I think of that maid?’


For some reason, the Lily Palace reminded him of her.

Why did he, the most powerful person in the empire, think of her, a girl who’s nothing but a humble servant?

‘How strange.
She’s just a random maid who works at the Lily Palace.’

Thinking so, he erased the thoughts of her from his mind.

For a moment, he wondered if he would see her again at the banquet, but he shook his head.

An intermediate maid from a noble family—not a junior maid like her—would be assigned to serve at the banquet.
Maids like her would be doing various chores behind the scenes.

‘She looks so frail, menial tasks must be challenging for her.’ He found himself unconsciously thinking of the girl who was alone in the swan garden, cleaning the latter all by herself with her petite body.

The Crown Prince of Blood shook his head.
‘Why do I keep having these unnecessary thoughts?’

Then he spoke in a firm tone.
“Anyway, since this is our first time welcoming delegations from various countries, including the West Empire, make sure to tell the head chef to meticulously prepare the banquet.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

But was it a coincidence? While they were having that conversation, Marie, whom the Crown Prince was thinking of, was assisting Chef Peter in preparing for the banquet.

The Lily Palace, where Marie worked, was bustling with preparations for the banquet.

“Marie, can you help me for a moment?”

“Yes, Chef Peter! How can I help you?”

Marie nodded in response as she arranged the dishes for the banquet.

“I’m going to check the meat for tomorrow’s main dish, the veal steak.
Would you like to come with me to make sure everything’s okay?”

“Yes, I’ll go with you right away.” Marie put down the plate and followed Chef Peter.

Peter smiled and said to her, “It’s such a busy time, isn’t it? Aren’t you tired?”

“No, I’m fine.
You must be tired too, aren’t you?”

“Well, this festival season is the hardest time for people like us.”

With a relaxed face, Peter asked Marie about various things.
He’d been treating Marie affectionately, like she was his own daughter.

“Thank you for doing a good job.
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of compliments about you among the Lily Palace maids.”

“I-It’s nothing.”

“No, really.
You’ve hardly made any mistakes lately.
We’ve been so busy with preparing for the banquet and so having you come to the kitchen has been a huge relief.”

Once she finished cleaning the Swan Garden, she was assigned at the Lily Palace, where she originally worked at.
Her task was to assist in preparations for the upcoming banquet.

When she came to the kitchen, she received a lot of compliments by assisting the chefs with her master maid abilities.

“Moreover, I was already feeling a lot of pressure because I heard that the banquet is important to His Highness the Crown Prince.
I’m so grateful for your help.”

“His Highness the Crown Prince?” With an embarrassed expression from the never ending compliments, Marie was surprised at the mention of the Crown Prince.

“Yes, His Highness is paying extra attention to the upcoming event because it involves welcoming the delegations from various nations.
Thus, it’s crucial for the Empire’s prestige.
And the fact that delegates from the Western Empire are also attending makes it unprecedented and even more important.”

Peter, who had somewhat of a carefree personality, seemed to feel considerable pressure when he heard that the Crown Prince was paying special attention to the banquet.

As was expected, given the Crown Prince was a terrifying entity to everyone.

‘Come to think of it, the Crown Prince will also attend the banquet two days from now.’ She shuddered inwardly just by thinking about it.

The thought of facing him was daunting.

‘I’ll be doing dishes in the kitchen, so there won’t be any chance of running into him.’

She vowed to never leave the kitchen that day.

Trying to cheer up Peter, she said, “Don’t worry too much.
Your cooking skills are the best in the empire, you know.”

Peter beamed at Marie’s words.
“Thank you.
While I’m not sure about being the best, I am confident with my skills.”

“Is veal steak the main course?” Marie asked.

The banquet’s full course meal consists of more than 20 dishes, such as an appetizer called hors d’oeuvre, a entrées froide (cold entree) of salmon, three types of entrées chaude (hot entree), a meat dish served with salad, etc., etc.

The most essential dish among them is the grosse pièce (main dish), which consisted of steak made from the highest quality beef.

“Yeah, we’ve been aging the highest quality veal in a low-temperature environment for a month now.”

“Low temperature?”

“Yes, even the best quality meat will taste dry if cooked right away.
To bring out the best flavor possible, we age it at a specific temperature.
Now that we’re here, you can see it for yourself.”

Kkiik (Squeek).

When they arrived at the storage room, Peter fished out a key and opened the door.

The door strangely led down to a basement.

“Hold the lamp and follow me carefully down the stairs.”

“Oh, okay!”

Marie shivered from the cold air as she cautiously descended the steep stairs.
She mumbled, “Why is it so cold here?”

It was so cold as if it were the middle of winter.

“It’s because it’s deep underground.
If we keep the meat in such a cold place, it won’t spoil and will age to an enhanced flavor.”

At those words, Marie looked in awe.
To think that the meat was aged like that instead of being cooked right away.
Such a novel idea.

“That’s amazing.”

“Yeah, if it’s aged properly, the meat tastes much better.”

“But won’t it go bad if you store it like this?”

Peter’s face darkened at her question.

t/n: jesus, idk why the author insists on using french words in korean bc it’s so hard to translate when i don’t speak french TT ^ TT i had to search what geuroseupiesseu (그로스피에스) means, it was so annoying, i doubt koreans even know what that is

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