Bringing the completed pastries, Tina and I go from the mansion’s kitchen to the festival’s location, the plaza. The madeleines are gathered into picnic baskets, while the egg yolk Hollandaise sauce is also brought along, inside an earthenware pot.
The two of us aren’t enough to bring everything, so the mansion’s servants are helping us with the rest of them. We didn’t specifically ask for their help, but the servants seemed understand that there were things they could help with.
Until now, they thought that my younger brother would succeed the family and didn’t give much attention to me, thus suddenly receiving their courtesy like this feels unsettling. Because I became the head of Arnold family, they must have hurried to sell some flattery. Though I have some mixed feelings about this, they’re not to blame. They only want to protect their lives.
When we arrive at the plaza, the festival is on the brink of starting. We barely made it, but somehow, we managed to make pastries enough for 200 people.
In the plaza that becomes the festival venue, there are tables lining up, filled with feasts. Arnold fief is a poor territory, but there are enough luxury, worthy of celebrating the next generation head. Rarely being luxurious, the villagers’ eyes are sparkling with excitement.
“You’re finally here, Kurt-kun. Is that the rumored pastry in that basket?”
In the plaza, the person who greets me before anyone else is Marquis Fernandes. There are also Father and Marquis’ daughter Faruno nearby.
I’m glad that Father can participate and looking calm. With this, I can properly give him my pastry and convey my feelings to him.
“Yes, I made this with my whole power. Since the eggs that Marquis Fernandes gave to me were really splendid, I managed to complete something that exceeded my expectations.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
“I wish to hand these out in the end of the festival, so I hope you wouldn’t mind to hold on a little bit longer.”
Madeleine Arnold is a pastry that will change flavor due to the temperature.
In the end of the festival, I arrange the baskets in each table, so that they are eaten with the Hollandaise sauce that Tina warms up just before they reach the hands of the villagers.
“Well, Kurt-kun. There’s something important to discuss after the festival. Would you spare some time for that?”
“I understand. I’ll be seeing you there.”
Most likely, it’s a greeting as the next generation head. I must brace myself.
When my mind wanders like that, Father opens his mouth. “Marquis Fernandes, please pardon my rudeness. The festival will begin any time now, please pardon me for leaving this place shortly to give some greetings. I will be taking Kurt with me, therefore, Logory will be the one taking our place to be your guide.”
“Yes, please do,” the Marquis answers to Father’s request.
Logory is a serious man, Father’s right-hand man. He’s a servant who singlehandedly undertakes the Arnold family’s accounting and a passionately devoted man. There should be no problem to let him take the spot.
“Well then, Marquis. We will see you soon. Kurt, please come with me.”
Father bows his head down, then we removes ourselves from that location.
Father and I stepped on the platform. Enlarging his voice at once, he deeply inhaled his breath then opened his mouth.
“Hear, my beloved people. Right now, the festival to celebrate the next head of Arnold family will soon commence.”
His voice sends the fief’s people into an uproar. Well, they seem to be at their limit from devouring the festival’s banquet.
“First of all, I wish to relay my word of gratitude. As a result of everyone pitching from each village, we are going to have this grand banquet. Thank you. Today, eat up, drink up, make big noise to your heart’s content.”
The mansion’s servants are bringing bottles of alcohol to each table. Smiles are blooming in the people’s faces. In this fief, alcohol is a treasure. It can be said to be a tremendous splurge.
I’ve been thinking to concoct mead when the production of honey increases. At this point, it seems unlikely to get my hands for them, though.
When I see the servants coming with alcohol, my head tilts in confusion.
Strange. They didn’t bring the relatively cheap ale, but rather wine made from grapes. I can’t regard them as something that the Arnold family could provide.
The servants open the alcohol and poured them into the fief’s people’s cups, but just from the scent wafting in the air, I can tell that this is a first class quality even among wines. The villagers are all salivating from knowing this kind of first class alcohol for the first time.
“This alcohol is a congratulatory gift from Marquis Fernandes. The other day, my son Kurt has provided various knowledge from the Marquis, earning him chicken and eggs as his rewards. However, Kurt’s knowledge seems to have been more splendid than expected. Therefore, the marquis’ subordinate counseled that his previous rewards wouldn’t be enough to compensate for their estimated profits and will hurt the marquis’ dignity. In order to add to that balance, we received this beverage. Please, everyone, let us express our gratitude to Marquis Fernandes, and to Kurt, for enabling us to enjoy this alcohol today.”
As soon as they heard Father’s words, the fief’s people simultaneously looked in my direction, holding a multitude of reverence in their gaze. I feel my face blushes from the surprise attack.
When I look in Marquis Fernandes’ direction, he has been looking at me with all-knowing teasing smirk in his face. In order to catch me off guard, he hid this news when we met.
Just from one event, I could gain the people’s sympathy. This should enable me to manage the people easier from hereafter. It’s something to be grateful for, but to me it feels like someone has gotten the upper hand. I decided to return this favor and debt someday.
Without lingering on the excitement, Father continues speaking.
“As you all have come to know, in the selection ceremony, it is decided that the next family head is Kurt. Once Kurt becomes the family head, this fief will surely become prosperous. On top of the alcohol we’re enjoying for this event, anyone who looks at the village that Kurt has been building for three years will understand. Perhaps there are among you who have heard the rumors, but let me clear it up. Kurt’s village will become the richest village in our fief from next year. I am certain that other villages will also benefit from that from now on.”
The fief’s people starts to make noises. As I thought, for them, the most important thing is how to live their lives for another day. They probably wouldn’t be able to think of how to move forward if it was just Father’s words, but with the marquis’ surprise, they have been led to think that I am a great character.
Everyone starts to imagine a bright future and chats excitedly with their fellow villagers. There’s hope in there.
“With this, I am going to end my greetings. Kurt, please convey a word or two to greet the people and have a toast with them.”
I receive my Father’s request and take one step forward.
In order not to miss a single word from me, the fief’s people are all hushed up.
“Being able to convey my words to everyone in this place, you all have my gratitude. I am Kurt Arnold, the man who will inherit as the next feudal lord of Arnold family.”
After saying those words, it actually starts to feel like I’ll really become the next family head.
“I wish to make this land prosperous. However, this is not something that I can show to you just by words. Today, I’ve made a small piece of pastry. It’s a sweet pastry. With this pastry, I’m going to show you the future that I envisioned. I wish that by eating that bit of pastry, I will convey to all of you about my resolution.”
When they heard about the sweet pastry, the people showed the same reaction as the moment when they heard about the wine: full of expectation. In this world where sugar is a precious commodity, sweet pastry has a charm that’s almost violent.
“For now, let’s have a toast, everyone.”
All the people raised their wine filled cups.
They toast with their cups and starts the feast.
Yo! I’m all fired up so you can expect a few more chapters from me soon.
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