Bon Appétit - Chapter 51
A terrible image crossed her mind for a moment, but what she had thought did not happen.
Instead, magic happened.
The duke’s expression that had been hardened gradually softened after Luana retracted her hand. His fierce eyes gently curved, and a smile crept across his tightly pursed lips. The duke and the princess smiling affectionately under the pouring sunlight became quite a picture. Although the duke was called a slayer, the princess looked more like a maid than a princess. He couldn’t take her eyes off her.
The duke and the princess claimed that they were not in love with each other, but they were wrong.
‘If this is not love, I have never been in love.’
Vyan was sure. Although they didn’t know each other yet because they were clumsy, shy love was slowly blooming. Otherwise, how can you make such a comfortable expression at someone else’s touch? He put everything down and talked to the duke.
“I think the class should end now.”
“What? What does that mean?”
The duke’s expression began to turn harsh again. But Vyan was proud.
“The duke already knows how to love. So there is nothing more I can teach you.”
“I don’t know about love yet.”
“No, you’re not aware of it, but you are already more in love than anyone else. Think carefully. Love is already blooming.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“If you don’t know, you can stay the way you are. You’ll find out one day. Then I’ll be on my way. Have a sweet love!”
Vyan left those words behind, stepped back with his quick steps, and left the room. He had no idea how smoothly he retreated and had to catch the moment.
Luana, spaced out next to the duke, slowly turned her head to look at the cold air felt by her side.
‘Oh, he’s angry.’
It was the first time she had seen the duke so angry. Well, it’s reasonable. He has struggled to find love, so he tried to find someone who is an expert in the field, took classes, and even read numerous romance books. He said that he had never seen anything other than military studies and education books during his lifetime.
However, the person who brought it ran away. He didn’t even know love yet.
“Raven, bring him back.”
TL/N: In case readers forget who Raven is, he is the personal knight who is hidden but will come if Legion, his master, asks him to do something.
Luana heard what the duke said; she thought it would not be long before Vyan was brought back.
Luana stared at the angry duke and asked.
“Are you very angry?”
“No, he wasn’t very good, actually. He was a scammer. It’s not hard to figure that out.”
Vyan daring to deceive the duke is a different matter. The Duke gritted his teeth.
Luana, who stared blankly at the scene for a while, later hit her palm with her fist. Come to think of it; she was hiding from the duke! Although she was caught, he was focused on something else for a while, so now was the opportunity. Her little hand moved towards her pocket, which was sneakily hanging from her side. She tried to hide again, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
“Where else are you going?”
It was because the duke grabbed Luana’s other arm.
“I’m not going.”
Luana raised her hands to prove her innocence, but all the duke returned was a snort.
“Didn’t you say you’ll make me gain weight?”
“That’s why I’m preparing all the meals for you.”
“How do you know if I eat it or not?”
‘What kind of nonsense is this?’
Luana looked at the duke with a puzzled look, but he only asked calmly again.
“Are you going away from your responsibility?”
“No, you eat well without me, right?”
“You speak well even though you haven’t seen me.”
The duke’s face was grumpy. Luana doesn’t think she was that kind of person at first.
“So you want me to see you every time you eat? What about when we go to the Imperial Palace?”
“Then there was nothing I could do. Still, shouldn’t you be watching me while you’re in the mansion?”
‘You’re not a child!’
Luana held back her anger. She was hiding for him. But when the other party does her like this, she feels like her efforts are futile.
“Okay, I’ll stop hiding!”
After all, it was Luana who raised the white flag first.
‘You’ve gained weight so far, but what if you lose it now?’
He is not going to go hungry, but considering the duke’s nature, it was something she didn’t know. Luana pouted her lips, and she stood next to the duke. Then she said something as if she had a sudden thought.
“But, about how to break the curse. How about thinking the other way around? Galard said the method was guesswork based on a lot of information. Could it be a little different then?”
“It could be the opposite; maybe it’s not eating the food of someone you loved, but to love someone who makes the delicious food?”
“I’ve met many chefs, but no food has been delicious.”
“Let’s go a little wider than the chef.”
