Sorry for the delay. I had a hard time translating this chapter because I didn’t know a lot about liquors(aside from drinking and mixing it) plus it’s almost three times as long as regular chapters.
Chapter 24: That time when I made distilled liquor
It has been three months since that matter with Suzuran’s duck pen and the simple pond and they’ve already started giving me work that I’m supposed to do.
Things like patrolling inside the village, manning the watchtower and managing the canals, I’ve been working at relatively safe places. A few months ago I suggested tentative countermeasures against monsters to the other members of the patrol so the adults who have actual combat experience became in charge with dealing with that.
Aside from that, I’ve been thinking about making a new alcoholic beverage. I’m going to use the knowledge I have from my previous world to make a still.
For the time being, as an experiment, I’m thinking of distilling mash made from inferior wheat yield. I was actually planning to go to the town later since I was thinking of exchanging techniques with the distillers there but then I remembered what happened at the bar of the inn we were staying at the last time we went to town. Thinking about what was poured from the flagon, I immediately dismissed that idea myself.
When I proposed making a new sake to the village chief, he said
「Sure, if it’s only an experiment…」
Because of that, I headed towards the village’s trinket1 shop.
「Occhan, how’ve you been lately?」
「Well, I’ve been getting by with the increase of newcomers and all. Anyway, what is it? Those glass beads again?」
「Occhan can do a bit of smithing, right?」
「Right, I can do tinkering as well!」
With that, we started our pointless banter. When I thought the time was right, I immediately cut back into the main issue.
「Is occhan a drinker?」
「Oi oi. You probably already know I’m a heavy drinker but, what’s this? Are you going to treat me?」
No, you shouldn’t let someone younger treat you.
「No, I wanted to talk about a brewing tool for the new sake that I’m going to make」
「Is a barrel not enough?」
「No, what I need is something like this」
As I said that, I used magic to make the soil take form in front of us and showed the sample that was just created to him. It was a simple still since that was all I could come up with using my limited knowledge. The pattern was quite simple as well.
「What’s this? Isn’t that just a weird pitcher?」
「Alcohol evaporates faster than water so you put sake inside of this container and light a fire at the bottom in order to boil it. The alcohol in the sake would separate from the water and turn into something like steam. If you collect that steam and cool it down, you’ll get an even stronger sake compared to beer and wine」
「Oh, sounds interesting. What material is it made of?」
I cut the sample vertically in half and showed it to him.
「Please use copper」
Since I had a copper like color when I saw it during our field trip.
I’ve probably lured him in now since gave me a spirited reply while looking at the sample with great interest.
「You can put that away since I’ve already got the general details of it in my head. It’ll soon vanish anyway, right?」
「Hmm. Then, how about the size?」
「For the time being, it should be this big. Thinking about production, it should be the size of a house but I’ll also need a couple of them as well」
「If that’s the case then there’s no way I can do that by myself」
After that, we continued our pointless exchange then I went back to doing my patrols.
A few days later, the trinket shop’s occhan came to our house to deliver the still. When I asked him about the price, he said
「You don’t need to pay as long as I get to be the first one to drink that sake」
After that, he went back to his shop. Then, I immediately went to that tavern to buy sake.
「Caam-kun, you want sake while it’s still daytime? You’re starting to resemble you father, huh」
Hearing that, I replied.
「I’m making a new sake」
He became intrigued after I said that and he came asking me about the details.
「If you let me drink that sake you’re making, I’ll give you these low-grade wines free of charge」
The person earlier only wanted to drink sake but this time, he’s probably interested in it as the bartender of the tavern.
When I went home, I was about to start the distillation but was immediately discovered by mother.
「Ara, sake even though it’s still daylight? You’ve also become like your father with that, huhー」
or so she says. Does father really drink sake that much during daytime?
「Well, I’m not going to drink it. I might be able to come up with new jobs for the village, you know?」
「Hmmー I wonder if you really are our child. I haven’t done it with anyone else besides your father so I’m sure that you’re our child thoughー」
Stop it. I don’t really want to hear my parents talking about such things, you know?
