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The girls and I walked into the kitchen, where Zelef-san was in the middle of giving instructions to the maids while also doing some preparations himself. The boxes of ingredients I had taken out earlier were already all scattered around. Well, that most likely couldn’t be helped, as they had to open them to see what was inside.
Botts-san was sitting on a chair very close to Zelef-san, watching him intently.
He seemed to be doing quite fine, not counting his injured hands.
He had seemed full of energy when he had been talking to Zelef-san earlier, even though his livelihood had just so recently been targeted.
「Please place that box into the refrigerated pantry. I will need that box today so bring it closer…」
Zelef-san was so focused on his preparations that I was unable to find a good time to ask if we could borrow some space in the kitchen.
As we stood there wondering how to approach him, Botts-san noticed us.
「Misana-sama? The Bear?」
When Botts-san called out to us, Zelef-san finally looked our way as well.
「Yuna-dono, is something the matter?」
「Zelef-san, would it be okay if we borrow a corner of the kitchen? We promise we won’t get in your way.」
「Out of the question.」 「Yes, no problem.」
Botts-san and Zelef-san replied at the same time.
I had asked Zelef-san, but why did Botts-san butt in as well?
「Botts, it’s okay. Yuna-dono, what do you plan on making?」
「These girls are getting bored, so we decided to make some pudding together, and with your permission, we could also make some for the party tomorrow.」
「I can’t allow that!」「Oh, that sounds like a good idea.」
The two of them answered with differing opinions at the same time again.
「What are you saying, Zelef! This is a very important party for the Faren Gramm family. We can’t serve food made by a bear!」
「Botts, don’t worry. The pudding Yuna-dono makes was also served at His Majesty’s birthday party.」
「…You’ve got to be kidding me. This bear made food for a royal party?」
「Yes, and her cooking received much higher praises than my own. Everyone present went crazy over her pudding.」
「Zelef, you’re just making fun of me, right?」
「No, I’m not. It’s all true.」
Botts-san still didn’t seem convinced.
Well, I hadn’t attended the party, either, and had also found it unbelievable.
「Didn’t you tell me that the bear is an adventurer?」
「Yuna-dono is an excellent adventurer, an excellent merchant, and an excellent chef!」
Could he please not call me excellent over and over again. There were some girls here who would believe him wholeheartedly. Yeah, now the girls were looking at me with sparkling eyes.
I wasn’t an amazing person, you know.
I was just a normal, costume-wearing girl you could find anywhere.
Although I kept telling that to myself, I did realize that costume-wearing girls couldn’t be found that easily.
No wonder Botts-san didn’t believe Zelef-san…
In no ways did a girl in a Bear Suit look like a chef, an adventurer, or a merchant.
Whether it was Japan or another world, being a Bear wasn’t really an occupation even though my guild card might say otherwise.
I silently swore not to share my ‘Bear’ occupation with anyone.
Still, it would be annoying to let Botts-san keep looking at me with such suspicion as we made pudding.
Maybe I could have him taste one?
「Botts-san, here, this is pudding.」
I took out a pudding from the Bear Box and put it on the table next to him.
I had quite a large stock of it in my Bear Box, after all.
It was actually more than enough for the party on its own, but it would be more fun to make it with the girls.
「This is pudding?」
Botts-san looked like he was going to reach for it before realizing he couldn’t.
I forgot that he couldn’t eat it because his hands were hurt.
One of the maids noticed his struggle and came over.
「Head Chef Botts, want me to help you.」
「I’m sorry, but please do.」
Had she helped Botts-san eat since he had been injured?
The maid scooped up some pudding and brought it to Botts-san’s mouth, who carefully ate it.
「What is this?!」
「Botts, it’s delicious, isn’t it? Both His Majesty and Her Highness enjoyed this dessert very much.」
Zelef-san commented while the maid brought another scoop to Botts-san’s mouth.
「It’s delicious indeed. Did that bear really make this?」
He now looked at me curiously rather than suspiciously. Wait, that didn’t make much of a difference for me, did it?
「Head Chef Botts, is it really that good?」
One of the other maids asked.
When someone said something was delicious, it always made others want to try it.
Making the maids share Botts-san’s leftover would be rude, so I gave them one cup each.
「Is it really okay for us to eat them?」
「Yup. Eat it and do your best helping Zelef-san, okay?」
The three maids responded and started to eat their puddings.
「Yuna-sama, it is very delicious.」
「Yes. This is the first time I’ve ever had something so tasty.」
I was glad to hear that they all liked it.
「Yuna-san is amazing! She can make many other delicious things, too, not just pudding!」
Noa proudly announced for some reason, with Fina and Misa nodding next to her.
I was happy to receive their praise, but I would have prefered it if they didn’t raise the bar of expectations too high.
「What do you think? Even if you don’t allow me to serve it at Gran-san’s party, I will still make it for Misa’s party.」
I had no problems with simply not serving it at Gran-san’s party. This idea was merely a way of killing time and lifting the girls’ mood. All I wanted was for him to lend us a place where we could cook it.
「Alright, fine. If Zelef is okay with it, then I guess I don’t mind it, either. You better not get in Zelef’s way, though.」
「We won’t. Girls, we got permission, so let’s start making some pudding right away.」
The three of them replied energetically.
We moved to a corner so that we wouldn’t get in the way, and I took out around a hundred eggs from the Bear Box there. We could make as much pudding as we wanted since I could just keep the extra pudding in my Bear Box. Or, I could also distribute it to the people working in this mansion. There could never be too much pudding made.
