|“||If you want to be protected, why don't you just tell me?||”|
Pizza's guardian. He might not seem like the most powerful warrior, but his strength is not to be questioned. He's also a jack of all trades, but he hates being bothered. Prior to meeting Pizza he was quite introverted and preferred observing people from afar. Because of his past, he prefers to keep to himself.
Cassata has a shell of marzipan, pink and green colored icing, and decorative designs. It consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices and layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruit. As every bit is filled with texture, it's flavor is both sweet and rich. Cassata is a traditional sweet from Sicily, Italy.
How to Acquire
|Contract||Hey? Are you waiting for me? Need me to escort you back?|
|Log In||Whenever you're in danger, just call my name!|
|Ice Arena||There may not be a better place for me than here...|
|Skills||I will not let you take one step closer!|
|Ascend||Please let me protect you, Master!|
|Fatigue||Though I'm tired... I don't want to leave your side.|
|Recovering||I'm back... So smile!|
|Team Formation||We're off, partner!|
|Knockout||Fortunately.... you were not injured...|
|Notice||The food is ready, won't you try some?|
|Idle 1||How did Pizza and I meet? ... It was so long ago now that I don't even remember... when it happened...|
|Idle 2||A person who is truly charismatic will always attract good people and will help them. Therefore, I just have to stand by and watch.|
|Idle 3||Do you want to try running away with me? ... Just kidding.|
|Interaction 1||Are you interested in my eyes? They're my medal of honor... I'll tell you all about it later.|
|Interaction 2||Oh, it looks like you don't realize what a sinful person you are...|
|Interaction 3||My age? I'm younger than you think...|
|Pledge||I decided to stay with you because I enjoyed looking at you.. I never thought you'd be the one to pin me down...and keep me here..in this troublesome spot...|
|Intimacy 1||Why did I decide to stay with you? Hmmm - because you're just like Pizza, I can't stop worrying about you? ... You're both so ridiculous...|
|Intimacy 2||What's that look on your face? Are you that happy? Ahaha...but my heart is heavier than you think...|
|Intimacy 3||Don't wear that sad face all the time, you should smile more. I like that silly smile of yours...|
|Victory||It can't be this simple!|
|Defeat||*Cough... I miscalculated...|
|Feeding||I'm not like Pizza, you don't need to worry about me so much.|
I. My Worth
Upon opening my eyes, I was surprised to find myself in quite the lavish room.
Sitting in this large room was a lone person.
He was a lavishly dressed man well into his middle ages.
“He looks like he could be of some use.”
That must have been an assessment of me he made in the few seconds since I appeared.
He was my Master Attendant. He told me he was an aristocrat of this kingdom and the King’s younger brother.
Even though he was looking at me, it didn’t feel like he was talking to me.
I couldn’t see my reflection in his oh-so-honorable eyes.
I never thought I’d be summoned by a human like this.
The man approached me slowly, a despicable smile on his face.
"Food souls can do a lot of things humans can’t, huh?”
He pat me on the shoulder as if I were a lifeless doll.
I didn’t like that, but I couldn’t fight back.
After all, he was my Master Attendant.
And to a food soul, their Master Attendant’s word is law.
But then I started to have doubts again. Was he really my Master Attendant?
If so, why was he the one gripping the black dagger currently plunged into my abdomen?
"Cassata, sacrifice your everything for me!"
That sentence, like a curse, pulled my mind into darkness.
I didn't dare glance at the look on that man's face. Perhaps I had realized that from the moment we met, his smile was full of greed.
What was the meaning of this? Was he testing my loyalty?
He pulled the dagger out and I felt an agony far more excruciating than I had expected.
My hand went to my wound and I stumbled a few steps back.
My whole body felt weak. What was at first just the feeling of strength being slowly drained from it became a pain that seeped into the very center of my bones.
"I need an obedient spy to infiltrate the palace, right to where the King is. Fortunately, my elder brother goes to church every week to pray for his beloved daughter. You can just pretend you’re an unfortunate, ownerless food soul who just so happened to pass by~”
So he said, as if he were recounting a wonderful fairy tale.
