“First of all, let’s start with an apéritif. New wines such as fruit wine have just come out. It will be fun to drink and compare because there are various regions in the royal capital…For Sister-in-law I recommend things like apple wine mixed with water.”
Alfred led us to a stall selling alcoholic beverages. These stalls are called Seldos in the downtown of the royal capital. The original meaning of the word refers to the platform on which they display their goods, but it has been changed to mean a stall now.
“Seasonal fruit wine?”
“I say liquor, but it’s a fruit wine…”
Arthirea looked a little hesitant at the part about alcohol, but when she saw a few children lined up in front of the stall, she was convinced that’s how it should be.
It is considered bad manners to let a child drink alcohol before the flower crowning.
What’s more, women’s drinking is not considered a compliment, but only fruit wine is tolerated.
“In our country, alcohol is either grape or barley wine, but in some areas even apples and other fruits are used to make liquor. Grape wine is also a fruit wine, but it’s a separate category, and fruit wine made from other fruits that is not highly fortified is called a fruit wine.”
Among them, apple wine is said to be such a weak liquor that even children can drink it.
There were many wide-mouthed bottles lined up on the seldo, even though it was only apple liquor.
The glass bottles, illuminated by a lamp, were filled with a variety of liquids, from red to yellow, and the faint scent of sweet apples in the air was strangely evocative.
Glassware, though used in ordinary homes, is still very expensive. A glassware as big as this bottle would be worth a lot of money. It was disproportionate for use in such a stall.
…but I’m sure the quality must be different.
You can use it as long as it’s not of the same level as the ones used in the royal palace, but I’ve heard that you can also ask for cheaper ones, such as those that have bubbles in them and are not legitimate products. Perhaps it is of that sort.
Many seldos use jars or barrels, so they must have worked very hard on this glass bottle.
Arthirea let out a sigh of admiration for the various shades of liquid.
These colors could only be seen in glass bottles. This bottle is much more advertising than a badly hung sign.
“It’s the natural color of the fruit, and nowadays it seems that there are some places that mix it with other ingredients to give it a beautiful color, but this stall doesn’t do that.”
“There are various kinds of apple wine. This one is made from sweet apples called Akahime (***literally means Red Princess), so it’s a little sweeter, and this one is made from green apples called Big green, so it’s a little more acidic.”
From the dozen or so bottles, Alfred explains what he has tasted.
That’s right, His Highness Al, the gourmand.
This is very reliable review for Arthirea, who I secretly recognize as a fellow foodie.
“Do you have anything made from the princess apples of the northern…of Rotria?”
Nigel called out to the old man, who was standing there unaccountably.
If it was just Nigel, or even just Alfred, it might not be so obvious, but now there was Arthirea. It was impossible to kill the signs and bury themselves in the surroundings, and the shopkeeper probably didn’t know what to do because they looked like a high-ranking aristocrat’s stealth from any angle for all intents and purposes.
“Here, this is it.”
The old man indicated a larger bottle at Nigel’s words.
“Are the princess apples of Rotria a rare kind?”
“No, it’s not that unusual, since Rotria is famous for its apples…”
“Crown Princess…It’s under your direct control,” Nigel whispered in her ear.
Arthirea’s eyes widened lightly and then she smiled.
The way she smiled at Nigel, made Nigel also let out a smile.
He was happy that she understood his intentions properly, and even if she didn’t, he was happy that Arthirea was happy.
“It’s a beautiful color…”
Ho…and Arthirea let out a sigh of admiration.
The apple wine that Nigel chose for Arthirea was a beautiful amber color with a reddish hue.
He diluted it with cold water and Nigel took a sip of it and handed it to her after seemingly taking a poison test.
Alfred looked twice at Nigel’s poison testing, but Nigel couldn’t understand what his brother was so surprised about.
Arthirea received it with a thank you and sipped it without question.
The sweet and sour taste of crisp apples spread in her mouth, and then the scent of sweet alcohol escaped her nose. It’s a little sour, but it tells her how hungry she is, and it makes her all the more hungry.
Perfect for an aperitif.
It’s very natural to want to eat food that matches the smell of these apples.
Like a mildly flavored cheese-filled galette…and a light, lightly flavored stewed chicken…
What kind of food would you cook? While thinking that, I let it slide slowly down my throat while tasting.
The show owner, an old man, smoothed his wrinkled face.
“We don’t use any mixture in our seldo.”
The old man repeated what Alfred had told him.
Surely there are many stalls that mix so much, and that’s why they are so resentful of it.
“What are they usually mixing in?”
“There are various things such as sugar water and cheap and strong sweet potato liquor to give it bulk. And then there’s also red turnip juice to give it color.”
“Won’t it change the taste?”
“Yes, that’s why we pride ourselves on our no-mixing policy. …And we buy our cold water from the water shop.”
The old man looked a little annoyed that this was why the prices were inevitably higher than the other stalls.
Arthirea tilts her head at the unfamiliar words.
“The water supply is well developed in the royal capital. Of course you can drink the tap water, but there is better water available, sister-in-law…Such water is paid for.”
So there is already a mineral water thing going on.
“The old man here goes to different water stores and buys some of the best water that best suit his liquors.”
