5 – 1
The daughter of Count Storm, Camilla Storm, is a woman who brings ruin.
Not only had she twisted the mind of Duke Montchat, but she had also caused Einst to abandon their principals and now her poison had seeped even into the town of Blume as well.
That villainess’ evil words had snaked into the ears of the innocent people of Blume, causing them to riot and engage in all sorts of taboo acts. Because of that despicable woman, Camilla, Mohnton’s hallmarked traditions of abstinence and temperance were being eroded.
Those people who were once righteous cast aside their history, drowning in a filthy sea of vice and pleasure. They lost themselves to it so much they could not even see the evil in front of their eyes.
Sometimes people move more readily for the carrot than the stick. The people of Mohnton were beginning to be taken in by Camilla’s wicked vice.
These acts couldn’t simply be ignored anymore.
If anything, that woman should have never been able to open her mouth in the first place.
In the preparation area that connects the kitchen to the dining room, cupboards were lined up one against the other without a single gap in that semi-subterranean room. Expensive dishes and glasses lined all the shelves and were dazzling to behold. Especially for the younger maids who weren’t used to seeing such luxury before their eyes.
Pure white salt and sugar, refined to near perfection, were piled up in bags in the corner of the room. There were containers full of exotic spices, as well as jars filled with various types of honey and jams. The dishes brought up from the kitchen were properly seasoned here before being served to the master of the house, Duke Alois.
The final preparations for Alois’ dishes were the jobs of the more senior ranking servants. The job of a newly hired young maid in the preparation area was simply to scurry about and find whichever dish or piece of cutlery the head maid sent her to retrieve.
Right now, she was after a plain, deep dish plate, painted blue. Although it was sturdy and would likely survive a fall, it seemed like a fairly modest thing to grace the table of a noble lord. However, because a skilled painter had been found recently, it had been decided that some of the dishes would be redecorated.
The plate the girl was looking for was one of those allocated to be repainted.
Working slowly, desperate not to break anything, she finally managed to find the dish.
Probably because it hadn’t been used in a long time, the dish was on the very highest shelf. It was just barely out of her reach, no matter how much she stretched her fingers.
Standing on her tippy toes, the best she could do was touch the rim of the plate. She couldn’t find anything nearby to stand on either.
As she was at a loss about just what to do, someone suddenly reached out from behind her.
As someone brought the plate down from that shelf, she handed it to the girl, who accepted it gratefully.
“Here you are.”
As the girl took the plate in her arms, she bowed her head deeply.
“Th… thank you very much.”
“It was nothing.”
“Fufu…” As she heard a small laugh, the girl finally raised her head to look.
Expecting to see a kind woman’s face, the moment she beheld the person who helped her, the girl’s breath stuck in her throat. She almost dropped the plate she had just been given.
In front of her eyes was a young woman, with raven black hair that was an exceptionally rare sight in Mohnton. She was tall and slender, with a piercing gaze. It was impossible to mistake her for anyone else. She was the villainess of the love story that everyone still talked about, the marriage candidate of the mansion’s master, Lord Alois. Camilla Storm, the future mistress of the house.
“I took the trouble to retrieve it for you, so I’d thank you not to drop it.”
As she said that with a prideful voice, Camilla stared at the girl. With a nod, satisfied that the girl understood, it seemed like her business was done. Turning away from the girl, she descended the steps to the kitchen on her own.
– Just like the rumours…
As the girl hugged the dish to her body, she stared blankly at Camilla as she left.
She had a sharp voice, a prickly attitude and such strong eyes… she really was intimidating. Prideful and willful, she was someone who would part the meek before her. Just looking at her, one felt like they would be struck down without any notice.
Back in the royal capital, she was an underhanded rogue who sought to throw down the Prince’s beloved Liselotte and ensnare the Prince himself. When it became known that she was to be exiled to Mohnton, everyone was afraid of what she might do next.
The same goes for those working in the Montchat estate. Every time Camilla did or said anything, sure enough, the gossip would spread between the house’s servants within the day.
Although, recently, there had been new rumours swirling around about her…
– Just like the rumours, she’s not as scary as in the stories.
After leaving behind the maid girl she hadn’t seen before, it was back to business in the kitchen.
“I’ll have you teach me how to make sweets.”
“You don’t have the slightest clue about how to ask for sumthin’, do ya?”
At Camilla’s habitual irreverence for his domain, Günter, the lord of the kitchen, sighed. Not stopping his dinner preparations, he turned to look at Camilla.
However, Camilla’s attitude didn’t change. With her hands on her waist, she looked up confidently at Günter, who stood taller than her.
“Whether I beg and scrape or ask you properly, the result will be the same. In the first place, it’s not as if I’ll lose my head if you rebuff me.”
“Still just as pig-headed as ever, aren’t ya? Besides, didn’t you say that you wouldn’t make sweets before?”
“That was then, this is now. I have merely changed my mind.”
After all, as someone who wished to expand their cooking talents, she couldn’t limit her skills by completely ignoring cakes and confections. And if she thought about it rationally, having someone eat something she knew would taste terrible would be unbecoming of her pride as a cook. Wouldn’t it be better to raise up her skills, and surprise them with just how much she had improved?
Well, that was her reasoning.
“…If you were wanting to make sweets, Klaus would’ve been a better fit.”
“I would rather quit than be taught by him!”
Camilla immediately shook her head at Günter’s suggestion.
“In the first place, he’s a little too good. If there’s such a difference in ability, it would be difficult for him to teach me. You should do just fine.”
Günter’s words trailed off as his hands began to move more vigorously than before. As his knife began to chop up vegetables with dreadful speed, he looked reproachfully at Camilla. He looked like he was spoiling for a fight.
“Oi, you. Have you forgotten I’m the head chef around here? Sure, I left the sweets to Klaus sometimes, but don’t think I’ve gotten rusty or anything. I’ll have you eat those words of yours!”
“If anyone is forgetting status around here, it’s you! Besides, what kind of sweets can you even make with those boorish hands of yours!?”
“What did you say!? Alright, I’ll show you good! Come over here, girl, these samples of mine will blow your mind!”
Günter beckoned Camilla over to another kitchen bench, where he pulled out all sorts of tools for baking and sweet making.
It seemed like the confectionary training would be just as tough as the rest of his instructions had been, but Camilla didn’t shrink from the challenge.
She couldn’t afford to let Alois eat something that tasted terrible, after all.
A new arc~