Bon Appétit - Chapter 20
“I’ll show you the room.”
The butler said politely and led the way.
“Yes, thank you.”
Luana awkwardly followed the butler. It seemed like this was the first time in her life that someone guided her so politely. It was ironic that she was treated as a princess in another country, which she had not received in her home country.
“You can use this room.”
The room that the butler showed Luana was not even comparable to the room she had used before. The room was spacious and large, and the interior was carefully decorated. She could tell how much thought was put into the convenience of the person who was staying.
“Is there anything you need?”
“No, this is enough.”
However, it was not the room that made Luana feel burdened. It was the butler! She doesn’t know what to do with the butler’s warm gaze.
No, Luana understands. The butler, who had served the duke for a long time and had not given interest, brought Luana. She’s even a princess of another kingdom. Although her appearance is relatively standard if matched to the Duke, she is still a woman.
If someone would think about it happily, they might think of the two as a couple.
Luana wanted to make an excuse that she wasn’t in a relationship with the duke. She is just a poor woman brought in for cooking!
‘But it’s weird to talk to him about things that no one asks! Excuse me, I’m not the Duke’s lover.’
As expected, it’s weird! While Luana was groaning and contemplating, the butler did his job well.
“I’ll arrange you a maid.”
“There’s no need to be thankful. We’re just doing what we have to do.”
At the same time, his gaze was full of joy.
‘I mean, it’s not like that!’
“The duke may seem cold on the outside, but he is very sincere.”
Naturally, praise for the duke followed. Although he was a cold-hearted person, he was widely evaluated as to whether he treated his own people well.
“He is so kind to his people.”
‘Was he kind? I’m not sure.’
In the first place, Luana met the Duke for a short period. For that reason, she didn’t know what kind of character the duke was originally. She read the novel, but how can she grasp the whole person in one sentence?
“He is handsome and has excellent swordsmanship skills.”
‘Doesn’t he catch people with his outstanding skills?’
Therefore, Luana was withholding her detailed assessment of the duke. Still, when she was listening to the butler, rebuttals kept coming out in her head without realizing it.
‘Hold it in, hold it in.’
“He has a lot of wealth.”
‘It’s not about his wealth.’
Now, it was just a relationship where she got a little money on the pretext of cooking.
“He is very considerate and kind.”
In the end, it returned to similar praise like an infinite loop.
“I’m tired now, so I want to rest.”
“Well, I guess I’ve been holding you on too much. Please rest well.”
Luana managed to separate from the butler, who was praising the duke. She came in to rest, but somehow she got more tired.
She has nothing to do with the duke. It was Ingrid who the duke would fall in love with, and Luana was just a poor reincarnation who had been dragged by accident. Said to be the duke’s sweetheart was outrageous.
Luana sighed deeply and headed to bed; suddenly, she heard her stomach growling. Come to think of it, she hasn’t had a meal since she ate some sweet and sour pork at the palace. Just in case, she opened the door and looked out the hallway, and there were no guards.
It was awkward to wake someone up and ask for a meal late at night. After all, Luana didn’t grow up in that environment her whole life.
So Luana came out of the room carefully. Then she started going downstairs because she thought usually the kitchen was downstairs.
It didn’t take long to find the kitchen. Fortunately, the door was not locked. She opened the large door and carefully entered to see a huge kitchen space. The Imperial Palace alone was splendid, but this seemed more prominent than that.
The various cooking tools were lined up and well-maintained. Luana saw tools that she had never seen before. It was something she had never imagined seeing in the abandoned palace.
It seemed like there was nothing she couldn’t make. After sweeping the tools one by one, Luana found the leftover ingredients. It was some bread, onions, salt, pepper, and milk.
‘This is enough for bread porridge!’
First, she cut the bread into small pieces. Then, she stir-fried the onion, added the bread, and poured the milk. Lastly, she put just enough seasoning. After it was finished, she opened the pot’s lid, and hot steam rose.
‘There’s nothing more perfect than this for a light meal.’
Luana lifted the whole pot, and she carefully returned to the way she came to the kitchen. Then, she stopped walking because the scenery outside the hallway was so beautiful.
“Shall I go out and eat?”
After a moment of hesitation, Luana went to the garden through the back door. Then she found a suitable chair and put the pot on it.
