Chapter 17 Part 2: Festival Preparations
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.
Unlike every other day, I didn’t go home with Yuki. Prep for the festival hadn’t started yet, but apparently, they had to start early so the student council’s project would become a huge success.
Yuki participated in those preliminary preparations today, while Akina took the day off, so we were both walking home together. Something unusual, for sure.
“Hey, Akina, how did Rikka know about the council’s presentation?”
“Oh yeah, no one told you. Rikka is actually the president.”
“I see… So that’s how, huh.”
“She doesn’t talk much about herself. Just as you predicted though, Rikka’s relationship with Shirahato-san led to a discussion about her participation in the project.”
“By the way, what is this all about…?”
“Sorry, Haru, I can’t tell you either. It’s a secret until the day comes.”
“If the gym’s being rented out… What the hell is gonna happen there? Is it a whole-day thing?”
“It’s gonna happen in the afternoon—Whoops, that was close. Sorry, I can’t even give hints.”
“Well, guess I’ll find out soon enough. I look forward to it.”
“I want you to do your best in the class show. I know you guys can pull it off.”
“We settled on a rather harmless one. I still can’t believe it’s a balloon art exhibit…”
“Well, it’s nice to have a classroom full of floatie rubbery balloons everywhere. It’s also decoration, so it shouldn’t require a lot of manpower to set up. It may be a lot of work to prepare, but it’s easy enough to maintain, so you’ll be able to play around on the day of the event. —Not a bad choice, I might add.”
“Playing around huh. What should I do, I wonder…”
I hoped to go to the festival with Yuki so we could see the performances of other classes, but since she was participating in the council’s project, she couldn’t come with me. Akina would be busy that day, too. That’s what I thought.
“If you’re fine with it, why don’t we walk around the festival and check out the student council’s presentation?”
“Huh? You don’t have plans that day?”
“I’m in charge of the preparations before the event, so on the day itself I’ll be free.”
“Is that the case with Yuki, too?”
“She’s been given the lead position that day, so I don’t think she’ll be available like me.”
“I didn’t know that… Huh, so Yuki’s the star of the show. That stirred my curiosity even more.”
“Keep looking forward to it, I’m sure you’ll be surprised.”
“Yeah, sure will. Though, since I’ll just be bored before the event, I’ll walk around with you.”
“It’s decided! We still have a few days until then, so we’ll get to decide where we’ll go and how after the festival guide is released.”
“Anyhow, let’s have some fun, Akina.”
“Mhm. Oh, my stop’s here. That’s my house over there”
“See you tomorrow, Akina.”
“See ya, Haru.”
After saying our goodbyes, we parted ways and I walked straight to my apartment. It was a strange feeling, I have to say.
Normally, I would walk through the front door with Yuki and go to the living room, where we would chat together, but she was still at school, busy preparing for the festival. I felt lonely in the empty and quiet apartment.
Yuki had messaged me, telling me that she was going to be home late. I usually let her handle the dinner, but I thought it would be a bad idea to make her do the housework after she came home tired, so I was standing in the kitchen by myself, which was a rare occurrence for me.
I decided to leave the prep for the bath and the cleaning for later, so I’ll cook dinner for her, which should be done by the time she arrives.
Wanting to surprise her, I analyze the ingredients in the refrigerator. I have little experience cooking for myself, but I’m sure I got some skill through osmosis by helping her in our daily lives. Though, it wouldn’t do good to try something too hard and end up butchering it.
“… I’ll just make some Peperoncino¹.”
Yuki had cooked this dish several times on her days off, and I often saw her doing it. It looked easy enough to whip up, so I just started cooking immediately. I wanted to support her hard work in any way I could.
I faced the kitchen, visualizing how she used to do it. I thought I was doing a neat job of helping her with the boiling point, the number of noodles, and things of that nature. —I thought.
“… This is completely different.”
I tried imitating her way of making it, but after taste-testing it, I could only say it tasted nothing like the one she’d made.
