250-249 Sake to seep

 The first thing I did in the spring.

 It was a tasting of fruit and herbal liquors.
 Around the fall, I soaked various fruits and herbs in the distilled liquor created by Bacchus, the god of wine, in the hopes that the flavors would seep into the liquor.

 It should have lasted all winter and finally be ready to drink!
 It must be!

 Normally, the theory of fruit wine would be to pickle it before the rainy season and drink it in the fall. Please don't make me feel like I'm not in season.

 That's why they lined up in front of us, with all sorts of colors of sake in front of us.

 The standard plum wine was at the top of the list, followed by cider, lemon, peach, loquat, orange and kiwi sake.
 There was also a wide variety of herb drinks specially prepared by the pratys.

 All of them absorbed the extracts of the ones they injected into the core of the liquor, giving it a unique color not found in ordinary liquors.

''........You can't drink all of this in one sip......even if you take a sip at a time......?

 At any rate, everyone drinks the largest amount of plum wine they've made, and it's very exciting.

"Yum! Only plums taste good!
It'll be even better if you put some water in it.
The plums in the water are delicious!
I'll make jam later. Don't eat it all.

 It has been generally well received.
 Let's make this another staple on our farm's permanent production menu.

'Saints, saints.'

 I was feeling good and tipsy when I was stopped.
 I was stopped by Bacchus, the god of sake.

"I want to see the results of the other pickled sake. Will you come with me?

 Bacchus has now established himself as the head of the brewing department at our farm.
 He says he has made dozens of different types of leftover sake, and only a handful of them have been shown at the brewery.
 The so-called "cheapest".

They're all sake that you can be sure will taste good!

 Well, it was a wise decision.
 The farm put out an open call for ideas on what kind of sake to make, and there were some pretty crazy ideas, but Bacchus was willing to go through with them all.

 But Bacchus was willing to try them all, believing that there was no chance of achieving a miracle, no matter how ridiculous the method.
 The extent of his resolve is just as good as that of an inquirer of alcohol....

But there were some things that looked like they would be outliers, weren't there?

 Natto wine, the Horcosfon's idea, or........

'Failure is the yeast of success......... There's nothing wrong with trying. But even so, there's a problem...!
'What? What?
"What's this...?

 Bacchus shows me around the brewery, and I'm blown away by what he shows me, and I'm scared out of my wits.

 It was a huge, stupidly large bottle of wine.
 It was so tall that I had to look up at it.
 How did they come up with such a huge bottle?
 That's where the mystery comes in, but the biggest mystery was not the container, but its contents. It was a glass bottle, so of course we could see the inside.
 Inside the large bottle was a large amount of liquor, probably shochu, and floating in it.

 And floating inside it.....


 Dragon sake?
 Who would try to make such a thing?
 Are you confusing it with something like Habju?

Veerle! Veerleeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

 I bang the bottle and call out to Veerle inside.
 What is this guy seriously doing?

You called for me, master?

 I was surprised to be called from behind!

"Huh? Veerle!

 The human form of Veerle was normal.
 It was this guy who called out from behind.

''Eh? And what about the dragon in the bottle? Who?

 The dragon in the bottle.
 And outside the bottle, a dragon (that's Veerle).

 When it comes to dragons on my farm, there is no other dragon on my farm but Veerle.
 That's why I had assumed that the one in the large bottle was Veerle, too.

I thought to myself, "If there is a Veerle outside the bottle, then the dragon inside the bottle is not a Veerle! Huh? Who? Who are you really? ...Oh, that's Veerle's alter ego!

 It's not the first time you've done something like that!
 I could create a physical alter ego to guard the mountain dungeon! It's that alter ego again, isn't it?

No, this is a different kind of dragon than me, okay?
'Well, didn't I introduce you? Okay then. Let me introduce you.

 Veerle taps the bottle with a gong. As if to knock.

'Seedle. My master is interested in you. Come out and say hello.
'It's okay, sister? I've only been here for two months, sir.
I mean, you could at least show your face for a while.

 It's alive!

 Maybe it's not so surprising that a dragon can do anything and still be sealed up and alive while being drunk all over, but I'm alive!

"Come on, it's been a long time since we've had fresh air.

 The lid of the bottle is opened, and the dragon that had been soaked in alcohol comes out of the bottle with only his face.

I see that you are the master of your sister Veerle. I am Seidl, the Grinzel Dragon.''
Ha, ha, hi, nice to meet you...?

 It's the best I can do to respond to the situation, which is so uncomplicated.

