Reincarnated Princess Wishes To Avoid Death - Chapter 236
A Grain of Wheat, A Single Cookie
The next day, the storm had passed. It was gone while Mia was doing her favourite thing, which was counting silly things. She was mentally counting the number of rocks in the cavern, but her face showed that she didn’t care.
Sion told Keithwood to check out the area as soon as the wind stopped. He did this as soon as the wind stopped. Before he left, Survival Expert Mia added one more thing to the list.
“Keithwood, while you’re out there, could you look around to see if there is a spring or small stream nearby?”
Getting water was definitely a basic survival skill. As an experienced “theoretical survivologist,” Mia had spent a lot of time coming up with different possible ways to stay alive. In many of these, she hid alone in a forest to avoid the revolutionary army. The careful research she had done to prepare for these possible situations was now paying off.
Also, because she knew so much about how to stay alive, she perked up when Keithwood came back to the cavern after his long reconnaissance trip and told them what he had found.
“So, to make a long story short, it’s always best to be careful, but I haven’t seen any signs of dangerous animals yet. I could only find a few rabbit tracks…”
“Oh? Did you say… rabbit?”
Mia’s eyes lit up. She hadn’t eaten in almost a whole day, so when she heard the word “rabbit,” her brain thought it was the word “food.” Whatever left those tracks, its days – hours are numbered.
“Also, only one of the tents is still standing, and I don’t know how the inside fared. I didn’t go in because it was one of the tents for the ladies. I finally found a place in the forest nearby where I could get water. It’s just a little spring.”
“I see. As always, Keithwood, you did a great job. Quick and dependable.”
When Sion praised him, he just shrugged.
“What can I say? I’m your attendant. It’s part of the job,” Keithwood said like a true worker.
For now, they decided to use the cavern as their base of operations, and their first goal was to see what they could save from the tent.
They went back to the camp, hoping to find tools and, if they were lucky, food. They didn’t have any luck, which was a shame.
The last tent was in tatters. Its frame had fallen over, and its contents were out in the open. All of the equipment inside, which were high-quality items that the Greenmoons had made just for the event, was destroyed, and the mud-covered pieces lost both their form and their function.
The rations did even worse—there wasn’t a scrap left.
“Well, I guess this was just meant for us to sleep in,” Mia said.
They had brought very little food with them to the island. The Emerald Star was where most of it was kept.
“I guess it was too much to hope that there would be food here… Wait a second!”
She looked through what was left of her things. Her travel trunk had been blown open, and the extra dresses it held were gone, but she kept her eyes on a small wooden box that was still fastened to a corner inside.
It looked like it had made it through the storm. She took it out carefully and opened the lid. Inside were ten big cookies.
You’re right. Mia was the type of person who would bring cookies with her when she went somewhere. She had put them in her bag because she was sure that she needed sugar before bed.
“Thank the moons they’re all right…”
She quickly reached for one, wiped away a tear of relief, and then stopped. She had an idea all of a sudden.
I have a feeling that I need to share this with everyone evenly.
Mia knew that denying people food could lead to serious grudges, and that these grudges often got settled with guillotines. Even eating a cookie ahead of time could make people dislike her, which would bring her back together with an old friend who loves to behead people. It wasn’t likely, but it wasn’t impossible either.
If she had eaten all of a huge strawberry cake, including all of the strawberries, she might have been able to handle the guillotine. It was a bad trade, though, for her to lose her head because she stole a cookie.
So, she pulled together every bit of self-control she had and started fighting her hunger to get control of her hands.
She huffed and puffed, her chest rising and falling with each hard breath as she tried to tame the beast of hunger inside her. In her mind, the battle was that big.
It fought her with everything it had. She fought against it with her teeth clenched and her lips pulled back in a snarl, like a fierce animal trying to assert control.
In the end, she was able to control herself and bring the wooden box of cookies to the rest of her group without eating them all right away.
“Oh, my goodness, Princess Mia. Well, this is a nice surprise.” Keithwood was very impressed. “How did you know to bring something like this with you?”
Mia let out a smug breath right away.
“I didn’t. I just knew what to do. Keithwood, being smart means being ready. And I’m a sensible person.”
“That’s all well and good,” Esmeralda said, interrupting, “but why in the moons did you also give some cookies to the commoners? Ms. Mia, please. Have some dignity.”
Mia looked at her and groaned. The way most nobles felt about commoners was the way Esmeralda did.
She has no idea what’s going on. She doesn’t really get what these cookies are all about, so it’s clear that she doesn’t get it…
It was true that if Mia ate more cookies, her stomach would get fuller. But there was another way to look at it. If she ate a cookie for herself, it would only make her stomach fuller by one cookie. It wouldn’t do anything else.
What if she decided instead to share those cookies? Wouldn’t everybody who received one feel indebted to her? These weren’t just cookies, that’s for sure.
It was a seed. She was planting the seeds. If a grain of wheat wasn’t buried in the ground, it would never be enough to feed more than one person.
In the same way, if you ate just one cookie, it would always be just one cookie eaten. But if it were planted as a seed, it might grow into a cookie tree one day.
Keithwood, Sion, and so on. Right now, they’re friends, but who knows?
Things can always change. It’s certainly not impossible for them to turn into enemies down the line.
Mia thought of an old story she had heard, so she started to talk about herself.
Imagine a big river that flows past red, rocky cliffs, where a navy that was put together quickly lost badly. Then, let’s say she owned that navy and was now on the run. Lastly, imagine that she was being chased by enemy troops when she ran into Keithwood, who stopped her from getting away.
In that desperate moment, she could look at him and say, “Keithwood, do you remember the cookie? Remember the cookie I gave you that day?”
If he then decided to let her go out of a sense of duty, it would all have been worth it. She could rebuild and get better as long as she got back home alive.
Anyway, enough imagining…
If she could get a favour in exchange for a cookie now, she thought that was a good deal. Even though that was more of an excuse than anything else,
On a fundamental level, not sharing the cookies with the attendants was simply not a choice she’d ever make.
It was clear that Anne was there. Keithwood needed one too. Otherwise, she’d anger Sion and an angry Sion was the stuff of nightmares.
Also, if she kept Keithwood happy, the cookie she gave him might come back to her as a delicious pot of rabbit stew someday.
This wasn’t a donation; it was a business deal. If you buy a cookie today, you can make rabbit stew tomorrow.
Well, Esmeralda would probably throw a fit if she passed out from hunger, and Mia just didn’t want to deal with that possibility.
So, she decided to put the group’s health and nutrition first for now. The sweet treats did wonders for their empty stomachs and made them smile again right away.
Furthermore, just in case anyone was curious, after the seven people in their group each got a cookie, she divided the remaining ones evenly among them as well.
Better to just share everything right away. Keeping a few might cause a mad rush for them later, which would be a bad thing. Hunger does change people, and not in a good way… I’ve seen how frightening they can be…
Having just fought down her own beast of hunger, she was well aware of how dangerous it could be. She thought that they couldn’t fight about the cookies if they had already eaten them. It was Mia’s way of managing risks.
They spent more time going through the tent, but they didn’t find anything.
The only other thing they found was something Mia had stuffed at the bottom of her trunk, hoping nobody would notice it…
“Oh, yes. This.”
Mia looked glumly at the swimsuit.
“The indecent one Esmeralda gave me… Well, this is useless now for sure.”
She threw it away, but Anne ran up quickly and grabbed it from the air.
“Ah, milady, wait.”
She looked at it carefully before her eyes got a little bigger.
“This… milady… we can make use of this.”
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