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    Shadowless Night

    Chapter 41


    Translated by Wook
    Edited by Iris Sakura


     

    The banquet-like meeting went well. For a period that was neither long nor short, the Illavenia delegation and the prince of Balta talked a lot. Prince Haqab listened to the delegation. He was considerably outraged at the tyranny of the Black Moon against Illavenia and vowed to uproot the Black Moon group from Balta.

     

    “With stronger trust, a stronger alliance!”

     

    Haqab raised his glass high. Everyone in the banquet hall followed him and raised a glass. Ricardis laughed and toasted with him. Clink. Over the crisp sound of glasses clashing, the two looked deeply into each other’s eyes. The time of silent probing ended.

     

    ***

     

    Soon after, the real party began. The Illavenian delegation didn’t think that the banquet was much different from the meeting. However, Rosaline noticed that the music had gotten a little more fun, and the amount of alcohol had increased slightly. The delegation did not fully relax their vigilance, but they enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere by eating and drinking leisurely.

     

    Ricardis met many royalty and nobility. Which number of sons, which number of daughters. Whose relative, whose cousin, whose neighbor. Ricardis responded calmly with a slight smile on his face. In one corner, three Baltans had gathered and were chatting. Their gazes were directed towards Ricardis, so Rosaline listened for a moment.

     

    “There is no side dish, no other side dish.”

     

    “But this alcohol is amazing.”

     

    She heard it but didn’t quite understand what they were saying. They seemed to be talking about the food and drinks being delicious. Rosaline shrugged her shoulders, diverting her attention.

     

    Rosaline still followed Ricardis just one step behind him. Isserion looked at her with an expression that showed he was getting a little tired of minding her actions now. Ricardis, having a lot of work to do, diligently moved around, and Rosaline was hungry. She had been chasing after him for hours without eating or drinking, so she was seriously hungry. On top of that, this place served many foods from all over the world. So it was her first time seeing most of them. The smoked meat piled up here, fruits marinated in honey flaunting their shiny appearance over there. Desire burned in her eyes as she glanced at the food. Even if she was full she wanted to put it in her mouth, not to mention now when she is hungry.

     

    But in this dangerous place, she could not leave Ricardis’ side. She hummed… then took a deep breath in and exhaled, trying to keep at least the smell of food deep in her lungs.

     

    “… What’s wrong, Sir…”

     

    Ricardis turned around, startled by the harsh breathing coming from just behind him. Rosaline’s eyes were moving around nervously, and her face flushed. She seemed to be sweating too. ‘What and how much do you want to eat…’

     

    “Yes, Your Highness?”

     

    “Go eat. No one told you to starve.”

     

    “No, I have to be by your side.”

     

    Rosaline straightened her expression as if trying to keep her composure, but her fingertips betrayed her will and trembled.

     

    “…”

     

    It was both funny and pitiful. Ricardis gathered a few more knights and formed a more dense escort network than before.

     

    “There is nothing dangerous about this, so go ahead. You never know what’s going to happen, so you should eat while you can.”

     

    Rosaline hesitated. She said, “Then…” and pointed to the two knights with her fingers.

     

    “If you replace these two with Sir Pardict and Sir Kairo, I think I’ll be able to leave for a while.”

     

    The two pointed by her were lesser knights. It seems like she didn’t believe in their abilities. With a melancholic look on his face, Nestor Sihorge, who she had pointed at, soon summoned Pardict and Kairo. He explained the reason for their summoning, making them look at Rosaline with a foolish expression.

     

    Rosaline looked back about a dozen times as she went to eat. Ricardis heard something snap in his head.

     

    His patience didn’t end there. Only after she looked back for the thirteenth time did an enraged Ricardis summon Raymond.

     

    “Go and feed that troublesome child some food!”

     

    “… Yes, Your Highness… Our child normally doesn’t do this… I am very sorry for the trouble…”

     

    “Just go!”

     

    Raymond nodded his head as if accustomed to it, then walked over to her. Rosaline spoke to him with a dissatisfied expression, and she looked back at Ricardis for the fourteenth time. Just before Ricardis grabbed her by the back of the neck, Raymond picked up a nearby bite-sized piece of food and shoved it into her mouth. Rosaline’s expression softened. Raymond then grabbed Rosaline’s hand and led her to the table where the food piled up. Indeed, it was a great skill to have a knack for dealing with Rosaline.

