Bon Appétit - Chapter 28
Even after returning from the imperial palace, the thoughts of Ingrid did not leave her head. That’s probably the last time she saw her. Their time together was short, but they seemed to have grown attached.
However, for Luana, there was nothing else she could do. If she wanted to go to the imperial palace, she needed the duke’s permission. To see Ingrid there, she’ll also have to get permission from the emperor. Her heart was pounding, but she couldn’t help it.
Luana shook her head.
‘Let’s think about the problem first!’
She suddenly stood up and dusted her clothes. She put the cloak over her pretty dress that she tried for the first time and was ready to go out.
The butler asked with a knock on the door.
“Are you ready?”
“The duke is waiting.”
When she followed the butler outside, the duke was waiting for Luana in front of the carriage. That’s right; today is the day the market opens once every five days. It was the day the duke decided to take Luana to the market.
As he was always wearing a black uniform, he was especially wearing lighter color today. Black hair, red eyes, well-tanned skin, a white shirt, and black pants matched perfectly. After Luana looked lost for a while, she returned to her sense and ran quickly to the carriage.
The duke extended his hand to Luana. She stared at him blankly, wondering what he wanted her to do, so he grabbed her hand and helped her enter the carriage.
‘As expected of a knight!’
Soon the duke went into the carriage, and the wheels began to roll; Luana couldn’t suppress her excitement. She had sneaked out of the kingdom palace and went to the market, but this was at the empire! According to what she had researched, there are no items that are not available in the market of the empire. It was the same with the food ingredients.
The Duke prepared most of the ingredients, but it was just okay. What Luana meant was there are no unique ingredients.
‘Maybe I can find the ingredients from my original world!’
It was a situation where Luana couldn’t help but be excited. A small hum resounded through the noise of the carriage rolling. The duke looked at Luana at the sound. She looked out of the window, humming, looking very happy. So he looked out of the window quietly, too. It’s just a scene that he always saw, but the fact that it looks different from someone else was a surprise.
The carriage stopped a little far from the market.
Again the Duke extended his hand, but Luana jumped first. The dress that went up to her ankles fluttered in the wind. It looked like a butterfly dancing in the spring breeze, and he paused for a moment.
However, the Duke laughed for a moment as he saw Luana speaking in her usual cheerful voice. For a moment, he seemed to have misunderstood something.
Since the entrance of the market, Luana could not close her mouth. The scale was different from the kingdom’s market, and there were many people.
“Ah! Uh! Ack!”
Luana, who had been bumped by people thrice in a short time, looked teary. Although she was careful, it was difficult to avoid everyone passing by. Sometimes, she was swept away by the waves of people and almost became distant from the duke.
“U-uh, that was close.”
Luana grabbed the end of the duke’s sleeve and gasped. The duke found it a little funny. She might be able to escape if she lets go of her hand and hides among the crowd.
‘What on earth do you believe in and stick to me like this? I’m keeping you alive for now out of necessity, but I don’t know what will happen later.’
It was useless to run away because there were watchers that the duke planted here and there anyway, but Luana did not know that, yet she was firmly attached to the duke.
“Oh! Look at that!”
Even if she wandered away, she always came back and grabbed the duke’s sleeve. Watching at her silently, he put his hand on Luana’s shoulder. A man who was just passing by was blocked by the duke.
Luana, who was giving her strength because she thought she might bump into people again, opened her eyes wide at the unexpected situation. The duke began to wrap around her, making her easier to move. She grabbed his wrist as she was about to be swept away by the waves of people again.
Luana uttered an exclamation in her heart. He was being gentle to Luana, which made her heart pound. Because of that, she almost forgot the most important purpose she went to the market: shopping.
‘No, I can’t!’
This was an opportunity she had; she couldn’t spend it in vain. Luana looked around the market with her eyes wide open. Certainly, there seemed to be nothing lacking in the empire’s market.
Among them were cacao beans.
“Oh my goodness!”