She scooped the bread porridge into the bowl and took a bite and the sound of her stomach that was growling subsided.
The dish’s visuals are pretty dull, but the taste was good. When Luana lifted her head, she could see the night sky full of countless stars. Beautiful scenery and delicious food. Her mind was at peace.
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But for a moment, she saw someone standing under a streetlamp in the garden a little further away. She flinched at first, not knowing who it was, but she soon recognized the person’s identity.
‘Is that the duke?’
It was him. He seemed to have noticed Luana soon. The long legs moved, and the duke stood right next to her.
“What are you doing here at night?”
At the duke’s words, Luana calmly showed the pot.
“Then you should’ve called your maid.”
“I don’t live a life where I call someone to work.”
“Aren’t you a princess?”
“I’m an abandoned princess.”
Then Luana put the spoon back into the bowl. The Duke’s eyes turned to the pot. Come to think of it, Luana doesn’t know if the Duke has already had dinner or not. She couldn’t prepare dinner as she was so busy after arriving at the mansion.
“Did you have dinner?”
“It’s not good to starve.”
However, since the duke had already eaten delicious food once, returning to the old day was not easy. He could no longer eat the food he had been forced to eat. Though he thought he shouldn’t rely on the witch, he kept looking for her.
Luana looked up at the Duke. She can’t believe he didn’t eat dinner because to Luana, to skip a meal is such a pain. She naturally pointed to the pot.
“Would you like to have this? Don’t you think we can wash the spoon in the fountain?”
“The fountain is not a place to wash dishes.”
“A quick wash would be fine.”
As she spoke, Luana went to the fountain to wash the spoon. And she proudly held out the spoon and a pot to the duke. He seemed to hesitate for a moment, but he accepted them.
“It looks like this but it’s still delicious.”
The still-warm bread porridge melted softly in his mouth. The savory yet sweet taste warmed his entire body. It was his first time eating this dish. To be exact, he was a duke, so there was nothing he hadn’t eaten, but this dish was the first time he tasted it. After all, those dishes that Luana cooked never existed in the world.
“After research, it turns out that some of the dishes you cook don’t exist in this world. Is it a witch’s dish?”
“I don’t think any witch can do it well like me, though?”
Luana replied confidently. She doesn’t know if there is another person who is reincarnated like her, but if not, this is knowledge only she knows.
“Is that so?”
“So please treat me with respect.”
“Can’t you just think of me as a chef?”
Luana said with a pout on her lips. She’s not even a witch in the first place.
“I’ll think about it.”
In the dim light of the streetlamp, the duke quietly continued to eat. It was only bread porridge, but the movement of taking a bite and eating seemed reverent. Most of all, it was the image of a person who knew that food was precious.
“Did you suffer a lot?”
That may be why such a question popped up.
“Was it painful?”
The duke pulled up the corners of his mouth and smiled curiously. No matter what he ate, he couldn’t taste anything. There were a few things he could taste, but it was terrible. He couldn’t eat properly because he felt it would be better to eat poison. But if he doesn’t eat, he’ll die. Besides, the pain of starvation was indescribable, so he was forced to eat.
He lived by putting disgusting things in his mouth. He has developed a habit of swallowing without chewing to make it even a little less painful. It was a terrible life.
In that short sentence, Luana read his pain. Her heart throbbed. As someone knowing the happiness of eating better than anyone else, she couldn’t help but respond to the Duke’s pain.
“I made a promise when I was young. When I grow up, I will definitely catch and kill witches. When I grew up a little older, the plan became more specific. Numerous torture methods ran through my mind.”
Luana suddenly got goosebumps on her back.
‘In fact, maybe I should run away now?’
Luana thought so, but she made eye contact with the duke’s red eyes as if he had read her mind.
“But no matter how hard I searched, no witch was found. The torment of the curse only increased day by day. That kind of situation made me change my mind.”
“H-how did it change?”
“How do you think it’s changed?”
His eyes glistened with bright red reminiscent of a predator, and Luana unconsciously wrapped her arms around her body. The duke didn’t say more, but somehow she seemed to know the answer.
That’s probably the reason why he didn’t kill Luana.
“Then what if I run away?”
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The duke laughed.
“You can’t run away now.”
“Did it look like there was no one watching?”
Suddenly, the wind blew from somewhere and messed up her hair.