Chapter 3: Part 4
After that, we had to go through three stores before finally finding the stuffed horned owl. I really didn’t expect it to take this long; by that time it was already 9 in the evening. Feeling like we should also make it up to the exhausted Orito somehow, we ended up going to a rotary sushi restaurant.
“I knew we were visiting a sushi restaurant, but what is this? Is this one of those ‘rotary sushi’ restaurants?”
Saras was so high society that she probably always ate at famous sushi restaurants, so it seemed like this was her first trip to a rotary sushi. How bourgeois of her.
We were led inside and the six of us sat at a long bench.
Hiramatsu and I were seated furthest in, which means that we were probably the ones responsible for grabbing the plate off the conveyor belt.
“Hoshigawa-san, is this your first time at a rotary sushi? Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed at all~~.”
Mihara, was sitting next to me, teased Saras a bit.
“I don’t think it’s that surprising.”
Next to Saras, Orito sat down adjacent to the aisle and put all the bags he was carrying onto the floor with a sigh. He really looked tired.
“She does look like she would be eating at all the expensive restaurants…”
There was a hint of jealousy in Mihara’s voice. Saras let out a small chuckle.
“I will not deny that, but I can eat anything. Even the wild grass that grows next to the road.”
“Ah, we did do some training like that, didn’t we. Getting shoved off into the wilderness and told to survive with just a knife.”
Tomonori had her usual happy expression on as she thought back.
Wait, was that really okay? Talking about their ninja training out in the open like that.
“Liar. There’s no high schooler in the world who goes off and does weird war training stuff like that.”
Mihara and Orito both laughed.
“I’m being serious! I’m really good at survival games like that. Right, Saras-… erm, I mean Hoshigawa.”
“Who knows. Don’t look at me.”
Saras probably didn’t want any normal people knowing that she was a ninja, so she swiftly swept Tomonori’s statement under the rug.
“So, what are we eating?”
Saras tried to change the subject.
“Well, first, pass me the murasaki.”
Orito looked really alarmed. I also had no idea what they were talking about.
“… She is talking about the soy sauce.”
Hiramatsu seemed to understand. Ah, so we were using specialized sushi lingo then. Ugh, so difficult to understand…
“Oh. I thought you had seen a demon slayer or something. You scared me there.”
I decided not to ask what he was confusing things with and passed the soy sauce to Saras. (1)
“So, if we’re at a rotary sushi, what exactly rotates?”
“Ah, you see, there’s this conveyer belt here which goes around the entire restaurant, and the plates circle around on it.”
“Plates?” Saras cocked her head to the side, looking a bit dubious.
“Ah, right. At normal sushi restaurants the food comes on wooden planks, doesn’t it.”
Tomonori fidgeted her hands back and forth, trying to imitate the geta wooden planks you would find in Edo-style sushi restaurants.
“Anyway, just wait. The sushi will come rolling around…”
“It’s not coming.”
The conveyer belt just sadly rotated without any sushi on it. What was the meaning of this? Maybe I should call over a waiter.
“Ah, Aikawa. Over there.”
Tomonori tapped me on the shoulder. It seemed like she had realized something.
I followed her lead and raised myself up, taking a good look towards the other side of the conveyer belt.
And then, I quickly pulled myself back down. On the other side was…
“Come on, come on, more more more! Don’t think you can fill my genius belly with just that!”
A girl with an ahoge was bouncing in her seat on the other side. She needed a lesson in manners…
“Haruna, please sit still.”
A ponytailed girl admonished her, almost like a mother. Next to her sat a silver-haired girl wearing a suit of plate armor.
Indeed, my own home’s freeloaders were right there. They had finished working on the manuscript, so they had probably decided to go shopping in Harajuku, where the youth of Tokyo gathered, and now they were here enjoying a sophisticated meal.
This was bad. Haruna still believed in Santa Claus, so I couldn’t let her see the Christmas presents we had bought.
“Let’s make an order!”
Tomonori leaned forward and pushed the call button on the intercom. A lot of recent rotary sushi restaurants let you order using a touch panel, but it seems that here you ordered directly using the intercom.
“What would you like to order?” A voice came from the intercom.
