Chapter 36:

Cake and Cooks

Royal Princess of Blood

Sometime later, I decided it was time to do some scouting. Before going out, I told Mera to keep what we conversed about a secret.

We went outside the room, and there we saw Vernon on the opposite wall of our room. What a respectful old man, he might convince me he’s no traitor at any point! Hehe. That aside, he was just standing there, and he’s old, I mean he would get tired after a short while, right…?

“Um, Vernon, I didn’t think you would be standing there for a long while. I will need to send a chair for you later,” I said with concern.

He merely grinned at my words.

“I appreciate your concern, your highness. But you have no need to trouble yourself. My body is trained more than standing. I can even stand the whole day if I wish to do so.”

That’s bullshit… right?

No way, he looked serious. This world was strange. Whatever…

“But even so, as you can’t enter my room, and you have no station nearby here,” indeed, the room nearby, and close to my room were only for maids, not for manservants. Their station was not close around here at all. “I will have a chair delivered and be placed outside my room, just for you to sit on when there is nothing else to do. It worries me to just leave you standing here.”

“Hm, if it puts you at ease, I will accept her highness’ offer with gratitude.”

“That is a relief.”

I flashed him a relieved yet sweet smile, how innocent I was.

I began walking, my two servants following behind me. Now then, what was I planning to do?

Something fruitful would be nice. I observed the maids which I went by, I saw nothing worth noting about. Okay, this won’t be easy.

That said, if assassination would be the mission of any possible betrayer here, the optimal position would be the kitchen. Poison. However, if that was the case, they could have poisoned the food a long time ago if they plan to kill me.

However, none of that happened whatsoever. It was possible that they were not suspicious characters at all, or they have another plan in mind for the time being.

I think I’ll pass by the kitchen for a while.

I headed to the first floor then to the kitchen.

“Milady, do I take it that you wish to enter the kitchen?” Mera asked me.

“Indeed, curiosity struck me as how everything worked here.”

“Your highness, it seems that they seemed to be cooking, please be careful,” Vernon said.

“Oh? What are they cooking? Let’s get a closer look.”

I entered with rushed steps as though excited to see what was going on. I saw an oven, of course not like I was used to. This one seems to be made up of bricks.

The cooks were dumbstruck by my sudden visit as evident on their wide eyes and agape mouth.

“Y-Your highness?!” a young man openly expressed his surprise.

He was probably about seventeen. He had light brown hair and brown eyes.

“Idiot! Don’t raise your voice,” the middle aged man with dark hair and dark eyes chided the young man.

“Bow you two,” the young woman with dark red hair and yellow green eyes bowed deeply first. She appeared to be about eighteen.

Then she was followed by the two men.

I observed the way they acted, their eyes, the way they looked at me, even the slightest movement. The young woman was particularly pretty composed despite my sudden presence. Her eyes did bore a bit of surprise though.

From the information I gathered from Mera, this woman should be the one called Allie Jelimis.

Hm. A bit odd, yet impressive that she remained relaxed, unlike the two guys. This woman, Allie, was one of the apprentice cooks in the castle, she had been here for three years. She was still referred to as an apprentice since she was still under the umbrella of the head chef.

As for the chef, he looked at me with confused eyes for a short moment, as though shouting ‘what the heck is she doing here?!’, however, a confused look wasn’t something to be very suspicious at. But one’s confusion could mean differently from what you initially thought. In addition, he seemed to be quite shaken by my sudden appearance.

His name was Ceruos Vutio.

He had worked in the castle about fifteen years ago. Interesting.

As for the young man, I could already see the mesmerization in his eyes. I wonder if this guy had seen me before this moment, well he did exclaim when he saw me, so he must have. He might even have fallen in love at first sight, wew. That aside, he seemed innocent enough. However, the best infiltrator or spy are adept at acting. If you can’t even act, then you shouldn’t be sent in that kind of operation.

This guy had the name of Tenil Gerave.

He was also an apprentice, but only entered the palace about a year and a half ago.

All three had commoner origins.

“Your highness… t-to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit,” the head chef, Ceruos, said. Made sense that he should be the one to speak for everyone.

I placed a finger at my cheek.

“I was curious as to what you are cooking.”

“R-Really? I mean, we are honored to receive your interest.”

Honored? With just that? Whatever, people in this world are weird… Or I’m the weird one here? What a shiver inducing thought.

“So, what are you cooking?”

I glanced closely while leaning a little at the oven.

“We were trying a new cake, we have been experimenting it for a few days… and we expect it will be… great and final this time.”

“Truly?” I looked at them with beaming eyes. “Do you mind if I try it?”

I watched them closely as I spoke. The young woman, Allie, had a slight twitch by her eyes when I said those words. Hm.

“Huh? Ah, no, we don’t mind,” the head chef was taken aback by my words. “It’s about done in the oven, but we still had to apply frostings, so I’m afraid it will take a while.”

