Dream Life Vol II Chapter 76.3: “Distilled Rhapsody (Scotch Capriccio): Part 2”

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“The mission of our Order is to spread God’s will to the world. There may be some excesses before that mission. But that is a small matter before the greater good. You know that much. ” (Archbishop)



 The knights of Caum are astonished by his brazen words, but the elderly bishop quietly refutes them.



“This is no small matter. You have falsified the word of God. Don’t you understand the gravity of it?” (Old Bishop)



 The archbishop tries to argue with him, but the knight declares that there is no need for further discussion and that he will “leave our country as soon as possible.” He then ordered his men to remove the archbishop.


 In response to the archbishop’s continued ranting, the knight said, “The promised deadline has passed. You are not allowed to stay in any of our cities or villages. Of course, you are not allowed to stay overnight.”


 The archbishop continued to rant and rave, but his followers threw him into a crude wagon and drove him out of the city of Ars.


 And the archbishop never stayed at an inn in the Kingdom of Caum. He also sought lodging for the night from former believers along the streets, but none of them would invite him to their homes because they were disgusted by the attitude of the archbishop who had become a problem. The archbishop, along with his subordinate bishops, spent the night in the open air outside the city.



 Thus, Light God Church was completely eliminated from the Kingdom of Caum.


 At first, there were concerns that the believers would be upset, but the “priests” who had reestablished themselves as the new Church of Light worked energetically and caused little trouble, except for a few fanatics who caused a commotion. As can be seen from their attitude toward the archbishop, the believers were completely dissuaded from following the church when they learned of the corruption of the senior leaders of the Church of Light.



 Incidentally, the Blacksmith Guild showed no interest in eliminating the Light God Church.


 They were completely neutral politically. They were a “group of craftsmen” in both the good and bad sense of the word, and as long as they were satisfied with their work and received a fair evaluation for it, they were fine with it. Of course, there is a condition that they must be able to drink to their satisfaction.



 This time, the governments of the various countries learned this lesson.


 They must “keep giving” the dwarves booze. They must not “take away” their liquor.



 As for the Lockhart family, thanks to the recent incident, the offer of employment from other countries has been muted.


 Conditions are higher than before, and the Kingdom of Caum has offered a countship, but no one is being sent to the country who would forcefully push for a deal. Thus, the days of peace came to the village of Rathmore without the arrival of anyone who would use his position and power as a cover, which my grandfather disliked.



 According to the information I had obtained, each country’s perception of the Lockhart family was that it was a kind of “independent nation” under the protection of the Blacksmith Guild, and that any threat to their independence would make them enemies of the dwarven blacksmiths.



 This incident reminded me of something.


 Distilled liquor is an important “strategic commodity”.


 Currently, the Lockhart family is the only one who can produce such liquor. The Lockharts are the only ones who can control the dwarves. Conversely, the Lockhart family’s ambition, though exaggerated, could change the map of world power.


 Even a major power could be forced to bow the knee to an upstart country knight at the mere hint of an embargo on distilled liquor.



 I was concerned about the situation.


 The Lockhart family would be in danger if distilling technology was not disseminated quickly. If a major war broke out, the value of the blacksmiths would rise dramatically.


 At the moment, the only clear state of war is between the Holy Kingdom of Lux and the Caelum Empire, and there has been no fighting between the Holy Kingdom of Lux and the Caelum Empire, where border disputes had been occurring, for the past few years.


 But should war break out, the Lockhart family’s ability to move the dwarves will be of great importance. By simply drawing them in, they could quickly reduce the enemy’s ability to fight a succession war. The Lockhart family could even be the target of a plot to forcefully draw them out or, conversely, to attack the Lockhart family and make it look like the work of the enemy.



(It would be better to spread the distillation technology while we still can. Should I do something about this as well…?) (Zack)



 During the summer vacation at the end of my fourth year, I made a request to Bertram, a dwarven blacksmith.


 The idea was to recruit distillation technicians through the Blacksmith’s Guild.



 There were two objectives.


 One is to let the world know that the Lockhart family does not intend to monopolize distilling technology.


 The other is to make the public aware that the Blacksmith’s Guild is the one to control the distilling technology itself.



 There are still a few apprentices at Scott’s distillery, but many of them seem to have been sent there by the state or the Merchant Guild, and many of them were originally brewers, but as former craftsmen, they can’t stand my condition, which is “three or more years of apprenticeship.”



 Brewing distilled spirits is not that different from making regular wine or beer. Many of the people who come to study here are veteran craftsmen, and naturally, they have knowledge and experience. It is a job that they know well, and they are not able to do a three-year apprenticeship.


 They usually leave the distillery after a year or so. Therefore, rumors began to circulate that the Lockhart family had no intention of teaching distilling techniques.



 Scott and my father once suggested that I shorten my apprenticeship, but I stubbornly refused.


 I believe that the long-term care of the barrels and brewing the right liquor for distillation are more important for distilled spirits than the art of distillation itself.


 Of course, I explain this to everyone. But I can’t explain why it is actually necessary. I myself have no experience in brewing, and I started distilling with a shallow knowledge of the craft. But I don’t want a craftsman who can’t put up with three years of training. A craftsman who does not have a passion for liquor will never be able to make good liquor.



 That is why I decided to recruit through the Blacksmith Guild.


 The dwarves would never let anyone half-heartedly involved in the production of their “beloved liquor”. Anyone who meets their expectations will surely be able to fulfill the conditions I set forth.


 Last month, all the branches of the Blacksmiths Guild announced that they were looking for distillers. I expect to meet some motivated artisans next summer vacation.



 As far as the Lockhart family is concerned, this should be fine, but I had another concern.


 The Zack Label.


 The mysterious proper name “Zack Label” has spread around the world. It’s billed as a long-aged liquor, but I’m the only one in the world who knows what it really means. Bertram may have some idea of what I’m talking about, but he hasn’t had it yet, and he doesn’t know what it really is.



 So, it is a matter of speculation as to what the Zack Label is all about. At the very least, they would be aware of the immeasurable value of the liquor, which is so famous that it would make the dwarves change the color of their eyes even if they only heard about it.


 It would not be surprising if bandits appeared to target the Zack Label. After all the commotion, a person with normal sensibilities would not think that the dwarves would sell it to them. However, the immeasurable value is often overestimated.


 In other words, there is a possibility that bandits will target the village of Rathmore, just as they target treasures. I am concerned about this.



 I have told my grandfather about it, but he is the kind of man who laughs, saying it’s good for village patrol training. As for me, I value alcohol highly, but I don’t want the villagers to be harmed at any cost.



 As of now, the first shipment of the Zack Label is scheduled for next fall, after I graduate and return to the village. I intend to release a small amount of 10-year-olds.


 I wonder how the dwarven liquor lovers will react to that.


 That’s what I’m dreading now.



A/N: Finally, we have a release date for the Zack Label.

What will happen when this rumor gets out? Even I, the author, am dreading that now (laughs).


I always think that when it comes to talking about dwarves and alcohol, for some reason everyone reacts very strongly… I can’t go back to a serious tone (laughs).



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