“That’s not true. Kugalg obviously loves Milfiria, and while I hate to admit it, Hilg also loves Snowlea, doesn’t he?”

“Ah, that’s true.”

My refutation was promptly defeated. 

“Geez! Don’t make me say things like that!”

“Sorry. It must be hard for Hyllis to have an unrequited love for Hilg-papa……I’m sorry for making you say that Hilg-papa loves Mother……even though it’s hard for Hyllis……sorry……even though it’s hard for you.”

“Hey, stop! It’s not that hard!”

Hyllis flapped her wings angrily. Sorry.

But I wonder if there were spirits other than Hyllis, Kugalg, and Hilg-papa who have fallen in love? Amongst the other spirits who I haven’t met yet, there might be one who has a wonderful love story.

Somehow, as someone who yearns for love, I was suddenly curious about that.

<–Previous Chapter | Next Chapter–>


About Kiriko

A young neko that enjoys frolicking around the net. Often has to run away from certain individual(s).
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2 Responses to At the Northern Fort V4C1

  1. Elearus says:

    Thank you for the chapter!!


  2. Pingback: At the Northern Fort V4C2 | Kiriko Translations

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