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Robert I Baratheon

A rather unusual reincarnation for Robert takes place. The ROB tells him he is supposed to be reincarnated into the world of 'A Song of Ice and Fire', but there is only one problem ... he never read the books or watched the series. To help him, he is gifted something that will make him the best King he can be, the Essence of the King.

DaoistWDfd8h · Book&Literature
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39 Chs

Secret rise of House Baratheon II

- 275 AC -

(Robert Baratheon POV)

"What is this? Another project?", Father asks as I visit him in his solar with Stannis. The Guilds business was well on its way and we have had time to focus on something else. Elron Watersail, the poor man, had a most tragic accident. He had a family with a wife who he abused. She was paid a lot of money as compensation, to show that House Baratheon cares. 

"Aye, another project. Although it is part of our already existing project, we could call it a trial run, of sorts.", I explain. 

"Trial run? What for?", Father asks me. 

"Stannis."

"Aye. So we spent the last fortnight organising the rise and organisation of the Guilds. The Guild Hall has been established and we will increase the size in the coming moons. The respective representatives have been selected and things are up and running. There is a final thing left to do and then we can sit back for a while and observe the development. 

Due to this, Robert and I have come up with a side project, as he likes to call it. We thought about how we could further improve Storm's End to make it and I'm quoting here: 'even greater'. We thought about what would yield the most money and didn't have to think very long.", Stannis starts to explain to Father what we came up with. 

"... Will you tell me?"

"Aye. The solution is simple. Alcoholic drinks. There are a lot of them and those Houses who have some form of alcoholic drink production, like House Redwyne with their Arbor Gold, make a lot of profit from it."

"So you want to enter the wine-making business? That won't work as our climate is not best suited for that. And we would have a lot of competition ... but you already know that. So what do you have in mind?", Father asks. 

"Robert, Gods know how, managed to come up with a 'new' alcoholic beverage. And we believe it would be a hit in the entire known world.", Stannis reveals. I remembered a video I watched on how to make certain alcoholic drinks in my past life and due to my 'perfect memory and infinite storage' it is still present. 

"...What? Are you serious, Robert?"

"Aye, as serious as diarrhoea after eating hot food."

"Stop joking around, son! Tell me the truth, how did you come up with that? And how are you certain it will work?", Father asks me. I understand his change in demeanour as this is grand news. 

"I came up with it on my own. I thought about the way wine is made. The fermentation of grape juice and how this might work. After doing some research during my time in the Eyrie, I now have a draft on how we may or may not succeed in creating this new drink. I believe it will be a great hit.", I say, masking my lie. 

"So what is it you need from me? Money?"

"No, we have enough of that. We just need enough space to set up the distillery where we will create the new beverage. It has to be protected and a bit hidden, so that we can control who comes and goes."

"I see. Very well, I'll deal with it myself and you give me the list of what you may need for everything.", Father says and stands up. 

"That won't be necessary. We already asked Roderick Blackwood, the representative of the smithing branch to start working on the things we will need for the process of making the drink. All we need now is a big enough place to work in.", Stannis says. 

"Good. I'll make sure to keep things as secret as possible and get it done as fast as possible. I have the perfect place in mind. It would also allow for further expansion in the future, should it work."

"Thank you, Father.", I say with a smile. 

"Don't mention it. You're back a fortnight and already cause my head to hurt. What will the drink be called anyway?"

"Whiskey."

.

.

(Stannis Baratheon POV)

"Are you sure it will work?", I ask Robert as we stand in the building Father provided us. There is a lot of space to work with and we will expand in the future. A cellar will be necessary. 

"We will make do with what we have at hand right now. Don't worry about the crops. We are in the testing phase right now and are allowed to make mistakes.", he says as he arranges the tools, Roderick created in a specific order. 

"What do we need then?"

"The ingredients I have calculated would go best are: 

- 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of whole untreated kernel corn

- 5 gallons (19 L) of water, plus more warm water for sprouting

- Approximately 1 cup (237 g) champagne yeast 

- 2 pounds (32 oz) of malted barley

- Large burlap sack

- Clean pillowcase

Yield: About 2 gallons (7.6 L) of whiskey"

"... What?"

"Don't worry about it. We need untreated kernel corn, a lot of water, yeast, malted barley, burlap sacks and some pillowcases. We can increase the number as we go along.", he says. 

"I see. Well, I can have those things arranged, if you want."

"No need. I already asked Linda to get those for us. Told her she should ask some of her girls to get them for us so that it doesn't garner attention. If we manage to keep the recipe a secret, we'll be rich before we have to marry."

"So ... in a few moons."

"Hm? Why a few moons? Wait! What do you know?", he looks frightened all of a sudden. It seems like his opinion about marriage hasn't changed. 

"Nothing. But there is word that the Martells of Dorne are to visit us soon. And the eldest daughter, Elia Martell is of age and not yet betrothed. Could be you."

