It was almost dinner time, so Clarice’s suggestion to cook was fitting to the occasion.
But Philia, worried, said, “Cla-Clarice, cooking?”
“Of course! I’m a maid after all,” Clarice said pridefully, but Philia’s expression was still clouded.
“Clarice-san can cook? Do you even have the ingredients?”
“To be honest, I didn’t cook very much… but I should be able to do something about it! And the ingredients… I can just improvise too!”
“Cla-Clarice… I’m really worried…”
Each of the many servants in the Imperial Palace had their own jobs. Clarice was mainly in charge of taking care of the princess, not of the kitchen. If we were still in the Imperial Palace, the ones preparing our daily meals would be the chefs of the palace.
Therefore, it was warranted that Clarice hadn’t cooked much, but I was also worried about letting Clarice cook. I agreed with Philia at this point. There was no way I would let Clarice do the cooking today.
“I will cook,” I said. Instantly, Saint Sophia got up and shivered.
“What? Sophia, you’re awake?”
Sophia didn’t say anything, her face red. She should’ve been awake from a while ago, but perhaps she was too embarrassed. She mistook the demon for a ghost and got too scared she even fainted, I could understand why she would be embarrassed.
Sophia hurriedly changed the subject and said to Clarice, who was next to her.
“So-Solon-kun’s cooking is very delicious.”
“Yeah! When we just started out as adventurers, Solon always cooked for us and it was delicious,” Sophia said honestly.
It was true I did cook for Sophia and others, and my cooking was also quite popular. But I hope she didn’t raise their expectations too much. It would be a problem if they became disappointed because the bars were set too high.
But Sophia said brightly, “I’m glad I could eat Solon’s cooking again!”
“It’s not a big deal,” I said in a hurry, but it was too late.
Philia and Clarice were looking at me fervently. Their eyes were already full of expectations. It seemed that I had to cook dishes that were suitable to those two’s tastes.
After a while, however, Clarice looked sad.
“But I feel bad making Solon-sama cook, even though Solon is the mansion’s owner.”
“An owner’s job is to entertain the guests, so there’s nothing strange about that. And I have already prepared the ingredients.”
“Eh? You’ve prepared the ingredients?”
“I can’t call everyone here without any preparation. I’ve already provided most of our necessities. And since this place is on the outskirts of the empire, I can negotiate with nearby farmers about supplying us with various products.”
Usually it would take time to prepare this mansion for protection and use. But this mansion was already suitable for welcoming Princess Philia and the others.
“As expected! Solon-sama!”
Clarice said like she was impressed, while we were climbing the stairs, moving towards the first floor of the mansion.
“It can’t be helped that you don’t know how to cook, so I’ll teach you. I hope you’ll be able to do it yourself soon.”
“Solon-sama is going to teach me?! Really?!”
“But I couldn’t teach you anything fancy.”
“No, I’m looking forward to it!” Clarice said with a very bright smile. I’d be happy if you looked forward to the cooking lesson. Philia glanced at me.
“Hey, Solon. Can you also teach me how to cook?” (TN: I haven’t found a good word for ね
“I’m fine with that, but I think Philia-sama should study magic first. It’s my job to teach you magic as your instructor.”
“I heard a magic instructor teaches a lot more than just magic. Didn’t Lucy also teach Solon various things? For example, how to treat a beautiful older woman?”
“I didn’t learn that…”
“Anyway, I want you to teach me how to cook.”
Since Philia asked me persistently, in the end, I nodded. Well, I would teach those two next time. But it was already late today and I didn’t have much time. When I got to the kitchen, I told Philia to rest in the hall and asked Clarice to clean up the room surrounding the dining table.
The only one who helped me was Saint Sophia. It was because Sophia helped me with cooking sometimes, when we were adventurers.
After The Knights increased in number, I hired an adventurer who also served as a chef to cook for her. But before that, it was usually me who was cooking with someone helping.
Sophia, with an apron on, came to the kitchen. She was wearing simple and comfortable clothes, not her usual white monastic clothes.
“We don’t have much time. So we can’t cook anything fancy. I’m thinking of thick-sliced, sautéed bacon with cold soup. There’s also cold wine.”
Sophia nodded when I said that. Then I instructed her to do some simple tasks. She stood next to me, staring at my face for some reason. After a while, she blushed deep red.
“Sophia? What’s wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
“But your face is red, do you have a fever?”
“Umm, I thought when we’re cooking side by side like this in Solon-kun’s mansion, it kind of feels like we’re a newlywed.”
Saying that, Sophia’s face became even redder. Before I could reply, Sofia whispered, “Please forget what I said.”
I didn’t say anything more.
After we did this and that, the food was finally cooked. Then the four of us sat at the dining table.
“God, thank you for letting us live today. Now we will have this meal. Please bless us.”
After praying the Imperial Church’s prayer, we started eating. I adjusted the seasoning with the meals we had when we were staying at the Imperial Palace as references. The result seemed to be good, it seemed like the dishes suited Philia and Clarice’s tastes.
I was familiar with Sophia’s tastes, and I was careful so that the dishes didn’t differ from her tastes.
“Amazing. It’s really delicious,” Philia muttered slowly. Clarice and Sophia nodded.
But Philia seemed dissatisfied.
“I’m the only one who can’t drink alcohol.”
In the empire, only people over the age of sixteen can drink alcohol. In other words, Sophia, Clarice, and I could drink wine without any problem, but not Philia who was only fourteen years old.
“The day you’ll turn sixteen will come soon. Let’s have a drink together that time.”
“Two years. I wonder if we’ll still be together.”
Philia looked up at me. Two years later? It might be true that I wouldn’t be Philia’s instructor by that time. Philia was also a member of the imperial family. Furthermore, we wouldn’t know if an organization like Natural Alliance would harm her in the future.
The future was still uncertain. But I nodded to Philia.
“I’ll stay by Philia’s side until you become an adult. I’m Philia’s instructor, after all.”
Philia’s face brightened, and she smiled beautifully.
“Yeah, that’s right. Solon promised, I’m sure we’ll be together. Thank you, Solon.”
“Then, let’s start the magic lesson tomorrow… is what I’d like to say. But before that, let’s buy a wand.”
If we were going to buy a magic wand for Philia, we had to choose the best one possible. For that purpose, it was necessary to have a professional craftsman adjust the wand to suit the user’s aptitude.
Thinking about what to do, I realized that I was really looking forward to buying a wand for Philia. As an instructor, I was happy to know there were things I could do for my disciple.
Lucy, my instructor, previously said that. But now, I felt like I could understand her.