"However, they can’t find out you’re my food soul~”
I bit my lower lip, and a nauseating metallic taste flooded my mouth.
Then I felt that it wasn’t just my strength being stripped away bit by bit, but also the invisible contract that forced me to obey my Master Attendant.
“I have no need for anything useless here, understood?”
From the very beginning, I was worth as much to you as something you could throw away on a whim.
And as my wound slowly healed, the last thing I saw was the twin snakes engraved on that dagger before I fell completely unconscious.
Why did I come to this world?
The man who is my master attendant wishes for nothing from me.
All he needed was an unadulterated tool guaranteed to obey him.
Was this what it meant to be a food soul?
The second time I opened my eyes, I found myself in a barren suburb.
I still hadn’t recovered from my contract being severed. Not even the wound he ruthlessly left me had healed yet.
I gave my surroundings a strained survey. As he had said, there was a white church not far from here.
Sunlight illuminated the church in all its sacred and beautiful glory, but I only felt miserable.
At the time, I never would’ve imagined I’d be grateful to the man who was my Master Attendant.
If it weren't for his decision, I wouldn't have met them.
II. Inescapable Destiny
The sparsely populated suburbs always make a good place for Fallen Angels to hide.
I don’t think I can escape.
A fallen angel that spotted me had dealt me a ruthless blow. By just barely dodging in time, I only served to batter myself more than I already had.
If I’m nothing more than a tool for humans to use in a power struggle, then maybe it would be best for my life to end here.
I smiled bitterly. Watching the fallen angel draw nearer, I closed my eyes.
“Now’s not the time to shut your eyes!”
A cheerful voice rang from above.
A blond teenager clothed in blue fended the fallen angel off with a wave of his flag.
“But I shouldn’t be the one talking, hehe~”
He looked back and let out a smile even brighter than the sun to me, someone he’d just met.
Ah~ What an idiot~
That was the only word I could use to describe him as I stared at him.
"Are you okay?”
His smile hadn’t wavered a bit as he asked. He held no reservations to a stranger such as I.
“Uwah! Look at how badly you’re hurt! Hurry and come with me!”
What a surprisingly noisy guy...
Despite the way he said it, I relaxed for some reason. The exhaustion that followed gradually swallowed what was left of my consciousness.
But so what? Nothing matters anyway…
My body as a food soul failed to grant my wish.
When I woke up, I was already lying on a soft mattress.
I moved my stare from the elaborately carved ceiling to the side of the bed, where the idiot from earlier was resting his arms on.
Sunlight rippled across his golden hair. His sleeping face, resting on its side, was as innocent as a child’s.
If it only weren’t for the drool dribbling from the corner of his mouth.
Is he a food soul too?
It’s hard to imagine what kind of world he must live in, I thought as I gently poked his cheek. Not only did he stay soundly asleep, he even swatted my finger away.
“Uuu...Cheese, I can’t eat any more…”
“Pizza! You punk, our patient just woke up and you’re still dreaming?!”
A girl in a white dress gave Pizza’s face a rough pinch.
"Uwaah!! Ow, ow, ow, ow! How could you have the heart to pinch a face as handsome as mine, Cheese?”
Pizza’s hand went up to his aching face. His unfocused eyes were still half-asleep.
"Still not done dreaming yet, huh?"
Cheese flicked her ears twice, a mischievous smile on her face.
Her long tail tracing a perfect arc behind her, she suddenly stuck a bag that had some fog rising from it on the back of Pizza’s neck.
"So cold!! What are you doing, Cheese?!"
"Hehe, these are some ice cubes I just took out~ Awake now?"
Pizza didn’t seem to be angry at all. Suddenly, his shifted his gaze to me.
"Huh? You’re awake?! I’m so glad! You were asleep for so long, I almost thought you wouldn’t wake up..."
He didn’t think twice about giving my wound a hard pat.
"Ah! Does it still hurt? I-I’m sorry."
This guy sure doesn't hold back when it comes to showing his emotions.
"Pizza, you idiot. His wounds are deep."
