53. Voices are heard. 

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After Yulan and Mirania left to go to the library, what happened to the individuals left in the room?

 Violette was feeling troubled. The gentle Yulan and calm Mirania, who both possessed a philanthropic side, are out. And what is left is Violette, who has poor communication skills, and Claudia, who is having trouble dealing with Violette. If they are left behind, what would become of them is an awkward atomsphere filled with silence.



“…………”

“…………”

Both are feeling very awkward. It’s not that there is anything wrong with either of them, but it’s the atmosphere that is filled with heavy silence and awkwardness.



(What did I talk about when I was alone with Yulan? ……)

Violette is not the type of person who talks a lot, so even when she and Yulan were together, she was basically just talking about some casual stuffs or take advantage of the topics he would broach.

 There were many times when they would be silent and enjoy each others’ company. But never once they felt bothered by it. Violette was the type of person who didn’t mind silence, but apparently it depends on the person she was in presence of.

 Even though it was time they take a break in the name of rest, the current situation is not very good for her already exhausted mental health. She feels like she would feel more rested if she was studying. In her mind, she was reviewing the topics she learned when she heard the other person speaking.



“Speaking of which… ……”



“Yes?”

She didn’t expect to be spoken to, so she was startled and at a loss for words for a moment. She still managed to nod her head, though, indicating that she was listening, just to be safe.

 She thinks it is because the Prince is feeling the same awkwardness as her, as she could see him sorting out his thoughts in his mind little by little before speaking.



“I’ve decided to officially introduce Cardina’s tea leaves.”



“So the trial period is over?”

“Some people had a hard time with the limited seasonality, but it tasted even better than previous tea leaves.”



 Violette’s previous suggestion to change the tea leaves was quickly and swiftly implemented. Of course, it was just a trial. Those of higher society and noble birth want unique things, but at the same time, they are unwilling to accept new things. It’s a terrible contradiction, but perhaps it’s because they become aware of their picky tastes as they grow older, there are fewer and fewer noble who are persistent of their choice. It is still present in their mannerisms and is far from being eradicated. But they are at least open-minded to try new things.

 The school is a good place to deal with flexible young students, but there are still those who hesitate. It was a surprise that a trial period was set up, but Violette never thought the tea leaves would officially be chosen to serve to the nobles.

“I haven’t been there yet, but I heard everyone liked the new taste.”



“It’s my duty to inform you what’s good. I am happy that my application got approved.”



 Apparently, the student council was satisfied with the result. The result also satisfied Claudia which could he said by seeing his face. The corner of Claudia’s mouth was lifted and he radiated a somewhat soft atmosphere. Although he did not express his joy in an easily understood manner, the expression of his face says he is in a good mood.

 As someone who has increased his workload by interjecting an unnecessary information, Violette was pleased to see the results of their labor. If it had been normal, Violette’s opinion would have been dismissed as a casual matter.

“Thank you, Violette. That was a big help.”



“No, I didn’t do anything ……”



“But you knew a lot about it. I did some research when I started the trial, but I didn’t know there’s such a good thing exists in Cardina.”



“Yes, I understand. It’s a low-profile country after all.”

Someone who is good in geography may know the name of Cardina. Some like Claudia, may even know where it is. But most of them just know it exists and never bothered to pay much attention to such a small country.

 It’s a small country with nothing very distinctive about it. It’s a big deal for a noble lady such as Violette to know the name. That’s why it’s strange that Violette had more knowledge than just knowing about the country.



“Because the chef at the house used to serve me rare tea leaves and ingredients.”

A veteran who has been working in Vahan’s home since before she was born, he is not only a skilled cook, but also a very knowledgeable one. He is particular about choosing ingredients and developing different recipes. Violette used to have a hard time with his enthusiasm for nutrition education, and his attempts to get her to eat a lot of food.

 It was when Violette started to dress as a “boy” that he changed his way of cooking, thinking only of Violette.

Violette’s mother was demanding the same things from her as her father. From the way she ate to her tastes, her likes and dislikes everything must be on a same par with her father. As Violette desperately stuffed her mouth and her stomach with tears in her eyes, the chef realized what he had to do.

