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Chapter 185 – Bear-san Wastes Some Time Away

    Chapter 185 - Bear-san Wastes Some Time Away

    The party was well underway now.

    All the maids and other employees were very busy due to the amount of guests that had arrived.

    As much as we would like to help, both Fina and I knew nothing about noble parties.

    We just hid ourselves in our room to stay out of the way.

    If I walked around the mansion in my suit, I would only draw attention to myself, which would only end up causing a commotion.

    「Fina, what should we do?」

    「Hmm, how about some dismantling?」

    She said after thinking about it for a bit.

    She came all the way here, so she should stop thinking about dismantling and just take a break.

    「You don't have to do that right now.」

    「Okay, how about cleaning?」

    「You don't have to do that either.」

    「Uuu, Big Sis Yuna. I can't calm down. I'm in a Noble-sama's mansion; I just can't stay still knowing that.」

    Fina couldn't stay calm even though this was her third day here already, huh.

    I had to help her feel comfortable staying at mansions, somehow.

    Noa and Misa were her friends, so they were bound to call her over to play at their homes, after all.

    「Should we play a game, then?」

    「A game?」

    I climbed onto the bed and gestured Fina to join me.

    The table was a bit too wide for us to play a game where we had to face each other.

    I told Fina to sit on the opposite side of the bed and took out a checkerboard and two small boxes from the Bear Box.

    「What are these?」

    「It's a game called Reversi.」

    I passed one of the small boxes to Fina and opened mine, prompting Fina to open hers as well.

    「Uwahh. It's a black bear on one side and a white bear on the other!」

    Fina said while turning one of the flat, round pieces in her hand happily.

    「How do you play this game?」

    「You play by placing the pieces down on the board. Fina, do you want to be the black bear or white bear?」

    「I can't chose. The black bear is Swaying Bear, right? And the white bear should be Hugging Bear. I just can't pick between them.」

    I honestly couldn't choose, either, even though the drawings on the pieces weren't Hugging Bear and Swaying Bear but rather just basic deformed bears. Even so, we both felt bad having to choose a side. I had planned on having Fina choose, but since she couldn't do it, either...

    「Okay, then we'll switch sides every round.」

    「Okay.」

    We would do what we always did with my Bears: just switch every so often to keep things fair.

    「Okay, I'll explain the rules now. First, you place two of your pieces in the middle of the board like this.」

    I placed two black pieces in the middle.

    「Fina, put two of your white pieces on the two open spots in the middle.」

    Fina did as I told her to.

    I then placed another black piece down, and flipped one of Fina's white piece that was trapped between mine, changing it into a black bear.

    「Okay Fina, now try placing a white piece in the same way to capture a black piece of mine.」

    「Can I put it anywhere?」

    「Yes, as long as you place it next to one of my pieces.」

    Fina placed her white piece next to one of mine. She then flipped my piece as it was in between two of her pieces.

    「We keep placing our pieces back and forth like this. Whoever has more pieces of their color in the end wins.」

    「I think I get it.」

    It didn't take long for us to enter an all out reversi war, successfully killing time while waiting for the party to end.

    Honestly, I had wanted to make some playing cards, but I couldn't decide on what to draw for the Kings, Queens, and Jacks. I had ended up just overthinking those trivial things, so I had decided to make reversi instead.

    Also, drawing fifty-two cards plus the Jokers would be just too much of a pain.

    I was planning on asking Mylene-san if printing artwork was possible in this world first, before committing to it.

    I figured I would be using His Majesty for the Kings, and Her Highness for the Queens, but I couldn't think of anything good for the Jacks, so I was thinking of maybe just putting Princess Flora on them. Cliff, Eleanora-san, or Noa could also work. As for Misa, I didn't even consider her till now.

    Drawing a bear for the Joker should be okay, and if it got too difficult to pick, I could also just draw bears on all the cards.

    When I got back to Crimonia, maybe I should discuss this with Mylene-san. It would be nice to have more games to play when I was stuck in a room with other people like this.

    As for when I was alone, I could just sleep, of course.

    We played Reversi for a while, ate some of the pudding we made yesterday, and then also ate some pizza. We leisurely spent our time in the room.

    As we lazed around on the bed after filling our bellies with pizza, Noa and Misa came into the room wearing beautiful dresses.

    Noa's dress was red, matching her glistening blonde hair, and Misa was wearing a pale blue dress, which also matched her light brown hair really well.

    Fina would be wearing a dress for Misa's party as well; I was really looking forward to that.

    「Both of you are so cute.」

    「Thank you.」

    「Did the party go smoothly?」

    Based on their smiles, it seemed like it had ended peacefully.

    I figured that the opposing nobles would try to harass them, but maybe I was wrong?

    「Yes, it went great. Zelef-san was really cool.」

    Noa and Misa then told us about the party.

    It turned out that some nobles had indeed tried to complain about the food. Well, at least they hadn't put trash into it.

    The more I heard about those nobles, the more they sounded like the typical stupid nobles I had read about in stories.

    How dared they eat Zelef-san's food and then claim it tasted bad. Even though they didn't know who made the food, most people wouldn't just say something tasted bad when it tasted that good.

    However, situations could change depending on the speaker.

    Some people trusted another person's judgment over their own. If the other person claimed the food was third-rate, they would believe them.

    It was the same whether you were in school or working. If you ate something and thought it was good, but your upperclassman or a superior said it was disgusting, and those around you also agreed with them, then you were sure to doubt your own tastes. You might even end up thinking it didn't taste good yourself.

