「How should we thank Maruta-san?」
It’s been 2 days since the school festival.
Mizuhara is annoying when he’s holding a grudge, so I’m baking a waffle while discussing an appropriate gift for Maruta-san.
Pineapple sauce and custard cream, topped with whipped cream.
The waffle itself is bland, so it goes well with some sour pineapple sauce.
「Giving him snacks should be fine, right?」
Mizuhara finishes his plate in one gulp and sticks the plate out to me, urging me for the waffles.
「Nah, it’s a little weird to give snacks to a professional like Maruta-san. Any other ideas?」
「Hmm. How about some accessories to decorate his store? Like the little tree stumps in his store.」
「Accessories, huh. Yeah, that’s a good idea.」
I send a message to Chii-chan to accompany me with that, and send another message to Maruta-san asking about his schedule.
We need to give him the money for the pound cake sales too, so the sooner the better.
Maruta-san calls, perhaps because he has some spare time.
「Anytime is fine with me.」
「We want to thank you properly.」
「Please, don’t mention it at all.」
「But you’ve been of so much help to us.」
「It’s fine, really. I’m the one who should be thanking you. You help advertise the pound cakes, right? There’s already been a few customers from K University.」
「Wait, is that true?!」
The store’s name is printed below the pound cake.
Having repeat customers is to be expected, with the quality of the confectionery Maruta-san is making.
「They asked where the cookies were too. They probably thought the cookies came from here as well. Looks like you did a good job bringing out the unique taste of each type of cookie.」
It’s a little embarrassing to be complimented by a professional like that.
I deny his compliments politely.
「Oh, by the way, someone came asking about the cookies all of a sudden. I told him that they weren’t our products, and that Noda-san from K University made them. He was so shocked. He was a really handsome foreigner.」
My good mood dissipates in an instant, leaving my mind blank.
A really handsome foreigner???
「He asked if the name was Sagiri-san. Do you know this person?」
What’s going on? There’s only person who fits that description…
「The other person who was with him asked if it was the Amazonel Noda Sagiri. What’s that? Is that your nickname?」
Most likely, the karate club member who ridiculously called me an Amazonel is Arioka-senpai…
Maruta-san says I can go visit whenever, and hangs up the phone.
I heard someone calling for the manager over the phone, so they’re probably having a lot of customers.
「…Oh my God…」
「Hey, that’s rude. When something bad happens, it’s better to say, Oh my Gosh!」
「I don’t care about that!」
Is the handsome foreigner referring to Michel?
Did I ever sell him any cookies?
Also, I thought the club members were trying to avoid cookies.
「Mizuhara, did Michel buy any cookies from you?」
「No, he didn’t.」
Mizuhara has a great memory, and he couldn’t have mistaken Michel for anyone else.
「Though, the guy who forced you to the Best Couple Contest did buy some from me.」
「You mean Arioka-senpai?!」
「I don’t know the name. He was upset about getting NEET Elf cards, so he kept coming. I pitied him and finally sold him a bag of cookies with the Normal Elf card.」
「You should have more pity for him.」
Arioka-senpai fell right into Mizuhara’s trap.
He appears confident, but is actually kind of superstitious.
Whenever he’s ranked the unluckiest on a fortune telling TV program, he will find other fortune telling programs to improve his luck.
Especially before tournaments.
「So it was Arioka-senpai. But there’s no connection between the cookies and Maruta-san’s store, right?」
「No, I never gave him the Elite Elf card.」
「Then how… It can’t be!!」
I take out my phone and send a message to the club members.
It’s the 2 club members I gave the pound cake to, in order to chase them away.
「What’s up, Noda? I’m having a lovely time with my girlfriend right now.」
「That’s you fantasizing in your room.」
「What, how did you know! Where are you watching me from, you little~」
「I can tell without looking. And I don’t care what you’re doing right now. Remember the pound cake you bought from me? What happened to it?」
「Uh, huh? For some reason Arioka-senpai came and hounded me. He said that he was gonna become a NEET at this rate, and that he needed the Elite Cake to better his future. Some nonsense like that.」
I hang up right then and there.
I try to collect my thoughts.
Arioka-senpai bought the cookies, and got the pound cake too.
He went to Maruta-san’s store with Michel.
Michel was abnormally curious about the one who made the cookies.
I told Mizuhara not to tell Michel, but I didn’t tell Maruta-san.
Maruta-san told Michel that I made the cookies.
「…………Arioka-senpai bought the cookies and went to the store with Michel. What exactly happened? Did he find out that I made the cookies at the school festival as well as the Maman cookies?」
No, I’m jumping to conclusions.
The recipe for the Maman cookies that Michel caused a fuss over is different from the elf cookies.
Did he even eat my cookies in the first place?
Did Arioka-senpai give him the cookies he bought from Mizuhara?
But the club members made it a point to refrain from using the words cookies, Maman, and France in front of Michel and Kinoshita-san.
「Put some toppings on the waffle. There’s azuki beans and cream cheese, custard cream, marmalade and blueberries, strawberries, bananas as well as other fruits. There’s also frozen toppings in the fridge.」
「Do you have anything else to say?!」
「One waffle, Elf Special.」
「Not that! I’m talking about the Michel case and the possibility that he found out!」
I put some vanilla ice cream and fruits on top of the waffle, then decorate it with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
I scatter some almond chips and sprinkle some granulated sugar.
I put the plate in front of Mizuhara with a bang.
Mizuhara talks nonchalantly while eating the waffle.
「There’s no point in worrying about it now. Why don’t you ask the guy you call Arioka?」
「Yeah… You’re right…」
There’s no point in thinking about it. I’ll confirm the situation with Arioka-senpai first thing tomorrow morning.
「I could hear him over the phone just now. What does Amazonel mean?」
「A half-blood Amazoness and Neanderthal.」
「………Hmm. The Amazonian blood in you is probably thicker.」
「I don’t need such a detailed backstory.」
I sigh as Mizuhara asks for one more waffle.
I don’t feel like making any more.