“Well met, Young Leon. How’s the Royal Capital been treating you this time, eh?”
The man who sat in front of me with a big grin and looking very portly, was Mister Rob.
He was the owner of ‘Fluffy Bouloire.’
“The Dragon Master Grounds north of the castle was incredible. I didn’t expect it to be so big.”
“You must have had to walk around it if you came from the academy. Of course, we civilians rarely have any reason to go to the academy.”
“I suppose so. There weren’t many houses either. I thought it was quite strange for such a huge city.”
“Yes, it is such a long walk no matter which route you take. I myself have only been through a few times.”
I see. So that’s how it was for people who lived here.
I started to chat lightly with Mister Rob after introducing myself. But in fact, I had a purpose for coming here.
Something I had asked father about, but was told to ask directly.
“By the way, I heard that my father and mother first met at this store. But they won’t tell me anything else.”
“I see. Indeed, your folks did work in our bakery.”
Mister Rob touched his chin and started to remember.
“Young Harui just popped up one day when we were hiring. And so he started working here. He had come from Makoku with some traders, but the group split up and he had nowhere to go.”
Traders? I think he meant assassin…
Also, split up…? The old man probably slaughtered them all.
“That part I’ve heard a little bit about.”
“And for some reason, the castle provided a guarantee… I remember thinking, these must have been some important traders!”
“Yes, he seems to have had friends in the castle.”
And by friends, I mean the Queen.
He must have been working as her Shadow already. I had heard that all Shadows try to keep a second job.
“As for your mother, she occasionally came by to help us. She was attending the Royal Academy, you see. Her own folks ran a bakery and were acquainted with my father.”
“I see. And then they met.”
“Your father was very good with his hands and learned quickly. Your mother saw this and practically dragged him back to her home. I had heard that she was originally more interested in learning about management at the Royal Academy, anyway.”
Mother wasn’t clumsy in any way, but she wasn’t nearly as skilled as my father. And she just wasn’t that interested in making bread.
Still, she didn’t want to close her parent’s bakery, that had such deep roots. And so she let father bake, while she tended to everything else.
So, that was the beginning of their relationship.
It was a good thing that I asked.
“Once things settle down here, I’ll introduce you to the family and workers.”
Mister Rob then introduced me to Cale and Miranda.
Cale helped Mister Rob in preparing the dough.
However, as they had to bake a lot of bread in quick succession, he always had to focus on tending to the fire partway in.
Miranda helped with the dough and fire as well, but also worked at the counter and made deliveries on top of keeping the account book up to date.
When I suggested she had many talents, she replied by saying that she couldn’t really specialize in anything.
A jack of all trades, master of none?
But maybe she was just being modest.
“And you’ve already met Mira, haven’t you? She usually attends the local school, but helps at the counter and making deliveries during the evening. She’s 17.”
“One year older than me.”
“Aye. And then there is Kucino. She’s 14 and likes to help at the bakery. On the other hand, Mira doesn’t like to work inside.”