Why is Lord Albert Peeling Potatoes in the Kitchen? [Moriarty the Patriot Fanfiction]
Frederick entered the kitchens. As a recent recruit, this was his first time helping in the kitchen. He was looking at Patrick, one of the other members of his platoon for some guidance.
"Why don't you go help Lord Albert with peeling the potatoes?" said Patrick, as he waived at the part of the kitchen, where one man was peeling the potatoes alone.
"Lord?" Frederick was taken aback. "Nobility cooks in the army?"
"He is an exception." explained Patrick. He then hit him at the back. "Don't worry. As long as you don't ask weird questions you will be fine."
Frederick looked back at the Patrick, but he was just waving at him to go forward. He was not really expecting to just go and work with the nobility, right? And if he is the nobility, he is most likely outranking him by a wide margin.
But nothing changed, so Frederick slowly made his way to the potato peeling station. When he arrived he stood their awkwardly. "Hi? I am supposed to peeling potatoes?" he asked the person.
Albert looked up at him with a polite smile. "You can find the peeling knifes in the second drawer." he looked at the cup drawer in question. "Take any empty stool from the corner."
Frederick walked to the drawer and took a peeling knife there. He than took one of the stools from the ordered pile nearby. He sat down and took a potato to start peeling.
"Frederick. A new recruit in the Royal Fusiliers here." he introduced himself.
"Albert. Pleasure to make your acquaintance." he replied, his movement when peeling the potatoes not once stopping.
Frederick wanted to say something else, but if this was really a nobility, then he did not want to induce any wrath. No matter how the country is changing, pissing off the nobility is still not considered a safe course of actions.
But the silence was uncomfortable. So Frederick started to talk about the random things. The political changes, that were happing right now. The prices of the food in different districts. The stories that had appeared in the magazines.
There was just an occasional hum from his coworker, but it did not seems to be a discouragement. It might just be politeness, who knows with the nobility, but Frederick continued with the stories.
He was just finishing the story about the viscount that took over their land, and the worries that the people had with it. "So a groups of us that enlisted are worried that viscount is going to just force his way with our wives, while we are gone." He sighed.
"I would not be worried about this point. Lord Greenwood tastes are of a entirely different kind." said Albert with the same polite smile. "He does try to compensate for it, so the tax situation is not likely to be kind to you."
This was the first sentence, that Frederick got out of Albert. Which was a surprising by itself. So he asked: "Do you know viscount well?"
"We have made an acquaintance before." Albert said as a response.
Frederick looked at him in silence, but Albert did just continue to calmly peel the potatoes.
"They called you Lord Albert. Does this mean you are also a nobility?" asked Frederick now.
That actually got the Albert to look at him, but nothing on his face changed. There was still this polite smile. So Frederick started to explain himself. "Well, I did not expect the officer to be made to cook. And I imagine you do not have a need to do it for money reasons. It is not that well paid position."
Albert was looking at him for a couple of seconds, then returned his gaze to the potatoes. "I have an agreement, that allows me to use this kitchen. It seems fair that I provide something in return."
He was quiet for a couple of seconds. "When I was deployed in India, there were times when every field officer had to do tasks like this." He paused for a second. "Some had problems adjusting to the situation."
Frederick felt something just a bit dangerous, so he did not push the question for more information. Instead he was starting to talk about his expectations about the future time in the army. It was nice getting a perspective of somebody, that seems to have extensive experience and is, or at least was, a superior officer in the field as well.
They finished peeling the potatoes for today. The potatoes were already getting finished by other people, so Albert and Frederick started to clean their work.
"It was nice working with you." offered Frederick, as he finished cleaning up. He turned to Albert and saw him still cleaning everything else. "Will you join us for the lunch?"
"Thank you for the invitation, but I will have to decline." said Albert, as he was putting the peeling knifes back to the drawer. "It was nice meeting you as well."
Frederick cleaned himself and then made his way to the dining hall for lunch. It was the same as every day, some potatoes, and very small amount of meat. He was joined by Patrick, which has been helpful this couple of days since joining.
