Chapter 23 – Yours and Mine, A Certain Precious Day III
Upon entering Kaid’s office, as he had left with the intention to come back soon, documents could be seen scattered around on his desk. Before Caron, who was pushing the cart, could even do anything, Kaid had already cleared the desk. Caron narrowed her eyes, and hurriedly interrupted Kaid.
“Kaid, could I get you to sit on the sofa?”
It was fine to sit anywhere, but as Caron had warned that he might start working again if he sat by the desk, I asked him to sit on the sofa instead.
I prepared the tray and tea in front of Kaid who had sat down obediently even though he was looking puzzled. Jasmine and Samua had already returned to their work, but it was quicker for just two people to prepare this amount of food. In the blink of an eye, the preparations were done in front of Kaid who was looking puzzled as to why Caron did not also ask me to sit like she usually did.
After Caron looked at me and nodded, she made a small nhn sound with her throat. Kaid, who was betrayed, did not laugh, but I wanted to say it properly. Not breathing too much, but inhaling just the right amount, I placed the tray in front of the Kaid who had tilted his head in confusion, and lifted the lid.
“Happy birthday, Kaid.”
Five small cakes that could be held in the hands lay arranged neatly on the tray. The cakes, which were shaped into small circles, were made by five different people.
Kaid looked at each one individually, but when he got to the second from the right, he let out a small groan. The face he raised was still looking as though he was confused about something.
As he slowly grasped the situation, he awkwardly turned his eyes towards Caron.
“…… Carolina, did you say something?”
“Happy birthday, My Lord. With this, you’ll be thirty next year.”
Kaid was looking up in resentment at Caron who had turned away like a tsundere before the hardworking Caron trusted a finger at him.
“Why do you think there was no considerations for the various celebrations of My Lord who has been completely ignoring them thus far? Even though the recognition parties for the employees were organized on a grand scale, My Lord does not celebrate your own birthday at all. Please pay the price for all the fretting that your servants and subordinates have incurred throughout the years. Even if it’s you, a stubborn and obstinate person, you still can’t refuse it if it’s from My Lady, right! Please enjoy it! This is just a small retaliation from all of us!”
I wonder why Kaid was slowly turning pale, with his face twitching. Even though it was such a cute retaliation. It was true that Caron’s spirit was amazing though.
Five small cakes were lined up. The five people had decorated the cakes especially for Kaid. If it was big, it would be messy to eat, so the cakes were made to be small. Due to the hardening of the cream, the cakes did not crumble and managed to stay in place.
Caron pointed at the five cakes with her finger, and grinned broadly. The Caron with a slightly evil expression still looked very cool.
“These cakes were decorated by My Lady, Jasmine, Samua, the head chef, and I. If you manage to guess correctly who decorated which cake, then that cake will be all yours. However! If you do not manage to guess My Lady’s cake correctly, then it will be split between all of us!”
“There’s no waiting! You say you do not need to celebrate anything, including your birthday, since it’s a waste of time, money, and human resources every year, to the point where it’s now just completely forgotten. In order to not let My Lord realize, I have seen my colleagues do things like close the windows, and hide underground to celebrate with cake as though they were black magicians. I’m sorry, but let me have this small retaliation!”
I thought about it for a bit as I watched Caron whose shoulders heaved in anger, her eyes determined. After coming to a conclusion, I smiled and tapped on Caron’s arm.
“With regards to ‘colleagues’, Caron is also within that definition, right?”
The other two’s pupils suddenly widened and they blinked. After a blink so big that it could have made a loud noise, the golden eyes swirled towards Caron. Caron turned red under the stare and, for some reason, hugged the tray lid close to her.
Caron hugged the tray lid as though it was an important stuffed toy and exited the room at a speed impossible to follow with the eye. It was at a speed several times faster than usual, but it was still polite and done gracefully. However, while she gave me an exit greeting, towards Kaid, she instead wished him a ‘Happy Birthday’. While shouting.
After Caron had, uncharacteristically, roughly shut the door, the room became silent.
“Kaid is really loved by everyone.”
“I’m scared of what will happen later… I have really troubled Carolina.”
“Fufu, I think she will be pleased if you told her that directly.”
I sat down facing Kaid and picked up my tea. I was still nervous drinking tea with Kaid even now, but I did not intend to show it. However, the habit of somehow always taste-testing first came out.
While Kaid was looking at the five small cakes seriously, I tasted the tea. As expected, Caron. It’s delicious.
“Um, My Lady.”
“These cakes… They were not decorated with the intention of making it hard to guess who made what, right…?”
As Kaid had asked the question too seriously, I unintentionally let out a giggle.
