Aftering having helped Oswald with some lumber, Gren assisted the others in chopping down trees. For once the chainsaw function of Annabeth was used for its original agricultural origins instead of its ad hoc weaponized purpose. He had cleared away a lot of the trees and stumps, getting a bit concerned about what they should be doing now. He could deforest this entire island by tomorrow, but that won’t help them against the coming storm or getting out of this place. He could only hope that Oswald or the others were devising a plan to get them off this island while Gren and everyone else worked on a temporary shelter.
As Gren was about to cut down another tree he heard a small voice shout at him over the roar of his chainsaw. Turning the screaming blade off he turned to see Yue, the weird brown maid girl. He hasn’t really interacted with her much since the parent’s day meeting. He walked over to her since she seemed to have an idea. Gren had an idea too, so if her plan sucks he’d suggest his own. ”Hey, wussup?”
While both Gren and Yue’s weapons were pretty well suited for chopping down the surrounding forestry and providing large amounts of wood and lumber for the group, Robert’s wasn’t. When he came to realize that trying to hack through was doing more damage to the blade then it was to the actual tree, he would resign himself to collecting what the others had brought down and gathering it all together as best as he could, rolling what he could and dragging what wouldn’t fit between the stumps left in their path.
As he wiped the sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his hoodie, he heard the voice of Yue call out over the raucous sound of the orc’s chainsaw. Regrouping with the two of them, he greeted his classmates with a simple, ”What’s up?”
Yue looked to the two boys and gulped. Normally she wasn’t one to lead projects like this, however her mother had told her that once she becomes the head maid of the Schnee family, it would be her responsibility to organize and direct others. She just hadn’t expected to do something like this so soon. Clearing her throat Yue bowed at Gren and Robert before speaking. ”I have an idea how we could build the shelter. First, I need Gren to carve out some notches on those trees over there.” Yue pointed towards four fairly stout tree they haven’t cut down yet.
”Those four trees will be the corners of the shelter we’ll be building. What I was thinking is that we could use wood joining to put these logs together, and hopefully that would keep them stable enough to survive the monsoon. Robert, you and I will need to work on the lumber together. I’ll shave the bark and excess wood off, but only your blades would be small enough to handle the finer carving.”
Kneeling on the ground Yue picked up a stick and made a sketch of what she needed Robert to carve. ”If you ever played with lincoln logs, it’s something like that. Except instead of a slanted roof, it’ll just have to be a flat one. My sword is too big to carve out the notches needed for the logs, but I think your weapon is better at that Robert.” Then Yue looked to Gren, going over to a nearby tree and taking out her sword. She hacked a few notches into it, but only on one side. ”Gren I need you to make notches similarly to this, on one side of the trees, and then on the opposite side of the other tree. We need to make the shelter on those trees in order to protect it from flooding. It won’t be perfect but with any luck it’ll be stable.” Yue looked to the two and gulped. She hoped they understood what she wanted and didn’t mind her ordering them around. This would be the first time she’s ever done so on her own initiative.
Gren thought about Yue’s idea and it wasn’t bad. It was almost like his plan, except he intended to dug holes to put the timber through himself, since he didn't trust the foundation of just laying down lumber. He had some questions about Yue’s idea and worried that without any nails, rope, or other binding agents, the entire thing was going to collapse in on itself once too much weight was put onto it. But it wasn’t a bad idea. ”Aight, I’m down with that plan. But I’m worried that it won’t be strong enough to support all of our weight. I mean, I’m a pretty heavy guy just by myself. Maybe a few more logs or two to make sure that the whole thing doesn’t collapse on us. Still, I’ll go ahead and notch up those trees.” Walking over to the tree that Yue had hacked up he examined the cut and turned to Yue. ”Like this? Except maybe cleaner? I can do that.”
Gren flexed his arms as he approached the four trees Yue had pointed out. Activating his semblance he started walking up the tree and as he walked he revved up his saw. He’ll have to be careful: this time he doesn’t want to cut completely through the tree. Splinters and sawdust went flying as he went to work on making this log house hideout.
As Yue explained her idea, Robert nodded along while listening. He recalled reading about wood joining once at his local library and how several civilisations would use it to create buildings if they lived in an area that lacked resources like iron to create nails. Reading about it and actually putting it into action were two very different things though, so he hoped that he’d be able to do his job correctly. He didn’t want to let everyone else down.
Despite the doubt that he had in his own ability, the boy gave the young maid a bright smile and an enthusiastic thumbs up. ”You can count on me!” he told her before setting off back to the pile of lumber he had created with what the two had cut down earlier. The boy would patiently wait for her to begin shaving off the branches and bark, smoothing out the first log before he would begin the delicate work of carving out the small indentations. For a first time woodcarver, it was actually pretty decent, though not enough that he’d be winning any awards any time soon.
Yui smiled as the two agreed to her plan. It really gave her hope that this wasn’t as silly as she thought. As Gren went to work, she and Robert went to some wood piles to start carving. THey had timber of various girths, but she wanted to make sure she can use all of them. Thus, that meant they needed to conform to the smallest of the logs. When she found what looked like the thinnest Yui went to work shaving off the branches and bark with precision, slicing a clean parallel cut into the log until it was a long cube instead of a cylinder. This would be the base in which all of the logs will be shaped.
After that Yue gave the square lumber to Robert to cut while she started to shape the other logs. She used some fire dust to heat her blade, not enough to cause the logs to catch on fire. Just enough to dry them out so they’d be stiff when they’re stacked up instead of flexible and thus bend. The last thing she wants is for the wood to warp when they’re putting this building together.
The work was long and arduous, but soon after carving up all of the lumber and finishing the prep, they had laid down the first “floor” of the shelter. Securing the square timber into the notches Gren made, then stacking the logs Robert had carved, they had created a base five feet above the ground, and then filled the gap with more carved logs and had a floor. All they needed now was to keep building up and eventually make a roof. However they were going to need more wood.
”Good job you two! But we’re not done yet. We need more wood to stack up for walls and a roof. I think maybe… Ten high on three sides, And then fifteen or so more lengthwise for the roof. As like Gren mentioned, maybe if we can we could fit a few logs underneath at the center to help stabilize the shelter. Oh! And I know we’re going to need some filler in between. This way we don’t have any cracks. So Gren and I will go back to cutting more timber down, Robert, could you make use some mortar? Water, rocks, sand, that sort of thing. It’s a dirty job but I’m relying on you to handle it, okay?” Yui handed Robert the plastic tarp she had taken from the ship. Hopefully that would help transport the mortar and keep the process clean.
”Alright, I’ll get right on it,” Robert agreed, taking the tarp and heading back to the beach where he knew there would be plenty of sand and water. He’d start searching for other materials to add to the mortar afterward. While exiting the forest, who’s branches and leaves had been catching a lot of the small droplets descending from the sky, the red haired boy finally noticed just how much time had passed. Within a few minutes, he was sure these small drops of rain would become painful as they’d begin pelting the students that now occupied this small island. They would need to pick up their pace as soon as possible.