A Sweet Reward
“Welcome home, my Lord, Laurier.”
After the party was over, it was none other than my beloved wife, Sasha, who greeted Laurier and I first as we returned to the mansion. Seeing my adorable wife, I felt my jaw almost slackened into a lopsided grin, but I managed to straighten it out into a gentlemanly smile just in the nick of time.
“As always, thank you for welcoming me back. Whenever I see you, Sasha, it’s as if the day’s fatigue is washed off my shoulders.”
“…I-it’s only natural, after all. It is my duty as my Lord’s wife.”
Even though Sasha tried to hide her embarrassment, she was obviously happy. My wife really is adorable after all! As I was thinking about that, I suddenly felt Laurier tug lightly on the sleeve of my suit.
“Father… um… that…”
“I know. When it comes to those sweets, could I ask you to wait just a little while?”
Laurier’s expression lit up as soon as I said that… she’s so cute, but the thought of one day having to walk this adorable girl down the aisle to some groom is still painful just to think about… And what’s more, what am I going to do when she goes through her rebellious phase?
Just thinking about that is…
“Sasha, I’m planning on making some sweets, but… if it’s alright with you, shall we all have tea together?”
“Already? Aren’t you tired, my Lord…?”
Sasha seemed anxious just from the way she spoke, so I tried to reassure her.
“For the sake of my adorable wife and daughter, this much is nothing. That’s because, to me, your smiles are the greatest reward, right?”
As Sasha’s face reddened and she swayed side to side on the spot, the only reason I wasn’t sweeping her off her feet and carrying her upstairs right there and then was due to the fact that Laurier was standing right next to me.
Endure… so long as I can endure until tonight, then… I tried to erase the wicked thoughts from my mind as Laurier innocently looked up at the devilish me like the purest of angels.
After suppressing the evil that raged inside of me, I made my way to the kitchen. I need to make it quickly since those two are already relaxing together…
“For the time being, the thing I made the other day… should I try making that again?”
With the ingredients prepared, I immediately set about cooking.
That being said, it wasn’t a particularly hard thing to make, all I had to do was whisk together the ingredients and place it in the oven.
Well, after making sure it’s the right temperature… there’s not really much point going into too much detail. If you were going to force me to voice any complaints, I wish I had slightly better ingredients, but… well, there’s not much point in whinging, I’ll just have to make do with what I have.
It may be a strange sight to see a fairly strict looking middle-aged man, and a Duke at that, making sweets, but if it’s for the sake of my family, I would do anything.
I’ve made the kitchen into one of my regular haunts lately, so much so I’m beginning to get quite familiar with all the cooks, but… well, I’ll always do my best to make delicious things if I can see their smiles.
“Oho…? Cooking immediately upon your return?”
Just as I had wrapped up cooking with those two on my mind, the head butler Zeke suddenly entered the kitchen.
At first, Zeke was shocked when he saw me in the kitchen, but… how should I put it? Once he got used to me being here, I was a little disappointed by how nonchalantly he accepted it. Well, it’s not as if shocking older gentlemen was a hobby of mine or anything, but… there was some boyish part of me that liked seeing people surprised, was that so wrong?
“I was hoping to have the opportunity to discuss something with you Callis-sama, but… would now be an inopportune time?”
“Ah, it’s fine, all I have left to do now is the finishing touches… what’s the matter?”
“The truth is, an invitation letter to a tea party just arrived… from Princess Serena.”
“Yes, I have it here.”
Just like he said, there was no mistaking the imposing royal seal on that intricately decorated envelope… and as for the contents, without a doubt, it was inviting my Laurier to participate in a tea party at the royal palace. Hmm…
“What sort of response shall we give?”
“For the time being, I’ll ask Laurier what she would like to do.”
Of course, turning down a direct invitation from the Second Princess of the royal family would be difficult in of itself, but… if Laurier truly hated the thought of it, I was willing to exert every last drop of my influence in order to decline it. For the sake of my wife and daughter, I would do anything, after all!