Chapter 39 Count Highland and Chef Dave
Count Norman Highland of the Kingdom of Haggle is a gourmet in his fifties.
“Dave, it’s time to head to Hyden.”
“Yes, master. We have to return before the sea gets rough.”
Hyden is a port town in the Ashbury Kingdom. A large amount of timber is transported from the forest via the rivers and gathered there.
Count Norman’s territory has a thriving woodworking industry and he transports the high-quality timber produced in the Ashbury Kingdom by ship, uses them to manufacture high-end furniture, fittings, and interior building materials, and then sells them.
Count Highland personally travels to Hyden in the Ashbury Kingdom by ship and values his relationship with the local lumber merchants. The reason why he brings Chef Dave there is to have him eat delicious food and reproduce it in the mansion.
Dave is Count Norman Highland’s personal chef.
He used to be a cook for a Marquis. When that Marquis was deprived of his title due to the dishonesty and deception against the country, he lost his job, but Count Norman Highland immediately approached and hired him.
Count Highland and Dave landed in the Ashbury Kingdom after a sea voyage.
The Count worked tirelessly to purchase plenty of good timber.
“My, I don’t mind visiting Hyden over and over again.”
“We had a lot of delicious food, and there are a lot of dishes I want to recreate when we get home.”
It was when the two of them were conversing merrily at a certain seafood restaurant.
“Count Highland! Oh good. You’re here!”
A middle-aged man who entered the store called out to him.
“Oh, Mr. Hild. What’s the matter?”
“A fast messenger came from my older brother in the royal capital. The Marquis Mills family, who fell in love with Highland furniture, has placed a bulk order. It seems that they wish to replace all of their furniture with Highland.
Replacing all the high-end furniture used by the nobility throughout the mansion would cost quite a sum.
Norman Highland thought (I have to go to the royal capital myself and see what they like). Because he offers several options for high-end furniture.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Ashbury’s royal capital. There should be more shops I don’t know about. This makes my visit even more worthwhile. Dave, why don’t we enjoy the delicious food of the royal capital together?”
“Yes, master. Gladly!”
Thus, Count Norman Highland and Chef Dave decided to postpone their return to the Kingdom of Haggle and headed for the royal capital of Ashbury in a carriage.
Eventually, the two of them concluded their carriage ride and arrived at the royal capital.
“The royal capital of Ashbury is as gorgeous as ever. It lives up to its name as a commercial Kingdom. The number of people and the number of shops are completely different from Haggle.”
“You are absolutely right, master.”
“Now, food comes first. Where should we eat first?”
The carriage headed downtown. In the carriage, Dave felt like he saw a familiar face in the crowd of people in the royal capital for a moment, so he leaned towards the window of the carriage.
And what he found was Carol, a female cook.
Carol was a disciple of Dave when he was the head chef of the Marquis, and was the daughter of the noble who introduced Dave to the Marquis.
“I’m sorry for the trouble, but please take this child to the Marquis house with you. Her father was a good cook. She plans to reopen his shop once she returns home.”
The job of the cook involves carrying vegetables packed in a wooden box, and filling large pots with water and ingredients and lifting them. Dave was worried (Could she do it with her slender body?), but Carol was surprisingly strong and worked hard, making him wonder where such strength came from her slender body. On top of that, she had good cooking instincts, was dexterous with her hands, and spared no effort.
Normally, a cook would start as a lowly servant, but since it was the request of the person who introduced Dave to the Marquis, he placed her by his side as an assistant and allowed her to watch the cooking process. As a fledgling chef, and as a woman, it was exceptional treatment.
Carol improved her skills rapidly over the course of a few months.
The cooks who had been in the Marquis’ household for a long time harassed Carol, who was treated specially. They were mean and spoke ill of her behind her back, but Carol was unconcerned. Dave knew he would help if anything happened, but he didn’t get any chance to.
Carol was well-liked by the Marquis’ young second wife candidate, and often talked to her during breaks. Soon after, she was forced to talk to her every day.
The person herself said, ‘It’s more fun to be in the kitchen’, but when a noble says, ‘Send Carol’, no one would disobey.
Carol started talking to the potential second wife every day during her lunch break.
One day, the Marquis suddenly lost his position politically, but the young second wife candidate fled with his jewels before that happened. For some reason, Carol disappeared too. It’s said that rats run away from sinking ships before they leave port, and that’s exactly what they felt like. Carol disappeared without even getting her salary for the month, so the other cooks were gossiping about things like, ‘Did Carol steal things from the mansion and run away?’
(I didn’t think she was the kind of girl who would disappear without saying goodbye.)
The dutiful Dave wrote a letter to the noble who was indebted to him about Carol’s sudden disappearance. After a while, he received a letter in reply.
‘It seems that Carol was forced to accompany the second candidate wife. I don’t know where Carol is, but she seems to be safe, so you don’t need to worry.’
It was a curt reply.
The man who was with Carol was a big, silver-haired man who looked like an aristocrat. The other was a blond-haired beautiful girl, and the three were happily laughing as they walked.
(I wonder if she became the second wife of a noble in this country. I’m glad she seems happy.)
Dave was leaning over to watch, but in relief, he rested his back on the backrest and faced forward.
Come to think of it, he wondered how that young second wife candidate was doing. She liked pink dresses, and had several pink dresses in slightly different tones made for her.
Eventually, the carriage arrived at the restaurant.
Dave pushed his nostalgic memories to the back of his mind and focused.
“I have to memorize the taste for master.”
Main street of the royal capital.
After an early dinner, Victoria, Nonna, and Jeffrey were walking around. It was a delicious and enjoyable meal. Victoria walked, remembering the day she came to this country.
When she came to Ashbury from the Kingdom of Haggle, she had no intention of staying in one place for long.
She was thinking of moving to another town within the country or migrating to another country after about six months of living while working. Even before six months passes, she would be ready to move if something happened. She planned to spend about three years changing places like that.
She didn’t think Haggle’s detectives would be looking for ‘Victoria’ for three years. They would train new members one after another, and the cost of the search should not be greater than Victoria’s value.
A few days ago, for certain reasons, she decided to move.
When she saw the inside of Miles’ house, she found it strange and when they trained, she was convinced that Miles was not the real resident of that house.
The real long-time resident of that house was left-handed and smaller.
At first, she found the position of the discoloration on the brass doorknob strange, which showed that it had been gripped with a left hand for many years.
She thought it was because some people are ambidextrous, but it became clear in the interpersonal battle. Miles was completely right-handed.
Furthermore, the old socks for wiping tools that were placed in the corner of the carpentry tools by the entrance were too small for Miles. Items were nailed around the house here and there and hung in an orderly manner, but the nail positions were precisely at Miles’ eye level. There was no way he would nail them at that position.
‘A skilled ex-military man lives in a house behind a former operative’s house, and is a different person from the real resident. That person coincidentally takes a break in the middle of the course I run a few days after I started running.’
How low is the probability that such a thing will happen by chance?
Someone probably assigned Miles to live in that house to keep an eye on her movements.
Even if it was all a grand misunderstanding on her end, so be it.
Let’s move soon. Victoria’s intuition pricked her.
(Miles isn’t the real resident of that house. Let’s move before Miles is aware that I caught on.)
She found it very heartbreaking that she would have to disappear suddenly in the end. She decided to write a letter to thank everyone who took care of her and apologize for suddenly moving.
There were eight letters in all. Victoria pretended not to notice the pain in her chest.
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