Dream Life Vol II Chapter 71.2: “How to Protect Distillation Technology”

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 After an early morning workout and breakfast, I say goodbye to my family.


 As expected, the adults were all smiles, but my younger brother, sister, and other little kids started crying when they heard we were leaving.


 After calming the little ones down, we mounted our horses and we headed down Castle Hill.


 The villagers knew we were leaving and lined the path between the hills, waving us goodbye.


 I left my hometown once again.



 The journey to Doctus was peaceful compared to the outward journey.


 Even in the dangerous Karsh Pass, there were no attacks by monsters or bandits.



 The only thing that disturbed my peaceful mind was an emergency announcement by the Blacksmith’s Guild in the adventurer’s town of Pericritor.



 When I entered the “Eagle’s Nest,” my regular lodging in Pericritor, the owner, Yoan, laughed at me and said, “Sounds like a terrible thing is going on.”


 At first, I tilted my head, not understanding what he was talking about, but then Yoan told me that the Blacksmith’s Guild had issued a statement.


 When Yoan told me what he was talking about, I was so shocked that I dropped the sword in my left hand and thought about returning to the village.


 After consulting with Bertram, I told my father and Nicholas, who was in charge of internal affairs, about ways to protect the village and the distillery. However, I was not sure if my plan would be sufficient for such an important matter.



 What I thought of was the spread of distillation technology.


 However, it was not to sell the technology itself, as I had done with soap, but to train craftsmen to set up distilleries in various regions.



 Why did I decide not to do the same thing with soap?


 I have no attachment to soap, but I do to liquor. That’s the only difference.



 I didn’t want to sell this distilling technique to people who only care about money. At the very least, I would not sell it to big merchants or aristocrats who had no desire to make good liquor.


 As I often thought when I was in Japan when a company buys out small distilleries and breweries, they instantly lose their appeal. Of course, it does not mean that they become tasteless. It’s just that the taste is made to be generally accepted while retaining the individuality of the smaller distiller or brewer, but I don’t like that.


 It is true that when a large company buys out a brewery, there are no more standouts or subtle tastes that make you shake your head in disbelief.


 But the good thing about small makers is that for every standout, there is a party. I used to go to liquor-tasting events, and I would often find small breweries that made liquor so bad that I wanted to exclaim, “Why did they make this?”


 If our taste buds were normal, nine out of ten people would say that the liquor tasted bad.


 For a small manufacturer, if the remaining person says the sake is good, they can sell it as a product. However, big capitalists are not likely to do such a thing, and they will not even suggest such a business venture that could damage their reputation.


 Furthermore, I am the only person in the world who understands what distilled spirits are all about. If a major merchant or a nobleman who does not understand the importance of long-term aging were to start distilling, thy would give priority to efficiency and ship it in new-pot, or “barley shochu” form. That is not undrinkable.


 In other words, it would sell well even if they did not aim to improve the taste.



 What will happen if it becomes mainstream?


 The whisky that I aim for may be destroyed along the way.


 No one wants to keep stock for a long time when they can make a profit in a short period of time. This is basic common sense for anyone in the business.


 And it takes at least ten years for a genuine, long-aged whisky to appear on the market. Those who have never had a whisky and do not understand the taste would think that it is unnecessary to spend such a long time.


 As a result, the real whisky I am aiming for will be buried before it is released to the world.


 So, at least until long-aged scotch is distributed and its taste is recognized, I don’t want to diffuse the distillation technique without any thought. That’s what I mean.



 I’ve said this long enough, but what I’ve come up with is that if a willing craftsman visits Scott’s distillery, I’ll accept him and teach him the art of distilling.


 However, I put three conditions on that.



 First, he must have at least three years of apprenticeship.


 Second, he had to be able to talk to Bertram about liquor.


 Third, he must have a dream to create something beyond Scott’s sake.


 These were the three conditions I set.



