Her Secret 4
“Err, let’s see, next is…”
“… Are there still things to buy”
As a result of everybody’s desperate work since then, we managed to safely reopen the shop after a month.
My heart had been beating fast worrying about curry rice’s appearances, but contrary to my expectations, customers didn’t refuse or oppose it, the start looked promising.
Probably it’s thanks to the large advertisement saying ‘Original recipe’.
Speaking of original recipes, it’s a general term for food nobody has yet eaten. Because nobody has seen them yet, strange appearances are more or less excused. It’s understood that they can’t be evaluated without eating first.
The price kept low enough that it can be eaten for lunch was splendidly received by customers, it’s so popular there’s a queue day after day.
In addition, curry bread sold for takeout is also popular, many people buy it instead of boxed lunches, I raised a cry of joy about that too. The curry bread’s filling are reused curry’s ingredients. They seem well received crisply fried in oil.
Rumors spread via word of mouth in the twinkling of an eye, the number of customers is only increasing.
Thomas’s five juniors and Lars are working hectically in the shop every day.
Now then, with curry rice being favorably received, I decided to expand the menu.
First of all, I’ll prepare cutlet curry.
I went shopping for it today.
“… I want to shop a little more, can I?”
I addressed Will next to me.
Ultimately, I ended up telling Will everything about the current project.
Yesterday afternoon, while chatting with him who visited our mansion, carelessly I let it slip.
From the start, I didn’t have secrets from Will.
The same goes for not wanting to be the Crown Princess, I’ve consulted various matters with him.
Because we’re familiar like this, I inadvertently spilled it. Afterwards, I continued spilling everything just like that.
It ended with me answering as asked, in addition when I told him I’ll be going shopping the next day by myself, while scowling he firmly didn’t yield on accompanying me.
“You’re… in danger alone… Tomorrow I’ll be off-duty, so I’ll accompany you instead of a guard”
Told that, I couldn’t refuse, so I agreed to take Will with me to carry my luggage.
Using the castle’s young Magician Division Commander as a luggage carrier… I’d receive scolding if it was exposed, but since the person himself says he’s okay with it, whatever.
When I asked if we can stop by another store, although reluctantly, Will nodded.
“Not that it matters… but what would you do if I wasn’t there”
“No, of course I would carry that myself… Ehehe, thanks for saving me”
With my hands put together I offered my thanks to Will who had his hands full of luggage.
Certainly, I might not have been able to bring that back alone.
I’m saved that I came here with a person who knows my circumstances.
“Will… Please don’t tell our fathers”
“… I understand”
I have no idea what I’d say if it was exposed.
When I asked him just to make sure, Will nodded despite his frown. I stopped walking.
“Ah, the last shop is there. I want to buy more spices. Is that okay?”
“… I’ll be waiting here. You can go”
“Yup, thanks. I’ll be back right away!”
I asked Will to wait with the luggage, then hurried to the shop dealing in spices.
With a sound of a doorbell, Lidi went inside.
According to Lidi, it’s a shop that specializes in spices.
She walked inside the small standalone wooden shop with no hesitation.
I could tell it was not her first time just by looking.
When the door closed and her figure completely disappeared, I left the luggage on a nearby bench.
After confirming there aren’t people around, I spoke.
“… Come out. Do you intend to hide forever”
With these words as a signal, ten men appeared.
I was aware they’ve been tailing Lidi ever since she entered the town.
I’m sure they waited in ambush for when she enter an unpopular place, but Lidi only did shopping in conspicuous locations in town.
Thanks to that she wasn’t attacked until now, but this is the town’s outskirts.
It’s easy to predict she’d be attacked after leaving the shop.
I don’t want Lidi to feel frightened. I have no intention of having her notice.
So to settle it before she leaves, I provoked the men.
So they don’t notice, I deployed one formula behind me.
“Ten men against a single woman, huh. You’re disgrace to men”
“Shut up. We were asked by a certain person. To bring the missy who went inside the shop now with us”
To get angry like this, what a small fry.
What does a ‘certain person’ intend to do by sending such a miscellaneous bunch.
“Unfortunately, with me here it’s impossible. Tell that to your employer”
“What can a shabby man like you do. We were told to courteously bring missy along, not what to do with her companions. Shall I make you hurt just a bit”
The men sneered at me.
I reacted with a twitch at the word shabby.
Certainly, unlike Glenn or His Highness I haven’t trained my body much.
In case I need something, I can use magical arts such as body strengthening.
Looking at the muscular men in front of me, it can’t be helped that I’m called shabby.
But, I have no recollection of letting people look down on me when they don’t understand the true strength of their opponents.
“Judging from appearances, you’re a noble young master. Sorry, it’s better to sometimes learn that the world is not so sweet… Do it!!”
“… It’s you who are ignorant”
I sighed once at the men who sprang at me.
Noble young master. It’s been a long time since I’ve been called that.
Certainly, today I’m off duty. I’m not wearing Magician Division Commander robe, but even so, do these men not know the face of Magician Division Commander of their own country. If they don’t, they’re too ignorant.
I snapped my fingers.
The round magic formation I developed behind me appeared. The magic formation shining bluish purple is already ready for invocation.
