On a certain day, the cup ramen pixie appeared to Yuuki Tanaka, telling him,
“Eating cup ramen every day, and every day is not a good balance to your diet.”
She had the appearance of a cute girl, her wavy blond hair reminiscent of ramen strands. She, the size of a palm, was sitting on the cover of the cup ramen with its cover sealed, looking up at him. She was seated at where the lid was capped.
Yuuki rubbed his eyes, and again looked down. Again, he could see it. He tried flicking it off with a finger, and the pixie let out a shriek, slapping at his finger.
“What are you doing? It hurts!”
“…Ow. This isn’t an illusion?”
Yuuki shook his head. There was only a few months until he entered college, and he assumed that he was so lonely living alone that he started to have hallucinations. However, it did hurt when the pixie hit him; it was not an illusion.”
“Well, as a cup ramen pixie, I do have the urge to tell you to have cup ramen for all 3 meals a day, but I do feel that it is important for the person eating the cup ramen to control his body. By living longer, you can have cup ramen for a longer time, so that’ll mean that you’ll be able to eat more, right? Well, thinking about that, I hope that you’ll add more vegetable too–”
Yuuki stare at this pixie who was nagging at me like his mother, and folded his elbows. If this was not a hallucination, how should he deal with her?
“Ah, it’s about time.”
While Yuuki was pondering about this, the pixie suddenly stood up, lifted her head, and waved at him, saying, “Bye bye” before vanishing in an instant.
“…Ah, 3 minutes.”
Yuuki realized that he forgot to set the timer, and hurriedly took off the lid, only to be taken aback. It was perfect. A fragrant scent rose along with the steam. He stirred the noodle strands with his chopsticks; they were neither overly hard or tender, and seemed perfect.
He slurped at the noodles, spent another 5 minutes or so finishing them, exhaled, and folded his elbows.
“…This cup ramen pixie is really amazing.”
Ever since then, the pixie would appear every day.
Of course, Yuuki continued to eat cup ramen every day, but whenever he did so, the pixie would lecture him on his eating habits. He gradually got used to that lifestyle, and sometimes even refuted the pixie’s words, grumbling about the actual lifestyle of a college student.
The pixie seemed to be interested in Yuuki’s words, but whenever the topic was about cup ramen, she would become exceptionally stern. There were times when Yuuki would open the lid before 3 minutes passed, and she would growl.
“Stop it! You’re terrible, trying to pry this open! Idiot! Pervert!”
As she was utterly furious, Yuuki could only apologize. The pixie was muttering away ‘There’s no delicacy’, and ‘I need to prepare myself’, she was always feeling so displeased before the 3 minutes ended.
Unexpectedly, he discovered her weakness.
“…I don’t think I can hang on.”
After 3 minutes passed, the pixie fidgeted about, looking peeved. It seemed her agitation was at its limit at 3 minutes. Yuuki had not been paying attention, but whenever he bought cup ramen that would not be done in 5 minutes, she would shake her legs about, looking bashful as she lowered her head, sitting on the lid.
“Are you Ultraman?”
Yuuki joked, having given up on her. She was so energetic 3 minutes ago, yet after that, she was demure, as though she was a completely different person. Whenever he pricked her shoulder with his finger, she would let out a strange ‘hyyah!’, her face red. She would then clench her fists, shivering, yapping away with teary eyes ‘I-I’ll remember that…’
“Alright, I’ll go buy some 5 minutes cap ramen this time.”
Yuuki answered, but in fact, he did not plan to do so.
It had been a while since Yuuki last spoke to the pixie.
His senior at college (forcefully) requested for him to stay inside the research lab. The professors there were kind enough to pay for everyone’s food, including Yuuki’s, so the latter often bought bentos from the nearby convenience stores and eateries to eat, and did not have to eat at home.
“Senpai, don’t you want want to eat cup ramen or something?”
Yuuki suddenly mentioned this as he dealt with a few complicated figures in the research lab. The upperclassman stared at the PC, responding uninterestedly, “Ah?”
