Chapter 24 Day 1 : Pudding
The first day, morning.
I woke up on a soft bed.
In a room 10 square meters in size.
This is my private room, though only temporarily.
What hung on the wall were not maid clothes, but butler clothes.
It was given to me yesterday by Merry the sheep.
It seems that I had become his subordinate, an apprentice butler attached to ojou-sama.
“…… my terms of employment are that I have to get ojou-sama to suck my blood within these 3 days.”
If I couldn’t do that, then I would be returned to the slave house.
If I were returned to the slave house, I might be sold as a male prostitute next time.
“I have to do my best to get friendly with Chrisse ojou-sama so that doesn’t happen!”
I got up from the bed, full of motivation.
I changed into the butler clothes, and when I left the basement the hamster-eared maid was already waiting.
“G, good morning, Mercè-san”
“Good morning, Lute.”
This girl who was expressionless at first glance was the Vlad house’s head maid, Mercè, from the beast race, hamster clan.
Wearing a traditional maid uniform, she had her hands crossed in front of her.
She had small breasts, and a slender, tall body.
At a glance she looked the part of a capable maid.
“Sorry, it looks like I kept you waiting.”
“No, I had just gotten here, so please don’t mind it.”
Mercè spoke disinterestedly, her expression unchanging.
“Well then, since Lute is going to be taking care of Chrisse ojou-sama for three days from now on, you will be working with me.”
“Looking forward to working with you.”
She was the maid who had been looking after ojou-sama until now.
Which is why I was working as her helper for taking care of ojou-sama.
Also, Mercè was positioned as my overseer.
The one who decided that was the butler Merry.
Merry presented me with a few conditions.
- In order to not leave ojou-sama alone with a man, Mercè will be there to oversee.
- Always do what Mercè instructs.
- If I couldn’t become ojou-sama’s blood bag, I will be driven out with no sympathy.
- Obey any other, additional terms obediently.
Those were the 4 conditions.
Because she was going to oversee me, and moreover she hardly showed any facial expressions, I didn’t really know how to handle her.
She had the air of a demon mother-in-law or an office lady that would run her finger on a window frame and say “is this what you call cleaning?” once I was done with cleaning.
But contrary to my negative image of her, Mercè—
“I agree with Gigi-san’s opinion. I think something might change if Lute, who is similar in age, stays by her side. So do your best so you can stay. I’ll be rooting for you.”
“Thank you very much! Mercè-san!”
Who was I calling a demon mother-in-law or office lady?
Mercè-san is an angel!
At her urging, I started walking.
“Then let’s firstly wake ojou-sama up. Since I’ll be helping with ojou-sama’s morning preparations, please go to the kitchen and fetch her breakfast in the meantime. Do you know where the kitchen is?”
“Yes, I think I’ll be alright.”
“If you don’t know just ask any servant.”
While having that conversation, we finally arrived at ojou-sama’s room.
Mercè-san knocked the door.
“Ojou-sama, excuse us.”
Without waiting for ojou-sama’s answer, Mercè opened the door and went inside.
I followed along timidly behind her.
A sweet scent typical of girls tickled my nose.
The room was dark.
Thick curtains draped the windows.
The bedside lamp was put out, the only source of light came from outside the doors.
I looked around the room once again.
The room was rather spacious, about 2 classrooms in size.
It was decorated with plants, thick carpets where your feet would sink down to the ankle, a dresser, desk, table, sofa, clothing rack, plushies, and accessories made out of real glittering gems. Inside the room there were more rooms: a bath, toilet, and a kitchen.
It seems that the Count has spent money to make a room perfect for a hikikomori.
I shouldn’t be saying this as a former hikikomori—but the thought of “You should’ve used it to set your daughter on the right path” didn’t escape my mind.
“Chrisse ojou-sama, it’s morning. Please get up.”
Mercè-san called out to ojou-sama in the middle of the canopy bed buried in a thick feather quilt.
Her golden hair spread on the bed, the innocent-faced ojou-sama breathed steadily as she slept.
Her slightly reddened cheeks seemed soft, I was driven to poke her with my finger.
The sight of a child rolled up like a ball on a bed that could fit three adults and then some was rather cute.
“Ojou-sama, please get up.”
When Mercè-san shook her shoulders, she finally opened her eyes.
But when I entered her vision, she widened her drowsy eyes as big as they could be in surprise.
She immediately covered her head with her quilt again.
Ojou-sama threw an uneasy glance at me, obviously on alert.
Mercè-san introduced me in order to dispel her wariness.
“This is the apprentice butler Lute who will be taking care of ojou-sama and also be your blood bag. Lute, greet ojou-sama.”
“Good morning, Chrisse ojou-sama. I am ojou-sama’s blood bag and caretaker, apprentice butler Lute, of the human race. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
I gave her the greeting I learned from Merry last night.