“Chawan mushi please!” (2)
Tomonori shouted loudly. Hey, don’t make so much noise. They’re going to realize we’re here.
Everyone ordered what they wanted, and after a few minutes what we ordered began to roll towards us on the conveyer belt.
The message “your order is in the yellow plate” soon displayed on our intercom screen.
The yellow plate on the conveyer belt also had a “customer order” sign stuck to it.
I see. So that plate contained the food we had asked for.
“Hm, this reminds me quite a lot of nagare soumen.” (3)
Saras mumbled that. It was her first time seeing a rotary sushi at work. And yeah, now that I think about it, I’ll admit that maybe this kind of system was based on nagare soumen.
Haruna didn’t end up snatching up our order, possibly because Sera was there to stop her.
Not good. I couldn’t stop thinking about what was happening on the other side of the conveyer belt.
Oh, Haruna seemed to have just pushed the call button.
“What would you like to order?”
“A martini for table eight.”
Martini?! What the hell? What kind of bar were we supposed to be in?!
A waiter came over to our table, holding onto something.
“This is from the customers over there.”
We were table eight?! Crap, it looks like we were completely found out.
But, we were also all high school students, so I refused the martini.
“Orito. Just try to keep the horned owl stuffed animal hidden. I’m going to give that to Haruna as Santa later.”
But it didn’t seem like Orito was listening to me.
I slipped under the table and reached into one of the paper bags at Orito’s feet. I found the plastic bag with the owl in it and stuffed it as deep into the bag as it would go.
The paper bag swelled up. But at least like this, nobody should be able to figure out what was inside. Ugh, the things I have to do…
When I lifted my head, I saw thighs, thighs, thighs in front of me.
I gulped, and stared at the beautiful thighs in front of me that were peeking out from the girls’ skirts.
Saras uncrossed and recrossed her legs in the opposite order. I could swear I just caught a glimpse of her panties there.
To think there was such a paradise waiting for me right here…
“Mmm, so Haruna-sensei still believes in Santa Claus.”
“Fufu… she has… her cute side too..”
Their kneecaps squirmed around. This was bad. Bad bad bad. I’m going to turn into a complete pervert down here.
Putting an innocent expression on my face, I retreated from the heaven that existed under the table.
Mihara, who was a lover of cute things, looked lovingly over at Haruna on the other side of the conveyer belt.
“I see. That’s why Aikawa was so desperately looking for a stuffed animal.”
Stop smiling at me like that.
“Don’t you dare let Master find out that you’re Santa! You better make her happy!”
Stop talking like you’re some overly considerate middle-aged fishmonger. Haruna’s going to hear you!
“The sushi… seems to be coming.”
“Ohh! Aikawa! Hurry hurry!”
Yeah yeah. Urged on by Tomonori, both Hiramatsu and I started to grab sushi from the conveyer belt and arranged it on the table.
“This is that place, right?! The sushi place where you can order anything?!”
Tomonori quickly began to eat her tuna which she had doused with the dressing she had brought along.
“Yup, it is. We’re at the Funny Weird Rotary Sushi. No returns accepted.”
Funny weird rotary sushi? What the hell was that? Ah, I guess like the martini we had gotten a bit ago, you could order really weird things here?
“… I… wanted to come here once… maybe… we should order something weird?”
We might’ve been surrounded by pretty girls here, but they were the usual suspects so it wasn’t all too exciting for Orito probably. Definitely not anything to get worked up over.
He also didn’t seem to realize that Haruna and the others were here. Well, if I mentioned to him that Sera was here he’d probably go back to his old self, but there was nothing in the world more annoying than his old self so I’ll restrain myself.
“Ohh, the ootoro is so good…” Mihara let out a shiver.
“Yes… it’s… delicious…”
Hiramatsu smiled, her smile partially covered by a hand she was using to politely cover her lips as she chewed. When I saw that smile though, I knew it had been worth it to come.
I poured myself some tea as I glanced over the menu. I really was impressed at how many sushi toppings they had on offer here.
The one topping that most caught my eye though was “wasabi eggplant.”
I assumed that would be sushi topped with pickled eggplant… but there was a little smiley face printed next to the menu item. That mark meant that the item was child-friendly and had no wasabi.
