「How refreshing to start the day with Noda raging towards you.」
「I heard that you went to Bûche de Stage with Michel!」
I ignore Arioka-senpai’s sarcastic remark and go straight to the point.
He responds half-asleep.
「You heard from the store manager? I wasn’t quite ready to believe it, but it seems that Michel was right. You made the Maman Cookies, Noda.」
I crumble at his words.
How did they find out so much?!
Why are you so sensitive to cookies, Michel?!
「Why did you go to Bûche de Stage?!」
Arioka-senpai unlocks the clubroom door, saying that it’s a long story.
I don’t want anyone else to find out, so I’m grateful for his discretion.
「I bought a bag of cookies as I felt a little hungry. I opened the bag to the sight of an unlucky NEET card. I bought another one, hoping my luck would change. This time it was a Working Poor card. I bought yet another and got a NEET card again.」
「You fell right into Mizuhara’s trap.」
I still don’t know how Mizuhara does it. He really knows his targets.
「I finally got a Normal Elf card on the fifth try. I stopped there, afraid of getting a NEET card again.」
He was satisfied with the Normal Elf. He’s timid in a weird way.
「But for some reason, the club members managed to get their hands on a cake that was obtainable only with an Elite card. I begged them to give it to me, and then I went to the clubroom with Michel to prepare for the Best Couple Contest.」
A special guest at the Miss Contest called for Kinoshita-san, and the other club members followed behind her.
The Miss Contest is an event that the club members are always excited about because cute girls are gathered there.
「I had difficulty in dealing with the cards that came with the cookies. I would probably be cursed with becoming a NEET if I threw them away. But I didn’t want to keep them either. In the end, I decided to put all the NEET and Working Poor cards into one bag of cookies, then gave it to Michel.」
「I thought cookies were a taboo!」
The leader himself broke his own taboo.
And he’s like a little villain, giving Michel all the bad cards.
「I was hungry, but it would have been hard to eat everything by myself. So I simply shared them with Michel.」
「Upon eating the cookies, Michel said emotionally that they Maman’s cookies. I managed to calm him down and take him to the Best Couple Contest, but he wouldn’t stop saying they were Maman’s cookies.」
Does Michel have a Maman Cookie Sensor in his tongue?
「We finally helped him patch things up with Kinoshita-san and cleared the tension between them. If Michel got hung up on the cookies, it would revert to the way it was again. So I did some research on the store that sold the pound cake while the Best Couple Contest was going on, and brought Michel there the next day. It would have calmed Michel down if the cookies were made by a middle-aged chef. But when we went there, we were told that the cookies were made by Noda Sagiri. Unbelievable.」
「It’s not unbelievable…」
「Your name never crossed my mind. I could never imagine you making cookies with such perfection.」
「I’m good at making snacks thanks to my mom. She’s a patissiere.」
I keep my voice low and monotonous.
Michel has already confirmed the fact that I made the cookies the first time.
「You should have contacted me first. I had to find out from Maruta-san.」
「Michel was confused too, and I wanted to save time. I told him to wait while I asked you first.」
Looks like he planned to look for me even if I hadn’t gone to him first thing in the morning.
「It was just on impulse.」
「Criminals often say that too.」
「I just wanted to share the cookies that I made pretty well.」
「Yet it became such a big deal.」
「What will happen with Michel and Kinoshita-san now that you know I made the cookies?」
That’s what I’m most concerned about.
As I stand there looking troubled, Arioka-senpai pats my head crudely as if he’s washing rice.
「It’s been on the news, and the Best Couple yesterday was The Prince and Miss Chocolat. It’s too late to tell anyone we have the wrong girl.」
「I’m not worried about that. No one will believe it, and I’m not planning on saying anything.」
The only problem is Michel’s feelings.
The cute, Maman-resembling girl who made the cookies is actually me, an ambisexual-looking girl.
I wonder what Michel will think about the fact that Kinoshita-san isn’t the girl he’s looking for.
「Should we say that there was not only a Miss Chocolat, but also a Mister Chocol?」
「Who’s Mister Chocol?! Also, it’s because of you and the club members overdoing it…」
I’m to blame for not coming forward about the cookies, but they’re also at fault for blowing up the matter and nominating Miss Chocolat on their own.
「It’s all right, Noda. Discuss it with Michel. It will work out surely………hopefully.」
「What’s with that sudden uncertainty?」
「Well… I mean, I don’t understand why Michel’s so obsessed with the cookies, you know~」
「You know~ it’s really not helping…」
「How does he know it’s your cookies? Did you make them French style?」
「I don’t know any French styles. I just made them normally.」
I let out a huge sigh.
I tidy my hair, which Arioka-senpai messed up.
「Well, I think it’s best to sort things out as soon as possible. I’ll summon Michel later, so you can have a talk with him.」
「You mean today…?」
「You shouldn’t postpone it.」
I wait gloomily and reluctantly for Michel in the cafe.
My classes end at 4 pm today, but Michel and Arioka-senpai finish their classes at 5 pm.
It’ll be awkward if it’s just me and Michel, so I ask Arioka-senpai to accompany us.
He hesitated, saying he didn’t want to get caught up in the middle of it, but I convinced him with a kick in the guts.
I took it out on him and threatened him at the same time.
I’m regretting it a little now.