“Let’s hold a cooking contest for women!”
Luana brought up a story that she had been having doubts about. If you are unsure how to break the curse, wouldn’t it be better to change the contents little by little and try various things? She started with such an idea.
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“Why does that happen?”
“It’s about changing the way you think. Don’t you think it’s not a bad idea?”
The duke lost in thought for a moment nodded.
“I think so.”
“Then let’s have a cooking contest! We will spread the information all over the empire! And if you put a lot of money into the table, many people will participate. Maybe you can find someone who will cook delicious food with the contest?”
“I’m the one who will judge anyway, isn’t it too easy for you to say?”
“Sir Legion, it’s for your own good.”
Didn’t people say it’s hard to get angry on a smiling face? And the saying from the past is exactly right. The duke looked at Luana with a hardened look for a moment and began to laugh aloud. His voice was rough, and his smile was strangely clear, so listening to it made Luana feel better.
“Okay, let’s do it.”
That’s how the preparations for a big cooking contest began.
“Why should I help you?”
Vyan, who was taken back, said his eyes were full of tears.
“Since you said you know love well, you should help Sir Legion during the competition.”
“I have no talent for cooking.”
“Not about cooking. Isn’t he going to meet someone after cooking? You’ll have a lot of work to do.”
At the words, Vyan sighed deeply because the duke already knows love.
‘Why is there such a dull person in the world that makes me suffer?’
He twisted his body in agony, but he couldn’t escape. He was suddenly picked up by a man with a black hood and had to be taken back.
“That’s right. There’s a lot to do.”
The butler, helping the cooking contest, narrowed his eyes and looked at Vyan.
“I didn’t run away.”
Vyan tried to make excuses, but it didn’t work at all.
“I heard there are shameless people in the world who lie with a meal.”
He emphasized again, but no one believed. He doesn’t know why he became so obsessed with money.
Meanwhile, rumors of the cooking contest quickly spread throughout the empire.
“Did you hear? The duke’s mansion is holding a cooking contest this time.”
“The duke was particularly obsessed with the chefs. That was why he used to go through all the famous chefs at once. I think one person has settled down now, but why is he looking for a chef again?”
“I don’t think it is. The target of the contest is women. An adult woman with a healthy body and mind.”
“Huh? That’s rather unique.”
“Right? That’s why rumors are circulating that he’s actually looking for a bride.”
“Ayy, is that even possible? I heard commoners can participate, too. A bride? He just needs a female chef.”
Rumors that entered many people’s ears, along with various questions, led the participants. Among them, some really wanted to cook purely, and some just wanted to show off their cooking.
“If not for this opportunity, when will we see the duke again?”
Legion was a duke who didn’t even participate in the banquets. Besides, every proposal that came in was rejected like a knife, so there was no chance to meet in the first place. How could such a person suddenly hold a contest like this?
“Shall we go out?”
Some noble ladies began to worry. If they do well, capture the duke, and become his wife, their position will rise.
“But you can’t cook, can you?”
“I can hire people, and I’m gonna pretend I cooked it.”
“That’s a good idea, isn’t it?”
The cooking contest has become a hot topic in many ways, and the news also naturally reached the emperor.
“The duke is holding a cooking contest?”
“He is doing something fun?”
Is it because of the curse? The emperor smiled out of interest.
“Do they need more judges?”
“I don’t know. Should I contact the duke?”
“Yes, I can’t just stand by when my dear subordinate is doing something like this. Shouldn’t I give him a little help?”
The emperor’s words were quickly passed on to the duke.
“How come it’s getting bigger and bigger?”
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The butler nodded at the tired Luana’s question.
“It’s fine. We can afford it.”
The duke’s wealth was not at a level that would collapse with this level of wealth. He originally had solid finances but did not spend it and only collected it, so his fortune was immeasurable. There was no problem with holding a cooking contest nationwide.
The butler, who answered confidently, began to turn the papers over again. It contained basic information about the participants. No matter how wide the cooking contest was, the participants couldn’t cook all at once. So, they divided them into groups and made a preliminary round.
The butler was doing that classification. Luana can’t help but help him.