Lightly grill the eggplant and zucchini, that were cut into slightly thicker slices, in olive oil.
Alternate tomatoes sliced the same thickness with them in a gratin dish, quickly sprinkle with salt and pepper, sprinkle the top with cheese and put in the oven.
It was not caponata or pasta, but hot grilled cheese made with fresh vegetables from the field.
The dining room of the mansion was spacious.
The table was proportionally large, still plenty of room for the number of guests, even though the chairs that had been put away in the closet were brought out and arranged to accommodate the number of people.
Since I was going to the trouble, I laid out a cloth and lightly decorated the center with flowers from the garden, which created a friendly atmosphere and raised my spirits.
Also, the tableware was lovely.
This was not the main house, so “Porcelain, indeed!” Not a thin type of pottery, but it had a wavy or watermarked rim and seasonal flowers painted on the surface.
It was very tasteful, with a level of refinement that did not make you feel self-conscious about using it.
“I’ve called on Daniel and Mark from time to time, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve had guests.”
We even had the village head in the house sometimes.
Lady Adelaide was very deft in finishing the dishes.
Oil-braised string beans and ham, shepherd’s pie filled with mashed potatoes, light onion soup, and a fresh lettuce salad.
Beside Lady Adelaide and me, after preparing the steak meat for the men, I am cutting tomatoes and various vegetables into small cubes.
This was the ratatouille we would eat tomorrow.
Letting it sit overnight allowed the flavors to blend together and made it even tastier.
Sir Walter said he preferred lamb shepherd’s pie to beef cottage pie.
I wondered if that was what gave him that body.
Lady Adelaide told me that her husband originally had that stocky physique.
When I asked Lady Adelaide, she said he inherited her husband’s stocky physique.
Since that time, sword practice had become a daily routine, or rather a hobby, and he had been trained even more… So it seemed.
He was a civilian official.
Now, the lamb.
In Japan, it was not that well known, so I did not see many children who liked it.
I liked lamb.
I didn’t mind the often-mentioned odor.
The steak was beef today with a refreshing herb salt.
After everyone arrived, let’s ask them how they like it grilled and finish it up.
Kitchen work was always fun.
Unlike the small kitchen of a single person, I really like the fact that the cooking table was large with room for two people side by side.
By the way, kneading bread and making pie crust was done at the dining table.
The height was just right, and the legs were solid and didn’t wobble.
“My, I’m sorry to bother you.
It looks delicious.”
“A feast, as always.”
Daniel and Mark arrived.
I had told them to come in on their own without a doorbell or anything, since I would pack the kitchen today.
No, as one would expect from a countryside, so freeing.
I guessed them being here earlier than expected meant the clinic wasn’t busy today.
That was a good thing.
“Welcome, you two.
“Now that the lord has arrived, everyone should go to the village chief.
But it did allow me to relax.”
I see, the Walter effect.
Oh, Mark, did you bring alcohol? Thank you.
I didn’t really know which ones were good or not because I hardly drank, and neither did Lady Adelaide.
I did make fruit wine, though.
“It’s not a potent drink, so you should be able to drink this without getting too drunk, right?”
So, don’t pat me on the head.
Yeah, I was sorry to say that my hands were full.
No, I could drink quite a bit, really.
I didn’t dislike it, it was just that I hadn’t been drinking at all since my injury until recently and I’d become completely weak, that was all.
I’d been in the business for eight years, I’d had my fair share of relationships and drinking, and I was sure I’d been strong for it.
It had been too long since the last time I was here that I was too easily intoxicated, surely.
Ugh, they didn’t believe me.
I couldn’t help but notice that Dr.
Daniel was looking at me with kind eyes…
It was a little dangerous that I’d been petted so often lately that I felt less and less uncomfortable.
Even when I was a nanny at the clinic, Mark would walk by and pet me a little.
No, Mark, be a good boy and do it to the child waiting for you.
I am an adult.
I thought my face was fine, but apparently it looked like a child’s here.
That was strange.
Wow, that smells delicious.”
While Mark was helping me set up the glasses, plates, etc., the two guys from the capital returned.
Well, ladies and gentlemen.
How do you like your meat cooked?
“So, what are your plans for the future?”
There is no longer any doubt in my mind that Margaret is the ‘Orison’.
Well, no one originally complained about the doctor’s report.
May I have the honor of hearing some of them, young lady?”
I wondered if we could do something about you calling me young lady.
I didn’t think he would listen to me when I told him, though, this wizard.
The meal ended amicably, mainly with the doctor and Hugh leading the conversation.
I was not drunk today.
Mark, don’t look at me like I was trouble.
I was not drunk, it was just delicious.
The son, Walter, was as verbal as ever, unfortunately, it didn’t result in a cookie-cutter sentence, as Master Adelaide didn’t seem bothered by it.
Surely this Buddha-like face was normal.
I had a feeling he was trying to say something… I wondered if he was timing it.
You could speak.
After dinner, we moved to the living room for tea, which naturally led to a discussion about me.
