“Hey, Miss, what do you think of this?”
“Make it a light blue ribbon. Use the blue-colored ribbon for cookies and the red-colored ribbon for candy bars.”
“Young lady, is this enough heat?”
“Yes, fine. Fee, please boil it down so it doesn’t burn.”
“Miss, is this about the right size of paper?”
“Yes. Make sure you properly glue it.”
The kitchen, as well as the children’s shared bedrooms, the largest of which was crammed with wrapping ribbons, trimmed paper and bunched up bags, looked like a workshop or a factory.
Somehow I found myself in the center of it all, giving directions. I had absolutely no intention of speaking out, but then I found myself in the middle of everything.
Sort of like being the a royal palace.
It reminded me of the time I was making a large supply of food with the maids and ladies-in-waiting.
It was only the third day out of the royal palace and it seemed like a long time ago.
…Is Nigel-sama eating properly?
If I’m not there, he might get in trouble and eat those rations again.
No, even if it’s rations, at least he’s still eating.
I’m sure my absence will keep him busy. When the busyness reaches its peak, he might not even eat be able to eat rations, so he has to be careful. It’s regrettable that I can’t do anything from here.
I didn’t mean to worry you at all.
I’d love to help him reduce his workload if I could, but it would be a disaster for me to make him work even harder.
But this was a force majeure!
Yes. I would argue that it was force majeure.
I mean, who would have been targeted in the palace like that? I don’t think I made the wrong decision to run underground in that moment.
It just that I was more directionally challenged than I thought I was.
On top of that, it was also unfortunate that my companion was not much different from me in the box.
…At least I’ll apologize a lot when I get back and make a lot of Nigel-sama’s favorite things with it…
That’s about all I can do.
“Oh, is this all right?”
A little boy with fluffy gold curly hair comes over to show me the bundle of paper in his hand with a smug look on his face.
“Yes. It’s okay. Well done.”
I gently stroked his head and he smiled happily.
I guess it’s because it’s so rare for guests to stay in an orphanage. The little ones took to me rather quickly.
My name here is supposed to be ‘Miss’.
It was a result of my reluctance to tell them my name and Lela Adele’s insistence that they shouldn’t call me by name as long as I wasn’t a child of the orphanage.
“Ragg, you’re already going to sell them today, aren’t you?”
“Then I’ll walk you through the rest of the process.”
Before we started working, we first divided the kids into three groups.
The ones who were friendly and shy were placed in Ragg’s group.
Then the taller kids and the ones who seemed to be physically fit were placed in Rufa’s group.
Then all the other kids go into the kitchen with me.
“First of all, Ragg and his group are the ones who are in charge of selling at the stall. Please keep selling the products that are already made. The names of the products are ‘HoroHoro Cookies’ and ‘Amber Candy’ and ‘Molasses Beans’. When you sell them, you must call them by their names. And if you run out, please have someone come here to replenish it.” (***“HoroHoro” is kind of like a Japanese onomatopoeia for crumbling apart, or a gurgling sound, or melting in the mouth)
Ragg nodded to his fellow salesmen.
Rufa’s group will go and get the fegs, and when you get them, please organize them in boxes of three different sizes: large, medium and small.
We’ve already prepared the boxes for selection.
“Then, the stay-at-home group will be working with me. Fee, please.”
Fee, the oldest of the girls, nods emphatically.
“First of all, the stay-at-home group is divided into two groups, one that makes the goods in the kitchen and the other that wraps the goods in the big room. The kitchen group will use the fegs Rufa and the others fetched to bake cookies and make candy, and the wrapping group will wrap them. As needed, the wrapped items are taken to the chapel and placed on the altar.”
“Why on the altar?”
Rufa tilts his head.
“There is Lela Adele at the altar. Lela will be praying for you, and when the prayer is over, you will be asked to prove your blessing.”
“Is the proof of blessing a stamp?”
“Yes…I’m sure there will be people who will copy it. Then that will be the real ‘shirushi.’ (***’Shirushi means a stamp, mark, token, symbol, etc. Like a ‘token’ of friendship or a ‘symbol’ of gratitude)
“The real shirushi…”
“In any case, it’s made from sugar from the cathedral. It must be dedicated to the goddess before it can be distributed, not sold…”
“Miss, are you familiar with the cathedral?”
“My brother-in-law is in the cathedral and he often tells me stories.”
“Yes. He is the younger brother of my husband.”
I smiled as I remembered His Eminence Shion’s face, saying how he was a good boy. Ragg made a kind of complicated expression.
Is ‘husband,’ or ‘brother-in-law’ a no-go word for Ragg?
“What about me? What about me?”
The smallest child, Wei, who grabs my apron and clings to me, is barely four years old. Even though I’ve heard he has a tendency to be shy, he was attached to me right away. (***Idk why, but for Wei, the name “ウェイ” kept coming up as ‘way’ or ‘path’ or etc. but it was used like a name, so I just went with the name “Wei.” I could be wrong though)
“What is it?”
