Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 41

𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬

Today, I was in high spirits. I visited the pie shop that Rene had recommended and got to eat a fig pie. I also had the chance to hear about the owner’s journey in opening the shop.

At first, the owner casually mentioned that starting with a stall is a good idea because it minimizes debt in case of failure. Despite his stern appearance, he turned out to be a kind person. He didn’t get angry when Arthur, who was visiting the area where commoners live near the castle for the first time, was looking around curiously. Maybe it’s also because Edgardo was enthusiastically eating pies of every kind next to him.

I searched for books about opening a shop but couldn’t find any, and all my acquaintances are nobles so I couldn’t ask them either. The information the owner gave me was invaluable in that context.

Arthur gave me a lift back to the dorm and winked at me.

“After I leave, wait for 10 seconds before you enter the house, just like when you pull out the Pirui from a squid!”

What is a Pirui from a squid? I have no idea what he’s talking about when he uses unfamiliar references.

The way Arthur boldly mentions things that a typical young lady wouldn’t know, while winking, gives me a glimpse into his usual demeanor. He probably cracks dad jokes and tells jokes that only resonate within the knights.

While I waited for 10 seconds, Arthur quickly walked away with his long legs. When I turned to enter the dorm, I saw a silhouette in the dusk. My heart nearly stopped.

“Miss Norchev, I apologize for the sudden appearance.”

It was Roa-sama.

Trying to keep my composure, I nodded while holding down my noisy heart. I kept a straight face, so hopefully he didn’t notice that he startled me. It would be better if he didn’t suddenly appear like that; it scares me.

“You see, everyone brags about meeting Miss Norchev on their day off. . .”

“Was it Roa-sama who dueled with Arthur-sama?”

“It wasn’t me. But Arthur was serious; he even used magic to win.”

“I see. . .”

“Ever since then, Arthur happily says that he can crack jokes as much as he wants here, and that he learned new dad jokes from Miss Norchev. It’s causing stress for the one who lost the duel against Arthur.”

“I, I’m sorry. . .?”

“No, that’s on the overly excited Arthur. I understand that he doesn’t have many places where he can be himself.”

“Um. . . Ah, you’ve been standing. Please, have a seat.”

Roa-sama obediently sat in the chair that has been out all this time. This table and chairs have features like stain and wear resistance and are apparently quite expensive. They still look brand new despite being outdoors.

After excusing myself to Roa-sama, I entered the house and brought coffee and plates. The light seeping through the dorm window and the lamp on the table romantically flicker.

“Today, I visited my favorite pie shop. I think Roa-sama would like the flavor as well, so please have some.”

“Is this something Miss Norchev bought for herself?”

“I’ll eat something else.”

I was planning to eat it for dinner, but my stomach is already protesting, so I better not. Besides, it’s a pie that I think Roa-sama would enjoy.

Roa-sama kept staring, so I decided to eat a small rice ball. In front of me eating the rice ball, Roa-sama is enjoying a meat pie.

“This is delicious. Indeed, it’s a flavor I like.”

“I’m glad to hear that.”

 ㅤ

A serene, laid-back atmosphere permeates the air.

If Roa-sama is interested in this place, he’s welcome to come, but perhaps he finds it difficult to do so when everyone is around. In my mind, Roa-sama has a strong image of being a loner, so I hesitate to invite him, thinking it might be bothersome.

“Um. . . about the upcoming nation-building festival. Will Miss Norchev be attending?”

“Yes, I live in the capital afterall.”

“I can’t attend for various reasons, but could you tell me what dress you’re planning to wear?”

“I’ll be wearing a dress that has been passed down in my family for years.”

“. . .Is it a dress you’re fond of?”

“No, I allocate the money that could be spent on a dress elsewhere. I make slight modifications each year, so I’m not wearing the exact same dress. Only my friends notice, and since they know the situation, they don’t say anything. My mother makes matching accessories for me; this year, it’s a corsage. It’s really beautiful!”

Every year, my mother makes accessories that she thinks I’d like. She incorporates current trends and takes a few months to do it when she’s feeling well. It makes me very happy.

“You don’t have as much attachment to your dress as the corsage your mother made, do you?”

“Yes, it’s not a dress I particularly like. I chose it based on what would blend well at the party while incorporating some current trends.”

“Then, may I gift you a dress?”

“Um, why?”

The simple question slipped out of my mouth. Roa-sama looked at me intently, his expression tense.

“I won’t be at the party. At the very least, I’d like Miss Norchev to wear a dress that I’ve gifted.”

“At the very least, I’d like to wear a dress that you’ve gifted.”

I ended up parroting his words, but Roa-sama chuckled without showing any sign of being offended.

“It’s purely for my own satisfaction. Miss Norchev, you often make delicious food for me outside of work hours, right? If I mention wanting a few bites of something sweet after a meal, you bring it right away.”

“That’s part of my job, and I also have Roa-sama taste test it.”

“I’ve received many valuable things from Miss Norchev. When I thought of giving something back, this was all I could think of.”

I know what it feels like to satisfy oneself. Both in giving and receiving.

“There’s no issue with the gift for a lady; my stepsister has trained me well in that regard. I thought about a high-quality dress that wouldn’t look strange on the Viscount’s daughter. If you don’t like dresses, accessories or shoes are fine too. I know my wish to give you a gift might feel imposing. Of course, you can decline.”

Roa-sama was thoroughly sincere.

Occasionally, I wonder why I have to indulge someone’s self-satisfaction. But Roa-sama, even while talking about self-satisfaction, is considering me.

He suggested buying a dress only after hearing that I have no particular attachment to my current one. He even offered alternatives and said I could refuse. Despite being of higher social standing, he respected my wishes.

“May I accept the dress?”

“Of course!”

“My family gets concerned when I wear the same dress. My dad laments that he can’t even buy his daughter a dress, and my mother worries about her illness preventing her from doing more. I’m doing this because I want to, and I don’t consider it a hardship. I’d rather use the money to tailor clothes for my younger brother. He’s growing, so he outgrows his clothes quickly.”

As I hesitated to speak my true feelings, my words naturally trailed off. I took a breath, exhaled, and hoped that my face wasn’t clearly visible in the dimming light.

 ㅤ

“This is the second time I’ve received a gift from a man. A blue flower and a dress. Both the first and second times, I’m glad it was from Roa-sama.”

In this case, naturally, I would have to exclude dad and Thor.

As I was cooling my slightly flushed face with the wind, Roa-sama’s hand reached out. Upon my hand that was resting on the table, a slightly sunburnt large hand was placed, and I froze.

“I, too, only give gifts voluntarily to Miss Norchev.”

Roa-sama’s hand, unusually warm with a smile, felt hot. After a while, as the sun set, Roa-sama left, saying it’s not proper to stay with a lady any longer.

I took a bath, read a recipe book while considering the menu, and decided to go to bed early. I have to wake up early tomorrow.

I lay down on the fluffy bed, closed my eyes in the pitch-dark room, and suddenly opened them.

“What’s this about wanting me to wear the dress I gave you?!”

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