That was right, they were here on an Orison research job.
I moved next to Hugh, the listening staff member, as called.
The doctor and Lady Adelaide were on the sofa across from each other, and Mark and Walter were on the single-seats on either side.
Hugh rummaged through his bag and pulled out… A white board?
“This, is a magical tool.
When we heard that you were inconvenienced by the loss of your voice, the people in the technical section of the Academy of Magical Arts developed it.
This is a special pen.”
I was given a milky-white board with a slippery surface, like a thin A4 glass plate, and a pretty black quill pen.
Both were not as heavy as they appeared.
“Just write something random.
Self-introduction and stuff.”
As he spoke, I handwrote.
I’m Margaret, please don’t call me Miss… And.
Oh, the letters were written in a beautiful black color, after a little time, the letters themselves floated up, absorbed into the quill and disappeared.
Wow, that’s interesting.
“It won’t get lost like paper, and you can keep writing? Inside the barrel of the pen, there is a crushed magic stone.
The magic power injected into it takes the place of ink.
It’s made to circulate, so you can use it for a long time without running out of ink.
Well, there are inevitable losses, so it’s not permanent.”
“Well… You could do that.”
“There are kids with high magic power that they can’t control, so we’re making all kinds of things for them.
Ah, and since this is a prototype, can you try using it during this stay? I want you to tell me how it feels to use it because we’re going to improve it.
Let me know if you have any opinions on how long it’s showing up, or how much it weighs.”
Hugh looked at me with satisfaction as I nodded and wrote yes, and continued his words.
“I really wish I could do something about your voice itself.
If the doctor couldn’t figure it out even after examining you, I guess it’s a little too much for us.
You might know something if you see the genie, but do you want to see him?”
Can we meet?
“They appear in the forests of the capital, but their presence is unstable, perhaps because it has only been a short time since they first appeared.
I guess that’s why the young lady was invited.
I can’t promise when they will show up or if we will actually see them.
But if you want to meet, I’ll make arrangements.”
So, I would see them soon when I got a chance.
I moved the quill hurriedly.
“… Don’t you want to see them right now?”
Oh, Sir Walter.
What, hey, did I look weird or something? Oh, hey, so was everyone else.
No, it was a genie, I’d like to see it, to be honest.
Especially if they called me to this world.
But I guessed you couldn’t always see them if you went there now.
If we stayed in the capital until we meet, how many days would it take? That was a little… I kind of didn’t want to leave here.
Part of me was comfortable living with Lady Adelaide, but I felt like I shouldn’t leave this forest.
I thought I would be fine with just going to the Royal Palace for a night or so, but as I said, I didn’t think I could do it for days.
I didn’t have a reason, but if I had to say, it was a woman’s intuition.
It was pretty hit and miss.
“You don’t want to leave the land, huh?”
“Even with Addy? Of course, I’m with you when you go.”
Daniel and Lady Adelaide… I thought I could handle a bit.
For two or three days.
“I see, I understand.
The red-headed wizard was excited and happy to hear all kinds of things.
I was sure half of it had nothing to do with work, because Sir Walter’s furrowed brow was quite deep.
I got it.
This was a person who puts his own interests first pleasantly.
They didn’t ask me anything that was troubling, so I answered as much as I could.
I would pass on the law of conservation of energy, genes, and other things I couldn’t explain.
I just told them that that was the way it was over there.
One discovery there.
Apparently, the length of a day or a year seemed to be different between there and here.
The reason it was “seemed to be” was because I couldn’t explain the exact length of a second or anything like that.
Also, my watch was broken.
Living in the countryside, I didn’t even pay attention to the calendar because I didn’t look at it much, but oh, usually the first thing I noticed was that this was what people call sketchy, me.
Well, according to my rough calculations, I was roughly twenty-six years old this time… I didn’t really change much.
Wait, Mark, what do you mean you knew it?
“I always thought she didn’t look four years older than me.
I was right, after all.”
“Still, the young lady looks much younger.
About twenty-two or twenty-three?”
Twenty-two was a scam, then.
Was Mark so happy to have a four-year age difference turn to two-year? Don’t come all the way to pet my head.
Twenty-eight and twenty-six were no different, rounded off, I remain thirty, an adult woman.
Hugh, who was smiling happily, looked at my face.
“Okay, last but not least, let’s get down to business.”
Those beautiful emerald eyes had turned into that of a researcher.
I gulped at the seriousness in his eyes, and then he held my cheeks between his hands and our eyes met at close range.
Can I examine those eyes of yours now?”
In the middle of the speech, Mark, who was next to me, suddenly grabbed me by the arm and pulled me away from Hugh, tugged me toward him, hugged my head and blocked my eyes.
The moment the magic tool on my lap fell to the floor with a crack, I felt not only that arm but also myself being wrapped in it.
What? Hey, why was I being hugged by Mark? I could hear the sound of Mark’s quick heartbeat, his chest pressing against me, and then… Oh, I was in trouble, why did I feel so safe in his arms? I was not getting used to him, was I?
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