Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
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7. The crown prince wants to apologize
The head chef stiffened in surprise as he took a bite of the ice cream.
“It’s cold and melts quickly; it’s my first time experiencing such mild sweetness.…It’s delicious.”
While holding a spoon in one hand, the head chef stared fixedly at the ice cream bowl in his other one. His gaze was awfully enthusiastic because of his profession. That, “It’s delicious,” wasn’t a compliment; I thought it came from the bottom of his heart. Mainly because of the way he was scarfing down the ice cream while nodding deeply as he savoured the taste.
…I was so glad that he said it was delicious.
When my face loosened a bit, the chefs in the gallery looked astonished. I thought it was refreshing, considering that I always used to have on a prim and proper façade when I was home. While I was internally sorry for surprising them, I couldn’t help but smile.
I liked cooking in and of itself, but I also got happy whenever someone ate my cooking and said that it was delicious. Sharing delicious food made me happy, and if I was the one to make it, I’d be even happier.
In a good mood, I took a bite of the ice cream. It was a bit hot and humid here, so the chilliness of the ice cream was quite refreshing. Just as the melted sweetness spread, the gentle taste of honey seeped in. It had a light flavour that quickly melted and had me wanting to eat more and more.
Yeah, this was delicious. The dish was a success.
There were no stoves or refrigerators, so I was worried that it would end in failure, but it seemed that I had been able to make it delicious.
From here on, with a little bit of ingenuity and magic, I might be able to cook various dishes like cheesecakes, drop cookies, hamburgers, and white stews.
While my brain overflowed with the list of foods that I wanted to eat, the sweetness and chill of the ice cream were healing me. As I was finishing my portion, I checked on the other chefs.
The head chef and I were eating the tray of ice cream which contained a moderate amount of air. The ice cream bowls that they were staring at right now were slightly more solid.
I took my status as the Duke’s daughter into consideration as I served them.
“This ice cream might take a while to soften. If you don’t mind, try adding honey.”
I warmed the honey by immersing it in hot water till it was body temperature, then inserted it. I dissolved some of the honey into the ice cream, then put what remained aside so one could pour it later.
I also wasn’t sure how much of the honey’s taste would remain after it cooled.
Basically, the dishes of the aristocrats in this country were rich in seasonings and had a strong, spicy taste. I thought that the chefs who made these dishes might lean towards a strong taste as well, so I prepared it in advance just in case.
When I recommended honey bowls, the chefs looked grateful as they took and poured them over the ice cream.
The warm honey was shining so brightly as it melted the surface of the ice cream.
The chefs scoped the honey-covered ice cream to their mouths timidly. They seemed to have been so surprised by how delicious it was that they kept on eating till there was nothing left.
Warm on top of cold, the faint aroma of honey melted into ice cream, and the rich honey on top of it: It was a delicious-looking combination where you could taste different textures at the same time.
“Thank you very much, Milady. This ice cream dish was very delicious.”
The head chef thanked me on behalf of the people who sampled it.
“It’s my first time tasting something like this.…Honestly, I was surprised. There are frozen desserts that mainly use ice, but it’s a first for me to see cream chilled and hardened. Where did you learn how to make it?”
“From a book that describes the cooking situation in foreign countries. However, it was a bit rare.…I read it specially to learn about foreign countries as part of Crown Princess-to-be training.”
Sorry for deceiving you, but I couldn’t just go and say, “It’s from my previous life’s memories!”
Misled by what I said, the chefs seemed surprised.
“I see, that’s amazing! Milady studied to that extent to become the Crown Princess…”
While the chefs showed their admiration, they looked at me with concerned gazes.
I was already a former Crown Princess candidate.
While I was sorry for making them worry, I just kept watching as the “the Crown Princess training is amazing,” misunderstanding spread among the chefs.
“Do we refreeze the ice cream that didn’t harden well, and then eat it, Milady?”
“We can do that, or we could reuse it as a sauce.”
The ice won’t recrystallize as it should once it melts. The smooth texture would get damaged, so I had an idea.
“As a sauce?”
“Yes. It’s a bit sweet, but I think it’ll taste good with meat dishes. I would like you to make meat dishes with less seasoning and spices so that one can enjoy the taste of the ice cream sauce.…”
“It certainly seems to be a dish worth making, but…”
The head chef looked conflicted.
“Could it possibly be that Milady has come to dislike strongly-flavoured food?”
The head chef looked anxious.
…As a cook, he may have wondered if the spice-covered dishes that he made for the aristocrats were truly delicious or not, but he had to abide by their will and cook what they wanted. Maybe that’s why he was looking so anxiously at me.
The head chef was correct, but there was a reason why I couldn’t agree frankly. Up until now, I had been eating heavily spiced dishes quietly. It would be out of character for me to suddenly not accept them, and worse, the head chef could get fired.
Chefs were basically commoners in this country.
He couldn’t defy the aristocrats, so if I, a Lady, showed my discontent with the food, the head chef would be under a great deal of pressure.
Soon I’d be leaving this mansion to go abroad.
Since I wouldn’t be able to take responsibility for what happened hereafter, I thought it would be for the best if I only influenced the dessert-making a little, and gave up trying to meddle with the morning, noon, and evening menus.
It was a very tiresome and frustrating situation.
As I had thought, I had no choice but to improve the cooking situation here before I was exiled.
As I was wondering where my exile destination would be, I talked with the head chef about how to reuse the ice cream.
In the following days, I dealt with tasks related to the engagement cancellation process and used the kitchen in my free time. However, in contrast to me, my father seemed to be working quite hard, and for that I was very sorry.
Despite being very busy, he also had to deal with my engagement cancellation, which would cause anyone’s head to spin.
…It had me re-evaluating my father a little.
Up till now, I had always thought that he hated and avoided me, but that might not have been the case.
Father had been continuously busy these past few years as the head of the family, but I didn’t think that was the only cause. My duties should have increased since I became His Highness’s fiancée, but I think that my father had shouldered them so as not to trouble me.
I believed that I had been able to devote myself to my Crown Princess-to-be training only because of my father’s support. I wanted to think that he did care about me, but then again, I couldn’t fully understand his coldness and distance.
Now that I was 17 years old, my father probably didn’t know how to deal with me, but I was a bit sceptical because he didn’t smile at me at all.
While in my room contemplating how to treat my father from now on, Lucian came in carrying some documents. Once he had finished reading the investigation report about a particular matter, he spoke.
“The results of the investigation were as Milady predicted. Had this report been delivered a little bit earlier on the day of the engagement annulment…Milady would have acted differently, right?”
“…I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think it would have changed anything.”
I was grateful that the report cleared up some of my long-lasting questions, but this and that were two different matters. Even if this report had surfaced a little bit earlier, I didn’t think it would have changed the outcome that day.
As I was explaining the reason, I heard a soft knock.
“You may come in. What is it?”
“It’s a letter for you, Milady. But the sender…”
The name of the Crown Prince was on the envelope.
It seemed that someone had quietly slipped it between the large number of letters addressed to the Duke’s house.
The letter inside said, “I wanted to apologize for breaking off the engagement, so can we meet tonight?”
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