 A dragon that has been drenched in alcohol comes out of his drink and greets you in a very polite manner...?

''Um, it's nice to meet you........right?''
'Yes, I've never met you before. What about it?'

 Why is a dragon I've never seen before marinating in wine on my farm?
 It's a locked room murder mystery!

I'll tell you what it is.

 Veerle interrupts with a knowing look on his face.
 I know, you're the one who caused it anyway!

It was a normal winter afternoon and I was bored to death with nothing to do but...
So I decided to go interrupt the other dragons to kill some time.


 Speaking of which, are these dragons somehow the next dragon king? You've been put through a gauntlet by the current Dragon King to determine what it is?
 So if you interrupt the other dragons and make them fail the ordeal, the competition will drop out and you'll get a good deal.

"So I fumbled around, and then I ran into this Seadr. Just as soon as I got close enough to interrupt him...

 Instead of intercepting her, the other side clutched at her.
The actuality of this is that it's not just a matter of time before you'll be able to get your hands on it. I'm sure you'll be able to find out more about this.

It's not a good idea to be a part of it, because the ordeal that was given to me is reckless. Even a dragon can never achieve this...!''
So what was the ordeal?

 I didn't want to hear too much, but that wouldn't get us anywhere, so I had to urge him on.

'It's a test for you to bring me the fruit of Ambrosia.
No, why don't you just go get it?

 You're a dragon, so getting a piece of fruit or two would be a piece of cake, right?

It's not going to happen, Master.

 Viel adds.

'Ambrosia has long since become extinct and is a fruit found nowhere else on earth.
Isn't that too much to ask?

 No matter how many dragons, it would be impossible to find something that had already disappeared.

I was at my wits' end when I met Miss Veerle. I was so happy to see her because there was no one else to turn to and I was so weak...

 She hugged him and cried herself to him.

He cried so vigorously that I couldn't push him any further...

 You didn't follow through on your original intentions when your first goal was to sabotage.

'And then I remembered the master. The master would grow trees and grasses out of thin air without sowing any seeds, wouldn't he?

As part of the potion of the Supremacy Leader.
 It's really quite versatile, this gift.

I thought, "If he's such a good master, he should be able to sprout a dead Ambrosia and grow it to fruition," so I brought him here.

 Okay, I understand how this Mr. Seadr came to the farm.
 But I don't know why he was in the bottle.

 How did that happen?

''I, a noble dragon, do not owe a ningen or any other person a debt of gratitude! ''To a lower life form's human child and so on!

 The language is polite, but this is the kind of thing that makes me feel like a dragon.
 I'm sure you'll be able to find a way to make it work.

It's a very good idea to have a good idea of what to expect before you listen to our request! But, since you are a ningen who has taken sister Veerle to task, I thought that most things would be met.......
So, you were having a good time with the wine, weren't you? So I thought, maybe if I get him a drink with a dragon in it, he'll be happy.
'Yes, Miss Veerle told me and I decided to take a quick dip in the bottle. And even if you've been zipping around in a drink for six months or so, it's no pain to the dragon!''
I wouldn't want to be stuck playing with my master for so long.

 That's why I'm here...?

 Why didn't I notice it...? Come to think of it, I've been away all winter preparing for the attractions at Okubo Castle and fishing!

 If you were visiting while I was away, I can't blame you for not noticing it, but Ville, report it!
 It's useless to expect such a thing from this guy!

It's been less than two months since I started to pickle, so I'm determined to do even better! When it's completed, we'll definitely be able to do the Ambrosia cultivation good!''
I'm interested in this dragon infused drink too, so I'm looking forward to it! Isn't that right, master? Why don't you take a little taste while you're at it?

 There's nothing more rude than tasting a pre-finished pickled sake....

 The sake of pickled dragons.
 I'm curious to see what it tastes like.
 Is it still like hub sake?

 I take a scoop of Seadr's soaked liquor and bring it to my mouth.


 What is this liquor aaaaaaaaahhhh!
 Tasty! And that's not all! My body is enveloped in a simmering heat, and I'm filled with power ughhhh!

 No amount of booze can hold this much power!
 Dragon Wine!
 What's the best drink in the world?

"Oh, saint. You shouldn't drink anything with dragons in it.

 Bacchus, who hadn't bothered to check the quality of the other drinks, said as if it were a matter of course.

'Because it makes you immortal,'
''Why are you telling me this after you've finished drinking?

 After all, when dragons are involved, any item can be pierced through.