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When the party began, Zelef-san’s cooking was brought out.
Wow, so this was the food made by the royal head chef. I had eaten some of his regular dishes before, but I had never had the chance to try his party food.
All sorts of delicious-looking foods were lined up on the table.
The food was arranged beautifully. It was colorful and pleasing to both the eyes and nose. It was definitely not just a regular lunch set.
Once all the food was set down, we were told to help ourselves, so everybody engrossed themselves with eating.
I didn’t know what the proper etiquette was, but I assumed I could just eat normally.
When I looked at Fina beside me, I saw that she also looked troubled and was looking at me. She shouldn’t look at me, I had no idea how to properly eat at a noble’s party, either.
All we could do was watch how other people ate and mimic them.
「Should we just eat like Noa?」
I offered an option.
We were both sitting diagonally across from Noa, who was enjoying her food using a fork and a spoon.
Looking at her eat, it became obvious to me that nobody should complain as long as we didn’t eat like total slobs. Also, they would most likely tell us what we were doing wrong, and we could just fix it then.
Good manners or not, I wanted to taste Zelef-san’s cooking now that I finally had the chance to, so I should eat carefully anyway.
To start with, I drank some of the delicious-looking soup.
It was different from the soup made by Anzu, but it was just as delicious.
I should ask Zelef-san to teach me how to make party food sometime. Maybe I should also ask Anzu to show me how to make some of her dishes as well. Then I could eat it whenever I wanted.
As time passed, my arms, legs, and neck got more and more chilly, so I couldn’t sit still. The Bear Suit really was the best, since it adjusted my body temperature. All I had to do was ignore its appearance. I really missed its fluffiness.
Also, I had to be careful to not dirty this dress, since I was just borrowing it. I had to be extra careful as food would most likely leave a permanent mark.
I had no idea how much a dress like this cost, but I was pretty sure it was expensive. Well, it wasn’t like I couldn’t pay for it.
Noa most likely wouldn’t tell me to pay even if I got the dress dirty, so I probably didn’t have to worry about that anyway.
Still, I noticed Fina was also afraid of dirtying her dress, as she was only taking small bites of her food and was barely able to eat anything.
「So, Misa, you’ve finally turned 10 years old today…」
Misa’s mother said, turning to her daughter.
「Yes, I’m now the same age as Big Sister Noa.」
「Yes, but in a couple of months, I will turn 11, so I’m still your older sister.」
Noa declared that she was still the older sister, even though they were of the same age now.
True, being born first made her the older one, so it didn’t matter if they were the same age now.
「If only I was born a year earlier. Then I would have been your older sister instead.」
Misa said, a bit dejectedly.
That reminded me, Fina was also 10 years old. When was her birthday?
Thinking about the environment Fina grew up in, she probably never got to celebrate her birthday. Maybe I should discuss throwing a surprise party for her with Tirumina-san.
When I first came into this world, Fina had been the one who had helped me the most.
Yeah, that seemed like a good idea, I really should keep it in mind.
Zelef-san and Botts-san were also attending the party. The maids who had brought out the food sat down nearby and joined in on the feast, while Botts-san held a critique session with Zelef-san.
They were discussing things like the seasoning, whether the taste was strong or light, if other ingredients could be substituted into this dish, and so on.
Botts-san’s hands had healed enough that he could now somewhat use a spoon and fork again.
However, everytime he raised one to his mouth, he lightly flinched in pain. Even so, he seemed to be having fun discussing the food with Zelef-san.
It didn’t seem like he could hold and use a kitchen knife yet, though. Cooking demanded a lot of precise movements, after all.
Noa was having fun talking with Eleanora-san, who she hadn’t seen in a while, and Cliff, who had been busy lately as well.
I heard Noa ask about Shia, who was at the capital, and the conversation quickly turned from what Shia had been doing lately, to what I had been like when I acted as her guard. Why had the conversation turned to me?
Normally, wouldn’t they talk about themselves, since they hadn’t met for a long time?
After some more time passed, Noa handed Misa her present. As I began to wonder what it was, Misa unveiled a ribbon.
That was a cute present for a 10-year-old. I was glad her present was appropriate for her age. The way I looked at the two noble girls would have probably changed if she had received something expensive, like gemstones or dresses.
I had thought that it was likely to happen since they were nobles, but seeing Noa’s present made me realize my worry had been for nothing.
As I started planning the timing to give Noa my present, I noticed Fina looking at me, like she wanted to ask me if something was wrong.
Our presents to her were the cake and two plushies.
We were now at the midpoint of the party, with most of the food already gone.
Maybe it was time to bring out the cake soon?
「Misa, can I have a minute?」
「Yes, what is it?」
「Fina and I have a present for you, too.」
「It’s a dessert, and we would be happy if you ate it.」
From the Bear Box, I took out the two-layer cake Fina and I had made, and placed it right in front of Misa.
Misa seemed very curious as she had never seen cake before.
