Three hours have passed since we left the town. Above the blue sky, the summer sun is shining upon. While wiping off the sweat on my forehead, I squinted my eyes to protect them from the oncoming wind.
I’m thankful that we don’t have to stay under the sun thanks to the carriage top.
If we were going by foot in this heat, then it would take considerable stamina, and Ravi and Catlie probably wouldn’t be able to endure it.
Instead, Ravi can enjoy the scenery from inside the carriage. Catlie is probably about eighteen, but the way she looked after Ravi who’s quite a bit younger made her seem wiser beyond her years.
「Catlie-oneechan, there’s a town called Milton there. There’re many pretty onee-sans there, it’s a fun place. 」
「Is that so! How nice, Ravi-chan. You can go with your father to various towns and sightsee. I didn’t travel anywhere since I left my hometown. 」
Hearing what Catlie said, I thought.
「Do you not want to return to your hometown? 」
「I can’t return yet. I decided to leave on my own, and because I’ve caused my family to be worried, I can only return when I’ve succeeded! 」
It’s not like I don’t understand her intentions. Because I did the same to my mother……. I felt complicated as it felt like looking at the past me.
「Aren’t your family worried about you? 」
「Yes. That’s why, I want to let them know that I’ve built an inn as the head carpenter. Then I’m sure they will be relieved right? 」
「Then, onee-chan, you can return soon. 」
Ravi faced Catlie with a wide smile.
「Since you will make Eihab-ojisan’s inn. Catlie-oneechan, you can face your parents then right……! 」
Hearing Ravi’s words, Catlie has a surprised face.
「That’s, true. Although it’s my first job, and it still doesn’t feel really real to me……」
Catlie who had a confused face, started to wear a proud smile. Her eyes carried a sparkle.
「I will try my best to make it true! Thank you, Ravi-chan! Douglas-san! 」
Talking with a girl that is so dedicated for her dreams, I’m sure it will have a good influence on Ravi.
「Say, daddy. I’m really looking forward to the completion of Eihab-ojisan’s new inn. 」
「Yeah, that’s right. 」
As I replied and faced Ravi again, I realized her bangs are sticking together with sweat. She seemed a little tickled by that.
「Wait for a little, Ravi. Lift your bangs. 」
I tied the bangs into one and tied it on top of her head.
Her round forehead is bare, and I felt this is lovable in its own way.
「Thank you, daddy! 」
I’m glad that she is happy but I’m still worried that she is sweating a lot.
「Are you thirsty? 」
「I think so……」
「Alright, then I’ve got something good. 」
Actually, I kept it a secret from them both, I actually have prepared special snacks for this occasion. In the box that was hidden deep in the luggage area, I took out the thing that was cooled with ice surrounding it in the box. In the glass bottle that I brought, there was a slice of lemon floating in the transparent liquid.
「Daddy, what’s that? 」
「Is it lemon water? 」
Ravi and Catlie leaned out at the same time and asked. It looked like they were just a pair of sisters, albeit with a large age gap.
「Well, the both of you can try. 」
I opened the lid on the bottles and gave Ravi and Catlie one each. Holding the bottle that have been chilled well in their hands, the girls raised a happy voice, 「It’s cold! 」.
Saying that, Ravi helped herself to it. As she drank it, her eyes widened in surprise and then sparkled with happiness.
「Gulp gulp gulp……! 」
She held the bottle by two hands and gulped it down is lovable too.
Catlie who was beside that saw that too, imitated Ravi and started drinking it at once too. After drinking about half the bottle in a single breath, Ravi finally took a pause, and looked up at me with a happy face.
「Delicious……! Daddy, what’s this? 」
「It’s lemon water, mixed with a pinch of salt and honey. It’s really nutritious and can also hydrate after sweating so much. 」
「Fuaa―It’s delicious! Douglas-san can do everything! 」
Ravi was ecstatic when she drank the lemon water, but now she started to sniff around.
「Hmm……. There’s another delicious smell……」
「Eh? Really? 」
Catlie tilted her head as if confused. And I couldn’t endure the laughter.
「Pu……haha. Ravi’s nose is really sensitive to delicious things huh」
「I like delicious food after all……」
Yeah, I knew. That’s why to appease you, I have prepared especially. Facing towards Ravi who seemed to be fidgeting in embarrassment, I took out another box.
「The smell is from here. 」
The white box had a red ribbon as a wrapping. As if remembering, Ravi’s eyes became round.
「C-could this be……!? 」
Ravi let out an unusual loud voice. I felt the corners of my lips curve upwards into a smile as I handed over the box. Just looking at Ravi’s who seems so happy, even I would feel the same.
「Try opening it. 」
Ravi excitedly undone the ribbon and opened the box. What appeared was――.
「Ah―! T-this is! Isn’t this the apple pie from the famous cake house―! 」
Substituting Ravi who have lost her words in happiness, Catlie said the correct answer. Yes, that’s the apple pie from the shop that Diana showed Ravi. I bought some for Ravi, but because of the matter of Alan, she didn’t have it in the end.
On top of that, when we bought the baked confectionary for Eihab’s visit, she refused to have some, shaking her head violently.
『Today is buying for Eihab-ojisan’s sake……』
Even though it would be perfectly fine if we bought another portion for ourselves, Ravi wouldn’t agree to it. Surely, it’s because Ravi had her own beliefs. Since I knew she has been wanting to try it, I went and bought it after I went out to rent the carriage this morning.
「Since it’s already cut, we can eat it as it is. But careful not to spill it. Hey Catlie, you can help yourself too. 」
「Eh!? For me too!? 」
「Of course. Delicious food is for everyone after all. 」
「Waa! Thank you very much! Slurp」
「Oneechan, drool……! 」
「Ah, no. Oops……」
While looking after Catlie who was panickily wiping away her drool, Ravi and I had a good laugh.
Now, let’s eat. The three of us exchanged gazes, before saying 「Itadakimasu」, and digging in.
The crispy texture wasn’t lost even though it had cooled down. And right after that, the aroma of butter and sweet apple jam came. The apple bits in the pie were large and have a nice bite to it.
The moment when you bite into the apple bits, the juice melts inside of your mouth.
Ravi held her cheeks and muttered. Catlie with the same pose nodded repeatedly.
「Really! I never tasted such an amazing apple pie before! 」
「But you knew about this apple pie right? You’ve never tried it before? 」
「Since I’m living by the edge, normally I only have bread……It’s been a while since I’ve had something sweet! 」
While looking at the two girls who stuffed their face with the apple pie while chanting delicious, I exhaled a sigh of relief unconsciously.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a happy time with Ravi enjoying delicious food. The matters with the unconscious Alan, and the rebuilding of 『Hog’s Cry』, recently there’s been too many incidents.
There’re still some problems left, but, if there’re laughter as we have fun eating together, then I’m sure those problems will surely not be difficult.
While thinking like that as I looked up at the blue sky, the dry wind gently shook my sweaty hair.