༺ The Pastry Club that Can’t Bake (3) ༻
They say that you cannot fix people, and I personally agree with this. When I think back on my four years as a civil servant, humans are not only incapable of being fixed but also capable of making you resent them. Dear nature, I’m sorry for the people that live in this world.
But now, if someone asks me if people can be fixed, I can confidently answer that it can be perfectly done depending on your efforts!
‘I’m not someone who tears up easily, but this makes me want to cry.’
Thanks to my advice a few days ago, Erich had changed. I smiled while looking at Erich, who was fully focused on baking alongside Louise.
“In situations like this, you just have to do it like this!”
“Oh, I see.”
Louise was teaching Erich enthusiastically with a smile on her face. Honestly, Erich seemed to enjoy listening to Louise’s voice more than he was interested in baking, but that was exactly why I had given him that advice.
You’re doing well, Erich. Win her over.
As Erich took the lead in the race, it seemed like the other four had begun feeling a sense of crisis, so they tried to start participating in baking as well. However, Erich, who had gained the upper hand for the first time, had no intention of losing it and skillfully pushed away the interference of others, enduring up until now.
This is making me angry. Why did this guy, who can perfectly do it if he set his mind to it, been acting like that until now?
‘I guess he’ll do well from now on.’
Although I used the shock strategy on Erich because I was getting frustrated, I wasn’t in a position to give someone else relationship advice. So from now on, I have to just believe in him. After all, I was the Prosecutor or Advisor, not someone who played matchmaker.
“Woah Erich, you’re getting better!”
See how the corners of his mouth are going up.
As I watched them with a pathetic but proud heart, my eyes met with Louise’s. She smiled and slightly bowed her head, so I did the same.
Thanks for treating my lame little brother well… Although Louise made him fall in love with her, that was the power of the original work, so it was inevitable. From now on, that’s how I’ll think of her. Louise is an innocent and flawless child.
The rebellion of Erich, the weakest, continued for a few days. No, I said it wrong. The advance of the strongest, Erich, continued for a few days. To think that he’d take the lead in the race, I’m sure the Lord would be happy. The Krasius family’s son farm had a bountiful harvest!
“Advisor, do you have a moment?”
Feeling excited, I was about to go outside when Lather, who had stayed until the end for some reason, stopped me. Well, I knew that he’d talk to me. If not, why would he have stayed behind?
“Yes, what do you need?”
However, I couldn’t think of any reason, so after inviting him to take a seat, I grabbed a cookie jar that was on the shelf. It was a jar full of cookies made by Louise, whose production far exceeded that of Erich’s.
Lather’s mouth trembled a bit after looking at the cookie jar. What did the chef of the Royal Palace make for him that his taste buds became so picky? I brought them just in case the conversation got long, but I can just eat it myself. It tastes good.
As I naturally took out a cookie and put it in my mouth, Lather watched me silently. He tapped the desk with his index finger a few times, lost in thought. Then he opened his mouth as if he had made up his mind.
“I’m sure you’re busy, so I’m not going to beat around the bush.”
Unlike what Lather said, my life wasn’t that busy at the moment. The six members who gathered in the club surprisingly behaved themselves, so I had nothing to fix. I guess I could say I’m a little thankful for that.
No, fuck… What am I thinking about? They’re the reason I came to the Academy in the first place. Is this Stockholm Syndrome or something? I was about to say thanks to the perpetrators.
Despite the terrible and melancholic thoughts, as I nodded my head and expressed agreement, Lather straightforwardly asked.
“Advisor, did you give Erich a push?”
I was about to put the second cookie in my mouth when I stopped and looked at Lather. I’m not sure how he interpreted my silence, but he kept talking.
“A few days ago, after you went out with Erich, his attitude completely changed.”
Well, how could one call himself a person if he didn’t change after I said something like that? At least my little brother is a normal person.
“And after that, you’ve been looking at Erich more frequently.”
I guess so. I believe that my little brother has changed, but I still watched with trepidation in case my advice didn’t work. Thankfully, Erich took the lead in the race and put an end to my anxiousness.