    Even if you still thought it tasted good, you couldn't go up against a group of people who agreed with your superior.

    In this case, the nobles who had made the claims were quite influential, so going against their opinions would have been difficult.

    To fight against them, we had needed somebody who had equal or greater influence than them.

    Gran-san would have been of no help, and we didn't know how much influence Cliff had in this town. So, Zelef-san had been the best choice to go against the nobles.

    「Thanks to Zelef-san, Randall and his father left the hall. I was so happy to see them leave!」

    The two girls happily told us.

    Randall... Oh, he was the **ty brat who had tried to fight us the other day.

    With someone like him at the party, of course the girls wouldn't have been able to enjoy themselves.

    Hearing about what his father had done, his spoiled attitude now made more sense.

    I looked at the girls. I must make sure they grow up to be fine people.

    「Still, Randall glared at us on his way out. It was kind of scary.」

    「He looked so frustrated, though.」

    Maybe we should watch out for a bit.

    The next time we ran into him, he might try to pick a fight with us again.

    Misa and Noa happily talked about what had happened at the party after the Salbert family had left.

    「Afterwards, everybody ate the pudding we made. They all said it was delicious.」

    「But, everybody thought Zelef-san made it...」

    「...even though we were the ones who did.」

    The two of them looked a bit disappointed.

    「That can't be helped. At least everybody liked it.」

    「Yes! Everybody couldn't stop saying how good it was with each and every bite.」

    I was glad that the pudding had been so well-received.

    It seemed like Zelef-san's cooking had also been received well.

    Even though I really hadn't wanted to attend the party, I still wanted to taste Zelef-san's cooking when I got the chance.

    Would he be willing to cook something for me if I asked?

    「I wish Yuna-san and Fina were there.」

    Both Fina and I showed a bitter smile when Noa said that.

    We definitely didn't want to go to a party full of nobles and influential people. Everybody would stare at us, and we would most likely end up not eating anything because of that.

    Also, we didn't know anything about proper etiquette of noble parties, and I surely wouldn't be allowed to attend the party wearing my Bear Suit, right?

    As we continued chatting, I realized something.

    I hadn't heard of what Zelef-san planned to do now.

    Would he be returning to the capital straight away?

    It would be a bit of a problem if he left before Misa's birthday party. Should I ask him to stay?

    I went to the kitchen to look for him, but I only found some maids in the middle of cleaning. He was nowhere to be seen.

    I decided to ask the maids, and they told me that he had apparently been summoned by Gran-san.

    Why did Gran-san want to see him?

    Hmm, what should I do...?

    Should I go to Gran-san's study to check if Zelef-san is there?

    「Yuna-san, what are you doing here?」

    「Meshun-san?」

    I turned around and was met by Meshun-san carrying the plates that had been used at the party.

    「I have something I want to ask Zelef-san. I heard Gran-san asked to speak with him?」

    「Once the party was over, Gran-sama requested to speak with Zelef-sama. I think they're in Gran-sama's study.」

    Since I now knew where Zelef-san was, I headed straight over to Gran-san's study.

    I knocked on the door and entered after receiving permission to do so.

    「Young Bear Lady, what's the matter?」

    Zelef-san and Gran-san were inside the room while Cliff was nowhere to be seen.

    「I wanted to ask Zelef-san about what he plans to do now that the party is over.」

    「What I plan to do?」

    「Yup, I had to know if you were planning on leaving immediately. If possible, I want you to wait until Misa's birthday party is over.」

    「Is Misana-dono also having a party?」

    「It's in three days. Would it be too much to ask you to delay returning to the capital until then?」

    「Hmm? I guess that should be fine. I received permission from His Majesty to come here, after all. I also want to have a long talk with Botts, so we can catch up.」

    「Thank you.」

    「If that's the case, shall I make the food for Misana-dono's party as well?」

    「Could you?」

    It wasn't me, but Gran-san who popped the question.

    「Yes, of course. Botts can't make food for a while, right? Please think of it as my present to her.」

    「Thank you very much.」

    Gran-san thanked him with a bow.

    Oh, now I could eat Zelef-san's food.

    That made me a bit happy.

    「I heard this from Noa and Misa earlier, but you played a big role in today's party, didn't you?」

    「I did no such thing. I just responded to the criticism my food was getting by asking what the problem was. I acted based on what you told me, Yuna-dono.」

    「Acted based on what I told you?」

    「If I accepted that my food was bad, it would be rude to the people who recognize and like my food, right?」

    Oh, I had told him that.

    「When I thought of it that way, His Majesty and my subordinates came to my mind. I got a little bit mad, realizing that those nobles were tarnishing the tastes of those who find my cooking delicious.」

    Zelef-san was expressing his thanks to me, but hadn't he just done the obvious thing?

    Still, by stating that the king liked his food, he had surely put himself out there.

    If Zelef-san were to fail and served something of poor taste, it would be the same as betraying the trust of those who believed in his cooking. Also, it was possible that if the head chef's cooking was found to be bad, his subordinates' cooking might be labeled as bad, too.

    He had put himself under a lot of pressure.

    Well, Zelef-san would never serve his failures to his guests, so this was all just a needless worry.

    Since I now figured out what Zelef-san wanted to do, I returned to my room. The girls were playing Reversi, which I had left out for them.

    Noa and Misa should have at least changed out of their dresses before playing, though.
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