Chapter 12 – I’ve met a real beast (5)
“I’d rather rephrase that to ‘Is there anyone who can hate him’?”
Blake was nice, innocent and cute, so it felt quite good to stay with him.
“There’s many who despise him.”
“Those are just people who have been blinded by false rumors. Besides, you like him too.”
The Emperor’s eyes widened when I smiled and said that.
“…That’s rude. That kid is the heir to the curse.”
“Even so, he’s your son.”
“Why are you so sure that I like him?”
Tenstheon’s eyes flashed dangerously. I hadn’t expected him to react this way so I laughed innocently.
“You wouldn’t send gifts to your daughter-in-law if you hated your son.”
“The gifts were only compensation for dealing with Marquis Hamel.”
“So you forgive me for being rude yesterday?”
“So you remember it?”
“Hehe. Unfortunately, I can’t remember it fully.”
I thought about it a lot, however, I couldn’t think of a way to deal with the “absl” case. So I had no choice but to insist on partial memory loss.
“This impertinent thing…”
Tenstheon burst into a low laugh as he scolded me…
I laughed too. Laughing was the best way to overcome an embarrassing situation.
Tenstheon’s servants served me lots of food. My eyes focused on the colorful desserts on the table.
“Thank you for the meal.”
First, I started with the cake with red strawberries on it.The soft and fresh cake melted easily in my mouth.
“The Crown Prince would love it too.”
“…Send this to the Crown Prince’s Palace.”
I gave him a bow. I wanted to solve all the problems between Blake and his father and restore their relationship, but this was only the first step. First of all, it was important to gain the Emperor’s trust.
“I heard that you’re well versed in Eastern culture.”
He researched about me in advance. Though, it’d be stranger if he hadn’t paid any attention to me yet.
“Not too much, but I’m interested.”
“It must be hard to find information.”
The East was an unknown territory. There were no exchanges between the Asteric Empire and the East so there were only a few books related to it available.
If I say, ‘I saw the materials in the Count’s library,’ others would just let it pass. After all, every family would have their own unique heirlooms.
However, the Emperor had collected data from the East for Blake’s treatment, so naturally, he would know that it was difficult for a 10-year-old girl to have such diverse knowledge about it.
“It’s only for you to know…”
I got off the chair. Tenstheon was puzzled by my actions, but when I leaned in to whisper in his ear, he bowed his head closer.
“I’m actually a polygot.”
“Yes, I know all the languages in the world.”
In fact, I once visited the Imperial Palace library to find out more information about this world, the Goddess, and the East. That was where I found out that I could read not only the Imperial language, but also the languages of all the countries in the world.
“Is that true?”
Tenstheon’s eyes widened. He seemed to be more surprised than when I told him I was a polygot.
He looked a lot like Blake when his eyes widened like that. Would Blake become as cool as him when he grows up?
“…What did you just say?”
“I’m your daughter-in-law, so you’re my father.”
In the original novel, Tenstheon wanted to hear Blake call him ‘father’, but Blake only addressed him as ‘Your Majesty’ and never called him ‘father’.
Tenstheon may look strong and cold-hearted on the surface, but he had deep affections towards family. He’d be more pleased to be called ‘father’ than ‘Your Majesty’.
There was a faint smile on Tenstheon’s face.
“You must have faced a lot of trouble after getting married so suddenly. If you need anything, come and see me anytime.”
He didn’t chastise me for overstepping the bounds of propriety. Rather, he allowed me to come and go from his Palace as I pleased.
I grinned broadly.
“Yes. I’ll visit you often.”
I was the only one invited today, but one day Blake and Tenstheon would also sit down together and have a pleasant conversation.
At that time, would Diana be the one sitting next to Blake?
Suddenly, I felt somewhat lonely.
Blake was startled when he put the still hot scorched rice in his mouth. I quickly passed cold water to him.
“You have to blow on it first.”
“It’s very tasty.”
“I hope you’re all satisfied with the meal today.”
The Emperor sent all kinds of desserts to the Crown Prince’s Palace. There were various types of desserts, ranging from basic shortcakes and apple pie to more unique desserts.
The desserts were specially made by the Imperial chef so they were fantastic not only in shape but also in taste. One could only imagine such a flavor in their dreams.
To commemorate the arrival of the cauldron, I first cooked rice, and the result was ‘Sungnyung’* which had been boiled with water in the cauldron.
*TL Note : Sungnyung is a traditional Korean infusion made from boiled scorched rice.
