「Here it’s baked.」
I took the bread out of the stone oven. It had expanded to two times its size.
I cut the bread and put dried cranberries in one half and venison in the other.
「It really got bigger. Can I eat it Cyril?」
「Yeah of course.」
I said and Lucy took the half filled with dried cranberries and took a bite.
「It’s so soft. It’s so fluffy and tasty. Bread can be this yummy?」
Lucy stuffed the bread in her mouth and looked like an adorable little squirrel. It made me want to pet her head.
「It’s much better than the usual bread we make in the village, but it’s lacking something.」
Indeed dough made from water and wheat lacked impact. If only I had some eggs and butter I could make much more delicious things…but we didn’t have any livestock in the village.
We had some horses that we used for transportation and farming, but they wouldn’t produce enough milk and they didn’t get pregnant easily.
In consideration of the future we needed a source of salt, reclaim our supply routes, and to obtain livestock.
In terms of cost performance goats would probably be best. We could get milk and butter from them.
「Even so this is plenty delicious. Why does the bread get bigger when you put in this yeast thing Cyril? Does yeast make more wheat?」
「No of course it can’t increase the wheat. It just lets a lot of air inside. Look when you tear the bread you can see all these little holes? When they get created they soften the bread and make it larger.」
「Is that so? But it seems annoying to make yeast every time. It takes a week of soaking the cranberries in water right?」
「That’s right. However, low temperatures won’t allow the yeast to form so you need to be careful. Right now it should be fine but it’ll be more difficult come winter.」
「Awww…when winter comes we can’t gather cranberries and I’ll have to bid farewell to this soft bread…..」
Lucy looked at the bread with regret.
「Don’t worry about it. We don’t need raw cranberries to make yeast. We can use preserved and dried cranberries. Plus we don’t have to make it every time. You know what this is?」
「This is the bread dough before baking…」
I smiled as I rolled the small piece of dough around in my hand.
「Inside this little piece of dough is lots of yeast. So when we make bread next time we can take a small piece and knead it into the rest of the dough and it’ll make the bread light and fluffy again.」
「I get it. If we leave a small piece again the next time we make bread then we’ll be able to continue making soft bread forever.」
「Correct. Well, sometimes we’ll have to introduce a new source of yeast, but basically that’s the principle.」
「But where did you learn something like this?」
「During my father’s time as Chief I followed him to another town. That’s where I learned.」
That…was a lie.
It was only in the 19th century that the usage of yeast spread on earth. This world was still stuck in the 16th century so there was no way they would have developed this kind of technique.
Plus the usages of yeast didn’t just stop at bread.
「I see, then we should teach this to everyone else. This bread that uses a little wheat to make such a big yummy loaf is great.」
I couldn’t help but be a bit surprised. I was going to ask Lucy to spread this around to the other villagers, but she volunteered to do it herself.
“Today our bread was more delicious than usual.”
It was small but even this small improvement was enough to make people feel happy.
Unlike me Lucy wasn’t calculative and simply wanted people to enjoy this more delicious bread out of the kindness of her heart.
「Yeah of course. I have several containers of yeast liquid in the storehouse so you can go distribute it.」
「Un, leave it to me. I’ll make some tomorrow and if it goes well I’ll tell everyone that you came up with this method Cyril.」
「You don’t even have to mention my name.」
「Uh-uh that’s no good. It’ll make me happy when everyone says that you’re amazing Cyril.」
Lucy’s carefree smile made my heart throb. I feel like when I’m with her I can’t help but fall deeper in love.
「Thank you. I’ll do my best so you’re never hate me.」
「There’s no need to worry. After all I’ve seen you at your worst Cyril. There’s no way I’d hate you after this much.」
I couldn’t help but reach out my hand and roughly pat her head.
「It feels like Cyril’s been treating me like a kid lately…」
「That’s not true. I’ve been holding back by just doing things like this…in truth I want to do more adult things.」
It was a serious desire, but I made sure to hold myself back properly. If we went too far I’m worried my brakes would cease to function.
Lucy retreated quickly with a blush as I said those words.
Lucy’s eyes wandered as she let out a bewildered voice.
「Is it weird? I feel like wanting to do things like that with the person you love is natural.」
「Umm, it’s not weird…but when you say it so suddenly and casually I can’t get used to it!」
「So it’s a matter of suddenness? Then instead of a greeting I’ll tell you “I love you” when I see you.」
「I feel like that’s off the mark.」
「I’m sorry, I didn’t think it would surprise you that much. But, once I save the village and if you accept me Lucy…I’ll do what I said every day.」
「Uu, so unfair. Why am I always the one who ends up all flustered…」
「My heart is pounding too. It takes courage to say such pretentious lines.」
「I absolutely can’t tell.」
「I want to act cool because I’m in front of you Lucy.」
I said with a smile. Even I was feeling embarrassed.
I wanted to quickly save the village and hear her response to my confession.
「Umm Cyril…will you really do it every day?」
「Of course. So take that into account when you consider your response.」
And just like that we ate our lunch with lively and happy conversation.
I treasured these moments every second.
I knew that times like these would be in short supply soon.
This was simply the calm before the storm………