Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 12.1: “Blacksmith’s Guild Welburn Branch: Part 2”

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 July 11th, just after 10am.


 We had come to the Welburn Branch of the Blacksmith’s Guild to ask them to appraise the weapons we had recovered from Maddock and the other bandits.



 As soon as I entered the guild and announced my name, the male employee at the reception desk suddenly ran toward the back of the building. It was such a quick action that I had no time to give Baron Oldham’s letter of introduction.


 I said to him, “Um…” but he said as he ran, “Please wait a moment. I’ll be right back, please wait for me, I promise.” he replied with a tearful look on his face, and disappeared directly into the back of the building.



 I watched in stunned amazement as I heard voices around me saying, “Lockhart,” or “I thought I heard Zacharias,” and I involuntarily looked around.



 All around me, mature dwarves were staring at me with interest. It wasn’t that I was uncomfortable, but somehow a subtle air seemed to encompass the first floor lobby.



 A couple of minutes later, the male staff member who had just run out came back in, out of breath.


“P-please come this way. Hah-hah… the branch manager is waiting for you… hah, haa.” (Jonathan)



 When I said, “I have some luggage outside,” he said, “I-I’ll make arrangements for it right away,” and said, “Please go with me to the branch manager’s office,” with a tearful face and a deep bow.


 I had no choice but to follow the staff member, who was walking with big strides as if he were running, to the back of the building.



 The branch manager’s office is at the far end of the second floor and is quite a distance away.



(Did he manage to cover this distance in that time? Anyway, I don’t have a good feeling about this…) (Zack)



 Upon arriving in front of the branch manager’s office, the staff member didn’t even knock, just said, “We have Mr. Zacharias Lockhart!” and opens the door vigorously.


 Then, saying, “Come in,” he pushed me into the room and walked away as if to run away.


 I was bewildered by his response, but I turned to face the well-dressed, mature Dwarf inside.



“Are you Mr. Degenhardt the branch manager of the guild? My name is Zacharias Lockhart, the second son of Mathias Lockhart, a knight of Caelum. I have a letter for you…” (Zack)



 When I said my name, Branch Manager Degenhardt muttered, “Ho, you really are Zacharias Lockhart, aren’t you?” Then, realizing that he had interrupted me, he bowed his head and looked somewhat embarrassed, saying, “No, I beg your pardon.”



“I am Degenhardt. I heard that you have a favor to ask, and we will spare no effort in helping you if we can. Please tell us anything.” (Degenhardt)



 After saying that, Degenhardt offered me a chair, shaking my right hand.


 I tried to tell him about Liddy and the others before settling in.



“Before that, my friends are at the wagon. We also have luggage, so…” (Zack)



 He interrupted me again, this time shouting, “Luggage?!”


 I was surprised at his behavior, but I continued talking,



“The weapons I’d like you to see…” (Zack)



 As soon as I said this, Degenhardt’s shoulders slumped in disappointment, as if it were the end of the world.



 However, my next words, “It’s not much… but a barrel of Scotch…” made him say, “Scotch!” was shouted almost angrily, so loud that it hurt my ears.



 Out of nowhere that voice was followed by, “I thought I heard you say ‘Scotch’?” And, “What do you mean?” I was surrounded by dwarves who were slightly younger than Degenhardt, but who seemed to be veteran blacksmiths. It was as if they had just sprung out of the ground, and my presence detection was completely inactive.



(When did they appear? I didn’t notice them at all… But still, how many are there? It seems that there are less than ten people… but how could I have failed to detect such a large number…) (Zack)



 I looked at the dwarves, stunned by their appearance. They were all too excited to speak, including Degenhardt.


 Time passed without any of them speaking to each other.



 Then a savior appeared. The staff member who had just arrived said, “The luggage has been taken into the meeting room. Mr. Lockhart’s companions too.”



 Degenhardt, perhaps calmed by these words, nodded with a stern face and said, “Well, let’s go to the meeting room,” and started to walk away. The dwarves in the room followed him, but I was suddenly frozen in place, unable to move.



 I finally came to my senses when one of the dwarves called out to me, “Aren’t you going downstairs?”



(I had heard stories, but the behavior of the dwarven race is a complete mystery… Then again, they’re not always in the guild, so why are they here today? Can they really smell alcohol…) (Zack)



 I followed Branch Manager Degenhardt and others with doubts in my mind.



