The morning of the second day of opening the stall came.
The sales of the first day were respectable. The first batch was sold out, and half of the additional batch was sold as well.
We have the other half of the extra portion, but the cookies, amber candy, and molasses beans are not raw. This time of year in the winter, they can last for a week with plenty of time to spare. It doesn’t matter when we sell them, as long as it’s before the end of the Founding Festival.
Of course, I’ll be selling all of these today.
“It was a bumpy ride yesterday, but all’s well that ends well…Miss, what are you going to do today?”
“Of course, we’ll do it the way we did it yesterday.”
“Well, let’s do the bagging at the stall.”
“Not all of them.”
I know it’s better to sell them bare, but I still couldn’t get rid of the cute packaging.
So I decided to package some of the products in the stall. Specifically, only some of the cookies and molasses beans that are paper bag-wrapped types.
The others are pretty cumbersome to bag up.
There’s only so much space in the stall, so it’s impossible to do all the packaging here.
But I could see why some people feel comfortable packing here, even if it’s only part of it, because they can see what’s inside.
Also, the large paper bag type products cost 50d for one bag, but the candy type products are sold at 50d for three pieces. The large bags are larger in quantity, but the candy type ones sell surprisingly well.
I like to try different flavors in little batches, don’t I? Yup. I know that well!
“Oh, and whatever you’re bagging over here, make sure you have Lela’s blessing before you bring it in.”
“What’s so important about a blessing from Lela?”
The words, “Isn’t it troublesome?” blurted out.
Ragg lives in an orphanage with a cathedral, and yet I somehow know that he apparently doesn’t believe in the Mother Goddess.
“It’s important…I’ve said it before. The recipe for this will eventually be donated to the Cathedral, so the Cathedral will crack down on similar products. But not right now. When they claim it’s a different recipe and sell us a similar product, it’s a differentiator that we’re blessed.”
“Yes. I’m confident in the taste. Once you get the customers to try it, we can make them want to eat more of it…although not all of them have their own preferences. If made with the same ingredients, even a similar product probably won’t make much difference in appearance. But if you have received a blessing, you can get the mark of the church. If you get it on a ribbon or wax paper, that’s all you need to prove.”
Even if there are people who plan to make a fortune from imitated recipes, they won’t be able to forge a church seal.
“You’ve got a lot on your mind, Miss.”
“…I thought that if the orphanage had a regular cash income, it would make life a little easier for everyone.”
“The orphanage is poor. And yet, I am so grateful that you helped me without prying into the circumstances. Neither you nor Rufa ever tried to hit me, even though you and Rufa hated the nobility. Rather, you have been very kind to me.”
‘Thank you for that.’ I told him.
“…No, no, how did you know that…no, you’re an aristocrat, but you’re not like the aristocrats I hate…”
Ragg looked vacant for a moment and then spoke quickly, as if to hide his embarrassment.
“Thank you for thinking so.”
Ragg scratches his head with a somewhat puzzled look on his face.
“…I’m no match for you.”
“Even if you dress shabbily, it’s easy to tell you’re a nobleman’s daughter. And yet you thank us so seriously…You really wanted to leave right away, didn’t you? And yet you’re going to keep up with us and run a sweets shop here…it’s amazing.”
“It looks pretty good on you, doesn’t it?”
My hair was tightly braided and tucked under a sling. And today, I was wearing an extremely simple apron dress.
Unlike in the aristocracy, there is no complicated dress code for the common man. The length of the skirt is not that long, even for adults, and if you wear your hair up, you are considered married, and if it hangs down, you are considered unmarried. Of course, that’s not an absolute rule either.
…I’m married, so I’m allowed to wear it up.
Ragg’s eyes take on an amused color, as if he’s playing some kind of trick on me.
“What is it?”
“…Did you know, there’s a rumor going around that our food stall has a signboard girl.”
“Are you the signboard girl?”
I gave a small tilt of my head.
“Oh. You look like you’re somebody else, but it’s you, Miss.”
My slightly dumb face made not only Ragg, but also all the kids near me, laugh.
If I see someone walking near me, I don’t hesitate to call out to them.
Just by doing that, people’s attention will turn to me.
When our eyes meet, I smile at them and say,
“Are you going to the cathedral?”
“Ah, yeah, yeah.”
One word back and we’re on our way.
“If you’d like, please try some. It is blessed by the Mother Goddess.”
Giallo, who was waiting next to me, quickly offered a cookie.
The point here is to make sure that they hear that the products are receiving a blessing from the Mother Goddess.
You can buy it here, but this is not the place we’re supposed to sell, so we don’t chase after someone who is just going to take a quick bite and leave.
“Please stop by on your way home.”
The game begins on the way home.
It’s a trap to get as many people as possible to eat these.
If they eat it, they’ll understand how good it is.
If they tasted it on the way and thought it was good, they’ll want to try it again on the way home, even if they don’t buy it.
It’s like thinking about buying the other half.
On the way back from the cathedral, the first taster I meet doesn’t have a cookie.
“Welcome, please have one.”
The offer is a pinch of molasses beans with tongs. It’s roughly three fegs.
“Well, that cookie is…”
“The HoroHoro cookies are sold in the back. Thank you.”
