Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 67

𝐀𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐞’𝐬 𝐓𝐞𝐚 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐲

The tea party was held in Caroline’s private room. It seems that such private affairs are often conducted in this manner.

Today, I am accompanied by Roa-sama, Chris, and Rene. When Rene knocks on the door of Caroline’s room, it is promptly opened and we are invited in.

There is one maid for the two of us and a single valet. The room we’re using has the same layout as ours, but it’s slightly smaller. The furnishings are bright and colorful, making it a lively room that’s very much like Caroline.

“Tianne-sama, I’m glad you could make it.”

“Thank you for the invitation.”

After rising to greet us, Caroline and I exchange brief bows, and I take a seat in the chair that Rene has pulled out for me.

“I’ve prepared various things to make today enjoyable. I look forward to your candid opinions, Tianne-sama. I’ve officially applied to hold this tea party in the dorm, so I don’t think anyone will just burst in, but I apologize if that does happen because of me.”

I’m a bit slow to respond, unsure of what she meant.

“Well, you see, I come from a merchant family. . .which is looked down upon by nobles.”

Caroline says this cheerfully, shrugging her shoulders.

Nobility consider it beneath them to work anywhere other than their royal castle or personal estates, so they look down on merchants. It’s a mindset I’ve never quite understood, especially considering they’d have nothing to buy without merchants.

“Oh, you’re a merchant’s daughter? I didn’t know.”

“I thought as much.”

Her gaze is probing, yet seems to imply something more. I wish I could give the answer that Caroline is looking for, but I don’t know what that would be.

“So, have you traveled to various places?”

“Yes.”

“I’d love to hear about it. Stories of unknown lands are always fascinating.”

Caroline’s face shows a hint of vulnerability, her eyes widening like those of a cat.

She doesn’t say anything in response. She just gazes at me and eventually says,

“I thought I’d be criticized for being overly familiar, being a merchant’s daughter.”

“Is that so?”

Unsure of how to respond, my answer comes out somewhat curtly.

“Does it really matter if you’re a merchant’s daughter or a noble lady? Caroline is Caroline, after all.”

This makes me think of my friends, who are young noble ladies. They tend to be quite assertive.

And so, I feel that even if Caroline had been born a noble, she wouldn’t have been much different.

“Ah, but be careful. If you were born a noble lady, you’d have to talk about the opposite sex at tea parties.”

“Isn’t that what everyone talks about at tea parties? What do you talk about, Tianne-sama?”

“Stuff like meat.”

One of my friends loves meat unconditionally and always talks about which meat from where tastes best when cooked in what way.

Now that I think about it, we all talked freely about our interests at our tea parties. Since we’re among friends who know each other well, this was allowed.

Caroline looked puzzled for a moment, but then burst into laughter.

“Ah, meat! Talking about meat! Now I finally understand why you came to this school, Tianne-sama. You’re so socially awkward that you wouldn’t be able to marry if people knew about it! Is that why you’ve never talked about it?”

. . .Let’s just go with that.

As I keep a straight face, Caroline comes to her own conclusions and wipes the corners of her eyes.

 ㅤ

“Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve laughed this much. Tianne-sama, you really are entertaining. I feel bad for having all the fun. Please enjoy yourself as well.”

Tea was poured from the teapot. On the elegant tablecloth adorned in white and gold, vibrant flowers and an assortment of sweets were arranged.

“Well then, I won’t hold back.”

That said, the sweets are all too intricate and beautiful. It’s not the kind of food that benefits from my eating training.

Upon glancing, Roa-sama moved. On a thin piece of pie crust the size of a mouthful, rose-colored cream was artistically piped to look like a flower; he took a piece onto a plate.

Roa-sama kneeled and silently cut the sweet into portions.

“Please, Ojou-sama.”

Opening my mouth as if it’s a matter of course, the fork gently reached my lips.

“. . . . . .It’s delicious.”

The crust has a nice crunch, and the light cream leaves a slight tang in the aftertaste. Caroline deepened her smile at my unwittingly honest words.

“See? My attendant made them.”

“Really? An amazing patissier, indeed.”

“. . . . . .As expected, Tianne-sama remains unique. Most men couldn’t possibly keep up with you.”

While eating the offered sweets and sipping tea in between, it’s less embarrassing than making a clatter with the cutlery, especially since Caroline is eating on her own as well.

“Do you have a partner, Caroline?”

“I don’t. I love gossip, right? People always want to tell me things, but they don’t usually get close. Probably because they have something to hide. I’d like to marry into nobility to forge connections, but with this personality and being from a merchant family, I’m having a hard time finding a match.”

“Rushing into marriage is not good. Nor is one that is opposed.”

Really, you should avoid it!

“Why not be an information broker in the meantime? You can look for a spouse, and it seems like a good fit.”

“An information broker?”

Caroline tilted her head.

“Gather rumors, verify them, and sell them. You could gather rumors at school, or infiltrate various places to get information. Trade that for money or information you want, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. If your family is in business, you can gather rumors in various places, it’s perfect.”

“But. . . I’m a woman.”

“Just put a figurehead man at the top of the information brokerage. Everyone would find out that the leader they struggled to identify is a decoy, and you’re actually running the show from behind the scenes. Isn’t that cool?”

“. . . . . .Yes, indeed.”

With an ambiguous smile, unlike the definitive Caroline, she set down her teacup.

“. . . . . .I’ll think it over carefully.”

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