BBYW Vol. 2 Interlude Part 3 (WN)
Interlude – Dietrich Maxwell’s Adventure
Part 3 – Foreign Lands, Foreign Liquor
The kingdom of Sapphire was located in one of the islands of the Southern Archipelago.
Compared to the many pirate countries of the southern seas, this kingdom was a relatively safe place, hustling and bustling with the trade between the nearby islands and continent. Its major exports were fruit, marine products and spices.
Every day Sapphire saw all sorts of ships enter and leave its ports; it was a melting pot of people of all races, fashion and cultures.
I was sitting at the open terrace of a tavern in one such port town, taking a hearty swig of liquor.
“Mmmmh, yes! Nothing beats this!”
“Hard to believe this man just puked himself unconscious…”
The man who looked at me and sighed was called Django Thunderbird.
He was the owner of the ship that led me here and heir of House Thunderbird, the southern Margrave of the Lamperouge kingdom.
Thanks to the connections of this old friend, I was able to hitch a ride on the trading ship, even if I wasn’t a sailor or mercenary.
“Good thing you were there, though. The pirates were really going to kill us all.”
“Thank me all you want, but do it with liquor. Barrels of liquor.”
“Man, you can’t even hold in that much…though you’ve definitely earned it.”
Django motioned to the waiter and ordered more drinks. Soon enough, a pink-colored drink, apparently made from fruits, was brought to our table.
“Hmm, pretty sweet. Guess it’d be good for women too.”
“Right…it might be worth it to sell it in our country too.”
Django took a small sip of the pink liquor and reflected.
The reason why Django, heir of a Margrave family, took the risky journey to come to this island was to start a new kind of maritime trade. For certain reasons, he needed an enormous amount of money.
“You’re really into it…is that woman you fell for worth all that?”
“Ildana? Damn right, she is. She’s the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.”
I mumbled a disinterested reply and chugged in more alcohol.
Django had promised to marry that woman. Being a tavern dancer, however, she certainly didn’t have the social status to marry into a Margrave house.
Django wanted to marry her no matter what, though: after endless fights with his father, he was given an apparently impossible task.
“100,000 gold coins in three years…it’s pretty insane, man.”
“I wouldn’t expect less from my old man. He’d sell his own blood for gold.”
Django frowned and spat out sharp words.
In order to marry the woman he loved, he had to earn 100,000 gold coins without borrowing any help from House Thunderbird.
100,000 gold coins was an amount greater than a small country’s national budget. In order for a single individual to earn that much money in such a short time, they would probably need to gamble and win repeatedly with huge amounts of money.
“Why don’t you go look for some pirate treasure instead? You could even buy a whole country, maybe.”
“Hah, you make it sound so easy. Anyway, in the worst-case scenario, I’ll just run away to a foreign country with her. Here, for example, it’s pretty safe and easy to live here for foreigners too.”
“Heh, you came here to raise money, but also found a good place to hide. Two birds with one stone, huh?”
“Yeah, I’d be happy too, if we didn’t get attacked by pirates…why did you decide to come with me, anyway?”
I looked up and thought for a few seconds. It was a pretty hot day: the burning sunlight piercing through white clouds. A tropical sky like I could have never seen in the Maxwell province.
“…sightseeing, what else?”
“…right. Well, whatever you say.”
I gave an evasive answer. Django wasn’t convinced, but he let go and poured himself more to drink. I pretended to look at the liquor flowing into his glass, but took a peek at my friend’s eyes instead.
Full of resolve for the sake of the woman he fell in love with, his eyes were brimming with hope for the future. My eyes, reflected in the glass — looked empty instead.
“…what’s so special about women…?”
I muttered to myself.
I wasn’t a kid or anything: I knew how it felt good to make love to a woman. I couldn’t understand being fixated on only one person, only one woman.
(Aren’t women just like liquor? No matter the brand, type or origin, if they taste good, then nothing else matters.)
To love only one woman was like drinking the same drink all your life. Nothing to feel excited about, that’s for sure.
“Hah, you’re going to understand one day. There’s a fateful encounter behind every corner, my friend!”
Django raised his glass and proclaimed such words with confidence.
“You think I ever expected I’d go head over heels for a dancer? Rest easy, friend, you’ll get your turn soon enough. The moment when your life, your values, everything turns upside down!”
“Hmm, if you say so…”
I lifted my glass and lightly bumped it against Django’s. With a light “tink”, the pink liquid bubbled and foamed.
An encounter that can change your life…if something like that really existed, I sure wanted to try it too.
“Well, it doesn’t have to be a woman, though. Who knows, you might meet the man of your dreams…”
“…you got a death wish, pal?”
I glared at my friend and joked back as he laughed heartily.