Dream Life Vol II Chapter 58: “Inherent Ability of Dwarves?”

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 June 30th, the beginning of summer vacation at Tyria Academy of Magic.


 We left Doctus to return to my hometown, Rathmore Village.



 Because of the fine weather in early summer and no further problems, we arrived at Pericritor, 200 km east of Doctus, in just four days.



 We had decided to stay at the same inn where we had stayed before, the “Eagle’s Nest,” but we decided to take a short detour.


 We were going to visit Byron Seedorf, a mercenary we had traveled with before.


 I visited the inn he used to stay at and asked if he was there, but he was not. It was not so strange that a mercenary who was escorting a merchant caravan was not there, but I asked them for more details. They told me that he had not been in Pericritor for about six months and that he had gone off to find employment somewhere else.



 I had received a letter from my father earlier saying that he had a new squire, but the letter did not mention the name of the squire, as if he intended to introduce him when I returned.


 Considering the story that Byron had been hired somewhere, combined with the contents of my father’s letter, he must have been successfully accepted into the Lockhart family.


 Thinking that this gave me one more thing to look forward to on my return, I headed for the Eagles’s Nest Pavilion.



 The Eagle’s Nest is a popular inn for adventurers, and there was a possibility that there might not be any rooms available.


 But I thought that was highly unlikely.


 Today is July 3, the day before yesterday, the Midsummer’s Eve festival, and the neighbors are leaving town. Adventurers would also be enjoying the afterglow of the festival, but things should be back to normal after today. I figured that many of them would have been asked to stay the night.



 As I had predicted, there was room at the inn.


 I arrived at the inn around 6:00 p.m., which meant it was dinner time, but Yoan, the owner and cook, came out to see me.



“I’m glad you’re doing well. I’m busy right at the moment, but it’ll calm down in two hours, so please wait.” (Yoan)



 With that, he returned to the kitchen.


 Beatrice, seeing this, muttered curiously, “Do you know the cook?” she muttered curiously.



 By the time we had put our luggage in our rooms and finished taking care of the horses, the sky, which had been tinged with the red glow of the setting sun, had begun to turn indigo.


 Everyone finished cleaning up and headed for the dining room.



 As before, this time we were able to choose between meat and fish as our main course.


 When I wondered why it was so late, Mira, the innkeeper, told me, “Our people saved this dish for you. If you want, you can have more.”


 Beatrice did the same and ordered meat and fish. Sharon and Liddy decided to have fish as their main course and enjoy a real meal for the first time in a while.



 The fish dish was Omble Chevalier. The fillet, so large you would think it was a trout, was fried in butter with crispy skin, and the mouthwatering aroma of butter and fish oil burning was wafting through the air. Fresh herbs were placed on top, adding a fresh aroma and flavor.


 As usual, I dipped the bread into the melted butter, it was good. Holding a cup of water in one hand, I pretended that this was white wine.



(It smells really good. I like this one better than the trout because it has a more delicate flavor. A little bit of citrus in this would be perfect. …White wine for this. A fresh Sauvignon Blanc. Or a slightly more acidic Champagne…) (Zack)



 After finishing the fish dish, the meat dish came out.


 Today’s meat dish was braised beef cheek. It was stewed in red wine with celery, bay leaf, and a hint of spices like cloves.



(This makes me want a red wine… Syrah, or maybe a dark Malbec from South America. Or maybe I should splurge a little and get a good Bordeaux Cabernet…) (Zack)



 I drink from my cup of water while fantasizing in my head.



(The hardest thing to do with a child’s body is to drink. Especially when I see Liddy and Beatrice drinking so well, it makes me think about quitting drinking…) (Zack)



 With that thought in mind, I chilled Liddy and Beatrice’s drinks as usual.





 After finishing the meal, Yoan came from the kitchen.




 As he removed his apron, he walked over and said, “How’s the Doctus?”


 I replied, “It was fun,” and he smiled and nodded.


 He noticed Beatrice sitting beside me and said, “Well, this Miss over here is a new face to me. I’m Yoan,” He greets her lightly.


 Beatrice also responds with a smile, “I’m Beatrice. You make good food,” she responded with a smile.


 Yoan nodded to her with a smile and sat down in his chair,



“By the way, the ‘Scotch’ you mentioned is finally here.” (Yoan)



 I heard the word “finally” and thought that it had taken quite a while, and questioned, “I thought it would go rather easily.”



 Yoan raised both hands as if things were unexpected,



“I thought it was going to take quite a while. Since last summer, the dwarves of Ars–the royal capital of the southern kingdom of Kaum–have been buying more and more of it. I managed to get Henry of the Norton Chamber of Commerce–the chairman—and only negotiated a deal to send me once every two months, here in Pericritor. Can’t you do something about this?” (Yoan)



 Apparently, consumption in Ars has increased, making it difficult to supply the rest of the world.


 But scotch needs time to mature, so we can’t increase the supply right away. In line with my plan, we are producing equal quantities of the regular product, which is released in three years, and the high-end product, which is aged for more than ten years. For now, I have no intention of selling the long-aged version early, no matter how popular it becomes. This is something my father, the owner of the distillery and I, have agreed to.



