Novel Name : Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit - Chapter 4

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Mille-Feuille Nabe is a simple Japanese hot pot that is made with napa cabbage and pork belly slices cooked in a savory dashi broth.
To live, Luana lied.
“You just said you are not. How do I believe you’re a witch?”
‘You didn’t believe me when I said no earlier, and now you still don’t believe me when I say yes. You don’t have any friends, do you? How can you act so superior with such a character!’ Luana cried inwardly and lifted her left forearm. When she rolled up her sleeves, there was a pattern that looked like a dark red snake. It seemed so believable on the surface, that Luana had no doubt that the Duke would doubt it.
But the truth was, she got it when she was trying to cook with a metal pot that looked like the most expensive one in the abandoned palace. The nanny was frightened when she had a scar on her only merit, her fine skin. But Luana excitedly clapped her hands seeing the pretty looking pattern and then played by pretending to be a Black Dragon for a while. She said with a regretful expression while thinking about memories of the past.
“It’s actually a witch’s mark.”
“Then did you use magic to make the jerky?”
“No, it’s just my skills… No, you’re right! It was a magic jerky!”
“Isn’t it harmful for the body?”
“No, it’s not harmful at all!”
‘It’s just a normal dish, so how the hell can it be harmful!’ After working a few nights to try something delicious, she bought expensive meat with the money she received and dried it carefully. If that didn’t taste good, it’s just too unfair! Then no one can keep her from saying her piece of mind.
“It is rather actually good for the body. Because I used pure beef from the Kingdom and then aged it in a clean environment with a refreshing breeze!”
As she talked about the food, the Duke who was caressing the tongs with a boring expression, stopped moving.
“It’s really tasty! Besides, what went into the beef jerky is my secret seasoning! It’s a special seasoning that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It was what added so much flavor to the jerky!”
“That’s not an insect by-product, is it?”
“No. Why would I put that in food?”
“Witches are good at putting such things in.”
‘Yeah, maybe I should feed you something like that.’ Concealing her wicked heart, Luana smiled furtively.
“I didn’t put in anything like that. I wouldn’t put something like that in my own food.”
“Then do you put it in other people’s food?”
She must say, he was really a good talker, but as an underdog in this game, Luana just answered calmly.
“No, I don’t. I’m too lazy to cook twice.”
“Okay, then.”
Luana looked nervously at Legion’s face
“Cook for me. I’ll let you live if I like it.”
“Really? Really?”
“I don’t lie.”
“Then swear on your family!”
“I swear.”
But she was nervous because it was too easy.
“Oh, really?”
Come to think of it, this madman could destroy his family if he needed to.
“Let’s do a pinky promise!”
“Pinky promise?”
“It’s making a promise by interlocking fingers.”
“Your fingers?”
“No! I mean the Duke’s fingers.”
“My finger?”
The tongs in the peacock’s hand moved and made a whistling noise. She felt as if it would take her fingers away.
“No, it’d be me who would rather bet on my family.”
Luana quickly changed her posture.
So the Duke and Luana came to an agreement. He picked up Luana who was sitting on the floor, clutching his feet and then threw her over his shoulder like a sack.
“Ugh! Ugh! Eck!”
As she groaned because it was very uncomfortable to climb the stairs like this, the Duke rolled the tongs in his hands and said.
“Oh, I’ll be quiet. Shh!”
‘But why are you still holding the tongs?’ Luana was very curious, but she kept her mouth shut in fear he would use it on her.
* * *
Luana was forcibly dragged into the kitchen. The Palace Kitchen was originally used to make the meals for the king, so it was much different from the kitchen of her abandoned palace. It was much cleaner and had more tools and materials.
“But what should I make?”
‘If I can’t make something delicious, he wouldn’t let me go. No, wait! Why do I have to even worry about this? Luana who was pulling her hair out in stress, straightened herself as she felt a gaze from behind. She had forgotten about the guards who came in with her.
‘Let’s just make what I want to eat now! The food is best made when you make something you want to eat!’
Luana randomly searched for the ingredients.
Hmm.. Fresh beef… And Napa cabbage. The freshness here was different from that of her abandoned  palace! First, she brewed the broth by using anchovies, mushrooms, and green onions.
The experts may put some kind of secret ingredient here, but she wasn’t exactly a cook in her previous life! She was just a single woman who liked to eat alone, so she did it in her own way.
With a serious expression, Luana layered the Napa cabbage and sliced the beef. Meanwhile, the broth was boiling . The savory smell of the anchovy broth spread through the kitchen.
It would have been better with some perilla leaves. With a bit of regret, she put the cabbage and beef carefully in the pot. Seeing the layered cabbage and meat made her feel better.