Cheese continued, handing me the ice pack.
"Here, for icing your wound~ Though I’m not sure if it works on food souls.”
"Say, Cheese, do you think he’s mute?"
Cheese said, elbowing Pizza’s stomach.
"Where am I?"
Although I didn’t plan to stay with them for long, I still needed to figure out where I was.
"You’re finally speaking! Oh, right, what's your name?"
The way Pizza looked at me was as if he’d just discovered a new world.
"We’re at the palace. Pizza and His Majesty found you on their way to church.”
"I’m the one who saved you. Hehe, aren’t I impressive? Let’s go on adventures together! Ow, ow, ow, ow--let me go, Cheese!”
"Ignore him, he’s just used to joking around. Your injuries still haven’t healed yet! Have a good rest!”
"Cheese - let me go!! It hurts..."
"Don't bother people while they’re resting!"
Watching them kick up a fuss as they left, I looked down at the ice pack in my hand.
In the end, I still couldn’t escape destiny.
I had infiltrated the kingdom as that man expected.
So what should I do now?
The door was pushed open again. A lavishly-dressed old man with a kind smile walked in and stood by my side.
"I presume you have met Pizza and Cheese. Pizza is my food soul, and Cheese is my daughter’s. Though I do not know what has happened to you, if you have no objections, why don’t you stay? Those two could use a companion anyhow.”
"...Aren’t you worried I have something up my sleeve?"
"Pizza is a very well-behaved child. He rarely asks anything of me. This is the first time he has, and I shall satisfy his request.”
"He hopes I can take you in."
"No matter what intentions you harbor, you must have suffered quite a bit for you to end up this way. Furthermore, Pizza also worries that you will have a hard time on your own without a contract to a cooking attendant.”
The old man had a gentle smile as he looked at me and gave me a light pat on the shoulder.
"I’m not worried about what kind of plot you have up your sleeve, but don't hurt my children, alright?"
"...I promise you, I would never hurt them."
Despite my words, as long as I’m here I can’t guarantee that man’s orders won’t make me do anything.
His words were like a curse--no, to me, they’re worse than a curse.
I can't stay here forever.
I planned to slip away while no one was watching.
And yet, fate had other plans. Just as I was about to hop the wall and flee, I saw a familiar figure leap up from below.
Free as a bird, a smile as bright as the sun on his face.
And then he crashed into me.
Perhaps I’m doomed to never escape from this person.
My wound suffering another hard hit, I couldn’t help but grunt.
What a strange person. I was the one who got hurt, I was the one who was bleeding, and yet, tears were streaming down his face. Plop, plop, dripping onto mine.
"Why...are you crying?"
I don't get this guy.
"Because you never cry, even though you’re in so much pain. Even when you nearly got killed by that fallen angel...you were still smiling…”
Pizza didn’t have the face of someone crying. Tears were just quietly rolling down his face.
Ah~ Is that right? Is this person crying for me?
Crying for worthless me?
"It doesn't hurt. They’ve healed already."
It was a lie, but it seemed to do the trick.
"Yep, really. Say, are you looking for His Majesty?"
"No, I’m looking for Her Highness! Wanna go together? Um, uh... "
“Cassata. My name is Cassata."
Now that I think about it, it was probably then that the desire to protect this guy seared itself into my soul.
III. The Assailant
I soon became Pizza’s guard. After all was said and done, I moved into the Palace.
His Majesty the King is Pizza’s master attendant.
Unlike my master attendant, he did not see Pizza as a tool.
Quite often, the look in his eyes when he gazed at Pizza was one of a father looking at his own child.
And Cheese’s master attendant, Her Royal Highness the Princess, loved Cheese like she was her own sister, perhaps even more.
His Majesty the King never troubled a guy as suspicious as me.
He gave me a warm room, delicious food, and even got me tailor-made new clothes.
I was a little spaced out as I stood by and watched Pizza and Cheese mess around.
I never knew a master attendant could care for and cherish their food souls so dearly.
I never knew food souls existed to be anything else other than tools.
