Morning tea time, which has become a standard, has recently become breakfast time as well. So I’ve started to prepare not only sweets, but also light meals.
I’m glad I’m not alone in preparing breakfast.
A vegetable-filled soup is a must. For dessert, I choose fruits that look as vitamin-rich as possible. Many oranges are grown in greenhouses this season.
His Royal Highness has recently enjoyed the open sandwiches I make.
I prepare small breads, lightly baked, with a cut, for a variety of fillings to sandwich in them.
Lightly grilled bacon with ham or egg filling. The onions and lettuce are drained and crisped, and the carrots and potatoes are chopped and boiled. The rest of the ingredients can be eaten as they are in salads or as a side dish.
The nutritious zade is chopped into small pieces and put in butter with a pinch of freshly grated garlic.
If you leave it as it is, you will never eat it, Your Highness.
“It’s green butter. It’s delicious.”
After tasting it, His Highness thought it was okay and applied it to the bread as normal.
Good, good. I can’t help but clench my fists.
…I just hate not eating it.
Next time I’ll prepare Zade mayonnaise dip.
His Highness is surprisingly picky.
“Please put some vegetables in it too.”
“Potatoes are a vegetable.”
“Okay, then please put some carrots in there.”
Men really don’t like vegetables. I’ve had lunch with my boss and some of the boys I worked with before, but none of them ate salads or anything like that. You know, there are people who care about their metabolic system and their health! I don’t like to eat it, so much so that I had to eat it.
“………It’s not a problem…”
“There is a problem.”
His Highness is fond of saying that it’s not a problem. He often says it because everyone shuts up when he says that.
This and his special move of laughing with a huff and a snort with a cold gaze and smile. Once you get used to it, it’s not hard to get used to, but it seems to be quite a high hurdle for beginners, and when it comes out, everyone seems to lose their ability to argue.
“What’s the problem?”
“Carrots contain all the nutrients your body needs…Let me tell you, Your Highness has been fine for years on military rations alone because you were so young.”
Well, that does have nutritionally balanced in its own way.
But he might be lacking in vitamins.
“………I’m still young.”
“You can’t think that you’re going to be young forever.”
I realized it myself back in the other world. If I to a cold, it wouldn’t go away easily, or when I was talking about staying up all night drinking, I’d sink as soon as it was past midnight, or if I stayed up a little late, I got dark circles under my eyes!
An unhealthy condition will eventually be reflected in your body, Your Highness!
“Sure, I’m twice your age, but…”
“It’s more than twice. Yes, I’ll put some cheese in it for you…These carrots are sweet and delicious.”
His Highness successfully tucked the carrots into his sandwich with cheese included!
“…I’m not much of a carrot person.”
I knew that he didn’t like carrots.
I thought he wasn’t picky about his food, but it wasn’t that he wasn’t picky, it was just that he didn’t have time to be picky.
He kept the cooks as they were because it was too much trouble, and now he seems to be glad he is able to push His Highness Alfred on them.
What can I say…I think people have misunderstood a lot when it comes to His Highness.
“No. If you say that, His Highness doesn’t like zades either. The dark-colored vegetables are nutritious.”
He would never say he hates it out of his own mouth, but I know exactly what he’s talking about.
It’s useless to look at me like that.
A smile is one of the finest weapons in the world.
His Highness gives me a look that says it can’t be helped.
I might suspect that the reason why he hadn’t eaten a normal meal so far might be because he had a lot of likes and dislikes.
I thought it was a bad idea to eat only portable rations, but perhaps that was also something His Highness liked to eat.
“I don’t really know the taste with cheese. The prosciutto is also very flavorful… And, look, aren’t the carrots cute in the shape of a flower?”
“I don’t think it would taste different even if it is in flower form…”
His Highness laughed when he saw me insist.
I won’t back down, you know.
…Because…he looks a little tired.
I don’t think eating vegetables will make him immediately healthier, but his diet is still basic. I would think that at least breakfast should be nutritiously balanced.
Because there’s too little I can do with my tiny hands here.
“Sure is sweet.”
His Highness put one of the flower carrots into his mouth.
Why can’t you just eat it properly?