Once they took a seat at the table, they were joined by another man. If Frederick remembered correctly, he was also in the same platoon as them. The name was...
"Robert." Patrick said to the newcomer. "It is unusual for you to try and talk to the newcomers."
"I am Robert." Robert introduced himself as he extended his hand for a hand shake. "You are Frederick, the new guy, right?"
"Yes." Frederick said as he shook his hand.
Robert then leaned forward. "So what is your secret? How did you manage?"
Frederick was confused at the question, so he looked at the Patrick for more explanation.
Patrick just rolled his eyes. "You should stop bothering the newcomers with your delusions." He then turned to Frederick. "Robert here is obsessed with Lord Albert."
"So, what were you to talking about?" Robert leaned forward even more.
"It was mostly me talking and him just occasionally offering a sentence or two. I would not really call it a conversation." said Frederick. He leaned back, as he was a bit intimidated by the Robert.
"But that is what is interesting." Robert finally leaned back to sit down. "He never talks."
"He had to talk with Oscar, right?" Patrick intercepted.
"Alright, he never talks with anybody that does not immediately runs away and never again shows their face." said Robert, waiving his hands around. "This is a first time the person Albert spoke with is still here."
"So who is this person?" finally asked Frederick, which was becoming more and more confused. "You are talking almost like he is a criminal."
"Albert James Moriarty. The earl and the head of the Moriarty family. But more importantly, the older brother to the Lord of Crime." said Robert excitedly. "You have heard of Lord of Crime right?"
Frederick nodded. Even with the year passing since the panic, he did not think that there is a single person in London, who did not hear of the Lord of Crime.
"So the entire garrison is trying to figure out why he is here. Like this." Robert finished.
Frederick though for a while. "So he is not in the army? He mentioned that he was deployed in India. So, a lie?"
Robert shook his head. "He was in the army. Though he was switched to the reserve troops as soon as the reached the rank of colonel." He paused for the dramatic effect. "This only happens if they are hiding something."
"In this case they would not keep him in reserves." Patrick now adds, as he is calmly eating his food.
Frederick takes this as a sign and starts eating as well.
"They why are they not explaining what is he doing here? Is he a prisoner here? And if he is, why is he in the kitchen every day?" Robert said now. "I am sure that this is not how prisoners are generally treated."
"He did mention that he is allowed to use the kitchen here. So he helps in exchange." offered Frederick.
Robert blinks. "In what place does this makes sense?"
Frederick shrugged. "I generally don't like getting involved with the nobility."
"Which is the right attitude for most situations." said Patrick now.
Frederick then asked the question. "Is it that weird, that he is here. I mean, you did say that he is in the reserves, right?"
"He is not here as part of the army, that much is clear." said Robert. "We only see him in the kitchens. He is not taking any other part of the army business."
"I originally assumed he is a prisoner here, but then he would be locked somewhere. Or have some sort of supervision. He has none." He then grabbed his hair. "But then why be in the Tower every day. He does not work here."
"I see." Frederick said. He really did not, but he humored him.
"And there was that thing, when one of the new recruits tried to kill him. He was stopped, but not two hours later, the person was transferred away and we were told to ignore the accident."
"Was this the Oscar you mentioned?" he asked.
"No." said Patrick this time. "Oscar was a corporal here. According to the rumors, he was trying to be nosy and demanded the explanation for Lord Albert being here. It seems that after Lord Albert whispered something to him, he bleached, run away and quit the army."
"And yet, nobody knows what as said at the time." Robert complained now.
Patrick finished his plate. "I have better things to do, I am will take my leave."
Frederick did not want to be left with the Robert, so he hurried after him.
Patrick turned to him. "This is a frequent topic of the conversation between the bored mates, so be warned."
"But not for you?" asked Frederick.
Patrick shrugged. "Not for me."
I think the first inspiration came from the question about Albert's confinement in the Tower. Because multiple things indicate, that it was not an official punishment (Albert having a knife with him, unlocked doors, walking away and so on). But I also think that most people working at the Tower would not get explanation. So I figured that a fics in the style of About Edogawa would be appropriate here. I don't think I have reached this level, but hopefully somebody would still enjoy it.