Pizza, Cheese, and the Princess noticed the smile I unconsciously let slip.
"Cassata! Was that a smile?"
"I’ve smiled before, haven’t I?"
"No, no, this one is different. It looks so much better!"
"Are you calling Cassata’s smiles before ugly?”
“I...I never said that~”
“Alright, alright, pipe down, you two. Cassata was probably thinking about something happy...cough...cough cough…”
I don’t have anything like that to think about. The only things I can call memories all took place after I met them.
When I’m with them, my anxieties vanish from my mind and I can laugh alongside them without a care in the world.
His Majesty the King and Her Royal Highness never treated me any differently because of my obscure origins. They saw me as their own child and friend. The time I spent with them was the happiest I had spent since I was born.
However, the princess soon fell ill.
Her Royal Highness had always been weak. Even the attentive care of His Majesty the King could not cure the sickness she’d carried with her out of the womb.
Somewhere along the line, her coughing had gotten worse.
I grabbed her hand and yanked away the handkerchief she had tried to hide.
A bright red stain blotted the white, lightly scented handkerchief.
Pizza and Cheese stopped playing around and froze. The princess simply looked at me, a bitter smile on her face.
"I slipped it past them, but I guess I couldn’t slip it past you, Cassata."
It’s clear as day to me how important the princess is to them.
They meant just as much to the princess. The princess wouldn’t have asked me to take care of them otherwise.
Of course, I would have done so even if she had never asked.
Later, the princess' illness worsened.
The king, seeing his daughter’s sickly face so similar to that of his late wife, fell into despair.
Fortunately, it didn't take long before a travelling merchant arrived, bringing along some mysterious skills he’d picked up from his travels.
He called himself Vita.
He claimed these techniques could cure the princess and even make her body stronger.
The princess' condition saw significant improvement under his care.
But good times never last. Her illness worsened again.
And His Majesty the King nearly lost his mind.
Blessings do not come in threes, but catastrophes do.
Just as everyone was busy running all over the place because of the Princess’ illness, Pizza suddenly disappeared.
About to leave the palace to go look for him, I instead ran into a man who I hadn’t seen in ages at the door.
"Long time no see, Cassata.”
What I dreaded would happen still ended up happening.
However, I couldn’t leave.
I would protect him no matter what, even if it meant my demise.
So I followed my Master Attendant’s orders and arrived at his mansion in the dead of the night.
My master attendant is the king’s most trusted brother.
But in the shadows, he was plotting to steal the throne out of his brother’s trusting hands. A throne which meant more to him than anything else.
“Cassata, this is Mr. Vita. It was thanks to him that we could cut your contract and get you into the palace. Now, he shall join you there as well to aid me. That throne should’ve been mine a long time ago!”
The man standing in front of me had a different air than the others. He gave me a polite smile.
But when I saw that symbol of the double snakes on the briefcase in his hand, I instinctively clenched my fist.
That design was exactly the same as the carving on the dagger that had stabbed me. I understood everything in an instant.
“How does one go from a traveling businessman to an aristocrat’s aide? Mr. Vita, I believe you owe me an explanation.”
I glared at this nonchalant, eyeglasses-wearing man.
“You’ll pay according to your answer."
Vita, taking a small sip from his cup of black tea, gave a slight arch of his eyebrow.
"Pay? Heh heh..."
He let out a small chuckle, as if he were listening to a funny story.
“I do not recall doing anything that would have upset you. Furthermore, is it not you who has forgotten your place? The people in the palace are just stepping stones to your goal, are they not?”
"Is something the matter? Has your life become too comfortable for you to remember what you were summoned for?”
As if they were whispers from the devil himself, his gentle, humored words howled in my ears over and over.
That’s right. I had forgotten that the days I spent by their side were nothing more than the face of a huge lie.
"The play will soon reach its climax. I am sorry to trouble you with asking for your cooperation in the time until then.”
Watching Whiskey’s casual stride into the distance, I could no longer muster up the resolve to keep pointing fingers at him.
I haven’t told Pizza the truth yet.
I haven’t told him why I was by the church that day, nor have I told him about that man’s scheme.
