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Chapter 108 – Meat and Booze
One day during dinner time.
Ares was unusually late for dinner at his residence.
Of course, Hadora had prepared his best dishes for dinner as usual.
And it happened when Ares started to eat the main meat dish.
The menu was steak, grilled to medium rare. It was one of Ares’ favorites.
Ares quietly cut the meat with his knife… then look at the cut piece suspiciously. When he finally put the piece inside his mouth… he inadvertently dropped both his knife and fork.
[Yes. What is the matter?]
[Get Hadora here immediately! I have something to ask him!]
To Ares’ order, Helmut bowed reverently, left the dining room, then returned with Hadora a moment later.
[I have brought Hadora here.]
Seeing Ares’ expression, Hadora grinned.
[Hadora… since you have that kind of face, I believe you already know why I called you here?
The grin did not leave Hadora’s face yet.
[Then please explain this.
Ares stood up and pointed at the meat dish before him.
[Just what kind of meat is this to have such an extraordinary taste?]
[This is the meat of the buffalo magic beast found around the foot of the mountain.]
[……magic beast’s meat…?]
[Indeed. I’ve experimented with several kinds of magic beasts’ meat back at Romaria, but couldn’t find a suitable pick up until recently. I was also surprised myself that such a delicious meat actually exists.]
The buffalo magic beast lives around the foot of the mountain east of Grants.
It’s bigger than a regular cow and an even worse temper. It’s said that if you encounter one, it will most likely attempt to skewer you to death.
From the traveller’s point of view, it’s pretty much known as the 『cow from hell』.
[The other day I was visiting the adventurers guild and happened to come across some of these meat which was in good condition and has been properly cleaned. So I just thought this might work. And it was exactly what I aim for.]
Usually, the adventurers guild only buy the vanquished buffalo magic beast’s horns and pelts. The rest will just be discarded.
[But now that we know how delicious it is, we must not discard it… No. Rather, can we domesticate them to become livestock?]
[Unlike a regular cow, a buffalo magic beast can give birth to many calves at once. If it can be done, then it’ll be great… however it has low intelligence and a rough temper… the effort will be tough]
Ares frowned upon hearing Hadora’s explanation.
[But still… it might be worth a try. I believe it’s even good enough to become Grants’ specialty. Let’s bring this up on tomorrow’s conference. I’m going to need Hadora’s help though.]
After Hadora bowed reverently, Ares returned to his seat and enjoyed his dinner.
[Oooooooooooooo! Bring more booze!]
[Calm yourself down… Darius…]
Sigurd frowned at Darius who was sitting next to him. Before Darius were plates piled into a towering height.
[Speak for yourself, just many plates have you finished!]
To that scolding, Darius replied in kind
Right… there was also a high stack of plates in front of Sigurd.
[This is surprising. I never thought there would be a meat dish this delicious]
It was Shion who muttered that out.
[This… will definitely sell well. Such an unforgettable taste, if we sell these to the aristocrats, they will be more than willing to spare no money to eat it. Let’s try to secure a stable supply of it.]
George added calmly while elegantly wiped his mouth with a handkerchief.
[But… how do you exactly tame… a buffalo magic beast??]
It was the consultant Gail who muttered that question. Despite his already advanced age, there were many plates before him which amount comparable to the younger attendees.
[Does Your Excellency already have a method to do it?]
To Ramires, who was sitting next to him, Ares replied with a grin on his face.
[Have a look at this.]
What Ares showed to them was a blueprint for a certain contraption.
[Lord… this is…?]
[The blueprint for magic barrier dispenser.]
Ares then began to explain.
[I’ve given it quite a lot of thought last night. I also wondered if there is a good way to do this. Magic beasts, especially those with low intelligence such as the buffalo magic beasts, are really hard for domestication. That’s why I plan to simply confine a large area where they live on.]
That said, Ares tapped on the blueprint.
[Borrowing Gilbert’s wisdom, I’ve come up with this device that could produce a magic barrier. It runs on magic stones… which we fortunately can produce.]
Ares’ plan was as follows.
The southern part of Grants is a vast land. It’s mostly neglected because the soil was not suitable for farmland.
