She and the Date Invitation
It’s been several hours since I’ve secluded myself in the kitchen.
I should’ve come here in the early afternoon, yet soon it’ll be evening.
It’s time to prepare for dinner. With this in mind, the cooks in charge of preparations regrettably returned to their stations.
I mustn’t disturb them anymore.
So I decided to end my work for today.
Otherwise, I have a feeling Head Chef and Vice Head Chef who are staying right beside me would never return to their stations. As one would expect, I can’t allow that.
I tried telling them we’ll continue from tomorrow, but with commotion arising in the kitchen, I spontaneously stopped.
“What might it be?”
The eyes of every cook are dyed with surprise. They’re all looking at the kitchen entrance.
As I followed their gaze, Freed was there, fixedly staring in my direction. As our eyes met, I stopped moving. Seeing such me, Freed’s eyes smiled. Behind him was Glenn, perhaps as his guard.
As if he was waiting to be noticed, Freed called my name.
His voice sounded so exhaustively sweet and his gaze was so charmed, my cheeks flared up.
Ignoring the kitchen staff confused by the sudden appearance of the Crown Prince, Freed leisurely walked. Naturally, cooks made way for him.
Unused to Freed’s royal aura, affected by it cooks unconsciously got on their knees one by one.
His presence as he naturally passed by them was too overwhelming.
With dozens of men naturally bowing their heads to him and Glenn following after, Freed exuded exactly the presence of a ruler.
He was so cool I just watched in fascination.
Deplorably, my maidenly filter is still in the usual perfect form.
“I was worried since you were considerably late”
Having come all the way to me, he said that with a smile.
As he smoothly stroked my cheek, my behavior became strange.
I want the violent throbbing to stop.
It absolutely isn’t my imagination that recently Freed’s sugar content has only been going up. Doing something like that, does he want me to die of agony.
“I, I am sorry. It was just too fun. Any more would interfere with the food preparation, so I thought of slowly leaving…”
“Really? Then I’m just in time. Shall we return together. Even though I’d returned to my room having finished work, because Lidi wasn’t there I came pick you up”
“Eh, you finished already?”
It’s still evening. I thought he wouldn’t finish so quickly, yet Freed nodded.
“I did my best because I wanted to spend more time with Lidi. But it doesn’t mean that I cut corners. Rather I was more thorough than usual, so you don’t need to worry”
Now, let’s go, as always he wrapped his arm around my waist. As he immediately tried to lead me away, I tapped his arm in a hurry.
“Hey, it’s fine if we go, just wait a moment”
Relieved that my voice stopped Freed from moving, I addressed Bart.
“I am sorry. I’ve bothered you for a considerably long time. Any more would hinder dinner preparations, so please excuse me”
Bart who was on his knees just like the other cooks raised his head and shook it in denial.
“No, it is us who should thank for the valuable experience. Master. The fresh daifuku deeply moved us. Um… If possible, would you come here tomorrow too?”
It’s just what I want. When I said that happily, Bart and Vice Head Chef still on their knees nodded at once.
“Of course. Please come at any time. Um, I still am unable to make yohcan… If it’s Master, we’ll always welcome you”
“Thanks. Then, could you refrigerate it? Let’s all sample it tomorrow”
“Yes! We’ll be waiting!!”
At my words, Bart’s eyes sparkled.
I handed such him the freshly made youkan. The process is almost finished. All that’s left is to cool it.
Bart received youkan just like a treasure.
Come to think of it, when I first showcased the daifuku I made, it caused an uproar among everybody. Thomas and Lars too, it seems cooks are often deeply moved.
“Please do. See you tomorrow, I’ll come around the same time”
Okay? With that I turned towards Freed, although he smiled bitterly, he nodded.
“It can’t be helped. If I said it’s impossible, everybody would resent me”
“Surely not. But, thanks”
As I thanked Freed with a smile, happy with my wish being respected, he made a smile over twice as sweet.
… What should I do.
Freed’s sparkling smile is so radiant I can’t look straight at it.
I can’t believe I managed to endure it until now.
Now that I’m aware I love him (provisionally), my maidenly filter makes him look 50% cooler.
Damn it, you maidenly filter, aren’t you working too hard recently. I wonder if my body will hold on like this.
Aah, I’m dizzy. Like this I want to confess to Freed and hug him.
I was taken aback that I’d thought about that.
Suspension bridge, right. This also may be the influence of the suspension bridge.
Don’t lose, me!
Recalling that, I frantically held out.
This might be a temporary fever. Even if I’m this way now, in a few weeks, no, months there’s a possibility it will calm down. If it started with a suspension bridge, it’s a fully understandable situation.
Haven’t I decided to carefully ascertain whether it’s true because I’d hate if it turned out like that.
I mustn’t confess prematurely.
Somehow I persuaded myself.
It’s not the time yet. Endure until convinced.
Do your best, me.
“… Let’s return to the room”
I somehow succeeded in controlling myself, and called out to Freed.
As he nodded, all cooks saw us off as we left the kitchen.
“This is the first time I’ve seen such looks in the castle”
While we talked together on the way back to his room, Freed said that as if reminiscing. Glenn, who had guided Freed to the kitchen, parted with us some time ago, so it’s just us two now. He still seems to have the chivalric order commander work left. He laughed that he’ll work overtime today.
