Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
After that whole debacle, Saki called me as soon as lunch arrived. I sat on one of the student council chairs until she finally sighed and said, “Akito, you went too far…”
In hindsight, I was a wreck in every class. After Math, I finished the modern literature reading much too fast, resulting in a surplus of time I’d used to memorize kanji and ancient vocab. Like in the previous period, my literature teacher hailed down complex problems (for my classmates) at me so I could “get off my high horse,” but it was all over in seconds.
The two next periods were Japanese History and Biology, which were pure memorization subjects. All I had to do was output what I had learned in those two days with Saki, and I was dandy. It didn’t take me long to realize I found studying by myself to be miles better than taking classes.
All the teachers had returned to the staff room in shambles, ashes.
“Do you finally get it? You’re talented, Akito.”
The difference was clear, no matter how much I was led to believe otherwise in the past. I was quite different than my peers.
“It’s fine,” she reassured me with a kind smile. “I’m proud to see the man I love blow everyone’s socks off.”
“T-That so?” I looked away.
“Oh, what’s this? Akito, are you shy?”
Lately, whenever she says she likes me, I get a knee-jerk reaction. So much so, I ended up giving her a strong response just now.
“Well, that aside, I made lunch for you.”
“Oh? I didn’t know you could cook, Saki,” after all, I had been the only one in the Mizumoto household that did it.
“Excuse me. I’m not as good as you’ve always been, but I can whip something up all right. Besides, I’m in charge of the cooking duty back home now.”
“I see. Mikiko-san can’t cook, then?”
“Nope,” she said before taking off the lunch box’s lid.
Inside were many of my favorite dishes, such as karaage, meat, and potatoes. “Looks delicious,” I drooled. Looking back at her, I noticed she had this affectionate ‘can’t be helped’ gaze.
“Hehe, this reaction’s just what I wanted,” she simpered before propping up a piece of karaage with her chopsticks, holding it close to my mouth. “Ahn~!”
“Can I choose the self-service option? Is that a thing?” I asked, knowing it was useless to resist.
“Oh, I’m sooo sorry! I accidentally brought two lunch boxes but forgot to put in one extra pair of chopsticks. Woe is me!”]
She really woe’d. Honestly, I was slightly peeved, but nothing would come out of it if I kept worrying. “So I have no choice but to let you feed me, huh.”
“Exactly. I was careless, so it can’t be helped. Aiya, I’ll have to make sure I’m careful on the tests as well.”
Her lie was so obvious it wouldn’t even classify as one. Still, she really did bring only a pair of chopsticks. Normally, I wouldn’t be opposed to it per se, but unlike when we were at home, there was a possibility of someone else spotting us. So I couldn’t just bite into her karaage willy-nilly. The art of flirting in public was alien to me, after all.
“What’s wrong, Akito?”
“Nothing, it’s just, I’m a bit embarrassed. I think someone might see us doing that…”
“I see…” She lowered her head.
Oh no. It’s the usual pattern, I grimaced in anticipation.
“You’re looking for a reason not to each my lunch, I see. I feel like an idiot for waking up so early just to make it for you…” She quivered ever-so-slightly.
“Ugh,” and it was effective.
“Ah, I tried my best just to make you happy, you know? But it looks like I have no choice but to dust this lunch box in the end…”
“Oh wow, I would just love to eat your lunch, Saki!”
I would be the idiot if I let my embarrassment precede her efforts. Rather, I would be shaming her instead. In mantras, I tell my heart it was one of the greatest shames in the world for a man not to eat the food that was served to him, so I caved. Still, she didn’t respond as I thought she would.
“It’s fine. You don’t have to force yourself…”
She then tried to put away one of the lunch boxes in sadness. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I’m walking right into one of her tricks, but there’s no way in hell I could possibly refuse her now.
“Saki, um, could you please let me eat the lunch you made?”
“That’s no good. I mean, you don’t really want to do that.”
This is bad.
“I really wanna eat your lunch,” I put on a playful air, trying to defuse the situation.
“Do you wanna die?” She motioned her thumb to cut one’s head while smiling eerily.
“Sorry,” I was quick to apologize.
“No, but I really want to eat the lunch you worked so hard to make! Please, Saki!”
“I know you mean well, but there’s still not enough love.”
“Ugh,” I knew it.
In other words, Saki wants me to full-on say it. She’s trying her hardest to make me utter words of love, so much so, her eyes were urging me on with a burning fire within. I gulped before continuing.
“Saki, um. I mean, I-I really want you to feed me the lunch you prepared with so much love. It would make me happy to be fed by someone I love so much,” though I had said it myself, the magic three words were enough to shake me to my core with pure embarrassment.
How can she just say it whenever?!
All I wanted at that moment was to shove my head into the earth or hide it behind my hands. Whichever one was easier. However, she was the stark contrast to me, brimming at the seams with unbridled joy.
“You finally told me you like me!”
She put down the lunch box and wrapped her arms around me.
“You’re late,” she pouted through a smile.
I didn’t truly mean what I said, so I tried apologizing to her, but she beat me to the punch and shushed me with her index finger.
“I know what you want to say. Still, aren’t your feelings already halfway there?” She hit the nail on the head.
Was I that obvious? I sighed inwardly. At the very least, I didn’t think of her as a sister anymore. I was long past that point.
“Hehehe, this is definitely a step forward!” She chirped, holding her own cheeks as if she were the very picture of a maiden in love. She was. However still, when she noticed my gaze, she coughed before continuing. “I’ll feed you as a reward.”
“Hehehe!” Her giggles were unending. “Say whatever you like.”
Then, with her happiness in her sleeve, she fed me the entirety of one of her boxes. I tried—I swear I truly did—to resist blushing, but her flowery smile as she kept propping up food with her chopsticks was too much to bear.
“Thank you for the food,” I said gratefully as soon as it was over.
“So, how was it? How did it taste?”
“It was delicious.”
“Not that!” She paused for a beat. “Did you feel my love in every bite?”
“…Yeah.” Rather, it seeped from every bite and every drop. It overflowed from the box to the very atmosphere.
She hummed to herself while looking at me, putting the box away. “Hehe, you’re so cute, Akito. You just try so hard to hide your shyness!”
“Zip it,” I came off a bit too strong, but what I really meant was, Please don’t mess with my feelings anymore!
She must’ve sensed the true meaning behind my words, because she stopped the chase. However, a new ordeal awaited me like a lion to its prey.
“Now it’s you feed me, Akito~♡”
“What do you mean, ‘huh’? I haven’t eaten yet. Are you going to let me starve to death like this?”
I was then assigned the mission of feeding her lunch. What’s more, if she thought I wasn’t putting enough love into it, she would make me try repeatedly. I managed to survive, though I hadn’t felt this embarrassed in forever.
“Hehe, I can do my best in afternoon classes now.”
“Good for you.”
While she was all roses, I felt like mud—mentally groggy. It was definitely easier to go through classes than this, I compared my interactions with her and the way I was by my lonesome in class.
“Oh, that’s right. I’ll go to your classroom again after school, so please wait for me,” Saki announced.
Thus ended the exhausting lunch break.
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