“Eeh, it’s okay. In the first place, neither I nor Jasmine nor Samua had heard that this was a retaliation. Caron just wanted to be a little mean. Kaid, you should be prepared. Since, everyone who heard that we were making your cake were full of smiles. Everyone must have really wanted to celebrate with you. Next year, I should give you something tangible.”
“Eeh. Could I celebrate it with you next year too?”
“Next year, too…”
The Kaid who was repeating the same words somehow seemed like a small child, and made me want to hug him.
Is it an insult to call a grown man cute? Aah, but I want to hug him so much.
This person who was called a ‘hero’ by others, for some reason, sometimes looked like a child when he was just being ‘Kaid’. Even though he was much older than me, for some reason, there were times where I felt like he was a young child. I always felt troubled at such times. Kaid was so cute, and above all, just so adorable that I end up wanting to hug him.
The me fifteen years ago, did not manage to reach this day. The flowers I planted to give him died without budding, and I did not know how he spent this day after my life came to an end. I did not know anything.
I spent this day in the faraway Caina. I cursed myself who was not able to celebrate with the one I loved more than anyone, repented to an unbudding flower, and only blessed the birth of the person I could not meet again.
I thought I did not even have the right to know. But more than anything, I was afraid that if I knew he was celebrating and laughing with everyone, I would not be able to congratulate him.
But he closed his eyes, plugged his ears and pretended not to notice, thereby forgiving my foolishness.
Truthfully, I had thought of planting kousso this year. It would have been possible to ask Caron to prepare for it secretly, but, I started worrying about what would happen if he did not like it, and ended up not doing it. Not only that, I just could not do it when I thought that it might have brought him pain.
But, it should be all right to grow it for next year. Even if it was only one flower. Maybe we could increase it by one every year, and make it into a bouquet some day. I wonder if a day like that would come.
“Next year is important too, but first, let’s celebrate this year’s.”
“Yes… But first, I must overcome Carolina’s challenge.”
“Fufu, you’re quite serious, too.”
I would not say that I was lying unreasonably, but the Kaid who was facing Caron’s small prank seriously smiled in a very Kaid-like way. That was also very wonderful.
“Rather than saying I am serious, I feel as though the time I would have to spend with My Lady would decrease by seventy percent if I disregard Carolina’s challenge here.”
While saying that, he faced the tray with seriously. Such an exaggeration… Really.
It was hard to tell if it was a joke since Kaid had such a serious expression. The room settled into a silence that was tinged with urgency.
“Since there were no tricks done to make it hard to guess, let’s start with something that is easy to understand. First, this messenger from hell is the chef’s.”
“I heard that it’s a cat.”
“It looks like it’ll be able to reap your soul at any time… This, this cake with decorations looking up towards the sky is Jasmine’s.”
“Stargazing cake. What a nice name.”
“I am thankful that fish was not used. The cake that I think was made by Samua is this one that seems to say ‘I think I am more suited to be a pastry chef than a butler’.”
“That’s right! I was so surprised that Samua was so dexterous and was able to make such a delicate and detailed cake!”
“I heard that his father was a pastry chef. …Now, the problem lies in the remaining two.”
The remaining cakes were decorated by Caron and I. I had made a plain-looking cake. However, both cakes only had cream and fruits for decorations. Ah, the fruits are a little slanted. I should have fixed it, but since I was staring at it for so long previously, it became hard to tell if it was slanted. Should I have just relied on my intuition? I should have fixed it when I thought it was slanted, but since I was not sure, and was afraid I would have made it worse, I ended up being afraid to touch it. As expected, I should have just fixed it when I thought it was strange.
In front of me who was regretting my choices, Kaid was clenching his fists and making a face as though his life was on the line while looking at the cakes.
“This is Carolina’s! Which means, the remaining one is My Lady’s. Is that right?”
I clapped instinctively for Kaid who had provided the correct answer.
“Amazing, Kaid! How did you know?”
The cakes that Caron and I made were made at the same time, in the same kitchen, using the same tools and ingredients. The base cakes were made by the head chef, so that was the same as well. There were no special characteristics unlike the other’s, so I wondered how he knew.
Kaid’s gaze fell on me who was surprised and touched.
“For Carolina’s, the largest fruit had sunk into the cream, so I thought it was because she had thought of something aggravating regarding me. If it were My Lady’s, then I would have jumped from that window.”
From now on, I would be extra careful when adding fruits on top of cream. In the worst case scenario, it was all right for the fruits to fall, but it was definitely not all right for the fruits to sink into the cream.
I swore with a serious voice and hollow eyes staring at Kaid.
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