10 The Harsh Winter Nights

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A few minutes after I lit the fire, Rosie came back.

The sound of her footsteps echoed through the almost silent night. It was a little windier today and the smoke all fluttered into my eyes, causing a slight irritation.

"How did you go?" I asked her.

"I levelled up again, I also collected a lot of different plants."

"That's good, have you unlocked anything new?"

"I got something called a [Sanctuary], it's like a little greenhouse I can travel to."

That sounded interesting.

"How do you get there?"

"I don't know, I just decide to go there and then I get transported."

From the sound of it, it appeared to be like some other-worldly pocket dimension where she can travel to grow plants. Although, I couldn't be too sure of what it was. I guess the systems that people had varied quite a bit.

Although, I can't help but think that something's off.

She summoned some things from her inventory.

"I collected some fruit and vegetables for us to eat."

"Ooh, that looks nice."

I opened my crafting menu and looked for some cooking utensils. I didn't have any metal to craft a knife with so the best thing I could make was a stone crockpot. With 20 rocks, I crafted the crockpot and attached it to the makeshift cooking device over the fire.

I didn't really know what to put in it so I put some pieces of meat inside and she put some vegetables and water, making some sort of stew. I realised that we also needed bowls and spoons to eat with so I crafted two sets, spending 40 wood.

As the stew cooked, there was quite a nice aroma emanating from it. I would have preferred to have some spices of some sort but that was completely out of reach at the moment.

The two of us sat around the crockpot, watching as my Minions stood on guard around us. The area was getting quite crowded as I now had 17 Minions by my side. My Builder Minion was still hard at work constructing the hut.

As we watched the water vapour evaporate out of the crockpot, I decided to talk to Rosie about her past.

"So how was your life before we were all transported here?" I asked.

"Honestly, it was quite good, I had just gotten my life back in order."

She began telling me her story.




It was a warm summer day when I, Rosie Moran, first found joy in life.

Before this day, I had just been living life on autopilot. Every day was just, waking up, getting dressed, packing for school, getting on the bus, sitting through monotonous classes, getting back on the bus, going home, eating dinner, watching tv and sleeping.

There was never any variation and there were never any changes.

On the bus, I would always try to sit by myself, even when the bus was practically full and people were forced to sit next to others, I would plug in my earphones and pull out my phone, looking at my background or opening some random app I had no interest in.

At school, I technically had friends, although they were more like friends-of-purpose than friend-friends. I struggled to constantly keep up with the need to put up a front, to put up a persona, eventually, I completely stopped speaking to anyone.

As I looked down at the classwork the teacher handed out, I thought nothing of it. I would do it later.

Life was boring, there was nothing that interested me anymore, nothing that made me smile and nothing that made me excited.

That was when I met her.

I had seen her walking around the school from time to time, always a bundle of energy, a happy-go-lucky girl, I would think.

However, on one fateful night, I managed to get a glance at her at the absolute bottom of her life. Her happy, friendly persona was nothing but a front. Out in the dark alleyway beside a convenience store I frequented, I saw her, kicking the wall and yelling in anger.lightsnovel


I wanted to walk away without interacting with her. However, just as I was walking by, she turned her head and stared straight at me.

"Did you see, Rosie..."


Her face was contorted, it was a face I had never seen her make such a face before. I grabbed my long hair in fear as she stared at me with eyes that look as if they could kill.

She took a deep breath.

"You won't tell anyone, right?"

"N-n-no of course not!"

"Okay, well since you've seen what I did, you might as well hear everything."


"I'll trap you in with more information."

She stood up and grabbed my arm.

"You are now associated with me no matter what."

I looked up at her.

"This is our secret."

She pulled me further into the alleyway. I was scared for my life, this person who I'd hardly spoken to before, this person who I thought was the nicest person in the school, was now dragging me by the arm into the darkness of the abyss.

At that time I didn't know what was happening.

But I never knew that she would be my first true friend.

Where are you? Mackenzie...




I almost forgot that everyone here had their own story, their own lives before this catastrophe—or at least that's what I think this is.

"Is the stew almost done?" She asked.

"I honestly have no idea, you want to taste it?"

"Uh... I'm not sure... I guess I'll try one of the vegetables."

She grabbed the spoon and scooped out a piece of what appeared to be celery. After blowing on it to cool it down a little she nibbled on the end and tasted it.

"I don't really know." She finally concluded.

"Oh well, it's been almost two hours, I'm sure it's fine, the entire surrounding area has risen by at least five degrees just from the fire."

"All right, let's eat then."

She scooped the stew into two bowls and the two of us tucked in.

It was nice to have a warm meal for the first time since I came here.

After finishing our meals, I set up the commands for the Minions to look after us during the night. I had quite a large number of Minions at this point so I wasn't as worried about being overrun during the night.

Eventually, I prepared to go to bed.