Bon Appétit - Chapter 53
After Lugard left, the silver-haired woman gently stroked her chest. Everything went just like Gerald promised. The duke would be able to find Luana because she was away from his surrounding, but the butler decided to take care of her. In addition, today, the emperor will also participate as a judge, so no matter how much the duke, he will not be able to move on his own.
At first, Luana was not willing to participate in the competition secretly this way, but she changed her mind as she listened to the butler’s persuasion.
“Sometimes, people need to try new things, right?”
The butler who started talking like that persistently persuaded Luana.
“Isn’t it Miss Luana who has fed the Duke so far? However, such a person is not able to participate in the competition. It’s nonsense.”
The butler explained the reason step by step.
“But wouldn’t it be odd to participate now suddenly?”
“That’s okay. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one person on our side among the participants? You’ll be able to filter out strange people. It is a cooking contest, but, after all, the contest’s main purpose is to find someone to stand by the duke! I think we need to be more cautious.”
The butler persuaded Luana smoothly and eventually made Luana fall for it.
“But if I participate like this, I will be found out right away, right?”
“There is a good way in the world called dyeing. And, as far as I know, there is the magic that hides the face of the witches. Do you think you can use that?”
His words sounded like a heavenly revelation to Luana, who was already in the cold. Although she did not know how to use such magic, she remembered that Gerald had given her a magic powder. It was a powder that could change her appearance. He gave her the powder just in case of an emergency. Therefore, her participation in the competition was decided on the spot. It was not difficult for the butler to manipulate the participants in the preliminary round a little.
So on the last day, Luana is standing here.
‘I’m not just a contestant.’
Since she was asked to participate by the butler, she looked at the participants with a keen eye. She paid particular attention to the noble ladies who seemed to have never had a drop of water on their hands. Some of them had maids accompanying them, but apparently, it looked like the maids were cooking instead.
‘You can’t do that!’
It’s about finding someone to break the curse, but it is not the right timing to point that out, so Luana began to remember them cautiously.
In the meantime, time passed, and the judges began to find their seats one by one. Way came out first, followed by the butler and the duke. And lastly,
“It’s an imperial carriage!”
Luana turned around when she heard someone shout; she saw a gorgeous large carriage entering the duke’s residence. It was not difficult to recognize the owner because the emblem of the empire was engraved on it.
“Your Majesty The Emperor!”
The buzz began when someone shouted again. Everyone cheered and hurrah, and the noble ladies who stood still waved their hands and fixed their makeup. He was hugely popular.
After all, Raytheon, who is a demon to some, was only a gentle and great emperor to the people of his country. Besides, he has such great beauty. How could people not love him? Someone’s hell is another’s paradise.
The carriage stopped, the emperor got off, and the sound grew louder.
“Long live the Emperor!”
In the meantime, she felt strange to be alone in this situation. The emperor, who got out of the carriage, reached out to the inside of the carriage. A familiar face took his hand and got out of the carriage. It was Ingrid.
Why did she come out from there? Knowing the emperor’s personality, he wouldn’t have made it easy for Ingrid to come here. Luana doesn’t know what in the world she did.
Ingrid’s expression looked dark as she got down and raised her head. Maybe she also felt what Luana just felt. The feeling of being alone. Especially, Ingrid, who had great affection for the kingdom, would feel that way even more. The thought of it made Luana feel bitter.
However, whether he knew it or not, the emperor proudly escorted Ingrid to his seat.
“Oh, my. What should I do? My heart is racing so fast that I feel it will jump.”
The sudden increase in the number of judges made people all agitate. Those who already knew that the emperor was coming were no exception. They can make a giant leap on this opportunity if they do well. Even Luana couldn’t keep her composure.
“Then let’s start the last day of the preliminary round!”
Luana was guided to the kitchen by the person in the front row. She sat quietly in the waiting seat and thought of the food she would make today. She couldn’t make anything out of the ordinary because she couldn’t be revealed here. She had to make an ordinary dish of the empire. A dish that is ordinary and not too time-consuming.
‘I can only think of pie.’
There is no restriction on the dishes, so desserts would probably be fine. She thought apple pie would be easy and good. When her turn came, Luana sprang up from her seat and headed to the kitchen. The kitchen had everything she needed.
