Etiquette Lesson at Dinner

published on 2021-07-07, last updated on 2021-09-17 written by q. Thai “0xReki” Chung,
checked with ProWritingAid and LanguageTool, edited by jayfeather
As always, a big thanks to all Patrons for their support.
Text to Speech:

Back at the castle, Rowan and I are being invited to dinner. It’s a private one, with only the royal family and their attendants, so our lack of manners isn’t that much of a problem. Just like in the hidden room, we’re sitting at a round table. Why is it a round table? There are multiple sets of cutlery for each person, no doubt this is for multiple courses. Next to those, there’s a mug for each person. No, it’s a cup, it’s sat on top of a saucer, but its form is mostly cylindrical like a mug. Only the bottom of it has a smaller diameter. I think you can stack these.

“Why is there so much cutlery?” Rowan asks.

“For each course, you use outermost ones to eat it,” Rory answers.

“So you only use it for one course? That seems like such a waste…”

“That’s just how high society does it.”

“This is unusual, Rory, you’d usually offer that tea of yours to our guests. Are you being considerate to your little brothers?” King Cian asks.

“I see where you are coming from,” Rory answers, “but that’s not it.”

“There’s something you need to know about that tea…” I continue for Rory and tell him about the side effects of long term use, “… there are some cases where you would want to regularly drink it, but even then it shouldn’t be too much.”

“In that case, I should refrain from drinking it as well,” King Cian states, “I know you don’t want the attention, but publicizing this in your name would yield the best effects.”

“In that case, how about publishing it in Mittens’s name instead?” I give the royal couple the same explanation as I did with the siblings.

“I don’t see a problem with that. We will do that the next time you drop by.”

“Next time?”

“It is common to visit one’s family from time to time. It were a different thing if you lived too far away, but even then, I believe your flying home can cover that distance in no time. Postponing to next time is just for formalitie’s sake, this time, you’re here unofficially.”

He’s right, but…

“Of course, Mittens is capable of doing that, I don’t think it wise to rely on them too much just for the convenience. It’d be best to limit those visits to once a moon.”

At that moment, the food is being brought in. It’s a salad, just a purple salad.

“It’s a pity, but you’re probably right,” King Cian admits.

We start eating, I take a fork from the table and poke a piece of salad with a fork and put it into my mouth.

“It could use some dressing…” I mumble to myself.

“Dressing? You want to put some clothes on the food?” Finn asks.

“Oh, you heard me mumbling? No, it’s not clothes. It’s a sauce you put on salad to make it more palatable. I can try to make some next time I cook.”

“Right, they mentioned in the Common Omelette you’re learning to cook. How do you know what to use?”

“For now, I just describe what it is like to Nell. If I’m not familiar with the details, Mittens has access to quite a lot of by people’s knowledge.”

Oh wait, I shouldn’t deal my hand here…

“Well, it’s mostly things that I’m interested in,” I quickly add, “and only things that are unrelated to military knowledge, but I digress. With Nell’s experience, he can adapt the recipe to ingredients that you can acquire here. So far, he was quite spot on, I have to say.”

“In that case, I’m looking forward to it when you present the finished recipe.”

“I see, I take it you don’t like the eating dry salad? In that’s case, I’ll make it for you when it’s presentable. Speaking of making things, we forgot about buying potatoes.”

“Yes, that was the original reason, we came here,” Rowan adds, “at least, that’s what Aster and I were planning. We went to the capital to avoid going into Bullmar. They would have made some problems.”

“I’ll see what we can do about that,” King Cian answers.

“You mentioned returning to Dewick, is there a special reason for that?” Rory asks, “I thought you are on your way to Favol’s temple.”

“No, we still have to return to Aevita’s temple,” I answer.

“Aster was asked to return on the Night of the Blue Moon,” Rowan states.

“That’s rare,” Queen Grace answers, “from what I remember from the records, people from the beyond the sky rarely receive blessings, but most of them weren’t interested…”

We finish the salad. The servants take away the used tableware and bring in the course: it’s fried mincemeat with dumplings. That’s interesting, I thought those dishes were common people’s dishes. At least, from what I remember from looking up information I got about them.

“That’s unexpected,” Rowan speaks my thoughts, “it’s like meat part of a hamburger.”

“I know it as hamburger steak,” I answer.

“There’s more to it than you can see at first glance,” Rory answers and grins. Are they filled with something? 

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