“That’s why I thought that Erich probably received some advice from you and began moving.”
After saying that, Lather silently looked at me. It seemed like he was asking me if his guess was correct. Well, anyways, only he knows what he meant, because his expression doesn’t really change much.
“Yes. I gave Erich some advice as his older brother.”
After I answered, Lather sighed. I think I know what he’s thinking. It’s how a person reacts when they hear that a guess they hoped was wrong is actually right. I’ve experienced that many times.
“An advice as his older brother. I understand.”
“Is there any problem?”
“Not at all. It’s just that I didn’t expect the Advisor to get involved.”
After saying that, Lather steepled his fingers and tilted his head to one side.
“The five of us, including myself and Erich, were all being cautious about each other.”
I know that very well since I’ve been watching them closely.
Since I was just a spectator, I couldn’t help but get annoyed. On the other hand, I also understood them. The five had met Louise only after they enrolled in the Academy, and although they had to compete with each other, they knew nothing about each other. So first, they should figure out what kind of person their rival was to be able to know how to act.
To put it briefly, they’d brought their social habits into the Academy.
“The standoff collapsed after Erich took the lead, even earning the title of being proactive towards Louise.”
Lather seemed annoyed that the situation had been shaken up because of Erich. He sighed and kept talking.
“Although there was a chance that moving fast was the answer instead of taking time.”
At those lamentable words, I couldn’t help but be dumbfounded for a moment, even though the person in front of me was royalty.
‘What’s wrong with him?’
If he noticed that the change in Erich’s attitude was because of me, that meant that he had common sense. Therefore, there was a chance that he already knew the importance of taking the initiative.
Instead of being cautious about each other, Erich managed to leave that fight and take a step forward. Just like Lather said, taking the lead was the right answer when it comes to winning Louise’s heart.
After thinking about it for myself, I ended up saying what I thought. I guess it’s okay for me to say this since he’s the one who initiated the conversation.
“You knew that, yet you acted like that…?”
At my words, Lather quietly looked away.
A suffocating silence descended upon us.
* * * *
Lather had left, and I was alone in the club room. I looked at the place where Lather had been sitting down.
‘What a weird fellow.’
I couldn’t help but laugh after remembering Lather’s last words.
“Advisor, you should’ve just kept watching.”
It was the purpose of this conversation, which Lather didn’t mention until 10 seconds before he left, seemingly embarrassed. According to him, I shouldn’t have given Erich any advice. Not only that, but I should no longer interfere in their competition.
He was probably feeling uneasy. He probably concluded that if Erich kept receiving my support, he wouldn’t stand a chance. However, he felt ashamed to ask me not to help Erich, so he expanded the scope to the entire competition between the five of them. After all, it was obvious that I wasn’t planning to help anyone besides Erich.
Of course, I had planned to leave the competition to Erich from now on, so I nodded my head in agreement. Lather seemed relieved at my response. His expression relaxed a little, and he even apologized for making that request. I wasn’t annoyed at all, so I accepted his apology.
“Did I ignore the kids too much?”
Without realizing it, it seems that I simply treated the five students like the male leads who had become blind because of love. Although I knew they weren’t people that moved monotonously like the story in the novel, I easily dismissed them as such.
To be honest, looking at them being cautious about each other couldn’t let me think of them as anything other than idiots. Any other person would’ve probably thought the same thing as me. The shortest route is obvious, so why bother dancing around?
But still, Erich had changed after listening to my advice, and just like how Lather noticed that he was starting to be at a disadvantage, the five of them had a wide variety of action patterns and weren’t simple characters. Seeing that made me feel joyful. I began thinking that they might have really fallen in love with Louise and that they were not simply influenced by the power of the original novel.
“Maintain a certain line and do your best.”
After saying that, I ate another cookie. As Lather wished, I wasn’t planning to give more advantages to anyone, but I would have to interfere if the competition becomes unhealthy.
Now that I think about it, wasn’t this joyful sensation a self-defense mechanism of mine? Because I needed something positive in order to at least survive among these five people.
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