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Zelef-san managed to make it to us, even though his running speed was slow. I noticed Anju-san walking right behind him, keeping up with his speed. This had often happened in anime and manga, but it was my first time seeing it in person. Wouldn’t it have been better if he just walked as well?
「Zelef, did something happen?」
The king asked Zelef-san when he finally reached us.
「Your Majesty, Your Highness, you’re both here?」
「Yes, I’m taking a breather from work.」
You did that every time I was here, ditching work to find me.
Well, at least that was what I came to believe. Did anybody even check in on him? In this kind of a world, shouldn’t there be an old man like a prime minister standing beside the king and scolding him? Probably someone who had to take stomach medicine to stop it aching from all the stress this king’s actions were causing him?
Well, if such a person had existed, he would have been here right now.
「So, what is it? This is the first time I have seen you actually run.」
Could we even call that running? It was of the same speed as Anju-san’s walking.
See, Anju-san was already tending to the queen and Princess Flora.
「I apologize for showing you such an embarrassing sight. I rushed here because I wanted to know more about the new recipe Yuna-dono just let me taste.」
He answered and scratched his head in embarrassment.
「It was pretty tasty, wasn’t it?」
「Yes, it was, and since I wanted to know what it was, I ran here despite my old age.」
Despite his old age? He seemed to be in his thirties, no more. Also, I didn’t think that his age was the reason for his slow running. He would do much better if he exercised more and got rid of his bulging stomach.
Zelef-san looked my way, not realizing what was going through my head.
「Yuna-dono, it’s been a while. As usual, I would like to thank you for letting me taste your new food.」
「How have you been, Zelef-san? Oh right, I’m sorry for always giving you trouble when you are already preparing meals for the royal family.」
「I certainly did feel that way at the beginning, but now, I look forward to your cooking. As a chef, your food motivates me to improve myself. Thanks to you, I understand that cooking has no limits.」
He was exaggerating….
Well, it was food from another world, so it might make sense for him to see it that way?
「Well then, Yuna-dono, what was the thing that you let me taste today?!」
Zelef-san asked while stepping a bit closer to me.
Even though I shouldn’t be able to feel hot because of my Bear Suit, I could sense the heat coming from his body. I nudged my chair away from him a bit before answering.
「It’s called cake. It’s similar to the pancakes I had brought over before.」
How many times had I said this by now?
Well, it couldn’t really be helped since it was the only way I could explain it.
「I get that part, but what was that sweet white stuff?」
「Oh, whipped cream?」
「It’s called whipped cream? It was very delicious.」
「Well, it’s still in the trial stage, so it needs some more fine tuning. Also, if you mix different things with whipped cream, you can get all sorts of flavors.」
Making a blueberry or a strawberry mousse might be a good idea in the future.
What I really wanted to make was a chocolate mousse, though. Even if I was able to get my hands on cacao, I wouldn’t be able to make chocolate. Maybe they sold chocolate in some other regions?
If I managed to procure it, the amount of sweets I could make would increase significantly. I really missed the days in Japan when I had played games while eating chocolate and drinking juice.
「So, how did you like the cake? Was it too sweet for you?」
「No, not at all. It was very delicious.」
「There’s still some left; would you like some more?」
They had already finished the one I had brought out on the table, but I had another one in my Bear Box.
「I wouldn’t mind another slice if it really isn’t a problem, but I came here for another reason.」
Zelef-san sounded a bit awkward.
「Why did you come, then?」
「I was wondering if it’s possible for you to teach me how to make it. I won’t reveal the recipe to anybody else, of course. As a chef, I want to know more about this mysterious texture and flavor. I do realize it must have took you a lot of time to create such an amazing recipe. It’s embarrassing for me to ask you to reveal it, and I understand if you don’t want to share it, but…」
Well, it had taken a bit of an effort to reinvent the recipe since I hadn’t known the ingredient ratios to make the right mixture.
「Zelef, I believe you promised not to ask Yuna about her cooking methods again.」
「Yes, but as a chef, I just have to know it. I couldn’t even imagine the concept behind something like that myself, and that makes my soul ache…」
「Yuna already showed you how to make things like pudding and pizza, didn’t she?」
「She did, and I apologize, but…」
Zelef-san’s voice trailed off, and he lowered his head as the king scolded him.
Just like the king had said, I had already given Zelef-san quite a few recipes. He had been keeping them to himself without leaking them, so it should be fine to show him how to make cake as well.
「I don’t mind showing you how to make it.」
Zelef-san was overjoyed when he heard my reply.
「Yeah, it’s fine. It has a lot of sugar, though, so try not to make it too often. It’s okay if it’s just for Eleanora-san, but I don’t want to see Princess Flora getting fat because of my recipes.」
Eleanora-san started to glare at me, but I just ignored her.
「Of course. It is my job to keep the royal family healthy. Even if Princess Flora tells me she wants to eat more, I promise I won’t make it for her.」
「I won’t tell you that!」
Princess Flora said, looking rather displeased.
「Are you sure about this, Yuna? I think this every time you pass him another recipe, but shouldn’t they be important to you as a chef? He promises not to leak them, but still…」
Recipes certainly should be important to chefs, no matter what world they were in. Some would even say they were more important than their own lives, especially in case of their family recipes that were passed down from generation to generation.
