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After getting permission from the king, I headed to the royal kitchen.
For some reason, the king himself accompanied me instead of Eleanora-san.
It was because of the conversation Eleanora-san and the king had.
「Eleanora, I’ll accompany her, so you can get back to work.」
「Wha-Why? I can escort her, no problem.」
「No, you should return to your work. It’s better for me to tag along, so I can explain the situation to Zelef.」
「My job right now is patrolling the castle, and I can easily stop by the kitchen to explain it to him in your stead.」
「What about the matter from the other day, Eleanora-sama?」
The man next to the king asked Eleanora-san.
「Not done yet, Zangu.」
Eleanora-san averted her eyes while replying.
「I asked you to treat it as an urgent matter, didn’t I?」
The man, who seemed to be named Zangu, asked her nicely but firmly.
「Ugh, I get it. Yuna-chan, see you later. Let me know if this guy says anything weird to you.」
「Please return here as quickly as you can, Father, and don’t run off like you usually do. Just like Eleanora, you have a lot of urgent business to attend to.」
The prince lectured the king.
「Don’t worry, I will come straight back. Also, don’t make it sound like I skip work all the time.」
「You skip work every time this bear comes here!」
The prince said, looking at me.
Why was he looking at me, though?
It wasn’t my fault that the king decided to skip work. I never asked for an audience with him; he sought me out on his own. So, could the prince please stop looking at me like it was my fault? Well, this time around it was my fault, but as for all of the other cases, I had nothing to do with it.
For some reason, I felt like the prince hated me…
I didn’t recall ever doing anything that would make him hate me, though.
He shouldn’t blame me because the king passed his work onto him, right?
If he really wanted the king to do his job, he should just tie him to his chair.
That way, the king would have to do his work and not pass it onto the prince. The king also wouldn’t be able to bother me anymore, so it was like killing two birds with one stone. I should suggest this to him when I had the opportunity to meet with him in private. I had no problem with him hating me, but it could be a problem if he decided to cause me trouble because of it.
Not to mention that he was Princess Flora’s older brother, so I should leave a good impression, or he might try to interfere with my meetings with her.
Anyway Eleanora-san unwillingly went off to work while the king and I headed to the royal kitchen, where we were met with several chefs in the middle of their cooking.
「You sure have a lot of cooks.」
「They have to prepare meals for everybody working at the castle, and that’s a lot of food.」
I noticed that all of the chefs were now looking at us. Well, the king himself just visited their kitchen, so it only made sense for them to look at him in surprise.
「It’s the bear.」 「What is the bear doing here?」 「Is she ‘the’ bear?」 「Yes, she’s the rumored bear!」 「Wow, I can’t believe that she really is a bear.」 「What, is this your first time seeing her?」 「Hmm, she’s younger than me.」 「Not to mention, she’s small.」 「Why does she wear that costume, though?」 「Dude, she can hear you.」 「The head chef will scold you if you make her mad.」
I had heard what all of them had said, so it was a bit late to warn them now.
Wait, instead of the king, were all of their gazes directed at me?
Wasn’t that weird?
Normally, if the most important person in the country arrived at your workplace, wouldn’t you notice them first?
「Oi, somebody should go talk to the bear.」 「You go.」
They all started shoving each other.
No, no, shouldn’t you be greeting the king of the country rather than me?
They were all so weird…
Since nobody dared to approach us, I decided to call out to them, making one of the chefs finally come to us.
「Your Majesty, Yuna-dono, what brings the two of you here today?」
The first one to speak to us was Zelef-san, of course.
Not to mention that he actually knew how he should greet us. First the king and then me. As expected of the royal head chef.
「Could it be that you brought over a new recipe today?!」
Zelef-san asked me, his eyes glowing like that of an excited child.
「No, I came here to ask you for a favor, Zelef-san.」
「You want to ask me for a favor?」
「Zelef, I want you to accompany Yuna to Sheelin.」
Zelef-san was surprised by the king’s sudden request.
「Sheelin? Why would we be going there?」
「The Faren Gramm family is hosting a party. Their chef got injured, however, and he cannot prepare the required meals. That’s why, Yuna came here to ask for your help.」
Zelef-san looked at me, so I spoke up.
