「Saa-chan… something wrong?」
There were leftover snacks that I made in excess, so I called my cousin Chii-chan.
Her real name is Onitsuka Chisato. She’s my uncle’s daughter, and she’s a year older than me.
Her place isn’t very close to mine, but it’s close to my school.
「Why do you ask?」
「You get so immersed in making snacks when something’s bothering you. It feels like you were being reckless if you made this much.」
「Come on. Tell me.」
Since Michel and Kinoshita-san started dating, Kinoshita-san has been coming to the karate clubroom to hang out.
When they heard that Kinoshita-san was coming, the club members started cleaning the place vigorously.
They were especially quick in trying to hide their porn books.
「Hey, Noda! Hide these somewhere safe for us!」
They handed the books to me all at once, so I carried the books to the student center saying I found them on the floor. They should be on the disposal shelf by now.
It’s still true that they’re somewhere safe.
That cleared up some space in the clubroom, and it stopped smelling bad.
I watched them as they frantically disposed of objects that didn’t belong to them and sprayed air freshener in the room.
「Now we can welcome Kinoshita-san.」
「Even we can do it if we put our minds to it.」
They’re keeping the room clean since Kinoshita-san is coming to the clubroom.
「That’s a good thing, but…」
The club members got pumped up just because a cute girl was coming to the clubroom.
It definitely affected me.
「It really feels great when there are gorgeous looking girls here!」
Kinoshita-san responded to the cheerful club members,
「W…well, but Noda-san is here too.」
The club members showered me with cold stares as if saying 「You, gorgeous?」
「Yui, Let me take you home~.」
Michel began escorting Kinoshita-san.
「That makes me happy. So who’s taking Noda-san home?」
As Kinoshita-san asked, they turned into surprised stares saying 「Eh? You need to be escorted?」
「Kinoshita-san, I have only one request for you. Say 『Do your very best and make a delicious meal』 to me. I’ll fly sky high just from hearing these words!」
Kinoshita-san responded to his request.
Her voice was so cute, it was almost as if there were heart marks at the end of each line.
「You came to me and pounded on my heart (v)」
「Noda-san is fine, too…」
「Nodaaa? ……Alright, try saying the line then.」
「DO YOUR VERY BEST, AND MAKE A, DELICIOUS MEAL」
「Whoooaaa! She just said she was gonna kill someone! It’s a murder message!!」
「Scaryyy! Noda’s scaryyy!」
「Tah~tadada~! It’s Noda’s 3 Minute Cooking! 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, CRAAASH!! The Destroyer Noda has sent yet another person to hell this week~ see you again next week! Tada~!」
Thus I bore with their vicious onslaught in the outdoor walkways.
Arioka-senpai tried to hold his laughter.
Kinoshita-san reprimanded the club members who unfairly took it out on me, telling me it was my fault they were scolded.
「At this point, I’m not expecting to be treated like a girl, but it’s excruciating to be compared to a cute girl like Kinoshita-san. She tried to defend me by saying that I’m a girl too, but that ended up causing a negative spiral as the club members denied it.」
「It’s not like I wish I was treated like a girl. It’s fine the way it is, but there’s something strange about Kinoshita-san’s way of saying they’re wrong. It’s as if it’s a little forced.」
「Haha~ it was premeditated.」
「She’s doing it on purpose.」
「On purpose? I don’t really think so.」
「She’s trying to give a good impression by defending you from the club members’ disgracing. You know, to show how nice she is.」
「I really don’t think that’s it though.」
Kinoshita-san has been talking to me a lot, probably because it’s hard being around all the guys.
It bothers me a little when she tells me she feels secure with me around.
「In the first place, you’re the one who made the cookies that Michel ate. Yet she took advantage of the situation, deceived him by making the cookies with the cookie sheets she probably bought in town, and even pretended to be Chocolat. She’s wicked alright.」
「But that actually helped me.」
It was a pretty huge deal looking for the modest and ideal Miss Chocolat. It would be kind of awkward if they found out it was me.
