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Translator notes: This chapter might makes more sense after reading this article. https://medium.com/story-of-eggbun-education/what-the-autumn-season-means-for-japanese-people-250c72ecc0a8
「It’s autumn, huh.」
「Isn’t it winter already? So cold.」
「Talking about autumn, what do you think of, senpai?」
「Of course it’s autumn of reading.」
I finally started reading the books I bought at Jimbocho last time.
It’s nauseating to have the books I haven’t read piling up that much. But even so, I’m happy being able to drown myself in reading them. I also brought two books in my bag today.
But because there is Kouhai-chan in front of me, I don’t feel like reading even a single book.
「No, it should be the autumn of appetite!」
「How about the sports?」
「Didn’t we just have an athletic meet a while ago?」
「But you also eat everyday, you know.」
「If you say it like that, senpai is also reading every day, aren’t you?」
While having those pointless argument, the morning wind blows through the train.
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What I want to talk about is not books or sports, but foods.
「It’s autumn, autumn.」
「Why are you promoting autumn that much anyway?」
「I have something I want to ask.」
Well, it’s not really something important, though.
I just thought that I should ask this before autumn ends.
「Don’t you always have something to ask?」
Now that I think about it, I always started talking about something relevant to my question of that day.
「Is there anything wrong with that?」
「I didn’t say that it’s wrong.」
When I tried to ask a question that I have been preparing since yesterday, senpai stopped me.
「I’ll guess. It’s that, isn’t it?」
Apparently, he is going to guess what my question is.
「It’s about『autumn of appetite』, right? Autumn’s taste, right? Then it’s already clear.」
Was it too easy to understand? Well, fine.
「The War of Mushroom and…」
「Yes, yes. Your answer is correct, no need to emphasise it, senpai.」
「What do they call take no ko[1. It’s the name of a snack brand in Japan] in English? Bamboo baby?」
「It’s regrettable that you can’t use ‘bamboo boy’ here. It sounds better.」
Saying so, senpai started to search it on his smartphone.
「Hee, they are called as ‘Bamboo Shoot’, or ‘Bamboo Sprout’.」
Bamboo shoot, huh. I see.
It’s unexpectedly regrettable that senpai’s「baby」also can’t be used.
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「So, it is ‘The Great Battle between Mushroom and Bamboo’, huh?」[2. A battle between two brands of snack from the same company, ki no ko and take no ko. They’re both the same, just the name and shape is different xD https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%81%8D%E3%81%AE%E3%81%93%E3%81%9F%E3%81%91%E3%81%AE%E3%81%93%E6%88%A6%E4%BA%89]
「Yes.『Today’s question』. Which one do you prefer, ki no ko (mushroom) or take no ko (bamboo shoot)?」
If she simply told me to choose on「the great war of mushroom and bamboo」, it would point out to the chocolate brand, yet she didn’t do that.
「There are a lot of mushroom, you know. Matsutake, Shiitake, Maitake, Enokitake, Eryngii, and then…」
The moment I said that silly jokes, Kouhai-chan realized her blunder.
「That’s unexpected, senpai.」
「Aren’t you too unguarded these days? Anyway, I prefer bamboo shoot. That crispy texture is simply irresistible.」
「Eryngii is also crunchy and delicious, you know?」
「The question is different, though?」
「Well, that’s true.」
Kouhai-chan claps her hands.
「Let’s leave that aside. Which one does senpai prefer,『Ki no Ko no Yama』or『Take no Ko no Sato』?」
「I’m choosing『Ki no Ko no Yama』.」
「That one has more chocolate after all.」
Kouhai-chan in front of me groans.
「『Today’s question』. Kouhai-chan, which one do you prefer, ki no ko no yama or take no ko no sato?」
「There are no other choice but take no ko.」
「Take no ko is considered as a cookie. That is their foundation.」
「But ki no ko is considered as a cracker, you know? Doesn’t that makes ki no ko more delicious?」
「No, it’s take no ko.」
No good. Our basis is already different from the start.
「First, doesn’t take no ko has more word count than mine? It’s harder to say, naturally making it worse.」
「『Ki no ko』has six syllables, and『take no ko no sato』has seven syllables. It connects with Japanese seven-and-five syllables, so it’s better.」
「Bamboo shoot is not perfect yet, though? It still needs to be a bamboo. But mushroom is already at their completed form.」
「But I think there’s no mushroom that is bigger than bamboo shoot, senpai.」
「How about Polyporaceae?」
A mushroom that sticks on the tree, with flat surface.
「But that one is so tough that it’s inedible, though?」
Oi oi, you know it well, huh.
「It is used as traditional medicine in China. They’re good for the body.」
「It has no relation with chocolate, senpai.」
「Whatever. What I want to emphasise is that ki no ko is better than take no ko in any case.」
Even though both of us have a long dispute, I was unable to convince Kouhai-chan at all.
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「I don’t think this war will ever reach a conclusion, senpai.」
Getting off the train, I turned my face towards senpai’s direction.
「It will be bad if this war got settled, though. Especially for Meiji [1. The company name.]」
「Well, that’s right, but…」
When I swept my eyes to the shops in front of the station, I saw a shop with『Ki no Ko』and『Take no ko』arranged inside.
There should still be some time before the class starts. Even though I just ate my breakfast, this should be alright, right? Thinking so, I bought it.
「This is a missionary work.」
I said, trying to hide my embarrassment as I toss the chocolate into senpai’s mouth.
You know you can be a little bit sweeter towards me right, senpai.
The things I knew about my senpai 54
It seems like he prefers ki no ko.