Yet, my recipes had been obtained from cooking books, television, and the internet. They were just regular recipes of my world, not something special I had created.
Besides, even though they considered me a chef, I didn’t live my life as one. If anyone asked me if the recipes were important to me, I just told them no, unless it could harm my shop in Crimonia, then I had to say yes. My precious employees were giving it their all working there, after all.
So, as long as it wasn’t in Crimonia, I had no problem revealing my recipes.
Even if a cake shop was opened at the capital, nobody from Crimonia would go that far to eat it. I also had no intentions of losing on the flavor front.
「As long as it makes Princess Flora happy, I’m fine with sharing my recipes.」
「You really care about the children. I heard a lot about you and the the children of Crimonia’s orphanage, you know.」
I took care of the children because they were innocent.
Back in Japan, my parents had only complained, and at school, there was a lot of envy, jealousy, and bullying.
I liked the children of this world because they had pure hearts unlike those from Japan who had only been cold-hearted bullies.
The children at the orphanage were honest and hardworking. If they were bad and stole things, I would probably have abandoned them, but I wanted good children to be happy and taken care of.
I knew it was possible they would turn out like Eleanora-san or Mylene-san when they grew up, but I hoped most of them would end up being like Morin-san or Tirumina-san.
「Yuna-chan, how about opening a shop at the capital then? I could help you by finding a good location, procuring the ingredients, and negotiating the price.」
「That sounds like a great idea.」
The king approved Eleanora-san’s suggestion.
I had thought about it before, but I simply hadn’t seen any benefits in opening a shop at the capital.
There had been three reasons I had opened the shop at Crimonia.
One, so that I could eat whenever I wanted.
Two, so that the children from the orphanage had jobs to do.
And three, the money. Not that I really needed it.
So, it had been mostly because of the first two reasons, rather than the third. I had the money I had brought over from Japan, the money I got from defeating monsters, and the money from the tunnel’s passage fee.
All together, it was a lot of money. I honestly didn’t even know if I got more from the shop sales or the passage fee.
So, there was no real need for me to open a shop at the capital.
Still, what about the merits of opening it?
One, I had to manage it. Too much work.
Two, I had to train others. Too much work.
Three, everything was just too much work.
And four, the worst of all, I couldn’t imagine somebody listening to orders from a girl wearing a Bear Suit.
「You could sell pudding and other recipes as well. That way, it would be possible for your shop to become the most popular in the capital.」
「Yes, the other dishes you had brought for us were delicious as well.」
「Sorry, I have no interest in running the number one store in the capital since opening a shop here would just be too much of a pain.」
It had been hard enough to open a shop at Crimonia. Even just thinking about opening another one at the capital without Tirumina-san and Mylene-san helping me sounded impossible.
So, that was why I explained to them the previously mentioned demerits of opening the shop here.
「And here I was thinking I could eat your cooking whenever I wanted if you opened a shop here…」
「Just ask Zelef-san to prepare it for you.」
「I want to be able to eat whenever I feel like it. If Zelef is busy, he won’t be able to cook it for me.」
She had the same idea as me, huh.
「Eleanora-san, why don’t you open the shop, then?」
「I can teach you the recipes, and you manage it yourself.」
A great idea, if I could say so myself.
If she wanted to eat whenever she wanted, she had to put in the effort herself.
I myself had worked hard to open my shop at Crimonia.
「How about opening a branch store in front of the castle?」
The king made an unbelievable suggestion.
「I’m sure there would be issues with management, training, labor, and disclosure of recipes. So, why don’t we let the country manage it, then? Nobody would dare consider stealing recipes from a country-owned shop. If we choose our employees wisely, disclosure wouldn’t be a problem at all. The country management would surely find many people. As for the training, we can just leave it to Zelef, who already knows the recipes.」
「Leave it to me?」
「You know Yuna’s recipes the best.」
「But, I already have my job as your head chef.」
「You have a lot of spare time, don’t you? I have no interest in finding a new head chef, so don’t worry about that. However, I do want you to be in charge of teaching the employees and running the shop when you aren’t taking care of our meals.」
「Great, that would mean I could eat whenever I wanted.」
「You’ll get fat if you eat too much, you know.」
「I don’t eat that much, so it won’t be a problem.」
If they were going to do it all for me, I saw no more issues with opening a shop here.
If the castle oversaw the shop like the king proposed, recipes had no chance of leaking out. It also wouldn’t affect my shop in Crimonia at all since it would only sell to the people of the capital.
「Then, all we have to do is find employees, right?」
「You can leave that to Eleanora and Zelef. Also, I will supply the funding for the shop myself.」
「We also have to figure out the location and ingredient list.」
「And, don’t forget Yuna’s share of profits as well.」
「Of course. We will be selling your food.」
「Yeah, it only makes sense for you to get a piece of the cake.」
「Even though the shop will belong to the country, you have a right to a portion of the profits since we will be using your recipes.」
Well, I didn’t mind taking what they would give me, but my income was already high as it was.
The three of them weren’t done talking yet, though.
「Fufu, I’m looking forward to this.」
「I’m quite excited myself.」
「It’ll become the speciality of the capital.」
The three of them seemed to be having fun.
At this point, I didn’t think that I would regret leaving everything to them.
Yet, if I had just came here while they were building the shop, I would have never let it have that kind of exterior.
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