Dream Life Vol II Chapter 69.2: “The Value of the Distiller”

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 The sun was already well into the evening when we finished our tour.


 We thanked Scott and headed back up the hill.



 I went over to Nicholas and asked him about the apple cider.


 He looked a little puzzled,



“Apple cider is quite sweet, so I wasn’t sure if it would be safe to distill it as is. And since the distiller is running at full capacity at the moment, I figured we didn’t have to make it.” (Nicholas)



 Apparently, the apple cider around here is a sweet French-style cider, and he was cautious about the first attempt at a sweet drink.



“I don’t see the problem with sweet. I’d be happy if we distill it if I only we could get the right amount.” (Zack)



 According to the story, apples are produced in large quantities around the Kingdom of Caum and can be obtained relatively inexpensively. However, at the moment, they can only get what they need when they buy scotch from Ars, so they can’t secure a large quantity.


 As for me, I was hoping to recreate Calvados, or rather, apple brandy.



(Calvados, huh… I don’t know much about Calvados… but the thirty-five-year-old stuff is as good as cognac. The floral aroma all at once is unique, and… it’s nice to distill a few barrels for long-term aging…) (Zack)



 I asked Nicholas to distill the apple cider.



 I asked Nicholas about another thing I was curious about.


 Scott, the head of the distillery.


 He is the only distiller in the world.


 And his spirits are selling like hotcakes. The biggest customers are dwarves who are willing to pay anything for it.


 Any merchant with even the slightest bit of discernment would be thinking about making his own scotch.


 The distiller itself can only be made by Bertram, but the construction is simple and not too difficult to reproduce.


 In other words, today, the only person required to make Scotch is the craftsman, Scott himself.



“About Scott, are you sure nobody can pull him away or something?” (Zack)



 When I said that, Nicholas laughed and shook his head.



“We’ve been approached about that sort of thing many times. The biggest one was His Majesty the King of the Kingdom of Caum. A messenger from His Highness came to visit asking for Scott’s transfer, I was present then.”



 I could not hide my surprise at the fact that the King of Caum, a major power, himself sent a messenger. It is true that scotch is very popular in the Royal Capital of Ars. Therefore, it is not hard to understand that they want to increase tax revenue by building a state-run distillery to generate stable profits and make it a major industry in the country.


 However, the fact that the king himself sent an envoy to an ordinary craftsman is a story on a different dimension.


 I was surprised, then Nicholas happily told me what had happened,



“The head of a Viscount’s family came as a messenger. The current lord and the former lord were surprised at this and sent for Scott at once. In the meantime, I heard the terms of the other party and was even more surprised.” (Nicholas)



 Unexpectedly, he muttered, “Terms?” I muttered.



“Yes, sir. If we give them Scott, they will give the lord a baronetcy in the Kingdom of Caum. They would also give him an estate to match it.” (Nicholas)



 I asked, trying to squeeze an answer out of him, “And what did your father say?”



 Nicholas returned his expression to serious and said, “The lord said this,” then straightened his posture.



“It is an amazing offer. The distillery was built by my son with our people in mind. Even a lord cannot ignore his wishes.” (Nicholas)



 I was at a loss for further words, “My father said that…”



“He then offered Scott a knighthood and a lordship as well, but Scott flatly refused.” (Nicholas)



 I was more shocked than surprised. A noble from Caum offered the status of a knight to Scott but refused.



“…Did he really refuse the knighthood?” (Zack)



 Nicholas nodded and answered with a smile, “Yes, that’s for sure.”



“Scott said to them at the time, he said. ‘I am a mere craftsman without rank or education. However, when I worked hard to create that liquor, the young Master Zacharias thought of my hard work and named the liquor after me, a mere craftsman. Master Zacharias was so grateful that he approved of my efforts. Normally, I should have been given a family name, but I have already been given an excessive amount of honor by naming the liquor to someone like me. Yes, it’s the honor of leaving my name to posterity. I cannot repay that favor with betrayal.’” (Nicholas)



 Certainly, Scott’s name will live on for generations to come. But that alone should not be reason enough to reject a knighthood.



“And that’s the only reason he rejected the knighthood?” (Zack)



 When I said this to Nicholas, he returned to a serious expression,



“Yes, he did. But I would have said the same thing. I thought he did not want to betray the Lockhart family, to whom he was greatly indebted. But Caum’s emissary was even more insistent. This is what Scott said at that time. ‘My name will go down in posterity with the name of Scotch. If I am blinded by the knighthood and betray the Lockhart family, to whom I owe so much, the story will be told forever that I am a man of dishonor. I am only a craftsman, but I cannot endure such humiliation.’ he said.” (Nicholas)



 Scott’s name will live on with Scotch. If he had been blinded by his position and betrayed his lord, his notoriety would also go down with him. It was possible, but I felt uncomfortable with his words.


 It was true that Scott had dared to name “Scotch” so that he would not be taken out of the product. It was done with a half-hearted and calculating thought.



(At that time, he certainly said that I named it Scotch in order to thank Scott for his work. That feeling was certainly there. However, I didn’t think it would go further like this… But I can’t underestimate the Caum Kingdom, who has prepared so much just for liquor.) (Zack)



 Furthermore, Nicholas tells us that a large merchant from the commercial city of Aurella has offered to buy the process of making scotch.



“At first they offered 50,000 C Crona (= 50 million yen), but they gradually raised the price and finally offered 1 million C Crona (= 1 billion yen). The lord was indeed surprised, but it must have been worth it. After that, similar offers continued to come in.” (Nicholas)



 Hearing these stories, I was concerned.


 If they were to increase the scale of liquor production, the market would become even larger. If that happens, there is no guarantee that nobody will take aggressive measures.


 Scott, the distillation manager, is in particular danger. He could be kidnapped.



(Well, what should we do? For the customers, there is no need to be particular about what is made in our village. As long as the quality is the same regardless of where the product is made, a buyer will be found soon. No, given the current scarcity, even if the taste is not as good, it should still sell. …buyers or …I see! I’ve found a way!) (Zack)



 I ran out of Nicholas’ house and down the hill where the pavilion stood. 




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