I put my right hand, fingers outstretched, to my left shoulder, put my left hand in a fist behind me, and lightly bow my head.
This is how a formal greeting is done around this world.
For women, they grip the edge of their skirt with their left hand and raise it slightly, otherwise it’s the same as men.
Ojou-sama used her magic device—the mini blackboard she used yesterday.
“Boys are scary so I’d rather not have a boy take care of me.”
Then ojou-sama hid herself just like she did yesterday.
After that, she won’t come out no matter how much we called.
1st day, morning… I failed at communication from the very beginning.
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While I was in the room, Chrisse ojou-sama was afraid and didn’t come out.
There was nothing I could do, so I brought her breakfast to just outside her room, and left Mercè-san to take it inside.
Mercè-san and I then tidied up ojou-sama’s breakfast and had a late breakfast at the servants’ messroom.
“So long as you don’t fix ojou-sama’s wariness first, it’s impossible for Lute to stay in the Vlad house.”
Mercè declared while eating her bean soup, bean salad, and thick-sliced bacon.
Since I came to the Demon Continent there’s strangely been a lot of bean-based cooking.
“I’ve been thinking about it too, but really, what can I do to fix ojou-sama’s wariness?”
“That’s certainly true….”
Mercè-san stopped her hands from scooping up the bean soup and pondered.
“……Lute, it’s only been a short while, but it was nice to be working with you.”
“It’s still too early to give up!”
“It was a joke.”
Mercè-san delivered her joke in such a deadpan way, it didn’t sound like one.
While reaching her spoon out towards the bean salad, she proposed.
“What do you think of making her some snacks?”
According to Mercè-san―Demon races like sweet snacks very much.
Ojou-sama was no exception, she was very fond of sweet snacks.
During tea parties held at her room in the afternoons, she ate all kinds of cakes that doesn’t seem to fit her small body.
So I should have Mercè-san teach me and make some snacks with my own hands for ojou-sama to eat.
If I start now it wouldn’t be in time for her afternoon tea party, so I was recommended to make some jelly or cookies for the tea party that is to be held after dinner (this is also held at ojou-sama’s room).
In other words, the plan is to fix ojou-sama’s wariness and get closer to her through food.
“I see, it’s a good idea. By the way….. there’s jelly?”
“Don’t they have those at the Fairy Human Continent? It’s a snack made of slime powder. It’s transparent like water and soft, you put fruits and other things inside.”
It’s made of slime…..?!
“If there’s jelly, is there any pudding?”
“Pudding? No, I’ve never heard of anything with that name. What kind of thing is it?”
Mercè-san cutely tilted her head slightly.
Humm, it seems like this world still doesn’t know of pudding.
“It’s a soft solid food like jelly.”
“It’s a good snack for the evening party. Can you make that pudding, Lute?”
“No problem. I’ve made it before.”
“Then after breakfast is done tell me what ingredients you need. I’ll prepare them so it’ll be done just in time for the evening party.”
“Thank you very much!”
Thus the “Grand Snack Operation” to get Chrisse ojou-sama to relax her wariness, begins.
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I was left in charge of the evening tea party by Mercè-san, to make the food I intruded on the food preparation area.
I entrusted Mercè-san to tell ojou-sama that I’ll be making pudding for tonight’s evening party.
Next is whether or not the taste of pudding is to ojou-sama’s liking.
The ingredients for pudding are eggs, milk, and sugar.
During the time I lived alone in my previous life.
Every now and again, there were many times I got engrossed in food and made it.
For the eggs, peacock eggs like the ones I’d taken care of in the orphanage.
Milk from hairy-headed cows.
Imported sugar from the Fairy Human Continent.
This world unexpectedly had similar spices and seasonings.
Thanks to that it took almost no time at all to put the ingredients in order.
I uttered my gratitude as soon as I started making the food.
I began making pudding immediately.
Firstly, I put sugar and water in a small saucepan, then cooked them in a medium fire.
There was nothing convenient like gas stoves so I had to regulate the fire by taking burning firewood in and out.
Once it had become thick and turned the color of brown sugar, I took it off from the fire and transferred it to a ceramic container.
I made pudding batter by mixing eggs, milk, and sugar.
I poured the pudding batter into a bowl using a tea strainer. I filled the saucepan with water, and put it on a fire until it boiled.
The caramel sauce had already settled in the bottom of the cup, so I carefully poured the pudding batter in.
After that, I added hot water, put a lid on it and left it for 10 minutes.
I took it off the fire, and waited another 10 minutes.
I finished by taking the cup and putting it inside a refrigerator.
The refrigerators of this world were the old types that were cooled down by putting ice on top.
I made some space in the fridge and cooled it carefully so that the smells of other foodstuffs didn’t get on it.
All I have to do now was wait for the evening party.
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The custom of having tea before going to sleep at night was called “evening party” in the Demon Continent.
