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Story 16: Melancholy of a Taste Tester

…It’s finally here.

Vaguely remembering the old days, he walks in front of the girl who would be the queen tomorrow.

She looks like a boy in her brother’s old clothes, but the unmistakable girl’s steps are light.

Arthirea Luciane—my only master, consort of Crown Prince Nigel, and the presumptive heir to Elzevert.

And thee girl of the most exalted status in Dardinia.

If we’re talking about the pecking order in the court, Nigel is actually higher, and at this point in time when she hasn’t become the queen, Queen Yulia should be higher.

But the values of the Dardinian nobility are that Nigel, whose mother is not Elzevert, and the queen, who is not Elzevert, but rather from another country, are inferior to her in terms of correctness of bloodline.

Well, Nigel was given respect in his own right for being her husband.

When he first became the crown prince, it was a terrible time, and although Nigel was recognized for his abilities, before Arthirea made his presence felt in the palace like he is now, he was talked about behind the scenes by some hard-headed, stubborn old men, or rather, by the old aristocrats.

In the beginning, Nigel’s attitude towards the young pricness, whom he had a sense of duty to but had little interest in the matter, had been straightforward, but about a year ago, this attitude had begun to change.

The princess almost died…

The little girl who came to Elzevert for her mother’s funeral rituals and nearly lost her life when she fell into a winter lake, became a different person when she lost her memory.

I did not know her well before that, so I didn’t understand why people said she became a different person.

Even Nigel himself, who says she is a different person, probably didn’t know her that well.

However, the princess herself muttered sometime ago that losing one’s memory is the same as dying, so she only has a vague idea, or maybe a vague feeling of understanding.

When she returned, the Princess smoothly entered Nigel’s heart without anyone knowing what was going on, and now she was the only one who had entered that exclusive-minded Nigel’s heart.

The King of Dardinia could take up to four queens, but Nigel probably wouldn’t do it.

Perhaps the princess would be the only queen.

I’m not sure why, but it seems that unlike His Majesty the King, Nigel has not actively asked to take more than one princess.

I can guess that there is some reason as to why the four dukes don’t dare to strongly recommend their own daughters, sisters and other women.

The good news is that Nigel doesn’t seem to have any intentions of welcoming anyone other than the princess, and he is renovating a section of the rear palace that only he and she can use.

That design isn’t meant to include any other women, no matter how you think about it.

For example, if for some reason he had to bring another woman into the palace, she could be given a room in what is now called the rear palace, but she would be relegated to a place far away from the palace where Nigel and the others lived.

It’s not like living separately in the home or something like that.

Royalty may always be something like a family separation, but only Princess Arthirea has  the same bedroom, the private quarters next to each other. Moreover, since Nigel’s office area in the main palace can be reached without having to go through any other palace, it can only be assumed that the rest of the people are excluded as much as possible.

It’s a good thing that Nigel, who hates waste and is extremely rational, uses most of his office space as it is without much renovation, but this renovation was being promoted with the highest priority, so he must have a great deal of thought into it.

I think it’s more about the princess than the renovation…

“…Hey princess…that? Princess? Eeeehhhhh!”

I guess I was too busy thinking to pay attention to what was behind me.

I hadn’t noticed for a long time that the person who should have been there when I turned around had vanished. I’m such an idiot.

“Pri-Princess? Huh? Did you get lost?”

I start to hurry back.

Oh no, this is bad, this is bad.

It’s a big mistake.

If he finds out, I won’t be able to get away with it.

Please, please, please, please, just be safe.

I started to run, praying and looking around me without fail.


“…and do you have an excuse?”

“……There is none.”

Or rather, there is no excuse for it.

It’s an impossible failure to lose sight of the person you were asked to watch over.

Huh, and Nigel breathes.

“…That’s a pretty dumb blunder.”

“I’m not happy…The shadow guards weren’t scattered, were they?”

“…They prioritized the capture of Farsad over going after Arthirea.”

Nigel says so with a terribly sullen look on his face.

“That is……”

“…It’s only inside the royal palace that Farsad could be captured. The decision was made because they thought it would make things much safer.”

The expression on his face became terribly bitter.

Of course, this was not the result that Nigel had intended.

“To take it to the extreme, I don’t care where it happened Farsad or otherwise. But…if Arthirea is lost…it will be irretrievable.”

Nigel said with a serious look on his face.

“…I’m sorry. I’ll will accept any punishment.”