(Oh boy, I’m in trouble… Either short-term aging or shortening the time to lay down by making the barrels smaller. This way, it’s not impossible to ship it in two years or so. I’ll have to give it a try, though. And it’s a bit of a violation of the law, but we could reuse the barrels to get the aroma up to speed. I need to figure this out when I get back…) (Zack)



 Yoan told me that when they have reputable scotch like in Ars, the dwarves in Pericritor rush in as soon as it arrives and drink it all up in no time at all.


 When he first put it in three months ago, he was worried about whether it would sell at this price, but dozens of dwarves showed up the same day it came in, wondering where they had heard about it.


 And about a hundred liters of scotch were emptied in one night.



 The next time they came in was last month, and even though he had not advertised, the dwarves appeared out of nowhere, so much so that they ran out of places for guests to eat. So, they hurriedly set up tables and chairs in the backyard and made a temporary bar. Sure enough, it ran out in just two hours that day.



“I’m sorry, but I’m willing to pay twice the price. No, I’m willing to pay three times as much. Could you give me about one barrel every ten days? The dwarves are very noisy in the evenings. They ask every time when they come in.” (Yoan)



 Shaking my head lightly, I regretted that I had underestimated the dwarves.


 It is true that there are several hundred dwarves here in Pericritor. There are many skilled blacksmiths and many first-rate adventurers. So many of them have rather high incomes, but even so, I could not believe that this pricey drink would run out so quickly.


 And somehow, the scotch was flooding in on the days that it was available. I couldn’t help but wonder why.



(Can you smell the booze, for that matter? No, Bertram, the blacksmith of Rathmore Village, said he could smell the liquor from a mile away. I thought he was exaggerating, but maybe it’s an inherent ability of the dwarves of this world. …But so far, I’ve got no action to take…) (Zack)



 I bowed to Yoan,



“I’m sorry, but I can’t make any promises at this time. I’ll do what I can, but it’s going to take me three years to make it. Even if we start now, it will be three years at the earliest.” (Zack)



 Yoan’s shoulders slumped in disappointment, and he muttered, “ Three years. …I have to deal with those dwarves until then…”



 I’m not sure why I felt gazes from the kitchen when I heard that muttering.


 When I turned my gaze toward the kitchen, I thought I saw the dwarves peering into the kitchen like ghosts in search of alcohol.





 The next day, July 4th.


 Starting today, we will travel southward from here in Pericritor along the Ars Road – the main north-south road connecting Pericritor to Ars, the royal capital of the Kingdom of Caum.



 Today’s destination is the village of Meigle. It is only twenty-five kilometers, so there is no problem even if we go out slowly.


 Sharon, who is currently the most physically weak of the three, showed no signs of fatigue, so they did not rest in Pericritor, but instead used today as another day of travel.


 The 60km from Thornbrough – the fortified city about 85km south of Pericritor-to Kilnarc- the town near Rathmore village – is a difficult place infested with monsters and bandits. Caution is a must. Therefore, from today onward, we will not push ourselves too hard, and we are planning to enter the inn early.



 The distance is only 25 km, so we can get there in four or five hours if we are riding. Before leaving, he decided to visit Giselher, a blacksmith in Pericritor, to pay respects.


 At Giselher’s place, too, he asked me to increase the supply of scotch, not to mention the swords. I wondered how much he liked to drink, but I couldn’t speak for others either, so I just said I would do my best.



 From Giselher’s store, we passed through the south gate of Pericritor and entered the Ars Road.


 It had been five days since our departure, but the weather was stable, with dazzling blue summer skies and white clouds.



 I am dressed in all black.


 It is hot, but not as hot as I expected.


 Of course, unlike in winter, my innerwear is made of thin linen–Liddy bought it for me, but for some reason it is also black—but it provides good ventilation. I wonder if the arm of Rufus, who made the armor, is excellent. It was a happy miscalculation that it was not as hot as I had expected.


 However, the jet-black equipment really stands out under this summer sky.


 People always look back at me when they pass me in the street. They would nod their heads and say, “Is this child alright?” or “He must be giving his all for that outfit,” with a kind of look in their eyes.



 To Meigle Village, we pass through a grassy area with gentle hills.


 There are pure white sheep eating grass in the meadow, but when I pass by in black, they stop eating grass and I feel like they are looking up at me.


 When I mentioned this to Liddy, she laughed,



“It’s just your imagination. The sheep don’t care about you. Besides, people pass by and look at you because you look so amazing. But you’ve been looking like that for over eight months now. It’s time to give up.” (Liddy)



 I was not so quick to give up, but I still couldn’t shake the feeling that it was cosplay. I guess I shouldn’t have thought I looked like the Dark Lord at first. Every time I put it on, that quiet theme song plays in my head.



 While chatting like that, I entered Meigle Village.


 The next day, and the day after that, things went well, and on July 6th, we arrived at the fortified city of Thornbrough.



 Thornbrough is a city built on a fortress of the Caelum Empire and is a lodging town with a population of about 1,000 people. It is built on a narrow strip of land between the Farthus River to the west and the forest that extends to the Aquila Mountains to the east.


 We entered the town through a magnificent stone gate.


 For the time being, we secure lodging, and then gather information at the Adventurer’ Guild and the Mercenary’ Guild.


 After gathering information at both guilds, there is no unusual information, and we hear that monsters and bandits are out as usual.


 Tomorrow we will pass through the Karsh Pass where we were attacked by harpies on the outward journey.



 We did not intend to join any merchant caravan this time, but we also did not intend to act alone. We are going to stay in front of or behind a merchant caravan on the road, not too far away from them.




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