After holding me tightly, Tina stops crying and removes herself.
“Kurt-sama, I apologize for not behaving properly,” Tina said in a tearful voice while covering her embarrassed face.
“No, it’s alright. Knowing that you care that much makes me happy.”
Tina looks all the more bashful. I nonchalantly rub her head, then facing the Marquis’ direction.
Tina hides herself behind my back. She’s not really good with strangers, and she wouldn’t want to show her tear-stained face to people she doesn’t know.
“I’ve kept you waiting, Marquis Fernandes.” I bow my head down.
Marquis Fernandes is an accomplished person. Logically speaking, an ordinary noble would be mad to see a servant pulling and cutting him off from a conversation.
“Ah no, it is all right. I also feel depressed to see tears in a lovely maiden’s face,” comes the reply from Marquis Fernandes, who shows a friendly smile. Tina, who hides behind me, becomes less wary and shows her face.
“Nevertheless, congratulations. Well, I was surprised that you actually won. Have you actually surpassed Baron Arnold’s level?”
“No, I haven’t reached my father’s spear yet.”
Both Father and I have reached Level III of our own Abilities. The rest is decided by our pure skills. On a glance, I have a higher skill than my father, but that’s due to Naginata’s superiority and whether or not I can live up to it. I recognize that much.
“It’s good to be humble. I heard that you could use mana, and you’re already this strong without it. I wonder, just how much stronger will you be if you use it at the same time? It’s terrifying. Don’t you think that you could advance on the path of power?”
Indeed, if I use mana, it won’t have to come to this battle. Father may be able to use a little bit of mana, but that’s merely a breadth of it like any common person. Joining the power of mana to the strength that comes from using an Ability will grant me a power that far surpasses anything anyone ever known before. Ability and mana, a person who displays both is indeed very rare.
“Even so, my dream is to become the world’s best pastry chef. I will show you how much I can accomplish in this path.”
“I’m looking forward to it. Now There’s another thing to... Ah, we’ll leave it for later.”
Marquis Fernandes looks at Faruno’s direction with meaningful eyes. Faruno also looks back with meaningful eyes, covering her giggling mouth.
“Kurt-sama, please accept my warmest congratulations. It was a beautiful display of skills. Even in my fied, there’s no one more skillful that Kurt-sama.”
“The truth is, I was thoroughly charmed. Your knowledge, your sweets, your martial arts, Kurt-sama is a sinful person who’ve stolen my heart.”
“That is my honor. For my humble self to receive such words from a beautiful young lady like you, I feel like soaring high.”
Somehow, I feel discomfort from my back.
Tina puffs her cheeks, crumpling on my shirttail. Her jealous expression is cute. My words earlier were just flattery though.
“Marquis Fernandes, Faruno-sama. In the upcoming festival this evening, I will present to you my treasured sweets, baked using the eggs I gratefully accepted from Marquis Fernandes. Please, look forward to it.”
“You don’t need to say anything, I’ve been looking forward to it.”
“It’s the same for me. Kurt-sama! I’ve come today in order to eat your sweets!”
It seems that they’re expecting it more that I thought. I feel more pressure now.
“But, what on earth will you be making?”
“I will treat you to a golden-colored sweets. It will live up 100% to the eggs’ deliciousness.”
“Ohh, I can’t wait.” Marquis Fernandes’ eyes narrow to a smile.
“Well then, I need to greet my father properly, then preparing for the food. Please excuse me for leaving early.”
I need to prepare the sweets for 200 people in just 2 hours. I must hurry.
“Forgive us for holding you back. Please do what you must.”
“Kurt-sama, let’s talk again later.”
I bow to Marquis Fernandes and Faruno, then go away from that place.
When I walk into Father’s office, he’s already inside. Somehow, this scene overlaps with the talk I had once with Marquis Fernandes.
“Father, my apologies for being late.”
“No, it’s fine. You’ve done well.”
Father looks exhausted for some reason.