However, there is nothing I can offer.

My body and my life were already offered to you…

“…How can I dispose of it…”

Nigel, who was about to say if there was one, gave a small nod of his head.

“…Oh…come to think of it, Arthirea had wanted a taste tester.”

“A taste tester?”

“Everything needs someone to taste the newly fermented foods.”


“Just go ahead and do it.”

“What? If it’s tasting, then it should be a taste tester, right?”


“That’s why it’s a disposal…In other words, is that a punishment?”

“It is.”

For some reason, Nigel nodded vigorously.

“…Who is the taste tester?”

As someone who knows the taste of the many new dishes the Princess makes, I don’t think that being a taste tester is a punishment. Rather, it should be called a reward.

‘It’s more like poison testing than taste testing,’ Nigel said, as he muttered.

“…Phil, this is your punishment. I will not allow you to leave halfway. Be sure to go along as many times as you can until Arthirea is satisfied.”


To be honest, I wanted to punch myself in the face when I thought it would be an easy victory.

I would later chew on the grateful words of my predecessors, ‘Regret is not the first thing to go.’ I would later realize that.


“…Hey, Princess, what’s up? This…”

“I’m making a nukazuke…um, kind of like pickled vegetables.”

“It smells awful.”

“Yes, that’s right. I’m still working on a prototype of the bran…Oh, that’s why I’m sequestering it all in this room.”

‘This room is a fermented food room,’ Princess said, which I didn’t understand.

Apparently, all of the pots lined up on the shelves were prototypes, and there were 60 of them on the 15 x 4 shelves in front of me.

The one on the shelf in front of me alone has 60 of them, 15 x 4 tiers. And since there are more than 10 shelves in this room that is being quarantined, I don’t want to think about the total number of shelves, even at a cursory glance.

The princess takes out a pair of leather gloves and puts them on.

“…Why gloves?”

“It smells. On my hands…It’s natural because it’s bran soaked, but everyone tells me I can’t smell it on my hands, so I’m not allowed to take it out of the jar myself if I don’t use these special gloves.”

“What do you mean by “out”?”

Princess digs the vegetables out of the jar filled with what looks like sludgy vegetables and pulls them out.

“Huh? That’s what I’m going to eat?”

“Yes, that’s right. I’d like to taste it myself, but Nigel says I can’t eat the prototype because he doesn’t want me to have to worry about having any problems with it. The last time I was here, His Majesty ate it for me, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for His Majesty to taste something that I don’t know what it tastes like…”

I see, apparently the reason Nigel was able to say that it would be a punishment so easily was because of his own experience.

I mean, don’t make yourself a taste tester when you’re the king in the first place!!

Or, rather, he might have gotten a stomach ache. Even if he was a crown prince, it would be no good.

“For now, I’m going to have you eat all of these, one by one.”

When I eat it, I am given a small piece of paper in which I am asked to write my taste rating.

“So, an evaluation card was written in advance to rate the taste on a scale of 1 to 10 with categories such as  salty, savoriness, spiciness, etc. When you have filled up the card, please put it on the jar you ate…By the way, it’s a prototype, so be prepared for it before you put it in your mouth.”


When she took the vegetables out of the jar, she cleaned them, cut them up into bite-sized pieces and placed them on a plate.

The green of the cucumbers, the bright orange of the ragula carrots, and the beautiful purple of the small eggplant are all beautiful colors that don’t look like they were taken out of the sludge…

“Thank you for the food (itadakimasu)!”

As soon as I took a bite, a shiver ran down my spine at the the salty taste that made my mouth water.

“You don’t have to force yourself to eat it. If you can’t eat it, toss it into that jar and then mark the card’s evaluation column as an ‘X.’”


“You should try the eggplants and carrots too, just in case.”

“Okay, I understand.”

Well, it certainly takes determination, I thought as I prepared myself to try the eggplant and carrot.

I frowned with all my might at the sourness and indescribable smell that sticks in my mouth too much.

“……here you go.”

It was Lana Hartley who looked at me with all her compassion and poured me a large goblet of water.


I drank the water in one go and my mouth still smelled bad.

As I was taking a breath of relief, Princess said with a smile.

‘Well, Phil, for now, try all the shelves here, please.

“…Oh, hey.”

I nodded emphatically and made a mental note to suggest that I change my name to poison tester instead of taste tester.



T/N: RIP Phil-Lynn

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