I smiled.

“I don’t mind waiting. Plus, watching the process should be interesting, right? I’m interested to see the process of how you do it. Especially applying the frosting.”

I looked back towards my two servants.

“We’ll be staying here for a while.”

The two bowed their heads to show their understanding. But Vernon spoke.

“Then, in that case, please have a seat, your highness. It would trouble this servant of yours if you tire yourself by standing.”

He walked towards a chair by the table and pulled it, presenting it to me.

Hey... Why does it feel similar to what happened just a moment ago? Could it be he’s payback swinging at me or something like that?

I have to control my face to not frown a little.

“Good suggestion, Vernon. I’ll take your offer.”

I sat down before speaking to the cooks with an anticipating smile.

“Don’t mind me, focus on your work. It would be a waste if things go wrong.”

They returned to their work after what I said. But I guess they were a bit uncomfortable. What could be wrong? I was only watching them with a sweet smile… Alright, that was the reason, me being here.

They took out the… bare brown cake…? Bread? No, I don’t think it’s called bread. So, maybe just cake. Yes, just cake. Got confused there for a second.

They placed the quite the averagely sized cake on the table. The young man occasionally stole glances at me. Come on, a boy wouldn’t ignore someone like me you know. Well… that aside, the young woman was looking at me with restless eyes often. I don’t know why.

The head chef however, looked pretty focused. Was this a difference of experience on personally serving royalties?

They then began preparing and stirring the frostings. To be honest, it was quite intriguing to see the process of how they make the cake. Especially looking at the frostings. I wanna dip my finger in and lick the sweet frostings, but of course I can’t do that now…

A short while later, they scooped the frosting with some sort of flat wooden spoon, then applied it on the cake. Spreading and flattening it. As time went on, the cake began to look neat and nice. They then placed several red colored berries on top of it at the sides.

“That should be about done,” Allie said with a faint smile.

“Amazing! Watching the process was interesting indeed. Is it ready for eating?”

“Yes, your highness,” the head chef said and carried it close to me.

Of course there was no way I’m eating this solo.

“Isn’t this the result of your experiments. Then, we should eat together!”

Everyone was surprised and baffled. Come on, as if I wouldn’t take the risk. I’ll have the cooks themselves eat with me, just to avoid any deadly food poisoning. If one hesitates, then it could be poisoned or anything weird in the cake. That said, I have been watching them closely, and I saw nothing strange or suspicious.

But I’ll be doing it this way anyway. This could feed my pure princess persona, while making sure this food had no poison.

“Dining with… surely we can’t do that.”

“Hm? Why not? If you won’t eat with me per my request, then I won’t take a single bite until you do so.”

Reluctance colored the expressions of the cooks.

I then spoke to my personal servants.

“You could also join.”

Mera smiled wryly.

“I am alright, milady.”

“Your highness, we are currently your attendants and doing our duties. I recommend we refrain from consuming any kind of food for the time being.”

Vernon said. He was quite strict, wasn’t he? Well, that’s fine.

“I… understand,” I faced the cooks. “So let’s go? Please slice it up.”

They slowly sliced several slices, though they seemed restless of the thought of eating with me. They gave me my slice first on a porcelain plate. The cake looked delicious. Of course, I waited until they all had their own cake.

“Alright then, let’s eat.”

I slowly cut a portion of the cake with my kitchen knife. I did it exceedingly slowly, like I was being careful. Reason? I was waiting for the others to bite it first. The three had made their cut and struck in their forks. I also stuck in my fork.

So? Was someone hesitating? If someone did, it could mean something.

However, to my dismay, no one hesitated. All of them immediately devoured the cake on their forks and began chewing. As to not seem suspicious, I also ate mine.

“Hmmm, this is delicious!”

It was. The sweetness. The tenderness of the cake. Beautiful. Delicious! This was better than the previous cakes I ate here.

“I commend you three for making such a fine dessert.”

The three had broad smiles as they heard my joyful and satisfied voice. I then quickly devoured my cut of the cake to further show my satisfaction of the food.

As time went on, I only ate an addition of one small slice. The cooks also seemed satisfied by the results of their efforts.

Then, I stood up. Time to leave. The cake was good, but time was essential, and I don’t want to eat too much of the sweet cake.

“It has been a great experience, I look forward to your further cooking in the future. If you’ll excuse me, I fear I have to go. Take care.”

“Thank you for the visit, your highness!”

The head chef said loudly as the three of them stood up and bowed.

With a nod and a flowery smile, I left the kitchen.

I intend to go somewhere else now.

Well, my visit to the kitchen was quite a fruitful one, on the food side of things anyway. Although, observing the people there was worth it. I made note of them in my mind. But nothing to help me get a conclusion, as one would expect. Oh well… hunting was not always easy.

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