「Atsuko, Nazuna, Mio」
Taiyou looked up surprised, no way, he never thought these women would show.
At this exercise festival, only 30% of the parents showed up to watch.
But even thought it was a day off, all those parents that did show did so at the crack of dawn.
And since it was a high school, there was a difference in commitment between those that came and didn’t, as the parents that didn’t come never did to things like this, or were late, or you couldn’t imagine them coming.
So when it was the middle of the morning, the mothers didn’t come. That’s why Taiyou thought they wouldn’t come that day.
Their real daughter Aoba thought the same.
You could see her standing on the blue tarp, surprised, the three mothers looking at her.
「Just as Atsuko said, since they’re having this event, we should at least show up to cheer them on.」
「Yes mother, but why from midday…?」
「Sorry, Aoba. I was feeling a little off this morning.」
「What? Are you okay?」
「Yes, quite fine, I’m always like this.」
Nazuna smiled fleetingly as Taiyou watched closely.
She was always like this since he met her, but this was the first time he’d seen her mention something about being sick.
Maybe if my wife’s someone was like her then…Taiyou thought that far, well he didn’t want to do anything wrong, so he shook his head and put his thoughts away for later.
Taiyou stood up and gave her his seat.
「Please, ma’am, sit right here.」
He let them sit in the place that his wife and them had grabbed under the cool shade of the tree.
Even thought it was October, Oritachi City still felt like summer.
The place that the wives were still sitting around he gave over to the mothers to sit on.
Atsuko and Nazuza sat down right where Taiyou had stepped away from, with Mio standing behind them.
Just as usual, the three ladies had no equality when seen from an outsider.
「Oh, looks like our stupid son is eating something nice.」
「We haven’t eaten though.」
Taiyou sat and grimaced facing Atsuko and Nazuna.
Atsuko was looking at the lunch boxes the wives had prepared.
There were enough for four there, the boxes and insides each being completely different in a line.
「What is this, they’re all so full.」
「Well, just enough for everyone here.」
Taiyou grimaced as he said this.
Well, not really, Taiyou said in addition. It would be a bit too much to explain everything.
However, Atsuko laughed through her now at the situation.
「Are you mocking us, young one? We know what’s going on here.」
「Know what’s going on?」
And they answered exactly in the way he was thinking.
「These lunch boxes were made only so the wives could feed a man.」
「How do you know? Is there something different about it?」
「Well, we know.」
The wives all said, however, only Mio made a somewhat indirect comment.
「「「Yes, we know.」」」
「Of course you do.」
「These are made from the heart, after all.」
「That’s not how I made mine though…」
Taiyou’s wives felt the same too. It seemed that only the tsundere Youran said differently, but Mio and the other women seemed to agree.
「So, stupid son, who will you eat from?」
Not which box, but who…
Atsuko’s question made Taiyou grimace again.
「I don’t know.」
「You don’t? Why not?」
「Honestly, no one told me who made what. I guess I just have to eat and compare.」
The standing Mio reacted to Taiyou’s words.
She flinched and furrowed her brow.
At the same time, Atsuko and Nazuna laughed. Then they smiled and looked at Aoba.
「Aoba, you thought this up.」
「How did you know?」
「What do they mean?」
「Time for some ‘box-tasting.’」
Atsuko said as she grabbed the lunch boxes and slapped them down all in a row.
「We did this many years ago, we would all make a lunch box, have someone taste it, and then try to guess who it was that made it.」
「We still do it sometimes. That’s why Aoba brought all of them.」
Taiyou seemed to understand their explanation.
He understood, and again made a pained smile.
「Is that so? But you can’t get us to understand something like that so abruptly.」
Atsuko, Nazuna, Mio.
All of them answering together.
「Yes, if this was what Aoba was intending…」
Mio put additional pressure on the situation.
And then Atsuko, adding on playfully, said to Taiyou.
「Mio will explain the whole process. With that done, we’ll be fine as if the lunches are tasted, their creators will be found.」
「Exactly as you’ve said.」
Atsuko said, and stood.
「Well then, fool of a son…」
「Are you ready?」
「You’re already going to be surrounded and cuddled by these girls right? We’ll cheer you on. And I’ll pay for everyone’s dinner too, so make time for it.」
Now Nazuna stood, and said in a quiet voice
「Mio said all that about us but, you only have to guess Aoba’s.」
Nazuna said, and Taiyou responded with a surprised face.
「No, I’m fine.」
「I think I or someone should guess who fixed the meal better, I guess.」
Nazuna was a bit taken aback, but Taiyou was ready to proceed with the guessing.