Though it’s called a party, because it happens at night it was not something grand, but was a private affair instead, sometimes master and the others came along, but usually it was just ojou-sama and her retainers.
I brought my handmade pudding for today’s evening party.
It’s the third time I went to ojou-sama’s room.
As soon as ojou-sama caught sight of me, she once again covered her head with her quilt and hid behind her bed.
I expected as much.
At first I wanted to leave it to Mercè-san, and just receive her report on whether or not ojou-sama likes it. But Mercè-san rejected my proposal.
She insisted that it would be better in order to shorten the distance between us if I went into the room and made a direct appeal of making the pudding.
“Besides, ojou-sama is sure to like such a tasty treat as this. So have some confidence in yourself.”
To make sure it would suit ojou-sama, I had Mercè-san taste it.
Mercè-san who did not have much in the way of facial expressions blushed in surprise at the taste when she ate a mouthful of the pudding.
Having gained a boost of confidence from Mercè-san’s reaction, I visited ojou-sama’s room; third time’s the charm.
“Ojou-sama, this is the snack I made myself, it’s called a [Pudding]”
Ojou-sama reacted to the snack she’d never heard of before, the so-called [Pudding], and peeped from behind the feather quilt, showing only her eyes.
I turned the cup upside down on the plate with slow movements so I didn’t frighten her.
When I moved my hands two, three times, the pudding wobbled left and right on the plate.
Ojou-sama became fixated on the wobbling.
I got a response.
For me who knew what the real thing looked like, it appeared rather bad because the caramel sauce became somewhat mixed with the pudding batter, but it shouldn’t be a problem since it’s the first time ojou-sama saw it.
“This is a snack made from eggs, milk, and sugar. It’s soft like jelly, so please scoop it up with a spoon and eat it.”
I put a wooden spoon on the plate and handed it over to Mercè-san.
Mercè-san took it with care, and presented it to ojou-sama who was cowering behind the bed.
But ojou-sama made no signs of taking the plate.
She was curious, but it seems her fear of the opposite sex won out.
(Dammit! Does this mean the “Grand Snack Operation” failed!?)
The moment I thought that, Mercè-san scooped up the pudding with the spoon and brought it towards ojou-sama’s mouth.
“Ojou-sama, say “ah~n”.”
At first she hesitated at the spoon she was presented with, but ojou-sama ate the pudding with a *glomp* sound effect.
Ojou-sama’s white skin became red like a flower in bloom.
Her eyes sparkled like twinkling stars and her lips broke into a smile, looking happy.
Without a moment’s delay, Mercè-san presented a second scoop.
She ate the next spoonful without hesitation.
Just like that, she ate all the pudding on the plate clean up.
Holding on to the scented tea Mercè-san had heated up in her small hands, ojou-sama washed down the sweet aftertaste in her mouth and took a long breath.
I talked to ojou-sama in a gentle tone in order to not frighten her.
“Was the pudding I made to ojou-sama’s liking?”
It was obvious from looking at the plate that was eaten clean and the expression on her face.
Ojou-sama, as expected, took her hand off the scented tea and wrote on her mini blackboard.
“It’s the first time I eat that snack, it was very delicious.”
“If it’s alright with ojou-sama, will you be fine with having me make more snacks for tomorrow’s tea party and evening party?”
Ojou-sama hesitated a bit, but she showed her face from behind the mini blackboard and nodded.
“I want to have pudding tomorrow too, so please take care of me.”
I made a triumphant pose in my mind, and bowed politely.
The first round of the “snacks operation” was a success!
Let’s make snacks and open up ojou-sama’s heart like this. Then whatever happens, I’ll be ojou-sama’s blood bag and caretaker and stay at the blood house!
Also, for the sake of my chastity!
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The rest was a digression.
As I left ojou-sama’s room behind, I was called to stop by the head butler Merry.
It looks like the master and madam called for me.
With questions in my head, I went to the room where they were and―
“”Hahahahaha! This so-called [Pudding] is really delicious! It was worth buying Lute even just for this!”
“Ah, darling, Lute still hasn’t been formally accepted into the house yet.”
“Hahahahahaha! That’s right, that’s right!”
“Darling is always so careless.”
The reason I was called by master and madam was because they wanted to have the pudding ojou-sama ate―so I was ordered to bring them some.
The two were having a friendly chat while scrumptiously eating the two puddings I had set aside.
The muscular, black-skinned Count with over 2 meters in height was eating the pudding in small bites, it was a rather surreal scene.
Madam was eating gracefully like a picture, but….
Those puddings were the ones I had set aside so I can enjoy eating them tonight after so long.
I certainly can’t refuse saying “these are for me”, so I tearfully handed them over.
Uuuuu…… and I thought I would be having pudding after so long, too.
Thus I shortened the distance between me and ojou-sama, and the first day passed.