Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
Although an unexpected calamity like that happened, thanks to the power of His Highness Klanven and that man’s strength. Fortunately, there were no casualties and we could end our excursion there peacefully.
I just hoped that this event wouldn’t become a source of trauma for the children, but since both His Highness and that man were there, it seems that the children managed to cope with the situation. It must have been because they saw the monsters getting destroyed with ease.
Both the boys and the girls were smiling and the look in their eyes were saying: ‘I want to become a Priest when I grow up!’ or ‘I want to become a Knight!’.
That man still seemed to be at a loss when he was dealing with children, and seeing him like that brought nothing but a smile to my face. It may have been bad for his image, but there was nothing about Edilka that the children should be scared of.
I do believe that the children were initially scared of him because they didn’t know his true nature, but after all that, I was glad that the children warmed up to him. And, well, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t ever so slightly jealous of that fact.
「Did you remember something that makes you smile like that?」
「……I just wanted to thank you once more, Your Highness.」
「Right, think nothing of it, really. Still, what about him?」
I couldn’t deny the mild words of His Highness. During lunchtime today, I was smiling brightly the whole time, and now he was poking my side with his elbow, staring at me and wanting to know what was going on.
By ‘him’, His Highness must have probably meant not the the knight Edilka Vince, but rather the royal magician Agedilus Von Lancent.
A Hero who saved the world and now was responsible for organizing the festival, he suddenly stands up from his seat and leaves. Maybe he was called for some urgent matter.
I don’t really know much about his work and his whereabouts, but I could easily imagine that voicing that concern right now would do me more bad than good, and so I answered vaguely.
「He seems to be anxious about a lot of things. I hope that the two of you can get along. Think you could do that?」
「Indeed, it seems that there’s a whole lot of things troubling Edilka, but I think he shall manage to fulfill his duties nonetheless.」
I do get the feeling that His Highness wasn’t taking my words seriously.
「You think? Well, you might be right about that.」
His Highness said that while playing around with his spoon. Once I reminded him it was a sign of bad manners, he drove it back into his soup. But instead of putting it to his mouth, he just stirred it and stirred it. Seeing that he had no intention of actually eating it, I leaned towards His Highness.
「Your Highness? Is the lunch perhaps not to your liking?」
It has already been several days since I was left with taking care of His Highness. I thought that by now I would have a firm grasp on his liking and habits, but seeing him right now I could clearly say this was not the case.
「This situation, do you find this strange?」
「I thought it might be about time, so it would be easier to understand that way. See? Just take a look.」
As His Highness said that, he pointed towards his soup plate. It was a plain vegetable soup and there seemed to be nothing wrong with it. The castle’s cooks truly went all out when preparing it, the pleasant aroma was penetrating my nose. I honestly couldn’t see what was wrong with it.
「Ahh, I knew it, you don’t understand? This, I’m talking about this.」
His Highness struck the silver plate with his spoon, making a loud noise. Both the spoon and the plate collide and get scratched nastily. The action was so ungracious that I couldn’t believe that someone from the royal family could actually do that.
But before I was able to say anything, my eyes were drawn to the silverware.
I was at a loss for words. Both the spoon and the soup plate were slowly turning dark, and devoid of their usual luster. I immediately understood that this was because there was poison mixed into them.
I managed to keep myself from taking the plate and spilling its contents, instead I lowered my head in a deep, apologetic bow.
「I-I am most terribly sorry!」
My whole body was trembling. What was I supposed to do now? It wasn’t something that I could just dismiss as ‘I didn’t know’.
Even if it wasn’t my fault and I had no idea, I could very well be charged with an attempt at the life of His Highness. It was a crime that I would be forced to take responsibility for. And not only that, once the rest of the royal family became aware of this… I felt my head getting dizzy.
His Highness fell silent. The silence was dragging for so long that at some point I dared to raise my lowered head. However, His Highness’s gaze was not directed at me. He was staring at the poisoned plate with his usual, gentle expression.
When I spoke gently to His Highness, he raised his spoon and put it into his mouth, and then wiped it with a napkin.
I could only watch as His Highness lowered his spoon and again put a huge serving of the soup right into his mouth. During that time, he avoided looking at me.
「Hmm, not bad. Not bad at all.」
「What are you saying, Your Highness! Quick, please spit it out!」
「It’s quite alright, I’m immune to this level of poison.」
He said that as if it were the most natural thing to say and took another serving of the poisoned soup. What was His Highness thinking!? He then looked at me and seeing my shocked expression, His Highness proceeded to explain.