“They’re all good vegetables, so even if you just boil them, they’re delicious.”
I’m sure there will be more delicious vegetables in the spring, but because it’s the ice month, there are very few varieties. But I think they are really good vegetables. They have a nice taste to them. Most importantly, that’s probably why he doesn’t like it, because it smells like carrots.
Suddenly, His Highness stops his hand.
“What is it?”
“It’s a medicine for the last tea party…”
“Yes…What did you find out?”
The analysis of the stains on the gown is over.
“…There were two different kinds.”
“One is a laxative extracted from an herb called Nirthia. The other is a toxin held by certain ants.
“Is the laxative of Nadi’s mother another ant poison?”
When Nadi questioned her, it seems that Princess Argenna easily confessed. Without much thought, she said that she had laced it with a diet laxative. She was threatened by her daughter so much that she vowed never to do it again.
Listening to Nadi’s speech, I felt the blood relationship between His Highness and Nadi very deeply.
Nadi denied it, but their resemblance was absolute.
“So what effect does that ant poison have on me?”
His Highness looks at me with an amused expression.
“Since I didn’t drink, it’s totally fine.”
I don’t know why he looks so pleased.
“That ant poison paralyzes the nerves.”
Hmmm, that would accomplish Queen Argenna’s purpose.
Wasn’t it a laxative? Or was it both?
No, but I still think it was just a laxative, judging by the way Nadi was acting.
Because if that’s what’s in it, there’s no need for the laxatives.
“It depends on the amount you take and how much you take, but if you drink the whole cup, it could be fatal.”
“Do you know what it smells and tastes like?”
Who in the world would poison me like that…?
“The smell is indistinguishable once you mix the milk in. The taste is horribly bitter. I’ve never had it.”
“I’d be in trouble if I ever drank it.”
“My poison tester once mentioned it to me…Fortunately, his body was accustomed to the poison and the amount was small, so it wasn’t much, but still, the person still has paralysis in the little finger of his left hand.”
His Highness looks straight at me.
“I’m glad you didn’t mention it.”
A hand gently touches my cheek.
Then I look at His Highness’ ice blue eyes, surprisingly close. Something blurs at the edge of my vision.
“…Your Highness, the carrots, please don’t pull them out.
His Highness gives a small tongue click.
…There, use your adult weapons and don’t act like a child.
“By the way, Al has a favor to ask of you.”
I swallow the last bite of my sandwich in a bit of a good mood, having won the carrot struggle.
“His Highness Alfred? Is it a wish to me?”
What is it? I thought.
His Royal Highness Prince Alfred is a very kind man.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to go out again, but he gave me a map of delicious food stalls in various places. Now it’s the third one.
Surprisingly, ‘His Highness the Beard’ is a very good painter. I was surprised that he didn’t associate himself with the image of a soldier as a divisional commander of the Central Division.
The map His Highness Alfred gave me has detailed drawings of the exterior of the fancy food stalls and pictures of delicious-looking roasted chestnuts and stewed food. When I read the comments, it was so detailed and fun that I wondered if he’d eaten everything.
It’s like a guide map over there, and it’s even more fun to chat with the maids and Nadi as they look at it and say, ‘I want to eat this or that.’
“You don’t have to listen to it, but just hear what he has to say.”
“That’s fine, of course.”
It’s typical of His Highness to say that, but something about it makes me laugh.
“No…Would you like a new tea?”
Using hot water heated by an alcohol lamp, I make tea.
The basic manners of this and that are the same. I need to pay attention to the brewing time. It depends on the tea leaves, but the tea leaves here open late.
The tea in the pot is not the usual Sagiya tea, but the one I blended myself.
I had the idea of blending tea leaves here as well, but I don’t like to blend them because the goal is not to explore delicious combinations, but to increase the bulk of leaves from a high quality, well-known region, by mixing them with those that aren’t.
A good combination of something that produces a beautiful light color and is highly aromatic, yet lacking some flavor can be superb if you combine it with something that has good flavor but doesn’t have a great color.
“A blend of Rubery leaves and Holland autumn leaves. Don’t you think it’s pretty good…?:
Rubery and Holland are both major producers of domestic tea. They are also exported to other countries as a popular product of moderate quality.