「Okay, Fina, you crack the eggs while Noa and Misa will be the ones to whip them.」
And I would do the remaining steps.
Fina started to crack the eggs without any problems…
「Hey, Zelef. They have a whole mountain of eggs.」
「Of course they do. Yuna-dono is raising cluckers that lay about five hundred eggs a day altogether.」
「Five hundred eggs?!」
If I wasn’t wrong, Tirumina-san had told me that, recently, the number was even higher.
Yeah, Zelef-san’s information was most likely outdated.
We used eggs in more and more new recipes, not just pudding and cake. The shop itself should be going through several hundred eggs a day now.
With such numbers, the egg price had gone down, and now, even a regular household could afford to buy them. Eggs had a nice nutritional value, so it was great to see that they were more easily accessible now.
Botts-san watched Fina cracking the eggs with an unbelievable look on his face.
「I can’t believe that a commoner girl like her can handle eggs so easily…」
Botts-san still considered eggs to be a high-class ingredient, while at Crimonia, we could have as many eggs as we wanted. I still recalled the day I had first told Tirumina-san that she could take as many eggs home as she felt like. Also, the children of the orphanage often ate eggs these days and were completely used to handling them. Oh, and the day when Fina had first tried to crack an egg. She had been so nervous that her hands wouldn’t stopped trembling, so she had failed and apologized a lot. Just thinking about it made me smile. Now, she was able to crack them without a problem; she had grown so much.
「Big Sis Yuna, why are you smiling like that?」
「I was smiling?」
「You were. It reminded me of how Mother and Father often smile at me.」
I understood how Tirumina-san and Gentz-san felt now. The feeling I had just now was that of watching a daughter grow up.
「Yuna-san, I want to try cracking an egg as well!」
「Okay. Fina, can you show them how it’s done? Also, make sure to remove the shells if you mess up.」
Noa and Misa happily begin cracking the eggs.
There were a hundred eggs, so once they got a hang of it, they should be able to do it in no time.
「Zelef-san, if you would like to use some eggs, just let me know. I got a ton of them in my Item Bag.」
「That would be great. We have some at the castle, but I decided not to bring them along.」
「Okay then, I will put some in the refrigerated pantry, so feel free to use them whenever you want.」
I stuffed a bunch of eggs into the large refrigerated pantry.
「Hey, hey. Are you serious? These are expensive, you know.」
I ignored Botts-san’s remark.
We had a lot of them, so it was fine.
「Botts, if you keep bothering Yuna-dono like that, she won’t be able to get to her cooking. Also, chefs should never reject unknown dishes, or they will never improve.」
「Just who is this bear?」
「His Majesty has forbade anyone from asking about Yuna-dono, but if that doesn’t stop you, you are free to risk your life trying to find out. I won’t save you.」
「Wait, what do you mean by that?」
「If Yuna-dono reports that you were bothering her to His Majesty, you can say goodbye to your head.」
Zelef-san laughed and tapped his neck.
I wouldn’t do something like that. If he annoyed me, I would just Bear Punch him.
「I’m just kidding, Botts. Although, Yuna-dono is indeed backed by His Majesty.」
Botts-san looked at me in disbelief.
「Me being here should prove it to you. Do you think a regular adventurer can just stroll in, speak with the king, and ask him to borrow the royal head chef without a moment’s notice? The only reason I’m here to help you is because Yuna-dono requested it.」
Botts-san gulped when Zelef-san explained that to him.
Wait a second, did I always have such an amazing position?
Well, the king did owe me a lot of small favors. After all, I subjugated the army of over ten thousand monsters, made food for his birthday party, and even drew a picture book for his daughter. Still, those things were all just small deeds.
Did he consider this to be a complete repayment for everything?
Well, as long as I could still visit Princess Flora, I didn’t mind. I would be sad if I couldn’t see her smile anymore, though.
「That’s why I’m warning you now. It would be best not to bother Yuna-dono.」
「I understand. I will stop bothering her since I don’t want to die yet.」
Botts-san sounded like he still wanted to question me but chose not to do so. Thank you, Your Majesty. Or maybe Zelef-san, in this case? Now I didn’t have to explain myself anymore and could focus on making the pudding.
We managed to finish without any additional interruptions and went to place it into the refrigerated pantry.
Hmm, it was completely full.
Since I had no other choice, I took out the Bear-shaped fridge from my Bear Box, and we put the pudding inside there.
「Yuna-san, are we done?」
「Yup, they’ll be ready by tomorrow morning.」
「I’m looking forward to it!」
「Remember, these ones are for Gran-san’s party.」
「Fina, we will eat them too, of course, even though we won’t go to his birthday party!」
「Yuna-san, are you really not going to attend?」
「Nah. I only came here because you invited me to your party, Misa.」
「How about you, Fina?」
Fina shook her head when Noa asked her.
Fina had already had a hard time deciding whether to go to Misa’s party, so of course she wouldn’t want to go to a party with a bunch of nobles and rich people. Even if she attended, she wouldn’t have any fun as it would also stress her out so badly that she would get a stomachache.
Still, if Fina somehow ended up going, I would have to go with her. Therefore, I mustn’t let Fina attend.
Noa and Misa looked disappointed but decided not to push the matter.
That night, after everybody went to sleep, a Bear stealthily climbed up to the roof of the mansion.
It was me. I had to remove the Bear Transfer Gate.
The party will finally start in the next chapter!
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