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After that, we took a leisurely tour of the village until the sun went down. It was the first time in a long time that I had basked in the sun, and I felt like I was drying out in the sun. I was baked by the glaring sun, but it felt good. I guess we all need the sun. Perhaps there is something fundamentally different about dwarves, who can live underground without any problems, from the common human.
Incidentally, there was no adventurer’s guild in this village.
I’m not sure why, but I guess the monsters in the area are weak or something. Thinking back, I hadn’t seen anyone who looked like an adventurer since I came to this village. I guess that’s one of the reasons.
There was something I wanted to do the next time I found a guild, but there was nothing I could do about it. I’ll think about it in the next town.
I took a room at the inn before the sun went down and ordered dinner at the tavern next door. This is the same place I came to for lunch, though… There is only one tavern in this small village, so I had no choice.
“A stew and two loaves of bread… No, El Caterpillar steak, please.”
“Got it… it’s delicious though…” (Tavern Master)
I put Shion on my lap, pretending not to hear him.
“What do you have to drink?” (Rook)
“Ale. I have some Dwarven Fire Wine, but you wouldn’t want that, do you?” (Tavern Master)
The master of the tavern looked at me as if to check my face before saying so.
Dwarven Fire Wine? I’m sure the Fire Wine is distilled liquor—that is, liquor with high alcohol content, but what kind of liquor is it? I wonder what it’s like. I didn’t know that distillation technology already existed.
It was the first time I’d heard of Fire Wine in this world, and it piqued my interest.
“What kind of drink is Dwarven Fire Wine?” (Rook)
“Well… Just take a sip and judge it for yourself…” (Tavern Master)
The Tavern Master pulled out a large ceramic bottle from a shelf behind him.
“It’s called Bergen Fire Wine. When you put it in your mouth, it tastes like… something is making you feel hot all over, yeah.” (Tavern Master)
He made an indescribable expression as he said this.
Apparently, ordinary human Tavern Masters don’t like Dwarven Fire Wine at all.
“…Then, please give me a mug.”
“Hey, well there may be a few humans that like this, but none among the young people… If you still want to drink it, I won’t stop you.” (Tavern Master)
The master popped the cork on the bottle, poured some Bergen Fire Wine into a wooden cup, and placed it in front of me.
“Here, two silver coins.” (Tavern Master)
I was surprised at the unexpectedly high price, but I couldn’t back out now, so I meekly paid and took the cup.
While stroking Shion with my left hand, I pick up the cup and checked the aroma.
“Kyu, kyu?” (Shion)
A strong smell of alcohol pierce my nose, some kind of grassy herb-like smell. There is also a unique sweet smell. What is this? At this point, I’ve already established that it’s not a relatively simple spirit like gin or vodka.
I made up my mind and took a small sip of it.
The numbness on my tongue, the taste of alcohol in my nose. A bitter taste of herbs. A faint sweetness. And then, after a delay, comes pain… Why is it spicy?
Yeah, this is poison, right? I’m sure it’s poison, right?
…I’ve never experienced this before. It’s not the taste of soju or whiskey or any of the other famous spirits on Earth. It’s something fundamentally different.
I took another sip.
The bitter and pungent taste spreads in my mouth.
…Hmm? The bitterness and the pungency are very stimulating, but maybe the alcohol content is not as high as I thought. I think it’s less alcoholic than soju.
However, as I licked and drank it, my mouth and the back of my throat gradually became hot as if it was burning. It was as if I had drunk vodka.
“It’s hard to drink for ordinary people you know. So, take some ale and calm down.” (Dwarf Customer)
I looked at the voice and saw a middle-aged dwarf sitting three seats away from me, looking at me. It seems that he could not stand to see me frowning and drinking Fire Wine.
“…Yes, I’ll stop drinking this wine.” (Rook)
“That’s good. Well, it’s called Fire Wine, but it’s not real Fire Wine. The taste is also second-rate… If you ever get your hands on some real Fire Wine, you should try that one.” (Dwarf Customer)
“This Fire Wine… is fake…?” (Rook)
What does he mean? Is this fire liquor a fake?
“Oh, it’s just a knock-off of real Fire Wine, you know. They say that real Fire Wine can only be made somewhere in the Dwarven lands. You won’t find it around here.” (Dwarf Customer)
The dwarf then gulped down the mug in his hand and continued.
“Genuine Wire Wine is … different. It has a smooth texture. No unpleasant taste. Your throat does get fiery… But it’s different from this Fire Wine.” (Dwarf Customer)
The dwarf was looking somewhere far away as if staring at his beloved lover.
“Hey Kazzo, stop interfering with my business.” (Tavern Master)
“Shut up, it’s true.” (Dwarf Customer => Kazzo)
“You don’t have to say the truths.” (Tavern Master)
I gathered my thoughts as I listened to the bickering between the dwarf and the tavern master.
There is a drink in this world called Fire Wine. But it can only be made in the land of the dwarves?
This “Bergen’s Fire Wine” was apparently made in an attempt to recreate the “Genuine Fire Wine”. However, I felt that the alcohol content was not that high. It seemed to me that some herbs and spices were added to make up for it.
I wondered if the distillation technology was kept secret in the Dwarf lands.
Whatever the case may be, I would like to taste the “Genuine Fire Wine” someday. I’d like to visit Dwarf country.
With this thought in mind, I stroked Shion’s throat while watching the dinner that never came out and the quarrel between the master who was supposed to cook it.
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