 The meeting room on the first floor was located at the back of the lobby, and inside it was slightly larger than a school classroom. But now it feels very small. The room seemed very small now, because dozens of dwarves were crowded around the room.



 Their eyes were glued to one spot.



 Their eyes were fixed on a barrel of Scotch on a cart, and they asked, “Is that the Scotch we’ve heard so much about?” or “The staff members were preparing mugs, but are we allowed to drink it?”



 Liddy and my companions are standing next to the barrel, looking relieved when they saw me. They too seem to be puzzled by the situation.



 Degenhardt pulled the dwarves’ gaze away from the barrel.



“Here is Mr. Zacharias Lockhart This time he is asking for our help!” (Degenhardt)



 At these words, the dwarves replied, “Help? Anything he needs!”



 I was a little intimidated, but I said, “My name is Zacharias Lockhart, but I’m just a young man. So please just call me Zack,” and bowed my head.



 Then I tried to get down to business, but the dwarves were fidgeting and restless, their gazes fixed on one point.



(I feel like their gazes are glued to the Scotch. This is not good for conversation. Luckily, someone seems to have arranged for the drink, so I’ll go ahead and offer them a Scotch…) (Zack)



“As a souvenir, I have brought you a barrel of Scotch from Rathmore Village. It’s not from the Zack Collection, but if you’d like to taste this one.” (Zack)



 At that moment, the meeting room erupted into a roar of “Yeeeaaaah!” was heard in the meeting room at that moment. Later, I heard that the merchants outside had panicked and alerted the patrolling knights, fearing that something unusual had happened. Fortunately, the explanation of the staff cleared up the matter, and it did not seem to have developed into a particular problem.



 I picked up a ceramic mug and turned on the cock attached to the keg.


 The amber liquid makes a glugging sound and fills the mug.



 No one speaks a word while the Scotch is poured.


 In the silence, not a sound was heard except for the sound of the Scotch being poured, and I silently poured the liquor.



(I’m terribly nervous… but anyway, the gazes make me feel pressured. I feel like I can physically feel the dwarves’ eyes focused on my hand…) (Zack)



 After about ten minutes, the mugs are filled for the number of people, and Degenhardt’s voice rings out.



“Everyone line up!” (Degenhardt)



 Then, as if by some sort of pecking order or something, the dwarves began to line up without confusion. I handed them a mug, one by one, and with a single word of thanks, they quietly dispersed into the meeting room.



 Mugs were passed to everyone, and Degenhardt called out to me.



“I guess I can call you Zack, right?” (Degenhardt)



 When I nod,



“Okay, Zack. You should lead the toast.” (Degenhardt)



 Confused, I quickly agreed, not wanting to keep the dwarves waiting, mugs in hand, eager to drink.



“Now, be careful with the Scotch, it’s very strong. If you drink it all at once, it can make you choke. Well then, here’s to meeting you all!” (Zack)



 The dwarves shouted “Cheers!” and they sipped from their mugs in unison.



 At that moment, only the sound of gulping echoed through the meeting room. It seems that my request not to drink all at once did not go over well. However, none of them swallowed, and they continued to gulp.



 After a few seconds, a collective gasp and “This is awesome!”



 The dwarves’ attitude turns from solemn to friendly at once, saying things like, “I’ve always dreamed of drinking this!” and “You brought it to me!” and they pat me on the back. If I wasn’t wearing leather armor, my back would be bright red.



(Still, I can’t believe they’re so satisfied. Come to think of it, this is the first time I’ve seen so many people drinking Scotch outside of the village. …Nicholas–Nicholas Garland, I’ve heard from the squire in charge of internal affairs that for dwarves, alcohol is really the food of life…but they seem to be really enjoying it…) (Zack)



 When the dwarves had settled down, I cut to the chase.



“I have a request for you today. The bandits who attacked us the other day…” (Zack)



 At that moment, I heard, “They attacked Lockhart? Who the hell are they?” Degenhardt says, “Be quiet!” The dwarves were spewing their wrath until Degenhardt said, “Quiet!”


 I flinched but kept talking.



“The bandits were repelled, and there was absolutely no damage done on our side. That’s all well and good, but there was something strange about this raid…” (Zack)



 I go on to talk about the raid, and how the bandits had been trained and given fine weapons.



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