Returning to my room, I placed a tripod made of wood on top of my slightly charred desk. When it comes to wood working, sculpting is no good but when it comes to DIY carpentry jobs like the duck pen I built the other day then, haven’t I gotten slightly better at it? My skill still hasn’t gone up though.
I poured in sake into the small hole at the side and was constantly letting out a small flame from my fingertip using fire magic to let it simmer. Having done that, the distilled liquor started trickling down from the spout so I took a flagon that I washed and dried to store it.
The amount that came out was only a little.
「Thinking about it’s original alcohol content, it should be about this much I guessー」
While I was talking to myself, I checked its flavor and aroma.
So this is pure alcohol… The taste is a bit strong and it has an intense aroma as well.
If I dilute it with distilled water and age it in a barrel, I made this from wine so would it turn into brandy? I don’t have a lot though.
The village chief, the occhan from the trinket shop and the bartender. For now it’ll have to be enough for these three.
I got the three of them to gather at the tavern to try the new drink.
「This one is made from heating wine and letting the alcohol condense. I only got one bottle’s worth but it’s quite strong so please be careful」
*Cough cough* 「It’s quite strong」
「Hnー hot, or should I say, it hurts. But it’s not like I can’t drink it」
「It’s spicy isn’t it. And that sensation also persists inside the mouth」
They all had different reactions.
「If you put this inside a barrel and leave it be for at least a year, its aroma and taste would change so it would be easier to drink. You can also dilute it with water or drink it by adding lemon and sugar」
I was originally going put this in a barrel after adding distilled water to it but I probably won’t succeeded with just my skill level and knowledge so I just gave up.
「You can also skip the barrel and put this straight into a bottle since I think it would taste just as good if you mix in fruit juices before drinking it. Or you can just drink it as is I guess」
「I came since I was lured by the scent of strong sake but…… It’s quite delicious even though it’s still being refined. Even dragonkins haven’t produced sake this strong. I don’t mind making a personal investment into it if it’s like this so tell me more about it」
When we looked back, school’s headmaster was there. I just wish that the older members villagers would stop walking around while erasing their presence. He just immediately brought up something quite amazing as well.
「Erー, we will have to make something like this that’s as tall as those two-story buildings in town. We’ll also have to make a building that would fit that」
Then, I started thoroughly explaining the process to him.
「If you heat sake, only the alcoholic part of it would get pulled out!? Why haven’t our clan come up with such a simple thing up until now!? If it turns out well, I should bring some to my friends at my hometown!」
The principal became really excited.
「It’s almost time for harvesting so that’s why we should use all of remaining wheat from last year for distillation!」
The principal who has a childish appearance started going wild.
「We can drink this as early as next year, right? We don’t need to age it!」(Headmaster)
I tried saying something but he wasn’t listening.
「Never mind that! I’ll bring a single barrel to the guys from my village to let them know of this beforehand and then let them have the aged product next year! This is for the sake of spreading knowledge, technology and the development of sake! Rather, if we don’t produce a lot more this year, there won’t be enough for next year as well! I’m certain of that!」
You’re going to be ‘sampling’ it a lot, aren’t you?
「What are you going to do about school then!」
「Even without me, the school would continue to function! I only started the school as a hobby so it would be fine if I’m not there for a while. They’ll be able to manage for about two months」
Or so he asserted. So that’s why we don’t need to pay tuition. Was that the reason why I was reincarnated here in this place?
But still, this tiny and cute ossan was the type who doesn’t stop once he starts running wild, huh. Even though he was pretty decent when he was still acting as a headmaster…
When it comes to the members school’s staff, the only normal one is Moore-san who has practical experience in leadership. Fig-sensei turns into deplorable beauty whenever she starts drinking. Birke-sensei can only move in pots with her branches on it while her assistant, Gaike-chan is a mandrake. Tryapka-san usually runs out of control when it comes to Speck…… Well, I just got used to her I guess. I’ve already stopped worrying about it.
The number of people coming to the distillery to monitor it would just continue to increase. There’s a huge possibility that they would come to distill their own sake at their convenience. The possibility of them coming to ‘taste’ it isn’t that low as well.
