Jackal entered before Asha had time to stop him, immediately grabbing Nagy from behind and dragging him outside.
“Why is he here?”
“Nagy, this boy……!”
Wede’s eyes widened and he yelled, Nagy smiled awkwardly as he dangled in the air.
Jackal stood with his arms folded and listened to what had happened.
Nagy looked at Jackal desperately.
After Wede finished speaking, Jackal looked at Nagy.
Nagy flinched at his gaze and looked away.
“B..boss…… So, what happened…….”
Jackal extended a hand causing Nagy to squeeze her eyes shut without making excuses.
Jackal said, ruffling his light brown hair roughly.
“Didn’t I tell you to hide properly?”
Nagy looked at him with wide eyes.
Jackal said with a calm expression on his face.
“Alright, you can go. You’re forgiven, so it shouldn’t matter.”
Nagy nodded to the chef and him respectively with watery eyes.
And finally, he looked at Asha and said.
“Sorry, sister! Guess I didn’t think right. And thanks for covering for me! I’ll definitely repay you!”
Nagy nimbly ran somewhere.
Asha let out a sigh of relief.
Jackal muttered while looking at Nagy’s back.
“……poor kid. He lost his parents at a very young age, so he does those things on purpose to get attention.”
Nagy was often scolded by everyone, but even if he was scolded to tears, the next day, he would affectionately cling to everyone as if nothing had happened.
The members of the organization could not bear to hate Nagy.
However, Weed’s eyes widened a bit.
Unlike him, who thought it was simply because of his gluttony, Jackal had eyes that seemed to understand more deeply than that.
Asha somehow got the idea that he was going to be a ‘good father’.
Asha’s face flushed red at the thought that came to her mind, and she deliberately changed the subject.
“Mr. Wede, may I know what the dessert was?”
“Oh nothing special, it was a flower-shaped cookie with jam made from flower petals instead of fruit. We were trying to bring a bit of a festive atmosphere.”
Asha felt a little nostalgic when she heard that.
Food was plentiful everywhere in the capital of the empire.
People living in the Etzheim Empire were entitled to enjoy the Flower Festival, but minorities were always an exception.
Living in hiding in the cold northern regions, they did not enjoy anything like the strangers who were not invited to the festival.
She also experienced the festival for the first time when she was brought to the Imperial Palace, and it was the first time she knew that the most delicious foods in the world were on the street.
Then Asha came up with a good idea.
“Mr. Wede, let’s go to the kitchen right now!”
* * * * *
In the evening a wild boar festival was held.
Asha involuntarily closed her eyes and trembled as she took her first bite of the boar in a long time.
“Ohh.. I missed this taste…….”
As she dove into the roast boar and slowly savored it, Gabe chuckled.
Jackal again tore off the big boar’s leg and put it on Asha’s plate without saying a word.
Nagy, who was in the prime of his growth years, hastened to bite into the roast boar with his teeth and tore it open.
The speed with which the food disappeared was enormous, even though Nagy ate all the desserts earlier.
Nagy suddenly found Asha eating slowly like a rabbit next to him and looked at her.
“Sister, if you eat slowly like this, all the food will be taken away.”
Suddenly, Nagy took out a dagger from his waist and without hesitation cut the boar meat and put it on Asha’s plate like a mountain.
He put the dagger back in and, humming as if nothing had happened, went back to eating the meat.
She thought he was just a child, but he seemed like a skilled hunter right now.
They all looked at him and laughed mockingly.
“You know how to feed the lady, you’re all grown up, kid!”
“Sister is skinny, so she has to eat more than me.”
When Nagy responded calmly, they laughed even harder.
But it was then.
Yuri opened the door screaming.
“Okay, everyone pays attention! Today we have a special dessert prepared for you! And amazingly, Asha helped make them too!”
Women appeared with large trays in each hand.
The trays were full of cute and pretty sweets.
Sweets ranged from colorful flower shapes to fresh fruit shapes.
All of Lycaons’ eyes widened at those beautiful sweets, and they exclaimed in admiration.
Jackal looked at her a bit surprised when he heard that Asha had made them too.
Asha smiled and took some of the sweets from a tray and was the first to approach Jackal.
The candies resembled hyacinths, camellia blossoms, and other pretty flowers.
She was happy that she could do something for them herself.
Asha said playfully.