Wasabi eggplant without any wasabi… what the hell was that supposed to be?! Well, no, I got what they meant. There was probably some wasabi flavoring on the pickled eggplant, but there wasn’t any actual wasabi spread on the sushi rice.
… But was it really necessary for them to keep that wasabi off the rice? I mean, the damn eggplant was already wasabi flavored…
“Let’s order more! More more!”
Tomonori leaned forwards and pushed the intercom button. Tomonori had the largest breasts out of anybody at our table, and they jiggled as she moved. I saw Orito cheer up a bit at the sight of them.
“What would you like to order?”
“A melon,” said Tomonori.
“Paella.” Mihara made a completely unreasonable request.
“Sorry, but I have to ask. Is the wasabi eggplant without eggplant actually any good at all?”
I asked that to the intercom, a bit of a smile on my face.
“……” No response.
“Well, nevermind. Umm… a cream croquette, please.”
I was hoping for some kind of reaction, but I guess I shouldn’t have expected it. The people who set the menu were most likely different from the people working the intercom.
But I’m pretty sure a sushi place wouldn’t have any paella. I thought that, but…
Some paella came casually rolling down the conveyer belt.
So I guess they could really put anything we wanted on sushi. (4)
“Ahahaha, the paella really came.”
Mihara really did look happy. There wasn’t much paella coming towards us, but it was definitely recognizably paella.
And of course, the melon also came down the belt. Tomonori wasted no time in dousing it with dressing.
But, my cream croquette never came… instead, I got an order of wasabi eggplant.
“Aikawa tried to be fresh back there, so of course this would happen.”
Mihara chuckled and pointed at the wasabi eggplant.
I regretted having said anything strange into the intercom and grabbed the plate of wasabi eggplant, putting it on the table.
On the other side of the belt, Haruna’s table pushed the intercom.
“What would you like to order?”
“Whale, Shanghai crab, and foie gras.”
Haruna was being pretty unreasonable too, but everything she asked for came down on the conveyer belt. It just made me all the sadder about my plate of wasabi eggplant.
“Let’s order more stuff! More stuff!”
Tomonori looked like she was having a hell of a lot of fun as she leaned forward and pushed the intercom button.
“Shall we ask for an order of yellowtail engawa?”
Mihara seemed puzzled at Saras’s request.
“Engawa? Isn’t that flounder?”
“Engawa refers to the head of a fish. It is not limited to flounder.”
“Ohhh.” The idiot Tomonori seemed impressed by that piece of knowledge.
“Will that be all?”
Without a moment’s delay, I also made an order.
“I’ll have a tuna roll please.”
I ordered something normal. I really didn’t want to get full off just wasabi eggplant.
“Curry! I want some curry!”
Well, if they had paella they probably had curry too.
Soon, a roll of curry wrapped in seaweed and a strange-looking plate of engawa came rolling down the belt.
And then, there was another plate of wasabi eggplant… dammit, I think I really pissed off the chef.
“An Indian elephant for table eight!”
Haruna’s voice echoed through the restaurant. Maybe she was ordering stuff for me out of pity… but, an Indian elephant…
“So, how’s your first rotary sushi experience? Pretty good, right?”
Mihara put her elbows on the table and looked at Saras.
“It was certainly not unsatisfactory.”
It was a typical response from Saras, but Mihara didn’t seem happy with it.
“When you put it like that, it makes the rest of us who are here ranting and raving about the food look like idiots.”
“Not true. You all have food that you all like. I will not deny you that. More importantly, stop letting the purple soak into the rice.”
“Huh? What the hell does that mean? There has to be a more normal way to say that!”
“Hey hey, Kanami. Don’t get so angry… let’s just all have fun, okay?”
Tomonori tried to calm Mihara down.
The atmosphere started to become tense when a waiter came over.
“This is from the table over there.”
She put a plate of wasabi eggplant in front of us. They probably couldn’t find an Indian elephant to serve us with… yeah, that must’ve been it.
My mood began to sink just as low as Orito’s. My face was also probably stiffening.
“A-Actually… I think sensei also… wanted to have sushi……… he told us that before break.”
By “sensei,” she probably was talking about the Demon Baron.