While saying, “We’re just going to sample the taste” they would come to drink it everyday. At that rate, it’s possible that the barrels would go empty.
「Headmaster, if we’re aging these sake, how long would we have to wait in order for it to become delicious? Unlike beer, it tastes better the older it gets, right?」
I tried changing the topic.
「Mu…… Then, we should place them at the very back of the precious cellar without opening it for four hundred seasons. We still need to make money so how about just putting three barrels in there」
「There wouldn’t be any sake inside if we leave it be for that long. I think letting ten end of the year festivals pass would be good enough」
I might have just made it worse by saying that since he’s part of a long-lived race……
After that, the principal’s funds, enthusiasm and love for sake converged so we able to finished making a still and construct the village’s distillery. We attaching the name of the village to it so the drink called 『Beryl Sake』 started to be sold on the market. People from various towns and villages started coming to us in order to train under our craftsmen and learn their techniques.
Taverns named 『Beryl』 were built in those towns and villages and different kinds of distilled liquor started emerging. Of course, the ingredients were different as well as the taste so those who loved drinking started barhopping in order to try those out…but that is a story for another time.
The principal set out a few days before the harvest festival. Even though there were concerns about the time it would take to complete the harvest because of the expansion, we were able to finish without any particular delays.
We were fortunate that there were a lot of people who can reasonably use magic among our new immigrants. I think it would be a waste not to teach techniques that could be taught. I think it would be better if such technology would spread out to other villages and towns.
While we were busy preparing for the harvest festival, the headmaster came back along with several other people.
「Hey, Caam-kun. These guys are fellow dragonkin but they’re still just immature kids. They’re here to learn distillation techniques so could you teach them?」
「「「We’ll be in your care」」」
The three women came over and politely bowed their heads. I’m relieved to see that they aren’t arrogant. They had a really prideful image in my previous life so I thought they would say something like,『The one who’ll be teaching us is this lowly human?』
It really is bad having preconceptions, isn’t it?
Incidentally, while they were bowing their heads, the breasts of two of them started to jiggle.
The other guys in the area were excited but I just replied,
「I look forward to working with you as well」
I shouldn’t stop acting like a gentleman just because of that, right? Later, I was sent flying by a magnificent body blow from Suzuran since she found out that I looked at their breasts.
By the way, he said that they were young but they were taller compared to the headmaster. Or rather, no matter how you look at him, you won’t be able to see the headmaster as anything other than a kid. What a strange race.
For generations, it seems like the task of making sake was left to the women of the dragonkin. If I remember correctly, in my previous life, wine used to be made by having someone stomp on the grapes. It seems like that job was usually assigned to beautiful women. Having rough men stomping on grapes to make wine is somewhat…… Men of that time probably had fungus in their feet as well. Even if they somehow removed all traces of that, I still won’t feel like drinking it. If I think of it like that, it would be natural to let the women be the one to stomp on the grapes. Even in Japan, shrine maidens were the one tasked to chew on rice when making sake.
After giving them a brief explanation, I showed them the miniature model of the still that was made earlier. That was all we did for now so while they were under training, they will be staying at vacant houses. It seems like they’ll only be staying here for a few days after the harvest festival.
This year’s harvest festival was rough.
The new villagers started drinking without reserve. The sake wasn’t aged and they didn’t even dilute it so they were drinking pure alcohol.
「We’ll still be fine if it’s only this much! Aren’t you going to drink too?」
One guy who was getting carried away said was influencing everyone around him to drink. Everyone started drinking the hard liquor like usual even though they were supposed to squeeze fruit juices into it to tone down the alcohol levels.
Even the women were drinking it as well so all of the adults ended up really drunk as expected.
The girls that the headmaster brought along drank it straight as well.
「So you could also drink it as is…」
「I’d like it more of it had even more kick」
「It would be nice if it was sweet as well, right?」
As they were exchanging their opinions while drinking, a drunkard interrupted them. He was about to rub their breasts when they turned the tables on him and held him down.
