“Last time, I told the chef that the roast turkey was super delicious, and he responded that he would prepare it again soon.
I thought he said it out of politeness, but…”
‘…Is that something to be so happy about?’
Alessia was the daughter of a duke and his fiancée too.
Given her status, Kaon thought it was normal that the chef remembered her words and kept his promise.
In any case, there was no harm in finding joy in the little things.
An optimistic person was better than a pessimistic one.
“Then, this turkey is dedicated to you.”
“No… Come on, Kaon.” Alessia laughed softly.
Her smile was different from her usual, but she seemed happier.
It wasn’t a big thing, but he engraved the difference in his heart.
Each time he did that, it somehow felt heartwarming and rewarding.
When he was with her, the small things about her eroded his prejudice.
“Hana, can you call the chef here?”
It was a little surprising that the servant in waiting was so friendly.
After they’d been eating for a while, the chef showed up, greeted Kaon briefly, and went straight to Alessia’s side.
“Miss Alessia, I heard you called.”
“Albert! I just want to tell you that today’s meal is great.”
“You did mention before that you liked the turkey, so I put my skills to the test.”
“It’s really delicious.
How are you able to cook so well all the time? You’re definitely the best chef in the world.”
“Oh, you flatter me.
I’m just thankful that you always eat well.
Next time, I will serve salmon—how do you like salmon?”
“Well… of course I like it! I’m looking forward to what you’ll cook.”
“You won’t be disappointed.”
Kaon looked at the two, feeling more and more bewildered as the conversation went on.
A chef from Ferdinand and a princess from Ingelos were having friendly banter; all the while, he found the situation so strange that he couldn’t adapt quickly enough.
‘Was Albert such a talkative person?’
Although he had lived in this mansion his entire life, he had only had a handful of personal conversations with the chef, who usually stayed in the kitchen, enjoying his work.
Seeing Alessia, whom Kaon thought would be ostracized, get along well with the employees, made him happy.
Her personality was so pleasant that she deserved to be loved so brightly and naturally.
He began to sincerely hope that she would stay in Ferdinand for as close to eternity as possible.
The two of them left the dining room and headed side by side to the training annex.
Kaon didn’t really have to go right away, but Alessia said she had business to attend to, so he followed along on the pretext of personal training.
“I heard that you will be participating in the inspections starting in autumn,” he began, aiming to let her know that he had joined too.
She would find out anyway, but he wanted to tell her ahead of time so she wouldn’t be surprised to see him.
“Yes, that is correct.
Apparently it’s a difficult to go out right now.”
“Isn’t training difficult?”
“Actually, I think it’s closer to education than training.
I don’t know much about monsters yet, so I’m learning in many ways,” she replied excitedly—though there was nothing exciting about dealing with monsters or with knights who weren’t welcoming.
“It’s not just studying, but I often meet and work with the knights.
I ask them a lot of questions.
because I don’t have any practical experience.”
“Everyone said you were working hard.”
“…! Really? Who?” Alessia stopped walking and looked up at him, her eyes so passionate that it made Kaon flinch.
“Maurice and Niels told me.”
“I see! I’m really grateful to the both of them for their help.
Sir Bonello is a bit blunt with his words, but he’s a great listener.
And Dame Leroy…” she trailed off.
Kaon knew what the issue was immediately.
“Actually, I also decided to join you in the inspections,” he changed the topic.
Alessia’s eyes widened.
“Kaon? You said that knights can only join after they turn seventeen, right?”
“That…” Kaon hadn’t expected her to remember that.
“…I’m an exception because I belong to an elite knight unit.”
In Ferdinand, elite knights had the highest rank.
They served as the commanders of each unit, followed by the senior knights, then ordinary knights, then finally apprentice knights.
Below them were the pages, so they were not knights yet.
Kaon became an elite knight in the winter of the year he turned twelve, all through his own skills.
Of course, he didn’t go out to the monster forest often, but his being an elite knight was a good reason.
Besides, he’d gone on an inspection with his father before and had experience in dealing with monsters, so it technically was not a blatant lie.
“Ah! Right, I’ve heard that among the elite knights, you are the youngest.
I also heard that there are less than ten of you, which means that you must be a prodigy.”
It was a little embarrassing to hear all that praise when he’d just used his position as an excuse.
The word ‘prodigy’ made Kaon flinch.
It was a word he had heard a lot when he was younger, but now he didn’t deserve to be called that.
“I’m not a prodigy.
I just like swordsmanship a bit more than average.”
“Like…” Alessia’s face hardened briefly, then melted back into a smile.
“Just because you like something doesn’t mean you can do it well, right? I think you’re simply naturally talented.”
The atmosphere became a little tense then, but it was too subtle to analyze quickly.
“Anyway, that’s great.
I feel more at ease now that I know you’ll be with me.”
Kaon, still contemplating what had just happened, completely forgot what he had been thinking about.
‘That’s a relief.’
It appeared that he was right to have gone to Leonida.
“Young Master!” Madeleine called out to him as he was on his way back from the annex.
“You’re here just in time! Have some of this.”
“What is that?”
She handed over the glass she was holding, the liquid inside a dark color.
Kaon put it near his nose to check what it was and immediately felt nauseous.
“Ugh! What even is this?” At this point however, he was no longer genuinely curious, he just wanted the foul liquid as far away from him as possible.
“It’s my special health concoction.
It’s a masterpiece that combines the powers of the manua root, the jacinthe fruit, and other herbs that are beneficial for the body.”
Well, Kaon didn’t know for sure if it would be good for his body, but he was sure that it would be really bad for his stomach.
He considered that it might be better to live a short life of pain than to drink whatever that was and become healthy.
“Why did you make this all of a sudden?” he asked, trying to distract Madeleine.
“Lady Leo has been so busy these days.
I prepared it because she looks so haggard now.”
“Ah… I see…”
Kaon was certain that Leonida’s stomach would be upset by that juice.
In his opinion, it was better to be haggard than incapacitated.
Although he still felt a bit betrayed by recent developments, she was still his only sister.
He couldn’t in good conscience let his busy sister drink that.
He resolved to stop Madeleine from bringing the glass to Leonida, but…
“I just gave some to Lady Leo, so it’s perfect that you arrived too.”
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