Chapter 1: Part 4
Friday, October Sixth. The school festival was one day away.
My home was a place that provided me with peace of mind, and for a zombie like me, my room in particular was a paradise in which I could just lazily pass the time.
However, today I had no time to relax, but spent the entire day finishing this sign.
It was soon ten in the evening, and the sun had completely set. Honors students like Hiramatsu were probably already asleep, but a zombie like me didn’t feel like sleeping at all. Usually, I would stay up until five in the morning and then sleep at school. At night, I would usually be free to stay up watching late-night TV with Yuu, or go out hunting Megalo.
So really, I welcomed an honest task like this.
Today after school, Hiramatsu had helped out with the sign again, but we couldn’t finish and I ended up bringing it with me to finish up at home.
Ugh… I really wanted to punch the guy who had the brilliant idea to make this sign so complicated…
But it looked like I would make it in time. I really had to treat Hiramatsu to something the next time I saw her… I gave a yawn and stretched.
Needing a distraction, I headed for the living room.
Getting to the first floor hallway, I happened to bump into Sera, who was wearing a casual outfit composed of a knitted turtleneck, shorts, and tights.
The long beautiful hairs in her ponytail were colored raven black. You could call her face cute or beautiful, and her hands were pale and slender.
There was no way such a beautiful being could be human. And in this case, that expression actually wasn’t too far off. She was a vampire ninja, and was actually closer to a vampire… well, or you could say she was closer to a demon.
Her full breasts were resting on top of her crossed arms, and Sera clicked her tongue.
“I was just about to go upstairs to get you.”
“So why did you have to click your tongue?”
“I was just thinking about how I wasted my time for your sake… and it naturally came out.”
Saying that, Sera turned heel and went back into the living room. I followed her.
Oh? All three of the girls were here. That was quite a rarity for this time of night.
“What are all three of you doing here?”
Making a late-night snack. = “Ehehe~. Tonight Yuu tried cooking~~!!”
Seriously? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?!
Yuu just continued looking in the direction of the TV, her silver hair fluttering as she put her favorite teacup on the table and passed me her memo pad.
Her silky silver hair fell straight down to her waist, and her vast blue eyes seemed to just suck me in. Her delicate body was wrapped in a knight’s plate armor and gauntlets.
Her face, completely devoid of any emotion, looked up at me.
This very mysterious, strange girl’s name was Eucliwood Hellscythe, and she had come from the Underworld.
There was a big round plate on the table, and on the plate were three sheets of okonomiyaki (1). Beside the plate there was mayonnaise, a tube of steak sauce, dried seaweed, and a bag of bonito flakes. This was… a late-night snack… right?
Also, what was this rainbow-colored creamy-looking stuff here?
Was this a “well it’s okonomiyaki, so just have it however you want” kind of situation? (2)
“What’s up with this food… it’s just a pancake but it tastes kinda strange…”
This seriously looked like a pancake to Haruna? There was green onion and shrimp in it though…
Haruna put her knife and fork to use as she ate the okonomiyaki.
Instead of pouring it on top, she poured some steak sauce in a small dish. First, she tried the okonomiyaki with the sauce. Then, with mayonnaise. Then, she tried it with a bit of both… and like that she went on trying a bunchof things.
So this is how she investigated new foods she wasn’t familiar with…
“Is it good?”
I sat next to Haruna and asked her.
Haruna had her cheeks stuffed full of okonomiyaki and was reaching for her next bite.
“Ish nyah bahd.”
Looks like she was trying to say “it’s not bad.” For someone as arrogant and proud as Haruna to say that, this food must have been delicious indeed.
“Hmm, let’s see then…”
I hummed a bit as I reached my chopsticks out for a piece of okonomiyaki.
“Hey, stop! Ayumu’s piece is over there!”
Over there? But there’s nothing over…
“Ah! Don’t tell me this rainbow-colored cream thing is…”
“It’s the okonomiyaki I made. I grilled it but for some reason it never hardened.”
“You probably tried to make it in some strange way again, didn’t you?”
Sera looked like a Vadra Yaksa (3) with that testy look on her face. She spoke quietly but it was clear she was angry.
“How rude… the way you say that makes it sound like I’m always making things in strange ways.”
That’s exactly what I’m saying. But I was too much of a coward to say that out loud.