Chocolate! Luana touched the cacao beans with an ecstatic look.
“Oh, you have a good eye. Would you like to buy cocoa?”
The shopkeeper who saw her spoke to Luana.
“It’s made by grinding cacao beans. It is imported from another country; you can drink it by mixing it with warm water and adding spices. That will relieve your fatigue.”
The spices recommended by the shopkeeper were far from sweet. Come to think of it; she did not eat sweet chocolate when it was first developed. If so, there was a high possibility that the powder would not be as sweet as cocoa.
“Can I try?”
The shopkeeper readily gave her a little bit of the powder.
The powder was too much.
‘How do you make chocolate?’
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She knew the process of pulverizing the cacao beans, but she didn’t know the specifics of what happened after that. She knew she would roughly separate the oil and the cacao mass and put it back together.
‘Is it possible to make it by hand?’
Luana had doubts.
‘Can I make it by myself?’
She thought so but didn’t want to give up because she hadn’t tried. Luana placed her hand on the duke’s arm.
“Please buy it for me!”
The little hand on the duke’s hard arm was hot from her excitement. At first, the hand that was simply placed on his arm soon began to tap on his arm.
“Please buy it for me!”
As soon as the Duke said yes, Luana said to bring all the cacao beans and cocoa as soon as possible.
“It’s quite expensive, isn’t it?”
He is a duke. He can easily pay even though it’s expensive and it was not wrong. The duke calmly held out the gold coins and bought everything Luana wanted.
She couldn’t carry it alone because the amount was too big, but it was a good shopping. The shopkeeper was surprised when he heard the delivery address but soon looked convinced.
Luana has been in a good mood ever since she bought it, and then she became more motivated and started looking around the market.
The market was like a supermarket. There was nothing missing, and she had a lot of fun walking around. Was that so? Luana was distracted again. When she found the avocados, she broke away from the duke and headed there, and her foot was caught on a stone.
Luana screamed and closed her eyes tightly, frightened at the imminent ground. However, the pain did not come as expected.
“Are you okay?”
It was because someone caught Luana. When she raised her head, she could see the sparkling purple eyes through the deeply pressed hood.
‘The eyes look like jewels.’
As she stared into the eyes in admiration, he helped Luana stand up.
“You have to be careful.”
He spoke in a calm voice and fixed her dress. Although a stranger touched her, she did not feel strangely offended.
Her face turned red because she was embarrassed in front of a stranger.
“No, it’s a matter of course. You look a lot like your mother, by the way.”
“It’s the same face Elanya had when she was young.”
As he said so, the man smiled faintly.
She is of humble origin and is liked by the king, the poor maid who spends her nights and bears his child. Without much presence, she gave birth to a baby girl and died of excessive bleeding. Elanya. It was the name of her mother who gave birth to Luana.
Her nanny used to say Elanya and Luana look alike. Later, although Luana rarely talked about it because she hated it, the nanny once talked about it.
Luana slowly blinked her eyes. Why does the stranger she met at the market know her mother’s name?
“How do you know my mother?”
The man replied to the question.
“Because Elanya’s child is also our child.”
At the same time, the man stepped back. And there was a sword in its sheath that took its place.
“Who are you?”
The duke who approached me asked with a cold voice. But the man just smiled and didn’t answer.
“Reveal your identity.”
The duke then pulled Luana and set her up behind him. Everything Luana is curious about hasn’t been answered yet! He tried to step forward again, but was stopped by another person. A knight hiding in the middle of the market came out.
“Luana, see you next time.”
The man looked at Luana without paying any attention to the duke. Then, he went straight to the other side of the complex market. His steps seemed slow, but when he came to his senses, he was nowhere to be seen. It was bizarre.
“Do you know him?”
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“No, I’ve never seen him before.”
“Do you swear?”
The duke’s words moved Luana for a moment, but she cleared her mind and answered.
The duke’s sharp eyes turned toward the man’s disappearance.