The lights in the dining hall dimmed soon enough, giving the room an even
more antique feeling than usual.
Diana recalled Julian mentioning that his grandparents had personally designed
this place. Just like how Julian’s villa was filled with traces of their time together,
this place was also filled with traces of his grandparents.
However, his grandmother was the only one who remained now in this old
Perhaps no matter how great a relationship was, it could never withstand the
passage of time. They would either part with death, or time would change how
No… Julian didn’t have a change of heart. He had simply been too focused on
Diana rubbed her head in exasperation when she realized her thoughts had
once again turned to him.
Fortunately, Madam Fulcher soon appeared in her line of sight again. The older
woman slowly approached her, pushing a large cake toward Diana.
The cake was pink and had three layers. A princess figure was sitting in the
middle, and the words ’Happy Birthday” were written on the cake.
It was a cake Diana and Julian often had back in the villa, so it wasn’t surprising
that Madam Fulcher had ordered the same one today as she had sometimes
come over when they had it.
Anyway, it was impossible for Julian to have ordered it. Their relationship could
be described as distant and even under control, but it was definitely not
affectionate or loving.
In fact, the idea that those words would apply to their relationship was absurd.
Diana had never celebrated her birthdays before she turned eighteen. However,
Julian had been with her every birthday she had after she was eighteen; this
was the first time he was absent.
She felt an indescribable sense of loss, but she raised her head and tried not to
let anyone see the emotions in her eyes.
Madam Fulcher observed everything, but remained silent. She simply pulled out
a birthday hat, placed it on Diana’s head, and continued chatting merrily with
After a while, she asked Diana, “Shall we cut the cake?”
If Diana didn’t eat the cold soba soon, it would turn into a lump of dough.
Diana took the knife from Madam Fulcher and cut one-third of the cake to share
After a while, she felt like the missing portion of the cake was more than what
she had cut.
But there were only a few people here, and no one had finished their portions or
gone to get a second helping. Since it wasn’t important, she brushed the
“Why don’t you eat your soba? I’ll take a picture for you,” Nina suggested.
Diana considered this. She put down her cake and picked up her fork to eat the
Though the soba noodles used to be many strands, it now sat in the bowl as
one big fat lump; it had been soaking in the sauce for too long, and had
expanded several times in size as a result.
Despite its now unappetizing appearance, Diana still remembered that it was
something her mother had personally made for her.
The taste wasn’t at all great.
In fact, it was too salty.
Diana took one bite and nearly spat it out. She laughed at how stupid she was,
and said self-deprecatingly, “I’m so silly, bringing noodles like this on a long
Madam Fulcher noted Diana’s changed expression and asked, “Was it too
“Yeah,” Diana replied with a nod.
As always, Nina was quick to speak her mind. “Rather than the taste of a
mother’s love, it’s the taste of salt…”
“…You’re right,” Diana agreed.
Perhaps because of the lack of love in her life, Diana had always been easily
amused by jokes like that. She even added, “If I ever miss Kate in the future, I’ll
just eat some salt to remember her.”
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