Episode 6. The Role of the Hostess (1)

Translator: Alice

Editor: Linny

***

The first place that Sylvia guided Dooha to was the kitchen.

“This is the place where the ingredients of the castle are managed and the meals for the duke and the duchess, as well as the servants of the castle, are prepared. It is also the place with the most servants.”

Dooha carefully looked inside the kitchen while listening to the explanation.

On the shelf, fresh vegetables, dozens of spices, and well-prepared meat were hanging and organized in the cupboards by type.

Layla, who was following Dooha, was surprised to see a chunk of meat hanging in the air.

“Doesn’t it go bad if you leave raw meat out like this? It’s hot.” 

When Layla said this to herself, Sylvia stood up proudly.

“As it would be, we have magic tools made from the White Tower. This keeps the meat very fresh.”

“Magic?”

When Dooha tilted her head, Sylvia pointed to a huge iron hook where the meat was hanging from.

“That hook is a magic tool designed by Serion, the owner of the white tower. If you look closely, there is a magic picture engraved. If you hang raw meat over the picture, it freezes in an instant.”

Sylvia tapped one of the chunks of meat hanging in the air.

“Even if it’s this warm, it won’t go bad because it’s frozen, and so there’s nothing to throw away.”

“Huh!”

Dooha was lost in thought as she saw Layla patting the meat in wonder.

“Because it’s magic.”

If it’s magic, she had heard of it while in Bashal.

Strange power that was used by humans except for the Bashalins.

Unlike the power of nature that is similar to the “power of nature” that the Bashalins used, which didn’t need a price, she heard that magic always came with a price.

The greater the price, the stronger the power that can be used, which was different from the “power of nature” they used.

“Of course, there are magic tools that not only freeze meat but could also make fires without firewood…”

It was then that Sylvia rolled up her sleeves and began talking about the practicality of the magic tools.

“How are you expecting us to fix this? I can’t throw away what the knights brought…”

“That is true.”

The servants in the kitchen gathered in one place and murmured.

Sylvia frowned at the untimely disturbance.

“What’s going on?”

“Oh, chief maid.”

The maid had a face that expressed she could not understand the servant’s answer.

“Can’t we just call the butcher? There must be someone living in the castle that can deal with this.”

“He’s gone. His mother became seriously ill and he said that he would go back home for a few days.”

The servant scratched his head and made a tearful face.

“This is a goat that was able to be brought in thanks to a lot of effort. A goat’s skin and horns are valuable, but I’m worried that we won’t be able to even separate them properly if we handle it since we don’t have the skill for that.”

“Hmm.” 

Sylvia swallowed her saliva as she saw a large mountain sheep lying on the floor.

The elegantly dried gigantic horns and shiny fur were quite coveted.

It certainly seemed like a waste if she touched the leather as she wanted to and the leather became useless because of it.

“Isn’t there a butcher you can bring here right away?”

“For now…”

Sylvia frowned with her arms folded.

It was the moment when she, who had been agonizing for a long time, tried to instruct her servants to do something.

“That’s a great mountain goat. Who caught it?” 

“Madame! Take your hands off of it right now! How could you put your precious hand on a beast’s corpse?”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a big and wonderful mountain goat.”

“Madame! Don’t touch it!”

Sylvia freaked out as she saw Dooha stroking the fur skin of the mountain sheep.

“That’s true! This fur leather is worth using! I want it.”

Unlike the embarrassed maid, Layla’s eyes were sparkling along with her master’s.

Meanwhile, the servants’ eyes widened at the sound of the maid’s scream.

“Duchess? The Duchess… she’s from Bashal…” 

“I heard that Baschalins are all barbarians. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be…”

The news that the new Duchess had come from Bashal had already spread among the servants.

However, it was the first time they saw the Duchess in person, so the kitchen was buzzing again.

“Be quiet! How dare you say that about Madame?”

Sylvia roared at the servants, and Dooha looked back at her.

“Sylvia, what are you doing without trimming its hair first?” 

“Madam, I think it’s going to be hard to prepare it right now, so I’ll freeze the whole thing…” 

“Freeze the whole thing? Then the leather will go bad.”

“But I don’t think there’s anything else I can do because there’s no one who can groom it here.”

At her words, Dooha called Layla.

“Layla, give me the knife.” 

“Duchess, why are you asking for a knife all of a sudden? “

Following the maid’s face, which showed that she didn’t know what the hell Dooha was trying to do, Layla intervened with an awkward face.

“Princess, no, Madame. This place is different from Bashal, so you shouldn’t slaughter animals. That’s the job of the lowest-ranking person.” 

“Layla”.

Dooha quietly whispered to her servant.

“When have I ever asked for an unreasonable request for no reason?”