“Come on, we left all this food over for Ayumu’s sake.”
“Haruna is quite kind. She’s always leaving her share for Ayumu.”
She’s just running away, isn’t she? Sera should seriously cut it out and realize how dangerous her own food was.
“I’ve always wanted to ask, but has Sera ever tasted her own cooking?”
“Of course I have.”
She has?! And wow, she’s still alive!
“You tasted this and it’s still like this?!”
Haruna’s mouth thinned into a triangle and she shouted.
“No, I haven’t tasted this one. Unfortunately… I tasted my cooking once before, and the flavor was so beautiful that I fainted.”
Flavor was beautiful? = “Heyy, oniichan. Did she just say ‘flavor was beautiful?’ Is she an idiot?”
Yuu was completely dazed. Well, Yuu always looked that way though.
“I don’t know what you put in there, so I’m pretty grossed out by it.”
It was rare to see Sera blush, but she flushed red at Haruna’s words.
“H-How rude! I didn’t use any artificial coloring!”
Honestly, I would have felt better if she did…
What did you put in then? = “Geez~~ what did you put in this thing~~?”
“I put heart into it… is what I should say here, right?”
So she crammed in all the negative emotions running rampant in this world?!
“I mixed that with wheat flour and made an okonomiyaki meuniére.”
You made a meuniére?! You took something that already has lots of flour in it, and then covered it with more flour, sautéed it in butter, and then topped it with lemon juice?
It’s fine if I stop, right? I already did my best to retort to all her comments. So I don’t have to eat it anymore, right…?
“And then, for the main dish…”
There was a stone on a hotplate. I heard a sizzle and some smoke rose up from it.
“And what is this?” At this point, you couldn’t blame me for sounding a bit like a robot. From Haruna’s perspective, there probably wasn’t much left to say once you started bringing a “main dish” into a late-night snack.
“It’s a stone grill…”
Stone grilled what?! When you served “stone grilled X,” the important part was the “X,” wasn’t it?!
“Please don’t underestimate me. If I stopped there, then this would only be cooking.”
In a sense, I could say I was completely full! I really didn’t need any more surprises past this!
Sera reached out with her chopsticks and grabbed what looked like a dumpling. She stuck the dumpling onto the stone.
And then, I heard a small pop!, after which the dumpling turned black.
“This is… grilled charcoal.”
“Are you an idiot?”
Today, I sent the usual scornful look that Sera usually gave me right back at her.
As a result… one of the dumplings which had already turned completely into charcoal was tossed into my mouth, and in the next moment, I foamed at the mouth as if I had swallowed a huge piece of soap, and then I collapsed.
“So, Ayumu, did you finish your homework?”
Haruna didn’t seem to care about the food anymore, and asked me a question a nosy mother might ask. She was probably talking about that sign I was making.
“N-Nah, I’m not done yet.”
I forced my body up and spoke in a feeble voice.
“I’ll help out, so get it done soon.”
“I don’t need help.”
I will also help.
“It’s fine. I’m almost done anyways. But thanks.”
I gave Yuu a smile, and Yuu squeezed my hand. So cute! Ever since she had come back home, Yuu has just been so amazingly cute!
“Well then! You can help me out!”
“Well, I mean… doesn’t the wall in Ayumu’s classroom look a bit boring? So I was thinking we could put up all these monster drawings.”
“The school festival is tomorrow, you know? It’s a bit late-“
“That’s what I’m saying! You all should help out too! There are great monsters out there too!”
I see. So she wanted to put up portraits like the ones in the music room. That’s what she means, right? I finally understand her.
“That actually sounds kind of interesting. Let’s definitely try it out.”
Sera also seemed to be more into this idea than I would have thought. Yuu also picked up her ballpoint pen and seemed to be filled with motivation.
“Alright, I’m gonna go get my sketchbook then!”
Haruna had gotten into a smooth rhythm, and cleaned up the hotplate and the “Stone Grilled Whatever, Grilled Charcoal Version.” In the end, I didn’t get to have any of Yuu’s okonomiyaki, did I… maybe I’ll try to get some in secret later.
(1) A Japanese style pizza/pancake.
(2) Okonomiyaki literally means “grilled how you like.”
(3) Something something Buddhism something something.