If a child tells them that, most adults will buy one of the large bags or a set of three small portions. With a set of three small portions, they can keep some for themself, but can also take some as souvenirs.
If they only sample the food when it’s advertised like this, then they’re not customers and there’s no need to chase them down.
We don’t want to be pushy, and there are plenty of other customers out there.
“Thank you. It’s a hundred dee for two HoroHoro cookies.”
It’s the job of the slightly older kids to give them the goods and receive the money. Then, after handing out the goods, a taster with a basket of cookies will see them off.
“If you’d like, there’s one last thing to try.”
Some people said they didn’t want a tasting, but yesterday some of the people who tasted after they bought some had brought others in the afternoon or came back to buy some again, so we decided to give it to them without being stingy.
The tasting was hand-delivered at first, but a few customers frowned on hand-delivering, so I asked Rufa if he had anything, and he told me about bamboo tongs. After testing that it wasn’t too difficult to use, all the tasters started handing out the food with tongs.
The good thing about kids is that they make small improvements as soon as they notice them.
“…Ah, Miss, well, I hear it’s this evening.”
“It’s time for His Eminence the Archbishop to come at the cathedral.”
“…How long does the evening last?”
Some stalls are still running at night, but this stall in the orphanage ends when the sun goes down.
“Oh, we’ll know when His Eminence the Archbishop is coming, because he’ll definitely pass this way.”
“And I have some good news for you, Miss.”
Rufa, who brought me the extra order, tells me.
“The bishop of the cathedral has asked me to prepare two dozen each of the sweets we sell as souvenirs.”
“By what time?”
“He wants me to get the little ones to the cathedral at 4:00.”
“What? Why the little ones?”
“They’re just trying to get the Archbishop to take money out for the orphanage by showing him how cheerful the little guys are.”
Ragg cowers his shoulders, ‘That’s what that old man would think,’ he says.
“…Could it be that you’re being exploited or something?”
I asked in a hurry.
“Oh, there’s not much to be exploited in our orphanage.”
“It’s an old rule that forty percent of the proceeds of these stalls go to the cathedral, so it’s not exploitation or anything.”
“That old man is quite a bastard, that’s all. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been assigned to a cathedral with an orphanage, of which there’s only four in the Royal Capital.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah. It’s just a different thing for us, too.”
I don’t quite understand what they mean.
“I don’t want to be spoiled because I’m a kid, but if I want to learn, he’ll send us to school properly…I’m not ready to give him away as a good person, but he’s a good adult.”
It’s not a very reassuring explanation, but since they’re convinced, it’s probably okay.
“I’ve been keeping this a secret from Miss. If the old man finds out, he’ll never be able to sneak back to the house.
“I knew the bishop would have a field day if he found out I’d picked up a nobleman’s daughter. I didn’t know about the Miss’ situation at the time, so I thought you were in some kind of trouble.”
“Thank you for your concern.”
I thought so from the bottom of my heart.
Paying a gratuity was not a contrived thing. Because His Highness is not one to be stingy with such things.
But I’m not supposed to be here, so I can’t afford to make a scene.
I fear for the safety of the person making a fuss if I make a fuss poorly.
So I really appreciate their thoughtfulness.
“Did you order tea cakes?”
“None at the moment. Aren’t you going to use the tea cakes as planned?”
…It’s too late to eat your souvenirs.
“Would you mind if I led the little ones to the delivery?”
I hope you notice it…
If it’s a sweet that has become a hot topic in the city, His Eminence Shion would definitely want to eat it. No, he would probably use every possible means, like his own caretakers and secretaries, to get it for sure.
And apparently the sweets I make are special to His Eminence Shion.
I’ve never confirmed it clearly with him, but considering the edges of Lilia’s words and actions, it’s probably at the level where he’ll listen to most requests if I give him a basket of cookies.
That’s why I thought that if I could get him to eat HoroHoro cookies, molasses beans and amber candies as a tea cakes, His Eminence Shion would notice right away. Then I was sure that he would come to see me.
But if he doesn’t eat them, I don’t know if he will notice me.
Well, it’s a haphazard, too general strategy to begin with.
But when I thought about it, it seemed like the only way, and it seemed like a great idea.
It’s a good idea to get people to taste the sweets I made and contact His Eminence Shion to get him to notice me…It sounds so easy when I put it into words, but when I’m put it into perspective like this, the element of chance is too strong to be good.
…Maybe I’m just an incredibly stupid kid…
Operation, or something like that, but I feel like His Highness Nigel would be strangled to death if I called it an operation.
…I think I understand why Phil is always on the verge of being killed.
At any rate, it’s okay, because unlike Phil, I’m the only one who gets involved, and I’m only going to get what I deserve.
“…Miss? Are you okay?”
“Yes. I’m fine.”
‘All’s well that ends well,’ he said thankfully.
If I can finally go back, it will be a happy ending.
I’ll finish it with a happy ending!
I clenched my fists tightly and said.
“…For the time being, let’s sell it.”
“They’re due in the evening. Let’s sell out all these by then.”
“Isn’t it related to us?”
“I just want to be prepared for the unexpected.
“What’s the unexpected?”
“I’m not sure, and I don’t know, so it’s an unexpected situation.
“Well, that’s fine, but…”
“I have no objection to selling out.”
I nodded at their words with a look that said it was only natural.
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