「That hurts! Still, it’s nice to feel breasts hitting against my back!」
Since I was no longer able to stop the other guests from drinking, I just left them to the other guys who weren’t that drunk. The men were looking forward to seeing those things jiggle so they kept making passes at the dragonkin girls. Just looking at it is already a sight for sore eyes, right?
Suzuran was also drinking like usual but the air around her is a bit strange. She has those glazed eyes like but she didn’t care about her disheveled clothes and was indifferent towards the meat she’s eating.
Aa-ah, her mouth’s dirty now. I guess I’ll have to go there and wipe her face later.
It was already too late for the three idiots since they were already wasted. At least they haven’t vomited all over the place yet.
Mir was considerably drunk as well since she’s laughing while forcing Schinken to drink even more. Stop it! He’s going to die!
Kuchinashi was in a similar state and kept on pressing her chest against Wurst. As she was doing that, he was starting to be crushed by her breasts. Kuchinashi’s surprisingly big, isn’t she? I can say that since I was hugged by her before.
Tryapka-san took it to the extreme since she started attacking Speck in public. Still, it would be problematic if they do the act in a public area. The surrounding women’s faces were dyed in red seeing a cute boy being undressed. I was just silently observing at first but once a space started to opened up, I went in and stopped it.
I received a few jeers for that but I couldn’t let a friend get attacked while I just stand there and watch so I just ignored everybody else besides those two. They’re probably on route to Tryapka-san’s house right now.
『That guy’s a girl desu』『An ikimen with breasts』
They were definitely referring to Granade when they said that. I though that it fits though since she was drinking enthusiastically. No one’s getting close to her since she’s scary. Even I don’t even know what I’ll do if I get mixed up with her. The image of her stabbing the lump of meat and eating it is more frightening than seeing an actual bandit doing it.
「Caam again, huh」
「My son’s amazing, right!」
「So Caam was the one who came up with this」
「This will be the village’s specialty product…」
That’s what the adults were saying but I’ve heard that same conversation four times already. Since they’ve been repeating the same lines over and over again, I wonder if the alcohol started getting into their heads. They should really stop drinking soon because they’ll die.
Since it would be quite problematic if they died,
「It’s just iced water but you drunkards should drink this」
I said that while bringing a pitcher filled with water but when they heard that, they said
「Cold is good too!」
「Should we also put a bit of lemon in it?」
and started drinking watered down alcohol. These adults are no good.
While I was looking after everyone to some extent, I started a conversation with the three dragonkin women.
「Were you somehow able to understand the method of making distilled liquor?」
「Yes, thanks to you. The only issue now is with the still since it’s difficult to find someone who can make something that big. Even though we already have that one barrel, that wouldn’t be enough since that drink has already become the favorite of everyone from our race. We’ll just have to ask the chief’s acquaintance blacksmith so that it would no longer be a problem」
「It seems like Occhan from this village’s trinket shop has a bit of dwarf blood in his veins but he said it was still impossible for him to make that alone. He had to hire a lot of help just to complete one that big. Once the still has been made, next would be to decide whether to make sake from grains or potatoes. What kind of area do you guys live in?」
「We live in the mountains desu. We can find wheat once we descend from the mountains but since there’s a lot of snow during winter, the soil becomes sterile so tubers are prevalent. We also raise a small quantity of buckwheat」
「Well, that’s alright since it would still become sake once you ferment it. It would become somewhat tasteless or the flavor would be a bit different but it would still be distilled liquor in the end. I just don’t know what would happen if you blend it since I haven’t done it yet」
They would be making Imo Jochu or Soba Shochu I guess.
「Are there no other ways of making it?」
「I tried steeping different fruits and spices into the finished liquor to try and add flavor However, you should store the liquor in bottles or jars at that time to preserve the aroma since it will probably just permeate through if you use barrels. You may also steep herbs and spices that are good for the body into the liquor to turn it into medicinal alcohol. It would still cause adverse effects if you drink too much though」
Everybody laughed as I said that.
In my previous life, they would put peppers, herbs and even a whole apple into the bottles. There were also those brown bottles with spices that were good for the body or natural remedies in them.
