“The best spice is love, indeed.”
“I’ve heard that before.”
“Now, without all the sugarcoating, I mean that one’s ability to present greatly affects the meal.”
“Yeah, that’s definitely not sugarcoating it…”
“Just a little pinch of love.”
“…Yeah, that does sound like what a presentation is.”
Youran fell silent.
She seemed to understand the conversation, but lacked the desire to learn from Sakura. However, if you thought about their relationship until now, it was a reasonable reaction. Taiyou knew all of this, hence why he intentionally said:
“Youran, learn from Sakura.”
He looked at Sakura.
“Can you make something right now?”
“Yes, there do seem to be enough ingredients. It’s just that doing so might disrupt the plans.”
“One look inside the refrigerator will tell you all you need to know. What’s in there is simply enough for what was planned. It’s your typical housewife refrigerator, skilled at getting by only with the minimum budget.”
“Yeah, that must be thanks to the triplets. They’re skilled at that sort of thing.”
“So I am not sure if I should…”
“No, I’ll take all the responsibility.”
Taiyou decided immediately.
“Then there is no issue. Well, apart from one thing…”
Sakura said, looking at Youran.
The problem, of course, was Youran’s hesitancy. So Taiyou decided to resolve that.
“Just learn, right here right now.”
“Yep, right now.”
Taiyou nodded, staring Youran dead in the eyes. He meant that she needed to quit dawdling and just get to it.
“…Okay, I’ll do it.”
Youran gave in, nodding.
And so Sakura and Youran headed for the kitchen. Taiyou finished the remainder of his toast, bacon, and eggs. He sipped black tea as he watched them.
If Kohaku were here, she would have probably made inquisitive comments, but right now, Taiyou’s thought process was exceedingly simple. As of late, he had begun to find himself enamored with the girls getting along together. The harem was taking gradual form, and he enjoyed seeing the six brides work together on various tasks.
Right now, there were two females here. He most certainly wanted to see them side by side cooking in the kitchen, so he gave Youran’s back a little push.
If Taiyou had been alone with Youran, he probably wouldn’t have said anything about this. It was enough just to see her following the recipe. There was no actual need for her to make a presentation.
“First, let us decide on what we will be making. Shingetsu-sama, based on the ingredients in this refrigerator, what do you think we can make?”
“Mm, that’s a bit on the difficult side. Although the base is set, you could also say that it makes the presentation difficult to set.”
“Now, if we think back to the buttered potato that you made earlier, that one is actually extremely easy to make a presentation with.”
“For example, what if you replaced butter with chocolate?”
The two of them were more harmonious than he had expected. Taiyou felt satisfied when he observed this.
Why did Sakura come here? He was sure that it was more than just to surprise him, but he didn’t find the motivation to think deeply about it.
After a bit, they returned. The two of them had aprons on, and Youran held out a plate. She placed it in front of Taiyou before adorning the top with a lotus flower.
“Chinese-style fried rice, I see.”
Taiyou said, looking at the mound on his plate.
“This gal decided it. Saying that fried rice is better for clearly displaying the presentation.”
Taiyou nodded. He wasn’t all that knowledgeable about cooking, but he was fairly confident that he understood the bit about fried rice being well-suited for displaying the presentation.
“Alright, guess I’ll dig in.”
He clapped his hands together before picking up the flower and eating a portion of the food.
At that moment, an indescribable taste coursed its way through his mouth.
In one word, it was a failure.
White rice, yellow egg, red ham- all the colors contrasted perfectly, but the taste was an absolute dud. A fiercely bitter taste was asserting its dominance.
“W-What do you think?”
Youran asked him timidly.
Taiyou nodded, using the flower to carry each piece of the rice into his mouth. Sakura had an astonished look on her face as she watched.
After he had finally finished it all…
“It was bad.”
“Ah, seriously? I thought so.”
“Yeah, it was kinda bitter. Not briny persay, but…hmm, what is this?”
“Well, I tried to add some seasoning as a substitute for salt…”
Youran put her two index fingers together, fidgeting.
“I see. It must not have been very fresh.”
“You know what the issue was this time around, right? So with the details fresh in your head, I say it’s best you use that failure to your advantage and make the next one.”
“That’s true, but…”
Youran faltered, her eyes asking if it was alright. Taiyou didn’t answer, looking back at Sakura.
“Sakura-san, can I get a refill?”
“Coming right up.”
“C’mon, don’t just stand there. Go on.”
He said, giving the empty plate back to Youran and sending her off to the kitchen.
Now then, what kind of surprise will come next? In a sense, he was quite excited.