“This way, please.”
A man who appeared to be an attendant of the palace verified the invitation.
Then, as though he found it to be surprising, he looked over me and my companions.
“Your companions are fewer than what I had thought.”
Just like what he said, except for the knight that accompanied me as an escort, I practically entered the palace alone.
I did think of bringing a maid, but Dana knew nothing of palace etiquette.
I couldn’t help but worry that she would go through difficult things.
“Because the state council meeting is becoming longer, you’ll have to wait for a while.”
He was asking whether I wanted to stay in the parlor, or if I wanted to see the palace garden.
“I’ll stay in the parlor.”
The parlor he guided me to was as wide as the lobby I saw in the Duchy’s mansion.
Looking at the books filling one side of the walls, I would believe it if this place was a library.
While I was looking around the parlor, the maids set up snack trays for me.
A faint cinnamon scent and refreshing citrus scent emanated from an appetizing glossy cake with apple shape.
Did people say we ate thrice Once through its appearance, then through its scent and last through its taste
“This tastes good.”
The aroma of black tea and the flavor of the cake lingered in the mouth as it harmonized very exquisitely without harming each other.
Above all, it was not too sweet, so the taste was harmonized even more.
I appreciated the maid who served it in the appropriate temperature in consideration for me.
“Thank you for serving this in the right temperature for me to drink.
It’s been a long time since I drank tea with a nice aroma like this.”
The maid who was quietly standing on the side flinched as if she was surprised by my words.
I knew there may be no professional workers who were bad at their jobs, but among them, the job in the imperial palace was a job where they could pass only if they excel in their fields.
Her voice trembled a bit.
I saw her flusteredly exchanging glances with her coworker.
“Such friendly words .
I never heard that before.”
“I know this cake and tea are served with care.
Dessert is normally sweet because it is eaten after the salty entree.
You adjust the sweetness so this cake can go along well with the tea, right”
“Yes, I thought My Lady came here without having lunch before.”
She answered in a low voice.
They looked even greater at how they acted as if that was nothing.
A woman who appeared to be the head maid opened the door.
She entered the room before bending her knee a bit while smiling at me.
“If you give them excessive praise for some trivial things, these girls would uselessly get conceited, My Lady.”
That one sentence from her made the maids turn into straight posture at once.
I blinked as I saw them.
“I don’t think that was excessive.”
The head maid raised her head a bit after hearing my words.
And I slowly put down the tea cup I was holding.
Then, I began to recite the considerations they gave in this short time.
“Changing the chair arrangement so I could eat comfortably, and adjusting the cup handle position so that I could hold it easily.
As well as harmonizing the bitter and savory aroma of the tea so it blends exquisitely with the cake that is served together.”
“After receiving so much consideration, I was able to enjoy tea and cake so deliciously that I forgot that this was a palace.
I am a type who couldn’t easily enjoy things in an unfamiliar place, though.”
She looked at me in silence with a surprised face.
“It’s something to be thankful for.”
Somehow I felt as though someone was holding their breath.
The woman in front of me bent her knees once again and lifted a bit of her skirt, greeted me elegantly.
Her face radiating a soft smile.
“Those words really make everyone who works here feel rewarded.”
As I turned my head because I was surprised by the sudden weeping sound, I saw the maids were covering their mouths.
While I was wondering whether I should offer them my handkerchief or not, I heard the sound of the door being opened.
And as I turned my head again, I saw a patissier dragged a tray in through the opened door.
“Since I heard you like the cake, I was wondering if I should bring in more cookies .
The voice of the man with bulky arms like a bandit shuffled toward me like a mosquito.
I almost couldn’t make out what he said since he was trembling.
He stared at me with watery eyes.
“Thi-this cookie was added with ginger, and I properly adjusted its scent so it could go well with cold tea, My Lady.”
I like ginger cookies.”
After hearing my reply, he pushed the tray in and instantly ran out of the room.
On behalf of the patissier who ran away, the man who guided me took the plate with cookies and put it in front of me.
Then, with eyes beyond description, he stared at me and spoke calmly.
“I’m glad the tea suits your taste.”
I was a bit intimidated.
In the Duchy, Orion was the only one whose behavior I couldn’t predict, but in the palace, whether it was the maid or the patissier, there was no one that I could predict.
The eyes of the people who were looking at me from afar were all wet.
I felt like something kept forming in their eyes.
Should I drink more
Or should I stop drinking since their eyes became even more watery now
Fortunately, my worry didn’t last long.
It was because His Majesty called me as soon as the meeting ended.