From the start, I had always been standing with the villains.
But things have changed. Things are different now.
I’m Pizza’s guard, and I live to protect him.
"Then, Cassata, we’ll follow the plan and…”
"What did you say, Cassata?"
That man, who was always full of smiles, suddenly had a terrifying look on his face.
"I’m your ma..."
"You were never my master attendant. Never was, and never will be.”
And with that, I left that hellish place without ever looking back.
IV. To Live For
Just as I was about to leave the mansion, a bloody coat in the hands of a servant caught my attention.
That blue coat I was all too familiar with was mottled with fresh blood.
Without thinking, I raced over to that servant and grabbed his collar.
"Where did you get that coat?!"
The fearful servant wasted no time telling me where.
Following his directions, I arrived in front of an iron door.
Behind the iron door’s tight lock was a secretive, dimly-lit room.
It was only after quite a bit of searching that I discovered a small window next to it.
Looking through this dust-covered window, I saw someone we had been searching for for a long time.
A pale Pizza was lying on a huge stone platform, eyes shut, furrowed brows on his usually-smiling face.
I heard the sound of my teeth gritting. Taking a deep breath of the sharp smell in the air, I made up my mind and cautiously shifted my gaze.
That Vita bastard was standing at Pizza’s side in his quiet slumber.
He gently brushed Pizza’s messy bangs to the side and lifted his chin, as if he were confirming something. He looked as if he were observing an animal in an experiment.
After a thorough examination, he casually tossed Pizza to the side.
The dull thump of Pizza’s head hitting the stone platform stirred up an uncontrollable fury in me.
How dare he?! The absolute nerve!!
When I came to, I had already broken through the wall.
I won’t forgive anyone who harms a hair on him, not even God himself.
Yet, as expected, Vita was not as easy to deal with as I imagined.
But there was no time to hesitate. I dodged his attacks as I came to Pizza’s side.
Back then, I was dead set on breaking Pizza’s chains.
I did my best to dodge, yet it only took a moment for blood-red pain to flood my left eye. It wouldn’t open
But, I couldn’t give up...
How could I give up on that idiot?
I finally got Pizza off that sickening stone platform.
However, Vita wasn’t planning on letting us go that easily.
He explained to us everything he did, including his real name: “Whiskey.”
Then I saw something I never could’ve imagined in my wildest dreams.
Nearly in tears, Pizza’s dull eyes were filled with a desperate hatred.
Black flames circled the flag in his hand, transforming into a huge scythe.
Before I could stop him, he swung it down towards Whiskey.
What happened while he was away?
Why did he turn into something like this?
I couldn’t figure it out no matter what angle I looked at it from.
My instincts told me this all had everything to do with Whiskey.
At the same time, I grew deeply aware of just how dangerous he was.
We couldn’t win, not as we were then.
So I took Pizza, who had finally cooled down after losing control, and left that place.
We finally found somewhere out of sight to catch our breath.
“Pizza, are you okay?”
Pizza had rarely looked so shaken before. Looking down at how bedraggled he was, he gave a soft laugh.
“Ah! I look just the way you did when I first found you.”
Nothing was as painful as seeing him still wear his usual smile.
He saved me again and again.
That is why I want to protect him. I want to protect him even if it means losing everything.
I didn't ask him what happened between him and Whiskey. The look on his face told me everything.
Pizza, you probably don’t know that I’m hiding a lot of things from you too.
But now’s not the time...
I’ll definitely tell you about everything someday...
"I will always protect you."
"I am your guard, after all~"
"Yeah. Thank you, Cassata."
His usual smile melted all my troubles away.
At the end of the day, you’re still the one I live for.
To Cassata, he had lived two lives.
The first was the day he was summoned by his Master Attendant.
That short contract ended just as he understood that lavishly-dressed man was his Master Attendant.
It was then he realized just how cheap his worth was to that man.
To Cassata, it was only the second time around that merited the title of a “birth”.
As he faced that fallen angel and thought that he might as well let it all end there, a not-so-intense light gently woke him up from his nightmare.
