Details of the Three Northern Territories Conference (Part 1)
Gernot ducked under the shop’s curtain and ordered a ‘Toriaezu Nama’.
Regarding the lager incident, they had been given a warning notice of a temporary ban on ‘Toriaezu Nama’, due to the confusion it had caused. Gernot had been the one to tell them.
He informed the surprised Taisho and Shinobu of it with his usual sullen face.
「It has been decided that, starting today, lager circulation will be permitted.」
「Is that so?!」
「No one will be punished for drinking lager anymore in the entirety of the Empire. Of course, I believe that this ‘Toriaezu Nama’ is not lager.」
Initially, the law was supposed to expire after 30 years.
Gernot figured that it would be a problem if the statute stayed in place.
Of course, even though it was an unreasonable law, the captured offenders would be fined heavily, and the lager would be confiscated. This was Gernot’s job, the purpose of his work.
In fact, most of Bachschouf’s personal assets had already been confiscated by the city council, and his firm was also in decline.
Although the whereabouts of Bachschouf’s attendant, Damien, were unknown, Gernot didn’t consider it a big issue. Even if one of the small fries had escaped, it wasn’t a serious problem.
Everything was over, and the Old Capital had made a profit. Wasn’t it a wonderful thing?
Today’s appetizer was small horse mackerel nanbanzuke.
The harmony between the sweet, the sour, and the subtle spiciness was simply splendid.
However, the refined Gernot, with his sensitive tongue, could tell that the dish had only been simmered for a short time.
If it had been allowed to simmer for a few days, even members of royalty or nobility would be left moaning over the exquisite taste of the dish.
「At any rate, thank you very much, Gernot-san.」
「Is it about Bachschouf’s case? It’s alright even if you don’t thank me. I was just doing my job as a tax collector.」
Though, it would be a lie if he said he wasn’t really angry at Bachschouf.
That man had hired someone to defend his firm and had tried to evade tax collection.
The City Council’s Commerce Guild had outright opposed the collection of taxes, which was a conspiracy to suppress and lower the amount of tax collected. Behind the scenes, they were profiting from having a hand in smuggling prohibited items. It was an unforgivable act.
This incident was instigated by Bachschouf himself. Therefore, it could only be said that he had to bear all the consequences by himself. It had backfired on him when he had underestimated his opponent, believing it to merely be a dirty pub on the streets.
It was not something Gernot would’ve overlooked.
「Well, it might be childish for someone with the title of City Council member to turn down someone’s gratitude for freeing them from their troubles.」
「What is it? If it is possible to be done in our store, we will do it.」
Gernot involuntarily cleared his throat at Shinobu’s words.
「Anything, you say.」
「Y-yes, I did say that… But… 」
「Then, I would like to request something.」
Shinobu backed away, but did not mind his overwhelming vigour.
How long had he been waiting for this day to come?
「…Napolitan. I want you to make it.」
It wasn’t just Shinobu. Even Taisho and Eva were staring in wonder.
However, only Shinobu’s reason for her surprise was different from the rest.
「What’s wrong? Didn’t you say you’ll do anything as thanks? This Gernot, will not forget the Napolitan that I ate that day.」
Taisho and Eva stared strangely at Shinobu, who was raising her voice and flailing her arms in panic. Even though his request was only to make that, what on earth had happened to make her so embarrassed?
「Shinobu-chan, would you rather that I cook the Napolitan?」
Shinobu had resigned herself towards Taisho, who asked suspiciously, and even added a suggestion.
「Ah, no, I mean, yes. Erm, please use good bacon in it, too.」
When Shinobu said the word ‘bacon’, Taisho’s eyes narrowed.
He looked like he was holding back his anger.
「… Good bacon, huh. Come to think of it, I had less bacon for my evening drink than normal sometimes. Shinobu-chan, you know something about it, right?」
「A, ahahaha… Let’s talk about that later.」
Yes, that bacon was delicious.
Gernot couldn’t deny that his drive to take down Bachschouf had stemmed from the thought of never being able to unite with the miracle, the Napolitan, again.
He had sent many letters urging the slow-moving alcohol brewing office, to the point that it became a nuisance. As a result, they had discovered that a total of 37 barrels had been smuggled out, so they had conversely sent a letter to thank him, leaving him unaware of what had happened.
「By the way, how did the conference go?」
Shinobu brought up the subject while waiting for the spaghetti to be thoroughly boiled.
She also held some interest regarding the conference with the Three Northern Territories.
There were signs that the other customers in the store had pricked up their ears too, in order to listen in on the conversation.
Besides, there was no gag order that prevented people from spreading stories about what had happened in the conference, which had ended two days ago.
Usually, Bachschouf and his cronies would have occasionally mixed in groundless rumours with the truth, but after that case, they had fallen silent.
That was why there were many people who did not know about the incident yet.
「Ah, the conference the day before yesterday was amazing. I’m sure it will go down in history.」