𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟑: 𝐂𝐢𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬
『”𝘼𝙬𝙚𝙗𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨.𝙘𝙤𝙢” – 𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙖 𝙘𝙖𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙 𝙤𝙛 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚, 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙙𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚, 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘a𝙣 𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙪𝙡𝙜𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 “𝙙𝙖𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝙪𝙥𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨” 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙡𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙘𝙘𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙤 “𝙖𝙙𝙫𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙙 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨”.』
The apple sweets are also highly praised by Demon King-sama, and I plan to serve these jam cookies as a snack eventually.
After baking the cookies, I let them cool before adding the jam. I also made jam cookies using the hollowed-out part to create a jam window and taste-test them.
The taste is perfect. Migi-san and Hidari-san were delighted with the small jam cookies.
I’m sure Demon King-sama and Tyran-san will also be pleased. However, the points of focus are different between them and Orphemia-san.
Taste or appearance? Additionally, the level of sparkle is important this time.
Even though I made and wrapped them, I’m still pondering whether they can be considered sparkly. I continue to worry even after returning to my room.
I line up the ones for myself and the ones to give to her on the desk, looking at them up close and from a distance. They look sparkly to me. But no matter how much I agonize, I don’t know the criteria from others’ perspectives.
When giving gifts to people, it’s surprisingly challenging, especially when there’s a vague idea of their likes and dislikes or what they want.
Demon King-sama and Tyran-san are generally pleased with anything, and their preferences are easy to understand, which I’m grateful for.
After much deliberation, I decided to give up and seek help.
I take a bag and leave the room. At this time, she should be in the linen room.
When I open the door, she is folding the finished laundry sheets.
I sought help from Ciel-san. She is currently the closest woman to me.
When giving a gift to a woman, I want a woman’s opinion.
Since doing laundry together, my distance with Ciel-san has shortened, and I can casually talk to her.
“I wanted to ask you something. Does this look sparkly to you?”
I show Ciel-san the bag with the cookies.
She stares at it intently and tilts her head in confusion.
“Sparkly, you say? It has a shine, and it’s cute, I think. But whether it’s sparkly or not depends on the criteria…”
She ends up at the same point as me. It would be best to just give it without hesitation, but the desire for the recipient to be pleased gets in the way.
I know for sure that she would be pleased with macarons.
Should I remake them now? As I enter another loop of indecision, Ciel-san looks at me with a curious gaze.
“What’s the matter?”
Come to think of it, I didn’t explain the reason. My desire to hear her opinion got ahead of me. I explain the situation to her.
“Actually, there’s a book I want Orphemia-san to look for, so I thought of bringing her a little something [sparkly sweets], but I’m struggling with it.”
“Oh, I see. In that case, I’m sure she will like it. I would like to try it myself.”
“Ciel-san, you eat sweets?!”
“No, I have never eaten them before. But since Dairy-sama came, I have gradually become interested.”
It might be flattery. But there is nothing more delightful than someone showing interest in something you like because of you.
Demons not needing to eat is not just knowledge, but something I have seen and understood with my own eyes over the past few months.
I let her hold the bag as if grasping both of her hands.
“If you’d like, please eat this!”
“But isn’t this something made for Orphemia?”
“There are still some in the room, so it’s okay. So, if it’s not a bother…”
Did I push too hard? I slowly release my grip and timidly check her expression. The corners of Ciel-san’s mouth are slightly upturned.
Even the gaze directed at the bag of cookies is very gentle.
I don’t think it was a bother.
“I gratefully accept.”
I decided to take her words at face value.
Suppressing the urge to skip, I return to the room. With the book and cookies that were placed on the desk in hand, I head to the library this time.
The anxiety of whether she will be pleased or not has completely disappeared.
I open the large door and search for Orphemia-san.
It seems she was just heading to get a book as she notices me and descends from above.
“Orphemia-san, hello. This is a treat. Please have some if you’d like.”
I hand her the bag of jam cookies, and her eyes sparkle. Holding the bag in front of her chest, she looks genuinely happy.
“Sparkling sweets! Thank you!”
After enjoying them from different angles, she carefully puts them away in her pocket. Just as Ciel-san said, it seems she really likes them.
“By the way, I was thinking of borrowing a book about magical tools today.”
“I have one! Wait a moment, I’ll bring it right away.”
Using her large wings, she flies into the forest of books. Then she brings back several books.
There are many old books. But there are no signs of damage, and it’s clear that they have been cherished.
As I receive them, I make a mental note to handle them carefully so as not to cause any harm. But the books were not the only things.
“And also, if you’d like this too.”
In addition to the old books, Orphemia-san had brought a tote bag. Inside it, there is a recipe book. Unlike the books on magical tools, this one is brand new.
“Actually, the day before yesterday, I went to the human realm and bought new books. Usually, I keep them all to myself for about a month, but for Saint-san, it’s special. After all, you gave me such beautiful sweets.”
It seems she really liked the jam cookies. She even begged me to bring them again when I return the books.
Next time, I might make them with a different jam. Apricot or strawberry jam would give them a beautiful color.
Tyran-san said he would bring different fruits, so if they seem suitable for making jam, it might be a good idea to use them.