If the teas of Sagiya and Imperial Flanagan are the best of the best teas, the ones from Rubery and Holland are the ones you drink every day.
I was very shocked when I found this out.
They say that Sagiya tea is the king of tea leaves. They are rarely sold in the market, but when they are, they are traded for the same weight in gold.
I didn’t know that the tea His Highness gave me was of such a high quality, so I put it into cakes and cookies.
The phrase ‘equal weight of gold’ circled around my head for a while after I learned about it…
I’ve been a princess for a long time now, but there are some things I just can’t get used to.
“Not bad…It wouldn’t be surprising if they gave you an S-class rating.”
Tea is graded by a syndicate.
A syndicate is a commercial association that exists within a different framework than a guild.
It is now a large organization that includes not only tea growers, but also sellers, tea makers, etc., and holds an annual tea fair to grade the quality of tea leaves.
“Do you like it?”
“That’s good. Please bring it back later. I’ll have it ready for you.”
His Highness smiles.
I did it!
I had a pretty hard time finding this blend.
All my handmaids tell me they’re all delicious, but here it is! I lacked the decisive factor.
I worked hard to make this my morning tea every morning, and did my best.
But when His Highness shows me a look like this, I feel like my hard work was worth it.
Huh? Is that…?
What if I was trying so hard just to please His Highness?
I just suddenly realized that.
What’s with that?
Suddenly, he peeks in.
Wow, face, so close, so close, Your Highness!
Without thinking, I press a cushion against his face.
“Your Highness, it’s foul.”
“…What is it?”
I toss the cushion. A wry smile appears around his mouth.
It’s a bit annoying because it looks like a smile of leisure.
“You’d be surprised to be approached so suddenly, wouldn’t you?”
I won’t say I’m a little nervous.
I’ll never tell you!
This is not a crush, I swear…It shouldn’t be.
Your Highness, your face is down, but you’re laughing.
His shoulders are shaking slightly.
“I get it.”
Do you get it?
Maybe you know all my excitement and everything?
“…even though we’re married?”
His Highness looks up and there’s still a smile on his face.
I can still tell even when he tries to look serious!
“There is also courtesy of intimacy to close friends!”
“Because we’re a married couple, you need to cut some slack.”
Well, I’m a little regretful.
“Excuse me…Your Highness the Crown Prince, it’s time to go.”
Why was I so relieved when Lilia came in…?
His Highness stands up with a look of, ‘Good grief.’
“…Alfred will bring you in for afternoon tea.”
“So you’ll be joining us this afternoon?”
“Yeah…Please prepare some more sweets for Al.”
I’m happy, but I’m a bit embarrassed.
I’m feeling a little nervous.
His Highness Alfred will be there too, so it’s all good, yeah.
I got up to see him off and followed him as fast as I could.
…Tall, you’re so tall.
When I am not being held, I can see it clearly.
Children and adults…that difference becomes clearer. Something about it is a little regretful.
In the corridor, His Highness’s secretary, Viscount Rada, was waiting for him with a pale complexion.
Sorry about every morning, Viscount.
I’m sure the Viscount will can’t get enough of his stomach medicine.
I put my hand to my forehead in the glare of the backlight.
“…Whatever happens, don’t leave this palace no matter what.”
I’ve been told this many times. I don’t need to confirm it now.
“No matter who calls you.”
A chilling voice sounded. There’s an emotion in there that I don’t understand and something akin to anxiety is brewing in my chest.
I guess things have gone pretty far without me knowing that I’ve been a part of it.
I was so dazzled that I didn’t know what expression His Highness had on his face as he pressed the reminder.
I nodded. He seemed a little relieved.
“I’ll see you then.”
“Yes. This afternoon.”
A distant back…His Highness never turns around.
I wonder as I watch his back vanish behind the corridor in a daze.
…What is he hiding?
Everyone is hiding something.
The Crown Prince, Lilia, and Queen Yulia are all…
What do I know and what do I not know…?
…I just don’t know.
But I somehow felt that we were all starting to move toward the end, and I didn’t know what to expect.
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