“Then shall we begin?”
Rolling up her sleeves, Luana stepped forward bravely.
“It’s strange.” said the duke and frowned.
The butler asked when he heard the duke say something.
“I haven’t seen Luana since morning.”
“Miss Luana is doing what I asked her to do.”
“What the hell is that?”
“She is watching to see if there are any cheaters in the participants.”
“Isn’t that the chefs’ job?”
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“Miss Luana is also a great cook.”
That was an undeniable fact. But the duke still looked displeased. Lately, he’s started to feel that he’s getting farther away from Luana. She was beside him, but he felt her mind wandering elsewhere. Yesterday, she even gave the duke a lecture about why she had to use a separate room.
“What if I have someone I love later?”
‘Someone I love?’
As soon as the duke heard those words, he felt his mood worsen. He thought that one day a loved one would appear to break the curse. But he had never imagined that Luana would have such a person.
“Are you going to date another man?”
“Well, I can date someone later. No, but why do you say that? It’s not like I already have a lover. I’m still single now. I can date anyone.”
Luana pouted her lips as she answered. Now the duke knew it was an expression she made every time she was offended. He’s the one who’s in a bad mood, but why is she even angrier?!
“Why? Why do you need to date someone?”
“Why? If I like him, I can go out with him.”
“Is there someone you like?”
“It’s a secret.”
Luana, who spoke firmly, laid herself in the corner of the bed. She then just closed her eyes. It was a sign she didn’t want to talk anymore. The duke tried to speak more in a fit of impatience, but she refused to talk more.
That’s how the dawn passed, and the day came.
The duke was so curious about Luana’s secret that he couldn’t stand it. But she disappeared under the pretext of helping the butler. At least to resolve the question, he felt like he had to finish all the schedules set today.
“It’s been a long time, Sir Legion. Now that you’re in the Empire, I don’t know why it’s hard to see your face like before.”
The emperor smiled and spoke to him.
“I’m sorry. I’ve caused you so much trouble while I was out.”
“The duke was a man who could say this, huh?”
It was then that the duke realized that his words had crossed the line. He was thinking about Luana and couldn’t focus on fixing his attitude in front of the emperor.
“No, the duke is a person, too. Sometimes he can be in bad shape.”
The emperor answered slowly and sat down. It was not until Ingrid found his seat that the duke could sit down.
“Alright. Is there anyone you’re looking forward to seeing?”
“Even though so many people participated?”
“None of the dishes taste delicious.”
“Well, by the duke’s standards, not many people have passed the preliminary round. You even barely eat Way, the best chef’s dish.”
The emperor clicked his tongue.
Then the butler loudly announced the start of the round. Dishes checked for poison in advance started coming in one by one.
The duke still repeated the same thing, but the judges assessed more carefully.
“The meat is hard because it’s overcooked.”
“It’s a no-go for meat dishes.”
As the Emperor and Way began to give their judgments, the competition went more quickly. Some dishes were sent to the emperor. He said it was okay, but the duke eliminated the dish. Ingrid also ate the food next to him, but she didn’t particularly give any evaluation. The emperor did not say anything about her because she always had a dark expression.
“Are you feeling sick anywhere?”
“No, I’m just a little down.”
“Should I call a doctor?”
“It’s not that bad.”
Ingrid smiled as she said so. She was delighted to be out after a long time, but she couldn’t just laugh because she was worried about something. Pretending to concentrate on cooking, she raised her head and carefully looked at her surroundings. She found a familiar face in the corner and bit her lips gently.
She tried to calm my frantic beating heart. The emperor will serve as a judge on the last day of the preliminary round and the final day of the finals. Ingrid had already been promised that she could come along. This is the opportunity. Maybe this is an opportunity for her to get out of her situation and do what she wants.
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Then, looking away naturally, Ingrid found Luana. It was because she wanted to take Luana with her if possible. Luana said she was fine, but it must be dark if she spent her future with the duke.
The princess of the ruined kingdom and the duke of the empire!
Luana said she wasn’t in love with him, but she was worried about her even more. Ingrid may not be worthy of her, but she still wanted to be her sister.
‘So, Luana. Come with me.’
Ingrid swallowed the words and remained seated.