|“||Victory shall be mine!||”|
A young man who is full of confidence. He is a lover of sweet treats and likes to dress in clothing from the Napoleonic Era. He is disgusted by anyone who tries to touch his hat.
Napoleon cakes are delicious layered cakes that were created by the culinary geniuses in France. It's both delicious and fun to cut into!
How to Acquire
|Contract||Bonjour~ give the battle to me, and victory shall surely belong to us. By the way, are you good at making desserts?|
|Log In||Oh, you're back quite late~|
|Ice Arena||Shall we eat sweets together? I can share some with you~|
|Skills||The monster of Corsica is coming!|
|Ascend||Everything is for victory.|
|Fatigue||I'm on the verge of death, I need to absorb sugar.|
|Recovering||Hey~ Master Attendant, have you brought me anything sweet to eat?|
|Team Formation||Let's head out, then we shall annihilate our enemies~|
|Notice||The meal has been made. Well, what is it? Is it dessert?|
|Idle 1||There is nothing in this world more delicious than dessert.|
|Idle 2||Ability is of little account without opportunity.|
|Interaction 1||Do you know Pastel de Nata? As for me, I care a lot about that guy.|
|Interaction 2||I really wish that I had an endless supply of sweet foods to eat every day~|
|Interaction 3||Ah, be careful, don't touch my hat.|
|Pledge||From today onward, I will not let anyone threaten you again. So, put your trust in me.|
|Intimacy 1||Let's use friendlier terms to address one another!|
|Intimacy 2||I have captured the best spoils of war... your heart!|
|Intimacy 3||Your taste is more attractive to me than sweets.|
|Team Up (Leaf Ocean Queen)|
This Story has been fan-translated by SnowflakeBerrystar. Official translations will be added when they become available.
I. Lone Island
A deserted island welcomed a commotion that hadn’t been heard for a while.
Waves crashed onto the rocks, white foam splashing into the air. Seagulls glided over the ocean surface before taking a sharp turn upwards of the steep cliffs. Flapping their wings and joining their flock, they fed freshly-caught prey to their nestlings.
Ah, eating sweets is indeed the best way to welcome the new season.
I’d been kept away from sweets ever since my Master Attendant was exiled onto this island.
"I'm gonna go into sugar withdrawal if nothing changes around here soon."
I hugged my gun and gave a loud sigh. Kicking the little rocks by my feet, I trudged towards the sanatorium on the highest point of the island.
Although you might as well call it a prison.
Two squads of human soldiers took turns guarding the few political prisoners that lived in there. The supply boat came by every now and then to change up the people. That would also be the only time I’d see other food souls on this island.
"You're back, Napoleon."
Master Attendant's spirit had gotten lower and lower ever since he moved into the sanatorium. His ailing body grew weaker by the day too. He was always muttering to himself about how he didn't have much time left.
"I'm glad you came back in time...I'm going to die today."
He sat up against the bed frame, not looking at me. His hand hazily stroked the worn cover of a book.
"Not a day has gone by where I haven't felt bitter regret. I betrayed the path I chose for myself, and I betrayed you."
"Is saying this out of nowhere your way of repenting before the end?"
"Yes...I want to tell you that I really am sorry." His voice became softer, and his head slowly sagged.
"If only I could start over...I definitely..."
I didn't wait for Master Attendant to finish his last words. His life came to an end that day, as he said it would.
I moved the thin sheets up over his head and gently asked him a question.
"If you could start over, you wouldn't lose again, would you, Master Attendant?"
Aside from a bottle of medicine he hid under his pillow, the only thing he'd left for me was that novel he’d carried with him up until his bitter end. A novel about a man with the same name as me.
The novel was the only thing I took with me when I left with the navy. Under the sway of the sea breeze, I flipped it open for the first time in ages. The wind swept away pages that had fallen out long ago, carrying them far away like memories of the past.
"This is where everything starts, Napoleon. Let's work hard from now on!"
Bringing along a newly-summoned me, my young Master Attendant arrived at the Royal Chef's Guild full of confidence.
I tipped my hat and finger-gunned a stone monument with a name carved into it.
"Leave the battle to me! You just focus on making yummy sweets."
Master Attendant took out that book he always kept on him and placed his hand on the cover. His voice was resolute as if he were swearing an oath.
"I bet that in fifteen years, I'll be as legendary as General Napoleon!"
"I'm finally back on land! Sweets, I want sweets!"