 The first was to maintain the quality of the liquor by having them learn to manage the barrels and ingredients. In the third year, they would be able to drink liquor that they had been involved in from the very beginning. If they could understand how important this time is, they would not make bad liquor. Of course, there is also the purpose of weeding out those who have only come to steal distilling techniques or those who are unmotivated and make fun of the untrained.


 The second is easy. Just look to see if they love to drink. If they don’t have a passion for booze, Bertram will see right through them, and if they do, it’s very beneficial to hear directly from the dwarves who are their customers.


 The third is also just to see if they have a passion for booze. There is no point in reproducing a degraded version of Scott’s craftsmanship, which is still in its infancy. It is because a craftsman who does not make an effort to improve cannot become a first-class professional.



 I have no intention of saying anything about whether they will be headhunted by a big merchant or become independent after they learn the distilling techniques of our village.


 If a craftsman who can fulfill the conditions, I set for him can spread the distilling technique, I would welcome it.


 Well, even if they start now, it will be more than 30 years before I will be satisfied with the spirits they make, so it’s a long time coming.



 This was the end of my plan, but the announcement by the Blacksmith’s Guild changed the whole story.


 The fact that the Blacksmith Guild sent out a statement to the whole world meant that the whole world would pay attention to the distilling technology in the village of Rathmore. Naturally, the Caelum Empire was among them.


 In case you are wondering… The Lockhart family are knights loyal to the Caelum Empire. In reality, the Lockhart family is a small and independent nation, not under the patronage of the empire. However, if the imperial government says something to us, it is still difficult to refuse.


 Both my grandfather and father have always said that they would be happy to give up their knighthoods. My father, in particular, was not originally concerned about it, or perhaps he had a very rational view.



“Even though I am a knight, I have no duties and no benefits. And if my father says it’s fine, I don’t care if I don’t get a knighthood, which is not my achievement.” (Matt)



 This village of Rathmore was originally a sort of pioneer village in the free border zone.


 In fact, even if the Lockhart family became independent, when the Caelum Empire dispatches its army, no matter which route it takes, it will have to pass through another country to reach this village. Naturally, if that were to happen, the Blacksmith Guild that takes care of their armor would hear about it.


 The only flying dragon squadron that we have heard of would be able to reach the village directly, but it is hard to imagine that they would dispatch an elite squadron of soldiers to a small village in a remote area.


 But even so, the fact that the Caelum Empire is interested is not a good situation.


 Furthermore, the commercial city of Aurella, which wants to establish friendship with the Blacksmith Guild, or to make them follow them, could do anything they want with their financial power.


 I thought it would be better for me to go back to the village.



(However, I should have expected this, considering the obsession of the dwarves. I had the unexpectedly powerful backing of the Blacksmith Guild’s patronage, but things had gotten too big…) (Zack)



 The bottom line, I didn’t go back to the village.


 The reason is that even if I went back to the village, there is not much I could do. My father and Nicholas would have a hard time, but even if I publicly stated that my basic policy was not to sell distilling techniques, those who did not want to make enemies with the Blacksmith Guild would not try to strong-arm me.


 The only thing left is how to deal with those who would try to entangle us, but if we declare that we will not sell no matter what, we should not have much of a problem because in the self-sufficient village of Rathmore, economic strangleholds will not work, and we will not be beholden to authority.


 It would be harder to make a bad move if my stalwart father and honest Nicholas refused than if I were there.



(I can see Nicholas having a hard time… I’m sorry…) (Zack)



 I bowed my head toward the village of Rathmore, and in my heart, I joined my hands for Nicholas and apologized.



 Once again, we continued our journey to Doctus, and although we were stranded for several days due to bad weather, we arrived safely in Doctus on August 28.



A/N: I am surprised that the previous chapter was very well received.

I myself enjoyed writing it, but as someone who thinks I am primarily writing a fantasy novel, it is a bit faint (laughs).


(A comedy scene about a group of drunkards running amok? Is it supposed to be? Can it be seen as fantasy at least in part because of the dwarves in it?)




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