Bon Appétit - Chapter 48
After Luana left Gerald’s side, he also left his house. It was not a simple trip. He intended to revisit all the places he had been with Elanya. He sometimes stops by other witches on the way. It was all to find out how to lift the curse. The duke was displeased, but he made it a decision because Luana was by his side.
When the curse is lifted, there will be no excuse for the duke to hold onto Luana. He might set Luana free. Gerald clicked his tongue at the thought of the duke who had clung to Luana. He recalled Luana, who said she was not in love with the duke.
He traced the trail of Elanya. And finally, he reached the village where they had lived together when they were young. It was a quiet, closed town. At first glance, it seemed like a simple and peaceful village, but the people living here were ignorant. This was because there were no people to educate them and deliver news from outside. Knowing nothing is sometimes scary.
For that reason, Elanya’s childhood was not smooth either. At the entrance to the village, Gerald did not go inside but turned into the forest. He went to the hideout where the two often used to hide and play.
Deep in the forest is a small open space between the thick woods. He still remembers it now. The place was still familiar. He felt like young Elanya was going to run out of nowhere. And then she’ll shout.
He couldn’t help smiling around. Gerald took a breather sitting on a flat stone in the corner. He looked back at his memories. Just because he was a long-lived wizard didn’t mean he remembered everything. No, he can’t. His body couldn’t hold out to remember everything.
‘Gerald, I will have a wonderful love growing up.’
In her childhood, Elanya was an innocent girl who believed in her love. As she grew up, even when betrayed by that love, she believed in it until the end.
Gerald recalled what Elanya had said one by one. And he remembered the words of the witches he visited on his way here.
“You want to break the curse?”
They were all puzzled. They didn’t understand Gerald’s insistence on breaking the curse by his kind. However, it has shown enough favors.
“Then maybe it’s love?”
“What does love have to do with curses?”
“Elanya liked romantic things, didn’t she? Considering the situation where the witch’s curse was placed there. Could it be like this?”
Eat food prepared by loved ones.
Elanya is a gourmet witch, so it was a plausible story. Usually, witches use their main abilities to curse and release them. But Gerald looked displeased.
‘If you think that way, why haven’t the other dukes been able to lift the curse so far?’
“You know, nobles don’t cook their own meals. The duke wouldn’t have been any different. And they get married by politics rather than by love.”
“Try pretending to be tricked*. If you try anything, you’ll figure it out someday. And love was a traditional way to break the curse. If you look at the records, that’s how it went.”
*TL/N: 속는 셈 치고 is a Korean expression that is used when someone recommends somebody else to do something even when there is a risk.
Then the witch laughed happily. She doesn’t give further attention to it because it’s not her job either. But she was helpful. He could hear what they thought from a different point of view. He gathered so many opinions; he considered Elanya’s personality and reached a rough conclusion.
‘That means the duke doesn’t love Luana.’
That shameless being. Gerald gritted his teeth. He can’t believe he was holding on to Luana and not loving her. That is how human is. He grumbles and gets up from the stone. He was going to go back to the empire’s capital. He’ll teach Luana how to break the curse.
He was unsure if this was the correct way, but it must be helpful. Gerald hurriedly moved on with his steps again. Unlike when he came, when he returned, he intended to seek the help of another witch. That way, he can go to the capital in no time.
“Is someone talking about me?”
Luana rubbed her ticklish ears against her shoulders and frowned. She was going to make seasoned spicy chicken and soy sauce chicken. The duke was already waiting with great anticipation.
A huge amount of pre-sliced chicken covered in batter, fried in the oil.
She fried the chicken deliciously and drained the oil while avoiding the splashing oil skillfully. Then, she mixed the seasoning. Sweet and sour seasoning and light but salty soy sauce seasoning. She hasn’t even finished cooking yet, but her mouth is already watering. It must be delicious!
Then, the crispy fried chicken is tossed with the seasoning and complete! Luana grinned and held a piece to Way, who had been helping her.
