Bon Appétit - Chapter 18
“We will soon arrive at the empire’s capital.”
Luana’s eyes sparkled at the Duke’s words. Although she was born a princess, she lived only in the abandoned palace. It was only an old castle to see nature. She could not help but wonder about the capital of the empire, which was so splendid.
Luana clung to the window and looked out. As she passed through the huge gate, the well-maintained wide streets and busy streets caught her eye. Even the decorated objects passed through the sparkling glass windows, catching her attention.
‘Now I feel reincarnated in a fantasy novel.’
“Long live the empire!”
Petals and people’s cheers fell on the street where the carriages ran. It was a tragedy for some, comedy for them. It was ironic to think so, but Luana decided to enjoy the present for now.
And finally, the capital of the empire. She arrived at the Emperor’s Castle at its deepest point.
Luana saw Ingrid again, which she had never seen during her long journey. She was forced to change her clothes by the maids, yet she was still beautiful even though she was emaciated.
“Are you okay?”
A low voice asked Luana. How much meaning does that short word have? Ingrid, whose kingdom collapsed, lost her parents and was finally forced to be taken away. Luana could only guess what it would be like.
So she couldn’t answer.
It was because she felt like she was deceiving Ingrid, even if it was okay. Luana simply stood awkwardly alongside Ingrid and awaited her meeting with the Emperor.
“Once again, don’t fall for him.”
The Duke said so and entered first. Then, Luana and Ingrid entered at intervals. Even in such a situation, Ingrid stepped forward confidently, looking like a king. Somehow Luana felt a little sorry for her.
Luana took a deep breath and followed in the footsteps of Ingrid. As they walked down the red road and reached the end, the Emperor, sitting on the high throne, said.
“Welcome to the Empire.”
The Emperor’s voice beat in the ear.
It was such a seductive voice that it tickled Luana’s ears. There was a distinct difference from the harsh and bizarre voice of the Duke. Luana barely resisted the desire to rub her ear and bowed her head. Although she was curious about the emperor’s face, her life was more important to her. But unlike Luana, Ingrid did not bow.
“That’s the word that comes out of your mouth.”
Ingrid said in a frosty voice.
“It’s not something I can talk about.”
The voice against him is still relaxed. At first glance, Ingrid’s hand grabbed her skirt. She was holding it so tightly that her knuckles turned white.
“It’s not something you can’t talk about? How can you say that?”
“If you had followed what I said earlier, there would have been no problem.”
“Is that what you really talk about?”
“Even a dog barking would be better than your words!”
The atmosphere in the audience grew cold as the words vomited with anger. But no one could easily draw a sword because the Emperor did not tell them to cut off her head. That was how great his power was.
“Hahaha, what a wonderful person you are.”
The Emperor was the only one smiling in the cold atmosphere.
‘Oh, this crazy bastard.’
Who would laugh in such a situation? Luana knew it, but he seemed crazier in person. She felt sorry for Ingrid, who that madman caught.
Her clenched hands began to tremble. Meanwhile, the Emperor praised the Duke for his contribution.
“Sir Legion, you’ve done a great job.”
“No, you always do exactly what I want. You need a reward.”
“I just did what I had to do.”
“But I’m sorry to let it slide.”
“If that’s the case, just keep the promise you made last time.”
“Didn’t you say I can have anything I want in the Kingdom?”
“Oh, that’s true.”
The emperor replied with a nod.
“Yeah, what do you want?”
The Duke looked this way at the Emperor’s words.
“I will take the youngest princess of the Kingdom.”
“The youngest princess?”
The Emperor’s gaze naturally moved with the Duke’s and found Luana crouching behind Ingrid.
“Oh, she wasn’t a maid?”
It was natural to think so because she was dressed as a maid, and she had her head down.
“Raise your head.”
Luana looked up with hesitation.
‘Ack! It’s blinding!’
A beauty Luana had never encountered in the world was looking down at her. The Emperor had the appearance and power of an angel who came down to earth.
“Hmm? Is she the Duke’s taste?”
What an insult! It was very rude to say such a thing to a person. However, because her opponent was the Emperor, Luana pouted her lips slightly.
“Yeah, what are you best at?”