This is not the time for nutrition education. If he did a bad job, Violette will end up hating the food itself. It is only a matter of time before her body starts to reject it.



 From there, he cooked all kinds of food to get to know Violette’s tastes. From the royal delicacies to ordinary food, sometimes even dabbling her in sweets and tea. Since her sense of taste had already died out, he decided to start with something that would not be problematic for her to eat.

 Little by little, he changed Violette’s current state of eating, and now she is able to think of menus that takes into account not only her tastes, but also her nutritional balance. There are many things that she disliked because of her mother’s influence on those days. But if she eats the food she dislikes with a different recipe, she will be able to improve on her taste.

It was during that time that she learned about Cardina.

 While the chef was acquiring and trying everything he heard that tasted good for Violette to try, he learned about Cardina through gossip that was little more than an empty rumour. And he, without any delay disclose it to Violette and even served her tea made by the tea leaves.



“It was very good to taste. I was the first person the chef let know about it and taste.”

But that will no longer be possible now that her father has returned.

 Until now, Violette had never been concerned about what her father would spend the money on, but that was because her own mother was still alive.

 The reality was that the her own mother was still alive and the father who was supposed to live with them was living with his mistress in another house, what kind of consequences will it bring if the servants prioritize Violette over their employer? …… Violette would be blamed if she demanded something to her liking from the servants. But If the same thing is demanded by Marijune, it will be fulfilled in the matter of time.

 The people who are loyal to Violette are well aware that if they protect her, their thoughtfulness would bring much more damage to Violette. Therefore, they could do nothing and only comfort her from the sideline. Violette herself also does not want to risk their livelihood for her own benefit.

She knew it is much easier and more peaceful to give up on something rather than trying and failing. That’s why she regretted the suggestion she gave the moment it left her mouth that day.



“I never thought I’d see the day when I could drink the tea at the academy,……”


Violette never thought her words or her opinion, would reach anyone’s ears.

Her small voice was never heard by anyone. Even if she screamed untill her throat burned, she would be the one who ended up being offended. Still, she desperately shouted out the thoughts that flooded through her mind and etched itself into her body. She didn’t realize the pointlessness of it until she was eventually charged with a crime.

 Now, however, there is someone who thinks about her words and appreciates them. Claudia, whom she had once hurt and pushed around the most, listened to Violette’s words.

She can no longer say she is sorry. She have sinned to the point of regret, but she have forever missed the opportunity to apologize to Claudia for it.

Since that’s the case, she wants to at least express her gratitude without hesitation. It’s not something as grandiose as atonement, it’s just that she wants to honestly convey all the feelings that she had accumulated on the days she continued to make mistakes.



“I think we mutually helped each other.”



“Yeah, …….”

“I accept your thanks. So …… you should accept my thanks, too.”



 What kind of logic is this?

 Her ears, peeking through the gaps of her hair, have turned beautifully reddish.



 (Is she embarrassed?)

Claudia started to doubt his own eyes. He couldn’t believe there would be a day when he would see Violette embarrassed. He can feel his own ears being coloured as her embarrassed face. His eyes kept swimming everywhere and he starts to shift in his seat as if he is uncomfortable.

 Her brow is furrowed, but the look on her face looks more like a helpless smile than displeased.

 It is so rare to see her smile …… Claudia was stunned by surprise for a short while, because he had never seen her smiling face before. Seeing her smiling pleasantly, a smile bloomed on his face too.



“……, hmmm…”



……?



“P-please, I’m sorry, ……!”

Violette’s shoulders are shaking, but it is Claudia who is panicking seeing her shaking shoulders. He thought he said something that made her uncomfortable, but then seeing her face lost its ruggedness and she let out a wry smile, he calmed down.

 When Claudia gave up on trying to stop her and put the cup to his mouth, he heard the sound of the door being open.



“Today, ma…… Miss Violette, what’s wrong?”

“…… Violette?”



“…… I’m fine. Nothing is wrong.”



 With Violette giggling one hand clamped over her mouth and Claudia looking dumbfounded but amused, the people who returned could only tilt their heads in question.

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