Act 27: Happy Breakfast
When Cordelia woke up the next morning, she immediately changed her clothes and went to the dining room.
“Good morning, Onii-sama.”
Cyrus was already in the living room. He was reading a newspaper over a cup of tea.
The newspaper in this world didn’t have any illustrations or photographs, and, if there were no titles, then it would look like a dictionary because it was packed full of words. Therefore, there weren’t many pages. It wasn’t as common as in her previous life, but ordinary families could read newspapers too if they had extra income.
Cordelia usually read the newspaper after Elvis was done with it. Recently, most of the articles had been about the Founding Festival. Where important people could be seen, the Royal Family’s speeches…… It was filled with political articles and articles about eating contests. Several days had already passed since the Founding Festival, but they were still writing about it.
(A lot of things happened during the Founding Festival, and it was so peaceful because no big incidents happened.)
That’s good. But if Onii-sama is reading about the eating contests….. No, there’s no way he’s reading that.
(Onii-sama really looks like Otou-sama.)
They were about 20 years apart in age, but their presences were imposing. She wondered if it was because he was a deputy commander.
(Now I really want to see Otou-sama in a knight uniform.)
He’ll probably suit it if he wears it now. Well, I don’t think he would wear it just because I imagined it.
Her food came straight away when she sat down.
Today’s breakfast was the galette and salad that she had ordered yesterday. The galette was made with mushroom, asparagus, cheese, bacon and a soft-boiled egg. She also enjoyed the chalky texture of the buckwheat flour. Apparently, people didn’t eat it often in the Royal Capital, but she had it for breakfast once every few days. Cyrus saw her at the corner of his eyes and looked up from the newspaper.
“…… Is that a dish from the seaside city?”
“Yes. I found out about buckwheat flour while procuring herbs, so I also obtained the cooking method. They eat this dish in a more simple way where it’s from. Do you know about this dish Onii-sama?”
“I’ve been there on a mission, but I’ve never had that before.”
“Would you also like to have some, Onii-sama?”
He probably didn’t have any time to roam freely, since he went there on a mission.
If you’re interested in it, then you should eat it. Of course, I didn’t make this myself, but I’m the only one who eats it right now. If I don’t ask him, then Onii-sama will probably have his usual breakfast.
However, Cyrus shook his head lightly.
“No, I’ll eat that on my day off.”
Cordelia was surprised by his answer.
He probably has training today. His job requires a lot of stamina. He probably needs food that will fill him up.
After a while, food was carried out to Cyrus, who had finished reading his newspaper. His breakfast seemed to be twice as much as Cordelia’s. He had a mountain of salad, bread, meat and fish…… Cyrus ate his food calmly and neatly.
(…… With this amount, it probably doesn’t matter if it’s filling or not.)
She ate with him occasionally, but she always thought that he ate a lot.
“Do you like eating?”
“Huh? Yes. I’m always so thankful that the chefs cook all these delicious foods for us.”
“…… Do you have any thoughts on this too?”
Cordelia froze for a second. I thought he was just asking his little sister what she liked, but was I wrong? She felt a strange sense of pressure, since he was acting like he usually did.
(He resembles Otou-sama……)
That impression popped up in the corner of her mind as she thought about how to answer.
“…… I hope that we can exchange food culture.”
Cordelia was a little confused by the constant questions. She hadn’t planned this yet, so she couldn’t explain it to him. However, she would explain it to him vaguely since she had this chance.
“For example, there’s a dessert at the Pameradia fief that is similar to galette, called crepe, right? Galette isn’t popular there, but what if people were to think of it like crepe, except that the dough would be made from buckwheat and the stuffing is meat and vegetables?”
“And I would also like to sell crepes at the port. If food recipes were widely spread, then people will also become interested in the place where the food comes from, so I also want to have cultural exchanges too.”
It might take a lot of time to get people to eat foods that they weren’t familiar with, but it might be easier if they were introduced to foods that were similar to theirs. If they were to become interested in the places where that food came from, then the trade routes would become more active, and it might be useful for distributing essentials oils in the future…… those were her aspirations. The route already exists, but she wanted to make it busier.
“It sounds like hope more than a plan.”
“Yes. But, it’s not bad.”
“It certainly isn’t bad to make our fief’s sweets widely known. Have you discussed this with father?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Then, you should plan the sales around the time of the Harvest Prayer Festival. It’ll be easier to attract customers and get them to spend during that time. And you can also make use of our Harvest Festival.”
Cordelia listened to his advice and was happy when she realised that he concluded that the plan would be accepted by Elvis. It wasn’t because she wasn’t confident, but getting positive feedback gave her confidence a boost.
“There’s something else I want to ask you.”
“What is it?”
“The exchange diary that you were talking about yesterday…… did you get this strange idea because you’re exchanging one with someone?”
She tilted her head.
“No, I’m not.”
But contrasted with his words, he didn’t look convinced. Is it strange that I’m recommending it to someone when I don’t do it myself? She thought as she replied again, “Mm.”
“It seems like you often write letters, so I thought you did something like this too.”
“N-no. I do……”
She certainly did write letters. But she had never written them in front of Cyrus, she had always given them directly to Vernoux. Why does he know about this? Her thoughts had been transmitted to Cyrus.
“You would occasionally ask for stationery, don’t you? It’s not like I used it as a chance, but I asked Hans if he could purchase some for me too.”
“I, I see.”
It was leaked from an unexpected person.
But, there’s no way he would know who I’m writing to just because of that. She was relieved and timidly asked Cyrus.
