Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 11.1: “Blacksmith’s Guild Welburn Branch: Part 1”

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 A/N: This is the perspective of a guild employee.



~Jonathan’s Perspective~



 My name is Jonathan Water.


 I am an employee of the Blacksmith’s Guild Welburn Branch.



 The Guild of Blacksmiths is an organization that handles the administrative tasks of the blacksmiths, and we are always getting all kinds of work. However, most of the work is for arranging apprenticeships, negotiating raw material prices, and making contracts with the Knight Order on their behalf, with the aim of keeping the masters out of trouble.


 There are about 30 workshops in Welburn, and only about five of them are not run by dwarves. This means that more than 80% of the workshops are led by dwarves.



 Dwarves have an image of being stubborn and inflexible, but many of them are surprisingly understanding.


 They rarely complain about the work of guild staffs, and they will laugh at and forgive even the slightest mistakes. However, they do tell me to be careful next time and give me a slap on the back with their stout arms, which could be described as physical punishment.



 It has been about five years since I started working at the guild.


 Before I started working here, I was working for a major trading company in the commercial city of Aurella, but when I decided to return to my hometown of Welburn, I was introduced to the Guild as a place to work.


 I was puzzled at first, but was satisfied that it was a good place to work. Until a few minutes ago…



 Today, July 11, there was to be no special event and I was just supposed to do my usual clerical work at the guild. Today was the day of rotating the receptionists, who was supposed to be processing various offers at the counter in the lobby on the first floor.



 However, from this morning, things were different from usual.


 A number of dwarves who do not usually come to the guild, including the masters known as veteran and first-class blacksmiths, had gathered.


 These masters are difficult to gather even for important events such as a general meeting, and they can usually be gathered only by setting up the meeting in the evening and preparing liquor.



 The masters had not been notified by the guild, and they had gathered in the morning with no liquor prepared.


 I wondered, and asked my senior, who had already worked for the guild for more than 20 years, if this kind of thing ever happened.



“No, this is the first time for me too. The masters gather in the morning… Even if the Governor called for a meeting, this many people wouldn’t gather at this time of the day. I hope nothing bad happens…” (Staff)



 The senior staff member muttered something ominous and disappeared directly into the back of the office.


 I was left behind, but I could not abandon my receptionist duties, so I continued to sit at the counter.



 On the way there, I couldn’t help but be curious, so I asked a master, who I knew well, but he replied, “There’s nothing in particular. But I just had a feeling that Degenhardt would call me.”


 Mr. Degenhardt, the branch manager, had not informed us staff members of anything, and in the end, we did not know why.



 At 10:00 a.m., about 30 dwarven blacksmiths had gathered in the lobby. This number represents 30% of the dwarven blacksmiths in Welburn. Looking closely, it seemed that there were blacksmiths not only from Welburn, but also from neighboring towns.



 More dwarves enter the building one after another. Usually there are only a few people in the large lobby, but today the place is crowded like a festival hall.



 About 30 minutes later, a young man dressed like an adventurer, a man so young he could be described as a boy, appeared. He was wearing all-black clothing and had a large, well-worn bastard sword hanging from his waist, and even to an amateur like me, he looked like a skilled swordsman.



 The young man seemed somewhat bewildered by the number of dwarves, but he noticed my presence at the counter and approached me. He gave his name in a polite tone, not unlike an adventurer.



“My name is Zacharias Lockhart.” (Zack)



 His voice echoed through the lobby.



 The next moment, the blacksmiths all turned their heads to the counter at once, almost as if they could hear a whistling sound. And all eyes are on the young adventurer, Zacharias Lockhart.



 Not only that, but there seemed to be a “Lockhart,” or “I thought I heard Zacharias” coming from the mouths of the blacksmiths.



 I know this sounds like hearsay even though I was there, but I did not hear them at the time. I did not hear them, because the name “Zacharias Lockhart” gave me a strong shock akin to a shiver.


 My survival instincts warned me that this was a dangerous situation, and I had no time to think about anything else.



 Zacharias Lockhart is the most important person any newcomer to the Blacksmith Guild knows. It is the first thing you are taught when you become a member of the Blacksmith’s Guild, and it is the name that always comes up when you are dealing with the dwarves.



 Zacharias Lockhart… owner of the Zack Collection, owner of the distillery in Rathmore Village, and godfather of the spirit that is Scotch… The only other person as important as him is Mr. Scott, the distiller of Rathmore Village.



 I didn’t expect the important person to be so young, but it just crossed my mind for a moment. Now, instead of thinking about that, I had to think about what I should do.


 The conclusion I came to was that I should immediately report the matter to the branch manager.



 Within a second of him saying my name, I had made that decision and decided to take action.


 I followed my instincts and ran from the counter as fast as I could.



 Behind me, I heard a bewildered voice say, “Um…”


 As I ran, I shouted, “Please wait a moment.” But fearing that he would be gone, I pleaded, “I’ll be right back, please wait for me, I promise.” Still, I did not stop.


 I continued running toward the branch manager’s office on the second floor.



 I am a former merchant and have no taste for the martial arts.


 For someone like me, who had not received such training, I was able to make a decision in an instant, as if I were a warrior on the battlefield, and I could even praise myself for the speed with which I acted afterward.



 When I arrived at the branch manager’s office, I opened the door with a slam and walked in without even knocking. Normally, I would never do such a thing. But at that moment, I believed it was the best thing to do.



 The branch manager inside, Mr. Degenhardt, reproached me, “What’s going on?” and he chastised me. However, I skipped the apology and shouted, “Mr. Zacharias Lockhart is here!”


 The branch manager, who usually has a calm demeanor, was quite flustered at that moment.



“H-He’s already here! Send him through here at once!” (Degenhardt)



 Without replying, I started running again.


 My colleagues passing me were making faces at me, wondering what had happened, but I didn’t have time to worry about them right now.



 I flew down the stairs and returned to the lobby. It takes me less than a minute, but in reality, it probably takes twice that long.



 He would typically not be gone in such a short time, but in my state of mind at that moment, I was not sure if he was gone or not. And I was truly relieved that Mr. Lockhart was there.



 I immediately tried to show him to the branch manager’s office, but he would not move because of his luggage. Impatiently, I again pleaded with him to come with me to the branch manager’s office, which I would arrange immediately.


 Mr. Lockhart is a young but capable man. He looked a little troubled by my plea but agreed to go to the branch manager’s office immediately.



 Since I had a guest with me, I couldn’t run, but I made my stride as large as possible and walked as quickly as I could.



 Frustrated, I finally arrived at the branch manager’s office, skipped even knocking, and walked right in.


 Here, at last, an overly heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders.



 But I had another task waiting for me.




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