「Come, Aoba, open your mouth」
Nighttime, the dining table of the Miyagi house.
Taiyou, Aoba, Atsuko, and Nazuna were at their seats as Mio in her maid outfit served them. It was an abundant scene at the Miyagi household.
Even from Taiyou’s perspective, he felt like he was growing used to it.
During that time, he was feeding Aoba the things he had piled on his plate.
What was currently on the table for a hors d’oeuvre was dry-cured ham, the first portion of the cuisine.
The maid Mio was flawless in the way she softly put it on the table and arranged it, and for a moment Taiyou felt excited like he was at a high-class restaurant, but he didn’t have the courage to put it to his mouth.
……As long as there were no food-tasters.
「Eh? Mouth? Eh?」
「Here, say “Ahhh”」
Taiyou brought the ham with a fork stabbed in it before her. He was trying to get her to eat it by saying the old “Ahhh” phrase.
Of course, Aoba was befuddled by it.
「Wh-What’s come over you, Natsuno-kun?」
「I’m gonna feed you, now come on」
「N-No, I’m fine. That’s just embarrassing」
「You don’t have to be embarrassed though. C’mon」
Taiyou further urged the reddened Aoba.
After briefly looking back-and-forth at Taiyou’s face and the ham, she gathered her resolve and sunk her teeth into it with a *chomp*.
「Is it good?」
She had said that she wasn’t sure about the taste, but there didn’t seem to be any poisonous sleeping drug slipped in, so he relaxed.
Stabbing the fork into the ham, this time Taiyou fed himself.
「What’s wrong? You still want some?」
「N-Nah. It’s not like that, but…」
「……Mio-san, some soup」
「……It is a green pea potage」
After the hors d’oeuvre, a soup plate arranged with potage was brought out.
It was a course with strained green peas, stimulating one’s appetite.
Just like earlier, he took some with a spoon, putting it in front of Aoba.
「Yeah, here, ahhh」
Her face decisive, Aoba put her mouth to the spoon.
「Is it tasty?」
「……I’m not good with those sorts of things」
「That right? Ah, but this is tasty. Not only are the ingredients good, but the flavor really shows you how skilled the person who made it is」
There hadn’t been any issue with Aoba eating it, so Taiyou relaxed and put the potage to his mouth.
He had feared that there might have been a sleeping drug mixed in, but if weren’t for that, the ham and whatnot that Mio had cooked was very much so delicious.
Lately, he had been going out with Kohaku, Youran, and the like, and this was a taste that outdid the high-quality restaurants they had gone to.
「It is delicious, Mio-san」
「……I am grateful for the compliment」
「Nacchi, whaddya think about that？」
「Shall we not observe a bit longer？」
「I’ll say. I just began thinking that way too」
Atsuko and Nazuna were whispering to each other about something.
Guessing they were up to no good again, Taiyou decided to not loosen his guard.
And like that, with every part of the full-course meal that Mio brought out, he always made sure to have Aoba test before tasting it himself.
Since the women didn’t stop her, he thought it was alright, but he did so regardless.
「But wow, Mio-san’s cuisine is seriously good. This is good enough to easily make it into restaurants」
「Well of course. It’s Mother-sama’s cuisine after all」
「Just by saying that, I can feel myself being persuaded. That’s amazing」
Taiyou said while smiling.
「Hey, but does that mean in other words that you haven’t eaten home cooking?」
「Ngh……No, that’s not true. Cause Mother-sama’s good at everything from the east to the west. The osechi that she made for this year’s New Year’s Day and whatnot was seriously outstanding. I have pictures saved of it, so I’ll show you later」
「Really……That is so cool. Do you make it together with her? Ah, guess I’ll eat this too」
「Please do……Namnam. Usually Mother-sama won’t let me be in the kitchen. I do occasionally make sweets with her, but I don’t think I’ve made cuisine other than in home economics」
「Natsuno-kun, would you prefer a girl who can cook？」
Aoba said, looking up at him.
There was some sauce on her mouth, so he wiped it with the ball of his finger, licking it.
「You’re fine as you are, Aoba. If you can’t do it then I don’t mind if you stay that way. After all, at our house we have someone who can seriously cook well, so it might be nice to leave the cooking to her, just like at your family’s house」
「Yeah, you’re right」
Taiyou and Aoba were looking at Mio at the same time, the same person’s face popping into their heads.
That was how they conversed, all the while having each other try eating the course meals.
Taiyou suddenly realized something.
He had constantly been talking with Aoba, but the three mothers there were hardly……no, they weren’t participating in the conversation at all.
Wondering what had come over them, he looked at them.
Taiyou was perplexed at what he saw.
Atsuko was sulking with her wineglass tilted, facing far into next week. Mio was making the kind of hateful face that could kill someone, and Nazuna was further away.
「What is the matter？」
「Hey, stupid son」
「Give it a rest, you punk」
Taiyou wondered what she was saying all of a sudden.
「Where did that come from?」
「I’m saying to not flirt so damn much at someone else’s house」
「Flirt……but I wasn’t――」
When he retorted, Atsuko looked coldly at him as she stabbed a fork through the main dish meat, holding it out to Nazuna.
「Is it good？」
「Yes. Mio-san’s cooking is tasty as always」
「I am grateful for the compliment」
「It’s good? Then I guess I’ll try some too」
「Oh dear, an indirect kiss」
「Ohhh, how rude of me」
「I did not realize it either」
The three mothers had begun a skit all of a sudden.
After acting it out with a satirical tone, everyone looked at Taiyou simultaneously.
Taiyou scratched his cheeks.
The three mothers’ skit was embarrassing to watch, but he could tell that was what he had done.
Unexpectedly, he had indeed been flirting in front of the mothers.
Looking at Aoba, she had also seemingly only just realized that, her face becoming a deep red.
「Yeah, I will do that」
The three mothers vaguely spoke, making faces of resignation all at once.
「So once you’ve finished eating, hurry up and get lost, ya stupid son」