“Sick of bentos? Go get a takeout from someone then. There’s a curry shop nearby.”
“No, that’s not what I mean…well, erm…”
“What? There’s a ramen shop if you’re asking.”
“No, it’s not ramen…”
“Then what is it?”
“…Don’t you have a moment when you just feel like eating cup ramen instead?”
“Ah, yeah, but since it’s rare for us to have some leftover food money, I want to get something better.”
Yuuki laughed courteously as he saw the little numbers flicker around his eyes countless times.
That night, after he was relieved from having to help his seniors, Yuuki returned home, and immediately poured some water into the kettle, putting it on the stove. He waited for the water to boil, and at the same time, peeled off the plastic wrapping of the cup ramen, opened the lid partially, and giddily put the cup ramen on the table in a careful manner.
He sat down, waiting for a while, and the kettle started to shriek. He quickly stood up, switched off the fire, and grabbed the handle. It was hot, but even so, he brought the kettle towards the table, standing in front of the partially opened cup ramen. He then stopped what he was doing.
Suddenly, his heart was racing, and there was some uneasiness coming from deep within his chest. His arms were shaking, and he was unable to pour the hot water in.
After some hesitation, Yuuki took a few breaths, closed his eyes, and told him, ‘it’s fine’.
He poured in the hot water slowly, cautiously, until the water covers the inner line.
He stopped, put the kettle back to the stove, and right when he was about to turn back to look.
He found a nostalgic sight in his sights, and instinctively turned around–
He met a displeased looking face.
“…Yo, been a while there.”
He held in his smile that was ostensibly brimming as he said this. There was a girl with glossy long hair seated on the lid, her legs raised and folded, scowling back at him. She was merely the size of a palm, but she looked really intimidating.
“…You got black rings under your eyes.”
Yuuki continued to hold onto the kettle as the pixie muttered this, turning her face aside,
“Yeah, I was a little busy. You see, this senior I mentioned before–”
“Did you eat well?”
The pixie added on while her face remained facing the side.
“O-of course. I was eating bentos almost every day. There are times when I go to the eateries to eat, sometimes call for a takeout. The teachers in the research labs paid for it–”
“Hmm, I see. That’s good.”
The pixie kept her eyes away as she pouted her lips, shaking her legs. Yuuki scratched his head.
“But it was torturous for me not to be able to eat cup ramen. I-I guess cup ramen is still delicious after all. I guess I can have it for an eternity.”
He thought of how he should express himself as he said those words, eyeing the pixie carefully as the latter was glancing back at him.
The pixie put on a front as she slowly turned around. Suddenly, she smiled.
“Humph, of course.”
She gave a deliberate, gleeful look, but upon seeing the lid upon slightly, hurriedly press it down.
“What dreams do you have, Yuuki? Have you given a serious thought about your future?”
On this day, the pixie remained on the cup ramen lid. She had been lying down and rolling around on the lid recently, perhaps due to familiarity with him. However, she probably was a little concerned that the lid could not be opened.
“Dreams? Ah, yeah. Speaking of which, I had it just a while ago.”
“What kind of dream is it? Tell me, tell me?”
The moment Yuuki answered, the pixie jumped about, forcing him to tell her. With a smile, Yuuki lowered his head at the pixie.
“I want to join a cup ramen manufacturer, making a kind of cup ramen that has never appeared before.”
“Great! You want to control the world with your cup ramen, Yuuki! That’s a great ambition!”
“Yeah, I did think of what to do.”
“I’m impressed. What kind of thing do you want?”
“I want to create a cup ramen that’s complete by pouring hot water and needs to wait for 24 hours.”
Having heard Yuuki’s words, the pixie tilted her head in doubt.
“Isn’t that something simple? Why do you want to create something like that?”
As the pixie spoke with her usual bombastic voice, Yuuki stared back, scratching his head.
Saying this, he stammered. “Hm?” The pixie tilted her head, and suddenly widened her eyes. Her face reddened, and right when she was about to open her mouth and say something, she vanished in a puff.
Perhaps he should ask her about her views on this suggestion.