After discussing with Mom, we decided to make truffles.
We’re making two kinds of truffles, one with raspberry puree, and another with marmalade.
We’ve been testing them out everyday until Valentine’s, improving on the recipe as we go along.
We’ve been so absorbed in our work that we barely notice whenever Dad gets home, making him feel lonely.
And now we’re proud to say that the truffles we made for Valentines is one of our best works.
We did keep a lookout for good ingredients too, but it looks like we hit just the right amount and mixture of ingredients that time. We may not be able to make something better than that.
I walk down the campus hallways while carrying what few remaining truffles I have. I sense something disturbing.
I’m sensitive to these things, so I enter a fighting stance and turn around. An image of Mizuhara with a dangerous-looking face enters my sight.
I immediately hide the truffles behind me.
「H-huh? Weren’t you going to Kanagawa today?」
For two whole weeks, he’s been persistently saying that he wants to make a day trip to look for chocolates he couldn’t order online.
He’s also said that he was going to buy grand prix chocolates after visiting the Valentines Chocolate Festival today.
「I was going to, but last night, my professor asked me to send him the latest statistical data for his academic meeting. Because of that, I’ve been holed up in the lab until now.」
I haven’t heard of students being tasked to gather data for academic meetings.
I thought he would feel proud about it, but he sounded irritated.
「So that’s why you looked like you were about to kill someone. I thought something bad happened.」
It’s because he didn’t get to buy his chocolates.
「I wasn’t directing it to you, but to the professor in his meeting in Yamagata.」
「Your dangerous vibes can reach all the way to Yamagata?」
He’s unusually obsessed with pastries. He must have been really pissed off that he didn’t get to eat his grand prix chocolates.
His eyes are scary.
「Ah, alright. You can have this. It’s meringue chocolat. I was going to give them to a friend…」
「I want the stuff you were trying to hide behind you.」
I wish he hadn’t seen it.
But I can’t let him have them.
I only have 5 left.
I grab the bag of chocolates tightly.
「It’s…… a gift from someone.」
I lie to him while looking away.
「It’s in your favorite Northern European double ziploc bag.」
He’s really sharp.
「…I made them in a hurry yesterday. I don’t think you should eat them.」
I take a step back, but he’s still staring at me.
Then he lets out a huge sigh.
「My grades may have fallen after this late semester test.」
He suddenly changes the subject.
「Huh? You told me that you know all there is to know, and that there was no need to study for stupid tests.」
He hangs his head and puts his hand on his forehead, looking troubled.
I can tell he’s trying to make a pose.
「I should have studied before the test after all. No, I was trying to. But a certain elf used up all of my precious study time.」
I know what he’s trying to say.
The danger lights in my head are flashing intensely.
「I took up my pen with the intention to study, but then a certain elf intruded, crying that she had no idea what the professor was saying, and she didn’t know any of the basics or theories.」
His monotony is amazing.
He doesn’t forget to include a sigh, but there’s no emotion behind his speech at all.
「Thus I got involved with an elf who complained that she didn’t know what to do with her life or in school.」
His eyes are half closed. Is he trying to look depressed?
He’s such a bad actor.
「I heard knocking on my lab door like a woodpecker while I was trying to study, and when I opened the door, a half-dead elf came in saying, I’m done for.」
It’s actually impressive how he can be so fake.
How far can he go with his obvious acting?
Mizuhara has been doing research on chocolates everywhere.
All his efforts have been focused on chocolates, using the internet to the fullest by searching for gourmet listing magazines and their locations.
I admit that I greatly affected his studies, but he’s definitely lying about his grades dropping.
「Sigh, I guess it’s the end of my smooth sailing life, thanks to a certain elf… no, never mind. I was the one who decided to help. I have only myself to blame even if my grades drop.」
「I’ve only been a hindrance to your research on chocolate!」
It’s obvious how he’s appealing to my debt to him.
「Give me the chocolates you’re hiding behind you.」
「That’s all you wanted?!」
It’s true that I couldn’t have gotten through the tests without Mizuhara’s help.
I read the textbook and my notes, but didn’t get any of it. I assaulted him as a last resort.
Confronted with a crisis, I quickly found Mizuhara on my first try, as if my sixth sense told me where he was.
「……You know~ an amateur’s masterpiece still can’t be compared to a professional’s work.」
Because I actually feel grateful to him, I feel bad when he blames me. He looked bothered, but still helped me with my studies until I got it.
He even made it easy to understand, saying that I have horrible memory.
I was going to repay this huge debt with snacks.
But I want these truffles.
I’ll try to divert him with the meringue chocolat.
「This is a popular product at the cake shop where Mom works. They’re sold in limited quantities on Valentines. Truly a rare piece of work.」
I’m giving him the hard sell.
「The meringue crust is flaky, and the chocolate is rich and soft. It’s really light, but the aftertaste of the chocolate lasts long. I definitely recommend it.」
「In that case, I’ll have it too.」
…In the end, he took both of them.
I wanted to kill the professor in Yamagata. I don’t know if my dangerous vibes will reach him, but at least I understand Mizuhara’s pain.
Mizuhara grabbed the chocolate that I showed reluctantly.
「I’m not worried about my grades. I’m getting my scholarship next semester.」
He scurried away after saying that.
I regret giving him all 5 chocolates.
I take out my phone and send him a message.
【What I said earlier was a lie! I didn’t just make it in a hurry!】
I can’t take it lying down if he eats it all in one gulp.
Those were my best chocolates. I take out the second and last bag inside my backpack. This bag was meant for me.
Initially, I saved the first bag for Arioka-senpai because he requested it.
I was on my way to give it to him when I saw Mizuhara.
Since I gave the first bag to Mizuhara, there is no choice now but to give the second bag of chocolates to Arioka-senpai.
I’m giving him 5, no, 3 chocolates.
I take out 2 of them and redo the ribbon on the box.
I perk myself up and head to our meeting spot.
The two of us, as well as Michel, are banned from entering the clubroom today.
The club members are bipolar on Valentines anyway, so I couldn’t wish for better.