“This isn’t a real flower, so it’s okay, right?”
“You’re allergic to pollen.”
Jackal’s eyes grew slightly larger.
“Yes. I noticed it before when I saw Sheppy sneeze into a runny nose.”
Jackal’s face turned red.
Back then, he thought he was lucky to be a horse, but now he wants to hide in a mouse hole.
But Asha laughed innocently.
“It’s okay. Sheepy’s runny nose was cute, too.”
Jackal didn’t say anything more embarrassed and took the sweet in the form of a camellia.
Then this time Asha stammered, blushing in embarrassment.
“Do you want to eat that? There are many other pretty sweets..…”
In fact, she made the camellia sweet.
She had eaten those kinds of sweets before, but it was her first time making them, so the shape was very clumsy.
The sweets she made were uglier than those made by other skilled women with their hands, so Asha deliberately hid the sweets she made among the other pretty sweets so they wouldn’t be noticed.
But Jackal said casually.
“This is the prettiest in my eyes.”
Asha turned her head without saying a word, but a small smile appeared on her lips.
The others just looked at them and shook their heads.
Jackal recognized at a glance what sweets Asha had made.
He secretly suppressed a laugh and took a bite of the sweet, and after that, he chose to only eat the sweets she made.
Seeing Jackal eating the sweet she made, Asha finally turned to Nagy with confidence.
Nagy was fascinated by the dessert that he had never seen before.
He tossed the sweet into his mouth in one gulp, chewed with his puffy cheeks, and swallowed it in one swallow.
It was hard to tell if he was tasting it.
Nagy said with a dreamy face.
“Sister…… I feel really happy right now…….”
“Have you ever felt unhappy when you ate something?”
“Have you ever felt unhappy every time you eat something?”
“Nagy, there’s still a lot left, so don’t worry and eat a lot, okay?”
He is the youngest in Lycaon, but he always took care of her. She wanted to repay him.
Nagy’s eyes twinkled as if he was genuinely moved.
“Yes! Thanks, sister!”
Nagy inhaled several in a mouthful this time.
The sweets Asha made had many unidentified shapes, but luckily Nagy didn’t mind.
Watching him eat happily, Asha suddenly remembered the little children she had left behind in her old village and smiled slightly.
Jackal, who had been watching her closely, asked.
“Do you really like children?”
Asha replied with a smile.
“Yes. When I lived in my old village, I took care of the orphans as if they were my little brothers. When I look at Nagy, I think of the children I left behind. I wonder if they are alright…”
Asha snapped with a bitter look on her face.
She wondered if in her past life, the children were killed when the village was attacked and she was taken to the Imperial Palace.
It was so hectic that it was not clear who died and who survived.
She was lucky to be alive, but she was worried that the children who followed her around with runny noses would not eat properly or live well.
But it was then.
“…… Captain! A request has been made to Lycaon!”
The members, who had been laughing, stopped talking at the same time and looked towards the door.
They all looked a bit surprised. It was because they had not received any more requests since they left the old fortress.
The Emperor’s order to subdue Lycaon spread throughout the empire and their reputation were not good.
Jackal said casually.
“The situation is not good at the moment. Tell them we won’t accept any requests.”
“But it’s not a hunting request, it’s a request to find people. It comes from the minority village.”
Everyone’s expressions changed.
Jackal hesitated, then turned his head and asked.
“A request from the minority village……?”
Lycaon and the minority village were never friendly, so they didn’t ask each other for help.
Seeing that they had requested Lycaon, it seemed that there was a big problem in the village.
Jackal took the request and read it very seriously.
However, as soon as he saw the content of the request, his expression hardened.
“What’s wrong, Boss?”
Sosa and Gabe came up to him curiously, but Jackal continued to stare at the request in silence.
They looked at the request content from behind and showed similar reactions.
When the three fell silent, Asha felt uneasy.
“What’s wrong? Is there something wrong written on it?”
Jackal put the request down on the table and stared at Asha.
After a moment of silence, he opened his mouth.
“…… They say that there have been many missing people in the village recently. Your name is among them.”
Asha felt bad when she thought that the minority people must be worried about her disappearance.
It seems that they still didn’t know that she is a butterfly.
But Jackal’s subsequent comments made her eyes widen.
“And the orphans in the village you mentioned disappeared as well.”
Asha froze in shock.
“The children…… disappeared?”