A Young Lady’s Unreasonable Demand (Part 2)
A thick, light brown paste was poured on top of the white mass, and topped off with something green that was chopped. According to the waitress, it was scallions.
A pleasant aroma rose with the steam, tickling the nose. Even though, at first, Johann Gustav despised the fact that this was a bar on the outskirts of town, he was mesmerised by the originality of this dish. His forgotten sense of hunger revived.
Faster. I want to eat it soon.
Although the store was warm, his fingers and body were numb with excitement.
Looking at Hildegarde, who was next to him, it was even more humorous.
As a Viscount’s daughter, she was taught discipline and self control, but her right hand, which was originally placed on her knee, could be seen hesitantly reaching out and pulling back. Her gaze was on the dish and the spoon. From the side, seeing her staring intently while fidgeting restlessly and calming down alternately was somewhat heartwarming.
Usually, she had to pretend to act mature, like a grown up, but this kind of childish gesture was more appropriate for girls her age, after all.
「Here, tofu with bean paste. Please be careful, since it’s hot.」
「Tofu, is it?」
Without minding the waitress’s advice, he picked up the wooden spoon in his hand.
Taking care to not spill the bean paste, he gently brought the trembling white tofu to his mouth.
The tofu crumbled easily in his mouth. It mixed with the bean paste, and a thick texture spread out on his tongue.
One more mouthful.
This time, it was cooled down by blowing on it.
Hildegarde also pursed her small, adorable lips and blew frantically.
Steam rose from their opened mouths. There was nothing to chew or roll on the tongue. Such a complicated feeling.
However, when such a warm and gentle taste passed down the throat, it warmed the body.
Despite it being winter, they didn’t stop sweating.
Their mouths, throats, and stomachs, everything was warm.
He drank water from an expensive looking glass. He never thought he would appreciate such cold water during winter.
While scooping the tofu to her small mouth with utmost effort, Hildegarde muttered.
「It’s not smelly, bitter, sour, or hard, nor is it bread, potatoes, porridge, or stew. So delicious.」
This child hadn’t experienced a parent’s love before.
Considering that, Johann Gustav ordered the people surrounding her to do as much as they could for her. This clever niece had gradually received love from the people surrounding her. If it were traced back to its origin, it could be said that this was all Johann Gustav’s doing.
「Is it delicious, Hildegarde?」
While saying so, Hildegarde looked at the tofu with serious eyes.
While grasping the spoon in an overhand grip, which was considered bad manners, she brought the spoon to her mouth and started blowing on it.
The way she brought her face closer to the spoon and used her little finger to push her hair aside really resembled her late mother.
「…Yup, it’s really so-so.」
Hildegarde muttered again.
She stared at the empty pot after she finished eating. All the bits and pieces were eaten. The contents were emptied beautifully.
Only the simmering hot water was left, making small, delightful sounds.
「I have one complaint.」
「What is it, Hildegarde?」
「There’s…too little. It’s not enough.」
Surprised, he laughed. Hildegarde, who had a small appetite due to her unbalanced diet, surprisingly liked this tofu that much.
Certainly, it was good. How should he put it, this delicious dish was an ally during the winter season. Even though it was a plain dish, it gave warmth to the cold body.
「Is that so. Can you make this again?」
When he asked the waitress, she smiled pleasantly, but then rejected him gently.
「The boiled tofu is only the first dish. From here onwards, there are many other dishes.」
As she said so, the pot and brazier was put away and a new dish was brought out.
Boiled dishes, grilled dishes, fried dishes…they were all foods that they had never seen before.
Hildegarde’s eyes sparkled brilliantly. She put everything into her mouth piece by piece, as her little body shuddered slightly. It must have been very tasty.
While feeling silly for worrying about various things, he put his fork into a large pot of simmering ingredients.
He immersed himself in the taste. This was also delicious.
In two months, Hildegarde was going to be a bride.
Johann Gustav quietly decided that, until then, he would bring her to this store every week.