Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 21: “What is Lockhart?”

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 After discussing the cleanup of last night’s rebellion with the Frontier Count Roswell, I remembered that there was one more important matter left to discuss.



“Your Excellency, I have a request to make of you.” (Zack)



 Count Roswell, who had been depressed earlier, seemed to have been refreshed by our conversation and showed his usual bright smile and asked me, “What is it?”



“It is about a reward for the dwarf blacksmiths who have contributed a lot. They destroyed the castle gate without regard for their own danger. I would like Your Excellency to reward them for that.” (Zack)



 Having said all that, the Frontier Count understood what I was asking for.



“You want me to give you a barrel of distilled liquor, the gift from the Lockhart family. Very well, that will please their spirits.” (Hubert)



“Thank you, Your Excellency,” I bow my head.



 Then, knowing that it was not my place to enter into further discussion, I left the office of the Frontier Count.



 After leaving the Count’s office, I left Liddy and Sharon, who had not yet recovered from the magic power depletion and visited the Blacksmith Guild’s Welburn branch with Beatrice, Mel, and Dan.



 Although I was a little defensive because of the previous incident, as expected, the lobby was not overflowing with dwarves and was deserted. Perhaps this is the normal state.


 At the reception counter, there was a male employee, Jonathan Water, who had guided me to the branch manager’s office last time, and I told him what I wanted to do.



“I would like to express my gratitude to the blacksmiths for their assistance yesterday. May I know if the branch manager Mr. Degenhardt is in the office?” (Zack)



 The male staff member bowed reverently and immediately began to show me to the branch manager’s office.


 I looked at the back of the male staff member and wondered if I needed to check with the branch manager.



(Anyway, I think it’s common sense to first contact the branch manager before being shown around, but… It might be someone who has “Lockhart privilege” in the Blacksmith Guild…) (Zack)



 With this in mind, I walked into the branch manager’s office.


 Mr. Degenhardt stood up and welcomed me,



“It looks like you’re really safe. What are you doing here today? I thought you still had some cleanup to do.” (Degenhardt)



 I bowed my head and began to speak as an emissary of my father, Mathias.



“I am grateful for the help of the blacksmiths. Normally, my father Mathias should be the one to thank you directly, but on this occasion, I have been sent as an emissary to Mr. Degenhardt…” (Zack)



 When I had said that much, he interrupted me by saying “Stiff, too stiff.”



“We didn’t do it to be thanked. We just went out of our way to help our drinking buddies. You should act how you always do.” (Degenhardt)



 His tone was blunt, but his eyes were smiling.



“Understood. I’ll be frank with you,” I say, smiling. By the way, I was told to speak in a less formal manner at a previous “banquet” and has not used honorifics since then.



“The Governor wants to thank the blacksmiths for what you did this time. The Lockhart family too, would like to donate the distilled liquor that we have offered to the governor to the guild instead.” (Zack)



 At the mention of liquor, Mr. Degenhardt’s eyes sparkled, but he did not bite as he had the last time.


 On the contrary, the friendly atmosphere he had earlier disappeared, and his expression became somewhat stern.



“We helped the Frontier Count. So, you are giving us alcohol… I don’t like it.” (Degenhardt)



 I couldn’t understand what he didn’t like about it.



“What do you not like about it? You receive a reward for helping the lord. I think it’s expected.” (Zack)



 Degenhardt said, “That’s what I don’t like about it,” and then he turned to Dan.



“Why did you run out of the castle to call for help? I heard you went through the garden full of enemies.” (Degenhardt)



 Dan was suddenly asked a question, and his expression was one of confusion. Degenhardt was not bothered by this and went on with his thoughts.



“Did you risk your life for a reward? No, I didn’t. You knew Zack was in trouble, so you risked your life to call for help, didn’t you?” (Degenhardt)



 Dan, perhaps unwilling to put it that way, replies in a slightly raised voice,



“Of course! I’m not even thinking about a reward!” (Dan)



 Mr. Degenhardt nods.



“We’re the same way. We did it because we wanted to help the Lockharts. We didn’t do it because we wanted the liquor… We Dwarves certainly like to drink, and we’re proud of it… But there are some things we can’t give up either. It is not our way to ask for something in return for helping our friends.” (Degenhardt)



 Apparently, they don’t like the idea of being rewarded.



(I think you should take it if you can get it, but I guess it’s not that kind of thing. In short, he felt that his pride was hurt. …I guess I didn’t say it right…) (Zack)



 I realize that it seems to be because I talked about the reward in a stiff manner. I had simply thought that since he was a dwarf, he would be happy if I gave them liquor as a reward.



(I screwed up. Now, what should I do…) (Zack)



“Then, I hope you will pretend this conversation never happened,” I said, bowing my head.



 Degenhardt gave a small nod and began speaking.



“On a different topic, do you know why we are so passionate with the Lockharts?” (Degenhardt)



 I didn’t quite understand the question thought, “Isn’t it because we’ve created the strongest drink ever?”


 Mr. Degenhardt continues talking with a serious expression on his face.



“The Lockharts named their liquor… with their craftsman. Do you realize how shocking this was for us craftsmen?” (Degenhardt)



 I honestly shook my head.



“No one would think it strange to name the new liquor ‘Lockhart’. And yet, here we are. The Lockharts named it after an unknown craftsman…” (Degenhardt)



 Mr. Degenhardt’s point is that the Lockhart family named their liquor after a craftsman, namely Scott. That came as a shock to the craftsmen-to-the-core dwarven blacksmiths. Of course, swords and other items are sometimes named after master craftsmen. But it is a unique name, “so-and-so’s sword.”