A sudden question flew by. After blinking her eyes for a moment, Luana answered calmly.
“I’m good at cooking.”
The Emperor laughed again at the words.
“Aren’t you a princess?”
“I’m an abandoned princess.”
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“You were abandoned?”
“I haven’t seen my father’s face since I was born, so I must have been abandoned.”
“I see. You’re good at cooking. Hopefully, the Duke is not against it.”
Even the Emperor knew about the curse of the Duke. He said that, but the Duke’s reaction was strange.
Seeing him, the Emperor was curious again.
“Then let’s cook.”
“You said you are best at cooking, so I became curious.”
And when Luana came to her senses, she was standing in the kitchen of the Imperial Palace. The chefs in the middle of cooking were being pushed out and stared at Luana! In addition, knights were closely attached to the surrounding area and monitored.
‘Cooking in this situation!’
It was nice to be able to cook, but things turned weird.
‘No, let’s think positively!’
This is the Imperial Palace’s kitchen! It was said that no material was not there. If not this opportunity, when will she see this again? Luana got excited and started rummaging through the kitchen.
“The knife is great! Oh, my God, look at the size of the oven! I can shove people in!”
Luana clasped her hands together and uttered a series of exclamations.
‘If only this was my kitchen!’
But in reality, this was someone else’s kitchen. Luana’s shoulders drooped when she realized the fact.
‘No, let’s cheer up!’
The Emperor asked for a dish. He might chop off Luana’s throat if it wasn’t the right dish. The Emperor was so selfish and self-centered, so that was enough. Of course, the Duke would stop him, but it was best not to have a dangerous situation.
“Alright, what should I make?”
There was a limit to the dishes she could make by herself. Neither the Emperor would expect Luana to set everything up for him by herself. If so, she thought it would be better to make one dish.
“What should I make?”
There happened to be quality pork. There’s also a lot of oil and eggs!
“Then that’s it!”
Luana liked a basic sauce, but not all ingredients were available. So, she decided to go with the chili sauce, easy to make.
‘There are enough ingredients!’
Luana’s hands began to move in a hurry.
After Luana and Ingrid had left, the Emperor and the Duke were left alone. The Emperor sighed, and the Duke asked,
“What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking, how delicious the Duke’s girl cooking is?”
“That’s not how our relationship is.”
“She is a person who’s involved in the curse.”
At the Duke’s words, the Emperor quickly inferred the situation.
“She is an apprentice witch.”
“Hmm, and she is great at cooking?”
“No matter how good someone at cooking, it doesn’t mean anything to you, isn’t it?”
The Emperor smiled and looked at the Duke. He had been doing it without realizing the situation.
“I can taste her dishes.”
“That’s why you’ve gained so much weight. You used to be so skinny that I didn’t even want to look, but you’re much better now. All right. I value my knight, so I’ll let you take the youngest princess as you wish.”
“Bring her in from time to time instead.”
“Who dares try to threaten me?”
“She is a witch.”
“Does that mean she can threaten me?”
The Emperor asked back with a smile. He was at the highest position in the Empire, and many escorts always accompanied him. He seemed to be alone with the Duke even now, but there was an escort hidden out of sight. Besides, the Emperor himself was an excellent swordsman even though he wasn’t as excellent as the Duke.
What he said was not arrogant but true.
“It’s not like that.”
“Okay then. I’m curious about the witch’s cooking, too.”
Most of all, the Emperor was curious about something else. He was pretending not to, but the Duke was flinching every time he talked about the youngest princess.
‘It is said that animals are tamed with food.’
And the little witch seemed to be on the way to doing it. So the Emperor couldn’t help but be interested, and Ingrid, whom he longed for, was accompanied by an unusual witch.
“I won’t be bored for a while.”
“Don’t worry; I will definitely hand over the youngest princess.”
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“Please do so.”
“Don’t you trust me?”
“…I believe you.”
The Duke let out a small sigh and looked at his lord. Maybe it’s because the Emperor had lived a life with everything. He had a heart of contentment only when he had his hands on what he wanted. For that reason, he was also repeating invasions into other countries.
Therefore, even though Legion knew that the Emperor would keep his words, he had no choice but to be a little anxious.