Wouldn’t it be good for the body if you drink too much? Back when it was still advertised as an elixir of life, they would put things that were good for the body in the alcohol. In order to get rid of the taste, they started sweetening it. I guess that was when they started calling it liqueur. Well, the manufacturing method of alcohol hasn’t really spread out at that time so I think that it was good that the variations of alcohol in that region increased.
Ahー, that just made me want to drink Japanese Liquor. I would need rice to make that but I still haven’t seen any paddy fields in this area. I want to drink Umeshu as well.
As we were getting even deeper into our conversation, Suzuran suddenly barged into the middle of it with a face that didn’t look amused. She then sat next to me and hugged my arm.
「Ara ara, it seems like she’s jealous. You don’t have to worry, Ojou-san, we’re not going to steal him」
She said that with a big smile but Suzuran still remained vigilant. It seems like she was glancing at her chest. I’m not that fussy when it comes to breasts though.
Noticing her gaze, the dragonkin girl said,
「Ara, are you interested in my breasts?」
She touched them with both hands as she said that and proceeded to jiggle them. What a sight. Thank you for the meal.
「How to make it bigger? Could not make mine bigger no matter what」
Suzuran started rubbing the sides of her chest. So she had a complex with that. A girl who is worried about her small chest is cute too.
「I didn’t do anything in particular, you know?」
「That’s right. Before I noticed it, they were already like that」
「Umu, I’m bigger than everybody else but I also didn’t do anything in particular. I tried making them smaller instead but stopped since I was worried that milk wouldn’t come out once I gave birth」
The one with the smallest chest among them said,
「It may be small but there’s nothing wrong with that.」
She said that as a follow-up but, even though she may be small, I’m certain that she’s still bigger compared to Suzuran. It doesn’t really sound persuasive when someone who’s even bigger than you says that.
As the five of us continued drinking, one of them asked.
「Caam-san is strong with alcohol, isn’t he?」
「Well, that’s because I have level 2 poison resistance」is not how I replied.
【Skill・Poison Resistance: 3】acquired.
It’s been a while since one of my skills just randomly leveled up. I was given this ability that lets me more or less easily increase the level of my skills…or at least that’s what I was told before I reincarnated but I feel like I lost something instead. I felt like god just hurriedly pressed some buttons without giving any thought to it while increase my abilities. I wonder if that’s just my imagination?
Then, the slender one of the three suddenly asked.
「Are you guys a couple?」
It was so sudden that I almost choked on my sake just as it entered my throat.
「Well, we’re more or less like that but we still don’t have plans to have kids, you know? I don’t even have stable source of income. I don’t want us to go hungry so I want to at least earnー」
「How naive! Women don’t care about those things because they would want to have the child of the person they love as soon as they can」
I was interrupted while I was still in the middle of saying something.
「She’s right, you knowー This village is abundant when it comes to food so it’s fine if you just take it one step at a time and thinking about then when that time comes」
「Umu, I also don’t mind that as well. Or rather, even though the girl wants it, this guy is quite slow on the uptake. The ojou-san over here’s starting to look pitiable」
What? Are all the dragonkins this bold? I couldn’t imagine myself doing such a thing.
Because she suddenly said something in a loud voice, everyone else started looking at us.
Anybody would look if they hear someone saying things like ‘making children’ and ‘wanting kids’.
「No, well, I’ve been thinking about finding work in town once I graduate from school. I want money for sure but I’m not that skillful when it comes to making things that’s why I’ve been thinking about studying a lot of things. When we went to town the other day, I tried checking the adventurer’s guild’s day laborer jobs. Repairing the outer gate, making bricks, there were a lot of things there.
When making wells, I can deal with it using magic. Only the digging part though, I’ll have to leave reinforcing the well with stones to other people since I don’t know how to do it. What would you think of an adult in that situation? That’s what I’ve been considering.