 This time, however, the craftsman’s name was attached to the name of “Liquor,” in other words, something that could be their common name, like beer or wine. In other words, a local specialty, which can be an important source of income for a lord, is named after a single, unknown craftsman. This, they say, shows a strong trust in the craftsman.



“…Lockhart rightly appreciated the soulful work of the craftsman. No, it’s more than that. At first, we doubted that such a lord could exist…” (Degenhardt)



 Knowing the truth, I had no choice but to remain silent.



“…Another important thing is that Lockhart never responded to any inquiries from the bigwigs. I’m sorry to say this, but Lockharts are just knights from the countryside and a commoner at that. Even as a Country Lord, you were not willing to accept the offers of titles and lands. Some said you were raising the stakes. But no matter what terms were offered, you stubbornly refused to budge.” (Degenhardt)



 I chuckled at the term “country lord,” and replied, “My father and grandfather both said that country life suited them.”



 Mr. Degenhardt ignores my flippant remark and continues with a more serious expression on his face.



“The thing I couldn’t believe the most is that you don’t intend to monopolize the distilled liquor. It’s such a great craft. Normally, it would be a secret. Even we Dwarves, when we develop a new technique, we only teach it to our apprentices. But the Lockharts are different. You even said you would teach anyone unconditionally.” (Degenhardt)


“Not unconditionally. I’m not going to teach anyone who’s not passionate.” (Zack)


“Ah, that’s right. But you’re going to teach anyone who’s willing. I couldn’t believe that reason…” (Degenhardt)



 There, he looked at me firmly in the eye and declared strongly.



“Because the quality of the alcohol will go down. That’s the only reason!” (Degenhardt)



 He looked a little embarrassed, as if he thought I was getting a little excited. However, he immediately continued his thoughts.



“Many still think that can’t be true. However, we dwarves are different. We realized the Lockharts… Loved alcohol more than is… I thought we, the dwarves, had lost to Lockharts when it came to alcohol.” (Degenhardt)



 Sure, from the outside it might seem that way. But to me it seemed exaggerated.



“I appreciate you saying that, but that’s an exaggeration. It’s true that we don’t want to degrade the quality of our alcohol. However, if inferior alcohol spreads, people will think that our liquor is the same, and it won’t sell. That’s the only reason.” (Zack)



 Then, with a laugh, I added, “Well, I won’t deny that I like drinking.”



“I don’t care what you think. All I’m saying is that we Dwarves love the Lockharts’ spirit.” (Degenhardt)



 I finally understand why the dwarves are so passionate with Scotch and the Lockhart family. It tugged at their craftsmen’s and drinkers’ soul.



 Dwarves have no country. They are relatively numerous in the Kingdom of Caum, but only because it is a mountainous state and rich in metal resources.


 Of course, the Kingdom of Caum also favors the dwarves, so they must be comfortable there. However, the dwarves are not loyal to the royal family of Caum.



 If Caum incurs the wrath of the dwarves, they will leave Caum in a heartbeat. They are not interested in the thoughts and wishes of the government, because what is important to them is an environment in which they can do their work comfortably.



 The reason why dwarves don’t start up a country is probably because it is just too troublesome. Even the position of chief of the Blacksmith Guild, which is comparable to the head of a country, is just a hassle for them and they probably don’t find it attractive at all. Degenhardt, who is currently here, hates his job as branch chief.



 Conversely, the dwarves are very free. They are not bound by the organization of a country and can live anywhere with just their skill.


 I felt strong admiration for them.



(For me, it’s an ideal way of life. I had the confidence and spirit that I could live anywhere. As long as I have that, I can live freely. It’s impossible for me right now, but eventually…) (Zack)



 After that, we talked about when they destroyed the castle gate.



How did you manage to break that big hinge?” (Zack)



 He answered my question as if it were nothing, saying, “I know the structure of that thing very well.”



“There is a gap to fill with tallow grease in the hinge. If you tap it, the shaft pin will move by the amount of rattling. Then the hinge plate and the pin will collide with each other. The rest is easy. All you have to do is hit it just as the plate and pin collide…” (Degenhardt)



 I was more shocked than surprised when I heard Mr. Degenhardt’s explanation.


 The way they destroyed the gate was to use the small gap between the plate of the hinge and the pin of the hinge to continuously have them crash against each other.



 They timed the swinging of the gate and applied the impact at the moment the plate and pin made contact. The reason it was in a constant rhythm was because it was in sync with the cycle of the gate’s swinging.


 When asked how he timed the contact between the plank and the shaft, he replied simply, “By ear. I can tell by the sound.”



 I understand the logic. If you apply force when the pin is pressed against the plate, all of the force will be applied to the hinge.


 However, if the timing is off even a little, it would be impossible to break the hinge just by smashing the plate of the gate.


 In this case, there is a world of difference between understanding the logic and actually doing it.



(Maybe all twenty of them heard it with their ears… At this point, it’s more than a craftsman skill but a divine skill. I guess it’s no surprise that Bertram was able to make a katana with just my explanation…) (Zack)



 I remembered that I had the dwarf blacksmith Bertram smithed me a Japanese-style bastard sword in Rathmore Village. My explanation back then was dull, but I came to understand that thanks to his skill, it was because of this kind of environment that he was able to create such an excellent sword.




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