“This is weird… The noodles she cooked were smooth and had the right firmness to them, but mine are just kinda dry… The sauce should’ve also been thick and tasty, but it just came out a different thing altogether.”
Her peperoncino was so good I could eat it forever. She made it seem so quick and easy to make, I tried to imitate it, but it came out completely different in practice.
“Okay then… I’ll just give it my original spin and transform it into a special pasta…”
If hers was impossible to reproduce, I just had to do it my way. Thinking that, I went back to the kitchen. But the more things I tried, the more I came up with something crazy and far from my ideal.
And soon, I could see it was dark outside the window.
I sigh as I bring my “special pasta” to my mouth. It wasn’t bad, but it was hardly delicious either. I was about to give up on the remaining pasta in the frying pan, and just order some pizza with my money, until I heard the creak of the front door, followed by the soft voice of an angel.
“Haru-kun, I’m home~”
Yuki was home. After taking off her shoes, she walked straight to the kitchen.
“Oh, you were cooking dinner for me?”
“W–Welcome back, Yuki. W–Well, that was my intention…”
I stood between Yuki and the frying pan with my failure.
“Y’know, I was just thinking of ordering pizza today. What flavor would you want? You seem tired from the festival prep, so just choose whatever you want.”
I pulled out my phone and showed her the menu, but she was more concerned about the hidden pasta behind me than the pizza.
“That’s pasta, isn’t it? Haru, you had that for dinner?”
“N–No, um, well… I messed up.”
“Yeah, I tried to imitate you, but I couldn’t even come close…”
“Did you put too much salt in it or something?”
“No, I don’t think it was the salt, but rather it was an issue with… flavor. I put too many things on it, and it ain’t bad, but it ain’t good either.”
“I’d rather eat that than pizza, since you made it for me.”
“No no no! Don’t force yourself to eat it! I couldn’t possibly make you eat a failure…”
“It’s not a failure. Haru-kun, you knew I was gonna be late today, so you worked hard to make it for me, didn’t you?”
She plopped down her bag, and with a tender smile, picked a plate from the cupboard.
“Haru-kun, could you give me a serving, please?”
“Are you sure about that? You’ll really eat it?”
“Of course. I’m beat from all the prep, and I’m starving~!”
“G–Got it. Gimme a sec.”
I took the plate and put all my effort into making it look nice for her. Then, I offered my “special pasta” to Yuki, who was sitting at the table.
“Bon appétit, Haru-kun.”
Yuki picked up her fork and began eating the pasta. She beamed a joyful grin and, simultaneously, exuded an air of elegance. I watched her eat while fidgeting my fingers, anxious to see what would happen to that smile.
After tasting the pasta, she gulped it down. Then, Yuki expressed her impression of its taste.
“It tastes good with this flurry of flavors, Haru-kun.”
“Yeah. I like your special pasta!”
She smiled brightly, and once again brought the pasta to her mouth.
“It’s delicious. You made it without looking at any recipe, right?”
“Yeah. I made it while thinking only about how to make you eat some delicious pasta… Even though I’m not very good at it.”
“I see, that’s why it tastes even better. Your thoughts of me are the best seasoning there is.”
She finished every noodle on her plate then presented it to me once again.
“Could I get seconds?”
“Thank you for it, Yuki…”
“And thank you for making it, Haru-kun.”
As I watched her eat the pasta I tried to make, while constantly exclaiming how delicious it was, I vowed to myself I’d make a dish that I could proudly present to her, all in hopes I could support her through her work.
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4 comments »
Chapter 17 Part 1: Festival Preparations – Soafp TranslationJune 2, 2022 at 4:24 am
[…] NEXT CHAPTER […]
GattsJune 2, 2022 at 5:20 am
Thank you for the chapter !
nika77722June 2, 2022 at 4:41 pm
Thanks for the chapter, ahh time to get healed once more
ynluccaJune 2, 2022 at 4:42 pm
Yes, this heals my soul in a way I can barely explain