Fiance-Hen Extra (Lycoris’s Cooking Class)
「Today we’ll be cooking」
Suddenly saying that and shoving a cloth at me, was my fiancée — Lycoris Radiata. Recently, her visits were relatively frequent that such visits didn’t surprise me anymore.
On our first meeting, she greatly angered me; in some respects, her only attractive features were her slanted eyes and the mole under her eye. Although her mature appearance might be attributed to the fact that as a ten year old girl she was fairly tall, now it was clear that it was her mind which surpassed her height in displaying that maturity.
When the girl in question came into my line of sight, my eyebrows knitted together.
The reason for this was because her usual loose wavy black hair was inelegantly tied with a string and a crooked triangular piece of cloth covered her forehead. The rouge dress that suited her well, was hidden from view by a thick white apron.
Her outfit was an imitation based on the maids that wore apron dresses and white headbands to work (although, I don’t know what they’re officially called).
「You know, no one wanted to lend me an apron dress」
Noticing my dubious look, she pouted. I could just imagine the bewilderment of the people in the house if they find out that the duke’s daughter was running around in servant’s clothing.
「But I was able to somehow find a clean cloth to work with. Ah, don’t worry though. The cloth you’re holding is something I properly borrowed from mister butler」
Right before she pointed out that fact. I was unfurling the cloth that she passed to me. Attached to a rectangular fabric by a string was a very simple vest. The rectangular fabric would probably be wrapped to the lower body as an apron, but what was the need for the vest?
「It’s exactly black」
She, in some way, proudly declared this fact.
「I’ll be standing in the kitchen wearing this?」
「There’s nothing wrong with that. Duke Ranuncula gave us his utmost support. And it won’t hurt if a man can cook. Besides, once we’re twelve we won’t be able to do this in the school dorms」
Although my father indulged her by consenting, this was really illogical.
「We’d probably have a cook in the dorms…」
But my complaint went in Lycoris’s one ear and out the other as she wrapped the waist-cloth around my waist and dressing me in the vest atop my shirt. Even though I had planned to properly scold her about the distance being too close, I always wavered.
At least before the chances of coming into contact with other men increased while entering the school and debuting in high society, I had to rectify her defenselessness.
Not knowing my complex inner thoughts, Lycoris muttered「Garçon style~ cute~」.(1) I don’t understand the first part, but calling a man of an impressionable age 『Cute』was definitely taboo. Truly, I want you to stop calling me that from the bottom of my heart. But I didn’t want her to think of me as a narrow-minded man.
Being rebellious by desperately cutting down on being called cute was not my intention, but I continued to get dragged by the arm into the kitchen.
「Today, the challenge is to make 『porridge』」
「What the heck is it?」
「It’s a bit difficult to explain what it tastes like. It would be simpler to just make it」
And so, the sudden cooking course started.
I began by carefully washing my hands, proceeding to wash the vegetables, and some unfamiliar grains right after, then chopping the vegetables and adding all of the ingredients together into a pot.
When I noticed that the ingredients being chopped were very sour and weak in substance,「Are these also going to be added in?」, was what I asked, and「These are incredibly important ingredients that cannot be missed out」was what she replied. Somehow, today had me completely following her pace, I hope that I don’t end up with anything I’m not satisfied with.
After finishing the cooking of the so called『porridge』, I cautiously scooped a bit of the sour ingredients I hated into a small saucer.
Due to the panic in her voice, my hand stopped.
「I’ll be tasting it first. It’s mortifying if it has a weird taste after it was done」
Her point was illogical.
Although she was the one guiding, the one who did the cooking was me. Even if the outcome of the cooking had a weird taste, there wouldn’t be any reason for her to feel ashamed.
Finally, her intention became clear. Well, it was kind of expected though.
After the incident of almost getting served poison, the people around me began preparing my meals with care. The servants in charge of the kitchen would offer to personally taste-test the meal for poison; furthermore, soup was no longer added to the table.
I told them I was fine even if they didn’t do it, but no one listened.
The food I consumed didn’t decrease.
However, it was a pathetic to say that I felt melancholic every dinner time. It seemed she realized this small disorder I had.
「…Ok. It’s pretty good」
She said this after taste-testing it for poison for me, after quickly washing it, she offered the small saucer.
「Do you… want to have a taste as well?」
(Forcing me to make the dish, then making that anxious face, isn’t this cheating?)
Even with a small height difference, having Licorice send me an upward glance in a helpless state stirred something within me. Wanting to cherish her, and at the same time wanting to tease her – it was an extremely complicated feeling.
「Yeah, let me have a taste」
Having said that, I opened my mouth slightly, and sure enough, she was put in an embarrassing situation.
But eventually, a small portion of the『porridge』in the small saucer slowly came closer to my mouth.
With moderate amount of sourness inside my mouth, the natural sweetness of the cereal spread through.
With the sound of a gulp from my throat, I remembered my hunger.
No matter how meddlesome it is, this was the deep affection of my fiancée.
『As long as it’s your hand that offers, even if it was poison I’ll gladly take it』or so the lines of a play I heard somewhere before, drifted into my head.
If I said those words out loud though, I’ll surely get scolded for indiscretion.
(1) Garçon – actually French Waiter style