I was about to take off towards the marketplace as soon as I stepped onto the harbor.
"Hey, take this."
A navy colonel's food soul called out to me. There was a jingling sound, and I turned around just in time to catch a bag of coins.
"That was close, it almost knocked my hat off." I weighed the bag. Satisfied, I aimed a finger-gun at her.
"Thanks! I'll invite you to have some sweets next time we meet. Au revoir~"
I bid the navy farewell. Entering the small town, the lively scenery and tempting smells wafting in the air immediately piqued my interest.
"Why does it smell so good in here? Hey, mister, is there a celebration going on or something?"
"Don't you know? It's our town's 100th anniversary, and they're hosting a dessert competition. All contestants are giving out free samples.”
"A dessert competition...all the sweets I can eat! Youppie!"
It's been so long since I've refilled my sugar levels. Only after I sampled every booth did I feel like myself again.
The last booth's sweets didn't look particularly fancy nor were they incredibly sweet, but the pastel de nata's soft and crisp texture complemented it's just-about-right creaminess and fragrance perfectly. I couldn't stop eating.
"These egg tarts are amazing. Chef —oh, you're a food soul too."
The handsome young man carrying a fresh batch of egg tarts out was a food soul in a pastry chef's outfit. One look and you could tell he was skilled at his craft.
"Chef, you know how to make other sweets, right?"
"Like that's any of your business."
His voice was flat as if he didn't want to speak to me unless he had to.
"Come on, don't be so cold~ These egg tarts are delicious! I bet you're not bad at making other sweets either. Join my team and let's battle together~"
"I have no interest in battle."
"Then you can just be responsible for making sweets~"
"That was too quick!"
"It’s too much trouble."
"At least tell me what your name is? —Hey, hey, don't go! Aren't you participating in the contest? Hey!"
Hmph, I just don’t want to ever run out of sweets again.
Watching him fade into the distance, I put the last egg tart in my mouth. The sweet taste on my tongue suddenly gave me an idea.
Hmm...that butler should still be around.
A butler who can do anything can definitely make sweets, right?
Let’s see. What’s his address again...
I clutched my hat and gazed at the sky. Somewhere in the distance, a bell chimed.
The abbey's bell echoed solemnly. Master Attendant helped his newly-wed wife onto the carriage that would take them back.
A ball was being held by the bride's father, an Earl, at his home.
Though it had been a month since the Earl declared Master Attendant a viscount, Master Attendant wasn’t rich enough to hold a wedding that would satisfy the Earl.
Truthfully speaking, if it weren't for the fact his daughter was already pregnant with Master Attendant's child and the achievements I'd won in his name, there's no way the Earl would've accepted a lowborn whose only skills consisted of being a pretty-faced smooth talker as his son-in-law.
"There you are, Napoleon."
At the ball, Master Attendant should've been the center of attention, but he didn't receive much of it. A little downcast, he found me eating cake at the sweets table and downed his wine in one go.
"Look, Napoleon. Those snooty upperclassmen still can't accept someone like me as one of them.
I was so focused on the sweets that I hadn't paid attention to the guests, only now noticing the sneers and scornful looks my Master Attendant was getting.
"We've still got a long way to go before we reach our goal."
"Don't worry, Master Attendant. I'll help you with whatever you want to do."
I mumbled with my mouth stuffed full of food. Master Attendant laughed.
"Enjoy your sweets now, Napoleon. From now on, you'll have as many as your heart desires."
His gaze locked with someone on the dance floor before returning to me.
"I just hope you'll always think that way..."
"Please leave. Master Attendant has been ill ever since he lost that bet. I'm afraid seeing you might make it worse."
"I came to see him because I heard he was sick, you..."
"I will pass your goodwill on to him. Please leave. Goodbye."
While Brownie was talking to a visitor, I took my chance and poured half of my black tea into an empty cup, adding more milk.
"Are you always so pushy with visitors?"
"That one was an exception."
Brownie stared at what I did in resignation, but took some sweets out from the catering cart and gave them to me anyway.
I lined them up and helped myself to each one.
"Your cakes are delicious...what kind of exception?"
"He tricked my Master Attendant into making a bet with him and cheated to win. Then he took away every book we ever collected. After that, Master Attendant grew more ill with each passing day. Now, he can't even get out of bed..."
"Sounds a lot like what happened to mine. But Mister Bookseller is already...ah, I forgot. The last time I saw him, his hair was all white."