[It’s that kind of land, but fortunately, it’s the kind of place that the buffalo magic beasts would likely to inhabit.]
So Ares went to inspect the land. There were plants growing there, but not the kind that can be sold for money. But they’re still something the buffalo demon beasts would eat for sustenance.
[What I’m planning to do… is to use this device to confine a large amount of buffalo magic beasts in that land and treat it as some sort of a ranch.]
Buffalo magic beasts are capable to adapt to various environments and have high reproduction rate. They should have no problem increasing their number even without any aid. Also, with the barrier device in action, their natural enemies, such as the tiger magic beasts, wouldn’t be able to endanger them, which in turn should bolster their reproduction rate.
[Then, we could hire professional adventurers or hunters to ‘harvest’ the buffalo magic beasts, including cleaning its meat. Then what’s left is to process it and ship it.]
The horns and the pelts will belong to the guilds while the meat will be processed and sold to various places.
[Well, they cannot be bred normally like cows or pigs and processing the meat can be quite troublesome… It’ll take some time to get used to. But the profit should be great, if we can maintain its scarcity on the market. That way, we can also guarantee a stable supply.]
George showed his support to Ares’ plan.
[This can certainly become a local specialty. We should ask Fran to complete the device immediately. As for capturing the beasts…. Should we ask the guild to do it?]
After this, the meat of the buffalo magic beast would earn the title of [Platinum Meat] and become the brand meat that makes gastronomes from other places to groan for one reason or another. It immediately became one of Grants’ specialty products…
Ares said there was another thing he would like to show on today’s meeting, before promptly taking out a bootle.
[Milord… and this is?]
[Un, booze of course]
[What? Booze? Should’ve gotten it out sooner.]
Ares ignored Darius’ complaints and continued on.
[Anyways, try drinking it now. I want to see everyone’s reaction to it.]
While saying so, Ares poured the booze to the empty glasses.
[Hoo… it certainly looks pretty.]
The amber colored liquid was visible from outside the glass. It reflected and glistened prettily under the light.
[It uses wheat as the raw material. Try it out for the time being. However… don’t try to drink it all at once like you usually do with ale.]
Everyone was alarmed at Ares’ warning, except for Darius… who already guzzled down the entire content of his glass.
[Wha…what is this? This… is terribly strong… not even the 『Dwarven Fire Breath 』is this strong…]
Coughing after sipping it, Ramires commented on the new booze.
『Dwarven Fire Breath』is currently the strongest liquor in the Arcadia Continent. Originally, it was liquor the dwarves made for themselves. It IS the dwarves’ favorite liquor, but heavy drinkers also favor it for the strong alcoholic content and the mellow aroma.
And Ares actually introduced to them a liquor that is stronger than that.
[However… it’s more fragrant than dwarven liquor… and the taste is more palatable as well.]
George muttered after sipping the booze one more time.
[It can be diluted with water, perhaps?]
Tobias, the recently appointed commerce secretary, suggested.
[This liquor is…]
[It’s distilled spirit.]
There were two types of liquor most commonly seen in the continent.
Ale made from wheat.
And wine made from fermenting grapes.
There was also a kind of liquor made from rice in the east… but it’s hard to get.
And then, there is the liquor created by the high alcohol enthusiast dwarves, the『Fire Breath』.
But this time, Ares introduced something different.
[We can increase the alcohol content further by『distilling』it. If we put it inside a keg and deposit it for quite a while, the scent will also become stronger.]
Hearing this, George then made a suggestion.
[Milord… if we can have both the McDohl company and the Shawd company, founded by Elan, to sell this, it might cause a great ripple.]
Now, McDohl company and Shawd company are working together in a business alliance. Both can help spread the booze to many places, including the capital.
[Let them help fund the production and promotion. I’ll also ask Fran to prepare for mass production.]
Tobias also added.
[I might be able to circulate it among the aristocrats in advance. If they like it, we can also find customers via reservation.]
After that, Ares’ 『Distilled Spirit』would then be circulated mainly among the aristocrats and merchants by only the Mcdohl or Shawd companies. When the rumour spread, the reservation for Grant’s [Phantom Liquor] came flooding in.