Chapter 23: In Order to Fight the Wolf Witch Part 2
We were dismissed for today. As I was about to leave the study room, Dietrich-sama called out to me.
“Tonight… Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?”
“Sure but I will become a wolf, you know?”
“What a coincidence. So am I.”
I laughed when Dietrich-sama, who was always in the form of a wolf, said that. It seemed I was the only one who found his remark amusing since Dietrich-sama still didn’t lose his serious expression. Apparently he was deadly serious when he invited me for dinner.
Dietrich-sama continued to stare at me passionately.
“Wh-What is it?”
“No, it’s just… I think Melodia is starting to laugh more these days.”
It must be proof that my heart was starting to become less rigid. It was not an exaggeration to say I should be thankful to Dietrich-sama for it.
“Living here is really fun. Surely that must be the reason why I’m smiling a lot more now.”
“Really? Do you really think living here is really fun?”
“I’m not one to lie.”
“Right! Melodia is an honest person after all! I see, you think it’s fun, huh!”
There were people who needed me here. It filled my empty heart with warmth. That was why I felt comfortable living here.
“You can live here forever! I’d be happy to have Melodia here!”
“Thank you very much.”
“So, what about my invitation to have dinner together with you?”
“I don’t see any reason to refuse your invitation. On the contrary, Dietrich-sama, is it really fine for you? I remembered you’ve said to me before that you don’t like to have other people see you when you eat.”
“Honestly speaking, I still feel embarrassed but if it’s Melodia, I don’t mind showing that side of me to you.”
“I see. Then if that’s the case, please allow me to have dinner with you.”
“I’d be happy to, Melodia!”
And so, it was decided that Dietrich-sama and I would be having a private dinner together. Since I still had some time before dinner, I baked some cookies for Dietrich-sama. Recently, I always tried making something from my mother’s recipe book whenever I had the time.
“Head chef-san, can I use some of the ingredients here?”
“Yeah, suit yourself.”
It seemed I was allowed to use the ingredients in the Fenrir family’s kitchen as much as I wanted. Dietrich-sama himself was the one who gave me the permission to do so. I’ve made cookies a few times before so I was sure I could bake them well this time.
First, thoroughly mix the sugar and butter together with a whisk. After the mixture became somewhat white-ish, add egg and then add the flour. Then mixed them together with a spatula. After everything was mixed together well, cover the bowl with a dish cloth and let them rest for a while.
After about 30 minutes, I rolled the dough with a rolling pin. I used a round cookie cutter to make the shape and lined them up in an iron plate that I had greased before. I baked the cookies for about 10 minutes on a cooking stove and they were ready to go. I put them on a plate with a card saying ‘for Dietrich-sama’. Then I asked the servant to bring the cookie to Dietrich-sama for evening tea time.
At night, I was escorted to the dining room by Dietrich-sama. The two of us were in our wolf form. In there, the food was served on a low table and with a high-rimmed plate so it’d be easy for us to eat them in our wolf form. Water was also readily available.
“It must be hard to eat in that wolf form, right? I should’ve introduced this place to you sooner.”
I couldn’t speak in my wolf form so I could only nod and shake my hand when we conversed. For dinner we had carrot potage that felt so velvety on my tongue, fresh cheese that was wrapped in prosciutto with a hint of saltiness that was simply irresistible. There was pork pâté that was served on bread and for the main course, we had grilled lobster. The lobster was so plump, it really left a deep impression on me. We then had white peach sorbet to cleanse our palate then we continued on with crispy pheasant pie. The pheasant was lightly flavored but the meat was brimming with delicious meat juice. As for salad, we had chicory salad. The crispy chicory was paired perfectly with mayonnaise and shredded tuna. We had some before we went on for dessert, which was a plate of custard pudding. The custard had this soft, tender taste that made me think this must be the flavor of happiness. To end our dinner, we had greenhouse-grown strawberries. Everything was really delicious!
After dinner, I was invited to Dietrich-sama’s private room to hear his story while resting in front of the fireplace.
“To tell you the truth, I’ve been going to meet you in secret.”
I never knew. I completely never noticed him before.
“I asked Gilbert to help me. We pretended that I was a dog going out for a walk so I could secretly meet you but Melodia… You have quite the keen eyes. You spotted me and then you stared at me intensely… It actually sent chills down my spine.”
I had thought I had seen some other dogs that looked similar to Fulmoff but turned out, some of the dogs I saw were actually Fulmoff for real.
“In order to not get found out by Melodia, I disguised myself by wearing a dog hat and dyed my fur with food coloring.”
Why did you go that far just to see me?
“Melodia became even more beautiful every time I came to see you. It made me scared, what if another man came to sweep you? While we’re on this topic, I have another thing to confess to you. Whenever the talk of marriage with Melodia surfaced in the knight squad, I would be informed of that fact and then I would secretly crush that proposal down.”
…. Is- Is that so… I never knew there was a talk about my marriage in the first place.
Under normal circumstances, Captain Milie would be contacted but before the news could reach Captain Millie, Dietrich-sama had received the news first and then he would have made the proposal never existed in the first place.
“I’m sorry for crushing your marriage proposals…”
I shook my head. After all, I wouldn’t have accepted those marriage proposals either.
“I’ve been planning to meet you… To come and pick you up one day but my plan got pushed back a little so… I’m sorry.”
Dietrich-sama apologized but I actually didn’t have any intention of blaming him. Ever since I got assigned here, I was able to solve the mystery of my parents’ death and I got to meet with Fulmoff too. To my surprise, I felt like I could face the future more now.
“I was surprised to know you are a Lou Garou but your wolf form looks very lovely too. But still, the most important thing is you, Melodia. No matter what your form, your sole existence is the most important thing. I like how gentle you are, how straight-forward and hard-working you are too.”
Dietrich-sama’s words touched my heart. My greatest treasure was being able to meet people like Captain Millie and the others who were still willing to keep me company even after knowing I was a wolf beastman.
“I’ve said before that I want Melodia to share everything with me. From your sadness, your pain, your happiness and joy, everything… But I won’t say those things now. I will wait for however long it takes. 5 years, 20 years later, I will keep on waiting. Well of course, if Melodia doesn’t want me to, I will just quietly watch over you, just like what I’ve been doing all this time.”
Dietrich-sama tried to touch a part of me that I had never shown to anyone else but my family. But I didn’t hate it… I could feel my chest tightened. This feeling… I didn’t know what this feeling was.
“If Melodia is a bird that’s flying freely in the sky then I want to be a branch of a tree where the bird can rest their wings at.”
Why does Dietrich-sama have such a passionate feeling toward me? Even though I don’t really have anything to repay him back with….
“Is it a ‘no’ after all?”
With his ears drooping low, Dietrich-sama asked me. Since I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t really tell him what I felt directly. Which was why I slowly leaned closer to Dietrich-sama in response.
My heart began to thump wildly when Dietrich-sama called my name. I felt something warm, like my frozen heart was slowly being thawed by this warmth. This must be love. I loved Dietrich-sama. I now knew the name of the unknown emotion I had been feeling. It finally became clear to me.
The fire from the fireplace, along with Dietrich-sama’s body warmth, the combination of them made me feel sleepy. I had never felt this peaceful ever since my parents’ death. With that in mind, I slowly drifted into a deep slumber.