Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 33.1: “Behind The Scenes: First Part”

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T/N: A perspective from a background character.



~Eleanor’s Perspective~



 3:30 p.m. July 20, 317 in the Tria calendar.



 I’m Eleanor Masefield. I work as a maid at Welburn Castle.


 My family is the lord of a small village, and my father told me to come to the castle to become an apprentice to learn etiquette and find a marriage partner.



 I have been working here for almost four years now. I will be seventeen this year, and I still haven’t met anyone who looks like a good match.


 There was one person, to be exact.


 That person is Sir Roderick Lockhart.


 He is a tall, slender, beautiful man with a kind face. From the first time I met him, he was well-known for his military achievements, yet he was humble not to boast about it. My childhood friend and colleague Dorothy, Dorothea Hodinotto, said, “I would love to be confessed my love by someone like that,” but he is married to Lady Rosalie. The young lady of the Count and Sir Rodrick are a perfect couple and I congratulate them wholeheartedly, but I wish I could have dreamed a little longer.



 So much has happened in the last half month or so.


 When I heard that the Lockhart family was coming to visit, my first thought was what kind of person is Sir Rodrik’s brother, Master Zacharias?


 The Lockhart family is a family of knights, but the lord of the territory—His Excellency Hubert Roswell, Frontier Count–treats him with respect, and rumor has it that if the head of the family, Sir Mathias, wished, he would be knighted by the viscount in a heartbeat. I hear that the family is so prestigious that such a situation is possible.


 Moreover, Sir Zacharias is a genius who graduated at the top of his class from the prestigious Tyria Magic Academy. He is so promising that he could become a court magician equivalent to a high-ranking noble in any country. And it is rumored that his swordsmanship is on par with Sir Rodrick’s. I was incredibly curious to see what kind of person he was. Of course, all of my fellow young maids felt the same way.



 The first time I saw him was when he arrived at the castle. He was tall and slender, just like Sir Rodrick, and his all-black equipment suited him perfectly. His face peeking out from his helmet was so dignified that my heart fluttered the moment I laid eyes on him.


 What surprised me was that Baron Oldham, the leader of the civil servants, always spoke to him with honorifics. It would have been understandable if he was the son of a high-ranking aristocrat, so everyone was surprised at that.



 At first, I thought he might be the one. But I soon gave up.


 Because he had four fiancées with him. They are all beautiful women who I can’t even hold a candle to. Dorothy seemed to think the same thing, and after returning to our room, she said giggling, “Sir Zacharias is the head of the Magic Academy and is quite good-looking, but he seems to be a great lover of women. He’s very different from Sir Rodrick.”



 That was my first impression of him, but he was a very great man.


 I heard that when there was a rebellion at the castle, the Lockharts protected the mansion. I heard that Sir Zacharias, in particular, stood alone outside of His Excellency’s room and guarded the door. I was amazed that he was so bold to stand alone against the elites of the Knight Order.


 But the most memorable moment for me may have been at the meeting for the feast that took place two days ago…



 It was around 3:00 p.m. two days ago, on July 18.


 Normally, this is a precious time when work is over, and we can take a short break before dinner. But that day was different. We, the attendants, cooks, and waiters, were gathered in the serving room.


 There, Mr. William, the head chef, Mr. Fergus, the head waiter, and Ms. Barbara Harding, the head maid, were nervously discussing something.



 I’ve known Ms. Barbara since I came to the castle, and I thought she was someone who would never change her expression no matter what. But she was wrinkling her brow.


 There was no mood for private conversation, but I couldn’t help but whisper to Dorothy, who was standing next to me, “Do you know what happened?” Dorothy, too, seemed to know nothing and shook her head.


 When everyone was present, Ms. Barbara began to explain.



“The Lockhart family will be providing the liquor for the banquet the day after tomorrow.” (Barbara)



 We nodded our heads in wonder. It is not unusual for a noble family to bring their own secret wines and ales to a celebration.