"Oh, bother. Hm, maybe I could-"

"Not a chance. Mother will not let you leave 'suddenly' to get out of this one. The Martells are the Lord's Paramount of Dorne. If a union can be arranged, it probably will. The Dornish are powerful allies to have."

"So what? We already have allies to the north. Stark and Arryn are also Lords Paramount of the North and the Vale respectively. Why would we care about the Dornish?"

"I know you only say this because you don't want to get married so soon, but you know as well as I that it would benefit us greatly. The Martells are a powerful House and have royal blood in their ancestry. A union would benefit us both. ... That was the official statement at least."

"Ugh, we also have royal blood in our ancestry, Stannis. Did you forget, that Rhaelle Targaryen our grandmother married Ormund Baratheon? And that was very recently.", Robert makes a good point. 

"You know what I mean."

"Yeah yeah. Tradition, family, honour and the other political nonsense."

"So how are we going to do this?", I ask him changing the subject.

"First: Steep corn kernels repeatedly in warm water. Place 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) of untreated kernel corn in a burlap sack and place that burlap sack in a larger bucket or container. Then, saturate the burlap sack with warm water. Make sure the corn is completely and evenly soaked. Let the kernels steep for 9 hours, then remove them from the water and place them in a well-ventilated area to dry for 3 hours. We repeat this steeping and resting process 3 more times.", Robert starts to explain. 

"Why sprout the corn?", I ask him. 

"In short, sprouting eliminates the need for added sugar in the mash. We save money."

My brother's a bloody genius. I won't even question how he came up with that. 

"I see and the second step?"

"For the second step, we let the kernel corn sprout in a metal tray for 2-3 days. Pour the ..."

.

Robert explained to me the different steps necessary to create Whiskey. And it is a lot of things you have to do. Again, how he came up with this, I have no idea. I have long stopped asking how he can do such things. 

The first part was preparing the corn malt. The second part is fermenting. The third Robert called distilling. And finally, the fourth part is diluting and ageing of the Whiskey. We can do that for increased profit, but it's not really necessary, he said. 

The entire process takes about a fortnight to complete or something like that. I didn't understand everything he said, but this is the approximate time. And if that is true, then we are truly going to make a lot of money. Wine takes much longer to create if it is any good, or that's what I believe at least. A fortnight for the process is a relatively short time compared to that. 

Now we only need trustworthy workers to do this for us. 

"And who were you thinking about?", I ask him. 

"Linda and the ladies."

"What?! You want to ask whores to work in what will most likely be our most profitable and secret business? Please tell me you have something else in mind ... the blood perhaps?"

"Aye, I was planning to do that. If they accept to be absolutely loyal to us, they will all accept and we can take our time showing them all the necessary steps."

"And what about the brothel? Didn't you want to decrease prostitution slowly? This would yield in a deficit, no?", I ask him. 

"True, but we aren't talking about something that will start tomorrow. It will take time for them to understand and learn the ropes here. Until then, we will gradually increase the prices for their services until it is so exorbitant, that no one will come anymore. Again, this is only if they agree to it. There are also other businesses I have in mind, where they could work as well, should they not like creating Whiskey."

"Seamstresses?"

"Aye, that was my idea initially. But if they say yes to this, then it would also work. What do you think?"

"Does it matter?", I ask him. He rolls his eyes the way he does when he thinks something should be obvious. 

"You know it does. We can ask someone else to do it."

"..."

"..."

"...How about the orphans?"

"Do you think they're ready for such work? How many are there now?"

"There are 29 who are living in the temporary orphanage. 17 have begun their training a few moons ago and are showing promise. I'm certain they would be more than willing to take the blood and swear fealty to you.", I tell him. 

"The idea has merit. I could ask Linda to keep an eye on things until the kids grow enough to handle everything themselves. A good idea, Stannis.", Robert smiles. 

.

The orphanage was Robert's vision for further bettering the lives of the folk of Storm's End. He spared no effort in his endeavour to make Storm's End the grandest castle and town in all of Westeros. Once Robert's work is complete, even the likes of Casterly Rock, Oldtown, Winterfell, or King's Landing will pale in comparison, looking like 'satire' to use his own words. 

It took a while to find someone who was willing to take care of the orphans. Robert and I agreed that it should be a woman primarily but that a man would be useful as well. And the caretakers should be genuinely interested in helping the children and not just take the money. Of course, it fell to me to find someone for that position. Thankfully, I did. 

Elsa Storm is a common woman who grew up in Storm's End and lived here all her life. She didn't have a husband, since no one wanted her apparently. She might not look like a beauty, but I thought it was harsh nonetheless. She was what we were looking for so when I offered her the job as a caretaker in the orphanage, she was more than happy to finally get out of her parent's house. I think she was becoming a bother for her parents, financially speaking. 

Now she is the head caretaker and I am glad I chose correctly. The kids love her and she loves them in turn. She is smart enough to handle the financial things and honest enough not to try and fool me. I wonder what she will say if we present her with the chance for the kids to start working ... she won't be happy.