“First, let me apologize to you. I’m sorry for all you’ve gone through until now. I’ve treated you horribly. ......I had every intention to chase you away from this territory.”
Without making excuses, Father apologizes right in front of me.
“I’ve actually heard about Father’s intention when I spoke with Marquis Fernandes back then. It allowed me to sort my thoughts. There’s no need to apologize.”
Father listens to my words, then opens his eyes in astonishment. Is that so... he murmurs in small voice.
“There were better things compared to wasting your lifetime in a place as small as Arnold family..... no, even compared to succeeding this fiefdom, I thought I would let you accomplish big things by going to Marquis Fernandes’ place. I believed that you had that Talent.”
Bitterness spreads in his voice.
“On the other hand, there’s your younger brother Jorg. He might not be able to live if it’s not here. He has his gift, but it crumbles in front of you. Moreover, his character strays even further away. No, it’s probably the result of how we reared him. As long as he’s near you, problems will arise.”
Father shows his anguish and remorse with those words.
“I wasn’t able to do right in guiding him... But even so, if you’re not here, I believed that I could start over from the first step, protecting this current Arnold barony, and let it be the inheritance for the future generation.”
“Father, are you saying that you wish for Jorg’s and my happiness by yourself?”
“Yes, I wish for you to accomplish the huge things out there, and for Jorg to be steady, protecting this territory.”
After spilling those words, Father keeps being silent.
I understand his feelings. He loved us in his own way. He must have thought that there was no other way to let us both achieve happiness but this.
“Father, let me express one thing. The things you’ve done came from arrogance. You weren’t thinking about our feelings, pushing things just from your side. If you truly thought that way, I wish you had discussed things with us. If you did so, I would be able to lend you some knowledge, no matter how poor that was.”
I’m happy that you wished for our happiness, but I wished that you would convey those feelings as well. If you did, I would be able to lend my hand before Jorg became this twisted.
“As for me, I wasn’t looking at Jorg at all. He told me that much, that his big brother had no interest in him at all. And I admit that he was right. For me, Jorg was an existence that I couldn’t care about. I was his big brother, but I didn’t love him.”
If only I had connected with him more often, he probably wouldn’t turn out like this. This matter makes me feel guilty. If I compare him to all the knowledge and experience I’m carrying from my previous world, I can’t help it.
And his Spear Talent also made him even more unhappy. There’s no reward for working hard. Without working hard , he’s being spoiled. It’s not strange for him to be twisted from experiencing both at the same time.
That’s why, I come to think that I want to help him, a little.
“About Jorg, that’s already done and over with. He should know about the real world. He should be able to realize how trivial the things he’s worrying about right now if he goes out. Let’s make a request to Marquis Fernandes. It’s okay if he’s not welcomed with hospitality; more hardships will be good for him. On top of that, I think it will be good if he can decide on his own to find the place he belongs out there, or to return here.”
As long as Jorg stays here, he won’t change. If he comes to know the world out there, he will mature. It’ll be better if he can figure things out by himself after that.
“That’s impossible... I can’t possibly request to anyone to take care of someone that useless...”
“No, it’s possible. I’m holding a favor from Marquis Fernandes. I’m going to use the favor for this.”
The promise to make sweets for the Duchess. It’s fine to use that favor for Jorg’s sake. That will be my first and last charity for the younger brother I’ve neglected.
“Kurt, forgive me. And, thank you.” Father bows his head.
It’s the first time I see him appearing so small.
“Father, will you go out to the festival?”
“I don’t feel like it.”
“Please do forgive me, but, would you please go out no matter what? I’m going to treat everyone with a piece of sweets there. That sweets will draw the future of Arnold fief from now on.”
With those last words, I go out from that room.
Kitchen is my destination.
I can’t afford some half-assed sweets. I must make the fief people see my dream, and as soon as it’s completed, Marquis Fernandes will probably cancel the order to send my sweets to the Duchess.
And yet, I don’t feel anxious at all.
It’s quite the opposite; I feel fired up.
From now on, this is my battle as a pâtissier.
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