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The next morning, we all woke up at the same time.
There are many reasons for this, but basically, I’m a short sleeper. I’ve always been the type of person who would rather read a book than sleep.
Chloe has a habit of waking up at sunrise because of her occupation as a maid.
Sicily wakes up early because of her innate earnestness.
Eculate is a forest elf and is used to waking up with the sun and being active.
In other words, everyone was surprisingly an early riser.
“It’s nice being healthy right, Leon-sama?” (Sicily)
Sicily concluded with a smile and took her place at the breakfast table.
Sicily, with her neatly styled hair and refreshing smile, was an angel who had landed in the early morning.
Chloe’s hair and clothes are in perfect order.
The only people eating bread with messy hair and in their sleepwear were me and Eculate.
I have breakfast while thinking that people’s personalities appear in such affairs.
Breakfast was rye bread, bacon soup, and grilled vegetables.
It was not an elaborate meal, but it was hearty and delicious.
The bread was seasoned with honey as a special secret ingredient, the soup with savory seasoning, and the grilled vegetables with a sprinkling of rock salt.
It’s a small touch, but the accumulation of such small touches and thoughtfulness is the secret to making the food taste many times better.
These are the words of Chloe, the expert in cooking, the patron of hospitality.
I looked to the side and saw a girl avoiding the bacon in the soup with her fork.
Eculate replies as I asked her if she hates meat.
“There is no girl in this world who does not like meat.” (Eculate)
She is confident but adds.
“But basically, elves are incapable of eating meat.” (Eculate)
“Which one is it?”
“No, I like the taste of meat, so I like to make broth from it.” (Eculate)
So, I take a spoonful of bacon and put it in my cup.
I sipped the soup for a long time.
She is a free-spirited girl.
While I was observing each of them eating like this, the after-meal coffee arrived.
No, it’s a coffee-like drink.
Coffee is expensive in the forest, so dandelion tea was served as a substitute.
The dandelion tea is made by steeping the dandelion and substituting it for coffee. It tasted bland on its own, but it seemed to have some kind of herb in it, which made it tasty.
I would love to drink dandelion tea instead of pure coffee.
When I mentioned this, Chloe joined in.
“Does Leon-sama also like coffee?” (Chloe)
“Well, yes. Well, I’m a book lover, so I drink coffee to help me stay awake.”
“To read as many books as possible.” (Chloe)
“Something like that. I like cold-brewed coffee, it has less aroma, but I think it has less astringency and acidity.”
“I see. I don’t like astringent black tea either.” (Chloe)
“Hmm. I guess I have a child’s tongue. I love omelets and hamburgers.”
Chloe giggles. Sicily laughs when she is caught.
“I see. Leon-sama likes omelet rice and hamburger steak.” (Chloe)
“I also like curry, which comes from the East.”
“Oh, you like curry too?” (Chloe)
“Um. I especially like the one with apple and honey.”
“You like it sweet?” (Chloe)
“I don’t hate spicy food, but I prefer sweeter curry.”
That said, Sicily is taking notes.
“Her Highness has been diligently studying cooking lately. She’s been working hard on her cooking lately, taking time out from her busy military duties with a cookbook in her hand.” (Chloe)
“By the way, the princess had borrowed a cookbook the other day.”
“It’s all for Leon-sama. She wants her beloved lord to have delicious food.” (Chloe)
I was embarrassed to hear her say that, so I hid my expression.
“Well, anything that the princess has worked hard to make is delicious. Now that I’ve had a good breakfast and some coffee, I should get going.”
When I say that, everyone stands up.
Where are we going? There was not a single inept person in the room to ask where we were going.
We are heading to the Doll chieftain’s house.
The chief of this village and the leader of the clan.
If we can persuade him, the Doll will be on our side. However, will it even work?
“Why don’t you persuade Lulu-sama? Leon-sama and her are like an almost married couple.” (Chloe)
The princess clenched her fists, smiling at those words. Chloe knows her character well, so please don’t talk to her like that.
I lightly chide her.
“No matter how close you are, I believe, she won’t let her personal feelings get in the way.”
“Then you’ll have to be pragmatic about it.” (Sicily)
“That’s what I mean. Well, it’ll turn out that way.”
I say it deliberately and appropriately. It’s no use rubbing shoulders with them now. It’s not going to do any good to frighten them.
So we headed for the chief’s house.
The chief’s house was at the edge of the village.
It was the largest and most magnificent.
Unlike the elves, the houses of the Dolls are solid in their own way.
There were also a good number of houses built of stone.
Incidentally, the chief’s house was also made of stone and had a wall around it.
In case of emergency, he might be able to stay here and intercept the enemy.
With this in mind, I called out to the gatekeeper.
“We are messengers from Ernia. Yesterday, we received permission from the chief’s daughter, Lululucca, to visit. We hope to have an audience with the Chief.”
For a moment, the gatekeeper looked dubious, but eventually, let us through.
“…We are like uninvited guests.” (Sicily)
This is what Sicily said, and she was probably right.
We knew that, but it seems that we are not very welcome by the Doll tribe.
“Many of the Doll people are shy.” (Chloe)
“The ones that stay in the village are especially stubborn. The more flexible ones roam the world as mercenaries.” (Chloe)
“As a race, they’re stubborn and inflexible, but the best of them are still here?”
Chloe agrees with a slight grimace smile.
Chloe and I sighed, and only Sicily was not sighing.
“You can’t start complaining to each other here. If we talk about it, maybe we’ll hit it off.” (Sicily)
This is the kind of argument that pulls everyone together.
That’s right. If you look at someone with prejudice from the start, they will sense it.
We made our way to the chief’s room, taking care not to have any preconceived notions.
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