Chapter 34: Is This Bribery?
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Winter seemed to have snuck up on them while Roel and Alicia were preoccupied with their studies and training. The temperature continued to fall, and eventually, it started snowing.

Gazing upon the scene outside, which had been cloaked in a layer of white snow, Roel couldn’t help but feel a little excited inside. It felt almost as if the world was inviting him out to take a look and have a snowball fight. Even Alicia, who was usually calm and quiet, felt an urge to frolic about in this weather.

It was a pity that Roel and Alicia were the only ones in the Ascart House, and Roel couldn’t bear to really go all out against her in a snowball fight. In the end, they simply made a snowman together.

There was a superstition that a snowy winter would lead to a bountiful spring, so the farmers living in the suburbs also rejoiced at the weather.

Snow continued to fall for several consecutive days before the weather calmed down. It was on the day right after it stopped snowing that Carter finally returned back to the Ascart House. He appeared to have plenty of work on hand, such that he didn’t have time to rest at home. Even on his rare, free days, he led the militia and military soldiers out to the mountain to hold the local Winter Hunt.

The Winter Hunt was a staple event for each fiefdom. The onset of winter signified the withering of plants and crops, resulting in a lack of food and other necessities. At times like this, the local noblemen would rally the men in their territory, who were free at home, to hunt down animals in the wilderness.

The meat of the hunted animals could be eaten as food, and their skin could be stitched together as coats. It was one of the ways to alleviate the difficulties brought about by the harsh conditions of winter.

The nature of the Winter Hunt changed over the years though, as the populace learned how to prepare for and cope with the harshness of winter. Furthermore, safety net measures were put in place to help the needy. Starvation was no longer a huge problem for the commoners anymore.

As such, the Winter Hunt turned into something more like a festive celebration instead.

Roel was still too young, and he didn’t want to leave Alicia alone at home either, so he opted not to participate.

Carter spent three whole days up in the mountain before finally returning with a deer head in hand.

“What is… this?”

It was inevitable that Roel was startled to see the massive antlered deer head that was almost the size of a table. If the rest of the body matches this head… that would mean this ‘deer’ is around the size of an elephant!

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