Character page: here
Rinkage: This part’s much shorter, but I’ll get all done in the next part.
Volume 3 Side Story ②: I tried making candy (1/2)
“All right, it’s done!” [Youki]
After finishing my work, I wiped the sweat from my brow.
What lay before my eyes was a flower-crafted candy. This was what I came up with after agonizing about what I should give Cecilia for White Day. I had received an elaborately-made cake and cookies from her on Valentine’s Day, so it would be a courtesy to return a similarly elaborate gift. Well, I made sure to keep that feeling of gratitude in me as I worked. Naturally, it crossed my mind that it was reckless for someone like me, who had not made any confectionery before, to attempt such a thing, so…
“…Hmm. I think it looks good. Take my word for it.” [Ami]
I pleaded Ami-san, the pastry shop’s pastry chef, for her help, so she could teach me how to make this.
“Thank you. I managed to get the shape right somehow thanks to your help.” [Youki]
“What I taught you were only the basics. The rest was thanks to your own effort.” [Ami]
Or so she said, but I had struggled immensely before reaching this point. Ami-san was the one who had given me the advice each time, so that was how I could achieve this great result.
“You’ve really helped me a great deal. But I’ve caused you some inconvenience, haven’t I? You’ve been spending time all week to teach me after closing the shop, and you’ve even accompanied me while I practice.” [Youki]
“It’s fine since Youki-san’s a regular here. It was personally a good experience as well to teach someone. Besides, compared to brother, it was worth the effort teaching you instead and it was fun.” [Ami]
I was initially worried since there was a problem with my sense of style, but I felt that it was finally completed due to Ami-san’s encouragement as well.
“Hahaha, by the way, is that macho pas… I mean, is Andrei-san still working?” [Youki]
“Looks like it.” [Ami]
While we were having a leisurely chat as we cleaned up the kitchen, the macho pastry chef, on the other hand, was engrossed in his candy making in silence. I could feel an extraordinary aura radiating out from him from behind. I had always thought of him as a gag character, but I hadn’t realized that the impression he gave out would be so much different when he worked in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what kind of masterpiece he was making, but unlike something that was produced by an amatuer like me, what he was making must be something spectacular.
“As I thought, an expert is different. It’s probably their bearing, or how should I put it…” [Youki]
“It hasn’t been long since brother started pastry making, but… I’ve taught him candy crafting the same time as Youki-san.” [Ami]
“Yes, it’s done!” [Andrei]
It seemed that he had finally completed it while we were observing him as we cleaned up the kitchen.
I hurried over to see his finished work.
“This is…” [Youki]
The moment I saw it, first and foremost, this was what I understood. The perfection of his work was in a class of its own, unlike mine. Even though I was still a fledging in the craft, it gave me the strong realization that he was indeed a pastry chef. It was an accurate recreation of the real thing, and a beautifully done one at that. The person who made it seemed satisfied as well.
“Brother, what on earth did you…” [Ami]
Seeing the pleased look on Andrei-san’s face and my reaction, Ami-san came over, looking intrigued.
“My dear younger sister, my teacher, what do you think of this? Something that’s not only magnificent, but also beautiful… What else could it be but… muscles!” [Andrei]
What was laid on top of the worktable was a muscular arm made of candy.
The instant he flexed his own muscles… it was as though the time has stopped. It was a splendid masterpiece.
Probably because Ami-san was at a loss on what to say, her mouth hung open in surprise. Was she angry? Or was she feeling amazed? Which was it?
I had heard her telling him before that if he were to make any potentially good confectionery, they would sell it in the shop. However, this… could they sell this in the shop? It was no doubt perfect, but… the fact that it was pointlessly beautiful was aggravating.
“Hmm. It would seem that Ami has approved of it, seeing as you’ve not said anything.” [Andrei]
The macho pastry chef nodded, drawing the conclusion himself as he crossed his arms.
Just take a closer look at your own sister! That masterpiece of yours has stunned her so much that she was just rendered speechless.
However, the macho pastry chef ignored Ami-san’s current state and proceeded to wrap his candy in a familiar manner. He then held it out and offered it to Ami-san, who was still stupefied.
“Sorry for troubling you all these times… This is my token of gratitude. Please accept it, my dearest sister.” [Andrei]
It was unexpectedly a present for Ami. A look of accomplishment could clearly be seen on his face. It was simply that Ami, who was still stunned from before, couldn’t hide her astonishment once again from her brother’s sudden action.
I was, at the moment, witnessing a beautiful bond between a brother and sister. It didn’t seem as if he was playing a prank, but… No, that wasn’t it. I tried to examine the expressions on both of their faces.
The brother, Andrei-san, had a satisfied look on his face. He had probably thought that his element of surprise had succeeded.
The problem lay with the sister, Ami-san… Yeah, it looked as though she was smiling, but if you were to take a closer look, her lips were actually twitching.
Well, that’s a given.
The very item that made her feel disgusted the moment she first laid her eyes on was actually a gift for her. Or rather, if he wanted to get her a gift as a token of his appreciation, he should have prepared something much more appropriate.
“That’s so unreliable of him, isn’t it?” [Youki]
I murmured, feeling half-amazed as I cast out the thought about that inconsiderate, macho pastry chef, who was in a good mood after giving his sister the present.
“Well… that’s just like brother, or I should say, that’s just how brother is, isn’t it?” [Ami]
Ami-san smiled wryly as she looked at the muscle-shaped candy given to her. To others, it might seem as if she was hesitating to eat it because it was reproduced exactly like the real thing. Even so, it was unexpected that she could regain her composure so soon after she was given such a thing.
“So you’ve yield in with that, huh?” [Youki]
“Because we’re siblings. We’ve been together for so many years, so if every single thing he does were to throw me for a loop, the shop’s going to be in chaos.” [Ami]
“That’s true.” [Youki]
Both of us broke into laughter in that instant. After that, we continued cleaning up the kitchen as we talked. I then conveyed my thanks to her before returning to the inn. Naturally, I didn’t forget about the flower-crafted candy that I made.
Upon entering the room, I kept the wrapped candy on the shelf before taking a breather.
Even though Cecilia had eventually rescued me from the feelings of grief that enveloped me during Valentine’s Day, I had still gone through a terrible sense of emptiness in the course of it. Even though I reached happiness at the end of the road, the dark emotions that washed over me during the process almost made me shed tears of blood. I didn’t want to go through such an experience once more and I wouldn’t let it happen again either.
That was why, I…
“I will gift it to Cecilia first thing in the morning!” [Youki]