˚ ·: * ✧ * :· ˚
“Make coffee in front of me.”
This was the first thing that Claude, who came even before the cafe opened, said as soon as he saw her.
April, who was about to open the door while yawning, froze in place. She hesitated for a moment, covering her mouth slightly, before asking back.
“I told you to make coffee in front of me.”
‘What is this all of a sudden?’
As she couldn’t respond to the sudden demand, Claude’s eyes sharpened with a piercing gaze.
“Can’t you do it? Are you hiding something from me?”
Her voice rose strangely in her haste to answer. April cleared her throat and spoke calmly again.
“It’s not impossible, but it’s a little abrupt. May I ask why you are doing this?”
Lloyd said, interrupting Claude.
“My master would like to see how coffee is made.”
It was even more bewildering than asking to make coffee out of the blue.
“The Duke wants to know… how to make coffee?”
Lloyd’s expression as he responded was truly shameless. Everyone, including himself, April, and Claude, knew that it was a lie.
“Yes, I see. The Duke wanted to see how to make coffee. Yes, well. I can do that.”
Instead of pursuing the real reason, she led them into the kitchen. Claude’s eyebrows wiggled in displeasure, but he didn’t protest.
April quickly put on a bandana and apron, before turning towards the two of them and asking.
“Where do you want me to start?”
“From the beginning.”
“From the beginning… then should I show you how to roast the beans first?”
“…You only have to show me how to make coffee.”
“That’s a relief. I was worried you were going to ask me to even roast the beans as well.”
April smiled, a sense of relief washing over her, as she proceeded to boil water in the kettle.
Once the water had boiled to some extent, she diligently ground the beans with a grinder, ensuring a consistent texture, before carefully transferring the grounds into the portafilter and firmly tamping them down. Tamping was a crucial step in the process, ensuring the even distribution of the coffee grounds.
Claude and Lloyd watched in silence as April skillfully inserted the portafilter into the machine and brewed the espresso.
‘Although it would be a lie to say I’m purely fascinated by the coffee-making process, it’s undeniably intriguing. When I will have the opportunity to watch coffee extraction anyway?’
As the freshly boiled water cascaded into the waiting cup, followed by the smooth stream of extracted espresso, a rich and wide golden crema* began to form, delicately spreading across the surface, a visual delight to behold.
[ T/N: Just a little info but ‘Golden Crema’ is composed of microbubbles of CO2 gas that are suspended in water. The bubbles attach to the natural oils and fats present in coffee, then rise to the top of the beverage. The end result is a recognizable ‘Guinness’ effect! ]
It was complete, but there was one thing left.
April closed her eyes and whispered to herself.
It was her own ritual. Reciting such a thing wouldn’t actually make her coffee taste more delicious, but she wanted to put her sincerity into it.
But then, at that moment…
“What are you doing?”
Claude spoke viciously and grabbed her wrist.
At least her wrist didn’t hurt as much because he was being considerate of her.
‘If he’d really grabbed it, I’d have bruises on my wrists.’
However, because there was still strength, her wrist gradually became numb. April tried to pull her arm away from him, but Claude wouldn’t let go.
“I asked, what were you doing.”
“What did I do? I didn’t do anything.”
“Didn’t you just close your eyes and do something?”
“That… I just wished for it to become more delicious.”
He twisted his lips bitterly.
“Did you cast a spell?”
“It’s not magic. It may sound strange to call it a spell, but I just prayed for it to become more delicious. I don’t know how to use magic!”
Even though she couldn’t fathom why the topic of magic had suddenly arisen, she could sense a sinister atmosphere emanating from Claude. April hastily shook her head vigorously, denying his words.
There wasn’t a single falsehood in her words.
It was true that the original ‘April’ possessed a natural talent for magic and frequently employed it, but now, she was completely incapable of wielding any form of magic. at all.
Dismissing Claude’s claim of ignorance regarding magic did leave a slight pang of guilt, considering the dormant talent that resided within her. Nevertheless, if she were the original ‘April,’ she wouldn’t even be aware of her own magical aptitude in the first place.
So, her assertion that she hadn’t done any magic was undeniably true.
‘But… why is Claude suddenly bringing up magic here?’
April blinked her eyes, making a conscious effort to convey through her expression that she needed an explanation. As he observed her, Claude muttered softly, one corner of his mouth slightly raised, his tone akin to a low growl.
“So, what was the light I just saw?”
“Light? There’s no way there’s such a thing…”
“Yes. I saw it, too. There was definitely a slight light seeping into the coffee.”
Having gotten the answer he wanted, Claude pulled her closer to him and whispered in her ear.
“Alright, you better speak the truth now.”
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Comments for chapter "Chapter 23"
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