162. Radea’s Bakery (3)
“I think I’ll stop by the bakery to say hello.”
After finally having recovered enough to stand, Hadith said that.
Gentle sunlight shone through the open windows and a breeze swayed through the thin curtains. The current season it Radea was the best for relaxing. It was an easygoing day, one with no sign of a civil war occurring.
Jill, sitting beside the bed, turned towards Hadith who had sat up on the bed.
“Do you mean the bakery of that grandmother who hired Your Majesty when you came to Radea?”
“Indeed. I want to greet not only to the grandmother, but also to the people of the neighborhood and its stores. As everyone was busy during the evacuation, I couldn’t find the opportunity to stop by. I want to thank them.”
“Then, you’ll have to greet them properly. Still, I don’t think you should, Your Majesty. After all, you just recovered from a fever yesterday.”
Due to turning her gaze away, she accidentally stabbed the apple with her fruit knife.
“Based off your first sentence, I thought you’d agree…!”
She was trying to peel it for Hadith. She didn’t expect it to be easy, but still… Jill sighed. Hadith leaned out of the bed.
“Please, Jill, it’s for your own good. Watching you peel that fruit scares me.”
“No—! I will peel it—!”
“But at this point, only the skin remains…”
“Then you should eat the skin, Your Majesty!”
She presented the aftermath of the war on top of a plate to Hadith. After receiving it, Hadith’s shoulders drooped.
“…How does it turn out like this whenever you peel them?”
“Your Majesty, I, I think that whenever I peel a fruit, I view it as the human body…? I keep thinking, ‘Where should I stab it to rupture its internal organs?’, or something along those lines…”
“Then, how about you think of it as a fish? Alright, open up.”
Jill had recently developed the habit to obediently open her mouth whenever Hadith requested it.
As I thought, it’s no good.
Jill munched on the apple. When it came to her, Hadith would give her an apple that was as skinless as possible.
She was flustered by Hadith who ate the apple directly from her hand.
“You can eat it properly by yourself, right? It’s delicious, isn’t it?”
“Since my wife is the one who prepared it, of course it is.”
“…I don’t think the taste will change because of that.”
Hadith peered into Jill’s eyes, making her flinch. She was the loser in that battle. She needed to make a strategic withdrawal as soon as possible.
Then, like a lifeboat, a hand reached out onto the plate with the apple from behind.
“The two of you are as close as ever—Jill, Hadith.”
“Your Highness Elynsia! Your Highness Listeard, too!”
Listeard sighed as he frowned at Elynsia who was eating the apple.
“That’s uncouth, my older sister.”
“It’s okay, there’s plenty available. You should eat, too.”
“I’m fine. Hadith, have you recovered enough to get up?”
“Oh, older brother Listeard, what impeccable timing—! Listen, I’d like to go out for about two days! Also, without supervision.”
“—The answer is obviously a no!”
Listeard rejected the proposition without any hesitation. Hadith squinted.
“What did you say?! You have to rest! Once we return to the imperial capital, you’ll need to appoint various successors! Above all, you also have to make Lady Jill the Grand Duke of Radea!”
“Eh? Me?! But, is that alright…? After all, I’m merely 11-years-old… For me to be a duke—”
She was ashamed to admit it—but she was a bit lacking in the political field.
Listeard rested his hand on his hip.
“Rest assured. Both you and Hadith are the heroes who came to save Radea by yourselves. You’re also the first dragon princess in 300 years. Currently, you’re welcomed and there’s also no opposition. You just have to choose a successor. I’m planning to choose someone who’s familiar with Radea.”
“Well, then, alright…”
“If you have some kind of business, I can do it in your stead, Hadith. I’m going out for reconstruction work.”
Towards Elynsia, who offered to do it so casually, Listeard soured.
“Older sister, haven’t you been going out too much? I heard that you’re leaving everything to South so you can train the Dragon Knights?”
“What of it? South is more familiar with the matter. Besides, the ones who’re currently working on the main task of clearing the rubble are his subordinates. Wouldn’t that be more efficient?”
“With you and Vissel, there’s no need for me to do anything.”
“…But, what? If you don’t want me to train your Dragon Knights, then say so.”
Elynsia must had guessed correctly. Listeard argued with a groan.
“…No, I actually want to thank you for training them…!”
“Jill, what happened to these two?”
“Zeke and Carmilla told me that there was a difference in skill between their Dragon Knights when they confronted the magic barrier.”
I see—as if convinced, Hadith narrowed his eyes.
Another voice came in from the doorway. In an easy-to-understand manner, Hadith beamed.
It was Vissel.
Jill immediately pursed her lips and clung to Hadith’s arm. Listeard snorted and turned away. Elynsia was the only one to greet him with a smile.
After glancing at the surroundings, Vissel talked to Hadith with a smile.
“Hadith, is it alright for you to be up? That’s not good—”
“—I’m alright. Hey, older brother, I want to go out.”
“Go out? Is there something you need to do?”
Instead of rejecting him like Listeard, Vissel asked Hadith for details. Apparently, Vissel would only be kind to Hadith. Recently, Jill had more opportunities to see his gentle side up close. She gradually understood why Hadith was attached to him.
…Because Vissel spoils him.
With the momentum of whatever Hadith said was the absolute truth, Vissel fully affirmed it.
“I want to visit the bakery that took care of me.”
“I see, that’s indeed important.”
“Then, as a thank-you, I’d like to help the bakery again. I have prepared the bags. If possible, I want one night—or at least, a whole day—of leave.”
“The emperor can’t do that!!”
“That’s what Listeard said, but Vissel doesn’t have any problems with this, does he?”
However, Vissel spoiled Hadith too much. Listeard’s blood vessels were visible on his temple. Elynsia was mediating them.
Vissel, who had been smiling all the time, nodded.
“If it’s only that, then it’s absolutely alright.”
“Really!? Thank you, older brother!!”
“But of course, I’ll let you go after you finish all your work.”
Hadith, who tilted his head for a moment, looked up towards his smiling brother.
“Yes, work. You’re the emperor, after all.”
“H, how much…?”
“You should already know the answer to that, since you’re a wise child.”
“Let’s do our best, Hadith. I’ll deliver it to you later.”
…Jill had also begun to understand that Vissel didn’t merely dote on Hadith. He used the carrot and stick tactic quite often…
As a wife, she disliked Vissel. But for his way of handling Hadith, she should definitely praise him.
Vissel, who massacred Hadith with a smile, looked to at Listeard and Elynsia with a sharper gaze.
“Don’t encourage Hadith’s selfishness. Both Lord Listeard and Lady Elynsia should tell him to work.”
“…He’s sick. He shouldn’t overexert himself…”
Listeard was grimacing. Hadith was pleased—well, until Listeard shot that down, too.
“You don’t have to worry, Lord Listeard. You know full well how strong Hadith is.”
“What!? Older brother Listeard, don’t back down from Vissel!! Persuade him more!!”
“…Hadith, you can do it.”
“B, but, older brother Vissel will work me to death!”
“…It’s alright, Vissel, Listeard…”
The three brothers turned to Elynsia who had reluctantly raised her hand.
While clearing her throat, Elynsia said.
“It’s about time you started treating each other like siblings.”
***T/N: The baker and I, his kitchen scullery, are back.
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