“Does Otou-sama know?”
“He shouldn’t since you didn’t tell him. Father always uses the same paper, so it gets refilled without him having to do anything.”
Cordelia patted her chest. Thank god.
I needed more stationery recently because I’m also writing to Hazel-sama now, as well as Gille-sama, but did he know about this since long ago, since he said he noticed when he purchased stationery? He probably didn’t, since he didn’t say anything about it, but this is an unexpected trap.
(No, I don’t have to be embarrassed about anything…… It’s normal to send letters to people.)
Still, it feels embarrassing to say it for some reason. It’s impossible for me to explain this since I only know Gille-sama as Vernoux-sama’s friend. I don’t want to say anything because of that. What the heck is this?
(This is…… Yes, this is the fear of being misunderstood. If I tell him that I’ve been exchanging letters with Gille-sama for four years, then Onii-sama might think that I’m in love with Gille-sama.)
He might misunderstand something if I tell him that Gille-sama is a good friend. She felt extremely embarrassed when she thought that.
No, it’s not like that. I’m sure Gille-sama wouldn’t wish for that. When she thought that, she became even more embarrassed and was apologetic towards Gille. I’m sorry for thinking something weird.
(I guess…… I don’t have any resistance when it comes to my own love life.)
She tried desperately to stop herself from going red, and her expression was surely puzzling. She wanted to experience love in the future, but she became very uneasy about whether she could find love by doing that. She hoped to meet a lover who lived peacefully. ――― But, her first priority was to control her hot flashes.
“…… There’s nothing for you to panic about.”
Cyrus had apparently seen her different behaviours, and Cordelia coughed.
“I was just a little surprised. I’m sorry.”
She hadn’t just been a little surprised, but she said that to calm herself down. That’s right, like Onii-sama said, there’s nothing for me to panic about.
“I don’t think anyone would say anything even if you’re interacting with Marquis Flantheim’s son.”
No, there is. Unfortunately, there’s something for me to panic about right now.
Of course, the only close friend I officially have, that I can send letters to, is Vernoux-sama. But I can’t accept that he thinks I’m sending letters to Vernoux-sama. He’s friends with me, like Gille-sama is, but strangely enough, I don’t feel apologetic towards him. He’d definitely make fun of me if he found out about this.
(That’s right, he’ll definitely laugh at me……!)
It would all fit perfectly if I said the person who I was writing letters to is Vernoux-sama. But I can’t accept this, I’ll definitely deny this.
Cordelia pressed her hands on her twitching cheeks and smiled the best smile she could muster.
“Onii-sama, you’ve got it wrong. I don’t send letters to Vernoux-sama.”
“No. In the past, I wanted more stationery so that I could practice my writing. Thanks to that, I’m now able to write letters to Hazel-sama without embarrassing myself.”
The conversation was heading in a strange direction, and she became desperate. These random words are carefully coming out, she thought, as she spoke. I don’t like lying, but it’s charming to tell a small white lie. She convinced herself.
“…… Well, it seems like Vernoux comes over a lot, so it’s not like you’ll start writing to him now.”
She didn’t know if he accepted her answer or not, but he didn’t question her any further. She patted her chest while recalling that this had happened in the past too, when she had consulted Elvis about what gift to get for Gille without revealing his name, and Elvis had thought that the gift was for Vernoux.
(There’s no way Vernoux-sama would become an obstacle for my love life…… right?)
She worried a little and firmly decided to deny this if it did happen. At the same time, she also thought, I have to be careful so that I don’t get in the way of Vernoux-sama’s love life. Ladies who misunderstand our relationship like Hazel-sama will probably come at me. However, in Hazel-sama’s case, Vernoux-sama had used me to make her think that.
“In any case, you should also exchange diaries with someone whom you write to, and see the results for yourself.”
Cyrus, who had said that, had already finished his breakfast. Cordelia quickly stopped him as he was about to go back to his room.
“Onii-sama, please give me the diary later.”
“Okay. I’ll give it to you before I leave.”
“Thank you very much.”
After he’d left, Cordelia felt as if the strings of tension had been cut.
(Of course, I’m the one who recommended it to him. So there’s no reason for me not to do the same…… But-.)
However, she felt somewhat restless at the idea of exchange diaries instead of letters. She knew from her previous life that people only exchanged diaries with those who were special to them. Or at least, that was what she thought they were for.
(I’m already exchanging letters with Gille-sama…… But it’s impossible for me to exchange diaries with him because it’s too embarrassing……!)
She also felt guilty that she made Cyrus do something that she was embarrassed to do herself, but Cyrus and Christina were engaged. It definitely wasn’t a problem.
(…… I wonder if I should explain to Hazel-sama that I’m doing an experiment to find out the difference between letters and exchange diaries, and get her to do one with me. I didn’t say if you had to do it with the opposite sex, now did I?)
Cordelia believed that she had to try it too because she had recommended it to someone. It’s certainly hard to ask Gille-sama to do this, she thought as she ate her remaining food. But, her cheeks started heating up again just from that thought.
(I wonder if I can write adequately the next time I write to Gille-sama…… I’m also worried about that.)
Because she was thinking such strange things, she kept getting embarrassed whenever she heard Gille’s name for a while, ――― she felt.
(It’s nothing. It’s nothing…… But I’m sorry Gille-sama.)
It’s very tough.
The next time I write him a letter, I’ll do my best to not get embarrassed so that my letters don’t shake, she gave a long sigh.