Home Post 987-chapter-11


Cecille prided herself on her wit and perception, but this time it took her a while to understand his meaning.

“I will try to protect Your Highness to the best of my ability and ensure that you do not encounter any difficulties during your stay here, even without having to prove your worth or abilities to the adults for your protection.”

His words were difficult for Cecille to accept.

Until now, no one had taken care of her unconditionally, without her having to do anything.

After fleeing the royal palace, her enchantments and magic had worked, but all she had gained was unconditional obedience and not real concern for her well-being.

Come to think of it, even when he brought me from the royal palace, he didn’t listen to my conditions. Moreover, he brought me, even at the cost of political losses… someone who isn’t even his relative.

Cecille remained silent, causing the Duke to sigh softly.

“It’s alright if you don’t believe me. I understand the discomfort of doing nothing. I’ve been there, too.”


“But remember this. You don’t have to strive for someone else’s love at the expense of diminishing yourself.”

As someone who had spent her entire life trying to gain the favor of others, Cecille couldn’t bring herself to believe vows like “I’ll protect you without you doing anything.”

Rather, it only made her wary of the other party’s intentions.

You couldn’t have brought me here without wanting something in return. What do you want from me, Duke Bartolomeo?

Cecille clenched her hand tightly. Her nails dug into her palm.

How can you expect me to believe the lie that I can receive someone’s love without diminishing myself?

Conflicted, but unable to reveal it, she saw this as a precious opportunity. She had to make a good impression on him, no matter what.

Cecille smiled brightly.

“Thank you, Your Grace! You’re so kind to me. I’ll never forget it.”

Cecille held up her little finger, ridiculously small compared to an adult’s.

“I’ll never forget Your Grace’s words. I promise!”

The Duke gave her a strange look before lightly tapping her little finger with his own.

“But really, I want to get along with Your Grace. From now on, please feel free to speak to me informally. The use of formal language makes me feel distant because it reminds me of the unpleasant events at the royal palace.”

As Cecille spoke with a pained expression, the stubborn duke finally relented.

“What shall I call you then?”

“Please call me Cecille.”

“Very well. Cecille.”

Hearing her name in his deep, solemn voice made Cecille feel strange.

She still feared him, was suspicious of him, and didn’t like him… but there was something strange.

It felt like her stomach was churning, and her chest was tightening painfully.

To suppress the complicated emotions, Cecille secretly bit down hard on the inside of her cheek.

Don’t let the pleasant atmosphere and gentle demeanor fool you.

Cecille reminded herself.

Remember what kind of person he is, Cecille. If you let your guard down for a moment, you won’t survive in this mansion.

Hiding her churning emotions, Cecille turned to the Duke and smiled brightly.

“I’m really glad! Please remember to call me Cecille from now on, don’t forget!”

Her cheeks, soft and plump, flushed rosy, creating an incredibly endearing smile.

In stark contrast to her own heart, her face radiated purity and loveliness, as if she knew nothing of the world’s filth.

Duke Bartolomeo looked at her.

Behind his somewhat withdrawn gaze lay a mixture of pity and a complex emotion, but Cecille was unaware of it.

* * *

Despite her lingering doubts, Cecille considered the outcome of this meeting to be quite successful.

“I can’t let my guard down. Duke Bartolomeo is cautious and capricious, so we must take the next step.”

[A good idea, Cecille. But where are you going? Isn’t this the opposite direction from Duke’s study?”]

“Yes, to the kitchen.”

[Why the kitchen?]

“To cook.”

[You, cooking in Duke’s kitchen? Will the high-nosed chefs allow it?]

“I’ve thought of ways to get permission, so don’t worry.”

[Wouldn’t it be better to ask the cooks for help? You may have cooked when you were a dark sorceress, but it’s not necessary now, is it?]

“It’s meaningless if I don’t make it myself. I won’t eat it; it’s for Duke Bartolomeo.”

[What?! But Duke Bartolomeo’s taste is probably very particular… Are you sure about that? While your cooking skills are indeed remarkable…]

Cecille replied dismissively, as if annoyed.

“Alchemy comes from cooking. The greatest alchemists in history were all cooks. Don’t underestimate my cooking, the finest alchemy on the continent.”

[Well, that’s true, but…]

“Now be quiet, I’m going to the kitchen. If you keep nagging, I might have to put you to sleep forever.”

Nebula finally fell silent, looking somewhat chastened.

As her mind settled, Cecille entered the kitchen.

“Who’s that?”

“Isn’t that the little princess?”

As the place responsible for feeding everyone in the manor, the kitchen was busy and crowded.

When the young princess, who relied on the Duke’s patronage, appeared, the cooks took notice of Cecille.

“Oh, how charming. Why would the princess come to a place like this?”

“Shall we offer her some snacks?”

Kitchen work required such physical strength that the cooks all looked as if they were ready to pounce on something.

Among these people, Cecille stood out, conspicuously cute and lovely, leaving the cooks at a loss as to what to do with her cuteness.

Cecille greeted them with a twinkle in her eye.

“Hello, I have a favor to ask…”

“Who dares to intrude?”

A voice, imposing and commanding to a degree unparalleled by the cooks, interrupted her.

Next to the voice appeared a man of formidable appearance.

He towered in stature, his arms alone thicker than Cecille’s torso.

His lips and hands bore large scars, and he exuded an aura closer to a wild beast than a civilized man.


From the other chefs’ reactions, Cecille realized that he was the head chef.

“Come to think of it… the chef who protected Duke for two years was recently promoted to head chef by hiring many new employees. This must be him.”

“Chef, Princess has arrived. She will stay for a moment…”

The Head Chef glanced at Cecille briefly, then slowly approached her.

His imposing presence and the shadow over Cecille’s head came closer.

It was a terrifying moment that would have made an ordinary 8-year-old burst into tears, but Cecille was no ordinary 8-year-old.

After encountering all kinds of frightening people, the appearance of the Head Chef didn’t faze her.

Maintaining her cheerful demeanor, Cecille spoke.

“Hello, Head Chef! My name is Cecille.”


The head chef spoke briefly.

“Chef Hans, I apologize for disturbing you while you’re busy. May I borrow a corner of the kitchen? I won’t interfere with your work.”

“Why does the Princess need the kitchen?”

“His Grace has been so kind to me in many ways, so I want to cook for him.”

Whether he is a ruthless villain or a villainous grandfather, no one dislikes delicious food.

This time, Cecille planned to win Duke Bartolomeo’s favor with her delicious cooking.

The chef’s face twisted, whether in anger, embarrassment, or confusion remained to be seen.


“I won’t use any fire, and I won’t take up much space. Just a small area will suffice. I’ll do all the preparation.”

“Is that…”

‘Is mere brightness and courtesy not enough? Oh well.’

Tears welled up in Cecille’s large, round eyes in an instant.

The tears trickled to her chubby cheeks, over her black eyelashes, and dripped onto her rosy cheeks.

Any heart that remained unmoved by such a pitiful sight would be as cold-blooded as possible.

“Can… you not allow it? I… want… to… help… His Grace… so much…”

Cecille’s voice trembled as she choked, and even the head cook, who resembled a bandit leader, began to falter.

“N-no, it’s not that…”

“Not that?”