“But he also said that he had forgotten his doctor had ordered him to not have sushi.”
I added onto Hiramatsu’s story.
I was trying to blow away the tense atmosphere that Mihara and Saras had started to create around our table.
“The homeroom teacher for Class C? Where did your other homeroom teacher go anyways?”
Tomonori also jumped into the conversation.
Our other homeroom teacher was Kurisu Takeshi. She was now the strongest masou shoujo and was probably somewhere gulping down sake. Maybe she was even back at Nene-san’s place right now.
“I like… that homeroom teacher too…”
Hiramatsu sadly began to eat the wasabi eggplant. She probably had guessed that I didn’t want to eat it.
“Ah, he wasn’t very exciting or anything, but class always ran smoothly.”
Mihara still didn’t look very happy as she ate her paella. She didn’t seem like she was planning on ordering any sushi.
“He didn’t really stand out very much, but he was a good teacher.”
Orito added his two cents, even though he still looked down.
Saras and I just listened to their words quietly.
After all, we knew that we had to take down Chris.
Tomonori also knew the true state of affairs, but…
“That sensei helped me improve my grades, ya know? He was really, reaaaaaaally good at teaching.”
Tomonori nodded a few times. Well, I had heard that even in Virie, Chris had taught Haruna’s teacher, Dai-sensei. So, it’s no wonder she would be good at teaching.
Tomonori… she considered Chris and Kurisu Takeshi as two separate people, didn’t she?
Was it because she was an idiot? Or maybe she was just being tactful.
Everyone started talking more and more about Chris.
Saras and I couldn’t really join in on the conversation, but just ate our sushi while occasionally saying a word or two in agreement.
“… Aikawa-kun… did you… not like Kurisu-sensei?”
Hiramatsu looked apologetic as she asked me that. I shook my head and instantaneously responded.
“I didn’t not like sensei we had named Kurisu.”
“What’s up with that way of putting it? Aikawa, you’re doing it too? You got something to say to us?”
Crap. Looked like I had brought Mihara’s wrath down upon me.
“A tuna roll for table eight.”
Haruna once again made an order for us, sounding almost like she was trying to play a game of battleship or something.
I had wanted to eat a tuna roll… Haruna, nice one.
“Uh, I mean… well, I’m just shy I guess. It’s embarrassing to say you like someone. This girl here too, I’m sure she really thinks all of this is delicious.”
I pointed my thumb at Saras and tried to make an excuse for her.
“No, it really isn’t very delicious. It isn’t unsatisfactory either though.”
Ugh, too honest, Saras, too honest. Honesty can run you into all sorts of trouble, you know.
“What about the yellowtail engawa? You’re the one who ordered that.”
“Well, I mostly was just testing their claim that we could order anything. The flavor itself was… so-so.”
“Tae-chan, what about you? It’s all really delicious, right?”
“… Yes… I… think it’s all very good…”
“As expected, a high-class girl like yourself doesn’t understand the tastes of us commoners.”
Saras just looked resigned as she began to eat a piece of pickled ginger.
We had to try to deal with this gingerly here… as gingerly as the ginger Saras was eating. Haha.
“We have to try to deal with this gingerly here… as gingerly as the ginger she’s eating! Haha!”
I heard the pun running through my head come out of Tomonori’s mouth, and I held my head in pain.
Was I seriously on the same level as that idiot?
“The ginger is delicious.”
Seeing Saras eat the ginger, Mihara also tried a piece.
“Really? It’s not unsatisfactory I guess, but is it really that delicious~~?”
Mihara gave Saras a self-satisfied look. Saras frowned and stiffened.
It looked like these two just were not going to get along.
We approached the onset of an all-out war, when…
“This is from the table over there.”
The waiter set a plate of wasabi eggplant in front of me.
I fell deeper into depression.
(1) Yeah a cursory Google search turned up some R18 results, so let’s not ask either.
(2) A savory steamed egg custard dish, often with meat.
(3) Literally “flowing noodles,” a system where noodles are sent down a bamboo half-pipe with a stream of cold water for people to eat.
(4) There was an impossible to translate pun here. “neta” can both mean “joke” and “sushi topping,” and Ayumu commented on this here. Doesn’t work in English though at all so I omitted it.