「It’s not all that uncommon that from time to time there are people who are dissatisfied with my position. It’s nothing new.」
Again with this ‘This kind of poison is nothing’ mentality. Although it wasn’t that I was doubting His Highness’s words, it would be a completely different matter altogether if he should continue to drink the soup!
「Please, stop making that kind of face. Don’t worry, it’s not like you were the one to……」
「That’s not the problem here!」
I said that while taking the plate right from under His Highness’s nose, to which he raised his brows in surprise and let out a voice full of disappointment.
「Please wait here for a moment.」
「But, that soup is……」
「Please don’t tell me you were actually going to eat this?」
His Highness made a troubled expression, as if he wanted to say, ‘No, not at all! This is……’ Also, he wanted to say something along the lines of ‘It would be a shame to let it go to waste!’
I then went to the castle’s kitchen, where all of the cooks were in the middle of doing their job.
「Please excuse me for a moment.」
Without waiting for anyone’s answer I entered the kitchen and threw the soup straight down the drain. The kitchen staff all avoided looking at me, either by focusing on their tasks or by looking at the ground.
Amongst the kitchen staff there was a cook who was in charge of preparing the meals for the whole royal family, currently stirring something inside of the huge pot. I was already well-acquainted with him, and so I placed my hand on his shoulder, and he gave me a bright smile once he turned over.
「I’m sorry, missy, but whatever it is you want from me, it’s going to have to wait. I’m in the middle of preparing a meal, and I wouldn’t want it to go bad or mess up the proportions. Especially since it’s for His Highness’s and Edilka-sama’s meal.」
I won’t usually reveal this carelessly but,
「I’m the current assistant of His Highness, and the wife of Agedilus Von Lancent.」
I point the tip of the darkened spoon right under the cook’s nose. While doing that, I smiled in the same way that His Highness did.
「How long, I wonder? Getting all the ingredients and preparing them. I wonder just how long does the whole process take? Care to show it to me?」
He looked at the spoon for a moment and then answered in an obedient way, which to be perfectly honest saved me a lot of trouble. If he was to resist, I don’t know what I would do.
I said ‘Thank you’ and then a whole line of people lined up in front of me. I thought that since it was way past lunch time, there would be no ingredients left to prepare, but since it was the kitchen of the royal palace, they had plenty to spare.
He then proceeded to finely chop the vegetables and then throwing them on a pan together with sausages, while I was closely observing his every single move with utmost curiosity. From what I understood it was a fairly easy recipe, but it was quite delicious and vastly popular throughout the land, and while he then left the vegetables to simmer in a pot for a while, he then proceeded to prepare a side dish with more vegetables and some bread accompanied by fresh ham. He then completed the dish with a thing called mayonnaise –– a mixture of oil, egg yolk and vinegar, with added salt and pepper and mixed well. He then took the silverware from the front, which may not have been poisoned.
「It looks delicious.」
He then placed the finished ham sandwich on top of the cutting board, and I was genuinely impressed by how well made it looked. Before I even realized it, the sandwich was already in my hands, on its way towards my mouth. I then realized that all the cooks and maids were currently staring at me.
「I guess this level of deliciousness is something one might expect from the cooks at the royal palace. You deserve praise for that kind of work. Although you must be showered in praises all the time for meals that are this good.」
I would like them to show me their skills some more, but unfortunately I had no time for luxuries like that at the moment.
He simmered and tasted the soup, added some salt and pepper, and then poured it all into a freshly procured, shining silver soup plate. He then cut the sandwich in half and placed it besides the soup plate.
After finishing the meal, the cook put in on a small platter and and it was good to go.
I then return to His Highness’s private room in the Red Rose Palace and knock onto the beautifully decorated door.
「Your Highness, sorry for keeping you waiting.」
「Ahh, Filmina, you’re back.」
「Please excuse me.」
I place the cart with a platter on top of it right beside His Highness, who seemed to be right in the middle of looking through the documents for the festival. I then place the platter with freshly made food in front of him. His Highness seemed surprised.
「I was wondering why you left so suddenly. You went out just so you could prepare that?」
「That’s right. It’s a simple recipe but it’s quite delicious. And I can assure you, Your Highness, that at the very least there’s no poison in it. If you think I’m lying, please have me taste it before eating.」
「No, I don’t think I will have you do that. Thank you for the meal. Also, thank you for going out of your way to do that.」
His Highness thanked me for the meal and after that he reached out towards the sandwich. Even though he knew there was a poisoner running about, he still chose to eat this meal, since I was the one who brought it to him, was that right?