Pizza’s smile was the only ray of light Cassata found in a world of darkness.
Even in the face of the violent and fierce creatures that were fallen angels, Pizza could still wear a smile as sincere as a child’s.
Only Pizza, who truly loved this world, could wear such a moving smile.
Perhaps the most others would make out of it was how airheaded Pizza was.
But to Cassata, it was world-shattering.
That was also the moment Cassata stopped turning away.
He wanted to try trusting this world again.
To him, that day was the only birth that could be called one.
Pizza’s energy was contagious. His smile could bring warmth to people in pain.
Back then, to Cassata, one could even say his every move was some form of salvation.
Cassata forced his memories to the back of his mind, not wanting to think about them.
And for a while, his life was just like Pizza’s grin, able to bring out a heartfelt smile in whoever thought back on it.
Stealing apples from the orchard, stargazing on the roof, eating snacks in the garden…
It was as if this simple yet wonderful life were telling Cassata his past was nothing more than a nightmare that would disappear for good after he woke up.
And then came the smoke-covered sky, the jumbles of voices.
Everything that happened threatened to viciously yank him out of his beautiful dream.
Just as he was about to forget his past, the princess’ illness became the prologue for everything to follow.
The travelling merchant who came because of the princess’ illness. The King’s day-by-day descent into insanity. Pizza, who there was no sign of.
These events all connected to form a chain of tragedies,
Conspiring with a greedy aristocrat, the merchant, who just wanted a way to reach his own goal, took away the King’s last and most loyal line of defense.
But Cassata did not dare tell Pizza, who had saved him from the dark, the truth.
Because he too came to their side for the purpose of bringing them harm.
He was a liar, a liar who had deluded himself into thinking he could simply shrug off his past and live a happy life.
He didn’t want to imagine a day when even Pizza looked at him with eyes filled with disgust and hatred.
Just as he was about to return to the palace with Pizza, news of the King’s death reached them. Before they were even given a chance to explain themselves, they had become the culprits behind the King’s death and were wanted.
As he and Pizza painstakingly opened a secret passageway known only to them, about to reenter the palace, they found Cheese sitting there, her eyes red from crying.
"Princess...the Princess told me to find you guys."
After they left the kingdom, they passed through many, many places.
Their days were so ordinary, not even their dates could be remembered. Pizza and Cheese would go check out the novel knick-knacks on the street every day. Cassata stood under a tree, quietly watching them.
He couldn’t help but touch the wound on his face that had already scarred over. Whenever he did, he would recall everything that happened that day at that aristocrat’s mansion.
“Did you remember something?”
A cold yet gentle voice, dripping with humor, came from the other side of the tree.
Cassata knew that was Whiskey, and Whiskey naturally didn’t intend on hiding himself.
He did not appear in front of Cassata. The corners of his lips curling up, he said:
“If they find out who you really are one day, how would they look at you?”
Cassata’s heart thudded. Not even knowing if it was out of terror or rage, he sprinted to the other side of the tree.
And yet, there was no sign of Whiskey. It was as if their exchange had never happened.
"Cassata, are you overheating?"
Pizza joined Cassata, arms full of food.
Only then did Cassata realize his forehead was covered in cold, fine sweat.
“The big sis from earlier gave all these to me~ She gave Cheese a bunch too...huh? Cheese, where did all your stuff go?”
“Ate it all~ It’s tiring to carry around~”
“Stuffing your face again--Ughhh…”
“Pizza, if you wanna live, you better keep your mouth shut~”
The Princess and the King were long dead. He’d already lost the best time to confess.
Cassata had always known that no matter how he explained it, he’d never be able to wipe away his brief yet real past.
“Cassata, I heard Prince Karl just died. I wonder what’s gonna happen to the kingdom from now?”
It was only after hearing Pizza’s voice that Cassata came to. He lifted his head, forcing a smile that sent a slight chill down Pizza’s spine.
“A greedy bastard conspiring with a sinister snake would’ve been swallowed by it sooner or later.”
"...Nothing. Let’s go."
- Official translation is a fan translation by Asureiko