「Saa-chan… you like Michel-kun though.」
It’s something I spilled out to Chii-chan a while back. Looks like she remembers.
「I wouldn’t say that… I just think he’s a nice guy.」
One night last year, we had a test of courage. It was a joint event with a karate club from another university, and I was the odd one out.
「Sorry, Noda. You’re on your own.」
And so I went on the test alone.
I was fine since I wasn’t afraid, but Michel hurried back and offered to go with me, even though he was ahead.
「That… felt great…」
「Then you should’ve claimed your identity as Chocolat. You could prove it by making the same cookies.」
「Nah, I can’t. Kinoshita-san is the ideal type of girl for Michel after all. Even if I made the cookies, I still couldn’t live up to that.」
Chii-chan let out a huge sigh. Then she turns to me and lets out another sigh all over me.
「You should put some effort into fashion, Saa-chan. Those shirts won’t do.」
「Oh… are they really that bad?」
I remember what Mizuhara said, and confirm if it’s true.
「Obviously. You’re showing a low sense of fashion by wearing the same shirts and pants. No wonder you’re not treated like a girl.」
「Like I said, I don’t really care about that.」
「You should. It’s also the reason you like Michel-kun. No one treats you like a girl, so you got all excited when he actually did for once.」
「Uh… that… might be true…」
「You won’t have a good love life if you start falling for every guy who treats you like a girl. …Alright, I’ll help you out here.」
「…What are you… intending to do, if I may ask?」
Chii-chan gets fired up for some reason, paying no attention to my attempt to hide my depression from getting hit where it hurts.
She’s like a big sister who loves being in charge, and has taken care of me since we were young.
She also tends to charge in the wrong direction, so I have to be careful about that.
「First up, shopping. Now’s the perfect time since things are starting to go on sale. Are you busy during summer break? Do you need to go to karate club everyday?」
「Summer break, huh~. It’s been difficult going to club lately. Although I tend to go in the same direction towards the karate dojo during summer break, I don’t plan on going to club as much. Everyone’s going out to have fun anyway, so I doubt they’ll have a lot of club meetings. Besides that, I’m planning to work part time. That’s about it.」
「Looks like you’ll have some free time. Alright, we’ll spend the summer seeking fateful encounters through blind dates.」
「Huh? …Wait… Uh… Blind dates?」
「Yup. Blind dates are where people look for romantic encounters, and that’s where the guys will be, looking for girls to date. Of course, they’ll treat you like a girl too, without exception.」
「………I have a bad feeling about this.」
「Well of course nothing’s gonna come of it if you don’t put on makeup or nice clothes. That’s where Kinoshita Yui’s got it. Clothes and makeup that match her. That’s something you gotta work out on your own.」
Chii-chan is using her phone while mumbling something to herself.
Looks like she’s checking some information about sales in town.
Mizuhara gave a harsh criticism about my shirts, so I was actually thinking about buying new ones too.
If Chii-chan is coming along, it’ll be easier to choose what to buy, and she’ll help look for the good deals too.
「But man, you sure made a lot of snacks. It’s not just the quantity, but also the variety.」
「I guess I was trying to relieve all the stress from tests and other things at once.」
「But isn’t that still a lot? You’re trying to keep it a secret from your friends at school too.」
「Yeah. But recently, I met a guy who loves sweets so much he could spend his whole life eating them. I thought it would’ve taken from your share, so I put them all in a few bags in a hurry.」
「You make snacks when you’re stressed. I see. Yay stress.」
I stole a madeleine he had been hiding, as payback for saying something so irritating and stress inducing.
「Heh! That’s great. You only talk to me about snacks, Saa-chan. ……We’ll go shopping next week, so leave a day open.」
Chii-chan takes the bill to the cashier.
She often treats me to meals as thanks for my snacks.
I feel bad because all I did was give her leftover snacks, but she says 「I really like your snacks, so bring more next time.」
It honestly makes me happy.
Now that I think about it, after I brought him a whole bunch of snacks, Mizuhara gave me some money in the envelope.
He told me to buy some shirts with the money.
I kicked him for harping about the shirts.