「Can I ask this of you? You were the only one I could think of asking since you’re the only person I know who can make food suitable for noble parties.」
「If His Majesty gives his permission, then of course, I will help. Would it be okay for me to be away for a while, Your Majesty?」
Zelef-san turned back to the king.
「Both you and I owe Yuna a favor, so make sure you complete her request properly.」
「Of course, Your Majesty. Yuna-dono, I will come with you to Sheelin to prepare the food for the party.」
「Thank you, Zelef-san.」
「No need to thank me. You always show me new delicious recipes, so all I’m doing is returning the favor.」
It would bother the other chefs if we continued our conversation here, so we decided to head to Zelef-san’s personal kitchen. Before we left, Zelef-san gave a whole lot of instructions to someone who appeared to be the assistant head chef.
「So, what kind of party will this be? How many people will be attending? What sorts of guests are coming? When is the party?」
I explained it to him the best I could.
「Will we even make it in time?」
「We will ride my summoned beasts.」
「You will let me ride on your bears?!」
「Well, there’s no way we are getting back on time if we go by horseback. With my Bears, it shouldn’t take more than two days, I think.」
I wasn’t sure how much time exactly would it take since I hadn’t tested it yet, but we should make it in time.
「I see. Still, we don’t have much time. Will I have time to buy all the ingredients?」
「I don’t know if Sheelin will have all the ingredients you want, so how about we buy some here at the capital before heading out?」
Based on the conversation we had had in Sheelin, they most likely wouldn’t be able to procure all the ingredients needed for a noble party, especially with the Salbert family obstructing us. Yeah, it would be best to buy everything we could at the capital before we left.
「I don’t think we have any time to waste. Your Majesty, may I get permission to take ingredients from the castle instead?」
「Yeah, I don’t mind, but make sure to report how much you will be taking.」
「Oh, I will pay you for the ingredients. I will have Gran-san repay me later.」
There was no such thing as a free lunch, after all.
「It’s okay, you don’t have to worry about paying us.」
「No, I have to take care of the payment properly.」
Well, the one paying in the end would be Gran-san, though.
「Alright then, I’ll give you the bill later.」
「Your Majesty, may I also get permission to borrow another item bag? With this amount, even my item bag won’t be able to hold all of the required ingredients.」
「That’s okay, I can just put it all into my item bag.」
「Yup, it’s really huge.」
「Okay, let’s head straight to the pantry to collect the ingredients, then.」
「People will get mad at me if I don’t return soon, so I leave everything to you, Zelef.」
「Okay, I will take care of it, Your Majesty.」
Splitting ways with the king, Zelef and I headed to the pantry on our own.
It was right next to the kitchen, most likely because it was convenient to have it nearby.
I immediately noticed it was refrigerated when we entered.
「I would like to pack these into boxes before storing them in your item bag. Is that okay?」
「Yeah, sure. Also, take as much as you need. The party mustn’t run out of food.」
Zelef quickly began stuffing boxes with ingredients and passing them to me.
「Yuna-dono, I would like to thank you.」
I had no idea what he could be thanking me for.
Heck, if anything, I should be the one thanking him for doing this for me.
「I have been more or less stuck at the castle since the day I became the royal head chef, so I’m quite happy about this trip. It’s not like I dislike my current position in the castle; I like doing it and am delighted to have earned His Majesty’s trust. Also, because of my current position, I was able to meet you and got to taste your delicious recipes; I’m very grateful for it.」
「I’m glad to hear that you don’t think of me as a bother.」
「I could never think of you that way. I’m very excited for the shop we will be opening even though I’ve gotten busier because of it. Opening it will be a valuable experience.」
「Oh right, how is that going by the way?」
「Eleanora-sama is managing most of it at the moment, so I’m not sure. I am training some chefs for it already, though. The only problem I have right now is deciding the menu…」
「Well, thinking of what recipes to serve is fun in its own way as well.」
I was glad to hear that he was enjoying the experience.
Still, it looked like I was bothering him during a busy time even though he didn’t show it. I would have to thank him by thinking of a new recipe to bring him.
Yep, a new recipe should be a good way to thank him.
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