༺ The Pastry Club that Can’t Bake (1) ༻
The three important people that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had flagged ended up joining the same club, and I had also met the representative of the three countries. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that my job at the Academy had properly begun. It somehow felt like I’d said this too many times, but whenever I thought, ‘well, now it really begins,’ something new always happens.
The Minister’s breathless laughter echoed through the communication device. When he had heard that the key figures gathered in one club in an instant and that I am that club’s Advisor, he burst out laughing heartily. Naturally, I looked at the minister with a scornful expression on my face.
“Why are you laughing?”
– You want me not to laugh after you said something so funny?
My emotions ended up getting hurt even more. What a shitty person. How could someone like that be a Minister?
The Minister barely managed to stop himself from laughing any further. It was a heartbreaking sight to witness in real-time. Apparently, my misfortune is a laughing matter to him. Having exhaled, the Minister suddenly stared at me with a serious expression.
– So, you really don’t know?
“I already told you. I have no idea at all.”
The official report said that the reason why such important people gathered in a pastry club was unknown. There is no better proof of incompetence than a Prosecutor reporting that they do not know the reason. However, it’s not easy to say, “The Pink Capybara poisoned the Academy!”
Every once in a while, something happens in life that makes no sense at all. That’s why I decided to treat this as such.
After hearing my negative response, the Minister fell into thought. Although I always said that I wanted to retire, I never joked about something regarding work. That’s why the Minister also had no choice but to accept that it was an unknown reason.
– I must give this news to the Palace and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. We need a good excuse.
“Can’t we just say that other people who didn’t know where to go had gathered because it’s a club where there were three different princes?”
– Then, what about the reason why the Third Prince joined the club?
“I really don’t have an answer for that…”
After the fight for the throne finished, Prince Ainter had stayed silent. But that Ainter had suddenly decided to join a club?
‘There’s no way I can tell him the reason is a girl.’
I couldn’t help but sigh. Was this how someone who had to keep an important secret felt?
The Minister waved his hand and spoke.
– Well, it’s okay. I guess that saying that we’re still investigating the reason will be okay for now. Since you were in charge of creating and managing the club, it will probably be okay.
– And if the communication device began shining with a purple light, just think that what was bound to happen finally happened.
“Ah, fuck. That’s too horrible.”
The purple light meant that someone from the Imperial Palace was calling. If they began keeping an eye on the Third Prince closely, they would surely call me. Please, please, anything but that…
The Minister smirked and cut the call. The Minister’s face disappeared and the communication device lost its light as only silence lingered in the room where I was. Once again, another day had passed.
The daily pattern of the pastry club was similar. Although it hadn’t been long enough since it was created, one could make such an analysis.
“Lady Louise, if you aren’t careful, your face will become dirty.”
Once it was time for the club, it became Louise’s one-person show. Around her, there was an audience of five people. Occasionally, one could see them trying to get her different ingredients. They didn’t do anything pastry-related at all, but if you looked at them from a distance, it seemed as if they were doing something.
As expected. Was it because they were people standing on top from the moment they were born? They seem to subconsciously know how to obtain as much result from the less amount of effort possible. Of course, if you took a closer look, it was true that they didn’t know anything about pastry. They were just putting the spoon on top of already-made rice.
I saw the five that were surrounding Louise. They looked like they could earn money by working part-time as an audience. They might be able to gain her favor, but there was no chance they’d be able to develop any romantic relationship. Among those, there was also Erich. What an ugly bastard.
‘I should give him some advice.’
I was thinking of telling Erich that he should at least try to share her hobby, but I couldn’t do that because of the three extra people that had joined the club. At the moment, the five of them were just looking from the sidelines, so Erich should be able to gain an advantage easily.
Good. I can just take Erich aside for a moment.
“I need someone to help me move the ingredients.”
I stood up and looked at them. Of course, there weren’t any ingredients that needed to be moved. It was just an excuse to have some time with Erich.
“Erich, let’s go.”