“This tastes the best!”
“You’re lying because I made it, aren’t you?”
“Ancia’s cooking is the best.”
Blake smiled brightly. I was glad to see him eat so well. Besides, the Sungnyung I made was delicious.
As expected, I really missed Korean food. The dessert was also delicious, but I felt warm inside after drinking the warm Sungnyung.
Suddenly, I had a strange feeling. I looked back, but there was no one.
That’s weird. I was sure that it felt like someone was watching us.
“Ancia, what’s wrong?”
I shook my head. It was probably an illusion.
“What’s going on?”
Tenstheon glanced at me. He was still working in his study even though it was already so late at night.
“You told me to come anytime.”
“I didn’t know it would be this fast. What’s the matter?”
It had only been a few hours since we had tea together so he was surprised. However, today was the first time I used the cauldron.
“The Eastern cooking apparatus called ‘Cauldron’ arrived today. That’s why I made this dish. Go ahead and try it.”
I handed out the water from the pot to the Emperor in a teacup.
The Emperor stared at the unfamiliar dish for a moment, and then carefully opened his mouth.
“It tastes unique.”
“Don’t you like it?”
“No. It’s alright. But I must say, you’re very good at this.”
He took another sip.
“It was more delicious when it was still hot, but it cooled down a little on the way to the Palace. If your Majesty comes to Amoria Palace, I could make you something even more delicious…”
“Amoria Palace” was the official name of the Southern Palace where the Crown Prince lived.
Amoria meant ‘love’ in the Imperial language. Among the numerous Palaces, did the Emperor choose Amoria Palace as the Crown Prince’s residence because of its name?
But after hearing my words, the Emperor froze. Anyhow, I had to stop here today.
I still had a lot of time, so we could do this slowly.
“I’ll come often if you don’t mind.”
“Sure, come often.”
There was a warm smile on Tenstheon lips.
When he was being chased by the troops with an arrow, Eunhan thought he was going to die.
However, he was lucky to meet a great master. Although he became a shadow that had to live in hiding forever, he had no complaints. He chose this path for himself.
He was not supposed to be known to the outside world. If he did something wrong, it would cause trouble for the master who saved him.
Eunhan faithfully fulfilled the Emperor’s orders. Tenstheon, too, cared for Eunhan, and did not order him to carry out any dangerous tasks.
When the Emperor left for the Valley of Chaos, Eunhan was a bit disappointed because he was left behind, but he had no choice but to follow the Emperor’s orders because he knew how much his master cared about his son.
He stayed at the Crown Prince’s Palace every day to guard Blake, but that was the beginning of his pain.
Eunhan had been suffering everyday these days.
“Today’s dish is soybean paste stew!”
“I made mushroom egg rolls!”
“I made beef radish soup today. It’s still hot, so be careful.”
Ancia made Eastern cuisine every day. It was a little different from the dishes of his hometown, but he could still imagine the flavor.
He thought he had already forgotten the past. However, when the food of his hometown appeared in front of him, he really missed the taste of it.
‘It looks delicious…’
Whenever Ancia cooked, he had to desperately suppress his instinct to eat it.
He was only a shadow, but he couldn’t stand the urge.
Eunhan had tasted all kinds of delicacies while following Tenstheon, but he didn’t feel any better eating them.
He often infiltrated aristocrats’ parties for missions, but never even glanced at the food.
But why did the simple dishes made by the Crown Princess look so mouth-watering?
He knew that she was making a cauldron, but he didn’t know that she would’ve implemented the shape so perfectly. Eunhan stroked the black cauldron carefully, taking advantage of the fact that no one was around.
Suddenly, he thought of his dead mother. She used to cook those dishes for him.
People laughed at him, ridiculing the fact that an Emperor’s concubine had to cook herself, and said that her food was nasty. However, his mother didn’t care about them at all and rolled up her sleeves to cook for her son.
Eunhan was filled with the memories of the past.
After returning to the Crown Prince’s Palace, Ancia began to cook rice in the cauldron. Eunhan’s mouth watered when he saw the glossy white rice.
But this was not the end. After eating, Ancia poured water on the brown scorched rice and began to boil Sungnyung.
Until now, he could put up with delicious dishes made with meat and seafood. However, Eunhan’s patience had run out.
He grew up fast, but at the end of the day, he was only a 14-year-old boy. At first, he thought he’d only wandered around the cauldron.
‘Only one sip.’
But his plan failed.
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