Then Way hesitated, took the fried chicken, and put it in his mouth.
There was a cheerful crispy sound, and Way’s expression changed. He looked like he was admiring.
“It’s so delicious!”
“Yes, I’d like to taste the marinated one, too.”
“I’ll give you a taste.”
Luana smiled and picked up the spatula again. She tried to mix it with the seasoning, but after a while, she stopped. She was startled because she could see the shadows flickering outside the window. But when she looks closely, it looks familiar.
Why is Gerald here? Luana put down her spatula and hurried to the window.
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“Gerald! What are you doing here?”
“I came because I missed Luana. I have some news to tell you. Can I see the duke?”
“Yes, you can, but wait a minute!
Luana returned to her position, taught Way her finishing tricks, and ran to the duke. He frowned upon hearing of Gerald’s visit. He was waiting for the chicken, but the arrival was someone else’s news. It was also news of an unwelcome witch.
“What’s his business?”
“I don’t know.”
A seat was quickly set up in her office. The butler looked puzzled at the stranger but didn’t ask anything. Gerald also showed an imposing attitude in front of the duke.
“I have something to tell you about how to break the curse.”
When he said that, the duke’s expression changed. He leaned toward Gerald with a serious look on his face. Luana, nervous that the chicken would cool down, also began to focus on his words.
“Did you figure out a way to break the curse?”
“It’s just speculation at this point, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying it.”
“Is it a guess?”
“It’s a close guess.”
Look at that arrogant attitude; Gerald gave the duke a disgruntled look.
“Love, the answer is love.”
“Is it a lame story that love can solve things?”
“What do you mean by ‘lame’? Do you know how important love is? Well, if anyone knew, the curse would have been lifted. To be precise, you have to eat the food made by the person you loved.”
At Gerald’s words, Luana was surprised. She had been feeding the duke as a favor, but that might have been a hindrance to breaking the curse! But the dish of a loved one. Whose dish should she feed? That was the problem again.
The Duke said he did not love Ingrid. Is there any other girl he was dating? If so, there wasn’t. She could tell because Luana was always by his side. The duke had no one he loved!
“Then what does he need to do?”
“I can tell you the way; I don’t think I need to give you the runaround.”
Gerald answered Luana’s question in a cold voice.
“Shall you meet other people first? Then you might end up falling in love!”
Luana offered her opinion seriously. Indeed the duke is much better than he used to be. His sensitive emotions have become more rounded, and he has gained weight. He might still have a rough voice, but it would be ignored because he is a handsome man. Plus, he is the Duke of the Empire! He has a lot of money and power. It was natural that women would approach him if they wanted to.
‘The news from Gerald was positive. But why do I keep feeling so down?’
Luana thought for a moment, then slapped her palm with her fist.
‘The chicken is getting cold!’
She guesses that’s why she feels down.
“Shall we eat first?”
Gerald looked at Luana with a puzzled look at those words. The only one who readily agreed with her was the duke.
Soon after, the maid brought a mountain of chicken. The duke began to eat up the chicken. Luana put the chicken on Gerald’s plate, who was still dumbfounded.
“Gerald, please eat, too.”
After hesitating for a while, Gerald also started eating chicken. His slow-moving hand began to speed up, but later, he ate like competing with the duke.
‘After all, it feels good to see people eating well.’
Luana smiled happily while looking at them. As soon as the duke emptied his plate, he held it out to Luana. Gerald held out his plate when she put the chicken without a second thought.
‘Even Gerald, too?’
She suddenly has a thought. If the Duke gets a lover, she won’t be able to stay here any longer, right? There will be no need to interfere between the two.
She can go to Gerald then. She thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stay for a while and find a new path. Perhaps open a new restaurant, or travel to another country to find new ingredients.
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The chicken was still crispy and delicious, but her mood sank.
Luana tried to hide the corners of her lips that kept dropping.
TL’s Note: Thank you, Ashley, for the ko-fi(s)! ? Sorry for the late updates, readers! Hope you all enjoy the new four chapters!