“The wine is a special kind called ‘sparkling wine,’ I was told. It is a one-of-a-kind wine made by Lord Zacharias himself…” (Barbara)



 When I heard that, I remembered the rumors about Sir Zacharias. It is said that Sir Zacharias is the person who made the strong liquor “Scotch,” and the other day, he planned a social gathering for His Excellency’s family and members of the Blacksmiths’ Guild, and he served rare drinks.



“…This sparkling wine has been highly praised by the His Excellency and the Madame alike…” (Barbara)



 At that, Ms. Barbara stopped speaking. Then she raised her voice a little,



“And here’s the important part: His Excellency was so impressed with Sir Zacharias’s serving style that he suggested that we be instructed…” (Barbara)



 Apparently, Sir Zacharias is going to teach us how to handle and serve alcohol. He is the second son of a knight’s family and is a renowned magician and adventurer, but how talented is he to be a top-notch waiter as well?


 Such thoughts passed through the corner of my mind, but there was something that bothered me more than that. I wondered why the head maid, the head chef, and the head waiter were so nervous.



“…Also, we will be using glass vessels that were a gift from the Lockhart family…” (Barbara)



 This time the Lockhart family will be providing the glasses, and I think Ms. Barbara’s voice was a little shaky when she explained that.


 Finally, Barbara finished her explanation by saying that Sir Zacharias would visit us at 7:00 p.m. after dinner today.


 As everyone looked at each other, wondering what questions to ask, Dorothy raised her hand.



“Um… why are Ms. Barbara and the other heads… uh, nervous? Is there something difficult going on?” (Dorothy)



 She asked what all of us had been thinking. Dorothy is the kind of girl who doesn’t think too deeply, so she is very helpful at times like this. I would never have been able to ask such a question.


 Ms. Barbara gave a small nod and began to explain to everyone with a serious expression on her face.



“Is that everyone’s question? Although Sir Zacharias is young, he has a deep knowledge of liquor, and is highly respected by the dwarven blacksmiths. From what I heard from His Excellency; he is a man who knows how to choose dishes that pair well with liquor. It is expected that there will be very detailed requirements such as the temperature of the alcohol, the timing of serving it, and the glass to use, as well as how to choose the right food to go with it…” (Barbara)



 I thought we didn’t have to worry about it that much. Some people are a little taken aback, wondering if the people around them are thinking the same thing. But the next words made everyone stop.



“…As I learned later, the glass we will be using this time was made by Sir Zacharias and it is a work of art that even His Majesty the Emperor does not own. In the words of His Excellency, glasses for sparkling wine are said to be worth more than one large gold coin, and so-called ‘on-the-rock glasses’ for distilled spirits are worth several platinum coins.” (Barbara)



 A large gold coin costs 500 Crona (=500,000 yen), and a platinum coin costs 1,000 Crona. I couldn’t believe that he would spend such a thing just to drink alcohol.


 The color of all of us turned pale as we looked at each other. With one platinum coin, a family of commoners could live for six months.


 I was relieved that the waiters would carry the “on-the-rocks glasses,” but Ms. Barbara told us that we would also have to fill them with liquor and carry them to the end of the banquet. This meant that we would also have to carry a work of art worth more than a commoner’s annual income. I suppose we couldn’t help but think what would happen if we broke it.


 Of course, we have expensive tableware in the castle. But the only things that could break are the porcelainware for special guests, so we only have to carry them once because we are nervous. But drinking glasses are different. Thinking about this, my eyes went completely dark.


 Showing her determination, M.s Barbara began to speak forcefully.



“…Sir Zacharias generously provided this much for the wedding banquet of Lady Rosalind and his brother Sir Rodrick. We have an obligation to respond to that request! We must make this the best wedding banquet in the empire, if not the world. I hope you will all be prepared to do the same.” (Barbara)



 After that, no one opened their mouths. Not only me, but even the cheerful Dorothy was at a loss for words.



Sir Zacharias had given so much glass for the marriage of the young lady and Rodrick that it amounted to 200,000 C Crona (= about 200 million yen). We are obligated to make the banquet worthy of that value. I understood what Ms. Barbara was trying to say.




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