“It’s about the cooks. When I came for Lidi, it felt as if they were shooting me to death. Like I’m a hindrance. Honestly, don’t they know you don’t point such eyes at the Crown Prince”
“Is that so…”
I don’t want Freed, who subdued them with his overflowing Crown Prince aura, to tell me that.
As I looked at Freed while having such thoughts, he had a surprisingly happy smile. Even though he said that, he doesn’t seem to mind at all. That’s why I replied lightly.
“Cooks are simply such people. Everybody takes pride in their cooking. If it’s about cooking, their greed knows no bounds”
“You’re right. I think craftsman are like that no matter where. That’s why I was worried though”
Once he cut his words, Freed looked at me. I wonder if it’s my imagination his eyes look a little shocked.
“I never would have though you’d subdue everybody on the first day or get Head Chef to call you master”
“! T, that’s!!”
Damn it, he’s heard it.
But, it can’t be helped anymore.
In the first place, it was already dangerous when I made daifuku. Agar was the decisive blow.
While making youkan, I presented them, who had no idea how to use it, several recipes that used agar, however I became totally absorbed in it.
Don’t I ever learn? Unfortunately not, I have nothing to retort.
First the kitchen in my mansion, then restaurant in town, and now this.
Who’s called master in every one of them? I am!
Uuuh, aaah, seeing me let out meaningless groans, Freed laughed.
“It’s fine as long as Lidi doesn’t dislike it. You’re going tomorrow too, right?”
“Lidi seems happy, so it’s fine if you do as you want… But, that’s right, could you set aside a day to accompany me?”
“Accompany? It’s fine, but where to?”
When I asked Freed in response to his unusual voice, he nodded That’s right.
“I’m thinking of going for a patrol in town soon. So I’ve been thinking if you couldn’t come, if that’s fine with you”
“Patrol… Will you walk around the town with a large retinue?”
When I tilted my head wondering whether such actions would make sense, he shook his head in negation.
“That’s not it, I’ll be going incognito under magical disguise. It’d be meaningless if I was exposed as the Crown Prince. I’ve went a few times until now, however, this time I wouldn’t be alone, and could visit shops with Lidi. We’re betrothed, and yet we’ve never been on a date”
“I, I’ll go! I want to go”
I could tell I got remarkably excited by that sound.
A date with Freed in town!
Uwaaah. Just thinking about it makes me thrilled.
It’s embarrassing, but I’d never been on an outdoors date in my previous life. I’d always had indoors dates with my boyfriend. I’m not particularly dissatisfied, but I can’t say I hadn’t yearned for it.
I felt so happy having my wish realized like this that I wanted to scream in excitement.
As I immediately bowed, Freed’s smile intensified.
“I see, I’m happy that you’re pleased. Then, shall we do it soon. Has Lidi been in town? Do you know any good shops?”
“Yup! There’s a delicious cake shop! And then, general store… Uwaah, I’m looking forward to it”
I recalled the cake shop I haven’t visited recently. Superb no-bake cheesecake is sold there. Recently, I haven’t been to my favorite general store much either. New goods should arrive soon. There are tons of places I want to go to.
When I excitedly talked about this and that, I received a flick on my forehead.
Yup, it doesn’t hurt, but it returned me to my senses.
“Hey, I know you’re happy, but calm down… After all, despite spreading rumors of your weak constitution, you’d been going out to town. Well, I thought it’d be like that when you said you’re the Witch’s friend”
Otherwise, you’d have no point of contact, I become lost for words when I heard that.
As I made an awkward expression, Freed stroked my head and made one suggestion.
“Then, shall I have Lidi guide me when we go to town. There are also places I want to go, however otherwise you can do as you please. I’ll keep you company”
Happy with Freed not delving into it much, and on the contrary telling me it’s fine to go where I want, a smile filled my face.
I can’t help but look forward to walking with him in town.
Uwaah, it’s date. Date. I’m happy.
When I looked up at Freed in high spirits, he narrowed his eyes, and with a smooch dropped a kiss on my forehead.
In panic I covered my forehead. When I once again looked up at Freed, reproachful of him doing it in such a place, he smiled awkwardly.
“if you’re so happy to go out to town, I’d have made the opportunity earlier. But, never show such a cute face to anyone other than me. Otherwise, I’ll become strange from jealousy”
Even if I’m told that, I don’t quite get it.
What kind of face am I making.
As I tilted my head, Freed hugged me. As we’d entered the royalty quarter there’s no one around, but even so, as one would expect it’s embarrassing to be tightly hugged in such a place.
Snuggling inside his arms, blood rushed to my head.
My heart is pounding incredibly.
While I was panicking, unable to calm down at all, Freed standoffishly pinched my nose.
“Are you really unaware of what face you made while smiling? To blush so happily and yet to not notice, after all Lidi has sinful nature”
… Isn’t it because I was happy to go out with Freed.
Be that as it may, there was no way I could say it, so for now I vaguely laughed.
However, this is a big problem.
Did I make such a happy face…
Perhaps even without saying anything it’s only a matter of time before it gets exposed…
Recalling that I have an easy to understand character, I hung my head.
Like this, can I hide it until I safely reach the conclusion.
In secret from Freed I breathed a sigh.
The day I acknowledged Freed as my beloved (provisional).
From the very first day I became anxious about the future.