28. Time for the Actual Meal
In the grand dining hall was a long table.
Before Nigel and Cecily, who sat on the chairs, I served their plates containing the food.
“Oh, so today’s menu is hamburger steak.”
“It looks so delicious~”
Seeing the hamburger steak I had prepared, their eyes widened.
Fufufu. I could’ve just said it right then and there—“—I’m the one who made it.” But I also wanted to hear their honest opinions.
Therefore, I shall keep quiet for a while.
“I shall begin to eat right away.”
The two clasped their hands.
Nigel passed his knife through the hamburger steak.
Nigel’s eyes beamed.
“What a dish! I’ve never eaten a hamburger steak as delicious as this before!”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
“Cecily will also try it~!”
“By all means.”
Due to Nigel’s urging, Cecily brought the hamburger steak to her mouth as well.
For such a little girl, her handling of a knife and fork was quite nimble.
Since she was the princess, Cecily must have begun receiving her education from an early age.
Cecily chewed her meal.
I was sure I had cooked it deliciously, but… what if she said it was bad and spat it out?
Hmm… the moment after I finished preparing it, I felt very confident, but now…
…however, my concerns turned out to be useless.
Cecily shared Nigel’s opinion.
“This hamburger steak is really tasty!”
“What a relief…”
I rubbed my chest in relief.
“I agree, Cecily. Head Chef, today’s hamburger steak is really delicious. Ah, could it be, Eliane helped in making this hamburger steak?”
As I thought, Nigel was sharp.
However, he was a little mistaken.
The chef who accompanied me stepped forward.
That was probably because he was worried.
I wondered if he was nervous, which would explain his quivering voice.
“I appreciate your praise, but it wasn’t made by me.”
“Then, by whom—…”
“Lady Eliane… she made it herself.”
Nigel was so surprised, he stood up from his chair. It seemed that he totally hadn’t expected that.
“Eliane, you’re the one who cooked such a delicious dish?”
“For you to be able to cook such a delicious hamburger steak… I’ve never eaten anything as delicious as this. It’s a flavor I’ve never tasted until now… how to say this…”
“Nigel, in truth, that hamburger steak…”
I told Nigel the truth.
“What?! It’s a ‘vegetable hamburger steak’!? But I don’t taste any vegetable…”
Oh, he’s surprised, alright…
…It was a great success.
“It was a common dish in my former kingdom. Apparently, this isn’t the case in Lynchgiham…”
Even though Lynchgiham was a wonderful kingdom, it seemed to be behind in terms of food…
…Well, considering the size of the kingdom, Lynchgiham was larger. It would’ve been easy for excellent chefs to gather here with various cooking techniques.
“Amazing! For Eliane to be able to do accomplish a feat! Thank you for the delicious meal!”
With that said, Nigel squeezed my hands.
…His handsome face was too close to me—getting accustomed to this was too hard. However, I thought I should adapt to it, soon.
“Cecily, what do you think of the hamburger steak?”
Cecily-chan smeared some sauce near her mouth.
Apparently, she didn’t listen to our previous conversation, too taking in with devouring her hamburger steak.
“Cecily-chan, you spilled some sauce here.”
I wiped Cecily-chan’s mouth with a napkin and stared at her.
“In that hamburger steak, I mixed in the vegetables Cecily-chan dislikes, you know?”
“The vegetable… the orange, bitter, and hard one?”
“I also mixed in the white one, and the green one.”
“But you still scarf it down, didn’t you?”
“Y, yes… I didn’t know…”
Cecily-chan looked confused.
“Because you thought they will always taste bad, you refuse to eat vegetables. However, as long as you don’t think they are vegetable, you can eat them just fine. If you eat vegetables, you’ll become even more beautiful, you know?”
“Even more beautiful…”
Cecily-chan lowered her face.
Oh my, did I get carried away and accidentally preach?
“Forgive me, Cecily-chan, but…”
“If I eat vegetables, will I be able to become like you, big sister?”
“Become like me?”
I pointed to myself.
Why did Cecily suddenly say that?
…Hmm, perhaps what she meant by that was she wanted to be able to cook like me.
If so, she’d need to eat vegetables. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to make ‘vegetable hamburger steak’.
“Yes, that’s right. As long as you eat vegetables, you will be able to cook like me—”
“—if so, Cecily will do her best to eat vegetables! I also want to be as beautiful as Big Sister! I also want to be able to cook!”
Cecily-chan leaped into my chest.
It was a little different from what I expected.
Cecily-chan seemed intent on overcoming her dislike of vegetables.
Wasn’t that a good result?
As I stroked Cecily-chan’s head, Nigel called my name.
“Thank you very much, I was really troubled by Cecily’s dislike of vegetables. I’d like to repay you with something…”
Well, in truth, there was really no need to reward me with anything—
—however, there was something I wanted to do.
“Then, will you let me use the kitchen from time to time?”
“Huh? You’ll be alright with that?”
Nigel looked stunned.
I liked cooking, so I had been wanting to cook to pass the time.
However, because the chefs were busy, I was reluctant to use part of the kitchen.
Also, in my former kingdom, the kitchen was reserved only for chefs.
There was also a saying that the kitchen was the sacred place for cooks.
It wasn’t a place that could be easily entered.
“Head Chef, what do you think?”
Nigel turned at the chef.
“Of course, it’s fine! I was quite surprised by her cooking skill, too. If it’s okay with you, I want you to teach me when you have the time.”
The chef shrugged his shoulders.
I did it!
I finally got to cook in the kitchen!
That would make living in the royal castle even more enjoyable and exciting!
“Big Ssister, teach Cecily how to cook.”
Even though it didn’t mean that Cecily-chan’s dislike of vegetables had settled down, it could be said that she had made great strides towards improvement.
I was also allowed to use the kitchen once in a while—a lot of good things sure happened that day.