We should be able to do a lot of things since we’re still kids after all. That’s why even though I feel bad for Suzuran’s I want her to wait for a bit.」
I received slightly harsh remarks from the dragonkin girls after that but the worst one of them all was,
「To prevent affairs, you should go and make a child. Even if the parent isn’t there, kids would still grow up. It’s already enough so only having the mother there would suffice. There’s a chance that men would die when they go into battle that’s why you should go ahead and make children. It would be sad for the ojou-san if you don’t」
「Umu, it’s as she said. I think it’s better if you form a child first」
That would have been unthinkable in my previous life, you knowー. You see, if you say things like that, Suzuran’s going to feel like doing it. Ahー, damn it. Her eyes have already started looking like she’s hunting for prey.
And besides, I absolutely don’t want to her to turn into a single mother. You often hear those stories about couples who don’t use protection separating once a they make a child, right. I really want you to spare me from that.
Wurst and Schinken went, “Is that true?”, and asked their respective partners. Seriously, please give me a break.
「No, wellー, I believe that it would depend on the race. I think it’s better to make a child if you partner has went through all that trouble and still came back. I mean, a child would definitely be better off having a father, right?」
「What would you do if you died? The ojou-san would be sad, you know?」
「Umu. We can say this since we’re women but even if the man dies, we would be happier if we could at least have a child as a keepsake from them. That’s why you should go ahead and make them」
「No. The neighboring town is just half a day away and the monsters that come out of the highway are only around the level of goblins. That’s why I can still return home on a regular basis, you know?」
We each had point that we wouldn’t concede. Is this because of the difference in race? Or rather, my opinions are based on the norm of my previous life…… I might have said something strange earlier. Suzuran who was staring at me looks happy. Everyone around us started whistling.
I’ll just ignore them.
「Well then, that being the case, the woman has already consented. If that’s what will make the ojou-san happy… Or rather, if ever I hear word about you dying, I’m going to find your dead body and kick it, okay?」
I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad thing. Is it really alright for her to kick a dead body just like that? Well, I guess you could say that our interaction with another race after induction course reached the point where we could be frank around each other.
After our conversation was over, Suzuran seized my arm and forcefully dragged me back home. While I was being dragged against my will,
「The ojou-san sure is strong, isn’t she?」
「I agree. Women aren’t usually that strong-willed so… do you best, ojou-san」
「To her happinessー」
Was what I heard. They’re really cheering for Suzuran, aren’t they?
Regarding what happened next, she was also gentle this time even though we haven’t done it for a while. My manhood was somehow saved because of that. I wonder if what happened last winter was effective. Well, since I have this chance, I wonder if I should increase the number of times we do it. Is the overbearing girl without breasts next to me that I should be consulting this about already asleep?
【Skill・Charm Resistance: 3】acquired.
Do these skills easily go up during festivals because the gods are watching?
『We won’t look while you’re doing the act, you knowー』
Is what they said but that sounded fishy. I’m going to interrogate them the next time I go to that room.
A certain new villager asked,
「Hey, why won’t they just go home if they’re already drunk?」
「Well, it’s for ‘that’. They’re being considerate of the children of marriageable age so they don’t go home during festival days」
「Wait, you mean they’re getting it on at home right now?」
「I guess so. The village has gotten a lot bigger these days but it used to be small. Where would the children do that act? There’s no place here intended for that. It was a small village so there were no inns. Even if there were, they would easily get discovered, right? That’s why the adults don’t go home until morning. That’s what happened during my time and we’ll continue doing so from now on」
Wringing a fruit into his liquor, he drank it while having a reminiscent look.
「They can just use the left over rent houses these days but, well, they would have to clean the stains themselves though」
「So that’s why. I’m just following their customs over here but I still haven’t heard all the minor details so I didn’t know. I’ve been staying in town for a long time now so I’m used to having lover’s inns for that kind of thing. I don’t have a partner for that right now though」
The man laughed as he gulped down all of his sake in one go. Seeing that, a woman nearby came and poured sake into his empty cup and tapped the shoulder of the person that the man was talking to. Reading the mood, he vacated his seat so that the woman could take his place.
It seems like the woman had already thought that the man wasn’t that bad from the start so it didn’t take that long for the two of them to leave together.