     

    Raymond was diligent in serving her meals. He brought her food by following the rule of: new food, meat dish, something sweet, then savory, then sweet again. He said he had learned how to eat delightfully like this from the female knights. Rosaline nodded her head as she experienced the greatness of this method. She seemed to be able to eat without limit if she followed this method. While Rosaline immersed herself in food, a familiar voice came into her ear.

     

    “Good evening. You’re having fun, Rosaline.”

     

    “Yes.”

     

    He had wanted to ask, ‘Are you having fun, Rosaline?’ But seeing her happy face, Diech had quickly changed his words.

     

    Raymond smiled faintly and greeted Diech.

     

    “Are you feeling better, Your Highness?”

     

    “I merely sat comfortably and traveled by horse-drawn carriage. You guys did all the hard work.”

     

    “Don’t drink too much. Pretend to drink when someone forcibly recommends it… then spit into your handkerchief.”

     

    Diech laughed lightly.

     

    “I know that. You worry too much, Raymond.”

     

    Rosaline looked at the two as she ate a layer of cheese and meat. Raymond seemed to have a pretty good relationship with Diech. Raymond answered after he read her questioning eyes.

     

    “Oh, His Highness Diech and I had the same tutor when we were young. We’ve been friends since then. You’ve known him too since you were my apprentice knight, and the three of us often went out to play. To be precise… you and His Highness went to the library… and I was forced to follow…”

     

    Raymond had a dim look in his eyes as if thinking about the distant past. 

     

    “Right, we did that. I remember,” said Diech with a smirk.

     

    Then, out of nowhere, he placed a piece of lamb meat on Rosaline’s plate.

     

    “This is my favorite food. They say the lamb is grilled in butter and then braised for a long time with various spices and vegetables. Try it.”

     

    “Thank you.”

     

    Rosaline sniffed at the smell first and then put the meat in her mouth. ‘He’s been talking about this lamb dish since in Illavenia. Just how good does it taste?’

     

    “…!”

     

    Rosaline’s body almost turned into a puddle due to the thrilling gastronomy that entered her mouth then penetrated her spine. Ah, indeed. Balta’s traditional cuisine! It was a taste that challenged her palate head-on. The texture was so soft. It was chewy but not too chewy. Moist but not greasy. Savory and sweet with concentrated gravy and vegetables. The amount of seasoning was also perfect. And her extraordinary sense, combined with all those complex flavors, shook her sanity. Diech smiled confidently as he saw the rapture in Rosaline’s eyes.

     

    “It’s delicious!”

     

    “I’m glad to hear that.”

     

    Diech was delighted and brought two more plates of lamb and handed them to her. As he watched her shove the food into her mouth until her cheeks bulged, Diech made an ‘Oh’ sound.

     

    “There is a wine from Balta that goes well with this, and you have to eat it together. There is even a saying that you haven’t eaten Horembo if you don’t drink it. Ah, Horembo is the name of the dish. Hang on a minute, Rosaline.”

     

    Diech ran back and forth across the banquet hall. Raymond shouted behind him.

     

    “If you run, you will fall, Your Highness! Be careful!”

     

    Diech said that he was 23, not 3, and then disappeared from the crowd. Rosaline opened her mouth, passing the delicious meat down her throat.

     

    “You look like you’re on good terms.”

     

    “Yeah, well, to put it in a slightly disrespectful way, we’re like childhood friends.”

     

    “Even if he’s the enemy of the 2nd Prince?”

     

    Raymond abruptly stopped drinking. He let out a short sigh and looked around the noisy banquet hall for a moment. His gaze wasn’t sharp. It simply floated around aimlessly. He seemed to be recalling things, not thinking. By the time Rosaline finished eating her meat, Raymond started talking again.

     

    “Don’t worry, Rosaline. Even if I look like this, I tend to distinguish between public and private life.”

     

    Raymond tapped his chest.

     

    “If one day it is necessary and if the path he is taking becomes so dangerous that it cannot be left alone….”

     

    Raymond rummaged through his pockets and pulled out a handkerchief. The seasoning at the corners of Rosaline’s lips was wiped off with it.

     

    “…Then I…”

     

    Raymond grimaced. It was a subtle expression, not knowing whether to cry or laugh.

     

    “Oh, why is it not clean yet? Lift your head a little bit, Rosaline.”

     

    Raymond frowned and wet his handkerchief with water. Rosaline had a sullen expression on her face. He wiped it off so roughly that her lips felt sore.

     


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