“Well, my job!”
Kids this age or so want to help. But there’s not much they can do, and it takes patience to delegate.
“Wei has a special job.”
“Yes. So you’ll have to help me in the kitchen today.”
Coyly, Wei nodded.
“Ah, miss, are you all right?”
“With the little guy.”
He’s implying that the kid might slow me down.
“It’s all right. I have a job for you Wei to do.”
He nodded vigorously.
“You’re in charge of crushing Fegs. It’s a big responsibility.”
In the prototype, I chopped them up, but I decided to crush them because it’s easier and faster to crush them than to chop them up. All I have to do is hit the fegs in a fine cloth bag with a mallet.
In this way, even little Wei becomes a great asset.
Without his smashed fegs, we wouldn’t be able to make HoroHoro cookies or candy bars.
“I’m gonna do my best.”
The sight of little Wei clenching his fists and making a difficult decision was healthy and cute, and I couldn’t help but feel my cheeks loosen.
“You’re a person of talent, Miss.”
“Is that right?”
“Oh…I’m one of those guys who just goes along when you ask me something.”
“I don’t think it matters, though?”
“I feel like you can do anything just by being here.”
“That’s where you get put question mark?”
Smiling, Rufa laughs.
“…Enough about me. Better yet, give this to everyone.”
I pulled a scrunchie out of my apron pocket. It’s not only used here to tie my hair, but it’s also as a bracelet, so it’s not at all strange for a man to have one.
I donated the peacock green dress, which I wore when I left the palace, to Lela to help pay for my stay, but Lela reworked it and made us these scrunchies.
“The seller should keep this scrunchie in their dominant hand at all times.”
The bright peacock green is very noticeable among everyone who is dressed in less colorful clothing, such as generous or very light gray.
“Does this mean anything?”
Rufa fluttered his own wrist.
“Yes. It’s the sign of a real seller.”
“Because the colors are so bright, they stand out.”
“Yes. Also, these colors are difficult to dye, so nobody can make imitations.”
“Of course it’s important that the product tastes good, but the fact that it’s made in a cathedral orphanage is its biggest selling point.”
“…Is that a selling point?”
I instantly nodded.
It was the little girl, called Lenalee, who tugged at the hem of my apron and asked.
“Yes. To be precise, it’s not because we make them in the Cathedral’s orphanage, but because we all make them.”
“What we’re making?”
“Yes. The most important thing about food is if it’s safe to eat. Everyone has been brought up in an orphanage with a cathedral, so cleanliness is a habit.”
Those who serve near the Goddess use hot water more often than the general population. They also wash their clothes more often.
“And before you make anything, use soap to wash your hands!”
And I taught them the rules for entering the kitchen.
Wash your hands thoroughly, put your hair in a bun, wear your hair up, wear an apron…The rules of hygiene that were commonplace will be special here.
HoroHoro cookies, amber candy, and molasses beans; I’m going to donate these three recipes to the Cathedral on a conditional basis.”
“Miss? What does that mean?”
“I think it’s probably not long before people start imitating them. But if you contribute to the cathedral, they will be on you, won’t they?”
If you contribute to the cathedral, it belongs to the cathedral…no, it belongs to the Mother Goddess. The Cathedral will never allow anything that belongs to the Mother Goddess to be violated.
“I’ll discuss it with Lela later, so everyone should think about making it seriously.”
This is the job of an adult.
Although l I look like a kid like everyone else!
“Hey, you guys, let’s get to work.”
When Ragg calls out to them, the kids straighten their backs as if they’re fired up.
Ragg has the qualities of a leader.
It’s a completely different direction from His Highness, but I think it’s the same one voice that can inspire everyone.
There was a cooing, small, lovely sound.
In a small little voice, Faye, who had grabbed the hem of my apron and clung to it, murmured.
The tummy rumble was loud enough for everyone to hear.
“Uh, come to think of it, we haven’t had breakfast.”
There is a tummy rumble sound here and there.
“…Fee, can you do something?”
“Even if you ask me…”
‘I can’t do anything right away,’ he says with a troubled face. The time around the Founding Festival is a very busy time for the cathedral. The adults may not even be able to take care of the orphanage.
It seems that they are supposed to get their own meals.
“…I’ll make it for you.”
“What? Can you even cook, miss?”
‘Leave it to me,’ I say proudly.
In my mind, baking and cooking are both are on the same level, but it seems that in this world, they are two different things.
“Do we even have any ingredients?”
“Cooking is something where you can get creative with what you have. Fee, Linalee, I’ll need your help.”
I made a pot full of millet risotto, made with leftover vegetables and the edges of salted pork meat.
Not a single grain of rice was left in the pot as everyone competed for a refill.
|♡| Table of Contents |♡| Support me! |♡|