Thank you to raw provider: Aii
The atmosphere became heavy, and I hesitated not knowing what to say. Thankfully a cafe employee showed up at just the right time.
“Here’s the strawberry cake you ordered.”
The waiter cleared the empty plate and placed the freshly ordered cake.
Alexis looked at me curiously as I ate two cakes.
“Is the cake that good?”
“I like it. I run a bakery.”
“Yes, that’s it.”
As far as I can tell, Ashford Bakery is at the forefront of the confectionery industry.
Of course, it takes a lot of effort……. No, it needed a lot of money.
I remember putting a lot of effort into hiring the finest bakers in the industry, including a former imperial patissier.
“The desserts here are good, but our ones are even better. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.”
Mischievously, he asked a little sardonically,
“Aren’t you saying that because it’s your shop?”
I was a little put off.
“No. Your Highness, if you try it, you’ll see.”
Our bakery was selected as the best bakery in the capital for three consecutive years, with raving reviews and articles published several times in newspapers. Having been in exile in the North for almost 10 years, he would have no way of knowing.
I felt the need to open up a new horizon of gastronomy to this ignorant prince.
Alexis didn’t seem interested at all. He asserted,
“I’ll consider it if you invite me yourself.”
“There’s nothing I can’t do. Just tell me when you have time.”
“I will fit you on a day that is convenient for you.”
“Okay then… … .”
I made an appointment with Alexis.
After that, the conversation continued.
As I talked about my favorite coffee and desserts, I started to talk about this and that without realizing it.
Here I had intended to come by for a drink or treat, and instead I felt I talked with this man for too long.
When I said I had to go, Alexis said,
“I said too much.”
“No, it’s okay.”
Sometimes it was refreshing to just chat with a stranger.
Alexis also stood up saying he had business to attend to. We finished our conversation and left the cafe.
I asked Alexis, as I walked to the side of the road lined with carriages,
“Did you say you were going to the Imperial Palace?”
“Then you can go this way.”
“I know that.”
“Then why were you walking in the opposite direction of the Imperial Palace?”
“Tha— that… … .”
It was suspicious to see him choke on his words and mumble his answer. When I asked if it was because he didn’t know the way, he gave an awkward cough.
“The new capital has changed a lot in the past 10 years.”
He changed the subject too abruptly and his excuse was too obvious.
It seems that the Second Prince wanted to keep up appearances and couldn’t admit he did not know the way.
“I think there used to be a lot of street vendors on this street.”
Alexis said as he glanced around the street. I could barely hold back the laughter that came out because of his calm and horrible acting.
Then, just as he said, he looked at the street where the street vendors had completely disappeared.
Originally, on this street, there were many merchants who pulled out mobile stands to do business.
Sugar-coated fruit candies, skewers, handicrafts and more. Passing by here, it was fun to see the various foods and goods sold by street vendors.
“Maybe my memory is wrong?”
Alexis asked in a doubtful tone. It seemed that he had started doubting his own memory a while ago.
I finally burst out laughing.
“Ahaha, it’s not like that.”
“Then why can’t I see any street vendors?”
It was time for me to explain the situation to him. Suddenly, a shout was heard from in front of me.
“Hey, how many times have I told you not to do business here!”
The commotion occurred a corner ahead.
A guard was yelling at a boy in shabby clothes.
The boy was selling small-sized sculptures on the street, and the guards were recklessly trying to get rid of them.
“Just one hour, just one hour, please… … .”
The boy clinged to the guard and begged. But the guards did not listen to the boy’s plea.
“An hour, a minute, no! What are you doing? Get rid of them all!”
They threw away the things the boy was selling. Sculptures were scattered on the street in a mess. The boy cried desperately.
“My mother is very sick. I have to sell my goods to pay for the surgery. So please… … !”
“That’s none of our business.”
The capital guard, who responded coldly, relentlessly cleared the boy’s stall. The boy tried to stop the tyranny of the guards, but to no avail.
That was then. Alexis took a step forward.
He restrained the guard with his strong arm. The guard rolled his eyes at Alexis.
“What are you? If you don’t want to be arrested for obstructing the execution of official duties, get out of the way!”
It seemed like he didn’t recognize Alexis because he was a lowly guard.
There was a moment when I was contemplating whether I should say, “It would be good for you to bow down on your own. Don’t you know who this is?”
“Woah, your highness the Prince!”
One of the guards belatedly recognized Alexis’ face and bowed his head hurriedly.
At that, the guard, who was glaring at Alexis, was bewildered and shocked. He quickly lowered his eyes.
“Please forgive my rudeness.”
“Rather than that, why are you stopping this kid from doing business here?”
The guards looked into Alexis’s eyes and hesitantly answered.
“That is, my highness… … It is the law.”
“When did that law come into existence?”
“Is that true?” Alexis asked. Again, he didn’t know.
‘Damnit, when I was trying to explain the situation, a commotion broke out… … .’
The forced annihilation of street vendors was introduced five years ago.
Aristocrats passed a bill to ban street vendors on the grounds that they harmed the aesthetic beauty of the streets.
After that, the street vendors were labeled as illegal, and the capitals guards were constantly cracking down on them.
“Your Highness, actually… … .”
I pointed this out to Alexis. Alexis’ expression quickly darkened.
The guards who were listening to our conversation started to talk,
“We can’t help it either because of the law. So…….”