Seeing the magic formation appear behind me, the men stopped for a moment.
“Wha… Magical arts?”
I completely ignored his voice.
They tried putting their hands on Lidi. Whatever is their reason, I won’t take the extenuating circumstances into consideration.
“It’s a bother, but it’s for Lidi. I’ll finish right away”
I don’t want to see her anxious face. For that reason, I’ll do anything, I’ll remove any obstacles.
Once again I snapped my fingers.
The magic formation shined faintly and from it dozens of water ropes were summoned.
They wound around the men and tied up the ten people in the twinkling of an eye.
“… All bark and no bite”
There was no resistance. They were men hired to abduct her, but their ability was too poor.
But, such men would be enough to kidnap a single noble young lady travelling incognito.
“Shit!! Let go!!”
Irritated by a man shouting in a loud voice, I tightened the water rope a little more. The man who was shouting suddenly groaned and fainted.
Seeing that, the men around him sank into silence. I guess they think they are no match for somebody who can forcibly make one of them lose consciousness. Glaring at the men who finally became quiet, I called out to another presences that I felt from town.
“… Hurry up and take them away. The rest is your job, right?”
In response to my words, three man appeared.
One of them spoke to me politely.
“We apologize for the trouble. Lord William”
Their strength is in a different league from the tied-up men.
They’re from the intelligence agency of the Vivoir ducal house.
I recognize the face of the man who spoke to me. I threw my doubt at him.
“Is Prime Minister aware of the current matter”
The man, a little older than me, shortly nodded.
“Naturally Master and Lord Alexei are aware. They lamented that Milady had started something again. However, for now we were only instructed to watch over the situation. They seem to secretly support Milady’s idea to spread the new original recipe in town”
“… As expected”
I let out a breath.
Lidi seems to think she can keep it a secret, but there’s no way that’s the case.
It was right to think that Prime Minister is aware.
In fact, when we left the mansion today, those three were already following us.
“Are you Lidi’s guards?”
“Yes. Because we had obtained information in advance that Milady might be targeted, this time there are three of us, but originally I am in charge of guarding Milady”
No wonder I felt like I knew his face.
While convinced, I exchanged information.
“After all, is it Baron Wire that’s aiming at Lidi”
“Exactly. The shop he was supposed to have crushed for some reason reopened while bringing an original recipe. Seeing the activity there day after day, Baron Wire seems to have decided to move”
“And this is the first group, huh. Although they were beyond ill-prepared”
“Certainly. However, it seems that Baron Wire hasn’t yet identified Milady. Milady only shows up in our kitchen, he seems to by no means expect the only daughter of the ducal house to be visiting a restaurant in town”
“You… have a point”
Who could imagine such a possibility.
It’s a common sense to raise a noble daughter like a princess inside a mansion. Nobody would think the daughter of the preeminent ducal house who should be the leading example of that, would bring an original recipe to the restaurant in town and devote herself to running the restaurant. Even if they confirmed her face, they’d assume they were somehow mistaken.
“The reason behind this abduction attempt seems to be that he thought kidnapping Milady would be the easiest way to obtain information about the original recipe”
“… Once again he shows he has no discerning eye”
Rather she’d be the last to talk. Above all, she’s the developer of the original recipe.
Thanks to the daifuku matter her cooking skills are well known to me, but I didn’t think she had another trick up her sleeve.
Certainly, I’ve recently heard rumors about a restaurant in town developing an original recipe, but who could think it was her.
Rumors of a new original recipe went all around, wishing to eat cheap ‘curry’ the town is now bustling. So the instigator was her.
When I heard about it yesterday, my jaw dropped in surprise.
She’s done it again. I only thought that.
“For the time being, we will take these guys into custody. I believe it’s about time for Milady to return. Us guards will be occupied, so can we entrust Milady to Lord William?”
“Yeah, I will take the responsibility to escort her to the mansion”
“I can be relieved if it’s Lord William. Please do”
The three of them bowed their heads, and quickly dragged the men away.
Seeing them off, I sat down on the bench, when the shop’s door opened and Lidi came out.
When she noticed me, she trotted this way.
“Will! I’ve kept you waiting!!”
“… No… I wish you took a little longer”
“What? Did you get tired shopping with a woman? Sorry for making you go along with me. That’s it for today, so let’s hurry up home?”
I bought what I wanted. As that showed in Lidi’s smile, I loosely shook my head.
The noisy guards left too.
It’s a rare chance. I should be allowed to invite her for tea now…
“Lidi… Umm… You see”
Have the courage to invite her.
I’ve checked a cake shop popular with woman far in advance. Lidi will surely be pleased with it.
I swallowed saliva and resolved to speak.
But, the words of invitation were blocked by Lidi herself.
She checked her watch and raised a loud voice.
“Ah jeez, look at the time. If I don’t hurry home, Father will come back. He said he’ll be early today, I have to return before that! Will, hurry!!”
“No… ah, yeah”
I hung my head crestfallen.
No, Prime Minister is aware! I thought of saying that, but I don’t want to damage her spirit by telling her, who believes she’s skillfully keeping it a secret.
I tried to speak a few times, but ultimately gave up and decided to go back.
Aah, I couldn’t invite her today either.
The day I can tell her my feelings is far…