"Yes, his time is almost up..."
"Hey, hey, don't look so sad. I know how you feel, though."
I waved my hand in front of his face, pulling him out of his rarely-expressed emotional side.
"Have you thought about what you're gonna do after he's gone?"
"No...I thought I'd continue Master Attendant's book collection and business after he'd passed away, but everything is gone now." Brownie lowered his head and smiled bitterly. "He forbade me from going after that man. He’s worried I'll end up making the same mistake. It's been so long since that happened, anyway. Half of the books that made up Master Attendant's heart and soul have probably been sold already."
"Betting, huh? That works. I can win those books back for you."
I knocked my spoon against the top of my cup and downed the black tea in one gulp, looking at him as I wiped my mouth.
"But on one condition: you need to win a bet with me first. Don't worry, I won't try anything shady."
"That's not the problem. Master Attendant won't let me..."
"Exactly. Mister Bookseller won't let YOU do it. There shouldn't be a problem If it’s someone else."
"It's alright, Brownie. Let's hear what he has to say."
"That's...! Master Attendant?"
Brownie, letting his manners slip, leaped up. I waved at the old man, who hobbled over with a cane in hand.
"Long time no see, Mister Bookseller. I didn't think you'd still be able to move."
"Cough...perhaps it's terminal lucidity." Brownie helped him sit down in front of me. "Let's trust Napoleon, Brownie. His Master Attendant was an honorable man."
"Too bad he wasted his own chance."
I straightened out my hat before snapping my fingers, finger-gunning Brownie.
"If I win, I want Brownie to join my team after you're gone."
The Bookseller interrupted Brownie.
"Why? None other than because I need an Aide-de-Camp who can make sweets!"
"You called, Master Attendant? I still haven't had any sweets today~"
I pushed open the library doors and sauntered over to the fireplace, plopping myself down on the sofa chair across from Master Attendant. My eyes lit up when I saw the wooden chest in his lap.
"Is that a box of sweets? You're so sneaky, Master Attendant. Keeping it all to yourself."
Once he heard me mention the wooden chest, the look on Master Attendant's face grew darker under the light of the flickering flames.
"Napoleon, we're going to leave for a bit."
"Battling again? Where are we going this time~?"
"Not for battle, it's..."
"What are you doing?"
I watched, at a loss, as Master Attendant took out a file from the wooden box and hid it in the clothes of the "enemy" spy I killed.
"Sending a message." Master Attendant replied, not lifting his head. "Let's go."
"Wait," I called after him, but he didn't stop.
"The police will be here soon. We have to go now."
"Master Attendant, who I killed wasn’t an "enemy", was he?"
He didn't answer.
"I know what you're doing, Mas-ter-At-ten-dant."
"If you know, then you should understand this is all for the sake of our goal. We have to do this."
" —No, it's not! General Napoleon would never frame people to serve someone else! He relies on no one on the battlefield!"
"And as of right now, WE need to cling onto branches other people stick out to us as we struggle in quicksand! If we don't do this, we'll drown!"
"It's you who gave up the battle. It's thanks to you choosing sides that we ended up drowning in quicksand in the first place." My voice grew colder and colder as I finally understood the uneasy feeling that had long been festering in my gut.
"It's time to wake up, Napoleon." Master Attendant's voice dropped lower and lower.
"We can't keep chasing someone who doesn't exist."
"Hahaha-cough...you sure do love your sweets."
The Bookseller's laugh was no longer as hearty as it used to be, but it seems I’ve lifted his spirits quite a bit.
Brownie stared at the coughing Bookseller in concern, but the old man waved him off.
"What do you want to bet on?"
Brownie looked even more surprised than the Bookseller. I explained patiently.
"Brownie will make sweets. I'll eat as many as he makes. If I can't finish them all, I lose."
"Hahaha, interesting. Only you'd come up with a bet like this —cough, cough...then I'll let you decide whether to accept or not, Brownie." The Bookseller held Brownie's hand and gently patted him on the back.
"I know my life is about to come to an end. I've thought a lot of things through these days as well. I believe you would’ve done a wonderful job, but as long as those books are being read by more people, they’re fulfilling their purpose. Even if the way they ended up there wasn't the most authentic one. I'm more worried about you, Brownie."
"I stand here because you chose me. As your butler, making your wishes a reality is my duty, as well as my desire."