Erich flinched a bit after I called him, then he cautiously walked toward me. A member that followed the advisor’s indication. That satisfied me quite a bit.
As Erich nodded and tried to walk out, Rutis raised his hand.
“Is two enough? If it’s a hard task, I can help.”
‘Why are you trying to intervene so suddenly?’
Someone whose attention should be on Louise had suddenly tried to take a step forward. I had my doubts. However, he was someone with high spirits, so I decided just to let it go. Trying to understand those original novel’s characters was too hard for me.
“It’s alright. Two is enough.”
“Well, if you say so.”
Rutis shrugged his shoulders and turned his gaze back to Louise. Seeing how quickly he turned around, it seemed he’d just asked for courtesy. Well, at least he has some manners.
It was time to boost the weakest.
* * *
After the door closed, Rutis glanced towards the door for a moment.
That was the name of the Prosecutor the Empire sent to the Academy in answer to the petitions of the three kingdoms. The man who unexpectedly became the Tutor/Advisor of the club. Somehow, Rutis ended up becoming a member of it.
The first time he heard his name was two years ago.
After the Empire ended the war in the north and put the Crown Prince in charge, a large-scale personnel transfer took place. It was natural for the Armein Kingdom, which was the second most powerful after the Empire, to pay attention to the changes inside the Empire.
So it was a natural thing to learn the name of Carl Krasius, who became an Executive Manager at just 19 years of age.
After hearing that news, the Armein Kingdom concluded that the workforce shortage in the Empire was worse than they had initially thought.
Nevertheless, if Carl became an Executive Manager, there must’ve been a good reason.
Because of the war, thankfully, the anti-espionage mechanisms of the Empire had become more relaxed than before and the spy from the Armein Kingdom was able to get information about Carl Krasius. Afterwards, they changed their opinion of him.
‘It makes sense to give the position of an Executive Manager to the person who got Kagan.’
Four years ago, there was a figure who unified the northern nomads that set their sights on the empire. He was Kagan, the Emperor of the Nomads. Of course, the only Empire of the continent, Kefellofen, didn’t recognize that title. The Empire declared that Kagan was a traitor who’d dared to challenge the Empire. However, it was a disgrace for the Empire that an inexperienced rebel had troubled them for two years.
After a long war that had lasted for two years, Carl Krasius slit Kagan’s throat. It was someone else that had commanded the army, but the one who killed Kagan was Carl Krasius. Strangely enough, the Empire hadn’t made that public, but they also hadn’t made an effort to hide it.
‘And someone like that is a Prosecutor.’
Rutis almost smirked. Leaving aside why Carl joined the Prosecutor’s Office, it was as if the Empire was saying that if they dared to do something stupid in the Academy, they would turn things over immediately. There was the prestige of the three kingdoms and the concessions they had received from them, so the deployment of escort forces was allowed, but that was it.
If something happened, they’d beat them up with the Prosecutor’s strength. And then, the Empire would probably send more people to defend the talent who’d gotten Kagan’s neck. The words seemed to echo in his ears. Pretending to compromise while trying to take advantage of the situation was the Empire’s main diplomatic method.
Despite recalling the Empire’s cruel intentions, Rutis didn’t pay much attention. As long as the three kingdoms didn’t show any strange behavior, the Empire had no reason to act. And while it was uncertain how Lather and Tannian would react, Rutis planned to quietly attend the academy. That’s why he had nothing to be afraid of.
However, he wasn’t sure what variable the Prosecutor would bring to the club where Louise, the woman he’d fallen in love with, was. The reason why he raised his hand earlier was that he wanted to talk to Carl, but after being rejected, he didn’t try to push it any further. No matter how many questions he had, right now, Louise was more important.
Rutis looked at Louise, who was baking with a smile on her face. Rutis had spent all those years locked inside the boring royal house, but Louise had made his heart flutter for the first time.
‘Dear Advisor, good luck.’
For the sake of seeing Louise’s smiling face, the club must not collapse.
* * *
“Do you like Louise?”
At the same time, Carl was hitting his little brother with a hammer to strengthen him.
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