The cake was beautifully lined with strawberries, and Fina had even written 『Happy Birthday』 with strawberry cream in the middle.
「What a beautiful dessert.」
Misa’s mother commented on the cake.
「Yes, it almost seems like a waste to eat this. Wait, how do we even eat it?」
It’s a large two-layered cake, meaning it would be hard for one person to eat the entire thing, so I told Misa to split it up and share it with everyone.
「We are cutting it?!」
「You can’t eat it unless you cut it and split it up.」
「Uuu, but that will ruin the words you wrote on top.」
Fina got embarrassed when Misa said that.
「We will be happy as long as you don’t forget the writing and taste the cake.」
「Okay, I’ll remember it!」
Misa nodded and gave the words written on the cake a long stare, then gave us permission to cut it.
As I put the knife into the cake, however, Misa quietly cried out 「Ahh…」in a sad voice.
We had to cut the cake, so I really hoped this wasn’t too hard on her.
「Yuna-san, Fina, did the two of you make it yourself?」
Noa asked us while I was still in the middle of cutting the cake.
「Fina didn’t know what to get you for your birthday, so I suggested we should make a cake together. Cakes are tasty, so we thought you would be happy to receive one.」
「Uuu, that’s not fair. I wanted to make a cake with you as well.」
「Okay, do you want to make it with us next time?」
「Really? It’s a promise, okay!?」
「I… I want to join in as well.」
「Okay, how about we all make a cake together, like when we made the pudding?」
「Would that really be okay?」
「Yes, of course. In exchange, I will have the two of you keep the recipe a secret.」
Just as we made that promise, I finished cutting the two-layered cake into eight slices, perfectly splitting the writing as well.
The slices went to Misa, Misa’s parents, Gran-san, Eleanora-san, Cliff, Noa, and Fina.
I didn’t want any, so I didn’t cut a slice for myself. Fina looked at me like she wanted to ask if I was really okay with that, so…
「I have the cake Elena-san and the children working at the shop made for me, so you don’t have to worry about me.」
I took Elena-san’s cake out of the Bear Box and passed it around to the others.
It wasn’t a two-layered cake like Misa’s, but they both followed the same recipe, so the taste should be more or less the same.
Once the cake was successfully passed along to everyone, we all started to eat it together.
「Yes, it really is.」
「I’ve eaten one before, but this one is better.」
「I really wish you two would have let me join when you made it.」
Gran-san and Misa, who had never eaten cake before, complimented it first, followed by Noa and Cliff, who had already eaten it once.
「Yuna, if you can make such delicious food, why don’t you become a chef instead of being an adventurer?」
Gran-san asked, probably because he didn’t know much about me.
「Old Man Gran, she already owns two shops of her own, and does other types of businesses as well.」
「Her shops are so popular that even my own daughter is a regular.」
「Of course, the food at Yuna-san’s shop is really good.」
「Big Sister Noire, that’s not fair!」
I didn’t know about that. Either way, excitement was brewing over me even though it was Misa’s birthday party.
Noa proudly boasted about how delicious the food at my shop was while Misa enviously listened to her stories.
She kept saying, 「That’s not fair.」, but continued listening anyway.
I looked over to Zelef-san and saw Botts-san and Meshun-san were in shock after tasting the cake.
「This is delicious. I already thought about this after tasting her pudding, but just who is this young lady? 」
「She is an adventurer, but also a chef I respect very much.」
Zelef-san answered Botts-san’s question.
I wished he would stop telling people how much he respected me…
If the fact that the royal head chef respected me spread, it would surely be troublesome for me.
Also, I wasn’t a chef.
「I just don’t understand how something like this can be made…」
Botts-san said as he scooped up some cream with his spoon and ate it.
「I learned how to make it from Yuna-dono, but I can’t teach you.」
I felt like Zelef-san was giving off a sense of superiority there.
Botts-san looked a bit upset by Zelef-san’s attitude and turned to me instead, but I ignored him.
I couldn’t teach him how to make it, after all.
I had only started selling it recently, and I was planning to serve it at the shop in the capital that was opening soon. If the method of making whipped cream spread in this town before I started selling it at the capital, that could be a problem for the sales there.
I turned back to Misa, who had just finished listening to Noa boast about me. I also noticed her plate was already empty.
She looked like she still wanted more, but there was other food remaining, and a slice from a two-layered cake was double the size of a normal one, so she would get a stomachache if she ate more.
Yeah, it would be problematic if people got stomach aches, so I decided against taking out more cake.
If anybody wanted to eat more, I could always bring some out tomorrow. Zelef-san had made so much food for us, and it shouldn’t be wasted.
「It was really good. Thank you, Big Sis Yuna, Fina-chan.」
「We put a lot of effort into it, so hearing you say that makes me happy.」
Fina also looked quite happy when she heard Misa’s compliment.
Now, we just had to give her the bear plushies.
I’m sorry for cutting off a chapter in the middle of the party.
I wanted to write until she gave the plushie, but I couldn’t do it, so the chapter is a bit shorter this time.
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