“Many different kinds?”
“Just as apples taste different depending on where they come from and what type of apple they are, so does the water that goes with them…”
“You’re very particular about what you do.”
“…No, I’m not trying to be obsequious, I just want you to drink it as good as possible because it’s such a good drink.”
The old man scratched his head.
“It’s a wonderful commitment. Some people may find it troublesome, but I’m the type of person who is happy with that kind of commitment, so…please continue to do so as long as you can.”
Enjoying the refreshing acidity and sweetness in her mouth, Arthirea smiled softly.
“Sister-in-law, that’s why this old man’s seldo liquor is a bit more expensive than the others, and that’s why it doesn’t thrive very well. What do you think should be done?”
“It’s inevitable that good things will be priced accordingly…but that’s not always the case.”
Arthirea tilted her head slightly.
“Is it still impossible to do this without lowering the price?”
Alfred was reasonably well versed in the downtown situation, but just because he knew it, it didn’t mean he had knew what to do with it.
“No. You can’t lower the price…You’re still suffering, aren’t you?”
They’ve invested so much in capital equipment.
Both the glass cup and the bottle that Arthirea held in her hand would be priceless to a downtown seldo.
“If so, then don’t lower your prices. A bargain battle is never a good thing.”
‘The price should be reasonable,’ said Arthirea with a serious look on her face.
“Of course, various sales efforts are required, but easy price cuts are not good. It has to be a fair price that will allow continued business for many years to come.”
“…But if it doesn’t sell well, I’ll have to dispose of the water and the sake I got for it…”
The old man expressed his painful feelings that it would be better to sell it then, even if it was a bit of a loss.
“No…If you do that, some people will think that price is the right price. If they don’t buy it at that price, they won’t buy it… it’s scary if people will think that.”
“You can make it cheaper only when you have a reason to.”
“For example, you can’t just make it cheaper, but maybe on the day of a Royal Capital festival…How much is a drink now?”
“Then, if you buy three cups together, you can go down 10 dee and make it 110 dee…Never reduce the price on normal days. Only on festive days. And that too only if you buy in bulk.”
Arthirea, who must have liked the apple wine very much, sipped it and gave him some serious advice.
She looked at the empty cup with disappointment, so Nigel replaced it with a new one.
“…Luthia, why only on a festival day?”
“If you lower the price on a normal day for no reason, some people might think that’s the real price. That’s why you have to be very emphatic when you lower the price.”
“What do you say?”
“Because they buy in bulk on public holidays, we will make it specially cheap.”
“But, sister-in-law, if it’s a festival day, the other stores might have a discount.”
“That’s right…That’s why bargain sales don’t make much sense. People who buy for cheapness alone are done with it if the price is lower than that. But if the price isn’t the only reason, and they’re willing to buy half of the products, the fact that you’re offering a little bit of a discount will encourage them to buy it.”
Alfred nodded in honest admiration.
“In addition, if the discount is only on public holidays, it’s more profitable because there’s a limited feeling of discounting available now, and at a time with a festive atmosphere where purse strings are a little looser…”
“I see, that makes the purse strings even looser.”
Nigel also gave a deep counterpoint.
“Yes…And there’s something else uniquely wonderful about this apple wine.”
The old man leaned forward.
The somewhat young-looking princess in front of him is very young, but she understood the subtleties of business quite well. It was hard to believe that she could be a naive princess of a noble family. If it was her word, he could believe…that the suggestion was worth trying.
“It’s the taste. This taste can’t be imitated by anyone else. You can use that as an advantage.”
“What do you mean?”
Nigel tilts his head.
“There are many other seldos here, aren’t there? There are a lot of good scents, so there must be a lot of food seldos, right? I think you should find a food that complements the taste of this liquor and partner with the seldo.”
“For example, if you buy some food there and come over here, I’ll give you a three dee discount.”
“Isn’t that only a loss for this seldo?”
“When they go to that seldo from here, that seldo will also give a discount.”
‘Then it would be mutual,’ Arthirea says.
“You’d be promoting each other’s stores, right? And then you would have more sales than you do now, wouldn’t you?”
“What happens when a cheaper place offers a partnership?”
“I think there’s a trust between the owners of the seldos, and that’s why they base the decisions on taste, which is impossible to imitate…We can find the perfect match for the taste of the drinks here. Taste is an honest thing. The taste of the mixture is what it is.”
Arthirea tilts her head with an expression of wondering what she’s worried about.
“Come on, Your Highness Al, Nigel-sama, let’s go.”
Sleekly sliding down from Nigel’s arms and landing firmly on the ground, Arthirea smiled at the two of them.
“Grandpa, I’m going to find the perfect food to go with your apple wine.”
Regardless of how much she’s snuggled up, Arthirea looks like a princess of high status and nobility.
And even more so based on the attitude of Nigel and Alfred.
The old man couldn’t believe that this noble princess would do anything for him.
“I like this apple wine of grandfather’s very much. I think Seldo’s management policy is great, too. So, I know it’s nosy, but let me support you for a bit.”
The old man would never forget the soft smile that was directed at him for the rest of his life.
T/N: Luthia’s sales skills from volume 2 finally being put to some good use~ :p
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