Georg tilted his head in confusion. The splitting image of his mother, he’s so cute he could be mistaken for a girl.
“That’s right. I want to add vegetables.”
Georg seemed to be struggling to get the words out. Ya. I know your mother hates veggies.
“That’s what I’m saying. I’d like to create dishes so delicious even a veggie-hater can eat them. Do you have any suggestions, Master Julius?”
When I addressed him, Master Julius put his chin in his hand, lost in thought.
He didn’t have an androgynous appearance like Georg’s, but that of an ideal adult man’s. He had clear-cut features, small lips, and light brown hair that flowed down his back. Slightly sleepy green eyes softened the hardness of his masculine face.
“She doesn’t eat much to begin with. I think soup would be the easiest, but…my sister-in-law dislikes even that much.”
“What seasoning is used?”
“I think…just a little salt.”
The question was directed at Master Julius—smiling ironically to himself—but it was Georg standing next to him who answered before he could even form a response.
Just a bit of salt, huh? A veggie-hater would definitely find fault with that.
It occurred to me to make consommé, but I don’t think it exists in this world. If we were to make it from scratch, it would take too long. I’ve tried making it once before in my past life—it required a lot of ingredients and painstaking effort, and I could remember vowing to never ever make the same mistake again while clarifying the broth.
It doesn’t seem like all of the same ingredients existed in this world, either.
I struck the palm of my hand with my fist. Standing next to me, Georg watched me with interest, but I ignored him and as I recalled a recipe.
How about a potage?
It wasn’t consommé, but at least we can make it. It would’ve been easier to have a mixer, but if we strained the soup we should get the same result. Best of all, you could make a variety of potages.
Like potato and pumpkin, or stock and carrot. When she acquires a taste for veggies, cold soups like a fresh tomato gazpacho might be a good choice, too.
I wonder if olive oil or wine vinegar exist?
Or maybe soy milk? How limited are the seasonings in this world?
“What is it?”
Calling his name in a loud voice, I edged up to Master Julius, who had his eyes rounded.
“Can I leave it to you to gather seasonings from other lands?”
Master Julius runs a trading business*.
You’d call guys like him up-and-coming young entrepreneurs.
“Leave it to me. I am familiar with and deal in all sorts of salts and sugars, as well as many varieties of vinegars and oils. I have even begun to handle requests for a fermented product processed from fish.”
What is he talking about, fish sauce?
Damn… I’m getting excited. Is there soybean soy sauce too? Mustard? Curry powder?
“Would you like to see?”
I was full of unsuppressed emotions and itching to get moving, and Master Julius looked at me with an impish expression.
The ideal adult man’s eyes were twinkling with laughter, like a child who just had a mischievous idea pop into his head. WTH! Is this family is trying to kill me with gap moe?
After that, Master Julius and I convinced the Eicher family chef to try and recreate the recipe.
Lord Moritz was taken aback at my daily visits, but when he found out it was all for Lady Emma’s sake, he willingly accepted me into his home. He’s a very devoted husband.
While I wondered what I should do with myself, I gave Georg—who looked as if he would cry—a special duty to carry out.
If it was at her adorable son’s request, she wouldn’t have the heart to turn him down. No, she’s always been a kind person, so even if it were me, she probably couldn’t bear to disappoint.
Nonetheless, I thought it was important for mother and son to enjoy quality time with each other.
It could’ve been the weather or the climate, but that day, while paying particular attention to the condition of Lady Emma’s body, the length of their walks gradually increased, little by little. Lord Moritz and his servants were soothed by the figures of the two as they leisurely strolled around, admiring the flowers or the birds.
“I’ll add flowers and carvings until the garden is stuffed!” the husband thought. That’s how much he loved his wife. This guy.
But then it came time for Lady Emma to taste the potage we had gone through trouble after trouble to make. The moment she involuntarily exclaimed, “Delicious!” tears came to our eyes.
I linked hands in delight with the chef who had worked so hard with us, and the overjoyed Master Julius lifted me up and spun me round and round. We were all in high spirits.
Lady Emma’s food intake gradually increased, and her complexion began to look better as well. Lately, she has even taken to having tea with me and Master Julius in the gazebo located in the corner of the garden.
Now, when the seasons changed, she almost never laid in bed anymore.
There was one more year until Georg turned eight. She hasn’t had a relapse yet, but…I’m sure it’ll be fine? I couldn’t help smiling with happiness when I saw the color on her cheeks, or how she’s filled out a little.
This beautiful woman who smiled like a young girl suddenly threw a bomb at me.
“Miss Marie, when will you finally marry Georg?”
Georg—who sat next to me—turned bright red, then pale as a ghost.
…CRAP! I completely forgot I was supposed to break his Engagement Flag! I FORGOOTTT!!!!
It seems like the future had already been settled in their minds when I kept on popping up at their family residence. I’ve been so stupid, I’m about to strangle my own neck.
I might have destroyed Lady Emma’s Death Flag, it’s become desperate for me instead.
“I often chat with Moritz, telling him how much I look forward to the day you become my lovely daughter. He also sees you as his own, and these days he has been cheerfully saying he’ll turn Georg into a worthy young man who can match you well.”
What should I do? I have zero plans to marry her son, but she’s looking at me with eyes full of expectations, so it’s hard for me to tell her no.
It wouldn’t pain me so much if she was only hoping to establish a connection with the royal family, or was doing it out of self-interest, but I could see nothing like that in her smiling face.
Becoming Lady Emma’s daughter does sound attractive, but…
I can’t. I’ve already decided to dedicate everything I have to the Commander I still have yet to meet. Or perhaps I should say, in all honestly, this situation was so absurd my above-20-years-in-mentality self couldn’t manage to see the present 7 year old Georg as anything resembling a romantic interest.
Just when I had begun to sweat under the pressure, a helping hand came from the most unexpected place.
“It’s still too early, sister.”
Silent until now, Master Julius put down his cup, a wry smile on his lips.
“Oh my, do you think so?”
“Yes. Her Highness might seem wise beyond her years, but she’s still only six years old. There’s still plenty of time. If you keep mentioning marriage, you’ll only trouble her.”
“I see… I’m so sorry, Miss Marie. I hadn’t intended to make things difficult for you, but I suppose I was rushing too much.”
“No, please! For you to say you consider me your daughter, it makes me very happy.”
Scolded by Master Julius, Lady Emma became dispirited.
I was the one who decided to add more in a panic, but I had to hesitate a little before taking the plunge. If I dared to say it, now was the only chance I’d get.
“However…there is someone I long for.”
The first ones to respond to my words were Georg, then Lady Emma, and finally, Master Julius. Georg stood up with a pale face, Lady Emma’s eyes lit up, and Master Julius laughed, looking very interested.
“My! What sort of character is this person?”
I thought Lady Emma would be disappointed, but she actually took the bait with great enthusiasm. It seems like girls’ love stories are popular in every world!
Driving the guys away, Lady Emma persistently questioned me until I was at my wit’s end.
Just as I was leaving, she smiled and said “I’ll support you!” so I’ve somehow or other managed to put that issue to rest…or so I’d like to think.