Chapter 69 – Her First Kind Companions (1)
“Madam, knowledge is more precious than gold.”
Ruth announced shamelessly.
The wizard then flopped down to take a seat. The recoil that came due to his sudden movement caused the books that he had earlier piled up to tremble and collapse onto the ground. The knowledge that he said was more precious than gold was now haphazardly lying down under his feet.
Max, who had been watching the exchange had her mouth slightly open, wondering if she should slip in a remark, but instead she ended up sighing heavily. She couldn’t take an uncompromising attitude, she wanted to help because she too was receiving a lot of help from him.
“I-I’ll, ask them to try and acquire them….” Max said as she prepared to leave the room.
“I would appreciate it.”
The wizard responded coyly to her remark and opened another book he had just reached out for. She shook her head dismissively at the wizard’s gratitude and left the library silently as not to disturb his work.
As she made her way away from the library, she noticed that the hallways were well lit, white from the bright light which poured in from the newly replaced windows. The windows had allowed more sunlight to enter the walls of the castle.
The weather has been unusually clear for the past few days, Max thought this as she looked out and gazed up at the cloudless blue sky from the windows. She basked in its warmth and sprightly walked down the stairs. At the end of the steps, a sturdy, vintage patterned rail was uniformly linked, and a soft carpet greeted her soles.
When she was first asked to decorate the castle, she felt overwhelmed, but now there was an inexplicable sense of accomplishment at the castle which she saw slowly changing before her eyes.
She happily skipped to the banquet hall to give her list of orders to Rodrigo. When she arrived, she saw him carefully supervising his work which was near completion. She approached him carefully.
“R-Rodrigo… are you busy?
“Ah, Madam, you’re here.” Rodrigo looked back at her, his wrinkled face was painted with a bright smile.
With a smile of her own in reply, Max handed him the parchment filled with orders.
“I-I went around the inner facilities… and checked if there is anything we need. C-Could you order what I wrote down? P-Please?”
“Of course.” Rodrigo replied.
“A-Also…tell them to get the books that I wrote down on the bottom.” Max added.
“Yes madam, I will.” The butler neatly folded the parchment and put it in his breast pocket.
She turned back with a smile, feeling giddy that she had just completed one of her tasks. She was about to open the door and go out again, when Rodrigo called her in a hurry.
“Madam, the apprentices, Yurixion and Garow, went out to the valley early in the morning today and caught four “Oakleys”. It’s currently getting prepared in the kitchen right now, if you haven’t eaten yet…”
Rodrigo looked at her confused face in surprise.
“Have you never tried it? It is a clear water fish that lives in the valley. It’s very juicy and soft. There’s nothing in the world that’s as appetizing as a freshly caught Oakley cooked over a charcoal fire.”
The food in Calypse Castle was very tasty, but it tended to be quite meat-oriented. Their affinity for meat was quite extreme that she hadn’t eaten fish ever since she came here even though the area was adjacent to the sea. She had been craving for fish so much that her stomach suddenly rumbled at the mention of it.
“B-But the apprentices are the one who caught it so I can’t…” Max began to protest but she wasn’t able to complete her sentence for Rodrigo cut her off.
“They said that they brought it for you madam. They will be glad if you would go and dine with them.”
Max, who was surprised to hear that the fish had been caught for her, flushed at the thought of their consideration and could only nod in reply.
She didn’t understand why they did that and she frankly didn’t care to find out their motivation for doing so, she just wanted to eat some fish.
So Max hurried out of the banquet hall and headed for the kitchens excitedly, the thought of freshly caught fish made her giddy.
As soon as she arrived near the kitchen, she heard people busily talking to each other and so she peeked inside to see what was going on.
Max spotted the two boys hanging four huge fish, about the length of an adult man’s arm, above the drain and cutting it up. The chef next to them was sweating heavily at a loss of what to do with the two apprentices who had begun to tend to the fish.
“S-Sir, I-I’ll do it. Please, I’ll do it. Please let me do it!” the chef exclaimed in an embarrassed tone.
“It’s alright, it’s alright. It’s also a kind of like our training to get a sense of what cutting something living feels like.” Yurixion naively said to the chef, who was on the edge of breaking out in tears.
Next to him, Garow, who was collecting blood by placing a bucket under the cut tail of one of the fish, stood up and said, “This fish has lost all its blood too.”
“Give it to me. I’ll dismantle this one too,” Yurixion eagerly motioned for the next fish.
“I, I can’t let your honors do, do this kind of…!” the chef exclaimed in protest but Yurixion gave him a pointed look. This effectively silenced him.
“You’re too noisy. Didn’t we say this is also a kind of training?” Garow told the chef in a tone of finality and this made the latter step back.
Yurixion nodded in agreement and added, “Yes, yes, we can’t leave the fish to be offered to the lady in the hands of servants.”
“But why fish? Wouldn’t it have been better to hunt foxes or deers as a gift?” Garrow suddenly asked Yurixion.
“Garow! You can’t harm such a beautiful creature!” Yurixion replied.
Garow shook his head, dumbfounded with what Yurixion had said. “Ah! So, this fish ended up like this because it wasn’t beautiful?”
“It’s not only that it is not beautiful but it’s also tasty, that’s why it ended up like this.” Yurixion only responded cheerfully.