130 – The Hint was on the Table
「Oh, Lem. Good mo~rning~.」
The girl carrying plates bursting with her cooking noticed me and smiled.
She had light brown hair, longer than Cashew’s. Since she’s cooking, she has it done up in a ponytail. She’s only twelve years old, but the kitchen is already her domain.
It’s Maca. She has the Chef Job, and is Cashew’s older sister.
I am captivated by her green eyes that are shared among the whole family.
「You’re just in time. Eat it while it’s hot.」
「As always, thank you for the meal.」
While petting Mia’s head, Cashew’s little sister, as she drew close to my feet calling my name, I returned a smile to Maca.
「Not at all. On the flipside, if I can’t do this much, I’ll be the one in trouble. It’s thanks to Lem that I can do some decent cooking training. Wait, how many times have we been down this road?」
Maca laughed sarcastically.
Cashew’s family used to have trouble making ends meet, but ever since she became the secretary of the Demon King Army, it has gotten easier for them.
The one who invited her was Milla, and the Demon King Castle is the one paying her salary.
I think it’s wrong to thank me, but when I say that, Cashew will end the conversation by saying that if she had never met me, the path to becoming the Chief of Staff’s secretary would have never opened.
I nodded vaguely, as I didn’t want to continue the conversation that was becoming a routine and let the food get cold.
「Well then, thank you for the meal.」
「Please, it’s delicious today, as well.」
As usual, Nuts, Cashew’s younger brother, is biting my hand, and Cashew has to pull him off, and then I sit down.
「Oh my, you’re looking paler. You seemed to have been struggling with something recently, I wonder if it has been resolved.」
Says Hazel, Cashew and everyone’s mother, while putting a hand to my face.
「Is it that obvious…?」
Just like Milla, Hazel was sharp enough to notice. Or maybe I’m just easy to read.
「Fufu, it’s because Cashew has been very worried about you.」
「…I’ll do my best to solve it.」
My condition is making all sorts of people worry.
「Not at all, worrying isn’t a bad thing. It just means you’re working hard to find the answer. That aside, my daughter was very sad saying『I wonder if it’s something that he can’t discuss with his secretary…』and-」
In a panic, Cashew clings to her mother’s arm and shakes her to stop her from saying any more.
All Hazel said was「Ara ara」, as she shook gently.
While this and that was going on, we had breakfast.
The meal continued peacefully, then Nuts went「Blech!」with a scrunched up face while sticking out his tongue.
On it were finely chopped bitter-tasting vegetables.
「Hey, eat it properly.」
When Maca scolds him, Nuts turns to face away from her.
「It tastes bad, so I don’t wanna.」
「Y-you little…Don’t say such deplorable things about something so small. It’s nutritious, so eat it. Look, everyone except you is eating it just fine.」
I was absentmindedly watching the sisterly side of this lively and friendly girl, but when Maca started to twitch with rage, I decided to interrupt. An angry voice does not suit the spread of painstakingly, deliciously cooked food lined up on the table.
「Nuts. Are you sure about this? You want to become strong enough to protect your mother and sisters, right?」
Nuts looks at me.
I excused myself and stood up.
Something easy to understand…hmm, this should work.
I grabbed the table with all the food lined up on it, and lift it up as it is.
Of course, I pay close attention to not drop the food or water. I lift it up without causing a single tableware to move, not even a speck of dust shifted. After confirming that Nuts was surprised, I gently put the table back down.
That may have been a little rude. But I was able to get his attention.
「I’m sure you know this, Nuts, but I don’t have a warrior-like fighting Job. Still, by properly eating nutritious meals, and a lot of training, you’ll be able to do this much. Now I wonder…could a boy who was defeated by bitter vegetables ever hope to win against a bad man targetting your family?」
I shouldn’t interfere with the upbringing of someone else’s family, but this time, I thought it would be fine to comply with Maca’s feelings.
Nuts’s eyes alternated between the plate of food and me.
「If you don’t eat your vegetables, I might take Cashew away.」
Cashew’s ears jolted straight up.
Maca went「Take me as well~」while laughing. Good, she seems to have calmed down.
「…! I’ll eat it! I’ll never let you take Cashew!」
Saying that, Nuts ravenously devours his meal.
He grimaced at the bitterness, but he gulped it down.
「Hm, well done…wait, no. Now you can protect your family.」
Nuts was in a good mood with a triumphant expression on his face.
You may not see the results in one meal, but you will as the meals pile on.
The food you take into your body becomes a part of you……-?!
I stand up suddenly, attracting everyone’s attention.
「What’s wrong, Lem? You gonna lift the table again?」
Maca said with a curious look on her face.
「Oh, no, sorry. The worries we were talking about earlier…I think I might have found the answer…or at least a hint towards it, I think. It surprised me.」
「Ahaha, you’re always so calm, Lem, but I guess stuff like this can happen to you, too.」
I, too, laugh and take my seat, once again.
I want to run to the Demon King Castle right now, but I will eat all of Maca’s cooking.
Being sent off by her family, I head towards our place of work with the ready-to-go Cashew.
「Le-Lem…about the conversation earlier…」
…That’s right, she was worried about me not consulting with her.
But how do I explain it?
「Hmm…it’s for the next battle. I need to think of a new technique. I’ve already decided on the technique, but I’ve been worried about how to learn it.」
「Technique…a secret final technique?!」
「Nothing as cool as that, heh. But, yeah, something just as difficult.」
「A technique like a secret final technique…Just now, you thought of a way to learn it right?」
「I feel like I’ve got something.」
「You can do it, I know you can!」
「…Yeah, thanks. When you say it like that, I feel like I can do anything.」
When we reached our workplace, I head straight for the Link Room, the room where you can project your consciousness into your Avatar.
「Have you grasped something?」
Her Highness was there.
It seems she was worried too, as she has been here every day recently, asking the same question.
Until now, I’ve always had a sorry look on my face, but not today.
It’s a weird story, but I may have been helped by Nuts’s battle with bitter vegetables.
First, I transfer my consciousness into my Avatar.
「Ah, should I explain it? Master most likely came to the same conclusion on his own with his own thinking, at least that’s what I think.」
「Hm, I see…then I shall not ask. Instead…Carmilla. I leave it to you.」
After saying that, Milla suddenly stood up from the shadows and hit her head on a piece of machinery with a crash.
「Ow. Your Highness…I asked you to conceal my presence…」
「I know that you know you can’t pull a wool over his eyes. It’s best to just come out honestly.」
She thought not to add more pressure onto me after cheering me on earlier, huh? Yet she was still curious and planned on watching while hidden…or something like that?
「I wish to organize my own thoughts, so it would be of great help to have someone to talk to.」
「…! Then I, Carmilla, shall risk life and limb to fulfill this important role.」
「I’m counting on you.」
Having said that, her Highness leaves the room.
She wishes to learn it on her own.
「Well then, let us be off.」