“But…” 

“Layla, knife.” 

“…Yes.”

Layla eventually took out the knife she had hidden in her skirt.

The people gathered in the kitchen opened their mouths to the sight of a sharp dagger coming out from the skirt of a calm-looking woman.

When Dooha accepted the knife, Sylvia made a fuss, finally having come to her senses.

“Wow, what are you doing! You’re going to skin that goat? Absolutely not! That’s what the lowly butchers…”

“It’s the predator’s duty to hunt and groom prey. Since humans hunt, it’s only right for humans to groom as well. Where is the bucket?”

Dooha shook off the hands of the maid, who was trying to dissuade her, and looked around. Everyone was already looking at her with astonished eyes.

As she had wished for.

“Layla, bucket. I think it’s going to bleed a lot.” 

“Yes, Duchess!”

Under the direction of Dooha, Layla moved like lightning and brought a bucket from the corner of the kitchen.

Sylvia, who was just staring at it vaguely, shouted, almost as if she was screaming.

“Madam! Please, at least wear an apron!”

***

The servants of the Esbaden Castle’s kitchen were staring at something as if they were possessed.

The Duchess, Dooha’s divine hands, were mesmerizing. 

The bones and leather were smoothly separated from each other whenever the shiny blade she was holding passed by.

The hostess’ hand movements were so accurate and fast that even if a butcher came, he would stick out his tongue, dumbfounded.

In addition, they couldn’t believe that a mountain goat as big as a sturdy adult man was completely dismantled in such a short time.

The Duchess, who was wearing a blue silk dress with flowy silver hair and holding a knife covered in red blood, was strangely out of place.

Nevertheless, the people in the kitchen couldn’t take their eyes off the scene.

“It’s done!”

Meanwhile, Dooha did not care about the attention focused on her and opened the leather with a proud look.

The clean leather, without a drop of blood, had a unique pattern and even a glossy finish. It would have been a waste to throw away.

At that time, the maid gave her a silver tray and a towel with clean water.

“Madam, please wash your hands.”

While Dooha was washing her hands, the maid nagged in a low and fast voice.

“Madam, in the empire, slaughtering animals is done only by the lowest ranking people. It’s a good thing that the Duchess is generous to the butchers, but it’s not right for Bashal’s princess and the duchess to do this. Not only will I get everyone’s fingers pointing at me, but if the duke sees this…”

“The duke can’t see this. This was meant as a surprise gift to the Duke.” 

” Huh?

“Layla, did you take good care of it?” 

“Yes, Duchess!”

In Layla’s hand, there was the fur leather, which was carefully trimmed by the Duchess, and two horns.

“In Bashal, it’s tradition for the bride to present the groom with fur clothes she made on her own. The wedding was so urgent that I couldn’t prepare it before I came here, but this is a good thing.”

Dooha showed an innocent smile.

“I’m already excited thinking about making clothes for the Duke with such high-quality fur leather.”

“That, that…”

“With the two horns, I’m going to make a drink to commemorate the alliance between Bashal and the Empire and our marriage. What do you think, Sylvia?”

The maid was speechless at the duchess’ question and only her fingers flinched.

It was certainly wrong to do such nonsense in front of the lower-ranking ones.

However, she couldn’t be blamed for trying to make a gift for the Duke.

“The duke will be happy, right?” 

“I’m sure he’ll be happy.” 

“Right? That’s a relief.”

Meanwhile, Layla, who was watching from behind, whispered in a voice that only her master could hear.

“You told me to be careful because I have a lot of eyes watching me. Why did you do that?”

“What?”

“In the Empire, it is ridiculous for a noblewoman to slaughter an animal. Why did you do that in front of so many people?”

“You asked me to make a present for my husband.”

“Don’t lie. It’s been years since you’ve behaved like a princess or a wife.”

“I’m telling you, Layla.”

Dooha looked back at her and smiled gently.

“My husband gave me a gift for our wedding, so shouldn’t I pay him back?”

“Did you get a wedding gift from the duke? I’ve never heard of it.”

“You saw it, too. Thanks to him, I skipped my meals today and was stuck behind my desk.”

Layla looked at Dooha with a look of doubt.

“Then what gift…”

“Can you imagine that cold-hearted man trying to explain his wife’s unusual behavior in front of others?”

Although she had not met him for a while, she had already understood the character of the duke to some extent.

He seems to be cold and indifferent, but he valued his dignity very much and did clear calculations.

Dooha wondered how diligently a man like that would work to keep the dignity of the Duchess, whom he did not like.

“I hope he has as many headaches as I do.”

Layla shook her head as she saw the evil smile of her master.

As expected, her smile reflected on the fact that her master was a person who never lost against anyone, anytime, anywhere.