In the middle of the empty space, the sliced mushrooms were placed and hot broth was poured in and made to boil again. The white cabbage turned translucent and the red meat into a brownish gray color. It looked very appetizing.
“It’s done!”
Luana put the pot on the tray with a satisfied smile. She put on a large metal lid and pushed the tray herself just in case it cooled down. “Oh shit! I made a mistake. I made what I wanted to eat, but I can’t eat it now!” Her words were followed by a growling sound coming from her stomach.
‘It’s so distressing. I have something to eat right in front of me, but I can’t. It is such a shame.’ Luana dragged the tray with a half-dead look to the king’s office.
When she arrived there, she saw the splendid office that the king used. Seeing this, anger soared in her heart towards the king, who gave her as little as he could. If he had given a little more, she could have at least fooled around a little and bought all good ingredients without working separately. She was very angry!
Knock, knock
“The meal is here!”
As she cried out with heartache, the voice of the Duke came from inside.
“Come in.”
Since it was an office, there was no table. Instead, there was a desk, so the food was laid out on top of it. There was only one plate and sauce enough for one person beside the pot. The Duke stared at the pot that Luana had placed on the desk. When she opened the lid, the hot white steam rose up and saw the Mille-Feuille Nabe blooming like a flower.
“What kind of food is this?”
“This is the dish I created.”
Yes, it’s the creation of Luana here, since she was an abandoned princess. But it was kind of special for her. She remembered her previous life! She made this then when she thought she couldn’t do it.
“That looks weird.”
This guy! She had put her life at stake to prepare this dish. In others’ eyes, she was nothing more than a crazy Princess. But Luana was confident! It’s a combination of meat, cabbage, and broth! It can’t be bad!
“You try it first.”
‘What? Do you think you’re a court lady now?’ Luana grumbled and smiled brightly on the outside and picked up a portion of the nabe with chopsticks. The broth dripped from the broad-ripe cabbage stuffed with the meat. She picked it up, then dipped it in the sauce and pushed it all into her mouth in one big bite. The cabbage crumbled and the broth leaked out.
“Oh, it’s hot!”
‘I should have cooled it down first!’ Because of the heat, she jumped from her seat, but chewed it again when it had somewhat cooled down in her mouth. The taste of the sweet cabbage and the delicious broth filled her mouth. A savory taste came from the high quality beef that was cooked so well that it could be easily chewed. It was a fantastic combination when she dipped it in the sauce that she had prepared in advance. Since there was no soy sauce here, she had prepared a peanut sauce that was easier to make and it went well with the broth.
‘Whenever I have time, I should try making some sauce.’ Luana took a pledge while swallowing what was in her mouth. Earlier, because of the lack of money, she couldn’t make sauces fearing to make a mistake.
“It’s delicious!”
Luana was more elated.
“So eat it before it gets cold!”
“It may not be an immediate poison, so we’ll have to wait a little longer.”
“Then if it’s cold, it’ll be tasteless! Any food tastes the best when it’s freshly made! I ate it too!”
‘It’s quite common for an abandoned Princess to abandon her words.”
“That may be the case. But do I look like someone who would sacrifice for the royal family?”
Luana held out her chest proudly.
“That’s… no.”
The Duke used a knife and fork to take a portion and placed it on the plate. He also wanted to eat something hot, but seeing Luana jump, he cooled it down properly and put it in his mouth.
‘What does this taste like?’
The Duke unwittingly touched his forehead by the sudden surge of sensations. He hadn’t had a proper meal for a long time, but suddenly he found it hard to handle. But that didn’t mean he wanted to give up eating because it was delicious.
“Is it delicious?”
Until now, she lived only with her nanny, so she didn’t feel much, but food was not the only thing she enjoyed eating. It was also fun when other people ate together and said it was delicious. Happiness is doubled when shared! In addition, the Duke was very thin compared to his size, so it was worth feeding.
“I don’t know.”
Is it delicious or not.
“But it’s not a bad taste.”
“You have a lot of praise.”
She pouted and tried to protest sarcastically, but she couldn’t do any more. She knew very well how scary the Duke was. Luana decided to restrain herself.
“It’s still delicious even if you boil the noodles in it after you finish it all!”
“Noodles? Are you talking about pasta?”
“No! Other than that, there are thicker noodles, but if you put it in the leftover soup and boil it, it tastes like heaven!”
Luana gathered her hands together and as she talked about it, her eyes glistened.
The Duke slowly ate all the leftovers. Then gracefully put down the knife and fork and stood up from his seat. He came closer to Luana. Even though he was a little short, he was still taller than her and she could feel the pressure as he approached. Luana slipped back unknowingly, but was blocked by the wall.
‘No way, Is he not going to let me go because it was bad! But how’s that possible? The nanny said it was delicious!’
Hah! No way! Did the nanny lie to me?
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