“Amane-kun, what about lunch?”
Once morning lessons ended, Mahiru went to Amane’s seat with two bentos in her bag.
Amane wanted to eat with the usual gang, but he was hesitant, worried that he would cause them much trouble.
On a side note, while he had ate together with Kuju and Hiiragi, whom he was on speaking terms with recently, they refused to join him for lunch, for despite being single, they did not want to get caught in the crossfire. Tragically, Amane could not deny this, since he did mess up during the break.
“Hm. We’ll eat together if Itsuki and the others are fine.”
“You think we won’t join you?”
Itsuki, Chitose and Kadowaki approached Amane and Mahiru with wallets in hand, giving wry smiles.
“Don’t make us look like we’re strangers. Just be normal.”
“To be honest, I think it’s better for us to be around. Otherwise, you two will be too deadly without any brakes on.”
“…I feel very conflicted.”
Amane could understand Itsuki’s explanation, given how careless he and Mahiru were on this day, but the reversal of roles really had him feeling conflicted.
Of course, Amane would not do what he did in the morning, but there was really a possibility that he or Mahiru could mess up. Itsuki’s worry was warranted.
“Anyway, we’ll be the same as before.”
“I hope Mahirun will continue to attack and escalate things though~”
“People looking at them will be bothered. Look, you two are being so lovey-dovey…think about it.”
“You too Kadowaki…?”
“My face’s getting hot just looking at you two. Well, it’s for the best that you two are happy though.”
Amane could not say anything as the smile was completely magnanimous. “Well, just make sure to watch yourselves, otherwise other people are going to be hurt.” Kadowaki quipped.
It was obvious, given Kuju and Hiiragi’s reactions, so Amane nodded seriously.
“…We’re going to the cafeteria, right? I don’t have a bento. Got to buy from there.”
“Let’s go then~ what’s for today’s set meal special?”
“I remember it’s fried chicken.”
“Oh great. The fried chicken skin’s there’s coated thinly. it’s nice.”
Itsuki grinned away as he waved his wallet and left. Feeling grateful for him, Amane followed.
“…Amane-kun, this is your bento.”
They occupied a table for five at the cafeteria, and once the others returned with their food, Mahiru took out a bento from her bag, and handed it to him.
After that, Mahiru took out her own bento box. Amane’s share was a tad bigger than hers, and while he was not a big eater, a high school boy’s appetite would be much more than a girl’s, and Amane’s could satiate his appetite.
“Mahirun’s bento is great~”
“Not giving you anything.”
Chitose puffed her cheeks cutely, “Shall I exchange some with you?” once Mahiru suggested, the balloon on the face quickly subsided.
While Chitose was being immature, she showed a carefree smile, and her actions befitted her expression. Itsuki was relieved to see that.
Amane watched the two girls talk as he opened the bento lid.
It contained yesterday’s leftovers of simmered tomato chicken, spinach, buttered corn with soy sauce, boiled broccoli, mini tomatoes, wieners with octopus faces drawn, on, and the fried egg roll Amane liked.
There were more main dishes, probably because Amane’s appetite was taken under consideration.
Amane could eat anything, and while he liked vegetables, the presence of meat increased his appetite. Coupled with the egg roll he liked, he could feel himself gaining some vigor.
“Are you fine with more egg roll there, Amane-kun?”
“I think I can work hard over the entire afternoon with this.”
“That is an exaggeration.”
No I’m serious.”
Amane really liked egg dishes, and this egg roll would energize him. The amount really was as he desired.
Itadakimasu, he quickly prayed, giving his thanks for the food and Mahiru, and immediately reached his chopsticks for the egg roll.
He put it in his mouth, and found it damp. He took a bite, and the stock oozed out, its flavor blending with a slight sweetness that had him smiling.
The egg roll was so delicious, he found it a pity to swallow it immediately. He chewed on it slowly, savoring it.
He should chew slowly, but a bigger reason was that he wanted to savor it more.
Still the same as usual, Amane continued to eat the bento, clearly showing the joy on his face. Kadowaki marveled as he looked at Amane.
“…You really are enjoying the food, Fujimiya.”
“It’s really good.”
“I know that. But Shiina-san’s definitely proud of herself when you’re eating it so deliciously.”
Kadowaki called off to Mahiru, who smiled as she watched Amane. “Yes, I am very grateful. Amane-kun always says that my cooking is delicious.” She blushed and smiled.
“The effort really has paid off.”
“Well, I’ve been eating your cooking, and it’s really delicious.”
“I have grasped your preferences, and shall continue to work hard.”
“Just maintain it at this level.”
“But I still wish to ensure that I meet your preferences completely.”
“I’m fine with however you like it, Mahiru. Your cooking’s always delicious.”
Amane showed no intention to leave Mahiru, and while he wanted her to match his preferences, he wanted to know more of hers.
He did not want her to match his preferences completely, but that the two of them would come to a common ground. Amane had thought about matching her preferences.
Amane nodded away happily as he ate the octopus wiener with the cute doodled face made out of sesame seeds. Mahiru’s shoulders shriveled as she showed a gaudy smile.
Amane could not help but look around once he saw her face blushing inside her, and spotted Itsuki’s dumbfounded look.
“…Man, what can we do when we can’t stop you two from flirting.”
“…We aren’t flirting.”
“So he says, Chii.”
“Eh~ you’re saying that it’s not flirting, just the beginning?”
“Say, you two?”
“I don’t think this is really flirting when it’s a little more controlled than your antics in the classroom, but there’s no way for anyone else to interrupt you two.”
Upon hearing that, Amane looked away from their table, to the surrounding seats, and found their peers and the upperclassmen boys looking at them.
While there was some murderous intent in their stares, they hastily looked away when Mahiru gave them a look. They really were easy to understand.
Amane did not know whether he should be ashamed that the surrounding students could hear them, or delighted that they were able to fend the others off.
He showed a crooked smile, and “I thought you did it on purpose…” Kadowaki muttered.
“…Seriously, you two are on great terms, but be careful not to enter your own world that easily, okay?”
Well, it worked out this time, he continued with some bewilderment, and Amane pursed his lips.