"If I'm not here, then whose orders will you follow? Whose wishes will you make a reality?"
Brownie went silent. The Bookseller gently prodded again.
"Have you decided?"
"Take your time. Either way, I won't lose when it comes to eating sweets."
I patted my chest confidently as Brownie thought it over.
"Of course, I'll always be victorious in whatever I do!"
——Even if I lose once, I won't be so quick to admit defeat.
The early morning sea breeze howled in my ear. I couldn't hear what he said, simply clutching onto my hat that could be blown away any minute and staring out across the dark sea as we waited for a boat. A navy boat that would escort Master Attendant to exile.
Today, Master Attendant was being exiled.
He followed the wrong person, one who sold him out after getting cornered.
But the crimes he accused him of weren't false accusations. Assassinations, framing...these were the tasks he assigned him.
If the Earl, who distanced himself from this power struggle long ago, hadn't used his influence to protect Master Attendant at the last minute, what greeted him wouldn’t have been a boat to exile but a hanging gallows.
The dock gates had been locked long ago. The area was heavily guarded, but not many food souls were stationed. Perhaps Master Attendant could escape If we made a break for it.
I was the last ace in his deck.
But he couldn’t continue this round of gambling. All the way until, one by one, we heard the ship's horn echo, and saw light skipping across the ocean’s surface—slicing through the darkness of the night—and the boat docking.
He said to me...
"I've really lost this time, Napoleon."
V. Napoleon Cake
When Food Souls get summoned, do the hopes and dreams their Master Attendants pin on them determine their form?
Napoleon Cake had no idea. He'd never heard of another food soul whose master attendant loved a book so much, he used a dessert with the same name as the protagonist to summon them. But Napoleon Cake liked a master attendant who followed his heart like that.
As they searched for the first edition of the novel, they learned from the Bookseller that the reason he and the protagonist shared a name was because the author was eating a slice of napoleon cake while coming up with the book.
Whether that was true or not, he was very interested in that character.
They didn't just share a name. Even their heights were similar.
To Napoleon Cake, the second best thing to his Master Attendant was sweets. During his contract-bound days, his biggest dream was to have an unlimited supply of them.
It was a well-known fact that Napoleon Cake had a good temper. Not that he was easy to get along with, but because most things could be resolved with sweets. Although, even when he and his Master Attendant's ideals forked paths, there were two things he couldn't forgive no matter how many sweets he ate.
One was defeat.
The other was having his hat touched.
Napoleon Cake's Master Attendant was lowly in the eyes of privileged members of society.
Despite numerous victories under his belt, a reputation in the Capitol, and the status of viscount through marriage—causing him to rise to their class in a single leap—they still looked down on him.
"Napoleon, what I want isn't to be their equal." Master Attendant said to Napoleon Cake one lonely night.
"I don’t want them to underestimate me ever again."
Back then, Napoleon Cake hadn't noticed his Master Attendant had changed.
Afterward, his Master Attendant was no longer as unyielding as Napoleon was, nor would he dream of using harsh means or his proud achievements to subdue those who dared to say 'no' to him, again. He chose to depend on someone else to climb the ranks faster, even breaking his own principles by using underhanded means to eliminate his opponents. All for the chance to raise his own status while helping that man gain power.
His bold way of doing things may have been similar to the general of that novel, but it angered many people.
After the man his Master Attendant had been helping failed in his quest for power, he exposed his Master Attendant’s crimes to redirect the masses’ fury. Exile became the epilogue of his story.
The years he spent by his Master Attendant’s side during his exile were perhaps the most painful ones Napoleon Cake had ever lived through.
The island barely had enough resources, much less sweets. A supply boat would only come by every two months, and it only provided the bare minimum amount of sugar a human needed to survive. Good thing he was on good terms with those human soldiers. He'd make bets with them to win a few sweets.
But Napoleon Cake had decided: once he left this island, he needed to find a sweet-making subordinate to make sure he’d always have a steady supply of sugar.
And everything else?
Napoleon Cake hadn't really thought about what he'd do after he was free but swore to himself long ago that no matter what, he’d never compromise as easily as his Master Attendant did.
He knew very well that Food Souls had a larger realm of possibilities than humans did.
As long as he refused to bow down or compromise, he would never lose to fate.
Napoleon Cake put down the marked map in his hands and turned to face the food soul who had just walked into the library.
"Brownie~I want some pastel de nata~"
Victory—and the sweets—were his.